Serpent's Skull

Temple of Zura
Hidden ruins and their dangerous denizens

Juan, Drasheen, Mastuuk, and Zelshee cautiously proceeded up the black stairs and found a grand entry chamber with vaulted ceilings defended by two animated skeletons of long dead serpent men. The skeletons were on an elevated bridge overlooking the room whose walls were decorated with unsettling carvings of bats, human sacrifice, and the walking dead, as well as four alcoves whose entrances were carved to resemble yawning fanged mouths. The skeletal serpent men threw javelins with great strength from the bridge at them, but were defeated when they ran out of ammo and jumped down to attack with claws and teeth.

Mastuuk identified the architecture as being Azlanti in origin, meaning it was thousands of years old. He also thought the imagery on the walls was indicative of Zura, a demon lord of vampirism. Mastuuk found a lever in one of the alcoves that shut the entry doors when pulled. Teyla saw the doors closing from the bluffs and decided to abandon Ludwig and go to the aid of the others who she thought might now be trapped behind the doors. When she banged on the doors, Mastuuk reversed the lever which opened the doors again accompanied by trembling throughout the chamber. Teyla showed them the contents of the quiver they had found in the Red Mountain Devil’s nest which was an extra dimensional quiver holding a finely crafted composite long bow and some magical and cold iron arrows. She said Ludwig had identified that some of the arrows were enchanted, one with a very strong enchantment he could not identify. Since Teyla already had a bow, Zelshee took the quiver and bow.

The five of them then explored the chamber, Juan climbing to the bridge. At the back of the entry chamber were doors of bronze crafted to appear as waves of dripping blood. Up some stairs they found the remains of a scriptorium and some priest chambers with some animated skeletons. There was also the remains of another of the snake men skeletons that appeared to have been recently destroyed. The walls were carved with hundreds of runes interspersed with the occasional image of a stylized rune that looked like a fanged skull. Mastuuk identified the fanged rune as a holy symbol of Zura cultists. Mastuuk spent a fair bit of time deciphering the runes on the wall, made difficult by the damage to them.

Exploring further, the group found a door protected by three pit traps in the passageways leading to it. Mastuuk fell down one but was pulled out, Drasheen fell down a second one while trying to climb across and was attacked by two tiny animated dolls who emerged from small tunnels connected to the pits, constructs powered by souls bound to their skeletal forms.

Juan opened the door to find a chamber with a pool of blood with tiny tunnels in the walls and crisscrossed grooves in the ceiling supported by four pillars. Juan entered the room briefly to get a running start to leap back across the pit in the passageway, just after doing so bronze plates slid down in the doorway and horrific grinding sounds could be heard in the room. Juan was happy he was not in the room as it became obvious it was a deadly trap. Experimenting with trapped room, Juan was in the passageway in front of the door with his back turned to the room (talking to the others) while his friends across the pit began yelling and pointing behind him excitedly. Juan turned just in time to see the hideous monstrosity that had slithered from one of the holes in the wall of the room and quickly rushed out to the passage way to attack him. It was a horrific pile of goo, mouths, and eyes, each of the mouths gibbering insanity as it attacked. Juan tried to leap across the pit to get away, but the thing grabbed him with one of it’s many mouths and engulfed him as the others watched in horror. In a flash of inspiration Zelshee pulled the bow and powerful magic arrow from the quiver she had just received praying that the arrow’s strong magic could help. The gods apparently answered her prayer as the arrow struck true and the gibbering mouther died instantly with all of it’s mouths screaming in unison. The goo creature puddled around Juan’s feet as he stood there shaking with his frightening encounter with the monster.

They decided to deal with the trapped room by rushing across it in pairs, waiting for the trap to reset. This worked and the group found themselves in a small room on the far side with another pair of double doors.

Opening the doors revealed a large cathedral like chamber that must have been a significant temple dedicated to Zura. A few steps led up to a shrine presided over by a ten foot tall statue of a beautiful fanged woman save that instead of arms she possessed two upraised bat like wings and instead of feet her legs ended in talons. She loomed over a glistening altar of blood red stone that seemed to weep blood into a trough below. The trough ran the length of the room before disappearing through a set of bars and flowing into a gaping chasm. Stone pillars supported the vaulted ceiling and two dry fountains sat opposite each other against the walls in the middle of the room. Three large alcoves contained complex wall carvings. The entire chamber felt unnaturally cold, and now and then strange disembodied whispers slithered through the air.

Arrayed in front of the altar of blood were four human skeletons wielding weapons, and behind it a tall woman covered in green scales and with the head of a serpent. She smiled in welcome as her hands began to glow with the tell tale signs of gathering magic…

Notes By Zelshee

A MONKEY! I should have been a monkey!! All this jumping over pits! Climbing out of pits!(Because I can not jump over them!) Running through traps! I am Zelshee, Warrior of Justice – not a monkey!
This is a scarey place. What evil lurks in the minds of men that they can create such evil? The dead should rest in peace. Not attack the living. This is not island. This is a very real part of Hell and the Damned dwell here. My quest, from this day forward, is to give eternal Rest to the Damned on this island!
I see Ieana. I know it’s her. She is wicked to her very core. She will kill us and that will be the end. No one else knows what horrible evil that resides on this island. We must Finally stop her. But, I don’t even know what she has become!! I see her standing there and I am shaking. My heart is racing. The evil in this place is oppressive. I want to run out of here into the bright light of the sun. I want to wake from this nightmare!
Can my god help protect me in this place? Can she feel my fears and strengthen my soul? Is her holy justice strong enough to penetrate the evil that has lurked here for thousands and thousands of years?
I MUST believe that it can. That I Zelshee, Warrior of Justice for Iomadae, was put here for this very purpose! You shall die Ieana! And I shall NOT!! WE shall not!

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

p.s.
We’re talking a short rest in this fascinating but deadly temple. It’s an ancient relic of the Azlanti people but there’s evidence that some is much older. I intend to write extensively on it when we finally have a few days rest. I’m surprised we’re still walking with skeletal warriors, animated dolls, and pits everywhere. Juan was nearly devoured by a horrid, gibbering beast but my sister was lucky with her arrow choice and true with its delivery. I suspect the door on the other side of this mostly heinous of traps will finally lead us to our quarry. I’m low on magical power, we’re short two of our party and I must admit (if only to myself) that I am terrified.

The Journal of Jocque Tarr

If I ever get to put another entry in my Journal it would be that I never want to do anything like this again in my whole life! I was wrong about wanting to get off of this rock. Now I want to live through being on it and then forget every horrible thing I have seen and felt here.

I am a craven and maybe becoming more craven with every step I make myself take down here. I should have gone ahead of these people in the passageways. I might have been able to save them from the pit traps and whatever those hideous dolls were. When I finally got up enough nerve to try, I wound up turning my back on a trap and was swollowed alive by whatever that thing was with all the mouths! The gods bless the half-orc Zelshee. I didn’t see it but she put an arrow into the gibbering monstrosity and it disolved around me leaving me alive but partially digested for gods’ sake!!!

I don’t know where I came up with the nerve to press on past that point except that the others would not give up and I owe them my live several times over at this point. And then there is Ieana. She must have come this way too. Maybe a little further….maybe a few more steps… and I might be able to bury my shiv in her black heart and avenge my Captain and the crew that befriended me.

But as we went into the temple of horrors at the end of the passage and I saw that thing behind the skeletons defending it I realized that this is what my Captain and my crew were really up against and my guts felt like they had turned to jelly. How can a man, much less this man, put a knife in something like that and live?

But, seeing her as she really is and thinking back on what she has done, I know I have to try even if it ends with me rejoining my mates on the other side. I feel like a cornered animal but cornered animals are dangerous simply because they are afraid and have no other options than to fight…. I move ………..

The Journal of Drasheen Rettig

More prayers and meditation is my only sanity. The evil in this place is so horrifying and such danger every where. The javelin throwing skeletons, the pit traps, the human sacrifice, the evil carvings are almost too much to look at. Everywhere we turn it is a struggle, its an eerie feeling to keep our courage up and not be totally consummed in insanity and fear.
I am almost out of healing. We go on, not knowing what horrible traps or monsters or mouthers or even worse and yet,down deep in all of us I feel a determination to end this evil or die.

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To the Red Mountain
The Red Mountain Devil and Broken Courage

24 Arodus, 4710

After dealing with Mother Thrunefang, Mastuuk, Zelshee, and Drasheen returned to the evil temple to attempt to decipher the words carved on the wall while the others returned to the top to rest.

Mastuuk was eventually able to piece together the phrases on the 5 walls and above the door. They seemed to indicate some magic rituals to activate some sort of powerful magics at locations on the island. They concluded that Ieana had pieced together the information from the one set of carvings that had been restored and used it elsewhere on the island a few days ago when they had seen the lightning in the distance.

