Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Far Isles Session # 66 - The Stone Ships

Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 5), with henchman Corvus (Fighter 3)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), with familiar Pretty Bird and Riding Dog Puppy Whuppy
Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 5)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 5), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 2)
Pahu-Mahu (Thief 4)

Once aboard ship, the party had Lynessa and the crew prepare to get under way immediately; just in case someone on the island noted the dead god-snake and wanted to do something about it. When it came to determining where to go, Awg was quite adamant that the party should forget about returning to the ruins of Mandro-Shanti. He waved his treasure map around and insisted they look for island with the boats of gold instead. No one could see any reason to  argue, so Lynessa turned the "Purple Haze" closed hauled to the wind and head north-west. After a few hours sailing, land appeared on the horizon. Getting closer, it proved to be a few small islands. Most were jungle covered with no discernible features from offshore, while one consisted of a rocky peak surrounded man-tall razor grass. A smattering of bare rocks rounded out the mini-archipelago. Consulting Awg's map, they found that none of the islands appeared to match, so Lynessa was ordered to circumnavigate the islands and then strike out to the east. As the "Purple Haze" rounded the islands and passed the open sounds between them, the party and crew were treated to the sight of a battle underway between two lots of native warriors in dugout canoes. Deciding it best to not get involved, they instead watched the seemingly mostly ceremonial fight under they passed out of view.  

Giant Eel
It was late in the day when another island came into view, this one about 6 miles long and, on closer inspection, very much like the one on Awg's map. Right down to the impassable reef, which at this low tide barely allowed their ship to pass through and close with the beach. According to the map, the boats of gold were further south, toward the other end of the island. Hoping to avoid another jungle trek, Awg,  Kwinsea and a shark-transformed Pahu decided to dive into the islands lagoon and look for a way for at least the ship's boat to get through the reef. They found no passable breaks in the rock, not even one that looked hopeful for high tide. They did encounter a pair of giant eels who approached and circled menacingly. Awg used his aquatic telepathy to pass along feelings of warmth and friendship, and in return sensed the creatures were mostly interested in defending their territory in the lagoon from any intruders i.e. the party. Kwinsea surfaced and cast speak with aquatic animals to better negotiate and gather information on the island. The eels were not interested in letting the party pass through or even stay any longer. They could tell Kwinsea little about the island, other than some sort of human or humanoid lived there and could be see along the waters edge at times. Feeling increasingly threatened, the trio turned back to return to the ship, Awg and Kwinsea having to help Pahu for the last bit as his shark transformation wore off and he was left floundering about in the water. 

Jungle Troglodyte
Reporting back to the rest of the party, they decided there was little choice but to trek overland; during the swimming trio's absence, Chaff and Rodrigo had located a narrow path leading south. Chaff sent Pretty Bird aloft before they started out, but nothing could be seem through the thick jungle canopy. Along the way they encounter wild boar twice, but the porcine wanderers ran away when approached. Of more significance was an ambush by troglodytes, the odoriferous reptile-men being the humanoid inhabitants noted by the giant eels. Things got off to a rocky start, with Chaff, Rodrigo, Pahu and Jaz all getting violently ill from the troglodytes smell. But some well placed blows and a tidal force from Kwinsea soon resulted in three dead troglodytes, while the remaining two melted into the jungle and fled. 

Pushing  on, it was a approaching dark when the party finally emerged into a clearing and first laid eyes on the so called 'boats of gold'. There was no gold to be seen. Instead, emerging from the jungle were the prows of three stone ships, each  about the size of the "Purple Haze". A closer look showed they were built of stone block rather than somehow magically transformed from wooden ships. Two still had massive stone sails towering above the decks, while the sail on the eastern-most ship had fallen into rubble. In front of each ship stood a statue. From west to east these were: an octopus headed humanoid, a humanoid shark monster, and a boar headed man. In front of the shark-man were three poles driven upright into the ground; it looked as if someone or something had been lashed to them fairly recently. Pahu scouted toward the centre ship and noted signs of footprints entering an opening in the stone prow. By now it was almost completely dark, so the party decided to scramble up to the deck of the octopus-man ship and camp for the night.

Nothing untoward interrupted their rest, and in the morning the party continued their exploration of the ships. Each had an opening in the prow, accessible at the end of a short earthen ramp. Before deciding which to tackle first, they peered into each opening. The western ship contained a stone alter with a verdigris-stained copper door beyond. In the second ship was another alter and more doors, plus piles of bones stacked around. In the third there was once more an alter, plus a couple of smashed and fallen statues. Closer examination revealed pits dug in the floor, some flagstones marked with 'X', and what appeared to be triggered and broken spear traps lining the walls. Beyond there was no doors, as the fallen stone sail had smashed the mid-section of the ship into rubble.

With little to differentiate the three, the party decided to go back to the first, westernmost ship and investigate. After first checking the entrance for traps, Pahu headed for the door. It was only copper sheathed, and was decorated with a spiral of rivets. Awg, Kwinsea and Jaz observed a similar spiral groove carved into the otherwise plain stone alter, with signs of what may have been old blood as well. Chaff, Rodrigo and Corvus checked out the wall, finding them caved with heraldic and stylized sea creatures. Scattered along the base was a mess of broken leather, wood and  bronze shields. Jaz grabbed the one which appeared to be in the best shape; a copper sheathed wooden shield with concentric red circles on the front.  

The Pool
Moving back to the door, Pahu checked it for traps. Finding none, Awg pushed it open. On the other side of the threshold was a narrow step, beyond which the room was filled with a cloudy, reddish liquid. On the opposite wall about 30' away was another door, while to the east and west were alcoves. The east one contained was appeared to be another alter, while to the west was some sort of statue. Pahu stuck a finger in the water, and when nothing happened he tasted the liquid. As far as he could tell, it was simply dirty, rusty water, so the the thief jumped in to search around. He didn't get far before he stepped on something slimy and squishy below the water's surface, and to the horror of the rest of the party, Pahu started to scream and thrash about until he suddenly shuddered and became very still. Then fell backwards into the water, dead. As his body floated back towards the party, everyone could see the thief's lower legs had been stripped away leaving only bone from the knee down ... 


Bulls-Eye Shield

3 Troglodytes


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