Island Perilous

Under the Hill
Session 9/17 part 3

Atreides, Rath and Naugrim descend into the massive ant hill to rescue Herran. The group fights off multiple ants and realizes the complex is incredibly vast and likely was the center of their society containing their queen and her eggs.

While climing out, Rath is once again killed and ushered to the gates of death.

Death offers him a bargain, dedicate his magic to the death cycle and he would be returned. Now, whenever he casts a spell, the life force from something nearby must be tapped. Plants will die, insects or perhaps a stray hit point will be syphoned from an ally.

The team escapes and runs, barely ahead of the ravening hordes. Injured and at the end of their physical tethers, they try desperately to reach the jungle center and find the venom they so desparaetly require…

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Fire Break
Session 9/17 part 2

Captain Segundus welcomes Marcus with open arms and immediately they set about combating their common foe: the giant ant horde. Marcus helps rally the Captain’s men and hold the line as thousands to the island’s subterraneon servants throw themselves at the small bastion of men.

They hold long enough for a trench to be dug and ignited. Held at bay, Segundus shares knowledge of the spider venom with Marcus and beseeches him to partner in a hourney to collect the arachnid secretions. Marcus agrees and sets off with Segundus and two of his best men.

Therondil, somewhere in the battle vanished, but Marcus believes the elf is nearby.

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How Marcus and Segundus Met
Flashback #1 (9/17 session part 1)

Almost a year before the wreck of the Magna Hydrus washed up on the island, Marcus met Captain Segundus as he was petitioning the magistrate Ladaelus for the funds necessary to finance his expedition.

Marcus in his role as Paladin of the Order of Heirodites was intent on being assigned to the expedition to ensure that the power of the empire was not misused. As Segundus made his plea, a would be assassin snaked through the crowd.

When the attack came it was not through conventional weaponry, but through polymorphic magic wherein the assassin’s arms flowed like liquid gold shining brightly with runic symbols. Marcus interrupted the attack giving Segundus and the court vizier enough time to kill the attacker with sword and magic.

Segundus took an instant liking to Marcus and implored him to come on his expedition.

*Points of special note:
- There is a conspiracy afoot – a Cabal that serves Tinitis, the god of secrects and the destruction of knowledge, long thought dead.
- The magistrate is under their influence.
- The runic symbols on the assassin’s golden arms were similar to those found on the buried ship on the island and connected to the World Breakers.

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Formicidae
Session 9/3 Part 2

Herran communes with the island in an attempt to gain insight into the dangers that await them as they travel deeper into the jungle. He is struck by a vision of a floating mountain, chained to the bottom of an abyssal sea. The underside of the mountain is a massive being who opens its eyes and shakes Herran to his very soul.

Disturbed form his experience, Herran leads them through the jungle into an area where he dared not roam alone. With the sun low in the sky, they hear drums in the distance and can see a line of fire making its way up the side of the island volcano.

On their journey, Therondil discovers massive earthen mounds with tube like spouts that jut 5-15 feet above the ground. As night falls, a horde of giant ants pours forth from the earth and chase them.

Atreides charges forth, cutting a path through the swarm for the team to follow. In their mad dash to escape, Marcus and Therondil are separated from the others and Herran falls through the ground into the Hive underneath.

Rath employs his spellcraft to draw off the ants, giving them a brief respite, but now Atreides, Naugrim, the one armed wizard and their prisoner are left wondering how they can recover Herran.

Therondil and Marcus are about to be overun by hundreds of ants when they charge into a clearing. A firewall bursts around them, saving them from the ants. Segundus steps forth, his gold tooth gleaming and seems pleasantly surprised to see his old friend Marcus…

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The Other Survivors
Session 9/3 part 1

Fearful of what the night will hold, the party pushes into the jungle interior to find the spiders and use their venom to gain acceptance from the island. During their journey they spot a small group of Segundus’ men chopping down a tree to bridge a ravine.

Using the element of surprise, the team attacks with the intent of capturing their leader, a legionnaire named Thark. In the battle, Thark is killed and the Captain’s sorcerer, Agora Koth, makes a brief appearance before vanishing into the woods.

One man is captured, an old rigger from the ship who reveals that Segundus has split his force up into 7 or 8 groups of 6. All in an attempt to survive the assaults of the shape shifting predator.

Thark’s body almost immediately decays to a corpse 50 years old or more. Parallels are drawn to the mummified crew of the ancient ship buried in the beach.

