Entering the campsite Enid notices that Aerys is sitting alone to one side and seemingly shaking. Concerned for her well-being Enid approaches Aerys to make sure the woman is alright. Sensing her approach Aerys looks up at the druid:
“I-I need a drink…” Aerys can barely manage to get the words out through clenched teeth as the muscles of her body continuously tremble.
Knowing what “drink” Aerys requires Enid returns to the main group of companions and explains that Aerys appears to be an alcoholic going through withdrawl symptoms. Not wanting to further support the woman’s addiction problem, but not having the necessary means of weaning her off it either Enid and Iss return to Aerys with the very last bottle of brandy. Ensuring that Aerys is aware that this is truly the last bottle that the shipwrecked group has they hand over the bottle, all the while Enid attempts to counsel the woman on how alcohol is not the way to forget the harshness of the world. Enid too knows how it feels to be singled out and discriminated against, whether its a woman in a world of men or a human in a world of elves, the feeling of alone is all the same.
Eventually Enid is able to convince Aerys to give up the bottle and stop trying to drown her anguish and frustration in the drink. Realizing that a miraculous berry is present on the island that can immediately get Aerys to quit the addiction Enid agrees to locate the berries and bring them back.
Meanwhile Iss tries in vain to befriend the small, but rather sour Gelik. Gelik being the rude and obstinate little man that he is immediately questions Iss about his wearing a cloak always even though the daytime sun is rather unpleasantly warm. Iss, ever quick to answer merely states that he is not all that attractive to look upon, to which Gelik can only laugh and quip:
“You mean make babies cry?” and continues laughing to himself. Lul decides to join the conversation as well, certain that she can win the little man over. Gelik takes one look at the half-orc however and guffaws right in her face! Lul immediately comes to the conclusion that the little man is most definitely not worth her time and moves on to visit with Sasha, one of the other shipwrecked passengers. The two immediately hit it off comparing battle wounds and horrific childhood tales, consistently trying to one up the other. It finally gets to the point where Sasha pulls down part of her shirt to reveal a large tattoo that Enid (from across the campsite) quickly identifies as a praying mantis leg, Aerys is even quicker to identify it as the symbol belonging to the Red Mantis Assassins.
In a different part of camp Cecil begins to ask Ishiarou what his “story” is. During the ensuing conversation Cecil notices that Ishiarou may not actually be as old as he appears…perhaps the man has had a rough life? Desiring to gain the trust of the older man Cecil hands him the model of a ship that the companions had managed to locate among the wreckage dragged ashore. Martigan joins the two and quietly asks if Ishiarou will join him in acting as guards for the campsite. Ishiarou immediately agrees and then secretively tells the two men that he has a treasure map. Cecil of course immediately jumps up and announces loudly to the entire rest of the camp that Ishiarou has a treasure map. Feeling his duties to the group not quite done Cecil moves over to Gelik and attempts to befriend the now rather very disgruntled small man. Seating himself lower than Gelik (so as to make the small man not feel quite so small) Cecil entreats and then watches Gelik perform his craft, that of story-telling and barding. After a rather enjoyable if not silly story, in which eventually the entire camp came over to listen to, and Cecil promptly and expertly brown-noses Gelik.
Suddenly it begins downpouring rain and the group quickly moves into the shelters that they had managed to erect. Pulling the Captain’s Log from her pack Enid begins to read it aloud to everyone. Soon Lul recognizes that the description of the Captain’s lady friend matches that of the “snake lady” she had seen before being hit on the head. Eventually the rain stops and the group finalizes the campsite as well as doling out responsibilities:
Medic: Jask and Cecil
Hunter: Sasha and Enid
Entertainer: Aerys and Gelik
Defender: Lul and Ishiarou
Guard: Martigan and Iss
Feeling as though the camp is as well done as it will ever be the companions decide to head off into the jungle to explore. Almost immediately they come across a dimorphodon nest, what luck! Realizing that they can’t safely ascend the cliff upon which the nest is located the companions decide their best option is to antagonize the dimorphodons into coming to them. Angering one into coming closer Iss immediately casts color spray at it, effectively stunning it. Crashing to the ground the rest of the group is able to successfully truss up the creature, allowing Enid to use her innate wild empathy skill to make the dimorphodon feel at least a bit calmer with the situation. Between the two of them Enid and Lul manage to place a sack over the small dinosaurs head before returning to camp with it.
