Friday, September 9, 2016

Far Isles Session #44 - Jungle, Ho!

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), familiar PrettyBird, riding dog PuppyWhuppy & henchman"No 7" (Halfling 2)
Aug-Wahmn (Calmonari 1)

Gorbo of Jalwar
Just as the party was about to embark, Chaff suddenly remembered he still hadn't identified the potions and oil from the temple of the sea demon. He asked around the Collegium, hoping the learned types there could help. In the end he was directed to go find the alchemist Gorbo of Jalwar in the Blackmilk, that dreary and dark slum down on the river. He found the dilapidated old building with a sign out front advertising the services of an alchemist, an apothecary, and a sage. Chaff chose the first  option, and headed down into the acrid basement. There he met the short, round, Gorbo, who after some wheeling and dealing offered to identify the four items for a paltry 800gp.  Chaff learned therefore that he was the proud owner of a potion of healing, potion of watery death, and a potion of water breathing. The bottle of bath oil was actually oil of true seeing, which applied to the eyelids allowed one to see through illusions. Abdul el Abdul, who'd tagged along for the fun, attempted to get the fast talking little man to tell him about the scimitar. Alas Gorbo was not an expert on weapons, and instead chased the fighter out of the basement in a scowling fit. Outside, Abdul el Abdul shrugged and passed the scimitar along to Awg-Wahmn for the calmonari to try.

Back at the "Purple Haze", Captain Lynessa informed them it was quite stormy and they'd be fighting a head wind, so they choose to lay low and wait out the inclement weather. The next day was still brisk, but the wind had swung around to the south-west, giving them a fast voyage  to the Anchorage, reaching the isle in just one day. They encountered another vessel along the way, which turned out to be the sad-sack "Two for Trouble" headed to the same location. At the Anchorage already were Nalco's rowboat, the merchant Marios, as well as the "Serpents Revenge" and "Quall's Folly". The party decided to ignore all the vessels at anchor, and headed over the hill to report to Bellephrone on the successful delivery of the box to the Pale Lady.  Which the witch seemed to already know. Curious that.

With no fanfare or lights, the party had Captain Lynessa take the "Purple Haze" out to sea in the pre-dawn darkness, and they set course for the south-east and the Lost Jungle Isles. They made good progress on the first day, but sunrise on the second found the ship tossed and turned in the grips of a winter storm. Luckily they sighted land ahead, and the crew skillfully brought the "Purple Haze" into a wooded cove to wait out the gale. It lifted the next day, and after a quick circumnavigation of the island (which consisted of a central peak, a mix of forest and meadow, a possible town in a sheltered harbour, and a lot of sheep and goats) before raising sail once again and plotting course to the south-east.

Snake Rider
Another day of fair sail brought them to what looked like their goal; a small group of jungle-covered islands appeared over the horizon. Checking their log notes and questioning Pablo, the crewman hired away from the "San Lorenzo", they weren't sure if they were in the thick of dinosaur country yet. But they seemed to be on the right track.  Of the four islands, only one attracted any immediate interest.  There, columns of smoke climbed into the sky, hinting at some sort of civilized or intelligent life. The party decided to land ashore, taking the ships' boat in through the rocky reefs to land on the thoroughly overgrown island. There was no sign of any civilization at this level, nor anything in the way of a trias. So the bigger brutes in the party took turns hacking through the thick undergrowth, taking hours to make scant progress. While taking for a bit of a breather, however, Rodrigo glanced up into the canopy and discovered they were not alone. Giant snakes was slithering through the branches above them, surprisingly ridden by outlandishly decorated tribesmen. The party tried to communicate in all the languages they know, but without much luck. They tried offering a gift of coins and metal objects, leaving it on the ground and backing away. The trio took the offering, and as the natives spoke among themselves, Rodrigo discovered he understood bits and pieces of their conversation as it sounded a lot like the pidgin  he'd heard in his previous swashbuckling travels. The natives were talking about giving the offerings to Ungobungo, the Great Serpent, apparently their god. Through a combination of Chaff's pantomime and Rodrigo's snip-its of language, the party was able to convince the three snake-riders to take them to their tribal chief.

Carried by the snake riders, the party made it to the centre of the island much faster than they would on foot. They found that the tribe did not live on the ground, but on platforms suspended from the jungle trees. In fact it appeared that the natives never touched the ground but lived a nearly competently arboreal existence with their snakes. Of which a half dozen (with riders) now gazed on the party as they met with the chief. The party made further gifts to the chief, but he was unimpressed with trinkets and copper pieces. Although there was little glitter of gem and jewelry to be seen on the tribesmen, the chief seemed to expect such gifts 'as offerings to Ungobungo the Great Serpent'. He was placated by a gem and jeweled dagger, and answered the parties questions as best he could given the communication difficulties. They learned there were no other human inhabitants on the surrounding isles, nor were there dinosaurs. They did glean that all the tribes treasure was offered to the Great Serpent, who lived in the tallest trees at the north end of the island. While this information caused party ears to perk up, in the end they decided to take their leave of the natives and return to the "Purple Haze". The next day, however, they did scout the north end of the island, with Chaff and No. 7 buzzing the jungle on the fly. There were signs of something enormous moving in the treetops, but nothing could be seen through the thick canopy. While the idea of looting a snake-god was tempting, the party decided to move on and stick to their original quest; go find some dinosaurs to capture for sale in Xin.

Which was not easy, as the wind had now shifted, such that the ship was sailing in irons as they tried to head south-east. It took Lynessa and the crew three days of constant tacking to inch the "Purple Haze" towards the next island. This one was much larger, stretching almost a hundred miles from north to south. Although it was covered by thick jungle to the north, towards the south it was a mix man-high sword grass and blasted, bare rock. From the jungle itself drifted occasional tendrils of black mist or fog. They circumnavigated the island, and found a tidy cove on the east side into which flowed a fairly substantial river. The tandem pair of Awg-Wahmn the calmonari and Kwinsea the aquamancer found a school of sillago swimming in the river, and proceeded to question the fish for information about the jungle upstream.  Their piscian informant told them of the ruins of a human city, long abandoned. That seemed like a place to check out for loot, so the party decided to put dinosaur hunting aside for awhile and explore the ruined city.




A few trinkets, coins and a jeweled dagger 

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