Visitations: I slept on the inflatable thing in the
library, which was not as ventilated as my usual nest on the couch, but
maybe it was for the best that I was behind closed doors, because when I
emerged there was a zombie lying in wait! Robert and Kate held it off
while I made my escape, though.
Joshua won a softball(?) game while I was asleep. Go Josh!
Chris and the Zablettes were around for part of the day. The
Zablettes are now alarmingly mobile.
Because we came up last night so that Marith could be awake today, of
course she couldn't sleep a wink all night and spent most of today in a
Gaming: Harold did show up eventually, so we could
Amazon Quartet of Justice XIIIb: "The Lunatic King of
Marginalia! Tentacles Attack AGAIN!"
While Natalya and Marika are busy with the urchinarium, the other
four Amazons plot their next move. The leads they have are the Giant
Pulsating Illithid Brain at the Center of the Ultraverse, Daniel in his
magical prison, Samuel in the drow city, the steel-cage death match for
the swing vote in Nööl, and the ingredients for the
detentacularization ritual for Queen Ditte. The death match has a
scheduled date, so the only thing that can be done there is to give the
fire giants' best female warrior a powerful magic axe in exchange for
helping them out. Of the remaining leads, the scavenger hunt seems most
tractable, so the Quartet get the list from Stephen.
Most of the ingredients are obscure, but not difficult to obtain for the
Amazons. The one exception is a moonstone, by which is meant not the
ordinary translucent blue gemstone, but some sort of pearl-like orb that
can be obtained from a kind of monster known as a moonbeast. Moonstones are
reputed to induce a neurotic possessiveness in the owner, so getting one
may be difficult, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! After some
divination magic, the Amazons set out for Marginalia, the kingdom at the
northern limit of mapmakers' knowledge, where the king has recently
received such a jewel.
The vagaries of magical travel necessitate a brief detour, during
which Our Heroines learn that Princess Lisbet has sent troops into
southern Marginalia, on the border of the ruins of Avalon, so that the
final battlefield can be surrounded when the time comes (which she
believes will be soon, although no evidence has been presented).
Finally, Marginalia! The merchant who had not known beforehand that he
was going to be the Quartet's local contact is a bit surprised when they
appear out of thin air, but a letter of introduction smooths everything
over and he gets them an audience with the king for the next day.
Some research determines that the average Marginalian on the street thinks
the king is a good ruler, although he's seemed distracted lately.
Fortunately, the first chancellor has been taking care of things. Also,
Marginalia hasn't had a war in long enough that they're eager for
The magic shops of Marginalia, which have not already been picked
clean by the Amazons or burned by horrible snake monsters, yield up a
bounty of new cloaks of Charisma, as well as the most stylish pair of
darkvision spectacles anyone has ever seen.
The next morning, Our Heroines are presented to the king, and Gabrielle
makes the pitch for the International World-Saving Alliance. The king,
perhaps due to his magically befuddled state, is noncomittal, but the young
aristocrats of the realm are so gung-ho that the chancellor has to agree to
schedule a meeting for the following afternoon. As the Amazons depart, the
chancellor tries to buy them off on the assumption that they're ordinary
con artists, but he is quite mistaken and has to follow through on his
promise of a meeting with the king.
Gabrielle tries to explain to the horde of noble youth trying to
swear eternal devotion to the Amazons about the difference between a
cause and a cult of personality, but with only limited success. She and
Amaryllis spend the night carousing.
In the meantime, Alyra has been skulking invisibly about the castle, but
the king never takes off the moonstone and is never alone, so she
eventually gives up looking for burglary opportunities.
When the Quartet arrive for the meeting the next day, the first
chancellor and some of his minions are there, along with the captain of
the guard and a few pages. According to the chancellor, the king will be
joining them shortly, but he tries to get the Amazons to go away by the
fiendish tactic of agreeing to their every demand. However, Gabrielle
sees through his tricks, and stalls him with details.
Suddenly, there is panic in the halls of the castle!
Alyra, who has been lurking outside while Gabrielle, Amaryllis, and
Fresa meet with the ministers, discovers a huge invisible monster
invading the castle, terrifying all who come near it and leaving a broad
trail of disgusting slime!
The first chancellor makes a run for it, but Gabrielle freezes him in
his tracks before he can more than open the door. The captain of the
guard and all the Amazons rush out into the throne room to see what is
going on. They see the king and queen and a few servants fleeing one
monster, but heading right for where Amaryllis hears its invisible
comrades lurking! She yells a warning, but only the king and queen and
one guard hear her, and the others, along with Amaryllis herself, are
seized by unseen tentacles!
Fresa and Gabrielle are put to flight by the monster's aura of
magical fear. Alyra dives for the king, but doesn't reach him until
moments after the first monster crushes him in its tentacles.
Nevertheless, she scoops up his body and teleports away. This leaves
Amaryllis as the only Amazon facing three invisible monsters.
Gabrielle and Fresa return in time to find the quivering body of a
creature like an immense column of writhing tentacles, which they put
out its misery while Amaryllis chases down the last of the two
tentacle-bearded, bat-winged giant heads that made off with three
courtiers. Two of the courtiers have been eaten, but she rescues one,
who understandably swears his entire life to her service.
In the aftermath, the first chancellor declares himself regent and
has the queen taken somewhere secret and surrounded with loyal guards,
for her own protection. Gabrielle, who is now his best friend, manages
to keep him from taking his coup any further before Amaryllis can
retrieve Alyra and the king's body (sans moonstone, which now resides in
a sealed lead box) and have Fresa call the king's soul back from the
realms beyond. Fortunately he is willing to return, and no one except the
Amazons has seen him in a verifiably non-animate state, so the
chancellor is forced to hand back the reins of the state and wait for a
After Our Heroines' amazing feats of derring-do in defense of the
Marginalian crown, there is no doubt that a new member has been added to
* * *
I apologized to everyone for being a munchkin with a horribly twinked
character, but I don't think it helped.
Visitations, cont: Marith slept some more, but we
made Al and Sherilyn entertain us until sometime after 22:00, when we
finally woke Marith up and made her drive home. We got back about 1 in
Food: Too much, as usual when visiting Roseville. We
have to make sure Sherilyn cannot possibly think we're hungry.
Silly Computer Games: Ikariam kept chugging along without me,
as it should.
Number of paws: Still twelve! YAY!
Writing: FAILURE. Current status: 1 day behind.