Session 30: "I'll just stay in the demon underworld, where it's safe."
Ulysses asks Sylvie for a fast Shadow. Sylvie thoughtfully
directs him to Tianen and loans him Tianen's Trump. Ulysses asks Tianen
for a two weeks to one hour Shadow. She tells him they won't be fun, and
what has he done for her lately? He points out that he did free her...
She decides to come along for the ride, and there's nothing he can do
about it. She sets him up in a mansion and he starts to go to work. Then
he notices the cameras in the room and paints them over. Tianen points
out that she can watch him anyway. Ulysses doesn't seem to care.
Mok talks to Sandr's amulet. It has no name and shouldn't be with
him, but it won't tell Brand. Lucky for Mok. Apparently the amulet is
the only thing that actually wants to hang around Sandr. They discuss
what it can do, which is basically let Mok know when the shit's about to
hit the fan.
Mok Trumps Archi and asks to bring his army along. Archi, feeling
a sense of deja-vu, tells him sure, it's their funeral. Merlin approaches
Archi and offers his help. Mind you, just the other day he was telling
Melanie he wouldn't be caught dead anywhere near the Serpent. Sky's
presence on the mission had nothing to do with his change of heart, of
Sandr starts looking over Melanie's scales like she was some new
species of animal. While annoying her thusly, it comes out that Sandr has
been to Chaos, had a bad encounter with Tianen and seafood, and would
rather not talk about it, thank you. He also has no idea that they're
going to Chaos this time. Melanie brings him up to speed while refraining
from asking what kind of moron volunteers for a mission he knows nothing
Archi talks to Random, who wonders when Archi was going to tell
him about this little trip to Chaos. Oops. Random also explains how
Pattern and the Jewel of Judgment work to his boy, who thought Laughter's
pregnancy was all his doing. Mok tells everyone in general about his
confusion over sleeping with cousins. Fortunately for everyone else,
Mandor and Fiona arrive, stilling all conversation. Which Ulysses would
have done anyway, when he arrives wearing a full set of armor. Rather
brightly painted armor too. Sandr describes as looking like a can of
Hormel Chili. Everyone sets off at a moderate pace for Ygg, while Mok
goes to gather his army and meet them there.
Sandr pesters Melanie, until she decides to share the pain and
steers him in Ulysses' direction. Ulysses lucks out, though, since they
come across a bleeding Eric before Sandr can really bother him. Some of
the group dismount to see if Eric can be helped, while those who don't
care stay on their horses. Fiona patches Eric up and asks for volunteers
to bring him back to Amber. Before anyone can seize the opportunity to
back out of this doomed mission, Sandr suggests simply Trumping Gerard and
passing Eric through. This is done, and everyone is still in shock over
Sandr making a useful suggestion when Trump holes open up beneath them and
Archi lands alone in a maze with 50 foot high walls. Thanks to
his handy-dandy conjured grappling hook, he is able to climb the wall for
a better perspective, and finds a labyrinth as far as the eye can see. He
tries to leave via Trump and Shadow shifting, but somebody has rudely
turned them off, so he is forced to travel along the top of the wall on
Ulysses and his dead horse also land in a maze of twisty passages,
all alike. He can't raise Sylvie over Trump so he starts walking. It
occurs to him that since all of the passages look the same, he could
easily get lost, so he marks one wall with his laser rifle.
Unfortunately, all of the walls then appear marked. Some days you just
To no one's surprise, Sandr's dead horse lands square on his foot,
accompanied by a cheerful cracking sound. Sandr tries to heal it and gets
a faint numbing but nothing else, so he decides to walk it off.
Apparently the spell numbed his brain as well. Pattern doesn't work, but
his laser gun does, so he's a happy camper. He sets off, yelling insults
at his hosts as he goes.
Sky and Melanie land in a banquet hall instead of a maze, and are
greeted by Shandril instead of dead horses. She welcomes them to Nessus
and invites them to dinner. Some people just have all the luck. Maybe
Shandril just hates men.
Cameron looks for information on his family in his aunt's library,
but finds none. To make his day complete, Sylvie walks in and asks if
he's been to the demon underworld, but fortunately it's not meant as a
pickup line. Strange things are happening in the demon underworld.
Guariel, the king, has taken a new lover who calls herself the queen and
has been talking to the Serpent. Guess she probably won't be too keen on
seeing Laughter. Plus, there are already people from Amber there.
Cameron is remarkably uninterested in this.
Mok and his army arrive at Ygg and find no one there. Wondering
if maybe he took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, Mok Trumps Archi, but gets
no answer. Sandr is equally unresponsive, but he gets through to
Laughter, who somehow avoided being mazed. He asks if something's wrong.
She's in a place called Kalevala, a fact Archi would be most unhappy to
know, and asks Mok to come through. Mok opts to get dressed first, since
joining her wearing nothing but briefs and goo might be misconstrued. He
finds Laughter in a high-tech office, along with a green-haired young man
who bears a remarkable resemblance to Archi. His name is Vainomoinen, but
we're just going to call him Vain. He's Archi's son, of course. Laughter
explains what happened to the others, but not how she avoided their fate.
