Might of the Inquisition

The Kraken Is Released
Adventure 60

In attendance: Mielka Dawnhammer, Zigfried von Schattenwerk, Raiden, Thorgrin Ryuk, Aerthuis Stormborn, Gurias Stormborn

After being assaulted by demons in the streets of Sigil, Thorgrin Ryuk barely escapes from a strange energy in the skies, and finds himself tossed into the mast of The Legacy, breaking it. After a short round of introductions, the party lands in the astral domain of Ligis, City of Exits.

Ligis is the home of everything that has ever been lost during magical travel, as they quickly spy random rifts opening and depositing junk in random places. For some of their questions, the party is pointed towards “The Storm Sage”, Aerthuis Stormborn. Gurias was surprised, especially after Aerthuris revealed that HE believed himself to be The Stormborn. However, being an amiable sort, the two agreed to travel together, especially after Gurias let slip that he had a spelljammer.

More research in town lead to talking to some of Ligis’s more interesting residences, who filled in the party on some of the more interesting locations of The Deep Astral. Further investigation suggested that each piece of the Rod of 7 Parts was guarded by the 7 Impossible Tasks, and trying to match them to astral domains might help.

Knowledge in hand, a teleportation circle was setup to Ligis, and several party members agreed to stay behind while others explore.

#dnd KRAKEN!!!!!!! on Twitpic

Upon exiting the color barrier, the party was assaulted by a Githyanki blockade, left behind by the two Githyanki fleets also fanning out and seeking the Rod. The battle attracted an Astral Kraken, who tried to crush and absorb The Legacy. While some party members battled the opposing crew, some focused on the Kraken, with Zigfried “souring the milk” and Mielka used her divine powers to try and calm the creature, which lasted long enough to deal with the obstacles and push the ship away from the beast. Meanwhile, the Githyanki vessel came apart, its captain going down with the ship.

  • Epic Deed: Mielka calmed the astral kraken.
  • Pieces of the Rod of 7 Parts Found: 0
  • Current Party Level: 21
  • Next Destination: The last known location of Feymin in the hopes that it will lead to the Lost Library.

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Temple of Elemental Evil (Part 6): The Demon Queen Zuggtmoy
Adventure 59

Selected excerpts from the royal scrolls, as originally told by his highness Reschard the First, King of Tamhold. Some creative liberties may have been taken with His Majesty’s words by this scribe.

“…The heroes descended into the deepest depths of the Temple to confront the Demon Queen Zuggtmoy head on. Using the powers of the Princes of Elemental Evil, she had been the one directing the activities of the cult of the Chained God in Einland, spreading chaos, death, and destruction. The Queen of Decay, like her consort of so long ago, desired to tear everything down thread by thread.

8 heroes confronted her. They faced their very memories being torn from their minds. They struck against the corrupted angels that aided the worst of causes. They banished the massive disgusting cube of ooze. They traveled to the 4 hearts of Elemental Evil to sever the links, fighting flame, storm, earthquakes, and crushing waves. They even turned on each other against their will, and yet somehow, endured.

Light, champion of the Raven Queen, died 3 deaths to save us all. He was the one among us who perhaps was the biggest mystery, the most temperamental, and with the most figurative inner demons to control. When faced with a real demon, one that could have caused so much harm, he did not hesitate. In the end- and this time, I believe it is his final end- he lived up to his name, and outshone us all.

I learned the rest of their journey scant hours before they departed. Barely given a day of rest before they had to move on, they each spent it in ways that best suited them. Gurias was appointed Magister of Arborea. Glandrin’s work has paid off in the formation of the Elven nation Ithacarus, where his likeness will adorn the Elven battlements, marking him Eternal Defender. Mielka finally no longer has to deal with blood getting into her clothes and hair, as befits the Exarch of Moradin. Raiden seeks out Koshi, the voidsoul Genasi who is the only other remnant of the Goji school, and tells him to rebuild, passing on his teachings, and gains the title of Sage of Ages of the Goji school. The strange minotaur Gnosis-On spends the day in meditation, and unlocked something of the divine within himself. With the help of the Deva Samyaza, Bael unlocks his past memories, becoming part of the Soul of the World. Zimon departs back to the Elemental Chaos to reflect on what has happened.

