The grrlock attack on the Brushfire had been pulled from the fragmenting memory of the dying dog, so they didn't have a really good idea of when or how many or anything like that -- only that the attack was planned. So they rushed back as close as they could without getting in line of the ship's cannons, since they didn't want to get gunned down by their own ship if it had already been captured, and since no one at all was visible on the ship (NOT a good sign) sent Kyngeah to scout astrally. Grrlocks were known (by Cane, who'd recovered his memory, and Kyngeah, who studied monster lore) to be antimagic, which generally meant that they couldn't use magic either. They shouldn't have any reasonable way to intercept her.
Unfortunately, they did have scouts out guarding the ship, and saw the party before the party saw them. So while Kyngeah was having an out of body experience (and discovering that there were nine Grrlocks on the ship, holding twenty crew members prisoner), the levitating cannon suddenly fell to the ground. Grrlcoks were near!
Cane immediately ran towards the ship, bounding into a tree and... hurriedly taking off his armor. His feriphal-sized armor, which would probably hurt a lot to suddenly be Zox sized inside of. He almost managed to get it unfastened before the Grrlocks got close enough to de-magick him back into a Zox -- it was unfastened enough not to hurt him at least.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party was losing against the Grrlocks attacking them. There were a lot of them! 'Micro' in particular killed about a dozen, but eventually they were all tied up and threatened with spears -- the Grrlocks seemed to want to take prisoners. Only not Cane -- they tried to stab Cane a lot.
Unfortunately for them, Teatime's psionics (which he had 'back' thanks to implanted parasites) weren't magical, and didn't have any somatic components. He managed to put out a burst of anger-inducing magic that the grrlocks were unable to resist, and they all started killing each other, letting the party wiggled out of the bolas and regroup to assault the ship and free their companions before the grrlock expeditionary force got its act together, since Kyngeah had come back and reported about them only having a skeleton crew on board.
They tried to sneak in through the cargo-bay door (the prisoners were being held in the cargo bay) but the grrlocks on guard spotted them in time. Since Nico was staying behind (he was useless in an antimagic field) they didn't share a common language, so Cane pretended to talk to them in a soothing tone of voice while the assault team got in position to shoot them. They didn't have keys, but Takara didn't need keys to free the prisoners.
In the meantime, they decided to cleanse the rest of the ship of Grrlocks. There was a nasty battle in the hallway on the second level, with grrlocks stabbing and throwing spears and generally making a nuisance of themselves -- Cane's main contribution to that fight was to accidentally stab one of the crew which a Grrlock was using as a human shield. But the others eventually got lucky shots in and took them down.
So it all came down to the grrlock chief, who was holed up in the captain's cabin looting everything he could get his hands on. Cane opened the door, and the Grrlcok suppressed his antimagic field -- turning Cane back into a feriphal, far too small to wield his sword -- and started shooting lightning. Takara snuck in as a cat and changed back to human form underneath him, gutting him with her claws.
So they'd freed the ship, but they were still missing some crew, and there were an unknown number of grrlocks haunting the woods outside. Oh, and they couldn't leave because the clockworks that were supposed to power the vanes were missing. Well, they *could* have left, with the mages powering the vanes, and they were thinking of doing exactly that (at least to a less well known hiding place!) except that more crewmembers kept filtering in, back from the city.
Nico managed to somehow make contact with the grrlocks, and negotiate a settlement. They'd 'allow the ship to leave' if they were given passage to another moon -- if they all clustered at the front, the vanes wouldn't be in their antimagic field. Cane suggested that they take the offer -- the grrlocks had obviously stolen the clockwork, and they'd have to give it back if they wanted to get taken off-planet. Besides, Nico said there were only about a half dozen of them, so they could always kill them once they were underway -- and if another dog showed up, a bunch of antimagic might be just what they needed to survive, since they had guns and cannon that worked without magic.
No. There were *42* Grrlocks. And they insisted that the 'murderers' -- Cane and Micro -- be kept away from them. But they did give back the clockwork so that they could leave as soon as they had most of the crew back (there were four stragglers who got left behind -- probably already dead).
And Cane started discussing drugs with Vitta (?), to come up with a plan to get rid of them once they were away from Paladine.
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