Monthly Archives May 2016

Waves of enemies

We are in a square room with statues. Dead snakes lie on the floor. A puddle of water lies in the south east corner. A rope hangs from a hole in the ceiling. Exits lead north and a secret door is located on the south wall.

We head down the corridor with Rob in the lead, and notice some holes in the wall about 30 feet down. Rob likes to investigate dark holes and checks them out. Some rats of unusual size squeak at him and leap out. He attempts to fight them and gets bitten. Minerva and Morgan run to his aid and Bael strikes up a tune. The rats are dealt with in fairly short order. And Rob resumes his leadership.

The corridor turns to the east and we find a huge hole in the floor (8 feet across) and a door on the other side. Isis ponders on the depth of the hole and tosses a stone down. After a considerable time we hear a splash and all agree that falling down would not be a good idea. We rope together and Rob hammers a iron spike in to use as a handhold. He edges around the hole first and gets the door open. Everyone is able to follow and we see a short corridor – portcullis on one side, steps down on the other.

Minerva, Morgan and Bael apply their considerable strength to the portcullis and get it lifted – an iron spike holds it up. Beyond is a lever and another door – again closely fitting and small leaks of water give us key clues as to what is on the other side. The lever proves to be connected to the portcullis and lifts it completely.

Rob’s plan is that everyone but him crosses back past the hole, he will rope himself to the portcullis and open the door. No one disagrees so he goes ahead. He gets battered by the combination of water and wall, but survives. Beyond is a square room. After entering, he feels himself trip a wire and feels a blast of heat from behind. His wet clothes take most of the damage and he won’t need to get his haircut at the back for a while.

At the other side of the room is another door – Rob detects that it is bulging under the weight of water on the other side. He drives a spike into the floor to stop the door flying open into his face, then stands by the hinges and flicks the catch…

Despite being ready the door whacks him on the nose. However, the main flow of water passes through the room and he only ends up with wet(ter) ankles.

The door takes us into another long corridor. We spot more holes about 5 feet up that look like the rat holes from earlier. Morgan, Minerva and Bael advance. Bael’s inspiring song is definitely doing it’s work and the rats don’t last long.

The corridor turns again and ends at *another* door (secret this time, but not that well hidden) that we are confident is holding back a lot of water. Rob is feeling a bit too battered to volunteer for door duty this time so Morgan steps up. The rest retreat to the square room down the corridor. Morgan bangs in a couple of spikes to attempt to raise him up above the flow of water. He climbs up and pops the catch…

The water knocks his feet away but he is able to cling to the iron spike handhold while a seemingly endless torrent of water rushes past him. After several minutes, the main body of the party troop back up the corridor and help Morgan down – he seems to be cramped up.

The door opens into a large room with a quadrant shaped dais in our corner. Oddly there is a giant oyster sitting on it. Beyond the dais are steps descending into yet more water. We feel that this might be the other side of the room that had the shark in it – Bael dons the Cloak of Manta Ray and enters the water to find out. After swimming to the bottom and noticing that the pool is about 15 feet deep (that’s pretty deep kids!) he is confronted by a white shark. In attempting to escape he exposes his flank to the shark and suffers a couple of nasty bites.

A shark fighting plan is rapidly formulated. Isis will ‘cast’ the dead rats out into the water like bait and attempt to lure the shark in towards the steps where Minerva and Morgan will attempt to slash it with their swords. Rob will take potshots with his new bow. Bael, as always, will provide an inspiring ballad about roving in summer meadows, and drinking cider.

The plan seems to be working as the rat carcasses result in a fin breaking the surface and aiming straight for the steps. Minerva deals the shark a mighty blow, which it doesn’t seem too pleased with. Everyone else isn’t too pleased to see two more fins bearing down on us. Yikes! This has turned into a proper battle.

