Episode 20 : Stormy Bay Island
 

At dawn the ship slips anchor and sails out of the port of Rombyosus and begins its journey around the island. The journey around the island is uneventful. As we approach, "Stormy Bay.", the Captain calls us up on deck. We see the bay and a black cloud that shrouds the harbour. A fierce localized storm is in progress there. The Captain comments, "Stormy Bay is always like what you see now. We will be at the island before evening. I suggest you all remain on deck. This ship won't be at the docks for long. I will wait for up to three days out to sea. If you want to be retrieved you have but to signal. The fee for this service is another 30 gold, in advance.", we pay the man, although we don't expect to be using his services again.

The ship sails into the storm on its course to the island. The water is breached by six shark like creatures who propel themselves from the water. Five land on deck, one flies over and splashes into the water on the other side of the ship. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt strikes with longsword and shortsword shattering the sharkman's shoulder and sending him unconscious back into the turbulent waves. Two sharkmen attack sailors with their harpoons, both plunge their weapons deep into the arteries of the sailor's legs, the sailors drop. Heinz Meier strikes at another, forcing him to drop his weapon. Werner Faßenberg cast shock bolt at another stunning the creature. Stefan and {He who goes unnamed} sling at the beasts.

Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt attacks another sharkman, again the combination of blows and the electrical critical sends it onto the deck. He slips on the blood and another sharkman is upon him. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt defends himself from the deck. Heinz Meier attacks this sharkman putting a deep gash into it's side. {He who goes unnamed} sends a sling slug into this one too, it drops to the deck. Three more sharkmen jump onto the deck. Wilhelm Schults strikes at one sharkman with his warhammer sending the creature overboard again. A sharkman sends his harpoon through the nose of a sailor, who drops to the deck. Stefan moves to one of the first sailors with the leg wound and begins to heal him.

The fight continues, Wilhelm Schults and Heinz Meier knock another sharkman overboard. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt rights himself upon the deck. The final sharkman thinks better and moves to leap overboard. Wilhelm Schults sends him overboard with a horrible puncture wound in his back. The situation calms, Stefan continues to move amongst the wounded administering what help he can. Those that can also bandage their compatriots. The island comes ever closer. The Captain guides the ship to the docks. We alight. The ship sets sail out. The Captain's voice is heard over the winds, "I will wait three days, but no more. Good hunting.", his voice is drown by the storm. We watch as the ship heads through the storm and out towards the open sea. We move down the dock and onto the island proper. There are stairs in front of us that wind up this island mountain to its peak.

At the base of the stairs is the remains of a small campfire. There is the aroma of incense in the air. The coals of the fire still have some heat in them, we think that we are not far behind the two witches and their minotaur menace escorts. The stairs are narrow and we plan our accent. Wilhelm Schults will lead us, a little way ahead of the rest of the party. Heinz Meier and Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt are to follow next with the rest of the party close behind them. About a third of the way up the mountain Wilhelm Schults notices an unusual shadow cast onto the stairs. A shadow which has horns upon its head. Wilhelm Schults cautiously stalks down the stairs and we devise a plan.

Stefan cast intuition. In the intuition we all rush up the stairs into the little landing beyond. In the landing there are two cots and one minotaur, beyond the minotaur is a tunnel. The minotaur sees Wilhelm Schults rush in, it raises its two handed iron battleaxe and despite Wilhelm Schults best efforts cuts him in two. A fight ensures, then the intuition ends. Having seen the results of just rushing headlong into the battle, we device a better plan. {He who goes unnamed} and Werner Faßenberg cast fly on themselves, they are to fly directly up and sudden light the minotaur. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt changes places with Wilhelm Schults and their queue to attack is to be two brilliant flashes of light coming from above.

{He who goes unnamed} and Werner Faßenberg fly up and cast sudden light at the minotaur. It is stunned. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt rushes in and delivers two mighty blows. Electricity arcs over the stunned minotaur. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt and Wilhelm Schults now both strike. The minotaur's skull is shattered open by their combination of blows. The body drops with a thud onto the landing. We examine the body but find nothing.

Stefan cast intuition and rushes into the tunnel. In the tunnel he hears the crashing of a waterfall. Ahead he comes to a bridge spanning the front of the waterfall. He grabs a rock and advances onto the bridge, here he discovers that one of the wooden plankings has broken. He looks down into the mists below and casts down the rock. He doesn't hear it strike the bottom, the sound of the waterfall covers all noise. The mists below covering the body of a minotaur crushed upon the rocks below.

