Day 237 11PM The party having secured their spot on the beach underneath the escarpment – they realized that leaving the unconscious cyclops behind may have been rash. Nico and Damiano teleported back to the Chelish fort, secured the prone cyclops and teleported back to the party. Dwag and Damiano secured the cyclops as best they could with their ropes. Pyrlig healed the cyclops, enough for him to raise himself up – he answered their questions quite upfront. The party realized that command at Sumitha were aware of the death of the cyclops at the eastern watch. They sent these four cyclops to the fort as the fort has historically been the haven for any humans who are deposited upon the island. After answering their questions, Mittens blasted the cyclops, Thell, into unconsciousness – again.
As the party prepared for their watches, Mittens noted a rogue humanoid thought just outside of the perimeter of Nico’s alarm spells. The party welcomed the pensive individual, until he finally stepped forward. A ragged human wearing leathers and sporting a rapier, introduced himself as Ben Bo.
Ben let slip that he may, or may not be alone. The party invited the others to step forward freely. A strongly built caucasian male stepped forward – he was dressed lightly and had no apparent weapons on his person.
His name was Otheos – and his colleague was Zora – she was dusky skinned, a dark gray, her red eyes glowed softly under her cowl. Small horns protruded from her hood and a tail extended under her cloak to reveal that she was a tiefling.
Zora was armed with a short sword and a hand crossbow. Ben Bo was happily munching on the rations given to him by Dwag. Hungry as they may be, Otheos and Zora held off until they talked further with the party.
The party learned that Zora and Otheos were signed onto the Jester’s Grin as add-ons to oversee Bikendi’s progress at the island. Would it be done soon or run overlong? They were also to appraise the threats and risks about the island for it’s apparent new owner, Captain Barnabus Harrigan – which was a surprise to the duo as they learned of Captain Damiano and his crew having won the Regatta. The duo, were a pair of contract killers out of Sargava. Mittens successfully scanned Zora’s mind, looking for corroboration or falsehoods that they might share with the party. In their conversation they did learn:
- The trio had been surviving for the past three weeks, and that the Jester’s Grin is two weeks overdue – it should be coming back from the Rampore Isles, imminently.
- The cyclops have only been back twice to keep an eye on the fort. Some stragglers hoping for a free meal, we just avoided them entirely so they thought everyone was dead and gone.
- There is a great octopus in the harbor, drove out the Jester’s Grin after sinking Bikendi’s primary ship.
- To the west: great harpies – we keep out of sight of them.
- There are ghosts in the fort – they return nightly. Ederleigh is a mess, worthless.
- Standing stones in the forest to the southeast – Zora stated that she heard voices in her head, painful voices – a name, Haetanga – tried to get into my head – we left.
- (16) Cyclops headed east to the harbor, ~ a week ago.
Day 237 Midnight Temujin sent a message to Sandara to be vigilant of a cyclops raiding party that may be returning and that there may be spy vessels in the area. Sandara responded that had already been the case – that mid-afternoon that very day a sloop was seen a few miles to the south – she added that Yacine would be stopping by at day break.
The party took their rest, with the cyclops out cold and the trio of Ben Bo, Otheos and Zora nearby – they had a quiet evening and early morning to prepare themselves for the day.
Day 238 9AM Yacine arrived. She relayed that a sloop, The Highwayman, was spotted yesterday afternoon, mid-afternoon – 5 mi to the south. The ship was sitting too long to be up to any good, especially in these waters. However no one has seen any sign of it at dawn – Coto stated that it was a prize ship by that Captain Arcel of the Bloody Carnage (frigate), that we encountered out of Falchion Point. So it was a prize ship that has recently be re-sold and put into service.
Yacine’s second point was that she had heard two recently picked up sailors, out of Port Peril, Chyrios and Messias, talk boldly about winning money from Pence the Knife while at the Mermaid’s Bucket. The name rang familiar to Yacine. She asked Kroops to share some rum and roll some dice with the boys to probe further into this chance meeting – Kroops was happy to help! It turned out that the two sailors were stone broke, but now recently wealthy after signing on to the Black Purrl and awash in some small coin courtesy of one of the party’s squad mates, the tengu, Tahpio. With a few coins to scratch together, Chyrios was able to game some winnings from Pence while Messias bought some rum and a woman before shipping out with the Purrl – during this time at the Mermaid’s Bucket, Tahpio was in conversation with Alto Broadly at the bar.
The party decided before tackling Sumitha that they needed allies. Perhaps the harpies to the west would like to help attack their hated enemies, the cyclops. Leaving Ben Bo, Otheos and Zora behind at the beach, advising them to lay low – Nico summoned elementals to carry the party and the cyclops, Thell to the western peak beyond the Chelish Fort.
Day 238 11AM They party announced their presence and presented the gift of the cyclops to the harpy coven – a hidden cave on the backside of the peak vomited harpies – the air was heavy with two dozen fiendish, cycloptic harpies wielding weapons and flying close to the party – the air reverberated with their songs and shrieks – countered by Yacine, who became beastly, her attractive appearance dropped in lieu of a horrid beaked face with eyes sunken and shadowed, and a great reptile tail descending from her black plumage.
The harpies’ mistress, Gorgo, engaged with the party – who offered the cyclops. They accepted the payment, and as Nico’s elemental released the cyclops, seemingly to be dashed against the rocks, the harpies dove at the target ripping at his body, shredding bits of him away and tossing him back into the air until his body was rent and disintegrated. Gorgo would not lead any attack or distraction – she didn’t know nor trust the party to not engage. She and her daughters would lead no initial rush. They would only attack when the party was engaged. But they surely would fight!
The party decided that before taking Sumitha, they would clear out the western watch tower. They would raise a blue flag at the tower to invite the harpies to come and talk to them and tie up any loose ends in their plan.
Day 238 4PM The party marched overland and arrived at the western watch, only to find it vacant. As if command at Sumitha was pulling back troops. They party raised a blue flag and soon afterwards were visited by the harpy, Medee. Medee provided the party with a rough description of the cyclops valley at Sumitha. The party planned on moving in the very next day – they would provide an unmistakable sign to the harpies, when it was their time to join the fray. They party took their rest and marched east towards Sumitha.
Day 239 11AM The party headed up the road – they heard the occasional monstrous howl of the orangoutang-cyclops that clambered along the peaks. Father Pyrlig granted the party the ability to fly and they took to the peaks – they saw the ngogas (the orangoutang-cyclops) scurrying about and they could see down into the canyon, making out the various buildings below – there were no cyclops to be seen.
The party readied themselves to storm Sumitha.
[end of session 82]