Starting Date: Tenth Spring Glory, Age of Godsfall 1277
Starting Location: Elding, Eldesta
- Tomas Rayne (DJ) - A human who learned the soldier's craft in Xain while rejecting the culture of his countrymen.
- Dekne Thurin-Forgemaster (Lauren) - A dwarf whose uncontrollable battlerage took her away from the undercities of her people to wander the world.
- Rhovanthoron-Faerlain "Faer" Meduivegil (Katy) - A half-elven druid from the Eldestan frontiers with a healthy interest in his male companions.
- Alaris Tharantuor Nossëlóra (Jeremy) - The second cousin of the Witch Queen herself, he is a Temple-trained wizard hailed as a genius since his youth.
- Flann Pisch (Devin) - A half-elven singer and dancer famous across the world for his energetic style and vibrant acrobatic displays.
- Lucien Sline (Raymond) - A hedge wizard and master craftsman from Eldesta who represents the best rural wizardry has to offer. Retired to run Sline Finery in Crimson Dusk. Continues to offer the party assistance and a place to stay when they're in town, as well as priority service when producing magic items at cost.
- Chloe Brooks (Allie) - A halfling monk as interested in healing the wounded as in creating them. Murdered by Zelain the Corrupt during the Day of Devils in Thahtmahan. Unable to be revived due to the Enlightened Spire bonding with Zelain.
On the Payroll (Session 1, Day 1 - 8)
Tenth Spring Glory, AG 1277
- Hekmet introduces the party, leaves Alaris in charge
- The camp is alarmed
Eleventh to Twelfth Spring Glory, AG 1277
- Traveling into the Killing Lands
Thirteenth Spring Glory, AG 1277
- Find rust brachen, attacked by goblins
- Followed by Dire Wolf
Fourteenth to Sixteenth Spring Glory, AG 1277
- Returning to Elding
Seventeenth Spring Glory, AG 1277
- Arrive in Elding
- Deliver brachen, get letter
It's Not Blackmail if You Can Say No (Session 2, Day 8 - 46)
Seventeenth Spring Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Accept mission
- Hands out 100g
Eighteenth Spring Glory, AG 1277
- Leave aboard the Sapphire Falcon for Port Lion, Xain
Ninteenth Spring Glory to Fourth Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Traveling to Port Lion
Fifth Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Attacked by Sahuagin near Hornpoint
Sixth Spring Dusking to Twenty-third Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Traveling to Port Lion
Twenty-fourth Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Arrive in Port Lion
- Secure lodging at the Ascendancy "Representative's" manor
I Hate This Country (Session 3, Day 47 - 50)
Twenty-fifth Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Meet with House Elovostre
Twenty-sixth Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Get invitation to House li'Sain's party
Twenty-seventh Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Waiting inside embassy
Twenty-eighth Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Party at House li'Sain
- Murder Tirto li'Sain (age 15) and kidnap Skoël Tangrave (age 13)
The Lost Lab of Asyssa li'Sain (Session 4, Day 50 - 52)
Twenty-eighth Spring Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Adventure in lab
Twenty-ninth to Thirtieth Spring Dusking, AG 1277
- Rest in the lab
Backdoor to Home (Session 5, Day 53)
First Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Try out the portal in the lab
- Meet crazy magic girl in another dimension
- Arrive in the Ascendancy
Improvising an Invasion (Session 6, Day 53 - 58)
First Summer Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- Talk with Elthan
- Meet Rothiel Iluvel, High Dean
- Get harassed by Melkas Vaneri, Dean of Academia for their ancient armor
- Meet Celethiel Linduor, Professor of Evocation
Second to Fifth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Create items
- Contract Juono, a Temple Investigator, to look at the lab
Sixth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Travel to Xain
The Fury of House Vomamoth (Session 7, Day 58 - 80)
Sixth Summer Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- Battle in Port Lion
- Tomas returns to Ascendancy with refugees
Seventh Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Rest of the party travels to Ascendancy
- Meet with Captain Oromion
- Question corpse: Argonark, excavation (what, why), Vomamoth's whelp
Eighth to Thirteenth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- R&R in the Ascendancy
Fourteenth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Fake Alaris buys stuff
- Continuing R&R
Fifteenth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Finishing up R&R
Sixteenth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Travel to Xain
- Find out about fake Alaris
Seventeenth to Twenty-seventh Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Traveling to Lir Walhai
Twenty-eighth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Arrive in Lir Walhai
Academy Under Attack (Session 8, Day 80 - 82)
Twenty-eighth Summer Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- Battles of the Lir Walhai Docks
Twenty-ninth to Thirtieth Summer Dawning, AG 1277
