The next day after a long night tossing and turning, we are escorted to a large room with a metal plate in the ground enscribed with pentagrams and other markings. As I try to get a closer look, I notice that it’s not with any kind of pigment or fluid I recognize… it’t not even blood._ What is that… little pieces of metal? I’m jolted out of my thoughts as the device comes to life and seemingly controlled lightning sparks from one metal tower to another around the plate.
“The transportation pad is now active and ready for use,” the Elan announces as one of his aides sets four gallon jugs in front of us. “The liquid mithral we have provided should be more than enough to equip you with the kind of ship you require.”
“Let’s go before they change their minds!” mutters Waylond as he hefts the jugs under his large arms.
Solon bravely takes the first step through the portal, followed by Waylond and the rest. There’s a flash of purple light as my head screams in pain and I feel like my soul is being pulled in two by grasping tentacles… and then suddenly birds are chirping in a bright blue sky as we all collapse onto the soft grasses of a small hill not far from a large walled city in the distance.
“Where in the 9 Hells are we?” I groan… only to be answered by the tell-tale sounds of Constance emptying her stomach. I search through my pouches and grab a small vial that I drop a few pinches of herbs in combined with some of that Troll’s Piss I had left in a flask. “Here, drink this…” I mutter as I nudge her shoulder with it.
Constance looks up blearly eyed and mistrusting of the black bubbling concoction in my hand. “You can keep puking if you want…” she quickly grabs the flask and downs the drink with a wrinkled nose.
“Hey… where’s Khal and Solon? Are the jugs still here?” I hear Waylond ask worriedly. I look around to see if I can spot any trace of the Elf and the Gith…. but there’s nothing.
“I think… I think they’re gone,” I reply.
“What do you mean, gone?” asks Constance now that her stomach has calmed.
“I mean, gone… dispersed by the dimensions…reclaimed by the Farspace…. dead. For all I know… they might never have existed, now.” I bite my lower lip in consternation and shrug sadly. How are we supposed to find that Silver Sword now? Poor Solon… he was a bit naive, but not bad… for an Elf.
Constance looks saddened as her gaze drops to the ground. “I’m sure you can give them a proper eulogy later… but right now, we need to worry about what we’ve been tasked to do. Impending doom waits for no one, after all.” I pull my cloak about my shoulders and raise the hood to try and cover my demonic traits as best as I can. “We should probably head to that city.”
“Right behind you, Katya!” Hodey declares as he tucks in his tail and pulls his hat down low over his eyes.
Unfortunately it doesn’t take long in our walk towards the city to get distracted; being attacked by giant bears with owl beaks tends to do that. Thanks to our combined efforts, however, they are soon dispatched and I’m left wondering where to start with collecting of potential spell components.
“Oh Gods… you want to do what?” Constance asks with a slight green tinge to her face.
“I’m just going to cut out it’s eyes… maybe take a few claws and feathers…” I scratch my chin in thought as my braid takes a dagger to one of the slain bears and starts cutting. “Oh and get some blood… you never know when you’re going to need blood that isn’t yours.”
“I think I’m going to be sick again…” she mutters as she walks off into some bushes nearby.
“What about you, Waylond… do you want a claw for a trophy while I’m at it?”
“A… trophy?” Waylond asks curiously.
“You know… like after a successful hunt.”
“A… hunt?” he takes off his cowboy hat and scratches his head. “People go hunting animals for trophies? Seems kind of silly to me.”
And suddenly it hits me… Giff are vegetarians! “My mistake… it’s obviously not something your people do for fun.”
“Yeah… I’m more into buying ships with heaps full of money,” he laughs. “Come on… they’re going to leave you behind if you don’t finish up!”
“But…there’s so much left!” I sigh and look at the bear corpses with regret. I’ll just have to make due with what I got, I guess. “I’m coming…. I’m coming…” I mutter as I run off to catch up with the others.
Thanks to my disguise and Waylond carrying Hodey like a pet, we’re able to get through the gates of the city without much difficulty. Looking around and noticing a bit of a lack of non-humans around tells me I should probably keep my hood on for a while.
“Now I remember the name… the Green Dragon Inn! That’s where we should go,” announces Constance with a snap of her fingers.
