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Week Twenty Eight

June 18th, 1998
Avg. Rating: 4.1

SEGUE

Miles from Waterdeep, just in sight of her remaining towers, a small army from Silverymoon lay encamped, waiting for any chance to enter the city and learn what was transpiring. Their leader, the powerful Lady Alustriel, tried time and again to find some way to magically enter the city, but was rebuffed every time. She and her warriors could only wait.

EPISODE

The episode began in the passageway above the castle's council chamber. The party, having slain Kormallis and his men and taken their rings, returned to their sewer hiding spot. After much discussion, it was decided that Bane would be given to Talyth for "safe-keeping"; as the party talked, the Tempurian priests encircled them and began casting healing magics. Tristan, naturally, left the circle...everyone else was healed of their wounds and restored to full strength!

Shreesha was impatient to attack Ixchachaxi in her lair, especially now that the party had ten rings of the dragon for protection. She described a shaft which ran from the top of Mt. Waterdeep directly into the heart of the lair. The first idea was to gather up as much rope as possible and simply climb down into the cavern; the second was to have Willow cast shape air at the bottom of the shaft, to "catch" everyone as they jumped in. Gregory then suggested that Shreesha simply dig another tunnel to the lair from some point in the sewers; some of the remaining Tempurians would then collapse all tunnels from Ixchachaxi's chamber, preventing her from escaping and reinforcements from arriving. This was deemed the best plan. The party gathered their gear and headed off.

Gino led the group to a point in the sewers that would be close to the lair, as Shreesha described it. She began digging, with magical assistance from the Tempurians, and after a few long moments the party broke through into Ixchachaxi's cavern. Ixchachaxi lay there atop mammoth piles of gold, silver, gems, and artworks. The battle erupted quickly, and Ixchachaxi was found to not be alone- the reanimated corpse of Sivantri burst from beneath the piles of gold and began casting powerful spells at the party.

The first group of ten Tempurians carefully but quickly made their way around the dragon to the only tunnel leading out; though it took them some time, they eventually managed to collapse the tunnel before any reinforcements could arrive. Other groups of Tempurians fought valiantly but were no match for the mighty beast- some were killed by her acidic breath, others by her deadly claws, still others by her massive tail. But their sacrifices allowed the rest of the party to concentrate on slaying the powerful dragon.

Tristan spent the majority of the battle using his hypnosis skills to help Rakmor, who had unfortunately been severely affected by the sight of the dragon. He eventually snapped Rakmor out of his state of confusion and they both joined their compatriots. Talyth was having some limited success with attacking Ixchachaxi's midsection, but Sivantri magically struck him blind, leaving him nearly useless. Gregory also attacked the midsection; he too fell victim to Sivantri's magic, in the form of being turned to stone! Willow spent the battle gluing Ixchachaxi's huge feet to the cavern floor. Before passing out from exhaustion she managed to root them all in place but one, a great hindrance to the dragon's fighting ability. Kelly actually ran up one of those glued legs and latched on to Ixchachaxi's neck, striking again and again with Heartseeker, causing huge wounds. But Ixchachaxi was able to reach her head around just enough to tear off one of Kelly's feet; Kelly died from the wound, but was apparently healed into unconsciousness by Heartseeker. Turik Bloodhelm also dealt some powerful blows, by wedging himself underneath the dragon and striking at her belly. The coins he lay on allowed him just enough leeway to avoid being crushed. Finally, Shreesha inflicted some terrible wounds to Ixchachaxi, including ripping one of Ixchachaxi's eyes out. Time and again Shreesha was knocked down and severely wounded; time and again she got back up and returned to the battle.

Finally, after suffering enough wounds to kill dozens of men, Ixchachaxi was destroyed. The "goddess" could be killed after all; she bled just like all creatures of flesh and bone. As Ixchachaxi's huge head crashed to the ground, purple chains of magical energy fell from Shreesha and clattered to the floor. Shreesha began growing, twisting, changing, into a huge, coiled, gold dragon. She bolted around the cavern and let out a single piercing roar before tearing Ixchachaxi's heart from her chest and eating it whole. The party, despite overwhelming odds, had emerged victorious...Ixchachaxi, the driving force behind all of the city's woes, had been destroyed.

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I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.
-- Anne Lamott