As told by Mustang
Getting the plant is supposed to be the adventure. Licking of wounds and a gentle trip home would have been nice. Of course, nice seems to be out of town, spending the winter somewhere warm and decidedly not Siberia.
The team decided to avoid further conflict and take the plant home, several people intending to come back to finish off the tentacle tree monster, and either separately or as a result of that, restore the spiritual connection back to the locals. We just need to learn some more things, get stronger, and maybe bring a howitzer or at least some C4.
Only thing is, we couldn’t really decide if it was safe to take the plant through the Nevernever. If one powerful entity there was looking for it, several others might be as well, if for no other reason than to spite or make the first owe them. So, overland travel it was.
At the town we stopped for fuel at, weather grounded the plane overnight. The team managed to find shelter in a hotel room. Immediately after discussing how we would all stay together to avoid splitting up, in a Russian shanty-town catering to thieves and smugglers, several group members decided to go find a poker game. They won a bit of money, kept all their fingers, and incidentally found out some rumors about bigfoot in the area.
In the morning, that rumor was confirmed, when the hanger with the plane and the pilot was found ripped open like a can of sardines. I was prepared to go for a brisk walk in the woods, find out where he was taken, and bring him back if I could. Eventually, the rest of the group decided to come along. It wasn’t a very good trail, and we quickly lost it in the snow. Fortunately, we’d thought to grab some fur that had snagged on the torn doorframe. Lucian tossed together a quick tracking spell that led us right to an ominous cave in the side of a hill. I snuck in, leaving the others behind. I found the pilot, alright, along some other people. There were also 2 giant sized fur rugs snoring away, claws and teeth gnashing at dreams of chasing squirrels.
I came back to the group, told them what I’d found. We quickly came up with a couple plans, and agreed that I’d start the party. Without knowing of any special weaknesses, we went with the brute force plan. I’d kick the hornet’s nest by ambushing them in their sleep, then lead them into the daylight, where the rest of the group would pounce on them. I started the ruckus with a gunshot, and while it didn’t kill one, it did lead to a very bad day. They got up to chase me, and we went outside. It wasn’t really fair to the yeti. Bastion woke up long enough to pin and snack on one, while the team shot, burned, and stabbed the other. A few stabbings to the other one, and once it stopped moving Bastion tore it’s head off. Even Anita got a shot off with her taser, and though she hit it, the electrical probes couldn’t make a circuit through all the hair.
Lucian and Anita started rescuing the prisoners while the rest of us were finishing the yeti off and making sure they couldn’t go for help. Lucian summoned some magic to warm up the cave. The melting ice revealed that it was a very old manufactured cave, with Chinese characters on the walls. Oh, that’s right, the rumors did mention there was a “temple” that the yeti lived in. We thought about exploring it, but had wounded people to take back to town. Once we got there, the pilot was intent to leave as soon as he could get the plane warmed up, so we’ll have to come back to the temple another time. Maybe when we come back to squish the bug on the tree.
Once on the plane, the trip was somewhat uneventful if not very quick. Just a boat ride and a long road trip led to Dallas. It did give me plenty of time to catch up on some maintenance on weapons and minor projects. Once back, we immediately took the plant to the fae. He didn’t seem to mind too much that we’d not bothered to shower first, and wasn’t very inquisitive about the adventure. He may have just been polite, though, and wanted to give us an opportunity to rest, and will talk to us down the road about it.
That evening, Anita got invited to a card game. She seemed to have forgotten that the way we work was to invite people to a card game, take some of their money, and let them go about their business. Maybe she looked at it as a way to thank the smugglers she got a ride from. Whatever the reason, we went to a card game at a fancy house. Lots of people who seemed to think they were famous were there, with a lot of security.
Anita played for a while, lost a bunch of money, and we all left, being very polite for the hospitality and thankful for the evening. Not a mile away from the house, though, I insisted we stop the car and thoroughly search it for bugs and bombs, although I didn’t mention that last part to the group.
Some hours later, Anita got a knock on her door. Some of the security from the poker house were at her door and unthrilled. Seems someone stole a fancy pearl rumored to have the power over the tides after we all left. The trail of the doodad led them to Anita’s hotel. She called us, and most of us gathered to try to figure out the mystery. Lucian didn’t answer, and a search of his room at the hotel showed that he’d cleared out. Security tapes showed him leaving with a bag over his shoulder about 3am.
After some amateur investigation, we wandered town investigating the scene of the crime and searching for Lucian. At one point,Professor Where thought he had an idea, and we followed it to a Buddhist temple. Getting to the door, we heard a fight going on inside, so I went directly inside. After a reminder to be careful with targets, we moved at a brisk pace through the halls. We saw a wounded guy on the floor, and the professor dropped back to keep him alive. Around the corner was a strange sight. A stone statue was picking up and crushing people in traditional robes. The bloody bodies on the floor clearly indicated that it wasn’t a practice fight, and we blazed away at it. Our attacks didn’t do much to stop it, but it was certain to tell us that “this was none of our business.” We must have annoyed it a little bit, because it left in a great hurry, apparently flying once it got to the door.
We did some triage and called for paramedics, but didn’t want to stick around for answering questions. We did find out that it was searching for another mystical pearl doodad that supposedly also controls tides. Gathering a bit of the damaged stone left behind, we traced the statue to the bottom of a lake where it was parked. Once we got the statue on shore, it was a distinctive stone statue of a Chinese warrior, just the sort of thing that a museum might have. Since the owner of a museum was at the poker game, we went to see him.
It wasn’t very hard to see him, and he didn’t seem to be involved, despite our best cynicism. He was concerned about missing one of his priceless ancient statues, once we told him he was, and even more for the fact it was just standing like a lookout over a cove on a lake. Unfortunately, he wasn’t actually very much help in finding Lucian, though, so we continued our investigation.
Our last interrogation for the day was an inspired bit of mayhem. Since 2 of the poker players had problems with their treasures that same night, we decided to chat with the rest of the players. The next one we talked to was a diplomat of some sort. After we got through some minor underlings, we found out that Lucian had also been there and stolen a valuable family heirloom. Some direct questions led to the revelation that it’s rumored to help the family’s legal and bureaucratic luck throughout the years. I think Anita might have promised to get it back for him if we ran into it, but couldn’t be sure. Surely she wouldn’t do that so soon after our trip to Siberia, right?