At the mayor’s request, the party prepares to descend into the magically perilous lands below their plateau where the ship crashed. Bilbil’s host father, the sky dock’s chief technician, provides him with pitons and rope to help the other two descend. Meanwhile, at the shrine to Emedia, the priest tries to talk Amhran out of going into this danger. They both meet Rathdar at the tavern to head down.
- Rathdar (ByW): Level 1 Human Cleric of Vardor
- Bilbil (RiH): Level 1 Harpy Thief/Roboticist
- Amhran (BiW): Level 1 Human Cleric of Emedia
- Clarence: Level 1 Skeleton with Revolvers
From the edge of the plateau, they can see the ship through a break in the clouds below, about a dozen miles away. Rathdar is familiar with climbing equipment and takes the lead helping Amhran and Clarence descend safely. Bilbil glides about, ready to catch any if the fall and watching for danger.
They soon make it into the cloud layer, where visibility is limited to helping each other descend and Bilbil has to keep to small circles to keep the rest of the party in sight. It is in these conditions Bilbil hears the stirges approaching. Two go after Bibil and one punches through Rathdar’s plate while the rest descend on Ahmran, having trouble reaching her through Clarence’s rib cage as he shelters her. While Rathdar swings Solus one-handed to cut them down and Bilbil lashes out with talons, Amhran casts an explosion of death at short range, swiftly killing all of those near her and Clarence, wounding herself and Bilbil, but not Rathdar (inexplicably). Rathdar and Clarence destroy the other two and they continue to descend.
They reach the plain below, having descended a thousand feet without a major slip. They take a while to rest against the base of the cliff, taking in the unfamiliar scene. Bilbil is seriously unsettled, having spent his whole life under a big sky with few clouds above and low horizons on all sides. The clouds crouching low overhead, the cliff and his back, and the rolling landscape beyond make him claustrophobic. Rathdar has descended below the clouds a few times before with his grandfather, but having grown up with the same big sky, it still makes him uncomfortable. Amhran is oddly comfortable beneath the ceiling of clouds.
Once recovered, they set off through the field of hexgrass. Bilbil finds it curious that it glows around Rathdar and Amhran but not Clarence, but none of them notice that it is draining Amhran’s or Rathdar’s SP until Bilbil sees a predator stalking them that also doesn’t cause the grass to glow. He immediately draws Solus and cuts down a swath of grass around himself, sending Amhran running away and up onto Clarence’s back.
The predator tackles Rathdar, who retaliates with a mighty stab with Solus while Clarence fires bullets into the creature and Bilbil’s attack glances ineffectually off of armor plates. Badly wounded, the creature’s armor opens, seeming to draw on the magic of the grass as it breaths out various energies on Rathdar. Bilbil strikes again, rolling a crit to get his sword between plates and slay the creature.
With it defeated, Bilbil lands and examines the beast for possible alchemical or other value, determining that its armor is some kind of organic metal alloy and that its flesh is a magic conveyor, though in what configuration he is not sure. They hope to retrieve the body on their return.
Rathdar, finding himself wounded, is about to heal himself when he sees Amhran’s damage from her own spell. He considers for a moment using area of effect magic to heal them both but realizes that he can only heal himself with death magic and her with life magic. After confessing that that he has the capability for area of effect (the indirect position of the chaos finger) he decides only to heal himself, as the hexgrass has drained his spell points too far to cast a second heal.
Amhran senses that the spell uses death magic, and Bilbil thinks it was a left-handed spell, so both become suspicious as Rathdar kneels down to pray. He rebuffs their attempts to remove his helmet and flustered, assumes bat form to fly ahead. With him flying and Bilbil carrying Amhran, they pass out of the hexgrass plain before continuing their hike on foot.
They soon (a couple hours of hiking in silence) crest a hill to see the crashed ship, facsimiles forming a perimeter around it. They decide to attack with Bilbil dropping magically created rocks on the more combat ready and Rathdar attacking a small group from hiding (using his bat form). With Amhran hurt and vulnerable, she will hang back with Clarence shooting at other enemies before they close on Rathdar.
The initial attack goes will, with Bilbil crushing one four-armed soldier facsimile and damaging two others while Rathdar engages a lesser pair. Soon, however, Rathdar is surrounded as more facsimiles, including the surviving four-armed one, close on his position. His armor prevents much of the incoming damage, with Clarence finishing wounded facsimiles and Bilbil dropping a second rock to remove the biggest threat.
Rathdar catches a break when three facsimiles decide to pursue Amhran and Clarence, but Bilbil is wounded and forced to be more careful in his sword attack passes. Eventually, though, Rathdar cleaves through a sword and together they manage to down the remaining facsimiles.
In the next session (2 weeks) they’ll enter the ship, still wounded and low on spell points, but having reached level 2!
The Primordial Frontier Campaign is set in the Perenia world of the Tyranny of Mundanity and Stormguard campaigns, but in a future where the world is characterized by wild magic below a mile above sea level. Sea level is the new underdark, and, well, I don’t suspect we’ll be seeing the underdark at all.
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