I did get a huge chunk of ice or something stuck under my car making scraping noises down the street when we went out for dinner. Between trying and failing to dislodge it (it came loose on its own eventually) and tracking down the asshole who double-parked behind my car at the apartment complex, the other half of the group had to wait a long time for us to catch up...
Anyway, we eventually played the game.
The party claimed the dead noble's magic arrows to go with their arrowless shortbow, and after a quick archery contest, the theify human type (Takara) was declared their archer. Otter-girl built a compass out of the wreckage of the prototype, and they gave the one kid (of a pair) that they hadn't been able to shake loose an ultimatum: Go home, or come with us and be used as bait for a giant bird whose egg we want to steal.
The kid decided to come with them.
Following the compass and triangulating to figure out which end of the compass to follow, they estimated 10 miles to the fallen star. Unfortunately, they decided to follow Cane's orienteering skills, and ended up on the other side of a massive lake from the mountain in which the egg was apparently buried. Since it was getting dark, they made camp, since there was no point searching for a cave in the dark. This was a lordless area, so it was hypothesized that they'd be able to sleep normally instead of getting thrown against their will into a magic dream.
That was sort of half right. Otter-girl and Takara went to sleep before nightfall, but Birdy stayed up on watch and Cane stayed up trying to analyze some alchemical mixtures -- that seemed more important than sleep, since they had stimulants that were supposed to keep them awake without sleep indefinately and all.
But night fell, and his alchemical analysis went horribly wrong as he began to dream. Worse, the mage/slave that was accompanying them was putting up magical barriers against a bunch of undead that were swarming the mountain. Then, a giant undead horse appeared -- the lord of the Dead Lands.
Tycho (as the horse named itself) sent the mage away, and then spoke to Cane and Birdy. It told them that it was the lord of the dead lands, and that the undead menacing them were its servants. They told it that they needed to sleep, unlike the native Burmecians, and would probably be out of its territory soon. It put Birdy to sleep againsst his will, but Cane noticed that it seemed to take a lot of effort, and it couldn't do the same to him -- his training in fire-style swordfighting gave him an 'immovable stance' that he'd been using to threaten the perpetually approaching yet never actually arriving undead, and it let him shrug off the compulsion.
Cane: "Are you truly the lord of this land?"
Tycho: "I was once, before my betrayal!"
Cane: "Would you like to speak of your betrayal?"
Tycho, in a kid's voice: "Come on, sleep already!"
Cane: "... okay, I'll sleep under your watchful eye, Lord of the Undead."
Because 'Tycho' wasn't a lord at all, just the kid playing around with his dream powers -- the only citizen in the deadlands.
So they woke up in the morning feeling refreshed, and didn't need to take their stimulants. They also forgot to take the stabilizers, or at least no one mentioned taking them... doh.
Then it was time to find a cave across the lake, since the spiky ball was supposedly somewhere inside. Birdy flew to examine the waterfall, wile Cane used a spyglass to look for openings in the mountainside. And there were LOTS of them -- but the closest one to the compass's bearing was through the waterfall. Birdy could fly, but the rest would have to swim -- although since it was a deserted area, someone pointed out, they could leave their things on the shore and they would probably remain unmolested.
Otter-girl wrapped some stuff they wanted to take with them (like, ropes and torches and magic potions) in a rain cloak they had, and ended up using the waterproof bundle as a floaty to help the hopelessly incompetent Cane swim across -- apparently, fire-style martial arts did not include learning how to swim. Birdy flew cover, and lured some fish which were following his shadow to distract the giant sea monster that kept threatening to eat the others as they slowly swam across the lake. It was a really big lake. They were exhausted by the time they reached the other side.
The cave behind the waterfall looked mostly natural, with many branchings. Otter-girl drew Tarot cards for each tunnel to decide which to pick. Tunnel 1: 'A self-fulfilling prophecy', Tunnel 2: 'An unexpected surprise', Tunnel 3: 'Disaster and catastrophic change.' Birdy pointed out that they *were* looking for a giant bird or a dragon, but they decided that tunnel 1 was the most promising. As they entered it, a flock of bats suddenly flew out of tunnel 2 -- apparently, the cards knew what they were talking about, somewhat.
As it turned out, EVERY tunnel would have led to the next chamber, because it was HUGE. And had a giant dragon sleeping in it. They lowered a rope ladder from the balcony they were on, then Takara helped them sneak across the room to the tunnel that the compass seemed to be pointing to.
Down that tunnel a ways was a gold-plated temple off Abraxas, which Otter-girl remembered was her god. It was full of bats. Cane tried to ask the bats if they'd seen a giant orb, which turned out to be a disastrous move -- it not only woke up the bats, who swarmed and attacked, brushing the party with poisonous spikes, but woke up the Dragon.
Most of the party fled to the back of the room, where a door led to the priests' chambers, but Otter-girl was stung repeatedly by bats and driven into a frenzied rage from the pain, and started setting the whole temple on fire using oil from the basins of two huge braziers. Not realizing that she was insane, the rest of them let her do it, Cane stepping in to drag her to the back only when it was obvious that she intended to stand in the middle of the fire and swipe at the bats with torches.
He gave her a calming potion, hoping it would counteract the murderous rage and let him close the door to the temple full of fire and bats and the noise of an approaching dragon, and it worked, but only turned her rage into fear, and she fled through the temple -- since it was a temple of her god, she knew where the secret doors were, and they had a lot of trouble following her. Especially when the mage and Birdy were distracted by a library full of decaying books -- there were a few that didn't fall apart, and Birdy wanted Cane with his eidetic memory to memorize them all before continuing the pursuit.
But Takara found the secret door before more than a few pages had been 'photographed', and they continued up a long spiral staircase to... a dead end, full of rubble, where Otter-girl was sobbing in a corner. Then, the temple collapsed, burying the library and everything else in rubble, and trapping them between the two rockfalls.
There was a faint breeze coming from the upper rubble-pile, though, and after a few hours of labor they were able to clear a path to the outside -- if he was able to get his alchemy set and bottled garden, Cane hoped (without any real reason to think his hope would be fulfilled) that he'd be able to concoct something to ease Otter-girl's pain until she was sane again.
Oh, and the compass said the orb was probably buried in the rubble filling the temple ruins. Oops.
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