Bog's World

Altogether elsewhere

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Going Celtic

We retire with the harps to Derek's farm to recover. We find a druid, Pl't deVice, who happens to be staying over. We sit and chat and find out all kinds of things about the local world that so far we've missed as we've been too busy blagging our way out of and back into dangerous situations. It seems precious metals have more to do with religion than trade, so our coin is pretty worthless. Trade is based on livestock instead, and we seem to have deep fried all ours, bar a couple of ponies.

After morning obedience we go hunting; food is low everywhere with the war on. Forgileill summons creatures with our new harp (the one with "magic harp" handily carved into it) and soon we're knee deep in rabbits and squirrels and other cute little creatures. Thranduil builds a bison trap as "something bigger will be along". We return with plenty of creatures less cute and furry, and give some to the farmer and swap foraging tips.

Pine tea with soya milk. Yum. Possibly. Except that Kamilata starts to go down with fever & squits ("at least I can't smell it") but his iron constitution and Flanne background protects him. Tūd rolls 99 and feels better than ever before.

We return to those with an aversion to cooking appliances, without waving any arm and so avoiding difficult loyalty problems. Osdann's gone back to his capital at Gorias, and a champion, Namme, is in charge. We give the druids the pretty harp from the luvvie singer in the mysterious building - the one without 'magic harp' carved into it.

Forgileill has a harp dream...

a treacle river, a boat with sun and moon carved on it, a man with half a face, and a sign saying "no fishing". No, it's difficult to translate... it says "Welcome to Netherwood".

We talk to the druids about Netherwood.

It's a 3 day journey to Netherwood in the north east. It's marshy and insecty and we're all bitten except Torendra with her special jungle bikini. Netherwood is a small fishing village on a small river. Horse-drawn barges are moored on the bank, and one... has a sun & moon motif. The owner (Bress-you Scorchbeard) is asleep. We wake him up and he mutters about a dream taking warriors up the river to Cadacatshosh (it seems). "Aha!" we cry "That's us!" He looks at us. Most of us have weapons, but none are dressed or armed in any local style. One appears to be wearing an undershirt. He gulps. "Er, OK..."

The barge roof is made out of skins and their coracles out of reeds - we tell them this is the wrong way around but they don't seem to understand. Perhaps we used the wrong language. The locals comment on our other-worldliness - Kamilata explains that we're mostly harmless ("Just don't startle them - they go to pieces so fast you'll get hit by the shrapnel").

We load our cart and goods onto the barge and walk the horses alongside as we travel down the river for another three days towards the fortress aaaaargh-gan-gosh (or Karaghad Sosh). The river is largely overgrown. It is dark, smelly, dank, insecty, only a little but welcome sunlight. We practice fishing. Badly. Forgileill, casually waving the harp around, points the way. We pass a few small settlements, the folks getting more loopy (it seems) as we continue.

We talk to soldiers as we meet them. Funny lights are seen around the fortress, and bodies have been found with their hearts torn out. Karaghad Sosh is an 'ell' creature, and makes the 'heartless' zombies. He is easy to spot as he's grey, has no ears or nose ("How does he smell?"), no knees, and his feet point backwards. On the other side of his fort the villagers are plagued by two feuding monsters.

The harp points the way up the river past Sosh's fort, so we happily bypass a possible plot diversion. We do however pass a watchtower where heartless archers take pot shots at us with flaming arrows. One hits the barge, making Cap'n Scorchbeard very nervous. Something to do with his name perhaps. Forgileill casts lightning at the watchtower; lots of big blastiness and zappiness and a tower leg collapses, taking the tower with it in a big, slow, repeated Hollywood collapse with gratuitous explosions. Scorchbeard looks a little less worried.

We come up to Enchley, which is not nearly as nice as Finchley and is missing a flyover. The harp says (apparently) that we've arrived and thank you for flying harp. We meet the headman Ralph (or Reaf) Tichtmar. Apparently Sosh was/has woken up, and some other monsters are using the town as a battleground. The Nucklevee is some kind of skinless boar combined with a bloke on its back, and the Fandabadosy is a Fachan monopod, a huge one armed one legged one eyed limp wristed nasty thing. They argue each night over who got there first and so who gets to eat everyone, knocking down buildings, spoiling parties, etc.

