We are going to have an interesting afternoon.
So we finally found the city! Normally I’d have suggested getting a good night’s rest before we ventured into an abandoned underground Dwarven city in the Chaotic Lands, but we hadn’t been having much luck sleeping anywhere, so we went right in. It wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, even with whatever variety of Dream Eaters those were… though I’m sure I’d feel differently about them if I were the one who hadn’t rested. We had a few encounters as we tried to follow barely-understood multi-lingual kennings through a maze of ancient stonework, but nothing too bad. Not that they’re really very ancient, but it sounds better than ‘old’. It’s interesting, the more I study other languages, the more familiar I get with Common, and the more I notice the sounds of things. I sympathize more now with bardic exaggeration than I once did. Anyway.
Things were looking up as we found a (former?) temple to Irori, which we thought might be where this Star of Eternity was, or possibly just an important step along the way. It’s hard to tell with this book. Then things promptly looked down as we ran into a couple of Asura. Apparently my reading missed a spot here, as these monstrosities completely failed to strike a chord with me. Asura apparently are divine mistakes, who resent their existence and everyone else’s, and for some reason feel the need to remedy everyone else’s before remedying their own. These two were the ‘Adhukait’ variety: two melded beings, complete with two minds, two heads, and 4 arms. The battle was tough, and we actually had to spend a long time afterwards having Maral chop at them while we searched and meditated for Holy Water to keep them down permanently. Victor actually found a vial whole, in a pile of broken glass. How about that.
But the real fun hadn’t started yet. One of them, dying, said something about an Aghasura. We have to assume that it’s farther into the temple… which is where we need to go. For some definition of ‘need’. Victor, again, was the only person who’d ever heard of these things before. In spite of his odd approach to tactics, he’s very useful. Fortunately, he remembers rather a lot about their strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, they have a lot of strengths, and very few weaknesses, which we are not at the moment able to take very good advantage of at all. Fortunately, we were able to beat a strategic retreat to develop a Plan and make some quick modifications to our equipment list.
That said, the reason I took the time to write this in the midst of everything is actually because of a spell Gilly cast in the combat, when she must’ve been very worried about the outcome. Back up a moment. The other day, she started one of her philosophical discussions. Or attempted to anyway, Maral is often quiet in philosophical discussions, and Dolg seemed distracted. At the beginning anyway, later on he got interested. And the topic was, what is Syama suddenly learned a new spell, which was not approved by the Wizard’s Guild? Would you turn her in for casting it? I should’ve guessed that this was a less hypothetical question than it sounded, but I wasn’t thinking about it. Anyway, no one said anything, so I said I wouldn’t turn myself in. Then there was some talk, although there wasn’t much in the way of answers. Come to think of it, I didn’t answer really either… I was focused on thinking about the ramifications of Syama getting an unapproved spell, and what that would mean about the intentions of the Heavens. Note to self: next time Gilly starts a philosophical debate, look for what she might need reassurance about. She’s had a tough time, and has trouble trusting that the party will stay on her side. Not that I entirely think she’s wrong. I haven’t any idea what the party would do if she did something really extreme. I think she’d have a better chance if she’d just stop talking about being evil. Honestly I don’t think she’s as evil as she thinks she is, but she’s been on the defensive for so long, I’m not sure she can help it.
But really, if she just talked as though ‘any reasonable person would of course make this decision’, they would assume that was true unless something made them examine it. Anyway, it turns out she had a new spell, not on the List. It makes a weapon magically poisoned. I saw her cast, and knew it was something unknown, and my primary reaction was curiosity about what she would do with her power as she became more powerful. I certainly don’t think she’s likely to wave us goodbye and go off to bring down the Hegemony. I don’t think she’d leave to take a job as an assassin either. But now that I think of it, I should really say something to her. No wonder she’s edgy, if even I’m not saying anything. Sometime after this mess, assuming we’re both still alive.