Serpent's Skull

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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Jungle Dangers
How About a Nice Cup O' Genocide?

After spending a few days relaxing and training at camp, Cecil remembers that he had seen some wreckage along the coastline near where the treasure had been found. Deciding there’s naught else for it, the group embarks back out onto the trail to investigate!

Blithely traveling along through the dense jungle the group is surprised by the sudden entrance of not just one, but six monkeys! Not even having a chance to decide if they are worth friendship (they attacked most quickly!) the group makes quick work of the despicable creatures, with Lul quite happily enjoying her new large supply of monkey jerky.

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Reaching the coast and the shipwreck the companions become very excited upon realizing that the ship they have come upon is none other than the Brine Demon_! Locating the captain’s quarters fairly easily the companions immediately begin searching around for the missing paperwork. During their search it is noticed that the skeleton sitting at the desk is remarkably familiar…and is none other than the ghost captain they had seen earlier roaming the beaches and muttering to himself! Opening the coffer Cecil finds a few valuable items and quite the stack of paperwork and ledgers, some of which is the proof that Jask needs to clear his name. One of the other items is a locket, which is opened, all faces peering over to look at it curiously. The portrait within the locket is that of a red-haired woman, a woman that no one recognizes. Cecil pockets the locket and Martigan wonders aloud if the ghost captain may want the piece of jewelry.

Camping for the night along one of the beaches Cecil decides to call out to the ghost Captain, Captain Kinkarian. Before too much time has passed the rather cranky looking captain appears before the alchemist demanding to know who dare summon him. Showing the locket to the captain a sudden look of hope and longing comes over the ghost’s face and he immediately asks if they know where Aeshmara is. Deciding it best to not lie to the ghost, Cecil admits that he does not know who this Aeshmara is and offers the locket to the captain. Upon accepting the locket Captain Kinkarian suddenly appears happy and at peace and quietly disappears.

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The next day the companions decide to make for camp, however they quickly notice that there appear to be several new snares along the trail as well as fresh tracks heading directly for the campsite. Picking up the pace the group makes their way quickly down the trail, with Martigan finding a few snares along the way. Luckily his friend Cecil is there to cut him down every time! Entering the camp the group is immediately met by Sasha who is most relieved to see them, and thrusts the severed head of a local savage in their midst with the idea of putting all the heads on pikes around the campsite. Not really caring one way or the other the companions allow her to have her way with the severed heads while they approach Jask with the happy news of having located and returned with the paperwork he so desperately needed.

The following morning the companions decide that there is naught for it, but to follow the tracks leading away from the campsite and put an end to these rampaging locals. The trail however is fraught with all kinds of danger as the group soon finds out as a musk zombie ambles out at them! Putting a quick end to the creature the group finds that they are actually standing in the remains of a very old campsite with old blood leading from it. Starting back out on the trail of tracks once more the companions soon find more snares…or at least Martigan finds them…again…and again…and again.

Before too long the companions come to a fork in the trail with fresh track leading off to the south. Deciding that that is the direction in which they should travel the companions begin down this new trail. Before too long they come upon an area that Iss insists is ideal for ambush. Analyzing the area some more the companions come up with a plan in which they disguise Iss and Cecil as the local savages they have observed before and let the two enter the gulch as the rest pretend to track the two. Soon a voice calls out from the top of the cliff, but unable to understand what was said Cecil simply repeats back what was heard while Iss pretends to look around for the voice. Deciding that their short lived farce is over, Iss signals to Martigan and the two stumble back to join the rest of the group; deciding to climb up the side of the gulch to where the voice was heard. With Cecil and Iss in the lead scouting and the rest of the group silently sneaking along behind, in the hopes of coming across the savages with some sort of element of surprise, the group eventually lose the tracks. Before too long though Enid rediscovers the tracks leading off to the southwest and the hunt begins once more!

Eventually the companions come across a series of knotted and tied vine ropes leading down a cliff. Curious, the companions descend to explore the area, soon however Enid enters a fit of rage as she looks out over a once magnificent bed of oysters now overharvested and abused! Climbing back up the vines the companions continue tracking the savages, feeling more and more hostile toward these locals as they continue on.

