I wonder what it means, that I will get up earlier to game with Sherilyn
than to work for a living.
Because Ayse and Ken were not available, Marith had to drive Dave and I
up (Harold, as usual, travelled separately from his lair in SF), but we
allowed enough time to flail, and apparently Presidents' Day isn't a real
holiday with real holiday traffic, so we all arrived in good time to
Amazon Quartet of Justice Xc: "Theft is a Legitimate Military
A combination of bribery and magic convinces the captured yuan-ti to
lead the way to his home base, so Marika escorts the caravan the rest of
the way to Newburg and the other four Amazons go to rescue the hostages,
crush the yuan-ti threat in this region, and perhaps learn something
about the dark elves and goblins that the yuan-ti are arming with all
the weapons they are stealing and buying from across the world.
Beneath a mountain on the border of Nööl is the great
lavafall that the yuan-ti described, but ethereal scouting finds nothing
behind the molten rock but more mountain. Whatever teleportation is used
to get from this point to the secret base is obviously going further
than that. Amaryllis attempts to impersonate a hapless halfling babe
looking for Shinbo (the cutest evil monk of Hextor), but whoever is
scrying on the cave is not mammalian enough to be addled by its
perspective on Amaryllis's bodice.
Plan B is to use divination magic to find the physical location of
the place the hostages are being held, and when it turns out to be deep
beneath the roots of the mountain, travel there ethereally. Several
humans are there in a cage in a small room, guarded by two yuan-ti.
After a bit of careful pre-positioning, the Amazons drop into the
material plane and kill one guard before he can more than blink. The
magician concealed among the prisoners fills most of the room with an
anti-magic field, but it doesn't quite reach to the corners, so the
other guard in the room and the one who breaks through the wall
Amaryllis builds across the doorway are dispatched in short order. The
magician and the other guard from outside flee before they suffer a
Two of the hostages were incinerated when the half-red-dragon guard
tried to burn Alyra, but the others are mostly intact, and exploration
of the underground complex turns up a few more, adults and children
both. Derwin's wife is there, but not his children -- there are clear
signs that a party of yuan-ti dragged several humanoids to a black pool
of evil like those found in other dark temples and perhaps into it, but
there are no volunteers to follow past that point.
The other interesting discovery is a series of storerooms containing
large quantities of military materiel. Seizing the opportunity, Our
Heroines teleport to Pelagos (with an unscheduled detour through
Louis-town) and inform King Penn of what they've found. The
military-minded monarch leaps into action, and within an hour, the
Amazons are on their way back to the warehouse with a pocket dimension
full of elite Pelagian troops and strong-thewed laborers.
The two guards who escaped from the previous fight and a comrade are
lying in wait among the rows of crates, of course, but although they
corner Alyra and severely wound her, Amaryllis stuns two of them so they
can be finished off. The third, badly hurt, turns into a snake and escapes
through one of the many narrow crevices in the rock.
That seems to be the extent of meaningful resistance for the moment.
A couple of soldiers are killed by groups of serpent-formed yuan-ti who
ambush them from the crevices, but the snake monsters take worse
casualties as none of them can stand up to the Amazons at all. By the
time Amaryllis runs out of magic, the first warehouse (of three) is
mostly empty and the supplies are being examined and stored in a
Pelagian naval base.
It is generally assumed that the yuan-ti will have reinforcements by
the next day, but the Amazons will have replenished their magic by then,
and Penn and his troops are up for another raid, so plans are laid and
arcane spellcasters sent to bed.
* * *
We called it there, since it was getting late and the next scene was
obviously going to be a huge fight. There was some discussion of what to
do about Fresa feeling personally responsible for the kids who got
killed in the first fight and wanting to raise them from the dead, but
no consensus was reached. My preferred solution is to say that normal
people don't come back from the dead. In 3.0, the subject of
resurrection magic gets to choose whether to return, so it seems
reasonable that most people are either in a heaven and don't want to
leave, or are in a hell and can't leave. Only people who have critically
important unfinished business and aren't trapped in hell come back to life.
I'm fine with avoiding the contentious moral issues, because this is
D&D, not Dogs in the Vineyard.
Then Harold went back to his mate, and the rest of us gaming weirdos
gook Sherilyn out for diner food and grown-up conversation. I ate too many
fried things, but only stole a tiny bit of milkshake.
* * *
Home before midnight, although not by much.
* * *