On the journey back to camp Martigan begins to notice that the heat of the surrounding jungle appears to be increasing exponentially…especially what with carrying a dinosaur through the undergrowth. Cecil sways a little bit, feeling woozy in the humid midday air, letting her eyes rove over the other companions to ensure that no one else is feeling ill Enid finds it rather odd that Iss is not only showing no signs of distress, but is continuing to journey through the jungle still clothed in his heavy cloak…and has consumed no water…
Entering camp Sasha immediately runs up to the companions, ecstatic at the sight of the dimorphodon in Martigan’s arms. Deciding that the ranger can deal with containing and training the creature on her own the companions again embark to the east in search of either terrain that matches that of the treasure map or the Viper Nettle berries so desperately needed by Aerys. Heading rather blithely east the companions are surprised when they come across a few venemous black mambas!
Iss immediately throws a rock at the threatening snakes while Martigan jumps to the group’s defense, effectively removing the heads from the snakes’ bodies. Stopping Lul in her excitement to get food and venom, Enid quickly and efficiently gathers both for the still rather mysterious half-orc. Continuing on their way the companions are disappointed in still not being able to locate any of the Viper Nettle berries, but do notice that the surrounding terrain is starting to match that of the treasure map slightly. Coming out on some cliffs, Enid soon notices that there are footprints and the remnants of a campfire and shelter. Quickly securing a length of rope to a nearby tree the group descends to the beachside to investigate. Cecil immediately locates the captain’s hat and begins jauntily striding about while Lul examines some scarves tossed to one side, recognizing them as belonging to that of the “snake lady.” Ceasing his cavorting momentarily Cecil examines the tracks and determines that they lead off to the southwest, but then seem to disappear into the jungle. Deciding that the abandoned campsite would serve well enough for the night the companions hunker down and watch the rolling ocean waves as the sun sets. As soon as the sky darkens however a strange phenomenon occurs within the water.
Cecil is the first to notice the water beginning to glow with the eerie and yet beautiful bioluminescence. Enid believes it to be the result of phosphorescent algae, but before more discussion can be made on the incredible sight Iss sees a serenely floating humanoid beckoning to the group. Iss immediately tosses a rock out at the figure, which subsequently shimmers and disappears. Not wanting to talk about the rather strange occurance the companions roll over to sleep with Martigan and Iss taking the responsibilities of watch. The only sound aside from the softly singing cicadas is that of enormous flapping wings heard overhead and disappearing into the blackness of the night.
The next day the sun dawns bright and new, bringing with it the illness of “mindfire” to Martigan. Deciding that the best course of action is to continue on the group decides to follow the coast for awhile, but can’t seem to get over leaving the rope behind. Cecil hastily climbs up the rope and safely lowers Enid’s companion “Two Socks” down to the group before turning to come back down himself with the rope somehow. Cecil however barely steps off the cliff before falling straight to the ground and being struck unconscious. The only comment to be had is by Iss as Enid hastily begins to heal the poor alchemist.
“I told you we should have just left the rope…”
Enid eventually notices that the fighter is ill during the second day of his ailment, most obvious now as Martigan appears to be unable to speak coherently. Deciding that there’s nothing to be had for the mental state of Martigan and with Cecil back on his feet the companions once again set out along the coastline. Before too long a shipwreck is seen!
One glance is all it takes for the companions to see that the deck of the shipwreck is crawling with animated skeletons! Thankfully however the skeletons are no match for the companions and within mere moments are rendered piles of dust. Excited to explore the ship for treasure the companions gleefully jump aboard begin searching…and quickly become disappointed with finding absolutely nothing.
Returning to where they had last seen the footprints the companions begin to attempt follow them into the jungle. Before too long however they come upon a rather impassable wall of nettles…nettles that Enid instantly becomes excited over since they are none other than the Viper Nettles that they had been searching for! Her excitement is soon dashed however when she remembers that the spines on the nettle plant are extremely poisonous. Just as they are about to come up with a rather stupid and dangerous plan however, Iss steps forward and requests individual interviews with everyone. Deciding that everyone is trustworthy Iss divulges his secret…he is in fact a small wooden man! Unable to be poisoned or diseased or afflicted with any of the other ailments man is prone to Iss boldly steps into the growth of nettles and retrieves as many of the valuable berries as he possibly can.
Having gathered what they set out to find the companions decide it might be adventagous to return to camp with the berries before Aerys enters into another state of withdrawl. Taking a different path back up a coastline the companions happen upon a giant crab! Overly excited at the prospect of more food Lul immediately takes on the stance and facial expression of screaming at the creature…a scream which no one but the crab seems to have heard…
Oh, and Martigan regains his brains!