Day S-(n) cont.

Shamash bampfs back, cliffside.

The dragon is all full of piss and searing acid about the noise(s) made by the whirligig(s). After some cursory attempts to get him to just leave, the party fights him, employing the same pushing-off-ledge strategy that worked with the pathetic gnolls. Surprisingly, it works for the dragon also, despite his wings, though it does take two 100+ foot drops to knock him out, and an execution-style brain-splattering magic missile to finish the deed.

Said killing blow was delivered by Marvin after leaping deftly off the cliff and feather-falling 1000 feet down to the floor of the canyon, all in search of the coveted dragon’s hoard. After some travails, Marvin locates the hoard in an underground burrow, discovering a dragon twice the size of the other sleeping atop it. He flees, narrowly avoiding certain death after waking the dragon by hiding as hard as he can until it goes back to sleep.

There is much arguing over how (and even whether) to get Marvin back up the cliff. All anyone can agree on is that someone has to go down there, and rope is involved somehow. Marvin insists fey stepping, not climbing, is the strategy. After many high jinks, the end result is Marvin and Shamash trading places, as Shamash just can’t summon the stamina to drag his giant dragon frame back up. Lying at the bottom of the cliff, peacefully watching the stars come out, he checks on the sending stone to see that everyone made it up safely, and bampfs, putting himself once more in the hands of the bampf god, who always seems to return him to his party eventually.

Day S-(n)

Shamash is still mysteriously absent after bampfing several days ago. The party flees the respectable part of Rockner, where Hunter made a fuss by revealing her hideous skinless self to the guy at the magic shop, acquires some excess paper for Edom’s communication purposes, and heads out of town over Ramrock pass. A whirligig salesman waylays them and sells them the premier “Gold” gnoll-raider-repelling whirligig, throwing in an extra basic Rock Slide Detecting whirligig.

An hour or two into the journey over the pass, The Gold whirligig Rock Slide Alarm starts going off and won’t stop. An hour later there is an actual rockslide, triggered by some gnoll raiders. The PCs easily dispatch the hapless gnolls, mostly by knocking them off the cliff, but the Rock Slide Alarm noise happens to have infuriated a nearby Adult Black Dragon, who comes raining down acid on fleeing gnolls, only to discover they are not, to his surprise, the source of his annoyance. Encouraged by the other party members, Hunter hurls the loud Gold whirligig (retaining her oddly silent Rock Slide Detecting whirligig) off the cliff, and the dragon goes diving wrathfully after it.

The party just manages to carefully get themselves, Poppy and Daffodil over the rock slide area, when the dragon returns.

Stuff that happened

Medi gets away… lost Glamrok… to the feywild… found Rose and Edom… to Neksy… fixed cone… back to Tak Nakoloc… How Anom Got His Goo Back… Shamash is some kind of big deal with goblins… went to Rockner.

Day 62

In the morning, most of the party resumes digging through the rubble of the collapsed cave, while Marvin and Gord look on. Before they’ve gotten very far Shamash reappears in the manner they’ve come to expect. (BAMF!) He tells the tale of his teleporting adventures: to a misty forest, back to the cliff side momentarily, away to the outskirts of a strange city in a sea of fire, back to the cliff side again, and to a meadow near Ortognia in the natural world, before arriving the most recent time.

In the misty forest, Shamash had found all but one of the Sending Stones dead, but managed to make contact briefly with someone through the stone marked Lorin Deage. While in the city, he found all of the stones dead. While in the natural world, many of the stones were working, and he carried out a brief conversation with someone named Rolen through the stone marked Rolen.

After several hours, the entrance to the cave is sufficiently excavated, and the PCs go down to discover the portal intact and the cave empty. They go through, though Hunter has to prick Daffodil for a bit of his blood, much to his consternation. They make their way back through the deserted underground city, and up into the tower from which they had descended about a week ago. Daffodil is precariously marched up the open stair by Hunter, singing a merry stair-climbing song.