- Wait for preparations
Far Vahandir (Session 9, Day 83 - 84)
First Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Travel to Far Vahandir
Second Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Meet with the Lictor Council
Empyrean Olive Branch (Session 10, Day 85 - 104)
Third Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris meets with Nemáron Roherthon
- Faer meets with Zho'ik isith In'el
- Tomas meets with Natasha
- Dekne meets with Veydin Brykra
Fourth to Sixth Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Waiting around
Seventh Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Receive the treaty
- Meet with the Prince
Eighth to Twenty-Second Summer Glory, AG 1277
- R&R in the Ascendancy
Twenty-third Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Leave for Fyrall
The Hunt for Ardrua (Session 11, Day 104 - 107)
Twenty-third Summer Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Meet with Chieftain Isilaina of the Falcon's Path Tribe
Twenty-fourth Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Battle in the night
Twenty-fifth Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris returns with Dekne's scroll
- Party cleans up the camp
Twenty-sixth Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Investigate other villages
The Heart of Corruption (Session 12, Day 107 - 108)
Twenty-sixth Summer Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Head south
- Find a druid camp
- Faer joins the Cabal
Twenty-seventh Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Head for Feranacht
- Battle against the golems Kierkos and Ravenos
- Lakrivarideyn and Zelain escape, but Giancar saved
More Questions than Answers (Session 13, Day 108 - 109)
Twenty-seventh Summer Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Question Giancar
- Return to druid camp
Twenty-eighth Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Meet with In'el
- Leave for Crimson Dusk
Plowshares into Swords (Session 14, Day 109 - 110)
Twenty-eighth Summer Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Visit Queen
- Interrupt Council
Twenty-ninth Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Join the investigation
- Go to High Scar
The House of Lillies (Session 15, Day 110 - 111)
Twenty-ninth Summer Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Return to Crimson Dusk
Thirtieth Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Visit Tharantuor Manor, fight Xaini assassins
- Visit Enthius' offices
- Visit Enthius, agree to speak before council
The Price of Justice (Session 16, Day 112)
Thirty-first Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Investigator Erianor murdered
- Corpse questioned
Politics is a Hell of a Thing (Session 17, Day 113)
Thirty-second Summer Glory, AG 1277
- Track Chief Investigator Endevya
- Speak with Councilwoman Vendyne
- Confront Ascendancy Council
- Devil attack
Ascendancy Aftermath (Session 18, Day 113 - 122)
Thirty-second Summer Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Seek out Endevya, who is now ill
- Speak with (remaining) Council
First to Eighth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Lucien crafts items
Ninth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Travel to northern Typhenon
- Meet fey centaurs
Fey Centaur and Serious Hobgoblins (Session 19, Day 122 - 126)
Ninth Summer Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Party with centaurs
Tenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Travel to Etrand's Delve
- Meet with the hobgoblins
Eleventh Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Return to the Ascendancy for plans and supplies
Twelfth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Arrive at the Stormtalon, begin climbing
Thirteenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Enter Stormtalon, find crystal plinth
The Clear and Straightforward Trials of Azurath the Blue (Session 20, Day 126 - 136)
Thirteenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Battle the plinth phantoms, flee
Fourteenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Rest, search plinth room
Fifteenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Climb stormtalon
- Chloe & Alaris brave peak, get shot
Sixteenth to Seventeenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Camp in plinth chamber
Eighteenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Continue camping, Dekne & Faer meet Aspect of Utata
Ninteenth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Continue camping, Dekne meets Aspect of Utata again
Twentieth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Meet Azurath & Utata, return to Hobgoblins
Twenty-first to Twenty-second Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Celebtrations as hobgoblins debate the best leader
Twenty-third Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Prepare for selecting hobgoblin leader
While Hobgoblins Party (Session 21, Day 135 - 137)
Twenty-second Summer Dusking, AG 1277 (redux)
- Visit the Ascendancy
- Alaris goes to the library
- Dekne is approached by Vennin Stonesthrow, given a letter
