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31 July 2004 - Saturday

Hah! Finally, I have gotten up on my own, before other people were ready to game! Also, Harold and his Chris arrived by noon, so we were able to get a timely start on...

Amazon Quartet of Justice VIIIa: "On the Road to Rati! Arms of Fire!"

The three countries that Princess Lisbet has prepared letters for are Karral, a once-great nation turned to wasteland by the previous Avalon war and now a desert of nomads; Rati, a populous coastal nation; and the Pelagos, a group of islands a few day's sailing from Rati. After staring at the map, the Amazons decide to visit Rati first, and then take ship to the Pelagos.

Conditions everywhere are worsening as the ancient darkness encroaches on the world, but bandits and wolves are still nothing to the Amazon Quartet. Soon, they arrive in the capital city and main port of Rati, Vikjor. Vikjor is being terrorized by a huge fire-breathing monster that rises from the sea at night, destroys ships and waterfront buildings, and disappears again, which Our Heroines immediately recognize as an opportunity to gain the gratitude of the local rulers.

The Amazons arrange a meeting with Lisbet's contact, Lady Karavala (who turns out to also be a captain in the city guard) and she gets them an appointment to see King Retsirrab and Queen Jacquilynne. The Quartet wait all night in hopes that the monster will show up to be defeated before their audience, but no such luck.

The king and queen of Rati gladly accept help against the monster, but are not entirely committed to joining the fight for Avalon: they must defend their own country first, especially against the perfidious Pelagians, who are probably responsible for the monster to begin with. Still, it's the right thing to do, so Our Heroines lay their ambush as soon as night falls.

Gabrielle magically befuddles the tentacular monster as soon as it rises, preventing it from escaping. This seems like a good idea up until it takes wing to attack the archers who thought they were safe in their rooftop positions well inland. The Amazons are also unprepared for this, and their plan of raining death upon the half-dragon giant squid from afar is utterly ruined. Gabrielle is squashed to death as a result, and everyone is badly wounded. Amaryllis escapes its grasp just before it can finish her off, and is able to use lightning bolts to bring it down, but not before it kills several of the archers as well.

Fortunately, Gabrielle is send back from the Lands of the Sun in time to give everyone at the victory celebration a proper appreciation of the Quartet's accomplishment.

Popular opinion in Rati is strongly against Pelagos, but the more moderate prime minister, Barr, agrees to be an ambassador to Pelagos. Captain Evo, whose ship was rescued from the monster in the nick of time, is heading in that direction, so Barr and the Amazons set sail.

A few days out, the ship is assaulted in the night by nagas. The nagas, even with their pet elasmosaur, can't beat the Amazons, but they have enough magic to retreat beneath the waves and prepare another attack each time they're driven off. Over the course of the night, several sailors are bitten, and the Amazons are not unscratched, but eventually the elasmosaur and most of the nagas are slain, and the rest retreat.

* * *

Harold and his Chris wanted to get home not too late, so we stopped there and scuttled back to Mountain View.

Mmm, Shriekback.

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