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18 May 2002 - Saturday

If Marith had spent a mere three minutes less wandering aimlessly in search of breakfast, or Rebecca hadn't forgotten her gaming stuff, we would have arrived in Roseville before anyone expected us! Oh well.

Amazon Quintet of Justice IIIb: "Attack of the Zombies!"

Last month: Our Heroines had found a ruined temple in which to cremate the fallen villain, hopefully luring the other set of necrotheologians in to be ambushed. Sophia and Serenity volunteered to serve as bait, since they needed to give the deceased proper last rites anyway.

After some time, a small band of armed men made its way through the rubble, under the watchful eyes of the hidden Amazons. When they reached the temple courtyard, Sophia called on them to surrender. One produced a wand and let fly with an impressively useless Color Spray, and then fell to the ground with an arrowhead in either atrium of his heart.

The rest of his party attempted to flee, but Amaryllis conjured a dirt elemental to block the narrow path through the rubble, bottling them up long enough for Solara to reach them. One of them tried to do something rash with a wand, and lost his hand for his troubles, whereupon the rest surrendered.

Meanwhile in the courtyard, a huge flaming infernal equine appeared as it broke its invisibility by attacking Sophia, Serenity, Alyssa, and Hearth Lady, shortly followed by several necrotheologians (including the one who escaped the previous ambush) and their horde of zombies.

The shield-maidens of Pelor formed the core of the fight, assailed from all sides by all manner of villains but never yielding ground, while the rest of the Amazons took advantage of the villains' unguarded backs (Alyssa, Solara) or unleashed arcane missiles and acid arrows from afar (Amaryllis). The zombies, bolstered by the dark will of their master, were difficult to turn, but Fresa put a few to flight, and made a few of the living villains into prisoners instead of corpses.

Most of his companions defeated, the main villain took to the air to escape. Arrows and sling stones followed him until he was out of range, and Amaryllis flew after him, scoring a few more hits with long-range spells. Then he blinded her with a curse, pummelled her with a morningstar, and sent her stumbling back to her comrades. With another Fly spell and a potion of Expeditious Advance, Solara gave chase, but eventually was paralyzed by a spell, which didn't remove her ability to fly but did prevent her from being able to do anything when she caught him, so she also retreated.

Our Heroines gathered up the prisoners and hurried back to their camp, where they laid low. Dwayne, the villain who had surrendered most abjectly succumed to heroic dialogue from Solara during the interrogation, and attempted to join the forces of good. After he spilled the beans about Lord Octavian and Lord Carleton and where their wagons were and so forth, he was put on probationary probation.

The next day, after Moradin's grace had restored Amaryllis's eyesight and everyone had their spells and hit points back, Our Heroines (and Dwayne) went to the wagon train of the refugees, where they were greeted by Lady Octavian (who knew of their coming from the one villain who had made tracks all the way back to the wagons), who graciously volunteered the Quintet to escort her party back to town: since Lord Octavian and Lord Carleton had been carried off last night by someone who matched the description of the flying evil cleric, those not so deeply committed to the necrotheological cause were heading back to civilization. Stephen was with them, having been originally kidnapped by the evil lords but not rekidnapped by the evil priest. While considering the issues over lunch and a bit of interrogation, Our Heroines were set upon in another dastardly attack!

Zombies shambling out of the woods to attack the noncombatants and fire arrows shot into the wagons caused a lot of chaos, but the few remaining able-bodied fighters with the wagons (including Runaway and Dwayne) and Thad, backed up by Serenity, held the line against the zombies while Kara and Solara dealt with the devil bats. The others concentrated their efforts on the cleric who had conjured the rest, and with the destruction of his protective and enhancing magics by Fresa's spell he was quickly brought down.

The vanished lords Octavian and Carleton were among the zombies, so the Amazon Quintet concluded that the necrotheologians had been thoroughly extirpated, and returned triumphant to town.

While Our Heroines were preventing the resurrection of ancient dark gods, Connor's party was rescuing a strayed princess, in celebration of which the royal family was holding a grand ball. As saviors of the city, the Amazon Quintet will of course attend...

* * *

I returned home with Earl and Emily, which became more exciting when we encountered the sign saying "680 closed"! The 238 then betrayed us by turning to run parallel to and between the 680 and 880 instead of connecting them, but finally we saved ourselves by using the 84.

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