Mok suggests going on to Halybard anyway. Laughter isn't real keen about
this, so they try to Trump the others but can't get through. Mok finally
notices that Vain is handcuffed. Apparently he tried to attack Laughter
when he learned where she was from. Guess he and Dad won't be having any
tearful reunions. Mok suggests Trumping Random. Vain says it won't work
and rather smugly tells them that two or three armies are converging on
Amber right now. Mok Trumps Jubal and notices there are no leaves on the
trees, and it ain't because winter came early. Jubal confirms the
presence of the armies but says it's a bit late. Laughter talks to
Gerard, then tells Mok it's time to hide out in Chaos for a while. Guess
they'll be going to Halybard after all.
Shandril, Sky and Melanie eat dinner. Sky finally asks why
Shandril brought them there. Shandril claims she simply wishes to get her
father to acknowledge her. What that has to do with inviting people to
dinner is anyone's guess. Sky asks who Shandril's father is and learns
it's Eric. So now Mok has a sister he can be confused about sleeping
with, in addition to his cousins. Melanie tells Shandril that they found
Eric's bloody body right before falling through the Trump holes, which
leads Shandril to conclude that Maron was involved. She leaves to Trump
him while Sky and Melanie look at each other in confusion.
Archi focuses on his wedding ring and eventually sees an image of
Laughter in a Kalevalan police detention center with Mok and Vain.
Laughter senses something, rubs her ring and mouths his name. Or maybe
she was just yawning. She really should have gotten the sound option
installed on the rings. Archi walks in her direction, which works well
until he encounters a giant Sphinx that is tall enough to reach him, at
which point he is forced to alter his course.
Sandr turns invisible, casts a clairvoyance spell, and follows the
left wall for a while. Eventually he has a choice of going to the left
and fighting minotaurs, or going to the right, where there's a spell.
Sandr opts to break the spell, which is simple and presents no difficulty.
It's not until the floor drops out from under his feet and magic no longer
works that he realizes why it was so easy. He finds himself trapped with
a three-headed dog, but his pistol still works, so he shoots it and
continues through the maze. Good thing Archi lent him that thing.
Ulysses gets bored and starts firing his laser into the air as a
flare. Archi spots this and conjures a laser for himself as he jogs in
that direction. They're such handy things. Ulysses hears a woman scream
and decides he'd like to see someone more miserable than himself. He
shoots handholds in the wall and climbs up, then heads in the direction of
the screams. He finds a woman being menaced by three minotaurs, so he
shoots them. This seems to be a popular solution to creatures in the
maze. I'll bet Shandril turns off high-tech weaponry next time. The
woman is bleeding badly, but Ulysses does nothing but watch as Archi
Lindell tells Cameron and Sylvie that Laughter and some "things"
are approaching. Cameron, being his usual self (an asshole), decides to
give them a hard time. I can't imagine why nobody likes him. As Mok and
Laughter approach House Halybard, Cameron shapeshifts into a gargoyle and
asks their business. Laughter says she's the Head of House. Cameron says
the Head is dead, and besides, no Amberite could be the heir. Laughter
determines that he's not of Halybard and tells him to leave. Mok's army
mecha try to help him along. Cameron turns one into goo and asks Laughter
to prove she's really the Head and not just some Amberite. Laughter turns
into a demon and kicks him. Owie. Cameron gives a warning that makes no
sense. Sylvie thinks his warning sucks, so she tells them about Guiriel's
new lover. She also manages to make Cameron look like a fool. So, what
else is new?
Shandril returns unhappy and says Sky and Melanie are free to go.
Aza (her pendant) will show them out through the maze. She offers to make
things up to Sky by helping her find her father. She doesn't say when or
how, but Sky is satisfied anyway. Melanie is more interested in whether
Shandril reached Maron. She says she did, and explains that Finndo is
attacking Amber and Maron has thrown in with him, as did Jubal. Arden has
been decimated. That was originally Shandril's plan and apparently Maron
ran with it. One presumes Jubal wasn't aware of this aspect of the plan
Aza guides Sky and Melanie through the maze, helping them avoid
the nasty minotaurs. Melanie casts a spell to look for them anyway. Just
in case. They eventually reach a Trump door and go through.
Archi reaches Ulysses, who points out the bleeding woman. Archi
figures that the armored Ulysses makes a handy anchor, so he hands one end
of the grapple to Ulysses and rappels down the wall. As he is bandaging
the woman, he notices she has fangs. Minotaurs and sphinxes and vampires,
oh my! The woman wakes up and thanks him. He asks if she knows the way
out. Well, there's that Trump on the wall over there. Ulysses descends
and checks it out. Since he doesn't think it's trapped, they go through.
Introductions are made and it turns out that the fanged woman is Sand.
Since neither of them recognize the name, they are unaware that they have
found yet another Amberite, and therefore they trust her. She says she
was attracted to the maze, possibly by a spell, and she wasn't in any real
danger. The minotaurs tend to leave once they've raped you. How
reassuring. The only Trumps that work are the giant ones painted on the
wall, like the one they just went through. Having nowhere else to go,
they walk towards the next one. On the way, they find a minotaur and Sand
proceeds to snack on it. Ulysses is non-plussed.
