Day 239 11:04AM The party heard the screeching from high in the clouds before they saw the harpies – but moments later, two dozen harpies fell out of the sky descending quickly upon the party and their cyclops foes.
Nico’s summoned bralani and elementals continued to trade blows with Shaija’s guard that had recently arrived in the courtyard. Temujin harried the female cyclops caster with arrow fire. Damiano ran to Dwag and pulled the unconscious dwarf up off the ground. Moments later Father Pyrlig blessed the party with Gozreh’s healing magic – Dwag was awake but a bit unsteady on his foot!
While the bulk of the party kept an eye on the foes on the ground, Mittens looked aloft and appraised the oncoming attack of the harpies. He focused on Medea – the daughter of the chieftain, Gorgo and concentrated magic missile fire upon her.
Pyrlig granted some of his healing power to the prone form of Istoreth – who was ungrateful and swatted at Damiano – but he soon ignored Damiano and Dwag when he realized that the harpies were upon them all. A fact yelled out by Mittens. Istoreth leaped up and flung himself unsteadily towards the portico doors. The elementals slew two cyclops, but one of their fellow bralani fell too – the remainder of the cyclops seeing Istoreth make for the door and for cover, retreated into the great hall and the rear stairs behind the ledge.
A hardened trio of cyclops remained in the courtyard, lashing out at Damiano, Pyrlig and Mittens. And then, from above, the harpies swept through the canyon, flying 100’ feet of the ground and pelted the cyclops and the party with arrows.
The female cyclops caster flew across the courtyard into the safety of the great hall – and Temujin decided to rejoin Nico in the guardhouse. Damiano and Dwag started pulling back into the guardhouse, leaving Mittens exposed to both arrow fire and fending off an aggressive cyclops that had closed in for melee.
As the cyclops withdrew, Nico had his elementals and bralani take to the skies and harry the the harpies and provide the party with cover. The elementals were near invisible and tossed the harpies about. Mittens managed to slay the cyclops that had closed in on him but the danger from the harpy arrow fire was too much – he quickly withdrew, joining his companions in the guardhouse. The harpies having little effective recourse against the elementals and the bralani, fled, scattering across the sky and throughout the island.
And the courtyard of Sumitha was silent. The party quickly healed itself and further girded themselves with what magical protections remained at their disposal. They peeked out of the guardhouse – the skies were clear. They dashed across the courtyard, leaping the giant bodies of dead cyclops and arrived at Big Blue – they wanted to confirm that the great cyclops was dead. He was no longer unconscious, but dead from several arrows shot into his prone form. The party hurried over to the portico and realized that Istoreth too was dead, that he never made it to cover and was slain, slumped down in the doorway to the great hall. The party quickly moved into the great hall, taking a defensive position and reviewing the space.
Beyond the double doors of this wide portico lies a huge chamber, only weakly illuminated by giant lamps suspended overhead. Very large sleeping pallets cover most of the floor space, and two more sets of double doors lead north and south. Dwag noted that some hurried traffic had moved from the south, towards the northern doors. The party focused north as Dwag searched for traps, listened carefully and starting moving forward into the antechamber beyond. Coming to another set of doors, Dwag listened, hearing the faintest murmurings in the cycloptic tongue. The party moved into the chamber, six columns carved to resemble huge cyclopes in decorative armor support the ceiling of this immense chamber. Fallen rubble blocks passageways to the north and southeast, but double doors still stand in the north wall and another set of double doors leads farther south. In the northeast corner, a giant animal hide is stretched across the floor beside a pile of bones stripped of meat. Several dinosaur skulls hang from the western wall. Dwag moved up to the next set of double doors to the north, but they seemed barred. The party couldn’t make the doors give until they heard a slight groan of effort – the door appeared to be actively held closed by a cyclops directly on the other side.
Mittens dimensioned doored Dwag and Damiano to the other side of the door and they set upon the cyclops that was holding the door closed. Three more cyclops were also in the chamber and closed in on the party. Beyond was a single great cyclops that lurched forward to attack the party. The melee in the doorway was savage as the cyclops savaged Dwag and Damiano. Pyrlig healed the party from the now open doorway and Temujin took shots of opportunity with his bow. The flurry of combat seemed like an instant compared to the running battle outside in the courtyard – but it was soon over with the cyclops dead – their bodies having fallen heavy to the ground.
The party agreed – they were spent and tired, as they stood in the great chamber the led off in the dark, there couldn’t be many cyclops remaining – perhaps, before further delving, it would be worthwhile to return to the Black Purrl for rest. Nico could return to the ship, come back with Glaive and the two of them could teleport the rest of the party back to the ship.
The party realized that standing orders were to have the Black Purrl patrol between the eastern and southern harbors. It was also likely that the Splash and the Lehigh were around the eastern harbor still, but mobile, running drills with the new crew to get their skills sharp to be graded upon Temujin’s return. The party would need further means to determine the location of any three of the ships before Nico could teleport back for Glaive’s aid.
Day 239 11:30AM The party longed for rest, but would need to give further thought to how they could get back to their ships, safely, to get that rest!
[end of session 86]