Chornalth Adventures - Liga

Arc 5, Episode 55, Redemption
... every ending is a new beginning.

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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 5 bonus they could use in whatever fashion they desired each round (to AC, attacks, saves, skills, caster level, etc., divided up to suit themselves (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
Campaign Ends.

View
Arc 4, Episode 54, the Second Mark
... and so it goes.

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

When we left our heroes, they were embroiled in a fight with Tierella Yendil and her followers in the Imperial Palace in Glamour, capital of the Lunar Empire. As the battle raged, the only actual fatality would prove to be Mekkatorque, who was slain by a Destruction spell (though Wilfred was able to resummon him back from wherever the following round). The only truly devastating attack against Tierella proved to be of her own doing, when she attempted to use Enervation against Meroln, but he used his Ring of Spell Turning to reflect it back at her. In the end, once her defenders had fallen, she herself was eventually whittled down and slain by Meroln with the morganti dagger supplied to the group by Morrolan.

Once she fell, the party quickly grabbed the weapons wielded by her defenders and her body and Teleported back to Greyhawk to identify and sell off their spoils….

It remains the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 CY
192000 xp (990910 total)
5th Mythic Tier

View
Arc 4, Episode 53, the Second Mark
Liars, muggers, and assassins...

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 16th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

View
Arc 4, Episode 52, the Second Mark
Give me a Perception Check...

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 13th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

As we rejoined our companions, they still had guards to deal with. While those in close proximity dealt with them, those who stepped away regrouped into Teleport formation to pursue the inquisitors who had taken Dree. Once this was accomplished, the group left the remaining guards behind and pursued Dree and his captors.

Unfortunately, those captors had had a few moments to prepare a surprise for the party, as rather than arriving where they expected, they found themselves in a 20×20 room. Wilfred and Mekkatorque quickly took to the air, bringing Meroln and Squizzles along for the ride. They quickly discovered that the room was actually a shaft, 120’ in height (with a line scratched into the stone at the 100’ mark. While hovering at the 70’ mark, they felt an AOE Dimensional Anchor snap into effect, followed a few moments later by a ghostly hand that penetrated the ceiling above them to deliver a Cannibal Compulsion to Mekkatorque, which caused him to drop Meroln, who then fell to the ground.

Squizzles, who was overcome with disgust at the sight of Mekkatorque’s gusto in tearing at his own flesh, decided to launch himself into flight towards the ceiling, crossing the ‘scratch’, and triggering an Anti-Magic Field which caused Mekkatorque and Wilfred to fall out of the sky, clipping the wings of Alexia, who had also been flying up to see what was going on. Mekkatorque promptly landed on Meroln, who had not yet had a chance to get out of the way.

After several minutes wasted exploring the plain mortared walls of their prison, attempting climb checks, and otherwise stumbling about, the Anti-Magic Field waned, and Elerra’s Locate spell revealed Dree to now be lying in a midden somewhere, with the top of his skull removed. While there was some debate as to whether the ritual that Dree was scheduled to carry out was truly disrupted by his death (given his captor’s obvious interest in it) the group finally decided to Teleport back to Greyhawk to regroup.

Once back in Greyhawk the party realized that it was quite possible that Dree had survived his death at the hands of his captors, as, if he truly was one of the Hierarchs as it was rumored, they had only recently been in the very repository where those worthies stored their Clones against such accidents. This also opened the possibility that Losien might also have had a Clone prepared.

Returning to the crypts to check on the Clones was debated, but since almost two weeks had passed since their visit there, it seemed likely that they had been relocated since then, and there was no telling where Losien might have hidden his, assuming he had one at all. So the group decided instead to Teleport to the underside of the Red Moon and inspect the area for signs of any preparations the followers of Dhaeros might have made there.

Arriving on the surface of the Red Moon they found themselves a but lighter, and found the air thin but breathable. The ground was covered mainly by a variety of moss, and some scrubby-looking trees were visible, all done in shades of carmine and ocher. The only not-red thing in sight was a huge white pylon, 40’ on each of it’s three sides, rising 400’ into the air. The pylon proved to be enameled, and inscribed upon it’s surface were the words “Blessed are the Seven Mothers, Blessed is the Red Moon” in every language the party knew, and many, many more besides.

An examination of the pylon’s base revealed a variety of boot prints, which eventually brought the group to a small shrine perhaps half a mile distant. Meroln also spotted what appeared to be a world not Liga, Celene, or Luna rising above the horizon. Finding nothing definitive, the group eventually decided to Teleport down to the outskirts of Glamour and from there the group made their way into the heart of the Lunar Empire.

