Safe and sound in Hommlet. Master Ostler was very impressed by our new badges. Heiron and I both decided to keep them in our locked chest at the inn, so they don’t get lost or messed up while we’re traveling in the nodes.
We asked Master Elmo up to our rooms for a “drink,” and we discussed our upcoming strategy. The last guy we rescued told us about the sea-hags in the Water Node, but none of us sounded really excited to fight them (not even Ezekiel, for once — he just thought that maybe they could tell us where the grus and water-demons were, but we weren’t sure we wanted to do business with them).
Bottom line, Lydia’s going to try to scry us back to our raft in the Water Node, and we’ll continue searching along the wall in a counter-clockwise direction – like we were before fighting the dragons.
Well, it’s been interesting, that’s for sure.
Lydia got us back into the node no trouble, and we started paddling (“we” meaning Heiron and Elmo…they’re just the best at it). We killed a couple kopoacinths (or water-gargoyles, as some might call them) and found a little estuary with a rocky beach – and a portal to the Fire Node.
While exploring around the portal rune, Ezekiel found a strange little object about the size of a finger (a long, fat finger). The outside feels papery…but not like parchment or something. And it’s stiff. Holding it in front of a light doesn’t reveal anything, and it’s heavier than it feels like it should be – although that might be because it’s water-logged. It’s not magical, so Mikael thinks it might be an egg or something…although even he doesn’t know what it might be for. Hopefully not something that’s going to hatch out and eat our faces off in the middle of the night.
We paddled on from there and came to a place where the cliff fell away in a shelf about head-hight (Raven says that’s not a standard measurement).
Some of the others spotted a green bug-man thing skulking on the far side of the shelf, so we slung the ropes of climbing up – and while Ezekiel chanted some kind of encouraging song, the rest of us clambered up (we learned our lesson…the more people we get into combat earlier, the better).
Mikael wrapped it up in his magic rope…and after that it was like shooting fish in a barrel. The creature looked like the umber-hulk we killed before, except it was green – and it only had two eyes, not four, so I’m not sure it could do that staring thing Ezekiel told us about from last time.
After Heiron and I killed it, I skinned it while Elmo and Ezekiel explored the rest of the cave (not much there) and Heiron killed another of those beach-ball mushroom things that Mikael called an Ascomoid.
Elmo took a slab of green-umberhulk meat with him, but I don’t think we took the eyes to give to Lydia. Ezekiel didn’t say anything about it.
Not super long after we started rowing again, we spotted two swirling blobs of water coming up behind us. We managed to run the raft into some shallow water, and then Ezekiel pulled out a scroll…and started bubbling and hissing at them. I guess he must have been speaking their language, because they made gurgling noises back – until one of them said, “We do speak Common,” or something like that.
Apparently they were pulled through the gate in the Temple, and then walked across the sanctuary to be shunted into the node. They’re none too happy about how the Temple people treated them, and sound like they want to go home to the actual Plane of Water…after they round up some of their other friends.
Raven reminded us that the portal runes in the Temple should still work – we just have to get them there. But first, Ezekiel told us they had a friend-elemental who was “trapped” here somehow, and we needed to help them free it. (They also told us where we could find some water-grus…which is important to us, but less so to them.)
At that point in the conversation, the elementals cried out, “It comes!” and another swirling, bubbly shape loomed out of the darkness at us.
Ezekiel asked them if this was their friend, and the two from before said, “Yes! And no!”
He told us not to hurt it – but we tried to hold it off while he dug in his pack for a scroll – and it smacked Elmo with a tentacle-y limb of water. (I don’t know if he got some down the wrong pipe or what, but we all agreed we wouldn’t want to do that again.)
Before it got any uglier, Ezekiel gestured at the thing while reading his spell – and the creature shuddered and groaned…and little drops of water broke free or something. And then it stopped attacking, and the other elementals seemed very relieved.
Ezekiel says the Water Elemental was “possessed” by a Water Weird – and the Weird is hurt by “purify water.” Anyway, the elementals seem happy about it, and in the morning, they’ll take us to meet up with more of their friends, so we can send all of them home. (We gave Lydia a heads-up, and she says she’ll come up with a “better” plan than sitting the elementals in a bathtub while she shifts the mirror around.)
It’s not really very late yet (though paddling the raft around is slow work) but Ezekiel doesn’t have any more scrolls for purifying water, which means Mikael has to prepare that for the morning…just in case there are any more possessed “friends” out there.
The elementals are hanging close to us…I guess they feel safer that way. The back of the shallow area has a cave where we can set up the fortress on dry ground…although it also has a portal to the Air Node, so we have to be careful where we set in the morning.
I didn’t have my mind on water spells this morning…Those elementals sure seemed upset about their friend…Being taken over by something else sounds really horrifying…Maybe I will talk to Ehlonna about this…about more ways I can be useful.
If yesterday was educational, today was even more exciting!
First thing, though, Ezekiel told us the paper egg was not alive (I think Ao told him or something?? He says he tapped into the shared life-force of the universe, but I think he’s just trying to sound cool).
Raven cut it open (since he’s super healthy and stuff) and showed us what was inside: a bunch of black powder (all caked together with water, now) and a little metal ball (which might be which it was so heavy). Guess we’ll give it to Lydia…she likes exploring different things.
We returned to the raft, and the water elementals started pulling/pushing/propelling us along — I think in the general direction of the water-grus, although I guess their friends were near there, too. By the time we reached another rocky shelf along the shore that we could step out onto, more elementals had joined us – to total six!
So we drew the circle, and Lydia joined us long enough to chat with the elementals a bit (I guess to explain her new, “better” plan to them) and then she led one through the portal. Moments later, it stuck its “head” (?) back through to tell the others it was all good, and they all oozed and dripped their way through the mirror-portal. I’m sure they’ll be…happy?…to be home.
Looking at the map, the elementals basically pushed us right where we needed to be…but it took us a little longer to figure it out. We killed another of those floating eye things, and we spotted some, like, underwater-ghouls that Ezekiel dealt with using his sheep-symbol.
After enough paddling up and down in the area they told us about, we spotted the entrance to a cave or passage underwater. Since I have the necklace of adaptation, and Mikael can be a dolphin, the two of us headed down to explore.
No sooner did we poke our noses into the entrance, than we saw a bunch of swirling bubble-clouds…but not like the elementals. Even I could tell they were different somehow…more like the swirling pillars of air we found in the Air Node.
We nipped back to the raft just in time for the “swirling water things” to come chasing after us. Fortunately, they could only come a couple at a time, and Heiron and I (and Tressarian) took one down while Ezekiel oiled up his mace (probably helps with all the damp).
Elmo chopped into them with his huge axe, and Heiron went at them with his new sword, Scather (I think he’s enjoying it…it seems pretty effective). Raven used his magic daggers, and even Ezekiel bashed a couple into collapsing water droplets with his mace.
I counted four altogether, though I could be wrong. I didn’t see it happen, but they got Heiron a couple times; while Ezekiel healed him up, Mikael and I went back to see if the beasties were guarding anything worthwhile.
We found a scroll, a staff, and a potion lying in a huge pile of money – along with a respectable collection of gems. But Tressarian picked out the one that really mattered…a carnelian, glowing softly with magic energies. I made sure not to touch it, but wrapped it up in a handkerchief.
As Ezekiel says, two out of four, now! We need to come back to the Water Node if we’re going to get the Dragon-Turtles out, but otherwise, we’re ready to move on! We’ll have to decide: Earth or Fire.
Find the previous entry here.