Hunny tore down fences and torched the petting zoo of lies. The crowd turned on the petting zoo owner, demanding refunds. Hunny gave out her business card: Hunny’s Turtle Kingdom: For All Your Petting Needs.
“Come to my petting zoo,” she said. “For you, only double price!”
At the Skink Arena, Rudy bet his life savings on a decrepit, elderly skink with 1:200 odds. After an upset, he walked away with 90,000 gold. With it, he bought a carriage (for all his gold) and an aurochs to pull it.
Mithian bought a silken loincloth.
The party reunited. A portrait artist brought them to the edge of the cliff and promised them the best in rock art. The view of the sea was stunning: the sun shone over the ocean… and the seven ships approaching Haysport. Rudy whipped out his skyglass and saw that these ships were flying a flag bearing the emblem of the cult of leviathan.
Mithian sent her pseudodragon ahead with a letter of warning for Glink and Gwen. With some urgency, the party hired the services of taxi skinks. Rudy paid extra for them. They rented two skinks so the party could ride double.
“I want my own skink,” said Hunny.
“That will be 50 extra gold,” said the skink taxi-renter / portrait artist.
Hunny looked imploringly to Rudy.
Rudy sighed. “Okay. Give the lady her own skink.”
As they party descended down the side of the floating island, Rudy fell out of his saddle and cast fly to save himself. (Blacksad helped by shooting an arrow at his back.) Hunny convinced her taxi skink to join her petting zoo for its ‘better working conditions and benefits package.’ The skink, named Peaches, vowed to bring its children Pit and Leaf as well.
After a brief stop at Quartz Peak to rest and rob Odrick’s old cubby, the party rode on the back of dinosaur-Rudy. The pseuodragon returned with candy-smeared lips and Mithian learned that Glink had been spoiling him.
When they reached Haysport, the port and slums were already burning. Barbarians were putting out fires and rescuing civilians. A wall of water was suspended over the merchant district.
The party landed at Tea Hill. Three Gorgons were fighting soldiers, Glink, and the sphinx named Spire Guitar. As soon as they landed, a gorgon breathed green vapours over them. Rudy was immediately turned to stone. Mithian would have been too, but her fey boyfriend intervened and warmed her soul with his touch.
After a fierce battle, in which Spire Guitar and several soldiers were turned to stone, the party managed to destroy the gorgons. While Glink sang songs of inspiration, Blacksad rained arrows upon them. Mithian summoned an air elemental to buffet the gorgons with wind.
“Let’s blow these bitches away,” she said.
Hunny, with the help of her blood-splattered animals (including a giant elk), delivered blow after blow upon the gorgons until their metal plates split apart. Mithian finished it off by sending the last one to the not-nice room.
Hunny found a statue of a horse on the corpse of a gorgon. “How do I find out what this is?”
“You ask a wizard,” said Glink.
The party stared at the stone statue of Rudy. Blacksad sobbed over Spire Guitar. But this was not the time to worry about that. The city was still burning.
Mithian sent her pseudodragon, Peter, to scout ahead. Through Peter’s eyes, she saw three things: Shan was sitting on the corpse of a gorgon, prying off its plates. Jenny was fighting a desperate battle using water magic to drive back gorgons to protect the townspeople. Gwen was being attacked by a golem.
“We have to save Gwen,” said Blacksad.
“Well, we could sent Glink to help Jenny…”
“The princess is in danger?” said Glink. “I must go to her right away.”
Mithian sighed and mentally yanked Peter away from a candy store he had been trying to rob. She sent him to Shan to direct her to help Jenny.
The party charged down to the port. Mithian used her air elemental to blow around smoke, revealing smashed warehouses and a trail of clay. They followed it to the docks, where Gwen stood with two soldiers at her sides, their backs to the ocean. A clay golem approached them, reaching for Gwen.
“We’ve lured this creature away from the people,’ shouted Gwen. “And now we must trust in our allies and fight. I want all of you to live through this day.”
Glink, Blacksad, and Mithian climbed on top of nearby warehouses. Gwen directed her soldiers to fight their best. Spells and arrows rained down from above. Blacksad cast Hail of Thorns around the golem.
A gorgon emerged from an alleyway and charged into the party’s flank.
…And then Croak emerged from the sea, his slimy armour coated in layers of seaweed.
“They took my ships,” said Croak. “I’m here to take them back!”
Croak used misty step to teleport right next to the golem, but his blows were too slippery to land.
“You asshole!” screamed Blacksad. “You didn’t even call.”
Hunny struck the clay golem with an axe. “He never truly cared about us. He’s not even here to see us.”
Blacksad was weeping. “We’ve been through so much… and you just show up… in the middle of a battle…”
Hunny struck the golem again and again. It shed clay with every strike. Then Blacksad took it down with an adamantine arrow. The clay melted away, leaving a fist-sized diamond.
Blacksad used the ring of ram’s strength to punch the gorgon into spikes. The air elemental enveloped it, shredding it with wind. Blacksad found a figurine shaped like a fly in the ruins of its body.
“Capture Croak,” Gwen barked. “I will not forgive treason.”
The party had a bad case of the butterfingers. Blacksad fell over and stubbed his knee. Croak slipped right out of Hunny’s fingers.
“Too bad I’m out of spells,” said Mithian.
“I thought you still had one left,” said Hunny.
Mithian examined her manicured nails. “Out of spells.”
Croak disappeared into the sea.
The party checked on Jenny and Shan. Together, they had killed two gorgons on their own.
Mithian patted Jenny on the head. “Good job.”
Blacksad asked Shan if she could heal people who had been turned to stone.
“Sure, I can turn people to stone.”
“From stone. From stone,” said Mithian.
“I would need some diamond dust…”
“I will smash the diamond,” Hunny whispered. She put it in a sack and smashed it with her hammer. The satisfying crunch reminded her of cracking crusty bread… or crushing a pillar of glass holding up the soul of the world.
Gwen commanded her guards to collect diamonds from the nobles and bring them to Shan to use.
“I will smash all the diamonds,” said Hunny.
Blacksad gave the journal to Gwen to read. “I think we need to talk about some things.”
Gwen’s frowned. “I know what they want. There’s a door that leads to a cavern beneath the city. Only the true ruler of Noname can open it… Glink! Come to me. Read this.”
Glink confirmed that the person from the journal was Lady Elise. Wistfully, he told them about the fateful meeting he had had with the whale. “It was the winter solstice at an hour so late that the creature could only have been seen by poets and dreamers. The whale emerged from the stars and hovered above the palace…”
Blacksad scribbled in his journal.
“Then we know what these cultists seek,” said Gwen.
Hunny squirmed. “A pillar!”
“Still. This will be answered,” said Gwen firmly. “I can’t leave my incompetent brother on the throne.”
Blacksad shook his head. “You can’t go there. If you go there, they will have what they want.”
“I’m not that stupid,” Gwen snapped. “I’ll stay here. You are my top agents. I need you to infiltrate the capital and capture my brother. Research whatever you can about the beast that slumbers beneath the city. It walks the dreams of my people, but no one knows what it is. And if you see Croak… arrest him.”
“Oh,” said Blacksad. “Shit.”