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Trailing Tirel, the red-haired woman

Posted in: Weekly Update by Ariel on February 22, 2008

As you can imagine, after the duel the wedding broke up pretty quickly. Sadi was just having fun with that Todd guy. Until he drew blood. I think her tolerance for rich kids is on par with my tolerance for evil.

We found ourselves outside The Coy Nixie (and no, I don”t know what a nixie is). Skye told us that Tirel had been seen there. We hesitated about going in — the place seems to be owned by Todd”s father and we didn”t know if news of the duel had reached here yet. Trusting our hero”s luck, we stepped inside.

Nice place, The Coy Nixie. Candles on the tables. Real cloth tablecloths. The first person we saw was our good friend Nancy from the tourist bureau. She has been an amazing resource for us in our time in Cauldron. We asked her about Tirel. Nancy told us a little more about the town guard massacre. Tirel is one bad person. She is rumored to be a Cleric of Hextor. He is an evil, vengeful god. Nancy said she had not seen Tirel in Cauldron in years and I think the idea of Tirel back in town frightened poor Nancy.

Cinder spotted a couple at back table looking at us strangely — looking, looking away, whispering….. Myntilly walked past and heard them talking about us. She”s such a charmer — she sat down at their table and they talked to her! They told her that they”d seen Tirel in the restaurant less than an hour before. They wanted to tell someone, but they didn”t want to get involved.

We quickly made a game plan. Acgar would go outside the Nixie and cast her detect evil spell. I would go towards the closest gate and use my detect magic spell. Cinder came with me. Myntilly stayed with Acgar and Sadi positioned herself as a go between. (Did I meant that we saw Elvis leave with the best looking woman at the wedding? He was gone before the duel, so he knew nothing about any of this)

Acgar”s spell had an almost immediate effect — evil, lingering evil. She was able to get a general direction, which was east of the city and almost directly past The Coy Nixie. Nancy had told us of hidden doors out of the city, but we”d never found one before. We”re lucky enough to have a kick-ass rogue with us and she quickly found the secret door right behind the restaurant.

No time to waste! We were minutes behind Tirel. I was still in my wedding finery (a nice new white tunic over my armor.) The others had changed but I wanted to look nice when we saw Jenya. I hope she”ll understand why we didn”t show up.

Not far from the city walls we could see a pyramidal gathering of stones, like a cairn. The crumpled map! It suddenly made sense. We expected to find the large hole beside the stones and we did. It was a tunnel opening, a natural tunnel, by the look of it. We looked at each other and plunged down the tunnel! I should have felt uneasy in such a spot with Acgar, a complete stranger to us, but there is something genuine about her. I like her and trust her.

The tunnel ended after about two hundred yards (good thing, my knees were hurting from squat-walking). We found ourselves at a ledge of a lake with a cable car/ferry thing that looked like it could take us across the lake. There was a door off to the left but we busied ourselves with figuring out how the ferry worked.

Myntilly, who will use her levitate any chance she gets, decided to levitate beside the car so that there was less weight in the car itself. The rest of us piled in and turned the crank. We went about 10 or 20 feet and suddenly the car lurched to a halt. Our immediate thought was “too much weight!” Myntilly cast levitate on me since I weigh the most of any of us. I”m not giving up my breastplate for anything, though! It has saved my life more than once.

It was incredible to suddenly float. I pushed out of the car and started toward Myntilly, when out of that door we”d ignored came a guard. At the same moment a deafening alarm sounded. I was suddenly in the best position to do something about the situation. I pulled myself towards the guard, using the overhead ropes. Sadi and Cinder fired arrows at the guard. The car was still swaying a bit and their shots went wide. Sadi yelled to me to drop on the guard and before I could really ready myself properly, I did just that. You know, I”ve never levitated before and I”m not the most graceful person when I have both feet on the ground and I misjudged. I hit him on my way down, but I did not knock him off his feet, instead I found myself sprawled on the ground in front of an enemy. Great. What a little sunbeam am I.

Cinder, Acgar and Sadi took another round of shots at the guard and a second guard appeared in the doorway. What a mess. The alarm is blaring, lights bouncing off the cavern walls, arrows flying, my friends trapped in the air. And the first guard jumps on me. We wrestled for a few seconds. I couldn”t get both hands free to cast a spell, but I did manage to hit him in the ear. That smarts, as you probably know, and he loosened his grip on me. Myntilly got a magic missile spell off at my attacker. Love that spell.

