Scaled Down Scales

Nox Pulls a Fast One

...On a Githyanki Strike Force...

…Who Let their Guard Down…

…while taking a little R&R.

When Jasmine told him that most of the Githyanki strike force had piled their weapons on their gear, Nox Rhasgar had an idea.

Andrea was more concerned about the pool Jaz said they were gathering around. Her efforts to bottle the Astral Mist were going badly, but she had 13 vials she wanted to fill.

“Maybe I can bottle the water from the pool,” she told Nox. He could tell she thought it might have magickal properties.

Nox was thinking more in the present. They didn’t have access to the pool yet.

He had a plan: He would sneak in and grab their pile of swords. Then he could teleport back into the Portal Chamber and throw the Silver Swords into the Astral Mist.

Even Andrea liked the idea. She asked Nox if she could sneak into the lounge on her Trihorn Behemoth. That didn’t sound like a good idea. Nox was reminded of an old song that Jerath liked to sing:

“…Hey, Halfling, what’s that sound?
Great big footsteps coming down….”
— Giants Don’t Sneak

The Trihorn Behemoth Andrea was riding had feet that were bigger than any giant had, so he suggested the Dragonborn Warlord wait at the mouth of the Portal Chamber until the Githyanki realized their weapons had disappeared.

Only one of the strike force noticed Nox sneaking in. His shouted warning was too late. He ran to the pile of weapons, grabbed them, and teleported back to the Portal Chamber which was sorta located in the middle of the lounge. There he threw the swords into the Astral Mist.

They didn’t quite go as far as he had hoped. The weapons just floated in the mist where he threw them.

“Oh, well, at least they don’t have them.”

Relvain the Dragonpinner found herself once again in the bowels of a Hill Giant fortress. “I must be dreaming again,” she thought. She remembered that in this dream Obanar had sent her to scout the area the Hill Giants were using as a base of operations to attack Argent, the Silver City.

When Andrea Ravn swallowed the Potion of Regeneration, she felt it sap the last of her emotional and physical reserves.

She hoped it would keep her alive long enough for Nox’s plan to work.

She charged around the curve of the wall on the back of her mount. The Behemoth’s heavy footsteps convinced her that sneaking up on the Strike Force was something best left to Nox and Jax.

“Giants don’t sneak,” she reminded herself. “And neither do Trihorns.”

Keeping the Githyanki from getting their weapons back proved harder than they expected. The Mindlashers didn’t seem to need them and the Warmongers were able to get past her using their Telekinetic Leaps. The Astraan — who was the only Githyanki carrying his weapon on his person — even helped by using his telekinetic powers to give the Warmongers extra leaps.

The Astraan’s weapon — a silver dagger — proved less effective.

“He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn,” Andrea observed as he watched the Astraan try to hit the Trihorn. “Or the backside of my mount.”

Eventually the battle focused around the only chokepoint between the Githyanki and their weapons: the doorway to the Portal Chamber.

By inching her way into position to flank the Mindlashers and give her mount a chance to use her horns, she was able to get to a spot where she could heal Nox.

Who was now beset by the Warmongers who had retrieved their weapons. Beset inside the Portal Chamber.

The Portal Chamber where Nox’s magickal fire seemed incapable of missing. The Warmongers died first, then the Mindlashers. The Astraan surprised them when he ran. Instead of heading for one of the other exits from the lounge, it leapt into the Astral Mist and then to the Portal itself.

Andrea knew the Portal was some kind of Sovereign Gate, capable of sucking magickal energies from other realms, even other Planes of Existence.

Yet it had no runes: the runes that were key to understanding every other gate or portal that she had ever seen.

“How can you find it without the runes to concentrate upon?”

She was so desperate to understand the Sovereign Gate that she used all of the arcane powers her Dragonmark gave her to try and perceive how the Portal — or Gate or whatever it was — functioned.

But all she got was a brief vision of the place where the Astraan fled: some kind of shipyard where an Astral Fleet was assembling.

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