Several uneventful days at sea after slaying the kraken, the tall peak of Traynor’s Island was spotted off in the distance. Nakar created several Continual Light stones and handed them to Zardrae, Konshu and Liana. While the heroes along with David, Strom and several sailors rowed toward land, the halfling then sent forward a Wizard Eye to scout ahead but found no evidence of any pirate ships or fortified positions awaiting them.
After making landfall, while the sailors hunted fresh crabs on the beach, Strom informed the group that the captain would wait one week for their return and distributed a pair of magical flares that could be used to signal for the launch. Heading into the thin strip of jungle toward the mountain, following David’s notes, the team initially encountered little but mosquitos and the sounds of exotic birds.
The party proceeded along the mountain cliff face for over an hour with Zardrae scouting ahead, until he rounded a bend and blundered straight into a waiting group of six wicked harpies! After an initial screech of alarm from the lead monster, Zardrae, Liana and Arthur rushed into melee range. Before the harpies could collectively utilize their painful song abilities to full effect, a Great Hasted Nakar ran up and blanketed the area under a Silence spell, changing what could have been a dangerous encounter into essentially a mop-up exercise. While Konshu threw out a Winged Knife stick and Nakar hurled a Stone Missile to subdue one of their foes, Liana, Zardrae and an invisible Arthur carved through the rest of the coven with hardly a scratch.
After a few minutes of rest to regain fatigue and then applying first aid and an Awaken spell to the captured harpy, interrogation revealed that these monsters tended to inhabit caverns higher up on the mountain and that many pirates frequently come and go on the island, but the harpies had no knowledge of the magic statue from David’s writings. The team eventually released their prisoner, despite Nakar’s misgivings about allowing the she-beast to rejoin her sisters.
Before long the group came to a cave mouth that seemed to correspond to David’s notes about the statue. Nakar cast Infravision and sent another Wizard Eye down into the cavern, where he noted several branching passages leading deeper into the mountain as well as a large room containing what appeared to be boxes and barrels of goods. The heroes cautiously proceeded underground and reached the chamber without incident; a search of the area uncovered some fine wine that piqued Liana’s interest, several good-quality weapons, a sack of silver coins and a cleverly hidden secret door which Arthur and Liana forced open.
The hidden room beyond contained only more seemingly plain barrels. However, as Seye began searching them, something seemed decidedly unusual, as if what he was feeling did not correspond to what he was seeing. Taking his ornate dagger, the martial artist struck the barrel and pierced through an illusion shell, revealing instead a fine locked chest standing on its side. Nakar drew power from Arthur’s manastone to cast See Secrets and detected a poisoned needle within the lock. After carefully bypassing the trap and opening the chest, a horrific spirit emerged and demanded a password, but with his knowledge of illusions the halfling immediately saw the specter for what it was, and another stab of Seye’s dagger dispelled it instantly.
The chest contained several gems, powerstones, potions, gold coins dating back several hundred years and the mystical statue described in David’s texts. Upon speaking the command words, the figure animated and revealed itself to be a rather friendly gargoyle with a taste for fish, and the creature expressed its willingness to return with the group to Fallkeep.
At this point Liana, still in the outer chamber replacing the water in her skins with some of the fine wine, heard the approach of footsteps down the tunnel and tossed an empty bottle toward the group to grab their attention. Nakar hastily cast Invisibility on himself and Zardrae, Seye charged a spell on his staff and the team readied themselves for action. Moments later, down the passage ran several zombie pirates accompanied by human raiders and what seemed to be a pair of mages leading the group. In the resulting melee Liana and Arthur carved through their opponents with lethal sword strikes, Nakar lanced out a pair of Sunbolts to fell a zombie, Konshu launched his Winged Knife at the pirates and Seye went to work with his whirling staff. Zardrae, while attempting to sneak forward on the enemy spellcasters under protection of the Invisibility spell, noticed that one of the wizards seemed to be observing him without difficulty and whispered a warning to his companion; giving the leader a wink, the fighter stepped forward and thrust his ornate dagger directly at the other caster’s eye, nearly felling him with one attack. At this point Liana crippled the shield arms of two pirates at once with brutal rapid strikes and Arthur ran forward to demand their surrender by the authority of Heironeous. The unscathed enemy mage got off a quick spell to teleport away, Nakar ran forward and struck the wounded caster unconscious with his staff, and Zardrae and Liana chased down the last fleeing human pirates to force their surrender as the session closed.
+3 cp all around, and tied for dual MVPs were Liana the Lionness (for subduing so many foes with ridiculously high damage and well-placed targeted attacks) and Nakar the Unseen (for controlling encounters, bolstering allies and gathering useful information with handy spells).
Where did the enemy caster go? Surely there are more pirates somewhere on this island, escape with our lives is still far from certain!