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Chapter 17
Pomalgimia the witch

 

As soon as it became a little bit of light, Dolxx and Axjack left the scene to ride to New Pavis. The first few days were uneventful, but on the third day they saw Kaid-aw, who also was on his way back to New Pavis. Dolxx showed the message, and even if it was encrypted, Kaid-aw managed to recognize the method on how to decrypt the message. The only problem was, that it was encrypted with a special Lunar encryption available only to Lunar College of magic Priests. The only place he knew where they could find help in decrypting the message was in the bat-cave on the Red Moon. But how on earth would they get again to the Red Moon? One possibility, even if far fetched, was to find a way to use their memories from their visit to the bat-cave some time ago. But where and how to do this was outside of their knowledge.

They arrived to New Pavis and soon Dolxx went to talk with a Lhankor Mhy priest, but they did not want to hear about such heretic ideas. After talks with an Issaries initiated, they got to know that close to Garhound, there was this witch, Pomalgimia, "Who messes with your mind!". While Kaid-aw walked in New Pavis, he got the feeling that someone was following him. He made some maneuvers, and saw the followers. They were Yelmalio guards. Kaid-aw went to talk with Haloric Goldbrow, leader of the Yelmalio garrison and high-commander of the Yelmalio military forces. Haloric said that Kaid-aw is so important to the cult that they have to protect him, and that he cannot disappear the way he has done in the past. His status in the city hierarchy and the cult hierarchy requires Haloric to command bodyguards for him. Kaid-aw was not very happy about this and went home. There he talked with his wife, that they should move for a time to the A-Team Inn. From there he sneak away from his bodyguards to this mission he had to do without his bodyguards, as they would just hinder him and the others. When Kaid-aw announced that they would leave for the Inn, a much stronger entourage suddenly appeared. There were 30 soldiers to escort Kaid-aw and his family to the Inn. The Yelmalio soldiers made camp in the Inn, and boosted the sales even if the locals were not at all happy with having soldiers around. Dolxx, Axjack and Kaid-aw made plans on how to escape the bodyguards. Kaid-aw told the guards that he would go and meditate to the shrine on the roof, and he could not be disturbed by anyone except his wife.

The next morning Axjack left earlier to find out where to find Pomalgimia starting the search in Garhound. He got an escort of three Orlanthis, asked by Dolxx. When they finally came to Garhound, the men wanted to have 20L for their services, but Axjack refused to pay. But as they had been asked by Dolxx to escort Axjack to Garhound, they knew that they couldn't do anything about the situation and left Axjack, swearing over his name and his sneakiness. Axjack started at Geo's, but nobody had heard the name. Neither in the next inn he got anything out of the questions about Pomalgimia. Axjack changed his way of asking questions when he went to the next inn, and there he met two fellows who told him how to find to a farm from where he would get more directions on how to find to Pomalgimia's cave. He should also tell regards from Tsing and Tsang to get further at the farm. Another hint they said was to by a pair of spare boots with him when they went to visit Pomalgimia. Axjack followed the recommendation and bought himself a pair of extra boots. He also bought a travel pack from the same shop. Kaid-aw spent the day meditating, while Dolxx spent his time doing cult duties. In the evening Dolxx left the inn and the Rubble with two riding animals and started to wait for Kaid-aw who would sneak out of their inn using the secret tunnel out. Together they then started and rode well outside Pavis and made camp outside the road to Garhound. When they were about to go to sleep, the saw eight humanoids approaching the camp. They wanted to have some liquor from Dolxx and Kaid-aw, but once they noticed that both of them were Rune Lords, the tone changed and the men started to leave. On their way suddenly two arrows were shot from the darkness against Dolxx. The first one did not pass his armor, but the other one made a critical in his left arm. Dolxx made a heroic move and removed the arrow, just like it is everyday business for him. His allied then healed the wound. Meanwhile Kaid-aw cast a lightwall, to avoid more arrows. He also threw a fireglobe against one of the men, who fell down wounded in his leg. But as Dolxx and Kaid-aw did not run after the men, he could heal himself and got away. They kept watch during the night, but nothing more happened.

