Sanctuary – Jazirat Alburunz part 4

After the horrors of the mine, the party rest overnight and refreshed,but still with the taint of the touch of the undead, they set out through the jungle with the intention of investigating the central peak once again. The Jungle is thick and dark, but a pathway leads across the central ridge of the island.

After an hour of hardship, Denig spots a large creature that to Dwarf and Half-elf resembles a dragon of old. It sits in the sunlight dappled path. Heavy lidded eyes gazing at the interlopers with defiance. The party are stuck in a quandary. Aerandir and Dagaard fear the creature to be a baby dragon, but believe them to be much larger and to have passed into legend. Denig is torn between fear of an attack from a monster and a desire to protect the life of innocent animals. For sometime the adventurers debate whether to attack or avoid the great monster, which sits ahead of them, forked tongue flicking in and out.

Eventually, Fulton decides that he can charm the monster with song. Singing a gentle song he, with the party forming a defensive wall around him, approaches the dragon-like creature. The monster makes no aggressive moves and the party pass on into the jungle beyond.

They have travelled about another hour when, except from a last moment warning from Dagaard, a grey clad figure steps out of the jungle. She pulls down the hood of her cloak and greets the party with an Elven greeting in archaic Silvan. Seeing that only Aerandir comprehends, she switches to the more widely used language of the region. The grey-eyed Avari explains that her name is Astamo and that she is the Dayr of the Maladh Alsalam (Sanctuary of Peace) on this island. First greeting, Alqatris and then the others. She bids the wanderers to return with her to the Maladh to share a meal and rest the night.

Red Gem by Yang Liu

Through the evening the adventurers ask other questions about the island and it’s inhabitants. Discovering the reasons for many of the encounters they have had on the island. They learn that the children are Maghnia and servants of Latif who have lost their purpose beyond remembering that they sing songs of forgetting. One of the purposes of Astamo’s order is to bring healing and respite, but on the island they are also guardians of the Lost Children.

The companions also discover that there is a curse on the treasure on the island and that this may have something to do with the mine and the ghosts that they explored the day before. Soon though the party retire one by one and awake refreshed. A day is spent in recuperation. Denig wanders the olive grove behind the Dayr and Aerandir rests in shade of the olive tree. On the following day, Fulton and Dagaard wish to return to the ship and continue the quest but Aerandir is reluctant to leave the restful sanctuary. Denig through his own sense of obligation feels unwilling to leave without Aerandir. So after, one unusually poor attempt to convince Aerandir of his duty to the ship. Fulton, Dagaard and Alquatris return to Ulmo’s Beard.

The next couple of days are spent by the remaining pair at the Maladh. Astamo suggests that their quest may fail if they do not rejoin their ship but also offers them sanctuary for as long as they need. Aerandir shows every sign of wishing to remain but for Denig the thought of the ship sailing without him is too much. Even now he worries that Alquazam will have left, so it is with regret that he prepares to leave and join the ship without Aerandir. Perhaps it was this spur that Aerandir needed all along to leave as he immediately gathers his few belongings and joins Denig.

The pair return to port and find the treasure scattered around the square but no sign of the crew. Fearing the worst, they hurry to the shore. They are relieved to see that the bay is not empty and riding at anchor is the Ulmo’s Beard. One problems remains. How to get our to the ship? They resolve this by calling on Cloch and the Valar for some divine solution and are able to walk across the intervening water to the ship.