The Western Islands

A bar room brawl and fooling a mephit

Our heroes sail the stolen ship back to the Asif river mouth, disembark and walk into the Inn at Asif village, where Hexena and her daughters have been staying. Hexena says she will take her men to Samak and try to find out what happened to the crew of her ship. She wants the party to go up the valley to the caves and try again to locate the treasure of Binhasa. She will meet them back at the river mouth in three days.

The party decide to leave for the caves that night avoiding the crowds expected at the next morning’s market. Anazar attempts to impress Hexenas daughter Kimara by showing off his acrobatic skills in the tavern. As usual when trying to impress people in a bar he falls over and hurts himself. A stranger comes over, introduces himself as Kareem and picks a fight with him. Anazar smashes a chair over the guys head. A fight breaks out and Kimara kills the thug with a beam of lightning from her hand. Everyone in the bar leaps out of their chairs and backs away from the scary lady with the lightning, except for two scruffy looking guys who draw daggers and advance on Anazar and Kimara. Horatio draws his sword and charges across the room at them, but collides with a table, smashing it and the chairs and falling to the ground. The two thugs leap on him and start stabbing him. Anazar throws a dagger which misses the thug and bounces into the crowd at the other end of the room. Horatio, still lying on his back, swings his sword and kills one of the thugs. The other thug steps back and runs for the door. Just as Anazar is about to throw a dagger at him, Perex appears at the door to the upstairs room and hurls a spear across the bar room and into the thug who is killed instantly.

The Party apologise to the bar bartender and his patrons for the mess and dump the bodies at the edge of the market. They decide that leaving town is now fairly urgent so they pack their bags and march off into the night. The next day they arrive at the caves and lower themselves by rope into the tunnels. They eventually find a well-constructed room deeper under the lava tunnels. The party lower themselves by rope into this room and Kimara says she can sense a door shaped magical pattern on the western wall of the chamber. After a few minutes of tapping, kicking and pushing the wall, Kemara decides to blast it with her lightning. The door shaped section clicks and Horatio easily pushes it open. Behind it is a stone staircase going down into a warm dark passage. Inky goes forward and discovers the passage leads to a large iron door which is warm to the touch. Opening the door, the party discovers a wide arched room with a floor made of patches of molten lava and solid rock. Kimara detects some sort of summoning magic on a large pedestal at the far end of the room, and in a series of eight small plates set into the solid patches on the floor. Anazar jumps across the lava to the nearest solid patch which has a silver bowl on it. There is also a silver bowl in a nearby patch. Anazar and Inky realise that the patches of solid ground on the floor are shaped like a map of the Western Islands. Anazar starts rummaging in his pack and pulls out the scroll they found in Waseeks lair which had a poem about the islands on it. Anazar finds eight coloured gemstones in the bowl and they party decide that the poem contains clues to which gemstones go into which plates on the solid islands. After much arguing, Anazar jumps from island to island and places the gemstones. When the last one is in place there is a solid click from the doors at the end of the room and the magic pedestal changes form into a little rock creature which Kimara identifies as a mephit. The mephit demands to know who they are and what they are doing in the chamber of Binhasa. Anazar and Kimara both smile convincingly and explain that they are working with Binhasa in his fight against the sahuagin (sea devils). Mephits earthThis is a total lie but the mephit is quite dim and falls for it. It carries Kimara across the lava and into the treasure room. Anazar leaps across too and together they gather up all the magic items and a locked chest, which the mephit carried for them.

The party return to the surface with the loot and by night fall they are back at the campsite on the main road.

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Blood on the Beach

Perex and Horatio decide get closer to the beach and the bonfires, and on the way they run into Inkfeather and Yuba. Inky is covered in fresh blood and says he has just killed a gnoll that was on watch under a nearby tree. It is quite dark but Inky and Yuba say there are four or so gnolls around a campfire at the end of the beach, next to a large cargo ship and a few smaller boats.

