Day 239 11:02AM The battle raged on. The wooly rhinos, boxed in by the cyclops took a pounding, as Nico summoned more elementals to boost the rank of attackers. As Shaija exited from the brass doors, one of the elementals raced up the stair to approach her. Shaija counter attacked, and the mighty Istoreth sidled up and smote the beast with his great club, slaying it. Shaija and Istoreth casually moved out into the courtyard while Shaija’s cohort remained behind the great brass doors.
Cyclops hopped down from the left-hand ledge and closed in on the party. Tri-gamera-tops battled mightily but was eventually killed. Yacine, invisible, flew in close to Damiano and administered healing as he continued to take damage as far-ranging cyclops were peppering the party with crossbow fire and thrown rocks.
A female cyclops appeared on the ledge to Shaija’s right, and cast a spell, covering the invisible Nico in glitterdust – now visible, the cyclops who had just stepped down from the nearby ledge, launched stones at him. Bruised and battered, Nico held on, until Istoreth saw the vulnerability in the summoner and struck him fatally with his own stone. The life crushed from his body, Nico’s waning magic gently dropped his body upon the courtyard floor. Father Pyrlig raced to Nico and administered his life-saving magics, just enough to pull Nico back from death (All praise Gozreh!).
Off in the distance, the party heard a crash, and a bellowing roar of voices. Something else was heading their way! Father Pyrlig and Nico retreated magically to the rear of the party, safely out of sight. Temujin and Mittens counter attacked with their bows and magics. Dwag and Damiano cleared out the remaining gargoyles and cyclops that remained in the melee, but the summoned tri-gamera-tops was slain and it’s body faded away. Damiano looking about for immediate foes saw a worn and weathered catfolk male striding up purposefully to face him. As he closed the man looked familiar, but his skin and fur rotting away with the trappings of the undead. He spoke to Damiano, “Don’t you recognize your own father, Lawrence D’ Coco, whom you left behind, and never went to look for?” With that, Damiano’s very own father drove a rapier into his chest – Damiano focused and realized this couldn’t possibly be real (could it?) – he pushed the apparition from his mind and blinked. His father was gone and Damiano was unhurt. Mittens looked about and realized that again the female cyclops was the likely caster of such a potential phantasmal killer.
The party did a coordinated retreat, pulling back into the roadway that entered the canyon. The song from the cyclops bard ended and he was nowhere to be seen. Nico, having regained his composure, realizing with this brief brush with death that his mud elemental and bralani had disappeared with the ending of his spell – he summoned a herd of ankylosaurs to block any oncoming cyclops. Father Pyrlig moved up to cast a defensive spell, he tripped a waiting trap, as a great net hiding under the rubble of the road scooped up Pyrlig and Temujin. Father Pyrlig putting his fingers through the mesh of the net was able to cast a sleet storm to block the vision of the cyclops, to hinder their ranged fire upon the party, and reduce their movement. Temujin magically transported Pyrlig out of the net and Mittens, in his hideous fiendish cycloptic harpy form, shredded the net and Temujin dropped out to freedom. Two more ngoga raced along the western ridge and launched themselves at Mittens. Mittens and the ankylosaurs slapped down the pair quickly.
Huddling up the party healed and readied themselves. Quick conversations passed between the party – should we summon the harpies? Will they be more danger than help? The party planned treachery towards the horrid harpies, but when could they expect backstabbing from the harpies themselves? The party decided to wait and no signal was given. The respite was brief as the magical storm quickly dissipated – Mittens surmised that the female cyclops was one of the possible casters among their enemies. As the haze disappeared the party saw four more cyclops leave a large building and pass through the rotunda to form up with their fellows.
With the sleet storm gone, and the ankylosaurs blocking their progress into the bottleneck where the party held up, the cyclops resumed their ranged fire upon any targets of opportunity. The ankylosaurs pushed forward attacking any nearby cyclops. Nico summoned elementals and sicced them on the female cyclops spell caster – she took the hint and disappeared. A fog cloud was cast to block Istoreth and some of the farther cyclops from using their range weapons, blocking their sight of the party. The party and the ankylosaurs held the line, slaying Shaija and her fellow nearby cyclops, as the great roar grew louder – from the party’s right, beyond the rotunda, came two cave giants, with another great cyclops behind them, goading them on – this latter fellow just slightly shorter than Istoreth. The cave giants fought with abandon, closing in upon the dinosaurs and attacked with relish. One of the giants fought with Dwag – the monstrosity’s massive axe slammed down upon Dwag’s falcata which shivered in Dwag’s hand. The giant intended to sunder Dwag’s magic weapon but it remained intact.
Day 239 11:03AM The courtyard was littered with the monstrous corpses of cyclops, a handful remained living somewhere behind the cloud of fog, as well as the two cave giants and the two great cyclops, Istoreth, and his underling. But where were Shaija’s cohort that had been behind her when she exited the portico? Where was the cycloptic spell caster and the bard? When would they make their return. The party had made a strong foray into Sumitha with but one close brush with death – but Damiano and his band still lived, and fought, albeit with fewer resources remaining. How long could they push this battle into Sumitha where each passing moment felt like hours?
[end of session 84]