Part II of an open-ended, multi-setting, event-driven Forgotten Realms campaign

De Exilio continues the adventures of the eclectic band of "Misfits" who seem to have been chosen by the gods to stop the mysterious Samber, as they struggle to find a way to return from exile far in the northern wastelands of Toril.

The adventure continues what began in Part I: Imago_Deorum

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voys • reit • tryying • leest • sighlence • pheel • beeleev • thaen • schute • litull

Solisar is dead. A bad monster who triked us and pretended to be a woman did it.

I was not vary sad when Cassiera died because I knew that Hakam could fix her and he did but now Hakam's god is mad at him. I am mad at Hakam for not being kind and making that litull girl dead. Even though she was a bad monster I think that he should have bene kind and I think that that is why his god is mad at him too. If he had bene kind his god would not be mad at him and he would have already fixed Solisar but now he never can so I am mad about that. I do not know much about gods but I think that it is probably better to be kind than to follow rules some times.

I am also sad because Solisar was always kind to me and did not make fun of how I do not know as many things yet. In Hartzvale Tavis' land I sa people drip water from their ies when they were sad. I do not think that my ies drip water. I do not think that the Maker made it so that my ies can drip water.

Szordrin taught me how to spell these words that I guessed incorrectly last time because Solisar is not here to help me. I wish that he were Solisar though. I am also surprized that Szordrin wants to help me at all.

Many other things have also happened since I last wrote here. Hakam came back. He was not hurt. He smelled like purfyume though. Solisar and Szordrin tezed him about this but I beeleev him that he did not get the perfyume on himself from being close to Chalan and tryying to make a baby with her in the way that Cassiera told me that most krechers make babies. I think that that was why Szordrin was tezing him. I do not understand why they think that making babies is funny. Chalan is a woman whom I have never met but they told me about her. She helped them when they visited a floting sity while I was kept a prizoner by Tosvin. She follows a different god thaen Hakam a godes of darknes. I do not think that Hakam wants to make a baby with her since he probably thinks that she is bad but I also do not think that Hakam wants to make a baby with any one at al. I do not think that I can make babies. I think that the Maker would have to make one for me. I think that I would rather lay egs like chikhens and Cassiera do thaen lay babies like hyumens and elvs and gotes do. I just noticed that the word elf turns in to elv before the s when there is more thaen one. I wonder if there is a way to spell the letter s. I have only sene a gote lay a baby and it does not louk ezy.

I miss Cassiera. Now both Cassiera and Solisar are gone.

Hakam coming back safe was one of the good things. We then rode for a long time over sand. I had never sene sand before. I do not like it. Then we sa a strange krecher that they told me was called a sfinx. Al that it wanted was to play games but games with words and language not with bodies like Kytharrah's games or with cards or litull pesays like Cassiera's games. Hakam knew the anser to one that no one els did.

Then we came to an old sity where no one lived any more but we met a woman named Nulara who seemed friendly and needed help but she was only pretending and was really vary vary bad. I was not there because I had to stay with Tavis once again. When they were with her they found a flying bote. Solisar figured out how to make it fly. Then she told them that she was bad and made Solisar dead. She wanted to fly the bote. I do not know why she did not ask for them to giv her a ride. They probably would have said yes.

I had never bene on a bote before. It is suposed to go in water but this one goes in the sky with magic. It reminded me of flying on those giant birds from the top of that mowntin. I would enjoy it more but Solisar is dead so I do not pheel happy. I also spent most of this day watching Kytharrah because Nulara also used bad magic so that he can only stay awake for 9 owers and then he fals aslepe. Belvin asked me to watch him so I did. Now I am in a room that Tavis told me is just for me so that I can write what has happened. So these are the things that happened even though I wish vary vary much that some of them did not. I am not the Maker so I can not fix the things that I do not like that happen to me.

We are now wating for Hakam and Leokas. They are going to a sity to see if they can make Hakam's god not be mad at him any more. May be things will get better again.
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Chapter 4 — Atonement
~ fourth-day, 24th of Nightal, The Year of Wild Magic, moondark
Silverymoon


Leokas leading the way, the two hiked over well-packed snow along the western bank of the river, on what appeared to be a road used by farmers from the countryside. After an hour of walking, they came to the southern gates of the city. Between two towers in the stone wall, two guards stood before the doors, bearing lanterns. Their armor glistened in the moonlight.

   "Ho, what do we have here, Laethil?"

   "Travelers in the midst of night's heart?"

   "Must be adventurers! No one else walks about at this hour."

   "The one walks like an elf."

   "The other... does not."

   "Too short for an elf."

   "...Unless he is a drow. His skin color is darker."

   "Probably another one of those 'reformed' drow."

   "It seems to be the fad these days."

   "Are you going to mock us or ask us our business in the city?" Leokas asked, approaching the two guards. Hakam came up behind.

   "We meant no offense, brother elf," said the one in crisp Elven, and only then did Leokas notice that both of the men were elves. The guard continued, in Common. "It is near the end of our watch, and we would both much rather be at the Dancing Goat, quite honestly."

   "Unless you be orcs or goblinkin," said the other, "you are welcome in our city."

   (Leokas took more comfort in the fact that they opposed goblinkin than in their welcome.)

   "We are here on an urgent matter related to the Church of Anachtyr, whom I serve," said Hakam.

   "Mean you Tyr?" said the first guard. "This city is not known for its worship of the Triad."

   A look of frustration welled up on Hakam's face.

   "No, there is a temple to the Triad here," corrected the second guard. "Jornan worships there. It is between the House Invincible and Rhyester's Matins."

   "I am afraid that we do not know either of those places," said Leokas.

   "You stand at the Mulgate," said the guard, "one of the two gates to the southern bank. A wide road leads straight from here to the Moonbridge."

   "You cannot miss it," said the other guard.

   "It literally glows silver in the moonlight," said the second.

   "Yes, I know of it," said Leokas. "I hail from High Forest."

   "High Forest? Yet you have never visited the Gem of the North?"

   "I am not one for cities," said Leokas.

   "You may feel differently about Silverymoon," said the first guard.

   "In any case," continued the other, "cross the bridge. It will look insubstantial, because it is, but the magic will not fail you. I cross it multiple times per day. Once in Northbank, continue to follow the Moonway road. You will be in the older part of the city, so the roads are narrower, but do not veer from it. You will pass Brightbuckler Street, which has many shops, and then the road will intersect another one of about the same size after about 100 yards. This is the Ghostwalk. Take a right. In about 100 feet, you will reach a four-way intersection. One of the roads here is especially wide, because it used to be the site of the old wall of the city, follow it east to the large open space of the Market. Across the Market, you will see a massive fortress-looking building. That is the House Invincible, the temple to Helm. There should be an alley to the right of the temple. Three or four buildings down that alley, you should find the temples to the Triad. There are three separate buildings. They are not small; they simply lack the fame that some of the other temples in the city hold."

