S09E10 - Safely afloat 200m away

The heroes steal Rupert’s backpack and the orb, escape from the now out of control undead army, but end up losing the orb in the quiet of the night.
2024-05-11 – ⁠2024-05-13 1st draft

After thoroughly reviewing their plan to infiltrate the undead camp, the heroes are ready to move when a dimensional portal opens in front of them and a pale blue skin humanoid with tentacle hair comes out of it. She presents herself as Mao and announces she’s a princess from a “very different place.” Something went wrong while she was trying to fix her ship and she got sucked into this “magical door.” She’s convinced the party’s is there to help her and accepts to follow them for now so that they can help her later to find and fix her ship.

The undead army camp about to be infiltrated by the heroes.
The undead army camp about to be infiltrated by the heroes.

With the portal incident resolved, the heroes proceed with their mission. Ellie transforms into a giant spider and carries Chos to the canopy while the rest of the party and their dinosaur rides skirt the undead camp and position themselves in the direction of Port Nyanzaru. Back on the canopy and now right the center of the undead camp, Chos secures himself to provide artillery support to Ellie, and Ellie, very carefully, descends a few meters, shoots a spider web at Rupert’s backpack grabbing it on the first try (natural 20), and climbs back up.

Rupert, still practicing his victory speeches, starts to realize that something is wrong when the eyes and eye sockets of the zombies and skeletons around him change from boredom to deep hatred. Ellie and Chos, racing through the canopy, join the rest of the party, already on top of the dinosaurs, and speed off while the echos of Rupert’s terrified screams fill the air.

The heroes and their ankylosaurus escaping the undead horde.
The heroes and their ankylosaurus escaping the undead horde.

A short while later the heroes realize how exhausted their rides are and feed them more of Ellie’s magical goodberries as if they were amphetamines which kind of works. Not long after that, though, one of the dinosaurs crashes onto the ground, completely exhausted. The heroes, desperate to put more distance between them and the over two hundred undead that should be chasing the scent of the orb, furiously brainstorm. Chos realizes he still has one spell slot left and casts bear endurance on the dinosaur bringing him back into the game. The party takes off again but a couple of hours later two more dinosaurs are down and the party realizes that without their rides they’re not going to make it to Port Nyanzaru: the ghouls are too fast. While the group is debating what to do, the ankylosauruses tell Chos and Ellie that they’re done helping them and leave.

The heroes decide to go to the nearby sea cliffs and set up an elaborate trap and try to kill the undead with gravity. They hang the backpack with the orb on a rope hanging over two elevated rock formations, and they also build a raft in case as a plan b. Then they hide and wait.

Minutes later, the two undead deinonychuses along with Rupert’s triceratops spring out of the jungle, jump over the cliff, and break their necks and bones as they crash into the beach. Injured but far from dead, they start roaming awkwardly around the hanging backpack trying to grab it. The heroes realize this isn’t going to work and start a vicious attack. Other than Avilos getting gored into unconsciousness, the heroes end the fight quickly.

The heroes massacring the injured undead dinosaurs after luring them over the cliffs.
The heroes massacring the injured undead dinosaurs after luring them over the cliffs.

The heroes then jump on the raft and start rowing towards Port Nyanzaru staying parallel to the coast. Ellie, whose velociraptors couldn’t have fit into the crowded raft, and Mao, convinced that this “water” thing is deadly, head to Port Nyanzaru on foot along the coast.

In the evening, after having seen ghouls, zombies and skeletons throughout the day come out of the jungle and go underwater in the direction of the raft, the heroes decide it’s safe to sleep ashore if they leave the orb on the raft, anchored to the sea floor, and with Avilos guarding it while he sleeps.

At some point during the night, though, a ghoulish hand pops out of the water and violently grabs one side of the raft. Avilos wakes up, kills the ghoul, and rushes to the beach. When he arrives everybody is prepared to more undead, but as the minutes pass in complete silence, they realize why it’s so quiet: the backpack is gone.