The first order of business was to return to Alexandria to get another copy of Kit's spellbook scribed, so that they could recreate the destroyed journal. Again. Even with Mirnath gone, Cho and Bobbi still wanted to collect all the fountains.
Getting to Alexandria was easy, but the library was in use. The dryads informed them that it was Quinn -- the Priest of Starlight who'd stolen their water and left them for dead way back in Service. So they decided to wait until he was done, then charm him to answer their questions.
And he critically failed to resist. So he told them all about how if you gathered up water from all the fountains *and didn't drink any*, you could brew a concoction that would give you the power of a god. He was collecting the water, but not to become a god himself, he just wanted to stop anyone else from succeeding. To that end, he'd been going around killing dragons, since apparently the dragons had all found out about the water and were gathering it themselves.
But his story didn't hold together -- gathering the water himself was the *last* thing he should have been doing if he wanted to stop people from becoming a god. It almost seemed as if he wasn't completely in control of his own actions. Well, other than Kit's spell.
So Kit put an antimagic field on him to hopefully break the other charm as well as his own, but it didn't work -- because it wasn't a magic charm, it was a psionic charm -- Bob had to mindshield him to remove it. At that point, he realized he'd been completely controlled, and told them that instead of wasting time on the fountains, he was going to go get the Mistress of Starlight's Orb, which was powerful enough to bind Vaal and the other demigods going around trying to rule the world (like Kit had been, 1000 years ago).
But before they did that, they had some tasks to do -- Kit needed to redo his spellbook. And learn how to write in a dragon body. The others wanted to get tuned water of corruption in more variations than that trap they'd set for Mirnath, and cho wanted to finish his dragonscale armor...
...and an unknown amount of time later, they woke from their daze, finished. Vaal's influence had apparently spread to Alexandria. Kit did have his spellbook, and the staff that he'd commissioned from Eldereth (unknowingly)... which was *really* powerful, but had a True Name, meaning that Eldereth could use magic specifically against it (or its owner) from anywhere in the world, and defend against spells cast through it easily. This was less of a trap than Kit had been expecting. Hopefully it was the only one.
It did mean Eldereth had also survived the spell the Grandmaster had cast on Adam, though. Bummer.
Oh, and Quinn was gone. The mindshield had worn off while they were out.
But going to get the Mistress's Sphere of Doom sounded like a good idea -- Kit could probably use it, and with the staff... MAYBE he could bind Vaal and the others. Maybe. Also, one of the other fountains was there anyway.
So they went to sneak into Ankh Morpork. The teleport destination was actually to Trepani, a week's travel by foot, but flying the giant acorn around in the heart of the Razian empire would be a bad idea, so they couldn't just fly there directly. They buried the acorn (after sending Mira in to get some paint, so it wouldn't rot underground) and then caught a boat. Literally. With charm spells. It helped that Bobbi's (body's) son was one of the sailors -- that got them close enough to charm. Which was one reason they picked that boat.
It also helped that the sailors were actually smugglers, and actually *could* sneak them in.
Mira also got word from the Razian Resistance over the crystal she'd had for forever... they were wanting to attack lots of Razian sites, so maybe she could get some of them to join them in assaulting the doubtless occupied Temple of Starlight, if they wanted cannon fodder.
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