Shipwrecked! Then Jungle Hunt!

Shipwrecked! A Tale of Destiny and Woe on a (Mostly) Deserted Island: Session Six
Trips, Traps and a Smattering of Plot

A few days later we start exploring the paths across the southern portion of the island. Imogen proves to be slightly inept at disarming even very simple traps. Eventually we find a camp. There was a pentagram carved into the floor in the one building, but it was desecrated by having human teeth pounded into it. It looks like the survivors who camped here were defeated and their circle was destroyed in revenge.

We keep finding stupid tripwires. Vakeese proves to be pretty good at coming up with elaborate ways to set them off without getting hurt. If there are indeed cannibals, we have left their traps full of stones and branches. Eventually, even Imogen is able to disarm one.

The path we’re following leads to a perfect ambush spot. Felix and Imogen spot the tripwire across the path and Caloway sees the dude hiding in a blind on the top of the cliff on one side of the path. We sneakily agree to shoot the guy, hopefully without giving away that we’ve seen him, but then Vakeese’s Harrow deck says maybe we shouldn’t kill him. But then he hits Imogen really hard with a javelin, so we decide to go ahead and attack him. When we’re done Caloway and Imogen climb up and find out that he looks like some kind of barbarian, wearing a red pearl amulet.

The next afternoon, we continue on south. Vakeese and Caloway quickly spot another tripwire. Bored now. At the next cross path we decide to head northeast which will be slightly doubling back on ourselves.

At the end of the path, we find a collapsing hut near a bubbling stream. The hut is decorated with human skulls and bones and there are even more in the clearing. They appear to have been nicked by knives, but also have gnaw marks on them from human teeth. Upon searching the hut, Felix finds an old journal. Some ship captain apparently lost his crew to a slightly crazed cleric after a shipwreck. This captain, of the Thrune’s Fang, lived here while his crew became crazy cannibals, following the woman they called “Mother Thrunefang.” They promised the captain immortality if he joined them, but he refused. We think what the journal says is that they get immortality from undeath or eating people.

We head back out toward the coast to cover some of the shoreline we haven’t seen yet. Vakeese turns up some strange lizards – horns, lightning sparking all over their heads and still quite sneaky – for us to inevitably kill. Then we head back toward the captain’s hut and camp out for the morning.

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Shipwrecked! A Tale of Destiny and Woe on a (Mostly) Deserted Island: Session Five
What's Creepier Than a Deadly Monster And Cannibal Filled Non-Deserted Island? A Super Creepy Sentient Fungus and Evil Curse Filled One

The next afternoon we cross a causeway to the small green island. It takes us a few hours to cross and we find a causeway to the grey island. From here we see that the other island seems to be covered in rippling fungus, with a foul-smelling, muddy surface. It doesn’t seem to be magical.

We are approached by two fungus people who seem to want to attack us. We kill them quite easily, which annoys Vakeese who thinks we should’ve questioned them. No one is sure how she thinks that would’ve worked. Her annoyance leads to Felix getting Color Sprayed. Luckily his will is strong enough to resist.

We start circling the island and after a couple of hours we find a terribly ominous, fungus-covered ship. It has fungal sails and weird fungal rope bridges leading to the upper deck. We try to scrape some of the fungus off, but the ship is just grey underneath. We decide to go below deck because we are dumb and enjoy danger. As expected, we are forced to fight off more fungus people before we can go deeper into the ship.

In the cargo hold of the unnamed ship we find a hideous scene. The nineteen members of the crew are all somehow enshrined here, with their embalmed bodies and bones carefully posed among piles of their possessions. Felix thinks maybe they were worshiped by the vegepygmies as a primitive form of ancestor worship. We do not feel any particular veneration for them so we loot their stuff. In the moldy captain’s cabin we find a moldy log book. We can’t decipher it, so we’ll bring it back to the castaways and hope that Gelick can read it.

Further along the coast, there’s a giant fungus pillar with a fungus cave and a small pile of vegepygmy offerings around the front of the cave. There’s also a curtain of fungus in the mouth of the cave so we can’t see into it. Obviously we go in to investigate. As we’re climbing down we hear some sort of moan coming from below which in no way discourages us. We find a chamber which contains the grossest monster yet. It’s a violet colored, human shaped fungus thing – like all of a person’s meat was eaten and and only the purple fungus remains. Ew. We kill it and it turns out that doing so has freed the island of its gross fungusness.

