Everyone was healed. The ship was ready. The journey to Eldritch Mountain could begin. But first, a little swing by ‘The Floating Isle” to see if Mad Jack McMad’s tip about a sighting of the Mind Flayer ship was in order…
As Der Chelonian approached the Isle, the all-too-keen-eyed Takemiya spied a thin plume of smoke rising up from the middle of the island, between the two forested peaks. As the ship drew closer, Saladin could detect some faint background psionic static, and immediately the crew took up battle stations.
The ship took to the air for a flyover, and while the crew found a crash site, Takemiya picked up voices with his telepathic powers – voices that could see Der Mobile. Paranoia quickly took over, and the crew was soon raining white-hot death down upon the site of the crashed nautiloid.
As the smoke cleared (and infravision normalized), the inhabitants of the island revealed themselves to be the Death Commandos from the Hammer of Grapthar. Gollum, Li’l Sauron, Object, Aaa’oo’aaa, and Velva had not only survived the crash (and a ship full of illithids), but were in fact the ones who had killed of the mind flayers in the first place. Der Mobile gratefully gave the Commandos a lift and made their way to Guildenstern to rendezvous with Elof the Singing Blacksmith.
While Xeno dealt with Elof, the saw blades and a commodity to be named later, Iryien and Xoe headed up Eldritch Mountain for a little scouting mission. On the way, they found malevolent and rudely-stacked cairns marking the trail. Both felt strange, maternal urges as they climbed towards the temple. And just as Xoe had reached the rocky summit and laid her eyes on the temple for the first time, she turned to see a nude Iryien prancing about, doing some sort of interpretive dance whilst clutching a large golden carrot and smearing herself with rabbit droppings.
While this sight stunned Xoe, it was nothing when compared to the shock she felt at seeing Iryien quiver, shimmer, then disappear mid-leap. Xoe had seen enough for one scouting mission, and raced down the mountain to tell the others.
Sitting around Elof’s forge, the men folk had taken to quaffing some ale; but Xeno suddenly choked, and a well-placed Heimlich from Kobayashi shot a gallon of beer and a ninja-shaped voodoo doll out of Xeno’s esophagus. “Strange,” said everyone, but when Xeno came to, drew his swords and began cursing an unseen ghost, everyone took it as a sign of things actually being pretty normal.
The Ghost of Pomegranate Chen made a brief appearance, sucked face with (and 7 years off the life of) Xeno, then disapparated before Saladin could get a perusal through the Psionic Handbook in edgewise.
And with that, Xeno took off to the ship for a nap.
It was then agreed that Xeno should be escorted to Marguerite to see if she could unhaunt him; but alas, before they could even offload in Rosencrantz, the Ghost of Pomegranate Chen returned to slay the Harbormaster, bewilder Saladin and trick Xeno into crippling three Sulians with a blast of Crushing Despair…
So far the Mission is NOT going according to plan…