Week 15, Reunion
We left our heroes in an indeterminate place of mud and mist, partly in the cellar of Jacob Braithwaite's house and partly, it seemed, somewhere much less pleasant. They were battling demons in the mud, or forming from it, and had just fired on figures approaching through the mist. One sent a fireball back. This turned out to be a blaster bolt, and the figures turned out to be Cantrel and Daewen. Oops.
The people in the mud, realizing their mistake, return their attentions to the mud monsters. Their chief concern is an ugly gigantic thing we will call Bat-Ears. He has an annoying talent for ducking our fire, and for ignoring the bits that do hit. Eventually, Alag manages to lob a few magic arrows into him and he falls down dead -- on top of Pfusand.
Back in the mist, Cantrel feels something come up behind him and ducks, covering with his shield. He notices a humanoid outline rippling back under the mud. Just then, Daewen fires at something behind him and gets thrown over Cantrel to land in the mud. "Duck!" she yells at him. He ducks down further and she fires over his back. She then leaps back behind Cantrel, her sword Twilight out and swinging. After a particularly vicious CLANG!, a battle-axe with a greenish hand still attached lands beside Cantrel. He starts in on a Flight spell.
Back in the mud-pits, Tom has sunk to waist-level, pulled under by some unseen thing with claws. Chris and Alag combine their TK with Tom's and pull him free. He hovers on TK and they turn their attention to the tentacles grabbing at Lorelei. A hand comes groping for Pfusand; she shoots it.
On the ground, Daewen is battling away with sword and blaster, sunburning Cantrel's neck as she fires over it from time to time. Cantrel, meanwhile, has completed his Flight spell. Just as he lofts, he hears leathery wings beating behind him. Something claws at his sides, but slides off the armor. At long last, he turns around to see what's chasing him: a bat-winged humanoid we will call a "harpy." He backs air frantically, slips out of its claws, pulls his disflorger, and fires.
Harpy fragments shower down on the nether-mud while Cantrel and Daewen go flying from the recoil. Alag dodges friends and relations.
Sophie, meanwhile, has noticed that the diadem detector is reading rather more faintly than before. We are worried that the segment may be leaving us -- perhaps into this misty demon-world that has joined up with this mortal one. So, while some of us rush to Daewen's aid, other rush in to check out the diadem readings. Or perhaps motives are mixed within individuals. Anyway, we all go barreling into the mist, on foot or in the air, dodging and wrestling the occasional tentacle, except for Cantrel and Lorelei.
Lorelei is suspended in mid-air on someone else's TK, off the dangerous mud. (She can't fly by herself.) Cantrel hovers beside her, mounting guard with his disflorger, while she throws healing magic into him. (He's mortally wounded.) A one-armed version of Bat-Ears rises up out of the mud; he disflorges it.
In the depths of the mist, Alag hauls that humanoid form out of the mud and finds it to be human, a Braithwaite, possibly Jacob, definitely dead. Daewen engages a demon swordsman and begins driving him up a bank of mist which he and she appear to find solid footing, though no one else can climb it. Daewen knocks the demon unconscious and he tumbles off the mist just about the time Sophie and Chris determine that the diadem readings are fainter out here. As they start to back up, a fireball rockets down from up in the mist and blows Daewen out into the air. Tom catches her. "(Retreat)," she whimpers, and we do.
Back in what is more definitely the cellar, Cantrel spots something demonic or trollish peeking out from behind a nearby corner. The folk returning from the mists see it too. Chris shoots at it with a stunner. When we are all back out of the mist, Alag runs a Second Sight viewpoint around the corner and sees big froggy (or crocodilian) eyes sticking out of the mud. Cantrel lobs a fragmentation grenade at it and we all boogie for upstairs.
There, we re-cast our tatter glamours of invisibility. Then Daewen and Tom treat themselves to some well-deserved fainting. Much doctoring and magical healing later, we totter home invisibly, carting Jacob (?) Braithwaite's body behind us (likewise invisible). Daewen is still unconscious.
Out on the streets, the diadem reading is still faint, but perhaps a tad brighter than it was down in the misty cellar. It seems that the segment is getting away, but on a more mundane plane. Damn, damn, damn.
Tom asks Cantrel where he and Daewen have been. For some indefinable amount of time, the two of them have been battling their way through mists, with demons all around. It could have been hours or months. "It was like hell," concludes Cantrel. "LIKE it?" Tom asks. He then tells Cantrel that the two of them have been missing for about three days.
We sneak into our house and drop invisibility. We take the body to Pfusand's room. Harold Jones on the job, guarding Jonathan Goodhue. He comes to Pfusand's room, where we are still repairing ourselves, and asks Lorelei if it was all right that he stayed over night. He was worried and didn't know what to do. (Seems we were gone a full day. Make that four days that Cantrel was gone.)
We commend Harold and rouse Daewen. Sophie sends word to Holmes that we are "in" to him should he wish to call. Bridget the Tweenie delivers a telegram addressed to Tom:
"My dear Mr. Jackson,
If the kind offer of your nephew's is still open, I find myself in need of assistance.
Lorelei has, by now, healed Tom to the point where he is up to making a social call. While she climbs into bed, Tom sets out for Holly's flat in company with Chris and Sophie. Alag, meanwhile, sets out for the park, searching for any lost equipment of Cantrel's that might still be on this Earth.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.