Looking around Hamish and Osborne deducted that whatever had sucked the life out these sailors had wandered off down the beach.
‘I think we should head into the jungle’, said Osborne, looking at the jungle Hamish disagreed, ‘We should wander along the beach more to see if there is any rivers or villages’. ‘If you do that we might find this big evil vampire thing’, replied Osborne.
As Hamish and Osborne got into an argument, Tordek in the background slowly stripped off his armour and climbed up a nearby tree, looking around at the top of the tree it looked like a smoky haze in the distance towards the interior of this land, seeing this he slid down the tree and butted into the argument. ‘There is a smoky haze inland from here, looks far but looks like something to check out?’ he asked. Osborne waved a hand dismissively saying, ‘Its probably some angry evil witch of the sea’.
After being told how far away it was and the density of the trees Osborne concluded that taking, the direct route now might be a bad idea and opted for going down the beach. After weighing up their options they all decided to head down the beach and see if they could find a river.
The group found it hard going due to the intense tropical heat, Hamish and Earnest more so than the others but still they persisted.
After a few hours it started to get dark, just as the group was thinking when to make camp Tordek spotted a big massive gouge in the jungle, the big tracks they were following led up to this gouge.
The group decided to make camp there and discuss where to go as this effective hole in the jungle was like a road but it might take them to somewhere worse than they were already, they decided to follow the beach for half the day and see if there was anything else before taking this road. As the cool night air settled upon them, Hamish and Earnest looked a lot better, after discussing who took what watch, they bedded down for the night.
Next morning Osborne prayed to Yolanda to watch over them while on this unknown land Erithian examined the road and found parts of it were smeared with blood taking this in everyone said that they will try the beach option first and the group headed off down the beach.
Just after midday when Osborne was thinking of turning around he felt some divine guidance to continue for a little longer and so he did as they continued it started to rain. After hearing some splashing noises up ahead, they rounded a turn on the beach and found a big river inlet. After looking at the size of it Hamish remarked that although it was natural it might have been artificially made a long time ago.
Praising Yolanda for her guidance the group set off down the river. A little way down Tordek once again stripped off his armour and climbed up a tree much to the amusement of all and looked around but all he could see were some pretty parrots, with this knowledge in hand the group proceeded on.
Just as it was getting dark Erithian spied something up in the sky, ‘Er Hamish I just saw a huge two headed bird up in the sky what is that?’ Hamish looked up, ‘It looks like some kind of Roc, hope it doesn’t spot us’, but the Roc flew on.
As the day came to a close the group stopped and made camp again posting the same watch again. In the middle of the night Hamish’s Dog sat up and growled, Gurt & Hamish who were on watch at the time could see some movement in the jungle coming towards them, thinking that they were about to be attacked they silently roused the rest of the group. Although it was still a long way off Hamish thought that it could be some kind of big cat. Earnest thought to himself, I’m not being woken up by mr tiddles here and pinpointed where it was and cast a sleep spell on it, the group immediately heard a thump as it hit the ground and heavy breathing from where is last was. It turned out to be a leopard which Osborne added to the groups rations rather crudely.
The next morning the group continued down the river to find that it was emptying into a swamp there was a smoky haze over it, looking around it looked like there was some movement off to the right, thinking it might be natives the group headed off in that direction skirting the swamp edge.
After a while it slowly dawned on the group that this sign of movement was moving away from them and was due to the fact that most of the group were clanking along in their metal armour.
Osborne halted the group, ‘Maybe we should send Parker our rogue to investigate?’ to which Parker looked daggers at Osborne and reluctantly agreed. Sneaking into the rushes of the swamp Parker went a little way pausing every so often to look and listen around, parting aside some rushes she almost walked into the back of what was clearly a group of lizardfolk waiting in ambush.
Moving carefully she retraced her steps and quietly hustled back to the group making claw signs as the group saw her, ‘Is it nasty?’ asked Hamish, ‘It’s a hunting party of lizardfolk, waiting in ambush for us!’ cried Parker. ‘We should hold here and see how patient they are’, suggested Osborne, ‘Where are they?’ asked Earnest, parker outlined where they were and how they were arranged.
Just at that moment they heard roars and tribal war cries in the distance and the sounds of battle. Earnest, raising his hands cast a sleep spell where he thought they were and then ran with everyone else towards the battle, splashing through swamp water they heard screams and roars cut off and then broke into the small clearing and beheld the battle.
Lizardfolk were battling skull-painted humans one of each were groggily getting to their feet while another pair were dead, Osborne seeing these painted humans cried out, ‘They worship a death god!’ ‘They are evil!’ yelled Erithian.
With a mighty dwarfish battle-cry Gurt charged into combat with one of the skull humans and cut him a grievous blow, following him Erithian charged in next to him and swung at the same one impaling him on his sword.
Hamish riding his dog charged in but his opponent dodged out of the way, Earnest raised his hands and sent out some magic missiles that unerringly homed in on one of the skull humans making him stagger.
