Serpent's Skull

In Search of the Portal
Paranoia and Death

We last left the companions with the decision of what to do about the prisoners present in the Asper Consortium camp. In the end, after much debate, the prisoners were taken back to the main camp and given over to Sir Didamus to put through questioning and trial before being allowed free to leave or join the camp. All of course overseen by the higher ups within the Pathfinder Society. The green goo that had been placed in several vials was given over to the alchemists present in camp for further research while the companions left for the portal that had brought Ara through.

The companions soon find themselves before two large doors that the time has weathered away. One is slightly ajar however, seemingly beckoning the companions to enter its ancient halls. The companions enter and find themselves in a room with the signs of recent habitation, Enid is convinced that the fire pit in the room was only just put out mere moments ago. As the druid turns to inform her friends of this, the crash of a stone statue echoes throughout the room, very nearly decimating Ara, Lul, Two-Socks, and Enid herself! Looking up at the doorframe the companions are not terribly surprised to see two humanoid figures atop it, clearly the ones who dropped the statue and clearly in need of being killed.

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Enid is fairly convinced that these were scouts, probably stationed at the door to stop any intruders. Cecil wanders over to inspect the walls of the room and finds them to be covered in a black residue; before long both he and Martigan (who joined him at the wall) begin to act slightly “funny,” but not quite different enough for the others to grow overly concerned. Cecil eventually identifies the black residue as “Midnight Spores,” and while he can remember several other reactions to these spores he doesn’t remember paranoia as one…the other companions begin to wonder a bit though as both Cecil and Martigan begin to look suspiciously at just about everything. Deciding it best to wrap cloths around their faces the friends do so, except for Martigan who feels its unsafe.

Continuing on, the companions soon find themselves within a room containing a statue wearing archaic armor and an ornate helm, with doors at the opposite end. The companions immediately notice footprints leading from the doors out of the room and assume that it must of have been Ara leaving the area. The companions walk across the room and push on the doors as though to leave…as they do so the stone statue comes to life and attacks them! Kill it!

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Entering the “protected” room, the companions are surprised to see not only several murals on the walls, but also crystalline veins running through the walls and apparently sensitive to electrical currents. Each mural seems to describe a different part of Savanth Yi’s past. There are also different vault entrances, one of which seems to lead to the Oni that the companions had destroyed. Tiny crystal shards are found on the ground outside the one that seems to be hinting that that was the one that Ara came through. The companions become especially interested in the next mural they approach though, one depicting all the different spears of the city. After some close examination Cecil determines that the mural may be trapped! He moves to disarm the trap, and instead sets it off…the spell “firestorm” envelopes the room. When the smoke and heat clear the companions turn to find the druid Enid, nothing more than charred remains. Two-Socks very nearly goes into a wild frenzy of despair and anger before Ara can manage to cast a spell pulling Enid’s essence back from the nether and reforming on this plane of existence. Everyone exhausted from the ordeal, Ara teleports the whole group to the nearest major city where everyone can heal, shop, and rest.

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It is at this point that the paranoia of Cecil and Martigan are very nearly comical. Both refuse the healing touch of a cleric (embarrassingly so) and Lul is forced to place both in a slumber in order for the healing to be allowed. With everyone finally well again the group returns to camp and then sets back out for the Ketchs’ place of residence. The group narrowly avoids coming into contact with the midnight spores once again, but continues on down a different pathway. Before too long they come across a room that absolutely reeks of death, within is a winged creature, slumped and dead against the wall. Enid believes it to be a sabosan and thinks the keches probably killed it with arrows; its not surprising to find such a creature here however.

Continuing on the companions soon find themselves in a room containing hides and dried plants, clearly not the lair of anything, but before anymore information can be gleaned the group is attacked by ketches! Laying waste to these rather rude individuals the companions enter the next room which appears to be some sort of guard room only to be attacked by another group of sabosans!

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My Soul is Empty, I Must Fill it With Snacks
Camelstache

First, the author of this adventure log would like to list all of the possible, amazing, tear-causing subtitles for this particular entry:

Cecil pees on guard without taking pants off

Lul knocked out by cow piss

She makes sandwitches

Beardo, green goo in head

Cecil stabs him in the thigh (signature move)

Bites cyanide tooth and dies

It has been written, therefore it happened…and now for the continuation of the adventure!