The next day they hunted, fished, and Ludwig returned to the pearl bed to do some pearl diving but came up empty handed. A cannibal warrior returned to their village, roused the one warrior kept in the communal hut and the two attempted to sneak into the lighthouse to murder their captors in their sleep. Fortunately, Drasheen spotted them and Juan and Ishirou were able to stop them and kill them.

On the third day they set out for the distant Red Mountain to see if they could find what Ieana was up to. They made it about two thirds of the way there and camped in the jungle. Near midnight a dead goat fell from the sky and crashed into their campfire! The sound of leathery wings flapping off into the distance could be heard. The Red Mountain Devil had issued it’s challenge.

The next day they arrived at the Red Mountain after being attacked by a hungry Shiv Dragon on the trail. On a bluff overlooking a lagoon, they found a 4 foot high pyramid surrounded by 4 short obelisks. Each obelisk had a serpent carved on the side facing the pyramid and the pyramid had a bowl shaped depression on the top connected to channels leading down each of the four sides to stone depressions around it’s base. While investigating the obelisks and pyramid, the Red Mountain Devil made it’s appearance, flying up from the adjacent ravine and attacking. Juan took the brunt of it’s anger as it made swooping attacks on him. However, a Bull’s strength spell from Drasheen, an enlarge person spell from Mastuuk, and Zelshee’s smite evil combined for a fearsome charge from the half-orc paladin that nearly cleaved the winged chupacabra in twain. It retreated to it’s nest where they finished it off. Investigating the nest turned up some treasure, including a magical buckler and a magical quiver.

Unsure of what to do with the obelisks, the group decided to investigate the peak of Red Mountain, but found nothing and camped along it’s slopes. The next day they hunted and foraged in the morning the returned to the obelisks. After much debate they decided to try to duplicate the ritual found in the temple under the lighthouse. After some deliberation Mastuuk cut himself and smeared some of his blood on the serpent carvings, which seemed to pull in the blood and hold it. They they touched a venomous snake captured by Ludwig to the blood on each pillar. Finally they poured sea water from Mastuuk’s mithril scroll tube into the bowl and Mastuuk called out “Ydersius!” three times. With that huge bolts of lightning shot up into the sky from each obelisk and the waters of the lagoon receded with a rumbling sound like an extended peal of thunder. As the water receded they spotted an old wrecked ship at the bottom of the lagoon and two ancient huge doors rumbling open which had previously been submerged.

Juan was intrigued by the events and quickly headed down to investigate the area of the wreck and the mysterious doors exposed by the receding waters. He was followed by Drasheen and the half-orcs, Mastuuk and Zelshee. However, recent events had taken their toll on Ludwig, and he had lost his nerve and could not pull himself together to descend into the depths of the island again. He had held back in the fight with Mother and the Red Mountain Devil overwhelmed by fear, and he had realized he was not made of stern enough stuff to be an adventurer. Teyla, who had been looking to the Ulfen druid for leadership and guidance, saw the fear in his eyes and thought she needed to stay on the bluff with the druid and his cat so she did not immediately follow the others even though she knew they might need her. She was torn.

The four brave adventurers picked their way across the bottom of the emptied lagoon, making their way across the mud and shallow pools, bypassing the old sunken ship that now lay exposed. Juan crept ever closer to the massive black doors yawning open before him and shined the light of a sunrod into the passageway beyond. He could see black basalt steps rising up to a large room as he edged his way across the threshold, as the other three paused behind him. Emboldened by the fact that he had crossed the threshold and not been obliterated by evil magics, he crept towards the steps. The other three looked at each other and with unspoken agreement followed into the unknown, casting a last glance at the two who had stayed behind at the top of the bluff. When Teyla saw the others disappear into the yawning portal, she felt ashamed at staying behind, yet felt pity for the poor broken druid who had come to realize the limits of his mettle. As Ludwig fell to the ground and buried his face in his hands, Teyla placed a hand gently upon his shoulders and stared at the light receding into the tunnel beyond the massive doors. She had an important decision to make…

Journal of Jocque Tarr

The half-orc magician Mastuuk is amazing. He was able to drag meaning out of the shapes and chicken scratchings on the walls of that strange room down in Mother Thrunefang’s lair. The shapes of men with serpent heads and the horrors that the carvings showed them inflicting on men and women were sights I wish I had never seen. They turn over and over in my head at night and I have had nightmares about what I saw down there. It appears that at some time back in the dim past these scenes were common someplace in the world around us and particularly in and around the Shiv. I can’t believe that any human being would want that to be common place again….anywhere in the world. But it is obvious that this “scholar” Ieana is intent on using whatever powers the serpent men had for her own purposes….whatever those may be….and is messing with ancient evils and new evils like killing my Captain and my shipmates in order to do ….. what???

Mastuuk told us what the inscriptions said on the one wall Ieana had restored. I could scarce believe my ears! It appears that these serpent people had some magic that would pull the sea apart and drop a good ship onto the rocks below her! In the taverns I have heard sailors talk of malestroms that can capture a ship and take her to the bottom. In fact, they say, that is what lies at the center of the eternal storm north of here. But this inscription talks of a way to do this to ship and her crew ON PURPOSE! Damn them and damn this Iena!

This day, Mastuuk astounded me again. He has been able to discipher all of the inscriptions on all the walls in that temple of horrors below us. They called us “slavemen” and “chainhanded” but they were worried about us, aye they were. I can barely understand what Mastuuk read to us but it look to this salt like they have stored up magics here that can cause all kinds of horrors to fall on people if they “rise up” including one magic that brings a madness and hunger to people. Images of cannibals with their sharpened teeth and their bloody carving boards came to mind. I wonder if the Mother unleashed something on the crew or if, so long ago, there was still some serpent creature alive on the Shiv that unleashed it on the crew of the Thrune’s Fang. My skin crawls at the thoughts these writings bring to my poor mind.

Ludwig and Mastuuk and his sister have decided that the lightning and thunder we saw a couple of days ago to the east of us must have been Ieana at work using the information she gleaned from the one wall to unleash the malestrom spell. Has she brought another ship and crew to their doom?!! The others have decided to investigate and we have decided to work our way to the red mountain we can see off in the distance to find out what this whore Ieana has done now.

Hurried notes for the Journal of Jocque Tarr

We have been attacked by the monstrosity that we have heard flying over us….the thing dropped a dead and leeched out goat into our campfire last night and this morning on the side of the Red Mountain we were investigating some kind of magical oblisks and a pyramid that have been exposed probably by Ieana. The thing is some kind of horrible flying cross between a vampire bat and maybe a lizard or something. It seemed to single me out of the group and attacked me over and over again. Those red eyes….the red eyes of my nightmare!!!

Again, the ones in this group I have fallen in with that control some kinds of magics came to my rescue. I don’t know how they did it but suddenly the half-ork Zelshee grew huge and struck the bat thing with unimaginable power even as it flew in for another attack. Badly hurt, it dropped over the edge of a cliff out of sight. I struggled to the edge and saw that it had crossed a ravine below us and had landed in a huge nest of some kind over there. The brave amongst us charged across rope bridges across the ravine to finish the horror off before it could heal itself up. By the gods, I was glad to see those horrible red eyes glaze over in death!

More hurried notes for the Journal of Jocque Tarr

Mastuuk asked me to examine the oblisks and the pyramid. They seem to be vibrating! The next thing I know he and the others start envolking the elements of the reading on the wall about the malestrom. I had looked around the point we are on for wreckage of a ship in case Ieana had unleashed this thing on another ship and crew. I spotted new evidence of older shipwrecks but no flotsome and jetsome from a new sinking. If, in fact, she envolked the magics described on the walls of Mother Thrunefang’s serpent temple, it was not to sink a ship. I am confused.

Mastuuk and Ludwig used the deciphered temple writings like a formula putting blood on the four oblisks and I was sent to the sea with a beautiful metal scroll tube that Mastuuk had to bring fresh sea water back to them. Mastuuk cut himself four times and dripped blood on the oblisks. Ludwig forced a snake he had captured to lick the oblisks and on Mastuuk’s orders I poured the sea water into the bowl on the top of the pyramid. The ground SHOOK under us and lightings crackled skyward from the oblisks to form a giagantic bolt of power that shot into the sky above us. Then the roaring started below us as the sea moved back out of the inlet below us in a thunderous torrent….

As the waters receeded the bones of an old ship emerged below us. The exposed seabed around it covered in flapping and dying fish and other kinds of sea creatures…. Then I saw the doors in the side of the inlet starting to open. They are huge. All of my dreams of what lies below the surface of the sea came charging back to me…. What treasures and what horrors lie down below? These doors will not be open forever. The brine will cover them and their secrets again…. maybe too soon. And in my gut I know that this is what that murderous whore Ieana meant to uncover and uncover them she did days ago. This is the way she went…. into the secret portals below the waves…. into the mystery of the deep.

Is this where the scum-suckng serpent men retreated when the slave, chain-handed men and women rose up against them? Is Ieana seeking to release them again? Or is she seeking the secrets of the deep and power beyond any reckoning… I am terrified and yet drawn and driven. Before I know it I am on the bottom of the sea and headed for that giant gaping maw.