The Nucklevee is asleep in a hut in the town. By complete coincidence, the central support post is one of the stones we're after. We plan a cunning plan. Tūd ties a rope across the door at ankle height. Kamilata & Thranduil brace themselves next to the door. Torendra sets fire to the roof and we shoot the sleeping form through the windows. She slings (minor hit), Tūd shoots (minor 7hp stab), Forgileill lightning blasts (nice one 34, +electric, +impact & +heat) and Thranduil shoots (good 29). The beast is having one of it's more unpleasant alarm calls; the next round we cause more damage and it stops twitching. Kamilata "steps over the rope carefully" and carefully makes his way through the smoke to the body. Everyone aims but tries not to shoot. Our one man pike unit prods it. And cuts its heads off. Tūd looks at them thoughtfully.

So now we prepare an ambush for the fachan. We're not too keen on waiting for it inside the small hut (now we get out of the wooden rabbit... er...), so we try for a repeat. We take the rope off the door...

It comes into the village yelling away. Obviously (or not, given our experiences) there's no response from the dead nucklevee. Angrily the monopod storms into the hut and we rush up to the windows, Kamilata blocking the door. The first round we hurt it a little, but more importantly we stunned it and it demonstrates the inherent design fault of having less than four legs. It fell over. A storm of arrows, stones, daggers followed, and Thranduil finally pinned it to the ground with an arrow.

We tell eternally grateful Ralph (big red beard and checked shirt) that we need the weird stone holding the roof up. Which might be a lot smaller than we thought, either 2' or 6' tall. Weighing half a ton. So probably 6'. Torendra attunes to it, managing an excellent roll (99), possibly all the attuning that could be attuned is tuned.

This first 'Stone of Moon Sow' holds the spirit of Aroll the ell who was a bit bitchy. She got away with being unpleasant by also being witty and satirical. Although locked in stone, she still encourages conflict and it can be used to stir up trouble in enemies. Don't sleep around it, as our recent victims demonstrated. Our harp awakens the spirit. This one is vulnerable to mirrors - which will shatter bits off it.

We send the stone back to Osdann with the villagers.

In Forgileill's next harp dream she sways, rocking, in dark, freezing, water, amongst pale eyed creatures. Deep below the surface is a longship wreck, carved with the head of an osprey, the sea-eagle gift of Aegir. Through a hole in the side, she can see a ballooned corpse with a spear stuck in him. The corpse has no eyes but can see her and is smiling.

The villagers tell us that Midguard have ships with osprey carvings. Noaton is the best shipbuilding port along the northern coast of Midguard.

We sit about discussing boats, horses and our route to Noaton, rather than going to Noaton. While we continue not going to Noaton, a bunch of Midguardians turn up in the village. They yell at us, incomprehensibly, then attack us.

Tūd, on his horse (he thought they were going to Noaton), does the Ilin thing and gets out of the way to shoot. Thranduil stands surprised that someone has dared to stab him, then quickdraws his sword, just fails to drop it, and slices at his opponent, Bjorn #1, cutting his legs off. Torendra stabs one through the ribs with her man-hating sword. Lots of pain is handed out by both sides as the fight scatters into knots of melee. The leader of the Vikings is a small bloke with an obvious willy complex compensated by a large battle axe. With it he cuts down Forgileill who is caught up in the mess.

Tūd shoots Willy but only hurts him. Kamilata cuts one of his new opponents down, and more turn up ("There's one here putting up a fight!"). Thranduil continues to hold off his opponents. Torendra stabs one of the guys attacking Kamilata from behind, cutting him down. Tūd continues to circle Willy, shooting him again - with a 00 CP: shot through both ears. Hearing impaired. Dies instantly.

Kamilata and Thranduil disarm the 2IC (Bakkar). Tūd kills one of the remaining three Bjorns in that melee knot, expecting the others to surrender. But they don't - Valhalla awaits! One charges Thranduil and stabs a hole in his underwear. Thranduil cuts his head off. The last Bjorn shouts 'come on then' and Tūd shoots him before the others can reach him; (97+91+91+20). He dies.