In the morning when they left and had ridden some distance, at a road fork a man was bound to a tree. He had a bow over his head and a note on his chest saying: "To whom it may concern. He was the shooter." Dolxx used the Orlanthi justice; "eye for an eye, leg for a leg" and gave the same treatment to the man, i.e. shot against him twice. One did not harm the man, while the other was a critical in the left arm. Dolxx stopped the blood flow and broke the bow of the man. After this Dolxx and Kaid-aw left for Garhound where they arrived in the evening. There they met Axjack at Geo's where Axjack and Kaid-aw stayed the night after a few beers in the bar. Dolxx went to the Garhound residence and met there Sir Davis and had discussions about the Orlanthi situation in the area.

The same morning, Raven was woken up by someone while sleeping in the inn. Raven walked to the door, opened it and said to the man: "Get lost!" and slammed the door back closed again. Soon again Raven heard somebody knocking on his door waking him up for a second time. He got mad and raced to the door and caught the man by surprise and threw him in the jail in the basement nearby Ravens quarters. After this furiating awakening, Raven felt himself hungry and went up to the inn. He got a big breakfast and was sitting at the table when an old friend, Beer, not seen for a long time suddenly came to talk with Raven. He had an urgent message to meet with Merlox at Raus Fort. Within a few hours they were on their way downriver on a boat to Raus Fort.

Meanwhile in Garhound, Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw woke at sun dawn and left Garhound. As they were River Voices, they used their status to get a lift up the White Rock river. At noon they arrived to the place where the table and the hut was, and there they thanked the river people who had given them the ride. They also agreed that there would be somebody every noon for a week to take them back to Garhound. They trio followed the small trail up to the hills. The environment became more and more rugged, with less signs of habitation. After walking for a few hours they saw a small hint of smoke behind a hill, where they found the farm. At the farm the met a woman, who asked if the trio had been sent because of the nomads. The nomads had raided the farm and taken all their cattle. Dolxx told that they were not sent because of this, but because they were looking for Pomalgimia. She asked if they had any regards, and as they told regards from Tsing and Tsang, she said that she knew how to find Pomalgimia. But she wanted to have 75L each to guide them there. Because of their situation, they paid 225L, even if they thought it was very expensive. She walked further on an even smaller trail up the hills. At one hill she pointed out a cave in the hillside and said that's where you are going to find Pomalgimia and left back home. The trio climbed up to the cave and shouted inside, but got no answers. Inside the cave was a big cauldron and an extremely old looking woman in a rocking chair surrounded by lots of blankets. Also other smaller kettles were boiling with different kinds of smoke coming up from them. Suddenly the woman said hello and the party told why they came to visit her. She said she could do that, but that she wanted to have an original memory from them as the price. Also something which came from the place where they wanted to go back to in their memories, was needed to be able to come back there. The only thing, which might still have something that had come from the Red Moon, were their boots. There might still be some dust or dirt on them, which was from the Red Moon. The price of an original memory was seen as too high and they tried to haggle the price to something else instead, but with no avail. Pomalgimia was adamant, that she wanted an original memory from them. In the end they accepted the high price, as otherwise they couldn't get the deal with Pomalgimia and solve the coded message. Axjack had a problem, as he hadn't been on the Red Moon, he couldn't have something from there with him. But as Dolxx and Kaid-aw gave their boots, he could come with them if he would give something very personal. Axjack gave his writing equipment and told very convincingly on how he had gotten it from his father and how it was a family heirloom. After they were thrown in the cauldron, Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw sat around the cauldron holding their hands together.