They are easily ambushed at the top by a squad of Hobgoblins with a pet Ankylosaurus, led by the hated Medi, who sounds some sort of magical alarm. The hobgoblins all bear the mark of the dead tree set against a white field on their shields, sending Shamash flying into a terrible fury. The goblins and their beast are dispatched with relative ease, and Shamash takes a couple pages out of Gord’s book, ripping a tooth from the mouth of the Hand of Bane he has just knocked unconscious. But at the height of his blissful, bloody vengeance, he is whisked away bamf.

Hunter and Ander and Gord give chase as Medi, dripping blood from his broken nose, courtesy Hunter, flees up the stairs. Marvin, who had been studying the magic alarm device, decides he’s satisfied, and follows behind. Glamrok hurriedly grabs everything he can off the Hand of Bane, and mounts Daffodil, cruelly wounded near to death by Medi, and follows as well.

Two more Hobgoblins and two wolf-riding Bugbears must have been on their way down the stairs when the alarm sounded, because they intercept. Ander manages to slip by them, and continue chasing the little nemesis up the stairs, while the rest of the party fights a few flights below.

Day 60-61

The PCs decide to attempt to dig through the rubble to access the portal back to the natural world. Hunter, Shamash and Glamrok dig. Marvin scouts the surrounding cliffs, reveling in his seldom-used stealth.

Pretty much everyone all at once notices a band of creatures heading in the party’s general direction on the plain below, probably coming from the Chatty Stones. An ambush is set. It turns out to be four Satyrs and a Displacer Beast, almost exactly like the group that was fought and killed on Day 29, in the high desert en route to Loktor.

The Satyrs notice the extensive tracks left by the party, but the PCs notice them noticing in time for a successful ambush. The kitty and all but one of the Satyrs are efficiently dispatched, but somehow, at the moment of its demise, the Displacer Beast takes Shamash with it to another dimension. Or something.

Questioning and Gord‘s signature appendage-removal interrogation tactics reveal that these folks came through a teleportation circle at the Chatty Stones. Turns out they were just there for revenge. Seems, though, that nobody’s having any trouble tracking down the party right now. Hmm.

All of a sudden, Shamash reappears. BAMF! He is covered in disgusting black and purple goo and barely gets a few unintelligible words out (“…was really weird… disgusting…”) before BAMF!

The PCs return to the Chatty Stones and, after a brief and fruitless discussion with two of said stones, hassle Kendry about getting a portal to the feywild. Marvin claims he knows the address, but it proves to be very expensive.

Back we go to the cliffside by the collapsed cave to regain action points and dailies have a well-deserved rest. The night is uneventful except BAMF! “…this amazing, strange city! No one can understand…” BAMF!

Day 59-60

After some discussion with Dirk Wan, the party decides to simply head back toward the Chatty Stones and the secret Dark One portal cave.

Trying to leave Mercy, the PCs are accosted in the street by mounted mercenaries, apparently from Riverton, one of whom has a net. After all but one of his fighters (and several innocent bystanders) have been taken down, their leader jumps on the last horse with the other survivor and they flee. Hunter commissions one of the mounts to give chase, while Marvin, from atop a nearby roof, manages to nail the departing noble in the back with an Acid Arrow.

Just as Hunter catches up to the double-burdened warhorse, galloping in hot pursuit through the streets, the noble succumbs to the acid eating away at his unconscious flesh, and the mercenary dumps him in the gutter. Hunter nobly leaps from her horse and almost succeeds in landing on the other horse, thereafter to beat the pulp out of its fleeing rider. But instead she lands on her face in the street, and he escapes.

Ander fishes the noble out of the brack and loots his manpurse, which contains a bunch of money and some identifying papers. The surviving unconscious mercenary is awakened, and gladly spills the beans. They were hired by the noble to track down and capture Marvin, who has a huge bounty on his head. The noble had contacts in Mercy, and the PCs of course have made quite a stir there.

Hunter takes one of the warhorses for her own, naming him Daffodil.

The PCs are given a free magic floaty raft for the return trip by a fawning Shadar-Kai. A day and a half of dodging undead in the swamp later, they arrive back on dry land, part ways with Dirk Wan, and give the Chatty Stones a wide berth on their way up the cliffs back to the secret cave. They arrive only to find it has collapsed!



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