Heirs to the Lost World

Murder in Xicalango
GM=Chad

Walking down the street, the heroes Judith (Shannon), Jennifer (Rachel), Dundira (John), and Edward (Reed), suddenly came upon an old acquaintance, Benjamin Williams screaming for help and covered in blood. The heroes followed him to a warehouse filled with four human bodies that had been torn to shreds.

An investigation revealed that two of the bodies were Mayan, and two were smugglers from the crew of Captain Isaiah Prophet, a notorious and unpopular tomb robber. In addition, Edward found some small jade carvings, clearly Mayan and with a connection to the Spiritworld.

Dundira performed a dance ritual and entered the Spiritworld and saw an intense vision from the past. She saw the warehouse from the night before as a huge bear-like creature and many small clawed beasts torn the four men to shreds. After killing them, the small beasts transformed to mice and the large bear transformed to a man as he left the building. Dundira also identified the jaded carvings as a sort of spiritual fuel for certain types of spells.

Jennifer and Dundira went to see Na Chan, an important Mayan sun priest. In the conversation, the heroes learned that there have been some rumors of an okal-pixan (a Mayan witch) in Xicalango, but he had not heard of the murders. He promised to contact the heroes if he learned anything more. Jennifer and Dundira proceeded to speak to Taxa, a priestess of Ix-Chel. They convinced her to travel to the warehouse and investigate, along with the local constables. Taxa was able to identify the Mayans as members of a sort of witch-hunting organization in Xicalango.

Meanwhile, Judith and Edward went to the docks to speak to some contacts. They learned that Isaiah Prophet often deals with a local Englishman named Marcus. After a short visit, Judith and Edward learned that Isaiah has a secret warehouse/storage area east of town.

After the four heroes met up and exchanged information, they rowed out to Isaiah Prophet’s ship, God’s Whisper and sneaked on board. After knocking out a couple of guards, they confronted Isaiah and the point of a sword. He did not seem to know about the murders. He admitted that his two sailors were setting up an exchange with the Mayans that is due to occur tomorrow night. The heroes convinced Isaiah that he needed the PCs as guards in the sale. the PCs will protect him in exchange for Mayan artifacts from his hold.

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The Mask
GM=Chad

Judith Kent (Shannon), Jennifer (Rachel), and James (Josh) were hired to help salvage a ship that had wrecked just outside the Laguna de Terminos the previous night. On the way there from Xicalango, they talked to their employers, Armando, Renee Ogeron, and Roberto. Without giving too much information, Armando explained that the heroes should focus their attentions on a small wooden box.

Though they did salvage a fair amount of gear, the Heroes were unable to find the wooden box, and this made the three employers very nervous. As night fell, they explained that the box contains a mask that somehow will animate the dead sailors (whose bodies were no where to be found).

As predicted, in the middle of the night zombi sailors stumbled on shore and attacked. The heroes dispatched the zombies with flair, including an attack with a starfish and one using a taut rope as a giant ballista. At the end of the encounter, a zombi wearing a wooden mask attacked, but was defeated when Jennifer knocked the mask off.

In the aftermath, Roberto explained that the mask contained a violent spirit which can possess people as well as reanimate corpses as zombies. Armando and Renee were sending the mask away, but it did not want to leave the mainland and thus caused the shipwreck. Against orders, Roberto had contacted a voodoo mambo to help dealing with the mask. He felt that she should be in Xicalango by now, so the heroes and their employers start sailing back in the morning.

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Rescue
GM=Shannon

Tye (David), Ollin (Chad), and Maurice (Roy) were traveling in an Aztec pochteca caravan from Xicalango to Tisatepetitlan and perhaps onward to Itzamkanac. One night they were suddenly awaken by screams. A woman had been knocked out with a poison dart and she awoke to find her daughter Nic-te missing.

The heroes quickly found some tracks and ran off in pursuit. This proved rash when Maurice fell into a sinkhole. Ollin and Tye placed a fallen tree into hole and Ollin climbed in, unfortunately, Tye had a sudden spirit vision, falling unconscious and knocking the tree into the hole.

With no way to climb out, the heroes found a passage in the back of the sinkhole. They traveled deeper and deeper into the natural cave eventually coming upon a man-made section. Tye recognized this area from his vision, and remembered seeing several children about to be sacrificed.

The heroes hurried though uninhabited areas lit by magical torches and eventually came upon an area that had clearly been recently occupied. With nowhere to go, but forward, they found their way to a vast cavern with a step-pyramid in the center.

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Murder in Xicalango 2
GM=Chad

Continuation of Murder in Xicalango.

