Continuing on their journey of colonization to the land of Numenoria, the SS Zario was scheduled to stop for water and fresh food at the little known trading outpost Chibitown on the Isle of Dread. This was the last outpost of civilization before the long voyage south to Numenoria, or “land of Craggy fjords”.
Chibitown was on the site of a once notorious pirate hide-out, and was in a protected and hidden bay that required skill to navigate. Broken ships on the stony teeth lining the narrow channel leading into the cove were a testament to the dangers. Soon they saw the grey walls of Chibitown, like a medeival castle plunked down on the sandy shores of the tropical isle. As usual Captain Behab made sure everyone knew the ship had to leave on the next tide – or risk being stranded for days or weeks as the winds shifted.
The ship weighed anchor as the six (present) characters loaded into the dinghy and rowed ashore. Litha, Gnar, Zooby, Agnes, Jambunathon, and Marcel Proust (who suffered from ‘the vapors’ and was only available for one key moment) landed at the closed wooden gate and realized that the stone castle was actually made of hundreds of blocks of lead. Strange. A furry chibi-head poked its head over the top of the wall and shouted “No admittance! Chibi-chibi-fanaTON!”The chibi-fanaton (so named for their yodeling call) were a species of halfling-sized flying monkeys with dagger-weilding prehensile tails. Their natural intelligence and curiosity led a wizard to gather a group of them for research. When a chibi got its paws on the wizards artifact, the crown of sagacity, the poor creature underwent a horrid transformation as its mind and body overloaded with the horrible wisdom that comes with unfettered knowledge. Most of its fur fell out and its tail turned black and fell to the floor, shrivelled. And so was born the halfling race. A bloody civil war soon followed, the crown was lost, and now chibi and halfling lived side by side in peace.
It turns out the lagoon was cursed by the “Great Croc” and the gates of Chibi-town would not open until the fearsome creatures (forty chibi in length) was dealt with. The party was quick to agree to deal with the croc, and the chibi was so thankful he gave them the additional information that a pirate who claimed to have a treasure map recently claimed he would slay the creature and went off in search of it.
Soon the party followed the small snaky river into deep jungle, and the sky disappeared in the shadows of the overhanging foliage. The crocs lair was at its source: a large pool beneath a waterfall at the foot of sharp craggy mountains. The party landed the dinghy on a sandy shore just below the main pool except for the gnome who landed her canoe on the other side. All but the dwarf and the wizard climbed into the nearest palm tree. They saw a huge shape slink into the water ahead.
With a lunge the huge crocodile shot out of the water its entire length – over 30 feet, to grab the poor elf wizard in its jaws. The attack tore through the wizard and immediately reduced him to unconsciousness. The croc prepared to bite the near-dead elf in half. The wood elf could not stand to see her ally in pain and channeled her divine healing, bringing the wizard back to full hp in a miraculous way. The rest of the party attacked from range but most attacks bounded harmlessly off the horny hide of the Great Croc.One of the wizards arms was pinned so he couldnt cast a spell, so he turned and reached down the crocs throat and Shocking Grasped its uvula. Nsturally, he rolled a 20. He was spit out and landed at the base of the nearest tree, and the entire croc lit up like a lightbulb. What’s more, the arcane magic sparked off a Shrink Ray (criticial affect!) which meant that the huge crocs head shrunk to a comparatively tiny size for the next 3 rounds. Its normally pea-sized brain was now o larger than a grain of sand. This meant reduced bite damage 1d6 down from 3d6, but the tail-swipe was as dangerous as ever. It reared its tinyhead and let out a great roar.
Out of the blue the human noble duelist walked up and pierced the croc through its heart with his rapier. It was slain and they all high-fived. The gnome was sliding down her tree across the river when she felt a snapping at her britches…
A\It was another, merely large, croc! This one attacked the gnome savagely but was soon slain without further damage. The bounty hunter was worried the great croc’s head would stay tiny but was happy to see it bounce back to size so she could begin butchering it. She saw the slowly digesting remains of a hand reaching up the crocs throat and with sickening plop, pulled the swallowed-hole body of a pirate from the carcass. SA map was tattooed on his back and it looked like a treasure map. The bounty hunter wore the map like a cape. It was pretty disgusting.
Meanwhile a passage was found behind the waterfall and it led to a dead end with an ancient mural done in the fresca style. It depicted a war between a race of fish-men versus mer-men and aquatic elfs. When the wizard studied it he also recognized it was an underwater map of the surrounding regions of ocean. Just then Zoobyzoo recognized a trap, and as more of the party went down the hall it tilted, causing many of them to fall as the exit was closed off. The hallway dropped forty-five degrees and they tumbled into a chamber with two exits and a fish statue with glittering diamond scales in the center. The wizard used mage hand to pry loose a diamond and watched as a razor blade flicked out and would hve lopped off the hand of a thief. He appraised the diamond at 25 gp. The next one turned out to be nothing more than a chip of glass. They heard breathing from one doorway, then the sound of retreating footsteps, so decided to go the other way.
The next chamber had another statue, of a fish buhdda with ruby eyes. When the rogue entered she was entranced by the eyes and stopped in her tracks trying to overcome the affects with her will. the gnome entered to help and tried to avoid the ruby eyes, but she noticed a single gold tooth, made of a dagger. Then the glow of the ruby eye glinted off the gold tooth and she was entranced. The fish-buhdda croaked a single word: FIGHT!
After a few rounds of a pathetic attempt not to fight, the trap was disabled, the rubies and dagger removed. They realized the rubies were the size of crystal balls and one could see what was happening through the other one by looking into it. THe gold tooth was actually a tattooist knife. It radiated ancient primordial magic, though very dimly.
They followed the only other hallway out of the chamber and it led to what can only be called a cavern cathederal. It was a small room but incredibly tall, with stalactites holding tight to the ceiling, through which a few shafts of sunlight speared. Water from springs trickled down out of the roof of the cavern and splashed in the center, about level with the party, where it formed a double rainbow with the lancing sunrays. This shower fell onto the statue of a dryad showering, standing in a pool before a small stone bench. Leaning on the bench was a staff with a snake curling around it. (The wizard’s destiny is to own the snake staff.)
The floor of the cavern was sandy and the chamber seemed quiet and peaceful…