Keller tried to steady the airship in the field while Ayelin headed off to tie her down, with Ferris on her back for cover. She tied off four ropes before returning to the ship. When they had made it back about half way, a rope snapped and the ship lurched forward. They saw a couple of dark figures lurking beyond the tree-line in the storm. Keller cast Daylight to brighten the clearing, and Quill sent a lightning bolt into the woods striking two huge ogres. Ayelin dropped to the ground, and Ferris fired bolts into the rolling beasts.
Looking around, Ayelin spotted several other figures in the trees and moved toward them. A floating shimmered into existence and cut another rope, but no hand seemed to guide it. Keller saw that it was a spiritual weapon and counter spelled it. One of the electrified ogres turned and charged at Ferris, bringing his gigantic club down on him. Norrick leaped from the deck and struck deep into the creature.
Seeing others in the shadows, Quill dropped a fireball into the trees, setting a couple alight. Ayelin and Alaric’s eidolon charged into the brush to face an immense ogre in chain mail. Before they could strike, Keller engulfed it in a pillar of holy fire. Weakened by the strike, the two quickly brought the shaman down.
Ferris and Norrick dispatched the remainder and soon only the storm could be heard in the clearing. The rooted through the bodies, finding trophies that had been gathered from locations across the former academy. And a large wooden chest that seemed to hold a consistent chill. Re-storing their ale in the case, they prepped the ship to continue their flight.
Keller cast Sending to reach out to Haikar and Daebor. They agreed to scry Daebor as he scouted the enemy outpost in the morning. From the sky, he explained that a large platform hovered over a growing maelstrom and that the Fire Lord himself descends into the pit, returning no more than once per day. He added that the Waste has not been seen on site.
The storm blew itself out in the night, and they set out at first light. Their progress was slowed by their unfamiliarity with the ship, and Alaric used a fan token to help make up for it. When night settled, they tried to continue to make progress, moving when they could.
On the second day out, their engineering troubles continued but the weather held. They scried Daebor again, seeing a cave filled with skulls. They were introduced to the ‘elders’ and one skull even talked to them, derisively, and offered some small advice on their progress.
Sun set over the Thunderhead. The party believes they are but a couple hundred miles from Creche. They believe that the Fire Lord performs his rituals at the darkest part of the night. The moment of truth is nigh upon them.