22 Arodus, 4710AR
After the battle for the lighthouse, the group searched the cannibal village and the lighthouse. They found their captured castaways tied to stakes in a holding pen next to the cannibals butchering area. They were all 4 alive and very happy to see their rescuers. Ishirou gave Teyla a big bear hug. The cannibal camp had a supply hut, a holding pen for skeletons, a communal living hut, a guardhouse overlooking the sea and path approaching the camp, the witches hut (bedroom and workshop), and the lighthouse itself (3 levels). There were 10 old women and children in the communal hut as well as a cannibal warrior who had been badly wounded by Sasha during the raid to capture the captives. The warrior, even though he was badly wounded, tried defend the women and children, but after a brief standoff with Juan he conceded the futility of resistance and surrendered. The old women started tending to the downed cannibals, 4 of which were still alive. A search of the witches hut turned up a number of potions and what was effectively an alchemical laboratory. They found all the stolen supplies in the storage hut, but Teyla’s chest had it’s latch broken open. Teyla wrapped it up in rope to keep it closed without looking inside, despite Gelik’s curious encouragement to peek.
In the lighthouse they found a sort of altar made up of a masthead carved in the likeness of Asmodeus and piles of relics from the wreck of a ship. Mastuuk determined all of this was likely from the Thrunefang, a ship that was part of the attempted Chelish invasion of Sargava over 70 years ago. Apparently the cannibals were the descendents of the survivors from when the Thrunefang got separated from the fleet during the battle of Desperation Bay and wrecked on the shiv. The second level of the lighthouse was the Klorak’s room and had 4 women of birthing age hiding there. Juan stabbed one who tried jump him, badly wounding her. In Klorak’s chambers there was an old seas chest filled with rotting canvas bags holding 4200 silver pieces and 180 gold pieces, probably the ships payroll from the Thrunefang. The top level of the lighthouse was where the light would go, though it wasn’t complete, all of the supplies to complete it were stored there, including the large tarnished brass mirror. Ludwig and Teyla looked over the equipment and determined they might be able to complete the apparatus with 1 to 2 weeks of work.
Juan found a ledger in the gear that made up the altar, it was badly damaged but it was possible to piece together enough information from it to get an idea of what had transpired amongst the survivors to turn them to cannibalism.
The castaways who were captured told their rescuers that they had heard the cannibals talking about throwing Sasha down to “Mother Thrunefang” because she had resisted them so fiercely in their raid, and planned to eat the rest. When one of the old woman cannibals was asked about “Mother Thrunefang” it was obvious the cannibals revered her as their god. There was a wooden cover over a hole that led down to what appeared to be caves below the lighthouse and they guessed that was where Mother Thrunefang could be found. Also, after interrogating the cannibals, they found out Ieana and Captain Kovack had appeared in the cannibal camp about 10 days ago and were proclaimed by Chief Klorak to be honored guests. This perplexed the cannibals, but they dared not disobey the Chief. They were also aghast when Klorak allowed Ieana and Kovack to descend into the caves of the mother. Ieana came back out but Kovack did not. About 4 days ago, Ieana left, heading off into the jungle alone. Shortly after that Klorak ordered the raid on the castaways camp.
The group settled in to the lighthouse to rest, while keeping the surviving cannibals under guard. The next day Ludwig the druid returned alone to the spot on the cliffs where they had passed the knotted ropes, and determined it was a pearl diving spot (though the cannibals had badly over hunted it, depleting the supply). He ran into a nest of vipers and was bitten, but resisted the worst of the poison. Thanks to his druidic magic he was able to make it there and back in less than a day. Teyla went hunting and almost become the hunted when she stumbled into a large constrictor snake, and Drasheen went fishing while they spent the day replenishing supplies and recuperating from a harrowing couple of days. Mastuuk used the time to study the logbook he had recovered from the wreck of the Nightvoice on the gray island, while Zelshee kept a careful watch on the hole for any sign of “Mother Thrunefang”. That afternoon, while wandering the camp, Teyla was hit in the face with a handful of monkey poo flung by Thaltaki, the former familiar of the cannibal witch Malidkadna. Thaltaki then bared his teeth at Teyla and made an offensive gesture as he laughed and fled into the tree. Apparently Thaltaki is none too happy with Teyla for smashing in the head of his master.
At about 11am on that day (the 23rd), those outside were startled when a large flash of lightning streaked into the sky from several miles off to the east, followed by nearly a minute of rolling thunder. The group concluded that the villainous Ieana had done something to cause that, but they needed to investigate the caves of the mother first.
On the morning of the 24th they determined to descend into the pit. Below, they found a series of caves, the first of which were guarded by horrific undead creatures that loped on all fours and were covered in diseased pustules that sprayed their opponents when they were struck. In small alcoves off this first cave, which were covered in old urine, feces, vomit, and other disgusting organic refuse, they found a note written on the back of a large piece of leather which was apparently written in blood using a sharpened bit of bone. It was a final message from Captain Kovack detailing his gruesome fate.
Deeper in the caves they found what appeared to be an ancient temple. Mastuuk thought it was pre Azlantian and the walls were decorated with humanoid snake people doing horrible things to human victims. Mastuuk recalled a passage he had read about “Serpentfolk”, anthropomorphic snake people said to have existed thousands of years ago (pre Azlant). They were attacked by two lacedons here who were hiding behind a pile of bones and bodies stacked to resemble a coiling serpent, one of the lacedons was the undead Captain Kovack, who they mercifully put out of his misery. At the back of the temple was a charred door in a frame carved to resemble a gaping fanged serpents maw. The door and floor around it showed signs of a blast of fire. Beyond the door was a small hexagonal room with carvings of serpent people activating magical pillars and an altar festooned with snake symbols. Mastuuk thought the altar was dedicated to a long dead god named “Ydersius”. Of particular interest was one wall which had been recently cleaned and restored, especially the words carved below. Mastuuk thought the words were written in Aklo, but could not decipher them (yet). Close examination of the carvings suggested all the scenes were from the Shiv. Mastuuk copied the restored runes and they moved on.
