Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.
Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Paladin of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Vivisectionist Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon
The following morning the group navigated the halls of the Imperial Palace with a letter of introduction from Kaman to Tierella, the Undersecretary of Arcane Manifestations and Disturbances. The tall, lovely Dragaeran elf met the group in her office, and listened politely as the group outlined the plot to unravel the current arcane weave of magic and replace it with a newer, more “restricted” one. Eventually, however, she asked for proof, and the only corroborating evidence they could produce was the Puzzle Box they’d recovered several weeks earlier.
While Elerra solved the box, Wilfred let slip that a previous Box they’d owned had reacted explosively to use by a priest of Boccob. Tierella admitted that she was no priestess of any sort, but she still called in an assistant to test the box before she herself tried using it. As impressive as the experience of the darkened throne room was, Tierella still demanded more proof, as an empty room would not convince the Red Emperor that an actual threat existed.
The group decided that perhaps the Esoterica might convince her, so they made an appointment for later that afternoon and Teleported back to Greyhawk City, after Wilfred had made arrangements to meet Tenser at the Green Dragon Inn.
Soon after Jenny showed them to one of the Dragon’s back rooms, Tenser arrived. They brought him up on recent events, but he eventually could be seen looking pensive, as though trying to remember something. It soon came to him that one of the seven names on their list of ritual leaders had been Tierella Yendil, and the group had mentioned that the woman they’d met with had been identified as having been of the House of the Yendi in Dragaera. The coincidence, he thought, was a bit too strong to be ignored, as she had positioned herself perfectly if her goal was to carry out the ritual on the moon above the city.
Elerra decided to contact Ellistrae to determine a future course of action, and asked the following questions:
- Is Tierella who Tenser believes her to be? Yes
- Would killing her now prevent the ritual on the Red Moon? No
- Does she have a Clone prepared? Yes
- Should we attack her at our scheduled meeting? Uncertain
- Would going to the Dragaeran Empire get us more information on her in the time we have to stop the Wane? Uncertain
- Would kidnapping her stop the ritual on the Red Moon? Uncertain
- Would going through Mordenkainen get us more information on her? Yes
- Does she suspect us of knowing who she is? Uncertain
- Is she planning to attack us at the meeting? Uncertain
- Is there a double-agent in the Society of Gnomergan? Yes
- Is there a plot in the works to attack the Society of Gnomergan? No
- Does Tierella have a team assembled for her ritual? Yes
Based on this information, the group asked Tenser if Mordenkainen might have contacts in the Dragaeran Empire, which Tenser agreed that he might, as he had long made it his business to know who the arcane movers and shakers were across the whole of the world, remarking that his network of informants was rivaled only by Wilfred’s group. Tenser contacted Mordenkainen, who soon joined the group at the Dragon.
As it happened, Mordenkainen did have a contact in Dragaera who would likely know Tierella, and offered to take the group to meet with him. Moments later they found themselves standing in mid-air, apparently hundreds of feet in the air, surrounded by the black stone walls of a massive castle. Within moments of their arrival the group was greeted by a stately Dragaeran woman who asked of their business, and then escorted them to a sitting room to await the lord of the castle, Morrolan.
Morrolan stated that he did not know anyone named Tierella, but did recognize the woman they described as likely being the Sorceress in Green, a possibly Yendi arcanist who had not been seen after a failed plot of hers several years past had resulted in her death and subsequent Resurrection. Based on past experience with her, he warned them that she was a mistress of duplicity and cunning, and her practice of magic stretches back thousands of years. He also confirms that she very likely does possess a Clone, so outright killing her will be merely an inconvenience.
He obligingly provides the party with a magic dagger that has the Morganti property, which he explains will consume the soul of anyone slain with it. He further warns them to keep the dagger sheathed until the last moment, as if she detects it, she will likely seek to flee the field of battle rather than lose her soul to it. This is obvious to everyone, as the mere presence of the weapon unsettles everyone in the room as soon as the case it was stored in is opened. They thanked him, especially after establishing that the weapon was not single-use.
Upon returning to the Green Dragon Inn, an altercation could be heard in the main room. Crazy Larry, one of the founders of the Grey College (and an acquaintance of Wilfred’s) was accosting Jenny, heaping verbal epithets at her and obviously working himself up to physical violence. When Meroln interposed himself between them and lifted Larry off the floor, he quickly found himself Teleported several hundred miles away, arriving in the center of Tovag Baragu, where Wilfred recovered him from later.
Meanwhile, Elerra used her hand crossbow to deliver a dose of her Sleep poison to Larry, who promptly dropped like a stone. For her part, Jenny stated that she didn’t know Larry, or why he’d come in and started harassing her. She wound up taking the rest of the day off, as she was visibly upset. She did stay long enough to kiss Meroln farewell, however.
Feeling the press of time, the group Teleported back to Glamour, and made their way through the halls of the Palace to Tierella’s office in time to make their appointment. Once safely back in her office, they attacked, but the initial attacks didn’t quite bring Tierella low enough to use the dagger. For her part, she created five copies of herself that arrayed themselves around the room, a move that seemed to lessen the damage she took from any one attack. Even Truesight would not reveal the copies as true or false, and as the room slowly filled with her defenders, room to maneuver became a scarce commodity.
One of her defenders proved to be a cleric, that lived just long enough to cast a Heal on her mistress before being slain. Another defender used a Dismissal against Mekkatorque, though he was soon re-summoned by Wilfred. Elerra retreated to the Ethereal Plane hoping to avoid some of the carnage, but several of the defenders proved to be bearing Ghost-touch weapons. She used her Ectoplasmic Metamagic Rod to hit her enemies with a Greater Dispel Magic, a move which actually killed one of the defenders when the Divine Power spell he’d received was stripped away, taking with it the bonus hit points it had granted.
As we broke for the evening, the group was all still standing, but only a few of the defenders fallen, and the battle was only really beginning to get underway…
It is the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 CY