At the entrance to the darkness that lies beyond the doors I hesitate. These doors are going to close behind me and the sea will return to the inlet above me. With my heart in my throat I press on to the bottom of dark stairs. It is then that I look back and realize that I am in the front of only part of the group I was with. Where are the others? I start up the stairs with my feeble sun rod in one hand and my short sword in the other. My shoulders tighten… waiting for the sound that I am sure will come soon… the sound of those massive doors sealing behind me and the sea coming back in………..

Journal of Drasheen Rettig

Oh, if only I could sleep. Meditation and prayer! Meditation and prayer! I find myself and my companions going from complete fear to confusion to unbeleiveable bravery. Goszreh has truely put all of us together for a reason, when one is frightened another is strong. When Luwig said we should re-inact the ritual all I could think of was how we were all going to be struck by the lightning from Goszreh. But of couse he was right, how else could we get close enough to try and stop Ieana. When Jaun went running down the hill to the water I kept saying wait to see what will happen so we would know what to exspect but that would also give Ieana time to prepare for our challenge. The crabs, the cannibals, the chupacabra…Meditation and prayer! My prayer is not so much to live but to not let my fellow companions down.
Oh, if only I could sleep. When I close my eyes I see Lugwig as frightened as he was running to my side to save me or Juan with the Mother at his back coming to give me a cure light potion. Or me! immediately getting back to fight some more, or me!running down a mountian side after Jaun or climbing into cave so Mastuuk could concentrate, knowing he was being guarded. I always fall when I climb or run…Goszeh thank you! Wasn’t Zelshee’s mighty smite beautiful. Thank you agai~ .-~~^`~- (she sleeps as her pen dribbles across the page.)

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

24 Arodus, 4710 AR

Finally, I was able to spend some time deciphering those Carvings. This will certainly earn me a place in the Society! They describe powerful rituals presumably performed by ancient snake worshipers on the island. Ieana managed to piece together enough information to enact the magics we witnessed the other day. These were performed near the red mountain at a grouping of obelisks. My studies indicated we needed blood and salt water; easy enough to come by. Seeing no other volunteers, I cut myself and applied enough blood to satisfy the ritual. I also used my scroll case to ferry water from the sea. Speaking Ydersius’s name, I enacted the magics draining the bay of water. Juan could barely contain himself! Below us was the entrance to an ancient underground cavern which appeared to be cut into the root of the mountain. I wasn’t interested in jumping in without a little research but most of the others ran off so I couldn’t leave them there. Teyla and Ludwig stayed behind. I’m guessing Ludwig felt so inferior that he couldn’t continue; or perhaps he was so upset over his attacks against me that he couldn’t go on. Teyla stayed with him. I’m not sure if she was also overtaken by fear or just wanted to keep an eye on Ludwig. Oh well, we can definitely do this ourselves.

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Mother Thrunefang
Descent into darkness

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…..

View
Battle of Lighthouse Point
Guess who's coming to dinner?

Golarion date: 21 Arodus, 4710

Exhausted after tracking the cannibal raiding party all night long, the group rested along the banks of the river for a short while. Ludwig picked up their tracks again and verified the large group they were tracking followed the jungle trail along the river.

The trek was difficult because of lack of sleep, lack of food, and the heat. They had to stop several times to recover their strength. By the time of the afternoon rains, it was determined that they would not catch up to the raiding party anytime soon, so they stopped and rested until midnight. Throughout the last half of the night, after recovering most of their strength and with the judicious use of light orisons, they continued tracking the cannibals along the jungle trail. Going was slow because of the difficulty of the darkness and the rains washing away the tracks, but shortly after dawn they heard the echoing of drums in the distance. Consulting the map it was clear they were nearing the southwest point of the island and they figured the cannibal camp was near.

While the spell casters of the group prepared spells, Juan, Teyla, and Zelshee scouted ahead along the trail. Soon the trail ran along a cliff side facing the ocean on their right, and the dense jungle on the left. The sound of the drums were close, so they faded a short way into the jungle and Juan crept ahead to scout. Juan failed to spot a large lizard (a “Shiv Dragon”) hiding in the foliage ahead before it smelled him and charged. Juan noticed a collar and length of chain around the dangerous lizard and managed to flee before it could grab him in it’s jaws, the chain preventing it from chasing it’s meal. The three hid in the jungle and soon they heard voices, apparently someone was investigating the ruckus made by the watch lizard. Two cannibals had come to investigate and one spotted Zelshee’s large orc butt sticking out from behind a tree. They attacked, but after Teyla dropped one the other fled down the trail with Zelshee giving chase. Around the bend Zelshee saw the cannibal disappearing around a building just as she ran into the angry Shiv Dragon. With a well placed axe blow the lizard was dispatched, but they could hear shouting in the village ahead and a distinct change in the tune of the drums. They decided it was best to flee back to the others before the entire village roused.

The three scouts caught up with the others, and a brief strategy discussion ensued. Mastuuk, being the smartest of the bunch, came up with the brilliant strategy of “run straight down the trail and charge into the village.” Apparently tactics 101 was not offered in half-orc wizard school.

Following the complex battle plan to a “T” the group soon found themselves embroiled in a battle royale with a village full of cannibals. One of the cannibals was wearing Alizandru Kovack’s tricorn hat! Fighting their way to the village center, they saw it was built around a tall lighthouse on the point of the southwest corner of the island. Shortly after fighting their way to the village center, with cannibals boiling out of the buildings and jungle around them, and with animated skeletons climbing out of a cage to attack them, a large tattooed cannibal with wild eyes and wild red hair appeared on a balcony of the lighthouse. When he appeared the cannibals started banging their scimitars against their shields and chanting “Klorak! Klorak! Klorak!” Klorak the Red, chief of the Thrunefang Cannibals, had made his appearance. Klorak surveyed the scene of battle, lept to the ground landing in a perfect three point stance, then raised himself to his full height and roared as he beat his chest to the delight of his minions. Klorak strode into battle pointing his scimitar straight at Teyla as he roared a challenge, briefly demoralizing her with intimidation. Klorak charaged straight at Juan with his shield, sending the sailor flying 10 feet backwards to break a hole in the parties line of defense and quickly cut Juan down with one swing of his blade. Klorak followed up by smearing Juan’s blood all over his face and chest while roaring in ecstasy. As the cannibals renewed their assault, Klorak turned on Ludwig, who was caught up against the wall of a building. Klorak’s blade got stuck in the wall of the building, giving the druid and his leopard just enough time to take down the raging cannibal chieftan.

Meanwhile, on the south side of the village, Zelshee found herself backed up against a building alone with cannibals and skeletons pressing her from all sides. Her brother, Mastuuk, came to her aid when Malidkadna, the village witch, made an appearance and summoned a fire elemental to attack Zelshee. Zelshee fell, mortally wounded by the flames of the elemental, but just managed to put out the fire on her clothing thanks to her orc ferocity keeping her conscious long enough. Mastuuk tried to reach his sister, but was forced back by cannibals supporting the witch who cursed Ludwig’s leopard with an evil hex. Teyla had finished off the last of the cannibals in the village center and came charging in. Teyla managed to shake off a fear spell cast by the witch with force of will and proceeded to collapse the old woman’s head with a well placed critical blow from her warhammer. The last of the cannibals was surrounded and went down fighting, then all went quiet in the village. Zelshee and Juan were down, Mastuuk and Ludwig were badly wounded, but they had barely won the day. They took a few moments to heal their wounded and catch their breath, then turned their attention towards finding their captured companions.

Klorak the red
Klorak the Red, Thrunefang Chieftan

Malikadna
Malidkadna, Witch of the Thrunefangs and her monkey familiar Thaltaki

Thoughts of Ludwig Von Vigh

This island cannot possibly be large enough to have multiple cannibal tribes. Klorak was obivously their champion and the witch their elder. Surely all the tribe would have come to their aid and now they are no more. Assuming the cannibals are the ones that set all the traps around the island, I figure once Teyla springs them all we will not have to worry about those any more! Hopefully the rest of our crew will be found here. Once we are reunited, there are some things of note still worth investigating.

There was a calm part of the sea with knotted rope a ways back. There is the red scar of a mountain and the insidious thing that still tracks us. There still remains several ship wrecks, among them Pezocks which we did not take the time to attempt to search. There is still our missing captian and Ieana, although there may be some light shed on that soon since one of the cannibals was wearing his hat. And there is still most of the southern and eastern coasts to track for possible shipwrecks and or supplies. Hopefully we do not exhaust this list prior to finding a way off, but if we are going to be stuck here awhile we better get to know our island.

