In attendance: Aerthuis Stormborn, Bael Phoebus, Gnosis-On, Gurias Stormborn, Mielka Dawnhammer, Raiden, Terrlen Darkstalker, Zigfried von Schattenwerk, Thorgrin Ryuk
Also starring: Aaqa, Acererak, Ebbek, Glandrin Sunbeam, Light, Logan Howlett, Nohrik, Reschard Tam, Shen One-Eyed, The Watchers
Part 1: The 7 Impossible Tasks
Terrlen escapes from Carceri on the back of the Balor. How did he get here? Why is he now a vampire? “It’s a long story.”
With the Chained God freed and consuming the universe, time is running out to retrieve the remaining pieces of the Rod of 7 Parts. The group must split up to complete the remaining impossible tasks.
Gloomwrought: Cast Shadows Without Light
Gurias, Terrlen, Mielka, Bael, and Thorgrin arrive in the shadowy metropolis of Gloomwrought, where the gloom immediately seeps into their psyche, causing some shifts in personality. After some investigation with the locals, they find that the city has been taken over by Acererak, using the Eye of Vecna to command the plane itself. Meeting back up with Shen (now the Exarch of the Raven Queen), they put into motion a plan to rally the city itself and summon Acererak from hiding.
Using divine powers and working the crowd, the city’s populace shows up to rebel against the tyrranical demilich. While shadow armies wash over the crowd to drag them to the new Tomb of Horrors, Mielka’s divine power keeps a safe zone where they confront Acererak. They remove the Eye of Vecna and banish the Demilich. Shen re-attaches the eye in order to cast shadows, even though this was a task originally intended for Light. They receive the Rod of the Raven.
Inferno: Extinguish the Eternal Flame
Raiden, Aerthurius, Gnosis, and Zigfried head to the devilish plane of Inferno where they find armies of chaotic demons assaulting the outer gates of the plane. Aaqa’s trasnport to the realm gets the group inside of the walls, and they proceed down through the 9 levels of Inferno built to mimic the devil’s home, the Nine Hells.
The group finds a massive ever-burning flame burning through the middle of the lower levels, each of which is smaller but growing as they draw arcane energy from the elemental conflagration. At the bottom level the party discovered a large metal base containing the fire and allowing its energy to be siphoned off inscribed with mostly devilish runes surrounding a smaller number of demonic runes. Gnosis and Zigfried work to disrupt the runes while Raiden and Aerthurius hold off several Pit Fiends and Horned Beast devils. Gnosis then feels a sense of gratitude coming from the flames for disrupting its prison, and Zigfried makes contact with the being they discover as Imix, Elemental Prince of Fire, and offer him freedom if he extinguishes himself. Within the heart of the fire they retrieved the Rod of Shamsiel.
Gurias, Terrlen, Mielka, Bael, and Thorgrin arrive in the enclosed earthen grove to immediately come face to face with the Tarrasque the size of a skyscraper. After some examination- and a few brutal rounds of getting torn apart by its claws and jaws- the party figures out that they need to cause precisely timed vibrations from inside it as well as out. Terrlen (in bat form) is the first into the beast’s maw and the first to be assaulted by its internal organs. Invisibly, Gurias comes in next. Targeting two of the creature’s strange organs from the inside, and the creature’s body on the outside, the party is able to create disruptions in the Tarrasque that cause it to fly apart, moving the immovable object. Terrlen is able to escape via the, err, exit, but Gurias is not so lucky. He manages to survive and recover the Rod of Samyaza.
Raiden, Aerthurius, Gnosis, and Zigfried arrive in a plane of interlocking gears and perpetual movement. They quickly discover a group of deformed and mutated humanoids living as refugees in Mechanus called Mutans and kindly give them some food rations. The group progresses towards the central gear and the tower of the Modrons but they quickly find that disobeying the lawful urgings of Mechanus result in them being mutated as well.
At the central gear the group faces off against a well ordered platoon of various Modrons, but Gnosis uses his newly mutated ability to hear and broadcast radio signals to immitate the Primus Modron leader and command them to assault the central gear and obey no further orders. The Modrons set to destroying the central gear, and with the help of the group’s mutations they succeed in stopping the irresistible force (for a time) and retrieve the Rod of Penemue.
Raiden, Thorgrin, Mielka, and Aerthurius take the Legacy in to face the Githyanki fleet, choosing a direct assault straight through the middle to catch them off guard. This works well enough through the first two waves of ships, but then the engines give out just as they reach the line of red dragons. Some quick thinking puts out the sails, which Aerthurius summons a hurricane to propel. The red dragons still manage to catch the spelljammer on fire just as they arrive at the colossal red dragon and its Githyanki admiral rider- who reveals that he is a master of the Zumcantor style.
While Raiden and the Admiral face off, the legacy is abandoned except for the party, and Mielka’s prophecy of doom hits the red dragon just before the rest of the overcharged Legacy does, destroying the spelljammer but inflicting massive damage on the dragon. Aaqa quickly summons a floating platform to hold the rest as Raiden and Thorgrin make their way around the dragon to battle the Admiral, occasionally becoming grabbed or being tossed into the Astral Sea.
The Admiral doesn’t last, relinquishing his grip on the Rod of Azazel, and the party finishes off the dragon so that it can’t harass them later. They teleport back to the meeting place for the final assault as the rest of the spelljammer’s crew take the lifeboats away from the conflict and hope for the best.