The companions progress downstairs into the laboratory, except Lul who goes upstairs alone. Iss and Enid immediately happen upon a box with a somewhat magical aura, but find it sadly locked. Cecil however, is the man for the job and quickly manages to unlock the box in record breaking time. Fully aware of what happens potentially when magical boxes are unlocked and then opened…Iss opens the box…and DIES!!! Lul hears the despaired wailing of her companions from below and goes rushing downstairs into the laboratory, only to see Martigan, Cecil, and Enid the large dinosaur seated around a pile of ash. As Enid begins to carefully sweep the remains of Iss into a water-proof pouch, Cecil, in grief-filled denial, begins to burn a random log approximately the same size of Iss in hopes that his friend maybe got sent to another plane of existence instead of snuffed out. The experiment however does little to prove anything aside from the fact that there are now two piles of wood ash.

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Lul manages to find a scroll of “heal” and both her and Enid manage to persuade the companions to use it on the blonde woman still under the “Feeble Mind” spell. Begrudgingly Martigan and Cecil agree and soon consciousness returns to the stranger’s eyes. As it turns out her name is Arasae, and she is originally from the Pathfinder Society (same as the companions!). Her master happened upon a “sleeping” city during an exploration, but the Society ended up ostracizing him instead of allowing further exploration and discovery of the mystery city. It was during this time that they managed to find yet another slumbering city, but this one appeared to be awakening all on its own. She managed to find a portal whilst fleeing from undead serpentfolk, but not before she was hit with the “Feeble Mind” spell. After that Arasae can’t remember too many details, but she is sure that the portal she came through must be nearby.

After hearing this tale, the companions decide it is probably wisest to return to the main camp and allow Ara to speak with Gellik; they also decide to send a contingent of other people along with Akarundo to help him. Not an hour after returning to camp however, much thrashing and crashing is heard from the nearby jungle. Two individuals come out from the surrounding foliage, one a woman, the other a Mwangi scout. The companions move to help them, or at least question them, but only manage to get their names, Carlin and Mufassa, before the firing of arrows from the jungle starts and the companions must fight back!

Soon the two new arrivals are able to tell the companions that the leader of the Aspis Consortium has been slain by a group of men led by a man with one eye and a black beard.

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Having interrogated one of the captured archers from the jungle the companions are able to get minimal information from him before Cecil stabs him in the thigh and he bites down on a cyanide tooth and dies. Shrugging to themselves the companions head out for “Beardo’s” camp and the killing begins! Before too long the enemy camp has been cleaned…with the red blood and green brain goo of bad guys.

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Exploration's End
And a Baby!

Having returned to camp, and after much debating amongst themselves, the companions decide to sell the Red Mantis blade back to the Assassins. Absolute piles of money are magically received! Just as the companions are thinking about all the glorious things to spend it on though, Akarundo suddenly stumbles into camp looking incredibly disheveled and upset.

“I’ve been beseiged! Humans!” Akarundo then goes onto describe the likeness of Dargon Etter, the leader of the Asper’s Consortium, long time rival of the companions. He also describes some of the officers of the Sargovah government however, causing some brows to wrinkle in bewilderment at this apparently newfound alliance between the two groups. Akarundo also adds though, that there seemed to be some other man giving orders to everyone. The companions of course take Akarundo in and offer both shelter and revenge for his destroyed settlement! Just as the companions are readying themselves for this new task, two bedraggled men drag themselves into camp. It is none other than Jask and Ichirou! Suspicions are immediately high until the two begin to explain themselves. It would seem as though both groups are under the influence of a man known as Arnod and both are concerned about the mental states of their respective camps. It is also made clear that this Arnod is hunting down Akarundo, much to Akarundo’s bewilderment about what he could have possibly done.

The companions start to make plans to set up a separate attack camp near the encampment of Arnod, all the while wondering if this “man” really is a man and not the serpentfolk who has a grudge against Akarundo. Akarundo suggests a nearby mansion that although thought to be haunted would be an excellent location choice. The companions merely shrug and all head out. Partway there however they run into a rather aggitated group of serpentfolk dragging a bound blonde woman around with them. The woman appears to be wildly confused, Iss soon finds out that “Feeble Mind” has been cast upon her.