On the way back to our encampment we stop in to see Pezock again. He still doesn’t want to come with us. But Vakeese gets him to agree that if he loses a wager with her, then he’ll come with us. No one but Pezock was surprised by the way that one ended.

When we get back to camp, it turns out that the fungus ship used to be the Night Voice and the log is worth a reward fron the Pathfinder Society. Gelick is super excited since this should make him look good again in the eyes of the Pathfinders. He teaches the spellcasters some tricks which leaves Imogen bored and wandering.

Our next order of business is the move the camp down the western river, so we can explore the bulk of the island and not have to wander so far away from the castaways. We do notice some threats in the area of our new camp, so we leave our little ducklings behind to deal with them. It’s quite easy to kill a giant spider, but a little more tricky to fight off plant-thralled zombies. But it turns out that Vakeese bitch slaps zombies now which helps.

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Shipwrecked! A Tale of Destiny and Woe on a (Mostly) Deserted Island: Session Four
Ships, Zombies, Evidence of Captain Crazy Face, Skeletons, Crabs, Crabby Rogues and Crabbier Crows

We decide to head back to the east coast of the island to check part of the coast we hadn’t previously explored. We locate the ship Golden Bow and approach the wreck. As we get close, Vakeese suddenly casts a spell and goes charging in, so we all assume the presence of enemies and follow. We slaughter some zombies and pick up some loot. Go team!

As we continue down the coast, we find a small campsite just above the high tide line. We find Captain Crazy Face’s hat and some scarves that belonged to the evil lady. Tracks lead inland, but Vakeese’s fortune telling leads us further down the coast instead. We decide we’ll pursue the two of them later, you know, once were done killing every last snake and undead on the island.

Around midnight we find the wreck of the Bloody Doll. We all hear the clickity-clack of bony feet and charge in so we can hack our way through the foul undead. Yay! The effort was worth it because we found some platinum. We decide to sleep at the Captain’s campsite although it was possibly tainted by some dirty Captain Crazy Face on Evil Lady action.

In the afternoon, we decide to finish exploring the inner curve of the shiv, so we head north and across to get there. Basically as soon as we arrive on the west coast we find evidence of a predator’s den. But it’s not home so we head north and check the rest of the unexplored area. We wind up going dimorphodon hunting and since Vakeese Color Sprays it out of frustration, so that pretty much takes care of it. We go back to check on the den we found earlier, but it’s still empty. Caloway and Vakeese tray to build a trap for it and we camp out nearby.

The crab comes back to its den and does get caught by the trap, which alerts Caloway so he rouses the camp to go kill it. So, we’re suddenly awakened at noon to go kill some rather large crab. Imogen is currently mind-fevered and was woken up in the middle of sleeping, so she’s grumpy enough to hit it really hard. Really hard. Then Felix finishes it off easily. Then Imogen gets to go back to sleep.

The next afternoon we reach the base of the shiv and decide to proceed west across the shore on the curve of the bay. We kill another crab and continue walking. We find a camp full of nests and rusty scimitars that seems to have been destroyed by violence. There’s another trail here, so we move away before we camp out.

The next night, we’re walking along the beach when we find a terrifying, house-sized crab. It seems to be moving in a really strange, jerky way and there’s an unearthly howl. Caloway utilizes the full range and breadth of his impressive ranger knowledge to determine that the crab is dead. So something crazy is going on. Imogen sneaks up and sees that there are ropes controlling the movement of the legs. Yay! Something to main and/or kill!

Everyone moves up toward the giant crab thing and we see that there’s a door in the body and it appears that someone lives here. Vakeese charges into danger as usual and stuns and blinds the tengu inside before anyone else can even see him. She and Imogen tie him up and we all wait for him to be able to talk.

