Chornalth Adventures - Liga

Arc 3, Episode 33, the First Mark

The Grand Conclave

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It remains the 4th of Reaping, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric (Murlynd) and Giselle, Alexia’s cohort,
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.

Once home, Allister promptly fell asleep, and remained so for three days.

Meanwhile, Elerra returned to Greyhawk, to speak with Kiamyr at the shrine to Ellistrae, where she discovered to her horror that not only was the shrine unmanned, but it had been so for over a month. There was no sign of the priestess, and the shrine had been robbed of all its valuables. Kneeling before the shrine, she prayed to her goddess for a clue, and was rewarded by a vision of some very familiar snow elves kicking in the door to the shrine and felling the priestess in a hail of arrows. Furious that she might have prevented her priestesses’ death, Elerra made what minor repairs she could to the shrine and then returned to Narwell to commiserate with her companions.

When Allister finally awoke, the general consensus was that Allister wasn’t quite the man he used to be. While his memory of the past seemed intact, he had very little memory of his time in the ruins of the nation of Geoff. Overjoyed to have him back under any circumstances, the Baron and his wife arranged for a grand celebration two night later, to which they invited many of the notable lords and ladies of the city, as well as the leaders of the various guilds and Alexia and her companions. Also attending the celebration was Lord Peralay of the Knights of Luna, from Celene.

It was obvious to anyone that Lord Peralay was somewhat distressed to be seated at a table with a drow, but those who studied his face closely could tell that this was mostly an act. He seemed to be using his distaste for Elerra’s presence to furtively study Meroln. Trying to distract Peralay, Elerra kept peppering him with questions, even going so far as to try flirting with him, which seemed to actively draw genuine distaste from the elven knight.

Later in the evening, Squizzles and Alexia pooled their knowledge to reveal that Lord Peralay, in addition to his honorable service among the Knights, was a close associate of Prince Melf Brightflame, cousin to Queen Yolande of Celene, and the two were noted for their battles together against both Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood. At the end of the party, he made polite farewells to his hosts and departed without a word to either Elerra or Meroln.

Following the celebration, Elerra and her companions returned to Greyhawk City to try and discover the fate of the slain priestess, and soon found that her body had been found in the street near her shrine, and had been given a pauper’s burial in the cemetery outside the city. After greasing some palms, she received permission to exhume the body, which she took back to Narwell and asked Lady Aerogenesis to Resurrect her, which she did. After Kiamyr recovered, she assured Elerra that revenge was not Ellistrae’s way, and that since she had been given another chance at life, that her plan was to return to Greyhawk and resume her duties. Elerra made a substantial donation to the costs of replacing the stolen finery, and then took Kiamyr back to the shrine.

Meanwhile Wilfred was hitting up his contacts at the Grey College, all of whom had conflicting theories they were only too happy to share concerning the Calcification; they were also abuzz with the news that two of their number, Maldin and Zajeth, were scheduled to duel one another the following morning over which of their interpretations were correct. After several hours of learning much about nothing, someone finally directed him to visit Professor Emeritus Lareth Holfen, aka “Crazy Larry”, one of the school’s founders who kept an office in one of the lowest levels of the library (or was kept there, depending on whom you asked).

While Lareth bounced from subject to subject for the better part of two hours, amid all the chatter he did recognize two of the sketches that Wilfred had brought along, and even seemed canny enough to identify that the drawings had been done by a dark elf. Both sketches he identified shared similar characteristics, in that he claimed that both “did not exist yet” and that he also claimed to have encountered both in his younger days, when he had explored a number of alternate prime material planes.

The first he claimed was the symbol for Imperial Londra, an island city state of deep depravity, which boasted skies of choking vapors and a strange assembly-line style of crafting magical items. Mekkatorque, who had been ignoring the chatter up to this moment with the universal distaste of all felines, also recognized the symbol, calling it a “Union Jack”, the national flag of a place called Great Britain, whose capital was a city called London, not “Londra”.

The second symbol (which Mekkatorque promptly dubbed a “Ferris Wheel”) Lareth declared the symbol of strange group known as “the Carnival Krewe”, a group of traveling performers renowned not merely for their lavish showmanship but for the trail of mysterious deaths, aberrant births, and general misfortune they left in their wake. Said to be based on a mysterious island washed by the blood of a dead god, on the world he encountered them they were an insidious force that local authorities were hard pressed to stamp out.

Before Wilfred left, Lareth confided that if he ever came across a supply of some rare mushrooms known to grow in underground caverns on Celene, he’d greatly appreciate them….

