Amazon Quartet of Justice Va: "Circus of Revenger"
and Alyssa have left Tigris on their own business, and Fresa is in
subterranean meditation. Amaryllis, Sophia, and Serenity attend a ball
given in honor of Connor's party, who have rescued the little sister of the
ruling prince and princess. Multiple sects of necrotheologians, assisted by
an evil circus, try to kill the rulers or replace them with exact
duplicates, but are foiled. Crazed dwarves are involved, as is a wood-elf
of heroic nature by the name of Alyra, who Amaryllis befriends. At the
behest of Stephen, Alyra and Amaryllis dupe the leader of the crazed
dwarves into haring off to the ruined city, but then find out that there
may be something there after all...
There is a brief recrimination phase when the Lawful members of the
party find out what the Chaotic members have been doing for Stephen, but
they don't disagree about chasing down Darrin before he gets himself killed
or spills important beans to the necrotheologians. Over Fresa's objections,
Sophia drags both Stephen and Hrogarth along (after prying Hrogarth loose
from the royal library).
Darrin took quite an expedition, so is easy to track, especially
since he's following the same route everyone took to the ruins last
time. Apparently, another party with several large carnivorous animals
is following that route as well, although not on the trail.
When they reach the rock where they were ambushed before, Our
Heroines realize anew what a great ambush spot it is, and send Alyra to
scout it out. Sure enough, someone is lurking atop the rock. Sophia
rides forward to parley, and an arrow sticks in her shield. Battle is
The attackers are two lions, two tigers, two bears, the druidess Ohmy,
and the remaining crew of the Evil Circus, who turn out to be quite
annoying. Amaryllis, from the air, tries to blind most of them, but only
gets one lion. Then the melee combatants start getting mauled, so she
opens up with the Fireballs. The circus is roasted, but not quickly
enough to keep either Sophia or Serenity from being slain. The druidess
and the last circus performer flee into the forest, but by the time
Amaryllis catches up with them, something that (judging by its tracks)
runs faster than a flying dragon has staved in both their skulls.
Fortunately, the temple of Pelor is able to raise its warriors from the
dead. They refuse money for doing so, but the Amazons make an equivalent
anonymous donation. Weapons are polished and inventories restocked while
Sophia and Serenity recuperate, and then it's off to the ruined city
again, now even farther behind Darrin. This time, Hrogarth is
left to his moldy odes.
This time, Ambush Rock is already covered with corpses when Our
Heroines get there. Fresa calls back the spirit of one to find out what
happened and learns "They were so fast... they said they would stop
us... but there weren't enough of them... we must succeed...".
The map Stephen pieced together from Darrin's notes indicates three
locations in the city. The first one contains several large wagons and
many corpses (killed in a more normal fashion than the ones at Ambush
Rock), some of whom Alyra recognizes as Darrin's hirelings, but none of
them Darrin himself. There are signs of excavation, but otherwise nothing
interesting about the site.
The temple indicated by the second mark on the map is being excavated by
four well-toned men who set off Sophia's keen moral sense. She parleys, but
refuses a truce, so they spring over the temple wall and race away faster
than the Amazons have ever seen anyone run. Amaryllis tosses a Fireball
after them, but they step behind chunks of rubble at just the right instant
to avoid being roasted, without breaking stride.
The third area is quite large, but a cautious search discovers a
temple that is apparently deserted at the moment, but has been dug out
enough to provide access to the interior, and there are many footprints
in the dust. A not-very-secret door in the crypt provides access to even
deeper caves, and it appears that someone has gone that way before.
Fresa's holy might returns the zombies to the dust from which they
rose, and a little further along sets another sort of undead horror to
flight and incapacitates a mummy long enough for it to be hacked up.
Tracking the escaped monster leads the Amazons into a large cave
chock-full of zombies, who fare no better than the others for all their
numerical superiority. The monster that fled and another such are there
also, but aren't much more trouble.
Exploring in the other direction, Alyra finds a group of four humans
lurking in a cave. Sophia goes forward to parley, and the others vanish
into the many tunnels before she even arrives at their location. Later,
they spring out at Our Heroines, and get slapped down like the pikers
they are. One of them, a mage, takes off into the darkness, but
Amaryllis and Sophia chase her down and finish her off. Then Amaryllis
notices the fragments of a very realistic statue littering the floor. A
shadowy phantom pops out of the wall, but Alyra is right there with her
magic swords. Sophia closes her eyes and advances to demonstrate her
skill in fighting without sight, and between those two and a couple of
Amaryllis's fireballs, the shadow and basilisk expire.
At this point, somewhat battered, low on magical energy, and with
prisoners to interrogate, the Amazons decide to retreat to their hidden
camp and rest up before continuing their exploration of the caves.
* * *
Next session: Thanksgiving!
* * *
By this time, it was very very late, so we decided to stay over
another night rather than die in flaming wreckage on the freeway. Good
thing I packed extra underwear and drugs!