After looting the dead Templars, the party tried to reunite with the Invaders but couldn't find them -- they did find a few tracks, which led to a 'private entrance' to the miner cat tunnels with a lone miner cat guarding it. They easily got through the door, then... apologized and left, after being pointed to a public entrance elsewhere.
The other entrance was near the westernmost farm. While they were en-route, the two easternmost farms returned to 'normal', meaning that the thin places over those two farms re-formed, leaving them in darkness again. The farm they'd fought the templar army near, and the farm they were heading for, both still had light. The farm they were heading for also had a massive word-tearing distortion in the center, and an army of templars fighting their way through the glow-bugs to try to close it, leaving a dark path behind them where all the glow-bugs were dead and noxious chemicals kept them from coming back.
So they ran down the path to try to watch the templars, only to be challenged by an invisible owl and a raven, who warned them that it was dangerous to continue onwards and that they should turne back for their own protection, unless of course they wanted to *volunteer*. The party... turned and left. A little later, they passed an invader squad running to catch up with the Templars, but it was too late -- a necromancer with the templars had cast a mystic mist around the ritual site, and the prepared to start the hour-long ritual to close the distortion, which eventually succeeded -- getting rid of the thin spot and returning the farm to darkness. The invaders tried to harass them, but were badly sabotaged by the mist -- the invaders' biggest advantage from their tech was range.
They met some miner cats at the designated site, but didn't find the pathway down, and after talking to a few of them decided to just head back to the city. They'd almost arrived, when the thin spot over the first farm, the one they'd helped defend from the Templars, opened all the way up leaving a channel to the outside! A huge fleet of invader ships started coming down from the sky...
And then the Lord of the City shot some sort of beam that exploded in a massive field of disenchantment around the fleet -- possibly the Area + Project + Disenchant powerup combo that Carnelian had thought of building for herself. The ships plummeted miles or (for the lucky ones) hundreds of feet to smash against the ground, covering the erstwhile farm in a huge pile of wrecked ships and dead invaders. The few ships that hadn't been caught in the blast retreated up into the skyplant-channel for cover. Some of the invaders from the destroyed ships could fly, but they didn't seem willing to make an assault by themselves, and slowly flew to rejoin what was left of their fleet.
So the party decided to go see if there were any survivors or loot to be had from the wreckage. On the way, they stumbled across a huge army of spiders rushing through the darkness towards the same destination, and had to fight off a few to disengage. Then they headed around to the back of the farm, as the spiders crawled through the wrecked ships and made sure everyone was dead.
Near the back, near the edge, they saw a ship that looked sort of like the first invader ship they'd seen, the one landed safely on the mountainside... broken in half, with smashed crystals everywhere. Carnelian recognized them as being like the ones they'd seen in the invaders' 'scuttlecraft', and oh yes! It was the same kind of crystal shards they'd found near the low-magic zones around the first invader ship and around the support pillar that the golden circle had been trying to repair. This huge smashed pile of them was, in fact, creating a *huge* low mana zone surrounding a smaller but still pretty huge *no* magic zone. Carnelian and Serene braved it to retrieve some tech that survived the fall (invader helmets for everyone!) and the body of a crewmember that they could cast 'summon spirit' on.
Serene: "What is you ultimate goal here?"
Spirit: "To conquer the world and bring it into our federation."
Serene: "Tell us about the federation."
Spirit: "That's not a question."
Serene: "What can you tell us about the federation?"
Spirit: "I could tell you about our government, our culture, our technology, the strength of our fleet and armies, our magic, our wealth, our home moons..."
Serene (tapping a mana crystal for another question): "What is the government of the federation like?"
The spirit went on for a while -- the government was supposedly a representative council from all the component moons and other nations, but in reality was effectively controlled by a few powerful individuals. It also briefly named and described these individual governments, most of which (but not all) were dictatorships.
After that, they tried to take a big bagful of the smashed crystals with them, but they seemed to be trailing a low-mana zone whereever they went. So instead, they used shape stone and earth to stone to prepare a stone tomb for the crystals a ways from the ship, and buried a large sample in it for later.
Then they headed back to the city, at last, where the squirrels parted ways to head back to report on what had happened to Sadie, and the party proper decided to find the Invaders' base and see if perhaps they could negotiate from a better position, now that they'd helped them keep one of the farms unmolested long enough for a channel to open.
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