Once the crabmen’s vessel was pacified, it was a simple matter to loot the place. Crates of crystal shards, strange purple spice and fifty captive chimpanzees were quickly loaded onto the Dragon Turtle. In addition, the dragonborn prisoner was freed from below and her identity revealed by Nasira’s questioning – Fakira az-Yassin ibbin-Nurit, the firstborn daughter of Nasira’s father and her own long-lost stepsister. A little skeptical of her tale, Nasira nonetheless freed her dragonborn kindred, along with the remaining twenty-five slaves found aboard.
Among those slaves were three strange plant creatures, calling themselves woads. With her driftwood staff, Weed was able to communicate with them and learned that their home, Green Plant Tree Place, was nearby and, by all indications, appeared to be the very island they were already sailing toward. Crewing the captured crabmen vessel, the two ships made quickly for “At Lake’s Bottom” and discovered a verdant paradise and a peaceful village of stumpfolk.
Welcomed as guests of honor by the strange plant people, the pirates were initially suspicious as they were swarmed by the curious islanders. Weed took on the role of translator and made diplomatic arrangements. Hakari and his orcs, meanwhile, were leery about the stumplings, fearing they may be more sinister than they seemed.
Invited to a great feast, our swashbuckling heroes agreed to attend while their captain stashed their prize ship in a secluded cove. A great night of revels, fresh fruit and music, the festival took place on the shores of a massive lake, beneath the boughs of a tremendous tree growing from the lakebed. Initially rather bored by the bouncy little woads, Nasira discovered a strange serenity in the shadow of these boughs and, with Korbin and Weed, dived down to the lakebed to observe the shrine of the goddess there.
Hakari, meanwhile, cooked up some chimpanzee meat to feed the strange stumpfolk, and quickly discovered they had quite the taste for the cooked flesh.
In the shrine, the pirates discovered Captain Ilisa’s two offerings – a pair of bone trinkets – and made offerings of their own. Korbin offered a statue of Mother Monster and Nasira a collection of necklaces she’d plundered. Weed, meanwhile, communed with the massive tree spirit and discovered its unhappiness with their presence here, claiming they had introduced blood and fire to the peaceful island paradise.
Taking their leave the following day, the pirates were perhaps unnerved by the site of the vegetarian woads wading into the water and snatching their first fish as the crew rowed away from the beach.
En route to the next island, called “Find The Fire”, the sickness aboard the Dragon Turtle grew worse. Faveen and Weed struck up a quick friendship, writing music about the changeling’s fairy tale. Nasira sought to get to know Fakira all the better and discovered her quite the charismatic leader, somewhat to her chagrin. Hakari tasked Deadrick to keep an eye on Yu, fearing that there was something more than jealousy for Woodward, motivating her recent strangeness. Korbin, meanwhile, hired one of the prostitutes – Vito the Virgin – to serve as his confidante, pouring out all his stresses and neuroses for the young man to absorb.
Four days from Green Plant Tree Place, however, the galley came across something quite disturbing in the water. Millions upon millions of skulls, floating across the surf, blocked the horizon in all directions. While initially quite spooked, Hakari and Korbin saw an opportunity to transform this ghoulish sight into an impromptu festival on the ship. Collecting many hundreds of skulls, they organized a mini-carnival, complete with games and music, to celebrate their strange windfall.
Korbin oversaw the games and festivities from the main deck, while Nasira overcame her uneasiness with alcohol. Hakari and Inio went about arranging the skulls along the ship’s rail, before Weed and Faveen performed their two-header – “The Princess By The Sea” and “Skulls, Skulls, Skulls!”
It was all fun and games, of course, until the storm rolled in.