(Still Day 8)
- As we descend the ridge, I pull Ezra aside. I inform him that he has not gained our trust and should not expect to take part in any decision-making for the time being. From his earlier answers to our questions, it is apparent that he is not being forthright with us. He barely acknowledges the evil and danger inherent in this island. I believe he may be trying to get us to drop our guard. A befuddled old man is a disarming stereotype, but there is no way such a being could survive here for years. Simply by presenting himself as such, he is hiding the truth from us, or outright lying.
- It takes 2 hours to reach the shore, and another 2 hours to reach the dock. I suggest that Manten and Kttt stay back in case we need backup. –ip remains with them as she is still ill. Stevie appears to have recovered completely.
- We approach the dock and two cabins with the intention of negotiating, but are ambushed by the children we have been tracking. They are armed with explosives and poisoned weapons.
- What follows can only be described as a complete failure of leadership within our party, and I must accept the lion’s share of the blame. Several members of our party attempt to engage the children using lethal force, while others attempt to subdue them. Captain America accidentally takes the life of a child. [DM NOTE: Cap throws his shield to knock down and cover a child, and crits, killing the poor child]. Uncoordinated chaos breaks out before eventually 5 children are disarmed and captured in one of the cabins. 2 children escape into the jungle during the melee.
- In the second cabin, we find Father Feres tied to a chair. He claims that he was awoken at the survivor’s camp several nights ago by a female sorceress and another man, and that the pair ordered him to help kidnap the children. His story is full of holes—our trackers saw three sets of tracks enter the camp, he claims he was too scared to raise an alarm even though he was surrounded by 50+ sleeping survivors when the pair arrived. Ezra tells me that he recognizes Feres as “Conrad”—a person who has lived in the village here on the island for several years. Conrad supposedly has worked with another man named “Vanthis”—a leader of sorts who had promised to take care of the chain monster.
- We realize that Captain America is missing, but before we can search for him the chain monster arrives and spits out his body, tearing it into 2 pieces before our eyes before disappearing into the jungle. I hold Ezra largely responsible for the Captain’s death. In the aftermath of the accidental slaying of the child, Ezra began repeatedly tormenting the Captain over what he had just done. I recognized the effect Ezra’s words were having, but could not spare the time to address them as the other children were still at risk from members of our party. Ezra’s words undoubtedly led the Captain to wander off alone into the jungle—which proved to be a fatal action.
- We search for Manten and Kttt and find a note that they have left written in the dirt saying the chain monster is headed toward camp.
- Lunzo determines that the boat at the dock is magical (very fast, and a below-deck cabin that holds us all), and we use it to return to the beach camp. Ezra turns out to be the best pilot in our group.
- We make very good time getting back to the beach camp, and catch the other survivors up-to-date with our progress.
We meet a female in the camp who is able to cast healing spells, wearing a shield marked with a Karrnathi symbol. I do not believe we have seen her previous to this.