Midafternoon on their second day on Lubber’s Last, Chuko, Jolly, Renard, Jask, and Ishirou all decided to venture into the jungle, following the footsteps of the errant Aerys while they left Gelik to tend camp and await Sasha’s return with the spoils of her hunt. As they set out on their hard, slow slog southeast into the jungle, Mad Max Power bushwhacked bravely straight into the jungle from the shore that he had been washed up on after his remarkable display of incompetence in the practice of nonstandard locomotion. In a rare stroke of luck, Mad’s path nearly intersected that of the group less than a mile into either of their journeys.
Soon afterward, Aerys’ tracks abutted the base of a large rocky ridge, and followed its course as it slowly turned southward. The group continued their exhausting journey uphill through the haze of heat, humidity, and insects as the ridge turned eastward and intersected the path of a river, resulting in a sloped, rapidly running waterfall. The ostensibly more agile members of the group scrambled up the rocky bank of the mud-brown waterfall and managed to make use of Jask’s vine ropes to assist the entire group with the ascent.
The sun was beginning to set, and the buzzing ambience of the jungle and its inhabitants was shifting to a more nocturnal timbre, as the group followed the river (and Aerys’ tracks) southward and upstream. The tracks ended abruptly at the scene of a sprung snare trap, a rope having swung some victim into a nest of bristling stakes a dozen feet up in the canopy above. Despite their best efforts, no member of the group could find any tracks leading from the scene, and decided to venture further upstream, guided by light both arcane and divine cast by the casters of the party.
Further upstream, the castaways discovered that they were on one of two tines of a fork in the river. Directly across the river was an intimidating wall of leaves and bright red thorns. Chuko, Jask, and Renard went to work cobbling together shelter from the dense surrounding growth while Mad and Jolly crossed the river to investigate the nettles. Some greatmachete-ing and delicate maneuvering followed, with the pair reaching the sweet center of the nettle bush to find an abundance of bright red berries, which they harvested by the armful. Their return across the narrow, but deep and swiftly flowing, river, led to the loss of a significant fraction of the berries. There was still a significant amount left, and the group enjoyed several nourishing handfuls after Renard’s talented taste identified the berries as being highly efficacious in the alleviation of addictions and withdrawal, as well as providing a significant boost to the immune system.
With some semblance of a meal and a functional shelter built, the group decided to rest for the remainder of the night, but rest did not come easily. The mindfire continued to wreak havoc with Renard’s mind, and he was visited by dark visions of vomit, the scholar Ieana, bailing out the Jeniviere with a spoon, and pincers…
The chaos continued as the group awoke to a blood-eyed, rabid-looking goat, stinking to high hell as it attempted to gnaw off (? I don’t remember who)’s face. The vile jungle goat was dispatched with extreme prejudice.
The next day, the group continued to follow the river uphill and upstream and were eventually ambushed by a giant spider which had built a web canopy over the open expanse of the river. While Chuko (?) cut it down out of its canopy, Mad (?) prevented its escape by shearing its legs off in a river-spanning jumping attack.
A few hundred feet further upriver, the group found themselves at the spring that served as the source of the river they had been following. Beyond it lay a ridge from which they observed a path cutting through the jungle to the south, and a clearing and open water to the northwest. Approaching the northwestern clearning, they attracted the attention of two humanoid figures with viney veins and clouds of yellow spores swirling about them. The figures shambled toward them but were effectively foiled by the ridge for long enough that the group was able to retreat back to the southern ridge, which they descended to cut toward the path they had seen.
The group made it to the narrow, compacted dirt path and began to follow it southeast when they spotted a tripwire strung taut in front of them, rigged to a snare trap of similar design to the triggered one they had seen earlier at the river.
After some deliberation, Chuko summoned into existence a chestnut and white mottled pony of gentle disposition with doe-like eyes and a burning curiosity to find its way in this world and help others. Its curiosity and amicability almost instantly turned into confusion and abject terror as the group bumblingly bullrushed the pony, stumbling over themselves but causing the pony to kick out its hind legs in panic. The next second passed in an eternity as thetrap snagged the horse by its leg and swung it in a long arc, ending with a juicy thud as the horse was impaled against the bundle of spikes waiting in the canopy. A ringwraith-like scream mingled with a fountain of hot blood erupting from the ruptured lungs of the animal as it spent its last five seconds of agonizing existence staring hauntingly at its creators and destroyers before vanishing, leaving behind only a grisly bundle of spikes and the echoes of its wails.
The butchers took shelter in the growth surrounding the trap, hoping to ambush those who had set it. The group split into two watch shifts. During the first, Renard was again plagued by feverish visions, finding himself aboard a rowboat with the stung and cut animated corpse of First Mate Alton Devers. The two both exited their boat and found the water that they stood ankle-deep in to actually be a sea of dead bats. As Renard watched Alton row back to the wreck of the jeniviere on the horizon, he looked back down and saw the bats begin to bite.
During the second watch shift, the watchers heard the slow flapping whiish of a pair of massive wings in the darkness off the road. Mad charged blindly into the woods after the noise, only to find the blood-drained corpse of another jungle goat.
The unseen threat of this beast was sufficient to rouse the group to action before the night was through. They followed the path back northwest, the direction that they had come, and a few miles along a ridge.
As the path turned West and the Sun began to rise at their backs, the group was brought to a halt as Jolly, marching at their head, tripped yet another snare tripwire and was flung into a massive array of pointed wood not at all dissimilar to the one he and his compatriots had subjected an innocent animal to but hours before.
Jask called upon the mending powers of Nethys to bring jolly back from the brink of death, and the group followed a fork in the path as it turned Northeast and emerged onto a rocky clearing and beach looking out north upon a large bay, with another rocky shore visible several miles in the distance.
In the clearing an assembly of crude, long-since collapsed shelters made of blood-spattered driftwood surrounded a single figure that looked similar to those the castaways had noticed in the other clearing previously. A swift beheading from Mad neutralized the threat, and the group settled down to take a moment to regroup and review the course of their journey thus far: