The party fled a good long way down the miner cats' tunnel, after escaping from the Maenad swarm at the mountain, until they saw a light up ahead, and slowed down so as not to run over another autowagon-like-thing (although much more basic) travelling in the same direction. It was full of miner cats who said that they were heading back to their mine. The party asked about a way out of the tunnels, and were told of several -- the closest was of course back at the mountain, there was also a way out at the mine (although not big enough for the wagon). Then there was the Enclave ('but they're crazy'), an exit at the shoreline, and another exit to the south ('but that's farther away').
They decided to head for the ocean, although first they had to pass the other cart. The tunnel was large enough for two of the miner cat autowagons to pass each other, barely, but Armitage's autowagon was a little larger and was in particular six inches too wide to pass. They convinced the miner cats to wait while they took off the wheels and carried it past, though -- Armitage knew enough about mechanics to take the wheels off and put them back on.
Then they ran for a couple more hours, until they came to what looked like a cave in, with a massive iron door behind it. There were two smaller doors to the side, with scratchy noises behind them.
They got out of the autowagon, and Armitage opened one of the smaller doors, and a glowing lizard snapped at him! So he closed it, readied an exploding arrow, and had Carnelian open the door while he shot through. KABOOM!
The lizards didn't like that, and dashed out to attack! Their bite wasn't strong enough to get through Armitage's armor (and they mostly otherwise attacked Gamble, whose new magic shield deflected them), but it had an acid quality that damaged the armor a little with each hit. The party shot and stabbed the lizards, quickly killing them... well, quickly forcing them to change shape into a swarm of cats, instead. Most of which tried to run away. Killing the two cats that stayed around resulted in a swarm of sparrows and a swarm of ferrets. Killing THOSE left only scattered individual bugs that didn't fight anymore.
Then Armitage activated his lightning armor item, and opened up the other door. The lizards behind it tried to run away, but he cornered one, wrapped it up in spider silk, and burned it to death with lightning -- the few bugs that didn't die (burning damage tended to actually kill them, as opposed to sword or gun damage which confused them and made them take smaller forms) were trapped in the sticky web and got spark-clouded.
With the bugs driven off, they explored the area, and found a control room near the door, with two levers, neither of which seemed to do anything but set off an alarm. They found more glowing lizards locked up in a store-room (which they left locked) and a family of mice in another store room, who didn't know much. Armitage summoned his familiar to talk with them further (they seemed scared of the giant satyrs etc.) but his familiar appeared as a hawk and hunted them for a while instead, until Armitage distracted him with talk of the glowing bugs. "Oh, are those [nonsense word]?" the familiar asked, but his verdict was that they were just poisoned, instead.
They also found instructions for how to work the levers -- you had to open both levers for a door simultanously to actually open it -- and a map of the tunnel system, that showed them the way they needed to go. So they got past and headed for the ocean.
The ocean cave exit was flooded, but it looked like it might only be flooded at high tide. (Yes, they were on a moon without a moon of its own, but it still had tides. Such is the will of Cho.) So they had a party there in the cave, hunting the crabs that lived in the water with bow and arrow, until 'morning' when they did just barely have enough time to slip out of the cave before the rest of the tide came in (since they slept through the very lowest point).
Outside, they noticed a crow, wearing a strange helmet, watching the exit. Gamble didn't know why, but she was certain that if they didn't kill the crow, something very very bad would happen! So she shot at it, and the rest of the party did their best to kill it on her word, but it was a lot faster than them (especially since except for Serene they were trapped in a very slow makeshift boat) and managed to get away into the woods and hide.
Movement in the ocean was really slow. They saw the city in the distance, but it would take *weeks* to get there in the autowagon! The other direction was a beach, and a river outlet -- probably the same river they'd crossed on the way to the mountain. Armitage summoned his familiar and had him turn into an oxen to pull the cart through the muddy areas where they couldn't drive along the edge of the stream.
After a few hours, they came to the bridge, where they could maybe hook up with the road again. Except that it was on fire. And surrounded by maenads. Carnelian had the party extinguish their lights, and tossed a copper piece with continual sunlight into the forest to distract the maenads (since they were seeing them from a very long way off and the maenads probably only saw their lights) and they fled back down the river.
To make the fleeing go faster, Armitage remembered he had a turtle figurine that was designed to be ridden. They tied his familiar's harness to it, and in the water it proved a much, much more effective puller. In fact, they were making good enough time that they decided to not only travel the rest of the way back to the city by that method, but stop and look at the nearby island that had been claimed by the Sky Plant.
Approaching the island, the water was filled more and more with glowing fish, that they knew were the morphing colony-bugs, although as fish they weren't aggressive. When they got close enough to see the island, silhouetted against the softly glowing bug-filled water, they saw that it was choked by giant spiky vines that reached up into the sky, and inhabited by dinosaur-sized spiders. That changed their mind about visiting.
So they went back home. They told some stories to the satyrs at the beach parties, bought some new equipment, and after a few days, when they were about to start looking for more work, the giant floating head of the Lord of Darkness appeared, and ordered everyone to find a way to stop the zones of low magic that had been plagueing the city.
Most peoples' reaction when they asked around was, 'What zones of low magic?'
Since there was a reward offered for useful information, as well as the massive reward for actually solving the problem, Armitage decided to go offer the infomation about the miner cats who'd been doing experiments on powerups. "Maybe that has something to do with it?" "Maybe you're wasting our time with irrelevant bullshit?" laughed the judges, and dumped a load of bullshit from the ceiling trapdoor on him. "Come back when you've come up with a bullshit story that at least sounds relevant, and we'll laugh at you some more."
They did manage to find some relevant information by asking around, though, whose nature will be revealed next session when I come up with what exactly it would be. Ahem.
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