Kamilata & Thranduil kill off the remaining Bjorns in the village. The rest look to tend to Forgileill but she does not lie wounded - she has disappeared altogether, leaving her clothes and kit and a worrying amount of blood. The phrase "I will be more powerful than you ever imagined" drifts around.

(See First Death Of Forgileill Gwathló)

Our captured Brakki thinks our Amazonian Torendra is a Valkeiri. He had a dream where 'Loki' (as we understand the local religions) told him to come here and get the stone ("What stones? These are not the stones your looking for"). He's very keen to help a Valkeiri for whatever it is the gods are up to. Which is handy as we want the one in the boat in the dream, and the boat came from Midguard, like Brakki. Isn't it funny that its got magic harp written on it in purring empire lettering [not sure where that came from...].

Willy's chainmail fits Thranduil; at last we look like a bunch of warriors.

We set off with Brakki in their Midguard rowboat. Again we find ourselves working through insect-infested, dank and smelly marshes. Moaning willow-the-wisp bog spirits appear and rush at us - as we prepare to defend ourselves, Kamilata steps forward and calls out "Why do you attack us?". The spirits pause and a large one turns up in a shell suit (well, covered in shells). It accuses us of working for evil Osdann and killing Finn the Black. Which we did, but we claim killing Finn the Stiff was an accident and Kamilata says we're getting close to Osdann so that we can kill him. The big shell-covered gooey thing must be a little dim, because despite us telling mostly) the truth, it believes us. It agrees to let us through its lands (and back) but in return we must take on Karaghad Sosh. We thought bypassing it had been a bit easy...

Midguard is wide and wooded. As we punt by one of the watchtowers we see a figure on a horse on the hillside, leading a string of horses. This is curious, as horsemen are rare here. We peer closer and recognise - Forgileill! We moor up and welcome her back, and surreptitiously remove all the bits of her kit that seems to have found its way into our pockets.

She has, apparently, the best health insurance royalty can buy. A spell ships her to a cousin's house when she gets near death. However it wasn't safe for her to stay as there is an outbreak of werewolves (somehow our fault) so her cousin sent her back to us. She's brought lots of goodies including good food, repair kits, new bows and three decent horses. Daddy hasn't been told...

We take the chance to relax and spend the night under our new shelters.

The next day we pull into Ivanhoe (or Wyvern Hoe) on horse and boat. In the village are two groups: the Fir Domhain (i.e. Osdann's men) in a campus commanded by Kauky Macalvis, and the Wyvern Watch assembled from village natives and headed by Frammen, the village head man. We avoid getting involved.

Brakki, who by now is Torendra's henchman, tells us that most of the boat builders live in Noaton. Each has his own figurehead, so if we find the builder who uses the osprey, we might find where the boat in Forgileill’s dream went.

We head off straightaway, three on horseback (Forgileill, Thranduil, Tūd) the supplies and the others in the boat. We take the long way round the coast so that we can bring the horses, the Ilin being reluctant to part with them now they have them. Two weeks later we arrive in Noaton.

In Noaton we find a town with many shipyards, and a lot of people building ships. One house is made of lead, with runes scratched into it. Another is made out of a stone circle. We meet up with Thorson Goodhammer (played by Orson Shipwells) whose motif is the osprey. We ask him about the "Gift of Aegir" but he fobs us off to a crippled employee, Kumlach the More Lame Than Tūd.

Thorson used to make big explorer boats (narrs) and they used to be his area of expertise, but he's not made one for 20 years. It's likely the osprey-headed ship in Forgileill's dream would have been an exploring rather than a raiding ship, belonging to royalty. Thorson's 'busy' all day. We go to sneak around his house.

Lots of carvings all over the place, but nothing useful to us.

Tūd has a few beers and chats about exploring strange places in the locals. But he has no social skills and learns nothing useful. Brakki reckons we should just nick a boat, but Thranduil doesn't like thieving - he is after all a government official. So is Kamilata, but he turns to Tūd and says "When in Rome... " Tūd looks puzzled and says "Burn it down?"

