Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Where was Sakatha?

As the rest of the party rested, plotted, and celebrated, Kafka announced to Bangqiu that he wished to return to Pasar.  He was grateful for the opportunity to join in his adventures and humbled to have undergone such trials of his devotion to the Two-Fold Path.  He believed he was ready to make a report to his teacher and—perhaps—to accept students of his own.  Bangqiu was visibly angry, and his sense of betrayal was little ameliorated by Kafka’s parting gift—the same clutch of arrows that Bangqiu had awarded him after their defeat of the Black Flowers.

What level spell is Guilt Trip?  Kafka agreed that before he returned to Pasar, he would join Bangqiu for once last foray against Sakatha.  The two of them together, with the help of a few members of the Sansar clan—most notably Erlo the shaman—would find the unfindable, climb the unclimbable and destroy Sakatha, with or without Beatriss and Tetsukichi.

That would be without.  Beatriss and Tetsukichi were very comfortable and saw no reason to return to the swamp.

Having so recently made the trip, Bangqiu and Kafka had small difficulty finding their way into the swamp, but were nevertheless confronted by many dangers.  During the first day of their journey, they were surprised with a hideous creature whose mere gaze killed one of the Sansar warriors.  Bangqiu led the rest of his party in running away at full speed.  They found themselves on an expansive area of thick sticky, mud.  Not wanting to risk meeting the death-gaze creature, they spent an entire day trudging across it.  When they at last reached the temple, they found a new group of lizard folk, fewer in number, but greater in number had taken up residence.  These foes sustained the first blast of Bangqiu’s powerful steam breath magic, and were only killed after a prolonged melee battle.

In the dark place below, it seemed little had changed.  The halls were dark.  Vermin swarmed over the bodies of their fallen foes, but there was little sign of human presence.  But relying heavily on the fine map Beatriss had drawn, Bangqiu stumbled upon the evil priests who maintained the shrine.  These strange cultists, each keeping his own company into a small cell-like room were poor strategists, but their leader was a powerful magic-user.  Sacraficing the lives of his underlings, he threw fire at the party and transfixed Erlo with a sinister spell.  Relying on clever use of their invisibility cloak and ring, Bangqiu and Kafka lured the leader of the group away from their friend so that Bangqiu could target him with his own magic.  Two volleys of magic missiles were not enough to kill the wicked man, but Kafka’s sword was. 

Ok, Kafka said, now we return to Pasar.  They had thoroughly mapped the labyrinth and destroyed all the enemies they had encountered.  Where was Sakatha?  A question for another day.

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