Day 90 4PM The party clambered into their jolly boat and decided to take a closer look at Mancatcher Cove. Rowing up to the mouth of the cove, they put their oars at rest and looked about. Dwag noted several large shark fins cresting the water at the far side of the cove. Temujin scanned the canopy of foliage overhead – despite the cacophony of noise from the local birds and monkeys – none roosted in the canopy itself.
Temujin communed with the local birds and found that plant life among the canopy hunted. It hunted monkeys, birds and sailors upon ships – but only at night. Dwag shot a crossbow bolt into the canopy and heard a shimmer of noise across the vines. The party withdrew from the cove and Mittens and Damiano clambered up the cliff-side and readied a rope for the rest of the party to join them. The party planned to proactively engage the beast. Mittens launched a globe of acid to the dense knot of foliage high up in the trees – the neighboring trees and vines quavered in response and vines shot out from the fecund mass of plant material attacking Mittens, Dwag, Damiano and Pyrlig! As it struck, the vines wrapped around them, lifting them up off the ground and small capillaries embedded into the skin of the victims to draw out their fluids.
The party found that the massive plant was highly resistant to fire and electricity, to the dismay of Temujin and Mittens as they attempted to counter attack with their spells. Nico was able to hurt the giant creeping plant with a blast of cold. Nico also summoned many elementals to help rip the trees and their roots out of the ground, in the attempt that would lower the creature to their for a more effective counter attack. The canopy creeper continued to fight with Mittens, Dwag, Damiano and Pyrlig, drawing them ever closer to its gaping maw, deep in the center of the plant growth. Dwag and Damiano cut themselves free and caught onto neighboring tree limbs and started climbing up to assist Mittens and Pyrlig, still caught fast, while deflecting continued attacks from the creeper’s attacking vines. The vines continued to leech the life and strength from their victims and Father Pyrlig was pulled close against the chopping maw of the creeper.
Nico’s elementals successfully felled a tree under the creeper, only to have it drop to the ground only a few feet – they renewed their tree-felling activities on the surrounding trees. Temujin continued to provide covering fire with his bow, but the creeper was quite resilient to his attacks. Father Pyrlig, Nico and Temujin covered the party with healing magics to stave off death – but then Pyrlig was pulled close to the creepers gnashing maw and torn apart. Mittens and Damiano were hard pressed to either escape or offer a significant counter attack – but the party continued to press on against the beast. Dwag, caught in the creeper’s vine was pulled close to the maw and finally able to land a telling blow upon the huge plant, and it settled and sagged in the treeline. The party was able to free themselves, get down to the ground and recover Father Pyrlig’s mauled body.
As the party made plans to return to the Lash and recover, they realized that their jolly boat was gone – no longer tied to the rope as they had left it. Temujin again communed with the birds which relayed that the shark-men stole the jolly boat away and holed it, sinking it in the center of the cove. Temujin summoned Raven, which delivered a message back the Lash – Fergal arrived in the second boat with a brace of sailors rowing, but packing blunderbusses – and the party safely, quietly returned to the Lash. After the pitched battle with the canopy creeper, the party took some rest to recuperate before planning to get back to the cove by dawn’s light to spy out the ‘gold tooth’ of Pharasma.
Day 92 6AM The party, down a man, summoned Old Sawney, the orc from the Devil’s Pallor, to round out their numbers. They then directed their jolly boat back to the mouth of the cove at daybreak. At dawn’s light, the sun shone across the cove to light up a hidden vein of pyrite embedded in the cliff face – with this golden highlight, the party could discern the ‘gold tooth’ as part of a toothy smile, and the corresponding nose and eyes of a skulled face. The party remembering the verse as part of Isabella’s map, “Climb the Captain’s wayward orb,” they remembered Kroops story that Captain Wolfe had lost his right eye – from their facing, they would need to climb up to the left eye to investigate they cave that they could see.
Captain Damiano and Mittens climbed their way up the vine covered cliffs to the ‘right’ eye, tied off their rope and the party joined them. The cave ascended close to the surface, where sunlight streamed into the cave from cracks in the cave ceiling. A great tree above ground – its roots descending down into the cave, and the gnarly roots had grown to a rough expression of a mans’ face, the smaller roots encircling his face like a beard. Perhaps this was the, “To claim old king’s hoard,” the map spoke of? But where was the treasure? The party looked about for secret doors and used divination magic – but found no further indication of Captain Wolfe’s treasure. Temujin and Dwag speculated that this was pirate treasure, maybe it was simply buried. Nico summoned his elementals and they searched the area until one returned indicating that there was soft dirt below, leading through the soft limestone tunnels to water. Nico had the elementals dig away the material to expose a long tunnel leading straight down where it ended at a rotted wood landing just above a cave of calm seawater.
Damiano and Mittens swung to the other eye and ventured into the cave. Moving carefully, Damiano felt the dirt flex funny beneath his feet – he shared the uncomfortable feeling with Mittens and they both chose to withdraw and join their companions.
Day 92 7AM Dwag led the way down the tunnel that descended about 40’, to the rotted landing and the water’s surface – Temujin granted the party the magical ability to breath under water. Mittens lit Damiano’s sword with a magical light. With that, the party was prepared and ready to go, and they dropped into the water.
[end of session 33]