It took a couple of hours for the slayers to clear the debris field of the ruined city and emerging from the piles of pale rubble that used to be a city gate they were confronted with a bleak, limestone desert broken sparsely by clumps of woody shrubs. The sun beat down with unrelenting heat but the air and occasional breeze was icy cold. They continued northward for an hour. Vorwulf’s compass proved itself useless as the needle began to spin around its face faster and faster the farther they got from the dead city. After about another hour of travel Vor stopped the group, he was lost and unable to get his bearings back. The landscape was white and flat. Grom the shaman cast Commune with Nature and was able to point the way, they were a lot farther to the east than they should have been. The spell seemed to speed his senses over a vast area. He realized the leyline was expanding the area of effect of the magic allowing him to detect their goal about 2 miles off and an uncountable number of supernatural creatures all around. They started again this time in the right direction.
They broke out their rations on the move, Vor pulled some steaming fresh-baked bread, ripe cheese, and juicy meat from the Bag of Meals. Just after finishing, after about an hour, Vor spotted something moving just at the edge of his vision. By chance (a natural 20) he made out the camouflaged shapes of seven manticores in a ring surrounding the group. He shouted his warning as he pulled his swords.
In less than 30 seconds they had killed all seven only Grom took any damage from their claws and Magiia was sporting claw furrows in her armor. The wasp was nowhere to be seen until the last monster dropped. He buzzed back among the slayers and touched down; he had been hovering about 100 ft. above the fighting.
The Wasp (kicking a dead manticore): “ALRIGHT! YEAH!”
Jenn (Maggi’s Player)[to Gil after hearing him giggle at the Wasp’s antics]: “You really like him don’t you?”
Gil (Grom’s Player)[at the level of a whisper almost dismissively]: “Well, uh, yeah…yeah.”
Grom chopped off all of the manticores’ scorpion tails and stuffed them into his Bag of Holding.
Maggi: “What are you doing!?”
Grom: “They might be magic. Right? They’re different colors. Might be able to use ‘em.”
Each manticore was of a different and brilliant color (red, green, yellow, blue, orange, purple, and black).
They continued on with Grom in the lead and as evening began to fall on the white plain they could see the eerie wall of blue-white energy crackling in the distance yet somewhat too near for comfort. All of their magic items, each was heavily equipped with all sorts of magic stuff, was vibrating. Grom and Maggi felt euphoric from the rush of magical energy flowing through their bodies. They got as close as they dared (within 100 ft. of the line) and tried to sleep, Maggi didn’t feel the need to rest at all so she volunteered to keep watch all night long. Vor would join her for the third however. Before going to sleep Grom decided to try to commune with nature again and got a very strong bead on the true Sons of the Dragon, those that the trapper had told him about (see The Dragonslayers III Pt.21). They were planning on following the leyline north-west until they would come to the city, or so said Grom anyway.
The night passed peacefully under the strange blue glow of the leyline until third watch when Vorwulf was able to spot five adult graylings swooping in at the camp. The battle was another brief skirmish with Grom coming out the worst. The slayers had managed to kill 2 of the dragons; the other 3 were wounded and had flown off. Vorwulf had spent a couple of his precious and dwindling number of dragon-bone arrows. During the battle Grom had cast Bestial Might on himself and whipped out his Morning Star of Supernatural Might and being frustrated that the dragons were strafing them with somewhat effective flyby attacks flown straight at them very quickly finding himself surrounded, realizing his mistake almost too late he flew back to his allies. He had to use a daily charge on his helmet of Heal fully restoring his health.
Maggi immediately fell onto the corpses cutting arteries and filling the empty potion bottles. The dragon-blood was burning hot to the touch. Vorwulf cut out some teeth and claws for trophies.
Vorwulf (Played by Cris): “Damn. Too bad we don’t have time to skin ‘em.”
They ate breakfast and let the shaman warpaint them. Xanto the wasp refused (savages). They got on the move shortly thereafter with Vor in the lead again heading due west along the leyline. At noon a bright green flash in the sky painted everything with a pale green pall for an instant.
The Wasp: “The Green Moon! The Green Moon!” Excited, he immediately picked up his pace and began to buzz far ahead of the slayers.
By evening they reached the ruins which jutted up like broken bones piercing the pale landscape. These were much more intact and the walls and battlements high. Large thickets of pale green bushes and patches of tall golden grass huddled about the fallen stones and broken arches of the city. They could see a cobblestone walkway, an old road, leading right into the overgrown mouth of the city gates a partially intact grand archway between two skeletal towers. Grom cast Impervious to Fire over the entire group (save for the Wasp) and they proceeded cautiously. Vor looked over to the Wasp.
Vorwulf: “Okay Xanto. You want to be here so go ahead!”
Xanto the Wasp: “Um, naw that’s fine lead the way you’re the leader!” He was quaking with excitement obviously anxious to get in there.
Vorwulf (shrugging): “Fine then.”
Vor moved as quiet as a cat through the high broken archway into the overgrown outer courtyard immediately he had to dodge to the side as he had nearly stumbled into a pit trap just 15 ft. past the gate towers. An arrow shot from somewhere up ahead of the ranger aimed at Grom but due to his ring of greater displacement it missed a direct hit but as it thudded into the ground it exploded in a seismic blast visible shockwaves rippled through the air and the earth dealing some damage to Grom though he was able to cast a healing spell on Maggi to bring her back to full health. Maggi was unaffected by the spell, her armor was only slightly dinged by the shockwave. She roared as she charged and Vorwulf knocked an arrow yelling for the Wasp whom didn’t answer back.
To Be Continued…