The group plans an attack on the gnolls, and Inky drags the dead gnoll up the hill and hides the body. Yuba is sent back to the village where he gets his cousins and Anazar and tells them the plan. They buy lots of beer and wine and about an hour later, they have returned to the cove where they pretend to be noisy drunks out for a night time party on the beach. In the meantime the others have got into positions on the hill at the far end of the beach above the bonfires.

When the gnolls hear the “drunks” two of them walk up the beach to investigate. One gnoll and a human dressed as a farmer are left at the campfire, and are immediately attacked by Perex and Horatio. The human is stabbed and falls to the ground apparently dead, and Horatio throws the remaining gnoll into the bonfire where is catches fire and dies a horrible death. The two large gnolls hear this and start running back to the fire. Anazar and the drunks drop their bottles and start running after them down the beach. The human turns out to be not dead at all and he starts crawling away. Inky leaps out of the darkness and kills one of the gnolls. The other rushes to protect the strange man, and Horatio and Perex are suddenly overcome by some sort of strange confusion and start babbling incomprehensibly. The gnoll swings his flail and tears Horatio’s sword out of his hand. Perex then lunges at his friend and the two warriors start punching and kicking each other insanely as the gnoll and the strange man run to a rowboat and push it out into the waves.

Horatio and Perex come to their sense and realise the strange man must have some sor5t of mind control powers. Anazar uses his bow to shoot arrows at the man who is now in the rowboat and about to escape. One arrow hits the man and he drops down into the boat, Meanwhile Inky has waded out and he and the gnoll are waist deep in seawater desperately trying to kill each other. Anazar rushes in and eventually the drop the gnoll.

Meanwhile Perex has climbed up onto the cargo ship and found seven terrified sailors who immediately surrender to the large angry man with a spear. From the ship Perex spots a small sailboat in the darkness, setting sail to leave. He shouts to the others who all jump into the rowboat (still with a corpse of the stranger in it) and start rowing out. The ship has three crew and a gnoll on board. After the gnoll is killed, the crew surrender and say they were hired by the stranger to bring him and Waseek and the gnolls to the island. They also say that Waseek and Akowat (the stranger) had an agreement of some sort with the local villagers. Anazar extorts a payment out of them and lets them go. Everyone is exhausted but worried about returning to the village for the night, so they stay on the beach until morning when the tide comes in. Then with the help of the ships crew (who are glad to be free of the gnolls), they push the ship out and set sail away from the cove and towards a few days of rest and recovery.

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Across the Mountains

After a day of rest and recovery, the party send Yuba (a young village man) to their base to bring Inkfeather to them. Waseeks slaves have told the party that they had travelled overland from a cove on the other side of the mountains, where Waseek and a priest of the worm cult are based, with two ships and a band of gnolls. The entire party plus Yuba and two cousins, and the two freed slaves of Waseek, march out to cross the mountains.

On the first day Perex is badly hurt by a large (8ft long) lizard which tries to eat him. At the end of the day the party had crossed the main range and started looking for a place to sleep. Anazar and Horatio got lost and ended up staying in a cave for night before finding the party the next day. Then they follow the river down the valley and enter a few local villages. They meet a priest of Amenzu who warns them that a bounty hunter named Fengu Sakeen is in the area, looking for a birdman. The party continue and reach the port village of Samak. They decide that Inkfeather and Yuba will stay on the outskirts. The rest of them go into the tavern and have food and drink. At dusk, Perex and Horatio return to the crossroads outside the village to meet Inky and Yuba, but they do not show up to the meeting.

Perex and Horatio decide to explore down the path to see if they can find Inky and Yuba. They follow the path and discover it leads to a cove with two ships in it (presumably this is the place the slaves mentioned). It is dark but they can see campfires on the beach and hear gnolls yelping and laughing, and a man screaming in pain . . .

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Lunch with Waseek

As Inkfeather is still recovering from his injuries, he stays at the basecamp for another few days while the others (Perex, Anazar, and Horatio) walk up the river to North Gorge Village. They have heard that a man called Waseek was last seen heading to the North Gorge. he had bought silver weapons and North Gorge is about an hours walk from the lava tunnels where Inkfeather was attacked by the flying hounds.

