The party spent a day or so in the squirrel-satyrs' lair, recuperating. Gamble and Carnelian mostly flirted with the squirrels (Carnelian in particular trying to cause trouble by stealing the girl out from under two competing boyfriends) while Serene tried to think of how to get around the Templars limiting all their enchantments to only work for Templars.
According to the squirrels, the Templars *had* been disenchanted when the disaster happened, and suffered some early losses against the Invaders (as they called the other group), but thanks to their stealthy owl mages had managed to let most of the people escape. Now they'd set up a re-enchantment shop, although they were only re-enchanting Templar equipment. Anyone was welcome to *join* the Templars of course, although you'd have to swear various unspecified oaths.
They'd stolen a few Templar items anyway, and Serene examined one in detail and discovered that the condition on its Limit spell was 'this person's name is written in one of the books that is specified as an official Templar membership registry by the master book'. After a day or so of playing around with the theory, she thought she'd be able to come up with a variant of Scrywall that could block Limit spells that depended on remote information from working (which would effectively de-power any nearby Templars), but she'd need a magical laboratory to test her theory and actually develop the spell.
The problem was that magical laboratories were magical, and therefore all the ones in the city were disenchanted. So they decided to travel cross-country to one of the other abandoned cities on the dark side of the moon, to see if anyone had left behind a magical lab they could use (since magical labs were not, generally, portable). After comparing the relative speed and convenience of land vs. sea travel, they chose to get some horses (offworld, nonsentient horses, using Carnelian's 'Shop' powerup she'd been saving) and head for the city of 'Kitkat', that used to be an agricultural center until the people there got sick of maintaining separate defenses and relocated to the City of Darkness.
Two of the squirrel satyrs volunteered to come with them, one of them mostly a crappy mage, the other mostly a crappy thief. Sadie kind of wanted to come to be with Gamble, but wasn't willing to leave her friends alone in the city since it was so dangerous. Also, she was generally sympathetic to the Templars, that she said had been doing a lot of good for people. The party was not convinced of that -- they blamed the recent 'disappearances' on the Templars kidnapping people to sacrifice to re-power their magical items. Which was certainly a plausible scenario.
So they rode off into the darkness, hugging the river to try to stay away from the maenad bands they could see encroaching on the city now that the lights were off. This ended up taking them right past one of the farms -- the mysteriously inactive farms, which shouldn't have been affected at all by the nonsense inside the city. The farm was covered in swarms and swarms of glowbugs, and there was something in the center that they didn't want to look at, and in fact could not force themselves to look at when they tried. So they made a continual light to draw off any nearby glowbugs, and rode past quickly in the dark.
One of the squirrels had trouble keeping control of his horse without sufficient light, though, and kept falling behind and/or off, slowing them down enough that one of the maenad bands managed to get way too close for comfort. They started riding away at full speed, then -- the clumsy squirrel managing to panic his horse into galloping off randomly at least -- and with a combination of Flash and Panic spells dissuaded the few fast maenads (a mammoth, a cheetah, some wolves) from chasing them any farther, although since Panic spells didn't *exactly* work on the maenads -- they made them even more crazy instead of scared per se -- they did have to kill the cheetah.
Then they rode on and on and on and ON AND ON to keep ahead of the main band of maenads, until they finally found a place that looked like they might be able to rest, after a total of thirteen hours of riding. It was a little stone hut just barely big enough to fit the horses in, but it had an entrance (a ladder) to the miner cat tunnels. Carnelian used Shape Earth to turn the stone floor into a stone wall blocking off the door, so that even if the maenads tracked them they wouldn't be able to get in (the maenads weren't the type to chip through stone just to get to a few people who'd run off), then they headed downstairs to what looked like a miner cat observation post, and barricaded the doors down there with furniture while they rested.
Unfortunately, when it came time for Gamble to take the third watch, they discovered that the squirrels were missing. They decided that they didn't really care, and just locked the doors again. When someone knocked and rattled at the door, trying to get in, Serene poked her invisible, intangible head out to take a look and... yeah, the squirrels had been captured. By a pack of miner cats -- about 20 of them. Not all of them looked like soldiers, though.
Carnelian bricked over the underground doors as well, then, leaving the squirrels outside, and then Serene reluctantly agreed to rescue them. She floated out as a ghost and did spooky ghost stuff. "Leave the Squirrels, I Must FEED!" was her first attempt. The miner cats weren't about to abandon their prisoners to be eaten by a ghost, though, and instead tried to run off with them. "Any who stay with the squirrels are DOOOMED!" got them to cut the squirrels free and tell them to run in a different direction, though.
Then it was just a matter of getting the squirrels to stop running away from the spooky ghost.
At any rate, by the time the miner cats had come back with enough mining equipment to break through the stone, and some ghost-busting specialists, the party was rested enough to continue on their journey, so they ran away while the 'cats were busy busting through the walls. There were signs that the maenads had, in fact, tracked them to the little hut, but they hadn't stayed the whole night -- there was no sign of maenads there anymore.
...and, as it turned out, no further complications on the rest of their journey. They did spend some time during their rest periods re-powering the powerups that Carnelian had stolen from a miner cat 'good powerups' bin, as well as the three *special* powerups that Serene took from the tower. Serene's analyze magic on them only managed to get her their names: 'Time Twister', 'Invulnerability', and 'Creation'.
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For some reason, everything I eat right now tastes like soap. Except for olives; the olives tasted fine.