Before we begin tonights re-enactment in ink (I was trying to find a better term than recap, too pretentious?) we must give a moment of thanks for the excellent japanese curry entree provided to us by our good cleric L(R)eah. It was a delicious fortifying chunky and thick curry-stew over rice and I hope she does a big post about it over at Gamer Girl - so keep a look-out. I want more and since we kept the leftovers (host-tax) I plan on it, yum. (Edited to reveal that Japanese curry two nights in a row is even better than just one!) We also had two new guests playing tonight, a couple my wife (whom readers may know as Poppy) works with. In tonight’s adventure, they play a pair of halfling champions: he a great warrior named Ulmo, she an acrobatic trickster and rogue called Hollyhop. They are recently returned to the island after a years of adventure, and therefore knew nothing of the current goings-on, such as:
When Felipe did a back flip to land on all fours, bowled over by the half-sized commander of mighty air spirits, the shifter cursed in contempt. Suddenly the enemy stopped their attack and the fanaton windcaller asked “You speak the wizards tongue?”
“I am Freedom the halfling, son of Friday!” he reveals, throwing back his blackfeather cape. “We made a mistake in attacking you, but the pirates have been raiding our lands, and all big people are a menace to our race. Let us make peace with a feast!” When the heroes of too many countless adventures to go through here agree to cease fire, he gestures with his golden bough and prorclaims in a piping voice “Chibi chibi FANaton!” whereupon all the chibi fanaton cheer and leap onto the still twitching corpse of the triceretops and begin stripping great lengths of steak for the coming feast.
The party, led by Freedom and his fanaton then sets off into the jungle towards the fanaton town. They cross a small river and come to a tree trunk many paces around. The bark has been shaped into steps and as the chibi fanaton spring into the air with their gliding wings, the halfling resolutely gestures for them to follow him up the winding staircase to the first of many platforms. Chibi fanaton flit between them, though the largest ones are also linked by swaying bridges. Freedom the halfling left them to rest on the large platform, while he went to prepare for the feast. Darkness was fast approaching and they would be safe for the night, he assured them. The village is carved out of the living trees and each platform is molded of living branches and the whole thing shows a mastery of woodworking
When he returned, with a grave face he asked them of the Phiilosophers Crown rescued from the Well of Gold. He told them the story of his father, Friday, a servant of the wizard Obitello who stole the crown when he fled the wizards mansion. He said his people have a disease and that only the crown can save them. His father threw the crown into the well before he was captured and probably killed by the Githyanki pirates. Freedom calls to a chibi fanaton nearby “Chibi chibi Fanaton” and it glides away and soon returns with another, and they carry a fanaton between them who twitches and tries to escape. The fanaton is trying to escape, and it begins a strange journey north over the mountains and out of the natural habitat of the chibi fanaton, never to return.
When the party produces the golden crown, he directs hex (a space pirate) to place the crown on the sick chibi’s head. Once he does, the chibi fanaton immediately becomes stiff as a board, them begins trembling, ntil its tail turns black and falls off, followed by all its hair. A hailess halfling lies their in its place. His eyes open and look around worried before he opens his mouth to whimper “that hurt.” A smile crosses Freedoms lips and he says “Another free halfling” as his relative is led away shaking and in pain. The party is not so sure. He then explains that the madnes is not cured but that now the chibi has the will to fight against the unnatural disease that pulls him northwards.
The next day, the chibi fanaton guide them to the edge of the steaming jungle, and to a pass that leads between the teeth-like mountain ridges that separate the regions of the isle of dread. On the other side, the lake awaits them, but the party suddenly realizes they have no boat. The fanaton among them laugh and say no problem. Soon they drag a long log out of the water, and with the flying of chips and sawdust, soon have a twenty foot long canoe ready for use. The chibi wave goodbye and wish them luck.
The lake kraken gives them no trouble as they cross, and they arrive at Amber Mansion. The daughters of the Amber enchanter weep with joy to see them return. Soon they place the crown onto Obitello Amber and his sleeping curse is dispelled. He wakes up and thanks them for their aid, and reassures them that since he lost the crown, and Hex found it, Hex can keep it. They find out that even with the crown, Shalazar Shackleton is too far gone, he is trying to escape and go north, so Ismelda and Isolda had him locked in a bedroom. He was also trying to eat rocks.
At the mention of eating rocks, a momentary thought flickers through Ria’s, Felipe’s, and Sharia’s mind that eating rocks might not be so bad. Felipe rifles through her pouches, but neither the gold nuggets nor the gems look particularly appetizing. They consulted the wizard and he knew there was a threat in the northern bog, but not what it may be. He mentioned that many of his servants over they years have quit their jobs and sailed or swam across the lake and into the bog. None were ever seen again.
The party remembered the statues of halflings lining the paths through the bog like mile markers, and the rumors of a basilisk. They began to suspect the link between that and the mysterious disease, and so the next morning they set out for the bog. They followed a path westwrd through the swamp and came to the western mountain walls that separated the island from the ocean. They could smell salt on the air and could almost hear the crashing waves on the other side of the mountain ridge.
Before them a stream wound down the rocks and out into the swamp, and beyond it were four cave entrances with dim flickering of light coming from within. Felipe stealthily moved forwards and plunged through the stream only to rouse a giant constrictor snake with deadly venomous fangs. Soon 3 more snakes revealed themselves in and around the stream,
After the snakes attempted to coil about as many of the party as they could, the pair of basilisks moved out of the caves. One caused the blood to turn to poison, the venom-eye basilisk, and the other was the feared stone-eye basilisk. Felipe was struck by both. Poppy adealt wth the venom eye. Then behind them came the two hags, a bog hag and a night hag. One was decrepit and old, the other was young and lithe, and both were draped in nothing but long slimy strands of seaweed. The nighthag caused Felipe to fall asleep weven as she was slowly turning to stone, then the hag leapt into her mind, literally inside her head, thrashing about in her brain as Felipe convulsed in her sleep. At the lsst possible moment she broke free and cast the night hag out and shook off the paralysis with the help of her lucky charm.
The snakes and basilisks were eventually slain, but we did not find out what happened to the hags. Did they run, or will they plead for their lives? Or do they have some other trick up their sleeves. Find out next week same time same place.