Journal of Teyla Gunler

I just have a few minutes to write. This past day was exhausting. Ludwig found the tracks a couple of times but we were too far behind to catch up to them. We hiked for such a long time before we decided to get some sleep. The following morning, we finally found the cannibals camp and fought a hard battle and came out victorious in the end. I thought the best move was to block the cannibals in so that they could not reach the other members of my group. Thankfully, Juan blocked the hole with me and we were able to hold them off for a bit. I could hear fighting behind me and Juan went down, but I had to keep fighting. Our only hope, was to kill them one by one. I had a moment of indecision on what to do after I had killed the guys around me….do I run around the building in front of me or turn around and fight with the group left standing? I chose the latter and took my anger out on the witch who fell to my warhammer. It looks like Juan and Zelshee will live but it was a close call, especially for Zelshee. Hopefully, we all have learned some lessons from this battle.

Journal of Jocque Tarr (aka “Juan”)

Having a hell of a time trying to get anything written down. We are on a pell-mell chase throught this rotten jungle trying to find the other survivors who were carried off by a horde of cannibals. But I must try to get this down someplace because it may be of real importance to somebody somewhere if we get off this rock. And, maybe, if I don’t get off somebody will find my journal and use it. We have encountered a really astounding number of wrecked ships here and I need to get that info down on parchment. I hope I can keep adding to this list but I hope that I won’t have to.

SHIPWRECKS on SMUGGLERS’ SHIV

- Jenivere, Captain: Alisandu Kovack. We have his log. He was a good man but fell under the
spell or control of one of our passengers – one female Varisian scholar named Ieana – who
somehow got Captain Kovack to intentionally run the Jenivere aground on the Southwest coast
of the Shiv. The two of them were apparently seen moving together on the island later and
the one who told us about this – a Tengu named Pezock Zoventie – said the Captain seemed to
be doing whatever the female told him to do. NOTE: Some on the ship thought she might be
a Chelish agent and I have noted that the cannibal natives of this scurvy place seem to be
using a lot of really old Chelish weapons. I don’t like what I am seeing here since the
Chelish have wanted to find a way back at the lands to the south ever since their defeat.

- Bearded Harpy – badly wrecked, no additional information on it. I think it was one of the
ships of the Free Captains.

- Windwar – again, badly wrecked, no more info, but I think it too was a pirate ship.

- Skallywag – no additional info, sorry, might have been a Free ship too

- Brine Deamon, Captain: Avret Kinkarian. We have his log papers. Seems he was running
contraban shipments. Probably a Free Captain. He is a ghost now. He was still
reaching for a golden locket with a picture of his lover? wife? Aashamarra in it when he
died. He came after it and us when we took it from the wreck. What a horrible sight he made.

- Crow’s Tooth, Captain was a Tengu if you can imagine that. She was a Mantis ship! And
as far as I can tell from the weapons we found on the beach even that crew succumbed to
whatever horrors live on the Shiv. Later we found on of the crew or a passenger from the
Tooth – one Pezock Zoventie – who set himself up the craziest home I think I have ever
seen inside the shell of a dead giant crab! He told us he had seen Captain Kovack with the
scholar and she seemed to be in charge. We left him in his house and pressed on.

- Nightvoice, Captain Ames. I’m told it was a Pathfinder exploration ship out of Almos. We have his log book too, though it is badly damaged by mold.

That is about all I can remember. My mind is not as sharp as it was a few days ago. We are in some kind of living nightmare here.

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

21 Arodus, 4710 AR

After travel through the night and the following day we still had not found the cannibals. Worse still, Ludwig and I had nearly exhausted our magic. While he has that beast to assist him, I am less useful without a full night’s sleep. The others were suffering as well so we rested for a few hours then picked up the trail again late the next night.

Near the end of the trail, drums indicated we had reached our destination, which also happened to be the location of the light house. Two goals with one swift stroke! It was not nearly that easy however. A number of cannibals, including their fearsome leader, defended their encampment. We would have fared better if we were able to stay in the narrow gap, attacking a couple of enemies at once. Juan was struck down and my sister (she does mean well) got herself trapped being the lines. A simpleton crone, not so much a spell caster as a dealer in baubles and body parts, appeared and apparently had enough knowledge to summon a small fire elemental. This caught my sister by surprise and burned her rather severely. Her father’s ferocity was all that saved her from the flames. I was unable to push through the bodies between us but Teyla proved strong and loyal. She destroyed the witch and saved my sister. I must remember to thank her when we have a moment to rest.

Speaking of rest, I’m going to suggest we spend a few days camped at the lighthouse to investigate and rebuild our food stores. We’re out of immediate danger and there might be something of use in our escape. I’d also like to finish deciphering that log book and put down some more facts and less flourish in this log else it will never be published by the Society.

Note by Zelshee Venso

Exhausted! I’ve never been so exhausted! And the damn heat – it’s going to be the death of me. I never really thought we would make it to the cannibals before one of us dropped dead from the march. But as we neared the drums, our spirits rose! We knew righteous vengeance was within the reach of our swords. Note to self……and anyone else with half a brain - DO NOT LET MASTUUK COME UP WITH ANY MORE BATTLE PLANS!!!! Charging right in the middle of their encampment was not the best plan we could have come up with. Shouldn’t we have scouted the place out? Tried to find out where the prisoners were being held? Find out how many of them there were? Maybe we could have found out about that crazy witch that came soooo close to killing me!! There were just too many of ‘them’ I was over run by skeletons and cannibals and then the witch threw fire at me. I will never have another restful night’s sleep!! Thank You Irori for making me of stronger stuff than most. I would have been done for if I were a mere human.
I sincerely think we underestimated the cannibals – and we almost paid dearly for that mistake!

View
The Gray
Fun with fungus and lost friends

Golarion date 19 Arodus 4710AR

After the prior night’s crab feast and a miserable rainy night the large group continued west along the beach lugging all of the supplies. They came across a gargantuan crab lying on the beach which started waving around it’s massive claws and shrieking horribly. Ludwig closed with the crab only to realize it was being manipulated by someone from inside. Eventually they made contact with the resident of the crab, Pezock a crazed tengu castaway.

After a brief tense standoff (Pezock wasn’t happy with his home being invaded), Zelshee and Ludwig managed to convince Pezock that they were friendly. Pezock invited them all inside his cozy crab shell home and fixed them lunch, a horrible tasting concoction he called “This or That Stew.” They chatted with Pezock for a while finding out that he was the sole survivor from the Crow’s Tooth, a Red Mantis ship out of Mediogalti. Pezock asked them if they were with the other two he had recently seen on the island, a man and a woman traveling southwest. When asked, Pezock indicated that he agreed the woman seemed to be in charge. It was assumed this pair was none other than Ieana and Alizandru Kovack.

Leaving Pezock’s crab, the group traveled the rest of the way along the beach of the bay and set up camp on the northwest corner of the Shiv. They had some difficulty setting up a good camp that night, and had a fitful night. The following morning they left the others at the camp and crossed the causeways to the gray island. They found the gray island was overrun with fungus, strange gray quivering stalks and undergrowth of lichens. Exploring the island they were attacked by two small plant men with spears. After defeating the plant pygmy ambush, Ludwig tracked the pygmy’s back to their home, the wreck of the Nightvoice, a massive ship wrecked on the seaward side of the gray island. While exploring the ship they fought the pygmy boss and two more of the little plant men, found the captain’s log that was badly damaged by mold growth, and looted a shrine the pygmies has set up to worship the skeletal remains of the ship’s crew.

Leaving the ship they tracked the pygmies most traveled route through the fungus which led them to a strange cave on a pinnacle of rock off the eastern shore. There were offerings of polished stones, bones, and brightly colored sea shells on the ledge in front of the cave. The cave mouth was filled with tendrils of fungus. Inside they found a quivering pile of purplish fungus that animated and attacked them with deadly tendrils that rotted flesh and bone instantly. Defeating the “fungus god” the found the skeletal remains of a person inside with bits of purple fabric and brass buttons. Leaving the cave, they found more dead pygmies which seemed to have just dropped dead on their tracks and could notice the fungus on the island seemed somehow more unhealthy.

Returning to camp the group found it empty and ransacked, their friends gone. They noticed small individual tracks leading down the beach and into the jungle, following they found Gelik Aberwhinge hiding and afraid. Gelik told them that the camp had been raided by a large party of cannibals and he just managed to escape. The cannibals carried off the other four castaways and all the groups gear and supplies. They decided they needed to rescue the others before they became a meal for the cannibals, so they tracked the party into the jungle throughout the night.

The trail of the raiding party led down the west coast of the shiv, eventually coming to a spot where a trail emerged from the jungle at a 50 foot cliff with several knotted rope vines leading down to an unusually calm section of the sea. The trail of the cannibals seemed to follow the trail, so down the trail it was. Sometime after midnight, the group stumbled into a spider swarm on the trail, unusually heroic action from Mastuuk Venso, his robes aflame, dispersed the swarm and saved the others.

Sometime after dawn the trail crossed a river and on the other side Ludwig was caught in a snare. After freeing Ludwig from the trap, they took stock of their situation. The group was exhausted from marching all night, had no food and was low on spells, and they had four friends in the clutches of hungry cannibals. Things looked bleak.