   "Most of us elves worship at Everdusk Hall," added the other guard.

   "I thank you for your assistance, sirs," said Hakam.

   "If you get lost, just make your way to any intersection. All the cistern covers in the city have a green arrow painted on them denoting north."

   "I am certain that we will manage," said Leokas.

   One of the guards turned to open the door. Then each guard took a bow and motioned for them to pass through. "Enjoy your visit, and may you find whatever it is you seek for or from your deity."

   Once they had passed through the doors, Hakam and Leokas felt more like they were taking a walk through a fancy garden than through a city. Some magic seemed to have kept the winter chill outside the gates, and the smell of flowers was in the air.

   "These are shadowtops," said Leokas, pointing at some tall trees, "and oaks, and duskwoods."

   "Shadowtops are those trees that grow in the Golden Grove in my city of Memnon, are they not?" asked Hakam.

   "Yes," said Leokas. His voice drifted off. He had bittersweet memories of that grove with the golden-leafed tree....

   They walked on leaf-shaped flagstone sidewalks along a cobblestone street. The way was lit by countless tiny lanterns, magically glowing with a color reminiscent of the Feywild. Leokas, with his elven eyes, was able to appreciate the beauty of the city more than Hakam, who could not make out as many details in the dim light, but Leokas took note of the many balconies and curving staircases. Every work of construction here seemed to have elegant curves to it, as if the buildings had grown, rather than were built, much like an elven settlement. Even though Silverymoon was primarily a human city, they clearly were trying to imitate elven art, and Leokas had to admit that they did so well.

   After about a tenth of a mile, they had passed through the entire width of the southern bank of the city and reached the famous Moonbridge. They could see its silver glow from beyond the buildings and trees before they could see the bridge itself. They first crossed between the two circular guard towers, where another pair of Knights in Silver nodded at them in greeting. Then the bridge was there before them, steeply ascending in a high arc over the dark river below. It sparkled like silver moonlight and was transparent. Ripples of energy visibly traversed its surface. It seemed to be about fifteen feet wide and a couple feet thick.

   "It is a magical drawbridge," Leokas explained.

   "Let us hope it does not recede while we are on it," said Hakam.

   There were no railings, so Hakam stuck to the center, as they walked on what felt to their steps like glass. Leokas walked near the edge, so that he could gaze down into the cold waters, which reflected the starlight, some 60 feet below at the highest point of the arc.

   They safely reached the other side and continued. As the gate guards had said, this northern bank was the older part of the city, and this was immediately obvious, yet it was equally as beautiful.

   After 50 feet, they began to hear a loud ruckus. It soon became apparent that the noise was coming from a tavern ahead. A sign swinging gently in the breeze portrayed a goat on his hind legs, dancing with a maiden.

   "This must be the Dancing Goat that the guard mentioned," noted Hakam, as they passed by.

   They saw a sign for Brightbuckler Street, which joined the street on which they were walking. Here was a strange stone building with a perfectly round door.

   "'The Shining Scroll,'" read Leokas. "Szordrin and Solisar might like to know about this place if ever we return here."

   Just beyond Brightbuckler, as the guards had said, they came to a street named the Ghostwalk and followed it east. This took them to a much larger road that ran east-to-west. The street sign read, "Old Wall." They followed it east. After a short walk, they came to a great open space, so long across that not even Leokas could see the end of it as he looked south. It was filled with empty stalls and tables for market shops and wares.

   "That must be the temple of Helm there," said Hakam. "We are close."

   As instructed, they walked into a side alley on the right of this stone temple. This must have been a religious district, for they passed shrines to the Red Knight, Tempus, and Valkur on way before reaching the three-temple cluster of buildings dedicated to the Triad. "Anachtyr heads the Triad," said Hakam. "His temple will be the largest of these three."

   Hakam had assumed correctly. While not as impressive to eyes as the House of Justice in Memnon, this temple to Tyr was as elegantly constructed as the other buildings in the city but — Hakam observed — was far more balanced and symmetrical.

   "I shall wait there in that little garden park," said Leokas, pointing to the north.

   So Hakam boldly entered the great doors to the temple. Heavily armored guards at first held their swords out to stop him, but then pulled back to let him pass.

   "Pardon us, sir," said one of them. "We did not recognize you for one of our southern priests at first. It is not often that we are visited by members of the sect of Anachtyr."

   Hakam asked them if any of the head clerics were available.

   "Only the acolytes are about at this late hour," said one of the temple guards.

   "If the matter is urgent," said the other, "we can wake the High Lord Abbot."

   "It is urgent," said Hakam. "Please wake him."

   "Follow me, sir; I will lead you to a waiting room until he comes."

   After thirty minutes or so, a human man entered the room, clad richly in blue and violet robes, with a silver Tyrran holy symbol about his neck and a white sash as a belt. His left hand was covered in a white glove; his right in a black one.

   Hakam bowed. "Rafayam, sir, forgive me for waking you at this late hour."

   "Fret not," said the high priest. "I was already up, preparing for the dawn prayers. You are one of our southern brothers, I presume. Truly, you would not have come so far and at such an hour were the matter not urgent. I am High Lord Abbot Hornraven."

   "Hakam yn Hamdulah el Anachtyr. Indeed, the Just God had chosen me for a task, but his enemies have continually assailed us to set us back from completing our holy quest. My companions and I have been exiled by powerful magics far to the north, though our goal lies far to the south, greatly setting us back in this time-sensitive matter. In my zeal to return to the task assigned me by my god and yours, I sinned greatly, and Anachtyr has disciplined me by removing his blessing from me. This has caused harm to both myself and my companions, and yesterday, one of them was slain, because I did not have the power to prevent what I easily could have, had I not sinned.

   "In this tragedy, there was hope given us. The Even-Handed permitted that we should find suddenly a means of quick transportation. Thus, I have come here posthaste, to seek atonement for my deeds, that I may restore my companion to life, that we may at last complete the mission given us from Anachtyr. May his laws forever stand."

   "In your zeal, how exactly have you sinned?" asked the High Lord Abbot.

   "When fighting in self-defense against monsters of chaos and evil, I slew one who had not yet reached the age of accountability. It was wrong of me to judge such a being, when even in Anachtyr's eyes, she was innocent and not yet irredeemable."

   "Indeed, one must not forget that the Just God is a god of both justice and mercy. What did you do to reverse your error? Was the girl raised?"