After stumbling across one surprised lacedon feasting on some bones, they found a sea cave which they guessed connected to the ocean, and above it a cave where the lacedons apparently laired. While fighting 3 lacedons that were in the cave, Mother Thrunegang, herself a powerful undead, made her appearance. She immediately cast a spell that cast the cave into darkness, blinding all but the two half-orcs, Zelshee and Mastuuk. Mother Thrunefang focused viciously on Drasheen (apparently recognizing the cleric as a threat), who fell but was healed by Ludwig. A horrific battle in the dark ensued, and Mother Thrunefang proved herself quite a dangerous foe, but she was eventually defeated thanks mostly to Zelshee’s ability to see through the dark and her wicked axe. The caves fell silent except for the ragged breaths of the survivors of this particular nightmare.
Notes by Zelshee Venso
Justice has been served — by my ax!
The captain finally came to his senses. Or probably just came out of a spell. And now he’s dead. Justice! Other undead – also dead. Justice! Mother Thrunefang, horrible, evil undead. Almost was the death of a few of us. She cast a perfect, almost predictable spell for one so evil – a darkness spell. Only Mastuuk and I were able to see the retched creature. Very unfortunate! Luckily, it only slowed down the inevitable – Justice! And she succumbed to the blows of my ax. And her evil head went rolling away from her shoulders.
Now we must heal and determine the meaning of the temple found down in Mother Thrunefangs lair. And what Ieana’s purpose for coming down here was. I’m sure the lightning and thunder to the east yesterday has something to do with it.
I feel so empowered! Evil Death almost took us! But Righteous Good prevailed in the end! We are starting to make a very formidable fighting team!
The Journal of Teyla Gunler
Another crazy day on this island…why does this still surprise me? My lock box is back in my possession. Unfortunately the lock has been smashed. Gelik wants me to open it and check to make sure my original contents are still in there and not cannibals’ “treasures.” I do not know what is in it. I would not know what I was looking for if I did open the box. So I did not. But more importantly, my original orders were to transport it and to not open the box. So I tied it closed with some rope and hope that whatever was originally in the box is still there.
The one good thing that has come out of all of this is that we have found the lighthouse. It is not functional (yet) but it is a roof over our heads at night. Everything that we need to finish the lighthouse is here and hopefully Ludwig and I can use our knowledge to build it. It might take some time, but it will be a nice change in pace.
Before we could focus on anything else, we decided to lower ourselves into the pit and kill whatever “god” these cannibals were worshiping. We found the captain’s journal which told us some of the details that we needed. We fought some gruesome undead and finally saw Mother Thrunefang who immediately cast a spell that put most of us into darkness. Wow that was scary but I put my fears behind me and slowly made my way through the darkness. I did a little damage before I was knocked unconscious. That could have been the end of me but thankfully Zelshee killed her.
The Journal of Jocque Tarr
Add another ship to the list of wrecks and a horror story on top of that. The ship was the “Thrune’s Fang”. Her skipper Captain Leven Beliker who, like my good Captain Kovacks, fell to the evil of one of his crew. The scraps of his ledger tell of a deliberate descent into madness and cannablism for what was left of his crew. Left to fester here since the armada was destroyed the decendants of that crew represent the lowest rung of humanity! This rock crawls with horror. We have to get away from this place!
The fighting in the supernatural darkness that the creature cast on us down underground was the closest I ever want to come to hell. You could here the snarling and the grunts of pain while you continued to reel at the stench of the place — all the while wondering when the monstrosity would find you in the darkness. Ugh! Then that paralyzing touch on my back!
The gods of the sea and air must have heard me praying for our cleric friend to get back on her feet as I tried to get to her with the potion they gave me to heal her. The same must have been true as I tried to reach out and someway help the half-orc in her most terrifying moment of dispair. Maybe there is more to this thing of praying than I ever thought. I will have to give this some thought, when my guts quit churning.
For some reason Ludwig would not give me Captain Kovacks’ final confession. I need to get that from him one way or the other. It will be important to members of the families of my crewmates and maybe to others including anyone we can convince to go after the witch Ieana. He is a strange one. As powerful as he seems to think he is I watched him backed up against the walls in the cave where we fought the Mother. I think he was terrified of the darkness that concealed her and the fighting that was going on inside. I know I will never forget that nightmare myself. If we had died at the hands of that stinking creature she would have turned to him next but by that time he would have been all alone in the dark, and the stench and the horror……
It looks to me like Ieana sacrificed Captain Kovacks to the Mother in order to get to the room we found with the writing on the walls. It has something to do with old magic and “serpent people”. I am no scholar but it appears that she found some kind of instructions or map to tell her what to do next. The lightning bolt and thunder that we witnessed a few days ago to the east of the lighthouse does not bode well for anyone left on this island alive and I’d bet it bodes no good to the rest of the world if that whore finds a way off this island. She must have some way of doing that…. Awakening some ancient evil on a deserted island could only be for one of two purposes or maybe both at once: to grant the one who pulled it off some kind of power and/or to unleash the thing on the rest of the world. The bass reliefs we saw showing these serpent people killing and abusing mankind is what rides on my mind. If only our people can decipher the writings and map and only if we can intervene before Ieana is gone…..