The Rescue: The Journey Begins

Marcus and Tchau are retrieved by Lyla and taken to the meeting.  Marcus does his best to ignore Lylas very existence.  Eventually they are taken to a small island off the coast of Iott that is used for Diplomatic meetings.  This island is outside the boundary of Iott, and so magic functions without the need for the Iottan rings.

It is here that Marcus and Tchau wait with the Usurper Harlot for the rest of the invited guests to arrive.  Over the course of the next few hours, they do.  Lyla retrieves an ancient Elf, who was also in the tournament that brought Tchau and Marcus together.  This Elf has proven himself to be a classist bigot.  The Elf looks down on Sorcerers as inferior Wizards and points it out as often as possible.  In turn, Marcus keeps reminding him that it was Marcus that soundly defeated him in the tournament.  Along with the Elf is a Dwarven Templar of Smofarf.  He seems capable enough, although that is just based on the fact that he carries an axe and a shield.  Hey, someone needs to be the meat shield when necessary.  Another Dwarf to arrive is Vega, an investigator from Port Springs.  To Marcus, Vega is a non-factor.  He doesn’t appear to belong in this group and has very little in the way of magical ability.  Marcus mentally relegates him to a valet status.  The next to arrive is one of the Wizards Three, cloud.  Lyla says that he is to be the leader of this group.  Marcus does not openly question this decision.  He knows of Cloud, by reputation at least, and knows he is a powerful caster.  Out of everyone in the group, Cloud is the only one Marcus does not think he could easily take in a spellbattle.  The last to arrive, and the most unique, are a Wild caster, who constantly changes his appearance, and some sort of winged saurial creature.  Marcus looks down on the wild caster with more disdain than he does the elf.  The  elf at least has control over his magic.  The very nature of the wild caster insures that he does not, and in Marcus’ view, a caster without control is like handing a complex clicker to a toddler.

The last to individuals were brought to the gathering by the quasi-deity known as ‘The Collector’.  The Collector is a Slaad with an innumerable amount of magic items adorning his person.  Once all are gathered, the Usurper Harlot and the The Collector go into detail about where we are going and why.  One of the Wizards Three, Luigi, Montaron Mountainmagic, Enzo, and Malchia are being held in stasis on another planet.  On this planet, magic does not work normally.  Higher level spells have a tendency to fail.  The group discusses, for a very long time, how to remove these individuals from stasis and how to return to Habololy once our mission is complete.  To Marcus, many of the beings gathered want assurances that they will be able to do this, that, or the other thing.  Cloud, the most powerful caster in the group doesn’t want to use all of his high level spells to rescue the captives “just in case” we are embroiled in a battle at the time.  Marcus lets him know that the gathered assemblage is more than capable enough to defeat anything that gets in their way, whether Cloud casts a spell to assist or not.

The group finally gets all of the info they need to begin their journey.  The Collector casts a Gate spell to the Astral Plane and the group goes through.  They are given the color of the pool they need to find on the Astral Plane.  It takes an indeterminate number of days to reach it.  As they draw closer, several of the group notice that there are a number of beings in the vicinity of the color pool.  The old elf tells Marcus to go see who or what these people are.  Marcus, ever confident, activates his items and goes over to a woman and asks what she is doing here.  All she says is the word ‘gray’.  Marcus asks louder ‘Who are you’.  She continues to repeat the same word.  Marcus declares he to be an imbecile and turns to head back to the group.  As he does, a thought eater emerged from the woman’s skull. When it leaves her head, it cries out.  From every other being in the area a keening response is heard and dozens more thought eaters emerge from the skulls of the beings around the gate.

The Elf rushes for the gate and leaves everyone else to fend for themselves.  Marcus and the others begin to battle with spells and weapons.  The thought eaters try to psionically blast the group and most resist their attack.  Other thought eaters rush in and attack.  While the thought eaters are not strong, their attacks are devastating to some.  With each hit, not only do you take damage, but, unless you are sufficiently protected as Marcus is, they drain your intelligence with each successful hit.  Thought eaters swarm individuals and everyone does their best to retaliate.  Marcus does better than most.  He unleashes Force spells which strike unerringly.  Haze, by his side, uses wands to good effect.  The others have varying degrees of success against the creatures, but all manage to make it to the color pool and enter it just ahead of a Psychic Storm that appeared on the plane due to their battle.

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