29 Mirtul 1367 DR
“We could just sail the ship into that huge hole. That must be the docks.” Dunkle’s eyes sparkled at the thought. It would be his maiden voyage with his new ship, after all.
Dona shook her head. “We would be taking the former captives into danger. We should leave the ship here and have them hide here.”
“And,” added Dexter, “we shouldn’t go in through the obvious entrance. There must be another way in. A way that doesn’t involve us fighting through all of the githyankis’ defenses.”
And so the heroes, with their new minotaur ally in tow, flew off through the vast emptiness of the Astral Plane toward what they surmised to be the githyanki base: a massive rock the size of a city.
After searching the surface of the rock for some time, they did in fact discover a rough-cut tunnel leading into the rock. Cautiously and with weapons drawn, they headed into the tunnel. After some time, it came to a dead end.
Dunkle stepped forward. “Time to earn my keep, I suppose.” After a few moments of investigating the end of the tunnel, he found the barely perceptible outlines of a hidden door. On one wall was concealed what he believed must be the opening mechanism.
Karn stepped up next to Dunkle. “Be ready,” the paladin said to everyone as he punched the opening mechanism with all his force.
The stone door quickly moved aside, slamming into a recess and making a resounding boom.
“Damn it!” Dona hissed. “You’re beginning to act like the bard!”
Lyr was affronted. “What? With his burnt and scarred visage? He would never be allowed on the stage of the Sloshing Boot. I mean, really –“
“Enough, or I’ll slosh your shit.” Dona glared at him. “Again.”
Lyr paled and went silent.
Before the heroes stretched a hallway that ended in a set of two double doors. There was another door on the left wall, and the right wall held two archways that likely led into rooms. They could make out the sounds of chatter from the rooms, but it quickly went silent.
Dunkle stealthily moved up to an archway and peaked in.
Four tall, gaunt, green-skinned humanoids were just standing up from dining tables, hands on sword hilts. They were looking out to the hallway were the companions had entered. Several female servants were fleeing into another room, presumably the kitchens.
Dunkle darted back to his comrades. “The gig’s up. More githyanki.”
“Good.” Karn moved forward, glaive hoisted before him. “I’m tired of all this sneaking around anyway.”
Dona followed behind him. “You call that sneaking?”
The paladin of Torm and barbarian of Shit Sloshing barreled around the corner to confront their foes. The githyanki were ready and met them with silvery greatswords at the ready.
One githyanki slipped around the paladin and barbarian, heading toward Lyr. Gulping, the bard quickly cast dimension door, and reappeared in the kitchens. Seeing the servants moving to a back door, he dashed to block the doorway.
“Wait, we’re here to rescue you,” Lyr said, noticing they all wore silver collars. “You don’t need to run away.”
The servants grabbed him and dragged him away from the door. “Okay, maybe you do.”
The githyanki that had gone after Lyr stood dumbfounded for a moment. Just long enough to catch the charging minotaur’s horned head in the chest. “Green skin! Die!” howled Grull as he lay about the prone githyanki with his massive axe.
Meanwhile, Dexter began blasting the githyanki fighting Karn and Dona with rays of frost. Dunkle flanked the creatures put his rapier to work.
With two githyanki down, one of them moved to a door heading north. He pulled it open and shouted something down a hallway. Within moments, two more githyanki arrived.
As the battle began to swing against the heroes, Lyr finally gave up on his futile attempts to stop the captives from fleeing and went to aid his companions.
“It’s about flaming time!” growled Dona. She hacked her silver halberd through a githyanki’s plate armor, nearly dropping the beast. “You wanna stop screwing around and help?”
“One of the captives was your sister,” Lyr said. “Looked just like you.”
Dona glared at the githyanki across from her, and the creature faltered, likely seeing its own death reflected in Dona’s dark brown eyes. Working her halberd furiously, quickly felling the monster.
“We could use some help!” shouted Dexter, retreating from a githyanki that had come from the northing hallway.
Grull bellowed in raged and tackled the githyanki pursuing Dexter. The minotaur proceeded to gore its foe and quite literally tear him limb from limb.
Dunkle stepped up behind the last githyanki, drove his rapier through its back and slit its throat with his dagger. “Now, that wasn’t so bad.” The rogue looked around at his companions, most of whom bore several nasty wounds. All except Lyr. The bard bore not a drop of blood, neither his own nor his foes’.
Dona roughly pushed past Lyr into the kitchens, heading after her sister. Everybody else followed.
Through another hallway and in a room, they found a couple dozen female captives wearing silver collars. Dona’s sister Selise was one of them.
As the two reunited siblings embraced and shed tears, Karn and Dexter moved about the room, removing collars from the prisoner’s necks.
“You’re free now,” Dona told her sister. “And you’ll stay free as long as I draw breath.”
“What about the others?”
“We’ve found Quara already, and we’re searching for the rest of our family.” The barbarian’s face turned grim. “We’ll find them. Every last one of them. And kill anyone who gets in our way.”