Zigfried’s mental abilities have truly grown considerably since he first joined us at the behest of Ebbek. After he was in touch with his former order, he contacted me mentally. I found myself having perfect recall of all their journeys, even though I was not present at them. He bid me make a copy of all that has transpired, and bury it in a specific location so as to better inform our allies who continue the good fight far into the future. While it is disappointing that we know our efforts won’t be successful any time soon, I now believe that we are laying the groundwork for what is to come for an eventual victory, even if I am not around to see it. I trust that Pelor has a plan that will deliver us from darkness.

In the very beginning, there were 6 of us: myself, Gurias, Glandrin, Darian, Light, and Kurosh. We were soon joined by Alice Starr and Nohrik. Darian and I have since retired. Alice and Kurosh revealed themselves to be villains of the highest caliber. Nohrik and Light made the ultimate sacrifice. Of those of us misfits originally recruited not for some grand cause, but simply that we needed something that we couldn’t get for ourselves, Gurias and Glandrin continue on into the unknown. In the process, they have surrounded themselves with powerful allies whose fates are intertwined and have proven to be invaluable allies in the fight to save creation itself.

The Pelorite Prophecies have come to pass. The future that the Inquisition feared so much, while not without heartbreak and death, has not meant an end, but a new beginning for these lands. We will take the lessons of these past few years and rebuild stronger than ever, and forge ahead towards a brighter future. With the Etherium gone, we will have to be even more vigilant, and work together to ensure our survival.

To this end, I have asked that those with knowledge about what has happened use it only to inform about potential dangers, and not reveal the secret history of what has occurred here. The followers of the Chained God are still out there scheming. They have been dealt a major blow and it will take time to reorganize, but exposing the depths of our knowledge will only open us up to risk from those that remain and the lingering influence of the corrupted Etherium upon our world. This world is a dangerous place as it is, and we have much to lose in this period of rebuilding were we to make ourselves a target. While I am wary of secrets- for I can still feel the cold hand of Vecna- recent events have shown me that this may be the only way.

Some day, the truth will come out again as it invariably does. I can only pray by then we will be ready for it. Maybe by that day, my friends will return. I can only hope they see the wisdom of what I have done, even if it means that their efforts will largely have been kept to the shadows, just as they began.

This is the end of these chronicles, though my absent friends still have a grand journey ahead of them, I do not know if anyone will ever hear of these travels so they can receive the respect they deserve. My royal artists are working on a commission so that I may remember them, and some day, what they did can be revealed. For now, however, I must go. Elana will soon give birth to our first son, the heir to the throne of Tam. One final time, I give my deepest thanks, for there was a time that I wouldn’t have thought this possible.

King Reschard I of Tamhold"

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Temple of Elemental Evil (Part 5): Aberrant Zone and Dragon Shrine
Adventure 58

In attendance: Light, Mielka Dawnhammer, Gurias Stormborn, Zigfried von Schattenwerk

The 3rd floor down on the Temple of Elemental Evil has been warped by aberrant magic, making navigation difficult. Zigfried, the resident aberration expert, helps to navigate by attempting to make the way towards the center.

The first stop is a room taken over by Mind Flayers, including the one who previously tried to fry Gurias. He offers Zigfried the chance to have the parasitic proto-Mind Flayer in his brain take over and make him into a full fledged Mind Flayer, in exchange for being able to consume Gurias in flames (who would then be able to be resurrected.) Eventually after some debate- and protest from Gurias- Zigfried decides against the offer. Gurias lays into the Mind Flayer with a Grand Total, who is then finished by a Hammer of Fate from Mielka. The Thoon Hulk and Intellect Devourers try to finish the job but are also defeated.

Zigfried loses his way before the party comes across a room full of 8 Beholders. One of them is the Beholder that they freed previously, but grown up. He explains (mentally) that this is a meeting to determine the hierarchy of Beholders amongst the Temple. By manipulating the Beholders into sensing weakness, and praying upon their vanity, the party is able to have the Beholders blast each other into nothing, leaving the last Beholder standing their ally Kenneth. Kenneth says he wasn’t raised like other Beholders, and merely wants to cook and manage his criminal empire. He uses his powers to direct the portal so everyone can move on.

