Chornalth Adventures - Liga

Arc 2, Episode 23, the Puzzle Box

Leaflets, leaflets everywhere...

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 10th of Planting, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon.

As the party sorted through the dragon’s horde, Elerra chanced to be the first to touch the large puzzle box (which shrank to a cube about 10" per side when she did so). She then stowed it away for further analysis later. The coins, gems, and other magic held within the dragon’s lair was then stowed into the group’s various Handy Haversack’s and Bags of Holding before the group teleported out of the lair and back to the town of Longwood, where they made a substantial donation to the Temple of Pelor there before teleporting back to Greyhawk.

Once back in the city, the group decided that their presence at the Green Dragon Inn was too well known, so they took up residence at Galasso’s Gate instead (though Meroln could often be found in that vicinity as he continued to pursue a relationship with Jenny, one of the barmaids there). While Alexia set out on her mechanical horse to Narwell to ask her parents about ceding the group some land upon which to build a fortress, the rest of the group set themselves to various tasks; Elerra crafted a number of magic items, Wilfred could often be found socializing with his fellows at the Grey College, and Sam spent much time practicing his facial camouflage, learning (again) how to manipulate his features in a way that would allow him to pass unnoticed among humans.

Squizzles, still intent on his quest to collect a scale from each type of chromatic dragon, learned of two white dragons with lairs that were known. One, called Illinax, laired in the glaciers of the Land of Black Ice, and was reputed to be a spellcaster of some repute. The other, known as Telmaker, was more bestial, and said to lair in the Corusk Mts, somewhere south of Dokkhulder and west of the Sable Forest in the lands of the Cruski, or Ice Barbarians.

Meroln was the first of the party to spot wanted posters for Sam going up around town, but these, unlike the one carried by the last group of bounty hunters, offered only 6000 gold for his capture, and listed a man named Tomoso with an office in the Clerksberg section of town as the interested party.

Meanwhile, Elerra, in between crafting items for herself, had finally managed to unlock the puzzle box, revealing a hemisphere with an incised spot for an outspread hand. When she placed her hand in the box, she found herself transported to a vast darkened chamber. The first object she noticed was a giant throne comprised of what appeared to be pure magic about 500’ or so away, and as her perspective caught up with her, she realized that the throne was sized for a being of colossal size, a greater giant or perhaps a titan.

She also noticed that the area where she was standing held a long table (about 20’) with a number of chairs, and that it was just one of several, the section she was in being on the outermost edge. Three “inner rows” of sections lay between her location and the open area before the throne. While she could move freely enough in her own section, trying to leave that area was like trying to walk through molasses. Several of the areas held banners or pennants, her own section holding a banner patterned after the design on the puzzle box that she associated with the Path.

She made her way down to the throne after several minutes of exertion, but it offered no clues as to it’s owner. On her way back to the area she’d appeared in, she made several sketches of the other banners, but when she finally willed herself back to her room they did not accompany her, so she remade them from memory afterwards. Later, when she showed them to her companions, Squizzles recognized one as belonging to a secretive group of arcanists and wizards known as the Disciples of the Bronze Grimoire.

Not having much information about this group, the party elected to solicit the aid of Lantraal, the local High Priest of Boccob. After penetrating the various layers of intermediaries surrounding the High Priest, he proved slightly more knowledgeable than Squizzles, though he proved to know even more about the Path.

The Path, he said, was a disparate group of individuals, mainly spell-casters, who had (or wanted to achieve) mythic stature. Founded perhaps a century past, members were chosen on the basis of their achievements and their character (preferably dark or outright evil), sworn to secrecy and made members of a dark brotherhood that sought power over everything else.

The Bronze Grimoire, on the other hand, were a far older group, perhaps 400 or more years old, having had it’s largest membership during the days of the Great Kingdom’s fall into darkness and depravity. It was rumored that the arch-mage Serten had been a member, and that one or more members of Iuz’s cadre of wizards might also be current members.

While he could not identify any of the other symbols, he did feel that the throne was somehow familiar to him. Before dismissing the group, however, he asked Alexia if he could examine her staff. Though somewhat reticent, she allowed it, and everyone was quick to pick up on the High Priest’s change of mood after he had done so. He bade the group to return in two days.

With time to kill, the group then decided to try and do something about Tomoso and his wanted posters. Elerra used her mask to pay Tomoso’s office a visit (said office being cloaked from scrying by some effect). The encounter was brief, and having learned what was expected of a bounty hunter having “acquired” the target, she returned to her fellows.

The group then scouted out a location for their “turning over” of Sam. Castle Greyhawk’s ruins were selected as the best choice, as the avenues of conventional approach were few and easily watched. Sam was not thrilled by the thought of being even partially ensnared for the encounter, but gave in to his companions’ assurances. The following night, as they had arranged, a carriage was seen crossing Zagyg’s bridge, but as the passengers disembarked before the ruins, Tomoso was not among them. Instead, another individual, obviously a mage was in attendance.

After a brief verbal skirmish, in which Sam attempted to outbid the factors, the group launched an attack. The mage teleported away, abandoning his soldiers, who, after surrendering, had little information to supply to their captors. As we broke for the evening, the group had teleported to Tomoso’s office, where, as they searched, several explosions could be heard from the floor below…

It is the 27th of Flocktime, 600 CY.

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AaronSheffield

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