“If I am mad, it is mercy! May the gods pity the man who in his callousness can remain sane to the hideous end!”
― H.P. Lovecraft, The Temple
After more than year on Merlin’s wild goose chase, we finally reached the Isle of the Black Ones, a Lovecraftian nightmare if ever there was one. It lured us in with a deceptively peaceful shoreline. We beached the ship and proceeded on foot. Ordinarily, I would have chosen a small away party to check things out, but I wasn’t overly hopeful of any of us staying alive that long, so aside from a small contingent to guard the ship, we all went.
We crested the first hill, and expected to see thick jungles and wilderness. Instead we saw rolling hills, sparsely covered with apple trees. Every branch seemed to be weighed down with golden fruit. The air was full of the sickly sweet smell of fallen apples. You know how they say, if it looks too good to be true, it is? It was. After weeks at sea, all the crewmen were anxious to taste anything other than salted pork and fish. They couldn’t resist these easy pickings. Half a dozen men bit into the golden apples and almost immediately fell into a deep sleep. It was impossible to rouse them, so I picked six men to carry them back to the ship and the rest of us proceeded.
After an hour or so, we crested another hill, and Steve spotted something in the distance. I used the spy glass he had gotten from the Stygians and saw a dark green dome. It took us another few hours to reach it, with buzzards following us overhead. When we did, we found a walled city. Everything was the same dark green color. I knew we were screwed as soon as we noticed how quiet it was, no birds, no insects, even the buzzards were nowhere to be seen.
We went closer, and we could see that the walls were covered with strange, horrific symbols. If that weren’t bad enough, there were greyish glowing slugs on everything. By an arched opening in the wall, we found a gigantic statue of something that could only be Cthulhu. We should have just run then, but we had a job to do, so we went in.
Everything looked deserted. All the buildings were made with strange angles that hurt to look out. The only illumination was the sickly grey glow given off by the slugs. Cheery it was not. At one point, we came to a room with a large pool in the center. Surrounding it were action figure sized statuettes that looked like adventurers. That put us all on edge. One of the men got too close to the pool, and the next thing we knew, he was pulled into the pool by something. He had time to scream once, and then he was gone. That’s when we noticed a new statuette that looked just like him. We left that room as quickly as possible.
While we were exploring, Steve and Carter got into a disagreement over something. Steve had been keeping one of the female slaves we took from the Stygians, tied to him on a leash. Maybe that was what the disagreement was about. I don’t know. What I do know is that as some point Steve took out his axe and beheaded his slave.
Shortly after that, we found another room with a pool. That one had a giant man-eating serpent. We were on a streak. Soon we came to one more room with, guess what? A pool. That’s when the shit really hit the fan. We came in from one end, and a bunch of black Deep Ones came in from the other. The battle was joined. The fighting was fierce, and as soon as we started to turn things in our favor, more of the Deep Ones came streaming in. In the end, despite massive casualties, we won. Of course, we still have to find whatever we’re looking for here, but at least we’re a little closer to getting out of here one way or the other.