While wandering the city looking for an inn, Sam spotted an octopus-headed humanoid kept in a too-small cage in the marketplace. Inquiring of the man who kept the animals on display there, he called the creature a walktapus and demonstrated it’s regenerative abilities by chopping off one of it’s tentacles (which promptly regrew) and then feeding pieces of that tentacle to several other animals. Sam eventually purchased a black-and-white winged kitten from the merchant before moving on.

Eventually taking rooms at the Bed & Flagon, the group spent the better part of the next day or two feverishly making Gather Information checks, trying to ascertain whether the Empire would help or hinder the Wane of Magic if they knew about it. Their travels eventually led them into a local community known as Brithette, a sort of ghetto for expatriates of the Magocracy of Brithos. To his delight, Wilfred was quickly recognized and greeted as a minor celebrity, his work with the Society and the Wane already known to the locals.

As we broke for the evening, Kaman, the local High Priest of Boccob was explaining to the group that if they wanted to pitch their story to the Emperor, the quickest route through his bureaucracy was probably through a group of elves from the Dragarean Empire, who’d come to Glamour three years back and quickly become powerful members of the Court…

It is the 15th of Ready’reat, 600 CY

View
Arc 4, Episode 51, the Second Mark
Beyond the Gates of Darkness

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

Our companions:

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

Aboard Click-clack’s vessel, Sam soon found himself in a cell, transported there by Click-clack. After several minutes, he came to visit Sam and explained that he’d done this to help Sam avoid “the ladies”. But Sam indicated that he wouldn’t mind seeing the ladies again, so he soon found himself face-to-face with the Furies, who were simply delighted to see their Azamadra again!

After they left to prepare the ‘Mind Sifter’, Sam realized that this “reunion” was something he’d been a fool to ask for, so he escaped his cell by assuming Gaseous Form and entering the ship’s air recycling vents. After becoming Invisible and damaging several doors, he found his way into the Hanger Bay control room, knocked out the drow ensign on duty there, stealing her comm-badge and Walkman in the process.

After this he vented the hanger bay to vacuum, he tried to get back to the door to the main hanger, but wound up killing one guard before being trapped by internal security shields and beamed back into his cell sans equipment. The youngest of the Furies then arrived to finger-waggle at him and inform him that they were almost ready for him.

While Sam sat nude in his cell to consider his options, Click-clack contacted him using Telepathy to inform him that he had good news, and bad news. The bad news was that undergoing the Mind-sifter was going to be excruciatingly painful. The good news was that while Sam was in the Sifter, he’d rewritten the program that would be executed, and that rather than turn Sam into the Furies happy little trained assassin (the role it seemed he’d been born to fulfill) the chair would instead make him a pure alchemist (essentially stripping the Vivisectionist archetype, a move the player had wanted anyway). It would then malfunction (which would increase the pain 10-fold) as several of the ship’s systems experienced power overloads and malfunctions; this should allow Sam’s allies the opportunity to effect his rescue, if in fact they had been trying to do so.

Back under Sanctuary, the rest of the group learned that Losien had succeeded in slaying Mordenkainen, and as Rary and Warnes re-entered the room to see what all the yelling was about, they found the party hovering around and over his body. Fortunately, before wrong conclusions could be drawn, Tenser assured the the other arch-mages that it had been Losien and not the group. On learning that Sam had been teleported away (with Losien’s body) by some form of non-magical means, Rary muttered something about damned Fraal and hurried off, saying that he would attempt to locate them.

As Elerra rested, preparing to Resurrect Mordenkainen, Tenser briefly explained who and what the Fraal were, and claimed to doubt their involvement, as they had as much to lose in the Wane of Magic as anyone. Shortly after Elerra brought Mordenkainen back, Rary returned and announced that he had finally penetrated the ship’s defenses and retrieved Sam.

Though glad to have Sam back, several members of the group urged Rary to also retrieve Losien’s body, so that they could render it un-Resurectable. He then called for an Unseen Servant to bring him his equipment, and he soon drew Losien’s lifeless body out through his scrying bowl and into the room, where the party promptly beheaded him.

The following day the group used an Interplanetary Teleport to Greyhawk (courtesy of Mordenkainen), so that they could consult with the Society of Gnomergan and it’s growing map of Liga’s ley line network. For his part, Mordenkainen added several sections to the map, outlining the regions newly arrived on Liga since the Night of Fire (primarily the islands of Pan Tang, Londra, Melnibone, the so-called Purple Isle, Xoxal, Neulandia, Gashtalund, and Duruzlan).

