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Chapter 33
Aspects of Bonding, part I

 

After the huge revelations on the possibility to start a new age by awakening a new god from behind the web of time, all were sitting in the A-Team Inn. Merlox explained what is to happen, and he what he heard from the crystals. We have to strengthen the bonding to our aspects, first to Yelmalio/Nysalor, then to Zorak Zoran/Arkat and lastly to Orlanth/Harmast/Lokamayadon. With the strengthened aspects we can grow the A-Team cult to a godly cult. Merlox told that for Yelmalio/Nysalor aspect we need to find the "Spear of Palangio" and devour it. The problem is that all traces about Palangio were lost after a battle in Snake-Pipe Hollow, where Arkat defeated and ate Palangio. There is still a small troll clan inside Snake-Pipe Hollow, that re-enacts the myth every year on the right day. We need to try to get them to reveal their secret heroquest or find some other way to go to the Heroplane and see what happened in the battle, to see what happened to Palangio's spear after his death.

Axjack, Dolxx, Kaid-aw and Raven left Pavis, while Merlox stayed behind. After a few days riding towards Herongreen, suddenly 29 arrows were shot against the team, doing no damage due to their tough armor. Raven immediately avenged with a Hero Sever Spirit, killing about 40 enemies in the bushes. He and Dolxx saw one survivor on their side of the path, while Kaid-aw saw two on the other side. Kaid-aw pierced his first enemy with his spear through the chest, tripling it and killing him immediately. He then ran up the second one, and severed a leg. Meanwhile Raven slinged the other man, stopping him. Dolxx ran up to him and asked him to yield, but the man refused. Then Dolxx cleaved him into two by the chest. The bodies were gathered to one big pile, and lots of wood were added, and a big bonfire set on, burning all corpses.
When a few days later they arrived to Herongreen, they went to the Inn there. It had become shabby since their last visit, as the Innkeeper and her wife died in the earthquake caused by the Dragon destroying the Temple of the Reaching Moon [See chapters 30 and 31]. Outside the Inn was a sign saying "No Trolls are welcome". This caused Raven to take the sign and go inside and sit down at a table. When the waitress arrived he ordered a beer, but she ignored his order. Kaid-aw, knowing Raven, ordered an extra beer. After the beers, all left the Inn and rode away from Herongreen.
Already at a distance before Alda-Chur, the two Moonboat's hovering above it could be easily spotted. Asking from locals, the group heard that Jar-Eel the Razoress was visiting the city. As the trip was made incognito, a decision to avoid Alda-Chur was made and a detour around the city was taken.
The trail became worse and worse as they went deeper inside Snake-Pipe Hollow. Once when they were as always looking around while moving on, tracks of four Trolls and ten Trollkins were spotted and followed. They were slicing up their catch, a bunch of Broo's. Raven hailed them in Dark tongue, and they responded as Zorak Zorani trolls usually do. The offered some "meat", which Raven ate with good appetite, while the rest failed in faking their eating of the Broo meat. Raven still managed to convince the Troll group, that the three humans were his servants, and all four were allowed to come to their small village. There they met with Three Tusks, the Zorak Zorani Runelord and leader of the clan. Even after long discussions he did not want to reveal their secret on how to do the heroquest. In the end Raven threatened that he is Arkat, and that he would re-enact the myth in such a way, that the clan would die and disappear to the history. But even this failed, and the group had to leave the village without of the knowledge on how to do the needed Heroquest.

A plan B was needed. The plan would be that Kaid-aw would go incognito to the Alda-Chur Yelmalio temple and research there about the myth. The rest of the group stayed outside of Alda-Chur because of Jar-Eel the Razoress. After an extremely lucky search, Kaid-aw found the myth. A Snake-Dancer rhyme would open a gateway to the battle mythology. The Rhyme could be found in a cave in Snake-Pipe Hollow. He also found the instructions on how to find to the right place. When Kaid-aw left the temple, he met a large crowd listening to Jar-Eel. After listening for a moment on her, she looked straight into Kaid-aw's eyes and discovered him. She was a little surprised and uncertain about this, but waved him to come to the speaker's podium to meet her. They hugged with kisses to the cheeks and spoke for a short while, before Kaid-aw was given the moment to speak to the crowd. He made a fantastic speech, fascinating the full audience to silence and a huge roar of approval when he finished. After this Kaid-aw left Alda-Chur, last words from Jar-Eel was that their paths will cross again.

