Another set of strange occurrences this day...
We set upon an island, as is our normal way. From The Skidmark, we could tell that it had a high plateau in its middle and we heard strange bellowing coming from its depths. The landing party consisted of myself (Terry), Isabelle (Terry), the Bosun (Jon Mark), Mr. Pendleton (Jon Mark), Mr. Harrison (Bill) and seaman Jones (Bill).
We approached the plateau through thick jungle. Of a sudden, it opened to a grande vista! Then things began that I'm hard-pressed to tell...
There were giant lizards grazing on the flora! We could see several ruins in slightly raised areas interspersed across the plain, but by the by it was a wide open area. The creatures appeared innocent enough, huge as they were. Frightening to behold, but docile in their own way. Perhaps it was the sheer stupidity in their eyes that reminded me of cattle.
We started across the plateau in good order, heading toward the closest ruin. One of the dumb animals gave us a careful examination before lumbering off to graze.
We scouted the ruin for anything that would guide us to Haworth's treasure. While we were not lucky in that regard, we did find a peculiar statue. It was about four feet tall and of a dense stone not found in this region. It certainly seemed to be older than the ruins themselves. The statue depicted an octopus-headed, spindly-limned creature hunkered in a crouch. It gave off an evil aura I mistrusted. I've never seen anything like it, not even amongst the natives in the Caribbean. The Bosun wanted to take it back to the ship, but the size, weight and evilness of the thing made me say nay. I've included a sketch of the thing...
As we continued to explore, a tremendous roar was heard from the east. The two cattle-lizards brayed and started to lumber hurriedly away, but an even larger lizard emerged from the canopy and began attacking the poor creatures! This one was definitely a predator. Larger than the others, with vicious teeth and tiny arms...almost infant-like on such a large frame.
As it attacked the lizard, we ran around the far side of the ruin, only to discover our next surprise: Eggs! The largest eggs I've ever laid eyes on, with a hatchling that looked dreadfully similar to the large beast, heretofore called Beastie, even now doing harm to the peaceful lizard. We guessed, as we ran by, that Beastie was a mother, protecting her spawn.
We ran toward the next ruin, but got strung out. Mr. Harrison and seaman Jones either didn't hear my order to clear the area, or were having trouble keeping pace. Either way, they were in a bad way when Beastie realized her eggs were near strangers. Her attack was swift and terrifying!
In perhaps the bravest or luckiest moment of his life, Mr. Harrison calmly leveled his pistol at Beastie's head and waited until she was on top of him before firing. When the smoke cleared, we were truly amazed at the sight!
Remind me to never get into a duel with Mr. Harrison!
Our good feelings were short-lived. As Mr. Harrison was taking care of Beastie, we continued on to the next ruin. What we found wasn't to our liking.
These lizards were smaller and faster, but evidently had the same bad temperament as Beastie! There were three of them and when they saw us, they hissed menacingly. I stepped up and fired upon one, felling it instantly. The other two were upon us before we could react, their speed was so great. Isabelle fell under the creature's onslaught, but I was able to slay the creature before it could sink its wicked-looking talons into her flesh.
Isabelle and I ran to the aid of Mr. Pendleton and the Bosun, as the third creature was giving as much as it got. Isabelle was again knocked over, but we manage to dispatch the creature without injury.
A search of this ruin revealed nothing. We did find another statue, but this one was of the typical variety found in the Caribbean and matched the stones of the ruins. Who the indigenous people were that left these ruins, I cannot say.
As we headed toward the final ruin, we ran across more peaceful creatures. These reminded me of animals I'd seen at a traveling menagerie as a child. An oliphant and a rhinoceros, if memory serves. They were grazing, but turned toward us as we approached. I decided I wanted their horns and ordered Mr. Harrison to take them for a prize.
He did so in short order while Isabelle and I searched the final ruin. Victory! We found 60 gold coins, but even more importantly, a third piece of Haworth's treasure map!
There were sounds coming from the jungle of something large and mean headed our way, so we headed back to the ship in quick order....but not before pilfering the island of various curious artifacts.
We now have three...helmets?...from the small, quick lizards' heads, two horns and meat from the rhinoliphant, a new figurehead made from Beastie's skull as well as her eggs and spawn. I'm not sure what we're going to do with "Spiddle", as the crew has started to call it. We know how large it will become and how vile its temperament will be, so whatever decision I make will be made shortly. Until that time, it's caged. I wonder if it would taste like veal...
It was a very fun night for a Land of the Lost game, punctuated with tons of laughter and fantastic moments on the table.
Where will the crew of The Skidmark fare next? Tune in for the next episode in this high adventure serial!