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Soon Martigan is caught in yet another snare and while hanging upside down manages to see a village! Thinking this is most likely the location of the locals they have been tracking the companions approach cautiously, with Cecil creeping closer to eavesdrop after drinking a rather helpful potion. As it turns out the locals are actually cannibals and rather very much excited to catch and eat the companions! Deciding to send Martigan out as the spokesperson the companions sneak up to the entrance to the cannibal village. Martigan calls out, demanding to speak to their leader. Eventually the astonished villagers bring forth a very old woman who they appear to treat with both respect and outright fear. She does however speak common much to Martigan’s surprise and relief, although she wants him to do little else aside from “join them for dinner,” which obviously Martigan knows exactly what that will lead to.

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Watching Martigan get more and more frustrated with the seemingly pointless conversation Cecil has had enough. At the exact same moment that both Iss and Enid have sickened and dazzled the old woman Cecil also launches a fire bomb at her, effectively rendering her the easy target for Martigan’s decapitation move. Watching the head of their supposed leader roll to one side the cannibals are of course rather scared at this point, allowing Martigan to easily intimidate them while Lul casts “spark” on one of the nearby buildings to start it on fire.

Battle against the cannibals begins!!

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Into the Jungle!
Dino pets for everyone!

Having just consumed a most tasty meal of cooked crab the companions decide to camp out on the beach for the evening before making the final stretch of travel to the base camp. Nothing too much out of the ordinary seemed to occur initially…until a rather worn and cranky ship captain ghost wandered down their stretch of beach. The captain did not seem particularly interested or perturbed by the companions however and simply meandered down the beach seeming to mutter and curse to himself about mutineers. Storing it away as possibly useful information for a later date the companions continue to sleep through the evening on the beach with Iss and Martigan acting the guards.

Continuing to travel up the coastline the companions come across yet another giant crab, this time however, much to Lul’s chagrin, Iss intimidates it back into the ocean instead of killing it. A few moments later though the companions come across a most pleasant surprise! Five individuals of a seemingly smaller version of the dimorphodons that they had found earlier. Enid immediately begins to work at communicating with them and attempting to make them feel more positive toward the companions, all the while keeping a wary eye on the three dimorphodons circling everyone up above. Seeing some success with the first couple little creatures, Lul quickly snatches up some fish and tosses them out to Enid in hopes of being able to secure her own dinosaur pet. A few tense moments later though and Enid grins happily over at her companions. Now Lul, Cecil, and Iss all have a small winged dinosaur sitting lightly upon their shoulders as well as two other small creatures to give to two of their other companions back at camp. Enid however managed to inadvertently tame one of the larger dimorphodons.

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Returning once more to camp it is decided that the remaining little dinos should be given to Aerys and Gelik. Enid has hope that the little creature will help with the woman’s confidence issues…and everyone else hopes that the one given to Gelik will at least make him a slightly more amiable companion…a hope that appears to be rather in vain. The small man does however leak to the companions that if they were to find an old Pathfinder Society ship it may end up being to everyone’s best interests.

Heading back out into the jungle to do some exploring the group hasn’t gone more than 100 feet it seems when a swarm of spiders unceremoniously drops down onto Lul’s unsuspecting head. Becoming almost instantly poisoned and distracted the half-orc begins flailing about in an attempt to get the spiders off her as quickly as possible. Thinking of no better alternative Cecil whips out a firebomb from his pack and without a second thought hurls it at her…lucky for everyone involved, Lul has the reflexes of a cat and dodges the dangerous bomb. The group is now supplied with a healthy stock of “spider chips,” much to Lul’s delight.

With that being the most exciting part of this particular jungle exploration, the group once again returns to camp (after finding a most un-interesting shipwreck) and manages to convince everyone (eventually) that camp should be moved to a more central location in order to facilitate with further explorations. Just as the group starts to set up their new camp however, Iss notices a rather primitive looking humanoid watching from the depths of the jungle. Hoping to perhaps intimidate the individual, Iss immediately casts the spell “ghost spell,” which has absolutely no affect on the humanoid. Attempting to sneak away, a few of the companions have to stifle laughter as the man trips and falls on his face. Cecil calls out a warm welcome, but the man hurriedly stands back up and dashes out into the surrounding vegetation.

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Deciding that this is still as good a spot as any the group begins setting up camp, during this time someone notices that there seems to be a remarkable clearing within the jungle at the base of a cliff. With this as their next exploration destination the companions set out the next morning full of excitement. With not much else to talk about during the hike through the jungle vegetation Lul suddenly recalls the rather strange dream she had, one in which it was made clear to her that the captain and “snake lady” drank some kind of potion before Lul’s head met whatever blunt object it had. Continuing to move forward to the clearing the companions silently file this new bit of information away.

