This is not in a story format, just a general recap of each session to keep myself, my husband and our gamer friends fresh on what happened between games.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Serpent’s Skull, Book 1, Session 2
Sasha had asked Yosemite for a baby Dimorphodon, a kind of poisonous Pterosaur that had been seen flying around the island. In the rain on their first day, the party had seen a nest, but avoided it, having no reason to trouble the creatures at the time. Yosemite was so charmed that he convinced everyone to go and bother the innocent, but not harmless, beasts.
They retraced their steps to the nest, this time finding it guarded by two adults. Yosemite was eager to impress Sasha and ran to the front of the party, where he was immediately charged by the two Dimorphodons. He stood his ground, shaking and bloodied as Bamidele came up beside him and gave one of the Dimorphodons a chomp. Eshe kept a bit of distance and flung a javelin but missed her mark. Oswald was able to crouch down in the jungle brush and fire his crossbow into the fray, killing the injured Dimorphodon. Korva cast Magic Fang on Jumper and the crocodile moved forward.
Yosemite, heavily damaged, but feeling brave with one of the Dimorphodons slain, fired off a shot with his pistol with a flash, temporarily blinding the Pterosaur as it damaged it, giving him a bit of cover from its next attack, which missed. Yosemite probably felt confident that Bamidele, Eshe, Oswald and Jumper would finish the beast off, but alas! they all missed, and suddenly it was up to Yosemite once more.
Yosemite moved back and fired again, hitting the Pterosaur. The creature took a bite at Bamidele but missed and began to fly back towards its nest. Bamidele pursued and Eshe threw another pointless javelin. Oswald however managed to hit the moving target as Korva and Jumper joined the chase.
Yosemite fired once more and finally the Dimorphodon was killed. After collecting the two Pterosaurs bodies for the meat (stranded as they were, they couldn’t overlook any food source), Yosemite peeked into the nest where two tiny newborn Dimorphodons hissed and flailed.
The ratfolk gunslinger collected his prize and presented them to Sasha. She called them “the twins” and gave him a kiss on the forehead.
From there, the party decided to methodically search the island, scouring the jungle for viper nettle berries and the beaches for wrecked ships, but forefront in everyone’s mind was finding some sign of the Captain of the Jenivere or some serviceable form of egress from this wretched island. They were slightly hopeful as they approached the wreckage of a ship, the words “The Lusty Lizard” peeling on its side. It was, however, pitifully empty. As Yosemite scoured the broken wreckage for materials to outfit his pistols, Eshe climbed atop the crooked mast and collected a seagull feather from a nest there. Sitting down on the ground she attached it to her quarterstaff with a look of thoughtful determination on her face. She shook the staff and said aloud, “Yeah… yeah…” several times.
It had taken many hours to reach the northern tip of the island, and it was very late at night as the party trudged through the pitch dark waving a sunrod ahead to light their path. When their path took them near the sea, they could see roiling, glowing green humanoid figures moving through the water. They didn’t speak of it, just walked closer to one another and grimaced. Re-entering the jungle, they were attacked. Crouching in the bush 3 dire rats thoroughly ambushed the unsuspecting adventurers.
Korva and Jumper moved up, the crocodile taking a chomp out of a dire rat. Yosemite considered befriending his wilder cousins, but could think of no reasonable way to do so, so he resorted to firing on them. Ken attempted acid splash but missed in the confusion. Oswald managed to move away after being bit by one of the wretched creatures, and hid in the dark brush, firing his crossbow and killing a rat. Eshe and Bamidele killed the remaining two and the party set to wondering if the creatures were diseased. “Does this look infected?” Oswald queried.
Back at camp in the wee hours, Ken had a nightmare. In the dream he was seasick on the Jenivere, looking around, all of his companions were sick as well, except Captain Kovack and Ieana, who stood and watched. The ship was taking on water, and all Ken had was his wooden soup spoon, and so he tried to bail it out. He saw monstrous things, moving and nightmarish, and awoke. He shared his nightmares, much to everyone’s surprise. He seemed too private the type to admit to such fears. He became preoccupied with searching for a wooden spoon.
Everyone slept quite late after their previous adventures, and as the heat of the day began, Korva grimaced at the skies and said she didn’t think it was going to rain this day. They were left but little choice but to try and keep themselves entertained in the camp for the day.