It turns out that his name is Pezock and that he is very unfriendly and calls us all stupid a lot. But we bring him around with some brandy and fortune telling. He’s sad because everyone else on his all tengu crew died when their camp was attack and destroyed months and months ago. He found the crab and turned it into the ultimate base to scare people away. He thinks that we’re all going to die and is still all depressed and fatalistic, so he doesn’t want to go join the rest of our castaways. We leave some hardtack and brandy with him to keep him buttered up in our absence and tell him we’ll stop by when we come back this way.

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Shipwrecked! A Tale of Destiny and Woe on a (Mostly) Deserted Island: Session Three
Treasures Are Discovered, Combat Goes Crazy, and the Principle of the Pulley Proves To Be Dangerous

Creepy dreams and weird sensations of being watched aside, we all survive until sunrise. As we’re watching, we see the place the map mentioned where the sun rises between two rocks. We run on down there and start digging. We have to dig through a layer of ash and Caloway thinks that the whole hillside burned at one time. Felix’s digging eventually reaches a wooden platform and we discover a dead dwarf who was pretty obviously stabbed in the back. It seems that the wood is plugging the shaft in the ground we’ll need to use to get to the treasure, so we decide to dig around the wooden plug and climb down under it from the side.

The shaft goes down about forty feet and we can see that there’s water at the bottom. Caloway pretty much rushes down all recklessly while the rest of us are carefully getting geared up for the climb. It turns out that the water is 10 ft. deep which makes it rather difficult to maneuver and that there are zombies or something who feel like attacking rangers. Caloway seems to be quite, quite badly bitten.

Imogen grabs the loop of rope we were preparing to lower the little armored ball of Vakeese down into the shaft and dives in to grab Caloway. Felix starts hauling, but it’s slow going and poor Caloway gets bitten again. Vakeese gets an idea and grabs the loose gear, throws the other end of the rope over one of the stone pillars and provides a counterweight. It helps pretty significantly in Felix’s efforts to drag up his two poor teammates.

Unfortunately, once Caloway is safely flopped on the platform, the counterweight is heavier than Imogen, who gets dragged up to the top of the stone pillar. Which leaves Felix fighting the ghouls on his own for a little bit. Fortunately, he is pretty epic. Vakeese seems to have a plan, but she’s incoherent as usual in the presence of the undead. She literally jumps on the last ghoul, spells all a blazing. That doesn’t quite take it out, but with an assist from Imogen once she gets off the pillar and from Felix once he’s dispatched the other ghoul, the dangers have hopefully been removed.

Caloway gets healed and we all go down the shaft this time and find nothing here, but an underwater tunnel which we can only hope leads to another chamber. Imogen goes through, finds a small room which pretty much just contains an leather-wrapped chest and has no other exit, figures the chest must contain the treasure, and drags it back through the tunnel. Success!

We decide to push ourselves and walk all evening and night to make it back to camp as soon as possible. Vakeese sees signs of a snake lair while she’s leading us through the dark jungle, but the snake is currently unavailable, so she gets a bit cranky. Then we find ourselves on a path, which is headed in the same direction we are for now. It seems to have been made by someone who is both humanoid and intelligent and we all remember the rumors that there are cannibals on Smuggler’s Shiv, so we start moving very carefully and try to cover our tracks. We eventually wind up off of the path and back at the river we followed to get here which leads us directly back to the camp. We get back in the very early morning, but Ishirou is excited to see us and the treasure chest. We try to tear into the loot, but it stymies Imogen and we’re all really tired so we decide to leave it for when we get up in the afternoon.

Once we’re all awake again (about three in the afternoon or so), Jask teaches all our casters and potential casters some focusing chants to help their concentration as a reward for finding the papers that will prove his innocence. Imogen is bored by this sort of nonsense so she and Ishirou devote themselves to defeating the treasure chest. It takes them a little while but they eventually crack it open. And there is lots of very lovely treasure and much rejoicing. And the next day Ishirou teaches us all a technique that makes us better at combat maneuvers as long as we are holding our swords or daggers. And there is even further rejoicing.

