We have been invited to a feast with the chief…
The Talking Chief arranges for a canoe to take us to one of the huts out on the lake where we meet the tribal chief, who turns out to be a statue.
Surprised and slightly amused, we manage to hold it together and bow respectfully. After some diplomatic small talk we head back to the village for the feast.
Over fish, fruit and roasted yams, washed down with yam beer, Bael discusses with the talking chief about the history of the village and the oral history of the tribe.
It seems they’ve lived here for as long as anyone knows. They have left the crater a few times, but the lands beyond are home to huge monsters, so they stay in the village and interbreed. We are the first visitors in living memory.
There is one interesting tale – many years ago, around 20 members of the tribe split off and went to live on the island. It is a holy place to the villagers and taboo for them to set foot on the island. Occasionally the rogue tribesman (who are now cannibals) raid the village and take away the weak and the old, and sometimes the young – all bases covered! The tribe have been waiting and waiting for the visitors prophesied of old who will come and cleanse the island of the wicked cannibals.
It seems we are their saviours and Bael accepts the quest.
We rest for a week or so while Morgan regains his strength. Isis pops in and out while maintaining her friendship with the tiger. We ponder on reconnaissance steps – Bael dons the Cloak of Manta Ray and checks the underwater situation – little to report. Isis does aerial recon in bat form and reports the outline of the temple. She cannot get too far in as her echo-location seems to indicate a rockfall.
Once all are fit, we board canoes and paddle across to the island. The entrance to the temple consists of stairways, pillars, the remains of a giant statue – just the feet and ankles are left, and bas-reliefs of humans holding burning torches. Rob scales ones of the bas-reliefs and discovers holes in the eyes – potential viewing points.
We enter the temple and reach the rockfall – there is a pathway through it but it is narrow and curving. Minerva leads, with her shining sword lighting the way. As she emerges from the rubble she is attacked by four guards. They seem pretty inept and unarmoured. Between them the manage a few hits on her, but she fells them all anyway. One of the guards had a very nice looking spear which Isis takes. Some healing is administered and we all enter what turns out to be a huge chamber. A fire burns in the centre, below a great hole in the ceiling. Balconies line both sides and the far end has a large mutilated carving of a face, the mouth forming the entrance to a passage.
Before we get much time to explore, a horde of cannibals rush to attack us from both sides of the chamber. Varys casts Sleep and one party is reduced to a single screaming figure. Amber and Bael both loose arrows, Bael’s connects but none drop.
Varys casts another Sleep spell and now only two are left standing. A gaggle of children on the far side of the chamber have begun to climb a rope hanging from the ceiling – escaping no doubt. Morgan and Minerva polish off the remaining cannibals, but not before Morgan takes a nasty gash in the side and feels a numbing pain creep up his chest. Could it be poison!!
As we consider our next move, we hear doors opening and another ten cannibals appear from the balconies. Varys is suddenly frozen solid and Morgan faints and drops to the ground….Read More