We have mounted the lizards and are now heading towards the town in pursuit. It should be noted that Xiong wants to start a lizard breeding operation. We attempt to herd the lizards towards the town.
Everybody takes a rest and Xiong vigorously hugs everybody in the party making them feel refreshed.
Jesus heals Xiong as thanks for the hug.
Cairn attempts to rein the lizards in using his wilderness knowledge and intuition. Over the course of riding, several of the lizards start to stray. We attempt to wrangle them back, but 3 of them escaped. That means we have 8 remaining.
We begin passing through a dark forest. We hear the sound of movement through the brush—leaves rustling and branches crackling underfoot. Then we hear a feminine cry for help. And then out of the brush comes a woman in a tattered dress and she’s covered in dirt and grime and her dress is torn from running through the ticket. She runs onto the road, sees you, and shouts, “Please! It’s behind me! Please!” as she runs towards you. You hear more larger sounds coming from the forest behind her.
Cairn and Mesmer surge forward on their lizards.
Xiong dismounts from his lizard and moves towards the woman.
Jesus stays back on his lizard.
We see something begin to claw its way from the brush… A writhing mass of 15-20 mucous-dripping eyed tentacles with a jaw with long mandibles on its main tentacle.
The woman runs to Cairn and Mesmer and is clambering up their mounts.
The tentacle monster flails at everybody in a 20 foot radius (i.e. everybody). Everybody is struck dealing heavy damage. The woman is struck in the back by one of the tentacles and is knocked forward onto the ground.
Jesus touches himself, feeling invigorated.
Mesmer wrangles his mount into a forward charge, he stabs his greatsword forward into the center of tentacle monster, dazing the monster. Blue blood spills out and sprays all over you and the girl who cries out.
Cairn leaps off the lizard, throws the girl over the saddle and remounts the lizard deftly. Fanfare plays at this deft maneuver.
Xiong remounts his lizard, says “Alright, let’s go now!”, and readies to defend Jesus from attack.
Jesus is distracted by a small bird. Cairn, using his situational awareness, notices something about the creature. The monster appears to lash out but it hesitates, stares at you, and then flees.
Jesus heals Cairn.
Mesmer pursues the monster, but misses his next blow.
Cairn yells out “Who goes there?”
Xiong is able to see a cloaked silhouette figure in the woods and calls out to the party: “There’s a suspicious figure in the woods!”
The flustered girl straightens herself out.
The tentacle monster runs deeper into the forest.
Mesmer shouts at the departing monster “And don’t let me see you on this road again!”
But when Mesmer and Jesus around, nobody can see the figure anymore.
Mesmer berates the cowering lizards for not being as brave.
Xiong smells no sign of the mysterious figure but does smell the unusual flesh of the tentacle monster, and thinks he could recognize it in the future.
(Jesus at this point has scanned the girl revealing that she is a normal human but he does sense some kind of transdimensional energy on her person which he relays secretly to the rest of the party).
C: Who are you?
Girl: My name is Mira. Is it gone? I’m so glad I found you. I don’t know what I would have done.
C: We’re happy to help, but why were you fleeing a giant tentacle monster?
Mira: Because it was chasing me… I was going to deliver pie to my sick grandmother in the woods, but the monster chased. I didn’t even know what direction I’d gone in, but I’m so glad you scared it away.
X: Are you talking about Twin Forks?
Mira: Yes, how’d you know? (double takes and stares at Xiong because I’m a bear)
C: We’re on our way there. Would you like your own lizard while we travel?
Mira: I don’t know how to ride them; I’ve never seen them up close before.
M: Just assert your dominance.
C: Let’s talk on the way back to your village.
(After a period of time, we emerge from the forest and see some light greenery and rock outcroppings.)
X: How far are we from the town?
Mira: It’s all different by brehm than on foot… On foot, it would take me 6 hours from here…
We decide to stop for the night.
X: Hey Mira, we’re going to scope out the area. Here’s Cairn’s sleeping bag, feel free to go to sleep.
Mira: Thanks, brave adventurers (paying apparent attention to Cairn and Mesmer)
The party without Mesmer moves off to the side of the camp. Mesmer begins playing his drowsy instrument to put her to sleep.
J: Hey Cairn, while I was riding around on my glamorous steed, I was secretly telling Mesmer and Xiong about the girls’ transdimensional status.
C: Let’s not make judgment without evidence.
(The result of the scan was roughly what you would expect for a human’s composition. The one unusual thing is some kind of energy that he understands from his studies to be associated with portals or rifts).
X: Do you think this is an active portal or a dormant one? Or both? What is the nature of the portal?
J: Not necessarily an active portal, it could be a person from another dimension, just some trace energies, or a cypher that draws energy.
X: Should we talk to her about the transdimensional energy?
C: I think we just ask her straightforwardly about the energy and if she doesn’t respond well, we can erase her memories.
X: Let’s have Jesus talk to her 1-on-1 tomorrow morning.
C: I’ll take first watch, then Jesus, then Mesmer, then Xiong.
+1 XP to Mesmer for creative oddity usage, skillfully stabbing the tentacle monster, and berating lizards