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Shipwrecked! A Tale of Destiny and Woe on a (Mostly) Deserted Island: Session Two
The Spooky, Creepy, Annoying Island Is, In Fact, Spooky, Creepy and Annoying

We all have previously noticed that the water around the island glows really, really eerily at night. It’s pretty hard to miss since we’re sleeping on the beach and all. These sorts of goings on are particularly annoying to Vakeese, particularly since she was dragged through the jungle today, tracking down dinosaurs. The fact that on this night there are no stars certainly doesn’t help her mood, nor does the fact that spooky glowing figures appear hovering out over the water and beckon to her in the middle of the night and can’t be smited. She puts her crankiness to good use by scooping up some of the water and analyzing it to discover that there are some kind of bits or ooze in the water that make it glow. But it doesn’t actually seem all that dangerous.

The rest of our little group wakes up all early and excited because this is the day that Sasha taught us her Red Mantis technique. Unfortunately, Gelick and Sasha are both all kinds of depressed, so some cajoling is needed. We’re finally almost ready for Sasha to train us when Felix and Imogen are forced to mock Vakeese a little bit for her crankiness about the lack of stars or undead smiting. This leads to Vakeese flinging the now dark green goo she strained out of the sea at Felix. But he cleric dodges like crazy, so no harm is done and everyone is nice and warmed up for practicing assassin tricks with Sasha.

Later that evening, as Felix and Imogen are trying to make friends with everyone on the island, they happen to get Ishirou talking on the subject of treasure. It turns out that he’s a man with a very sad past and that as a part of it he stole a treasure map from his evil employers. The treasure is here on Smuggler’s Shiv and, if we will retrieve it, he will be happy to split it with us. All he wants is enough money to start a new life for himself. Our little group plans to set off the next day to search for Ishirou’s treasure. Late that night there are large wings seen, moving across the sky above our camp.

While Vakeese sleeps in the next morning, Felix manages to cheer Aerys up a bit, but she’s still feeling sick from the alcohol withdrawal. She has heard of a plant called viper nettle whose small, red berries to stop her sickness. Also, it turns out that she’s always wanted to be a ship’s captain, so hopefully she’ll be able to do that if we ever all get off of this island.

In the late afternoon, the we set out down the coast around the outside curve of the shiv to try to find Ishirou’s treasure. Also, we plan to keep an eye out for the ship Brine Demon which hopefully contains the paper’s that will prove Jask’s innocence. And to return by way of the river where Aerys thinks that the viper berries might be found. Shortly after leaving the camp, we locate something that we aren’t looking for, the remains of a ship called Tears of Grog. We suspect it’s a good thing Aerys isn’t with us for this as we clamber aboard to explore. Thankfully there are no obnoxious holes in the floor and nothing to fight, just a lovely piece of valuable cloth.

Back on our walk around the coast we find evidence of a predator’s lair, but the majority of the group decided to avoid it. Not that this stops Vakeese from charging right into a den about an hour later. Luckily, Imogen is awesome and kills that snake with one hit. She feels slightly less awesome when we arrive at the base of the river and she has to wade through a giant, evil hedge to get Aeyrs’ berries. That was unpleasant.

It is decided to move the castaways camp to the head of the river so that we can explore a bit more conveniently. Once we get everyone settled, Aerys lets us read her epic poem which makes us all feel a bit more strong-willed and Vakeese builds Garick a writing table during one of her watches in order to butter him up. And it works. Garick mentions that he was trying to pass off a relic that might not have been exactly real and that the Pathfinders are pretty mad at him which is why he was on a ship in the middle of nowhere. He’s hoping to find out what happened to the Pathfinder vessel Night Voice which disappeared mysteriously somewhere around here. He thinks that discovering what happened to it will curry him some favor with the Pathfinders. We agree to keep an eye peeled for his shipwreck as well.

The next day we set off down the east course of the river, as Vakeese’s divinations led us in that direction. Of course, almost immediately Vakeese notices signs of a predator of some kind or other and goes charging off to kill it. This one is all kinds of mean and nasty looking and unfortunately Imogen does not manage to kill it in one hit. Instead, it grabs onto Caloway and he nearly dies. But we do prevail.

