ROOTS Skull & Shackles

Shore Leave

The Man’s Promise has been holed on the edges of a coral reef surrounding a small tropical island, called Bonewrack Isle. A huge ridge towers over the island’s western portion. A single raised tor glowers across the isle at the imposing ridge, with miles of jungle lying between the two. The waters around Bonewrack Isle are crystal clear (visibility 320 feet), but the island is surrounded by coral reefs, which lie between 5 and 25 feet beneath the surface. Despite the beauty, however, the tides around the island are vicious, particularly along the western shore. The rocky cliff that towers over the island to the northwest and west are some 500 feet high and covered by trees in many places, particularly the more shaded northwest and southern slopes.
From your approach of the isle from the Man’s Promise, the best place you can see to land would be a small stretch of beach along the northern coast. A small gathering of collapsed mud huts sits on the beach. The village has not been inhabited for decades and most of the huts have been completely cleaned out. A path leads away from shore into the nearby swamp.
You follow the overgrown but still usable trail into the jungle where it quickly becomes a salt water marsh. Traveling along the path, you are attack by a mosquito swarm. After several attempts of getting rid of the swarm, you retreat back up the path until you loss the swarm.
Being more cautious about more swarms, you return down the path. The pathway slips suddenly into a large green bog. Remnants of an old wooden bridge cross the bog, but only short timber platforms on either side remain, leaving just the pilings jutting from the mud. To help with cross the pilings, Gallen crosses and ties off a rope on the other end. In her attempt to make it across, Katarina slips and her disturbance of the bog water attracts the attention of two giant frogs. The frogs attack, swallowing both Gallan and Katarina whole. You manage to kill the frogs and make it across the swamp without forth incident until.
A terrible stench fills the swamp here, a fetid odor of cheap perfume and rotting flesh. A huge tree stands in the middle of a clearing in the swamp, draped with some sort of huge tent. Lurid, painted faces cover both the tree trunk and tent, and both are decorated with rotting humanoid body parts and carpets of squirming insects. Three ghouls, the rotting remains of ship’s whores occupy the tent, dressed in decaying silks and vermin-infested dresses. You find a small amount of treasure and signs that there are more ghouls beyond the ones you just put to their final rest.
You finally immerge from the swamp at the end of a long beach. Towering palm trees stretch along a white sand beach for a mile or so, each around 50 feet high and crowned with a wide canopy of palms brimming with coconuts. Shattered coconuts litter the beach beneath the trees. Off in the distance you can see the rocky ridge to your right and further down the beach is a field of some kind.
Among the many normal coconut crabs inhabiting this beach are three crabs that have reached great size. They drop out of the trees and attack. After a brief fight you kill the crabs and move on towards the field.
A clearing in the jungle contains overgrown fields of some sort of corn. The crops have gone wild, creating a high barrier wafting gently in the breeze. There is a path of some sort going into the field and branching off running into the jungle. You start to advance on the field when an ankheg burst from the ground and attacks. After terminating the ankheg, you move into the field to find that the path is actually where the ankheg has burrowed through the sandy soil. You find its lair and a bit of treasure.
Looking off in the direction of the path that runs into the jungle, you can see at the top of the ridge some sort of stockade. The gate door on the outer stockade shows signs of being forced open and claw marks can be seen. The claw marks could have been done by the ghouls. The well-built timber stockade surrounds a small lodge in a jungle clearing. Vines wrap and strangle a great tree that rises next to the lodge, blocking light from above. Beside it is a bubbling spring. The walls are made of sharpened wooden stakes 7 feet high. The small spring next to the tree is the only available source of fresh water on Bonewrack Isle. Before you get to investigate too much more of the stockade you are attacked by two vine chokers. Post killing the chokers, you find a spyglass affixed to the stockade wall is weathered but still functional. The spyglass is pointed at a cove and the spyglass has been deliberately fixed in that position. You can catch a glimpse of pair of grindylows cavorting in the water of the cove. You notice that one of them is wearing Sandara Quinn’s tricorne hat.

The wooden door to the lodge is of good construction but is currently ajar. Inside is a single chamber, crowded with a large amount of furniture, including a comfortable bed (formerly a captain’s), a small writing desk, cooking gear, and several barrels of rotting food. The stench of rot is overpowering and flies swarm within the room, particularly around the hooded corpse hanging from a chain off a beam in the middle of the room. A stool lies on the floor nearby where it was kicked. Investigating the corpse releases the body hanging there, which just happens to be a ghast. Having disposed of the ghast, you discover that it is a crew leftover from the underwater wreck to the south seen through the spy glass. The ghast’s name was Aaron Ivy. The ship was a Chelaxian ship named Infernus. The ghouls originally were from the ship as part of the captain’s personal shock troops. They got loose after the wreck and turn several of the other crew into ghouls.
Resting up in the tree for the night, you are attacked by the remaining ghouls. Several of you are paralyzed during the fight and you are almost wiped out.
In the morning, you retrieve the cutter and sail it to the beach by the corn field, where you can easily load the water barrels from the stockade. Securing that you investigate the cove where you saw the grindylows. High cliffs surround a deep cove churning with dark seawater. The cliffs around the cove vary in height from 40 to 80 feet. The cove is deep, nearly 50 feet in places, and the tidal waters churn considerably. But you notice that the cove’s dark waters indicate the absence of rocks below the surface.



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