Kingdom of Arboria, Year 6, Month 5
Following the mop-up of the Pitaxan Regiment, Shella turned the tide of the conflict decisively in Arboria's favor. The Arborian First is clamoring for a full scale invasion of Pitax, in Gorum's name. Shella is champing at the bit as well. Gelros has authorized it, but only after a bit more prep work. And so, once again, we returned to air-ship raids over Northern Pitax.
While scouting for Pitax mines and ore supply routes, we spotted a large cave halfway up a cliff face. Large caves usually mean interesting things. Often those things want to eat you, but, still, interesting. So I decided to take a look. I flew over on Haiku, dismounted quietly, and… Haiku caught her saddle strap on a tree. With a loud squawk, she careened sideways into me, and I, tumbling in turn, knocked a sizable boulder down the mountain. Great.
Turns out it was a wyvern in that there cave. Said wyvern was only too happy to charge out and maul me with its tail. Now this seemed like a great chance to leave, which is what I did. (Leave off a cliff face you say? How you say? Snapleaf! Ingenious little device.) I had dismissed the invisibility bit so that Haiku could see and pick me up. Thus, the sight of my falling, bleeding body must have also made it apparent to the others that something was up. By the time I had made it back to sight range with Haiku, Kris had already flown Spike over somehow (seriously, flying stegosaurs…) and Narzeth had cast some bullshit magic that looks vaguely like a shadowy web right onto the wyvern.
As Narzeth enthusiastically and somewhat sadistically explained to me later, apparently his spell makes the wyvern believe it is encased in a web. Whatever. It did work, though: the poor creature sat still looking crazed and nauseated and made no objection to me filling it full of arrows, Kris removing one or all of its vital organs, and finally Narzeth finishing it with one of his various death rays.
In the end, it was just as well: this wyvern was the one with a heavy bounty and had been harassing both our folks and Pitax's for a while. Claiming the bounty paid for a good bit of wargear.
Plains, Eastern Pitax
Wyvern dispatched and plains scouted, we accompanied the First Arborian to find and eliminate a band of mammoth-riding giants known as the Tusker Raiders. Now, normally, it wouldn't be particularly wise to bring regular infantry into close quarters combat with a substantial number of well-armed giants. However, in this case, the objective was to draw them out so that our inner cadre could execute a decapitating strike. Disbanding the Tusker Raiders was part of Gelros's plan to win loyalty from the barbarian horde that Pitax had hired. We already were on neutral and mutually respectful terms with said horde because of Shella's success at the Tomb of Armag (remember that?), so their ties to the Pitaxan royalty weren't all that strong.
The opening moves of the combat involved a lot of maneuvering, with few losses. (Just as well for us.) We spotted their commander: a hulking but oddly good-looking fellow (for a giant) with a chariot pulled by two enormous mammoths. (Yes, I know "enormous mammoth" is redundant, but bear with me here: take a mammoth, and make it BIGGER. There, you got it.) Once he saw what was up, it took a few minutes to chase him down. I had to shoot one of the mammoths just to slow him down (damn shame, that), and then Jaric brought the chariot to a halt with a well-placed pillar of fire.
Now dismounted, the commander absorbed a horrid-looking black ray from Narzeth, which looked like it hurt. So, he decided to meld himself into the earth. (Naturally! Isn't that your first instinct when you absorb a death ray?) It took a minute to decipher what had happened, during which a cordon of the First Arborian sealed us off from the surrounding battle. Jaric and Kris put their heads together. The best we got from them was that these giants had some kind of supernatural abilities that had to do with dirt. As if that weren't self evident from the situation.
Fortunately, we didn't have to dig him out: only a few moments later he sort of erupted from the ground, causing an earthquake. Kris and Jaric fell over. Evariel did not. Haiku and I dodged some of the newly appeared fissures and tried to put a dent in the fellow, but weren't very successful. Evariel moved forward with the spell she had been holidng, and… just then Narzeth turned him into a pile of dust. Evariel, looking bitter, charged off and released her spell into a nearby giant grunt, killing the poor guy instantly.
The sight of their commander reduced to their favorite spell medium (dirt) wasn't great for giant morale. The battle was over soon after; those who didn't manage to flee promptly surrendered. We received word a few days later that the barbarian horde, in a gesture of appreciation, would accompany us in battle for two months' time at no cost, after which they will either demand payment or go home. But a month may be plenty of time to end this.
Onward to the city of Pitax itself.
- Killing the wyvern (102,400 XP)
- Quest: Delivering the wyvern's head (76,800 XP)
- Killing the hill giant commander (12,800 XP)
- Defeating the Tusker Riders (3,200 XP)
- Complete quest: Wanted, Kob Moleg (76,800)
- Complete quest: Defeat Hill Giants (76,800)
- 4,350 sp
- 5,100 gp
- 240 pp
- 18 gems worth 100 gp each
- +2 icy burst crossbow bolts
- Winged Shield
- Rod of Wonder
- Rich purple corundum jewel worth 1,705 gp
- +2 loyalty
- +2 stability
- Gain Pitax Horde (barbarian horde) as a free army for 2 months