Paradise Planet

After Xax makes the Blades start healing normally (instead of healing them up each time they impale one another with a missed knife throw), Lochlan trades his throwing knives for his trusty mandolin. Meanwhile, Hanos and the ladies pool together while the ship is underway for a recopying party to repopulate Azura’s spellbook. Azura knows “fly,” and Zyn finally learns it. Sophie gets in on the spell copying, but Hanos won’t allow copies of his Rivershire-exclusive spells unless the copier agrees to become an apprentice; Azura is considering it.

Later on, Xax pays Lochlan two gold to play between sermons to seven prisoners and Celia. After a few hours when the sermons are over, Lochlan finds an opportunity to apologize to Celia, genuinely feeling horrible he could neither stop the tattooed man nor protect her from being taken. He serenades her with his mandolin as a way of apologizing but leaves as soon he runs out of things to say. Xax goes to help Mal about the Pick of Larnagish, fearful on what the weapon can do after discovering that it can “break planets.” Xax assures him that he’ll figure it out (even if he can’t say how.)

Over the next week, Zyn apprises the crew about Hyetal, suggesting they hit the port to see how everything goes. Xax has a new trick, able to metamorphosis himself to look human or other wise. Zyn suggests the blades to go ashore for a day to gather information and that Azura and Celia pose as “handmaidens” (veiled, gloved, robed) for Sophie. Xax should stay on board until needed while Zyn, Mal, and Hanos will assemble as “team three.”

After entering Hyetal space, the ship passes a “death blossum” in darken ship mode, made up of over a dozen docked elven cultivars. Slipping by unnoticed, the smalljammer sets down on dark side of Hyetal and morphs to match a local pleasure yacht. The seven prisoners are dropped off on a local land mass; Zyn give them a little money, Xax and Celia see them off. Xax ensures they have Sanguine scrolls to help them guide them in their new lives.

As the sun comes up, Zyn skims the transformed ship into Sandro Bay of the Isle of Syree and docks aft end to the Bay Street. The blades go ashore and pay the dockmaster for the birth (registering the ship as “The Adeena”) and disappear into the city. Elsewhere on the docks, people are stumbling back from town. Xax agrees with Zyn they may want to take the ship out to see if it can go under water. Zyn doing her own thing, so the rest go ashore for breakfast.

Celia and Mal accompany Sophie disguised as a priestess of Maeidyn. Joined by Hanos and Azura, they all go ashore for breakfast. After a fine feast, an elf (possible nobility) asks if Sophie is there for the reopening of the temple. When she answers yes, he says he might see her there in the afternoon as is glad her sisters have arrived. While the ladies run back to the boat, Mal and Hanos go into town to find Xax some new robes.

The shop with the robes turns out to be right across from a constable’s station. On a wall next to it, Mal and Hanos they find a sign asking “Have you seen this symbol?” and a image of the Pick of Larnagish. A couple of elderly locals mention to them that since the sign appeared, everyone who breaks a pick tries to claim the reward, none are taken too seriously. At the robe maker, Mal orders one robe and takes another with them, renting a rickshaw back to their ship’s Bay Street birth (ninety-four.)

Hanos shows Xax the “symbol” poster. Xax tells Zyn, who comes in from her swim and gets the info about the temple and the poster. Two teams go out for info: Mal and Hanos are one, while Zyn, Azura, and Celia are the other. Sophie reveals to Xax that priestesses worship Maeidyn clerically while the priests are normally all druids.

The ceremony is at two in the afternoon, plus someone very important is supposed to be showing up for it. Xax and Sophie go in disguise to the temple with Zyn and Celia as backup. A line of locals keeps Zyn and Celia out while Sophie is escorted directly inside. While Sophie is introduced “back stage” to the other priestesses attending, Xax hides himself in the balcony of the temple.

A craft arrives with the druids on board. The line for locals closes and the dedication ceremony begins with the priestesses giving a group prayer. The druids enter with one in charge; Xax recognizes him as Nevarus, the druid in charge of the group the Last Born exiled on a small planet months ago. The dedication seems earnest and concludes in a reasonable amount of time. Afterward, the locals and onlookers file out while the druids meet and thank the priestesses backstage. Xax notices one priestess sneak from backstage, cross to the center pulpit, and places something unseen beneath it. As the priestess exits the temple, the pulpit erupts into flames.

With the druids having exited moments before the explosion, Sophie directs many of the panicked priestess outside, saving everyone. Still inside, Xax summons a water elemental to combat the flames and saves the temple before leaving himself. Outside, two cultivar craft land and the druids line up the priestesses for a fast questioning. Unable to discover a culprit (but being told that the disguised Sophie was the hero of the hour), Nevarus orders the priestess released and seems somehow satisfied that the temple was saved.

Everyone regroups on the way back to the town with Mal and Hanos picking up the last of Xax’s robes, wondering what just happened and what is about to happen next…

CONTINUE READING WITH “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”

Session XP: 1875 per player

About Kevin A. Ranson

Content Creator, Horror Writer, Film Critic. Heeding a macabre calling listening to "Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes" in kindergarten, Kevin started writing in grade school and filled countless notebooks with story ideas while touring the Mediterranean in the US Navy. He is the author of The Spooky Chronicles and the vampire thriller series The Matriarch, creator/critic for and "ghost writer" for horror host Grim D. Reaper. WEBFACEBOOKTWITTER
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