Recap: The very early morning of Trical the 3rd found Xzax awake -- and irritable.
Xzax had begun molting. His skin itched terribly. Rather than kill one of his friends, he spread his wings, and headed ashore for a short time. He discovered a tiger that had turned on its cruel master in the near-barbarian town of Firland. The hungry, miserable, and confused tiger eagerly took up on Xzax's offer of animal friendship. In using his alter self to strengthen his wings, though, he split his scaled skin as he descened from the nearby rocky cliffs onto the deck of the Black Holly II with a six-hundred pound tiger.
'Midnight', as he became known, seemed favorable his new partners -- particularly Snowy.
Once the chaos died down, the crew caught a bit more rest, before finally getting up, and setting sail for Hallis Island. They hoped to find Jynx, and the friend of his that could work arcane magics. Outside the small, log-cabin town of Gridolin, nearly two dozen galleons in moth-ball status awaited only a crew. A penance, one of dozens, apparently, and named the Soapstone VII, greeted them. After a few moments realizing that the Black Holly II was sporting a new member of Firestorm, the Soapstone VII quickly brought them in, and up along the cliffs to 'the shed'.
The Shed was half library, and half bar, with a massive fireplace on the bar-side of the building. Inside, Prat and Jynx were talking business when Seamus caught up with his old friend. Jynx and Seamus downed a few together, before involving Prat -- who insisted they take a walk outside.
Seamus and Xzax had cooked up a scheme in the middle of the night that might get them into the 'mounds of the mother' without them winding up as food for the Srik's fungus-fodder. The two wanted to somehow stir up the crusaders in Kur Maeth, so that they and the Ogre Nations would attack the Srik together -- providing plenty of distraction for the party to sneak in and find the third component of Al Mudim. The problem with the plan was keeping Jena and Gunju from soiling their souls.
N'Kara had already picked up on what Jena only suspected -- she was pregnant. Without telling either, they would somehow find a way for them to hide out with Xzax's relatives in the Dragon Nation, and then proceed full apace with their plan to distract the Srik -- using the whole of the Ogre Nations, the Inquisition, and possibly even the dragons.
Prat would teleport Jena and Gunju to the Samite Hills, along with Xzax, so that he could sequester the two parents away while the rest of the party performed its deeds. Perhaps, later, when Jena was ready, she would return, so long as the babe were safe -- and they could think of no place safer than the Dragon Nation, yet to announce itself to the world.
Prat agreed, but it would have to wait until the night, or the next day. His agreement would even extend to helping them in their plan to stir up the Inquisition, after Seamus showed him the signet ring of Firestorm.
Unbeknownst to the group, they had arrived at just the time of year that Prat mourned the loss of his family. While Seamus, Xzax, and Lucian enjoyed a drunk werebear's company, as well as Jynx's, Jena, N'Kara, and Gunju stayed aboard the Black Holly II -- and used one of the treasures they had found among the gifts from the Baron and the Bishop Dwarfendale.
At one point during the night, the drunk bear -- cask of ale in his paws -- watched the lights of souls circling the EM>Black Holly II as bright, white lights poured out of the ship's portholes and prizms. The local priestess, a tiny thing, found herself dunked in the ale by the annoyed bear -- just so she would quit wailing about the dead returning.
By morning, Jena's scroll had blinded her, and they feared it had done so for forever. But a tiny, young cleo was back among the living.
Prat quickly ripped a hole in space-time, and the crew barely had time to say their good-byes, even to a startled Cleo -- before Prat, Xzax, Jena, and Gunju stepped through the hole into the Dragon Nations.
The dragons on the other end responded to the raw display of power as though Inquisitors had come looking. Xzax quickly filled them in on their plan, and his Aunt Blud agreed to take them in and settle things, with Sthis' permission. Blud also quickly slapped a bracelet on Xzax, and explained that while the Black Holly II was invisible to undead, and had a nondection field about it -- they did not. The undead were already moving towards Gridolin. Equipping her nephew with ten more of the bracelets, she bid them luck in their quest -- even as Korsth teleported to the fringes of the war to sew chaos.
The dragons' reasoning was simple: they were just about to declare themselves a Dragon Nation. If they had the Inquisition chasing them elsewhere, as well as in the Samite Hills, it might give the Inquisition pause to try and figure out just how many dragons there were, and where.
Prat ripped open the hole in space-time, again, and stepped back through with Xzax. Even as he did so, dark storms were beginning to gather to the west of Hallis Island in the midmorning light of the 5th of Trical.
XP Awarded: 0 (total to date is 8,950)
DM's Notes: All day long, while we were at the RenFair, the group was scheming and planning. When we finally got back, they had to have just a few more hours of role-play, in order to put their plan into motion. Their reasoning was simple. Since Brandy was going away for a month, and Jena was pregnant, they would get her and Gunju out of the way for awhile. In the meantime, the quest would continue, possibly with Adam bringing in a guest character of some sort.
They all gave me their character sheets, so I could update their stats online from three intensive days of role-playing -- and I finally managed to get this posted.