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4 September 2004 - Saturday

I guess sleeping forever and ever on Thursday did me good, because I was up in plenty of time to get an 11:00 start on...

Amazon Quartet of Justice VIIIb: "Storms Gathering over Pelagos! Attack of the Lecherous King!"

Having beaten off the nagas, Our Heroines continue sailing merrily toward the Pelagos until, a couple of days from landfall, the lookout spots the ship commanded by the wife of Captain Evo being pursued by a pirate vessel.

Taking to the air, the Amazons zip over to see what's going on, but their warning shot is answered by a hail of arrows from both ships! Worse, a tentacled fish-monster reaches up from the ocean and mauls Alyra as she tries to hide beneath the curve of a hull!

Having failed to eat Alyra, the aboleth then tries to mentally dominate her, but fails at that too. It makes the sailors from Captain Calypso's ship leap overboard to distract the Amazons, but Amaryllis makes an ice floe to keep them afloat and imprisons the aboleth in a sphere of ice. Before it can break through the ice and escape, it is slain by archery and magic. The captain of the pirate ship tries to escape overboard, but is knocked out and captured before he can do more than splash.

However, while all this is going on, Captain Evo's ship, with the Rati ambassador Barr on board, is being attacked by nagas. Again. However, this time there are only two of them, and they are unable to stand against the Amazons. The weaker is killed immediately and the stronger, apparently the leader of the whole naga gang, can't dive deep enough fast enough to avoid Amaryllis's and Fresa's spells.

The chief naga and the pirate captain are eaten by the captain's former animal companion, an orca, but post-mortem interrogation of the remaining naga reveals that they were specifically attempting to kill the Rati ambassador.

"Where can we find those who seek to raise the dark god?" asks Fresa.

"We are everywhere."

Despite that, nothing else happens before the Amazons, the two merchant ships, and their prize arrive in the Pelagos. Captains Evo and Caly buy the captured pirate ship for a substantial sum, and the Pelagian government pays a small bounty on the pirates themselves, so once again the Quartet has done well by doing good. (But the source of disagreement about pirates becomes apparent: Rati pays a good bounty for pirates and executes them, while the Pelagos pays a small bounty and tries to reform pirates.)

The majordomo at the castle attempts to tell the Amazons they will be granted an audience in a few days, but Captain Caly ignores him and drags them to tea with her good friend Queen Ditte, Ditte's husband Penn, and assorted flowers of the local nobility. Fresa glowers at the frivolity and Alyra hides from the crowd of city folk, but Gabrielle and Amaryllis make themselves popular.

Amaryllis possibly makes herself too popular, as the king offers to give her a tour of the palace and she is unable to resist his roguish charm. Fortunately for the future of international relations, Fresa notices this and sends Alyra to break up the incident, which she accomplishes by tracking the couple down (just ahead of the queen), snatching Amaryllis from Penn's arms, and leaping out the third-story window. Fortunately only a few of the tea-drinkers notice them alighting on the lawn outside.

Fresa takes charge and assigns Amaryllis and Gabrielle to take up Evo and Caly's invitation of lodgings; only herself and the equally unattractive Alyra will stay in the palace to guard Ambassador Barr. This turns out for the best, as Amaryllis is able to have a chat with Lizbet's pen pal in the Pelagos, Lord Pudius, at one of the Captains' shindigs. Lord Pudius explains that while Barr is doing much to reduce the enmity between the two countries, Queen Ditte is still strongly opposed to joining any sort of war effort, preferring a more isolationist stance.

After several days of cooling-off, Amaryllis feels able to accept Penn's invitation to lunch without getting in trouble. However, what he wants this time is not her delectable person; he contrives to mention that while Ditte will never commit the Pelagos to a war against evil, he definitely would if he were in a position to do so. Amaryllis promises to think about it.

The pirate-hunting drow that the Quartet met earlier arrive in the Pelagos, where they are apparently local heroes. The drow are fully in favor of saving world (as anyone led by a paladin would have to be), but concur with Pudius's assessment of the political situation.

Apparently Amaryllis isn't the only one Penn has been hinting at, as Alyra's hanging out in seedy bars reveals a widespread sentiment among the populace that Penn would make a better ruler. Despite some suggestions about encouraging the necrotheologians to attack Ditte so that either she takes the threat seriously or Penn becomes king, the Amazons don't have a solution for this. Further research will be needed.

* * *

Harold fled Bay-ward at 17:00, because he had something he wanted to do with his Chris in the evening, but the rest of us decided to stick around and entertain Sherilyn some more so that we wouldn't be driving home directly into the setting sun.

Pizza was ordered and consumed, and Munchkin was played. As seems to be my habit in board games, I looked like a threat early on so everyone hosed me in a big fight, and I never quite recovered.

Sherilyn won, which seems only just after she had to put up with us as players all afternoon.

* * *

Yay! More Chess!

The Pirate Captain by Dave (Wed Sep 8 14:11:57 2004)

I'm pretty sure we took him prisoner (grabbing him from the water shortly before his orca companion surfaced to carry him off). I recall Alyra watching him carefully after we had the sailors tie him up. Possibly this was not the one true reality, though.

Re: The Pirate Captain by Trip (Wed Sep 8 16:21:45 2004)

You appear to be correct.

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