Ian/Temujin was ill and resigned to the ship’s head
The party took their rest in the eastern guard tower. Nico sent Anduril to the Black Purrl, to inform Sandara of their status. Anduril stayed aboard the Purrl to relay updates between the ships and Nico at the tower. They relayed the details they gleaned from the cyclops, Dolph – that there may be a cyclops war party out in boats – and that the crew needs to be vigilant.
Day 237 8AM The party recovered and were ready to go – but they debated on the next best course of action. Nico summoned elementals to fly over the island. To the north, there were sightings of pternadons. To the west, the road heads up into some rocky peaks and a complex had been built in a stony valley. Could this be Sumitha? To the south, near the bay, a single humanoid shape was moving furtively through the trees near the beach.
The party considered building traps around the tower but ultimately decided against it. They also considered heading back to the ships to hunt for the cyclops war parties – but they had no knowledge of when they may be sailing back into this region. They weighed whether they should go west upon the road, but instead head across the plateau towards the southern harbor to see if they could investigate the sighting of the furtive humanoid.
Day 237 9AM Nico summoned Anduril to keep watch at the eastern guard tower. Sandara and the Black Purrl stayed put near the eastern harbor. The Splash and the Lehigh went north around the island to keep a lookout. The ship’s alchemist Haddon Pike fashioned flares to provide to Hamish and Knuckles in case they had to quickly report a sighting or an emergency.
The party departed the eastern tower and headed north across the grassy plateau.
Day 237 11AM The party had a pleasant sojourn across the plains, when they heard a rumbling growl – shapes before them spread out in a semi circle – four dire smilodons moved up, crouching, while two more moved up behind the party, with fangs like swords, this cat’s gleaming eyes and wicked claws promise death to anything it sees as prey. The party quickly drew their weapons as the smilodons pounced! With they mighty legs, they pounced and closed the distance with their intended dinner – Mittens was clawed and raked – but shot back with lightning and magically took to the skies. Two more great cats closed in on Father Pyrlig slicing away at him. The cats closing in from the rear engaged Dwag and Damiano. Nico braced himself with magical shields and went invisible.
The party found that the smilodons were quiet powerful, their claws repeatedly drawing blood, but the party wore them down until all the beasts were slain. They party treated their wounds and marched on.
Soon, they party came to the edge of the escarpment, a beautiful waterfall was beside them, flowing into the southern harbor. Mittens and Damiano climbed down, while the remainder of the party flew down to the beach below. Traveling along the beach, Dwag looked for footprints, which lead west towards the fort. They continued west. Arriving at a river, Father Pyrlig used his divine sight to reconnoitre the waters upstream. His clairvoyance was mostly uneventful – but he did spy two triceratops coming to the water’s edge to drink.
Day 237 3PM The party arrived at the fort. The abandoned Chelish fort is constructed of 15-foot-high outer stone walls with multiple watchtowers accessible by ladders. These walls join to a giant-sized tower built by the cyclopes as an observation post. The party noted some recent renovations on the overall old structure. Despite the repairs, they could see that the old Chelish fort had been assaulted by cyclops recently – the destruction from hurled stones had smashed roofs and breached walls. Nico summoned an invisible stalker to investigate the ruins. The stalker noted two things. The first, which Dwag was able to confirm, the human-sized booted feet had returned to the fort, but with nervous steps, leaving quite a visible trace. They made their way into the fort, into the largest free standing building in the courtyard of the fort. The second detail noted by the invisible stalker was that something large, with eight legs, made foot steps near many of the buildings, but from time to the tracks were lost, as if this large creature could move distances without being tracked.
The party cautiously moved into the courtyard into the center building. Beyond the fort’s shattered gates stretches a square courtyard, overgrown with weeds and surrounded by multiple buildings, their broken windows looming dark and silent. They came into a small quartermaster’s office, which had been turned over. Dwag noted a slight, steep stair behind some rubble. Dwag moved up and successfully disarmed a dual scythe trap built into the stairs. The party moved up the stairs and into a once fine bedroom. Windows along the north and east walls of this room provide views of the courtyard below. Doors lead out of the room to the south and west. In the room was a door to the west and to the south. At the west door Dwag heard nothing. But at the southern door he heard the creak of furniture being bumped. Checking for traps again, Dwag spied a bolt tucked in a knothole in a wallboard, aimed at his crotch – he tried to disable the trap, but wasn’t convinced that he was successful. As the party moved into the room behind him – Dwag pondered his next steps – the party heard a worried sigh from the other side of the door.
[end of session 78]