   "Her body was burned with her family, for such is how her people see to the bodies of the dead."

   "That is unfortunate. What sort of 'monsters' were her people?"

   "She was born of a family of werewolves, who betrayed and ambushed us, after we had escorted them in safety."

   "Werewolves? In such a case, her death may ultimately have been a mercy, though such was not for you to have decided."

   "Yes, Lord Abbot. It is true."

   "Permit me time to seek guidance from our god. Spend this time in meditation and prayer yourself; then, join me in the sanctuary in half an hour. If Tyr permit it, I shall offer atonement for your sins there."

~~~~

Thirty minutes later, Hakam reverently entered the main sanctuary of the temple. The large chamber was lit with purple, blue, and white candles. At one end of the room was a judge's podium, which many pews faced. Behind the podium, against the back wall, was a massive statue of the Maimed God Tyr, with eyes gouged out and no right hand. His left hand rested on a longsword. In the front of the podium was a massive balance scale. Abbot Hornraven was standing by the balance. No one else was yet in the room, as morning prayers did not begin for another few hours still, for dawn came later in the winter in the North.

   "Come forward, you who bear the burden of guilt for your misdeeds and kneel before the Great Judge." The High Lord Abbot was now quoting from a liturgy. Hakam obeyed, coming forward and kneeling before the balance. The abbot was carrying a large vase. He approached the scale and filled each pan of it with an aromatic oil, taking care to add exactly the same amount to each pan. Then he prayed, "God of Justice, accept this offering as a fragrant smell. May it symbolize our prayers. May my prayers join those of this repentant follower in seeking thy forgiveness."

   In answer to this prayer, the pans supernaturally ignited into flame, and burned with a blue-violet glow upon the surface of the oil for the remainder of the ceremony.

   Then the abbot stepped up behind the podium and opened a large book of laws. "God of Justice, remind us of the justice that you have passed down to us, encoded in these laws that we strive always to follow."

   Hakam knew that every temple to Tyr maintained a massive book of laws. No two temples had the same law book, since the laws of every land and even town differed. What was important is that a law was established, not what those exact laws were.

   So it was that, when Abbot Hornraven spent the next hour methodically reading through laws of Silverymoon, Hakam was not as bored as the average soul might be. He had an opportunity to learn of the laws of this region of the north, finding then rather lax for his own tastes. He also noticed, however, that a focus of the abbot's readings regarded laws of parents and their children, inheritance, age of responsibility, and other such matters of age, as well as sections regarding sentences for crimes and what options a judge would have for administering justice and mercy.

   "Now, Hakam Anachtyr," said the abbot, when he had closed the book of laws, "confess your sin, how you have violated the spirit of these laws if not these laws themselves."

   "I confess to you, High Lord Abbot, and to Anachtyr, the Even-Handed, that I have sinned by passing judgment and sentence on one not culpable for her crimes. I have failed as the example and representative of justice that Anachtyr has called me to be."

   Hornraven stepped down from the podium and approached Hakam. "Do you repent of your misdeed? Do you solemnly vow to right your actions in whichever way that Tyr demands?"

   "I do."

   "Blind Overlord, be blind to the sins that this servant of thine has committed, for thou hast heard his words of repentance." The abbot then placed a hand upon Hakam's shoulder as he continued kneeling and bowing his head. Immediately, Hakam felt a surge of power return to him.

   "By the power granted me by Tyr, I atone you of your sin. You are restored into the service of the Maimed God. Rise again as a cleric of justice."

   Hakam stood, looking somewhat confused. "Is there no task to be given me?"

   "Tyr has revealed to me that the task that you have already been given is so great that no further act of propitiation is needed. I must say that I do not envy the quest that he has given you, as I feel that the matter has the attention of many gods both light and dark."

~~~~

Hakam stepped out into the dawn light with joy. He had just shared in the morning prayers with the other worshipers of Tyr, and now he knew that his prayers for powers were heard and answered. He walked down the alley in Silverymoon with a new sense of purpose, as acolytes of various faiths were coming and going from their various temples or shrines.

   "What penance were you given?" Leokas asked when Hakam met him in the nearby park.

   "Nothing, save to follow Anachtyr's righteous path."

   "To stop Samber?"

   "Yes, to stop Samber."
Session: 91st Game Session - Wednesday, May 31 2017 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 4 — Change of Plans
Hakam stumbled into the helm room to join the others. Belvin was standing naked over the serpentine form of what was once Nulara, hacking away at the thick, twitching tail. Everyone was splattered with black blood.

   "She does not have her head, my friend," said Leokas in Elvish. "Cease. She is dead."

   "What in Anachtyr's name happened?" asked Hakam. Then he saw the minotaur's bulky form on the ground and Solisar's red-stained form slumped over in the chair. He rushed over to the sun elf.

   "You are too late," said Leokas. "He is dead as well."

   "Even were he 'on time', what could he do without his powers," remarked Szordrin.

   "The minotaur?" Ignoring the comment, the cleric moved to Kytharrah and stooped down to check on him. "I see no wounds," he reported.

   "She felled him with her fey touch," said Szordrin. "She touched me also, but I resisted her." The tiefling stooped down, ignoring the woozy feeling he actually felt, and began collecting lamia blood in a vial after drinking its healing contents.

   "He is still breathing," said Hakam, in reference to the minotaur. "He seems to be sound asleep." Indeed, Kytharrah had a large amount of drool draining from his mouth, and he periodically twitched.

   "Perhaps he is trapped in dreams, as happened to Jayce's companion," Leokas said.

   Hakam shook the beast. Kytharrah made a strange sound that they had never heard before, a sort of half-snort, half-lowing moan. In any case, it did not sound pleasant, and he did not wake up.

   "I will ask Thard Harr to grant him the wisdom of the owl tomorrow morning, which should wake him," said Belvin. "For now, we shall just have to drag him over to the wall to get him out of the way."

   "More importantly," Hakam replied, "I should point out that we should not have trusted this fiend." He pointed at Nulara's severed and impaled head.

   "Regrets and accusations do not bring back the dead," said Belvin, moving to Solisar and lifting his limp body off the chair. "Thard Harr, however, can. I shall reincarnate Solisar tomorrow as well."

   "No," said Hakam. "We still have time to raise him. Can any one else besides Solisar fly this magic vessel? We can take it to the nearest city with a temple of Anachtyr, and I will gain my powers back. Then I will bring Solisar back to us."

   "I am certain that Tavis will be understanding if we have to take a detour," said Leokas.

   "Will the magic of your geas allow it though?" asked Hakam.

   "I am not abandoning my duty to guard Jhothûn," the wood elf replied. "With this vessel, we will arrive at the portal more quickly than otherwise, even if we stop in Silverymoon, which is the nearest city of which I know."