As the river approaches the shore in a little cove, we see yet another shipwreck. But this one has a greenish-bronzish figure head which appears to be shaped like a demon. Perhaps the Brine Demon . . . The ship turns out to be mostly destroyed and empty, but there is a skeleton in the remains of the captain’s cabin and that skeleton is grasping a little wooden coffer which Imogen easily unlocks. Inside we find a pretty gold locket, a very shiny dagger and some papers that simply scream elegance. As we peruse them, we discover that Jask is just an innocent as he claimed. Imogen opens the locket, braced for something terrible. But inside there’s just a picture of a pretty, red-haired, half-elf woman, apparently named Aeshamara.

Later that night, while Team Funvee hangs out and gambles by the fire and Team Humdrumvee keeps watch, a ghostly pirate shape floats up out of the glowy water and starts yelling about wanting his Aeshamara back. Of course, Vakeese goes all crazy and tries to attack him, but there’s a lot of yelling still going on, so Imogen offers him the locket. His insubstantial hands sort of fail at opening it, so she also has to open it for him. Then he just kind of fades away.

We’ve started setting out in the middle of the afternoon to better accommodate Vakeese’s schedule. So, the next day when we arrive at the place where the treasure should be, we discover that we have to stand on a hill at sunrise to see where the treasure is. We are not good at map reading. Therefore, we decide to spend the rest of the day shipwreck hunting.

On ship the first, the Scallywag, we are once again greeted by the undead. Stupid skeletons. Imogen explodes one with jut one strike now that she can use her fancy sword. Thus, she acquires a peg leg. Then she discovers that lying on the ground all helpless is very annoying in combat. Thankfully, we do find some loot in a chest under one of the crew bunks, so all that skeleton related difficulty was worth it. Yes another ship further down the coast is called the Wind War and lacks both the obnoxious undead and delightful loot.

We go to sleep at actual nightfall. But everyone’s sleep keeps getting disturbed by creepy nightmares. And while Old Man Caloway is on watch he keeps feeling like someone is watching us from the jungle. But that could just be his old age creeping up on him. Still the place where he thinks we were being watched from was the same place Imogen saw some red eyes in the jungle in her creepy dream. Weird.

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Shipwrecked! A Tale of Destiny and Woe on a (Mostly) Deserted Island: Session One
If the Captain's Cabin Is A' Rockin', You Should Probably Come A' Knockin' and Break It Up Before He Goes Crazy

So here we all are on the Jenevere: Felix, Imogen, Vakeese and Old Man Calloway. During the voyage there’s a lot of searching for mermaids (We find none.), joshing with Calloway (He’s a little cranky.), and getting totally housed by Vakeese at gambling. There’s a gnomish dude named Gelick on board who seems to find Felix and Imogen amusing and the first mate is a kind of cool dude who’s willing to gamble with us. We’re a little concerned about how eager the captain is to get some tail from this one chick on board, so we talk to the first mate about it. But then the next day everyone gets poisoned and passes out at dinner.

When we all wake up, we find ourselves on a desert island, laying out on the beach in the sun. But it’s not actually that relaxing as we are also being attacked by swimming scorpion things. Vakeese starts hissing creepily at them and the rest of us are scrambling to find our weapons, but eventually we fight them off. Imogen feels very, very hungover. All of our fellow passengers except the chick the captain was banging and the prisoner who had been held on board the Jenevere are also unconscious on the sand and we can see what is left of the ship caught up in the rocks and cliffs near the mouth of the cove.

Felix, Imogen, Vakeese and Calloway decide to check out the wreck. We assumed that as a bard and a Pathfinder, Gelick would be more than happy to take charge. However, he was actually really grumpy and reluctant to help out so we convinced the perky half-elf, Aerys, to make sure no one else died while we were gone. The prisoner introduced himself as Jask and said that he was innocent, but Felix and Imogen said they’d decide after they checked the ship for more survivors. And also for the keys.

The rocks around the ship are very slippery, but that just means it takes a little extra time to get onto the what’s left of the deck. We can also see that the lifeboat that brought us to shore was apparently brought back and moored to the ship and then was smashed by the rocks. The whole ship is beat up and some parts of it are gone forever. But we’re pretty sure we should search what’s left of it anyway.

