The morning began with intent to adventure. The party set out with Endure Elements from Korva who was staying back at camp and summoned mounts from Ken. Their goal was to explore the area where they were warned of a “winged blood drinker” by the barbarian cannibal they had charmed. The area had been described as “The Red Mountain”
Soon they came upon four zombies staring intently at a tree. The fight began on horseback, Yosemite and Oswald shooting with their firearms, Ken casting Disrupt Undead and Eshe throwing Chakrams while Bamidele focused on melee attacks. By the end of the short fight, Oswald had dismounted and was flanking with Bamidele and Pete had resorted to throwing handaxes, but the zombie threat was quickly disposed of with no damage to the adventuring party.
As they approached the red mountain, they came to a rope bridge that spanned 50′ across. Yosemite wagered it wouldn’t hold more than one horse at a time and so they party crossed carefully.
Next they came to a fork in the trail. Tracks led in both directions, but it was clear the western trail had been used most recently. They followed this trail eagerly. It led to a cliff above a bay. Rope bridges led a trail across various bits of higher ground. The mast of a large ship jutted out of the water. On the cliff there was a strange pyramid, covered in sentinel runes, vines had recently been trimmed back. A cup shaped basin topped the structure, with channels running down from it. As they got closer, they could see that there were traces of blood on it, only 2 or 3 days old.
While they were inspecting the pyramid, a shadow passed over them, something was coming in from above. Ken thought it looked like a Chupakabra, but he had not heard of one with wings. Yosemite readied his musket, Oswald sought cover, Ken prepared to cast a spell and Eshe buffed Bamidele. As the creature swooped down to attack, Yosemite and Oswald fired their guns and Ken cast glitterdust. Within one round the party had decimated the winged creature.
Before heading down to the bay, the party explored and discovered the chupakabra’s den, a nest full of driftwood, grass and bone, along with a magical quiver and some money.
There was an excellent view of the island from atop the mountain.
Before examining the pyramid further, Yosemite drank a potion of water breathing and donned the ring of swimming that the party would later, ridiculously, sell (foreshadowing here.) and headed out towards the ship that could be seen in the bay. He swiftly encountered a shark which he majestically killed single-handed.
After his return, the party decided to see if this pyramid structure was The Tide Stone of the ritual they had found. After various attempts of bloodletting and stone licking, they hit upon the proper execution of the ritual.
1. Put blood of Intelligent creature on each stone.
2. Lick from a snake.
3. Sea water in vessel.
4. Say Yrdirsius.
A bolt of lightning hit the stone and the waves in the bay began to churn, parting the waters. A path now led down, with shallow tide pools dotting the way, to a heavy stone doorway. The wrecked ship was in good enough repair that the words “The Salty Strumpet” could still be deciphered on its side. The party stopped to investigate. Inside the Captain’s quarters of the ship they met a water mephit wearing a captain’s hat. He introduced himself as Captain Ecubus and agreed to investigate the stone doors with the party.
The doors were carved with Azlanti maidens. Inside they found alcoves that looked like yawning fanged mouths and more unsettling Azlanti carvings on the walls. Before they had time to investigate further, the party was attacked by javelin bearing skeletons from a bridge 40′ above the ground floor. Luckily the party was fairly well equipped to fight ranged foes and the two gun-toting adventurers killed the skeletons while Eshe tossed her Chakrams somewhat ineffectively and Ken looked for a way up to the bridge, finding a bronze door that appeared to be bleeding.
They noted that one of the alcoves contained a lever.