Pomalgimia started to chant and threw some herbs to the cauldron. The smoke started to make the visibility poorer and making them feel dizzy. Also Pomalgimia’s chanting started to make them go into a trans. Then they started to see better and saw that they were at the entrance to the bat cave on the Red Moon. Suddenly they saw something which they did not remember that had happened when they had been here the first time. In front of them they had three bat demons and one behind them. As the demons saw Axjack and Kaid-aw, they prepared themselves by casting spells. Dolxx avoided being seen, and sneaked behind the demons in front of them. The three demons had five attacks each and went against Axjack and Kaid-aw, who was hit by critical to his abdomen and he fell down, but heroically stayed conscious. Dolxx surprised one of the demons and chopped of a wing, while the other one he killed with a mighty blow from IronWind, his iron greatsword. The third one hit Axjack badly, making him unconscious. On the next round Kaid-aw got hit again by a mighty blow from one of the demons and he died of the blow. Dolxx maimed a leg and stayed miraculously still up after ten attacks from two demons. Being the fastest, Dolxx hit on the next round one and killed it instantly, still having two of the demons against him alone. One of them made a critical on Dolxx’s head, killing Dolxx. Meanwhile Kaid-aw did a deal with Pomalgimia and got back up in perfect shape. He got once again a critical on him, this time in the chest, and he got immobilized, not capable of doing anything. Luckily Axjack was back on his feet after his unconsciousness. Dolxx was also up, as he also made a deal with Pomalgimia. Being enraged, Dolxx killed the third of the demons, while Axjack finally got a deadly blow and killed the last of the demons.
They healed themselves and caught a little breath, while Kaid-aw told the others what he remembered from the visit they had here. On both sides of the bat cave, two ledges went up along the sides to a long (200 meters) corridor to the room where the code could be decrypted using the books in there. There was a guard, Cwim, in the tunnel stopping heretics from entering the room. Cwim, is one of the worst chaos monsters, if he hits, he takes away characteristics from the victim in addition to all other damage he does. When the party cautiously came to the bat cave, they saw the two ledges leading up to the corridor. The corridor is huge, as Cwim can stand in it, even being 40 meters high. They sneaked and hid as well as they could and reached the entrance to the corridor. When they continued into the corridor, it became much darker, than in the bat-cave. A little further they suddenly met three spawns of Cwim, which came closer and they prepared themselves for a fight. The spawns looked like Cwim, a huge head connected to three bodies, and therefore they had three attacks each round. Kaid-aw was initially the most effective of the trio. He used his spear very well and soon had two arms and a leg on his opponent maimed. Axjack also maimed arms, while Dolxx used a tactic to hit the head with aimed attacks, letting the enemies hit him first. This caused Dolxx to take a wound in his leg, making him falling down, but still he managed to kill one of the spawns by hitting in its head, almost cleaving it. When Kaid-aw continued on hitting the arms of his opponent, it tried to back off the fight, but this gave Kaid-aw the chance to kill it. He then continued to help Axjack fighting the last of the spawns. Both of them maimed one arm each, but it was Dolxx who came in with the killing blow, again to the head of the monster. After a short pause healing themselves the trio continued forward and started to see a huge black shadow in the corridor. Kaid-aw went first and as he was about fifty meters away hew saw the monster readying itself to throw something. When he took a few steps more, two things started flying against him. One of them hit the wall, and Dolxx killed it. The other was about to hit Kaid-aw, when he killed it with a spell. Dolxx used his very good sneaking and hiding skills together with some rune magic, to come past Cwim. Once he was in the big room he used the books there to decrypt the message. Once this was done, he again sneaked past Cwim without being noticed and they could climb down on the ledges to the main passage out.

Once outside they contacted Pomalgimia, but she did not want take them back to Glorantha, but insisted that if they wanted to come back, they had to do a task also for her. There was diamond in the Zayk palace, which she wanted to have. She did not listen to the arguments and told she would be back again the next day. For the remainder of the day the party searched and found a cave, nicely hid but still quite close by the bat cave entrance.