Two guards protect the shipyard next to Thorson's, which has a dragon theme. Forgileill and Thranduil sneak in. Forgileill manages to stave in her victim's skull by accidentally (honest) using the sharp end of the pick. Thranduil manages to miss his victim's skull but stuns him, and hits him again while Forgileill stabs him in the back with a throwing knife. So much for subdual. Thranduil heals them, much to Forgileill’s disgust ("They were in our way!"). We steal the boat. Luckily Brakki and Kumlach the Lame (can't remember why he came with us?) know how to sail.

A week out storms hit us. Coping is hard work. We are short of food (! and who went to the pub instead of going shopping?) We approach the island of Sokkthebek, but we see little wildlife. Dead fish occasionally come to the surface, which itself seems a bit oily, and beneath it something big and dark swims about.

Approaching the port we see on the beaches old remains of seals and birds, but nothing lives there now. Even the vegetation looks ill and dying. The girls realise that something here is draining earth power (Drunes?). The harp guides us to the harbour; the buildings and ships are neglected but some boats still float. A crane on the platform dangles a frayed rope, the counterweight at an odd angle on the floor. We see a few people on shore and peer uncertainly at them but can see nothing scary about them. They just look a bit pale and tired looking.

We pull in to port and all bar Kumlach ("I'm not going out there! It's dangerous!") step off and meet Horsmond, a hearty happy cheerful chap with half his face missing. Most of the rest also seem to be dead but still moving. We are introduced to his son Freer, who seems polite but quiet and possesses a caved-in rib cage. We chat as casually as we can with these happy zombies and life sounds like: every day about midday, berserkers come down the mountain and fight, then they have a big feast in the evening and gradually heal ready for the next day.

The harp points to the spot below the broken crane. We (Kamilata?) guess the stone we are after was being loaded up, then Something Went Horribly Wrong, the stone smashed through the ship's hull sinking it (to make the drowned ship of Forgileill's harp dream) and releasing some Nasty Curse.

We are invited to the evening meal. The food is rotten, the fish old and smelly, the wine vinegary but all the locals are cheery about our barely-covered disgust. They don't go out to sea any more as something comes out of it and kills villagers. Kamilata attracts the attentions of Hilda, who carries no signs of dying in battle, just some bruise marks on her neck. She gives Kamilata a big hug - and he finds that under her clothes she's missing a big bite chunk in her side. Her friend Seagan tells us she has a dream where she empties slops into the sea, and a prince comes to her out of the water smiling oddly. Asked to comb his hair, she notices it is wet and sandy, and he reaches up and pulls her in. She finds herself running from a nightmare with big terrible teeth.

We find a spot where we can watch the harbour and find around us traces of a living, eating and pooing person, probably doing the same thing. We wait overnight but nothing happens.

The next day, we track the live one down, finding a woman called Tweed. She talks of a singing stone that kept everyone happy. A Noaton prince, Andan, arrived to buy the stone. The townsfolk planned a double cross and attacked the crew while it was being loaded. The prince's men were overwhelmed, and as the last of them were cut down, Prince Andan grabbed the stone and wished on his heart for vengeance; it appears to have turned him into a Kelpie. "What, seaweed?" asks Tūd."No, it's a bit like a were-eel". Prince Andan's desires, combined with those of the dying soldiers for Valhalla, and many desires just to live, has had the stone working hard to reach the current peculiar state, sucking out much of the local earth's power.

We go back to the ship to plan a plan. Kumlach the Even More Lame tells us he's had a fine quiet night and we all politely avoid mentioning the big tooth-marked curve missing from his rib cage.

We don't want to involve the villagers, as when we move the stone away they will probably all die properly. We'll sort out ropes and find the stone and stuff underwater and out of sight, and prepare it for lifting. Then wait for the daily fight, and while it goes on we'll sneak back and raise it using the crane.

But what about the kelpie? Forgileill comes up with a cunning plan to use the harp to summon the kelpie, using herself as bait. There are plenty of harpoons scattered about; we gather them and three bits of rope, and attach them to the mooring rings to stop it from getting away. Some of the more powerful locals, after a bit of persuasion, join us.

