With the dwarves behind us, Critter, 5 years, and myself headed back into the jungle. The salted fish and rum were left behind, and we were out of crab meat so food was scarce again. Critter was able to identify this fruit that we could eat, though it did not agree with 5 Years. Probably his elven lineage.
As 5 Years was dealing with his food issues, he was gone for a while. Critter and I set out to find him and found something else instead. More captives and hobgoblins. Some of the captives seem more resilient than the others, having orchestrated a means of getting out of a pit.
5 Years took what seemed to be a band of weaker captives back to the dwarves to hide. Critter and myself headed to the shore where boats awaited. We could see three ships on the sea and a means to freedom. The hobgoblins would not have any part of that, sending forth a more menacing hobgoblins wielding a sword of fire. I remember looking at the crude blade in my hand and back to that sword of fire—laughing on the outside and crying on the inside. Before anything could happen the other captives made their way to Critter and me.
Rather than facing a foe that we would have no hope in defeating, we placed the boats in the water and made our way to the ships.
The door to freedom was closed though, when a familiar voice, the voice of a prior captor, the voice of a halfling echoed from the deck of the closest ship. With an offer of servitude and an impass, Critter, 5 Years, myself, and a few other prior hobgoblin captives chose to stay on the island. The halfling, Janis, had bested us again but at least we were not in servitude.
Leaving some distance between the ships, the hobgoblins, and us, we stayed in the rowboats until morning when we went back to shore. With the help of our new companions, Bjorn, Sir, and Lorick we began seeking something else on the island.
And something else we found, a huge clear pipe exiting the volcano and out to sea. We made the decision to follow the pipe, after all someone must have built it. We decided not to go into the pipe but rather travel at the base, which was a good idea when we say a plume of molten rock flow out of the pipe!
As we traveled, the land changed to a more swamping area. There were large mounds of grass and sticks that Critter call Crocodile Dens. At the time I did not know what a Crocodile was, but I do now. We found a safe area to camp one night, away from those dens where a large pack of dogs found us.
The dogs were hungry and there were many of them. We fought them off, holding our own with our backs to each other and the water edge of a pond or small lake we had found. 5 Years tried to run for it when the fight was going poor on that side of our small band. His running saved us though, for the dogs chased him. Before the dogs could catch 5 Years, a great beast viciously leaped from the water and grabbed on of the dogs. The dogs scattered, 5 Years was safe, and I now know what a Crocodile is.