Judith (Shannon) and Dundira (John) receive a message from the witch-hunting secret society. They explain that they were dealing with Isaiah Prophet and his crew to get magic jade beads that are needed in dealing with the witch. They are embarrassed about this and want the PCs help. Since the PCs already agreed to guard Isaiah Prophet, they felt they could help easily.

During the exchange of the jade beads, the shapechanging witch releaved itself as a member of Isaiah’s crew. This sailor changed into a huge grizzly bear and attacked the PCs and the Mayan secret society members.

After a long fight, the Mayan Shaman was able to use the jade beads to end the shapechanger’s transformation. Appearing back as a human, he died of his many wounds.

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The Glyph Pamphlet
GM=Chad

Judith and Dundira go back with Isaiah Prophet to his ship to get their reward for helping him. They get their friend Richard Crosby (Eric) to help. While there Isaiah offers them a job. Dundira secretly bargains with a wind spirit to curse Isaiah next time he sets out to sea. She then takes all the relics (their reward) and delivers them to Na Chan.

A few days later, Isaiah finds the heroes and tries to hire them to protect him. He says that his crew has been killed and he was given a pamphlet – a glyph showing him with his head being cut off. The heroes knock him out and bring him to Na Chan, claiming he is a criminal. The Mayan constables take him to investigate, and the heroes go to his ship.

On the ship, the heroes find his crew dead, and lots of the same pamphlet strewn all over the ship, clearly distributed after the crew were killed. The pamphlet was created with a European style printing press, but it is in Aztec/Mayan style glyphs – sort of a cartoon rather than text.

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The Glyph Pamphlet 2
GM=Chad

continued from The Glyph Pamphlet.

The next day, Dundira (John), Jennifer (Rachel), and Richard (Eric) witnessed a Mayan pickpocket steal from some European toughs in the Feathered Frog. Richard noticed that the pickpocket had ink stains on his fingers. The pickpocket almost intentionally shook the pouch of coins he had stolen as he left the tavern inciting the Europeans, who chased after them. A couple blocks away, the pickpocket and some of his friends were beat up for their trouble.

Eric and Rachel asked their contacts about information on a printing press. They discovered that a printing press had been stolen, apparently by an Aztec.

Later that day, they heard rumors of an auction of interesting items, which appealed to Jennifer. They also heard rumors that Nathaniel Saunders had killed a Mayan princess (daughter of the leader of China Kaxolim).

Investigating the Aztec neighborhoods at night, the PCs were able to track down the location of the printing press. They noted its location, then went home.

On the way to the auction the next day, they learned that it is being held by Isaiah Prophet, who had been released from the Mayan constables. He is rumored to be holding the auction, then to be leaving town. Just before they arrived at the auction, the PCs were attacked by several thugs. After an elaborate fight around a fountain (involving broken pots, flying watermelons, and a lucky bible), the PCs dispatched several thugs and captured a few as well.

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The Xibalban Worm Shifter
GM=Chad

Continued from The Glyph Pamphlet 2.

Richard (Eric), Judith (Shannon), Jennifer (Rachel) began to interrogate their attackers, when William Hilliard and some guards approached to find out what happened. Several witness reported that the PCs were attacked by several thugs and that the PCs just defended themselves. After healing up one of the attackers, the PCs learned that Isaiah Prophet hired the thugs to kill the PCs.

Hilliard and his guards bound the prisoners and began to take them away to the fort when a group of armed Maya arrived. These Maya were looking for Hilliard. They demanded Nathanial Saunders, who they claim had killed the daughter of the head of the Kaxolim noble house. The Mayan mob was angry and claimed there were several witnesses who saw him commit the murder. Hilliard and the PCs calmed them down with information the Saunders was locked up in the fort and would be put on trial. The PCs made arrangements with the Maya that one Mayan constable will be able to stay in the fort and watch Saunders.

Hilliard and his guards left with their prisoners to lock them up in the fort. A short while later, the PCs and the Mayan crowd see Saunders (who was supposed to be locked in the fort) yelling at the Mayan (in perfect Mayan) and making rude gestures, then running away. The Mayan thugs chased him into a tavern. Richard ran after the Maya and arrived as they were tearing the tavern apart looking for Saunders. Meanwhile Jennifer and Judith ran to Isaiah’s warehouse and saw a few men running away with any valuables that were light enough to carry. They left everything that was heavy.

In the tavern, Richard saw Philip Brady who helped Richard find Saunders in the back of the tavern (before the Mayan mob destroyed everything). Together the opened up a crate and saw a human-shaped creature dressed as Saunders, but instead of flesh, the creature was formed of writing earthworms. Philip, Richard, Han Tuinich (the leader of the Mayan group), and Judith were able to dispatch this creature.

