At last Coin tells us how his machine works, how it will bring an end to this entire plane of doors. The dimensional anchor will be attached to a spool of unbreakable cable. We will take that anchor all the way to Limen’s sanctum and ground it there. Then, Coin’s machine will haul it back into the tesseract. Simpler said than done, of course – the forces involved are immense. But that, in essence, is how his machine works.
But we still need a MacGuffin or two. A certain clutch of Soul Gems. And for that, we need some help. A paladin named Quicksilver.
According to the angels, Quicksilver is dead. But the angels were misled by Li-men. Instead, he seems to be on one of the planes. A hop, skip, and a jump and we are there.
We arrive at a hillock overlooking what seems to be a conquered city. Brus uses his new spell – Find Quarry. Quicksilver is in that evil-looking tower over there on the other side of the city (of course). His “mode of movement”, according to the spell, is hanging by his ankles and swinging gently.
And this evil-looking tower is not just any old evil-looking tower. A quick flick through the K (religion) recognises it as being dedicated to Zon-Kuthon. Quicksilver, one can guess, is having an unpleasant time of it.
How to get across the city? Around? Through? Under, via that conveniently-placed sewer outlet? Well, we are packing Wind Walk now. We are informed, however, that approaching the tower under cover of that spell is infeasible due to divine interference – a strong Deus ex Machina field surrounds it, and we will need to do at least some of the encounters our DM has lovingly prepared.
Smoke rises from a small cluster of buildings. We elect to alight there and take a squiz.
We head into one of the small, squat buildings with thick clouds of smoke coming from the chimney. The odour of rotting death and charred flesh is all but overpowering. Inside, three chained up somethings – humanoid shaped, at least, probably undead – are positioned to be overlooking a room full of charred skeletons. Brus attempts an intimidate: “surrender, or get killed!”. Yeah, it’s basic: but that’s what intimidate boils down to, anyway.
The – things – declare that they have seen things worse then death, and begin making gaze attacks. It’s on. Brus hits one, Faugh hits one, Picklick is outside, and John is just hanging back. Bottom comes in and commences trying to untie one. Brus goes “hmm, ok” and teams up with Faugh. Good tactics. Will calls out “We are supposed to be helping them!”, Brus replies, “We are!”.
More gaze attacks. The front door swings open a little, and the creatures shrink back from the light. Hmm – interesting. One goes down, then another – not before one of its gaze attacks finally hits home. In one of those bursts of unfairness of which the universe is so fond, Will is the victim. He feels a chill, a sapping of his life force. (One negative level to Will.)
Bottom frees the last one of its chains, and attempts to drag it away. It fights and resists with all its might. Brus, deciding that it would be educational to see what happens to these things in full sunlight, joins in, and he and Bottom drag it into the street outside. It’s screams grow louder and louder, more and more desprate until – bodily dragged into the full light of day – its flesh begins to smoke and fall apart, and it disintegrates into dust.
A few minutes inside the building tell the tale. These undead were once men, chained up and forced to watch as person after person was burned alive in front of them, the horror driving them mad. These buildings are factories to create new troops for Zon-Kuthon.
The party confer briefly. The fight may come down to John’s channelling and his Asimaar Daylight ability. In any case – they agree that they seriously need to be out of here before nightfall.
Bottom has a moment. It has been difficult for a Lawful Good monk travelling with this gang of frankly murderous worshippers of the Outer Gods. But what he saw in that building was a whole new level of evil. It put things in a little perspective. The tower lies ahead, and there’s plenty of city between here and there.
We are having a bye next week. More madness after that.