I was delighted to see that my spell proved successful, even when severely assaulted by the radiation at the crater site, and that Nev returned unharmed. The uncontrolled drooling side effects seems to be specific to chickens, thankfully.
My delight proved short lived. I do not know if Nev's insistence on flying instead of sending the gull, or if we strayed too close from shore, but a rowboat was seen heading for us. It seems that some people have survived on the island for the last 27 years! How they have survived for so long is beyond me. They must be fishing or somesuch.
While the boat inched towards us, Nev describe the crater, which is littered with blue crystals we have determined are some sort of magical battery - probably a leftover from D'ange's infernal contraption. Nev also described some sort of tower that flight magical energy or electricity towards the gate. He also detailed what seems to be like a crash site - this would be revealed to be the final fate of one of the angel cities. Apparently, the explosion at the gate damaged it, and gremlins inadvertently sabotaged it beyond all repair.
This sorry delegation asked for our help and news of the outside world. One of them, a rotund simpleton by the name of Ticky, obviously suffered from horrible brain damage induced by magical radiation. Killing him would be an act of mercy. That they would bring such a buffoon along is an obvious sign of duplicity - he is obviously meant as a distraction or to make us underestimate them. Or he could be some kind of idiot-savant with a potent trick up his "sleeve". Either way, they bear close watching.
We decided to send a boat on the shore to bring the hapless mass some medical supplies. We were lead by one of the crew members. While she was prancing around like a hussy, the rest of us tried to assist the natives. I met a delightful young man who apparently was one of D'ange students! I tried to get as much information from him about the gate, but much of his equipment was damaged by the magical radiative spike. He also seems to have some knowledge of healing magic, a trick that I would be eager to learn from him. Some pathetic broken angels needed my assistance. I was magnanimous and spared their lives - I guess they had no way of knowing of their horrible crimes against my family and my person. It was this incident that showed me that my potential new friend had magical healing skills as this prompted them to provide succor to the landbound wretches. (Why had he not done so before puzzles me). I suppose these angels, survivors of the crash, were too injured to fly out to the other 2 angel cities. The fact that said cities didn't send down a craft for them speaks loudly of their lack of humanity.
While we did this, Nev and Gawen explored some more. Nev was still covered by my spell, and I warned him that I might have to remove it if I needed magic urgently, but he didn't seem to understand the concept. Thankfully, that did not prove to be problematic. He did encounter a gremlin of freakish large size (well over 2 feet!) that was eating the magical "battery-crystals". I believe I could write a tome on the implications of that! Of much more interest, he witnessed what I can only guess to be an exploration attempt from the other side - a small, damaged craft with a single angel came from the gate - the pilot did not survive the journey. Nev promptly returned to the ship, attempting to stay out of sight.
In the meantime, I decided to explore too, and used the forbidden words of changing to summon my esteemed colleague to assist. We explored the waters local to the ship, and were alarmed by the number of large, obviously mutated predatory looking beasts in the water. We were thankfully unacosted. One I saw may have been Jasper in one of his many forms... such things are hard to determine. What was not hard to determine was the deplorable state of the dimensional fabric - like cheesecloth most alarmingly!
I reported my findings, and the dead angel pilot was examined. We determined that he was not of the 2 known angel cities. This is evidence of my working theory on the workings of the trans-dimentional gate, one that I will elaborate upon at a later time. We know know that the gate is *almost* passable, and that angels on the other side are still attempting to pass.
We took onboard as many refugees as we could - a mix of representatives, persons with useful knowledge and the sick and infirm. We promised to return.
During the night, one of us overheard Jasper talking saying that the true purpose of the visit had not gone noticed by us. We are unsure if this little overhearing was staged. Discussions with the ex-student, Dingo, revealed that he could communicate with some kind of fungal organism common on the island - leaked angel biotech. While this could be of great value on our struggle against the angels - or aliens should I say, as the ex-student called them, delightfully term. However, I fear that such an organism could cause an ecological, or even pathological, disaster on earth - who knows of how many survivors on the island who perished early died due to this fungus instead of the effects of the radiation?!? I suppose thought that in the end, this is a price we must pay. The lives of hundreds of millions are but dust when compared to the utter destruction of our dimensional matrix.
We took the trip through the storm again, in a fashion I guess could be best described as skimming the edge between the dimensions. I had concerns - we were told by Kevin that because of his radiation poisoning, travel to underhill could be fatal to him. One of the refugees did pass away during the trip - ah well. It seems that the transdimentional cognitive disturbance are much more intense below deck. Some of the others were quite affected. I, being used to such travails and possessing a clear, willfull mind, was not bothered of course. I must admit that once all of this is over I must study this type of magic more, I suspect I would be well suited to it.
We reached our destination without too much trouble, but we did warn the proper authorities about the potential risk. More medical tests are in our future, alas.