Further consultation with Kosha revealed that another high probability site had been located, in the far western lands of the Lunar Empire, specifically over the city of Glamour, where a vast number of powerful ley lines converged and appeared to be supporting a small copy (?) of Krynn’s moon, Lunitari in the skies overhead.

Another site had potentially been located in the Emirate of G’dar, specifically a fortress located 15 miles outside a city identified as Zemeth. The two agents who had reported the site had gone silent since their initial report, and the Divination Squad was saying they were dead, but Kosha preferred to reserve judgement. As part of their report, however, they had mentioned sighting a middle-aged man of Oeridian descent (who easily stood out among the local humans, all of whom boasted blue eyes, pure black hair and skin as pale as the Suloise).

Tentatively identifying this as Dree of ixworth, the group retired for the evening, and on the following morning Elerra used a Locate Person to attempt to find Dree. They found him in a dank cell, nailed to a circular wooden disk. With him were four humans wearing hooded black robes, all of whom matched the description of the local humans. The one who seemed in charge asked questions that another translated into Common, but none of the language spells the party kept ready would translate this tongue. In addition, each time the leader spoke, Elerra’s spider birthmark itched, and his words sent shivers of dread and anxiety down Alexia’s back.

The interrogation seemed to center on the ritual the party hoped to stop, and one particularly disturbing line of questions ran along the lines of “… and this ritual will kill ONLY the Gods of Magic? What of the rest?” The party quickly decided to ‘rescue’ Dree from his captors, using a Greater Teleport to arrive in the hallway outside the chamber. For their trouble they found themselves Slowed and unable to act for several seconds after their arrival.

While the party battled the guards and one of the mages from inside the chamber in the hall, those remaining inside blocked the door with a Wall of Void and fled the area with Dree, whom they literally tore off the wall. As we broke for the evening, the group was finishing off the guards and planning to Locate Dree a second time, as they could not allow him to escape….

It is the 13th of Ready’reat, 600 CY

View
Arc 4, Episode 50, the Second Mark
I knew this was a bad idea...

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 6th of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

As the party chewed their way through the Black Skeletons, the Nalfeshnee summoned a second of it’s kind before dying, but the second one didn’t fare any better than the first. Elerra managed to knock Losien out of the fight with her drow poisoned crossbow bolts, lessening the threat from end of the room.

Once the demons and the skeletons had fallen, the Meroln and Alexia made quick work of the necromancers, leaving the others to loot the bodies of the fallen and truss up Losien. Their mission complete, the Teleported back to Narwell and had the Baron lock Losien up in one of the anti-magic cells, while the party identified and split up their swag.

The following day they paid Losien a visit in his cell, where he alternately cursed them for “ruining the plan” and demanded to be taken to see Mordenkainen. Over the course of his “interrogation”, he revealed that he had been Mordenkainen’s agent for the past three years, secretly working behind the scenes against Iuz,the Path, and the Black Rooks while keeping Mordenkainen in the loop on their machinations.

As the party could neither catch him in a lie nor refute any of the points of his story, they slowly began to believe that maybe he might be telling the truth. For his part, he steadfastly refused to impart his information to anyone but Mordenkainen.

Unfortunately, nobody had heard anything from Mordenkainen or the other members of the Circle of Eight since the Scourge of the Archmages back on the 22nd of Patchwall. Alexia, gambling that Murlynd, because of his close connection to the world, might be able to guide her, cast a Divination (and spent a Hero Point) to receive a vision of the place where at the very least, Tenser had gone to hide.

Her vision showed Tenser during the Scourge, fleeing his tower with the Esoterica in hand, arriving in what looked to be a supremely unkempt and downtrodden part of some city or town. He then entered an establishment whose sign featured a unicorn pleasuring itself, spoke a word to the bartender, then entered a private booth and opened a panel leading to a bolt hole down into the sewers. Sometime later, after navigating the twists and turns of the fetid tunnel, he knocked on a section of wall which opened to reveal a clean, brightly lit chamber containing Mordenkainen, Warnes Starcoat, and Rary. Tenser seemed a bit off-put by Rary’s presence, but entered the chamber nonetheless, ending the vision.

