Posted on September 20, 2013
Castaway Diary, Days 18 & 19On deck, present and correct for the last session; Victor the Paladin, Nobody the Gunslinger, Uun the Barbarian, Orny the Warlock, Percy the Cleric and Malicia the Rogue. Okay, this memory is a week old, but I’m pretty sure it went a little something like this… Everyone, more or less, was in filthy fetid undead bathwater at the bottom of a well. Malicia had stayed out of this, as had Ishiro, who was making sureru that the roperu did not shame its fibrous ancestors. Everyone else, I think, had taken a stink bath. Uun and Nobody had been paralysed by the Lacedons at the bottom of the well and Orny had been so badly raked by them that blood loss had caused him to pass out. Nobody recovered before his lungs filled with water – ghoul paralysis causing paralysis only of voluntary muscle functions. Otherwise it isn’t paralysis, it’s just killing. This left Orny and Uun floating in the water.
Percy and Victor whipped out their Baywatch slow-mo rescues and hauled the two above the water line, trying not to drown themselves. Victor pulled the short straw and had to haul the slab of muscle and rash behaviour that is Uun and caught a mouthful of vile water for his troubles. Percy hauled up Orny, at this point confused because he could have sworn that witches were supposed to float. Percy begins at this point to suspect that witch trials are maybe – just maybe – sneaky ways of getting rid of old ladies.
Floki decided that the ancestral honour of this rope that was their only way out of the well needed some more guarding and he climbed back up to the top of the well. Malicia climbed to the top too, but mostly just because everything is gross down there and she didn’t feel like getting her feathers wet. Percy called down some healing, causing Uun to regain the requisite amount of hit points to get back on the rash behaviour train, i.e. 1 hit point. The Shoanti swam down the well, getting lost a bit, but eventually one blindly grasping hand caught hold of some kind of timber, wedged in place in some kind of opening at a deeper level of the well. He surfaced, making his few hit points work for their money, and told the rest of the crew, who were treading water/lacedon corpses.
Orny, revived too, summoned a Celestial Dolphin in the tiny space and commanded it to drag Uun down and into this passage. The dolphin insisted that it will be e-ee-e-ee-e-ee-e-eee-easy.
Twisting in the dark water, it swam down to the passage that led a short distance to another shaft, this one enclosed. Uun and the dolphin broke the surface and breathed in stale but breathable air that had long been sealed in this shaft. The flaw in this awesome plan was that Uun couldn’t see shit down here. It being so far from any source of light with murky water in the way. Orny had Dancing Lights’d the water in the well, but that didn’t help Uun, who had no idea where he was. The dolphin returns to Orny, bleats happily and, its job done and term of summoning complete, disappears.
Uun moves over to the walls of the shaft and gropes his way round, finding a well-like space, much like the other shaft. But nothing else. Meanwhile Nobody plucked up the courage to dive down and after a false start, swam down around the timber passage supports and into the same shaft as Uun. Nobody, however, can see in complete darkness, thanks to the particular infernal vintage that flows in his veins. The Tiefling could see what Uun could not, a ledge cut into one wall, three feet above the waterline, taken up almost entirely by a large chest. Filling Uun in on this discovery, they attempt to signal to the other well shaft, with no real luck. Meanwhile everyone in the other shaft continues to tread water and make awkward small talk.
Guided by Nobody, Uun swims down and then up as fast as he can popping up out of the water like a particularly muscly cork out of a bottle. He catches the edge of the ledge/alcove and hauls himself up.
Pulling up his seeing-eye Gunslinger, Uun waits for the chest to be inspected. Nobody isn’t sure about this chest, it gave him a bad feeling. Maybe it was trapped… there was only one way to be sure. He told the Barbarian it was safe to open and that he should give it a shot. Uun, expecting no duplicity from his good buddy Nobody, concurs and tries opening the chest, unable to see Nobody covering his ears and cowering back in anticipation. Nothing happened, to the Tiefling’s surprise.
He then tried Han Solo-ing the lock. He wanted it open, so shooting the lock will open it, right? No. It just makes it harder to open and successfully deafens the pair of them. The dull concussion somehow reverberates in the other well shaft and – accustomed to the firing of a gun signalling the beginning of hostilities, Percy dived further into the water, and found his way to the deafened pair. Fortunately Nobody saw him arrive, because neither of them would have been able to hear him.
The three discussed how to get the chest back to the others. At length, actually. Finally, Uun had enough talking and tied himself to the chest then swam down along and up again, joining Victor and Orny. They attached the rope to the main rope and began hauling the chest up, Uun climbing with the weight attached to him too. Everyone else began evacuating the well, helping haul the very heavy chest to the hilltop and the delighted Ishiro.
At this point, Malicia was suddenly aware of something flying low and fast out of the crown of jungle that ringed the hilltop. Floki did not and while Malicia rolled to one side the flying creature grabbed Floki and tossed him away into the tall grasses further down the hill. It circled around and headed down at speed to Malicia and Ishiro, the latter squatting down as he hauled up on the chest, desperate to keep hold of his long sought treasure. Malicia decided to “Randy Moss”-it. I took that to mean that she ran off in a different direction, hoping to draw attention from the vulnerable Ishiro. If Noe actually meant that she was going to climb into her weed-filled car and drive away with a Policewoman clinging to the wipers, I’m sorry, I misrepresented that.
