Kat was actually here for this session, after missing the last three.
After finishing up their shopping and/or running from city guards, the party left Trepani and headed for Ankh Morpork. On the way, they encountered several groups of soldiers -- a caravan (that they just avoided) and a camp full of off-duty soldiers. While Bob performed for the soldiers, amassing quite a bit of cash, and then decided to prostitute himself for a few of them, getting pocket change but presumably some much-needed relief, the rest of the party... well, mostly they sat around bored boggling that Bob was taking time off from his urgent mission to sleep with a bunch of soldiers. But they also gathered a little information about what exactly was up with the capital.
(1) The emporer was out of his fucking mind.
(2) Everyone who worshipped anything but the church of the eternal void had been put to death. As one might guess, this had resulted in the discovery of a huge number of previously unsuspected devote followers of the church. Including, for example, the entire party.
The city was also... well, mostly benefitting from very weird coincidences. Kit accosted a small child and asked him why he'd just bought a bunch of food with a coin he'd happened to find lying on a windowsill and then left it sitting in the street. The kid wasn't very forthcoming. "I just knew it was the right thing to do." "How do you know what the right thing to do is?" "We just know. Don't you know?"
Cho didn't mention that he'd found a trapped fate spider in Trepani and freed it at some risk and effort, which might have partially explained the strange twists of fate -- he did mention that he didn't see any fate spiders manipulating coincidence, though. And Mira didn't see any magic involved. It was a mystery!
But they'd come to the city to help Bob with his problem, so they headed straight for the temple. Normally, the temples of the Church of the Eternal Void were secretive and hard to find, but this one had seen a lot of... improvement, thanks to all the new converts, many of whom had sensibilities that didn't match the church's normal penchant for secrecy. It was HUGE, and shiny, and glittering with silver and golden decorations, just like a temple of starlight, although it was still mostly black at least.
But they entered the temple, and Bob was escorted to see the grandmaster, after a few hours in the library failing to find anything useful. Only Bob was taken to see him -- the rest of the party wasted time dozing off in the main sanctuary where services were being held.
The Grandmaster told Bob, after Bob's explanation of his problem, that he was obviously a very high ranking member of the church. He'd reincarnated *hundreds* of times! In fact, the only reason he wasn't properly reincarnating right now was that he wasn't actually dead this time, just astrally projecting. A quick locator spell, using Bob as an arcane link to his body, found that it was in... Briarridge?!
Then, the roof of the building flew off, and the millions of obsidian shards reformed into a massive man-shaped elemental, which everyone but Bob recognized as the same thing that had attacked them back in the dragon's lair, killing all the fish Cho had been teaching religion.
"Abomination! I will destroy everything you have contaminated! The fish are dead, and so are the last three cities you've visited!"
While Cho and the grandmaster blasted the elemental with soul-killing spells, which did seem to hurt it, Mira and Bob fled at top speed (Bob on foot, Mira with a spring-shell from her caster). Kit tried to protect the congregation by replacing the ceiling with a giant wooden one, but the creature simply picked it up and tossed it like a frisby.
Seeing that that much wood had been too big for the thing to absorb, Leen tried to paralyze it by encasing it in a giant block of ice. This sort of worked -- all the obsidian shards were glued together into one object too big for the elemental to use. But the elemental just dropped the ice berg and kept hovering in midair, unharmed and invisible except to Cho, who pointed out that fact. Well, unwounded except for the wounds Cho and the grandmaster had inflicted on it.
The grandmaster's next attack was to open a rotating portal to the stars, hoping to sweep the creature up in it. The portal missed, but the thing was susceptible to charm (Kit remembered) and so Kit suggested it travel through the portal and find the nearest star, since stars were full of very deadly fire that would be an effective attack for it to use. Cho watched it go through the portal, and yelled for the grandmaster to close it, which he did. Disaster averted, for the moment.
The grandmaster floated down to where the party (except Bob, who was still running just in case -- Mira had come back) was standing around talking about how they'd seen the thing before but thought it was just a summon by one of the dragons. And no, they hadn't had any inkling that it would come back and attack them again, honest! Kit tried to explain its worldview, but the non-sanity-destroying version was very vague -- it hated all magic as the worst kind of immoral abomination, and had come from a long way away, violating the laws of its kind, to specifically kill Kit. Who wasn't even a particularly powerful mage. But what do you want, it was an insane otherworldly thing.
GM: "How did you hurt it?"
Cho: "After the last time I fought it and found my weapon useless, I spent a few months reforging my weapon to hurt astral entities."
Party: . o O (Oh, that's what you were doing.)
GM: "My first attack should have destroyed any astral entity and sent it to a star."
Cho: "Well, it had some effect, but it wasn't powerful enough."
GM: "It seems to be susceptible to charm, so that's something.
Kit: "How far away did you send it?"
GM: "As far as I've ever gone. Halfway between two stars, neither of them our star."
Kit: "Um... how far apart are stars? Do you think it might actually get to one in an hour?"
GM: "They're very very far apart. No chance in hell."
Kit: "Good. If it actually returned with a star in tow because of my suggestion, I'd be really embarassed."
Mira: "And really on fire."
The grandmaster then explained that Kit's wood wall and Leen's ice berg (ESPECIALLY Leen's ice berg) were obviously Taforian magic, and that they should get the hell out before the city guard arrived to 'question' them. Kit asked if there were any forests in the city, and got pointed to a park. To keep them from being arrested, the grandmaster gave them a group Insignificance spell that would keep anyone but the others of their group from caring that they existed. The stopped caring that they existed, and went about his business.
The problem was the Bob was still running away, and now no longer cared that he'd come to the city with an adventuring party. He *did* need to get to Briarridge, though, so when Kit tracked him down (using his glamour amulet to look like a city guard so that people would be able to ignore him flying around to look, like the spell wanted them to) and Suggested that 'sometimes magical portals happen to open up at the park, and if you go through one you might get closer to your destination', it worked.
After some supplemental plant growth shells from Mira, there was enough of a thicket in the park for the druid teleportation spell to work, and the party (and Bob, ignoring them) followed the path to the forested ridge overlooking Briarridge. Which wasn't destroyed, as Kit had feared from the elemental's ranting.
They were worried about the Razians tracing their teleport (and Kit's enemies noticing their arrival), so they hadn't planned to actually stay in Briarridge right then (the plan had been to flee elsewhere while the Razians and Kit's enemies fought each other) but Mira antimagicked herself so that Bob would notice her and used her magic mirror to look for something happening in the present relating to her destiny.
And oh look, there was Bob's body, in a room in the palace that Kit recognized, writing letters while being stalked by a ninja assassin.
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I uninstalled Hellgate London (which runs even worse now than before -- I'd hoped that the patches to both it and my video driver might make it work better, but no) and cancelled my EQ2 subscription (because I'm already kind of bored of it). Not sure what I'll play next... I've heard there's a free trial of EVE, although it looks *really* boring. Or maybe I can pull something off the backlog pile. Or try out Viva Pinata.