Serpent's Skull

Fungus, Pygmies, and Crabs Oh My!

Leave No Stone Unturned!

Having regained some of their strength the companions move and explore the remaining chamber, which appears to be some kind of worship area, complete with an altar to Ydersius made out of the dead, naked bodies of sacrificed cannibals. Cecil, being a brave individual, moves some of the bodies around, curious as to whether there is anything on the floor underneath them. Surprisingly there is not. On the opposite side of the chamber the companions find a door that appears to have been once previously warded against intrusion. Now there are but ashes on the floor before it. Before entering the room Cecil points out several empty vials lying to one side that he determines had once held the red liquid of health potions, it is also quite evident that Ieana, now recognized as a Serpentfolk, was here. With Iss opening the door, Cecil and Enid are able to look in at the amazing scenes depicted on the walls of the room, it is obvious these scenes are of the island they are currently trapped on. Lul points out that the carvings are ancient, and together Cecil and Enid are able to decifer that the scenes depict a war between humans and Serpentfolk. Smaller carvings depict Serpentfolk splashing blood on curved runes before a red mountain, and then holding venomous snakes against the bloody stones while standing before the mountain with arms upraised and mouths agape shouting to the heavens as a bolt of lightning arcs up from the stones. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it is in fact Red Mountain depicted in these scenes…the final area to the southeast on the island that the companions have not yet explored to. Upon closer inspection however Iss is able to read out:

“To command the very tides to rise up and eschew what lies below: Empower the four sentinel runes with the blood of a thinking creature tempered by the kiss of a serpent’s tongue.
Anoint the Tide Stone with the waters brought from the Sea in a Vessel of purest metal.
Invoke the Lord’s Sacred Name to wrap his coils around the sea itself that he might lay bare what lies below and cast down your enemies on the waves above.”

Storing this information for later usage and pondering the companions quietly move on and return to the lighthouse to rest. During this time it is decided to move the base camp to the lighthouse with Iss returning to gather the others while Martigan continues to work on repairs for the lighthouse. Once the whole group is reunited a couple days later it is decided to return northward to explore the strangely colored island before venturing out to Red Mountain.

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As they travel through the jungles north the companions enter a rather strange area, upon a single hill grows a banyon tree of immense proportions, and from this tree walks a slender young female, with a magnificent crown of palm fronds sprouting from her head.

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The figure approaches the companions in a friendly manner, greeting them and introducing herself as Aycenia, a dryad. After some pleasantries are spoken (and it is quite obvious that Cecil is quite taken with the dryad), Aycenia mentions that there appears to be some kind of problem on an island to the north of her hill, she is not sure, but feels that it may be some sort of fungal issue perhaps. The companions inform Aycenia that that is exactly where they were headed in the first place and so will most definitely check it out.

Reaching the beach it quickly becomes apparent to the companions that they will not be able to make it across to the island in question until low tide, a few hours later they are able to make it across the rocky and slippery ground, with all save Martigan slipping and falling on the exposed seaweed. Clambering ashore, Enid immediately recognizes the fungus as a similar strain to that found in the Darklands. Cloths are quickly placed over both mouths and noses. Moving inland, the group is sprung upon by several vegepygmies, luckily they are able to make quick work of the small foes and move on, coming to a stone pillar covered in fungus quickly. Cautiously crossing the pillar to the other side the companions find and enter a cave where a violet fungus covered skeleton rests, clearly the last survivor of some group. Scattered about the cave are the small offerings the vegepygmies have left behind, apparently attempting to appease some god figure. With a sickening noise the fungus covered skeleton suddenly rips itself from the wall and begins sliding toward the companions!

The fungus covered skeleton deals out some very impressive damage, so much so that Enid fears for Martigan after part of his arm rots to the bone after being touched by the fungus! Soon though the killing blow is given and almost immediately the fungus in the cave begins to dry up and flake away with a similar effect beginning to ripple through the rest of the island. Full of good feelings and with Martigan at least not rotting away entirely, the group explores the rest of the island and before long comes across a shipwreck. Wiping fungus from the hull of the ship the companions are surprised to find that it is none other than “The Nightvoice,” the ship that Gelik had been interested in. The wreck appears to be rather old and contains the dead body of a rather large vegepygmy as well as the bodies of the crew of the ship, which appear to be honored as “birth corpses” by the vegepygmies. Enid quickly locates the ship’s log, to which Iss casts “Mend” upon so that they may read it later on.

Returning to the dryad, the companions very happily relay to her what they managed to accomplish. Curing Martigan of his dry rot and bestowing a token of braided palm frond from her head to Enid, the companions make their farewells and continue on down the coast back toward the lighthouse. Joining the rest of their party at the lighthouse the whole group decides to have a nice evening of good times and storytelling. Just as everyone is winding down for the night however, a rather gruesome and bloody object falls from the black sky above…an entire goat with most of its blood drained falls next to the fire, splashing Cecil in the face with body juices. Cecil takes the whole event as a bad omen, Lul wants nothing more than to cook the dead beast up (which she happily does), and both Martigan and Enid assume something dropped its used meal down on us.

The next day the companions decide to put off heading out to Red Mountain for one more day and instead explore that last couple of areas that they seem to have missed. Heading down to the coast it isn’t too long before the companions come across a most awesome sight indeed! A monstrous crab, the size of a house, rests upon the sands in front of them! While the others immediately begin to decide whether to attack it or not, Enid quietly observes the animal and comes to the conclusion that it is not at all what it seems.

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Deciding to take a chance, Martigan hails the crab loudly, hearing a muffled “Go Away!” from inside the crab. Deciding that that shall not deter them Lul begins poking at the pincers, upset that they contain no meat to eat, while Cecil narrowly dodges a flail by the other pincer and approaches the doorway. Opening the door Cecil enters to find a Tengu within, and a slightly grouchy and crazy Tengu at that. After some flattery Cecil manages to get the Tengu to admit the rest of his companions inside as well. The Tengu introduces himself as Pezok, once a passenger aboard the “Crow’s Tooth” (a shipwreck the companions remember coming across) and informs them that he found and constructed this home as a way of hiding from and deterring the cannibals. After some more flattery and reassurance that the cannibals have been dealt with the companions are able to persuade Pezok to join them at their campsite and hopefully get off the island with them in the near future. Grateful Pezok says goodbye to his crabhouse and the group makes their way back to the lighthouse. Almost randomly Pezok mentions that he saw someone matching the description of Ileana heading off toward Red Mountain…the destination the companions soon turn to.

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