Relating the vision to her companions, Squizzles tentatively identified the bar Tenser had entered as the Vulgar Unicorn, a notorious establishment in the city of Sanctuary, rumored to be a backwater port in the Rankan Empire somewhere on Luna, the nearer of Liga’s two moons. The following day the group Teleported to Greyhawk and sought a spelljammer captain who would be willing to transport them to Luna and hence to Sanctuary. The group grudgingly released Losien and returned his equipment to him, though they kept a close eye on him.

After being laughed at by several captains, they finally found one willing to take them there, though he charged them through the nose for the privilege. Finally settling into the comparatively tiny port, Wilfred endeavored to Teleport everyone into the sewers that Alexia had described, but somehow left Sam and Elerra behind. Elerra attempted to use her own Teleport to rejoin the rest, but landed Sam and herself in another part of the sewer, and the group wasted several minutes reuniting. Eventually they located the patch of stone Tenser had opened to reveal Mordenkainen’s Bastion, only to discover that they didn’t know how to open it.

Sam attempted to pick the lock, narrowly avoiding a poison needle but setting off an explosion that damaged several party members. Opening the chamber revealed Tenser and Mordenkainen rushing to see what had happened, and they then greeted the party and Losien. Soon thereafter, Losien went off alone with Tenser and Mordenkainen to give his report.

While the party cooled their heels in the outer chambers, they noticed a display case with the Crystal Frogs (except for the last of the set, which had been destroyed). Not very long after that, the group detected the sounds of combat coming from the direction Tenser, Losien and Mordenkainen had gone off in, and the group arrived in time to see Tenser slumped to the floor at one end of the room while Losien, the Esoterica in hand, was slowly fading to nothingness over Mordenkainen’s body.

Elerra quickly leapt at Losien and keyed her Cube of Force to it’s “block everything” setting, causing Losien to cease his vanishing. Losien responded by smiling evilly, casting a quickened Truesight, and launching into a devastating attack on Elerra. She followed up by dropping the Cube and using a Heal on herself, and then once more fired her hand crossbow at Losien, putting him to sleep once more. Wilfred targeted Losien with a Dimensional Anchor, as Alexia rushed over to kick the Esoterica aside, Sam moved in to deliver a coup de grace, only to find himself and Losien’s slumbering body both now doing the slow fade to nothingness.

As we broke for the evening, the party was catching their collective breath and wondering what to do about Sam’s strange disappearance, while Sam found himself reunited with Click-clack, his erstwhile " father-figure " from his youth…

It is the 10th of Ready’reat, 600 CY

View
Arc 4, Episode 49, the Second Mark
Into the heart... of the Boneheart...

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 3rd of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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 party spent the next two days doing some shopping, and planning their journey to Losien’s stronghold in Ghulford, discarding a number of plans before eventually deciding to Teleport a few miles outside the city and hope for the best. Disguised by a Seeming, the group entered Ghulford on the 3rd and took refuge at the Grimacing Skull Inn.

Elerra and Squizzles, neither of whom were actually disguised, elected to scout Losien’s Manor, fining it easily at the far side of the town, but not without incident, as they had to lose an orcish tail in the marketplace. Once back at the inn, Squizzles spent a few hours entertaining the denizens of the inn and learning that Losien had ridden back into town on the 1st and had not been seen since (and that this was not unusual). Elerra decided to try and bluff her way into Losien’s manor, and brought the party along as guards.

Once inside the manor, Elerra and her “guards” were greeted by a Simulacrum of Losien, who quickly rejected her proposed alliance, stating that she was the second drow noble to arrive here with such a proposition, and that for his part, the next two months were to involve too much preparation to divert himself in such affairs. Shut down on her original plan, she used some skillful diplomacy (and a Hero Point) to convince Losien to meet with her anyway.

However, as the simulacra led the party into the bowels of the manor, it became quickly apparent that Losien had seen through the deception almost at once and was leading them into a trap. A number of what proved to be armored Black Skeletons moved to intercept the party’s advance, as an invisible Nalfeshnee demon also attacked. Losien successfully used a Power Word: Blind on Alexia, but she quickly countered it.

The quartet of Boneshadow necromancers attending Losien also made themselves felt, one using a Soul Drain on Squizzles, aging him and sapping his physical stats. As we broke for the evening, almost everyone on both sides of the fight were still up, and a ball of negative energy was bounding towards the party…

It is the 6th of Ready’reat, 600 CY

View
Arc 4, Episode 48, the Second Mark
Kind of an anti-climax, really.