The accomidations make it rather obvious that it’s not the best bar in town… but right now a comfortable seat and a mug of beer sounds just wonderful. “I managed to get us some rooms,” says Constance as she sits down at our table in the back with a handful of mugs. “Last I heard, the Arcane have been known to visit here… so I figure it’s a good a shot as any to try and contact one about a ship.”
“Nice work, Connie!” says Waylond before he takes a big bite out of the whole turkey on his plate. “I asked the old lady at the bar earlier, and she says Maldin’s is the place to go to sell the jugs. In the meantime…” he grabs the turkey in one hand and tips his hat to everyone else. “I’m going to go enjoy my dinner in my room.”
“Sounds like a good idea to me too… less odds of attracting attention,” I reply as I get up from the table and slip my hand into the pocket with the book. “I’ve got some reading to do anyway… so I’ll see you all in the morning. Hopefully”
The next morning we all meet downstairs again for breakfast and can’t help but notice the well-dressed man in his 50s sitting at the Lord’s table on a raised dais as we walk by.
“Ho there, tall fellow! We don’t see many of your kind around here.”
“What…cowboys?” retorts Waylond.
“No… but we have had dealings with the Giff navy before,” he chuckles. “My name is Ricard Dimaris, and I am at your service. I see that you are busy now… but feel free to join me at my table later on, as I am sure we have much to discuss.”
“Yeah, let’s check out Maldin’s to see if we can get lucky!” Waylond announces cheerfully as he picks up the jugs and heads out the door.
I’d love to tell you what Maldin’s was like on the inside… but it seems the prejudiced bastard doesn’t like planars in his shop, and has put up a magical barrier to keep us out.
“Well that’s fine… I’ll just go and spend my money elsewhere!” I shout through the door with a pout. “Come on, Hodey… I’ve got a need to buy something expensive.”
One Chameleon Ring and a few scrolls later, Hodey and I make our way to meet at a resturaunt for dinner. Thanks to the ring’s disguise abilities, I’m finally able to forgoe the cloak and walk unafraid down the street. Yes… definitely a worthwhile device.
The rest of the group are already sitting at a table when we walk in and take a seat. “You’ll never believe how much we got!” he whispers loudly before taking another drink from his mug.
“You’re a bubber!” replies Hodey as he looks out of the corner of his eye at Omen perched in the rafters above.
“I will be more than glad to make you eat crow, Hodey… but if you ever touch Omen I’m going to find out if Kobold actually does taste like chicken.”
Hodey wisely takes to drinking in reply, and as far as I noticed, doesn’t look at my familiar again. Good thing too… I’ve heard Kobold tastes pretty disgusting, actually.
After an hour or two of drinking and plates of food we manage to stumble only slightly as we make our way down the street back to our rooms at the Green Dragon Inn. “I think we’re being followed,” Waylond whispers.
“Hodey?” I look to the Kobold with a raised eyebrow and with a nod he whips out one of his contraptions and we gesture everyone to turn down one of the alleyways. The alley turns to darkness with a thought from me as Hodey’s machine churns out a fog and another one lays a layer of grease at the entrance.
It doesn’t take long before we hear the sound of rushing footsteps that quickly turn to shouts of alarm as they slip and slide on the cobblestones covered in grease. I cast a Sleep spell upon them and all but two of them begin to snore peacefully.
Waylond strides forward and grabs one of the ones still awake off the ground and slams his up against the wall of the alley. “Stop following us!” He growls.
“No problem, mate!” stammers the scared thug. “We just thought you guys were an easy mark… we’re sorry!” Waylond grunts at the sorry human and tosses him down the alley.
A quick search through one of the sleeping thugs reveals he was speaking the truth… these guys are barely organized at best. “Come on… let’s head back to the inn, already… before anyone else gets any ideas.”
We make it back to the inn without any further difficulty and nod to Dimaris who is conversing with an older bearded man from the city guard, as well as a wizard in a blue velvet longcoat. When Waylond opens the door to the party room, the Arcane sitting there in tan & white waiting for us tells me that I’m still not going to get any sleep.
“I’ve heard you’re in need of my services.”