The Eilythry World
Week 1, Cantrel is Captured
The party returned to the pantope with no further misadventures, and left the post-holocaust Earth-mockup. We lost the Teldai, but we have acquired Lorelei. We stayed on the pantope for about a month, recuperating and preparing for the next adventure.
According to the Serving System, the next world is an odd one, lying at very peculiar coordinates (which it is unable to explain to us). It might be a worldbender planet, or it might be an odd natural one. A few quick peeks at the place show a world EXACTLY like Earth, so far as the people, animals, plants and climate go (and so far as we can see anything in a quick glimpse). The visible fashions and technology suggest Europe in the 12th century or thereabouts. We couldn't get an orbital shot, so we don't know if the geography is a copy of Earth's.
We disguised ourselves as travelers. Wu and Cantrel deliberately set out to look foreign, since they always will, no matter what. Noon and Lorelei costumed themselves as upper-middle-class merchant and wife. Aphron looks like a mercenary soldier, and David Hunter looks like a serving boy. Pfusand the Naza looks like a large draft horse.
We opened the pantope on what appeared to be a street at dusk, and everybody snuck out. Everybody but the Naza, who was as quiet as your usual draft horse. This attracted attention, and we discovered to our chagrin that we were not in the midst of a city, but between the inner and outer walls of a castle keep. The guards came running and were puzzled by the horse. (One of them was even more puzzled by the unhorselike footprints it left, but fortunately he said nothing.) No one noticed the rest of the party, at least for a while. Aphron flitted off on an anti-gravity belt, and Cantrel went straight up a wall. And got caught. Aphron reported through his hand-comm that Cantrel was being marched off to the dungeons by a large number of bloodied and angry guards. Meanwhile, the rest of the party has its own problems.
Wu and David managed to bolt through the gate, to freedom. Wu then came back and pretended to be a traveler. He tried to tell the guards that he and his party had been magicked off their road and he was looking for the others, but the guards were busy trying to close the gate and locked him out.
Noon and Lorelei weren't so well-hidden or so near. One of the guards approached the wall, looking at the funny footprints the horse had left, and Noon decided the best approach was to reveal himself rather than be discovered. He screamed. His plan, such as it is, coincides with Wu's: he will claim to have been dropped here by magic. It doesn't work very well. The guards, like cops all over the universe, don't want to listen to anything until they have established control -- i.e. popped us in their dungeons. They ignore Lorelei and Noon's babbling about where-are-we? and where-are-the-other? The Naza comes over to help and a guard on the parapet above decides to spook the horse by throwing down his lantern. Unfortunately, he decides to do this just as Noon, Naza, and Lorelei decide to make a dash for the pantope door. The door is now behind a puddle of burning oil.
After a complicated scrum with one guard, the Naza, and some fire, Tom finds that the door is closed. (The guard sees Tom pounding desperately on a blank wall while standing in a puddle of fire, and is sure, if he wasn't before, that he is dealing with a maniac.) Just as Tom leaps out of the fire and onto the Naza, he feels the door open. He and Lorelei are now riding Naza-back and have two choices -- they can rush back through the fire, into the pantope, and CONVINCE the guards that there is magic about, or they can rush out through the gates and rejoin the rest of the party.
Either way, Cantrel is in the dungeons, and the pantope is in unfriendly territory.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.