Twenty-third Summer Dusking, AG 1277 (redux)
- Travel to Natha Harda and speak with Mawl Natha
- Dekne slays Velin, the youngest brothre of Natha's third wife
- Orcs agree to discuss peace with a representative of the Empire...of which there is none
Twenty-fourth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Tuska Hreel is chosen as the War-Crown of the Hobgoblins
Xain's Reach (Session 22, Day 138 - 139)
Twenty-fifth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Travel to the Stormtalon and speak with Vennin Stonesthrow; form something like an alliance
- Travel to Far Vahandir without invitation to speak with Nemáron about healing Elthan and with Lictor In'el about healing the elven queen
Twenty-sixth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Arrive in Thahtmahan; attacked by Tathik Sadia, et al
- Alaris and Tomas slain, taking Inkal Sadia, Karkel Vonostre, and Daha with them
- Alaris resurrected by Chloe and is tasked with renouncing all his claims on the name of Tharantuor
- Tomas resurrected by a Priest of Thahtma hired by Chloe and a tearful Faer, tasked with slaying the Emperor of Bones, though doing so will also secure the cooperation of Salk Dak'akat, the Coffin Man
But it IS Blackmail if You Can't Say No (Session 23, Day 139 - 140)
Twenty-sixth Summer Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Approached by Eriksander Oscard, one of Sadia's men who will give them information in return for protection
- Visit Elthan about becoming Emperor
- Visit the Governors-Noble of the Governor Council for help with Elthan
- Meet with Marius Zast, the (retired?) spy master of the Empire
Twenty-seventh Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Attend the Govenror Council meeting, convincing Elthan and Shezar Enkaiza, Governess-Noble of Albranhigh, to talk
- In a somewhat unsatisfying but politically expedient move, Elthan adopts Shezar into House Sendeyvrian and makes her Empress until such a time as an heir of Sendeyvrian blood is produced.
Kingmakers (Session 24, Day 140 - 143)
Twenty-seventh Summer Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Preparations for the coronation of Shezar Sendeyvrian
Twenty-eighth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- More preparations for the coronation of Shezar Sendeyvrian
- Beginning at sunset, the coronation is kicked off by a speech from Grand Cardinal Imoltus Zan, the leader of the Church of Thahtma
Twenty-ninth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- With the rising of the sun, Shezar Sendeyvrian is crowned the 37th Empress of the Sun. She is formally presented with Kalidus, the Sword of the Sun and the primary component of the Imperial Regalia.
- The group heads to Natha Harada to announce Shezar's arrival to parlay with the orcs the following day
Thirtieth Summer Dusking, AG 1277
- Shezar and a contingent from the Empire arrive to speak with Mawl Natha of the orcs, Skogfeg of the ogres, and Tiwari Kanda of the giants
- The treaty proceedings are interrupted by Tathik Sadia, who has formed a pact with the devils and leads an assault on the group and the gathered dignitaries, with a special focus on Dekne, the slayer of her brother Inkal. Through the combined efforts of those gathered, the legions of the devils are held back long enough for Dekne to add the second Sadia sibling to her tally. With her death, Lakrivarideyn appears, revealing that the deal struck was only to "help her get her revenge." With Tathik dead, the contract is void and so the devils depart on the instant.
- Peace is achieved, with Mawl Natha declaring that his promise of safe conduct has been broken by the interlopers and vowing there shall be no war between his people and the Empire until the devils have been made to pay. Chloe feels a hither-to unnnoticed sense of foreboding leave her as she completes the task required of her by her ressurrection.
Running Errands (Session 25, Day 143 - 151)
Thirtieth Summer Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Travel to Thahtmahan
- Travel to Crimson Dusk and speak with Alaris's grandfather about sending the Queen away for her mental health
- Receive a letter from Nemáron about healing Elthan
- Lucien begins crafting a new headband for Alaris
First to Fourth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Group takes R&R in Crimson Dusk as Lucien works on Alaris's headband
Fifth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Lucien completes Alaris' headband and begins working on a robe for Faer
Sixth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- The party travels to the High Scar and there locate the hidden cave of Argentice the Silver. Lucien secures an audience and discovers that the Great Wyrms cannot help fight the abominations: it is their duty to seal the White Eye after it is opened and anything that weakens them risks leaving them with insufficient power to seal the Eye. He does receive the location of the lost hoard of Onyxile the Black, the rogue Great Wyrm slain by Garand Forgemaster at the end of the Orodravian War.