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

19 Arodus, 4710 AR

Pezock, that somewhat obnoxious tengu with no cooking skills, did prove to be somewhat useful. He saw our former captain and his companion headed southwest. As much as I would prefer to not meet him again, I wonder if we should return when we finally find a way off this island. I’d rather not force anyone to endure more time on this island than necessary. Later in the week we ventured to the gray island covered in fungus. It turns out an intelligent fungus had taken over the island creating a number of small humanoids who worshiped it like a god. Fascinating! I will definitely be documenting this for the society.

After clearing the island of the infection and returning to camp we found most of our companions gone along with all of our supplies. Gelik was hiding nearby and told us a group of cannibals raided the camp a few hours previous to our return. We immediately headed out to find the party. Sometimes I don’t understand why travelling at night is so difficult for everyone else before I remember that my sister and I are the only ones unaffected by the dark. At this point a swarm of spiders overran the group and began poisoning the fighters. It would be a disastrous encounter with the cannibals if all our muscle was retching in jungle. I had to take a more active roll and could no longer simply provide a strong foundation for the group’s battle prowess. A number of oil flasks were thrown into the swarm and I rushed in to ignite the oil. In the process, a less than accurate throw from one of my companions soaked my robes. Knowing my sister would assist, I ignited the oil, saved the day, and experienced a rather unusual amount of pain. Zelshee immediately healed many of my wounds and gave me a stern look. I hope this doesn’t set too much of a precedent as I’d rather not remain the primary actor in our troop.

The Words of Ludwig Von Vigh

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…………………hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…………hahahahahahahahahaha. Flaming Wizard…….. hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Effective, crazy and funny to see flaming Mastuuk demolishing a swarm of spiders. I really did not mean to add to the effect, launching oil onto the wizard, I suppose even without intent, karma must have intervened. Marching through the night, pushing the pace to find the rest of our troope and save them from roasting slowly to be eaten, really created a stressful situation. But, having time to write my words, reflecting…………If I were in a tavern, I would pay for that kind of flaming wizard entertainment!

Aside from the frantic pace and determination to save the others, it was an eventful day! Finding a shipwreck survivor that has been here for a quite some duration, lends me to believe that the clock is not ticking on our survival. We will just have to make due until we avail ourselves of the means from this island. In the meantime, the gray island was of great interest. I wanted to know what could consume a jungle environment on such a scale. Our own situation aside, this was a curiousity that my growing interest in nature could not ignore. To our discovery, it was not natural, but some form of demonic fungus god and this blight was an extension of it. Defeated, the blight appears to be receding. The discovery of a ship and the accumulation of gear fares well for us, should we end up like Pezock, making an extended stay. I am also hoping that a gray island turning green once again, may gather the curious investigation of some maritime activity with people that notice the change. It could in the long run lead to our transport from here.

Those are my words, time to introduce the cannibals to my blade.

The journal of Teyla Gunler

I have not had very much free time to write. When we are not taking down or putting up camp, then we are exploring parts of the island. And in the evening, if it is not time for my part of the watch then I need to be sleeping. It is so easy to contract diseases out here that any rest I can get, I take.

It has been an eventful couple of days. I went exploring with Jocque Tarr one day, found a treasure chest with the group, watched two team members attack each other on another day (I chose not to take a side), met a real live being who is surviving on this island, survived two rounds of the pulsing puffs, helped a “grey” island go from fungified to being green again and was snagged in two snares (the same one, two different times)…I really need to pay more attention!

I have been really grateful to Gelik who has been watching my lockbox when a group of us leaves the camp. It is wonderful having my hands free to fight when needed. He seems trustworthy and I find myself setting my bedroll somewhat near him…his interesting stories help me relax enough to fall asleep.

But the worst thing has happened, we returned to camp after our last adventure to find all of our stuff taken INCLUDING MY LOCKBOX and our fellow shipmates gone (taken by the cannibals, Gelik said who was able to escape and hide in the jungle, thank goodness!). We are tired and most of the spells have been used for the day, but we must find the rest of our people before they are eaten. We must march on and fight this battle.

Notes by Zelshee

A lone survivor here on the island! And in mostly good condition, although I think a little crazy – to be expected! But I think meeting him helped bring the morale up a bit.

That crazy Ludwig just HAD to go across to the grey island. And Teyla, agreeing to march right over there too. God knows what we could have encountered! But as it turned out, we were saviors to the island. Whatever that thing was, it was defiantly not suppose to be there. It’s dead, we killed it AND we saved the island! Kudos to Ludwig and Teyla for dragging our asses over there!!!

Now to save the rest of the party from those damned cannibals! No time to waste. No time to rest! They’re going to be breakfast if we don’t save them quick. I hope the gods are smiling on us – at least today!

Oh yea ~ Other dangers to add to the list – Spider Swarms! AND Mastuuk on fire. But we should be able to keep that to a minimum (I hope)!

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Shipwrecks
Dead ships and their dead captains

Golarion date 15 Aroudus, 4710

The group set off to explore some of the shipwrecks off the eastern coast of the Shiv. They found the hulks of the Bearded Harpy, the Windwar, the Scallywag, and the Brine Demon. On the Brine Demon they found the skeletal remains of what appeared to be Captain Avret Kinkarian reaching for a lockbox he had pulled from a secret compartment in the captain’s cabin just as he died. In the lockbox they found a finely crafted dagger, a golden locket, and some ledgers. The locket opened to reveal a portrait of an attractive red haired half elf woman and had an engraving “Aeshamarra”.

While camping on the beach near the Brine Demon, just before bedding down the fire grew larger and brighter all on it’s own just before the ghostly form of Captain Kinkarian rose out of the flames moaning “Give it to me! Return my Aeshamarra to me!” Juan about fell over himself trying to scramble away as the ghost reached out towards Teyla (a red haired half elf female) and said “Aeshamarra? Is that you my sweet?” Zelshee and Teyla tried attacking the ghost only to find their weapons passing through his spectral form. Ludwig quickly produced the locket but Mastuuk and Drasheen decided to distract the ghost by attacking it with spells which made the angry spirit furious. Mastuuk knew from his studies that ghosts could not be destroyed permanently unless whatever was keeping them tied to this world was resolved, but he continued attacking the spirit anyways. The ghost of Captain Kinkarian turned on Mastuuk, calling him a “scurvy dog traitor” and “foul mutineer” causing his flesh to wither with every touch. When Mastuuk lay gasping and dying on the ground the Captain turned towards Drasheen, but Ludwig stepped between the angry spirit and the soon to be dead priestess and forcefully presented the open locket to the ghost. Captain Kinkarian paused, reached out to take the locket, whispered “My Aeshamarra…..” and drained away into a puddle of running seawater which quickly turned to a mist dissipating with the evening breeze. The whole jungle seemed to breath a sigh of relief as the golden locket clattered to the ground.

The next day the finished exploring the shipwrecks, only finding a few supplies on the Windwar, then returned to camp. On the way they were attacked by hungry giant centipedes and an unfortunate incident with a color spray spell from Mastuuk that affected both Ludwig and his animal companion Eclipse caused an problem. Ludwig awoke furious that Mastuuk had hit him with his spell (in order to affect one more centipede). When it became obvious the large Ulfen was going to strike the wizard, Mastuuk caused Ludwig to unceremoniously fall on his butt with a grease spell. This made Ludwig even more furious and he sicked Eclipse on the half orc wizard. Zelshee came to her brothers defense by attacking the cat, severely wounding it. Soon after Ludwig called off Eclipse and harsh words were exchanged. Things remained frosty amongst the group from this point…

While walking back towards camp, they spotted two cannibals watching them from the jungle. The cannibals fled when confronted.

Zelshee went over the ledgers she recovered from the Brine Demon with Jask Derindi. Apparently Jask had told Zelshee the Brine Demon was one of the free captain ships involved in the smuggling operations he had uncovered in Eleder (and was then accused of being involved). The ledgers detailed payments of bribes and other incriminating evidence of a number of Sargavan officials, including Cayler Rettig, the customs supervisor whom Jask had told about his suspicions of the smuggling operation and who was currently the boss of Drasheen’s father. Jask claimed this evidence would clear his name and Jask and Zelshee confronted Drahseen with it who admitted she may have been wrong about Jask’s guilt.

They spent the next day hunting and gathering food while Jask treated Teyla for another bout of the pulsing puffs, then decided to set out for the bay again to investigate the large thing Juan had spotted on the beach and the gray island. They followed the trail north, and Teyla was snagged in two snares, embarrassingly enough the SAME snare that had gotten her a few days ago (and was apparently reset by someone). They reached the beach of the bay and traveled west, in the afternoon rain they spotted another giant crab and attacked it to enjoy another crab feast that night.

