So one time Gus told me “The right piece of information is worth more than your life, Emma. People will kill for greed, power, or petty emotion, but a Pathfinder will die for knowledge.” I probably nodded and said “uh huh” or something stupid like that, but now I think I grok him in fullness.
Everybody’s resting up after the last big fight, so I think I’ve got time to run through the stuff that’s happened since yesterday. There were a series of bridges to get from one section of the city to another, and they were also the only ways across the rivers of molten gold (nothing shimmers quite like a river of molten gold) without getting cooked. Can you imagine, there was stuff just waiting to fight us at these natural bottlenecks! Like, a real surprise, totally.
The first bridge just had a couple of constructs dripping in gold, and, like they weren’t a big deal. Meryk and Anselme spent more time shoving the piles of scrap off the bridge so we could pick them up on the way out. Like, totally optimistic. Greedy, but optimistic. Then we found a series of traps that summoned the same fire elemental like half a dozen times, I think he was as tired of it as we were. Poor guy dropped his sandwich one time.
The next bridge had my first basilisk, and it SUCKED SO FREAKIN’ HARD. He breathed on me before we took it down, and according to Brother Vang I was lucky I didn’t just die right there. Everyone wanted to rest after that, and I wasn’t about to complain.
Anselme wanted to go exploring while everyone else got ready, and it doesn’t take more than five minutes to sharpen a dagger, and I guess nobody else feels responsible for the little kid tagging along with us even if he does have a pet lion, so I went with him. Yeah, it was about as bad an idea as it sounds. We ran into the Golden Ram, and then ran away. Leone and I can run faster than Anselme, and, like, while I’m not proud of that, I’m not about to forget it either.
The next choke point was a gate covered in archer skeletons (damn plinkers) and guarded by ogre skeletons (gold plated like everything else here), but the most annoying thing was this demon that I think had a crush on Cassandra or something. I don’t know if demons are boys and girls, but I’m pretty sure that a spear is, like, totally phallic. Also he just up and vanished when he was done poking at her.
In the search for more loot in the city made of freakin’ gold, Anselme managed to find a hand that can walk around all by itself. It’s name is Tam, and he’s not as grabby as the other disembodied hands I’ve seen this week.
Oh yeah, once we got that far in, the upper walls of the city were covered in skeletons that he been nailed up there in the hundreds when they had still be living people. Yeah, this Tar Babboon (Pandora says I shouldn’t say or write his real name, ‘cause he’s a “goddamn wizard lich asshole”) is a real dick. We ran into a bunch of the Razmir guys, but they were squishy and actually surrendered after I cut one of them in half. I feel kinda bad about that, I think I’m going to have to practice holding back.
Further in, we found another bridge, and this time two of the columns on the bridge started to walk forward and swing their swords like they meant it. Oh, and did I mention they were so tough that hitting them broke your weapons! I put away Krant’s Joy, and smashed Krant’s Tutelage against one. Then my ransuer, and started to reach for my freakin’ quarterstaff. Meryk tried to help me, but everyone else decided they either didn’t want the fight, or were afraid of breaking their stuff. Like, this is EXACTLY why you bring a bunch of weapons with you, people! But they got to fight a gold-plated dragon skeleton instead, so I guess it ended up being pretty fair.
Okay, this next part is where it gets really important, so pay attention.
The soul of Astarathia, the gold dragon whose skeleton that the others fought, is IN A SWORD, in the hoard that the skeleton had been guarding. This isn’t the important part, though Meryk is totally right that she has like a thousand years of first-hand account of history we could learn from her. She remembers that the people who used to live in this city were studying what Tar Babboon was planning, and it was this:
Tar Babboon was plotting, thousands of years ago, with powerful forces from, like, outside this universe. He was plotting with the witch (the one was has the hut with the chicken legs), Geb, and some demon prince who wants to be a god who I thought was a legend until Pandora all casually mentioned “Oh yeah, my mom fought him, and it’s my destiny to fight him and junk.” And this demon prince is, like, the one who’s behind the Worldwound?!
IS THIS CONSPIRACY WHY ARODEN VANISHED?! DID THEY KILL HIM…OR IMPRISON HIM?!
This is was I was talking about. Getting this information to the hands of the Decumvirate would be worth my life, no questions asked. Not that I plan on going out without a fight or anything dumb like that, but suddenly it makes preventing a war between Nirmathas and Molthune kind of a non-issue by comparison, you know?
Okay, it looks like we’re leaving soon, so I’ll kind of wrap up the last part. We got to the inner sanctum of the city, and there Meryk fell into a trap so Brother Vang and I followed. This is good, because, like, killing to creature inside the trap was itself the trap, and a bunch of liquid gold started to pour in. Everybody knew I was strong, but I think the two of them can really appreciate it, because I was able to pull BOTH of their butts out of the fire (with no small help from my awesome new boots).
I was going to carry the others across the rope, starting with Cassandra, when one of the Razmir guys in black robes cut it! Cassandra lost her grip, but I was able to grab her before she fell in. I used, like, 100% of my force in grabbing her, and even with healing she had this huge nasty bruise. Man, magic type people are delicate! I shot a few arrows once I pulled her back up, then grabbed Brother Vang and jumped the gap like it wasn’t a big deal or anything to clear four times my height while carrying a guy who has a foot on me. Yeah, I know, I rule.
We were going to go through the door after Iramine, the one who we thought we behind this whole mess, but suddenly every around me started to sound like chipmunks (apparently I was the one who was slowed down), I couldn’t see a thing, the floor was all slippery, and it felt like somebody was trying to cook me. Needless to say, I was pissed, but by the time I just managed to get across the room the fight was nearly over. I did manage to get rid of that demon that was bugging Cassandra though; he said something like “See you in twenty levels” before he popped, but this city only has three? Whatever, demons all lie and junk anyway.
So yeah, after she turned into a giant fire monster, Iramine passed out. Turns out she was being controlled by really powerful magic, and the Razmir guys weren’t always such turds. Oops. We opened the chest next to the Totally Evil Magic Artifact That Makes Gold, and there’s an ioun stone with the soul of a finch inside named Taes. He’s adorable!
More importantly, he might be our ticket to warning the Decumvirate (like, I KNEW that being close personal best buds with the headmasters of the Pathfinder Society would come in handy)! That would make him one of the most valuable members of our group, as well as the newest. Once we get outside, hopefully the whole world can start getting ready to fight this evil plot.
But first we need to get out of here. Everybody’s heading out, so I’ll end here. For now, I mean. Later!