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Zosia's Next Big Adventure

Part III: From Agna to Arrowtown

Zosia spent a few days in Agna, seeing that Daljeet got the medical attention he needed and dithering about whether or not to hire some poor benighted wretch to accompany her north and inevitably be slaughtered. Eventually she steeled herself and set off alone, except for Cornflower, her trusty pony. By the time she made it back to the site of the sahuagin ambush, the crabs, birds and rats had cleaned up most of the corpses and the smell was almost bearable. Nevertheless, she hurried on past the place just as quickly as possible.

The journey remained relatively uneventful until the night of the ninth day. Zosia found a camp site in some ancient ruins close to the beach, just inside the jungle edge. She cleared out one room (four walls, no roof — as near to a room as the place could come) by rolling a Flaming Sphere around inside it, and made herself comfortable in the singed and steaming booth. She placed an Alarm ward across the entrance, and settled down to sleep.


  1. Zosia's campsite in the ruins
  2. The path of the creature: here is where it awakens Zosia
  3. Fireball
  4. Biffo - Zosia triumphs, fortunately.

Some time late in the night, Cornflower's restlessness and the noise of something squelching and creaking through the undergrowth somewhere close by woke her from sleep. She peered out over the tumble-down walls, scanning the jungle, and saw a hideous humanoid abomination that looked like a walking flayed corpse! "Ew! Gross!" she said, and put a Magic Missile into it, which had no effect on the horrible thing except to make it mad. It sprang towards her and she laid down a Fireball on it before clambering up on to the wall to meet it with her sword. The nasty thing grabbed at her, causing a surprising amount of pain, and immediately swelled up slightly and began oozing blood. "Bleeagh!" said Zosia, and set about trying to cut it into bits. It proved to be surprising tough; she cut at it a number of times without much effect, and received wounds of her own before finally managing to ram her sword through its face. It collapsed to the ground, where it swelled and burst into a stinking flood of blood and maggots. "Yuck!" said Zosia.

The event had spoiled her whole night. She checked over Cornflower, who was unharmed (though still quite nervous), and then took a look at her own wounds. She had a number of nasty scratches and gouges from the thing's claws, though they were already starting to show signs of regenerating quite normally, but where it had originally grabbed her there was a huge purple bruise, swollen and tender, like a gigantic hickey, which showed no signs of getting any better. This alarmed Our Heroine, who was not used to having wounds not get better, and she thought that perhaps she'd better get to a place of safety just as quick as possible. She was already almost half way to Arrowtown, the next settlement of any size, so she decided to go on rather than retiring (again) to Agna.

She hurried on for another four days, making reasonably good time in spite of her unsettling weakness, when she spied something up ahead — a group of gigantic ankylosaurus feeding along the jungle's edge. Rather than trying to skirt the bad-tempered creatures down on the beach and risking being charged and trampled to death, or becoming lost in the jungle by going the the other way around the herd, she elected to wait until they went away of their own accord. She trailed slowly along after them for almost a full day before they finally crashed off through the dense vegetation, leaving the way ahead clear, though well-sprinkled with dino-poo.

Six days later, another hazard appeared. Keen are the eyes of the elves and all that, and on the beach she spotted a pair of very large giantish sort of creatures trying (unsuccessfully) to hide themselves behind a massive driftwood log, while in the jungle edge lay an equally poorly hidden ambush of orcs and goblins. Affecting a completely unconvincing display of nonchalance which wouldn't have fooled a baby,1 Zosia sauntered up to within range and let the orcs and what-not have a Fireball right in the middle of the group. Half of them were laid out flat, dead or unconscious, while the remainder either staggered about stunned or fled for their lives.

From behind the log leaped, not a pair of giants, but one large and stupid-looking ettin. Judging quite rightly that her puny Fireball spell would probably have little effect on such a monstrosity, Zosia instead flung a Blindness spell at it, blinding one of the heads, and then another to blind the other head as it rampaged towards her. It flailed about ineffectually while she peppered it with arrows until it eventually flung itself to its knees begging for mercy and pleading piteously not to be killed. A brief struggle with her conscience, and Zosia stepped back. Immediately the dastardly creature swiped at her with a huge spiked club, hitting nothing but beach and bellowing simultaneously "Ha! Suck on that you little midget bastard!" and "No! Bobo! We promised to be good!" Zosia danced nimbly about, dodging the blind blows of Bobo while Bubby, the other head, tried to convince him to chill out. Eventually, deciding that she couldn't risk leaving an obviously homicidal giant bandit to prey on other travellers, she took careful aim and put a couple of arrows into Bobo's forehead. "Ugh! Bubby.... they got me Bubby....." he said, and died, lolling about on his neck. Zosia rode off down the beach, leaving Bubby wailing for his dead brother; "Bobo! Wake up Bobo! Bobo? Are those things making you tired Bobo? Please wake up....." Feeling unaccountably like a bit of a bastard, Zosia stopped a wee way up the beach and dispelled Bubby's blindness before carrying on her way to Arrowtown, leaving the huge creature sobbing in the distance.

Another four days of uneventful travel led her to the thriving river port of Arrowtown, where she booked into a good hotel and set about recuperating. Her mysterious bruising had gradually subsided a bit, and she estimated that another couple of weeks of rest would see her as good as new.

  1. But fortunately, plenty convincing enough to totally fool a savage band of orcish bandits (Back)