Sunday, April 20, 2014

D&D Session #37: Ninja Ex Machina

As they watched the titans destroy the orc village, the party had to make a decision: would they head north through the titans to get tot he airship that would take them out of this realm? Or would they escape south with the few orcs that remain?

To head toward the airship now would not only be dangerous; it would mean abandoning their spiders (Arial Black and Webdings) as well as giving up on their tyrant skull, which Robert was presumably still dragging along the path.

In the end, the party began to head south.

Having traveled several hours before reaching the orcs that day, the party was not prepared to march as far as the orcs were. After a few hours traveling south, the party began to suffer from fatigue, which they staved off for a while using Ere'Sat and Buck's healing magic.

Eventually, long after the sun was obscured by clouds for the rain cycle (what passes for night in this realm where the sun never sets), they came across the tyrant skull resting in the road. Robert la sleeping beneath it, using the skull as shelter while he slept.

The party woke him, then called for a halt in order to try to get some rest. The orcs, being better rested than the party, set several people out to watch for titans. The party was able to rest together.

Only a few hours later, though, the party awoke to alarms, as titans were spotted at the perimeter. The orcs quickly packed up to leave, but the still-tired party had a different plan in mind. They said farewell to Robert, Zelda, Sonny, and Yotsu, entrusting the skittish Webdings and Arial Black to Sonny's care as they continued south. The party, meanwhile, rearranged themselves among the camp, attempting to hide and rest at the same time.

Mere minutes after the orcs had left and the party settled down, Akito (who was keeping watch) noticed a couple of titans approaching.

One of them approached the sleeping John Freeman, who awoke to a voice in his mind:

Where is the citadel? What must we do?

John attempted several different responses: directing them east, telling them he didn't, and so on. However, the inquiries became more insistent, and soon the other titan joined in, and the rest of the party began to hear the voices as well.

Just as the voices in their minds were becoming painful, they suddenly went silent. John Freeman watched as the nearest titan approached and made as if to punch at where he lay. John proceeded to cast an invisibility spell and attempt to rolls away silently. Unfortunately, the titan's face seemed to follow John's path, as if watching him with eyes that weren't there.

As he attempted to escape, the titan caught up to John and slammed him with a fist, knocking him out cold. The rest of the party, realizing that their plan was falling apart, began to run for their lives. Ere'sat and Akito took a beating as they tried to escape, but they managed to get away. There was nobody left at the campsite to witness the fate of John Freeman.

Buck led the escape, having cast a spell upon himself to run faster: the appropriately-named Expeditious Retreat. He ran west, but soon realized that the titans were everywhere west and north. He called for everyone to run south, then continued to run with all his might.

At some point he passed what he thought might be Tyriron, but that didn't make sense, since his halfling friend was far behind him. He shrugged it off and kept running.

Meanwhile, Akito, Ere'Sat, and Tyriron stuck together, and they began to notice figures darting in between trees ahead. Eventually a figure stepped from behind a tree and halted the group, revealing himself to be a member of the Shinku, the halfling ninjas that had attacked the party previously, suspecting Tyriron to be a deserter.

The ninjas told the group that they were here to help, and that there is a tunnel nearby. The party let the ninjas know about John Freeman, and several ninjas took off in the direction of the campsite.

As Buck ran full speed, unaware of the ninjas, he suddenly tripped over something and tumbled over. One of the ninjas, the one who tripped him, directed Buck to a cave nearby, which Buck had nearly passed right by.

Soon the whole party gathered in the mouth of the cave, with a couple of bloody, terrified ninjas delivering the unconscious body of John Freeman just as titans were closing in on the mouth of the cave.

The ninjas explained that they had been keeping tabs on the party, and were on their way to repay their debt since they discovered that Tyriron was not, in fact, a deserter. They had planned to pay the party back for attempting to kill them using money, but given the circumstances it seemed that a different sort of payment was in order.

They directed the party to travel deep into the cave for at least an hour or two to be safe before stopping to rest. The cave led up through the dense, jungle base, eventually leading to the human lands to the south. The way would be hard, but at least it would be free of titans, who were too big to fit in the cave.

The party eventually got their rest, though they had much to wonder about: could the titans be defeated? What was the citadel? How would Kirtan find them, now that Gently was gone? Would they be stuck in this realm forever?

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