Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 5) with henchman Corvus (Fighter 3)Awg Wahmn (Calmonari 5)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 5), with familiar Hermes
Torak (Cleric 5)
Sizing up their somewhat perilous situation, Awg decided to stop gorging on the buffet and have a serous discussion with Ondry. The calmonari frankly laid out what he saw was going on; matters were coming to an impasse and seemed likely to end in a welter of blood and death. Maybe instead the two parties could come to an amicable arrangement from which they would both benefit? Ondry twitched slightly and licked his lips at the mention of blood, but pulled himself to together and agree that they could make a deal. He wanted passage home, and offered to pay the party for transporting him and a small entourage back to the Coral Cays. When asked who would be in this entourage, Ondry mentioned a few troglodyte servants and his children. Children, asked Kwinsea? At that, Ondry pulled open his voluminous shirt to reveal two small, grey-skinned humanoids suckling at his chest. When the aquamancer questioned him further about the children, Ondry gruffly and rudely rebuffed her, making some comments about woman should have stayed subservient and the like. When questioned about payment for passage, he offered 3000g and a pair of magic items. Questioned about those items, Ondry started to rage and snarl about 'not having taken my whole household with me' and stated some of the reward would be paid upon arrival in the Coral Cays. To prove he did have coinage to give, Ondry reach behind his seat, pulled out a handful of gold coin,s and scattered them on the floor at the party's feet.
Feeling a bit stuck between a rock and a hard-place (and hoping they could better deal with the strange man when they had him on board the "Purple Haze" on their own terms, and without all his supporting troglodytes), the party agreed to the bargain. Ondry heaved himself out of his cushioned chairs, and started to direct some of the troglodytes to start packing his belongs. He didn't speak to them, but relied on pointing and gestures. Kwinsea confirmed Ondry could not actually speak troglodyte by addressing him in her slight grasp of that language, provoking another misogynistic barrage of snarls from him. This gave her an idea, so with Rodrigo along for protection, she went to talk to the rest of the troglodytes, to find out more about Ondry and maybe flip the reptile-men to their side. She learned only that they regarded him as a god, mainly due to his size and strength and ability to turn into a blessed 'monsterous' form. They were reluctant to let Ondry leave them, but bowed to the will of their god to leave, hoping he would return. And they most certainly were not going to turn against him.
Meanwhile, Awg swam out towards the "Purple Haze" to prepare the ship and crew for their 'guest'.
This left Corvus (and an invisible Torak) alone in the pavilion with Ondry. The grey-skinned man surreptitiously eyed the big fighter, occasionally twitching and snarling. After Kwinsea, Rodrigo and Awg had been gone a short while, Ondry finally lost control. With a snarl and a roar, he suddenly transformed into a much taller, much more muscular figure, with a sharks head and mighty clawed fists. With his two 'children' in tow, the were-shark charged across the room and fell on the unfortunate fighter. Corvus managed to dodge some blows, but the three beasts were to much, and it was not long before a massive bite from Ondry ended the fighter's life. Before he expired, Corvus was able to yell a warning to the rest of the party, including sharp-eared Awg who had nearly reached the "Purple Haze". The calmonari turned around and started to swim back to shore to help, while Kwinsea and Rodrigo turned to leave the troglodytes and rush to help. As she ran, however, Kwinsea tried to talk to the troglodytes once more, to get them to help the party. But the reptile-men once more were not convinced, and though momentarily confused by what was going on, it was likely they would fall on the party's rear in the coming fight. So Kwinsea stopped and aimed her wand of fear, sending all but one troglodyte running away in fear. And that last one, finding himself now alone, turned and joined his fellows in their flight.
