March 30th, 2150 AD
Captain Stormfist manages to moor the Bountiful Queen near the shore of the island, and as the natives approach in a hostile fashion, Andrew Hartwell and Jeanette Storm approach them, holding aloft the statue taken from Lord Montcloude's ball. The natives are somewhat confused by this, but their hostility turns to a muted friendship, tinged with some suspicion.
The player characters discover that Edmund Worthington is able to speak their language, and learn that there are two tribes on the island. The tribe that lives atop the mountain are called the Ontawa, and they are headhunters! The tribe that dwells at the mountain's base and in the forests and jungle are the Onwata. War has started between the two tribes recently, and the Ontawa have captured many of their villagers. The Onwata, ask the characters for help, saying that they can have any treasure from the Ontawa that they find as long as they relieve the Onwata of their headhunting fellow island dwellers.
The player characters return to the Bountiful Queen, and the Captain discusses the situation with the player characters and the rest of the crew. While Emily Harrington-Boothe and Haley Deuce are somewhat reluctant to get involved in "island politics", the rest of the player characters are enthusiastic about the upcoming climb up the mountain, although Peter Bear Redwood has his reservations about the matter. The Captain and the player characters agree that this is about the treasure for them, not about helping the natives, but if the situation warrants them "dealing" with the natives, well that is something they should address when the time comes. It is decided that the player characters will venture up the mountain, and see what they can learn. If fortune favours the bold, then, well... let the gold fall where it may.
The next morning, the player characters commence their trek through the jungle and up the mountain, accompanied by a native guide, Halau. The day's travel goes rather uneventfully, and the characters camp that night on the slopes of the mountain. During the night, the characters are woken by the roars of a mountain lion that attacks the campsite, and while the player characters are able to slaughter the beast, they take several injuries, and their guide, Halau, dies of his wounds. Andrew and Arthur Quentin-Smythe insist on giving the guide a proper burial, and this is what they do.
While travelling the next day, Arthur discovers some quicksand by stepping into it, and it is only the quick thinking of Peter that saves him from a drowning, muddy death. Continuing on up the mountain in the direction indicated by the guide, the player characters arrive at the village of Ontawa - and discover to their suprise that instead of grass huts and the like, there are stone buildings. Several of the natives who walk around the village are bedecked with golden jewelry, including large medallions and bracers. In an act of sheer bravery (some might even say chutzpah), Andrew walks right into the midst of them and, speaking (Neovictorian) English, asks them if they've seen the giant skull that they're looking for - even though they're standing about 100 feet away from the entrance of the giant skull mouth!
The Ontawa are a warrior people and always ready to attack, but then Andrew drew his sword [not to attack, but to draw a skull on the ground as Tom told me later], and that triggered the Ontawa attack. The battle with them was swift, yet deadly. Facing around twelve warriors, two of whom were quite dangerous, the player characters did a magnificent job of dealing with them, though not without some injuries. Quickly moving to defend Eliza Worthington and her father, Arthur dealt his own brand of justice to the natives, first with his gun and then with his sword. As Andrew was about to have his skull split open by a macahuatil (obsidian sword), Emily managed to fire a one-shot killing blow [she spent 3 Fate points on it] to his attacker, dropping him where he stood. However, she couldn't save him from a second chop that sunk into his chest, and falling to the ground, he played dead. The other characters gave as good as they got, and Peter accounted for a good four of their opponents, while the rest of the player characters did what they had to. The rest of the natives vanished into the forested part of the mountaintop, and the characters breathed a sigh of relief. When the fighting was over, Peter and Emily went over to Andrew to treat his serious injuries, and then turned their attention to the rest of the injured characters. All the while, the player characters felt as if they were being watched, and deciding they didn't want to remain in the centre of the village, nor did they want to search from building to building, stepped into the mouth of the skull...
The player characters found themselves inside not a natural cavern, but one of hewn stone, and somewhat narrow. Moving single file, the player characters stumbled onto the traps - a set of brass jaws launching up from the floor, a pit filled with spikes at the bottom, several shooting spears - and using a few Fate points, the party overcame all the traps. Emerging from the trap filled, narrow passage, the player characters and the Worthingtons found themselves in a large chamber with a good many stone sarcophagi. While Edmund Worthington and Eliza went to look at the hieroglyphics upon the walls, the arrogant Arthur heaved and hefted and managed to open one of the stone sarcophagi. Even as one sarcophagus opened, the others did as well, and from each one emerged a half-man, half-snake creature yielding a brass sword! The creatures moved to attack the player characters and the Worthingtons, and Eliza screamed!
I had a terrific time running the session this night, even feeling under the weather as I did, and the players all told me that they enjoyed the feel of the game (they had mentioned over the last few weeks that they wanted an "old fashioned" pirate treasure adventure with more supernatural menaces to it, so that's why I decided to run this adventure). I've rather enjoyed running this Abney Park's Airship Pirates scenario, to be honest, as I've been able to cut loose a little bit. I've borrowed somewhat liberally from my own "The Secret of Lake Qechacua" to some extent as well for this scenario, as the players have noticed.
In any event, I am quite looking forward to the session of the game tonight as well. :)