A day later back in Snake-Pipe Hollow, the group saw a Walktapus fighting against three Trollkins. All used their missiles to make the Walktapus to a pincushion. The corpse of it was then burned to kill it completely. A patch of Running Grass was also observed on distance. At Cobbled Ruins they recognized a trap made there and avoided it, getting two Broo's of the gang who'd done it to attack. They were also stopped by missiles, while the rest (6) of the gang were easily killed. Raven and Dolxx killed their two enemies, while Kaid-aw and Axjack defeated their single ones. One of Dolxx's Broo enemies tried really hard by being heroic after Dolxx cut off one arm, but it didn't help. After Dolxx next swing the Broo dropped down, dead. Kaid-aw then disarmed the trap. In the evening they arrived to the river running through Snake-Pipe Hollow, making camp by it. Raven used his Conceal skills to hide the camp from outside view. Luckily, as Dolxx fell asleep on his watch and was woken very unfriendly by Raven.
The next day they followed the river upstream, observing floating gorps a few times during the day. In the evening they arrived to the lake from which the river started by the cliffs of Snake-Pipe Hollow. It seemed to be a leisure camp for chaotic beings, as they observed 15 Scorpionmen, 15 Jack-O-Bears, 8 Spirits, 10 Dragosnails, 30+ Broo's and three five meter Giants. The camp for the night was made at a distance. In the evening a battle-plan was made on how to kill the chaotic beings just at dawn. All available hero magic would be utilized, and they would concentrate on their side of the river, as coming from the other side would take so long, that the group would be gone before that.
Just before dawn they sneaked to their designated positions and spells were thrown. Dolxx' Hero Thunderstones killed 28 Broo's and 12 Jack-O-Bears, while Kaid-aw's Hero Sunspear killed 6 Scorpionmen, 5 Spectral Scorpionmen and 4 Dragosnails. In the first melee round Raven made and awesome hit on one of the Giants head, killing it by doing double of the locations Hit points in damage, while Kaid-aw killed the other giant on total hit points with three hits in a single round. Dolxx killed easily two Broo's but the other also killed Dolxx with its piercing head butt in Dolxx chest doing triple amount of hit point's damage at the same time as Dolxx sword killed it. Dolxx had to do a Divine Intervention costing him nine POW. Orlanth killed at the same time the rest of the Dragosnails and Scorpionmen while he rescued Dolxx. Axjack used his Anaxidise to kill the single surviving corporal Scorpionman flying over the lake. As that side of the lake was cleared, the group used their "Breath Air/Water" spells and went to the bottom of the lake and through a tunnel that led into the cliffs where the cave system leading to the Snake-Dance Rhyme could be found.
Climbing up from the water to a tunnel and following it, they arrived to the first cave, where a flat bottom barge made a boat for kings or princes with a throne under tent with high poles. The boat radiated magic, and a pipe was found which could be used to steer the barge. After coming over the small cave lake, a pier was found and they anchored the barge there. In the lake swam small fish, but three skeletons were seen at the bottom by the pier. A gangway led inwards towards a statue of a half dolphin/half human. The gangway passed by another similar statue, before it ended at a crossing. Dolxx wanted go to the right, but the rest voted for left. They followed the instructions to the letter and found the secret door, which Kaid-aw could open to the hidden room. Inside it was a golden statue with a head as a bee, iron boots, a copper shield and hair of gold. Raven tried to take the scroll it had in its hand, but he was hit by a powerful thunderstone and collapsed on loss of total hit points. He was easily healed back to full HP:s, and Kaid-aw cast on himself Protection 10, and took the scroll. When reading it aloud he and Dolxx realized they would also need a Snake-Pipe to play with. They followed Dolxx instincts forward. At a pit Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw easily made the jump, but Raven fell down and had to climb up a little bruised. They then entered a big room with an altar. A Ghost appeared and told "Halt, this is a tomb of a King!" The walls were covered with fine frescos, and the room was in extremely good condition. They asked only to borrow the Snake-Pipe from the sarcophagus, and were allowed to that as they did not take it away from the room. Kaid-aw started to recite the scroll, while Dolxx played the Snake-Pipe. Fog started to appear and they entered the Heroplane.

They were inside a forest and could hear the sounds of a big battle in the distance. When they came to edge of the forest, they saw down to a valley where a big battle was going on. A golden army was winning over the army of the West. There started to appear a lot of Trolls by the edge to the valley from behind the hills. A third of them were spirits and resurrected ancestors. With a great howler a plate armored troll general (Arkat) led his troops to the battle against the golden army. A huge black shadow followed Arkat into the valley, and Dolxx and Axjack couldn't anymore see anything, Raven and Kaid-aw were unaffected of the shadow. All of them charged into the fight, Axjack and Dolxx fighting only with half their attack percentage. In the first round Dolxx, Kaid-aw and Raven killed their enemies, while Axjack couldn't. On the second round, Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw killed their opponents, while Raven only immobilized his opponent. Round three was like round one, Axjack being the only one failing to kill the opponent. In the fourth round the number of enemies increased to two each. Dolxx and Raven both managed to kill both, while Axjack and Kaid-aw killed one each but were left with one enemy. On the fifth round Kaid-aw killed two opponents, while the rest killed one each. Axjack was still left one opponent. The next round Kaid-aw killed two opponents, Dolxx and Raven one each, while Axjack fell down sitting from a hit by his opponent. Still he managed to kill one from the ground. Round seven came and the amount of opponents grew again. Kaid-aw killed three, while Dolxx and Raven two each, Axjack only killing one from ground while getting ready for healing magic. On round eight only Dolxx killed two opponents, the rest none. Kaid-aw didn't have any opponents and could run forward. Round nine was action for Axjack and Raven, both killing an opponent, while Dolxx made him ready to help Axjack on the next round. Dolxx killed two opponents on round ten reducing Axjack's number of opponents to two, who were killed on the next round by Axjack and Dolxx. Raven had also ran forward and he and Kaid-aw could see the epic fight between Arkat and Palangio. Arkat bashed Palangio to death, and Palangio's spear flew first high, then falling to the ground. At that precise moment, the group was transferred back from the Heroplane to the mundane plane. Kaid-aw and Raven both continued running towards the spot they had seen the spear falling to. Kaid-aw was faster, thus first at the place of impact and he found the spear buried inside the ground. When looking around, they saw close by about forty dead Trolls and Trollkins. They were from the local troll clan that had refused to tell their heroquest to Raven and the group. Obviously the enemies they had fought against on the heroplane, were representations of this clan. Raven's threat seemed to have fallen in faster than ever anticipated.
The devouring of the spear could be done by by making a soup of it. Axjack's adamant axe was used to chop the spear into small pieces, which were then boiled in troll gastric acid from the dead trolls laying around. Kaid-aw made a ceremony during which the soup was eaten, thus devouring it. The Yelmalio/Nysalor aspect became stronger and the group received special gifts of Yelmalio without any geases.

Then they continued to the second part, Aspects of Bonding, Part II - Transformation.

 


Copyright © 2011-2012 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 28.12.2012.

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