- The party returns to Crimson Dusk and speaks with Alaris' grandfather about the Queen. The idea has been taken up enthusiastically by the council, being fleshed out into a good-will tour of the entire Ascendancy followed by the Queen being left in the care of a member of the Cabal noted for their skill at helping traumatized persons. The tour itself will take some time to organize and last several weeks, but the Queen should be safely ensconced in the forests in the south of the Ascendancy before the Autumnal Equinox.
- The party visits the Iron Peace and are escorted about by Captain of the Vigil Karris Pulsiel, a half-elven relative of the province's prince. They are reassured as to the tower's security and the defenses in place around a possible site of intrusion discovered after Vendyn's betrayl.
- With his tasks in the Ascendancy taken care of, Alaris formally withdraws from his family as required by Yetra to avoid the Doom of Vakad that would have kept him from being resurrected.
- The party travels to Thahtmahan, where they speak with Cardinal Ilna Dantress. She allows them to Commune briefly with Thahtma, who reveals that she knows about the portal they're hoping to take into the Sepulchral Tithe. Unfortunately, it is located at the very entrance to her divine throne room at the peak of the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia. Seeing the sins within the party's souls--Dekne and Tomas prey to Wrath, Faer and Lucien to Lust, and Alaris to Pride--she informs them that even the few moments it would take for them to travel to the portal would damage them severely, body and soul. Only with several months of meditation and purificaton as well as powerful protective magics could they hope to arrive in the Tithe strong enough to face the Emperor of Bones. She recommends they speak to Utata Eboniron, who was one of the creators of the Portal Mirrors they seek to pass through. She also suggests that Arborea or the Beastlands might be the easiest portals for mortals to travel through.
- The party travels to Lir Walhai, where they petition for entry into Far Vahandir. They are accepted enthusiastically and guaranteed passage in two days' time.
Seventh Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- The party waits patiently in Lir Walhai as preparations are made for their journey
Eighth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- The party departs Lir Walhai for Far Vahandir
Against the Tide of Darkness (Session 26, Day 151 - 153)
Eighth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- The group speaks before the Lictor Council, getting an agreement to have a shipment of Empyrean weapons delivered to Lir Walhai for pick-up in three days' time as part of a plan to help injured Sunset War veterans
- The group has a private meeting with High Lictor Invidis afterwards, cautioning them about handing the Militant Faction any ammunition they could use to strengthen their political power within the Alliance
- Alaris finds Nemáron (and the rest of the Durance of the Word) is cloistered away as part of a semi-annual purification ritual
Ninth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- The party visits the Ascendancy and meets with Councilwoman Tertiary Iklorlindiel to discuss the state of the country...only to discover that in the last week or so, incidents have been occuring across the planet that seem tied to each other. As fast as the party is solving problems, new ones are springing up.
- In preparation for a sojourn to Cinderheight, the party scries on it and finds a good place to begin their investigation
- The party pays a visit to the Empire to catch Elthan up on what's going on, in case they don't return.
Ninth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- The party teleports to Cinderheight to investigate rumors of a "dragon that glows like hot iron" seen in the night sky.
Cinderheight (Session 27, Day 153 - 154)
Ninth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- The party enters Cinderheight, finding a natural cavern that seems to have been taken care of in an unskilled fashion. The cavern leads down and away from the mountain's volcanic conduit at its center. After passing through several different strata of rock, the passage turns and heads directly towards the volcano's heart. It ends inside a large, half-collapsed artifical space with the demolished ruins of buildings that Dekne is able to identify as distantly related to drow architacture. There they meet Pipto the kobold, who guides them through the area and points them towards the tunnel to deeper into the mountain.
- After some more traveling, the party finds the ruins of Tharss Dorca, an old kobold stronghold from before Cinderheight was active. A small cabal of half-red-dragon kobolds remain and are quickly dispatched by the party before they are assaulted by the hellfire wyrm Emberath. Lucien falls and many in the group are badly injured, but they finally emerge victorious thanks to overwhelming magical migh and Tomas and Dekne's ability to swim in magma without any protection.
