Monday, December 7, 2009

Chapter 11, Part 1: "Arcothere!"

Dickie Dee - Bone Man Intoxicant Addict and Sorcerer
Jedediah - 1850s' Nevada Alien Abductee, Cousin of Thibodeaux
Kalervo - Cactoid
Nigel Nightbringer - British Man-at-Arms
Ter'lec - Dhazzhi Man Sorcerer
Thibodeaux - 1850s' Nevada Alien Abductee, Cousin of Jedediah
Xarnagan Vrokk - Haasht Man Fighting-Sage

Part II Here, Part III Here
, Part IV Here.

While the two Zermishmen, Rodan the Scrounger and Thragg the Skyman, go on a deep gin binge in the lounge of the Bronze Engine, the other survivors of the disastrous expedition into the Forbidden Mist Valley debate their next move in the guest quarters of the Tower of Turquoise and Copper.

Xarnagan pushes for a expedition to the deposit of Prismatic Ore the party previously discovered in the Prismatic Waste in order to mine the rare, valuable element and sell it. He produces a chest packed full of mining tools and supplies and a manifest of it's contents, claiming he has everything needed for a simple mining expedition.

Dickie Dee instead argues that they should return to the pastel chalk cliffs to the tunnels of the bird-men and recover the remains of their slaughtered companions for resurrection with Rodan the Scrounger's Eye of Bestowing Life. When it is pointed out that Rodan is far too sodden with gin to participate in such an effort Dickie counters that all they need are scraps of their companions bodies for the Eye to work it's sorcery.

The party resolves to make some attempt to recover the remains (and lost magic items) from the Bornite Mountains, and head to the bazaar where Dickie Dee promptly buys the sole item of note: a large, tubular, finned gold-and-coppery orichalcum Gamma Radiation Beam Pistol with a large aperture and already loaded with a radiation crystal, an artifact of the Ancients that costs a tidy sum of gold credits.

They also recruit more adventurer's for their expedition: Ter'lec, a Dhazzi Man Sorcerer in star-patterned robe and conical hat, with a mellow disposition; two Earth Man cousins, Jedediah and Thibodeaux from 1850s Utah before they were abducted by aliens; and a reunion with their lost British Beefeater companion, Nigel Nightbringer, who was separated from the party and presumed lost in the Forbidden Mist Valley weeks ago.

They party sets out and retraces their path through the Rust Desert and the Bornite Mountains. They make good time on their ornith steeds, although they have to dismount once they start climbing the mountains, and make camp near the summit of a peak.

In the middle of the Night the two Sorcerers, Dickie Dee and Ter'lec, examine the variety of intoxicants on display, the Bone Man's private stash. While they contemplate some dabbling, they hear bellowing and look up to see an arcothere (massive prehistoric short-faced bear) charging their camp. The two sorcerers begin to shout at and kick their sleeping companions, who rouse to see the bear swipe the Dhazzhi Man Sorcerer with one claw while crushing his skull with it's massive short jaws.

The party quickly slay the beast, but the Dhazzhi Man is dead. Dickie Dee grabs Ter'lec's spellbook before the body is stripped of valuables and covered with a pile of rocks. Several days later, in the evening, the party peers over the ridge that looms over the pastel chalk cliffs of the bird-things.


  1. You know, I think you need to write out a book about all of this. It is too entertaining to read not to see this go further.

  2. After reading "Quag Keep" I don't know if that would be such a good idea...

  3. However, you need to write a series of short stories!

  4. I will have a couple of weeks of free time coming up....

    Seriously, this is good stuff. If one of my projects works out I hope that you can get Planet Algol to do something along similar lines.

  5. Never read Quag Keep but I love Andre Norton's Star Man's Son, it's totally Gamma World!

    I swear Kirby swiped the ACE cover for Kamandi #1

  6. Oh, and I can't wait to see what coming with ancientvaults...