   Belvin carefully laid the sun elf's corpse next to the minotaur.

   "What makes you so sure that your god will give you your powers back?" Szordrin asked Hakam. "Has he not ignored all your prayers to do so until now?"

   "The matter must be dealt with in a place holy to Anachtyr and presided over by one of his priests," Hakam replied. "We have discussed this!"

   "It still seems presumptuous to me," said Szordrin.

   "Look, the next thing we need to do is get back to the others," said Leokas.

   "The next thing I need to do is get my camel and gear," said Belvin, who was still unclothed. He stepped out onto the deck.

   "I agree that we should return to Tavis quickly," said Hakam, "but if we can fly there, we may as well." He ripped some cloth from Nulara's clothing and used some water to clean Solisar's blood from the helm chair. Satisfied, he sat down on it and leaned his head back. Nothing happened.

   "Let me try," said Szordrin. "Perhaps it requires someone more sensitive to the Weave." The chair did not react to Szordrin sitting in it either.

   "We have not fallen from the sky," noted Hakam. "It seems whatever power Solisar gave the vessel remains in it, at least for the time being."

~~~~

While Leokas and Szordrin remained on the deck of the floating but stationary vessel, scanning the desert ruins for any further sign of lamias, Hakam and Belvin returned to Tavis.

   The firbolg saw them from a distance and immediately sensed that something was wrong. He came over to them with his lengthy strides. "What happened?"

   "We were deceived by Nulara," said Hakam. "She is defeated, but two of us have fallen. Solisar is dead, and the minotaur is in a perpetual, nightmare-filled sleep."

   "She was a lamia noble," added Belvin.

   "This journey grows more dangerous by the day," said Tavis, "and I feel guilt that had I been there, these two good people might have been saved. Curse my promise to Brianna!"

   "The quest must continue," said Hakam, "but there is still hope, for Anachtyr has blessed us with the discovery of a spelljammer, a magical flying vessel. If we fly to a nearby city with a temple to Anychtyr, I believe that I can have my powers restored and can raise Solisar and restore Kytharrah. With the spelljammer, it is likely that we can arrive at the portal more quickly than had we continued directly from here on foot."

   Ilthian reached them and asked where the others were.

   "We found a boat that can fly," repeated Hakam somberly, "but we fought an unexpected battle with evil monsters, and Solisar and the minotuar fell."

   "Fell?" she asked. "Why can they not get back up again?"

   "They are dead," said Belvin, "like what happened to Cassiera."

   Ilthian gasped and covered her mouth in shock. By now she understood death much better than she did when they had first met her.

   "Who will teach me how to write?" she asked, distraught. "Hakam cannot fix them, since his god is mad at him!"

   "Only Solisar is dead," said Hakam. "The minotaur is only sleeping. I will fix them both. We just need to visit a city first."

   "His name is Kytharrah!" she said, her voice tinged with an anger that Hakam had never heard from Ilthian before. "Solisar named him." She turned away from the others. She did not appear to be crying, but she sounded like she might.

   "I agree that we should travel to the nearest city to seek atonement from your god and try to bring our friends back," said Tavis. "We should not tarry. Lead me to this flying vessel. Come, Kaedlaw."

~~~~

Ilthian had stood aloof and distraught after seeing the bodies of Solisar and Kytharrah. They had since been moved into one of the cabins of the ship. Nulara's body and head had been tossed from the ship, burned, and covered with stones.

   "Do not worry, Ilthian," said Szordrin, once the two groups had rejoined on the floating ship. "I can teach you how to read and write."

   "Thank you," said Ilthian to Szordrin, "but I do not want to learn new words right now."

   "Let her be," whispered Hakam.

   The remaining adventurers were in the room where the battle had happened. Szordrin had just finished examining the desk that was also in the room with the magic chair. Its surface was covered in circular grooves around a large embedded yellow marble. Other marbles of various shapes and sizes filled the circular grooves, but no amount of pushing would move the marbles by hand. They seemed affixed in place by some magic.

   Belvin was busy, crouched on the floor, trying to use magic to warp the floor boards in such a way as to make washing them of blood easier. Next to him, Hakam was showing Tavis, who had to shrink his form to fit in the space, the magic chair. It still did not respond to anyone else sitting in it.

   "Ilthian, can you try to sit in the chair and see what happens?" asked Leokas gently.

   She tried, but there was no response for her either.

   "May I try, too, Papa?" asked Kaedlaw. Likewise, the chair ignored the half-giant child.

   "We may be able to fly it somehow tomorrow," said Hakam. "If not, we shall have no choice but to abandon this ship and continue on to the genie on foot."

   "We shall have to sleep on the ground tonight," said Leokas. "If the power from Solisar that is keeping this ship afloat fails in the middle of the night...."

   "We would risk more lamias finding us," said Hakam, "but I do not see another option. I agree."

   "I do not have a rope trick prepared today," said Szordrin. "I was counting on Solisar for that. We will be more vulnerable on the ground even than usual."