Zigfried once again gets lost, until finally arriving at the center of the Temple: a shrine to Tiamat, containing statues to the five chromatic dragons and Tiamat herself. One set of runes is channeling demonic power from below, the other is containing something. The something is freed: it is Samyaza, the Deva from Bael’s past that helped the party travel into the dream world. Freeing him also activates the guardian: a Hydra of Tiamat. However, they figure out that by channeling the appropriate energy into the statues, they draw energy from the guardian, but also make it stronger.

Light engages the Hydra head on to distract it so it can’t move onto the party members who can’t take the same amount of damage the Hyrdra puts out. The 5 heads, then 6, then 7, and finally 8 continue to lash out at the Revenant as he continues to try and hold it off while the statues are disabled. Mystical energy continues to lash out at it, as Light strikes at the creature from all sides.

Finally, Light curses the Tiamat proxy so that the wounds it deals out will also affect itself. In one final blaze, the 8 heads lash out to tear at the Revenant and destroy the nuisance once and for all so it can move onto juicier targets. Light, the Warlock who was once a Tiefling, who serves the Raven Queen with all his heart, does not retreat and does not fear his doom, if he can just strike one final blow and defeat the creature. It charges him, and he charges it. The resulting flash blinds everyone else in the room. When the smoke clears… the creature still stands, and Light has been torn apart. It hungrily moves onto Mielka as its next target. As the beast’s 8 heads loom over the Dwarf, Zigfried cries out at the loss of his friend and channels psychic energy into the last statue, blowing apart the Hydra at the last moment.

Samyaza explains several points of note:

  • He was captured because he’s one of the only creatures who knows the path to the Deep Astral, where the Chained God is imprisoned, and where the only weapon that can stop him is scattered.
  • When the Chained God was originally trapped, the Gods united against him. This time, however, some Gods seem to not be unanimous- Tiamat is on his side now, and at least one other God.
  • Trapped on the next level down is Zuggtmoy, Demon Princess of Decay, Entropy, Mold, and Slime. She was the consort of the Chained God, until she was imprisoned in the Temple. She is gaining energy as long as she is trapped, and will soon be released onto the world with full power- she must be stopped as soon as possible, or else the Chained God will be freed even sooner.
  • She channels the powers of the Four Princes of Elemental Evil in his prison, and so Samyaza recommends mustering as many forces as you can in order to stop her and the Elemental Evils, as well as the angels of the Chained God.

The party decides that they must rest up before the assault begins, so they return to the ship to recharge overnight. Unfortunately, the forces of evil seem to be moving quick, and several more seals break. A massive battle awaits below that will decide the fate of many. With the loss of Light, a cost has already been paid… will anyone else pay the ultimate price before the battle is ended?

Final Machination Levels

  • Air: Advanced 4
  • Earth: Advanced 4
  • Fire: Advanced 4
  • Water: Advanced 5 (done)
  • Temple: 4 Seals Broken
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Temple of Elemental Evil (Part 4): Fire Temple
Adventure 57

In attendance: Bael Phoebus, Gurias Stormborn, Gnosis-On, Raiden

After popping back into the Temple outside of the Water Temple, the airship goes to send word to the halfling villages that a massive wave was on the way, and to evacuate immediately, leaving behind the party trapped in the Temple if anything goes wrong.

They arrive in the Fire Temple, where several Efreeti stand guard. The vile Zumcantor also stands, working with a pile of seemingly random magic junk. Raiden calls out to him, and the battle begins: Raiden finally going one-on-one with the Githyanki that destroyed his school. Raiden tells the party not to interfere, even if he’s going to die, and Zumcantor’s custom swordmagic style makes it so that it is difficult for anyone else to interfere.

Fully prepared to fight creatures of fire, the rest of the party squares off against Efreeti, a pathetic Fire Elemental, and a Conflagration Orb. Especially with some Evard’s Black Tentacles tossed into the mix, they pose little issue while the swordmage dual goes on.

