Episode 2: In the Depths of the Amazon

The Wardens have dispatched an expeditionary force to the Brazilian rain forest to seek out the legendary Eye of Kilquato, a yellow gem that can rumored to control reptiles.

The advance team headed up river aboard the Amazonia, captained by an American ex-pat named “Captain Ron”. The ship ran afoul of river pirates who rammed their ship in a desperate attempt at taking her. The impact shattered the attacking speed boat, and made a mess of the Amazonia’s stern.

Fortunately the rest of the Warden team, who had commissioned the ship The River Star, soon caught up with the advance team. Together they boarded the River Star and headed deeper into the rain forest.

Death Village

A day or so later they came across a fishing village called Manaus that had laid out several of their dead along the river shoreline. The Wardens stopped to investigate, and soon realized that the local water supply had been contaminated, possibly from runoff by the super thunderstorm that nearly crashed the advanced team’s plane. They left the natives with antibiotics, and in return received a blue feather that marked them as friends of the tribe.

Bartering for Secrets

Further upriver the Wardens encountered the village of Pinobe. There they covertly traded firearms and other supplies for information about crocodile cult activity in the region, as well as the location of the ruins where the cultists had been said to be operating. After bartering for mules to carry supplies into the forest, the Wardens set off in search of the Eye.

The extreme heat of the jungle soon overwhelmed the Warden’s eldest member, Sir Arthur Boundless. The others were forced to use one of their mules as transport for the old man.

Their first night in the deep Amazon was broken by the screams of a mule being mauled by a panther. The Wardens made short work of it, but it did nothing to improve Sir Arthur’s exhaustion. The next day they arrived at a tributary that had to be forded; fortunately they discovered the piranhas lurking in its depths before wading in. Instead of swimming across, they decided to create a rudimentary bridge. It took the better part of a day to do so, but the time spent constructing it gave Sir Arthur a chance to catch his breath.

After crossing the river the Wardens pressed on through the Amazon, finally arriving at a large, brackish pool. In it were the corpses of several crocodiles. The heroes soon discovered what killed them — the German archeological team! The Nazis, who’d seen the team’s approach, unloaded on them with gunfire. A brisk firefight and hand-to-hand melee erupted, and soon four of the five Germans were dead. The last fled into the jungle.

The Wardens gave chase, stopping only when they emerged into a large clearing. A tributary of the Amazon flowed through the clearing, which had three large stone benches in it. Over the river was a huge stone arch, and at the top of that arch were four green-skinned men and a fifth, crocodile-headed priest. They surrounded a bound man, whom they were preparing to throw through a hole in the archway. Looming below the arch, hungrily anticipating the sacrifice, were a half-dozen crocodiles.

The German stood at the edge of the benches, taking in the tableau and clearly debating his next course of action.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Source.