In the aftermath, the PCs met with Brady and Tunich. They learned that the creature was a Xibalban Worm Shifter. Xibalbans have not been seen on the surface for hundreds of years. Brady explained that he was a member of a group called the Order of a New Dawn, who wants to keep the peace between the various heritage groups. Tunich revealed that he was a member of the Mayan witch hunting group the PCs had encountered before, the Icsutz.

Brady hired the PCs to help find the source of the racial tensions in Xicalango. The PCs waited to nightfall, then raided the Aztec building housing the printing press.

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Xibalban Attack 2

The Heroes returned the printing press to its previous owner. At a ball game, the Heroes are confronted by these owners who complained about the condition of the printing press. It was covered in blood, had leather straps added to it, and there were several new blocks made of a strange substance. Investigation showed that the blocks were made of solidified puss and were corrupted. The Heroes went to the Icsutz House of Scrolls to investigate. Later, on their way to the Feathered Frog, they were attacked by Xibalba pus shaman.

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To the Mayan Village
GM=John

(First person account, by Jennifer Nau, intrepid explorer & thrower of random objects)

What happened last time? Isaac, Jacques & Richard went looking for a canoe. Found it tipped over with a bunch of little squat pustule creatures under it. The creatures attacked from under the boat. Jacques was hit by one of their poisonous bone darts. The pustule creatures were dealt with by judicious use of gunpowder.

Some Mayans came out of the jungle. They’re from Pomonbalanque, a fortified village nearby. Isaac, Jacques & Richard went with them to their village and had some odd religious experiences. Isaac went off with a Mayan priest.

And now…

On our side of the river, we hear a Mayan shout “Xibalba?!?” Jacques & the Mayan and Isaac went off in a different direction. Richard was left alone.

I healed up Chi’ich’s arm.

Richard relates that a giant salamander told him about the layout and defenses of Pomonbalanque. (Pomonbalanque is where a column of smoke rising from the burned hate literature pointed.) We’ve heard stories of Aztecs causing problems in Pomonbalanque, but maybe they were actually worm demons. Is Broken Beak a real Aztec and not a worm demon? He seems real, according to Chicuacen.

Chi’ich and I look for tracks. Chi’ich finds a big, wide, round trail that comes out of the river and surrounds the camp, as well as muddy sandal-prints that follow the river towards the village. I find a scrap of shed skin on the edge of the round path—Chi’ich looks at the scrap and sees a glyph: “beast”. It is clearly unnatural.

I find a way through the jungle that isn’t well-traveled. Chi’ich sends his owl out to scout once in a while.

As we get closer, Chicuacen goes out and scouts out the village. It’s surrounded by a palisade; thatched roofs are visible behind the walls, and a rickety lookout tower stands in the middle of town. A Mayan pyramid is just outside the town. Saba trees are at the four compass points of the village’s walls; one near the river looks rotten and surrounded by white insects. Lots of holes in the ground are located near the pyramid. Smoke is rising from some of the huts, but the village is unnaturally quiet.

Chicuacen throws a powder flask into the village, which goes BANG! She sneaks into the town. At another gate, Chi’ich tried to climb the tree but stabs himself on the tree’s many spines. Richard and I run for the gate. Chicuacen goes into a hut and finds two Mayan peasants; she reassures them a little.

Chi’ich gets up and sees a big snake coming at us from the jungle. Richard climbs the gate; I do an upside-down pole vault over the gate. A big guy with an obsidian dagger and obsidian teeth appears, interested in Chicuacen. She jumps across the top of a roof and lands with her macahuitl out. The guy lunges too hard and launches his dagger into a nearby hole. Two more people emerge from a hut near the sick tree; one of the people looks like he has termites for armor.

Richard opens the gate for Chi’ich, who runs in then closes the gate. I pick up a femur from a nearby garbage midden and whip it at the tower, hitting just the right spot to knock the whole tower down. Chicuacen knocks Mr. Obsidian Teeth into a nearby hole. A woman wearing a beautiful raven mask comes out of a hut near the termite armor guy. The termite armor guy suddenly starts screaming to get the bugs off him; a spell appears to have backfired. The woman slashes her palm with a spine, splashing blood all over the man with termite armor.

We see the guy who had been in the tower; previously, he had been obscured from sight. He looks very icky. Chi’ich runs up and pins him to the wreckage of the tower. Richard screams “The village is on fire!” I throw a skull at the near-dead guy whom Chi’ich had pinned. Chicuacen waits to catch her breath. Chi’ich gets slashed by the guy’s very long nails, but to attack, the guy has to slide along Chi’ich’s spear and can’t move very far. The guy with termite armor starts emitting a cloud of insects, the raven mask woman and another nearby person merge themselves with the Saba tree.