Sandr comes across a hooded figure who looks kind of old. The man
challenges Sandr to a wizard's duel. Sandr pulls an Indiana Jones and
shoots the guy, first in the knee, then in the neck. A stair appears and
takes him to Sky and Melanie. Sandr makes some crack about being after
the Overlord, which only serves to confirm the ladies' opinion that he's
out of his gourd. They exchange stories and everyone agrees that Sandr
got the shit end of the stick.
Archi and Ulysses decide going around walls is much too slow and
start blowing their way through them. This attracts the attention of
Melanie, Sky and Sandr, along with anything else in a five mile radius.
Melanie flies ahead to investigate the racket, then goes back to get the
other two. At last, our happy band is reunited. Archi insists that he
needs to reach Laughter ASAP, but everyone's moving as fast as they can.
They reach the next Trump and find 20 minotaurs waiting for them. Perhaps
they were attracted by the noise? The Amber group proceeds to turn them
into shish-kebobs before going through the Trump.
Cameron, Sylvie, Mok, Laughter and Mok's army enter the demon
underworld. As expected, the demons bow down before Laughter and get out
of her way. They proceed until they find themselves face to face with the
Pattern ghosts from the castle, a man and woman with green hair (not more
of Archi's children!), and the large demon. The only one missing is the
ghost of Laughter. Mok assumes Lark is the one taking Laughter's place.
Laughter doesn't think this is a problem. Apparently, someone forgot to
tell this to Guariel, because at this point he says "That is not her." and
the demons attack.
Archi reaches Laughter first, by traveling via Melanie airlines.
She drops him right next to Laughter, where he proceeds to cut a path
around her. This is what's known as overkill. Melanie merrily mows
demons down with lighting, until she hears the whistling of incoming fire
demons and warns the others that now may be a good time to withdraw. They
begin a retreat.
The non-flightworthy members of the maze gang exit the labyrinth
near Ygg. Sandr then transports them to the demon underworld and much
mayhem ensues. Sandr has a blast once he realizes that demons don't like
Pattern. The others must resort to more mundane means like sorcery or
physical combat. Mok figures out which tunnel the Pattern ghosts went
down and orders his men in pursuit. Ulysses makes his way to Laughter and
Trumps with her to Foil. She is quite pissed, to put it mildly. Ulysses
tells her he was just doing his job, and suggests she take it up with her
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the fire demons are fast
approaching. Melanie eliminates the oxygen in the tunnel they are coming
from, but apparently they don't need it to breath, as it doesn't seem to
bother them. She picks up Archi and flies him close to the tunnel, where
he begins conjuring water. She adds a water spell of her own to this.
Then Sandr uses the Pattern to open a gate to water. Between the three of
them, they manage to wipe out virtually every fire demon in Chaos.
Then, since things are going so well, they decide to retreat.
Mok's men, who had just finished getting OUT of their mecha have to climb
back in again. Melanie suggests Archi arrange to talk to Guariel, if
Laughter has no objections to Lark taking over leadership of the
Halybards. But maybe not until Guariel's gotten over the loss of the fire
demons. Mok uses the Sandr's amulet to lead his army back to Ygg, while
the others join Ulysses in Foil. Laughter yells at Archi for having
Ulysses remove her from the fight. Archi says he doesn't want to see
another wife die. Laughter doesn't have an answer for that, which means
he'll just do it again. Everyone else gets far away from this domestic
Guariel tells the surviving the demons that those who bring him
the heads of the Amberites will be rewarded. Apparently the head of the
Hendrake demons is hard of hearing, since he chops Lark's head off
instead. Then he mortally wounds Guariel and stalks into the tunnel
leading to the Serpent. Guess Laughter isn't off the hook after all.
"I'll just stay in the demon underworld, where it's safe." -- Merlin to Melanie
"Every time I use the Jewel of Judgment, it ups everyone's fertility."
"Well, stop it!" -- Archimedes
"Mok, we found your dad a little half-dead along the way." -- Laughter to Mok
"Minotaurs are generally bad." -- Em
"Except for these, which are from a girl's collection called My Little
Minotaur." -- Liam
"She looks like she might be bleeding to death, but hey, whatever." -- GM
"What House are you of?" -- Laughter
"None of your business." -- Cameron
"Not Halybard then? -- Laughter
"No." -- Cameron
"Trespasser! Get off." -- Laughter
"Then you went and did this stupid thing." -- Sylvie
"I'm a man. I'm supposed to do stupid things." -- Cameron
"That's not a warning." -- Sylvie
"It is if you want to be esoteric and obscure." -- Cameron
"I challenge you to a wizard's duel." -- Wizard
"You're kidding me." -- Sandr
"No." -- Wizard
"I shoot him in the foot." -- Sandr
"He clutches his foot." -- GM
"I shoot him in the head." -- Sandr
"He dies." -- GM
"That's your wizard's duel, you fuck head!" -- Sandr
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