Journal of Ludwig Von Vigh

I had a conflict with the Wizard today. I saw him from my peripheral vision. He stepped behind me to intentionally place me in his blast. I was very angry at this action. I intended to have words, perhaps one well placed punch would have set the boundary we needed as emerging friends. I guess my look scared him, as opposed to an apology, or words of calming, he elected to cast a 2nd spell directed at me. Greased and on the ground, it barely required prompt of Eclipse to set the boundary I desired. I had no idea if the wizard was lining up spell 3 after that! I had the energy for a healing spell, I was not concerned about the wizards health. The sister of his, perhaps she thinks full out swings with great axes are the equivalent of claws from a small cat. I have no siblings, maybe that is what they do, over react regarding one another.

I waited long enough to exert my independence from family and obligation. I am not sure the Wizard understood the implications of what he did. For my own good that I be the recipient of his magical blast, those were his thoughts. Ludwig, decides what is best for Ludwig. Ludwig has no intention of deciding what is best for Wizard. I will have to find a way to smooth it over. I think they are interpreting walking behind the wizard as aggression. They misunderstand…………………..being in front of the wizard just seems unsafe!

Journal of Zelshee Venso

Ghosts appearing out of the fire! Ghost-like things climbing up from a well and attacking. A Demon stalking us. Giant centipedes and crabs, cannibals, crazed ship captains – the list of dangers just keep getting longer! And now the party is fighting amongst each other? What evil is this that pits us against our companions? Perhaps the Demon is somehow to blame. Oh Mother ~ How I wish I would have listened to you when you said to stay home! Home is just where I want to be right now.
There is always a light in the darkness, no matter how small. And that light just happens to be the journals we discovered aboard the Brine Demon. It might be the info Jask needs to prove his innocence. To seek the justice he deserves!
What new dangers will tomorrow bring? I dare not even imagine….

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

15 Arodus, 4710 AR

I suppose I have to get used to little to no respect. One with such a critical roll as mine is often forced to make difficult decisions and think of the group more than the individuals. When that pirate ghost appeared, I knew it would do no long term good to attack it but I had to anyway so the rest of the party could get their wits together. I believe Juan would have run off with the locket otherwise. Later, we were faced with a number of giant centipedes. They would have quickly surrounded us and poisoned everyone so I had to act fast. I attempted to stun them so we could finish them off. Unfortunately, I had to put the druid in the path of my spell. He claims to be a magic user but seems incapable of resisting even the simplest of spells; that one has a weak mind and should be watched. When his magic and mind failed, he resorted to brawn, something I don’t intend to meet head on. If I had been one of the monks back home, I could have redirected his punch and put him on the ground. I decided to take a play from their book and judicious use of a grease spell had the same effect. Apparently Ludwig’s pride is far more delicate than his physique so the mad man sent his cat after me. My overprotective sister jumped in as usual, although I can’t say I’m particularly upset this time. Well, if Ludwig doesn’t want me to utilize my spells I’ll avoid directing them at him, even when he most needs them. Am I being petty? I’ll have to learn to forgive more easily if I’m to live up to my greatness in the future.

The Journal of Jocque Tarr

15 Arodus, 4710 AR

What are all these Free ships doing wrecked on this coast?!!! Dead men in the waves, ghosts of dead Captains rising from our fire… what evil lurks here?!!! The Shiv, how aptly named this place is! And these lubbers I am with seem to think more of fighting with each other than finding a way away from this evil place… this isle of death.

If I live through this, I’ll never buy a drink again. I’ve heard sailors’ tales that men would pay to hear but none as crazed as this one I am living through. Now they have decided to have a look at the big dark thing I spotted on the beach up north and maybe the gray dead ilsand just past it.

If I find a boat with a good sail anywhere along here I am of a mind to take my chances with the sea! I think my chances are slim to none if I stay with this pack. But my gut tells me that if the men on this island could have gotten away from it they would not now be eating one another. The Shiv! It is a blade in the heart of life!

The Journal of Drasheen Rettig

15 Arodus, 4710 AR

Damn crabs! I was sure that this one would fall to my blades but it grabbed me just like the last one did and unceremoniusly waved me around in the air while my party had to save me once again. At least it tasted good!

I wish the half-orc and the big barbarian would settle down.

I don’t know what to make of the log entries they found on the one pirate ship. It may be that Jask is innocent after all but if he is, my father may be in some danger himself. I will have to think on this some more.

Damn &%$$#* crabs!!!

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Treasure Hunt
The legacy of Captain Quellig

Golarion date 12 Arodus 4710

Juan climbed the escarpment in the middle of the island and dropped a rope, Teyla followed. The two of them explored the high ground looking for a bald hill with a view of two spires of rock rising from the waters as depicted in Ishirou’s treasure map. They spotted a high peak the color of rust on the southeast portion of the island, but it had no view of the spires. After dealing with a giant hunting spider that thought to make a meal of Juan, Juan climbed a tree at the highest point of the ridge and spotted a likely hill a few miles away towards the eastern coast. He also saw at least 3 shipwrecks amongst the rocks of the coast. When Juan mentioned the shipwrecks, Jask suggested to Zelshee that maybe one of the pirate ships he knew were involved in the smuggling operations he was accused of would be among the ship wrecks and if so, they might be able to find evidence that would clear his name. He gave Zelshee a list of ship names to look for.

Juan and Teyla returned to the group who had set up camp. The next day they packed up camp again and moved everybody down the valley between two ridges towards the east side of the island again. Teyla was caught in a vine snare that someone set up on the trail and was injured by a spike she swung into. At the end of the game trail they followed through the valley they found the remains of an old crude hut nestled amongst the trees facing an inlet. There was a crude pentagram scratched on the back wall of the hut. They set up camp here and set out for the bald hill the next morning leaving Jask (who had taken ill), Aerys, Gelik, and Sasha to watch camp, while Ishirou accompanied them on the treasure hunt.

At the bald hill they waited until sunup and watched the sun rise between the two spires of rock rising out of the ocean to the east. They dug at this point and found a 10×10 plug of wood covering a deep pit. They also found the skeleton of a dwarf who appeared to have been stabbed in the back. Digging a narrow tunnel around the plug they found a 40 foot deep shaft filled with murky water at the bottom. Ludwig Von Vigh volunteered to climb down with a rope tied to his waist. At the bottom he was attacked by two lacedons. There was a running battle as Teyla and Zelshee tried to pull Ludwig back up, he was unconscious when they finally got him out. They slew the aquatic ghouls as they scrambled from the hole.

In a hidden chamber found through an underwater tunnel they found a heavy sea chest which they eventually managed to drag to the surface but could not open. They had spent two full nights on the hill and that evening Teyla had a dream. They carried the heavy chest back to camp with the help of a spell from the druid Ludwig.

Late that night Ludwig, who was on watch, had a disturbing feeling he was being watched from the jungle. They awoke the half orc Zelshee because she could see in the dark, but they saw or heard nothing from the fringes of camp. The next morning Juan awoke and informed them he had a nightmare that he was being watched by two glowing red eyes from the jungle but he couldn’t move. The spot in his dream was the same as Ludwig’s feeling of being watched. They investigated the jungle that morning in the light of day and found another dead monkey in the trees drained of blood. An attempt to track using Eclipse indicated something was in the trees but did not leave the area on the ground.

With the help of a few guidance spells and a crowbar, Ishirou was finally able to pry open the sea chest and took his one third share of the treasure they found inside.

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

12 Arodus, 4710 AR

The mystery of captain Quellig’s treasure has been solved. After trekking through the jungle for a few days, we came upon the bald hill. Some of our group stayed at an abandoned camp a few hours journey to the east to establish a more permanent base of operations. The rest of us discovered a buried cavern beneath the hill which contained the treasure along with a couple of undead guardians. Ludwig ventured down on a rope where he discovered the beasts. They nearly killed him but I was able to hold them off with judicious use of Disrupt Undead. My sister and Teyla pulled him to safety while I destroyed the foul beasts. I’m sure the rest of the group could have handled things at that point but I do have to have some fun on occasion.

We returned to our camp and were able to break open the chest which contained some coins, a couple of weapons, and a beautiful scroll case. Ishirou had no idea what the case was or what was on the scroll so he didn’t even count its worth towards his share! I’ll identify the scroll tomorrow. It’s a divine spell and no use to me but perhaps my sister has use for it.

While we slept that night, Juanhad another disturbing dream that she was being watched by a pair of glowing eyes and Ludwig swore that there was something in the jungle near camp. They woke my sister who was unable to find anything but the next morning we discovered another dead monkey. The cat tracked the predator up a tree but could not follow it further. This warrants more study as it may be a previously undiscovered creature, suitable for inclusion in the guide.

The Journal of Jocque Tarr (aka “Juan”)

These people! How did they ever live this long? And why do I keep letting them suck me into their insanity? We spent several days worth of our dwindling rations finding a treasure chest and then dragging it back to camp where the rest of the passengers have eaten up even more of the rations. Hell, Ludwig almost got himself killed and that half-orc, Mastuk, bad mouthed me for keeping him from getting killed! You can’t eat gold and you can’t drink coppers!