- Beneath Emberath's lair, the party finds a polished marble staircase that leads to an intricately carved but mostly empty chamber with eight bare pedestals and a large, floating crystal. Alaris is able to determine the crystal is the result of an imprisonment spell and the group resolves to open it the next day, when they've had a chance to recover from their battle.
- Lucien is raised by Chloe, but is presented with a daunting task by Yetra: he must save Haradis Mahl. This puts him at odds with Tomas' task from Salk Dak'akat to defeat the Emperor of Bones.
Tenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris attempts to legend lore Whitehall and is rebuffed by an unknown force
- Rested and refit, the party ends the imprisonment spell to reveal...Alusa Sendeyvrian, youngest daughter of Telria Sendeyvrian and heir to the throne of the Empire of the Sun.
A Little Bit of Family (Session 28, Day 154 - 158)
Tenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- With little more than a moment's thought, Alaris takes the shell-shocked Alusa and teleports to the Empire so suddenly the rest of the group struggles to keep up
- Alusa is left with Elthan to recover enough to talk with the party about what happened
- Alaris acquires a minor legend lore on the Century Locks
Eleventh Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Century Locks
- The party waits for Alusa to recover
Twelfth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a minor legend lore on Guzga
- The party meets with Alusa in the evening and she discusses her mission: she and a group of a half-dozen companions had followed the trail of the Lords of Whitehall to the city-state of Survivor's Refuge, where they had disappeared. She led her group into the caverns beneath the city until they reached the white marble chamber, where they were confronted by Lakrivarideyn. Alusa was captured and her companions tortured and killed until the last--a paladin named Graham--agreed to serve Lakrivarideyn so long as Alusa was alive. She was then imprisoned, only just managing to grab a few scraps of parchment that were sealed away with her.
Thirteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Guzga
- The party returns to the Ascendancy to check on the state of things and plan their next move
- They travel briefly to meet with the druid in charge of the Queen's therapy and she informs them that now is probably not the best time to spring Alusa's survival on her as she is in a delicate state. He expresses confidence in her returning to full mental health in only a few years.
Fourteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- The party travels to the Stormtalon and meet with Utata Eboniron. She mentions that she remembers where the portal she created from Whitehall is: the Hall of the Leopard King in the Beastlands.
In the Hall of the Leopard King (Session 29, Day 158 - 161)
Thirteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- The party returns to Thahtmahan and arranges a communion with Yetra. After several hours of waiting and a 10,000 gold tithe to the church, they are granted their request, clarifying some of the details of Tomas and Lucien's conflicting tasks.
- The party drops in on Zast, who admits he knows nothing but fairy tales concerning the Leopard King but does mention that a packaged arrived for them at the palace
- Elthan delivers the package to the party: the akat'vhoa of Lictor Vordeyva and a message bearing the sigil of the Court of Bones informing the group to stay clear of Far Vahandir
- The party decides to visit the Sunshine School-Thahtmahan's premiere magical institute--to retrieve a gate scroll Elthan orders for them, but end up sleeping outside the building when it proves to be well after sunset.
Fourteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a minor legend lore on the Leopard King.
- The party enters the Sunshine School and Alaris and Lucien speak with Linnor Blötfathom, a cantankerous but brilliant professor. He arms them with a scroll of mass negative energy resistance and they also pick up ther gate scroll.
- Concerned following the previous day's package, the party tavels to Lir Walhai and speaks with Lictor Antikus, who says he has heard nothing unusual from Far Vahandir that might prove to be the work of devils. He promises to check into it, though, including an investigation into the whereabouts and well-being of Lictor Vorthool, the previous owner of the akat'vhoa.
Fifteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Leopard King.
- The party travels to the Beastlands, a mile from the Hall of the Leopard King. Faer's jackal is stuffed into a bag of holding; a situation that angers the druid up until he sees his first cat. He is fine after that point.
- After traveling through the jungle to a massive tree, the party meets the Leopard King: a handsome and completely naked young man capable of super-human feats of acrobatic skill. Though he shows only a mild curiosity in the party, he agrees to give them the doorway they seek if their best wrestler can defeat a champion of his selection.
