Zyf's Journal Part 26
Malc in the Middle
‘Are ye daft?’ asked Flann. ‘That boyo’s been workin’ both sides of the war for nigh on a year now, and us in the middle!’
’Don’t be silly, Flann, he has not. The Termilatude are merely using Malc as they used us; he just hasn’t had the opporunity to figure it out yet. But, I’ll go get him and we can show him what’s truly happening in the Wyldlands.’
‘Ach, ya stubborn dwarf, them Termilatude casters are somethin’ fierce. Let’s head up to ol’ Tentail instead. Kill a few hundred orcs, rescue the village, maybe have a nice vacation away from all this chaos-war stuff.’
‘While the thought of crushing an orcish army is very tempting, I don’t believe a short jaunt to get Malc would be out of the way. It will give Vaerius another chance to use his teleportation spells, too. We’ll leave in the morning and be back for brunch.’
The next morning, Smuj, Vaerius and Zyf discussed tactics regarding the retrieval of Malc.
’We’ll just bounce down there, find Malc, and pop back. You do have the correct coordinates this time, Vaerius?’ asked Zyf of the absent minded loremaster.
“Aye, my divinations place him on the banks of the great lake south of here. I wandered through that area a few years ago, although not precisely that area, more like the city south of that area, well not exactly the city, more like the inn and brothel just outside the city, but I have been near there so this shouldn’t be any problem,” he replied.
“Are we going soon? Smuj is bored,” said the barbarian.
“Fine, let’s go. The sooner Malc is retrieved, the sooner we can move off this plot point,” said Zyf.
“And…((TELEPORT))…here we are! Hey, who are those guys?” asked Vaerius.
“Githyanki,” said Zyf, “denizens of the outer planes. Not good guys. What are they doing here? And more importantly, what in the name of Myn’s adamantium whiskers, is THAT!?” he finished, pointing to a long black tentacle fully a hundred feet long that was twitching in the surf of the great lake.
“EEPS!” said Vaerius. ((VEIL))
“Ooo, calamari!” said Smuj. “Where could Smuj get a Fry-Daddy big enough for that?”
“Let’s just find Malc and get out of here,” said Zyf. “Smuj, use your helm to eavesdrop on the nearby conversations and try to discern the location of the overseers of this excavation.”
“Use that magical helmet Quintain made you and listen to the people around us. Try to find out where the bosses are.”
“Oh, why dint you say that!”
Listen check. Listen check. Listen check. Spot check!
“Dere he is,” said Smuj pointing to an elaborate tent where Malc was being berated by a pair of dicey looking Giths.
“Let’s make our way down there,” said Zyf, “as soon as the Gith move on, we’ll chat with Malc.”
Soon enough, the Githyanki moved away from Malc and headed toward the excavation site where a team of laborers toiled to unearth the gargantuan squid-like thing buried there.
“Malc,” whispered Vaerius, “it’s Zyf and gang; we’ve…”
“RUN!!” screamed Malc and he bolted out of his chair as a large chitinous being phased in behind him.
“Ack!” said Vaerius reaching out toward the sprinting human…((TELEPORT))…fizzle!. A glowing sigil momentarily appeared over Malc’s head as the contingency spell ((ANTI-TELEPORT SPELL)) prevented Vaerius’ casting.
“Ooo,” said Smuj, “pretty colors.”
((WALL OF STONE)) Backpedaling, Zyf momentarily stymied the view of the extra-planar being before turning to Malc and the others. “Get out of here! This won’t stop him for long!”
“And go where?” asked the stunned merchant. “They travel between the planes with ease; we can’t outrun them!”
“C-ya!” said Vaerius grasping Smuj’s forearm. ((TELEPORT))
“NOOOOooooooooooooo…” echoed Smuj’s voice as the spell took hold and whisked him the hundreds of miles back to the rest of the Talons where, hopefully, he punched Vaerius right in the tenders for abandoning Malc and, more importantly, Zyf.
Sure enough, the Termilatude caster phased right through the hastily constructed stone wall and advanced on the downed human and imposing dwarf.
((MISLEAD)) Hurrying to Malc, Zyf, now invisible while a perfect illusion of him occupied the Termilatude, said, “Malc, this is going to be risky, but you’ll be flying soon. Head north!”
“Leave it to me,” said the mighty cleric.
((POWERFUL EVIL SPELL OF EVIL-POWERFULNESS)) The Termilatude was astonished that the dwarf could withstand such a blow, and was momentarily surprised and would have quivered in its loins, if it had any.
((FLY)) “Now go, and don’t look back,” said the cleric, “you’ll likely not get a second chance.”
Malc flew into the air and, not used to such magic, tumbled uncontrollably for a moment before getting his bearing and speeding north across the lake.
The Termilatude caster chittered in anger and started following, walking on the very air itself. Sometimes, being a creature of pure chaos from an outer plane is a good thing.
Not one to leave his charge alone, and knowing that his flight speed was substantially less than Malc’s, Zyf risked all on a daring maneuver. Quickly calculating the distance traveled in six seconds for a falling body in atmosphere near the surface of the Earth versus the maximum distance of his spell…((DIMENSION DOOR))…straight up then using his wand of fly, he quickly closed the gap. Ah, Newtonian physics to the rescue!
Malc was barely keeping out of the thing’s range when it suddenly stopped and reversed its course. Down below, the squid creature had broken free of the earthen bonds holding it and was rising in the air. The Termilatude moved to the gargantuan invertebrate and ‘merged’ with it as it hovered above the lake. Great gouts of fire erupted from the creature’s beak and cut a swath through the countryside, setting fire to nearby trees and destroying a small village on the banks of the great lake.
Holy crapola! Could things get any worse? No, actually, and Zyf and Malc flew north across the lake completely ignored by the completely ‘over-powered-and-what-was-the-DM-thinking’ epic beast. That evening, after the contingency spell faded, Zyf teleported the two of them back to the rest of the Talons and recounted the tale of the flying squid.
Malc was much relieved at his rescue and admitted that he never realized he was the unwitting dupe of the extra-planar creatures known as the Termilatude. He was just trying to do right by the Talons, the world and his deceased family.
See, Flann? He was on the up and up the whole time!
Check out chapter 27 of Zyf’s Journals!
Or, just go here and see them all.