   "We will rest close to each other with our weapons ready, and keep a close watch" said Tavis, "some distance from the craft, in case it falls from the sky. I see little else for us to do."

~~~~

Dawn came to the ruins of Hlaungadath, and they each thanked their patron gods that it had done so without further incident. The vessel still floated in the sky, and they had neither seen nor heard any sign of lamias.

   Belvin greeted the sun with a strange frantic dance in a circle.

   "What was that for, my friend," Leokas asked.

   "Since Solisar is dead," said the wild elf, "we cannot know any longer who is watching us. I wanted to know where Samber was relative to us."

   "And?"

   "He is southwest of us. I can only tell you the direction."

   "That is what we would expect if he were still a prisoner of the mummy priestess," said Hakam. "Where is Szordrin?"

   "He climbed back onto the ship," said Leokas.

   Indeed, Szordrin had wasted no time in reading a scroll for a spell that would reveal to him the mysteries of the chair's magic. Among other details, this is what he learned.

   The chair drained whoever sat in it of all magical power for a full day, even temporarily wiping the mind of a wizard of memorized spells, and formed a bond with him or her. The helmsman's senses would be expanded to become one with the ship. For the next twenty-four hours, the vessel would generate its own lift, its own gravity, (if no stronger gravity source was present,) and an invisible ellipsoid wall of force that would trap a bubble of air around the craft. During this time, if the helmsman remained seated in the chair, he or she could provide momentum to the ship, and pilot it by force of will. After eight hours, a new helmsman could sit in the chair and form a bond with it, replacing the previous helmsman. Anyone with magical power of any sort could pilot the spelljammer; however, those with more skill with the Weave or greater blessing from the gods could do so with more skill and effect.

   It was also revealed to Szordrin that the ship contained a large plate of star metal embedded in one of the lower decks. This plate was the center of the bubble of air and gravity that the ship produced.

   Szordrin shared this information with the others, and they discussed who should try to pilot it first.

   "I should sit in it first," said Hakam. "With my powers still stripped, it is likely that I shall fail, but if I succeed, none of the rest of you will have to sacrifice your magics."

   As predicted, the chair did not respond to Hakam sitting in it at all.

   "I can pilot it later," said Belvin, "but I need some of my magic for other tasks this morning."

   "What other tasks?" someone asked.

   "We need to wake the minotaur sooner rather than later," said Belvin. "I am sure his bladder is much larger than Oma's was. Also, I intend to repair the foremast, and he will be helpful in that."

   "The pearl that I purchased from Hartwick," said Leokas, "I suspect that it will restore to me the powers of the daily prayer that Solonor permits me, if the chair strips them. It makes sense that I should pilot the vessel."

   "You are the weakest among us in magical prowess," said Szordrin. "You will have the least control."

   "What need have we of control?" said Leokas. "We are not maneuvering in a sea battle; we are simply flying in a straight line to a city, are we not? And I am best among all of us, save Tavis, at following the lay of the land."

   They all agreed to this plan.

   "To which city are we going?" asked Belvin.

   "Tavis and I think that Silverymoon, the city to which Mythlos, Cassiera, and my mother were first heading, is our best and fastest option," said Leokas.

   "It is said to be one of the largest cities of the North," said Hakam. "It will certainly have a temple to Anachtyr."

   "Then let us hurry and go there," said Leokas. He moved to the chair and sat down in it. As he pressed his head back, he felt like his whole body was immersed in warm water, and it felt like his senses were somehow exploding. He cried out, as if in pain.

   "Pull him off!" said Hakam.

   "No, I am unhurt," said Leokas. "It was just overwhelming. I think I understand what I am feeling now."

   What he was feeling was every exposed surface of wood on the vessel as if it were his own skin, in addition to seeing from all angles at once everything within the "bubble" projected around the star metal at the center of the ship.

   "Can you move it?" asked Hakam.

   "I am not sure how," said Leokas.

   "Recall how you walked on air on the Great Glacier," said Szordrin, "from Hakam's magic. Perhaps it is similar."

   The ship jerked forward, nearly knocking everyone over.

   "Yes, I can do this," said Leokas.

   "Not yet!" said Belvin. "Kamil is still on the surface."

   "I shall go ask Tavis if he can carry the camels on his shoulders up the rope," said Hakam.

   The firbolg had no problem doing so. The large animals were then leashed securely to the upper deck. Meanwhile, Belvin went to the cabin where they had placed Solisar and Kytharrah's bodies. Ilthian was there besides Kytharrah, stroking his fur and speaking to him, though the minotaur made no response besides occasional pained lowing. "Move away," said Belvin, "and I will wake him." Ilthian obeyed, and Belvin chanted a prayer over the beast.

   Kytharrah jumped up with a start, smacking his head into the ceiling, cracking it, and getting his horns stuck. "No! I was good," he shouted pitifully, flailing his arms in an attempt to escape the debris that had endlessly crushed him in his dreams.

   "You are safe, big brother!" said Ilthian. "You are not trapped."

   Kytharrah stopped thrashing and dislodged his horns from the ceiling with his paws. He seemed confused still, but his relief was palpable.

   "You were only dreaming," said Belvin. Then he turned to Ilthian. "Keep an eye on him; he will only be awake for nine hours, and then he will fall suddenly into a deep sleep again. Make sure that he does not fall off the ship or crush someone when that happens."

   "I am never sleeping again!" declared the minotaur.

   "Nine hours is a long time from now," Ilthain replied to Belvin.

   "I am telling you now in advance."

   Ilthian nodded.

   With Kytharrah and Tavis holding the cracked main mast in place, Belvin used Thard Harr's magic to repair and seal it. When he finished, it seemed as good as new.

   Before they "sailed", Szordrin tested out what would happen to his magic rope trick if cast while upon the deck of the ship. When Leokas moved the vessel forward, the rope continued to hang in the same spot in the sky. Once the ship had moved entirely out from under the rope, it suddenly fell to the ground.

   "Well, that is unfortunate," said Szordrin.

   The spelljammer was equipped with a small deck catapult and two small ballistae, all magically preserved and in good condition. Each ballista was loaded with a single large bolt, but there were no stones for the catapult. They sent Kytharrah out to grab a collection of large rubble to use with it, if they somehow were attacked from the sky. He took his job very seriously, and returned with several well-rounded stones that fit the catapult nicely.

   Once the mast was repaired, the camels and gear loaded, and the catapult stones set in place, Tavis and Kytharrah heaved up the anchor. Leokas sat back in the helm chair, and the preserved ancient sails billowed out, blown by Leokas' will to move the ship forward. Leokas' desire to move forward caused these magic winds to blow perfectly parrallel to the length of the ship, but the sails were not positioned properly to drive the ship forward. Instead, the spelljammer drifted through the sky more to the northeast. Since none of them except Solisar, who was of course unavailable, knew how to sail, it took them about an hour to get the ship moving in the direction that they wanted. Ultimately, Leokas started willing the ship to go in a direction slightly offset from the one he truly wanted, as if aiming an arrow in strong wind. At last they were off, hoping to reach Silverymoon before a day had passed.

   The voyage took a little more than 21 hours of constant sailing. Tavis estimated that they were traversing over the surface of Faerûn at about 17 miles every hour. When Leokas tired of controlling the winds that moved the ship, Szordrin replaced him so that the wood elf could rest. Belvin had spent much of the journey scanning the sky for dragons or other fell monsters with his magically enhanced vision. The skies, however, remained clear throughout the day. Kytharrah stood at the deck railing, enjoying the thrill of flying again, the wind blowing his fur about. It had been some time now since he had flown in a net carried by veserabs. Ilthian, true to her word, kept watching Kytharrah carefully, telling him constantly not to stand so closely to the edge because he might get sleepy again. He would listen to her and back off, only to seemingly forget and be back at the railing again.

   Closer to the end of the day, she was able to convince the minotaur to come study with her. Szordrin had offered to continue her reading and writing lessons. Thus, thankfully, when Belvin's wisdom-granting spell wore off and he passed out again, Kytharrah was not at the railing. After an instant of protest, his body crumbled to the ground with a thud.

   It was now just before dark. Tavis dragged Kytharrah's massive form below deck, and Ilthian retired to what would have been the captain's quarters, which Tavis insisted that she have to herself. Szordrin rested in his hammock, strung between a mast and a support beam below deck. The others had their usual bedrolls.

   They had retraced their path back to Ascore, flying due west. It was not hard at all to find the ruined dwarven city along the cliffs at the end of Anauroch. What stood out the most was the massive black dome of darkness from whatever it was the Shadovar were doing below.

   From Ascore, they had followed the road back to the Fork as best they could and then followed Fork Road from the sky west through Old Delzoun into Sundabar Vale. This took them between two mountain ranges, the Rauvin Mountains to the north and the snowcapped Nether Mountains to the south. They were in lands where none of them had ever been before, but between Leokas and Tavis, they were able to guess where they might be, and Fork Road grew wider and easier to follow from the air the longer they continued westward.

   Fourteen hours into their voyage, they flew over the citadel of Sundabar. Once a dwarven fortress, Tavis told them, much like Citadel Adbar farther northeast, Sundabar was now a human and dwarven city. Even at night, they could make out the double walls with the large moat between them. They stopped briefly overhead, deciding what route to take from here. By moonlight, Belvin could make out a road below continuing west from the fortress-city, but Szordrin could not see it, and he would be the one piloting the ship from here to Silverymoon. Instead, they decided to follow what they believed to be the River Rauvin. It seemed to start a short distance south of Sundabar from the intersection of two smaller rivers, and it flowed through a hilly pass in the Nether Mountains. Tavis and Leokas both were certain that Silverymoon was on the Rauvin; neither was certain that this river south of Sundabar was the Rauvin, but at least Szordrin could make it out from the sky.

   As Szordrin piloted their spelljammer, they passed over some violent rapids and a dimly lit town before following the ever-widening river as it snaked through the snowy hills of the mountain pass. On the other side, it turned and flowed more westerly, passing several towns and villages on a flat, snow-covered valley south of the Nether Mountains and north of a massive, seemingly endless woodland to the south, that must have been the High Forest, Leokas' old home.

   After four hours at the helm, Szordrin stopped the flying craft, as they came over a city on the river. He slowly lowered them to get a closer look.

   "While larger than any city I have ever seen," said Tavis, "I do not think it is Silverymoon. Silverymoon is supposed to have a famous silver-arched bridge, of which I see no sign here, and it lies west of the Nether Mountains. See, we still have not fully rounded them."

   Leokas, having just come out of trance, joined the discussion. "It must be Everlund," he said, "the closest human city to the northern borders of my forest. My mother and the others will likely pass through it on the way to the High Forest, but I doubt that they have even reached Silverymoon by foot yet. We should continue down the river; see, it curves sharply to the north here. It is 50 miles to Silverymoon from Everlund, I am told. We shall reach Silverymoon before night's heart ends."

   Three hours later, they indeed approached an even larger city, built on both sides of the river and sparkling in the light of the moon. Szordrin lowered the spelljammer until it came to float in the wide, icy river some three miles south and upstream from the city. He moved the ship as close to shore as carefully as he could, hoping they would be hidden by tree cover from any late-night travelers that might pass on the shore. In the cold of winter and the middle of the night, they did not expect anyone to be about. They woke Tavis, and he dropped the anchor.

   The plan was for only Hakam to enter the city with Leokas as his escort. Temples tended to be open all night long; if they could find a temple to Tyr, Hakam was certain a priest could also be found.
Session: 91st Game Session - Wednesday, May 31 2017 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 4 — Snake on a Spelljammer
Down on the ground, Belvin had Kamil crouch, and he hacked the head off the male lamia. He called to Hakam, "Do you see anything?"

   "No," the cleric called back. Hakam had walked through the wall illusion behind which the lamias had hid.

   Belvin then heard a sound.

   When Hakam stepped back through the illusionary, ruined wall, Belvin was gone, leaving Kamil there alone and Hakam confused.