Forgileill starts to play. It takes a few rounds of 'powered play', patchy performance, before the kelpie finally crawls up out of the gloop and we launch our attack. A storm of missiles hurtle roughly towards it, but none of us really know how to use a harpoon and they do little damage. All the same, it turns from Forgileill and attacks the rest of us. It quickly crushes and kills the local zombies and Kamilata and Torendra only survive massive blows by their magic protection. Nevertheless, only three rounds of battering finally kill it. We're good... Tūd cuts its head off to add to his collection; he's cleaned the skulls of the previous monsters by dragging them behind the boat.

Kamilata wears his breathing amulet and goes down to tie the stone to the crane. We winch it up, carefully, and deposit it on our boat. We lash it down, and Torendra & Brakki go off to find Tweet who wisely decides to come with us. Brakki brushes the harbour wall on the way out...

Forgileill dreams... A chalk man on a hillside with a spear comes to life, reaches down, picks up a horned helmet and places it on his head. He gets to a valley where the helmet fuses to him, and he dances down the valley, beckoning her to follow. Past the valley, he takes his helmet off, revealing noble features. He picks up a weirdstone and is joined by a sinister wickermen and they walk off together.

Thranduil also connects to the stone; it is drained from all the wish granting, but the stone contains the spirit of Olan Buttocktongue (?) who tends to try to do whatever people wish for. Torendra "Captain Weirdstone" can't tune in.

As we sail back to the mouth of the River Xxxx?, Kumlach the Now Very Lame still 'lives' ... so will obviously have to stay with the stone. We practice fishing. Badly. And our sword-work.

We head up the river to Gorias (the capital), stopping off at Enchley to pick up our ponies and destroy Karaghad Sosh. Talking to Ralph, it seems the heartless can be killed by normal means but the hearts have been replaced by wasp nests. Apparently someone blew up a watchtower (who could that be? ahem) and Sosh has summoned some sort of supernatural bodyguards. He lives in a mud brick fortress.

Tūd recces quietly in his purple invisible cloak. He passes two watchtowers. The fortress is roundish, about 40' diameter, with 8' walls patrolled by two sentries on a raised walkway.

That night we sneak up to the wall and wait for the sentries to move away. They climb up quietly and silently, until Tūd falls off and clatters to the ground... Kamilata leaps over the wall using his special leaping cloak.

Inside we see three buildings, with one large guarded one. With the noise (Tūd falling and Kamilata landing in full resin armour) the heartless come forwards. Thranduil leaps jedi-ly off the wall to join Kamilata. Tūd struggles up the wall. Forgileill preps her first Fireball. Torendra gets her slingshot out for the lads. Forgileill warns of the incoming fireball and Kamilata & Thranduil withdraw to avoid getting caught up in it. Tūd, once he's up, knocks one of the wall-patrolling zombies off the wall.

Forgileill's warm-up is impressive but the fireball fizzles - the zombies feel a little less cold and miserable. Torendra leaps off the wall and charges forward. Tūd hits the other wall-patroller to little effect. Thranduil sees Torendra come storming past him, and they attack together. Torendra does very badly with her charge and crashes into the heartless, both taking damage. Forgileill switches from the area-of-effect Fireball to a more personal Firebolt, splattering the left hand advancing zombie. Kamilata misses, but doesn't quite fumble his swing. A zombie spears Thranduil; others miss Torendra and Kamilata. Tūd takes up his sword - very unusual - and attacks the zombie on the wall in order to keep it from Forgileill who needs peace to be able to cast spells. They swing at each other and miss.

We settle into hand-hand melee. Tūd takes a bad hit - half his HPs go, he's stunned and losing 6/r. Kamilata also gets hit and starts bleeding. Forgileill opens the door to the guarded hut... and is immediately attacked by three axe-wielding maniacal goblins. She runs. Torendra cuts another heartless in half. Only one zombie is left and it's battering Tūd who defends as best he can and hoses blood over the wall. The rest engage the axe men. Wounds are handed out both sides. Forgileill manages to stun the chief. Tūd foolishly tries to attack, misses, and finally - in a magnificent move and manoeuvre (97+92) - turns and runs, grabs his emergency healing potion from his bandolier and drinks it on the hobble. The zombie shuffles after him but Forgileill clobbers it with a dagger and Tūd returns to archery. Kamilata fumbles but it's just a sweaty palm.