Minerva and Morgan hack away and do some hefty damage. Rob is hampered by most of his target being submerged but still scores a couple of hits. The sharks do get a say in the outcome though as Minerva is nearly felled. Isis aplies some healing just in time, but even so, Morgan is left to deal the killing blow. Just as well as he’s looking pretty beat up himself.
It’s probably time for a tactical withdrawal back to the village to rest and heal…
Read More

You would have needed a bigger boat anyway

We consider the large flooded room ahead and Bael decides that it is manta ray time.
Swimming below the surface he immediately notices a stairwell heading down about 15′ and sheer drops to either side. This is not a room we can walk through. While swimming about he notices a flash of white to one side, suddenly a white shark attacks but luckily he is able to twist away. Time for a swift exit!! He swims back to the doorway and manages to avoid another attack. While the shark circles for another attack he removes the cloak and the door is slammed shut.
We ponder on options and Morgan suggests the other passage. It turns a corner and after a while there are steps to a raised section. No secret doors are found so we continue down a corresponding set of steps and continue down the corridor. it seems some large carnivorous fish live here as they take a bite of Isis’ leg. Varys casts Sleep and the float to the surface. Rob mutters something about swim bladders while Isis dispatched them with her spear. Amber and Morgan now start considering the possibility of lacing these fish with poison in an attempt to kill the shark. Rob favours bringing in canoes to allow us to float about these flooded halls…
In the here and now, all agree to continue down this passage, which ends at a door.
We open it and immediately get caught in a flood of water that sweeps us into the room. Doh! Heads bash and shins bark off stone benches that sit before a small altar. A bone mace hangs on the wall.
Amber picks up the mace while Varys et al search the altar. Varys finds a hidden compartment containing a load of gold and some coral statuettes that looks pretty valuable!! \o/ No secret doors are found in the room, and we are feeling pretty dirty and tired so decide to head back to the village to rest and enquire about poisons. On the way out we collect the cannibal chief’s head as proof that we’ve done the job asked.
Umlat and Talking Chief Fano┬ámeet us and are pleased if a little disquieted to see the head and ask if we found the other cannibals. We admit we haven’t and we still plan to explore Taboo Island further.
They don’t have any poisons for use so we ponder other options. The canoe idea is abandoned due to them being too big to fit into the passages. Amber suggests ladders to get us up to the other side of the rotten floor we fell through. All agree so we spend a couple of days resting and making two ladders.
Refreshed (and levelled up in some cases) we return to Taboo Island and enter through the temple steps. Before going any further we decide to do a sweep of the rest of the island looking for the remaining cannibals. After a couple hours we are done, with no sign of them… As we pass through the ‘wall’ that we broke down we take a moment to check if we can tell whether it was built to keep things from the temple out, or to keep things from below down below. We decide it was built from the temple side, which tends to rule out the possibility of the cannibals hiding down below.
We return to the main temple chamber and search harder for secret doors – two are found. One that may lead to the bas-relief and one diagonally opposite.
The first door does indeed take us to behind the bas relief. There is a LOT of dust and some rags on the floor. There are levers, and corroded brass speaking tube and some ropes hanging from the ceiling. The ropes snap, the levers are jammed and the speaking tube is blocked, so we head back.
The other door leads us around to a platform that must be behind the ‘face’ carved at the end of the main chamber. There are holes for the eyes, and some kind of piston. It moves, but we can’t work out what it does. Rob goes to watch from the chamber, but nothing really happens except he notices a musty smell…
While this examination is occurring, Varys manages to fall through a rotten trapdoor. He lands on a pile of gunk and in the light of his torch sees a large room with statues around the edge. On those statues are snakes… There’s an exit to the north.
He calls the others down and as they descend he notices a shiny in the NE corner and a large puddle in the SE. We attack the snakes which turn out to be spitting cobras. They manage to blind Varys and Amber but are killed by the others. The venom is washed from their eyes, but sight doesn’t return just yet…
While Amber is scrambling on the floor she hits a pressure pad and a portcullis drops, blocking the entrance!! Time to look for a secret door type way out of here…
We find one in the corner with the puddle. Rob checks the door more carefully and considers that it’s a VERY tight fit and that there may well be a ton of water backed up on the other side – hence the puddle. We decide to attempt to lift the portcullis instead. Minerva, Morgan, Bael and finally Isis manage to lift it and Rob is able to drive in some iron spikes to hold it up…