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The companions attack the group after they act aggressive towards them, managing to bind two of the individuals and getting Two Socks to restrain the woman. Cecil interrogates the two that are bound and finds out that their master is trying to bring back Yderrsius and that the woman simply knows too much. They however were not the ones to cast the spell on the woman. Fed up with them Iss casts “Black Tentacle” and everyone leaves them with the woman slung over Two Socks.

Coming to the supposed “haunted” mansion, the companions quickly realize that there are indeed creatures occupying it, but perhaps are not the ones doing the true “haunting” seeing as how they were just small ghouls and skellies and were easily dealt with. It isn’t until what appears to be a cone of fatigue is cast down the stairwell at the companions that it becomes clear there is something bigger and more powerful residing within these walls. Lul, Martigan, and Cecil are all caught in the cone and begin to take large amounts of damage. Iss senses a necromatic aura about the individual and Enid manages to keep her distance well enough to slay the evil creature! Unsure what else is awaiting them in this mansion the companions decide to pause and heal up. Its during this brief interlude however that Lul finds and adopts a baby boggart! It’s incredibly adorable, not even kidding!

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A Random Day of Exploration
Really Cecil??

The companions start the day out by exploring the sector known as “Veggie Pygmy.” Whilst exploring this bit of the city the companions stumble upon a plaza of sorts, with strange, intricate streamers glinting in the sunlight as a gentle breeze caresses them. Lul attempts to cut at one of the streamers, but instead notices some humanoid shaped things wrapped in the strange streamers lying on the ground. While investigating the lumps however, Lul accidentally comes into contact with one of the wriggling streamers…and suddenly sees her father standing before her. The rest of the companions look to one another in confusion as Lul begins to seemingly flail and speak to the air before her. Iss quickly moves her back to the group telekinetically, Lul however is stilling seeing her father advance upon her and panics, casting “Obscuring Mist” around the group. Enid puts the pieces together and quickly comes to the conclusion that this must be the home of a “Dream Spider.” With this information now in hand Enid is able to convince Lul that her father is indeed not here and the young half-orc eventually calms down.

It is during this time that Iss approaches one of the strands and learns that they are near indestructible. Both he and Cecil decide to attempt to fire bomb the “bodies,” sadly in the process Cecil becomes covered in spiderlings! Throwing a firebomb at himself and with Iss casting fire bomb at him Cecil finally rids himself of the babies…only to find the mother Nightmare Dancer having descended and ready to attack!

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Of course though, the companions make quick work of her and receive some wicked sweet loot! A little further exploration reveals the ziggaraut for this sector, covered unfortunately in russet mold. Cecil, jumpier than ever, yells for the companions to run away from the mold, Enid however calmly informs them all that acid will destroy the mold. Discussing what to do about the mold covering the ziggaraut, the companions don’t notice until too late the group of angry veggie pygmies that have descended into their midst! After slaughtering them the companions decide that they are actually rather tired of veggie pygmies and so quickly move out of the area and into exploring the final sector, “Troglodyte Land!”

Within moments of entering this sector the companions find themselves at a rather well-kept manor. Suspicions up, the companions enter the eerie manor and are soon confronted with a rather attractive woman who introduces herself as “Ximera.” Cecil talks to her at great length about the veggie pygmies (for some reason), and eventually she informs them that she is actually bound to this manor. She also rather seductively offers for the companions to stay the night…Enid is immediately against this and has to start trying to convince Cecil that it is a bad idea; all the while Cecil continues speaking to Ximera.

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As it turns out, her lover imprisoned her here and left her for another woman, one with snake hair. At the mention of this, Cecil bursts out:

“We know her! But she didn’t have a man with her. He’s probably dead.”

Ximera bursts into tears and Lul can’t help but try to comfort her and diplomatically rejects the offer to stay the night. Everyone leaves, including Cecil, and the companions camp underneath the stars for the night. The next morning the companions leave the manor behind and continue exploring, eventually stumbling onto a rather peaceful grotto with a camp full of Serpentfolk….they ones however, appear slightly different than the previous ones the companions have interacted with. Cecil of course takes the conversation lead:

“We’re doing good deeds today! Its your lucky day!” he shouts out as the other companions face palm themselves.

“We’re looking for a blonde woman, with pointy earsss. Sssshe knowsss too much, we have to find her.” the seemingly leader serpentfolk states.