There is some kind of crazy pounding coming from the lower deck, it sounds like maybe some kind of animal or something. Vakeese is yelling for the first mate when she hears the banging so she hurries off to check it out. It’s another sea scorpion, even bigger than the others, and he’s standing in front of a closed door with blood leaking out from under it. We kill the living daylights out of that thing and break down the door. Unfortunately, the awesome first mate is lying dead behind the door. He had actually been attacked with a rapier and badly wounded. The scorpion finished him off later. We remember that all the passengers and crew except the captain and the first mate were unarmed and that the captain carried a rapier. We acquire some useful loot both from the first mate’s body and from the storeroom. Vakeese takes his symbol of Desna as a memento.

In the larder we find food enough to feed one person for twenty-four days or the ten of us on the island for two and almost a half. And also we find the cook’s body. He appears to have been killed by a snakebite, but it would have been an unusually large snake. Then we’re off to the captain’s cabin, where the only contents are the desk and footlocker that were too large to fit through the gaping hole in the wall. There is lots of rich loot in the captain’s desk and there also seems to have recently been some strong magic centered on the captain’s possessions. The keys we found in the desk do open the footlocker which reveals what we believe to be Jask’s possessions.

When we get back to everyone else they all still seem sick and grumpy and don’t want to help set up camp, so we have to cajole them. Except the human lady, Sasha, who is very cheerful and who Felix flirts with a little bit. Jask explains that he was framed for what was essentially tax fraud by a dishonest boss. Since it’s not a violent crime and since he seems nice enough we free him, but we don’t give him his weapon back.

So, Calloway sifts through the captain’s log and realizes that he’d been going crazy and getting obsessed ever since that chick he was banging came on board. We do manage to figure out from what he wrote in his log and few other clues that we’re shipwrecked on Smuggler’s Shiv. It’s a little bit concerning because there’s all kinds of crazy rumors about this island, for example that there’s a cannibal tribe and that a lot of the shipwreck victims become the hungry undead. So that’s nice and ominous.

Jask and the cheerful lady, Sasha, like us now so they talk a little bit about their hopes and dreams. While we were exploring the ship, Sasha noticed that there are some dimorphodons on the island and she just thinks that they’re super cute and that one of them would make a great pet. Jask informs us that the ship and the evidence that would clear him and allow him to accuse his deceitful boss sank somewhere in this area, and that he would surely love it if we could locate that particular wreck. The next day dawns and since someone has to explore anyway, we four truly adventurous spirits set out to explore the jungle while keeping a lookout for any purplish-pinkish, flying dinosaur things or any shipwrecks.

Early on in our trek, we find evidence of some kind of predator’s lair, but Scatologist Calloway’s analysis is that these are the leftovers of a snake. He is correct. It is a snake. And we kill it. Further walking allows us to observe that something on the island sucks all the blood out of dire rates. Ew. There are even further indications of predators, even evidence of flying ones so we stop to look around in greater detail.

Imogen picks a random tree to climb and quite suddenly she’s facing a nest full of a pinkish-purplish, angrily hissing dinosaur thing. Found it! Calloway tries to handle it, but it’s pretty much just going to sit there and protect its eggs and be very, very angry at us. So instead, we kill it and steal three eggs to bring back. Sasha should be ecstatic. We realize that we’re pretty near the coast on the inside of the shiv, so we decide to walk back along the coastline to get to the cove. Of course, this involves running into another snake.

There is a shipwreck on the north shore so everyone goes charging in to see if it’s the ship Jask asked us to look out for or if possibly there are some loots there. What’s there instead is a weakened floor that Vakeese falls through and some stupid zombies. There is quite a lot of almost dying on our parts, but then everyone is epic and we win. We do manage to find some jewels which will be nice later on once we find some civilization to hock them in. Vakeese insists that we burn the ship to remove the taint of the undead and we all think that sounds both fun and practical. So we torch the place and enjoy celebratory tiny drinks of watered down brandy.

Everyone managed to stay alive all day which is a great welcome back to the cove present for we four intrepid explorers. Sasha is all kind of excited about her dinosaur egg and agrees to spend the next day teaching us some tricks she learned from her mom, the high-ranking Red Mantis assassin. The tricks are great and they make us feel much quicker and better prepared for combat which is all kinds of awesome.

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