Tordek yelling his own war cry ran in and struck the groggy skull human making him scream in pain, Parker, taking advantage of the charging dwarf, drew her shortbow and hammered a shot into Tordek’s opponent, felling him.
The skull humans seeing that their numbers were falling hit only air with their weapons, while the lizardfolk freed up for fighting the skull humans turned against their saviours, Earnest heard one of them say in Draconic, ‘Ah! More meat!’ The lizardfolk also hit only air against the skull humans, Tordek took one of the blows on his shield while Erithan stepped out the way of his. Hamish on the other hand was hit on the head making him see stars.
Seeing this Osborne invoked the will of Yolanda and blessed his allies and drew his weapons.
Gurt hearing the yell of pain from Hamish ran to his aid and swung at the lizard almost taking it’s head off, seeing that charity wasn’t going to help these lizards Erithian struck out at the nearest one slicing off some of the lizards skin.
Reeling from his head wound Hamish swung wildly hitting nothing, pointing at Erithian’s opponent, Earnest cast Scorching Ray and half vaporised it.
Tordek yelling insults in dwarfish went to strike his lizard but the blow bounced off its armour, drawing another arrow Parker lined up on Tordek’s target again but only succeeded in shooting at sky.
The skull humans now convinced their fate lay in death continued battle drawing some blood from the lizards, off put by the sudden surge the lizards again missed their attacks against the skull humans. Yet another blow was turned aside by Tordek, but Hamish was clobbered again, this time his armour absorbed some of the damage.
Osborne then charged into the combat around Hamish, drawing blood from the lizard that was hitting Hamish, the lizard looked as if it was about to collapse but remained upright.
Gurt narrowing his eyes raised his axe and cut the damn annoying lizard attacking Hamish in half, Erithian mean while continued with riding this place of the skull humans, calling upon Heironeous he tried to smite them but ended up hitting the ground.
Hamish then took the opportunity since no-one was attacking him to heal himself, Earnest raised his hands yet again and launched an Acid Arrow at the skull Human next to Erithian melting some of his skin and letting out a scream.
Tordek taking careful aim this time swung and chopped off the lizards head, Parker seeing Tordek had finally figured out how to kill the Lizardfolk took a bead on the lizard against the skull human, letting loose she pierced its leg but despite a horrific injury it fought on.
The skull humans, thinking that the lizards would be in turn killed by these new killers turned around and engaged Erithian but both blows clanged off his armour. The lizards seeing that one of them was scarred with acid raised its club and crushed the skull humans’ head while the other lizard, suddenly blinded by skull and brains going everywhere, missed.
Osborne not wanting evil to remain at large (metaphorically) charged in on the sole skull human he sliced at its groin but missed hitting the leg instead.
Gurt was getting the hang of the lizards defences now charged in with a mighty swing with oblivion on the end and chopped one of the lizards in two but before Gurt had realised his axe had gone on to bury itself into the last skull human, killing him.
At this point everyone jumped onto the sole Lizardfolk, disarmed him and tied him up.
(End of Combat)
The Lizardfolk blinked at them and stopped struggling and looked at them in puzzlement, using Earnest as a translator they proceeded to ask him questions, ‘What can you tell us about these lands?’ ‘These lands are jungle’, slowly replied the Lizardfolk, Earnest relayed that its sounded like the Lizardman was a bit simple in his thinking.
‘Is this an island we’re on?’ ‘Its jungle’ replied the lizard, ‘In which direction do you live?’ ‘ That way’, pointed the lizard towards the west. ‘Who else lives here?’ ‘More lizardfolk, more humans, beastmen, some creepy dark things which I don’t know what they are, big metal thing that sucks blood out of anyone’. ‘Where does the metal thing call home?’ ‘I don’t know, it just arrived’. ‘When?’ ‘Been taking us for a week’.
‘Where do the skull humans live?’ ‘Above ground in city’. ‘How far is city?’ ‘City over there’, pointing west again. ‘Is that the same direction where you live or is that a different over there?’ ‘Yes I live over there’. ‘Near the city?’ ‘No, under city’. ‘So why you fighting out here?’ ‘ We hunting, for things, humans will do aswell, humans do for sacrifice, to appease the creatures that live alongside us’.
‘The beastmen?’ ‘No’. ‘The evil dark things?’ ‘No’. ‘The metal thing?’ ‘No’. ‘What?’ ‘The huge spiders’.
After a pause to absorb all this the questioning continued, ‘How many Lizardmen in your tribe?’ ‘There’s ten and…. ten and….ten and……quite a few tens’. ‘Would they eat us?’ ‘No’. ‘Would they talk is we went to talk to them?’ ‘Talk then possible sacrifice’, looking at their expression he continued, ‘Sacrifice later’.
‘Where do the black creepy things live?’ ‘In the under city’. ‘Isn’t that where you live?’ ‘No’. ‘Is it in the under under city?’ ‘Yes’. ‘Is ther one city with many layers?’ The lizard thought about it, ‘Yes’ he said at last.
‘Do you normally hunt out here?’ ‘Yes, maybe big cats, maybe large bird, maybe human’.
