Serpent's Skull

Lighthouse

We snuck up to the camp greeted by the sounds of many men chanting. Using the voices as cover, we crept in- only to be spotted by sentries. When the guards called out a warning, the battle was on in full. All of us sprang into action- Kyara with her scythe and her snake biting at Chelish flesh. Nagi and Lanliss formed a surprisingly effective team, mowing down enemies together that alone may have overpowered them. At one point Glib shouted a word and a blinding flash of color followed. In an instant three of the bastards lay motionless on the ground. I smiled at our group’s ability to deal punishment. Climbing onto a nearby structure, I scanned the battle for signs of the old woman leading them. I spotted her in the middle of casting a spell and threw a javelin hoping to disrupt her casting. The old crone dodged my spear and finished her dread spell. On the other side of the battle, Nagi burst into uncontrolled laughter- but luckily the battle was already tipped in our favor. I was looking forward to cutting her down but she turned on me and recited words of power. The next thing I knew, my heart was racing and I was running from her. Path clear, she and a few of her people retreated into the lighthouse.
We soon recovered from her spells and, as one, pursued her into the lighthouse. On my way up the stairs I passed by the corpse of some cut up monkey. Odd. The battle on the top floor brought me closer to death than I ever have been. Even now I feel the scars of the scimitars that nearly decapitated me and marvel at the tenacity of my orcish blood. The aftermath of the fight left the witch and the apparent leader of these cannibals in puddles of their own blood.
I thanked the little girl who healed me but she recoiled from my presence. No surprise there. Also I attempted to give Nagi a complement on his fighting skills but he rebuffed me. Again no surprise. For a peace loving paladin he seems to enjoy driving his blade into his enemies. If he continues to fight that well he can keep his pretenses. I truly enjoyed watching these people deal their special forms of death, and I look forward to watching them grow in skill. Maybe I can learn something from them. In this land, more violence is sure to come.
A boom of thunder resounded from the east, but before we could investigate we needed to explore a cave network that sprawled below the lighthouse complex. Oh yes, also we spent a couple days moving the dependents to this new, better fortified camp. For some reason there were skeletons penned in near the lighthouse, and we put them out of their misery. good practice.
In the caves we found the good captain. Dead. Among some creatures apparently called ghouls. There was a letter on him that explained the situation. Short version- he came here with his “woman”- a Varisian trickster who betrayed him and threw him in here to die. He was remorseful about his actions- but hey I would be too if my actions led me to complete darkness, betrayed and abandoned, my body nothing more than ghoul food. The Varisian has her reasons for coming here, none of which are known to us- though the captain says she would travel to Red Mountain. Also in the east, perhaps the thunder we heard was coming from that place. Hmmm. More notes to come after we finish with these caves.

