Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Diary of a bounty hunter, pt. 1

Old gods, pirates, and zombies. Welcome to my world. And I was trying to run away from trouble.
      Things went south on my last contract and I ended up in a heap of trouble with clan Hamoa. You know: one of the most powerful Togapa clans out there. I figured it was time to get out of town and set sail on a ship headed up the archipelago. Just my luck: not long out of port and we get boarded by pirates. Clan Hamoa pirates, no less.
      They didn't spare any of the crew, but me and some other non-Togapi ended up in the brig. We were an odd bunch: me, Syl, a gurahl; a male Zentrayan named Sarkona; a human outsider named Merek; and a female half-orc magician named Dolly Lama. It was only a matter of time before the Hamoa figured out who I was, but luckily — that may not be the best word here — the pirates' ship was attacked by an immense shark. They thought it was an avatar of the Devourer, the Togapan god of destruction. Whatever it was, it gave us a chance to break out of our cell, thanks to the weird properties of Merek's outsider clothes. We managed to grab some gear and commandeer a lifeboat to get us away from the sinking ship.  In the process I got a close look at the Devourer. All I remember is the teeth. Lots of teeth.
      After some days at sea we made it to a neutral island called Mahoa
where we were able to sell the lifeboat. Sarkona also located a supply of some pungent spice he needs to eat. Things were going well until Dolly spotted some Hamoan sailors eyeing us in the square. They were pirates, survivors of the Devourer's attack. Well, they didn't survive too much longer. I joined Dolly in attacking them — she seems to have quite the vengeful streak — and by the time the constabulary arrived two were dead. Fortunately, the elders of clan Hawai believed our story and were only too happy to punish the Hamoan for piracy. They feted us with food and Po'an (a drink of fermented coconut milk) and found us berths on a ship so that we could continue our journey. Merek decided to stay behind, so we said our farewells.
      We embarked on the Luamoi the next day. About a week into our two-week voyage, we made landfall on an island to take on fresh water, only to find that the harbour was crawling with the walking dead —animated corpses that stank of rotting flesh. Zombies. The same was true of another, smaller fishing village where we went ashore. Here we found a crude diary that suggested the people had started turning into zombies about four days before we arrived. We also saw where a large barge had somehow gotten inside the reef and run ashore on the coast. Some zombies, still "alive", were trapped aboard. They were wearing clothing typical of clan Mamoa, but there's no way a barge from the Mamoan home islands could ever have floated here. That barge was brought here deliberately.
Dolly Lama
      The Luamoi crew blew a conch shell and we heard a reply from the interior of the island — some unzombified people remained on the island. Although it was getting dark, we launched a rescue, aided by a hulking religious man named Maulao who was among the crew. We hoped his clout with the Devourer would help him deal with the zombies, but in the end it was Dolly's electrical magic that did the most to keep the things off us. Also, it must be said that zombies are very easy to surprise from behind. My katana sliced off the tops of many skulls that night.
      We found the survivors — a group of youths led by two teachers — and escorted them back toward the ship. On the way we ran into another outsider, a human named Archimedes Newton. Believe it or not, he was actually trying to teleport between worlds. I reckon he wished he'd stayed put. Anyway, he joined our gang and soon we were hard pressed by the zombie hordes standing between us and the shore. Good thing those teachers turned out to be handy in a fight (especially that old woman with her trident). We managed to carve our way through to the launch and made it back aboard.
      Still in need of freshening our supplies, we sailed to the nearby island of Kawa'ho (clan Hawai).  Thankfully, no signs of zombies here. Some villagers said they'd seen a ship at sea towing a barge, some eleven days previously. We guessed this was the barge we saw wrecked. Looks like someone was behind this zombie infestation.
      We had a chance to rest on the island and to see the local sights. They have a deadly carnivorous plant here called the thresher that paralyzes its victims with a poison. We managed to collect a sample and it looks like I'll be able to concoct some unguent to apply to my arrows or even my blade. What more could a bounty hunter ask for?