No Sleep Til Brooklyn

What have I done? We’ve stopped and everyone is talking about Klyce and taking watches and sleeping. Sleeping??? I can’t sleep. Oh Dawnmother! What have I done? Suddenly there is a lot of blood around Klyce. I only curl up further into the corner. So much blood on the ground and on our hands.

They set watches, but I only pretend to sleep when it’s not my turn. I’m on second shift with Gerhardt, but there’s nothing to see. And then there is a sharp pain in my back and darkness. When I wake up again, they’re all talking about the Zoo and the Refinery. Wait what? Apparently assassins came after us. The next tree is in the zoo, and everyone thinks the foundry is the only safe place to sleep.

We carefully sneak through town, just like we did all those times in the bubble, and make it down below the mana refinery. The disembodied head is still trapped in the bubble, thank the Dawnmother. We try for watches and sleep again. I still can’t, I keep seeing rocks blasting through skulls every time I close my eyes.

When everyone else has rested, we head up and out to the zoo. There are marching footsteps on the streets, so we keep to the sewers. This can’t be good for Klyce, but there’s nothing else we can do. The footsteps get louder the nearer we get to the zoo. When we get there, we try pulling out one of the massive sewer blocks to see if we can tunnel under the zoo. It’s too packed and heavy for our measly magics, we’ll have to go above ground.

Remy sends his lizard up to look around. People are packed into the nearby parks like cattle. Three people come out of the zoo, crawling with worms. They infect a crowd and head back inside. They’re trying to infect the entire borrough before we kill all the trees! We have to go now!

We pop up out of the sewer and make a run for the zoo wall. There’s no gate near us, so we scramble and scrape and jump and hoist until we all make it over. Klyce and I get shot as we’re the last two over the wall. If Klyce survives this, it’s going to be a Dawnmother Miracle.

Once we’re all over, we notice we’ve landed in an enclosure for something. A panther, it turns out, as it pounces. We beat it down in the normal fashion, getting some scrapes and bites for our trouble and then Klyce breaks open the door into the keeper rooms. Nat says the tree is in the center, and as we carefully approach, we see it’s the elephant enclosure. The tree is behind four elephants and beneath three levitating wizards.

One of them shouts for us to come out while the other two summon a whole mess of flying snakes. I cast fly on Maribeth and Remy, allowing him to go zoom face-first into the pile of snakes. The others fireball to kill them, but Remy is unconscious by then. I sneak forward, intent on the wizards, while Klyce starts wrestling elephants to death. When a wizard heads for Remy’s floating body, I start throwing rocks again, but I can’t managed to hit him. Eventually, Klyce finishes off the elephants and we finish off two of the wizards and the tree with lots of fire.

The third one is the one Klyce kept sensing at other fights, and he departs, saying he’ll see us at the last tree. Maribeth gets Remy down and we wake him up. He’s got a bit of goo in his ear, but he seems alright. We head back to the panther’s enclosure to rest, and when we finally leave the zoo, there are hundreds of dead outside in the parks. I just close my eyes and grab Nat’s elbow, like she used to do with me.

Trees, Worms, and Murder

Turns out the Major is a divination mage. That’s a bit less worrying then. Between him and Nat, we find our first tree, first of five they say. I go with everyone, but stay well away from the fighting. Klyce has changed his mind about killing in this case. They are infected, and already going to die, if we don’t kill a few people, everyone in the burrough will die a much worse death. I… can’t. I won’t. So, I stay back, ready with a levitate or fly if we need it.

With Nat’s location spells, we have already found the second tree within range of the first, so we head onward. It’s in a hotel basement nearby. We circle the building from nearby roofs, and see a loading dock to the lower level. It is guarded by 8 men, with more around the other sides of the building. What if we go our old route, through the sewers? We’ve gotten pretty used to them by now. So we head down.

Nat leads us back to the hotel, and the closest pipe is choked with brambles. Klyce turns to mist and floats his way through. When he comes back, he stays mist and we have a bit of a game of pantomime. Until he gets through to me to message him. The tunnel opens up into the basement, and the foundations are nearly destroyed. We decide to cast silence and burn our way through. Gerhardt casts a circle of protection and Klyce floats back through again. He will keep an eye out and we commence.

