Thursday, February 18, 2010

Episode 10: Into the Land of the Ice Savages

Santiago healed the most critically wounded, and Death tapped the ash from his pipe out on his bony heel. “BUGGER THIS,” he sighed to himself, and with a shimmer he shifted planes and was gone.

Santiago asked Takemiya to join him in his rowboat and the rest followed in Der Mobile to Santiago’s cave. Upon arrival, Santiago entered the whale via a door in the fuselage and began carving out some really fine steaks. Kobayashi cast a Detect Harmony under the cover of the bonfire and found that the cave itself was an unusual “pocket of peace” where, apart from a foul-mouthed gnome in search of some decent clothing, all was safe, harmonious and without unrest.

As the steaks simmered and the fermented eel wine flowed, Santiago told the crew of the black ships that came to and from Plank Town on the “Darks of the Moons”. They appear on each of the three consecutive nights where the night is blackest and seem to be hauling some large cargo into the town.

After some parting gifts, Santiago bid them farewell and Der Mobile headed north to visit the Ice Savages…

A few hours north, Der Mobile ran into 5 large ice guardians, statues (somewhat amateurishly) carved out of free-floating icebergs in a straightish line about a mile in length. A lion, a monkey, a squid, a hippo and a dragon loomed menacingly above the ship, and as Der Mobile passed the silent guardians they discovered that these creatures marked the beginning of an ‘iceberg minefield’, with large piercing spears of ice bobbing up out of the water at random intervals. Luckily, Der Mobile was more than capable of moving up and out of the way…

So, with Turtle Mode engaged, Der Mobile headed up and over the hazard while Iryien’s Squidly Companion Geetsie followed along below the ship. After a couple miles, the minefield ended, and land finally came into view. What the crew saw was a large expanse of ice. It appeared to be flowing down and away from a chain of snow-capped mountains that were a number of miles distant. The sheet of ice was wide, featureless, and seemed poised to swallow the last vestiges of a small walled city on the coast. As Der Mobile came down to sea level, the crew could see that the ice had already breached the tall stone walls and covered about half the town.

A landing crew was organized, with Saladin leading Takemiya, Xoe and the Guidos. The party soon found the gate to the city unlocked and unattended, and as they entered they found the place to be deserted. Wide flagstone streets led to a Coliseum. As the party headed towards the large building, a strange piping sound could be heard on the wind, and immediately four Savages could be seen fleeing the Coliseum. They ran straight at the party, and as Saladin and crew braced for a conflict, one of the Savages cried “It’s the bloody Tootlers! Cheese it, mates!”

Recognizing genuine panic when they saw it, the party followed the four to a large circular bathhouse in the center of town. In the level below, they met a group of armed soldiers and none other than Maximinus Thrax himself. After a cordial greeting, Maximinus asked if the party would mind helping eradicate these “noisesome and petulant invaders”. Explaining that they were concocted by some ‘distant intelligence’ and were made entirely of snow and ice, the party decided to venture for to squash the invaders.

When the headless betentacled pipers arrived off the glacier, Xoe and Holth lit into the first two with ease. Saladin quite accidentally slew a third piper. The Guidos had their hands (and one leg) full with the fourth, and after Athos got pipeslapped, they were in deep trouble. But it wasn’t until Takemiya saw the greenish light creep forth from the glacier that things got uncomfortable.

A misshapen icy behemoth slunk out of the ice, 40 feet high and hate in its eye… But Takemiya ‘rose’ to the challenge, growing himself to 50 feet high in order to pummel the being into so much powder.

(One dislocated shoulder, a partially crumpled building, a multiple strangulation and a deflected groin-punch later…)

Takemiya finally delivered the coup-de-grace, hurling the behemoth’s shinless torso backwards and onto Saladin, who stood his ground and shattered the creature once and for all.

As the party, shivering and panting, listened for signs of further trouble, Maximinus clapped his hands together and exclaimed “Jolly good show, lady and gents. Shall we retire to the warmth of a bath and a cuppa tea?”

I think its safe to say that everyone was in agreement.

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