Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Episode 64: The Voyage Home

As the cold, wet schtupping sound of Xeno being sucked into the door subsided, it was replaced by a distant, slightly more disturbing one: that of war.

Horns were blasted, orders were barked and the din of massive conflict filtered to the party's ears. The question was asked: "Should we try and save Xeno?" The answer: "He's... probably safer where he is."

Everyone agreed, then proceeded to the top of the citadel where they could look upon...

...a massive dry valley, two miles long and half a mile wide. Sharp, craggy walls lined it in either side while away to the south, a natural opening in the rock emulated a gigantic gateway - a gateway that was currently being overrun with thousands upon thousands of sluggish, maggotlike beings. The glistening army was being driven through the gap by a number of wing├ęd devils brandishing fiery whips and murderous swords.

A smaller, pessimistic group of slugs could be seen issuing forth from the citadel below. But even at a distance it could be seen that their slime had less glisten, their slithering was less vigorous. They could sense their own inevitable doom.

It was then that a great golden maw opened up in the floor of the citadel, regurgitating Xeno onto the citadel roof. Covered in an opalescent slime, he appeared to have been transformed back to his old gnomish self. He smiled, humming softly to himself. He seemed happy.

It was right about that time when a great horn blast reverberated off the canyon walls. The invaders stopped their undulating invasion long enough for one of the flying devils to cup his hands to his mouth and yell (in an appropriately evil and foreboding voice) "Xeno-o-o-o... Is that you-u-u-u???"

Being recognised a mile distant by the diabolical field marshal of an invading hellish army didn't phase Xeno nearly as much as it should have done.

He waved and said "Hi!"

The field marshal turned, bellowed "ATTAAAAAACK!!!!!" and twelve 3-headed fire-breathing dragons emerged from the gateway, breathing fire and making a dragonline for the citadel.

After some calm, lucid debate in which a number of salient points were raised, viable options were debated, and a course of action was decided by majority vote, the party decided to flee in a panic down into the citadel. There, they met up with the imp that had been minding his ruined drum kit in the Shielding Room. Quietly weeping over his ruined Zildjians, the party learned his name was BILLY, and that all he really wanted was a gig in a faraway land. He was recruited on the spot, and his first act was to burrow directly through the stone floor of the citadel and head out to meet the dragons.

The party was both impressed and a little bit worried.

Down on the first floor, the party ran into the slowly rotating Blood Monster, Takemiya entered the Blue Mushroom painting, and after meeting a paranoid, damp pixie by the name of Hasty Retreat he managed to retrieve the last of the three keys.

BILLY then returned intermittently with the hearts of three of the dragons, a tasty feast was had, and Xoe became her old self again (excepting that firebreathing bit). BILLY then led the party to the Door of the Three Keys, everyone walked through the strange portal and into a dark hallway where some familiar smells assaulted everyone's noses:

Smoke. Sweat. Desperation. Disinfectant.


The party's jubilation was palpable as, after one long year (or has it only been a month?) they had finally returned to Lungfish Isle.

As BILLY the imp emerged in tux and tails, hitting the stage like he was born to emcee a strip club, the rest of the party shuffled blearily into the street and back into their beloved home town once again.

Some natural tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wand'ring steps and slow
Through Port Harbor took their solitary way.

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