Kijji: "So we can't just abandon the princess. Let's hide for a while and then go back and try again."
Kiet: "Hide? In the open desert?"
Kijji: "Bury ourselves in the sand?"
GM: "Unburying yourselves might become a problem."
Kijji: "Maybe we could build a giant sand castle using water from Shirish' cantrip?"
Kiet: "Because that's so stealthy."
.... eventually, they just covered their tracks and kept an eye on the pyramid from behind a dune a couple miles away. There wasn't much to see. Eventually, they headed back and found that the corridor they'd entered through was blocked by a rockfall. After searching the entire rest of the outside of the pyramid for any other entrance, they started clearing the rocks.
And met up with someone else clearing the rocks from the inside. Everyone else ran while Kijji stayed (hiding) to watch. "You should run now..." whispered a mysterious voice in his ear, but he ignored it.
Yes, the other person digging was the evil wizard, and he did NOT look happy. Since they could not, in fact, fight him, Kijji ran away just ahead of a HUGE explosion that destroyed half the pyramid, possibly including the evil wizard, and leaving it with no entrances whatsoever.
Fine. Time to leave.
Since they'd failed in their mission, they knew they couldn't return to the capitol because the king would have them all executed, except for Ishtar who'd instead be grounded for the rest of her life. They decided to send him a message explaining what had happened and then flee the kingdom. On the way back to the nearest civilization, they ran across the remains of a merchant caravan, apparently killed by wild animals since it wasn't looted. There wasn't much wealth there, but they did find a set of invitations to a gambling tournament in a coastal city across a mountain range and a huge forest from the capitol, so that seemed like a decent place to head in the absence of any real direction. Clearly, fate had caused the invitations to fall into their hands, so obviously fate would make them win at the tournament as well!
It was a long trip, though. On the way, they ran into a few monsters including some river drakes that spit acid, but nothing that Kiet couldn't slaughter easily with an endless precession of critical hits.
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