Low on supplies and fresh water the Baron and companions must look for water.
A sandstorm rages around the shore party. The shipwright Arnauld has stayed with the ships to help with repairs but the rest of the adventurers are here. Lady Megane's magic cannot find water so they will have to do this the hard way. The Baron leads them up the hill to the ruins, the wind screaming past them and the sand blasting their faces.
The going is so difficult that Hendryk suggests an easier, perhaps more sheltered route. The young Duchesse is finding the going hardest of all. They change direction, hoping to gain what cover they can from the wind and the sand.
Celeste the panther starts to dig in the sand. Does she have to answer a call of nature?
Megane sings, her magic providing some protection from the sandstorm. The stinging particles of sand start to flow around the party.
Red lights blink in the dunes. How curious. They blink in time to the rhythm of Megane's song. She stops singing. The lights stop blinking and settle into a ominous red glow.
Hulks of metal haul themselves out of the sand. Great automata, marvels of lost technology. Although rusted and broken in parts, they float above the sand, cables trailing behind. They are clearly still operational. There are three of them. They float towards the party.
A slit opens in the side of one and a sharp sliver of metal shoots out, wounding the Baron, drawing blood. A second automata fires, again gravely wounding the Baron.
Combat is joined. Alairyn stabs for the glowing red lights, damaging one of the machines. Megane goes to help the Baron, asking him to sign with her so her magic can protect him. Celeste the panther takes advantage of Alairyn's attack and pounces on the damaged automata. It crashes to the ground and the red lights on that machine go out.
The Baron charges another of the machines, but fails to connect. It shoots him. The Baron's blood is red on the sand. Even he can't take much more of this.
The celestium engineer Hendryk waves his nightstick at the third automata, confusing it. He understands how it's guidance and targeting systems likely work and uses this against it.
As the Baron reels from the automata's blow, Celeste the panther picks her moment. With a flurry of claws, another machine smashes to the sand. The red light in it's “eyes” fade.
The Duchesse, aided by her servant Vincent, has come closer to the fight. She conjures a tornado of sand that envelops the remaining automata. Alairyn expertly hits it near the lights again. The Baron is like a wounded bear, unable to connect his sword with his tormentor.
Hendryk picks his moment and steps behind the remaining machine. He hits it smartly on the back and the lights flick off and it topples to the ground. He clearly knew exactly where to strike.
The wind howls over the scene as Megane continues to sing for the badly wounded Baron. Despite the blood, he is in better shape than he has any right to be. Such is the power of magic.
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