We awoke the next day to the sounds of people getting ready. I whispered, “Psssst! Hey guys. Should we go with them?” Xanth grunted his approval and we moved to follow those getting ready. Xanth inquired as to what we were doing, and got disapproving remarks from those gathered. He let the matter fade.
Xanth told us of a communication stone that he was given. He had made contact with the agents that we met In Woodmere. When asked he said he kept the stone a secret because if he was caught, only he would be punished or killed, not everyone
This group was headed to one of the air ships. We decided we would turn off and slip into the ‘arena’ area. A yell from the ‘air ship’ area told me that someone had seen me. I tried my bluff by pointing to the arena. The guy Yelled for me to, “Come!” I walked a quarter of the distance and lied about ‘being there for the arena,’ and ‘these people had woke me getting ready.’ The guy bought it and I quickly moved out of sight.
Tarl woke and set an explosive trap in one of the air ships. We believed the ship would be long gone before the trap was triggered. Kita took a job at the mess hall. Xanth and I went to the arena to see how the fights went.
It was clear the arena was there to show skills. Out of ten people, only the three most skilled walked out alive. The butchery was obvious and a couple minotaur’s kept tabs of the fight and signaled its conclusion.
We needed a means of escape and sabotage. Xanth and I made our rounds and realized it would be easier to escape if we gather the horses. We found our horses in the stable area, and tried to use the general confusion to just take them.
The stable keep said he needed to go with us. Xanth played the part of the ‘good’ guy and tried to tell the guy that his help was not required, but the guy refused. I decided to play the part of the ‘bad’ guy and heatedly complained. It was clear that the guy would give us away if we reached the riding area.
I spoke a few words in elven to see if the stable-hand understood. He did not. I told Xanth, “I and going to use a ‘Hold Person’ spell on this guy and throw him in the pit.” Xanth gave me a sign to wait for his signal. We passed the pit and were near the stable when Xanth gave me the nod. I cast my spell and Xanth beat the guy unconscious. Xanth tied the guy up and drug him under the arena stands.
A few hours later the trap Tarl set went off. The air ship was still in the camp and it caused a lot of commotion. Most of the people on the air ship died a painful burning death. Tarl used this to start a few rumors about being paid to fight, not being paid to be burned alive. The rumors took hold, but not very strong. In the commotion a lot of people were gathering near the arena, right where we tied the guy up. I tried to use my body as a visual shield while Xanth went under the arena seats and silenced the guy, permanently.
We could see the dryders had some spell casters, and clerics. Xanth began worrying about the spell, “speak with dead.” We needed to do something fast. Tarl made a bunch of bombs. He set on to go off early morning and three more to go off late afternoon.
Tarl used potions to change his appearance and cause a lot of tension between the different races. Then the bombs were set. The mess hall exploded. The dryders began to move through the camps. A water elemental was summoned to douse the flames.
The crowd was on edge. Kita began to ‘fake’ cry and pack her tent. A dryder stopped her. I began to stir the crowd saying, “Look, they won’t let her leave. We are prisoners.” At the same time some orcs and dwarves began arguing and fighting. Soon the dryders had their hands full and Xanth let an arrow fly from the crowd, striking the dryder near us.
The arrow did the trick. The dryder charged the crowd casting Invisible. Kita distracted it causing the spell to fail. I charged the dryder inciting the crowd to do the same. The crowd followed suit. The dryders were quickly overrun.
I yelled to the crowd, “Let’s Go!” and began walking to the exit. The crowd near me followed, soon the army followed. We met up at the last water hole we had come to. In the distance the bombs Tarl had placed on the remaining airship caused huge explosions.
The dragon rider began attacking the crowd in the distance. Somehow, some way, we managed to pull off what I had considered impossible. The great army in the desert was routed.