Play Date: 07/23/10
After dropping off Lucius at the Ioun Temple, the group returns to the Scholar’s Quill Inn for some much needed rest. The innkeeper gives Thorend a message that was dropped off for him earlier that evening. The dwarf shares the information with the rest of the group in their room that the cult known as the Unchained are rumored to be hiding out on the neighboring island of Jor. That is also where the pirate Captain Byrne is said to lair. The island is infested with frog men called bullywugs.
While the others rested, Nemoc decided to spend some time looking through the Book of the Unspeakable One. At first the tome appeared to be full of gibberish and nonsensical markings. After a time studying, however, Nemoc began to notice patters in the markings. Once that realization hit him, Nemoc became aware of an assault upon his psyche. He managed to slam the book closed, but screamed out in horror for over a minute from the brief glimpse of the realm of madness the book offered to him. After this incident, Fedmahn said he couldn’t sleep and decided to go out and take care of some personal business.
When morning came, Fedmahn had not yet returned, but a knock at the door revealed a druid called Grekk, who was sent by Egil to convince the group to try and prevent Karina Drac from pursuing her estranged pirate boyfriend. The group agrees to this and head down to the Docks to determine if Karina had found a way over to the island of Jor. At the Glory Hole, the daytime barkeep – a dwarf named Xavier – told them that Captain Byrne’s ship, the Widowmaker, had left port yesterday morning for destinations unknown. Karina had been poking around the Docks yesterday, seeking passage to the island of Jor. She secured a ride with Captain Scarbelly on the Bloody Vengeance and departed yesterday afternoon.
The group headed down to the pier in hopes of finding the Deep Star for a ride to the island. Captain Barrons had apparently left port after dropping them off a couple of days ago, but had returned and was in preparation for another departure. The first mate, Neckbone, allows the group to board and discuss their request with Captain Barrons, who agrees to ferry them over to the island of Jor, but warns them of Captain Byrne’s madness – he is known for speaking with dead people. He also warns against getting involved with the Drac family, as the Sealord is a ruthless, power-hungry man and dealing with him can only lead to trouble.
The Deep Star sails up the eastern coast of Jor and Lucan’s sharp eyes find the hidden entrance to Kraken’s Cove behind a large waterfall. The group purchases a dingy from Barrons and sail to the entrance, which leads to a vast cavern. They sail in darkness until they find the wreckage of a boat, which appears to be the Bloody Vengeance. Bodies and detritus float around the dingy and one body is examined and found to be a sailor who’s neck had been slit. The group continues to float deeper into the island until they find a large cavern with a shore containing a small building. They bring the dingy ashore when an uneasiness comes over them all; a feeling of something unnatural, unseen within the cave. The cave seems to have been a hideout, evident by boxes of provisions and signs of traffic, yet it seems to have been abandoned. They enter the building and find signs of a fight within. A large chest also lay within, and upon opening it, they find a man within, cutting himself repeatedly with a dagger and, apparently sustaining himself on his left hand and arm. The crazed man wore the tattered remains of a captain’s uniform and spoke nonsense about “the people” having taken his crew. The man confirmed that the crew of the Widowmaker had brought dwarves here “a while back”, suggesting that this was probably Captain Byrne. He pointed towards a way out of the cavern and began getting agitated, saying that “they were coming” and insisting his chest lid be shut.
Those remaining outside the building began seeing flickers of light throughout the cavern, which materialized into floating balls of writhing tentacles. The aberrations attacked and, though their physical forms were not very threatening, their slimy touch assaulted the minds of the heroes. After a short battle, the group manages to dispatch the creatures and decide to leave Kraken’s Cove for the island above.
Upon exiting the cove, they find many tracks that seemed to hastily depart in many directions into the jungle. A single established path is found and some of the tracks seem to head down this, so the group decides to follow. A short while later, they find ruins that are guarded by the bullywug. Haltock approaches them in an attempt to communicate peacefully, but the display of magic (“ju-ju”) alarms their leader, who orders an attack. The fight is fierce, with Nemoc being swallowed by a giant frog and the others struggling with the hopping frog men, but they eventually defeat the leader and most of the guards. Two of the escape into the jungles, however, and are heard croaking warnings or summons. The group pulls themselves together and search the ruins, finding some treasure and a passage leading down into dungeons.