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 1st of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

As the group shook off the lethargy that had overtaken them while they experienced their individual visions, they briefly compared notes before making their way through the Obsidian Mirror and into the Leering Keep held by the Black Rooks. On the far side of the mirror they found themselves in a small courtyard, where they quickly spotted two individuals. The first was Nigel, who appeared to have become frozen as he came in for a landing, and Vincent, who had already set up a number of chalk-outline symbols on the flagstones.

After greeting the party, he asked once more if they wished his aid in bypassing the demons bound to the walls, which they did. He then stepped into one of the outlines he had set up, pressed a small stone to the walls of the keep, and the walls could be seen to ripple as dozens of demons were sucked into the stone (which a couple of folks recognized as being very similar to the stone being used to construct their own castle in Narwell). When called on this fact, Vincent announced that since there was nothing binding them to complete the recovery of the gems, that this was his “insurance policy” that the group would comply. Alexia tried to detect evil in him then, but he came back negative in that regard. Having nowhere to go but forward, the group left Vincent and the frozen Nigel in the courtyard, and began moving towards the tower they’d identified as Jaliseem’s location.

Almost immediately, they ran into guards investigating the flight of the demons. The guards were dispatched, but not without bloodying the party a bit. When their path to Jaliseem brought them near the vault where Vincent’s gems were located, they fought a second, slightly better prepared group of guards, that they quickly dispatched. Armed with the gems, they made their way to the top of Jaliseem’s tower.

As they approached the living area of the tower, they could both feel and hear an arcane duel taking place. Vincent and Jaliseem were locked in combat with one another, hurling raw energies at one another with little regard to the furnishings, which were smoldering or smashed all about the room. By Wilfred’s estimation, Vincent was not only winning, but he was pulling his punches.

Turning his head to regard the party (while simultaneously increasing the pressure of his assault on Jaliseem), Vincent asked if the group had his gems. At this declaration, Jaliseem went pale and her defenses began to falter as Vincent collected his gems. For his part, Vincent handed the stone with the bound demons to Elerra, and told her to crush the stone when they were ready to leave, and vanished. jaliseem, exhausted, fell to her knees and was easily captured by the party.

Questioning her, the party was disappointed to learn that she actually knew very little about the rituals to come, at least very little that they did not already know. She did identify Sindar Sirion as the one chosen to lead the ritual beneath the Azure Sea, and cattily gave away the location of Losien’s residence and holdings inside Iuz. Saddened that this was the most they could get, they trussed her up and Teleported back to Narwell to turn her over to the Baron for incarceration.

Returning to the site of their castle’s construction, Lseral (who was still there, despite having been cut loose when Elerra converted fully to Cleric) said that the group had a party of emissaries who were awaiting their return. The three huchard turned out to be an architect, a logistics specialist, and a clockwork engineer, all of whom wished to offer their services to the group.

As we parted for the evening, the group was debating making a run against Losien, or at least his keep, hoping to find more information on the ritual he’d been tapped to lead…

It is the 3rd of Ready’reat, 600 CY
119000 xp
Mythic Tier 4
30k gp each, after sale of sundry loot from castle.

View
Arc 4, Episode 47, the Second Mark
Yes, feed me your victory!

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 1st of Ready’reat, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

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

When the last remaining Sons fell, Nigel, the animus ifrit sorcerer attempted to escape into the room beyond. After taking a moment or two to check the door and pick the lock, they swung open the door to the Chamber of Crypts. Facing the door directly was a black dragon, with a gargantuan elder balor and a shemhazian demon between them. The shemhazian promptly used a Dimension Door to get behind the party and unleashed his Blasphemy to paralyze most of the party, allowing the dragon to use his breath weapon to great effect, and Nigel used an Inner Blast to detonate the large hunk of ice that had once encased Mekkatorque to shower the party in shrapnel.

As the battle progressed, the shemhazian quickly fell, and the party focused most of their energies against the balor, who seemed to have an inordinate ability to soak damage, despite the lack of detectable or dispellable spells on his person. The dragon, bypassed and nearly forgotten by the party (though Wilfred’s sword, Bloodweaver, kept trying to redirect Wilfred’s attention back to it) eventually tried to devour Squizzles, but got himself killed shortly thereafter.

The balor’s attacks fell like hammers among the party, but eventually he was felled. Nigel escaped, having followed Elerra into the Ethereal Plane and used an Encase in Ice to stymy her pursuit. The group located Jaliseem’s sarcophagus, and after futilely beating on it’s exterior, used Knock to open it. Alexia beheaded the clone inside, and as we broke for the evening, the group was electing to rest to recover their strength, before passing through the Obsidian Mirror to the Leering Keep….

