Island of the Tiki Terror ended up going long enough that we had to break it into two parts. A little less straight forward than Death Webs of the Spider Queen, this adventure had the players guessing and searching a little more free form.
The adventure begins with Marcus and Loupe and a skipper (NPC) out in the south Pacific running a test on a super secret boat design and going over the engine and their latest data below decks when they hear the sound of a chugging steam engine coming toward them. Racing to the deck, they come up in time to see a massive tramp steam barreling down on them, seemingly unaware of their vessel. A quick scramble and they manage to get themselves out of the way, but just barely.
As they stood on deck in disbelief, shaken but otherwise unharmed, they watched the watched the steamer cruise off toward the horizon. Curious as to what had the steamer moving away in such a reckless hurry, they looked to see where it might have come from, following the trail left by its wake and eventually coming upon a solitary, uncharted island.
From their vantage point they could see that it was a jungle-covered volcanic island with three distinct peaks, one of which was still quite alive and active. They could see the sign of a landing and also a few columns of dark smoke trickling up from within the jungle. Figuring there might have been trouble on the island they decided to investigate and took their skiff ashore.
Once ashore they found that the landing sight was a shamble. The remains of a broken and shattered landing craft were scattered all over and signs of panic and struggle were evident by the scuffling in the sand and several trails of footprints from and to the landing sight. Most notable were a trail of large, impressions in the the same pattern as footprints moving off after one of the trails of human-sized prints.
From here the adventure became a series of investigations and encounters. The heroes discovered a lady, a nurse from the expedition, treed by wild pigs and from her learned that there had been an oil prospecting expedition here. The party discovered a tar pit burial ground where something huge had uprooted itself.
At one point they decided to survey the perimeter of the island by boat, looking for survivors and any sign of the trouble that chased away the expedition. While doing this they attempted to communicate with the steamer, thinking it might still be in the area but received only vague, even cryptic responses. As they moved around the island there were signs of an ancient shipwreck as well as an abandoned village.
They found two other survivors, both scientists and one the brother of the nurse they had rescued. They told of native attacks and spoke of a huge monster idol that had attacked them with iron hard wooden fists and fire breath.
They later encountered natives who were hold up in an old, overgrown European style log fort. they stormed the fort under a hail of old cannon balls and at one point an entire cannon was rolled down the hill at them. The heroes were able to successfully parlay for the release of another survivor the natives held captive. The natives offered few clues to what was happening on the island, but there was some insight as to why. It would appear that a guardian had been stirred by the actions of the expedition.
While exploring the periphery of the island they had seen a cave set into the side of a cliff and went to explore it. There they found, deep in the rock, a hidden grotto where wall paintings showed images of the idol and a people that had once lived here. The idol was shown smiting enemies and in one image, leading a group of shadowy figures. There was also a panel that showed a chief or shaman commanding the idol with a conch shell.
The session ended with the return of the steamer and the heroes going out to it to return the expedition members. Coming aboard they found that the expedition's founder, rich industrialist Bartholomew Muse, as well as many armed crewmen. It was clear that things were not so simple as they had thought as the guns were kept on the heroes as Mr Muse answered their questions with his own brand of charm. He revealed that the ship had returned with something that would take care of the "problem" they had encountered and that they had not come to the island to survey it or to take something away, but rather to recover something that had been left. The heroes were then taken below to be made "comfortable".
As we ended on this cliffhanger, the heroes began to try to piece things together (as the camera faded to black). Connecting the dots of the shipwreck and the old European style fort, the were sure that the true motives for this power hungry Mr Muse must be some form of treasure that the ship had been carrying.
Are the heroes correct? Will they escape with their lives?
Tune in next time....