It’s been a long while since I have had a moment to put pen to paper….so much has happened. But let me start with – your Uncle is fine. Between Kenari and I, he has been kept very safe and I promise to bring him back to you. Alive even.
After the vision at the temple and realizing we were in realm space, we got in contact with Taj Pach to explain that the sun was dimming there as a result of Illithid action – they were using the sun to power some kind of spell with the intent of killing a god – we weren’t sure – but Taj Pach sprung into command – summoning her fleet, getting the EIN and Githyanki involved and apparently just bossing the everyone in Tears into doing what she wanted. Fen convinces some priests of Ra to come along and we start making our way to the Tears along with our friends from beyond the Veil.
There is a lot – so I am going to sum it up a little. We get to the Tears – there is an Illithid dreadnought there sucking the sun’s power. It’s decided that Kattar will lead the fleet to attack causing a diversion. We – along with Tavist & Taj Pach are going straight to the dreadnought. Fen and Kenari are going to sneak around and plant bombs along the dreadnought’s tentacles to disable it, while the rest of us provide another distraction with a full assault.
It turns out when everyone puts their minds to it – we can get ridiculously buff. I appreciate having clerics and magic users to provide the extra oomph, I have to say. We all make our way over there and Fen & Kenari get to work planting bombs. An Illithid dreadnought is basically the horror-fest you’d expect. I’ll just say this – cranium rats. Millions of the damn things. It was a total nightmare. We lost sight of Tavist and Taj Pach for a bit – and sound too – but as usual – those two turned up carrying a random human and his gear. So we find ourselves eventually hanging on the outside of an Illithid dreadnought when a swarm of cranium rats come racing around the hull. I’m basically ready to leap into space when a ship swings over – it’s a green & yellow spelljammer and while we don’t recognize the pilot, we do recognize Klasath standing next to him. I jump over as fast as I can because I just cannot do rats. Tavist & Taj Pach cast fireballs in tandem and the smell of crispy rats fills the air. Two Illithid appear as we are trying to get away and Cosimir (our human pilot) decides to drive through on of the things as the tentacles on the dreadnought are erupting and everything is chaos. I get hit by the other Illithid and one of its tentacles latches on – but that’s a mixed blessing for it because now I am close enough to just beat on the damn thing. Total chaos at this point – Melchior is firing & hitting everything. Vedis is too. Kenari is zipping about attacking, moves Klasath and I into opposite positions – when all of us – at once are hit by a massive attack. Someone says there’s an elder brain on this dreadnought. Taj Pach is all for staying because she thinks she can kill it – but Klasath points out that there are likely to be 60 Illithid on this dreadnought so we agree to leave. How that bug hasn’t gotten everyone killed yet is beyond me.
The ship is listing – so Taj heads to the helm room to discover our human pilot had passed out and Kenari is on the helm. She is telling the ship to run away when something pulls it up short. Klasath yells that it is the elder brain again and Kenari asks the ship to plane shift away. The ship does so as the elder brain lashes out again. I am awake – along with Fen, Vedis, Taj Pach & Klasath. The ship has arrived near a small moon that orbits a planet about the size of Torrill. The planet is lit up – but there are no ships in the sky that we can see. Taj takes the helm from Kenari and Kenari checks her key. It says 4 now.
There’s no break though – Illithid ships appear in space – Taj heads down planet side to hide in the ocean since the ship has told her it can’t jump again for a whole day. We pass a ship on the ocean with smokestacks and a banner that reads “X Crawl Cruise – Final Destination Coney Island”. Whatever that means. We dive deep into the water and find – an Illithid city. Because of course we do. Taj turns off to the left and we are passed by a swarm of boarding ships – just when we think we are going to make it – 5 of them peel off to pursue. An Illithid appears in the helm room and fighting erupts as Taj is trying to outrun the Illithid boarding ships. The damn Illithid eventually explodes into nerve runners and Taj (who is trapped on the helm) screams at Tavist to cast a fireball. So he does. IN THE HELM ROOM. Kenari manages to jump out of the room with Fen. The spell doesn’t affect me – though poor Taj Pach has looked better. I leave the room cause tiny swarms are just really not my thing and I am not over the rats just yet. As everyone is trying to rid themselves of the slugs (thanks to Kenari for working out a way to do so) Taj is still trying to evade the boarding ships. Our ship is faster so she heads for the surface while charging the ship’s only weapon – as the ship breaches the water it discharges its electric tail weapon into the water behind and fries all of the Illithid vessels!
We land and start exploring. Every time the number on that key gets lower the place we are in is definitely stranger. There’s a giant statue of a human in a robe with a sword. As we are walking along – people ask us if we are an x-crawl team. Whatever that means. But this x-crawl thing is everywhere – giant signs on the walls that move. Pictures on the shirts people are wearing. Also, this place apparently loves its beer because there are lots of pictures of beer too. We could all definitely use a beer though. We do see a billboard of an Illithid in robes that says “have you been saved?” So that is ominous.
We are definitely lost and out of place here. We are getting lots of looks. I don’t think they have cat-folk here and Taj Pack seems pretty out of place too. Not any insects about that we’ve seen so far. We have a run in with some cops who are angry we have our weapons and then Klasath disappears with some guy in a green hood. Klasath comes and goes so that seems kind of normal. Then we approached by a colorfully dressed individual who is going on about a league and invites us to a bar. This guy is B-Ez. He is a native of this world and for some reason thinks we are all from Luxenborgh? I don’t even know what a Luxenborgh is Anya. He explains a lot of about this place and about the X-crawl pictures we’ve seen everywhere. And we are apparently interesting enough that he takes us under his wing (so to speak) and helps us. He doesn’t actually have wings. And while he’s speaking Common – I don’t think I get half of what he says. But he’s genuinely helpful and his hair is something else. He calls it “dreads”. He even gives us dinner – something called a “pizza roll” which almost kills poor Ef Utan (“Lava – you eat lava!”), but I think they are kind of tasty.
There’s some back & forth and something called an “audition” hosted by a ridiculous woman with a tiny dog thing that Taj Pach wants to eat, but eventually B-Ez gets us into this X-Crawl. We are going to go through a dungeon and the whole thing will be scryed around this planet on something called a TV where millions of people will be watching us. Oh and there will be people there watching live, too. B-Ez called us the SpellJoints and that is now our team name. And we have to be cool and have flair so the people scrying us will love us and we will get points or tickets or trophies? And Tavist is kind of upset because he can’t go. Neither can Taj Pach but she doesn’t seem to care.I have to tell you Anya – I don’t know anymore why we do what we do. I don’t know how this gets us closer to destroying Illithid or saving the universe and there is a part of me that may not care anymore. Apparently we are going to be set loose in this dungeon and as much as I’ve refused over the years to participate in gladiatorial arenas – there is a part of me that is really ready to just let go and see how much carnage I can wreak.