When they arrive at North Gorge, the villagers, who seem a bit , er, rural, say the party is welcome to sleep in a farm shed in the north field, outside the village.
As the party settle in, Perex who has been drinking from a jug of wine, goes outside in the evening to have a pee, and is attacked by a insect thing the size of a horse which bursts out of the ground under him. He leaps free of the things jaws and the others rush to help. The thing grabs hold of Hoaratio and starts pulling him underground. Anazar grabs Horatio’s feet and pulls, and Perex stabs a spear into the things head with both hands. The thing dies and Perex cuts its head off. Horatio is drifting in and out of consciousness so they return to the village displaying the head of the creature. The vilagers decide they like the party and invite them to join them at the outdoor bonfire and drinking session in the village. One of them is a priest of Amenzu who heals Horatio and Perex.

The party discover that the man called Waseek is staying in an old wind tower next to the south field, just outside the village. The villagers say they should go and say hello. So, the party wander up to the tower and Waseek invites them in for lunch. They sit on the roof drinking wine and eating roast goat and discuss their shared interested in adventures and the local caves, Waseek gives them some tips about fighting flying hounds, and seems interested in reports of magic in the caves. He goes to get more wine but reappears above the PCs in the top of the tower. He announces that they must surrender or he will kill them. He casts a coloured ray spell on Perex, and the PCs all leap off the roof onto the ground (fifteen feet below), some injuring themselves. They all try to get inside the building out of range of the spellcaster. Perex, weakened by the spell, opens the front door in order to retrieve his spears and backback, and his smashed to the ground by a large gnoll with an axe. Another gnoll appears from a back door and attacks Anazar. Meanwhile Horatio sneaks in the back door and manages to climb up the interior of the wind tower without being seen by Waseek of the gnoll archer above him. Horatio leaps up, Waseek sees him and instantly flings himself down the interior of the tower (40 ft drop) and Horatio throws the large gnoll out the tower window and crashing to its death far below. The two gnolls on the ground retreat into the building and Anazar throws a grappling hook up to Horatio in the tower so he can whiz down to the ground. The party, badly wounded, drag the bleeding and unconscious Perex across the field to the village. The villagers are outraged and heal Perex and organise a posse to surround the wind tower. They burst in and kill the two gnolls in the basement, but there is no sign of Waseek. Two slaves are found and they say Waseek went invisible and escaped as the villagers were surrounding the tower..

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Into the lava tunnels

The party decide to enter the caves via a small hole they find on the area above the cliff face. They lower themselves down on a rope and start exploring the tunnels which have been formed by volcanic activity. There are several small creepy crawlies in the tunnels and a big one. The big bug throws a long sticky thread at the party but they manage to injure it and force it back into the crack it lives in. Then they discover a group of goblins living in a largish chamber and surprise them. They kill five and the rest scatter with no major injuries to our heroes. One goblin is taken prisoner and a large pottery jar full of silver coins is found. While everyone is arguing over how to deal with the gobbo prisoner, Inkfeather wanders off down a side tunnel back the way the party came and is viciously attacked by one of the large flying hounds. Perex drives it off but Inkfeather is severely hurt and bleeding badly. The party patch him up and decide to trek back to base that night. After an eight hour walk carrying Inkfeather on a stretcher made of tree branches, and more than 24 hours without sleep, they collapse back at base camp.

Hexena arrives with more supplies from the village and tells them what she knows about the flying hounds, mainly that they are supposedly immune to most weapons but vulnerable to silver. She also has a report that a stranger has been in the valley recently and had the blacksmith make him several silver tipped spear points. The rumour is that this man, called Wasik, left for a village in the North Gorge, a days walk up the river (and quite close to the caves where the party has just been).