After talking for a while Osborne, under the watchful gaze of Erithian suggested we should show some good faith and give him his weapons back and let him go, everyone agreed and they set him free. For a while the Lizardman just stared at them and then wandered off.
The group then settled down to camp for the night away from the bodies of the dead, next morning after a peaceful night the bodies had gone and the group continued in the direction the lizardman had pointed.
A short time later Gurt tripped over a body, it turned out to be the previous nights lizardman they questioned, it looked like the big metal things handiwork as it showed all the signs. While Osborne was giving him some last rites he noticed a foot print with a mark on it, he narrowed his eyes as he saw it, ‘Hextor’, he said with loathing, Erithain spat at the mark, ‘If this thing metal thing was made in Hextor’s name we should destroy it’.
Travelling down into a natural valley they saw that the swamp was seeping into the nearby river which connected to another river the flowed off to the left where there was dense jungle, off to the right were high cliffs and the same river being fed by a waterfall, in the middle of all this was a ruined city.
The city was divided up into three parts; to the right of them lay mostly ruins with one intact building, to their left more ruins but some intact buildings and on the far side to them were hardly that mainly ruins to intact buildings and a fairly large lake.
After a brief discussion the agreed to check out the single intact building to their right and headed that way, trusting in mainly their size they didn’t worry over much about stealth, the building was 100 ft long and had a trapezoid roof with a open entrance to them which lacked doors, Gurt determined that although it was shoddy by dwarf standards it was good work and was made of granite.
Advancing cautiously inside they found it was full of rusty metal cages with the bones of many a humanoid creature inside. Just then Erithian spoke up, ‘I sense evil nearby’, he advanced spotting some white marble slabs near the centre of the building floor, ‘Over there from that floor’. Parker and Gurt moved careful up to the slabs looking for any traps or indications what might be causing this evil when suddenly three ghosts garbed as former slaves arose and took a swipe at them.
Gurt rapidly coming to the conclusion that his attacks were going to be in vain instead switched to hitting the slab thinking that it might be connected to said ghosts causing some cracks, calling upon Yolanda Osborne channelled his healing spell into the ghosts making them reel.
Erithian went to smite these evil spirts but missed, Hamish following the example by Osborne also channelled a healing spell into the ghosts making the ghosts bar their teeth in hate.
The ghosts then took a swipe at those that attacked them hitting Hamish & Erithian, feeling terror on his soul Hamish started running away but Erithian trusting in his faith stood firm.
Parker know she couldn’t harm them went behind one and tried to distract it, Earnest then raised his hands and launched two magic missiles on the most reeling one but failed to banish it.
Seeing his fellow dwarf start mining the floor Tordek went and joined him causing the cracks to widen.
Gurt continued to smash the slabs cracking one in half, Osborne then channelled a smaller healing spell on his ghost again hoping to banish it but the ghost moved sideways avoiding it.
Erithian then went to channel what limited healing he could do to try and banish one of the ghosts but it still remained, Hamish on his dog ran outside still feeling the terror.
The almost banished ghost moved towards Earnest while the other two swiped at their attackers again, hitting Osborne but seeing Erithian stand firm he also gritted his teeth and stayed.
Parker continued causing a distraction while Earnest pointed at the ghost coming towards him but his nerves got the better of him and shot his scorching ray into the ceiling.
Tordek then proceed to smash one of the recent half of slab into bits.
Gurt then finished off what remained of the slab, turning to Hamish’s original target Osborne then channelled another healing spell into it make it reel but not making it disappear.
Hamish on his dog continued to run into the ruins, Erithian went to use what remained of his healing but it remained, barely.
Parker started to make some rude gestures at this point but the ghosts ignored her, the ghost continued to close on Earnest while the other two swiped again, Osborne ducked the attack against him but Erithian was hit, but he still stood firm.
Drawing upon his last attacking spell he pointed at the closing ghost and hit it with a ray of frost, it staggered but remained.
Tordek continued to smash slabs.
(In the interest of time Gurt, Tordek and Parker are out of this fight sequence as they can’t do anything to the ghosts or are not being hit by them)
Osborne called up his healing again against the ghosts finally banishing one of them.
Erithian stood doing nothing wondering if holy water would work.
Hamish felt the terror disappear and turned about and conjuring a healing spell charged in on the ghost about to attack Earnest but missed.
The now pair of ghosts swung into combat once again, turning towards Hamish instead of Earnest hit Hamish, Hamish looked pale but controlled his fear this time while the other hit Erithian who continued to stand firm.
Earnest breathed a sign of relief.
Osborne then channelled his last healing spell and hit the (so far) undamaged ghost making it flinch.
Concluding throwing holy water at them, Erithian proceeded to do so making the ghost look a bit worried.
Drawing his healing wand Hamish cast it at the one next to him banishing it finally.
Muttering words of power and clicking his fingers Earnest cast a funny spell at the remaining ghost making it laugh in a uncontrollable hideous manner, allowing everyone to finish it off with the healing wand and lots of holy water……
(End of combat)