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10 September 2005 - Saturday

We got a later start than planned, but still made it to Roseville before noon. Unfortunately, somewhere on the 80 we got a call from Dave, who had utterly failed to meet up with Harold and was stuck in the middle of SF with no gaming. This made us very sad, but there wasn't much we could do about it.

When we got to Roseville, we got the magic number to call Harold, who fortunately had not spent forever trying to find Dave, so we were able to begin gaming in good time.

Because Dave is a good sport, he emailed us his character sheet so Ayse could play Alyra, or play Dave playing Alyra in...

Amazon Quintet of Justice Xb: "Though I Walk Through the Valley of Death, I Shall Not Fear, For I Have Protection From Evil, 10' Radius"

Amaryllis lurks across the street from the temple of Hextor to see if the Cutest Evil Monk (Shinbo by name) will come back out, but he doesn't, so she goes to gather information in bars, and learns that the right-hand-man of the High Priest of Hextor, who is Dreamy, went off to retrieve a stolen sacred item a couple of months ago, which is presumably when Amaryllis met him. However, there hasn't been any unusual activity since then.

The next morning, Amaryllis goes to the temple and asks to meet Shinbo. Apparently he remembers their dinner in Tigris fondly, because he gives her lunch and they spend the afternoon in dalliance, but he is not convinced that the world actually needs saving.

In the meantime, Fresa is fossicking around in libraries full of dwarves, attempting to find more pieces of the Prophecy of Avalon. She does learn that bringing Avalon and the Imminent God back into time requires shedding the blood of Avalon, and gets the dwarvish librarian to spread the word about Avalon needing allies among his people.

Marika's investigation into the caravans that have been raided reveals that they were both carrying weapons for someone named Derwin, who normally trades in foodstuffs. Furthermore, shortly before he made the first order for weapons, Derwin took on a couple of new partners, who no one had seen around Newburg before. Finally, she learns the next caravan for Derwin is due to arrive in a week or so, which means that if it's on schedule, it will be passing the spot where the burned-out caravan was found in a day or two.

The Amazons agree that going to guard the caravan as it passes through the presumed danger zone is the thing to do, but it would be nice to have some more information, so they pay Derwin a visit to check him for mental domination by his mysterious new partners. He isn't mind-controlled, but the two suspiciously nondescript gentlemen who pay him a call as Our Heroines are on their way out radiate moderately-strong transmutation magic. Her suspicions piqued, Amaryllis dispells the magic on one, who turns into a yuan-ti abomination! There is a brief, inconclusive fight which ends when the two yuan-ti teleport away. Derwin has scarpered, but Amaryllis scries to learn that he is busy packing his bags at his home.

When confronted, Derwin tries to flee, claiming that his wife and children will be killed if the yuan-ti learn he's spoken to the Amazons. They calm him down, though, and prepare to go rescue his family before dealling with the caravan raiders (if the two are different). Sadly, both the yuan-ti and Derwin's family are in magically-dark places, but Amaryllis's magical skills are so great that she can target Fresa's spell on that location anyway. Our Heroines transform into cloud-stuff and set out!

As they cross the valley where the caravans had been attacked, the Amazons see a small cluster of campfires. The magic trail leads on past them, but the wind-walking spell prematurely cuts out and they drift to the ground near the fires. Fresa confirms with Moradin that this is where the Amazons are supposed to be, so they introduce themselves to the nervous caravaneers and set up watch.

Late that night, Alyra spots enemies approaching: three half-dragon yuan-ti abominations flapping through the darkness, and a handful of lesser snake-monsters slithering out of the forest!

The yuan-ti, especially the flying, fire-breathing ones, are tough opponents, and Amaryllis and Alyra are both severely wounded, but one of the fliers is confused by Gabrielle's magic and another is stripped of his magical enhancements by Amaryllis, while Gabrielle and Alyra get the third on the ground and kill it in face-to-maw combat. The lesser yuan-ti are quickly disposed of (one by its confused superior, two by Fresa, and one disabled but kept alive for questioning) and the remaining two fliers are eventually brought down. Success! And none of the foe escaped to report to their dark masters!

* * *

Level UP! Well, for some characters, anyway.

It's too bad none of the 7th level sorcerer/wizard spells are deeply thrilling.

Al and Sherilyn fed us Thai food and pizza (but not Thai pizza), just in case the immense quantity of snack food they had provided wasn't enough, and then we left for home.

Ayse claimed to have had fun, and is thinking about making a character to join the Amazons.

* * *

On the way home, the car was full of stuffed animals dancing to quasi-punk covers of 60s and 70s songs, because our road trips are better than those of other people.

* * *

Writing: check.

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