I was slow about getting up and becoming socially acceptable so that
Marith could be up before me and feel all proud of herself. That's my
story and I'm stickin' to it.
Amazon Quintet of Justice IIIa: "On the Trail of the
Our Heroines sold the loot from the bandit lair, distributed the dry
goods found therein to the poor, traded the owlbear cubs to the local
druids for helpful magic and some cash, experimented with their new divine
gifts, and basked in the admiration of all and sundry for a few days.
Fresa enlisted the help of Hrogarth in researching the Evil Pool; he
pointed her to a handsome young dwarven scholar named Stephen, who was
only too happy to assist the heroic priestess in uncovering information
about the dead god of evil who had been worshipped at pools guarded by
Meanwhile, the city guard was busy investigating the corruption
within the merchant guild and its own ranks, precipitating a number of
successful and unsuccessful escapes from the city. According to Solara's
underworld contacts, two entire households of rich merchants had
scarpered, leaving only a few servants to maintain the illusion they
were still in residence.
Matters came to a crux when Stephen turned up missing, and investigation
revealed that he had departed precipitately, with many of his books but not
his personal travel gear, in the company of several tough-looking humans.
Hrogarth insisted that Our Heroines rescue the lad at once, which got him
delivered to the temple of Morradin for safe-keeping.
Captain Marcus of the guards wanted to hunt down the escapees (who
everyone presumed had taken Stephen) but didn't relish the thought of
splitting his forces when they contained a still-unknown number of
traitors. Magnanimously, the Amazon Quintet offered to take care of the
villains on the road, leaving the guard to protect the town.
Further in-town investigation by Solara that night (elves never sleep,
which explains a lot) revealed that an elderly dwarf had just hired some
mercenaries and taken off out of town; sure enough, the window of
Hrogarth's quarters in the temple of Morradin was open. Fresa was Not
Pleased, as everyone in the temple heard.
A bit of hunting found the mercenaries drinking up their pay and
chortling over the stupid dwarf they had robbed and left tied to tree. Faces
were duly memorized for the later just apportioning of desserts, but it
was already almost dawn, so our Heroines had to depart before dealing
with the abusers of their dwarver scholar.
With the Quintet went Serenity, a Pelorite shield-maiden assigned to
Sophia for training in the ways of smiting evil, Kara, one of the
sacrifices rescued from the bandit lair who turned out to have knightly
ambitions, and Thad, a young guardsman struck with a bad case of
Alyssa scouted ahead toward the bandit lair/evil pool in eagle form
while the rest rescued Hrogarth and found tracks indicating the passage of
several wagons and dozens of people afoot, not in the direction of
the evil pool. Word was magically dispatched to the temple of Pelor
letting them know that the Amazon Quintet would not be securing the evil
pool for the elite exorcism team, and Our Heroines set out after the
wagons and the person who scribbled mathematical formulae in the mud in
Three days along the trail to the ruined ancient city (hypothesized
to hold an even larger and more evil pool), the vegetation suddenly
writhed to horrible life, seizing mounts, Amazons, and cart!
A volley of arrows from the nearby rock formation severely irritated
Sophia, and then the party was set upon by magicians, well-trained
men-at-arms, a druid, a wolf, and two bears. Serenity displayed her need
for practical training by charging the ambushers and getting herself and
Sophia and then Fresa trapped between the entangling vegetation and the
line of four fighters and two bears. Solara and Alyssa and Hearth Lady
worked around the far end of the ambush, taking out one sorcerer and
eventually the druid, but the three standing and fighting were severely
mauled (thanks in part to the sorcerers' dazzling color spray spells)
before the mobile element reached them. Kara and Thad kept Hrogarth in
the cart (which the plants couldn't reach into) and plied their bows
with some effect.
Meanwhile, Amaryllis struggled to free herself from the entangle.
Finally she managed to draw a fire elemental from Alyssa's sword of flame
and burn herself loose, and the tide of battle turned. One sorceress and
one fighter fled, but Amaryllis brought them in, and one of the other
fighters was saved for interrogation by quick application of bandages.
There was a great deal of "hah, all you're going to do is kill
me!"-style villainous rhetoric, but the bandit did reveal that the group
with the wagons intended to meet three powerful allies at the ruins, and a
partial description of the meeting place.
Not wanting to haul prisoners (one of them a sorceress) along on the
rest of the adventure, Our er Heroines magically blinded them, stashed
them in a cave with a barricaded entrance and food and water for a
considerable time, and sent a message back to the city for someone to
come and fetch them.
Magically softening the creekbed to wash out the ford slowed up the
caravan, giving the Amazon Quintet time to dash to the ruins and ambush
the "three powerful allies" before doubling back to deal with the
caravan. In fact, they had quite a bit of time, and established a camp
at the edge of the ruins where they could stash Hrogarth while they
After some time, Alyssa (in eagle form again) reported the sudden
appearance of three people, heading toward the open area that had been
named as the meeting place and about half an hour away. Also, the
caravan had apparently sent an advance party, who were about an hour
Leaping into action, Our Heroines set an ambush for the nearer group,
with the simple plan of "spring out from behind rocks and hit them as hard
as possible". Lurk! Spring! Hit!
The villains promptly turned invisible in a poof of magic dust and took
to the air, but it availed them naught. Fresa dispelled many of their
helpful enchantments and Sophia and Serenity, both skilled in the art of
fighting invisible evil, pointed out the villains with their sword blows,
allowing the others to target them well enough to bring down two (though
the third escaped).
Without slowing down, the Quintet formed another plan: make a pyre for
the corpse of the unsalvageable villain, and wait nearby to ambush the
other party when they inevitably investigate the strange pillar of
* * *
Tune in next month for the conclusion of this exciting adventure!