The tides did lower come morning. The party did their best to rest up and after speaking with several of the villagers, including the constable. They would investigate this wedding rock and the mysterious island of Nal-Kashel. A local fisherman named Estian even agreed to take them there. The idea of helping save the villagers plus the added incentive of a 1,000gp in Azlanti jewelry did not hurt much either. They first checked on Cromag, Adler and their boat. Adler agreed to begin working on repairs which he estimated at least two days to finish. More incentive to investigate the island where everyone believed these attacks started when their sorcerer/alchemist Gerlach disturbed something trying to help save them from their heritage.
With preparations made, they piled into Estian’s rowboat and headed out. The fog was thick and the strange man sang chants to himself to ward off evil. As they approached the island and the famous wedding rock beach, he pointed out the bloom of jellyfish all around them in the waters. Immediately after that, the man froze. Everyone else was watching the island come into view with portions of towers orbiting in the air like planets around the sun. Bart was the only one that saw Estian begin to twitch and change. The fisherman transformed into a savage fish man Jaron identified as a Scum. The scum began to rock the boat violently sending Balinda overboard into the jellyfish. She screamed as their stings burned her flesh and drained her strength. Bart reacted by shoving the scum face first from the boat and into the jellyfish. He too was stung repeatedly and sank beneath the waves. Gwaiyu quickly pulled the illusionist from the water. Bart rowed the rest of the way to shore and they began an investigation.
Powerful transmutation magic filled the air here and everyone felt light headed. The warping began. Bart and Balinda resisted the change but the others were not so lucky. Jaron suffered occasional vomiting and nausea as he felt his innards shifting about. Gwaiyu’s scaly skin became slick and coated in a fishy oil like a perpetual sweat. Poor little Lemmy seemed the most affected. Her eyes bulged, her nose flattened, and her lips cracked. A quick examination revealed this to be a powerful transformation magic, something that would not be easily remedied. They decided to investigate the island for the missing villagers and for a cure now.
The wedding rock held little interest for them so they crossed the island in the easiest route they could find with the least climbing involved, picking out a path that led to a structure with a grand crystal dome. The building turned out to be a library archive of some kind. Copper plates printed with Azlanti writings hung in bundles floating in mid air. They began searching through the archives for anything interesting. Gwaiyu and Balinda found several ‘books’: Idionestra’s Histories, the Seventh Column, and the Quicksilver Graveyard. Unfortunately they also found 3 rust monsters living here. The insects seemed ravenous and out for their metal. They dealt with the beasts but at the cost of both Gwaiyu’s shield and his morning star head, reduced to piles of rust. Several people were startled by glowing spheres that winked in and out of view at the deaths of the rust monsters. They manage to uncover a couple of magical treasures here, too. The group decided to camp for an hour to translate the books. Jaron failed with the seventh column, but Gwaiyu uncovered a map in his book plus a layout and history of the island while Balinda learned about the strange quicksilver graveyard. They decided the graveyard (a magical collection of soul drinking pools containing the knowledge of the ancients) would be a good place to visit.
On their way there another wave of stronger transformation energy washed over them. Balinda and Bart felt it this time. Her eyes began to weep a black blood and He developed a wracking phlegmy cough. Gwaiyu got worse and was covered in a slimy mucus. Jaron also grew worse and felt his organs shifting beneath his skin. Lemmy resisted.
They arrived at the quicksilver graveyard and found a pile of villager bodies with traces of the glowing silver pool waters on them. Plaques translated by Balinda and Lemmy respectively identified scholars they could call on for knowledge from the glowing pool and the ritual to call them. Gwaiyu wanted to give it a try so he did, calling forth one of the listed scholars and hearing his lecture on solar calculation. The man spoke in Azlanti so no one could understand him but upon completion of his speech he transformed into a silvery black pudding. Bart tumbled away and shot it with his crossbow. The pudding split into 2 equally huge creatures. Everyone scattered and Balinda summoned a spiked pit. The puddings both slipped into the pit but the spikes split them into 4 puddings. As they tried to climb out but failed again the party ran leaving at least 8 silver puddings behind.
They headed for the observatory and spotted a female villager running for her life from a trio of large flying creatures later identified as cloakers. One engulfed her and they raced to help the woman. The party pulled together to do an amazing job at slaughtering the cloakers without suffering much damage. More glowing balls winked in and out around them. This time they were identified as will-o-the-wisps. They freed the woman that turned out to be Sarah, Adler’s missing wife. She was horribly mutated with gills and a fishlike appearance but she told them of the villagers being held by Gerlach at the excavation site. He had gone mad. She spoke of the alchemist doing experiments on them. They tried to convince her to come with them but she decided with her new gills she could return and warn the villagers. Bart found more magical treasure in the folds of the cloakers flesh.
They continued to the excavation site but another wave of stronger energy hit them again. The warping worsened. Only Balinda and Gwaiyu resisted. Bart developed uncontrollable coughs that wracked his body. Jaron’s organs began to shift and pulse beneath his skin during moments of stress weakening his body and rendering him nauseous. Poor little Lemmy felt her head hurt again. When she pulled her hand away her topknot came loose with it. Her hair fell out and her eyes shifted slightly to the sides of her head. She acquired the nickname “Lemmy-toad”.
The group arrived at the far side of the island at the point marked excavation site on the map. They climbed down a 40 foot cliff and found a crevasse being worked by many enslaved villagers. They spotted 1 man in rags wandering the beach dangerously close to where the others were working so they decided to stop and warn him. Lemmy sneaked her way closer and called to him. The bedraggled villager raced towards her arms outstretched. When he got close the others watched as he threw her into his mouth and began chewing her toad-like head. Blood gushed from her body seemingly from nowhere as gashes opened and she hung from his face stiff with paralyzation. Horrified, they were unsure what to do when the man stumbled towards them with Lemmy hanging from his face, stiff and bloody. The man reached out to attack Bart and Jaron and the veil of illusion fell away revealing a Chuul. The massive creature dropped Lemmy-toad from its face tentacles when she stopped twitching and focused on the others. Gwaiyu attacked with his mere club, Bart jabbed with his trident and Jaron fired crossbow bolts while Balinda hasted them. The party dealt good damage but the chuul was ferocious. It grappled both Jaron and Bart then transferred the fighter into its paralytic tentacles. The man froze as blood gushed from his body. Jaron fell unconscious to wounds. Gwaiyu was next to be grappled and crushed. Balinda tried to help by dropping magical stones on the beast and even resorting to her magic sword to cut it, but it would not die. Jaron lie dying, Bart and Lemmy both paralyzed and Gwaiyu grappled. The oni-born priest resorted to his primal instincts and tore two huge mouthfuls from the insectoid creature’s arm that held him. It stumbled but held strong. Lemmy awoke from the paralysis and blasted the creature with her magic, killing it just in time. The carnage was serious. They healed what they could on the beach as they discussed what to do next ….
Bart, Lemmy, Jaron, Gwaiyu & Balinda each earned 3,020xp