Court of Hungry Stars: Answer the Impossible Question
Zigfried, Gurias, Bael, Gnosis, and Terrlen arrive on the surface of Allabar, a rogue star. Their minds are quickly assaulted by the Far Realm entity on which they landed where several party members find themselves within impossible paradoxes including Gurias as a familiar to a necromantic eye-of-Vecna wielding Hootensworth.
After attempting to answer some unanswerable questions, the group is assaulted by several manifestations from Allabar. Terrlen drops and is consumed by the aberrant star, but the rest of the group manages to defeat the creature and send it into a dormant state. After presenting their answers to the star’s unanswerable question of “Who are you?” they are presented with the Rod of Bael.
Part 2: The Chained God Rises
With the Rod assembled, the spark is unlocked in each hero, bringing them closer to their final form and their ultimate destiny.
The Chained God must be stopped before he gains too much power by consuming the Deep Astral. The gods cannot interfere directly due to the tainted Etherium attuned, but they sent their exarchs and others to help:
- Shen, the Raven Knight
- Glandrin Sunbeam, the Eternal Defender
- Alice Starr, Exarch of Lolth
- Reschard Tam, now a spirit with Pelor after a long life, revealing that hundreds of years have passed since the party arrived in the Astral.
- Zimon the Transcendent
- The memory of the fallen comrade Light
- Logan Howlett, Exarch of Erathis
- Ebbek, Exarch of Bahamut
- Nohrik, Exarch of Avandra
The armies of the Chained God are being summoned to protect him and help in the carnage. They are pouring out of portals to stop the armies of the divine. Everyone splits up into three fronts: the first wave, stopping the bulk of the evil armies. The second front stops any stragglers who break through, and the third takes the Rod of 7 Parts (now assembled into one) into the heart of the Chained God.
Zigfried, Gurias, Gnosis, and Thorgrin opt to hold the line against the invading armies.
The first creatures that arrive do not seem to pose much of a threat, but they are soon followed by a Gibbering Orb. Gurias and Gnosis lay down a series of magical fields in order to impede their progress, while Zigfried uses his mental powers to wreak havoc among the invading foes and Thorgrin goes toe to toe with some of the deadliest creatures ever imagined.
Gurias is called away to the striking group in order to lend his expertise, leaving only three defenders (and one weeping mind flayer) to hold out against the demon prince Baphomet who tries to get Gnosis to defect back to being a rage-filled minotaur, but the wisened one resists.
On the edge of the battlefield, the party spots the next wave that includes a massive beats of 50 heads and a hundred arms: the legendary Hecatonchires, an engine of destruction. Its arrival would signal an even more serious threat. Glandrin is called to hold the line to give the defenders just that much more time to prepare. The Elven Fighter steps in front of the advancing monstrosities and challenges “Come and Get It.”
Meanwhile, the striking group requires even more assistance, and is unwilling to send back any reinforcements to the defenders. Zigfried’s thrall is sent through the portal first.
With even more foes on the horizon, including the demon lord Graz’zt and the balor freed by the party, the decision is made to abandon the line and hope the extra time was enough to buy the strikers enough time to complete their task.
Meanwhile, the strikers find out who is guarding the Chained God’s amorphous form: Orcus himself. Aerthius, Mielka, Bael, and Raiden face the Demon Prince of Undeath and find him no easy match. Bael is quickly summoned to Orcus’ side and struck down by his skeletal wand in one stroke. The others fight bravely with Mielka summoning divine lanterns to aid them, Raiden defending against the demon’s attacks, and Aerthius planting the Rod of Seven Parts into the chained god’s prison and then transforming into a huge Blue Dragon and attacking Orcus.
Gurias arrives later to provide elemental and necrotic protection for the strikers facing Orcus, and then flies to the Rod and discovers that he must wield the storm through it in order to open the Chained God’s prison. Orcus continues to summon more and more ghouls while he deals out large amounts of damage, a group of Serpents of Nihil come through the portal having passed the defenders only to be engulfed in a blast from Aerthius. Aerthius then dicovers that his body must be consumed in order to complete the transformation, so he asks Zigfried to send the mind flayer magus thrall to the striker’s group.
The Stormborn Prophecy Fulfilled
With Gurias holding the Rod, Aerthurius is consumed by the mind flayer’s flames, and transforms into the spellstorm, which Gurias channels through the Rod in order to force the Chained God to become manifest, the ultimate act of creation. The resulting explosion once against splits the two groups, each taking on aspects of the Chained God.
Chain And A Dark Heart For You
The first two forms taken by the newly constructed Chained God are a beast of terrible chains on one side and a series of dark reflections of the heroes on the other. The two sides are linked, which causes a few issues in figuring out how to defeat the seemingly unbeatable reflections as the other party struggled to damage the chain beast.
Then, the Chained God transforms into a another solid beast of Suffering, feeding on the fears of dying alone, isolating individuals in their own zones of loneliness and despair. But they do not give up, one side attacking the creature with the dark heart, banishing it to the other side before both come together to destroy this Avatar. The Chained God streaks into the air as the two sides float together again.
Together as one, they face the Chained God’s ultimate form as an Avatar of Pain, draining the very life force out of the party merely by being in their presence, and doing massive elemental damage with alarming speed. The heroes, once and for all, unleash their most devestating attacks, bringing forth powers that could destroy entire worlds down upon this one final form of the Chained God. Terrible suffering is inflicted that causes several to lie on the ground dying, but Mielka’s angelic powers cleanse the afflictions. Each of the 8 heroes throws everything they have at one final blast.
Everything goes white.