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26 October 2002 - Saturday

Amazon Quartet of Justice Va: "Circus of Revenger"

Previously: Solara and Alyssa have left Tigris on their own business, and Fresa is in subterranean meditation. Amaryllis, Sophia, and Serenity attend a ball given in honor of Connor's party, who have rescued the little sister of the ruling prince and princess. Multiple sects of necrotheologians, assisted by an evil circus, try to kill the rulers or replace them with exact duplicates, but are foiled. Crazed dwarves are involved, as is a wood-elf of heroic nature by the name of Alyra, who Amaryllis befriends. At the behest of Stephen, Alyra and Amaryllis dupe the leader of the crazed dwarves into haring off to the ruined city, but then find out that there may be something there after all...

There is a brief recrimination phase when the Lawful members of the party find out what the Chaotic members have been doing for Stephen, but they don't disagree about chasing down Darrin before he gets himself killed or spills important beans to the necrotheologians. Over Fresa's objections, Sophia drags both Stephen and Hrogarth along (after prying Hrogarth loose from the royal library).

Darrin took quite an expedition, so is easy to track, especially since he's following the same route everyone took to the ruins last time. Apparently, another party with several large carnivorous animals is following that route as well, although not on the trail.

When they reach the rock where they were ambushed before, Our Heroines realize anew what a great ambush spot it is, and send Alyra to scout it out. Sure enough, someone is lurking atop the rock. Sophia rides forward to parley, and an arrow sticks in her shield. Battle is joined!

The attackers are two lions, two tigers, two bears, the druidess Ohmy, and the remaining crew of the Evil Circus, who turn out to be quite annoying. Amaryllis, from the air, tries to blind most of them, but only gets one lion. Then the melee combatants start getting mauled, so she opens up with the Fireballs. The circus is roasted, but not quickly enough to keep either Sophia or Serenity from being slain. The druidess and the last circus performer flee into the forest, but by the time Amaryllis catches up with them, something that (judging by its tracks) runs faster than a flying dragon has staved in both their skulls.

Fortunately, the temple of Pelor is able to raise its warriors from the dead. They refuse money for doing so, but the Amazons make an equivalent anonymous donation. Weapons are polished and inventories restocked while Sophia and Serenity recuperate, and then it's off to the ruined city again, now even farther behind Darrin. This time, Hrogarth is left to his moldy odes.

This time, Ambush Rock is already covered with corpses when Our Heroines get there. Fresa calls back the spirit of one to find out what happened and learns "They were so fast... they said they would stop us... but there weren't enough of them... we must succeed...".

The map Stephen pieced together from Darrin's notes indicates three locations in the city. The first one contains several large wagons and many corpses (killed in a more normal fashion than the ones at Ambush Rock), some of whom Alyra recognizes as Darrin's hirelings, but none of them Darrin himself. There are signs of excavation, but otherwise nothing interesting about the site.

The temple indicated by the second mark on the map is being excavated by four well-toned men who set off Sophia's keen moral sense. She parleys, but refuses a truce, so they spring over the temple wall and race away faster than the Amazons have ever seen anyone run. Amaryllis tosses a Fireball after them, but they step behind chunks of rubble at just the right instant to avoid being roasted, without breaking stride.

The third area is quite large, but a cautious search discovers a temple that is apparently deserted at the moment, but has been dug out enough to provide access to the interior, and there are many footprints in the dust. A not-very-secret door in the crypt provides access to even deeper caves, and it appears that someone has gone that way before.

Fresa's holy might returns the zombies to the dust from which they rose, and a little further along sets another sort of undead horror to flight and incapacitates a mummy long enough for it to be hacked up. Tracking the escaped monster leads the Amazons into a large cave chock-full of zombies, who fare no better than the others for all their numerical superiority. The monster that fled and another such are there also, but aren't much more trouble.

Exploring in the other direction, Alyra finds a group of four humans lurking in a cave. Sophia goes forward to parley, and the others vanish into the many tunnels before she even arrives at their location. Later, they spring out at Our Heroines, and get slapped down like the pikers they are. One of them, a mage, takes off into the darkness, but Amaryllis and Sophia chase her down and finish her off. Then Amaryllis notices the fragments of a very realistic statue littering the floor. A shadowy phantom pops out of the wall, but Alyra is right there with her magic swords. Sophia closes her eyes and advances to demonstrate her skill in fighting without sight, and between those two and a couple of Amaryllis's fireballs, the shadow and basilisk expire.

At this point, somewhat battered, low on magical energy, and with prisoners to interrogate, the Amazons decide to retreat to their hidden camp and rest up before continuing their exploration of the caves.

* * *

Next session: Thanksgiving!

* * *

By this time, it was very very late, so we decided to stay over another night rather than die in flaming wreckage on the freeway. Good thing I packed extra underwear and drugs!

Trip's Write Up by Silkie (Tue Oct 29 10:24:22 2002)

Very keen write up! You get a Dire Seal of Approval! :)

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