I keep messaging him, and soon he says that people are gathering at the far end of the tunnel. He also says a wizard has arrived, but he’s not sure where. Once we get line of sight on them, the others begin firebombing them. When the people are gone, they start firebombing the tree. But worms start dropping and burrowing into the earth. I cast fly on Maribeth and Nat, but stay in the circle myself. I have nothing to attack a tree with.

They keep burning it down, but the wizard does not appear. Dalish comes charging back my way and into the circle. He grabs his ear as he enters and I see green goo oozing out. I tighten my grip on the staff, but he says it’s gone now. Gerhardt comes running, too, but he bounces off the circle. Dalish and I try to push and pull him through, but nothing. Nat comes flying and full speed and barrels him through. Green ooze trickles out of his ear, and I nearly take a swing.

They succeed in ending the tree, and Klyce has me come in for some controlled mop up. I do my best to save the hotel, but there is so much fire and damage already, I’m not sure it did any good. We all take a moment to rest and plan, before we get moving again. We head back up to the rooftops to avoid the crowds, searching for the next tree.

Everyone is tired, though, and not as careful. It isn’t long before gunshots ring out from other rooves. Everyone gets shot and we jump off the roof, featherfalling to the ground, and head for the sewers again. Nat moves the earth we bled on to lead them away and we find a building on the outskirts to rest in. While Klyce and Nat, who didn’t get shot, head out to find the next tree, Remy tends to our wounds. He manages to remove my and Maribeth’s bullets before passing out himself. Dalish does some magic which pops Remy’s bullet right out of him, and Gerhardt finishes patching us all up.

Maribeth messages me. To save the necklace if the worms take her. Of course, I think my levitate will work for that. I tell her that I’ll try to keep her flying so they can’t get her. She calls me sister. I… sister… My ears buzz and I cannot think.

The others return and report. The next tree is inside a jail. We debate for a moment, this one last tree and then we rest. We only have one more day, better to do three today and two tomorrow, just in case they take more time because of our attacks today. We can do one more, we have to. We head back into the sewers and towards the jail.

There is a thick iron grate blocking passage in and out of the jail. Makes sense, no one in or out. Klyce studies it for a bit, and decides to shape the rock it is built into instead of messing with the iron itself. We slip through and eventually come to a very large door. Klyce gaseous forms his way through. He come back fairly quickly because he cannot see. Dalish gives him darkvision and he returns. It takes some time, and some vague answers to my messages, but eventually, he finds a key and lets us in.

There is a pile of mangled bodies here, outside one of the cells. It is pretty horrific, and I’m glad we haven’t managed to have lunch today. We pass them by and eventually, start seeing the tips of roots down through the walls and ceiling. The tree must be up in the courtyard. We sneak up into the main building until we find a vantage on the yard.

There is a frenzy of activity here. Fifty or sixty people milling about the tree. We’re too far away for Gerhardt’s banishment spell. We can’t go out there, we have to sneak around to another window. Carefully, carefully, we make our way. It seems like everyone is out there rather than inside the building. Gerhardt will cast, and if it works, we will run. We must protect him for the minute the spell takes to finish.

He casts, the tree disappears, and everyone in the courtyard goes mad! We Run! We run back down to the basement, to the cells. But then we met men with six men holding guns. Nonononono! Nat casts stinking cloud over them and I cast fly on Gerhardt so he can go wherever he needs to go to be safe until his spell finishes. Bullets fly out of the fog. I throw myself in front of Nat, while Klyce and Remy go charging in. There is shooting and spell flinging and I can hear Remy’s sword clanging. The fog isn’t stopping them, so Nat drops it.

Nonononono! Too many bullets, my friends are getting hurt. Maribeth is shot again. Klyce is hurt bad! I look around and see some rocks on the ground. I pick one up and take aim. It’s just a key, it’s just Sanctum. I send it flying with magic and one of the gunmen drops. I pick up another rock. Another gunman falls. Whatever it takes, whatever it takes. We run. There are more dead down by the door, but we don’t have time to care. We run. Whatever it takes, whatever it takes. They are talking, but I don’t hear. Whatever it takes…