We have to get to the shipwrecks I spotted to see if there are enough materials to build a raft or boat or something to get us off of this rock. There is something flying around this place that sucks the blood out of you and the gods only know what else lurking in the sea and the jungle.

I might be better off taking a share of the food and water and trying to make it off myself. At least I know how to sail a raft out of these waters. The only thing that makes me stay with this crew is the fact that somebody is looking out for me when I have to sleep. If I was on my own, I might not make it through my first night. Those red eyes I saw were looking at me and I could feel the hunger behind them.

I wonder what is going to happen when we finally start fighting over whatever is left of the food.

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Exploring the Shiv
Fun with fauna

Golarion date: 11 Arodus, 4710

After some discussion it was decided to climb down to the rocky beach of the bay and make their way along the coastline. They packed up all their supplies, disbanded camp, and took a good long while getting everything down the cliff and onto the beach. The group was attacked by a mated pair of Dimorphodons and Ludwig was rather weakened from their poison. Juan was urged by Sasha to climb up to their cave and see if there were any young. Juan found a single egg in a nest in the cave. He gave it to Sasha, who was grateful (though maybe not as compliant as Juan hinted he wanted her to be!). Sasha was much more cooperative with the group after this gesture.

Later that afternoon, they were attacked by a giant crab scrabbling up onto the beach. Drasheen charged forward to challenge the crab, but was quickly grabbed by both claws and gravely wounded. The crab tried to retreat to the safety of the water with it’s prize, but was cut down in the surf. Drasheen was pulled back onto the beach and revived with a couple of healing potions from the satchel found on the Jenivere. The group set up camp and had a feast of crab legs. That night Juan was investigating the green glowing surf when he saw a ghostly figure of a drowned sailor beckoning to him from the waves. Sasha threw a rock in the water at the figure and it disappeared.

That night the weakened Ludwig had a disturbing dream.

The next day, they broke down camp again, packed up all the supplies and headed southwards along the beach. The cliffs fell away and the jungle encroached and soon the found the ruins of an old camp facing the bay. Amongst several collapsing shelters made of driftwood stood a lone woman staring out to the bay. As Zelshee approached, she noticed the woman was dead and covered in yellowish plant growths. As the dead woman reached out Zelshee cut her in two with one swing of the axe. They were shocked to find vines amidst the rotting internal organs of the woman. Searching the camp, Ludwig found a note hidden under a piece of driftwood scrawled on the back of an accounting ledger page. They also found a game trail heading into the jungle.

There was much debate about continuing along the coast of the bay or heading inland. During the debate Mastuuk mentioned the treasure of Captain Quellig. Ishirou became interested and mentioned he had a map of Quellig’s treasure and if it were on the Shiv he would share the map for a 50% share of the treasure. After some negotiations he agreed on 33% and they set off into the jungle, heading for the high ground to see if they could spot the bald hill that was illuminated by the rising sun as depicted on the map.

At the base of the inland escarpment they came across a clearing covered in yellow plant growth with a bulbous yellow plant and two more dead plant zombies with it. During the battle, Ludwig was entranced by a pollen spray from the plant, walked up to it and allowed it to insert tendrils into his nostrils and ears and into his cranial cavity. He was saved when the plant was slain moments later.

Notes from Zelshee…

Known dangers of the island: the cannibals, the medium winged monsters (Dimorphodons), giant crabs, yellow musk creepers with zombie cohorts. Other dangers to be aware of: Captain and Ieana, green glowing ghosts floating in bay, large winged creature that I heard on watch the first night.
When we first awoke I noticed we were all lined up on the beach in a neat row. Gear in a large pile close by. Why doesn’t anyone else find that odd? Who put us there? Why? How did they get us from the sinking ship to the beach? Where are they now? And how many of them are there? Too many questions! I want to discuss it with a few of the other passengers, but some might be frightened by all the unknown. I must find a way to determine which passengers are going to be the most help and which ones are going to need the help.

  1. Mastuuk – so far he’s surprised me. Not much wining and he’s seems to be trying to help everyone – a team player and not a loner. Good!
  2. Drasheen – She able to help when someone is hurt. We need that. She rushed right up to fight the giant crab. Didn’t turn out to be the best idea for her – but she’s not a coward. She has a prisoner. That needs more investigating. I think there is a lot more to the story than she knows.
  3. Jask – Drasheen’s prisoner. older guy, willing to help out. Need to keep an eye on him. Not sure I trust him. He seems sincere, or maybe he’s just a real good liar. I hope not, I like him. Needs protecting.
  4. Gelik – looks nice. Hasn’t showed his true value yet ….unless I blinked. Needs protecting
  5. Aerys – looks like a bad-ass, but needs protecting because of her dependency
  6. Teyla – knows how to handle herself! Doesn’t smell so bad since she got that funk removed. Kind of a loner, just her and that box. Must be valuable. I probably should help her keep an eye on it. She puts it down to fight. Don’t need anyone sneaking off with it. Not sure where they’d go, though.
  7. Ludwig – he’s very good with that scimitar! Unless he’s been stung repeatedly. Even so, he didn’t back down after he was hurt. Good, another one that can take care of himself. His ‘cat’, stay away from! I hate cats and that thing has some real teeth on it.
  8. Ishirou – Greedy. Has a katana, but no idea if he can use it. Needs protecting.
  9. Shasha – looking out for herself. Has an attitude and doesn’t like authority figures!
  10. Juan – Hots for Shasha. Crazy good climber! That’s going to come in handy out here. Also can handle himself in a fight.

Why are we here?

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

11 Arodus, 4710 AR

Another day on this island and nearly a party member short. Sometimes I wonder if we’ll get off this island alive but then I realize we will with my help. I happened to mention Captain Quellig and it seems I was the only one who had heard of him, don’t people read anymore? Then Ishirou, slow as he is, showed a little life. It seems he has a number of treasure maps - I guess we know why he’s here. Although I wasn’t given access to authenticate it, one of his maps belonged to that same pirate captain. We followed it having little else to go on. We may or may not find the treasure but there might be something else to help up out.

We’ve also run across some more of the local fauna. A few dimorphodons, which we dispatched quite easily. I’m not too worried about them, we obviously intruded on their nesting area and they were simply trying to scare us away. Juan di d take the egg, a decision I’m unsure about. It would not have survived without its parents and it may not survive now but I doubt it will remain terribly friendly once it hatches, especially when it realizes we won’t be able to properly feed it.

A large crab nearly killed Drasheen, a capable cleric but a foolish tactician, we need to have a talk with her one of these days.

The strange plant we ran across earlier today intrigues me and I really wish I had more time to study it. Apparently, its spores infect living beings and as they grow, the replace the innards of the host until nothing is left but a zombie of sorts. They are not true undead but have about as much intelligence. I’m not sure what the group would have done without me. Greasing up Ludwig not only prevented him from running after us while entranced, it also provided a way to put him out of his misery should that need have arisen.

The Journal Of Ludwig Von Vigh

A day of optimism! Yes, we are on a deadly island. Yes, we have limited resources. Yes, we have no solid method from this place. But, we proved ourselves today. Flying Dinos, giant crabs, plant zombies all dead. Crew and passengers all alive. Fantastic day of adventuring I say!

Note to self, prepare and expect the unexpected. When the flying dinos came at us, I was not sure who could take a hit. I felt confident that I would be able to dodge and or defend myself while out in the open. I chose to draw some attention in this way. I have the ability to heal and Drasheen seems very capable as well. So some battle wounds were expected, but not the poison they left to linger in my body. Not expected and at half strength, I had to shed several items of gear. And again later in the day, beaten and disillusioned by spores, but saved by the party. Another note of optimism I should think. Maybe its mutually beneficial that I stay alive, but just maybe this troop will be one for the making, learning to fight together.

I must say, that at my weekend strength, I will likely travel light and in the middle of the pack, tend to Eclipses wounds and be more tactful in the coming days as I regain strength. I should also think to purify more food and water, as I think Zelshee must be very hungry. As Drasheen lay dying, with me pouring potions gently into her mouth, Zelshee’s first concern and comment was “Do you think we can eat this crab”. She must be starving.

The Journal of Teyla Gunler

I love the early morning hours. Everyone is keeping to themselves, praying or meditating or (like me) enjoying the silence. I thought this would be the perfect time to tell Ludwig about myself not feeling well. He tried to help but failed. I guess he needs a little more practice. Some of the others took notice and gave some advice. Later, I drank one of the potions from the stash that we took off of the ship. I am feeling much better, but not quite 100% yet.

I am still getting to know the group. We worked really well today and killed some creatures and zombies and some plant-like thing that was trying to steal Ludwig from us. I think we have a good thing going. Maybe we will make it off this island alive!

I am not sure about Mastuuk. He keeps eyeing my lockbox. I will have to watch him and make sure he does not try to use some spell to open my box and/or take it from me!

