This is the continuing adventures of the Sea Princes vessel, Bird of Prey. In an effort to find the sage Lockard Meek and decipher his map to the fabled Well of All Heals, Captain Rennaud and his intrepid crew have ventured to the western coast of the Amedio Jungle. Meek is said to be researching ancient Olman ruins in these dark jungles. How hard could it be to find him? We shall find out:
Victor Emmitt Hammond (rogue, on the spot)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, got a knot)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Cuahto" (ranger, crack shot)
Brother Pickles (cleric, was caught)
and Henri Morgan (rogue, took a trot)
Leaving Osprem's Kiss behind in Fort Blackwell temporarily, the Bird soon followed the Amedian coast southward where, following the coordinates of Olfon Trebus, their look-out eventually located the smoke of an encampment near the beach. Those at the encampment signalled with the caravel intentions to trade and parley and soon the captain took a launch ashore with, Trebus, Scar and his main officers in tow. Initially they were met by warily armed Olman and mercenary guards and their tension was broke by a sudden, slight Oerth-tremor. The encampment belonged to the famed explorers known as the Seekers of the Arcane, and Lockard Meek was indeed part of this expedition to the jungle. The leader of the Seekers soon emerged from his pavilion tent to greet them, introducing himself as Quintus Marius. This well-spoken, noble adventurer seemed quite at ease around his visitors, offering to trade goods and info with the Prince crew. World-wise and multi-lingual, Quintus even claimed to know of Captain Rennaud and his liege, Prince Jeon II. The officers were then invited to his personal tent for a drink and a feast.
Much to the surprise (and envy) of Araxo, Cuahto and company, Quintus' tent held an extra-dimensional mansion inside; a gift from a certain wizard benefactor of his. Here Quintus treated his guests to fine liquors, extravagant food and shared important information. Hailing from the Duchy of Urnst town of Seltaren, Quintus unabashedly explained that his group was overseeing the study of some ruins and that Lockard was already at the site, a day away. Captain Rennaud explained his desperation to consult the sage about a map, a fact that the Seeker appreciated since he saw how far they had come to find the man. The hour was growing late however, so the crew was invited to stay the night in Quintus' tent until the morn when he would provide guides to the site.
Early the next morning, two Olman guides carrying spears took Rennaud, Trebus, Scar and the rest of the crew eastward into the Amedio jungle. Trebus, a botanist by trade was overjoyed by the hike, taking time to collect samples of flora never catalogued in any university. For their part, Vic, Henri and the gang kept their eyes peeled for a rare jungle plant called Tarnas whose buds reputedly could regenerate small body parts. As a lark, Araxo schemed for them to find enough Tarnas to "reverse" the damage done to the eunuchs on Osprem's Kiss. The plant proved to be extremely hard to find, and their search was soon cut short by a plant that found them...
As the group stopped to take a breather along the Olman trail, Scar was nibbling on some edible berries nearby. Unfortunately, everyone but her saw that the vines which the grape-like fruit was attached to was actually an Assassin Vine. Two of them in fact had moved into position on the trail and were now creeping to attack. Brother Pickles freaked out seeing a plant move, throwing a harpoon at it then rushing into the waiting bush with meat cleaver in hand. Cuahto pushed Scar out of the way, while the guides merely fled with Morgan hot on their tail. Araxo drew his blackpowder pistol to shoot at the assassin vine and was knocked prone by a concussive misfire. Victor Hammond swept in instantly to drag the dazed lieutenant out of the reach of the deadly vines while the captain backed away with Scar rather than risk triggering his debilitating curse. Pickles hacked away but was being constricted by vines.
Cuahto alone did not leave Pickles to the mercy of the ensnaring assassin vine. He circled around to flank the vine mass and took aim with a blackpowder gun. Another loud explosion echoed in the jungle and the ranger dropped his gun as it misfired. Cuahto's next pistol was drawn and soon he hit damaging the vine enough to go limp. Pickles freed himself and....went charging into the other assassin vine. The others had retreated to an appreciable distance and could only hear the sounds of gunfire and berserk screams. When the smoke cleared Pickles and Cuahto came marching up the path together a bit richer (bones and coins of past vine victims were found underfoot in mulch). Resuming their trek, the group arrived at Lockard Meek's ruins right before sun down. The ruins were imposing to say the least, here they stood in the remnants of a once mighty city dominated by a central ziggurat, all completely overgrown by the dense Amedio foliage. The guides named the sacred place Tamoachan.