The party emerged onto the cliff face on the eastern shores of the Isle of Dread, and found an ancient carved walkway that ran along the side of the cliffs. The cliffs towered high above the water and the path raised about 80ft above the water line. The coastline to the south was rocky and mountainous as far as the eye could see, but a small beach was visible about 15 miles to the south-west. The going was slow, and the path slippery and narrow in places. Approaching nightfall, the party reached the beach and found the remains of a small settlement - crude stone huts that had long since fallen into ruin, and even the remains of some small boats. The beach and cliffs were home to hundred of nesting gulls that had some measure of shelter from the rest of the islands inhabitants. After clearing a space, the party bedded down for the night.
The first watch that night was quiet, although Avner was caught scrabbling to put spilled salt pork back into a sack he was intending to use as a pillow, most of the contents now spoilt. During the second watch, the whole camp descended into darkness, which Mendel found was caused by a black pebble dropped into the camp. The party felt they were being watched, and an area of cliffs devoid of gulls was the likely location. Later, a ball of bird gizzards was also thrown into their midst. Other sounds were heard during the night and as morning came, the camp was surrounded by square frames, evenly spaced apart, and each bearing an upside-down, eviscerated and spread-eagled gull.
The next few days, the party's trek along the cliffs continued. They were harassed by a band of gargoyles whose nests they passed under. A rockslide, intermingled with humanoid skulls fell down upon them. A tribal human was spotted atop of cliff, eviscerating himself before the party, but leaving no trace. Giant scorpions descended the cliffs as they, particularly Mendel, slept. They found a bamboo cradle that acted as a lift to travel between two paths at different heights - and that had been sabotaged, throwing Krunk into the water below and nearly pitching Jardek after him. The feeling of pursuit and harassment continued until one of the crew stumbled, dropping more rations into the sea, and Zhedd felt a magical nudge pushing him towards the paths edge too. Stefanie cast Air Walk upon herself to fly up the cliff face and confront their attacker - and came face to face with a hulking gorilla creature, which tried to confuse her with various magical abilities before teleporting her away back to the north. Dacien recognised these as Leaping Demons, infernal creatures known to have the power to abduct victims but fond of tormenting them first.
Further south, a gargoyle war party attacked in retaliation for the loss of their kin, but were quickly dispatched. Soon after, the party found a trail heading inland through the mountains. After resting in a cave, and being woken by tremors that opened up the rear of the cave into a larger, bat-filled cavern, the party pressed on and crested the mountain pass. The inland jungle of the Isle of Dread stretched out before them; a large lake shimmering in the sunlight about ten miles away, but before that, a thick jungle shrouded in a dense fog. A small trail led southwest into the mists, and the party pressed on.
After only a brief while travelling in the mists, it became clear this swampy jungle was not completely natural. The trees were twisted and growing at strange angles, with pulsating, weeping cankerous growths. There were far more snakes than Zhedd expected to see, some with odd twitching, tentacle-like growths. After a couple of hours traipsing through the marsh, the party spotted a drier patch of land upon which the remains of some buildings rested. The ruins were overgrown with thick, pulsating vines, and made of large black stone brickwork that had mostly crumbled but felt slick to the touch. A firepit sat in the middle of the ruins, but had not been used in some time. The party pressed on but came upon the same spot after only a couple of hours – the firepit still raked from their earlier examination. Jardek pulled away some of the vines and was startled to see a human corpse, a gaping hole in its chest, held upside-down on a bamboo frame. It greeted them, and taunted them with veiled threats that it’s master Olangru would soon introduce them to the delights of death. Stefanie called upon Vanya to destroy the zombie, spraying all nearby in sickly green ichor.
As the party discussed resting amongst the ruins for the night, Mendel and Jardek heard footsteps of something else walking about the ruins amongst them. Suddenly a group of the large gorilla creatures that Stefanie encountered earlier were amongst them. Krunk, Dacien and Zhedd’s horse Artemis found themselves teleported atop large trees, whilst the others battled the creatures only to find their weapons did little damage.
Almost as soon as they arrived, they were gone, and the party regrouped – all except Amella and Urol, who had been abducted but not returned. Dacien quickly called upon magic to determine the location of Amella’s captains tricorn hat, and led the party north to retrieve their companions.
A Hubristic, Misty and False Review
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