Episode 17: The Feather and the Ferryman
The party awoke and made preparations for the journey out of Dis. Levani related the events of the previous night, when she was visited by a raven who left behind a single black feather. Levani believed it to be an emissary or some sort of sign of Ananus, the trickster God, but could not guess at his intention or meaning.
Yuna fashioned a crude travois using cloaks, Ara’s walking stick and and some rope, sufficient to move Levani’s sleeping form safely through the catacombs.
Ara was surprised to discover Keen had stolen the Dragonhead coin while he meditated, without his knowledge, and was distracted by thoughts of how to recover it.
Magnus’s foot continued to pain him, and Yuna’s renewed attempt at healing met with only marginal gains. Since he was unable to keep up with the party, Magnus volunteered to wear the Hat of True Frog, and thus transformed he rode in Yuna’s pouch.
Thus arrayed the party set off through the catacombs, seeking a way out. A long, darkened hallway led eventually to a huge underground cavern, not of cut stone but seemingly naturally formed. The cavern was full of the same viscous, acrid green liquid they had encountered previously in the catacombs, though in much greater volume; wide, low pillars of rock rose up out of the goo, allowing the party to cross the room with leaps and jumps. A network of iron pipes jutted from the top of the cavern, and occasionally belched forth a massive quantity of this same green liquid.
Keen found a wrought-iron staircase hanging off the far wall of the cavern, terminating some 20 feet above the ground. With some assistance from Ara and Levani’s Ring of Reduction he was able to gain purchase on the lowest steps.
At a loss for how they would get Levani’s sleeping body across the room safely without falling into the green goo, Yuna picked up the raven feather to investigate it. As soon as she touched it, the party found themselves standing on the Shore, arrayed in battle before a small green creature with gold coins for eyes, swinging a lantern and holding strange dagger.
Magnus, not a frog and seemingly fully healed, raced forward to attack the creature, but his attacks were turned back on himself; any damage that he dealt seemed to affect him instead. The creature gazed at Magnus, who abruptly lost the will to fight, or indeed to move, and with a single lazy thrust of its dagger the creature slew Magnus, who disintegrated into a fine dust that spread across the black sands.
One by one the party fell to the knife of the Ferryman. Yuna briefly exerted her will upon it, forcing it to flee for a time, but the Ferryman’s gaze held her fast, and as the will of her command spell faded, the Ferryman’s blade struck true. Last to fall was Levani who, though horrified to see her friends fall was nonetheless pleased to find herself back in her physical body. Unable to turn away, she lay on the sand as the Ferryman’s blade sank into her flesh, turning her too to dust.
Yuna dropped the feather and the party found themselves back in the cavern, as if nothing had happened. Levani attempted to destroy the feather by dropping it into the green liquid, but the feather only floated harmlessly on the surface. Not wanting to leave it behind, Levani wrapped it in a scrap of fabric and stowed it in her pack. The party felt a renewed, strengthened connection following the fight on the Shore, but what this portended they could not say.
Unsure what to make of the experience, the party continued their efforts to escape the catacombs. Relying on Keen’s circus training and how to construct a high-wire act, they were able to engineer a rope and pulley system to move Levani’s physical body across the cavern using Ara’s immovable rod as a fulcrum. With great effort and physical exertion they were all able to get to the top of the iron staircase, dragging Levani in tow.
At the top, behind the network of iron pipes, they found a gantry and followed it to a door that opened on what appeared to be floor of a massive factory. For the moment obscured from view by row upon row of huge wooden crates, the party watched as dozens, perhaps hundreds, of devils of all kinds worked the floor, moving too and fro. They had escaped the Catacombs, but found themselves in the lower levels of an ironworks in the Iron City of Dis itself.
Problem-Solving Skills: Engineering Grade
Ways Taken: The Long One
RP Rating: Awesome