Pattern Seekers – Episode 5: Stepping Stones across the Sky (Part 2)

30 December, 2011

Having completed their first scouting mission seeking the crystal orb of air, with a slight change of active characters (down a rogue up an alchemist and a druid) and restocking of potions, they returned arriving in the middle of a hailstorm.  Zandrick dragged the captured mephit, named Graz, back with them.  Making their way back to the ruined citadel, they found that the giant’s skeleton had been totally stripped of flesh.  Old Monk Yoon was still meditating outside of the citadel and had no new information to impart.

Their investigation of the ruins only afforded them a better view of the local terrain, everything of value had already been stripped or succumbed to the ages.  But from the tower, they saw a distant island that glinted like crystal so they decided to head there.  They were just on their way when they attracted the attention of a flock of terror birds, six two-meter tall flightless hunting birds, who rushed to attack and were pretty nasty smashing with their axe-like beaks.  They put the monk down and got some good blows in before their numbers were seriously diminished with the last two fleeing.  Pho ate most of one of the bird after the battle ended and they planned to roast the others later.

Heading on, the sky skiff from the Color Society comes to a halt overhead and it operator, Verada Koo, calls out to the heroes.  They bargain for Thea and Pho to be ferried over to the shining island ahead of the rest of the group.  After some effort in getting Pho up a rope ladder, they head off, followed by an increasingly strung out group.  Verada dropped off Thea and warn her to beware of the shadow stealer.  Before Thea could ask more, Verada was off in search of more rainbows.

Malik, as a swiftly moving monk, was well in front of the rest of the group when a winged creature with the head of a wolf topped by the horns of a stag flew up from between the islands, over him and then banked into a dive.  Malik tried to run but was brutally gored and smashed to the ground, his back awash in blood.  As the creature rolled him over, the rest of the group rushed to his aid.  Dr. Martin transforming into his bestial form to gain speed.

The beast finding itself surrounded, roared it frustration and took to the air, circling a few times before diving away.  They patched the monk backup and crossed over to the glittering island which was covered by ice with an occasional patch that was glowing from within.   Dr. Martin firebombed one of the patches and found that it released lighting when shattered.

Ice Shard

Just add lightning

As they explored across the ice field, there were places that had weaker gravity allowing for great leaps, much to Thea’s delight.  The Diamond Eagle swept in, its plumage flashing in the sun, and landing on an outcropping watching the characters.  Zandrick was totally entranced by the diamond eagle and pledged himself to its service in the language of the elementals of air, offering it his companion and the mephit if it so wished.  With a glance, lightning shot from the eagle’s eyes and reduced the mephit to ash.  Malik showed the eagle a picture of the orb and it took to the air.  It was at that point that they realized that high winds were circling the icy island and they were trapped.  Fortunately, the eagle returned and dropped the orb (which Malik) caught and the winds died down.  Zandrick called out to it as it flew away and it banked back and a single feather floated down to him.

Their task complete,  they headed back toward the gate to the Complex, looting as they went gathering ice shards with lightning, giant bones and terror bird parts.

Notes: C was still away and H had family obligations.

This adventure was partly a homage to two classic monster from the original AD&D Monster Manual, the Axe Beak and the Peryton, nether of which I had ever seen used as monsters.

Photo by Timitrius and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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