Jazirat Alburunz – Landfall

The breeze is light and the sun sparkles off the water like gold. The Ulmo’s Beard sits low in the water such is the bounty of her provisions and the crew line the deck dressed in new uniforms of blue and gold. At the edge of the quayside, the finest baldachin covers the Amyr and his closest advisors. Aerandir has bid farewell to Vanwa earlier in the day having assured himself that she is happy to remain on the island.

“My Friend and Companion at arms, it is with great regret that I bid you farewell,” announces his eminence Amyr Fatih Albahr across the deck to where Qubtan Alquazam stands. “It is a perilous quest that you embark upon and there is no guarantee that you will be successful. Remember, that it was your actions that brought this doom upon you; that you travel the seas until you return with the cloak of Zahara.”

Ulmo’s Beard slips its moorings and sets sail upon the ocean. The ship and crew travel southwards towards distant shores at Alquazam’s orders. As they do not know the location of the the kingdom with the cloak, he has reasoned that they should first seek rumour of its location. As he explains to Denig on deck one day, it is unlikely that rumours of an island hidden or under special protection will have gone unnoticed by Sea Farers.

After several weeks of sailing from the Southernmost tip of the Mustiq Eali island chain. An island is sighted on the horizon: a welcome distraction from the monotony of days at sea. Is it luck or fate that there appears to be a town on the northern shore? Either way, Alquazam is all for a shore party to talk with the islanders and Captain Reiss wishes to replenish the ship’s water stores and food. 

A few hours later, Ulmo’s Beard anchors in the bay of the port. From the port itself there is no sign of life. It has been clear as the ship closed in on landfall that something was amiss; the lack of smoke and sound carrying across the waves. This close it is clear from the lack of activity on the shore and the boats that would be expected to be harvesting the bounty of the sea. Only the lonely cries of the seabirds and surf on the shore can be heard.

The heroes, led by Alquazam, with Chad and Beowulf to man the skiff, form a landing party to investigate the port. Ashore it becomes very clear that the port has been deserted for some time. Dust and dirt have invaded houses and plant life has begun to reclaim the port. The nearby windmill continues to operate, millstones turn without grain to mill. The shore party head to the centre of the port and what looks to be some sort of town hall.

By the small river that runs through the centre of the port, stands a long low building that the heroes think may be a town meeting hall. In front of the steps that lead up to the double doors, stands a bronze statue of a fisherman with a trident and net. Nothing seems amiss in the large dirt square before the hall so the companions cautiously enter the hall.

With some effort, Denig and Fulton swing the doors open to reveal the dark interior of the hall. Light filters down from windows set under the eaves of the roof onto a glittering horde of gold, opal and jewels. The eyes of the party glimmer in interest until Denig advises caution and spends a quarter of an hour investigating the approaches for any sign of a trap. Satisfied, he allows the rest of the party to approach the hoard. Seeing the wealth left unguarded forces them to consider why it has been left untended for so long. Alquazam is most pleased and says that this is a bounty from Wahid Eali. Some of this treasure can be taken with them on the voyage and will pay for supplies and repairs. The rest can be recovered on the return voyage when they return in victory for it will avail them not if they keep it with them at the bottom of the sea. However, Denig and Fulton feel that a little personal wealth is due to them and pocket a small number of gold coins.

Having investigated the treasure trove to their satisfaction, Alquazam gives orders to his fellow lesser nobles. The island is certainly curious and it will help with understanding why the treasure has been left to scout the island for any more information. This is a task for those with experience of adversity. So it is to Aerandir, Denig, Dagaard, and Fulton that he assigns this task. He will return to the waiting skiff where Chad and Beowulf wait and organise the resupply of the Ulmo’s Beard.

Having decided on a course of action the party leave the hall and prepare to leave to scout the island. Alerted by the groaning sound of the bronze statue moving the party quickly come to arms. Aerandir, who is closest, leaps away; drawing bow and seeking to cover his fellow adventurers. Perhaps, thinking that their small petty larceny is the cause of the sudden animation of the statue, both Denig and Fulton run back to the hall to divest themselves of their misappropriated coins. Meanwhile, Alquazam leaps straight into the fray calling on the others to support him in the attack. Only Dagaard follows the call to battle, leaping in with his normal fearlessness.

The battle does not start well, Dagaard is imperiously brushed aside by a blow from the bronze statues trident. Aerandir continues to cover the melee but does not fire. Racing quickly back to the fray Denig leaves the hall and moves to take up a secondary position to support Aerandir in firing on the statue. Ignoring the blows of Alquazam the statue swings towards Denig. Meanwhile, Fulton remains safely in the hall awaiting a chance to escape.

Wondering if the it was his misdeeds that have brought the statue to life Denig flees from the square and the guardian follows with huge implacable strides. Behind them follow Alquazam and Aerandir, neither able to mount an attack against the rapidly moving target. Dagaard remains stunned on the ground, while Fulton hides until the Bronze statue has left the square in front of the hall.

Noticing that the Bronze giant is continuing to follow him and feeling that he cannot out run the fisherman forever buys himself extra time by calling on the power of the bat-winged brooch to haste him. This he uses to pray for aid from Cloch in defeating the animated statue. As the bronze fisherman crosses the river by the bridge an 8ft pit opens in front of it. The lumbering monster manages to avoid the hazard moving to one side to attack the stone man. Desperately, Denig parries the trident thrust at him while Aerandir and Alquazam race to catch up. At that moment Dagaard finally recovers and his able to groggily follow; calling Fulton to aid in the battle. Feeling, he is not the target of attack Fulton decides now is the time to join the battle when there is a chance of attacking a foe from behind.

The battle continues with Denig desperately defending himself against the fisherman. Aerandir risks a couple of shots that do little damage to the bronze behemoth; at the same time, Alquazam hews at the frame attempting to disable the sentinel. Soon he is joined by Fulton and eventually Dagaard, now fully recovered, joins the fray. The combined blows of the three begin to tell on the structure of the statue, Alquazam’s blows being most telling. But, Denig defences are brought low when the statue slings its net and grapples the Dunlending. Trapped, his shield side is exposed and he is badly wounded by the following trident thrust. Fortunately, it is at this point in time that the blows of his companions finally tell and ichor gushing from a final wound the bronze fisherman is finally stilled.

Having healed his wounds and the party having readied themselves for exploration they set out to scout the island. Choosing to travel west from the port, the soon come in sight of a small fishing village. Like the port, the village appears abandoned, but the group decide to scout round the hills. Grudgingly, Dagaard follows the party until they decide that he should remain behind the hills while they observe from a distance. Up on the ridge, they hear the sound of children singing and occasionally glimpse childlike forms dancing through the abandoned buildings. Deciding to investigate a bit closer, Denig and Aerandir move cautiously down into the village while Fulton watches from above.

Approaching the village, Aerandir and Denig are again met with laughing song of children. In and out of the abandoned village children flit alway beckoning them on. Until, finally, a group appear and dance and sing around the pair and that is the last thing they know of the world.

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