Today I (God, for the unfamiliar) would like to tell you a hilarious story about a lot of misfits and how they almost got obliterated. The tale begins right at the tits… on the cliffs of the Barrier Peaks. Our heroes are presently drooling on themselves and staring catatonically at a floating monastery.
1: That the fuck is that thing?
2: Appears to be a cross between a sphinx and a winged hog
1: Well, it’s unnatural
Very unnatural indeed. This creature was a gynosphinx, with glowing blue eyes and some otherworldly technology embedded in it’s skull. When it caught sight of them, it began breathing heavily and whipping it’s tail around. Gooodit!
1: What should we do? Do you think it talks?
GS: I speak many languages and I read lips. I can smell your fear, but my body is not half as formidable as my mind. Come fourth, travelers.
1: Well … it seems nice enough.
4: Poor little thing is dying for some attention.
GS. I am quite capable of destroying all of you, but I prefer a battle of wits. I challenge you each to pose a question that I cannot answer. If any one of you lot is successful, I will forego the toll and call for the ferry. If you all lose, you must pay.
1; Ok, question. What is all that shit stuck in your head?
4: to 1: You Bastard, I’ve got guts all over me and we are about to go into a monastery. What in the hell?
1: But did you die? No, the sphinx did, you’re welcome betch
2: Okay ladies… do you see that thing coming for us?
That “thing” was the Ferry, With company. Five cultists led by an elder were on board and did not look… well… they didn’t look to be in any mood, as their faces were flayed to the point of just being skeletons. The scars went in every which direction. It was all in the eye of the beholder, really…
EM: Welcome to our humble abode. Why have you killed our sphinx?
1: I asked it a question and it exploded
The Elder Monk looked at him with a look of smugness. This party did not look to him like any sort of threat to a beast such as the Spinx. Had there been a violent battle, this lot would no doubt be dead. The lack of flesh wounds was telling.
EM: So it did. Would you like a lift?
The travelers piled on and the skiff went onward toward the monastery. Our party stood silent and internally and actually (i’ll confirm, yes) visually terrified. None were familiar with the special magic held by the Sphinx. This new magic seemed to have a chaotic nature about it and so everyone was doubting themselves, wondering if this would be the one that killed them.
The monastery floated amid the valley without aid of water or anything, Wires and metal jutted out from all sides. Ore fire could be smelt (hee hee) and seen from holes bored to the outside. This was a powerful magic and the entire monastery was imbued with it.
The Elder monk who had piloted the skiff remained silent as they arrived and de-boarded, but extended arm and finger ominously toward the Central Abbey. They all took the hint and started walking. He and his goons followed behind. Each carried a hooked pole arm, while the Elder carried what looked like a staff, but with an odd piece of metal in the top resembling the implements we saw on the ship and mounted to the sphinx.
As they entered the Abbey, the low hum became louder. It bounced around the vast expanse of space inside and made the party still more uneasy. About 10 monks huddled in dark areas of the room, and light shone down upon the Grand Master, who sat still and poised on a throne. He looked otherworldly, being quite tall and thin, wearing a large leather cape and very tall hat (which I am sure has a fancy name, but I’m God and I don’t care).
To Be Continued…