Raiden, however, does not have as easy a time. With every strike that Raiden defends against, he exposes weaknesses in his style to Zumcantor. With every strike that connects against Zumcantor, he learns how to defend better. Raiden is soon injured, and the voice of the Chained God whispers in his head to accept the power offered to destroy his hated rival.

Raiden rallies a bit, refusing to go down that road yet, and asks Zumcantor why he destroyed Raiden’s school. The Githyanki responds that it is his duty to crush the weak for more power as the Chained God demands, and he has begun teaching his new custom school to others in the Githyanki fleet.

The back and forth continues, with Zumcantor taking a few critical strikes. He exudes a magic-destroying flame, which consumes many of the protections on Raiden as well as the Black Tentacles. The battle seems to turn, and the Chained God’s whispers grow in intensity. Raiden reveals that Tharizidun has offered him power to destroy Zumcantor, using the god’s true name. The name echoes throughout the complex, alerting the party to the deal.

Beaten, and on the verge of being cut down, Raiden declares that he needs the party’s help. He finds himself unable to swear the same Oath they did (still compelled by the Chained God from a previous favor) but still takes their help in defeating Zumcantor.

They find that each strike against Zumcantor transfers sympathetically to Raiden, making it difficult to destroy him without also destroying Raiden. Gnosis-On inscribes a rune of power that allows them to share pain, spreading out the magic among the two of them, and letting Raiden take a breather. Though he tries to withdraw, Zumcantor is single minded about pursuing the Genasi to the death.

Beaten, bones shattered, and barely surviving, Zumcantor moves in for the killing blow, but Bael moves into box in the Githyanki, and uses his divinely empowered strike to send the Swordmage tumbling backwards. Before he dies, he chokes out one final threat about his vast fleet moving through the Deep Astral to find the Chained God and release them, each one having been taught his custom style. Raiden has his revenge on Zumcantor and has avenged his school, though the Zumcantor School of Swordmagic survives amongst his followers, and they’re up to something terrible.

The party takes a rest to try and recover from the brutal battle and barricades the interior of the Fire Temple to wait for the ship to return. The Temple then shakes with violent force that lasts a full minute before settling back in. The wave has been launched.

Epilogue

Without the help of the crew of the Legacy, the halfling people could have been wiped out to near extinction right there. The entire Volusparan Sea rose up, compelled by dire magics of Water and Air, and turned its destructive power on the Midland Moor, home to all the small halfling fishing communities, as well as contingents from the Kingdom of Dusk.

The Legacy arrived an hour before, ordering the scattered villages to run, taking on the ones who had no chance of escaping. Mielka hovers around on her floating disk, scooping up the halfling children. Zigfried uses his mental powers to command the stubborn, ordering them away (and freaking out a few of the rescued with his thrall.) Glandrin’s great strength helps lift several platforms of people onto the ship. Light sends a few of the infirm onto the Raven Queen so that their souls will not be consumed with dark magic. Zimon hangs off the ladder and scoops up several families by using incredible feats of acrobatics. Darian, aboard an electrum dragon, rescues his village from ruin and flies them to some of the safer caves.

In the end, there were only so many that could be saved. As the massive wave crests on the horizon, the Captain pulls hard on the steering wheel to send it up and away from the carnage, as the converted airship struggles with all the extra weight. The very bottom of the vessel is hit, causing it to spin out of control, and the hundreds of halflings aboard scream in terror.

The Captain desperately spins the wheel to regain control, and the spellcasters aboard focus their magical might into helping. The ship stabilizes after a few terrifying seconds.

The halflings aboard are dropped off in Dusk, which too was hit by the edge of the wave, causing some serious flooding but nowhere near as bad as the Midland Moor. Some time is spent in rescue operations amongst the villages hit, though the damage is bad. Even those that survive are homeless. A few of the clans survive mostly intact: the Shadowhearts, the Freefingers, the Proudfeet, and a few more. Many more have been lost under the waves.

And at the bottom of the ocean… their bodies stir. They head towards the Temple to heed the call of Dagon.