~~~~

On board the spelljammer, Leokas heard Solisar's scream coming from the forecastle. He moved to the port side and readied an arrow.

   On the starboard side, Kytharrah heard the scream too. "Okay in there?" he asked. He had entered the forecastle and was approaching the door to the room with the magic chair.

   "Everyzing is fine," he heard Nulara answer, but when he tried to open the door, something or someone was blocking him from pressing it open, something or someone very strong.

   Szordrin finished climbing aboard with his spider magic and came up behind Leokas. The wood elf motioned for him to be quiet. Szordrin whispered a question about what was happening, but Leokas did not yet know. He opened the starboard-side door to the forecastle and cautiously entered, dropping his bow to the ground and drawing instead his longsword. He stepped to the door of the spelljammer helm room and stealthily opened it a crack. Tymora blessed them, for as he was doing so, the sound was masked by Kytharrah's shouting from the other side, "Someone hurt? I smell blood! Door is stuck!"

   With the door open a crack, Leokas could not see much, but what he did see was enough — the end of the tail of a very large snake draped across the floor.

   The wood elf back-stepped away from the door toward Szordrin, hand reaching towards his bow.

   Leokas' actions confirmed Szordrin's suspicions about what was happening. He withdrew a root shaving and quietly chanted some Draconic words. His movement grew suddenly faster. He picked up Leokas' bow and held it out for him to reach.

   On the other side of the helm room, Kytharrah shoved against the door for the third time and succeeded to force it open. For an instant, the young minotaur glimpsed his friend, Solisar, hunched over in the helm chair and covered in blood.

   "Go to sleep, you beast!" said Nulara, from behind the door. She shoved back, and slammed the door shut again.

   "No trick sleep!" said Kytharrah, shaking off the spell. On the contrary, he felt a surge of speed from the power of Szordrin's magic from the other side of the ship. Bellowing and snorting, he gave the door a forceful shove, but to no avail. Nulara was very strong! Frustrated, he drew his axe from its holder on his back.

   "You do not want to fight me," she said sweetly. "Do you have my bow for me?"

   Her charm was no more effective than her attempt to put the minotaur to sleep. Kytharrah was not sure what was happening, but he knew that Solisar needed help.

   "Solonor, swift death to my enemies," Leokas whispered, nocking two arrows at once, as he stepped back to take a shot through the slightly ajar door on the port side.

   However, Nulara heard him. Her bulky serpent tail slammed the door shut behind her, blocking Leokas on the other side so that she could deal with the persistent minotaur.

   But the minotaur was no longer playing. His large axe crashed through the door in a single swing, and Kytharrah heard Nulara shout out from the other side in pain or surprise or both. He began yanking back the shattered wooden planks with his huge paws. Nulara was there on the other side of the wrecked door. She was not wearing any clothes. Why? Was she about to change into a snake like Cassiera or Belvin? How did she grow as tall as him? Oh, she was half snake now already. Could Cassiera do that too? Cassiera was never that big of a snake though.