Back in the tent, Torak now came into view, surprising the were-shark and his lessor kin and the remaining troglodytes. The cleric held one lessor were-shark, then commanded the other to commit 'patricide'. He then found himself pinned against the tent wall by a pair of troglodyte servants, and ineffectually flailed away at the pair as they struck at him with their spears. Rodrigo then arrived, leaping over his fallen henchman to drive at Ondry with his swords. As he sliced and diced, Kwinsea rushed in and lined up for a lightning bolt on Ondry and his children. By this point, the were-shark was starting to look battered, and tried to bull-rush past Rodrigo and run for the sea. He didn't make it though, as the swashbuckler cut him down as he passed by. That still left one lessor were-shark and a handful of troglodyte servants, which despite all the party's efforts, still managed to stay standing. Kwinsea used her tidal force to push them back, which allowed Rodrigo to cut them down one by one and finally rescue Torak from his assailants. By this point, however, the feared troglodytes had returned and the party found themselves once more in a fight. Awg also arrived by this point to help out, Torak donned his invisibility ring once more to hide from further attacks, and Rodrigo flipped over a table to knock several of his attackers off their feet. In the end it was too much for the now leaderless troglodytes, and the remainder turned and fled into the jungle.
With the battle over, the party now helped themselves to Ondry's reward. While Rodrigo swept a silver tea-set and crystal decanter off the table and into a sack, Kwinsea searched behind the chair where a pile of pillows, throws, and full sacks lay. The sacks were stuffed with human body parts in various states of decay, and at the bottom of all the clutter was a locked chest. Kwinsea and Awg both checked it for traps, and finding nothing, had Rodrigo pry it open with Corvus' crowbar. Inside they found a pile of gold and silver coins, but nothing more (even after Kwinsea checked the bottom for secret compartments). They did find a crude map, however. It showed a string of islands just east of their current location, and then a gap of several days sailing to another island; this chart seemed to show the route Ondry had taken to reach the isle of the stone ships. Several of the islands along the way were labeled; one with 'fish' and another with '???? ruins".
Having looted the pavilion, they party discussed whether they should check out the nearby quarry pits. They decided not to, having learned earlier they were the home of the troglodytes, and a) not wanting to fight more troglodytes at the moment and b) figuring the reptile-men had little of value anyway. So they buried the unfortunate Corvus (after taking his stuff), then hauled their loot back to the reef and used the ships boat to bring it and them aboard the "Purple Haze". Examining Ondry's map, they decided to follow his track back to the Coral Cays and see what adventure awaited them in those new isles. Along the way they would check out the other islands. So after a night's rest (and another trip to the island by Torak to animate a pair of fallen troglodytes as zombie servants), they had Lynessa raise sail and fighting a NE wind, headed to the east.
It was mid afternoon when they reached the first island on the chart, the one marked 'fish'. It was a rather nondescript jungle covered island, with a rocky wave-crashed shore on the north side and a small shallow cove with a white sandy beach on the south. Lynessa would take the "Purple Haze" no closer as the water as too shallow, so they party had the ships' boat lowered into the water to row ashore. Torak had his odoriferous zombie servants man the oars, which drove both Kwinsea and Awg into the water the swim behind, while Rodrigo and the cleric stayed aboard. As they crossed the shallow bay, they could see a riot of weird and colourful fish swimming about. Awg used his aquatic telepathy to get a sense of their intent, and got mostly neutral fishy thoughts and a bit of hostility. The hostility became evident as they moved towards shore, as there were two attacks. One by a large fish that shot a long sticky tongue at Rodrigo and tried to haul him in the water; the swashbuckler was able to cut the tongue off before tumbling overboard and the wounded fish swam away. The second was a great toothed monster that tried to chomp on Awg and Kwinsea in the water; Kwnisea swallowed her revulsion and climbed into the boat while Awg used the shark tooth spear to transform into a mako shark to out-fang the fish and kill it. After that, they reached the beach without further incident. Looking around, they could see nothing but sand and jungle with no obvious route into the greenery. What to do now ....
Elaborate Silver Tea Service (500gp)
Crystal Decanter (150gp total)
Ondry the Were-Shark
Two lessor were-shark 'children'
5 subservient troglodytes
Two lessor were-shark 'children'
5 subservient troglodytes