Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still 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
We left our heroes in Greyhawk City, selling off their latest stash of loot. and wondering what next would come their way. The following two weeks passed quietly enough, though they received word through the Society that a convocation of their allies would be held the following day (the 3rd of Sunsebb).
Before the event, Wilfred returned to the Grey College to ask after “Crazy Larry” and his health, but met instead with Yulin Hussein, his assistant and unofficial “keeper”. Yulin assured Wilfred that Larry was doing better, and that while his outburst at the Green Dragon Inn was atypical, he often became increasingly irrational as the new year approached. The forthcoming turn of the century might simply be affecting him more than usual.
As it turned out, despite fears that the convocation would be a target, it came off without a hitch. The Harpers and their allies on Beregond had the ritual sites there under close watch, and the Republic and the Wizards of High Sorcery on Krynn were prepared as well. Liga’s sites would be monitored by a combination of the Society, auxiliaries of the Circle of Eight, as well as volunteers from the huchard of Celene, and a selection of other groups who’d been won over to the cause.
Among other matters discussed at the meeting was that while seven sites had been identified on Liga as probable ritual locations, one site in particular, an eighth site, appeared to have no ritual associated with it. This was though odd for two reasons, the first being that in terms of ley line density, it was the equal of Glamour in the sheer number and volume of ley lines that converged there. The other reason was that Meroln had recently been Teleported there by Crazy Larry when he’d rushed to Jenny’s defense at the Green Dragon Inn.
After the convocation, Elerra communed with Ellistrae to determine whether or not that site should be monitored as well, and was told that yes, it should be watched.
Four days later, several members of the group heard an explosion in the vicinity of the Grey College, and moved to investigate. Wilfred, in particular, noticed a huge humanoid form arcing out of the explosion’s nexus, flying north-east at a high rate of speed. Arriving at the scene, he discovered that the trail of destruction led directly to Crazy Larry’s basement apartments, where he found Yulin lying among the rubble.
Yulin bore several deep bruises consistent with having been beaten before having the ceiling dropped on him, and a number of those bruises also bore signs of having been charged with elemental energy (acid burns, frostbite, gravel, etc.). Though clearly shaken, Yulin remained deeply reticent about the cause, saying only that Larry was completely off the rails and that he needed to be stopped, and the Brethren brought together to do so.
Not knowing Larry’s destination (other than roughly in the direction of Tenser’s ruined castle), Wilfred sought out his informants in the Society while Elerra remained on site helping to heal those injured in the explosion. Unfortunately, not much was truly known about Larry, except that he was very old, on the order of more than 200 years, and had looked as old at the founding of the Grey College as he did in the present. Over the centuries, when he had been an active teacher, he had primarily dealt in either elemental spell-craft or chaos magic.
Perhaps six hours later, another explosion was heard in the city, this time in the harbor district. Arriving on the scene, Meroln was especially alarmed, as the smoking ruins of the Green Dragon Inn looked to hold few if any survivors. Witnesses on the scene reported that as before, a huge humanoid form, wreathed in fire, had fallen from the skies, crashed through the roof, and moments later the entire structure had detonated as the flaming man leapt once more into the sky, dragging with him by the hair the comely barmaid Meroln had grown to care for. They further reported that his path led west/north-west, roughly in the direction of Tovag Baragu, the eighth site identified by the Society.
The party promptly Teleported there, aware that they would have time before Larry’s arrival. Unlike Meroln’s previous visit, someone had placed a sacrificial stone at the center of the plinths, with a humanoid form already impressed into it. Furthermore, a hundred figures in black robes stood ready for some ritual, standing with their backs to the stone menhirs. As the party prepared to deal with these intruders, they quickly noticed six other individuals who appeared nearby as well.
Alexia (of course) recognized Murlynd, and Wilfred knew Zagyg’s appearance as well. Squizzles quickly identified Heward, Kelanen, Krovis, and Keoghtom. As the party realized that a hawk in flight overhead was stilled in flight, the six hero deities assembled pronounced a blessing on the party, granting them a 3 attack/+2 AC, etc.)).