   Nulara gave up on the non-violent route of subduing the minotaur before her. She slashed wildly with her black dagger, knocking more broken door panels aside.

   Kytharrah stepped back and swung his axe. It was hard to swing in the confined quarters below the deck, but his blade cut across Nulara's bare midriff and then again through her lower serpent-like abdomen. Black blood and scales fell to the floor. She raised her dagger high for another swing, but Leokas kicked open the door behind her with his boot and loosed his arrows. One of the arrows drove deep into her back, but the second popped back out of her body without even drawing blood, and dropped to the floor.

   She shrieked in pain from the first arrow. Then, her tail slammed forcefully back at Leokas; it struck against the open door frame instead.

   Kytharrah took the opportunity to attempt to impale the lamia with his horns. They caught her below the rib cage and rocked her humanoid torso back, but when Kytharrah raised his head again, her chest was clear of even a scratch. Only her stomach was bleeding from his earlier swing.

   "Thard Harr, guide his swings!" Kytharrah turned his head for a moment to see a naked Belvin on the deck outside.

   Nulara took her opportunity and swung her dagger with enough ferocity that it could have cleaved off Kytharrah's arm, yet Thard Harr had heard Belvin's prayer and guided Kytharrah's instinctive parry of the blow. The black dagger miraculously got caught in the hook of the minotaur's axe blade. He twisted his wrist quickly, and the dagger blade snapped off its hilt with a crack.

   Nulara flew into a rage, slapping Kytharrah across the snout with the back of her hand. "You spawn...." Slap! "...of Baphomet!" Slap!

   "Ixen!" shouted Szordrin from his knees, where he was now crouched in front of Leokas, and a beam of flame shot from his hand. The fire wrapped completely around Nulara, causing her no harm at all, but it least it gave Kytharrah a chance to step back from the slapping.

   "She is resistant to the Weave!" Szordrin warned.

   Leokas nodded and began releasing arrows rapidly over Szordrin's shoulder, hasted by the roguish wizard's earlier spell, but Nulara was writhing about madly like a cornered animal, swinging her arms and long, razor sharp nails at Kytharrah. Only one of the elf's four arrows struck her in the arm, and she seemed hardly to care.

   Kytharrah fared a little better, striking her several more times, and leaving black gashes across her brown skin. It seemed to him like he was swinging at a tree, not at a creature. He swung his horns and missed and then his axe one last time, before Nulara struck him on the face. It did not even hurt him. Instead, he giggled, as if someone had told a funny joke, before collapsing to the ground with a thud to enter a sleep of nightmares.

   Her first foe bested, Nulara now twisted her form around, and swung her tail at Szordrin, but the tiefling was able to concentrate enough to send off a dagger of ice from his hands. Some unseen force sent the icicle crashing into the ceiling. Nulara laughed.

   "What is happening?" called Hakam from the deck. He had finally climbed Ormur and could hear shouting and see the naked wild elf chanting a complicated nature spell nearby. A dark cloud was forming over the forecastle.

   "We are betrayed!" shouted back Leokas. "The minotaur and Solisar are dead!"

   "Yesss," hissed Nulara. A forked tongue shot from her mouth. "...and you will both join them." Her tail flashed, swatting at Szordrin. It was not a powerful blow, but he instantly felt like he had had too much wine.

   Leokas reached for another arrow, but his quiver was empty.

   "Oh, out of arrows?" she gloated.

   The wood elf drew two instead from Szordrin's quiver and let the first fly, striking her below her right collarbone. She lunged forward, trying to catch his neck in her hands, but there was another twang, and her body fell to the ground. Leokas had put the second arrow through her forehead at point-blank range. "Now I am out of arrows," he said.

   He wasted no time grabbing his sword and hacking off Nulara's head. Black blood gushed from the neck stump and her long tail twitched and writhed spasmodically for a long time in the lamia's death throes.
Session: 91st Game Session - Wednesday, May 31 2017 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Chapter 4 — Lamiae
Leokas stepped to the railing of the floating ship and assayed his enemies. He had a perfect strategic vantage point. The creatures approaching were similar to centaurs in appearance with the lower bodies of beasts and bare upper torsos of stunningly attractive, tanned humans. There were five lamias in all, three of them with the bodies of large lions, one with the body of a goat, and the fifth with the body of a small deer or gazelle. One of the lion-bodied lamias was male; the rest had female torsos. Each carried a dagger in his or her hands or mouth. Beyond that they carried nothing else nor wore any sort of clothing or jewelry.

   Leokas stretched and cracked his neck and drew his weapon. He was ready for them.

   Nulara let fly an arrow at once. It whizzed past the neck of the goat-lamia. The lamia reached Nulara, hair blowing about wildly, and reared back, kicking with her forehooves. One hoof knocked the bow from Nulara's hands; the other struck her in the sternum, and Nulara fell to the ground.

   Leokas filled the lamia with three arrows, allowing Nulara to crawl away from the lamia's stomping hooves.

   The gazelle-lamia appeared to split into a total of five lamias, all of which rushed toward Szordrin in unison, surrounding him. Then Kytharrah, having rushed to the main deck and seen his friend surrounded, and leapt and crashed down unto one of the five, grunting from the painful impact. The lamia illusion popped out of existence. Szordrin darted behind his large companion for cover from the remaining four attackers.

   The two "lionesses" focused their attentions on Hakam. The first reached him and pulled him into a forceful embrace, before he could even draw his sword, pressing his face into her bosom. The second, stroked the back of his neck, while telling him how attractive and manly she found him.

   Hakam felt himself struggling with conflicting thoughts and emotions. The women were extraordinarily attractive to him, yet he knew that they were cursed and evil... and not women at all! It felt rather pleasant being held against the soft flesh of this fair creature.... No, she was a demon! She was draining his sanity. "Fiil," he mumbled. "Fiil tanmu!"

   Hakam felt himself being shoved back. He tumbled unto his back, freed from the lamia's grip as the magical elephant exploded out of the pouch where it had been attached to Hakam's belt. The two lamias were also shoved back. The elephant immediately pounded the nearby goat-lamia across the head with its muscular trunk, knocking her unconscious instantly. She fell limp to the ground and was then trampled to death by the massive pachyderm.

   The male lion-lamia was trying to leap onto the side of the boat. The first attempt, he failed. Solisar floated up beside Leokas, who was turning to seek a new target. He could not shoot at the male lamia, because it was too far below the craft. Solisar tossed a piece of glass down toward the lion, but instead of vanishing as it should have done, the glass simply fell to the ground below. "The Weave is not responding to me!" he exclaimed.

