(5pm) Glondorf determines that Aktuh (Black circle with White X) is the one who tried to mark him. The group decides to heal up and spend the night here. The next day, Glondorf tries Direction Sense to locate Aktuh – it fails because (he believes) that she isn’t within range. Maria sends a message to Ahemy and Scattill (at Throal Library):
M> Have you heard of any Horror activity between Ishkarat and Throal in the last few months?”
AS> Can you hear me? How does this thing work? We don’t know of any Horror activities in this area and we are checking with other (end of message).
M> Limited word count – please be succinct.
AS> Oh – didn’t know – no Horror actions, will ask around.
The group takes the Dragon Express back to Ishkarat, landing a day and a half later (10 to 15 minutes outside of town). Glondorf again tries Direction Sense, but he doesn’t think he beats her spell defense.
Getting within sight of Ishkarat, and something looks ‘wrong’. Three red X’s have been drawn on the gates (darker at the top, lighter going down). Group tries a message to the Mayor and Taylor (“WTF?”), but they get no response. Kevin sends the falcon up very high to look over the walls and sees no movement in the streets at all. People start looking at the gate via Astral Space – good thing Maria rolls a 28, otherwise she would have received a monstrous headache – and now the party is really worried. Betsey confirms that the X’s are made with blood.
“Oh Good – you’re back!”
The voice is now easily recognizable as Babs – she’s in one of the towers (about 20 feet up inside the tower) looking at the party from an arrow slit.
“The city isn’t empty. The people are still here. I asked them to make the X’s. It seemed like a nice decoration at the time.”
(Tom chalks a message to Chumanna – “Babs in town in tower”.)
“I have a present for you”, says Babs. The gate opens and Taylor walks out, her eyes glazed over. As soon as the gate closes, she appears to regain her senses. She has no memory of any events from the past week; she only remembers hearing the gate close. Maria casts Karma Cancel on Babs. Kevin uses Great Leap to attempt to break down the gate by ramming it – not necessarily a great decision as he hits the gate with a soft “thud” (also he does make Babs chuckle just a bit). Tom casts his now famous “circle of protection” around the group (freaking 56 mystic armor!).
Kevin scrapes himself off the gate, then starts to dose the gate with oil – while Tom attempts to summon a Spirit on the other side of the gate (trying to open it from the inside). Maria casts Aura Strike at Babs, causing damage and a wound!
“Hey! I give you a present and you thank me with spell damage? I’m insulted! If that’s what you want, I’m happy to oblige!” And with that, four of the Elementals (from a few days ago) morph up from the ground and start swinging. Kevin lights the oil on the gate (a rather large BOOM) and Great Leaps away to the top of the tower where Babs is. Maria casts Combat Fury on Mike, and Sabrina hits Babs with an arrow (ouch!).
Babs opens the front gate and casts a spell causing swirling winds around her, but she continues to take damage from the party. She appears to be getting very mad, and casts a VERY nasty spell which hits Taylor (no damage), then Sabrina (whack), then Mike (SERIOUS WHACK), then Betsey (whack), then Mike again (and he’s out cold!). Babs then screams “DON’T F*CK WITH ME!”
Kevin comes out of the tower and attempts to grab Babs (who is starting her “winking out” process) but fails to get and maintain contact. Babs eventually fades away, and the elementals fade away as well.
Kevin goes back to the gate – the wood portion has been blown away (taking the red X’s as well), but the stone infrastructure is still intact. The group determines that the Astral effect is also gone – a fact confirmed when the Mayor comes to the gate a minute later with a confused look on her face. “What happened?” is all she can get out.