The Dragonspire Islands

The Tattooed Barbarian And The Bone Naga

While Thassilo headed back to the tavern because Octavious suddenly got sick, and Skitter stayed in the entry chamber digging through the moat for more treasure, Trellyan and Will stepped into the next chamber past the gate to the old temple of the Deep One.

- Portal Cavern -

Inside, they found a circular room with 4 alcoves and a shallow pool in the middle. Starting clockwise from the door, there was a shark statue, a whale statue, an empty pedestal and a crocodile statue in each alcove.

After some initial trial and error, the party remembered that these represent the servants of the Deep One: the hunter (shark), the singer (whale), the trickster (octopus) and the guardian (crocodile).

Trellyan found the octopus head inside the pool, hidden at the bottom through an optical illusion. He found that the eyes of the octopus could be pushed in, and a glowing rune appeared inside the pool.

Will then (unwillingly) found out that the hunter was asking for blood, when he accidentally cut a finger on a tooth. This activated a second rune.

The third rune was unlocked when Trellyan created an octarina by shaping water, and played three notes that were faintly heard behind the statue.

The fourth rune was unlocked when Will held a torch to warm the crocodile.

This activated a portal inside the pool, and the stairs that originally only led a few steps into the pool now led way down, beyond the reach of their eyes.

- Stairwell -

Will and Trellyan continued down the stairwell, where suddenly two ethereal tentacles dropped from the ceiling, one grabbing Will around the neck. His first attempt at cutting it off didn't succeed, but with Trellyan's help he managed. That's when the second tentacle threatened to wrap around Trellyan's throat and rip his head off, but with quick reflexes Will could step in and deflect the attack with his shield.

Next they came across a large block of stone that fell from the ceiling, with a poor sod trapped under it. With his entire lower body squished, he should be dead, but a strange magic kept him zombified and somewhat talky. As it turns out, he was hired by a lady named Xerxena to venture down below.

Skitter then caught up with the group, and took point. A few meters down the stairs he accidentally triggered a trap that spewed a slimy grease down the stairs below. Even worse, he accidentally stepped on an illusory stair two steps down and could barely retreat his foot before he fell.

The party tied a rope around the big block back up, and Skitter made a jump across. Will tried the same, but even though he was secured by a rope his foot and hand slipped and he fell a few feet down a spiky pit. He managed to drag himself up again with Trellyan's help, but it took quite a bit of bandaging to patch his feet back together.

- Ziggurat Chamber -

The party entered a giant, rectangular chamber, with a moat around the outer perimeter. Two stairwells led down to the moat from where they entered. From there, big stepping stones crossed the moat. Unfortunately, as Skitter noticed, Ironfin had commissioned another shark, one that could shoot laser beams from his eyes. After some debate, the party decided to fight the shark, with Skitter taking the plunge into the moat and the rest of the party shooting it from the sides. After a harsh battle, a Ray of Frost from Trellyan finished it off.

Immediately, they were greeted by a slow-clapping Thrall woman. Her skin was tattooed in black and white to give her the appearance of a skeleton. She carried a massive two-handed sword on her back. Behind her shuffled to zombiefied hirelings.

She introduced herself as Xerxena. She immediately offered the party to work together. She was willing to give them half of the treasure they uncover, as long as she would walk away with the piece of the Jolly Roger. Trellyan pointed out that they could demand the same, to which she offered that yes, they could have the Jolly Roger, with the veiled threat that she would spread rumors of their possession and every pirate and assassin in the vicinity would seek them out.

Before the matter could be resolved, zombies started to assemble around them, dragging themselves up from the moat and piecing together from the parts of defeated zombies. The party ended up running up to the top of the ziggurat to make a stand, and as the zombies kept coming, escaped through the sarcophagus at the top.

That's where Trellyan insisted they go back and check the other buildings around the ziggurat that they hadn't investigated yet. Trellyan, with some help from Skitter, built a gunpowder bomb and threw it among the zombies around the sarkophagus. A loud boom later, most of the area was killed, and remaining zombies quickly dispatched by Will and Xerxena.

The party then investigated the pond of the whale, without quite figuring out the secret it holds.

In the temple of the shark, they found that a bow had already been looted from a statue.

In the crypt of the octopus, Trellyan somehow managed to walk through a wall and return with a staff.

In the ziggurat of the crocodile, Will carefully extracted a snake amulet without being constricted to death by two large boas, thanks to some help from the witch queen.

- Rest for the night -

The party then headed on through the sarcophagus again, and found a nice fresh water stream which they followed up. They found a larger cave with a bridge and a treasure on top of it, which turned out to be a mimic. The mimic was no match for Skitters daggers though.

- Treasure chamber -

The next day, the group found the main vault, protected by a heavy iron door. With help from Xerxena and Trellyan, which Skitter managed to disarm all traps and open the door. (With Trellyan looting a one-use wand of fireball).

Inside the vault were two giant skeletons and a bone naga waiting. Xerxena had known of the naga through a scrying spell she had spend a small fortune on, and brought a special spear to dispatch it. In a rather anti-climactic fight, she quickly took down the naga in three strikes, while the rest of the party took care of the giants.

The session ended with Xerxena and the group in a standoff over the destroyed guardians, waiting for who would make the first move for the piece of jolly roger that hangs above their heads.

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Blue balls (or were they grey?)

