Skull and Shackles

Game 5 - Island (Ghoul) Fever

Too many ghouls spoil the island paradise

As you break your fast with more crabmeat, you decide which way to explore first. Bonewrack isle has a huge ridge towering over it’s western portion. There is a single raised tor is at the extreme northeast edge of the isle. Miles of thick jungle lie between the two prominent landmarks.

You notice a path that runs along near where you camped, and find signs that is has been recently used by humanoids. You decide to venture northeast along the path. After a few hours of travel you come to a huge tree in the middle of a clearing in the swamp. The area is filled with the terrible stench of cheap perfume and rotting flesh. Some sort of huge tent is draped over the tree. Both tree and tent are covered with lurid painted faces, rotting humanoid body part and carpets of squirming insects. You quickly discover that inside the tent is the lair of three ghouls, dressed in decaying silks and vermin infested dresses. After you defeat them you find surprising treasure inside the tent, amongst the piles of rotting clothing and mouldering cushions.

Continuing NE on the path, you come to a large green bog and the remnants of an old wooden bridge that used to cross it. As you try to carefully navigate this salt river quicksand you are surprised by giant frogs who try to swallow some of you whole.

You finally win through the jungle to the island’s northern beach, where you find a small gathering of collapsed mud huts. It looks like it has been abandoned for decades. You make your way to the tor at the NE point of the island. It is a glowering fist of granite that rises 50 feet high. It is a fairly easy climb, and from the top you have a fine view of: the Man’s Promise; fields that form a break in the jungle (to the SW of your landing site); and a stockade on the ridge to the west. You also find an old beacon fire atop the summit, unlit and clearly made by some castaway who hoped to signal be rescued by some passing ship.

You retrace your steps to your crab palm beach, then continue SW to a clearing in the jungle where fields of corn have gone wild, a square mile’s worth. You decide to harvest as much as you can for food aboard ship, and proceed to cut into the 8 foot high cornfield. As you progress you discover two things. The first is that whoever planted the field erected scarecrows topped with the heads of real humans scattered about the field. The heads appear infested with flying bugs and you don’t disturb them. The second thing you discover is the ankheg which lurks beneath the soil of the field. You handily dispatch it and reap a fine harvest.

You finally ascend the only path up the cliffs. Simple steps have been cut into the rock and the path has not overgrown again from when it had been cleared of vegetation. At the top you find a well built timber stockade surrounding a small lodge, and a huge tree, in a jungle clearing. Inside is also a clear and bubbling spring, the only source of fresh water on the island. Inside the stockade you are attacked by vine chokers hiding in the tree. You also find a spyglass affixed to the stockade wall. It is pointed at the waters off the SW edge of the isle. Through it you see grindylows frolicking in the water of the cove. One of them is wearing Sandara’s tricorne hat!

Inside the stockade lodge you find a single chamber crowded with a large amount of furniture salvaged from a ship, a small writing desk with papers and a journal on it, barrels of rotted food, and a single hanging corpse beside a kicked over stool. You defeat the hanging ghast, and barely defeat the cloud of ghoul fever infected botflies that laired in his head. After, you search the room and read the journal and discover that this was Aaron Ivy, the last survivor of the wreck of the Chelish ship the Infernus. He lasted longer than any of the other survivors of the wreck, but hanged himself when he felt the ghoul fever overcoming him.

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niciroy

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