With nothing to really say to them on this matter and thinking that perhaps it might better if they find this mystery woman first, Cecil can only say:

“You fine upstanding Serpentfolk have a wonderful day!” and gives them the biggest, cheesiest smile he can before disappearing from their view.

Rolling their eyes at Cecil, the companions continue on exploring, eventually coming across another ziggaraut and depictions of the Red Mantis killing. Feeling that this may be close to the area they are looking for for the legendary sword they continue to snoop around…and are suddenly attacked by a group of troglodytes wielding none other than the legendary sword itself! Heavy fighting occurs and eventually the companions are victorious…but now do they keep the sword for themselves or sell back to the Red Mantis Assassins?…

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Grappled By Mouth...Or...
Giving Tongue to a Wizard

With some trepidation, the companions decide to attend the bogarts’ feast/celebration party.

“Welcome!” the bogart king yells to the companions excitedly. Almost immediately the surrounding bogarts back away from the lake shore and the ground begins to rumble and shake. Sensing that they are about to become part of a very unwelcome surprise the companions turn to the face the lake, finding themselves face to face with a Froghemoth!

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No longer feeling bad about slaying the bogarts’ supposed god figure the companions set to work doing what they do best…including getting Martigan grappled by the beast’s immense tongue. Just as the companions are about to finish the Froghemoth off though, Iss casts an illusion upon the bogarts making it seem as though their god has actually eaten the companions. The dull bogarts believe it and quickly leave the area, leaving the companions in peace to remove the slimy tongue and continue on their way unmolested. Before leaving the area though, Enid notices the very rare flower known as the Litheria Blossum; carefully harvesting the three blossums the companions then continue on their way.

During their explorations however, the companions stumble across a group of Jibbering Mouthers, something that Enid immediately points out as very odd. Not only are they in a group, but they are jibbering about a “Master.” Iss detects that they are being dominated and dispels it, one of the Mouthers immediately takes off into the jungle, the other three of course become aggressive, thus forcing the companions to handily slay them.

Enid manages to track the runaway Mouther to the northeast, eventually coming to a sheer cliff above a large deep pool. It is quite obvious that the Mouther slid down the cliff and into the water below. Obviously, the clear next step was to descend to the water below! An activity that is deemed best done the next morning.

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The next morning all the companions attempt (and mostly successful) to scale down the cliff and into the water. Martigan even tries to perform a graceful swan dive…that ends up being a cannonball into the water. Enid believes the pool to be about 70 feet deep and all decide to send Iss down with a rope tied around him for safety. Descending into the depths Iss is soon well beyond 70 feet deep and is soon curious about the illusion he sees before him of a rock wall. Probing about the illusion, Iss is soon met by the immense abolith known as Yog’Oltha. The two begin a brief conversation underwater while the other companions relax on the surface above (Lul preening Enid’s dinosaur feathers whilst discussing cooking recipes).

“Who are you small creature?” Yog’Oltha asks rather intimidatingly. Iss proceeds to explain why the companions are in Savanth Yi and apologize for killing Yog’Oltha’s minions.

“All this is mine.” Yog’Oltha is not pleased by the companions explorations of Savanth Yi and tells Iss that the companions have roughly two weeks to leave before being destroyed. Iss respectfully leaves the abolith’s presence to report to companions. It is then decided that after strategizing extensively Yog’Oltha is in need of being slain, not only to protect themselves, but to also free Savanth Yi from “The Voice of the Swamp,” which they determined the abolith to be.

Casting “water breathing” and “touch of the sea” upon everyone the companions descend to kill the abolith, making surprisingly quick work of the foul creature.

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Wanting the head at least taxidermied the companions concoct an elaborate plan of floating the body down the river. This of course takes several days, but in the end the prize is worth it! When the companions return to camp however, Shiven (Red Mantis leader) requests an audience with them in order to ask for their assistance in finding the rumored Red Mantis temple here in Savanth Yi and helping to locate the legendary Mantis Blade…

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Angry Teapot, "Hello the Hut!"
And One Near Death Experience for an Axebeak

Deciding to stick around the village and help cure as many people of the terrible disease as they can, Enid and Lul manage to each cure about 7 individuals…before they wisely send to their own camp for a few trained clerics and set off to kill the vile creature spreading this plague!

