Fourthmonth 13th – Fourthmonth 19th
Having handily defeated the golems, the intrepid crew proceeded to loot the trees, acquiring forty gems somewhat resembling the yellow orb they had found at the Temple. They wondered, momentarily, why Monala hadn’t taken all the gems, then returned to the ships and made sail for Ao-Manasa.
That trip took about five days. When they had arrived in Ao-Manasa, on the 18th, they first dropped by the Black Angle, then Ea-Shamar. (Does anyone remember what they did at the Black Angle? My notes are remarkable fuzzy on this point, as is my memory.) Their conversation (by which I mean Sigrid’s conversation) with Ea-Shamar involved getting invited, as additional security, to the upcoming wedding of Li-Karen, the steward’s son, to Iu-Malan. (Which got them introduced to Dar-Shada, in charge of security.)
Sigrid, of course, wanted to go to the wedding for perfectly legitimate reasons, but Commodore Blank had other ideas. Blank had a plan—he wanted to kidnap one or the other of the people involved, and ransom them back to the city. His plan consisted of “waiting for something weird to happen” and then taking advantage of the resulting confusion. Sigrid didn’t know, but the rest of the party was mostly going along with it.
The next day was, naturally enough, occupied mostly by the wedding. Turned out Monala was there, which made Sigrid quite angry, but before they could fully react to this turn of events the proceedings were attacked by a horde of Faen ninjas, in airship/hot air balloons. Lighting things on fire and stabbing people with long spears. Captain Blank began to put his plan into action by punching Iu-Malan in the face. Dar-Shada objected to this, and attempted to grapple him; which was, naturally, when Mark grappled him.
Meanwhile, Sigrid used her newly acquired runechild dimension door ability to teleport over by Monala, but Monala gained the upper hand by (unbeknownst to the rest of the party) casting dominate on her. Monala instructed her to prevent Blank from capturing Iu-Monala (so Sigrid grappled him, too). Then she grabbed Iu-Malan and teleported away herself.
Soern made himself useful by blowing the faen ninja balloons out of the sky. He was assisted in this project by Paerk, a sprite gardener (employed by the city) who joined the fray as soon as it looked like plants might be in danger. (And who, in between basket-blastings, healed random citizens.)
Rellik helped by shooting at Dar-Shada.
With his initial target snatched, Blank escaped from Dar-Shada, and ran over to where Li-Karen was. (Sigrid had stopped grappling him as soon as Monala left, and turned to attacking Dar-Shada, non-lethally at first and then with progressive deadliness as Monala refined her instructions.) Mark, thinking along the same lines, had already punched him in the face.
Then Dar-Shada showed up again, and nearly killed Mark before nearly dying himself from the combined efforts of Sigrid, Rellik, and a well-placed acid pit. He didn’t die because Sigrid quit attacking him at that point, and helped him out of the pit.
At this point, various other guards had gone for help, so Soern and Rellik took the opportunity to escape, Soern with invisibility and Rellik with his trusty rooftop jumping technique. Sigrid chased after them.
Blank, never one to give up a plan, punched Li-Karen in the face again because Paerk had revived him when he healed a bunch of people, then dragged him into the corner and sort of camped out, with Mark defending him.
Ea-Shamar showed up, with a phalanx of more or less competent guards, and Blank demanded ransom. She refused, and they engaged in a standoff for a few tense minutes. Sigrid returned, and the standoff continued, despite her efforts to convince Blank to drop the ransom idea, with his being surrounded. Then, at some point, Ea-Shamar suggested that instead of ransom, she could pay him to track down his two compatriots who had escaped, and then to capture Monala. They haggled a bit on the specifics, but Blank eventually agreed, and Ea-Shamar deputized Paerk and told him to watch the pirate for her.