The melee quietens, a lot of faffing follows even when Princess Forgileill joins the fray. Nevertheless the lads with superior numbers and skills wear them down. Tūd keeps Sosh occupied by turning him into a hedgehog. Very slowly. Eventually, just as the axe-wielding goblins are finished off, a last arrow puts Sosh out and he dissolves away.

They continue on, skulless, to Gorias. We leave our henchmen Brakki and Tweet on the souh side of the river, but leave Kumlach the Nearly Dead near the stone.

In Osdann's throne room we find Kauky, who claims that we turned up in Wyvern Hoe and fermented rebellion amongst the local troops, forcing him and his men to leave. So we recount our journey to show we didn't have the time, producing weirdstone and skulls as evidence (aren't we happy about - some of - Tūd's eccentricities). We have to admit that Sosh turned to slime, but the druids say that's what they would expect so it's probably true. Kauky is chased out as a coward. We get fed and watered and provisioned and swap the monopods chain for new tack, repaired armour, food, etc.

We head south following the harp's directions. We reach Bright-the-stone, headed by a humourless chief, Narhag. The people are cleaning the big chalk figure. Children say the figure comes to life in winter to eat them all. Women reckon pre druid he had horns and male members. The local druid says he represents sun god. Khanan's valley lies 25 miles south - Khanan [who is Khanan?] represents male virility, fecundity, animals, nature, etc.

We head off south to the valley, accompanied by a suspicious escort for 15 'local' miles (local miles get smaller the further away you get). They finally stop, call farewells and present us with some supplies [is that where the bread came from?]. Munching on some rather stale bread, we plod on through light woodland.

Suddenly, Forgileill is attacked by the trees, Kamilata is sucked into the ground, Brakki sees some beautiful women in the trees, and Torendra notices that we're zombies - that we always have been. Tūd and Thranduil stare as Forgileill waves her sword around at some nearby branches, Kamilata writhes on the ground, Brakki runs off and Torendra looks at us all, and herself, in disgust. Tūd chases after Brakki, but comes across a big humanoid with the head of a boar, antlers of deer, etc. He runs away. He makes it back to the rest but he's not yet out of the woods - recovering from their illusions they aren't interested ("oh it's fine, it's not real"). Ooops. Tūd circles about and shoots it - and gets a heart shot. It drops. The others stand around complaining about Tūd causing a ruckus.

We're not out of the woods yet.

Finally we do exit the woods, but we're not out of the woods yet. In our path stands a Celtic female warrior, all tooled up for battle. She claims she is Nalor the Bighter, one of kin band of inmacDur ?, and demands his murderer. It takes us a moment to realise she's talking about Finn the now-Stiff, and then everyone points at Tūd. She lays in with the abuse while he stammers along the lines of "It wasn't all me! Anyway I didn't mean to! It was an accident!" etc.

After a few more insults, at which she is much better (but then she's had more practice), she shouts "Come on then!" to Tūd which is never a good idea. He shoots her (00+93+skill) in the leg, hurting her badly. But she carries on with the abuse, so he shoots her again, and the arrow ploughs through the edge of her shield spraying bits of wood across her face and thudding to a halt just between her eyes. Making the most of this lucky shock, er, shot, Tūd casually lowers his bow and calls "This is your first warning". She's pretty speechless. We work our way past her, trying to persuade her that blood feuds don't interest us and she ought to go kill Osdann. Blood feuds eh? Tūd doesn't think we've convinced her, and is not looking forward to meeting her again, especially if he's horseless. He starts practicing shooting faster, and switching to his taiken quicker.

We pass common (uncultivated!) fields.

The weather and countryside gets grimmer. There are no people or hearths. We come across huge people footprints and piles of bones (they might be giants). Titan ground. The girls spot a covered pit and we go around it.

The harp directs us to and along a road lined with statues and occasional ruins. The road takes us to a plateau and an overgrown, ruined city.