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into the wilderness

The Party decide to avoid the village and rest up for a few weeks in an old ruined granary they find in the hills near the river mouth. Perex goes into the village market every week to sell game animals they have hunted, and to meet with Hexena. He notices that groups of soldiers come to the markets and seem to be looking for “a bird man” and others who are wanted for ‘stealing’ a dozen slaves from the city.

FlyinghoundHexena explains that she is on the island looking for the lost treasure of a sorcerer called Binhasa Abdalharbo, who lived here 200 years ago. She wants to party to explore a nearby cave system in the hills and report to her if they find any evidence that a sorcerer has used the place.

The party trek out to the cave area that afternoon and in the evening they are attacked by a large and quite scary flying hound creature. they fight it off and decide to explore the caves immediately rather than wait until the morning. They figure they will be safer from flying hound attacks if they are under the ground…

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sailing away

As the sun comes up the PCs rowboat approaches the waiting ship. As they board they see another boat coming our of the harbour full of escaped slaves. It is being followed by a boat full of soldiers. Perex orders the ships captain to hoist sail and ram the soldiers boat. The boat is rammed and the slaves are pulled on board. During this process Anazar gets into the second ‘stabbing a man to death while floundering about in the water’ fight of the week, killing the officer who led the soldiers in the chase. The ship is dangerously overloaded with 17 people on board but they manage to sail for two days reaching the Asif river mouth where they disembark and go to find Hexena who is waiting for them in a nearby village. One of the escaped slaves, a large hairy man called Juntti, impresses them with his fighting ability and he joins the party.

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The rescue

TenguThat night, Perex approaches the shed, pretending to be drunk and thumps the door repeatedly until the guards come out and threaten to thump him. he hits them first, knocking one out by smashing a jug of wine over his head. At the same time, Inkfeather and Anazar burst out of the grate under the guardroom and attack the guards there. One of them falls down the grate instantly breaking his neck. I and A rush up the stairs and kill Vistru, the head slave. Perex manages to lock the remaining guards out of the building and the PCs all rush downstairs and release all the slaves. Everyone rushes out of side door and into the street. The slaves demand to know what the escape plan is, but the rowboat the PCs plan to escape in only has room for the party and two men they were to rescue. The other slaves decide to go and steal another boat and meet the PCs at the rendezvous with Hexena’s ship outside the harbour at dawn.

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making plans for a break in (or break out?)

Inkfeather, Anazar and Perex plan out the mission by scouting around the public works shed and finding and entering a sewer that seems to go underneath it. The city no longer has a large navy so one of the Galley sheds in the harbour has been converted into accommodation and workshops for the slaves that do city maintenance and street cleaning. The group discovers that one sewer tunnel leads to a grate opening into a guard room of some sort. They return at night to check out the streets around the shed at night. Anazar chases and stabs a pickpocket but then releases her as she was only a teenager.

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Rolling dice badly and rowing boats in the dark

While Anazar is waiting to meet his new patron Hexena, he joins a group of gamblers in a back room at the Crimson Serpent, a classy Inn in LiHarbo. He loses most of his savings in a few minutes and befriends a strange bird humanoid called Inkfeather who has also lost most of his cash at the dice table. It turns out they are both waiting for Hexena. She brings them up to her room where she explains that she wants to hire them to rescue two slaves from her country, that she was on sale in the markets last week. Anazar and Inkfeather do some investigating of the slave markets in town and discover that the two men in question were sold to the city to serve as public slaves cleaning the streets et cetera. That night they ‘borrow’ a rowboat and row out into the harbour to find a way to break into the Harbo castle. They discover an old sewer entrance and get attacked by a giant slimy thing in the water. They retreat to Hexenas rooms at the Inn. After spending a day gathering more info around town, they decide that a better place to look might be the public works shed, which has two advantages over breaking into the castle. One is that the slaves are kept in the shed, the other is that the castle is full of soldiers with very sharp weapons. Inkfeather also meets with Gu Wi, a Tengu fence, and moves into his rooms. He is joined by Perex, one of Hexena’s bodyguards who has been sent along to assist and keep an eye things.

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