The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. (C.Y. 605)
Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer), Unicorn Clan
Tsugumi Kirigaya, Tengu Oracle, Crane Clan
Arimura Kasumi, Human Fighter, Unicorn Clan
Our session began on the 21st of Sunsebb, 1150 I.C.
After spending a few days arranging for their Teleport to Greyhawk, Minister Seppun called the group back together and had a middle aged wu jen who called herself Garada Aliann send them on their way. However, instead of arriving in Greyhawk City, the party found themselves standing in a meadow. Climbing a nearby tree, Zeshyn spotted a city in the distance, which turned out to be Hardby, but the group quickly caught their bearings and soon were sailing the Selintarn northwards to Greyhawk.
Arriving in Greyhawk on the 24th, they quickly found the College of Magic and after being bounced about for awhile, were eventually directed to the office of Silvas Defari, the high elven Dean of the School of Conjuration in the College. After asking of their business with Tenser, he told them that it might take several days to get back to them, and recommended the nearby Inn of the Scarlet Basilisk. Seeking to learn new spells, Cortana applied to the college, and then leveraged that position to get herself and her companions access to the fruits of the School of Enchantment’s magical items (at a mere 20% markup).
It was not until the 27th that Dean Defari called them back to his office, stating that Tenser had agreed to meet with them at his fortress, which he gave them directions to. The party then hired a Rhennee barge to take them near Tenser’s fortress, where they were received by a woman calling herself Jallarzi Sallavarian, who escorted them within the keep and to Tenser.
Tenser, after hearing the party’s story, took them into the catacombs beneath his fortress, and into a pocket dimension where he kept the Esoteica Ebonwand. The party spent an hour or two questioning Sia Draja, the book’s guardian, before returning to the upper reaches with Tenser. While Sia was often vague with her answers, it was fairly clear that it was very likely that Durklemes sought the books for a couple of reasons. One, access to the rituals within would likely allow him to negate the limits placed upon him by Fu Leng, and might even allow him to reverse their roles.
Other facts learned was that Sia Draja had lain buried in the catacombs beneath Suendrako, the former capital of the Suel Imperium, until unearthed by a cloud giant of the Skath (not to be mistaken for the Glasatru, whose minions the party had already encountered). While she could not detect nor divine the locations of the three copies she knew of (one more than the number sought by Durklemes), she did know that one copy had been held in the city of Si’tair.
Consulting with Tenser, the party acquired maps of the ancient Imperium, and Tenser offered to Teleport them directly to Loftwick in the Yeomanry, so that they might use Slerotin’s Tunnel to enter the Sea of Dust. First, however, he would provide them with scrolls of the spells that the party who had wrested the Esoterica away from the Skath had used to contain it. Furthermore, he would find other mages of Good character to contain the volumes if the party could locate them.
Tenser offered to host the party at his fortress while he made inquiries, and on the 2nd of Needfest he introduced them to Khelben Blackstaff, a mage from Toril who had the means and will to aid them. He gifted the party (Ozawa specifically) with a ring by which he could be summoned once the book was secured. The following morning they departed for Loftwick.
Two weeks later, they emerged from Slerotin’s Tunnel into the town of Lerarrafat, where the first purposeful crops had been successfully planted in the wastes of the Sea of Dust since the Rain of Colorless Fire. After another week of travel, they spotted a tall tower in the distance, the only structure they’d seen since they’d departed Lerarrafat.
The tower stood 100’ tall, with a diameter of 60’. Zeshyn climbed to the top, figured out how to open the apex (though it took Kasumi & Ozawa’s muscles to actually leverage it open enough to be used). Inside the tower, they found a variety of skeletons on the topmost level, quite obviously the remains of meals had by something large. One floor of the tower was full of what Cortana identified as some type of power crystals, which had maybe powered the defenses that had allowed the tower to fend off the destructive Rain?
About halfway down into the tower, however, the party was confronted by an old woman who identified herself as M’sokinae, and that the land in which the tower stood had once been known as Nothuul. Despite the party’s suspicion that she might be a blue dragon (they’d found the corpse of a roc that had been electrocuted a few miles away from the tower), Cortana led the charge to attack her, managing to trap her human form in a conjured Spiked Pit.
This proved to be the high point of the combat from the party’s perspective. What emerged from the pit proved to be an Old Bronze Dragon, un-amused by their trespass but willing to allow them to live after putting an appropriate level of fear into their hearts. Two days later, following M’sokinae’s directions, they found the acres of debris that were all that remained of the city of Si’tair.
While trying to match the clear areas between piles of debris to roads marked on their maps, Kirigaya fell through the surface and into the sewers that had once run beneath the city. Said sewers, untouched by the Rain, still boasted placards set on the walls that named the streets, which, after casting Comprehend Languages, Cortana could read. The party soon found their way to the proper part of town where it was believed the Ebonwand had had their chapterhouse.
As we ended for the evening, Kasumi had almost walked into a Gelatinous Cube that had somehow survived the ages living in the sewer, and her paralyzed form is mere moments away from being engulfed by the cube… it is the 12th of Fireseek, 1151 I.C.