The Volusparan Sea has become the Volusparan Gorge. The area between it and Dusk has been submerged, and the area will become marshland for at least centuries to come.

What’s Next?

The party has recovered the group from the Fire Temple, though they are a bit worse for wear. Gurias collected the magical trinkets that Zumcantor was experimenting with to determine what they are.

Everyone is informed the stairs down to the next floor are nearby, and the entire floor seemed to be warped by aberrant influences. They’ll need expert dungeoneers and aberration experts to be able to navigate it successfully.

Then there’s the matter of what to do with the Water Temple (whom the party has a rough alliance with), as they ascend to a supreme position in the temple. Plus, there is certainly greater evil below… who might be planning even worse than what has come before.

Current Machination Levels
Air: Advanced 2
Earth: Advanced 1
Fire: Advanced 2
Water: Advanced 5 (done)
Temple: 1st Seal Broken

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Temple of Elemental Evil (Part 3): Air Temple
Adventure 56

In Attendance: Mielka Dawnhammer, Raiden, Gurias Stormborn

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Moving down into Dungeon Level 2, the party is confronted with a strange floor with tiles representing the elements in a seemingly random array. After a few attempts to bypass it using magic failed, some trial and error determined the pattern they needed to cross it successfully.

The room beyond the door contained the Air Temple with a central flickering portal. After some investigation, Kelemar Stormborn ambushed Gurias, so the party beat a tactical retreat into an adjourning hallway.

Out of danger for the moment, the party continue crawling the dungeon, sending Alfred J. Hootensworth around to scout, passing by a chained Owlbear and avoiding a few sentries thanks to some rituals.

The party encounters a fetid pool, and before long, are confronted with some kuo-toa. Raiden is “captured” and taken to their leader, Belsornig. Belsornig is a water giant who serves the Prince of Elemental Evil, Dagon. At first, Raiden attempts to bluff Belsornig into letting her think that they are with one of the other temples, but the attempt fails. However, Belsornig doesn’t seem to care too much about the party and they work out an agreement: in exchange for securing help from the Air Temple to summon a massive tidal wave to destroy the Halfling villages in Twilight, Belsornig will help get the party into the Fire Temple to attack Zumcantor while distracting his other forces.

Mielka’s amazing sense of dungeoneering gets the party to negotiate with Lanth of the Air Temple, an Air Genasi in a meditation chamber. He agrees to help use his ritual might to further Water’s goals, in exchange for taking out Kelemar so he can seize power in the Air Temple, and thus break the Air/Fire alliance.

Returning the Genasi to the Air Temple, the PCs move on Kelemar, who has bolstered his defenses a bit by summoning an Air Elemental. The Eladrin Sorcerer gets the jump on Gurias again, laying into his son with all manner of storm magic.

Gurias takes some abuse, and is pushed by the winds towards the central portal. When a particularly nasty blow wounds Gurias, Kelemar shouts “NOW! FULFILL THE PROPHECY!”, and an exceptionally large mind flayer emerges from the central circle and throws a fireball at the wizard. The fire causes Gurias to go down, but the flames do not last. Mielka springs into action healing the wizard and sanctifying the ground to protect them, much to the annoyance of Kelemar.

Gurias unleashes his magical might, shunting the mind flayer into the portal, who simply says “You will be mine yet, Stormborn” before being whisked away to who-knows-where. Raiden moves up to engages the villainous Sorcerer directly, who then tries to slip away using his travel magic. Gurias says “I’ll show you how powerful I’ve become, father” and unleashes a Grand Total on the area that Kelemar has moved into.

Reality tears asunder, blasting the elder Stormborn into nothing as he says “Such destruction. I’m proud of you, son.”

Gurias notes that no assistance came from the Water Temple, and Lanth moves in to take control of the Air Temple immediately. The party pops back to the ship to take a much-needed extended rest and recover from the injuries. Raiden protests since he is eager to face Zumcantor, but ultimately acquiesces. His revenge will soon be at hand.

Quest Completed: All players level up to 20.