They press onward…

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Repent Your Ways

Rath found himself looking through the Black Gate. It was a trap door into a fiery hell populated by his victims. Death was forcing him through…

Naugrim appeared, stout and powerful, interposing himself between Rath and the door. The dwarf negotiated an agreement with Death. Rath’s fate would be the dwarf’s own with regard to the volcano.

Death wanted more. He told Naugrim that he would be responsible for Rath repenting, that the Wizard must forgo his evil ways. Should he fail, not only would Rath usher into hell, but it would be Naugrim’s fate as well…

Rath awoke on the beach, his left arm chewed off, but alive. Whether Death’s threat and the view of the hell that awaits him in the afterlife have made a difference remains to be seen…

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The World Breakers

After finding the cistern and filling up their water skins, the party travels back to collect Marcus only to find him missing and his ropes burned off.

Therondil is able to track him across the beach, through the water (!) and into the ancient ship burried within the beach sand.

Rath leads the way with his light spell, searching for any booty, but vocal in his lack of regard for Marcus’ well being. The team discovers leather armor, chain mail and a metal/ golden shield among the hundreds of mummified bodied in the ship.

Naugrim consults with his ancestors, trying to discover how this ship could be so well preserved. One of his distant relations encountered these people over a 1,000 years ago. They seemed to have command over time and were known as the World Breakers. They sought to destroy all worlds but their own.

Rath abandons his companions to the dark, leaving with the chain armor and sets about searching the other buildings on the beach. In his searches he encounters the shapeshifting outsider who sets about killing him…

In the belly of the ship, the party discovered a strange devise similar to what Atreides encountered in the belly of the Magna Hydrus. By its side is the unconcsious Marcus with a metallic book sitting on his lap. Emblazened on the front is a six spoked wheel with all, but one spoke broken. Naugrim recognizes it as the symbol his Ancestor showed him… the World Breakers.

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Not Of the Island

After securing Marcus in one of the buildings, the party, now joined by Herran and Naugrim, continues their search for the water supply.

In the jungle they are attacked by an amorphous, constantly shapeshifting creature of immense size, speed and power. Its most striking feature is its eyes, actual golden orbs flecked with red.

It tears through the team and only due to Atreides’ tenacity, Naugrim’m powers and Therondil’s cunning are they able to fight back the creature. Naugrim, through his connection to the island can tell that this creature is an Outsider, something unnatural and not of the island.

It escapes to the air after smearing Atreides’ blood on Naugrim’s face and telling the dwarf, “You will die last.”

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The Madmen of Dead Ship's Cove

Potable water was the most significant need and the group decided that any town would need a well. Upon arrival at the cove the group was set upon by a handful of madmen under the influence of a potent drug. Frothing at the mouth they attacked with abandon.

Therondil struggled for enough distance to fell them with arrows.

Rath was set upon and beaten with a rock. When he used his dark magics to kill his assailant, Marcus saw him for what he was – a practitioner of the black arts.

Another wretch, this one mutated to behometh size by the drugs, came into the fray helping to corner and surround Therondil.

Calling on the power of Herodites, Marcus caught a powerful blow and wrestled the creature to the ground.

Atreides went through the lost souls like a buzz saw, using his new spear to great effect. With his help, Marcus brained the behometh and they ran off the last of the madmen.

While searching for signs of who they were and why they were so infected with madness, Marcus is pricked on a needle and begins to succumb to the madness himself.

Atreides is able to cold cock the dazed and feverish Marcus. They bind him as best they can and watch as the sun sinks lower in the sky…

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Born of a Dozen Worlds

What the Coins Can Tell Us

Among the salvage was a sack of coins. Two hundred fifty to be precise. It is a bittersweet bounty to have such wealth and barely a drop of fresh water to drink.

Looking over the coins the companions saw a wide variety of mints – over a dozen. Few, if any, are familiar.

What’s more, the companions come to realize none of them recognizes the same mint of coin. On further discussion they come to realize that they have never heard of each other’s lands, societies, kingdoms or culture…

Therondil of the Verdant forests has only ever heard of gem and earth worshipping dwarves, but never Death worshippers like Naugrim. And for his part, Naugrim has never heard tell of Atreides’ army, which rose a plume of dust visible for tens of miles when it marched. Atreides never heard of Orkengeist, towering city of Rath’s lands and none had ever heard tell or legend of the blasted wastelands of Herran’s birth. None of them ever set eyes upon the Pterodactyl before their druid transformed into one and took flight.

Marcus, on reflection, noted that the Magna Hyrdus would take to the seas and often fight storms before returning to land. The mystery of the ship, her captain and this dread island deepened…

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