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1 March 2003 - Saturday

Yay! Marith became well! We zoom!

* * *

Yay! Al and Sherilyn use the dungeon pieces I gave them!

* * *

Amazon Quintet of Justice Vd: "The Altar of the Dead God! Ophidiophobia!"

As they pause to catch their breath, the Amazons are spied upon by a pair of snake-men. Alyra gets one, but the other escapes to warn his creepy buddies. The distant sound of chanting increases in tempo.

Following the snake-man through the labyrinth, Our Heroines walk into an ambush by another pair of archers, but quickly take one prisoner and put the other to flight. The escapee opens the portcullis confining most of the temple's undead reserves as he flees, but a mummy and a few ghasts are no match for the righteous might of the Amazons, and soon they reach the heart of the temple, which is guarded by two immense zombies, two mummies, two snake-men, and a human-headed snake, while an armed snake conducts a ritual over the sphinx lying with his head on the altar.

Gabe teleports to the far end of the room with Fresa, to assault the priestess-snake directly, but everyone else is bottled up at the entrance by the undead. As soon as the priestess moves away from the altar, Amaryllis encases the altar and sphinx in a dome of ice, but that doesn't contain the sphinx's mighty roars, which paralyzes several combatants on both sides.

Sophia is almost killed by one of the mummies while she stands paralyzed, but the Cutest Evil Monk appears and drags her to safety. At separate times, Serenity and Alyra are pinned beneath the falling zombies, but so is one of the mummies. Possibly the most dangerous opponent, however, is the naga, who supports the other villains with enhancement spells, and splits herself into multiple images to confuse people trying to get rid of her. The snake-men add to the excitement by giving various people a phobia of anything snake-like.

When the sphinx breaks out of the ice dome and charges across a field of magical caltrops to defend the priestess, Amaryllis realizes that he must be enchanted, and tries to break the spell, but only succeeds in removing all his enhancements. When Gabe realizes what's going on, though, he successfully breaks the sphinx free, and the carnage really begins. In the excitement, the Cutest Evil Monk reaches the altar and escapes with something, but Sophia can't justify killing him, as he just saved her life.

Hard-pressed, the surviving villains retreat into a glowing magical portal which opens up behind the altar, but the sphinx leaps in after them, so after a few moments the Amazons do too. In the small room beyond, they find a few human cultists fighting the sphinx with some success, and the naga doing what she can to back them up. Alyra, Serenity, and Gabe have some problems because the room is too small to be stuck in with snakes, but eventually the sphinx is rescued and, after a great deal of effort, the naga is put down and Darrin and Stephen are rescued!

The altar having been satisfactorily desecrated (as well as the heartstone removed), Our Heroines return to town with their new portable extradimensional campsite and a ring that lets a sorceress cast many more spells every day (the secret of the naga's apparently unlimited mirror image spells). The sphinx, Leo, travels with them part-way, but flies off before they reach Tigris.

Since the Cutest Evil Monk did save Sophia, Amaryllis keeps the date he invited her to. No carnage ensues, to the disappointment of some.

Gabe also sticks around until he can go out to dinner with Sophia. Apparently he meets her high moral standards!

* * *

Despite having driven up in the morning, we drive back in the evening instead of staying overnight, because Marith has many things to do tomorrow.

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