Giants move amongst the ruins - well dressed in Grecian rather than Celtic style. One, olive skinned with golden leaves about his head, comes up to us and introduces himself as King of the Titans. We tell him we are on a quest, and that we hate Drunes who are a bit too keen on death for us (though I'm not sure how that came up in conversation!). The Titans invite us in - they've got Drune trouble, and are expecting to be attacked by a large number of them that have moved in on the place. The Titans are building wickermen-like things, more like titan-powered mechwarriors than sacrificial chambers, to keep an attack of the Drunes out.

We are briefly shown around, and see the Titans animation potion for their mechwarriors is being heated over a pit. It just so happens (surprise, surprise) that our harp tells us that our weirdstone is under the fire pit. We decide we have to wait for the Titans to prepare, rather than trying to nick the stone and so sabotage their defences. We go to look at the Drunes. From a distance. There are lots of them. As we turn to go back we find a recce party in front of us; one Drune and three Skullswords.

Forgileill tries a silent kill and very silently fails to kill her target. Tūd shoots the Drune down. Thranduil pins a shield to its owner who falls over and prepares to die. Torendra attacks with her man-hating sword (99 critical) and he falls and prepares to die. The last goes down with an arrow in him. We relax. The Drune has been quietly healing himself with all his colleagues blood, but as he gets up Thranduil shoots him, disabling his arm and putting a hole through his water bottle. Forgileill tries again and fails again. Torendra cuts his hand off, prompting "Armless Drune" jokes.

We are left with some corpses, two serviceable Skullsword helmets, three shields, and three spears. We take the lot for barter.

Tūd looks at the bodies, the vast array of the Drune army and the sky. He counts on his fingers. He turns to the others. "It's going to take us all day to kill this lot isn't it?". The others don't share his approach. The Titans really have no chance, and they're the only sophisticated, civilised, and above all nice people that we've met so far.

We come up with some plans for subterfuge and stuff to help the Titans.

Princess Forgileill sneaks in and drops our hallucinogenic bread in the stew and wanders off. Later she goes in and sets fire to the main Drune building (or dormitory?). Drunes smell terrible, and their henchmen wear masks to shield themselves from it. Which means they can't smell fire either. The results are impressive. On the way out she's caught by a guard on the edge who says stuff she can't understand. She kicks him in the nuts and pegs it. All very Gwathló. But it's not enough.

Next morning, as the Drunes come in we see they are heading for our building, where we wait by the weirdstone fire pit. That rather implies they want the stone too - we may need to hurry a bit faster than we thought! We pour water on the fire and steam fills the room. With borrowed Titan oven gloves we clear the fire remains. Kamilata struggles to remove the stone without the right lifting gear or enough manpower. The stone is halfway out when the doors thunder as the Drune forces batter against it. Tūd climbs up on the roof with as many arrows as he can carry and starts plinking the guys at the door, disrupting them only a little. The doors hold though as the others get the stone out and onto their cart, which is rather undersized for that kind of load. Forgileill tunes into the stone; inside is the spirit of Krieth the Inventive who is into inspiration, invention, etc.

Now the team are a bit stuck. The walls are too strong to break through (which is probably a Good Thing, or the Drunes might have broken in). Forgileill and Thranduil try and work out if they can somehow change the material of the wall. Tūd tries to get the attention of one of the Titan mechwarriors, but they're busy fighting the Drune and being destroyed by them.

We decide we're going to have to leave through the door - where all the Drune are. A dodgy but welcome roll by Angela gives Forgileill a brilliant Fireball that takes out the bottom halves of 20 Drunes. The rest peg it. We hurry out and Tūd drives the cart as fast as he thinks the cart can hold up. He's not nearly as good as he thinks he is, but we make it.

We escape, back to Khanan's valley. We dream...

It is damp and dark. Worms crawl over you, but it's not a grave, you are standing upright. Voices above, familiar, cannot tell what it is. Faint music, feels familiar. Three voices/instruments and you add your own. Your body creates the music. You need more voices. Your consciousness goes up through a great hall, royally appointed and familiar, then further up through the hall to great heroes, looking down on Gorias

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