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Rescue the Village
GM=John

Continued adventure log, July 8, 2009 by Jennifer Nau, explorer and thrower of flaming objects

The guy in the tower is done for. Termites are swarming all around various bad guys. Edward Saunders [Luke’s character] runs up to the walls of the town. A mother and two children come out of a nearby hut. Bima [Josh’s character] comes across the river towards the town. I run into a nearby hut with a bit of tower wreckage and light it on fire.

Chicuacen looks into the pit, seeing Mr. Obsidian Teeth and jumps onto his shoulders. His knees rupture and a little spray (of pus, what else?) comes up at Chicuacen as his shoulders also rupture, forming four bone spikes coming up at Chicuacen. She barely manages to dodge the spray and spikes. Richard moves to take guard. The guy with termite armor sends a stream of termites flying at Chi’ich, who manages to shake them off.

Chi’ich runs behind the tower wreckage and gets a burning ember from another hut. I grab a pot of cooking oil, then step out and throw it and my torch at the termite guy such that they both reach him at the same time. [Pazi: “A flaming molĂ© bomb!”] Many termites pop with burning oil and a chunk of his armor burns off. Normal, but mottled, skin shows beneath his armor.

Richard runs with the woman and kids to slightly safer ground. Chicuacen grabs the arm bones of Mr. Obsidian Teeth and uses them to climb the walls of the pit. The termite guy sends a stream of termites at me, but they get hit by a few burning embers in mid-air and come raining down as ashes. Chi’ich’s owl flies past the termites guy, getting to face Chi’ich, who throws a spear at him. The termite guy barely dodges. Edward jumps from rooftop to rooftop to jump onto Mr. Termite; Edward’s dagger sinks into his back, and Edward lands on top of him.

I grab some straw from a roof and light it on fire. Richard leads the woman and kids further away. Bima yells at Chi’ich some kind of esoteric warning. Chicuacen comes out of the pit and yells “He’s in the tree!” The termite shaman raises his hand, which contains a small hive of termites, and he calls out to the Ceiba tree. The tree emits a wave of termites towards Edward. Edward and the shaman are surrounded by termites.

Chi’ich swabs some thatch on his arrow and lights it on fire, then shoots at the termite shaman, but misses. Edward pulls his dagger out of the shaman and stabs him. Or rather, sees a termite on his own thigh and tries to stab it. Ow! I run with my handfuls of burning thatch through the cloud of termites. Bima runs up and stabs the shaman with his spear. It is a titanic stab, but somehow the guy shakes it off. Richard continues guiding survivors towards a snakeless gate. The shaman attacks Edward with more termites, but Edward, in pain, squirms out of the way.

Chi’ich gathers a ball of flammable stuff. Edward tries to stab the shaman again. Richard looks into a hut and sees several chopped-up bodies and a figure menacing a small child. Richard stabs the guy, who explodes in a torrent of pus. These guys are like goo balloons, it seems. Bima stabs the shaman again with his spear. Chicuacen runs up to the shaman and tries to cut his head off—and succeeds! The shaman’s head rolls around and becomes a hive of termites, which quickly begin spreading out across the ground.

The termites move toward the two hives. Chicuacen whacks the one that formed out of the shaman’s head.

Chi’ich tries to heal Edward. Chicuacen tries to clean herself off in the stream, but is unsuccessful. Instead, she gains a mark of fear: she has taken up smoking and drinking. I watch the civilians.

Chi’ich has a key that can keep the gate to Xibalba closed if it’s close to the shaman’s hut. Richard goes into the shaman’s hut and discovers that the center of the floor sounds hollow. There are planks covering a hole. Chicuacen gathers wood and fire, then transforms into a coyote and drops the tinder at the base of the infested Ceiba tree while trotting past. In the shaman’s hut, Chi’ich and Richard see no priestly supplies, only a scene of carnage and the hole leading into the ground. Chicuacen returns to wash her clothes in the stream and sees a large, not very hungry constrictor.

I take the civilians around, asking why there are so many pits here. They say they were looking for a gateway and some other things. They wanted to find a gateway into the temple, and in it, a lightning axe (which is apparently an important artifact of Chac). Richard and Chi’ich bury the bodies. Some of the huts shows signs of recent use by Aztecs (remember, this is a Mayan village).

Night is coming. Where should we spend it?

Chicuacen goes to the temple and sees many sacrificed bodies on the far side of it. There is a freshly-used sacrificial obsidian blade, which she takes. Sacrifice is normal as beans for Chicuacen, who’s Aztec. The temple is devoted to Tlaloc.

The Ceiba tree hasn’t caught fire yet.

The villages want to wash in the stream. We certainly let them. We set up camp in the nearby clearing. We put dry brush in a wide circle all the way around the camp as a means of alert. Chicuacen sees some canoes go down the stream.

Our alarm system crunches…

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