In the midst of the horrific heat hundreds of monkeys came into the camp. At first everyone was bewildered and little bit amused by the attack. They were adorable, tiny monkeys. Sasha and Eshe protested at harming them, until they began to pick up food from their stores and grab at their persons. After one attempted underwear theft and a monkey successfully taking one of Yosemite’s cartridges, peeling it like a banana and getting a face full of gunpowder, Bamidele picked up several monkeys and shook them about, knocking them out and dispersing the rest. When those monkeys came to they scrambled to escape the camp. Their squeaks almost seemed to admonish the party for being poor hosts. Several monkeys had been caught in traps around the camp and killed, they served a grisly replacement for the food that they had stolen.
After dark they decided to move the camp, hoping to get a good spot to set out from and explore farther into the island.
Their new campsite was right between a river, where they excitedly took baths for the first time in several hot, sticky days, and a wall of viper nettles, which they determined to explore in the light, hoping to fulfill Aerys Mavato’s request.
The party stood around the giant pile of viper nettles. It looked quite painful, and they knew, was poisonous. Seeing that no one else was taking a step towards it, Oswald volunteered, since it was his friend, Aerys, in need. Everyone stood outside, cringing in anticipation of Oswald’s expected injury, but they just heard the sound of slight rustling as he deftly avoided the poisoned nettles and called out triumphantly from the middle of large bramble, “I’ve found them!” He collected 12 handfuls and escaped the nettles unscathed, impressing everyone. Returning to Aerys with the berries, she thanked him and offered him the opportunity to read her epic poem. Which was not a euphemism. Or was it?
Searching not far from the new campsite, the party found signs of another camp, a fire, a rough shelter, Captain Kovack’s hat, some scarves and, much to Ken’s excitement, a wooden spoon. Bamidele took the hat, explaining that the sun had been bothering his sensitive, otherworldly eyes, and Korva collected the scarves, offering one to Eshe. Eshe wrapped it around her head gratefully. It was clear that Captain Kovack, and probably Ieana, had camped here about a week prior, probably their first night on the island when everyone else had been unconscious from the poisoned soup. They saw signs of two sets of tracks and followed them along the river. They passed not far from their campsite.
As they walked they saw the remains of another shipwreck and went to investigate. Oswald scouted ahead and saw several zombies milling about on deck. Although foolhardy, the party decided to investigate further, Bamidele and Eshe running right up on deck like Zombies were an everyday occurrence. The zombies devastated Bamidele, leaving him nearly dead and undoubtedly knocking off his new hat. Shortly afterward they ravished Eshe, knocking her to the ground, unconscious and bleeding out fast, as she fell, Bamidele turned, looked at her with aching eyes, and disappeared. Korva ran up, rummaged for a cure potion and prepared to pour it into Eshe’s mouth as Ken summoned an eagle, which gamely stood in front of the unholy creatures and took the brunt of their attacks for a round. Jumper, Oswald and Yosemite focused their attacks and Korva managed to stabilize the still unconscious Eshe. After the zombies were dealt with and Eshe recovered somewhat, she summoned Bamidele and tied his hat on his head with a bit of rope. They sat on the deck in a tangle of emotion as the rest of the party searched the boat.
They returned briefly to the campsite for healing from Jask, and set out to follow the tracks once more.
The tracks continued along the river, until they came to its mouth, and in the cove where the river met the sea, they saw another shipwreck. This was one they had been hoping to find, on Jask’s behalf. The Brine Demon.
Once again Oswald scouted ahead, finding the deck empty, he peered into one of the cabins and saw a skeleton clutching at a locked box. Oswald returned to the others with this information and they all went to investigate. Everyone was on edge after their encounter with the zombies, but the skeleton remained immobile as they reached for the chest he was clutching.
Inside they found a dagger, which Korva claimed, a gold locket with a picture of a beautiful red-headed half elf, inscribed with the name Aeshamara, which Yosemite snatched, exclaiming, “my new girlfriend!” and a pile of ledgers and journals. They took these to see if they were the evidence Jask needed to clear his name.
Immediately on returning to camp, Jask confirmed that they were. He seemed almost giddy as he held his redemption in his hands. The party prepared to move camp to a spot near the cove where they found the Brine Demon to keep near the tracks they had been following and the river.
After the new campsite was assembled and everyone was settled near the fire, not for warmth, but to keep the horrible bugs of the jungle island at bay, they were shocked by the arrival of a walking skeleton. It was the captain who had been clutching at the chest on the Brine Demon.
He was unarmed but pointed a finger at Korva. “You… Aeshamara? Is that you?”
Korva was immediately taken aback, but tried to speak soothing words, saying, “Yes, its me, and I want you to go and be at peace.”
He stood and stared at her dumbfounded, saying, “I just wanted to see you.”
Yosemite pulled the locket from around his neck and said, “Hey, you want this?” holding it out with the picture visible.
This startled the skeleton from his slackjawed staring, and he said, “Yes…” looking at Korva again, he said, “You’re not Aeshamara,” and reached for the locket.
His hands passed through it, and as they did, he seemed to have a calm, almost fleshly look on his face, and his form disappeared. Yosemite shrugged and put the locket back around his neck.
That night Korva had a nightmare. She was sitting in the galley of the Jenivere, preparing to eat a delicious looking soup, but she dropped her spoon. She had to lift the bowl to drink from it. Something large slid from the bowl into her mouth, the feeling was repulsive. It was serpent. It bit her tongue, and she awoke, biting down on her own tongue. When she shared this dream with the others, Eshe looked at her curiously and said she always dreamed of serpents, had dreamed of them her whole life. This was a sign that they were meant to follow the same quest, and Eshe felt confident they would find a way off the island together.
Disease was becoming more of a problem as the days passed, and those who remained at camp became more focused on defense and healing, leaving little time for hunting. The party decided to first go to the hunting ground of a snake they had passed by the day before, and collect the meat.
This snake was much stealthier than the last they had slain, a constrictor, it hid from them, but Bamidele scented it out and the party made quick work of it.
They returned early with the meat and were able to set out again before the heat of the day, this time with Ishorou and the treasure map that he had spoken of. They took shovels and found the spot, atop a hill not far from their current campsite.
While taking breaks, they spied two more shipwrecks on the eastern shore and made note of them on the map they had found in Captain Kovack’s cabin.
They dug at the spot indicated on the map until the heat of the day became too much for all but Korva, who was under the effect of an Endure Elements spell. She continued to dig until the rains began, luckily early today, and the others rejoined her. Finally, ten feet down, they struck wood, and found the immobile skeleton of a dwarf who seemed to have been murdered. Their hole was 8 feet in diameter and the wooden platform took up the whole of it. They dug around until it was revealed to be 10 feet in diameter and attempted to pry it open with a grappling hook. This splintered some of the wood away, but much of it was still there. Bamidele peeked down and said he saw water forty feet down, and while everyone tried to think of how to get the lid off, Eshe beat at it impatiently with her quarterstaff. Three good thumps and the whole of it went crashing down into the water.
They attached the grappling hook to a bit of wooden bracing around the hole. Ken saw two figures in the water and Oswald fired a crossbow bolt at them, but missed. Ken lowered himself down within range of the forms and cast disrupt undead. He could tell that it was effective and cast it again after Bamidele and Korva followed him down the hole, while everyone else watched from the top. Two ghoulish figures emerged from the water and began to climb the sides. Bamidele took a bite out of one and it fell into the water. It tasted disgusting. Yosemite hopped around atop the hole wishing for a clear view of the remaining ghoul. It was easy to drop however, it seemed to have been damaged by the falling wooden plug.
Korva jumped the rest of the way into the water acrobatically and the rest of the party followed by climbing down the wooden braces. Under the water they found a path that led a short way to a chamber with a chest. They could not initially open the chest and so they, and Ishorou, hefted it up out of the hole.
It contained much gold, gems, a scroll in a mithril scroll tube and a jeweled star knife.
That night in camp, Korva again had nightmares. This time, she found herself in a row boat. Alton, the friendly first mate of the Jenivere, was rowing the boat, but he was clearly dead, she could see he still bore the wounds she had seen on him in his cabin. He took her to shore, to an island covered in snakes, and left her standing in their midst. As he rowed away, she thought he must be searching for more survivors, and awoke as the snakes at her feet began to bite her ankles.