Might of the Inquisition

Epilogue

Adrift at the End of the Universe

Thorgrin is the first to come to. One of the last to join the party and engage in their cause for the challenge of it, Thorgrin also sees that they may have paid a deep price after all. With the etherium shattered, they are adrift in the Ethereal Wastes, speeding away from the farthest corners of the universe at an alarming rate with no way to return. All of his energy gone, he collapses once again…

The End of the Dark Ages

In the days to come, they would call these the dark ages. When magic was under the grip of a tyrannical government and a decadent empire run by a corrupt monarch dominated the land. Disease, poverty, and war were common in these ages, it is said, though for reasons never fully explained, the history of this era became clouded and murky, making it not just the dark ages, but the lost era.

An impossible distance away, champions of the world took the fight to the Chained God. They knew that it meant they would likely never return to the world they knew. They sacrificed everything about their own lives to save us all from the scourge that even the gods feared. Assembled from across the far reaches of the universe and from various times, they came together, bound by circumstance, responsibility, and a shared oath to protect all of creation. In the end, they were successful. The Chained God was stopped, and for a time, the people of Einland could breath easy and rebuild. Though this was not an end to evil, a permanent stop to the forces of destruction and suffering, it was an important victory. Without their success, there could be no continuance, no future. Perhaps one day, their legacy would be carried on by those with a similar mission. Or maybe the battle against evil never ends. But without their sacrifice, we would never find out.

In the year 500, the sky rained fire. In 525, Ebbek the Inquisitor gathered a team together to investigate a powerful prophecy. Only some of that team remained, but the power of the prophecy was such to sweep up those who that team encountered into a greater cause. From there, the team changed from being a loose group who needed a favor to the most important heroes that the world will never know.

Yet, their legacy would not end…

A Parting of the Ways

The heroes awake to find themselves in the halls of the Divine. After the Chained God was destroyed and the etherium prison scattered, they were able to come in and help repair some of the damage, as well as rescue the party from their fate. However, the world is too small for the power the heroes now possess. As Ebbek tells them, this is likely the last time any will see each other again, and to say their goodbyes.

Final Fates

Glandrin, having held off one of the most destructive forces in the universe by himself, was not seen again. But it is said that the Eternal Defender is out there, holding off the horrors at the edge of the universe so that the rest of us can go on.

Gnosis is visited by the last vestiges of the watcher Penemue. She imbues him with the Words of Creation so that he may carry on as she fades away. Gnosis appears before his people and declares that he has the power to end the minotaur curse of rage for any who would follow him and his teachings. While it will ultimately be their choice whether to accept this or not, at least for the first time, they have a choice.

Raiden has destroyed the Zumcantor style forever and avenged his school and his master by developing the most advanced sword technique ever known. Realizing that he could not let this technique fall into the wrong hands, he hangs up his sword and founds his own school in the depths of the Elemental Chaos, to be passed on to those found worthy.

Zigfried has peered into the structure of the universe through the junction in Mechanus, and becomes one with the universal consciousness, hearing the voices of all living creatures everywhere. But for the first time, he is happy to hear all the voices.

Weepy the Mind Flayer survived. He continues to weep.

Mielka is called upon by Moradin to retreat from the mortal world to help run the tavern in his divine realm. “Unfortunately,” he says, “the only patrons seem to be cute Dwarven men…”

Aerthurius has become one with the spellstorm, stretching back and forward in time to be harnessed by those in the Feywild that have need of it. Maybe some day he will manifest in person again. Whether this will be a day of greatness or catastrophe remains to be seen.

Gurias returns to Arborea, hundreds of years from when he left, where he and his family’s names are officially pardoned. A massive celebration ensues, the likes of which has never been seen. In the morning, the Magister of the Fey is gone, retreated to who knows where to construct his tower and continue his magical studies in private. Months later, an Eladrin barmaid in Arborea nurses a swollen belly.

Thorgrin returns to Sigil to take revenge on the demons who drove him to stowaway on the Legacy, teaching them not to mess with the Indomitable Champion. His last business wrapped up, Thorgrin retires to his own farm to raise a family and breed unicorns, the crew of the Legacy helping him to tend to the fields.

Bael appears in the divine prison of Carceri. “You haven’t forgotten our bargain, have you?” says Torog, God of Jailors. Bael responds “You haven’t forgotten ours, have you?” The god looks at him quizzically. Bael responds “Our bargain was that I come here. Not that I stay here.” The Divine Executioner unholsters his axe, and charges.

Roll Credits

Two links of chain float away in what’s left of the Deep Astral at incredible speeds. Zoom in to the chains. They light up with red eyes.

CUT TO BLACK.

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The End
Adventure 63

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.

Forbidden Sanctuary

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.

Mechanus

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.

Githyanki Fleet

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.

The Defenders

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.

The Strikers

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.