In the confusion, I was able to cast bull”s strength and then I felt prepared for anything! The first guard was visibly wounded from the missiles and Myntilly”s next round knocked him to the ground. I turned to deal with the second guard. I felt so powerful, I wanted to roar like a bull and charge at him! He was down in a few seconds. I rushed into the room, luckily no one else was in there. I smashed the blaring alarm stone and released the cable brake. I felt like I could fly without levitate. Bull”s strength is an awesome spell.

In no time we were across the lake. Sadi, ever brilliant Sadi had asked me to grab the sashes from the guards. Yes, they had the red sashes of the Alleybasher gang. I grabbed their rapiers too. Nice weapons. Cinder ran her hands lovingly over the hilts. It”s a better rapier than her own, so she swapped.
I am such a simpleton; I thought that Sadi wanted a trophy and that was why she”d asked for the sash. But no, she was thinking about our next steps. She and Myntilly put the sashes on to try to bluff that they were guards bringing us as prisoners to Tirel. Brilliant.

I found myself humming an old Pelorian hymn, “This Little Light of Mine”. I felt ready for anything. There was a building right beside the ferry. Sadi opened the door and yelled in “Everything”s fine. Got the prisoners!” and quickly shut the door. Acgar”s evil detection told us that there were three distinct regions of evil — one in the lake, one to the left and one to the right. We decided to the go to the right. We went through the door, acting the guard/prisoner gambit.

The room had a ten foot deep well. Cinder felt uneasy about it and when Sadi dropped some pebbles into it we knew why. Hundreds of leeches suddenly swarmed up out of the water and began to climb the sides of the well. Gross. Myntilly remembered her flask of universal solvent and she poured it out at our feet. She figured that would slow them down. All we wanted to do was inch around the well and get the door on the far side. The solvent stopped some leeches, of course but the others just came over the bodies of the dead ones. I tried a new spell of mine called Nimbus of light. I gather light around me and then I can fling it like a flaming ball at an enemy.

I aimed for the center of the mass. They seemed to absorb the light without injury. I was speechless. Acgar tried stabbing down with her spear; they just clung to the haft. Wow, what a gross predicament. When the bar of soap didn”t slow them down (they ate it), Cinder had the thought to use one of her Tanglefoot bags. She threw it into the leeches and it covered the majority. It slowed them down, but they would not be stopped! Myntilly tried Scorching ray. A few of them went up in flames, but not enough. Since they were moving so slowly, Acgar had the idea to fake them out. We headed around the well to the right and as the leeches followed, we quickly doubled back to the right. Outrunning a swarm of leeches. Gluey, glowing, slightly scorched, Irish Spring soap-fed leeches. Not our finest moments as heroes.

Once we were on the other side of the door from the leeches, I had a divinely inspired thought: I had not cast my locate object spell! I tried to clear my mind of everything except the image of a bundle of wands. Pelor shines through me because a clear sense leaped into my mind. There were wands all around us! One behind us, very close. A couple to our right, a couple to the left. Some close, some far away. The wands. Thank you Pelor, thank you. May I be worthy of your light.

Once I came out of the trance, I noticed everyone looking at me. A wand close behind us? With the leeches? Myntilly offered to levitate into the well and look for the wand. Afterward she said it was the easiest thing she had done all day. I had sensed a few wands to our right. Acgar sensed evil there, too. We went to the right-hand door and opened it to discover four or five guys standing there. The doorway was narrow and it was a hard fight until Acgar breathed acid on them. Have I mentioned her horns? Acgar has some dragon blood. Between her acid and Myntilly”s ray, I had nothing to do.

There was one guy left standing. He looked at the smoldering bodies of his friends and he dropped his weapon and got on his knees. Tears streamed down his face. “Please don”t kill me! I”ll do anything.” He told us that Tirel was on the other side of that door with a few lieutenants. Myntilly murmured that she was out of spells and that we needed to find a place to rest for the night.

We had the guard take us to a securable building. He picked the ferry building at the edge of the lake. I took first watch. I sit here, quietly waiting for the dawn. I will choose my spells with care and for the first time I may try to kill a human with my divine magic. This is Pelor against Hextor. I must not fail.

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