We advance into the tunnel and cross over the bridge. Continuing up the tunnel path we eventually exit into sunlight. The storm clouds are now far below. The stairs continue to wind their way up to the mountain top. We continue uneventfully to the summit. Here we find the ruins of a temple like building and the statue that Stefan saw in his dreams. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt glances about at the ground. He sees only the tracks of one minotaur here. Stefan puts a gold coin into the mouth of the statue and presses both eyes. We hear a voice, "Who do you worship?", we each in turn reply, Werner Faßenberg says, "Axraam.". Wilhelm Schults says, "No one.". Yiros Fetta Uzo says, "Shaam.". With that the statue moves aside to reveal a tunnel leading back down into the mountain.

Heinz Meier sniffs the air. "I smell blood down there.", indicating the tunnel, "I shall investigate.", says Stefan. He cast intuition and advances down the tunnel at break neck speed. He flies down the stairs into a chamber populated by three corpses on the floor and a fourth corpse sitting on a throne, wearing a crown. All four corpses animate at Stefan's entrance and move to attack him. The one with the crown raises it's hand and Stefan's spell ends abruptly. Stefan relays his tale. We prepare and advance down the stairs.

Our group races into the chamber with the corpses. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt slices the head off one corpse just starting to animate and advances on the throne. Wilhelm Schults leaps down from the stairs to the chamber floor and drives his warhammer deep into the back of a second zombie. The third zombie moves to attack Heinz Meier on the stairs. Heinz Meier is prepared and parries, he delivers a shuddering blow in reply. The second zombie rolls over and claws at Wilhelm Schults only to be blocked. Werner Faßenberg cast shock bolt at the fourth zombie in the throne. Electricity arcs about it. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt is at the throne and strikes the zombie, slicing his swords into its side. Again electricity arcs over the creature.

Heinz Meier again strikes at his zombie, again delivering a shuddering blow. {He who goes unnamed} aims a sling slug at the zombie on the throne, by sheer skill the slug strikes the neck, shattering the bones, and the head falls deanimated from the zombie. The headless body slumps into the throne. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt turns and attacks the second zombie. Working in combination with Wilhelm Schults they dispatch the creature. Heinz Meier now delivers a third and final blow which smashes the ribcage of the last zombie. It falls in pieces at his feet.

There is little in this room save the broken bodies, the throne, the crown, and a brass door behind the throne. The crown is separated from the skull. Wilhelm Schults feels a desire to put on the crown but he resists. A search of the throne reveals a button at the base of one of the armrests. Pushing the button causes the brass door to fly upwards into a recess. Three seconds later with equally blinding speed the brass door flies shut again. We ponder the situation. Some of us could get through but the likelihood is that the last person will be cut in half. Werner Faßenberg cast portal and a portal appears through the door. We walk through with safety onto the wide stairs that lead down into the mountain.

We slowly wind our way down the tunnel deep into the bowels of the mountain. At one point we come across the aftermath of a battle royal. There are scorch marks over all the tunnel walls, chunks of the roof are missing, huge scratch marks tear along all the tunnel walls, there bits of scale embedded into the wall, large bits, the top half of a minotaur lies in the middle of the floor, the bottom half has been bitten off and is no where to be seen. We examine a scale, they are as hard as plate and are very reflective. We advance another two hundred feet and discover the other participant in this battle. Here we find the smouldering remains of a silver snake. The snake has been ripped open and is smouldering from the inside. The head of the snake looks very dragon like and about its neck are folds of skin that seem expandable.

Wilhelm Schults notices fingers of a human hand between the teeth of it's mouth. He prises open the mouth. Inside the mouth of the silver snake is the smouldering remains of a human female, the evil mage. The body is very burnt and reeks of sulphur. A search reveals nothing salvageable on the body. Wilhelm Schults removes and bags the head. We investigate the silver snake further, looking for the so called, "Fire bladders.". The fire bladders are missing, they have already been removed from the creature. We take some two dozen of the scales for later manufacture into either shields or maybe armour.

We continue our advance down the tunnels. Ahead Wilhelm Schults hears the sounds of scraping and the smell of sulphur pervades the air. We return to a cavern a little way back. Werner Faßenberg cast earthwall sealing us inside a portion of the cavern and making the cavern now appear as a continuation of the tunnel before. {He who goes unnamed} cast facades and makes our earthwall appear to touch as the stone of the tunnels about us. We wait. We hear the sound of a silver snake scraping past. Fear sweeps over Stefan and Werner Faßenberg, they start to claw at the earthwall trying in their panic to escape from the silver snake. Gabriel Von Hendlebrodt grabs Werner Faßenberg and holds him down. Heinz Meier grabs Stefan and does the same. For two minutes the scraping continues. The temperature in our little chamber rises. Sweat pours off people. Then the sound abates and the temperature starts to drop. Calm takes the place of fear and we are thankful that our ruse held.

 

 
(c) 2000 Hammerstein Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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