After Lucy's fall from the canopy, Octavious found her in the undergrowth and Skitter cut a path to reclaim the slumbering simian. Then, the party was back on the trail of adventure.

Eventually, the intrepid explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle and Skitter noticed a foul smell reminiscent of rotten vegetation. While trying to remember his college classes on carnivorous plants, Thessalo walked straight into Skitter's back and initiatives were rolled. In the clearing was a large bulbous plant with rows of teeth lining… With tentacles following his movement, Skitter moved into the clearing and experimentally threw a dagger at the body of the plant, which did little except provoke it. Reluctant to enter the clearing, Trellyan sent a rainbow hurtling through the air but did little damage. The green fiend responded by throwing seeds at Skitter and releasing a cloud of spores; leaving Skitter confused and unable to determine friend from foe. Fearing for his companion's safety, Thessalo let loose his strongest spell, a conjured arrow of acid… and missed. Reacting to the spell, Skitter spotted the attacking mage and threw a dagger, which rebounded off Thessalo's shimmering shield. Treyllian dropped a prismatic meteorite (raining mirror balls) at the plant, and Thessalo dashed into the clearing to save Skitter, who continued to attack the evasive mage with axes. Thessalo fired off a ray of frost and destroyed a tentacle with psychic damage (that means he crushed it with his mind) before a hatchet struck him across his back and a seed slammed him in the face. Then, he was down.

As Skitter stood alone against tentacles, teeth, seed and spore, Trellyan recognised an age old truth: the only thing more dangerous to a wizard than fool-hardiness, was being stranded alone in the jungle of a cursed pirate island. He rushed out of the tree-line towards the rapidly dying green-skinned wizard, chose the elixir that usually made Trellyan feel the most refreshed, and poured it into the wizard's mouth. Low tolerances to psychotropic drugs had not been taken into account. Colours entered Thessalo's vision that he had experienced before and, although he was still moments from death, he felt it was all a dream; especially when Octavious appeared from the treeline in the arms of a scantily clad amazonian. "Oh, look!" Thessalo thought. "She brought her friends."

       Several amazonians burst out…

Thessalo got the killing blow then fell asleep. Trellyan was impressed by a drug he'd never met before.

       Went to Amazonian village. Got welcomed in an given blue balls (or were they grey? Pre-Chewed balls that numbed your mouth)

      Trellyan was smitten by a lady.

      Thessalo arm-wrestled a 90-year old into his bed.

      Met a fighter who talks to imaginary people and thought "this is the kind of guy we want beside us in a dangerous situation."

      Found out the treasure map was a promotional tool for a bar owned by Skitter's relative (which now has a rather fetching water-sculpture of a treasure chest.)

      Found out that the most fashionable thing these days is falling into zombie infested rivers; all the cool people are doing it, even crocodile-headed guardian statues.

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The Treasure of Skull Island

It was a dark and stormy night, as Thassilo spent the evening gambling away in the Broken Keg tavern of Port Kershaw.

One of their opponents was an old seadog, who had been losing a good pile of coins over the evening. When he had no stack left, he put up a special item as a bargain chip – an old map, which he claimed to be the key to find the treasure of the legendary Captain Ironfin.

Thassilo agreed to the bargain, and promptly lost most of his earnings back to the old man. Unwilling to let him walk away with the map, he offered to buy it instead. After some haggling, the old man agreed.

Thassilo was eager to claim the treasure, but it was not an endeavour he could embarge on alone. He called over his old friend Skitter, who had been gambling at a different table. Skitter suggested to bring along Trellyan, a mage he met earlier when he accidentally broke one of his water statues while running away from a bunch of thugs.

While they had a map of the island, they still had no idea where the island was to be found. They only knew that it was somewhere south. That's when they heard of Redbeard, a grumpy old fisherman, who apparently had ferried adventurers to the island before.

They found him selling dried squid in the harbor, and negotiated passage.

The trip to the island was uneventful, and after a few days they found themselves at the beach of their goal, Skull Island.

They were greeted by a bunch of skulls that were perched on sticks every few meters along the beach. Undeterred, they made their way through the coastal jungle. Here, they encountered the shrunken head of a man named Pete. Unfortunately for Pete, he didn't appear to be much help, and they left him hanging at the palm tree.

The path led further across a swamp, where a log causeway allowed them to cross. A few mending cantrips by Trellyan helped them where rotten logs made passage difficult. Trellyan also attempted to cross a difficult section by making himself magically float, but that's when two fierce crocodiles attacked. Luckily for him, the first bite only chewed into the stick he was using to push himself forward.

The party immediately fought back with Rays of Frost, Color Sprays and sneak attacking daggers. After a harsh fight, they emerged victorious, with Skitter delivering the last blow by jumping on a crocodile's head.

They made it through the remainder of the swamp and reached another jungle area, where the ever-growing bush had concealed the path. They were greeted by a bunch of screeching monkeys, who threatened to throw coconuts at anyone attempting to cross what they considered their territory.

But Trellyan had a solution – he grabbed a coconut that one of the monkeys threw to his feet, and used his alchemy skills to spike the milk with some of his Thaecian nectar. His familiar Lucy successfully delivered the drink to the monkeys, but not without getting a taste for herself. Soon, the sound of monkeys dropping from trees could be heard across the jungle, poor Lucy included.

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