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2 September 2006 - Saturday

Perhaps I was a slug, but I was still up well before the earliest time slot in the betting pool for when Harold and Dave would arrive, so it's all okay.

As it turned out, Harold and Dave arrived well after the last claimed slot in the betting pool, because they did not cleverly avoid traffic. No 100XP for any of us!

* * *

Amazon Sextet of Justice XIa: "Onto the Plane, But Not Into the Snakes!"

Although it seems likely that the snake-engraved planar key obtained from the blue dragon's lair is the correct one, the Amazons are loathe to use it until this has been verified. This will also give them time to gear up for the raid on an entire universe full of necrotheologic snake-monsters.

While Amaryllis is busy converting the dragon's hoard into magic items and cash, Fresa hunts down her pet dwarven scholar, Stephan, and tries to get an introduction to someone who knows about planar keys. The academic she meets reacts strongly to the key in conjunction with the prophecy of Avalon, though, precipitating a minor scuffle. Gabrielle uses her vast diplomatic skills to smooth things over, though, and it is confirmed that the key will lead to a plane created by the Dead God for its snakey minions.

At last, Fresa casts the spell, and the Amazons are transported to a dark cave with cracked and creviced walls suitable for serpents of all sizes to creep about in. A couple of snakes immediately pounce, but are quickly dispatched, being only beasts.

Amaryllis seals the crevices leading into a defensible nook so Our Heroines can hole up while Fresa works the magic to find Queen Ditte. Some rather tough and excessively large rodents attempt to interrupt, but with little more success than the snakes earlier. There some is concern about what sort of snakes would feed upon man-sized rats that resist energy attacks!

Once Fresa is finished, the Sextet teleports to the dungeons beneath the main temple of the necrotheologians and begins tracking down the queen. Fresa's spell guides them past some traps, but soon they come to a place where the entire floor is dangerous. To get past this point, almost everyone has to be closed in the pocket dimension while Amaryllis and Alyra fly across on the feather-boat they obtained from the dragon. This means that when the nagas and yuan-ti pounce, the odds are six to two.

With one of the nagas throwing fireballs and acid arrows, things look bad, but Amaryllis is able to get the feather-boat out over the trap, where the monsters can't follow, and open the pocket dimension so that Gabrielle and Natalya can shoot out and Marika can make a tremendous leap to engage the monsters hand-to-hand. Despite a fierce struggle, two of the snake-creatures are slain and the rest flee into the darkness.

Before the snakes can return with reinforcements, the Amazons hurry along in the direction indicated by the spell, but suddenly Marika, on rear guard, realizes someone is following them! She confronts the skulker, who turns out to be a drow of unusual appeal, and when he fails to promptly respond to her demands for information, uses a grappling style of martial arts against him. The others, feeling left out, join in the interrogation, and learn that their prisoner is Samel, son of Jacque, and brother to Daniel, the drow paladin they met previously.

It turns out that Daniel and his followers also wanted to rescue Queen Ditte, but their jury-rigged method of interdimensional travel exploded and Samel has no idea where his companions ended up. He wasn't even sure that he was on the right plane until he encountered the Amazons. At Amaryllis's and Natalya's insistence, and despite Marika's distrust of drow, Samel joins the party.

* * *

Harold had to flee back toward Palo Alto then, so we broke there.

I am sad that D&D involves so much careful shopping, or perhaps that I'm a huge spaz and can't get people organized, but that is not Sherilyn's fault at all!

* * *

In accordance with the Master Plan, we then broke out Advanced Civ in honor of Ken's birthday, and played the first three or four turns, until the complexity of the game exceeded the complexity of our brains.

* * *

Cats: I hope they are okay! I have never left them alone this long before!


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