Trials of Chult

Welcome to the Jungle

Written by Blackmoon.

Group found ourselves trapped on a slaver ship, captained by a elven tramp. While she was some piece of work, the problem was with a hornless minotaur named Stonetongue. Actually, I’m doubting it was a minotaur at all, but only time will tell. That bastard shut down anything we could do to escape, basically turning us into basic tools used in tending the ship. The captain will get hers someday, but the minotaur will be the real threat.

Kept hearing about another slave locked in a special place below decks, with the rumors changing all the time. Some had it as a gladiator, others said it was a wizard, still others said some sort of fearsome monster. The last ones were mostly correct, in that it’s an idiotic halfling that won’t shut up. How do we know? One of the genius gnomes actually freed the runtling with the oversized ego. Evidently, when they freed it, (name of Polk), they actually suggested it could lead us. Far as I’m concerned, that makes it leader of the gnomes only. I won’t talk to him, and barely acknowledge him. The satyr seems to feel the same way, so we spend more of our time together.

How did we get free? A magically-sourced storm came up and started blowing things and crew around. Don’t know the origin of the storm, and don’t particularly care right now. We were locked back up, and during the storm, one of the jailors got too close to another cell, and they got ahold of the keys and killed the jailor. After that, they freed the rest of us. Most of the slaves poured onto the deck and were slaughtered by the crew, but some of the crew died in the assault. After waiting until most of the slaves had gone before, the satyr and I went to the armory to get some weapons and our personal stuff. The gnomes proved their intelligence by skipping (yes, skipping on deck in a storm) off on their own to freed Polk. After the armory, the satyr and I went to the captains quarters, looking for anything that would help with a quick trip back to the mainland. Along the way, I saw one of our former crewmates get cut down by the slavers. Didn’t have anything to save him with. His dying words were to tell his wife (Wendy) that he loved her and that she should give us Gwendolyn. No idea what it means, but it must’ve been important to him. As long as Gwendolyn’s not a daughter or something, it might be okay.

Damn Polk and his gnomish accomplices! Halfling somehow blew the end of the ship off, with the intention of making it “exciting”. With the ship sinking, we didn’t have time to truly prepare for 3 days and nights floating in the ocean. It was all we could do to keep from sucking water while the storm pushed us back to Chult. Means I made no headway in leaving the land of my birth, though I had been enslaved and nearly died several times. On washing ashore, all of us were pretty weak except the Satyr. Maybe they have some resistance to being waterlogged, hungry, and tired.

As a group, we decided to look for a port so we could make another attempt to go somewhere other than Chult. Given where we landed, I knew we had to bypass the first port, where I’d sold my business before getting enslaved. That could just get us enslaved again, or even killed if we were recognized. There was another port on the other peninsula, though I thought it would take a couple more days to get there. Along the way, we had to hunt for food. The Satyr and I were best at that, so we (thankfully) were able to escape into the jungle, leaving the gnomes and Polk behind. Along the way, the Satyr learned about assassin vines, so I doubt he’ll be relaxing in the jungle much in the future. Otherwise, it was not too eventful, just the way a hunting trip should be.

On our third day since we beached, we noticed a set of ruins off to the side of our path. On checking them out, we ran afoul of giant centipedes, kobolds, and a really tough owlbear. The gunbunny gnome (I’ll call him Gunzo, since his sister keeps calling him “other brother Gizmo”, and it’s close enough), has clearly never been in the wild before. He went and shot his pistol at the first centipede we encountered, which told every creature around that something different was in the area, and maybe they should pay special attention in our direction. Sure enough, the jungle residents obliged, and we ran into some traps kobolds set up to receive us. They didn’t do much, which was okay, since the owlbear did plenty. Finding some money, and shelter, we decided to explore the ruins a bit more.

Reminds me, the female gnome is a bard, and has a pretty good voice that really helped when we started fighting. Since she always takes off for the back when the fighting starts, she’ll be GoGo. The last gnome will just keep his name, Gizmo, since it seems to fit, but Gizmo and Gunzo are mostly interchangeable.

Heading down into the ruins, we found more kobolds, some of which we locked into their room. Others we killed when they tried to ambush us. Found their trap-making room, and rifled it for anything of value. That level of the ruins seemed to have a connection to benevolent religion or gods. Wasn’t Selune, so I don’t know. In one spot, the kobolds were digging into another room, so we finished the job for them, and found a long-dead gnome, and his equally long-dead cat. The gnome had left some notes, one of which referenced a “blade of Ely”. We explored the rest of that area, and headed into the natural tunnels connected to the worked stone. GoGo had a key from the dead gnome’s room, and it provided us with a regular source of light.

In the natural tunnels, we kept running into fireworms jumping at us from the ceiling. While they hit pretty hard, they missed more often than not so we were able to dispatch them. The Satyr decided he didn’t want to go any further into the natural tunnels and went back to wait for us. The gnomes checked out one tunnel branch, and found a pyramid-shaped room with a dead couatl in it. There was a series of stonework plaques that had some sort of doom-and-gloom imagery on it, based on starting with a group of heretics. Later on, we learned that we seem to be the group of heretics, but that could just be the vague nature of prophesy or omens.

Found a skeleton holding a nice battleaxe with platinum for eyes, and it came alive to attack us. Eventually, we took it down, but it was pretty brutal, nearly as bad as the owlbear. It was harder to do without the Satyr.

Not having anywhere else to look we went down a long slope to an underground pond. There was an underwater tunnel which led to a chest. GoGo’s key opened the chest. Inside the chest, we found a stone-like thing wrapped in a cloth. Unfortunately, I touched the stone when moving things, and it filled my head with information.

That’s when we learned that we seem to be the heretics mentioned in the couatl’s tomb. This stone is connected to the outer plane of Elysium, and there are a number of other planar-connected items out there that we need to find. Each of my companions has a symbol associated to them, along with two others from the slave ship that didn’t wash up with us, so we presume they died at sea. The stone didn’t seemt to think it was enough to fill my head with “fate of the world” crap, so it branded both the back and palm of the hand that touched it. I have a strong feeling that it also obligates me to help fulfill its purpose, but that remains to be seen.

After getting my “nifty” new scar, we made it back up the slope and paused at the intersection to discuss where we were to meet up with the Satyr. I told the others to go on without me, and that I’d catch up with them later. Just need some time to sort out everything the stone dumped on me.

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