- Dekne is forced to wrestle a lionwere of the Leopard King's aquaintance...naked. It is a brutal affair, but Dekne finally manages to catch her bloodied foe in a submission hold and keep her there until she finally surrenders. True to his word, the Leopard King has a few more lionweres bring out an old stone archway that radiates some of the most potent magic Lucien and Alaris have ever seen. They decide to rest and prepare, to go through the doorway the next day.
Sixteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Fourth Century Lock.
The Great Rod Fiasco (Session 30, Day 161 - 164)
Sixteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- The party decides to wait another few days as Alaris, in a fit of insight, realizes he should probably research the Emperor of Bones.
Seventeenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Haradis Mahl.
- Following a bit of research on liches, Alaris and Lucien undertake changing out their spells for ones that will actually work.
Eighteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a minor legend lore on the Phylactery of Haradis Mahl.
- Lucien is sent to Thahtmahan to research a Metamagic Rod of Threnodic Spell in hopes of using mind-affecting magic on Haradis Mahl. He hears some sketchy rumors about the possibility of one existing in an abandoned church lost during the war with the orcs and giants.
- Lucien travels to the abandoned church, pocking around and finding both a dead body and a secret passage down the wine cellar. There, he finds a magically glowing bundle but, when he goes to seize it, he is instead greated by an angel who announces that he has been tasked with guarding the items in question until a member of the clergy comes to claim them. Lucien jaunts back to Thahtmahan and abducts Twlti Kazmierkas, an acolyte priest on his first day of work as a clerk at the temple. Upon returning to the abadoned church, there is no sign of either the angel or the items in question. After bantering with a disembodied voice--and freaking Twilti out, who is worried that Lucien has brought him here to molest him--Lucien returns the frightened acolyte to the temple, where he is dragged off by a Mother Superior. Feeling slightly bad for ruining the boy's life, Lucien dumps a few gold in the donation tray and returns to the Beastlands.
- Alaris tells Lucien to return to the church with Chloe, Faer, and Tomas to look for the rod again. With Faer's superior senses, she locates a spying fire mephit who manages to escape her clusmy attempt to grab him. After more frantic searching, Tomas catches the elemental spirit when it attempts to charm him. Interrogation quickly proves fruitless, but Faer then snags an earth mephit and water mephit in quick succession. Chloe's attempts to interrogate the trio prove fruitless and the situation is only complicated further by Faer's retrieval of an air mephit who had been lingering on the roof, completing their set. Growing maddeningly frustrated, Tomas beats the fire mephit to death, only revealing afterwards that he was under the impression that it would simply return a bit shaken-up to the plane of fire. Lucien, who did know better, murders the earth mephit. Faer is upset by these acts and, after some shuffling around town trying to see if the package had been moved there, the party returns to the Beastlands once again.
- The group returns tense and disatissfied, with Faer noticiably angry at Tomas for his treatment of the mephit. Tomas admits he acted from ignorance and the group--except for Tomas--agrees that any further such acts on the fighter's part will result in his being subdued and molested by Faer.
- Alaris decides to try finding the rod himself, going to the church and managing to at least speak with the shell-shocked air mephit, who still refuses to disclose the location of the items due to the circumstances of its summoning. Alaris disintegrates most of the tumbled-down buildings in the abandoned village to convince the mephits he's serious before giving them a broad hint that he can send them home. After a disjunction in the abandoned church, there is only silence. Following a final, curosry examination of the area, Alaris returns to the Beastlands.
Nineteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Phylactery of Haradis Mahl.
Assault on Fortress Dayscorn (Session 31, Day 164)
Nineteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- With some final, nervous preparations, the party leaps through the mirror into the main chamber of the old Whitehall, now the Emperor of Bone's sanctum Fortress Dayscorn. They find themselves in a massive open chamber thirty feet high. The room is dominated by a huge altar of dark grey stone, upon which stands Haradis Mahl, though many undead creatures fill the hall or stand upon the terrace that rings most of the chamber: wraiths, skeletons, and banshee crowd the room. But behind it all, through the chamber's transparent back wall, they see a massive oblate sphere wreath in a dark, whorling grey mist that Mahl is feeding to it through another active mirror.
