That is, we played some Shadake last night.
Upon returning to lick their wounds and report failure, Itsaboy had a sudden inspiration about how they could get Sgt. First back -- he knew the formula for a (pink, fizzy) magical potion that would let someone stay awake during dreamtime. When everyone else on Morpheus, without exception, including the lords of the realm, was forced to be asleep. Rescuing First with the help of such a potion would be trivial!
Making the potion, not so much. "It's really expensive, and it'll take me all day." So Cane spent the day making some lesser potions, Kyngeah spent the day building a large sledge to carry all the weapons and treasure they planned to steal from the army along with Sgt. First, and the others spent the day doing other things.
That night, they decided to interrogate the (dead) captain of the bunnies in the dream realm -- summoning his spirit just before dusk, because in the dreamtime they thought they'd be able to threaten him more effectively. Unfortunately, he was better at manipulating the dream realm than they were, and kicked them around a bit before vanishing. They learned that he was a follower of the Church of the Eternal Void, and expected to be reincarnated, and... really, not much else. They didn't realize they had a finite number of questions to ask, so too many of them got wasted on things like 'why are you being so difficult?'
Cane asked Vesperian if he could cast the speak with dead spell on him, so that they could interrogate his original spirit. Itsaboy and Vesperian expressed doubt that that would work -- after all, if his spirit hadn't been rebuilt along with his body, how was he up and walking around?
At any rate, they were several days behind the army by the time they returned to Crisium's territory, following their trail. To their surprise, there was no massive swath of devastation -- apparently, they'd vanished into the city without causing much upheaval, and the trail stopped when the dirt tracks turned into cobblestones.
Nico wasn't with them -- he'd been sent off separately to spy on the docks from the air, and plant a dragon egg somewhere where it would cause trouble when the mommy dragon came looking for it. [because Snowwy was absent]
The rest of them decided to split up to search for the bunnies and squids. Takara headed to the marketplace to try to fence some of her stolen goods, and ended up getting in a fight with a jeweler and his bodyguard. They ended up getting the worst of it (the jeweler lost a hand), but she did get knocked unconscious and taken prisoner -- there was a price on their heads!
Cane climbed to the top of a touristy tower (shaped like the general's phallus 9.9) and spotted a whole bunch of bunnies and squids -- at the dock, next to two of their ships, which were still intact. So, maybe this wasn't the army they were looking for, or maybe it was. He went to the docks to hang around and listen, and overheard someone trying to convince the dockworkers to help him smuggle a whole bunch of human-sized 'packages' into the bunny and squid area -- obviously, trying to get the missing army back to their friends.
So Cane followed him into an alleyway, roughed him up, and ordered him to take him to where the soldiers were hiding, intending just to scout it out and then come back at night with the pink fizzy potion. Unfortuantely, the soldiers had scouts, and he had a price on his head, so he was captured.
Kyngeah, for her part, put up a sanctuary spell and walked the city randomly, trusting to fate to guide her. So she just sort of randomly wandered into the warehouse where the army was hiding, and got captured that way.
The party was searched for weapons and scanned for powerful magic items, but since they didn't have any of either (swords didn't count as 'weapons' to the soldiers, apparently) they were left with all their things and put into storage rooms in the basement of a warehouse, being used as cells. Vesperian was there too, as was Sgt. First. They'd all just escaped from their cells when the warehouse was swarmed by zombies.
The 'zombies' were really infected people who splattered ludicrously infectious pus all over anyone nearby when they were injured. After killing the one 'zombie' that came downstairs (and killed the guards), Vesperian fireballed the pus off the staircase, setting the building on fire. Cane had some 'cleansing incense' that disinfected wounds, and it worked to clean off the pus before it could infect them as they ran up the stairs, through the general melee in the warehouse, and to the roof, from which they leapt into an adjoining building (that wasn't under attack) and waited until nightfall, when they drank the pink fizzy potions and made their way to the port. Which had also been under attack.
It didn't look like the zombies were from Ree (the goddess of fertility that had sent the bunnies). It looked like they were the work of Ythac, who'd sent the spiky chaos star. It looked like Ree and Ythac were fighting each other, with Morpheus as the hapless battleground.
The zombies had never gotten to the ships at the port, though, so they were able to loot a bunch of weapons and stuff from the bunnies and squids there without having to clean off pus first, and then load everything in a cart and run to escape the city before daybreak. But as they headed back towards Nubium's territory, they all felt really tired, and really, really old -- including Nico who came back to rejoin them. Apparently, the magic that was trying to hold their bodies together was failing even further.
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