Meanwhile this happened, Raven and Beer had come in the morning to Raus Fort. The first thing Raven asked there was once again where could he get more beer, as he was thirsty. Merlox said they do not have any beer around, to keep Raven from drinking all up again. A meeting with the news Merlox had got, convinced them to leave back for Pavis to find Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw. On the boat they were traveling with, they met some newtlings in the evening and as they recognized Merlox and Raven as River Voices, they told they had seen other River Voices the same day very early on the river up streams from Garhound along White Rock River. They continued the whole night and came to the place with the table and hut and got off the boat. On the table was still the backpack Axjack had bought, which he hadn't wanted to carry up to the hills. The then followed the trail to the north and arrived to the farm. As Raven was the first one to enter the house, the farmers got scared, that now even the trolls had came to kill them after all the problem they had had with the nomads some time earlier. Raven asked in his normal haughty way if the farmers had seen Axjack, Dolxx or Kaid-aw. The man gathered his courage and said yes, they were here but left forward a long time ago, as none answered the question of if they had any greetings? Raven almost got mad when the farmers kept asking for some stupid greetings. As none could tell this, the farmer said Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw had left to the east trying to find the nomads, which had been here stealing all their cattle, as normal honorable men would do. Raven did a tracking and saw that the tracks of Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw left for the north, not the east. Merlox, Beer and Raven wanted to eat and ordered the farmers to give them some food. When they saw the angry face of Raven, they made it, even very unwillingly. But who'd want to annoy a Zorak Zoran Death Lord. After lunch, Raven took his torture equipment and started to torture the farmer to get to know the real answer where Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw had gone from the farm. But he could not get any answer from the him. Meanwhile Beer's Hawk-familiar flew high up in the air and saw a small entrance to a cavern. When Beer told this and Raven went on torturing, the farmers wife finally admitted that Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw had went to the cave and med the old witch Pomalgimia there. The wife led the trio to the cave, after Merlox paid her 250L.

In the cave they saw Pomalgimia sitting in the chair, as she would have been sleeping. In her hand she held a crystal. Touching her did not cause any reactions, so Beer's familiar cast a mindspeech on Pomalgimia and got contact to her. She said leave and do not disturb me, or you will get in big trouble. Kaid-aw got with another mindspeech contact to Merlox and explained their situation on the dream-plane. To stop Pomalgimia, Merlox took the crystal, while Raven was ready to hit Pomalgimia with his maul. She attacked Merlox in spirit combat, and as Raven noticed this, he smashed her arm, making her unconscious. The blood flow was stopped and she woke back up again. She was very angry and complained about her arm. Raven, haughty as ever, demanded her to get back Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw or she would suffer much, much more. She said she would do it if she would get a piece of their memories from each one of them. Merlox got mad with this bargaining and suddenly attacked her in spirit combat, which he won easily to her big surprise. He commanded her to get Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw back to Glorantha, which she did. Merlox said to Kaid-aw to get out of the cave. When Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw got out of the cave they had been in, they were to their big relief outside Pomalgimia's cave back in Glorantha again. As they stepped in to Pomalgimia's cave, they saw Raven smash Pomalgimia’s head into pieces, killing her instantly. Kaid-aw immediately resurrected Pomalgimia. After she was OK again, all six of them left, with Pomalgimia cursing them and wanting nothing to do with them again.

With the knowledge from the library, the message could be decrypted, once they had arrived back to Pavis the following night. They sat in the A-TEAM inn and read the message. It said:
Mobilize immediately 1000 men and kill the A-TEAM. -Tatius.

From this they understood that Gim-Gim, somehow, had managed to convince that the sight he had seen in Puzzle Canal was not him dying on the steps of Pavis, but Tatius. Now they knew that this wasn't true, but Tatius did not. Additional evidence against the A-TEAM was, that they had got the Sun County troops to destroy the building of the new Temple of the Reaching Moon outside Queenscliff. Also they had saved New Pavis from the Crimson Bat's attack some time ago, by destroying the Bat cult HeroQuest, where everybody became the Bat's victims as the Blue Bat cult became forgotten.

What to do with Tatius the Bright now when the message was decrypted?
When on their way to the farm and Kaid-aw, they heard about this Lunar Elite messenger troup being on their way to New Pavis.


Copyright © 1999-20054 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 01.01.2005.

A picture with runes which makes this 
page look cool ;-)