Aron treats Zurehn’s injuries, a bit, and leaves him to figure out the local magic in a rented room.
Despite looking a bit like a local, he wanders around like a tourist, even stopping to watch a ball game.
Random heads down to the river, which stinks, and pokes a floating head, getting admonished for it by an urchin.
With a few coins, he finds out who a Spy would talk to if they wanted to find out what the Sun-Prince was up to: a “Nico” and arranges a meeting.
“Nico” is a walking mummified body, who is willing to talk for an eye, or a square foot of your skin, or 1000 feet of linen.
Random prefers the option that is most illegal in Texiban – the linen.
Phil actually knows about investigating cities, and it doesn’t take him long to discover the presence of an under-city.
Naturally as a hard-boiled detective, a speakeasy is the place to start investigating.
One drink leads to another in a back room, and a bitter draught down below.
Having failed to discover the undercity, and finding Zurehn’s hollow pyramid theory to be less than ideal, Aron returned to Zurehn.
The least worst option seemed to be to prepare the warding spell inside the vertical shaft where sacrifices are thrown down one of the smaller pyramids to the flowing river below.
During the preparation, Aron gets a sense of dread, and prepares to evacuate.
Fiona doesn’t have time to inspect the spell, and there’s a sound of flapping leathery wings overhead, so they step sideways back to the ruined city and grassy slopes again.
Zurehn calls into Random, finds out something is going down, and after throwing Aron through to Nico’s lair, takes everyone’s advice to go back to the castle and get his hand seen to properly.
Flora finds him a physician and makes a show of looking after him.
Phil just drank a bowl of peyote, and is feeling the effects.
His arms are too long, or is it his hands… or are those the hands of the demon he dreamed about?
He staggers towards the centre of the room, where a rope ladder leads “up”, deeper into the undercity.
But as he climbs the ladder it turns into snakes, and he drops down, followed by lots of little wriggly snakes.
More snakes appear, and he hears the demon voice. Turning, he sees the demon behind him and climbs the snake ladder anyway.
The snake ladder becomes steel rungs and a sewer lid, from which he emerges into a market square in a black and white city.
Everyone stared at him, because he’s in colour…
As he walks across the market towards a bar, the sewer explodes, and the demon is behind again.
Now sobering up a little, he tries to lose the demon in alleyways.
A special skill, but the demon can fly, and perhaps cheat in other ways.
“I am Hendrake and I answer your challenge”
Five seconds later, Phil finds himself thrown through a wall.
A sequence of duels
Hendrake demands of Random a worthy opponent, doubling down on the stakes.
Having just dispatched a lesser demon with a pattern-charged blade, Random decides on
Brand Corwyn and Greyswandir.
Corwin is pleased to take the challenge, but less pleased that he’s being asked because Benedict wasn’t answering.
Hendrake takes a few minutes to beat the snot out of Corwin.
Caine’s thrown daggers pepper Hendrake, but before he gets a sense of location, Benedict shows up and asks to jump the queue.
During the fight, Random retrieves Phil’s trump deck. *(Hendrake will remember that.)
When Benedict skewers Hendrake with a sword, he yields.
“What’s the life of Hendrake worth?”
Benedict leaves the sword where it is, and strides off into the jungle.
Aron: I think I’ve met her.. she never said who she was, but I sort of knew. Unlike the others she can hold a conversation.
Benedict: So could your mother, that’s what makes her so dangerous.
(Benedict declares he will lose himself in shadow, Aron says he’ll ask people to leave him alone)
Random: With Corwin out of action, who’s the officer in charge?
Caine: Assume I am.
Random: I’d like to report there’s another half-breed, and apparently we’re getting her.
Caine: I’ll inform the king.
(Well played, Random, Well played.)