Chapter 110: Mage Hunt, Part V
We left our heroes trying to eliminate the Kitsu mages and their
assistants who are hindering our evacuation of the N'Butu and then get
on with the rest of the Nephilim Exodus.
"Who will speak for the Kitsu mages?" asks Dafnord, when we wonder what we should do next.
The only answer is silence.
We sigh, and continue on. We dowse again with a Kitsu talisman, one other than that patch of animal skin. Since there is no indication of timelock, Tom steers us through the woods, towards a figure moving through the trees. Oh. It's our Mr. Lucky. Well, let's try a non-lethal attack anyhow. We maneuver behind him, and Robbie prepares to encase him in a cube of ectoplasm.
Robbie finds that he has encased himself in ectoplasm. He removes it. We must have agreed that we should continue to avoid Mr. Lucky, since Kate re-dowses, looking for a different target.
This time we find a fellow up a tree, in the process of throwing one of those explosive sticks at a group of N'Butu. Again, there is no timelock, so we position ourselves up and behind him. This time Robbie succeeds in encasing the fellow in ectoplasm. (That was very easy.) He seems to start gasping for air, but we wait for him to quiet. This takes a bit longer than it has for the others, but we are patient, and soon his motions slow down. We maneuver the pantope window under him, and dissolve the ectoplastic air. As expected, he falls towards us, but he catches at a passing branch, and starts to attack us with his primed "stick". Robbie was ready for him, however, and the two of them are encased in ectoplasm just before the stick bursts into flame, setting the gelid air on fire. The pantope door closes into a window again, as planned, leaving only a bit of Kitsu behind.
Kate separates the two of them with a quick tug of TK. The air is still on fire, so Robbie dissipates what is still around him.
Robbie and Kate glow from the explosion, the gargoyle's surface suddenly looks like that of a pan-fried marble, and Markel and Dafnord need new uniforms. Robbie is clearly unhappy, as he stares down at the one-handed Kitsu mage? warrior? lying, burning, in a pool of his own blood. How could he have ever thought that this capture was going too smoothly? Robbie tries adding more air to the ectoplasm around the Kitsu, but it catches on fire too.
Everyone prudently takes a few steps back, the gargoyle flaking off bits of rock from his joints as he moves. We move the laptop, and shove the tent farther from the flames. After a bit of discussion, we move the window to high over the desert, five minutes after we had last used it, slip the window under our burning unfriend, and turn it into a door just long enough to dispose of him. There is a last flash of heat, but then the fire's out. There isn't even any damage to the floor. This is just as well; Robbie would like Tom to heal him, not kill him.
Undiscouraged, Kate dowses again. This time we find a fellow standing just outside a clearing in the woods. He's wearing an animal skin of soft brown (so he's not the shapechanger who escaped us), carrying a stick, and gesturing dramatically. Apparently he has summoned the lightning bolt which is coming down on a group of a few dozen N'Butu. Unfortunately, there's a bit of timelock showing, so we grimace, and bookmark this time/place, so we can think before taking any action.
Valiantly fighting discouragement, Kate dowses yet again, and comes up with a veritable jackpot. We are at a gathering of about a dozen Kitsu. Three are dressed very much like the Kitsu raiders we've been going after, carrying quivers or those deadly explosive sticks. About nine seem to be ordinary warriors, carrying lengthy spears or bows and long, slender arrows. There is a central figure. He is flanked by the three raiders, and seems to be addressing the nine warriors, who appear to be listening raptly. He's the Kitsu chief. Ah. This will take some thought.
We bookmark this time/place too, then open a door on the ranch, just a little time post-contemporary of our last use of it (so there should be a senile dwarf digging through the landscape). We load up on food, slather ourselves with antiseptic burn ointment, and pick up four sets of uniforms for Markel and Dafnord. Then we're ready to plan.
©1984, 1994, 2005 Earl Wajenberg. All Rights Reserved.