In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, the marooned party left behind on Hesmene’s Grotto have finally caught up with the Magpie Princess at the Island of Empty Eyes with the assistance of their hippocampus mounts. Quade is also accompanied by his new familiar, the compsognathus named Irons. The group decides to send an advance scouting party made up of De’de, Quade, and Wynter to board the Magpie and confront the crew. There is a tense meeting between the reunited marines with the Magpie crew, but Cut Throat Grok cheerfully ends the tension by hoisting Quade up in a hug. The Magpies and the marines are able to put aside their differences, as they’re all upset at the actions of Captain Lanteri. They learn that Captain Lanteri, Creed, Hinsin, and Zhi the navigator, have gone on ahead to explore the dungeon.
The marines decide to explore the cabins of Captain Lanteri and Vancid Creed. They read Lanteri’s private journals and learn that she is being manipulated by Creed. Checking Creed’s cabin, they find evidence that Creed may be rotting. This causes some concerns among the marines as they believe he may be another Intellect Devourer. The marines then set up an advance party made up of De’de, Frankie K, Quade, Tidus, and Wynter. They also take along the Magpie’s mascot, Rotgut the parrot.
The Ruins of Ghoral Rey
The group follows after Quade as he uses his Stranger’s ability to track Captain Lanteri. They journey through the jungle until they eventually reach a obelisk of ancient Ghol Gan. Reading the obelisk, they uncover clues on how to open the front doors. Since Rotgut was around Hinsin when he was practicing with the Three Reasons to Live, the parrot is able to mimic the sound of the pipes.
They enter the waterfall to reach the hidden room beyond, and with Rotgut’s assistance, they are able to open the doors of Ghoral Rey. De’de learns that there was an Elder Sign of Sealing placed upon the doorway, but for some time it has been deactivated.
Entering the the ruins the group becomes cautious, drawing their weapons, and lighting their torches. Many of the members of the party are able to read the ancient carvings on the walls and learn that Ghoral Rey was an temple and a lighthouse for the cyclops empire. Quade has a feeling of déjà vu, as he believes he may have been here before. Wynter also has a familiar sensation of being here before, but learns it actually Bertok, her familiar, that has been here before. She questions Bertok and the raven answers back in mysterious riddles, much to the annoyance of the group.
The group head into the Altar Room where they find strange symbols on a large altar table. They’re unable to figure out what the strange entropic symbol means, other then that the cyclops went from worshiping the celestial heavens to oblivion. The group then finds a secret passage into the heart of Ghoral Rey.
Once they reach the main chamber of the temple, they are confronted by a floating Vancid Creed. The ship’s mage doesn’t seem to acknowledge the group’s presence. He was deeply fascinated by the cyclops carvings on the pillars within the chamber. The group attacks the ship’s mage and attempts to drag him down, only to learn that he is in truth an undead creature inhabited by a parasite known as an incutilis. Quade manages to kill the aquatic horror before it managed to drive its tendrils into Frankie K’s skull. Afraid for Lanteri’s life, Quade orders the group to follow after him as he assumes the hunt for the missing Magpies.
Their way is blocked a large amount of alien black coral radiating necromantic energy. Being nimble and using magic, the group manages to squeeze through with only Wynter being cut by the coral substance. They continue pass down the old mess hall of the ruins, until they hear the cries of Hinsin, the ship’s steward, down in another passage. Wynter and Frankie K explores the passage and find Hinsin locked up in a prison cell. He warns the group that an ancient sea horror captured the group and that Creed is a monster in disguise. Frankie K frees Hinsin and then bounds the man in ropes, gagging him before slinging the bard over his shoulder; much to Hinsin’s protests.
The marines continue forward where the dungeon opens up to reveal a large cove. They see up ahead the shipwreck of the Fearsome Tide that once belonged to Captain Redclaw, and they also noticed that the walls of the cove is coated in the alien black coral. They journey down along the sandy path to the shipwreck. Lagging behind the group, De’de hears creatures are shambling behind the group. He destroys the bridge behind them in order to cut off the incutilis’s brood approach, forcing them to dive into the ocean water.
Once the band reaches the Fearsome Tide, Quade sees Captain Lanteri at the sterncastle with her weapons drawn. She is covered in the black coral substance. As Quade and Wynter draw close to Captain Lanteri, bursting out of the coral coated mast is Captain Jemma Redclaw. The ship is suddenly over run with the incutilis brood and their undead puppets, but Wynter is able to mow them down with a lightning bolt. Wynter and Tidus is drawn into battle against the incutilis’s master, the incutilis lord known as the Whispering Shadow. After dispatching Redclaw and fending Captain Lanteri off, Quade grabs ahold of a rope and swings in after the aquatic horror, delivering the killing blow to the aberration.
The Clean Up
With the Whispering Shadow dead, Lanteri comes back to her senses and immediately begins to break down crying. Quade comforts her while the group begins to loot the hold of the Fearsome Tide for treasure. Wynter slips the dead body of Captain Redclaw into her bag of holding. Lanteri begs Quade to kill her, which he ignores. He leads the injured Captain of the Magpie along with the rest of the group out of the Fearsome Tide, as the marines decide to explore the rest of the ruins.
The group manages to explore a great deal of Ghoral Rey, fighting off a damaged Gholdoko guardian and a glass golem in the shape of a cyclops warrior. Frankie K also manages to get possessed by a haunt and is later freed with the help of De’de’s psionic magic. The group decides to leave the haunted room alone and continue on. Along the way, Frankie K picks up a magical helmet and tries it on, not knowing that it is cursed.
While everyone is distracted with the exploration of the ruins, Wynter and Lanteri move aside to converse with one another. Lanteri begs Wynter to kill her, as Lanteri believes that the Whispering Shadow impregnated her with its inhuman brood. Wynter helps her by loaning her a dagger and then drags out the corpse of Captain Redclaw to blame Lanteri’s death on the headless corpse. The marines investigates Wynter’s cry of alarm, and many are suspicious of her claims that Redclaw came back to attack them. Quade finds Lanteri dead with her throat cut and a bloody dagger near by. Sickened due to his broken promise, Quade and the marines head back to the Magpie with the dead.
The Magpie pirates cheer the returning heroes as they bring back some of the loot, but mourn the loss of their dead. Hinsin and Quade both share their accounts of what occurred and what the other heroes have done within the ruins of Ghoral Rey. With no Captain, Grok orders the crew of the Magpie to put a vote to determine who will be the new captain of the Magpie Princess. Frankie K, Quade, and Tidus nominate themselves for the role. Thanks to Quade, Wynter, and De’de’s influence on the crew officers, many of the officers along with Wynter, De’de, and surprisingly Hinsin vote for Quade to become captain.
Later that night, Quade feeds the parrot Rotgut to his familiar, Irons. Wynter invites Hinsin for a night of sex but actually lures him to a trap where she butchers him.
She dumps his corpse overboard.