The companions head out the next morning in search of this vampiric creature, seemingly haphazardly exploring the “Boggard” area. Eventually they stumble upon an abandoned, vine covered guard tower, from which a hulking and vaguely humanoid figure comes out from the shadows. With their combined knowledge Iss and Enid immediately identify this creature as a Vyrkolakas and most likely their intended target for destruction. The creature has a nasty aura surrounding it that the companions would do well to avoid…

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The battle was oddly quick, but before the creature fully went into oblivion it managed to possess the loyal animal companion of Enid, Two Socks. Seeing what was going on, Enid immediately tackled Two Socks to the ground while Iss paralyzed and incapacitated the afflicted Axebeak. Not knowing what else to do the companions dragged the restrained companion back to camp in hopes of a more powerful cleric being present to assist them.

Luck was with the companions though and there was such a cleric present within camp. With Two Socks on the mend the companions turned their attentions to interesting event that had transpired during their absence…

Sir Didamus had approached Martigan immediately, requesting their presence at the camps prison area. Curiousity piqued the companions followed Sir Didamus, not entirely sure what they would find. Much to Lul and Enid’s surprise they were met with a most hearty and friendly outcry as Sasha excitedly approached them from the prison area. The young woman, member of the Red Mantis Assassins, was overjoyed at being reunited with her friends, and Lul and Enid were both equally pleased to see her! Although, Enid did have to return to her humanoid form in order for Sasha to recognize her, this of course in turn excited Sasha to no end.

Cecil however remained very cold and cynical about the whole reunion, demanding to know why these 8 member of the Red Mantis group were present in their camp. It was at this point that the leader, Shivain, stepped forward, and after a dirty look at Cecil began telling their woeful tale. The Red Mantis camp had first been set upon by Monkeyman raiders, the damage and casualities so great that the camp never fully recovered from the ordeal. It was soon after this that the Asper Concortium attacked them, destroying what was left of the camp (followed by an attack by some chimearas and basilisks). The remaining Red Mantis Assassins then decided to come to the companions camp and seek refuge and assistance with their quest for revenge! Feeling sorry for the poor group the companions agree to allow them to assimilate into their camp and help them with their quest for revenge when the time is ripe.

During this down time Shivain and Sasha further question some of the companions as to whether they have potentially come across a temple to the Red Mantis, for they are searching for this and a relic of the Red Mantis Assassins. None of the companions have seen such things however, but promise to keep on the lookout. Meanwhile, Cecil has found himself a grumpy old wizard who in exchange for reading his spellbook requires that Cecil bring him the tongue of a Froghemoth. Quest time!

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Setting out once more to further explore the Boggart swamp the companions are now on the lookout for a Froghemoth. It is during this exploration that Enid notices across one of the rivers a building with a vine covered doorway, complete with a Kech standing guard in the vines. Mentally marking the area for further exploration later the companions continue on. Eventually the companions find an island which contains a ziggaraut, through the assistance of flying and Enid turning into the form of their giant bat friend the companions safely make it across the water to the island. Entering the building the companions are faced with a small teapot like item emitting a sickly green light. Iss identifies a binding spell on the object and Martigan and Lul apprehensively creep closer.

“Hello friends!” the jar suddenly yells “Come closer! Ask a question!”

Surprised by this strange sort of welcome, Martigan, Lul, and Cecil each ask a question, each becoming more perturbed when their questions are seemingly ignored. As soon as the last question is uttered though the teapot breaks open and a tentagard appears!

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The companions however manage to make quick work of the evil demon creature and happily continue on with their mission of hunting the Froghemoth.

Before too long however, the companions come upon a small hut; calling out to it a rather buff looking Boggart soon comes out, warily watching the companions as Cecil tries to mime to him to drink language comprehension potions. Eventually Cecil convinces the Boggart to do so and the two are able to converse freely. In the end the companions find out the following (some of it to their very great disappointment):

*Since the disappearance of the Oracle many unfortunate things have been happening (the companions of course lie about killing the Oracle themselves). Chief Garluu is very sad to hear the Oracle has died and concerned that his mental state was so unstable at the time.

*The Froghemoth is their revered god…sad…

*Chief Garluu had no desire to see Cecil’s burn scar on his penis from the Oracle incident, but Cecil proudly showed him anyway…

*Chief Garluu allows the companions to further explore the area unhindered and asks if they will kindly return the following night for a celebratory feast.

