7 Abadius 4714 – The Dancing Hut
As the wave of disorientation fades, the party realizes that the Hut has transformed beyond even the party’s expectations. No longer in a standard room, the group finds themselves standing in a gazebo in the midst of a forested glen. Departing the glass construct, the heroes follow one of several small paths which cut through the fields surrounding the gazebo. As they approach a fork in the path, Hunter draws his bow to shoot a pair of giant moonflower plants that rise up menacingly. As he releases the arrow, he notices that at the last minute, his new hand twitches causing him to miss the shot. He tries again, and the same happens.
As Ingvar draws closer, the giant plants attack and Hunter notices that his hand no longer twitches and each shot is true. The party defends itself from the hungry maneaters and hacks the carnivorous plants to pieces. A few comments are exchanged in questioning his misses, but Hunter deflects the conversation by pointing out a building up ahead. Within the hacked up remnants of a flower the party finds the remains of an earlier victim. Searching these remains they find a few items of gear and magic which they salvage before moving on to the building pointed out by Hunter.
They find the double doors to the building forced open and carefully investigate. Inside is a long corridor with single doors on each side. Checking the north side first they discover a strange figure who is covered in thick cloth from head to foot who greets the party, apparently elated to see their arrival. He introduces himself as a simple traveler from Leng who is looking for aid for his master in the next room, both of whom were injured in an attack from the moonflowers. The traveler offers several valuable rubies as enticement to help his master. Vadoma decides to follow and help if she can.
Once in the next room, the party realizes it is a ruse as they are attacked by some strange alien creature which Ingvar describes as “a walking ape with a butt for a face” and by the Leng traveler himself. The creature attempts to take control of Aiwendil and Alabaster in order to use their magical abilities against the party, but in turn both are able to overcome these assaults and a brutal conflict erupts in the small room which only ends with the death of both of the alien creatures. The party finds several rubies on the body of the traveler, in fact one appears to maybe house some kind of spirit as a shadowy figure is seen moving inside a larger ruby.
With no exit in the building that can be found, the group departs and finds a small cabin further down the path. They find one of the windows open which allows Hunter, Svala and Tacey to enter the small cabin. As he enters the small room, three dead ravens animate and call out, “Baba Yaga has gone on, off to see her only son. But a trail she left behind, if only the breadcrumbs you can find.”
The birds fly up and pull several items from the shelves around the room and drop them at the heroes’ feet. The items are a stuffed two-headed eagle, placed next to an iron spur and a drinking horn. Next they take up a piece of elephant tusk and a hand mirror and drop them on a bearskin rug. Not yet knowing the meaning of these items, they collect and store them until they have a chance to study them, maybe even asking Zorka if they can find her.
Hunter goes over to the door to allow the rest of the party to enter the cabin, but opening it reveals it is actually the exit from the Hut as it opens out on the porch. Taking in the scenery it appears the Hut has arrived onto a large open snowy plain in the midst of a snowstorm; a tall mountainous landscape looms over the distant horizon. The rest of the party climbs through the window to the cabin and the group departs the Hut.
Unsure of their location as no features look familiar to anyone, the group picks a direction and heads off in that direction in hopes of finding some kind of civilization. It is not long that Aiwendil seems to feel some oddities in the flow of natural energies and eventually notices that the Sun looks much smaller in the sky. As the nature-based members explore the sky and the environment around them hopefully explain the changes, they spy a figure in the sky flying toward them; it appears to be a rider in armor on the back of a red dragon. Hunter begins to pull out his bow to take aim, but feels the strange tremors again. He keeps his bow out, but does not pull back on the string or take aim at the rider.
The dragon flies overhead and Aiwendil notices it is not a true dragon as it carries a glaive weapon in its forepaws much as a warrior would. The rider calls out something to the party but it is in an unknown language. Tensions are beginning to increase as neither side can understand the other until the rider calls out in draconic and Alabaster casts a comprehend language spell which allows communication. The party realizes the rider is hailing them to identify themselves and asks if they are lost? Alabaster calls back in draconic, that they recently arrived from a distant land and are looking for the nearest village.
The dragon lands a ways off and the rider dismounts. It is clear the warrior is a female as the elaborate metal armor hugs her form. As she draws near she removes her helmet to reveal a “fur-covered elf” and the dragon approaches on its hind quarters, walking like a human instead of on all fours as the typical dragon. The rider introduces herself as Bescaylie and her dragonkin companion is Efrixes. Alabaster states they are a group of people seeking the lost Baba Yaga. Bescaylie claims no knowledge of anyone by that name within the Dragon Legion Alabaster questions about their location, they are informed they are in the Skyfire Mandate a days journey from the Spurhorn Citadel. After several more probing questions from both sides, the party comes to realize they are on the planet Triaxus.
Although the party is unaware of the current politics of the planet, they come to recognize the name of the citadel matches the items dropped by the ravens and asks Bescaylie if there is something that resembles a two-headed eagle or bird at the citadel. She replies that the commander has a pet two headed eagle. She also explains the citadel is presently under siege and that she is returning there after scouting the region. She states she will assist the party to enter the fort if they agree to help with its defense. With little choice at the moment, the party agrees.