After dealing with Pugnax and the demon hunters, the party went back to Natinuka to rest and heal up.
Wiley spent the night in traction due to a cracked carapace, but it was healed by morning thanks to some healing goop from Classified’s most recent augmentation.
Gore managed to counter the search spell which was alerting the guard to his presence and laid low until morning.
Zat finished making some adjustments to his lightning gun and is SURE that it’s safe for general use now. Totally sure. Yup.
As DeCoy Replacement had died valiently saving Gringle’s life, Gringle stompy-stomped for a new lackey to be delivered. Senor Fromage (who shall be called Patty) was dropped off that evening by Dolphinhawk. He is an exchange student who is excellent at cooking and has a strange Mexican/French accent. He seems to have the ability to mime objects and have them act as though they are real.
Classified checked in at the Snake-Head Airlines office about a previous request he had made toward chartering an airship for an expedition into the Changing Wastes. They agreed to do so for $12,000, and would have an airship available by morning.
The party acquired hunks of jade roughly the size of a silver dollar for the trip.
In the morning, the crew boarded the Snake-Head airship and set out for the wastes. Classified knew of a mining facility that he wished to search for information on the Raz Alakatan, and thought that this might also be a good way to prep the party for future trips into or through the wastes. The trip was scheduled to take a total of five weeks. Two weeks to get there, stay one week, and two weeks to return.
Though there were some fearsome sandstorms, the Snake-Heads managed to keep out of the worst of it. Part-way through the second week, a strange whirlwind of sand & blood-colored globules intercepted the ship. Classified verified that it was giving off an extremely high amount of thaumic radiation.
Gore was able to cast some thaum-removing spells upon it as it approached, which whittled it down from gigantic to only quite large. Classified took up two large bars of jade, used to protect the cargo and ship from the radiation of the wastes, and used them as effective weapons against the thing. Before the monstrosity could manage to do more than menace, however, Gringle fired Steve the cursed crossbow bolt into the creature. It zipped back and forth, striking only the blood-colored bits and soon the thing had fallen apart. Its job done, Steve zipped back to attempt to impale Gringle. Luckily, the Kobold parried successfully and Steve fell lifeless to the deck. After the battle, Steve was found to be highly radioactive, and a small Jade quiver was fashioned by Gore to keep Gringle from mutating and/or dying.
Gringle received 10 thaums and a minor temporary mutation from his momentary exposure to Steve.
Gore received 20 thaums during the battle and from exposure to Steve. No rolls have yet been made.
A few more days in, the party has found the Dwarven mining facility. A single smokestack peeks above the sand, and they take a dinghy down, tie it off, and grapple down into a large, dark furnace. It opens into a massive dark, domed room for smelting and refining ore, the only sound from their footsteps, breath, and that of the shifting sand above them…