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It's strong and it's sudden it can be cruel sometimes (But it might just save your life)
Adventure 62

In attendance: Bael Phoebus, Gurias Stormborn, Gnosis-On, Mielka Dawnhammer, Raiden, Thorgrin Ryuk

Entering the divine prison-plane of Carceri, the heroes make a deal with a Balor to aid his escape in exchange for avoiding the gaze of the Demon Prince Graz’zt. The next island found the party assaulted by apocalypse spells bent on destroying life. They were halted by Aaqa, the last of the Builders, who restored Bael’s memories and shared with the rest of the party about the story of creation.

Once, there were just the Builders, seeding the multiverse with new creations. Eventually, they found they had made too much, and so introduced the Obyrinths. The Obyrinths were not what they intended, and became a force of destruction and evil in the universe. A battle was waged, leading to both sides’ near total annihilation. One Builder escaped into the prime world, but so did a shard of pure evil from the Obyrinths, which is what the Chained God took.

The Builder assisted the gods in the creation of the Chained God’s prison, but did not get along with the gods for a number of reasons. A group of 5 renegade angels known as the Watchers, each with a tie to mortal life, rejected the gods and took up their own campaign against the Chained God, not content to let him be imprisoned. Aaqa made two artifacts for them to help: the Jade Set to take away his power, and the Rod of 7 Parts. The Rod had 1 piece for each of the Watchers, plus 1 for Bael’s wife (a powerful but mortal sorceress) and 1 for their unborn child.

The attack on the Chained God in his prison went disastrously. Bael lost his memories. Azazel became a Rakshasa and fell to darkness. Samyaza lost his appearance. Penemue lost her form and became one with the language of creation. Shamsiel became lost to the storm. Bael’s wife was in danger of losing her child in the aftermath, so when the God of Death came for him, she challenged him and took his power, and became the Raven Queen. The child still did not make it, and was born a hideous, stillborn godling abomination.

That abomination was imprisoned in Carceri, and the only way to get the rod piece from it was to heal it, though it has never lived.

The group heads after the Atropal on the next island, and encounters it in a long dead town, where the sheer undead power continues to raise dark spirits to protect it. Gnosis and Gurias use the power of their Oath to combine a healing rune with the raw power of grand total, devastating the Atropal with healing force, assisted by Bael’s new mastery of his thousand lifetimes. More healing energy is poured onto the godling, returning it to life briefly for Bael to hold it as it dies and returns to the Raven Queen at last, and the party gains the first piece of the Rod of 7 Parts.

In order to escape, Bael agrees to return to Torog, God of Imprisonment and Torture, in Carceri once the Chained God is defeated. Bael has no intention of remaining a prisoner there and makes plans to take Torog’s power once the battle against the Chained God is over.

The Githyanki have released the Chained God, and is beginning to consume the Deep Astral. 6 pieces of the Rod of 7 Parts remain, but time is almost up. Aaqa the Builder warns that some difficult decisions might have to be made to stop him in time before he can unravel the universe, some decisions that won’t be as clear as the black and white that the gods would prefer.

Wrap-Up

  • Gained: The Rod of Atropos. Once per day, may return one creature to life with full HP, healing surges, and powers as if an extended rest had been taken.
  • Epic Deed: We forgot to assign it. My suggestion: “Bael talked the God of Imprisonment into allowing his escape”

Next Time
The Big Finale. Sunday, September 4th at Noon.

  • Level up to 26. Gain a 26th level item and a 30th level item, courtesy of Aaqa the Builder. Also please have a 30th level version of your character ready, and please level up and read through the new versions of your character in advance, to make sure that multiple people aren’t trying to use the character builder at the same time and that you know how to use your character once actually at the table.
  • In order to accomplish everything in time, the party will have to split up into two groups to tackle two rod piece adventures at the same time. You will be able to change parties in between each location, but be thinking about which places your character should go and which parties should try to tackle each task.

The Remaining Impossible Tasks

  • Extinguish the Eternal Flame: Guarded by the Devils of Inferno.
  • Stop the Irresistible Force: Cease the gears of the plane of Mechanus.
  • Move the Immovable Object: The Tarrasque is bound to the Forbidden Sanctuary.
  • Cast Shadows Without Light: The shadow-city of Gloomwrought contains this somewhere.
  • Answer the Unanswerable Question: Face the Court of Hungry Stars and deal with Allabar, Opener of the Way.
  • Unlock the Ultimate Prison: This has already been done by the Githyanki. Recover it from them and their red dragons.
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Winter Is Going
Adventure 61

The party arrives on the Fey asteroid to encounter two warring courts who need to come together to be able to leave, while Alice Starr (reborn as an Exarch of Lolth) plays both sides.

The Prophecy of the Stormborn

Two of these are true, and one is false:

  • Answer the Unaswerable Question – Open the Way in the Court of Hungry Stars
  • Cast Shadows Without Light – The Prison of Carceri Contains the Defender of Shadow
  • Move the Immovable Object – The Tarrasque in the Forbidden Sanctuary Must Be Moved

Wrap-Up:

  • Epic Deed: Aerthuis and Gurias united Summer and Winter.
  • Pieces of the Rod of 7 Parts Found: 0
  • Current Party Level: 21
  • Next Destination: Carceri, Prison of the Gods.
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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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