Soanso's Serpent's Skull Campaign

Session 11: Interlude

As the explorers make their way through the jungle back to the lighthouse camp, they notice a change in the usual jungle background. The twittering of birds is echoed back, as if the lone macaw’s mate has finally awakened from a deep sleep. The chatter of monkeys in the canopy sounds more like playful banter than wary warnings of territorial concern. The drone of insects sounds an octave higher, and the oppressive humidity itself seems to be moved along by subtle ocean breezes. Ferns sway and palm fronds wave as if in greeting.

Their arrival in camp is met by the excited chatter of the other five survivors. They relate stories of violent lightning sweeping through the sky, and how, the next day, the entire island was rocked by a wave of pure energy, and they could literally see the spirits of lost sailors rise from the ocean, beaches, and jungles surrounding the camp ascend into the air and disappear, and it was as if the entire island had breathed a tremendous sigh of relief, a weight older and heavier than any a simple traveler could ever know being lifted from its shoulders. These events, in addition to the lighthouse being fully repaired and the hatching of Bob, Sasha’s dimorphodon pet, left the camp in an unusually jovial air as the evening stretched long fingers across the day, bringing nightfall and a sky free of clouds and full of stars.

Before nightfall, the party decides to visit with Ayecenia the dryad. Visiting her grove, she thanks them for their service to the island, telling them that they have freed her island from the shackles of a great evil. They rest in the grove under her protection.

The following day brings another return to the lighthouse camp. Another exciting morning, as a ship has been spotted, moored about 200 yards offshore. A single longboat is seen making its way to shore. The ship is the Red Gull, a merchant vessel making its way to Eleder. Its crew, bewildered by the survivor’s stories of ghosts, ghouls, and cannibals returns to the main ship for several hours. Soon, four longboats are spotted rowing ashore. The Red Gull crewmen help the explorers load their gear and finally, themselves, aboard the boats and row back, ending the explorer’s grueling month stranded on Smuggler’s Shiv.

Arendel uses the trip to Eleder to continue deciphering Yarzoth’s notes, collected from Varisia and the Shiv. He and the rest of the group seem at ease, regaling the wide-eyed crew with tales from the Shiv, including the Ghost Pirate, the Treasure Pit, the cannibal’s stronghold, the mysterious Red Mountain Devil, and the large number of undead monsters encountered.

Yarzoth’s notes include entries highlighting a sector of the Mwangi Expanse east-and-north of Eleder, noting that a lost fortress called Tazion might hold the answers to the location of the fabled lost city of Saventh-Yhi. She lists “pillars of light” as being the key to the lost city’s whereabouts.

The journey to Eleder is complete. The castaways are detained on board for most of the day; the first mate wishes them well, telling them that the government of Sargava has purchased two days of lodging at the Sargava Club. Arendel, Taraz, Max, Chumba, and Ace take up the offer while Sasha, Ishirou, Ayeris, Gelik, and Jask are already engaged with their own, separate plans. Gelik mentions he’s staying at the Silver Urn, and wants the Five to accompany him to the Pathfinder lodge to turn in the log of the Nightvoice. Jask also mentions he’d like to buy the Five dinner that evening.

Jask also asks the company to join him in presenting the information found aboard the Brine Demon to Baron Utilinus. The journals and ledgers found aboard the ship are rife with evidence of corruption within the Sargavan government, and Jask is hoping for backup. The group agrees, and Jask’s evidence is noted and logged, and he is cleared of all charges by Utilinus himself.

The group then meets up with Gelik. They proceed to the Pathfinder lodge, where Amivor Glaur meets with them. He accepts the log from the Nightvoice and rewards the group.

The group goes shopping, taking in the wonderous and somewhat repugnant scents and scenes of Eleder. Ace purchases a long spear and Max leaves his family jewel, the meteor hammer, in the care of the dwarven smith Arlan Forgescar for enhancing. Arendel and Taraz purchase many magic supplies, including a healing wand and several scrolls. Chumba stays close to Sasha, shopping for sensible shoes in the barter markets, and attending several bardic one-woman performances in Eleder’s open courtyards.

After several hours in the and around the various markets in Eleder, the group returns to the Sargava Club for the evening. They are approached by Rotilius Havelar, an armed agent of the Sargavan government. He offers the survivors a deal- they can put their recent discoveries to use for the good of Sargava; the government is willing to fund an expedition into the jungle to find the lost fortress of Tazion. Havelar is met with a tepid response; despite his politeness he is excused from their quarters.

Amivor Glaur greets the explorers the following day at the Pathfinder Lodge, and offers them the Pathfinders’ assistance in finding Tazion. The Saviors of the Shiv, somewhat confounded by the accessibility of their shielded information, realize that Eleder is a sieve of secrets. Nonetheless, they accept the Pathfinders’ help in reaching Saventh-Yhi.

Chumba sadly tells the group she will not be joining them on the road to Saventh-Yhi. She has chosen to live a life with Sasha in Eleder; though she might be available for some extra muscle if they need her. The group waves good-bye to Chumba with heavy hearts. Perhaps she will be seen again, perhaps another will take her place, though she could never truly be replaced. (Because she’d probably kick the snot out of her replacement, on principle.)

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