I’ve had morning breath.
I’ve had bad morning breath.
This… this was something else. I ran my tongue around my mouth. This… this was wrong.
“Cuddles peed in your mouth while you were sleeping.” I don’t know which of my companions sent me the telepathic message, all I know is I was now awake. Fully. My dragon blood now pumping from the rage I felt.
But I bide my time.
The others are talking to a strange serpent folk, whose name turns out to be Issilar. Apparently he lived at Saventh-Yhi, uses an army of strange monkey beings (which we have, so far, had great luck in killing), and has a machine that he thinks will grant him great powers (but which should just point us in the direction of Saventh-Yhi).
But more importantly, there’s the little bastard Cuddles. Glaring at me. If only he had an idea. I make a show of reaching into my bag of holding. Deep in my bag of holding. I let frustration show on my face. The moron edges closer. I tell him of the six gold ingots in my bag that I can’t quite reach. Could he, with his smaller, more nimble hands reach them for me?
He’s suspicious. Of course, he’s suspicious. A suspicion born not of intelligence, but more animal instinct, I presume. I placatingly tell him they’re to pay him and his troupe. He edges closer.
I grab him around the throat, stuff him into the bag of holding, and close it up. I figure he can breathe for eight, maybe ten minutes. I may let him out. I’m not sure yet. Regardless, I get up and introduce myself to the strange serpentfolk.
As we’re chatting, there is the sound of a very large explosion. It comes from… of course, it comes from my bag. Which is now wreathed in a pall of smoke. But I didn’t even have any explosives in there. Just the gold, my animal skins, and the 20 daggers—.
I open the bag, hoping that the skins have survived. Maybe even the gold too. But, no. Apparently, even the most remarkably idiotic goblin is resourceful enough (or stupid enough) to try cutting his way out of an extra-planar pocket. At least my weapons and armour were on me at the time. But still… my skin collection. I had such a good one. And they weren’t even putrefying this time. But I did manage to get my revenge. So… there’s that.
The rest of the goblins seem relatively unaffected by my murdering one of their kind. They’re too busy preparing for my wedding to one of them. I know, I know. ‘But Het’Kiril, you’re so much more evolved than those things, why would you marry one?’ It’s my hope that my marrying one of them, my intimidating demeanor, and killing one on occasion will help make them a little more… well, controllable isn’t the right word… more receptive to pointing their destruction in the direction I tell them to. Besides, given their life expectancy, I imagine the issue will resolve itself sooner rather than later.
Anyway, the group makes its way to a room with a number of pillars and what appears to be a star chart. Issilar shows us 3 of the 4 focus stones for the pillars. We try to convince Issilar that it’s just a map (though the stars are wrong… perhaps, because it’s so old the stars have drifted since the map was made? Something I should ponder), to no avail.
What we do get out of Issilar, though, is some information about Saventh-Yhi. It’s broken into seven sections, six of which are inhabited by humans, vege-pygmies (your guess is as good as mine), stinky lizard people, charauka (From what I gather, these are the monkey beings), frog people, and serpentfolk. Oh, and the lake has lake monsters. Oh, and there’s a mud genie. Oh, and there’s a scary mind-controller who has taken over the serpentfolk area.
I find myself reconsidering our journey.
Anyway, we marshall our troops and Isselar does the same. We decide to rest the night so our magic users of all denominations will be fresh and ready. At around this point, we discover that one of the goblins has decided to appropriate the two remaining lizard eggs. Some of my more… vocal… companions decide to dissuade him. It isn’t long before he’s disabled, bleeding, and is stripped of all his possessions.
At this point, the goblin “king” is trying to gather people for the wedding. One of the goblins decides to light a fire (I presume as some sort of wedding bonfire, but… well… it’s a goblin). He picks one of the lakes of flammable tar.
In an effort to keep the rest of the goblins contained, I come up with a quest for them: fetch me a branch from the boab tree in one of the ziggurats. Naturally, they find a charauka spell caster. Who doesn’t seem too aware of the current cease-fire between our two forces. Or just doesn’t care.
So Gravy (my husband to be) tackles it. I can’t figure out if the goblin is trying to wrestle with or ride the charauka, and I can hardly fathom the barvery and stupidity behind the action, but I’m never one to pass up a fight, so I follow my fiance in. I choose to merely go through the wall, however. Turns out Gravy is a bit of a powerhouse at wrestling.
Assuming that this charauka has been dealing with Issilar, and that Issilar has been using telepathy to communicate, I tell the charauka to stand down via telepathy, hoping he will believe the order comes from Issilar. No such luck. In fact, he drops Gravy (who might be a powerhouse at wrestling, but he needs to put on some bulk to be better at it).
And then the charauka breathes fire at me. So, naturally, I do what any dragon kin would do. I return the favour. Unfortunately, his fire is a little more powerful than mine. So I just hit him with my sword. At this point, Issilar arrives and orders the charauka to stand down. The charauka defies him. So… I murder the charauka.
We are all a bit surprised to find that the charauka (whose name turns out to be Raogru) had in his possession the fourth focus stone. Issilar is a little more forgiving of our killing Raogru now in light of this evidence of betrayal.
Unfortunately, even with all four focus stones, we are unable to activate the pillar device. And so we leave for Saventh-Yhi with Issilar and his remaining few charauka. Unfortunately, this is as far as Zoo and Kadda decide to come, and they stay behind with Kalla’s body and Sharta-Meklesh’s long-comatose body to rendezvous with the caravan.