It is still the 1st of Ready’reat, 600 CY
275000 xp

View
Arc 4, Episode 46, the Second Mark
Fight in the Fissure

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 23rd of Patchwall, 600 C.Y.

Our companions:

Adira Orr, Natural Weretiger Monk
Baht-Ole Vannarson, NPC Aasimar Cleric of Boccob
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
and re-introducing Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Paladin of Murlynd

After outlining their individual expectations, the group returned to the Baron’s office to discuss the possibility of releasing Janos Tandovr in exchange for his help locating his sister’s clone. In his office with him was Alexia, who had obviously just finishing telling him of her adventures while she had been away. Her former companions quickly took note that Alexia seemed not merely more mature in some inestimable way, but physically older, as well.

Adira, stating that she intended to seek out Tenser‘s fate on her own, she made her farewells. In their discussions with the Baron, who was against releasing Tandovr, Alexia asked to be allowed to rejoin the group, as her god had recently granted her a “visit” to the future that would result from their failure, a time that was called the Age of Iron. She also revealed that as a result of that experience, she’d become a paladin of Murlynd. Stressing the press for time, they eventually brought the Baron around.

Janos’ first demand was for the oaths to be sworn before a priest of Pholtus, as he was certain that the party would be unwilling to swear before Hextor, and the clergy of Pholtus was widely known to be good and just (if, perhaps, a bit too just). While in Greyhawk securing the aide of a priest named Klanden Ferrer, Elerra took some time to visit Kiamyr at the shrine and to the surprise of many, she forswore her career as a sorcerer, and dedicated herself to Ellistrae, becoming a full priestess. On hearing that his serviced would no longer be needed, Baht-Ole elected to join up with Wilfred’s followers to help research ley lines and possible ritual sites.

Once rejoined in the dungeons under Narwell, the following oaths were sworn. The group agreed that Janos would be released 7 days after their departure (whether they returned from their mission or not). He would be freed with a horse and money equal to the value of his equipment (which the party had largely sold). His sentance would be considered to have been served, and he would be free once more to travel where he would (though remaining in the Domain of Greyhawk was probably not advised).

On his part, he revealed that his sister’s clone was kept in a special chamber located in the Wyrmcrawl Fissure, a feature in the western Riftcanyon. The approach to the chamber would require passing through the Fissure on foot, a region cloaked in twilight, and infested with thousands of undead known as the Sons of Kyuss. The chamber itself, he revealed, had four primary guardians. The first three, he revealed, would likely be found together, namely Nigel Foqar (once an ifrit sorcerer, now an undead animus), Greshak the Foe-Eater (a half-ogre bloodrager, now a swordwraith), and finally Norman Lareft (an elite Son of Kyuss). These three had been family retainers in life, and continued to serve in unlife. The fourth guardian he named as Sodokoor, one of the greater balrogs, whom had been bound by one of his father’s companions decades before.

For his part, he knew of no additional alarms on either the chamber or the clone that would alert his sister, but required that the group was allowed to harm ONLY his sister’s clone, and that they were forsworn not to loot the chambers of any other valuables. Furthermore, he indicated that there was a means of passage directly from the chamber to the keep, a polished obsidian mirror in a bronze frame that would take them directly there (short-cutting the Teleport Block that otherwise held sway in the region).

Squizzles filled the group in from his encyclopedic bardic knowledge concerning animuses, swordwraiths, Kyuss, and balrogs, and the group made it’s plans for the journey. The following morning they set out, arriving in the canyon and working their way into the Fissure proper, fighting through throngs of Sons who sought to bar their way. Hours later, their weapons dripping the gore of a thousand or more undead, they finally reached the door to the Tandovr Crypts (as the area was called).

Unlocking the door proved a minor challenge, as it was additionally held closed by a Bigby’s Forceful Hand. Wilfred and Mekkatorque were the first into the room and made their way to Nigel, who responded by trying to trap them both in a Forcecage. In the following round, he would seal Mekkatorque in an Ice Prison (briefly). He would then keep himself out of reach between the two obstacles he’d created as he peppered the group with spells.

Meroln would rush to meet Greshak in combat, but a pair of lucky crits buried in a hail of attacks would leave his broken body oozing on the floor. Elerra would resuscitate him, but it wouldn’t be until late in the combat when he would be able to return to the fray. As we ended the evening, the only Nigel and a pair of elite Sons remained to block the party’s progress toward Sodorkoor and Jaliseem’s clone.

It is the 1st of Ready’reat, 600 CY

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.