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Natives

This island is HOT. We’ve taken to exploring this damned place and every hour in the sun is miserable. During peak hours we simply find shade and rest- or risk passing out. The druidess keeps us fed and watered- though hunger and thirst are never truly sated. The gnome we pulled from the ship has tagged along- he sweats like everyone else but has a stupid grin plastered onto his face as if he is entertaining himself in his own mind. At least he doesn’t chatter incessantly like most gnomes. Glib- as he calls himself- also claims to be a magic user. Now we have two “wizards”, a skinny elf, and a midget Tian warrior. What a mighty warband we are.
One of the survivors has finally made themselves useful. The other Tian man (Ishiro?) found a map to buried treasure! Digging on the indicated spot revealed a hole plugged by wooden boards. Nagi and I hacked away and it suddenly gave out. I managed to grab a hold but Nagi plunged into darkness. We heard a splash and a curse. I looked down to find undead creatures reaching for the paladin. In a flash of bright light Nagi annihilated one and the she-elf slung a stone at the other. I loaded my weighty crossbow and fired a bolt at the thing’s head. Guardians slain, we recovered a chest full of coins and re-buried it near our camp.
These natives really know how to make traps. We find a deadly new one every couple hundred feet. I really want to find where those cannibal freaks are and repay them for my latest scar. We assume they camp at the lighthouse, and the captain’s tracks lead there so perhaps I’ll get my wish.
Something about this island and its dangers has awakened some survival instinct in me. The Shackles has its own challenges to be sure but I was not prepared for the way of life here. The legacy of my father is rising to the surface as we need to react quicker, sleep less, and hit harder. There is also a deep, unfocused rage boiling inside me…
We came across some sentries today and Lanliss and I reacted immediately. Nagi wanted to offer them peace first but the ringing in my ears drowned out the sound of his broken common. Before they had much of a chance I plunged my sword into one’s chest and bit out the throat of another. It was over within seconds. Unfortunately one got away to warn the camp. Nagi was angry about the violence to the point where he looked ready to attack me- which would not have made much sense. I decided not to speak considering my few efforts at diplomacy in my past have not gone well. A war horn sounded and we wisely retreated.
A strange thing happened as we ran through the jungle. A girl came into our path and beckoned us to follow her. We did so and found ourselves in a cramped cave off the beaten path. Asking the girl questions proved useless because as fortune would have it, she was mute. She managed to draw/mime some tale about the cannibals killing her parents. I didn’t catch a lot of it due to my attention being drawn to her motley collection of weapons and armor. After her moving story, we had a single plan- kill cannibals.
Besmarra sail my ship! Our “wizards” are actually wizards! Our first skirmish against the naked Chelish cannibals was successful, and the gnome and elf showed their powers. Glib cloaked us in some illusory rock, and during the battle Lanliss channeled electricity through his blade. Nagi and Kyara chopped away with their scythed weapons, but other than that I don’t remember anything. I gave in to my orcish rage, devouring my foes with tooth and steel, enjoying the kill, not even registering as a scimitar slashed my arm. Glib also blinded a man with some magic, which I took full advantage of. I think that trick will be useful. The aftermath of the fight found us victorious with not a single loss.
Though many more await us at the lighthouse, I feel confidant that we actually do have an effective warband. May our enemies fear us.

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Shipwrecked
What a lucky break. Besmarra must favor me, or perhaps she likes to see me struggle. I am writing this tale to document a first hand account of survival, bravery, and prowess by people shipwrecked on an unforgiving land. If I make this out alive I’m gonna be rich!

The ship I was held prisoner upon crashed, throwing me to the relative safety of a sandy Sargavan beach. The surviving passengers and crew were quickly set upon by scorpion-crab scavengers. The men and women impressively worked together, some of them using only sharp sticks. I made a bad first impression- using my orcish teeth to bite one of the things in half. They seemed uncomfortable with that. Oh well. We quickly took stock of our gear and surroundings. I then realized that my hated captor was there, helpless on the beach. I began taking off his armor and upon inspection saw that he was dead. We didn’t have many supplies but saw The Jenivere shipwrecked about a half-mile off. After finding shelter for the weaklings not willing to help raid the ship, a strong group set out. Nagi- a simple, soft-spoken but muscled Tian man (helped me burst out of my manacles), Kyara- a she elf with a pet snake, and Lanliss- an arrogant man elf. On the ship we found many supplies- weapons, armor, potions, food- including Nagi’s favored weapon and Lanliss’ spellbook(apparently he’s a wizard). We also found a useless gnome who was in shock and had to be led out. Another mouth to feed.
The next few days were spent exploring our surroundings and following the tracks of the captain and some wench he is in love with. From the circumstances of our shipwreck we all suspect foul play, and the captain must have the answers. When we find him I hope I can stay my hand long enough to question him. I should note that Nagi is an expert with his scythe-like weapon, and Kyara healed me instead of letting me die. Staying on their good sides will be a challenge for me as I’ve never had a use for companions. This is different and none would survive long on their own. Plus, the promise of unfound treasures here puts a spring in my step. Lanliss so far has been quiet, but I think he is holding his spells for when it is necessary. I hope he is not lying about being a mage.
I have a new scar from a spike trap, and a broken rib from a wench who rebuffed my advances. Basically it’s like I never left The Shackles.

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Entry 1

Rough Tide Claiming All
Betrayed, Hope Lost, Forgotten
Hidden in the Wild

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