Chapter 2: Landfall

Griselda stood outside their shelter and new fortifications and looked at them with some pride and satisfaction. It was not a luxury dwelling, but it was a dry and secure shelter that would keep them warm and reasonably comfortable. It was a base, somewhere to call home, for the time being at least. The group were no longer trnsients on this island, they had staked their territory and to Griselda at least, that mattered.

'I have had some time to think, and have an idea. Whilst it will take time and more resources to repair or build a boat able to get us off here, I think it is worth builing a small raft now. Not one able to take us back to the mainland but one we can use to navigate all the way round this island from the sea. It will be far quicker and safer than walking, though we will have to do some inland exploration too. But if we can sail all the way around the island, we will know how big it is, it's shape, other rivers and main features and it will let us do the inland exploration in a more methodical way. Also there may be other shipwrecks and possibly habitations, either of which could be very very useful to us. If we find a wreck, there will be any number of things I can use from it, maybe carpentry tools, metal, nails, wood, sailcloth. It could save a hell of a lot of time.'

Tempest strode out of the shelter and smiled as she noticed Griselda admiring their handy work, she wandered over to the mind mage and roved an equally appreciative eye over the new structure.

There were bags under her eyes from the restless nights when the nightmares were too much. The subject of which she shied away from thinking about, and chasing the shadows of these away with the satisfaction of all they had achieved in the last couple of weeks.

She turned at the sound of Griselda's voice nodding in agreement, Sounds good, and will help transport any supplies as we find them too. Now we have this shelter we can work on building up supplies for when we get the boat finished and more practically for our time on the island.

Griselda's raft progresses on fairly well and is half-done after a couple of days. Rollo and Raphaela went out into the jungle to gather some more food and look for suitable building material, but had not returned by dusk. While this was not unusual for Rollo, Raphaela was rarely away for so long. For the past couple days she had been even more sullen than usual, though everyone had endured their own bouts of depression over the situation. By the following night the pair had still not returned, a very unusual occurrence. Rollo had indicated before he left that he was going to look further upriver, perhaps scout the cliff some more.

Griselda, worried about the two missing people becomes agitated as time passes and finds the others.

'I think we should go and find them. They could have been trapped in a cave or something at the cliffs. If we can track them we can hopefully save them. I know it's dangerous, but if something has harmed them then I for one don't want to just sit here and wait for it to come and get me too. I'd rather be the hunter than the prey.'

Whilst Griselda spoke, she was playing with what looked like a big crystaline semi translucent spiderlike creature that was moving between one hand and the next and up her arm. Earlier that day she had seen concentrating and trying to practice her powers, manifesting shimmering blobs in her hand.

'Oh! I made this earlier today. I call it Zelda. For Griselda. It's kind of a part of me. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's like a pet anyway.' Griselda added looking a little sheepish.

Your powers are growing stronger, Tempest remarked impressed by the creation, I am worried too, this island has many dangers I doubt we have come across even a hair's breath of them. We are better armed now, it is proberly as good a time as any to go a bit deeper into the jungle and look for our missing companions at the same time.

Out of interest can you communicate with your construct if it is part of you? Could Zelda act as a scout for us?


Griselda thought for a moment before answering.

'It's kind of strange, but yes. I can't actually see what Zelda is seeing but she can talk in my head and tell me what she sees. She can move as fast as we can, and can climb. She can also see in the dark. well, see is the wrong word. She sees with her mind, as she has no eyes. Also if it comes to it, I know that if anything bad happens to her, I can just remake her given a day or so. She isn't really alive like you or me so the new Zelda would be the same Zelda as the old one because everything that makes her what she is is actually contained within me. Though I expect she wouldn't be entirely happy about the getting squished part. She doesn't think that is going to happen though. You see the bit of me that I put in her was my shyness. So she is very sneaky and thinks we should be too.'

Grinning broadly Tempest replies with a nod Amazing, Griselda you are a true wonder, that is an amazing ability you have. I do not think we would have survived as well as we have if not for you. she put an arm about the shoulders of the other woman and gave her a brief hug, We should pack some supplies and then head in and may the fates be kind to us as we do.

On announcing the intent to track down the wayward castaways, the rest of the surviving crew are less than enthusiastic, but resigned to the necessity.

"We're too few to be spread so thin for long," Garnett remarks, the old man folding his arms almost defensively, "Raphaela's nigh unto useless out there, but Rollo's a fair hand. They've been gone too long though, and if he's injured then he'll need help. Take Avedis with ya." The halfling looks surprised, but nods in agreement.

"I'll go. Think you two can hold down the homestead?" Avedis asks, knowing full well the answer.

"Aye, We've weapons and traps. We can hold our own," Garnett nods.

The rough packs are loaded quickly, 4 days of food, 2 of water, along with the basic gear, like rope. Everyone is familiar with the nearest of the paths up the cliff, and since Rollo was intent on exploring further inland, that's where he'd likely start. The base of the cliff is quickly reached, and since there's no sign of Rollo or Raphaela there the trio begins the treacherous ascent. Even taking their time and making full use of the rope there's a couple of close calls on the way up. At one point the root Tempest was holding onto for support along a narrow stretch pulls away from the cliff, nearly dropping her 50' to the jungle floor below. Only her mad scramble to find another hold stops her fall. Near the top of the cliff Avedis is knocked off the trail, clipped in the shoulder by a falling rock. The rope tied about his waist arrests his fall, slamming him into the cliff face but leaving him otherwise intact. Griselda and Tempest are able to pull the halfling back up without too much effort. Presently, though, they all reach the top and get a brief moment to rest.

Griselda mopped her brow with her sleeve after the arduous climb. At least from this point things would be a little less tiring. Turning around, Griselda used the high vantage to scan the lowlands back towards the camp trying to
Dice Roll: 1d20+4z
d20 Results: 8 (Total = 12)
see (12) the landscape and get a general feeling of the area around the camp from on high. The vista from this height would stretch quite a few miles. She also
Dice Roll: 1d20+4z
d20 Results: 5 (Total = 9)
scanned (9) out to sea trying to spot any signs of other islands close enough to be visible from here.

'I can believe Rollo came this way but I'm finding it hard to believe Raphaella would have done the same."

It was apparent that since Griselda had placed her 'shyness' into the crystaline Zelda, she herself appeared to be a little less shy than before, since she would never have openly criticised Raphaella before.

Turning once more, she looked around to see if she could
Dice Roll: 1d20+4z
d20 Results: 3 (Total = 7)
spot (7)any signs of Rollo's or Raphaella's passage, or anything else of interest in the area.

Tempest pulled herself over the lip of the cliff and back onto solid horizontal ground with a breath of relief. She had no fear of heights having spent her fair share in the riggings, but that climb had been nothing like taking to the mast top. She lay for but a second catching her breath, before rising to take in the
Dice Roll: 1d20+1z
d20 Results: 11 (Total = 12)
surrounds and the view (12). Aye, Rollo would have scurried up there with out a second thought, but that woman would not have managed a few feet. Especially in those boots of hers! she agreed as she began a study of the surrounds looking for
Dice Roll: 1d20+9z 1d20+5z
d20 Results: 12 (Total = 21)
d20 Results: 12 (Total = 17)
tracks and any possible supplies (21,17) (survival and nature).

Despite her words and tone when speaking about their missing 'boss' her eyes betrayed some concern, having seen the horrors of the isle so far she did not wish a horrible fate on the little miss madam.


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