Read More

Decapitation strategy

We rejoin the battle…
Morgan is down on his knees retching as the poison takes hold and Varys is rooted to the spot. More cannibals have appeared on the balconies….

Amber drags Morgan to safety, Bael does the same for Varys. Isis steps up to the corridor exit and Minerva joins her thus restricting the number of cannibals who can engage in combat.
It is something of a war of attrition.. Minerva and Isis seem unable to strike in the same round. Isis does notice that the spear she picked up seems light and nimble in her hands. As Minerva drops one of the cannibals Amber spots and opportunity and dashes out into the chamber and skulks in the shadows of the fire, taking potshots at one cannibal still on the balcony.. He misses due to the dim lighting. However, several other behind her can see her illuminated by the fire and one hits her with an arrow. She quickly scurries into the shadows.
The morale of several of the cannibals waivers, and five of them run off. Minerva and Isis have whittled them down to what seems to be the chief and one bodyguard.
With Amber stepping in from the shadows for a backstab and Minerva and Isis finally clicking together, the chief eventually drops. But he’s left his mark on the ladies – they are all feeling battered and cut.
The chief’s body is searched. No valuables, but his sword looks pretty nice. Someone takes it??? Isis also decides to don the bone armour of the bodyguard.

As a message to the remaining cannibals we decapitate the chief and leave his head on a spike outside the temple as we return to our canoes and paddle back to the village.
We are met by Umlat and Talking Chiefy. We explain that Morgan has been poisoned, but that we have broken the back of the cannibal tribe. We have returned for some healing, and to hopefully cure Morgan’s poisoning, but that we plan to return to the temple as we feel sure there is a darker force hidden deep below…
Morgan is cured and stops vomiting. Varys slowly regains use of his limbs. Everyone else nibbles on a mango.
Isis is despatched in giant bat form to scout out the temple and see what she can see, she is also instructed to look for the hole in the roof. This she finds with ease, however there is a net strung across the hole – presumably to keep bats out!

Early next morning, feeling refreshed, we paddle around the island to land away form the temple. Lead by Isis we sneak to the roof opening. The rope hanging down is knotted for ease of climbing and Rob is able to unhook the net to allow us through.
The fire has died down and we notice the bodies have gone and that there are bones amongst the ashes. Cooked and eaten, or cremated..???
The place seems deserted. We check the balconies. On one side is the chief’s room, but we find little of value. The other side seems to contain rooms related to some kind of ritual.. Again, we find little of value and no secret doors. Rob decides to finally get with the program and picks up a short bow and some arrows!
With nothing left to check around this chamber, we head through the mouth. the passage turns and descends some stairs. We then come to a rock wall which takes us a couple of hours to dismantle enough so that we can squeeze through. Minverva crawls through first, but there is nothing beyond. The rest follow and we proceed cautiously down the passage.
We turn a corner and Morgan and Minerva fall through the floor. A trap! Maybe not, they splash into a flooded chamber. The water is about 5 feet deep so they suffer no injury. Rob and Amber secure an iron spike and rope and then the rest descend.
An open door to the west (or maybe the north?) seems to be the only way to proceed. As we wade through the water, Isis stubs her toe on what turns out to be a rusting brazier. Through the door appear to be 6 cells. It’s too dark and the water too murky to make anything out so we continue. At the end is a T junction. To the north (east?) we see a door. To the south (west?) the passage disappears into the dark. We head for the door and it opens into a huuuuge chamber…

Read More