Aeyo is able to pick up a trail left behind by the apparent raiders, who appear to have taken Paela the Paladin from the village that they otherwise killed en masse. THe party follows their trail a few days, before coming into a field with some old volcanic rock, some scorch marks on the soil (apparently from lightning), and their Paladin and two other unknown women, staked out in the field.
Aurus and the wizard fall behind, to check something out, while Aeyo, Brother Johnathon, and Dorian make their way to the women. Something catches Aurus attention, and the Wizard is grabbed from behind by a giant snake. It takes a moment or two for the party to realize what has happened. Aurus, Aeyo, and Brother Johnathon go to save the Wizard who is flailing at the snake with a mage hand wielding a crowbar (they don’t make wizards like they used to!), and Dorian sets about freeing the women as fast as possible.
The rest of the party is able to kill the snake about the same time that Dorian has freed and revived the women. Introductions are made and the swordmage Shera and the rogue Willow are welcomed to the party. The snake is butchered for food, and camp is made for the night.
The next morning, the party continues on to the village with the assailants that staked the women out in the field. Aeyo, Willow, and Dorian go, only to find the entire village dead. Cows and chickens are alive, only the humans are dead. Aeyo returns to the group while Willow and Dorian search the village. Dorian finds several yuan ti corpses, which is very remarkable, considering the Yuan Ti are thought to have been extinct on this island for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. One of the yuan ti had a crude drawin in it’s belt pouch of the golden statue the party is now carrying. The party butchers the remaining livestock to eat and smoke for rations, which takes them 3-4 days.
The party can see a volcano in the distant horizon, so make their way towards that (oh yeah, Stormcloud also told them that the statue had to be thrown into the volcano to destroy it and it’s evil). While travelling through the forest, Aeyo (while scouting) finds a stone cottage, he returns to the group, and Willow, Aeyo, and Dorian advance to the cottage to check it out.
In the cabin they find the missing Captain Terrel Dax, and the missing crewmen, apparently live and well! They offer hospitality to the party and offer to share the stew bubbling away on the stove. Halfway through the meal (that only a few decided to share in) a woman’s screaming came from nearby, all of the party ran off other than Paela and Dorian who remained in the cabin, and the wizard who was skulking about outside the cabin using ghost sounds to mock the screaming woman (really.. one can’t help but wonder if this wizard is good for anything other than bait for a trap!).
The party rushes headlong into quicksand, and immediately start sinking. The woman who had been screaming comes to gloat, and quickly shows her form as a hag. Being the quick thinking man of action that he is, Aurus quickly started trying to hit on the hag. Apparently what he proposed offended even her indelicate sensibilities, because she wacked him in the face with her staff before telporting out. It took some time, but the party was able to get themselves out of the quicksand. Luckily the Rogue had not fallen in, and she was able to use rope to pull them out.
Back at the cabin, Paela and Dorian quickly realize that the meal they had been sharing with the captain was drugged (and made from human flesh, victims from the nearby village). They were shackled, and soon after, the hag teleported into the cabin. The hag is threatened by dorian with the wrath of his party upon their return. The hag teleports to the Wizard outside, looks at him and laughs, and teleports back to Dorian and Paela. Realizing the direness, and futility, of their situation, Dorian and Paela negotiate with the hag, and arrange a deal to buy their freedom, along with a copy of a book on her shelf that would help them read/translate the yuan ti languagem, for 1000 gold from the parties wealth.
She agrees to this and releases them. They go find the party at the quicksand, followed by the Captain and his crew, (who the hag had charmed, but apparently were now released from the magic). Dorian explains the situation and the party agrees to giving up the gold for the hag. Dorian places the gold at the appointed spot outside her cabin, the gold disappears and the book of the yuan ti language appears. Dorian quickly realizes the book is not the one he bargained for. The party stays the night in her cabin (as macabre as it is, the hag could easily kill them, so they might as well be comfortable with a nice fire, instead of cold and wet outside.
The party comes upon a large lake, and while moving along it’s shore, are approached by a few lizard men. Thankfully, Shera can speak Draconian, and was able to intrepret for the party. The lizardmen asked the party to come with them, as their king had a quest that needed doing. Being as the party was in their land, and not prepared to defeat an entire tribe, they graciously accepted the request, and soon found themselves before the king of this tribe.
The King had a task, most important.. he wishes to conquer a neighboring tribe, which requires the death of that tribe’s king. In exchange for their cooperation, the party will get an escort to the volcano so they can destroy the statue, and a restock of supplies, and they can take free reign of the wealth and treasure of the other tribes king. All the party must do, is return with his head, as proof.
The next morning, the party sets out on yet another leg of their grand adventure…
to be continued!