Serpent's Skull

Ch. 1.5: Souls for Smugglers Shiv

Part 5: Cannibals!

 

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Aerys became quite sick.  Jask said she does not have a disease, and Aerys admitted angrily she was an alcoholic.  She was going through severe withdrawals.  The Dryad said there were Viper Nettles nearby which produced an effect which would alleviate her symptoms.  Arjin decided to go out and gather some, bringing them back and getting a thank you from Aerys.  Not yet fully recovered, however, she stayed behind with Shalimar, Ishirou, and Sasha while the others went to the cannibal camp.

 

Arriving at the camp,  they immediately see the large lighthouse.  The Thrunefang camp consists of several large wooden huts with palm-frond roofs arranged in a small clearing in the jungle in the shadow of the stone lighthouse. The group has entered the area from the north, opposite the path.  They see one hut and a woman who appears to be a spellcaster of sorts go into it.  They decide to ambush her.

 

She dies in the fight, her monkey companion making enough noise to draw the attention of several savages.  Arya remains outside the hut, doing her best to keep them at bay with her bow and arrows.  Drizzt remains outside, fighting in melee with them.  Rhovyn and Ismur fight the witch and her backups inside the hut, while Arjin remains outside trying to draw attention away from the commotion.

 

Drizzt and Arjin nearly die, and although the witch was killed, Rhovyn and Ismur are no match for the cannibals and their clubs.  Arya does her best and gets Arjin and Drizzt away from the hut, but they are not able to save Rhovyn and Ismur without healing and help.  They flee back to the Dryad, hoping the cannibals with leave them to age before eating them, giving the group time to get back.

 

Rhovyn and Ismur awake naked, tied to poles, in the large stone building attached to the lighthouse.  Rhovyn breaks the rope binding her hands, then wakes Ismur up and sets him free.  Without looking for their items, they flee into the night.  The Dryad warns the party that their friends have escaped, and Drizzt and Arjin hurriedly meet them several hours later, guiding them back to the Dryad’s tree where they are healed.

 

 

 

The group plans out their next move, deciding to attack en masse with everything they’ve got.  There ultimate goal is to find the captain and Ieana.  If they can get in quietly they will.  However, the cannibals figure the group would come back, and send out scouts to detect their return.  Scouts do indeed see that group returning to attack, and prepare the camp.

 

When the group reaches the camp, they find it abandoned.  They sneak into the larger stone building and are then ambushed from several points.  The cannibals are brutal in their attacks.  Aerys takes several wounds to the head and collapses.  Drizzt and Arya flee out the back and climb onto the roof to attack with bows.  Ismur, Sasha, Ishirou, Jask, Rhovyn, and Arjin remain inside, fighting closely.  Ismur is knocked unconcious, and Rhovyn is nearly killed.  Arjin is knocked unconcious and Jask has his head split open by a solid club strike, dying instantly.

 

Sasha fends off the remaining cannibals inside while Drizzt and Arya kill what remains outside.  After the battles, the group finds that Aerys has died from her wounds.  

 

After burying them under stones,  the group searches the camp.  Rather than travel back to the Dryad, they decide to stay there and finish the search the next day.  However, during the night, a ghost appears out of the campfire and accosts Rhovyn.  

 

He screams to her about his beloved Aeshamara , calling her and her companions scoundrels and demands the return of his beloved. They back up in fear but recognize he is not moving to attack.  He appears as a nearly skeletal form, his bare bones picked clean by the fish and crabs, yet he still wears his dripping coat and tricorn hat. One of his hands is a gleaming metal hook, and his whole insubstantial form constantly drips with cold, brackish seawater.  They deduce he wants the locket Rhovyn found, but she does not have it- it was taken by the cannibals when she was captured.  

 

During the day’s search, they did not find their equipment, but they promise the ghost they will get it.  He next day they find it and await his return at night.  Judging correctly he will appear anywhere on the island as long as there is a campfire, they decide to go back to the Dryad for healing.  The ghost does not appear that night, nor in consecutive nights.  Nothing untoward happens, though, so the group decides to explore what remains of the northern part of the island.  

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