As detailed in the e-mail "Absence of Mallets"

(Half Game with Nobilis session after)

Fleeing the site of the vampire battle of last time, we head back toward the major city we had previously been to (avoiding the small town that enlisted us to search the manner for fear that they are being controlled by the vampire).

We make it there and tithe the church of sort-of-Pelor to use a restoration, presumably on Zuka, who would then do some restorations on us or some such.

It is decided that the “usefulness” of the cape was really for the bartering for our lives. Of course none of us were ever going to empower a creature like that so it really wasn’t useful at all. We give it to the Pelor-like church and have them destroy it. We go back to the village and detect magic reveals that the locals don’t seem to be enthralled. They just seem to have wanted help.

We decide that rather than leaving for down river from here we’ll do it in the next city. Don’t remember why. When we get there we basically pay the locals to run us down river off of the usual schedule (they like to leave at a specific time so they can reach the next point on schedule). In doing so, we hit an encounter we “may” not have otherwise had, and that’s an ATHACH (Ath-Ak), an enormous ogrish/gianty thing which is held off by use of summoned beasties and rays of enfeeblement while we maneuver around it. Rayson softens it up but Mavin in troll form takes it out.

Since we only traveled a half day, we do only a half day the next day so that we get back on their schedule and make the barge people happy.

Now about where we’re going: We’ve found out a few things about the guys we’ve encountered. First, it seems the vampire AND the mind flayer are minions of the thing that we had seen in our dreams, which has us wondering if there’s perhaps a red dragon or titan in our future as well, just to round out the superteam-of-things-that-can-absolutely-kick-our-asses. In order to defeat the vamp there are a couple things we can use, but they were on a caravan recently raided by a Rakshasa. (There’s Mr. Fantastic to go along with the Thing and the Human Torch). It lives in some caves. Those caves are our next destination.

Somewhat related, there’s some discussion of how to find the vampire. Mathius is of the opinion that we’re probably being watched right now, but can’t justify this. Some want to backtrack to the place we fought it while others think that it wasn’t tied to that area, it was just there because we were. This brings on my favorite sequence, which involves Copan trying to scry the vamp just a minute before sunrise. He starts to get an overhead view of the vamp when suddenly the image goes away and the voice tells him “I see you”. Seems this thing knows exactly where we are. We stock up on Garlic, stakes, and hammers (since we can’t find mallets).

In the cave of the Rakshasa, we pass a mining car and nobody disturbs it, despite Indiana Jones inclinations. We come across an earth-elementaly creature that only seems interested in protecting its territory. It wants us to leave our metal with it. Mathius suggests the rail car was metal and we rush back to get it so we can bribe the creature. But, that’s when a good idea goes bad. Seems the car we avoided was rigged and it goes off, injuring many. We survive though.

Searching the rest of the place we find the Rakshasa’s lair but it is not around. About then we hear someone approaching. It’s a herd of gnome. Their leader seems surprised by us and asks questions. Pretty much everyone thinks he’s the Rakshasa but without any real proof, Copan and Mavin engage and the thing uses his charm abilities to convince Rayson it’s not necessary, that it will trade us the two items in exchange for something we can get for it. Rayson implores the party to stop, which works on Mathius but not anyone else. The split party still manages to tie him up, especially by virtue of the bearhug/pin maneuver which the tiny gnome cannot wriggle free of.

Eventually Mathius relents and uses the want we purchased (with the “Bless Weapon” spell in it, so that we can actually do damage to the thing, sadly his use-magic-device skill fails him countless times before it works). Finally the creature releases Rayson from its control as a condition of not getting killed, but of course Rayson is less than happy with being controlled and there comes a brief discussion of whether the creature be killed or not. The argument goes in favor. Rak.. Rak… Rakshasa! Down Down…

In its room we rip up a wizard-locked cabinet and get some goods out. A search of the room yields some hidden things, including the two items we seek.