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6 April 2002 - Saturday

I was slow about getting up and becoming socially acceptable so that Marith could be up before me and feel all proud of herself. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Amazon Quintet of Justice IIIa: "On the Trail of the Necrotheologians!"

Our Heroines sold the loot from the bandit lair, distributed the dry goods found therein to the poor, traded the owlbear cubs to the local druids for helpful magic and some cash, experimented with their new divine gifts, and basked in the admiration of all and sundry for a few days. Fresa enlisted the help of Hrogarth in researching the Evil Pool; he pointed her to a handsome young dwarven scholar named Stephen, who was only too happy to assist the heroic priestess in uncovering information about the dead god of evil who had been worshipped at pools guarded by snake-monsters.

Meanwhile, the city guard was busy investigating the corruption within the merchant guild and its own ranks, precipitating a number of successful and unsuccessful escapes from the city. According to Solara's underworld contacts, two entire households of rich merchants had scarpered, leaving only a few servants to maintain the illusion they were still in residence.

Matters came to a crux when Stephen turned up missing, and investigation revealed that he had departed precipitately, with many of his books but not his personal travel gear, in the company of several tough-looking humans. Hrogarth insisted that Our Heroines rescue the lad at once, which got him delivered to the temple of Morradin for safe-keeping.

Captain Marcus of the guards wanted to hunt down the escapees (who everyone presumed had taken Stephen) but didn't relish the thought of splitting his forces when they contained a still-unknown number of traitors. Magnanimously, the Amazon Quintet offered to take care of the villains on the road, leaving the guard to protect the town.

Further in-town investigation by Solara that night (elves never sleep, which explains a lot) revealed that an elderly dwarf had just hired some mercenaries and taken off out of town; sure enough, the window of Hrogarth's quarters in the temple of Morradin was open. Fresa was Not Pleased, as everyone in the temple heard.

A bit of hunting found the mercenaries drinking up their pay and chortling over the stupid dwarf they had robbed and left tied to tree. Faces were duly memorized for the later just apportioning of desserts, but it was already almost dawn, so our Heroines had to depart before dealing with the abusers of their dwarver scholar.

With the Quintet went Serenity, a Pelorite shield-maiden assigned to Sophia for training in the ways of smiting evil, Kara, one of the sacrifices rescued from the bandit lair who turned out to have knightly ambitions, and Thad, a young guardsman struck with a bad case of hero-worship.

Alyssa scouted ahead toward the bandit lair/evil pool in eagle form while the rest rescued Hrogarth and found tracks indicating the passage of several wagons and dozens of people afoot, not in the direction of the evil pool. Word was magically dispatched to the temple of Pelor letting them know that the Amazon Quintet would not be securing the evil pool for the elite exorcism team, and Our Heroines set out after the wagons and the person who scribbled mathematical formulae in the mud in dwarven notation.

Three days along the trail to the ruined ancient city (hypothesized to hold an even larger and more evil pool), the vegetation suddenly writhed to horrible life, seizing mounts, Amazons, and cart!

A volley of arrows from the nearby rock formation severely irritated Sophia, and then the party was set upon by magicians, well-trained men-at-arms, a druid, a wolf, and two bears. Serenity displayed her need for practical training by charging the ambushers and getting herself and Sophia and then Fresa trapped between the entangling vegetation and the line of four fighters and two bears. Solara and Alyssa and Hearth Lady worked around the far end of the ambush, taking out one sorcerer and eventually the druid, but the three standing and fighting were severely mauled (thanks in part to the sorcerers' dazzling color spray spells) before the mobile element reached them. Kara and Thad kept Hrogarth in the cart (which the plants couldn't reach into) and plied their bows with some effect.

Meanwhile, Amaryllis struggled to free herself from the entangle. Finally she managed to draw a fire elemental from Alyssa's sword of flame and burn herself loose, and the tide of battle turned. One sorceress and one fighter fled, but Amaryllis brought them in, and one of the other fighters was saved for interrogation by quick application of bandages.

There was a great deal of "hah, all you're going to do is kill me!"-style villainous rhetoric, but the bandit did reveal that the group with the wagons intended to meet three powerful allies at the ruins, and a partial description of the meeting place.

Not wanting to haul prisoners (one of them a sorceress) along on the rest of the adventure, Our er Heroines magically blinded them, stashed them in a cave with a barricaded entrance and food and water for a considerable time, and sent a message back to the city for someone to come and fetch them.


Magically softening the creekbed to wash out the ford slowed up the caravan, giving the Amazon Quintet time to dash to the ruins and ambush the "three powerful allies" before doubling back to deal with the caravan. In fact, they had quite a bit of time, and established a camp at the edge of the ruins where they could stash Hrogarth while they scouted.

After some time, Alyssa (in eagle form again) reported the sudden appearance of three people, heading toward the open area that had been named as the meeting place and about half an hour away. Also, the caravan had apparently sent an advance party, who were about an hour away.

Leaping into action, Our Heroines set an ambush for the nearer group, with the simple plan of "spring out from behind rocks and hit them as hard as possible". Lurk! Spring! Hit!

The villains promptly turned invisible in a poof of magic dust and took to the air, but it availed them naught. Fresa dispelled many of their helpful enchantments and Sophia and Serenity, both skilled in the art of fighting invisible evil, pointed out the villains with their sword blows, allowing the others to target them well enough to bring down two (though the third escaped).

Without slowing down, the Quintet formed another plan: make a pyre for the corpse of the unsalvageable villain, and wait nearby to ambush the other party when they inevitably investigate the strange pillar of smoke.

* * *

Tune in next month for the conclusion of this exciting adventure!

Amazon Justice! by Carl (Mon Apr 8 23:03:12 2002)

Sounds like a great run! Has Thad fallen for any of the comely quintet?

Thad by Trip (Tue Apr 9 09:19:15 2002)

Well, he joined up to be Sophia's follower. But he seems to have a rivalry going with Kara, so they're probably destined for each other.

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