MACHINATIONS

  • Air: Advanced 2
  • Earth: Advanced 1
  • Fire: Advanced 1
  • Water: Advanced 4
  • Temple: 1st Seal Broken
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Temple of Elemental Evil (Part 2): Earth Temple
Adventure 55

In attendance: Glandrin Sunbeam, Gurias Stormborn, Light,Raiden, Zigfried von Schattenwerk

ToEELevel1

  • 103: Staging area for Earth troops.
  • 112+113: Looted armories.
  • 114: Most likely a prison, locked.
  • 115+118: Ghouls.
  • 119: Ransacked banquet hall.
  • 120: Kitchen.
  • 134-137: Hartsch’s chambers.
  • 138: Library.
  • 145: Earth Temple.
  • 146: Air-sealed chamber.
  • 149: Heavily occupied room, most likely some kind of guard chamber.
  • 150: Jail cells, including several undead, and an imprisoned Gnomish Thief.
  • 153: Stairs down (earth-sealed).
  • 152: Torture chamber where Hans Ziegfrid and other prisoners were recovered from. The bugbear torturers were attempting to get the sigil sequence for Tarturia‚Äôs teleportation circles.
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Temple of Elemental Evil (Part 1): The Upper Works
Adventure 54

In attendance: Bael Phoebus, Gnosis-On, Light, Glandrin Sunbeam, Zigfried von Schattenwerk, Zimon

After beating the Wyrmmother in an old moathouse and recovering Zimon and Krusck from her clutches, the party ventures in the Temple of Elemental Evil with a rough “evil party” cover story. Zigfried von Schattenwerk‘s new Illithid thrall helps them get in the door. After some searching in the main chamber filled to the brim with brigands and other ne’er do wells, a hand of fate ritual and some keen eyes spot a trapdoor down to the first level: the Earth Temple.

Explored so far:
Temple of Elemental Evil Level 1

  • 112+113: Looted armories
  • 114: Most likely a prison, locked.
  • 115+118: Ghouls.
  • 119: Ransacked banquet hall.
  • 120: Kitchen.
  • 149: Heavily occupied room, most likely some kind of guard chamber.
  • 152: Torture chamber where Hans Ziegfrid and other prisoners were recovered from. The bugbear torturers were attempting to get the sigil sequence for Tarturia’s teleportation circles.
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Interlude: The Cleansing of the Etherium

The ritual components had not come easy. Raiden confronted the tragedies of his past and lost a mentor in order to gain a captured Djinni. Reschard Tam had to search his faith to justify taking Pure Sunlight from Hestavar, the Bright City. Zimon the planar guide was lost in the Abyss recovering some spawning ooze. Time and great expense was taken turning the Legacy into a spelljammer to recover wind from Pandemonium. Istarmani did not die easily, his tears being taken from him after being hit with one of the most powerful spells ever crafted.

Five major elements of the ritual that promised to do so much: cleanse the Etherium of the corruption of the Chained God. Doing so would mean that the tears in reality would cease, the borders between planes wouldn’t be torn apart, and aberrations would not find it as easy to enter our world. Aramath Teldorm spent long hours developing the ritual, and is overjoyed to see it done.

Gurias helps with the ritual, delicately handling the rare components and lending his magical expertise. The entire process would take about a day. The rest of the party takes the time to do a bit of resupply and restocking in the floating city of Arborea, before retiring to The Legacy nearby.

A grueling 23 hours passes of chanting, mixing, gesturing, and casting. It is then when the ritual really begins to kick in. The final focus: the piece of pure Etherium Gurias recovered from the future. Energy begins to cascade out, first from the focal point, then in all directions, the arcane college of Arborea literally shaking with the energies unleashed, shifting the material through its phases through sympathetic magic. “It’s working!” Aramath cries, his many years of magical research finally accomplishing something great.

But then… it becomes clear that something is going wrong. The energy pouring out isn’t subsiding. Aramath flips to the next page of the ritual, and finds it replaced with a simple note:

“Sorry Son. -Kelemar”

Aramath and Gurias work to try to contain the energy, but it’s too late. Ripples of pure magic force rip through the laboratory, shattering vials and ripping apart books. Aramath can only look in horror as the spell is unleashed and arcane energy begins to fill the room with a blinding white light. Aramath turns to Gurias and mouths “I’m sorry” before firing off one last spell.