Unsure what to do about the Froghemoth now, the companions set out to explore further. Eventually they come upon what appears to have been the now vacant home of the Oracle, complete with an ephigy to some creature made out of easily destroyed mud and sticks…which Iss calmly knocks over and breaks. The ephigy had been present to protect the boggarts from some vampiric creature it seems, but the companions are certain they have already killed it and so ease their consciences. After exploring a bit more the companions return to the area Chief Garluu had assigned them as a camping area. Looking around a bit more though the companions soon find the opening to very dark cave complete with shreds of dirty webbing flowing gently in the soft breeze…

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New Friends
Some are just a little more...odd...than others...

Having successfully rescued the survivors of the Free Booters camp, the leader, Callista requests the honor of joining the Pathfinder Society, along with Aerys and the six other survivors. Holding true to their friendship with Aerys, the companions agree to let them join. Iss begins to get the new friends situated within the camp when a kerfuffle is soon heard coming from the camp entrance, Cecil can even make out some awed and shocked gasps! Deciding to investigate at once the companions make their way to the camp’s entrance with Martigan in the lead.

Coming through the camp’s entrance is a rather tall and worse for the wear knight bearing a standard of Taldor (Martigan’s homeland). The ragged knight is leading two horses, upon which is thrown the body of a very dead man. Martigan calmly approaches the knight and asks where he has come from and his name. The knight looks tiredly up at Martigan and introduces himself as Sir Didamus of Taldor, supporter of the Princess. He and his allies had attempted to take on some rather large Chimeras to the south, and had not fared well. It was at this point that Sir Didamus became rather depressed with his lack of victory and honor, not to mention the death of his very dear friend. With some small amount of hope in his eyes, the knight looks to Martigan and asks if he thinks that with the help of his friends Martigan might defeat the monsters that he could not. Not wanting to lose honor, nor say no to this knight, Martigan immediately volunteers he and his companions to take on the Chimeras. Allowing Sir Didamus into the camp, the companions soon head out to do battle!

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In short order the companions find themselves standing before not just one Chimera, but three, one of which is very clearly bigger and stronger than the others. Shoring up their defenses the companions waste no time beginning the fight. The Chimeras fight valiantly, but soon succumb to the attacks: Enid and Two Socks landing mighty blows with talons and teeth on one, Martigan dealing bloody blows to the leader with his lance, and Cecil, Lul, and Iss mostly just blowing up the third Chimera. Enid manages to glean some interesting information about their biology while skinning the creatures; at the same time the others notice a rather very much dead wizard in the corner. Cecil recognizes the wizard’s sigal as being one of the Asper’s Consortium…very strange that one wizard was out here alone and unable to defeat the Chimeras…the companions return to camp still puzzling over this new information.

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Once back in camp Martigan finds Sir Didamus and informs him that the Chimeras are now dead. Wholly impressed with Martigan’s prowess, Sir Didamus presents him with the knight-captain’s lance that he is no longer worthy of wielding. Martigan humbly accepts the lance, but at the same time feeling embarrassed for the shamed knight before him. The others quickly ask Sir Didamus if he remembered seeing a wizard in the area of the Chimeras. It doesn’t take the knight long to remember that he did in fact see a wizard acting very strangely; he appeared to be somewhat emaciated and attempting to gather knowledge from the surrounding ruin walls. Adding this information to the strange behavior exhibited by the bogart wizard they had encountered earlier the companions feel that there is something much deeper going on in Savanth-Yhi…

Spending some extra time in camp, Martigan convinces Sir Didamus to begin training some of the camp members the art of combat (Rolfer included). Sir Didamus immediately grabs onto this idea and soon the air of camp is ringing with the sounds of training for battle. Feeling better at having given the knight something to work for and perhaps pick up his confidence and morale the companions decide to head back out and explore once more, this time returning to the pillars the bogart had been cleaning before they killed him.

Reaching the pillars with no problem, the companions are able to decipher that the pillars explain how the spear within the government sector (Snakemen sector) work; the companions are soon able to come to the conclusion that the spears must have rotated which were active within the city at any given time. Not feeling the need to activate any spear in particular right now, the companions once again return to camp briefly before heading back out to take on the shadows that had so easily defeated them previously. This time around though the companions manage to massacre them without taking any damage at all…sadly no treasure is to be found.

