Made my external brain get me up at a reasonable hour, wandered
downstairs, found Ayse and Ken had arrived, wandered back up to read
Batman: Arkham Asylum and shower and return in time for
gaming! Ayse sat out, or napped out, or something, but Ken made such big
eyes at Sherilyn that she let him guest-star.
* * *
Amazon Quartet of Justice VIa: "The Bigger They Are, The
Hotter They Burn"
Amaryllis and Alyra are drinking in some dive when a cloaked and cowled
figure joins them and demands to be smuggled out of the city. To no one's
great surprise, this is Princess Lisbet, last seen being sent off to the
temple of Pelor for training. She has had another of her ominous dreams,
and wants to consult her gypsy spiritual advisor, Madame Natasha, but is
being followed by the Guard. Since she's obviously not going to be
dissuaded, Our Heroinces decide it's probably best if they go along to keep
her out of trouble. In the process of losing their tail, they fall in with
Fresa, and the four of them fly out of Tigris and over to the gypsy
Alyra bribes a small gypsy kid to fetch Madame Natasha, who comes out
with her two bodyguards (Fred, a free-lance berserker, and Marika, a lady
mercenary of diverse training). Before Lisbet and Natasha can have their
discussion, though, a pair of ten-foot-tall, dragon-winged giants crash the
The giants, being immune to fire, cause a great deal of trouble by
setting off fireballs when Our Heroines (plus Fred and Marika) surround
them, but Amaryllis manages to divide them for easier conquest and Fresa
keeps the combatants and Lisbet (who cannot be kept out of a fight
except by lethal force) from being permanently roasted. All available
healing is then used on the bystanders caught in the blast radii, some
of whom survive.
The City Guard, alerted by the huge columns of flame rising from the
gypsy camp, rides out to investigate. Thad makes sure everything is dealt
with, congratulates Alyra on her stealth, accepts Amaryllis's firm belief
that Lisbet will come back fine from wherever she wandered off to, and goes
back to town. Moments later, Alyra bursts screaming from the bushes,
"Yuan-ti! They've kidnapped Lisbet!"
There are only two yuan-ti, so although they use a great deal of
illusion and enchantment magic, they are soon run down and meet a grisly
end. Lisbet is, indeed, returned intact to the temple of Pelor.
Neither the giants nor the yuan-ti respond usefully to post-mortem
interrogation, but the giants have a jade statuette that Lisbet
recognizes from the royal treasury, which makes everyone go "Hmmm."
* * *
A day or two later, Alyra encounters Liam, Connor's adventuring
buddy, and gets drunk with him while he bemoans his failure to get
anywhere with Sophia. After she drags him home, she notices that her
life force has been sucked out. She goes "hmmm" but also finds Fresa to
get put back together.
* * *
A day or two after that, Alyra and Amaryllis are keeping Lisbet
out of trouble in another bar when the gypsy kid Alyra met earlier wanders
in. Passing a couple of ominous-looking patrons, he passes Alyra a couple
of haste potions, tells her Natasha said she'd need them, and makes his
escape just as the goons notice their purses are missing. Chaos ensues.
Marika, having lost her job when Natasha and the gypsies decamped, is
now officially in charge of keeping an eye on Lisbet, and has a magic hat
so that no one can recognize her. So, when Amaryllis lets fly with the
blinding spells, she ends up as unable to see as half the goons. With that,
and Alyra's superfast magic hammer, the fight is soon over, although not
without a few slapstick moments involving blind people trying to wrestle
each other. Unfortunately, Lisbet escapes the ice wall Amaryllis imprisoned
her behind in time to join the tail end of the fight and get charred when
some villain from outside throws a fireball in to make sure dead men tell
no tales, and has to be put back together before being delivered back to
the palace. Any lingering doubts about the Great Yuan-Ti Conspiracy are
slain by the Royal Army of Tigris-issue magic shortswords the assailants
* * *
Ayse and Ken stayed overnight, so I got kicked out of the library and
had to sleep on the couch again. It may actually be more comfortable.