Friday, October 31, 2014

The Island of Coatzaco

            When we last left our intrepid adventurers, they had battled vile and evil creatures on the island of Coatzaco.  They boarded their ships and sailed out of the harbor to regroup, only to find a squadron of ships sent by the Governor was waiting to intercept them!  Cannons roared like thunder and tempered steel flashed like lightning as men clashed with men off the island coast on the glorious 21st of June.
            Luck would be with our characters that day, crippling several of the warships and taking the flagship as a prize by boarding action.  Petru and a small prize crew transferred to the flagship only to find the Governor himself onboard!  An epic hand to hand combat ensued as the ship drifted toward the island.
            From the deck of the Gimlet, Captain Dwailyn could hear the actions from the flagship.  He knew Petru was a seasoned seadog and could handle himself, but there was something in the back of his mind that was bothering him.  Was it that Petru could be in need of assistance?  No, Petru’s capable of taking control of his situation.  Was it the fact that the Governor’s ships were waiting in ambush as if they knew we were here all along?  No, that can’t be possible, chances of them knowing our exact heading when we left Lion’s Port are slim to none.  Was it all the booty and the 400 gold coins that sit in the Captain’s quarters?  Aye, that’s it!  A very nice payoff for the crew after facing what they went through on that cursed plot of sand!
Wait…the crew…  Dwailyn did a visual check of the crew on board - Chun, Little Jim, Doc, Pankin, Sven…  Where in the hell is Sven?  A frantic search of the decks revealed no Sven!  In fact none of the crew had seen Sven since the landing party hit Coatzaco’s shore.  Sven’s still there!  We have to go back and find him!
Dwailyn assembles Chun, Doc, Little Jim and some other crew members as a rescue party.  As they discuss a plan, Chun mentions a temple marked _ _ ZOD _ _ on one of the maps he acquired from the island.  It’s determined that this is where they will start looking for Sven and they won’t stop until he’s found – dead or alive!

Are you willing to take up the quest to find Sven?  Does the thought of returning to the island make your skin crawl?  Do you have your brown pants on?  Don’t bother, they’ll be brown at some point, but a red shirt might be handy.

The Secondhand Lions gathered for the annual Halloween Heroquest game and this time we revisited our pirate themed re-skinning of this game.  It has been a full year and the tales of the brave Flashing Steel gang are growing numerous and vivid.  We were heading back into the jungle island of Coatzaco to rescue a friend.  The game was a dungeon crawl and was played with the full Heroquest mechanics.  Unfortunately no visual images survived the dank and horrendous caverns of the tomb below the island.  
The synopsis however was a huge butcher's bill and a very vivid Halloween horror tale. Dwailyn crawled out of the dungeon at the end of the night dragging Petru's  arrow riddled corpse followed by an egregiously wounded Sven.  Left in the howling undead mound of skeletal warriors were Chun, Doc and Pankin.  The last sounds were of gunshots and the slicing clash of many scythe wielding skeletons as the lost disappeared in the maze.
We lost the "Rapier of Despair"  in the final run for safety.  It was left behind with Chun as he tried to hold off a zombie rush that outnumbered him 12 to 1.   Pankin got greedy and went into a room against the best wishes of Dwailyn.  "There has to be great prizes in those chests!  This adventure is not over," were his last words as a failed attempt at unlocking a chest animated about 12 skeletal warriors all around him and Doc.

Great times with the best of friends.  Comradery and an annual gaming tradition.

The night ended with a little box hockey.  Caroms on speed.  More of that in another post.

A guest write up from our own Mr. T. Conn...

{Hours later in the aftermath of the brutal final fight...

Pain.  Pain and nausea.  Pain, nausea and…snoring?  Chun opened his eyes to slits, not wanting to alert anyone to the fact that he was awake.  
Initially, he couldn’t see anything, as his location was as dark as pitch.  Eventually, his eyes adjusted to the gloom and he could make out the faintest of forms to his left and right.  The one on the right was making an incredibly loud sound much like a saw scraping through wood.  The one on the left was smaller and dead quiet.  
Chun realized several things at once with a start.  First and foremost: He wasn't dead!  The last thing he recalled was Doc retreating along the corridor, urging Chun to run with him.  Debris on the ground kept Chun from fleeing the horde of undead sailors he was staving off with Dwailyn’s ‘Rapier of Despair’.  Wounded and regretting his decision to hold the rear, he watched as Doc’s Angel of Death spell whirled by, tagging the undead…captain?...before him.  The creature literally fell to pieces when Chun impaled it on the rapier’s point, but he didn’t have time to gloat under the press of decayed flesh forcing its way toward him.  A vicious blow to his head and…what?  Chun didn’t remember anything after that.
The next thoughts that whirled through his sluggish mind were that the forms to his left and right were Pankin and Doc.  He’d heard that buzzing snore before and hoped that Pankin was merely knocked out and not dead.  Chun rolled over and gently shook his fellow Chinaman, placing a careful hand over his mouth so as not to rouse their captors.  Pankin’s eyes popped open in surprise.  He quickly assessed the situation and gave an infinitesimal.  Chun took his hand away and asked “Are you injured?”  Pankin shook his head and quickly glanced at Doc’s still slumbering form, a look of confusion crossing his features.
“How did you get caught?” Chun asked quietly.  Pankin quickly filled Chun in on what happened after the group left with Petru and Sven.  Pankin’s story of greed in the face of danger and Doc’s problem of “wrong place at the wrong time” had Chun shaking his head in dismay.  
Chun sighed and said “Let’s wake Doc and see where we are and if we can get out of here!”  Doc was roused easily enough, his snore cut short, bringing a very sudden silence to the room.  
A quick search yielded few results.  It was a small room.  Hardly more than a storage closet, really.  A lone door let in a strip of faint light along its bottom.  As the trio stood there, quietly discussing their next step, the room shook then swayed to the familiar motion of waves.  They were on a boat!  

Miles away on the other side of the island and in the company of our portion of the crew that made it to safety...

Petru grimaced as he watched the receding coastline of Coatzaco.  He rubbed his ribs, his fingers gently probing the scars from the arrow wounds he’d sustained.  ‘Thank goodness for Doc’s poultices,’ he thought.  ‘Without them, I’d be nothing more than another tally mark on the Governor’s death count.’  
Dwailyn had rushed him aboard the Gimlet, roaring to the crew to shove off and fetch him a vial of Doc’s murky concoction.  Lucky thing he had, too, as Petru was just about as far gone as he could be without permanently joining the Ever After.  ‘I owe him one’, thought Petru, a thin smile on his lips.  ‘Not that he’ll let me forget it!’
Petru’s musings were cut short by a cry from the crow’s nest.  “Rigging spotted, Cap’n!”  Indeed, Petru could spot the tall masts of one of the Governor’s ships moving out of the sheltered harbor…toward them!

Dwailyn’s roar for all hands on deck and getting them the Hells out of there made everyone jump and scurry.  Petru eyed the slowly approaching ship and thought ‘Your time’s comin’, Governor.  The Boys and I are gonna have some words with you that you’re not gonna like.’  He turned and headed to his post, readying himself for the upcoming confrontation.

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