Baerstun

Landing on the Peninsula

(We're skipping a summary here: in sum, after the adventurers defeated the dinosaur-riding-warlock, a load more came out of the trees, so they and the dwarves piled onto the one remaining ship and cast off for the Redstone Penninsula. On the way, they were attacked by a Kraken. The party vanquished the ancient beast, but not before it scuttled their ship. The PCs managed to summon a Great Turtle to carry them to land.)

 

The turtle lurched through the choppy water of the bay, while Shard and the dwarves puttered off on a thin scribble of oily arcane smoke that hung in the air behind them, lit from within by intermittent blue and red flashes.  The rest of the party watched until the engine was out of sight, and then set about securing Mr. Buckle's boxes to the turtle's shell.  Terciel offered to keep watch; before everyone went to sleep they got their bearings on the weird hemispherical storm that had been the topic of so much discussion in Baerstun.

Early the next morning, when Terciel called out that they were about to make landfall, there was no sign of the storm.  A pleasant beach scene unfolded before them.  The turtle craned his neck around, rolling his massive eyes in the sockets and favoring the adventurers with an inscrutable look.  Since he had clambered up onto the sand and lay there still, though, his meaning was clear.  The party disembarked on the north shore of the Bay and Bree immediately set to work picking the locks on Mr. Buckle's chest.  The first gave way easily, and the party had an extraordinarily brief debate about the ethics of transporting his valuable magical stock where it might give them some benefit.  Darg  hefted his new hammer and took a few practice swings while Thea strapped on a new pair of steel gauntlets.

Bree continued distractedly fiddling with the other box but was interrupted by a strange FZAMP sound.  Bree herself heard something akin to the tolling of a giant bronze bell, and everything she could see took on a blue tint.  "Moradin's Marbles, Bree, what are you on about?"  "I'm, uh, fine!  Fine!  This thing is… there's a… it's got a magical trap. Be careful!"

The sound of singing wafted over the sand from a stand of nearby trees.  They crossed the beach and rounded the point to find a handful of villagers dancing around a maypole.  Bree leaped into the fray while the rest of them sang and danced.  The headache from the blue FZAMP trap rung weirdly but the music was nice and she didn't really feel like stopping.  Terciel waved and asked them how they were doing and they replied that they were fine, fine, everything here was fine. The adventurers suspected it was not quite so simple and began asking more questions; when Lenora pressed them and mentioned that something seemed suspicious, one dancer replied too eagerly that no, it was fine, and would she PLEASE stop saying bad things about the village? Rache shook her head once or twice, and then muttered, "oh dear God…" at which point a different dancer wailed, "Oh no…!  Now you've done it!"

The villagers disappeared like a swirling cloud of leaves, and Bree felt a weird tugging on the soles of her feet for just a moment, and then they were gone.  The adventurers looked around warily, and within moments four creatures burst through the shrubs at the periphery of the clearing: large purple-furred felines, with six legs and a pair of tentacles writhing in the air above their backs.  They were somehow indistinct to everyone, but most especially to Bree who perceived them as barely even as substantial as a ghost.  She had trouble focusing her eyes, and the headache spiked back to the front of her head when she tried to look directly at them.

They leaped at the adventurers, slapping and grabbing at them with the small razorhooks at the ends of their long tentacles.  Thea and Lenora held their ground waiting to strike, but they were almost immediately soaked in their own blood from dozens of deep gashes, and the beasts were dancing just out of reach of their weapons.  Terciel shot a pair of arrows at one, and the first went wide with a weird humming noise;
the second THUNKed deep into the beast's flesh and its blurred form appeared far more solid.  As soon as it materialized, Darg, Thea, and Lenora fell on it with their steel.  Bree fired a burst of magic that sizzled, crackled, and then sputtered out … she tried an ice storm, a sticky web… nothing seemed to work, and everything she tried to cast made the soles of her feet burn, and the headache got worse and worse.



Darg dashed left and right, dodging the whipping tentacles and attending to his front-liners who were taking a beating.  Terciel looked around for a clean place to shoot from so he wouldn't have to keep bobbing and weaving between them — they were penning in all of his friends and he'd have to make a break for it sooner rather than later if he was to survive.  He appeared atop the maypole and began to rain arrows down into the creatures, focusing on the one he'd already tagged several times.  It roared at him and pounced, scrambling up the maypole with its six clawed climbing feet.  Terciel waited until it was completely off the ground and loosed a pair of arrows straight down at it.  One of them had the cockatrice fletching from Aladar's shop, and as it sunk deep into the flesh there was a faint hissing noise.  The displacer beast let go of the pole and tumbled to the ground, bounced once, and lay still.  It snapped into focus and within moments it had turned entirely to stone.  Terciel's face screwed into a weird scowl and he pulled out more normal arrows.

Thea chopped one beast almost entirely in half with her axe, and Lenora, Rache, and Darg worked hammer and tongs on the next one.  Once they realized that bringing the beasts into focus made them vulnerable to all the usual kinds of damage — especially "hitting it with something sharp until it dies" — the fight went much better for them.  One beast got away, and while Terciel tracked it through the bushes the rest of them gathered around the bodies and the maypole to learn what they could about the situation they'd stumbled into.

A teleportation spell had definitely carried the villagers away, and the blood in the sand was from their feet.  The spell had taken the villagers away and used them as some sort of arcane counterweight to throw the displacer beasts to wherever the problem was.  Terciel burst back through the underbrush with news: there was an ogre up ahead, at something that looked like a guard post.

"That's great news!" said Rache.  "Let's go kill it."

"But it's standing by a bell," said Terciel, "it might ring for more ogres."

"Yes, excellent, we'll kill those as well then," said Rache, taking
out her knife and tromping off in the direction Terciel had come
from…

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cerulean

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