Our arrival in Sasserine was fairly uneventful. Ian and the animals arrived separately. He used a special “travel by tree” spell that only druids know. It saved us from buying another scroll, so I didn’t argue. He assured us that the costal Cotter pine is all over Sasserine. when we arrived, dead on target (thank you, Myntilly!), the first thing Sadi said is “There are no trees.” I looked around. “There are trees over there.” Buzz pointed behind us, over the water to the opposite shore. ” Acgar asked, in a serious tone, “Can camels swim?”
I took a moment to look around. Sasserine is huge compared to Cauldron. I feel comfortable in Cauldron, but this place — I feel like a hick.
Sasserine is a major (if not THE major) port for the whole area. There’s a saying: “All roads lead to Sasserine.”
We certainly hope that we’ll find the Mayor at his vacation house. I am anxious to be face to face with Embril, the priestess of Wee Jas. We have things to discuss.
The first shop we noticed seemed like a sign from god. It was called “Cages A Plenty” and considering all we’ve heard about cagewrights, we had to stop in. It turns out to be a pet store. I got a weird feeling from the clerk and perhaps for good reason. I did a little bluff to get more information and somehow I walked out of there having agreed to purchase a worg pup. Sadi was laughing so hard but she couldn’t tell me why. Acgar glared at me and said “Worgs are evil! Why did you do that?” I raised an eyebrow. “Evil? Evil how?”
She sighed. “Don’t you know anything? Goblins ride them in battle.”
“That’s pretty evil. But it’s a puppy! So we can teach it to be good. Er, neutral. Neutral good.”
Myntilly stood at the dock. “We need some way to get around.” Sadi hitched her thumb over her shoulder. “We could hire those guys.” There was a barge unloading at the dock. Myntilly went over and negotiated a fair price for taxi and tour service. Ian and the animals showed up just in time. According to Ian, camels can wade up to their necks with the best of them.
As sometimes happens, Ian knew one of the boatmen. Aaron is a fellow druid who took passage on the barge and helps provide protection. Scratch is the other body guard and Toremi is the owner. It was getting late, so Toremi suggested Rumbleguts Inn as a good place to stay the night. “Rumbleguts? That doesn’t sound so great,” I ventured. Sadi disagreed saying “With a name like that, they have to be the best kitchen in town!” Toremi agreed with her. “We’ve told him to change the name, but that’s his name and he won’t change it for nothing.”
While we were waiting for a good and hearty dinner, Myntilly chatted with the bartender. No doubt she flashed her dimples at him. Soon he was giving information. He had seen the Mayor. It’d been a few weeks before and he’d cut his hair and grown a mustache and beard since the last time Knut had seen him. “No one,” he told Myntilly, “has seen him since.”
After dinner Sadi and Myntilly snuck (with the help of invisibility) into the Mayor’s house and found some clues but no Mayor.
The next day we found what turned out to be Lord Vhalantru’s family home. It was boarded up and in disrepair. We found signs of magic and struggle inside. Some effort was made to clean, but perhaps the assailants were interrupted during the cleanup. There were stairs going down and we followed them. I was up front and Ian was right behind me with Brus. It was dark and close in the stairwell. We heard a shuffling sound below. “I can’t see a damned thing!” I turned to Ian. “Dark vision? Or is that dwarves?” He moved up beside me and peered ahead. “Oh. Oh dear.”
“What do you see?” Myntilly hissed from behind. “Um, OK. You know that poster that Dyskko has up? he one for his new show? And there’s that eye thing? It’s one of those.”
I heard Acgar gasp. “A beholder?”
“Wait,” said Ian. “Do those have feet? This thing has feet and a really, oh yeah, a really long tongue.”
Sadi and Acgar pushed to the front. Acgar held up her torch. “What in heaven’s name is that?”
Said tilted her head. “Hard to say but it looks a little big for this cellar.”
When she said that I realized she was right. It was trying to float and it had no head room to do so. Sadi reached around her throat. “Fireball.”
The flames exploded on either side of the creature. “Oh man,” Acgar moaned. “It must have anti-magic on one of its eyestalks.” Buzz came forward and blessed Sadi’s bow. “Good hunting.”
Acgar turned to the group. “We’re going to have to get close.” An idea was forming in my head and at the first chance I cast command. “By Pelor’s beard, you will turn around!” I bellowed at the creature. It turned its back, and more importantly, its eyestalks to us. Acgar ran up and jabbed it with her spear. Unfortunately the creature backed into her in response but she was just knocked over. Ian began to cast lightening. Myntilly and Sadi and Buzz were doing their best to help bring it down before my command wore off. So the creature was down and dying when Ian released his spell. The lightening caused the creature to explode.
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