   Belvin swooped down out of the sky, braked with his wings, and morphed back into an elf, landing naked upon Kamil's back. He calmed his companion and guided the camel, who had been galloping away from the battle frightened, back to his pile of clothing and gear. As he turned around, he saw the elephant charging toward Kytharrah. The angry lioness who had lost her grip on Hakam had instead charmed the elephant with her sweet words and commanded it to attack the minotaur. "Kamil, fetch my pouch!" The camel bent down and picked up Belvin's pouch in his teeth, raising it to his master. Belvin began frantically to reach for his holly sprig, but he was not going to be fast enough. The elephant was upon Kytharrah.

   Moments before it would have gored its tusks into the young minotaur, Hakam yelled out from under the boat, "Fiil wa'iinkamsh! The elephant shrunk down into a figurine and rolled until it stopped near Kytharrah's feet.

   The other lioness-lamia followed behind, drawing her blade from between her teeth and waving it about her head. Leokas struck her twice with arrows, the second of which went through one side of her skull and came out the other. Then a column of fire fell down from the sky at Belvin's command and ensured that she was dead.

   From behind Kytharrah, Szordrin sent a ball of fire on the group of four identical gazelle-lamias as they were closing in. Each of them now shared precisely the same scorch marks on their otherwise flawless skin and the same grimaces of pain and anger. They leaned their human torsos forward, granting extended reach to their swinging arms, and clawed at Kytharrah. He noted that their fingers ended not in nails like Cassiera or Ilthian but in thick, pointed claws like his. At first he was confused by all the arms swinging at him, but he trusted his nose. "I smell you," he said, swinging his axe and cutting through the rightmost lamia's bare flesh and spraying foul, black blood. All four lamia's shrieked in pain. He swung again, and they dropped to the ground simultaneously.

   "I got all three," said Kytharrah, but he did not feel happy about it. They looked too much like Cassiera or Ilthian to him from the waist up, but the others who were smarter than him told him that lamias were very bad, so he tried to believe them.

   "Four," said Szordrin, as he spun around and blasted a jet of fire toward the lion-lamia underneath the ship where Leokas could not shoot at him. "You got four." The flames engulfed the male, and it stumbled. Solisar also flew out over the others, drawing his wand and shooting at the same target. At least his magic items still functioned. The male was persistent; despite the burns and magical pummeling, he leapt again onto the side of the ship. This time his claws caught hold, and he clung to the bottom of the vessel like a spider, with four lion claws and two humanoid hands holding onto the planks of wood. He began climbing the side.

   "Help me up!" It was Nulara calling. She had managed to climb up Ormur, but was having trouble pulling herself over the railing onto the deck.

   "Hold on!" said Leokas, who thought it more important to deal with the climbing lamia. He leaned over the railing and aimed his arrows straight down at the beast. A single arrow struck the male, and it crashed 40 feet to the ground with a thud.

   Solisar flew over and offered Nulara a hand. She took it, and he helped pull her aboard.

   "My zanks," she said. Then she drew her black dagger. "One is coming up the side!" she warned, readying herself.

   "Not anymore," said Leokas. He raised his bow and fired off two more arrows at the remaining lioness, striking her in her tawny, furred flank, just as she was raising her arm to point at Kytharrah. "Dreams upon you!" the lamia shouted.

   "I feel sleepy!" said Kytharrah.

   "Fight it! Stay awake!" urged Szordrin, coming now from behind the cover of the hairy beast. He completed a spell and send a barrage of snowballs at the lamia female.

   Covered now in snow, with two arrows in her hide, and seeing all four of her companions dead or dying, she bolted to the north.

   Belvin started summoning allies to pursue her, as Hakam rushed over to the four fallen lamias around Kytharrah. They were still breathing, though a large pool of black blood stained the sand around them. "Which one is the real one?" he asked Kytharrah.

   "That one," said Kytharrah, a hint of sadness in his voice.

   Hakam plunged his blade through the left side of her back and then through the side of her deer-like body to ensure that she was dead. The three duplicates and the gore beneath them vanished.

   Leokas moved quickly to the starboard of the flying ship and watched as the fleeing lamia appeared again on the same side. He sent two arrows after her with a single pull of the bowstring. They struck her in the back. She staggered but then recovered and kept running, taking cover behind a ruined wall so that Leokas no longer had a line of sight.

   Four dire weasels appeared, and Belvin sent them in pursuit. Solisar had flown quickly back inside the forecastle of the ship and sat back in the magic chair. He directed the ship to move, and it jerked forward, positioning Leokas for a clear shot. He took it. The lamia fell to the ground. Moments later, she was overtaken by the four squeaking weasels who brought her to a disturbing end.

   "Victory!" yelled Belvin in the Elven tongue. He then rode to the male lamia to check that it was indeed dead. Hakam recovered the elephant figurine and began walking toward the false wall from which the attackers had come. Szrodrin, having cast another spell, jumped and stuck to the side of the boat by his magic and began to climb on all fours. Kytharrah picked up Nulara's bow and began to climb Ormur again. "I have your bow!" he called up.

   Nulara came into the central room where the magic chair was located, with Solisar sitting in it. "Ze battle is over," she told him. "We are safe. Zey are all dead."

   "Yes, I can see that."

   "Is zat how it flies?" she asked. Solisar was distracted, for he was trying to test his control over the vessel. Could he speak to the others on the ship through the chair? Could he do more than see and move? It had drained him of his magical power, yet he had been able to leave the chair and return, and it remained in the air in his absence.

   "Yes," he finally answered her, "though I still have many questions about it."

   Nulara's face was filled with excitement and delight. "Many years have I wondered about this ship!" she said. "You have served my purposes better than I had hoped; I thank you." With that, she stared directly at Solisar with a look of lust, or perhaps hunger.

   Solisar realized also that she no longer had an accent. He tried to get up, but before he could respond, her black dagger flashed in her hand. She plunged the blade deep into his chest with three stabs, an evil grin on her face the whole time.

   Solisar screamed. The shock of the attack meant that he did not notice the pain much. Instead, with his last strained, blood-filled breaths, he could sense that it was the poison of the weapon that was ultimately going to kill him. He felt his strength draining away.

   "My children proved weaker than I had hoped," Nulara said, as she nonchalantly slid the shoulder of her garment off with her hand. The thin fabrics fell to her waist, baring her breasts, and pooling at her wide hips. Then, it seemed as if she suddenly grew taller, and her clothing slipped completely from her body, revealing not the lower half of a woman but the terrifying form of a giant serpent. "At least there will be fewer mouths to feed."
Session: 90th Game Session - Wednesday, May 24 2017 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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