Category Archives: Chapter 20: The Isle of Dread
The chapter starts with Clinton, Radcliffe and Pat having been teleported to an ancient terraced city on a lush mountain island, wounded from their encounter with Mother Morena and her summoned creatures. Dark skinned islanders in primitive garb are working about them, their presence alert these folks who summon warriors that form a defensive perimeter between them and their town, high up the terrace. A leader eventually emerges, an athletic woman named Mama Kutsi, who recognizes the strange party as friends of Porkins and leads them to shelter in a long stone building, where an old man, the Wise Man, and his clerics help heal the party.
The woman explains that her people are the Tanaroans, descendants of escaped slaves that arrived at the island when their captors ran ashore with their slave ship, the Tanaroa, over 200 years ago. Since they arrived, their wise folk have received visions of the village they found and live in, Enabran Tain, which supposedly was built by an ancient civilization to house the remains of a warrior that defeated a powerful evil, a warrior who the Tanaroans call the Great Enabra, The Protector of Man, in a Mausoleum in the village.
Mama Kutsi also explains that, in recent months, the other evil factions of the island have gotten stronger, led by an evil spirit called Rahu. Rahu has succeeded in regaining physical form in recent days somehow, and has allied the evil creatures of the island to increase their attacks on the Tanaroa, in order to defile the Great Enabra, which prevents Rahu from entering the village. Mama Kutsi takes the adventurers to the mausoleum, where they look in and see the 10′ cubes that represent the burial vaults of ancient warriors, and a great stature, purportedly of the Protector of Man, who holds a shield and an empty hand that once held a weapon of some sort.
Meanwhile, trapped in the Temple Sanctuary at the highest point in the ancient city, Porkins has been holding communion with a cleric from the Golden Dominion named Pelaquin, who has been trapped in a gemstone by Papa Shongo, a powerful village Witch Doctor that has also trapped Porkins here. Pelaquin asserts that he discovered that Papa Shongo has fallen under the influence of Rahu, in order to defile the Protector of Man. Porkins, trapped for several days, finally manages to throw a candlestick through a high window, which succeeds in getting guards to open the door to the Temple. The guards try to coax Porkins into a chest for transportation to Papa Shongo, but Porkins manages to escape with the help of Pelaquin, who ends up occupying the body of one of the guards.
Just as the priest and Porkins make their way to the longhouse of the Wise Man, drums start beating an alert throughout the city, which is under attack.
While a large flotilla of orc-driven outriggers is attacking the harbor, drawing the attention of most of the warriors, another alarm sounds at the main gate. The party and Mama Kutsi arrive in time to see evil-looking apes (The Sons of Tong) and orcs riding a Triceratops, which storm the main wooden gate across the bridge over a deep chasm. As the party fights off the attack, orcs riding Pteranadons join in. The party manages to fight off the main attack and delay re-iforcements from the Sons of Tong, and Mama Kutsi is saved through daring effort, but seriously injured.
In a lull of the attack, guards arrive claiming that the Mausoleum to the Protector of Man is under attack. The party realizes the main attacks are a distraction and proceed to the Mausoleum, where they find the guards killed. Inside the mausoleum, a battle ensues with Papa Shongo and his Tanaroan traitors. During the battle, the Witch Doctor gloats that Rahu told him the truth: that the Protector of Man is not the body of the warrior but rather a powerful shield, which was apparently interred with the body. The party defeats all of his minions, but Papa Shongo manages to escape with a combination of spells and Porkin’s ring of return. The party searches for Papa Shongo outside of the building but is unable to find him.
The next day, the villagers plead for help, and provide the party with a map. Rahu is protected by an orc village of lizard-riders, who he has given a powerful crystal which prevents summoning on the island. He has also given a magical crown to a great dire ape, embuing it with intelligence and the ability to command other apes. The party asks the Tanaroans to lead them to the Sons of Tong.
Guides bring the party via outrigger north along the shore of the main island for almost two days before an oncoming storm forces the party to the shore where they proceed into the jungle. They spot a ship, the Zuluke, resting in the jungle well inland, and are attacked by sentient Ju Ju Zombies which Pat turns. They also avoid encounters with a prowling Pteranodon and a sabre toothed cat. They encounter a sick native Indigean on the road to the Temple of the Tong, whom they cure with a potion. The man warns the party against sleeping near the Temple before leaving.
Arriving at the temple at night, Clinton investigates the stepped pyramid as an owl and is attacked by a dire ape. As combat ensues, all manner of apes emerge, from small nasty baboons, to four armed Girallons, to intelligent spell-casting orangutans. Finally, the great Tong himself appears, but is no match for the powerful flame spells now weilded by the party. As the Tong dies, the apes at the temple lose their evil drive, most of them returning to the jungle, leaving the party at the Temple alone.