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Unsure of which sector to conquer next, the companions pick the closest one and head on in. It just so happens to be the Snakemen sector. Coming up into the sector from the south, the companions soon find themselves face to face with a basilisk! Not wanting to really take on this creature, Enid manages to convince it that they are friends, not only getting the basilisk to leave them alone, but also getting the creature to allow Iss to hug it. Continuing on into the ruins, the companions soon find themselves outside of a large glittering red dome, the hideous smell of decaying flesh wafting out from it. With little else to do however, the companions enter it and immediately take out a couple degenerate snakemen and monkeymen. Proceeding further into the dome though, the companions are soon met with a most bewildering sight. Several dead snakemen bodies litter the floor (obviously what the smell is), and two more degenerate snakemen are standing guard before a large, seemingly crocodilian humanoid with backward hands. Lul and Enid immediately begin conversing with the humanoid when no aggressive acts are made.

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The crocodilian introduces himself as Akarundo, he is simply living here and entertaining himself with the local snakemen. He is not overly attached to them and becomes bored by them from time to time. At Enid’s obviously displeasure of the dead bodies he quickly has them cleared, while simultaneously flirting and charming Lul. Iss does a little investigation and discovers that he has charmed Lul and calls him out on it while Enid manages to sense his motive. As it turns out he just wanted some friends, new aquiantances to spend time with, and was afraid that we would leave or kill him if he didn’t charm one of us. Sensing his honesty Enid is willing to give him another chance at becoming their ally, much to Martigan unhappiness. The companions spend the afternoon/early evening with Akarundo trying to learn what they can from him. As it turns out he was once associated with the snakeman who had been attempting to raise an army. They had some kind of falling out though and are now enemies. Akarundo was very pleased to hear that the companions are also now enemies with this individual. By the end of the visit the two have agreed to become allies and will try to visit each other more in the future.

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The Passage of Time
Enid is a Slacker

Much has happened to our adventuring group of companions. Much that is not remembered, much to the chagrine of everyone. Well, maybe everyone.

Ileana was defeated, quite soundly, as well as the red mountain devil, whose teeth and talons now decorate Enid’s club of terror. Lul has fully shown herself to the companions to be a witch, something that most seem comfortable with, or perhaps they just simply ignore. Cecil has managed to continue to refine his genocide type fighting skills, with Iss as his happy accomplice. Martigan proves to be ever more honorable and prideful than before, which causes Enid no amount of frustration as she continues to haul around a certain lance which he refuses to accept. Enid and Two Socks have also continued to refine their own fighting skills, now working as a well oiled machine to flank their enemies as they tear them apart with talons and teeth and beaks.

The companions have also been rescued from the island they were trapped on for so long, going their separate ways from the shipwrecked friends they had made, but also managing to make potentially lifelong enemies of the slavers (kill them all!). Having joined up with the Pathfinder Society, the companions found themselves not only racing against other exploration groups, but also against foes as well as they tried to discover the hidden and ancient city of Savanth-Yhi. It was a long and eventful journey to the city with much killing and animal friend collecting done. Not only did Enid add to her menagerie, but Cecil also gained an Anklyosaurus as a mount with the help of Enid. With everyone, including Rolfer, traveling in style the companions managed to laboriously set up a base camp on the outskirts of Savanth-Yhi and are now helping their new friends the Pathfinder Society to be the first to discover all of the city’s secrets.

During this most recent time they have managed to take control of at least one entire sector of the city, befriend a massive bat, befriend a woman turned medusa, and rescue the few survivors of the Free Booty camp. There are many sectors of the city yet to overcome and conquer though, and after suffering defeat within the Chabu-Ka sector can they do it? Only time and perseverance will tell!

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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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Cannibals!
The Sloshy Hole

The battle against the cannibals rages on!

