Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Down and Dirty

The heroes make a decision: they are going to accompany Jago and Meraud, and try to find out whether anything bad has happened to Dol Gemen Lom.

They climb down the chain to the cage where they entered the Soft World through a lacuna.  There, Meraud drops a little bombshell: by virtue of having spent time in the green air of the Soft World, they are all infected with something called "ice ash", which has two cures: remove disease, and waiting out the infection.  (The latter option results in painful death within 6-8 hours, she duly informs everyone.)  Since they do not have enough spells to cure the ice ash for everyone at once, they decide to rest again inside the cage and fix that.

Fortunately nothing happens to them while they're in there and everyone manages to get remove disease prepped.  When they advance through the lacuna, they quickly cure themselves of the ice ash infections and shortly decide that the best way to reach Dol Gemen Lom is by going back to Jeraslan and transitting Grimcatch one more time.  On the way there they are blocked by a camp of Catamese army soldiers, but they use invisibility and bluff their way through with a story about trying to find truffles at the behest of Xabier Lubo and his fickle taste buds.

They find Grimcatch still burned, the way they left it.  Everyone ties handkerchiefs around their noses and proceeds.  A series of barely-glimpsed movements and phantom sounds dogs at them as they proceed through the tomb-like lost home of the grimlock tribe.  A mysterious voice taunts Jago at one point, laughing and saying his name, and Jago responds by unleashing a torrent of small black birds which seek out the meddler.  In response, another swarm of birds mingles with his swarms, but nobody is revealed in the area.

Finally the party finds the locked iron door that they never explored, and unlocks it.