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The adventure begins
Wreck of the Jenivere

Golarion date: 10 Arodus, 4710 AR

The PCs awake to find themselves sickened and lying unconscious on a tropical beach. Three small eurypterids (or sea scorpions) had hoped to make an easy snack of the morsels on the beach, but the PCs awoke in time to defend themselves and the other 5 castaways. Everyone was feeling sickened and some of their gear was placed in a neat pile on the beach. Footprints and drag marks in the sand, the regular placement of the unconscious passengers on the beach, as well as the fact that the castaways were not water logged indicated that someone probably had dropped them there. Nobody remembered anything after dinner on the ship the previous night. After that, there’s nothing but a confusing jumble of images, remembered as if in a dream-feelings of nausea, panic, fear, and drowning.

A quick check of their surroundings told them they were probably on Smugglers Shiv, a dangerous island in Desperation Bay. The wreck of the Jenivere could be seen washed up against a rocky cliff face on the northern arm of the lagoon, her bow section missing.

The PCs waited for low tide and made their way to the remains of the Jenivere and explored the wreck. They found the remains of the ships landing boat tied to the wreckage, it appeared to had been shattered by the repeated action of the waves crashing it against the rocks. After defeating a larger sea scorpion scratching at the door of the a lower deck storage room, Teyla Gunler and Ludwig Von Vigh found the body of Alton Devers in the lower deck storeroom. His body showed rapier wounds, but he died from poisoning by sea scorpion stings.

In the captains cabin Juan Svette found the Captains Log, several charts including a map of Smugglers Shiv, a satchel of potions, a coffer of gold coins, and a footlocker containing the gear of the prisoner Jask Derindi.

In the ships larder they found the body of the ships cook stuffed in an empty bin, like someone had tried to hide it. The body showed evidence of bite wounds from a large serpent.

Returning to the beach with supplies from the ship, the group determined they needed to reach the lighthouse on the southwest shore and set out into the jungle late in the afternoon. In a pouring rain they were ambushed by three cannibals. The cannibals wielded old rusty scimitars and appeared to be Chelish, though savage in nature.

They reached the shore of the large northern bay of the Shiv and in the light of the setting sun saw the strange gray island that made up the northwest part of the Shiv.

That night Teyla Gunler began to feel ill. Those standing night watch saw a strange green glow from the surf of the bay, and possibly things moving around. Zelshee Venso heard the beating of leathery wings somewhere in the night sky after midnight, something large was flying around up there. Juan had a disturbing dream that night, probably the recollections of his subconscious of the events of the previous night that were lost to conscious thought. The next morning they spied several colorful flying lizards over the bay who investigated the groups camp then went diving for fish in the bay.

The Journal of Juan Sevette

Juan Sevette is no newcomer to intrigue. During the morning on the beach on the bay he started putting his “dream” together with what he had gleaned from the Captain’s log. It was still a jumble of impressions. But that morning the big guy, Ludwig, asked a question that made it all come together — at least most of it. The Ulfen had asked, “What do you think happened to bring us here?” Juan spoke up and told them that he thought they had been poisoned or drugged with something in the soup they had all been eating. He told them about the strange entries in the Captain’s log and about how he and the rest of the crew had been surprised when the Capatain ordered their last course change… a change that would bring them close aboard the Shiv. The last entry in the log…“something might have to be done about the crew” … combined with his dream and the way they had found the cook’s body hidden in one of the bins in the storeroom …. told Juan that the Captain had taken the steps he had outlined to bring his dream girl to the island, even if it meant wrecking the Jenivere and likely killing all of her crew. It still didn’t explain how or why the current party had been spared but it meant that somewhere here on the island there was probably still a murderous Captain and the “scholar” Ilenea who probably wanted nothing more than to finish the job.

And Juan has his own problem. That exotic woman, Sasha, has an all too familiar tattoo on her back. And it isn’t the kind one uses to surreptitiously identify yourself. She is not a student. She is a teacher. And she seems to be looking his way just a little too often. Maybe she is just playing him like an ace in the hole during whatever game has started on this deadly island, but maybe it is something else… he hopes it’s the ace thing and reason says that is the most likely thing. Why and how would she know? And why would she care?

The Journal of Mastuuk Venso

10 Arodus, 4710 AR

Where do I begin? We were a couple of weeks out of Blood Cove, a day like any other. Most of the passengers were eating dinner together as we usually did. There was nothing extraordinary about the meal, something with dried fish I believe. That was the last thing any of us remembered until the sound of the ocean, I assume it was the next day. We awoke on a beach on Smugglers Shiv. There were only a few of us but we had been carefully dragged onto the beach along with some of our possessions. Most of my items were there but Zelshee was missing her prized axe and most of our woodland gear. She managed to recover most of it on the wrecked remains of our former ship along with a couple of dead bodies I’m told. It seams the captain has gone quite insane and feels he’s in love with another one of the passengers. They may have deposited us on this unforgiving island.

Lucky I remembered an entry in a book on the histories of the Chelaxian colonies. Chelax had attempted a settlement on this island but didn’t get much further than a lighthouse before they were driven off by ghosts or some such nonsense. The information came from the log entry of a pirate who saw fit to store some of his ill begotten valuables here. Perhaps he left a boat or some provisions we can use to get off this island. My other hope is that the lighthouse is intact and we can activate it and alert a nearby vessel who might rescue us.

I’ve wasted much of my spell power on a foolish detect magic I used to identify some potions (4 cure light wounds, 3 lesser restoration, a water breathing, and 3 more I was unable to identify). As this isn’t my specialty I do wish we had some other casters with us. I must remember to locate a wand of detect magic as soon as we are back in civilized lands.

The Journal of Ludwig Von Vigh

Eclipse was my first thought and third thought. The 2nd brief thought was about the creatures the other passengers dispatched quite quickly. I was in such a rush to secure Eclipses’ safety I really did not put much effort into analyzing the nice neat way in which we were arranged on the beach, or much effort into relating with other crew. However, in the course of getting to calm the cat, Teyla and I worked quite well together dispatching a sea scorpion. I was hesitant but asked her to watch my back while I calmed Eclipse. Working well with others and figuring out who to trust is going to help get us from this island. I hope that is the beginning of some camaraderie. Juan, I was initially very suspicious of. Alton, being killed with poison stingers, but showing rapier wounds as well…….Juan is carrying a rapier. The Captains log alleviates some of that suspicion, but I am not ready to turn my back to Juan just yet.

The brother and sister may be a little crazy. The sister was almost insistent on trying to kill herself in the surf and the brother helping her try to kill herself by enlarging her! Crazy! I need to get to know them better, there is damn good chance that Crazy gets us out of here alive.

Drasheen is an experienced healer. That is a good sign. Not sure about her prisoner yet.

The rest of the crew is extremely unresponsive to me. I guess I am not very diplomatic; maybe I need to practice my approach? But, the more the merrier in working together on this isle. I will keep trying.

With a minute of down time, having a chance to reflect on the way we were neatly arranged on the beach. Only a few things make sense. We have unknown friends that pulled us to safety. But, it seems more likely that we were delivered. Passed out and prone, we could have easily been killed. So, either we are some kind of sacrifice, some kind of game, or some kind of natures course pushing an unknown event. Definitely need to keep an eye out for clues on this. Understanding the method of delivery may give clue on how to exit this place.

The Journal of Eclipse

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr……..rrrrrraaahhhhhhlllll

The Journal of Teyla Gunler

In the beginning of this new assignment, I was really excited. This current one is…was I guess, really easy…transport what was given me. Simple, I thought. And since the captain of this boat put my assignment under lock and key, I had the freedom to just enjoy the journey on the ship, watching and getting to know fellow passengers. I so enjoy watching people. How could something so easy have gone so wrong?

As soon as I woke up on the beach, I was in near panic, not because some unknown creature was nibbling on my toes but because my lockbox was no where to be seen. Makes sense because it was, as I mentioned, under lock and key in the bottom of the ship but still…I have never messed up an assignment or job of any sort and I am not going to start now. I have a reputation of being good at what I do. I am going to try everything in power to complete my assignment, even if it seems almost impossible right now.

Thankfully, a group of us passengers and crewmate, were able to get to the ship and retrieve our belongings, most importantly my lockbox, but also my amazing breastplate that I love so much. We also retrieved a large black cat who makes me a little nervous, but the owner and I fought off a large sea creature and so maybe that trust will keep that cat from eating me.

There are so many mysteries about why we are on this island. But my brain is a little foggy right now so I am having a hard time processing it all. I am not feeling well and I do not know who I can trust to tell that I am not at my best. I probably should have gotten to know my fellow passengers instead of just watching them. Maybe I can tell Ludwig…he did ask me to watch his back while he calmed his cat after he found him. That takes some trust…I easily could have killed him from behind if I wanted to. I really wish I was feeling better. There are too many unknowns for me to not be at the top of my game.

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