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Stone Soules Summary XXI: Tan-El Again

May 17- It is a nice sunny day for the dynamic weirdos to check if the
behir is in the city. He is not, so we enter. Our plan is to check out
huge portions of the city with relatively cursory searching. We start in
an area that we are familiar with and find the old mite building still
empty, the Constabulary with its teleporter, and then a room full of
bats. Well, so they were stirges in mass numbers. We killed them.
Inside this building was a dead fire giant wearing a symbol we had not
seen before, but carrying cash that we are quite familiar with. Easy
money, not much pain. Nothing else found this day.

May 18-Continuing our search, the day is relatively uneventful...and then
something terribly bad happens.

A very large beetle (15') appears in front of the party at close range due to exceptional camouflage. We prepare to attack, I begin Lightning Bolt and then it emits a sonic
disaster. A loud shriek comes from the beetle and almost the whole party
drops, as if they were dead. Standing is Claude, Xavier, Alegra, Aria,
Ludo, and myself. Ah, the mule was still standing as well, was Canstil
still up, I can't recall. With my spell ruined I sought to further the
distance to get out of his breath attack but not my spell range. Other
party members closed, attacked whatever. It took significant damage from
lots of sources but before I could even finish my lightning bolt, it took
lethal damage from a kick by the mule, and it dropped. Permanently dead
were Ampere, Ceydric's standard bearer, and Latte, Xavier's cavalier.
The rest of the party was just stunned. There was no treasure recovered,
just a bad day with a Banshee Beetle. We return to Middle for much
needed rest.

May 20- Searching through more buildings, Ludo finds a rather difficult
to see trap door on the ground in one building. As he touches it a
glowing orb jumps through the trap door and hovers in place, it shocks
Ludo with some lightning bolt type thing. We weren't really sure if this
was intelligent or some automated defense so while we studied our options
it went on the offensive. Attacking Ludo and then myself (once I started
casting a spell) the party was in dire straights. It was VERY difficult
to hit with weapons (but could be hit by any weapon, not just magic) and
I was knocked unconscious before the battle was through. I awoke moments
later only to be attacked again by the creature, apparently it knew I was
a magic user and a threat to its existence. Luck brought us several hits
against the creature with Gram scoring the most...I had to act like I was
dead to avoid it becoming a reality. Its attacks were just too fast for
me to get a spell off. But, eventually the battle was brought outside
and the Will-o-the-wisp decided that it had taken enough punishment and
must now relinquish the treasure but not its life so it fled at top speed
over the city. Not to let a creature like that live to see another day,
Lowar's Improved Magic Missiles scored near maximum damage and
obliterated the beast even though it was far away. What a great spell!
The treasure was vast...the party was rich. We return to Middle.

May 22-June 25th

The party decides to have a minor down time. Dari, Canstin, Henry,
Jerem, Star, and Claude all train! Gram, Xavier, Aria, Theo, and Ludo
all travel to End to speak with Beck the sage. [research findings noted

We also decide to speak with the dead body of the person bearing the
scroll of immense power. He was Maverick, an 11th level wizard believing
in some conspiracy that spiders will take over the world. He used to
adventure with SMART but was rejected. He then returned to Tan-Eli,
ahem, Tan-El to destory the ethereal spider. His plan was to cast Phase
Door on the spider...just to kill it, yes, he went insane. He told us
SMART limited its activity in the city, and didn't go to the library
because it was scatterblocked! I am sure am glad none of us tried to
Dimension Door in! Anyway here is his comments on the conspiracy,

"apprentices didn't believe me. It became clear when I as reading about
a power paladin...there was a lizardman, salamander, and fuzzy blue
critter [volt] all chanting "gee whiz", that was the connection"

I personally believe he was reading some historical documents and that
the above should tell us something. I am still trying to figure out what.
Anyway, he authored several interesting spells including _Rain of
Razorblades_, and told us how SMART recovered the volts.

June 25-26 Back to base camp, the down time is over (still no responses
from Wicker, Evard, or Skylltor). Not much of note, kill a couple of ogres.

June 27- Today we discovered what the LE force in the city is. We were
exploring a block right next to the mountain, when we found a nice iron
bound wooden door. We did all the usual procedures and opened it up.
Continual lights made a nice little tunnel visible that extended past our
vision. We could hear a windchime within. Our invisible friend Thurmond
scouts for us and returns with bad news. He saw a creature in a very
large room up ahead that matches the description of a Kobold. We have
every reason to believe this tunnel a Kobold trap (the kobold was
screaming for help)...we leave and think about our options. Wonder if
Halt is free?

We bag a couple of giant minks for even more cash, although it could have
been even more than that if Jerem and Canstin obeyed direct orders.

June 29-
A couple of giant toads killed, we return to base camp.

-Zack Hubert-

We researched the Stone Giant civilization at End (which also coincides with
our researched history of the Stone Giant Hammer, as we found out). We also
tried to research the Library, but Beck could find no information, other
than that it was used by all factions in the city (public, private, etc.
were not clear but it was not a sage or magic library). He found a couple
of pretty strong possible sources, but he had to order them. We will have
the info in a month or less (the training month was included in the 1-2
month expected time to receive the books). He expected them to be very good



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