As it was, Malicia succeeded in drawing the flying monster’s attention from Ishiro, dodging it once, but eventually being caught by the vicious thing. It sunk its fangs into her, exsanguinating as it did. The tengu could feel herself getting weaker as she was being drained, but she slid a knife free as they tussled and slashed at the grappling foe. She wasn’t able to land a good hit against the scaled skin of the creature, but did enough to persuade it to let go. It flew off into the jungle as the others began to emerge from the well and disappeared in the clouds of terrified birds it sent into the air with its passage.
They all took a breather on the hilltop, but were anxious to see what is inside the chest, none more so than Ishiro. Malicia attempted to open the chest, but was up against a really well made lock that had been crushed a bit by a sub-sonic projectile. Uun set her up with a canvas sun-shelter so that she could work through the heat of the day and everyone left her to it.
The lock eventually submitted to her poking and fiddling, the lock snapping open. Everyone rushed over to see what was in it. Answer: fuckton of cash. An Imperial Fuckton too, none of this Metric Fuckton nonsense. Ishiro was a little manic, babbling about how awesome this was, so as he was running his hands through the various coinage, they turned their attention to the objects in with the cash.
They found a lightweight but very well constructed hook, evidently some pirate’s previous hand-replacement, rigged to function as a buckler. Nobody took that, hopefully able to load his pistol with a hook. I don’t know, he was excited that it went with his tricorn, I guess. Malicia took the cold iron starknife, a setting specific weapon no-one has really been excited about. Victor was excited to find a mithril scoll tube, a very expensive one at that, but on opening it found a single scroll upon which is inscribed a spell far beyond his comprehension. He passed it off to Percy, who attempted to decipher the spell contained in the scroll, but that it was beyond him too. His feathers ruffled, he was sure he would be able to figure it out at a later date. He can confirm though, that whatever was committed to that scroll is some Premo magic shit.
They started to think about how to cart this chest and its belongings around, which I’m a little worried about, since they can’t keep track of all the rest of the shit they own. Anyway, they decided not to return down the cliff-way they had come. Instead they took the sloping hill down towards the center of the island.
As they approached the shore, they spotted a roof, visible from above between the jungle greenery. Not a great roof, just a bunch of planks, but something deliberate and man made. They approached cautiously, Malicia scouting ahead and peering in a window-like gap of what appeared to be an improvised hut.
It was indeed a hut, nicer than theirs too and solidly built, if badly neglected. Entering the hut with a sense of trepidation born of their one awful trap-laden encounter with a cabin in the third installment of the Rise of The Runelords campaign they found it untrapped and uninhabited, but not uninteresting. The feature that dominated the room was an inverted pentagram cut into one of the wooden walls, the pentagon in the center studded with human teeth, hammered into the timbers.
It didn’t take a theologist to discern that this was the work of some diabolists, the inverted pentagram being the (un)holy symbol of Asmodeus. In what capacity it was placed there is not certain. Despite this, they decided to spend the night in the cabin, shelter as it was. They searched the surrounding area and found nothing of note or danger. Before they turned in, Ishiro chatted to them about his sword and showed them a few tricks he had mastered over the years. It was a bastardized form of martial swordsmanship from Tian Xa, but those that participated in his little beach seminar came away with some neat ideas about balance and movement.
In the morning, Victor did a bit more exploring and found a trough, seemingly cut into the jungle. The trough was worn and flat, sand-bottomed and about 10” wide, just enough for someone to walk carefully along.
The party began following it and found a carefully groomed trail that permitted silent movement across the island. It was at points circuitous, avoiding certain undergrowth and exposed areas, but was clear of fallen debris and apparently tended to keep it that way. Not that it was without its dangers: Malicia spotted – at the last second – a simple but well-made snare, which once triggered would release a tension trap that would propel the victim into a much higher set of spikes, cunningly hidden in the canopy.
A little further along the trail, they found another and Victor realised that both sites were near a particularly fragrant palm tree with white feathery fronds below its main leaves. Armed with this theory, they proceeded further along the trail and came to a junction in the trough – one branch leading west further into the island and another leading east, back towards their camp.
The track led them to another beach, this time the shore looked on to the massive circular bay depicted on the map Floki had. On point again, Malicia spotted a slightly swaying figure on the beach. It looked like a human female, but as Malicia approached, the figure turned on her and wordlessly charged her, slamming into her, trailing a cloud of spores as it went. It lashed out at Uun as he entered the combat too and as Victor arrived Orny tried a range of disappointments against the thing. He tried Slumber hexing it, which didn’t work and Daze which didn’t work. Victor tried Smite Evil, but evidently this was one of those true neutral horrors and that didn’t work. What did work was Uun slicing it in half. Schlorp.
The usual blood and guts were not forthcoming just a kind of mushroomy growth that pervaded the body’s organs and circulatory system. Trailing tendrils led under the sand, now broken and loose.
The party caught their breath, carefully and away from the spores. But as they did so, Nobody looked along the shoreline and from nearly two miles away, saw a Giant Crab that sat regally on the head of the beach.I’ll catch up on the updated map before the next session.