Chapter 47: Rallying
Shall we use the pantope to make a diversionary attack on Dinlai's beseigers while we get Dinlai into her Eyrie by witchwalking? Sounds like a plan. Except that we don't have either the pantope or a witchwalker. Could Leila teleport Tom home to fetch them? She'll try.
First, an exchange of tokens, to aid the return trip. Leila gives Daphne a bit of sparkly glamour ("Oo! Pretty!") and Tom gives Daphne his psi-battery ring (not nearly as pretty). Leila will try to take Markel, too, to fetch his dragon. Adding an enemy dragon to the mix might confuse the beseigers further.
Leila then turns into a starry silhouette, disperses, and vanishes. Without us.
It becomes a little darker in our corner of the canyon. The darkness collapses into a black dust-devil, which condenses into Leila. Oops. She'll try again.
Next time, she succeeds, and the three of us appear back in Lanthil, near the gate to the underground Dwarven Quarter. We walk back to the castle. Markel and Leila head off to the tower that his dragon most frequents, while Tom heads to the tower with his lab in it. The pantope is still parked there, and he reclaims the helm.
Markel, meanwhile, has introduced Leila to his dragon, who shows no enthusiasm but also seems willing to put up with her. Tom gates over to them, picks all three of them up, then heads on to get our witchwalker — Daewen.
We gate to the cottage and are in luck: she's in. In fact, she's in chainmail and looks like she's just finished something tiring. But she's willing to come with us. She merely steps back into the cottage, then steps out again looking considerably fresher and more rested. Witchwalking through time is a very handy skill. She then picks up her sword Twilight and enters the pantope.
We gate back to the canyon without incident, and Tom reclaims his psi battery. Daewen and Dinlai haven't met, it turns out. Actually, none of us has met Dinlai yet, not even Tom, except Dafnord, even though Dinlai has met us. We've been tactfully ignoring this time-twist, but it's now up to Dafnord to make introductions all around. He does so.
We discuss tactical details. Dinlai would like to be escorted into her Eyrie by witchwalker and conduct her side of the fight from there, with the Neat Stuff she has stored there. Our foes have interdimensional tricks of their own, so we will use the pantope and the dragon to distract them with Flying Attack Windows and Stupid Pantope Tricks while Dinlai and Daewen witchwalk in.
To do this, Dafnord thinks he'd like some really big guns. He's left some on the Munch. Accordingly we gate to the Munch, where Dafnord notices a little oval spot on a bulkhead on the bridge. Apparently, it's some tag of Daewen's, for she apologizes for it and removes it.
We ask Edvard how things have been, and the computer reports an unusually high level of traffic, considering we are in high orbit above the ecliptic. Someone (Allied Epochs?) is watching the Munch, but we've no way to tell who. They started some time before our latest series of visits. One more thing to bear in mind, but no immediate action seems possible. Dafnord grabs his big guns and we gate back.
Daewen now steps onto Dinlai's little air-skiff and gives it a serious looking over, along with the surroundings. She warns us that our hi-tech ray guns may not work well here, outside the pantope. (The solution is to stand in the pantope and fire out...)
Dinlai recommends we start the pantope's flying-window attack from a little side-canyon she knows of. Tom agrees and gives her one of his calling-cards — tear it to establish telepathic contact with him, to give the word to start.
©1984, 1994, 2005 Earl Wajenberg. All Rights Reserved.