We hereby christen the Air Ship under the name “Hindenburg”. Seems fitting.
Approaching Scavia (from the Hindenburg), you can see that the “city’s” buildings have supports and roofs, but no walls. It’s also odd that the city seems to be situated on a volcanic beach. Even from this distance, it is obvious that there is a large stone tower (20 to 25 feet tall) with a “controlled” fire spewing out of it.
There looks to be only one clear place to land (without rocks or trees in the way), which is about 30 to 45 minutes north of the city. The Hindenburg lands, the party disembarks, and the ship’s Captain is given a message chalk (just in case) and asked to hover straight above the landing site.
A text from Vaare arrives: “What the hell is that airship doing?”
Mike responds: “Whatever I want! We’re directly below it.”
Vaare arrives shortly thereafter. He has brought a present to BNB —> a very neat alpha-test combination spell. Tom, Maria, and Betsey take one look at it and almost immediately decide to learn it (all successfully). Mike tries a Direction Sense (25) to find the Twins, but he gets no information. There are no other air ships in the area, there is no crowd coming to investigate them, and walking towards the city does not reveal any signs of life. Curious and curiouser.
Entering the volcanic beach area, BNB can easily see the entire city. The buildings are exactly as seen from above (without walls). There is a human figure performing what can be best described as “tai chi” around a large bonfire (the tower of fire is about 5 minutes away to the right/west). His movements seem to be influencing the bonfire (as he moves, the fire sometimes echoes his movement, other times it engulfs him, other times flowing in/out/up/down). Mike and Kevin are totally enthralled by the “show”, but Maria and Tom notice about 25 humans getting up out of the camouflaged area – they are all holding swords and have quickly surrounded the party. The city folk are human, but they are very brown-skinned (almost red), and each is wearing only a ragged pair of shorts (many are bald, the ones who aren’t bald have very little hair on their heads).
Tom starts weaving to Control Person (getting 2 out of the 3 threads). One of the natives takes two steps towards Tom and says “$$$$” in a language no one understands. Betsey finds she has an open slot in Speak Languages, so she decides to use it, and she becomes fluent in Cherokee. She asks “why”? The fire dancer stops his movements, turns to face the party, and says “greetings”. Betsey gives a more formal greeting back to him.
Firedancer: “May I ask why you are visiting our city?”
There is a cacophony of answers, more party members blurting out words like Horror, Twins, Dragons, Beer (that was from Mike) – Vaare can only shake his head at the party’s lack of information security.
Mike tries another Direction Sense (27) —> something is in the area but not within 4 miles.
Maria tries Astral Sense (36) and she sees patterns of elemental Fire and Earth all around them.
Kevin gets antsy and decides to show his claws. The natives get even more antsy and begin to wave their swords in warning. The Firedancer tells Kevin to put the claws away. After a few tense seconds, Kevin pulls the claws in, the swords are lowered, and cooler heads prevail.
Firedancer: “You are here to find a specific Horror”?
Betsey: “We are looking for Twin Horrors.”
Firedancer: “Any idea where?”
Betsey: “Our information guides us to ‘an area in ruins’ near this city.”
Firedancer: “The closest ruins are at the eastern base of Twilight Peaks, about 25 miles away.”
The party asks some basic information (buildings, wares for sale), but the town has little of value to them (BNB is the first tourist party in many years – they get the feeling that the natives wouldn’t mind more outside visitors, as long as they and their city were treated with respect). The party asks if anyone would want to join their hunt, and one native named Ozak volunteers. The Firedancer gives them all a brief blessing, and the group is on their way.
Hindenburg comes down, Ozak does a “WTF”, then goes running gleefully onto the ship. During the brief (40 minute) trip towards Twilight Peaks, Ozak is leaning over the railing edge with his tongue sticking out, soaking up the air and speed. On the way down, a fairly large cave can be seen, so BNB figure that’s as good a place as any to start looking. Mike tries Direction Sense (33) and gets a VERY strong “IN” feeling – let’s see if that is good news or bad news. After the air ship leaves and the party gets closer to the cave, they can see a collection of stones randomly scattered around the cave entrance, but the rest of the area is clear of anything else. Slowly approaching the cave (just as they somewhat suspected), the stones become animated and begin to attack.
Round 1: Tom uses Astral Sense; Ozak swings and misses; Betsey swings and misses; Kevin hits one; Vaare tries Mind Dagger but misses; Mike hits one; Maria moves and casts Combat Fury on Kevin; Kevin is wounded by one of the stones.
Round 2: Betsey solidly hits one and then shocks it; Kevin blasts the one he’s fighting; Maria casts Combat Fury on Betsey; Ozak misses; Mike SLAMS his opponent; Ozak is hit hard; Sabrina tries Lightning Bolt but fails; Tom casts Astral Sphere and DESTROYS the stone in front of Betsey.
Round 3: Sabrina connects with Ice Mace & Chain; Kevin eviscerates the stone in front of him; Tom hits with another Astral Sphere; Maria casts Combat Fury on Ozak; Vaare casts Dispel Magic at the stone in front of Ozak and it is starting to fall apart.
Round 4: Betsey hits and zaps the stone in front of her; Kevin leaps over and obliterates it; Mike annihilates the stone in front of him with one strike!