The companions regroup briefly after having slain at least ten of the heathens and sending another ten fleeing in various directions and buildings. During this time Iss sneaks up to the nearest building (the very one that Lul started on fire) and peeks through the doorway, unsurprised to find at least seven cannibals milling about inside. Preparing to cast the spell “Color Spray,” Iss also signals for Martigan and Cecil to ready themselves, sadly the cannibals within the building hear the two adventurers approaching. Upon realizing this, Martigan immediately shouts for the cannibals to drop their weapons, words they of course do not understand in the least. Seeing this, Cecil lobs a firebomb into the building, causing immediate damage and confusion amongst the cannibals. One cannibal in particular though steps forward to answer Martigan, a rather unique looking individual with fiery red hair.

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This lead cannibal attacks Martigan in a rage, screaming in the man’s face before smearing some Martigan’s own blood on his face in some kind of primordial ritual.
“I accept your challenge.” the only words that Martigan deems necessary as he raises his weapon and pulverizes the cannibal challenger.

Meanwhile another group of cannibals comes up on the group from behind, which Enid bravely engages with Iss acting as her backup and support. Managing to knock one of the cannibals to the ground, Lul swoops in to make a showy coup ’de grae, something that she botches horribly and instead ends up slowly squishing the cannibals face into the ground until he dies.

Having now caught the guard tower on fire as well (which was connected to the main building), Martigan is left with little else to do besides repeatedly poke his javelin up the rickety ladder in an attempt to skewer the remaining two cannibals inside. Finally managing to kill those cannibals inside the burning building, Martigan and Cecil sprint back outside in time to watch Iss messily cout ’de grae a cannibal with a club, while Enid and another cannibal seemingly attempt to teach each other how to dance. After a few more moments however the companions finally manage to slay the last of the cannibals and find themselves free to explore the rest of the village and surrounding area.

Looking around the village it is clear that there are really just two spots of interest, a rather large pit with vine ropes leading down into the darkness, and an unfinished lighthouse. The companions decide to explore the lighthouse first and within moments Martigan realizes that the stonework is truely ancient, having been started before even Earthfall! Taking a look around inside it is very clear that one of the rooms was hastily made into a guestroom…a guestroom which suspicously contains several rations from their own ship…Finding little else of interest however, aside from a map, the companions decide to rest up at the lighthouse before descending into the pit.

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A couple days later the companions nervously descend down into the pit. It is dark, but after Iss casts “Light” on Martigan’s spear the going isn’t quite so bad. Following a tunnel further into the depths no one is really all that surprised when Lul points out two humanoid shapes just ahead. The humanoids are obviously hostile, but Martigan makes quick work of dispatching them, as well as quick work of dispatching all the contents of his stomach rather projectile-like onto the dead bodies before him. Deciding it best to simply pretend that bit never happened the companions move onto to a cavern containing a pool of dark water at the far end. Casting “Light” on a small rock, Iss takes less than careful aim and throws it into the water. The companions all involuntarily jump as a loud shriek echoes out across the chamber. Looking as carefully and throughly as they can the companions fail to find the source of the shriek and so continue on into a cavern with rather noisily sloshing water.

Ready to meet the companions in this room are a few ghoul-like creatures. Cecil attempts to converse with the creatures and almost seems to have gained their trust as they become quite exciting to show us to “Mother.” While Cecil is conversing however, Iss is attempting to get the ghouls to all gather around a shiny rock he placed on the ground. Only about half trust him enough to approach, and with good reason since Cecil handily launches a firebomb into their midst. The ghouls left out of the bomb merely look at the companions and mutter:
“Mother’s coming, its too late, you should have followed us!” and from the sloshy hole emerges none other than “Mother.”

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Mother is of course upset at the treatment of her “children,” but is willing to converse some with Cecil and Lul in regards to the “serpent lady” who entered the caverns to pay homage to Ydersius as well as the man companion she brought with her to experience the miracle of “unbirth” (a phenomenon which Lul seems greatly interested in). Finally growing weary of talking to the rather unattractive creature, Cecil claims to have a gift for her, one that is rather fiery in nature. Unfortunately, Mother sees his firebomb in time and casts “Darkness” on herself, plunging everyone in the room into unseeing darkness (lucky for Lul though she can see). A very long and painful battle ensues, one in which both Lul and Cecil manage to contract “ghoul fever,” Enid become paralyzed, and Martigan is sickened until the very last blow of the fight. Luckily for the companions though they are able to keep it together to the very end and manage to put an end to Mother and her “children.” Too fatigued and injured to go back up to the surface immediately the companions remain in the caverns to explore further once they have regained some of their strength…

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