Before he can react further, Gurias finds himself teleported outdoors. It takes him a second before the feeling of deja vu overcomes him: he knows where he is. All that time ago, in the Ghost Tower, he found himself on this mountainous outcropping. Arborea, the luminous floating city he was destined to protect, goes careening into the sea as many of the Eladrin topple off. The emerald towers burn. Gurias realizes what has happened: the Etherium used to hold Arborea aloft has disappeared.

In the Legacy, the rest of the party looks across the continent and sees the green lights of the Etherium protected cities begin to go out. The Etherium-cleansing ritual has worked, after a fashion. All of the Etherium in Einland is gone.

Using the airship, along with the remaining arcane college members, Arborea is kept afloat, fires are put out, and some of those who fell into the sea are recovered. There are casualties (including Aramath), and they are mourned, but the Eladrin city will recover and endure, as it has done for many centuries. Gurias is not blamed for what happened, but it is quickly discovered that Kelemar has escaped. Scrying rituals are cast to track him, however, they are only partially successful. It seems he has gone somewhere near the sleepy town of Hommlet.

This can only mean one thing: Kelemar Stormborn is at the Temple of Elemental Evil, and he serves the Chained God.

TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL PRELUDE

  • Between the remnants of the Inquisition’s famous treasury and time spent in Arborea, each PC gains 21,000 gp (that can be spent on any regularly available magic items) AND a 21st level magic item of their choice.
  • All boons expire. This includes Raiden’s bladesinger training, Mielka’s boon from Melora, and Nohrik’s Blessing.
  • Each PC gains a new boon, listed under Player Rewards.
  • Quest Completed: Each PC levels to 19. Expect to get to 20 and 21 throughout the course of the Temple of Elemental Evil, which should be between 4-6 sessions.
  • Get ready for some serious dungeon crawling action.
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The Final Battle for Alexandren
Adventure 53
  • Reschard Tam leaves a letter stating that he is leaving the party to attend to his kingdom, and makes the rest of the party Knights of the Kingdom of Tam. (See his page for his letter.)
  • The party arrives in Alexandren at the Stone Pony and find they cannot affect the aberrations, even by using the ship’s weapons, and they cannot even give the order to fire on the creatures. Ebbek boards the ship with Gnosis-On, a minotaur of few words who has been trying to meet the party.
  • The remnants of the last order of the Inquisition (the Cerulean Order) and a number of other refugees are taken to the sewers.
  • Alice Starr is there, as a “Servant of Pelor” and wants to be taken along as the party goes after Istarmani. She has the other 3 pieces of the Jade Set and will only provide them for use against Istarmani if she is allowed to come along.
  • Zigfriend and the rest of the Inquisition go off to fight the Gibbering Orb.
  • An army of drow stand guard outside the Black Spire, Alice’s subterfuge and some quick illusions get the party inside. There, they are met by Jhaelyn, from Phaervorul, who wants to take revenge on the party for abandoning him after they said they would defeat the Matron. The party breaks the illusion to fight.
  • Alice uses Bow Before Me and pushes them away with Lolth’s power, and Gurias seals the entrance with a Wall of Fire. The drow are dispatched, and the party ascends the Black Spire.
  • At the top, they find Istarmani dangling several children out the window, and wishes to talk before they fight, or else he’ll drop the children. Alice and Light say that they should just attack, while the others urge caution. Istarmani recounts his 1000 year past, from his imbuing as an Archfey to protect the material world, to his falling out at Nerath with Istarya and Istarkoi, to being stripped of his power by Istarya then recovering his power hundreds of years later… only to be corrupted by Alice’s (and Lolth’s) machinations. His chance to rule Alexandren was robbed by the party, though he did finally get revenge on Istarya. And now, he’ll use the aberrations to conquer the world and get his empire after all.
  • The kids are tossed down the stairs, and the fight begins. Istarmani becomes encased in a Prismatic Sphere, and also splits into 6 Mirror Images.
  • The Jade Set is used to draw away some of Istarmani’s power as he moves about the battlefield, forcibly shunting his foes into the Feywild and casting powerful magic spells.
  • Mielka pronounces Doom upon Istarmani, and Gurias casts Grand Total, causing an immense amount of damage to Istarmani’s Prismatic Shield, but also some damage to the rest of the party. Istarmani’s power grows out of control, and the top of the Black Spire is ripped off, shattering the immense Etherium crystal above it.
  • Istarmani attempts to use Telekinesis to toss various party members off the edge, but they stand their ground. Gnosis-On is eventually tossed off, but his magic boots enable him to shrug it off and come back up on the stairs.
  • Alice is knocked out of the fight, and the party grabs the rest of the Jade Set to finish the job against Istarmani. A final blast pushes back Istarmani whose body goes flying off the edge as it begins to discorporate. Light teleports to the fey’s body and decapitates it as it dissolves into nothing. The rest of the tower shrieks as it begins to collapse from Istarmani’s last pull of telekinesis causes it to fly apart, sending Alice’s unconscious body into the rubble.
  • The party escapes the crumbling tower. They attempt to find Alice’s body (and the 2 pieces of the Jade Set she still had with her) but find no sign of it. The remaining drow have fled.
  • Upon returning to the Stone Pony, the party finds that Ebbek the Inquisition perished in the conflict, but they were successful in stopping the Gibbering Orb and cleaning up the aberrations. While it would be a long time to rebuild, life and civilization could return to the ruins of Alexandren… and something new can be built. Ebbek was old, and his wife had already passed on, so he went on in peace.
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The Balor Strikes Back
Adventure 51