Reuniting with the others, Wilfred shared his experience, and then the group discussed it. Someone brought up returning to the Temple of Boccob, as being the deity most affected by the Wane of Magic, they might have new information. On the way there, Squizzles remembered that they had made an appointment with the High Priest before they’d fled the city back in Flocktime, so they were all quite surprised that the High Priest they sought had been killed the night before their appointment. The new High Priest, Olaf, stated that he was unsure what information his predecessor had thought to share with them, but asked what they knew.

Elerra showed him the Puzzle Box, and explained how she had used it to visit the audience chamber of some colossal being that had apparently assembled a coalition to bring about the Wane. As the High Priest was quite intrigued by this, Elerra opened the box for him, but when he placed his hand within, he and the box promptly exploded, showering the party in gore to their shock and disgust. The acolytes who ran to discover the source of the explosion found them all standing dumbfounded, and quickly realized that a horrible accident had occurred.

The High Priest’s chief understudy, a young priest named Kendar, helped the group get cleaned up and reheard their story, trying to discover for himself what had happened. he related that the original head of the temple, Lantraal, had been murdered near dawn on the 28th of Flocktime, by an assassin who had broken into the temple. As Lantraal had wished to be cremated, there existed no body with which they could employ Speak with Dead. But once the acolytes had finished scraping Olaf off the walls, it turned out that in death he provided some answers that he’d been less forthcoming with in life.

The information led Kendar to an ancient scroll (the tome which Lantraal has used also having done missing) that told of the Dawn Times, and how a few of the first children of the gods, the Titans, had set up their own kingdoms upon the surface of Chornalth, how they had made lesser creatures of their own (the giants), and how they had warred against the gods themselves. Those titans who had sided with the gods went on to become the first angels and devas, and those who stood against the gods and lost were consigned to the Hells, becoming the first arch-devils. But the few who refused to choose sides became the Forgotten, cursed by the gods to dwell forever apart. More importantly, the list of their names showed evidence h=of having been altered, one name in particular being missing from every source they could check.

Over the next two weeks, a council was assembled. Several other Temples sent historians, as did the followers of Delleb, Wee Jas, and even Mystra. Khelben sent one of his senior apprentices, as did Greykin, Mordenkainen, Tenser, Bigby and Theodain. Many theories were bandied about, and the assembled knowledge base did identify two more of the organizations that Elerra had discovered the symbols for, namely the “Lords of Emerald Thought” (a group of evil mages said to lurk in the shadows of Krynn’s Centrial City), and the “Council of Wyrms” (a group of mages said to have broken off of the Cult of the Dragon on Beregond).

An ancient tome from Beregond proved to be useful as well, as it spoke of a time in the future when the Weave of Magic would curdle and fail, one of the final steps toward this being known as ‘the Putrification’, a time when even the most casual spell-casting would impose spell plagues and worse on arcane casters on all the worlds. This would soon be followed by the collapse of arcane magic in general.

One of the dignitaries at the conclave then put forth the suggestion that in the distant past, a race presently known as spell-weavers (their own name for themselves being the Sykarans) had ruled a vast inter-dimensional empire that had fallen to ruin over 50,000 years previously. While little is known of their empire or it’s history, it was known that one of their cities (or nodes) had been on Celene, and that prior to it’s destruction, divine magic had been suppressed over the whole of it’s surface for several decades. It was then suggested that perhaps what was being put into motion to corrupt and destabilize arcane magic might be based in whole or in part upon whatever experiments the Sykarans were doing prior to it all blowing up on them and their empire collapsing into ruins scattered across the multiverse.

On the 2nd of Goodmonth, as the Conclave was beginning to fall into petty disagreements and generally unraveling, a young urchin appeared on the steps, and asked to speak to Alexia, whom he informed that Galen was back in town and had work for the party, if they were interested in it. Alexia then rounded up the party and met with Galen later that evening at the Green Dragon Inn.

After exchanging pleasantries, Galen informed them that he actually had three tasks for them. The first of which would involve a journey to Celene, into the very heart of the spell-weaver node located at the moon’s north pole, to recover a piece of the engine which had suppressed divine magic. he offered the group 15,000 gold each for the successful completion of the mission, and would provide them with a spelljammer crew willing to transport them there as well. He warned them that the moon was populated mainly by undead, and that even after 500 centuries, undead spell-weavers or their construct servants (known as Cabaren) might still guard the facility.

As we broke for the evening, Galen informed the party that the crew would be at their disposal for the next week and a half, so they had a few days to equip themselves for the journey…

it is now the 3rd of Goodmonth, 600 CY.

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AaronSheffield

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