[actual play] Out of the Ziggurat, back to Greenwax

The latest from my library Wilderlands game:

An entire session was spent on the battle on the think-machine plateau in the Ziggurat’s entry level.  Standing between the PCs and their objective — the gateway platform that would enable their escape back to the undercity of Greenwax — stood a formidable gang of enemy melee fighters (clones of Mixit and Aseret, the party’s two fighting-women) and two flying, armored security bots that fired paralytic darts and beam weapons.  Despite some early confusion on the part of Aseret and Mixit (due to fighting foes with their likenesses) and paralyzed ranged fighters (who had to be healed with antidotes), it seemed that fortune certainly favored the party in this encounter — there were a few wounds, but no one pushed close to death.  The group’s secret weapon in this encounter turned out to be Hexil the Phraint (temporarily under the control of our new player), who used his prodigious jumping ability to attack security bots in mid-air with his two-handed sword.

After some discussion, the group decided to make for the gateway platform with all haste — no time to rest or fiddle with the think-machine any more, for fear that reinforcements may be en route.  They managed to reach the platform, place the petroglyph tiles in proper sequence, and teleport back to the chamber in Greenwax’s undercity.

The following session found the party safely back in their rented house in Greenwax, at which time the party learned that they had been absent for two months.  During that time, tensions between Rallu, the City-State of the Sea Kings, and the ascendant merchant power Lenap, have increased dangerously.  There have been several naval skirmishes along the shipping lanes just south of Greenwax, and concerns about escalation have caused some merchants to consider alternate trade routes.  Compounding Greenwax’s trade woes, strange weather along the Antillian Peninsula’s western coast (near the Palsaith Forest) has been causing shipwrecks and affecting a well-travelled shipping route from Viridistan.

The group checked in with their friend Nial Voort, captain of the Dart, at the Sea Devil Saloon.  Voort shared plans to sail for Viridistan in approximately a week’s time, once repairs to his ship have been completed; he plans to take the Antillian route, and offered the PCs passage if they lend their arms and magic (he has a favorable attitude towards the PCs, who on an earlier voyage had repelled an attack by shark-men and magically warded off some strange winds.)  The PCs agreed, and sought other engagements for the week.

They went to visit their old friend Bartolo the halfling in his upstanding establishment the Honey Drop Inn, who offered them some short-term employment: to head north into the Mad Devil Jungle to harvest and bring back wax and honey produced by a certain local breed of carnivorous green jungle bees.  Dangerous work, for sure, but reasonably profitable — 50 gp per barrel.  Bartolo agreed to provide a wagon, barrels, and draft animals for the trip.  The party estimated that it would take a total of three days travel and two to three days to collect the honey — they would be cutting it close to get back to Greenwax in time, but they agreed to help their friend Bartolo, whose operation was short-handed after one of his regular crews had a bad run-in with some bees…  Having stocked up on poison antidote and insect-repellent candles, the party was now ready to enter the jungle.

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