Session Log 2022-06-06

From After the Aether Age
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The party stared down the leering acolytes of Zoll lurking in the whorls of spacetime. It was Klaitos that realized - while they were certainly more adept at slipping through the tangle, they were unlikely to be at all resistant to the shearing forces present along its edges. By unbalancing the creatures or knocking them around, the rending walls of the long passage would serve as an effective deterrent.

He gathered his allies close and focused on his storm magic, conjuring a tornado barrier with them in its eye. Ekkels climbed to his shoulder and contributed his own magic to the effort, strengthening the winds. Robin attempted to lure the creatures into this barrier with illusions of Ekkels, but the noise and chaos of the whirling dust disrupted her concentration. Ignis took up her stead, insulting the Demon Lord they served to rile them up and bait them into pressing the attack.

The shield of winds worked excellently, sending the first aggresors staggering directly into the spatial shear. Long limbs and wormlike heads fell severed to the ground. Even coordinating, the creatures were unable to breach the tornado, their branchlike arms cast aside by the powerful storm magic.

So guarded, Ignis led the party onward into the long passage. Ekkels took over the brunt of the spell, able to maintain it more easily than even the storm-blooded Klaitos while the latter was burdened by the unconscious giant Heiras. Klaitos, in turn, hummed a spirited pirate shanty to the chaos mage to motivate him.

Robin, still wary of the repeated kidnapping attempts, kept watch over Ekkels while scanning the labyrinth on either side of the passage. She could tell they were being followed, catching glimpses of the familiar narrow limbs as they slunk through the tangle, but none seemed eager to try their defense. Periodically, she gave Ekkels' casting a break by faking the tornado spell with illusion. Having watched him carefully, she was able to mimic his casting enough to aid her own. The scale of the illusion was mitigated somewhat by the fact that it had filled her ears and vision for hours and was easy to play back from her subconscious.

Klaitos knew that a forced overnight march with continual spellcasting was a recipe for exhaustion, and considered the logistics of making another camp along the passage. He reasoned that he could establish the storm wall with rune magic, drawing power overnight from the Stormjumper's Aether Core in his pack. When dusk arrived, Robin replaced the real tornado with an illusion, and he inscribed a ring into the dry earth with his stolen rune-wand. With a spark of storm magic, the tornado-wall ritual stirred to life.

The party set out their bedrolls around the cool silvery glow of the Aether Core. The magic-exhausted Ekkels found it easy enough to fall asleep amidst the tornado's din. Robin's life on the streets and Klaitos's upbringing amidst storm giants left them little bothered by a little wind and noise.

The pampered Fireheart, however, was forced to take first watch, blinking dust out of his weary eyes. Nothing seemed to intrude upon their storm-warded campsite, but he was scarcely able to see beyond its whirling walls himself. He fashioned grody earplugs out of his remaining scraps of clothing, affixed the Little Dudes to Robin's finger, and left them the second watch. As an overcast dawn began to peek inconsistently through the twisted spacetime, the party awoke to no report from the vigilant Dudes.