Suddenly everyone hears a loud yell, the sounds of a scuffle, and then silence. Running to investigate it is discovered that Vanek is gone as is the old woman. A small pool of blood is all that remains on the ledge overlooking the cavern.
Diligent searching of the surrounding water and immediate vicinity of Totem Rock turns up nothing. The group decides to return to the cave and continue their investigation their.
Upon arrival at the southern reaches of the plantation the signs of the kech raid are evident. All but approximately a quarter of the 100+ acre sugar cane field has been stolen, trampled, or burned.
Drag marks are spotted leading from the field into the treeline and the East Kaava jungle.
Shaco volunteers to scout the trail but quickly becomes lost after a few close encounters with native fauna. Returning after nightfall he reports his failure and begins working with Brenya Thunderhorn to setup traps along the tree line. The rest of the party beds down for the night.
In the early morning hours as Shaco stands watch, the camp is assaulted from the trees by poisoned darts thrown from the darkness. Shaco falls in the initial assault but is able to wake the group before passing out from the poison.
The battle was fierce, but the party prevailed slaying 2 and capturing 1 kech while the remaining 2 fled back into the jungle.
An attempt to interrogate the prisoner failed before he asphyxiated on it’s own tongue. A mark of Angazahn appears branded on it’s forehead.
Reporting back to the Consul only incurs his anger as the group tries to bluff him with tales of the previous night’s battle. The Consul dismisses the group and they return to Bloodcove.
Undaunted, it is decided to sneak onto the Plantation and examine the impact site under cover of darkness.
A lone guard watches over the site but is quickly dispatches by Vanek and Shaco.
The crater is 120 feet in diameter and more than 30 feet deep.
In the center is a rough cube shaped piece of wreckage, 10 feet on each side. The interior of the cube is lined with a strange script and a hollow metal tubing running vertically along the inner wall.
The wreckage is made of a dense metal that resists attempts to scratch it. A small fragment was found nearby and taken for study. Brenya Thunderhorn made sketches of the interior as well as the writing.
With a sample and notes in hand, the group returns to Bloodcove to plan the next move.
Five days ago a meteor shower began in the skies above Bloodcove and Sargova along the the western coast of Garund. On the third night there was a massive fireball that streaked across the sky to the east and seemed to have impacted somewhere in the Mwangi Expanse. Divination has been unable to pinpoint the exact location but locals have found bits of strange rock and metal in small craters.
Marik is leading a large Pathfinder expedition and the group has been selected to accompany him as assistants. This expedition will count as their trial and they will be awarded as full Pathfinder membership upon successful return.
The selection of these initiates is the last of the preparations and upon their acceptance the group immediately departs for the docks. Three ships have been chartered to ferry the equipment and personnel for this expedition. The group is assigned to The Steel Harpoon, a retired navy sloop carrying primarily cargo, though a few . The party members are the only Pathfinders on board. The other two ships are The Bent Copper, a merchant sloop, and The Silver Griffon, a well-armed galleon and flagship of the fleet.
Trip is uneventful for first couple of weeks until the fleet reaches the Eye of Abendengo which has flared into a cycle of unprecedented activity. The bounds of which have spread over the Sodden Lands and the Shackles. The ship captains are forced to brave the full effects of the hurricane instead of skirting the edge as planned.
Caught in the grips of the hurricane, the fleet is caught unawares when a black ship with black sails appears, back lit by jagged bolts of lightning. Suddenly the fleet is assailed by repeated lightning strikes.
The lightning strikes seemed to be targeting the mast and rigging of the ship with repeated strikes hitting the same spots.
A particularly large wave crashes over the ship, depositing 3 Sahuagin and a Water Elemental on board.
Once the battle is over everyone on the deck is able to witness as massive tentacles as long as the ship reach up from the icy depths and drag The Silver Griffon down below the waves. The black ship disappears from sight behind the massive waves and is not seen again.
The hurricane does not relent and The Bent Copper is forced to be abandoned due to damage from the storms and the battle as well as loss of life. Only a handful of sailors make it on board The Steel Harpoon, the other expedition members having lost their life to storm or attack.
A week later The Steel Harpoon limps into Bloodcove bay and weighs anchor. The party is now left cut off from return to Absalom until the storm has abated, the ship is battered and in desperate need of repair, and most of the cargo is ruined.
The party makes contact with Adir Hathren, the operator of the local Pathfinder Society chapter house. He is a jovial man, balding and definitely past his prime. He lost one of his legs during an expedition into the Mwangi years ago and now his Pathfinding days are done. He states that in preparation for their arrival the chapter house has plenty of space to house the remains of the expedition (the party) and whatever meager supplies remain from the ship. He even has a few leads on where to start.