As the assembled hero deities faded away (without having answered any questions) Larry and Jenny arrived on the scene. Larry landed at the head of the stone like a thunderbolt, slamming Jenny down on the stone (which flowed over her limbs, pinning her in place). While several members of the group were ambivalent about the scenario playing itself out, several chose to attack Larry while Meroln attempted to strike the bonds from Jenny’s limbs.
While Jenny lay trapped, she could be seen whispering, apparently to herself. Sam read her lips, and that she was saying “Carassamon, I require your aid!” It was also at about this time that Elerra and Wilfred noticed an invisible presence on the battlefield, one that proved to be ethereal as well, charging Elerra the moment she used her armor’s etherealness; forcing her back to the material plane.
Finally having freed Jenny, Meroln scooped her up and tried to fly away with her, but Larry first blasted them with a blast of acid, cold, electricity and flame, and them cast a massive Earthen Grasp spell that seized them in midair and smashed them both against the ground. While this was going on, the deva that Elerra had summoned earlier hemmed out the running cultists with a Blade Barrier, and a colossal, ancient wyrm red dragon arrived through the menhirs that Squizzles quickly identified as Carassamon, one of Liga’s oldest living dragons.
With the dragon’s arrival on the field, Alexia and Wilfred had a clearly evil target to focus on, so they abandoned their assault on Larry to deal with it instead. Sam queried Larry about why he’d done what he’d done, and was answered that “I am ”/wikis/dorgha-torgu" class=“wiki-page-link”> Dorgha Torgu! My sins against the elements and man will be forgiven if I can slay this titan before it’s plans come to fruition! Why do you help it? We can end this now, if we work together!"
Her identity now out in the open, Jenny crawled out from under the Earthen Grasp and assumed the form of a massive, five headed dragon. As Carassamon dispelled the Blade Barrier (appearing to tear it asunder with his forelimbs), her ethereal guardian (actually a xill matriarch known as ‘Mother Fess’) fought the deva. Before Carassamon fell, he blasted Alexia, Wilfred, and Squizzles with his breath, and while it hurt them badly, it wasn’t quite enough to slay any of them. Squizzles finally brought him down with a well placed strike of his rapier.
With the ancient red out of play, the group focused their attacks on Jenny/Dhaeros, who proved able to mix spells in with her breath weapons, laying about herself with abandon, but in the end the group whittled away at her health, despite her sacrifice of half the cultists present feeding her their strength. Meroln struck the final blow with a heavy heart, plunging the morganti dagger into her heart. With the titan slain, the remaining cultists fled, as did Mother Fess.
As the group searched the battlefield, they discovered that the cultists present all seemed to be from the Plateau of Va, down in G’dar to the deep south (the pale, dark haired near-men). Larry, or as they now knew him to be, Dorgha Torgu, stood a bit taller than any of them remembered, and for the first time his gaze seemed clear and his mien untroubled. His ripped garments morphed themselves into the traditional garb of the Paynims who were the current masters of the region, and he thanked the group for their aid, and apologized that his madness had prevented him from being able to properly articulate the matter earlier. As the group prepared to depart, he sat at the center of Tovag Baragu, the stones of which had begun to tremble and right themselves. “I have much to set right, my friends. Visit me again some time!”
On their return to Greyhawk, there were no cheering crowds, no parades. Most folk were unaware that anything had happened, but the Church of Boccob and Grey College turned out to thank the group for their efforts. As the new year approached, they maintained their watch at the other ritual sites,and easily scattered the few who arrived to attempt the ritual anyway.
As the new year proceeded, the effects of the First and Second Marks slowly faded, though the inability to modify enchanted items after their completion never really went away. The huchard of Celene began sending numerous trade and diplomatic missions to Liga, even trading their precious liftwood on occasion. The world seemed renewed to those who knew how close it had come to being changed forever…
It is 27th of Coldeven, 601 CY