Inside the Greytooth Jaw, our heroes are confronted with the head of Margaret the Outsider, formed entirely of grey crystals, jutting out of the cavern wall, demanding another dragonmarked. Tony soon realizes, partly by accident, that the dragon is speaking to Leeway and his entourage of SHMISIS bodyguards.
Tony tries to convince the guards of his own guard status and,when that fails, Smalls tries his whole House Ghallanda routine but it backfires as the SHMISIS members try to take him down and offer him to Margaret.
Mo’ga, in an unprecedented return, motions for Minister Chunk, the party’s guide, to create a protective bubble around the creatures in the Jaw so that the two of them can begin to assault Margaret. The party’s vision and hearing is largely distorted by the bubble but they can still see Mo’ga swing from the Jaw’s 90-foot ceiling, smashing the dragon’s snout with his mighty fists and ripping off any exposed appendages, including the tip of her tongue. Meanwhile, Chunk uses his 15-foot long staff, now embedded, in the wall, to create large rings of fire-red and deep blue.
The party can only stare in awe at the prowess of Snowy’s Angels as our heroes fight their own battle within the bubble, The guards valiantly defend Leeway, although it seems they have no choice as every blow that lands on Leeway is automatically deflected onto one of his allies. Captain Bozniak, the ill-fated captain whose tongue was cut out in the Jimmy Jam Club, zones in on Miguera’s voice and beelines for her.
He is stopped, however, by Water Bear, who has returned with two glowing green daggers and a hateful glare in his eyes as he struggles to get to Leeway.
Some highlights from the fight:
> Kai-El rips into dudes as a direwolf
> Gilean tries desperately to help his friends in as polite a manner as possible
> Itachi snipes
> Smalls trips Colonel Buffo in the most high school/effective way imaginable
> Miguera brags about teaching Dracob a dance
> Yonye dies (but not all the way)
> Tony smash
Once the dwarves are dispatched and Leeway is the last surviving SHMISIS member in the Jaw, the party questions him about his motives while Sarya Phiarlan, who has now appeared with a new BringMe Stone for the party, encourages them to kill him. She tells them that they will never learn if they don’t follow through. Itachi ends Leeway’s life as the dwarf’s wounds begin to seep blood. Sarya whispers something in Itachi’s ear and hands him a small pouch.
Mo’ga and Chunk disappear and the protective bubble around the party dissipates. It becomes obvious to the party that the cavern is collapsing so they beeline it for the exit, some more literally than others (Smalls carves through the stone with his Granite Grip, leaving a halfling-sized tunnel behind him).
Once they reach the icy column that they descended through, they are presented with a conundrum: how to climb 20,000 feet of sheer ice, straight up.
After a few exhausting solutions such as flying straight up with the help of some giant eagles and a young silver dragon and climbing some homemade ice steps made by said dragon, they form a small brain trust to deal with the problem. The solution is subtle, concise, and ingenious:
Forming a chamber of ice from Miguera’s dragon ice breath and a parachute using their cloaks and Yonye’s sewing skills, the team braces for the backdraft created by firing a fireball into the chamber and standing over the hole at the top.
The resulting force from the explosion and compressed air rockets them skywards, banging into each other and causing a few bumps and bruises. Their parachute only takes them so far, however, and they still have about 1000 feet to go by the time the hot air isn’t strong enough to hold them afloat.
Now hanging onto the side of the column with the hooks given to them by Chunk, they try to figure out a plan that doesn’t involve just climbing straight up. Kai-El summons sixteen monkeys but, not realizing that monkeys can’t grip sheer ice, watches as they plummet to their doom.
The party finally lands on simply climbing out of the column as it shrinks in around them. They make it to the top, exhausted but overjoyed to have managed such an incredible feat. A few of them spot, through the clouds that surround the mountain, the shape of Margaret the Outsider emerging from the ground, shaking off some crystals, and flying away.
Sarya appears beside them and says “Now see, wasn’t that better? Working together to solve a problem instead of us saving you?” She hands Smalls a simple scroll. With a now-revivified and bound Leeway by their side, the party falls into a well-deserved sleep at the very top of the Three Brothers, dreaming of what’s to come next.
> feel free to add your own highlights!
Well, so ends the madness that was Chapter 5: Make Zolanberg Great Again. What’s next for our weary adventurers? What was written on that scroll? What will Leeway reveal to them? Where did Margaret go? Why is Mo’ga so goddamn powerful when he was the same level as you guys???? Find out next time on ORIGINAL RECIPE ANGELS.