your worm has cats

Critical butt damage

I feel no compassion for the dead. They’re the lucky ones.

– Casimir Flüf

Casimir valiantly fights his way out of the neothelid, causing the beast to regurgitate it, only to walk away a little too far and get eaten once more. First time as a tragedy, second time as a farce. Dressed in his finest, Cas is ready to die.

The heroes fend off the salamander and focus their attacks on the neothelid, who hasn’t even gone yet. Nahk inflicts critical butt damage. That’s important.

Digimon but make it fantasy

Episode 43 of Digimon Adventure (the first Digimon series) is the third episode of the Dark Masters arc, wherein WarGreymon obliterates MetalSeadramon while the credits are rolling in a single attack and the heroes move on to the next phase of their quest. They did the man dirty. Anyway, much like MetalSeadramon is digitally disintegrated (and Whamon, RIP) with little fanfare and a corny joke (“Next time you decide you want to rule the waters, do everyone a favor and take a bubble bath!” Wow, a man mon just died, Kabuterimon, c’mon) really early in this episode, the neothelid too is disintegrated by Livius’s green beam of energy, revealing a small cat, passed out after taking some damage from that spell.

(Also as a side note, I rewatched up to the first five minutes of that episode to remind me of that moment, and man, this show is still fire. Tai chides Mimi for making memorials to their fallen friends, saying that they have no time to stop, causing Matt to come at him and accusing him of having “ice water” in his veins. The show does a good job of laying the groundwork for the eventual rift in the team.)

Hobbes decapitates the myrmidion, and Montero congratulates the gang on a job well done. Abe collects all of the summoning stuff and dumps it into the lava. Livius and Hobbes uncover some treasure! Five diamonds! Twenty devils ore rocks! Other stuff too probably! Wow! And the resonance blade! What a haul.

Wouldn’t touch that with a 15-foot polearm

Nahk tracks the fleeing fire priest to a lava tube. There in the darkness, just barely by a dim white light, he sees the priest lying prone, with strange white-flesh creatures, fangs covered in blood, devouring him. The priest does not scream. A second passes in total darkness and when the white glow returns, the kodama are there, as usual, offering their charm (which Nahk takes upon his polearm), and all that is left of the fire priest is a pile of robes. They chant once more, but this time the voices are strange and guttural:

A world you must mend, one left to stitch

To keep us as friends, you scratch our itch:

Blood of the fiend, blood of the witch,

Blood of the beast, blood of the lich,

Blood of the sorrows, blood of the joys,

Till the end of tomorrows, till the end of all noise,

Make this land pure, and hallow the ground,

Return this world to where it was found,

We gift you this charm, to keep you from harm

Now turn back the clock to where next you dock

“What the fuck was that?” Nahk says.

“I don’t see what was wrong with that! Well, all right, you heard ‘em, let’s get to the next island, gang!” KB-180 replies jauntily.

Netted me some rations

Montero departs quickly after the heroes board, telling Livius to be careful.

The heroes try to figure out what the kodama stuff means, but they decide to head to Osteros to regroup with Sora.

Casimir trades a net for some rations with the merrows. They tell the heroes about the airships around Osteros. The Alchemist agrees to make Livius a ruby vial overnight.

Hobbes asks the Alchemist about the kodama, but she gestures to the obsidian cube they found at Natalya’s tomb and says that she may have known something about them before, but no longer. Hobbes offers Casimir the resonance blade, which he accepts because it really resonates with him.

Toss a coin to your Sora

Meanwhile, Sora slips into Kalak’s hut and they discuss the current state of affairs. Demeter’s embassy in Duchess Serena’s name is certainly putting the squeeze on Kalak’s people, financially and militarily speaking. Kalak tells Sora that he’d be glad to die in their fight against The Deathless One and Hespero after escaping the demiplane, but alas, his fighting days are over. He wishes Sora luck in freeing the demiplane and suggests Sora recruit some dragonborn for the fleet overnight while the giants sleep.

Rho and Paloma head to [[ Morodos ]] after hearing that the dragonborn are not willing to rise up in so many words. Sora regales the young dragonborn at the drinking hole with a song, “A World to Mend”, about her adventures with the other The Argotnauts: defeating the kraken by transforming into whales, slaying an aboleth in the water, sailing the skies beside the skyswimmer, and about how the heroes will free all of the denizens of the 13 Islands from the prison and rejoin the world beyond.

Muppets and Mainsails

The next day, the PS Admirable Effort docks and Sora tells the gang that she hopes her efforts last night pay off. As they tell Sora the story of how Casimir almost got digested, 30 dragonborn arrive, ready to learn how to sail. The crews welcome the new sailors and show them the ropes and also teach them some sailing. Barty promotes Big-Fat-Ugly-Bug-Faced-Baby-Eating O’Brien to captain the Flüf and Will Knot to captain the Bonds of Love. The crews and new captains of these ships depart on the Seaward, and the Admirable Effort makes a good effort to draw the attention of Demeter’s airships away from the Seaward’s return to Charatos.

Finally doing this

Nahk takes Sora aside. We fade to black. And we fade back from black to show them discussing what Nahk witnessed in the lava tubes. “Can we trust the kodama? Who even are these guys?” Much like Casimir, the actions of these kodama gave Nahk a little paws. They discuss whether they can trust the kodama, KB, or Rho. Are they part of Hespero’s curse? They seemed a little too OK with letting the Bakasura off with a surface death and not going into hell to finish him off. Do they work for Hespero, since they seem to loathe the Alchemist as well? But we work for Hespero kind of. They agree they should watch their backs and keep their options open.

With some evasive maneuvers, Captain Barty Cromwellus is able to round Embara and lose the attention of the airships. The heroes arrive underneath Nistora. They debate for some time and decide to call Rho for help. Rho arrives and they formulate a plan to talk to King Almsbrood and convince him to let them destroy the fiendish presence on the island. In order to recuperate their spell slots, whatever those are, the heroes dock at Embara, its ominously quiet pockmarked landscape stretching into the distance. Memories of The Unspeakable One and Mallory’s near betrayal return to the minds of all those on the ship, not least of all the sailors who recall the mysterious fires that broke out while they waited for the heroes’ return.

The heroes awaken the next morning near Embara and begin their plan to chat up Almsbrood.

4/6 ships now have commissioned officers. Fun! Their loyalty lies with you, the heroes and liberators of the 13 Islands, though they sail with the markers of the State and People of Argot.

It is the afternoon on day 37 since the Battle of Aurochs Island, the first engagement in the Argoti-Mineosi War.

The Argotnauts are off the coast of Embara, preparing to land on Nistora and speak to King Almsbrood and Queen Isabela, who still grieve over their son Riffrick.

One island left: Nistora.

All three keys have been retrieved.

The dogs are on the flagship.

Malory Whisperbottom is on the material plane with Hespero

You have four solid cubes with keyholes and a ring of seven keys:

  • KB has one of the pine wood cubes
  • Livius has the cube made of bone found in Iskos Valley Village’s elders’ hut
  • The Alchemist has one of the pine wood cubes, the obsidian cube found at Natalya’s tomb, and the ring of seven keys

You are on a demiplane, and Zulon has been on the material plane for six full days.

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