Reaching the clearing finally, Enid is disgusted to find that there is a Yellow Musk Creeper growing! Thinking that worst of their problems (for musk creepers are terrible things!) the companions are somewhat surprised when six yellow musk zombies come stumbling out of the surrounding trees. A quick and thankfully smooth battle ensues in which the companions are able to eradicate one more vile creature from the world! Once they no longer have the creeper and zombies to deal with the companions are able to really look around at their surroundings and soon realize that they are standing in the remains of a very old campsite, which in Enid’s mind makes sense since preying on the dead and vulnerable is how the musk creeper works. It is during this short interlude that Cecil removes Ishiarou’s treasure map from his pocket and nearly squeals in delight when he realizes that the terrain they are currently standing in very much resembles that depicted on the treasure map! The companions just naturally assume that there is no path leading off to the southeast and the treasure, they all just begin bushwacking through the heavy vegetation. They can only get so far through the dense undergrowth however before they are forced to make camp for the night. With Iss taking watch the companions all wearily turn in for the night. Everything remains calm and peaceful through the clear night, but the morning Iss informs everyone that during the night he was constantly feeling as though someone were watching them from one of the larger trees next to them. Lul immediately chimes in that she had a strange dream in which there was someone watching her from the nook in that very same tree. Searching about a little both Iss and Enid are able to find small drops of blood on the ground as well as indentations in the ground where someone might have stood. Meanwhile Cecil locates a trail almost directly next to the companions that they could have been traveling on this whole time…

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Deciding they might as well take the trail from now on since its rather conveniently there, the companions begin walking down it with not a care in the world. That is until Martigan is suddenly swinging in the air from one foot! Cecil leaps forward to cut him…for a price of course (there was a reference to Spiderman and I shall leave it at that, perhaps in the histories you can find an appendix on it). Not wanting to let on that he didn’t even notice the snare which caught him, Martigan insists that he had a better viewing vantage point from the air. Moments later all is forgotten however when the companions come across a sizable pit. No sooner had they begun to investigate the pit, then they are attacked by a swarm of bats! Hoping that Martigan’s armor is enough to protect him from the onslaught Cecil lobs a firebomb at both man and beast Lucky for everyone (once again), the human is safe and the swarm destroyed. Fried bat crisps for everyone!

Dawn finds the companions digging within the pit as the sun begins its rise. Soon enough they uncover a large wooden disc as well as a skeleton. Just by looking at the skeleton its obvious that the humanoid was actually a dwarf…a dwarf that by the looks of the long slash in the back of his leather armor was backstabbed. Finding nothing else of interest they return to digging out around the platform. Finding no catch or hook with which to pry it open Martigan begins to smash at the platform with his body and spear (but not before Cecil ties a rope around him). A few seconds later the platform gives way and Martigan goes falling through the hole with Iss and Enid digging in their heels and keeping ahold of the rope. After some hasty discussing Cecil decides that he will stay up top with the rope while everyone else descends down into the watery pit. Iss arriving first on the scene immediately dives down to see what he can find…what he finds however is not treasure, but two humanoids. Martigan quickly stuns and kills one, while the other one is pinned for questioning. All they can manage to get from the creature however is that he was somehow double-crossed and that the dwarf was not their boss, but did build the pit to protect the treasure…his boss was Captain Quelleg.

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The ghoulish creature does however let on that he knows where the treasure is…and for a price he will show them. Bribing him with meat Iss promising to let the him free in exchange for the treasure, a deal that Martigan is quite unhappy with, but a deal is a deal. Following the creature under the water and through a U-shaped underwater tunnel, Iss and the creature explode out in open air and a ledge which contains a finely worked chest. Returning with it to the rest of the companions, the ghoul-like creature is brought up to the surface and pointed in the direction of the rotting zombies with instructions to not attack the companions or their fellows. The creature scampers off into the jungle, leaving the group unsure of whether he heard or understood their last words. Deciding that the treasure was actually Ishiarou’s the group returns to camp with it, but with no way of opening it. Feeling that they will most likely never find the key Iss and Cecil join forces and are able to eventually demolish the chest itself. Finding within it several hundred gold coins as well as a masterwork dagger and a very nice darkwood buckler, the companions split the gold coins with Ishiarou and take the rest for themselves.

That is not all there is to this island however! There is still much to explore, as well as finding a way off it and back to civilization!

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