In attendance: Raiden, Reschard Tam, Light, Zigfried von Schattenwerk, Zimon, Kallista

The party comes to the conclusion that the Abyssal ooze is the only obtainable piece of the etherium-cleansing ritual, so they recruit Zimon to help them. He has investigated a place in the Gornobi Desert that contains an abyssal “bleed.” After constructing some blessed jars to contain the demon ooze they seek, they set off into the desert. Along the way they encounter a monstrous cloud ray hiding in an oasis, backed up by a “sand shark”, or graboid. A group of desert Tieflings joins in the fight, at first hindering then helping.

The leader of the tieflings, Kallista, talks to the party about life fighting the demons who come through. She leads them to her encampment, where some of the energy is strongest. An old tiefling woman recognizes Light (changed as he has become) and tells a story about his parents who abandoned him in a nearby forest, hoping for the best for him in the company of Dragonborn when they left for the North.

Zimon informs the party that the way to open the gate is to use abyssal resonance: sacrifice being the easiest way, while negative emotions can also power it. Zimon has a few choice words for the Tieflings as well that serve to rile them up, while the party each focuses on their pain and rage. Combined with a spell from Light, the portal opens. However, they realize that the only way to close it will be for someone to stay behind on the other side.

The party with Kallista ventures into the Abyss and along the Plane of Infinite Portals. Zimon’s planar tracking leads them along the way as the place chokes the life out of the party. They arrive at the portal to one of the spawning grounds, and dive in.

The chaotic nature of the portal separates the party around the place. A gigantic statue of Orcus dominates the center, while various demons patrol, including one pissed-off Balor that the party previously encountered in the past.

Raiden engaged the Balor head on, using his master techniques to deflect the Balor’s blows, as the rest try to recover the ooze. Zigfried scoops some in, but the ooze isn’t content to stay put and attacks him, leaving a foul disease in his system. Reschard draws the attention of some of the demons by using the Battle Standard as bait, which causes him to drop. Both Zigfriend and Light manage to escape with jars of ooze, and Zimon leaps across the battlefield to shove Reschard’s unconscious body back through the portal before escaping himself.

The forces of the Abyss are right behind them as they run back to the home portal. There’s a brief discussion on who is to stay behind and close the portal. Zigfried feels he might be done for due to the disease, while Zimon offers that he has the best chance of survival… though he wouldn’t mind it if a potential mind flayer sacrifices himself instead. The Monk eventually decides to do the right thing and stays behind, focusing his will to snap the portal shut behind everyone else, as the party sees him take cover against the oncoming Balor…

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