Diary of Captain Nomed Oppenheimer - Entry Number 5
Monday, October 17th, 907 of the Third Age
Time moves strangely on this island. Although it has been but a day, it seems like forever since my last entry. The Monastery of the Mad Monks has messed with my mind, and I must write down what has happened lest I lose my memories of this place.
The morning we arrived at the island, we had a unique problem. We had two Wranes, and we only needed one. The imposter was impossible to detect through normal means, but Juju remembered that we had given our Wrane a Ring of Feather Fall, given his lack of swimming skills and his propensity for getting knocked down. We brought both to the top of the aft mast and tossed them over. Our Wrane gently floated down to the deck while the imposter landed just a little bit harder. Chironomous looked over the body of the imposter Wrane and exclaimed “This is perfect!”, before dragging the body to his impromptu altar.
With the Wrane situation sorted, we remembered Java telling us about the rogue bat flying to the ship the night Master Dourmoor died. Figuring that this was another denizen of the night, we endeavored to find the stowaway. Alas, we could not find them, and Ms. Dourmoor informed us that a vampire would be almost impossible to find if they wanted to stay hidden. The only clue we found was the testimony of one of the crew, Zoe. She had been mesmerized by a floating man and had invited him aboard the ship. The man had thanked her, and then disappeared. We resolved to increase our guard until the stowaway could be found, and looked toward the island, and the stranded ship there, the Cruel Doubloon.
As we were discussing what to do, a dinghy from the Cruel Doubloon approached us. Inside was the sail master of their ship, a Mr. Eddie Rourke, who asked for a parley between us and his captain. We agreed, although Chironomous stayed behind, saying he needed to work on Wrane II. We rowed to their ship, where we were introduced to Captain Rooking. He said that the previous night, something had torn up the mast from his ship and brought it to the “abandoned” monastery up on the island. He had sent some of his crew to go investigate and bring it back, and he had not heard from them since. (We found out this was a lie as Finn overheard he had some magical means of communicating with the away team.) Captain Rooking asked us to join forces to find our missing masts, and escape this cursed island, and we agreed. Finnegan slipped away to the Captain’s Quarters, where inside was a magic box like the one found on the Wanton Wench. Although he could not decipher it on his own, when he described it to us, we were able to solve it, so that if the need arose, we could easily take the contents from our new “allies”. Java also took this time to explore below decks discretely, and she found out that the Cruel Doubloon was hiding multiple hill giants below, freed, looking like passengers on the ship. Their purpose and their destination were not discerned, but their presence was disconcerting to us all.
Captain Rooking agreed to send 3 of his men with us to help with carrying the masts and finding the lost crew. We made a quick detour back to the Wanton Wench, where Chironomous had finished his profane ritual, and greeted us to Wrane II. The Half-Orc doppleganger had been converted into a hulking zombie that followed the commands of our cleric, and smelled slightly better than his living counterpart. With the party reunited we pushed on to shore, and went into the jungle of the island, towards the ominous monastery. The woods became extremely foggy quickly, and we soon could barely see the small pathway leading up towards the monastery. In this fog, we stumbled our way through, until we were suddenly beset by a pair of giant lizards. These creatures were fearsome combatants, but we cut them down. We saw that they had come from tunnels underneath the island, and that also in these tunnels were large tentacles coming from a creature that none of us really wanted to meet. We heard more of the lizards coming, and so hurried down the path. The path led to a clearing with a waterfall coming down from the cliffs from which the monastery was perched. Inside the pool of the waterfall were several bodies. We assumed these must have been members of the Cruel Doubloon, and we tried fishing them out of the water. Unfortunately, one of the bodies belonged to a sea hag, and she was most certainly not dead. She attacked, going after Wrane. Her magic meant he was enthralled by her, and she attempted to drown him, as he did not struggle. We repeatedly hit her, trying to throw her off our comrade, and she was felled, shortly before she could finish off our orcish comrade. We brought him back to shore, and when we looked back for her, she had vanished. With the hag gone, we heard a quiet sigh of relief from something in the trees. Java pointed out where it came from. While the others were apprehensive about the possible new threat, I simply stated to the treeline that either they could come with us or they could remain up there and die to the lizards. After a few beats, the remainder of the Cruel Doubloon’s away team came out of the treetops, led by a man named Timmy. He thanked us for clearing the way, and agreed to continue with us up to the monastery.
The path ended at the waterfall, and after some searching, we found a way behind the waterfall, with a small path blocked by a door. The door was magically locked with a puzzle, and Finnegan showed his propensity for breaking and entering by solving the puzzle, and allowing us entry to a small path leading up the cliff face. The path was winding and narrow, and eventually it lead us to the entrance of the monastery. There was only a slight problem: it was blocked by a massive boulder. The strongest among us, pushed hard against it, and after much struggling, managed to create a small gap for us to go through. Behind the boulder however, was an old man, who seemed very much surprised to see us. The confusion let go to anger, and he rang an alarm, and then attacked us. He was soon joined by several others, and we were in a fight for our lives. The monks were all psionicists, and they used telekinesis to great effect, pushing the giant boulder to crush us, or floating us harmlessly and helplessly into the air. But just as suddenly as the fight began, they stopped, and the first monk surrendered to us.
He told us his name was brother Aldo, and he asked us why we were here. We told him about the masts, and he nodded understandingly. He told one of the other monks to go inform the abbot about our presence, and then told us that they were the Monks of the Netted Gate. Their order had been there for generations, protecting a gate that held back a great sea monster, whose tentacles we had seen earlier. This monster had been trapped here by the gods, and the monks were tasked with insuring that the creature did not escape. The gate was held shut by masts propped against it, and they had been taking new masts from passing ships each time an old one broke. They were not strong enough to hold long, and now the masts of the Wanton Wench and the Cruel Doubloon were the latest in the line.
They said that they could not give us our masts because of their sacred duty, although they felt sorry for us and offered us room and board for the night. Brother Aldo said that the abbot would come speak to us the next day, and that we were free to roam the grounds until then. With this time on our hands, our group split up, with myself, Chironomous, Wrane, Wrane II, and Finnegan heading towards the chapel, and Java and Juju going who knows where. They later told us that they had found a clearing with an old statue, and with this statue came some kind of contraption. This machine seemed to be some kind of net launcher, and could prove useful later on down the line.
Inside the chapel, we found that it had been converted into a cold storage area, as the room was magically cold. The centerpiece of the chapel was a fount which held a pool of black ichor, being constantly filled by a tentacle hanging from the ceiling and radiating evil. On each side of the fount was a moveable piece, and after some discussion, we moved the pieces to correlate to the four sides of the room. With that, the floor opened up with a staircase leading down into a pool of the same black ichor, and a mast covered with the substance. Out of the pool, also came a pair of undead beetles. These creatures had been supernaturally hardened by the ichor, and were quite a dangerous foe. They knocked Finn unconscious and took down Wrane II before Wrane and I were able to bring them down.
This could be our answer. If the mast is hardened by the ichor, maybe we can trade it for our own mast. That still leaves us with the Cruel Doubloon to worry about, but tomorrow gives new opportunity. We will meet with the abbot, and maybe be free of this accursed island.