- Alaris calls on Mahl to parlay, but the lich simply sics his undead on the group, ordering "Aanmas" to deal with the intruders. The party finds themselves facing off against Casmar Aanmas, once the disgraced ex-Governor-Noble of Floria but now a powerful Death Knight. Dekne and Tomas quickly form a defensive outer perimeter, taking the brunt of the physical conflict while Alaris wipes out swaths of emerging skeletal minions and Lucien targets the stronger creatures with his spells. Faer is busy keeping the party from succumbing to the undead's ability to sap vitality as well as their sheer damage output, his flank kept secure by an over-sized Jackal-face's presence. Chloe tries to use her superior mobility to get around the edge of the enemy formation, when disaster strikes as...
-...Mahl turns to the group, annoyed at the interruption, and brandishes the Turth in Stone, one of the artifacts of the Namitha Ardrua. He then calls down his Fear Gaze, horror washing through the party as each confronts a deep-seated terror inside themselves: Alaris faces the lost Losinnia, who accuses him of using the events as a springboard to personal power; Faer confronts his parents, only to find that his birth drove them apart and filled them with only shame and disgust; Lucien is drawn into a false life where he is a talentless beggar living in a squalid alley; Chloe finds herself seeing a scene where her friends have fallen around her and her healing powers have failed her; Dekne is confronted by the weeping image of her dead child; and Tomas is assailed by the moaning spirits of those he left behind in Xain when he fled. Most of the party is able to cast off the pall of these images, filled with rage at the mental violation rather than fear, but Chloe's vision strikes home and the magic gains enough of a foothold to force her to flee back through the portal.
- As the battle progresses, Dekne is able to defeat Aanmas in single combat, the last vespers of his departing spirit thanking her for freeing him. As the undead fall, Mahl releases his dread wraiths and his powerful Equinal Guard--a fusion of horse and ogre skeletons with incredible strength--as well as his wailing banshee. Chloe is freed from the dark compulsion when she returns to the Beastlands, though remains shaken. Leaping back through the portal, she manages to anchor the tail of the party's formation as more wraiths sweep in and assault the spellcasters. It is a trying combat, with much vitality spent by the party and their most powerful magics exhausted, but in the end, with only a single banshee and a few half-destroyed wraiths left, Mahl calls an impatient halt to the hostilities, now willing to treat with the group.
- In an effort to get the party to leave as quickly as possible, Mahl answers their questions, albeit tersely and dismissively. Under the orders of the Dead Gods--Incara, Sarazad, Urog, and Aktetik--he is siphoning the potential of the dead from the Plane of Shadows, feeding it into a vast 'egg'--the cocoon visible through the back of the room--which he claims will birth Melthagond, the Devourer of Abomination. Indeed, protecting this creation is the sole reason for the Tithe's existance, as he needed to use the mirror to the Plane of Shadows and the process is resonsible for the vast aura of death and decay filling Floria Province. In approximately a month, he will have gathered enough potential to birth Melthagond, at which point he will cast off the Tithe and await the final battle with the Abominations, at which point he will ascend to godhood. Wait, what?
- It turns out that the final battle with the Divine Abominations has more to it than simply killing powerful creatures. Fate is the plan designed to keep the Abominations from returning; as soon as the Abominations are gone, Fate cannot exist. Athema is the power generated by resisting Fate; as soon as Fate is gone, Athema cannot exist. The fall of the Abominations means the end of magic as it is understood in Faengleis, but wrose still, it means the end of all things bound to Fate, including much of life in the world and the Gods themselves. Azuri knew this, but was unable to do anything about it, as she was only one-sixth of the force that created Fate and bound all things to it. Instead, she created the 12 artifacts of the Namitha Ardrua and into each one imbued a portion of her divine spark. Upon the death of the final Abomination, the sparks will attracted a portion of the unravelling power of fate and together turn the artifact's bearer into one of the 12 new gods, who will have the power to keep the world alive.
- The party also learns that Lakrivarideyn is busy gathering the weapons and assembling a potential pantheon that will serve her when she ascends to godhood. Mahl received his artifact from her in return for shattering the Abyssal Mirror and giving her the shards, though he maintains his relationship with her ends there.
- Now, the party hovers on the edge of returning throuh the gateway, telling Mahl they will be back in a month's time to ensure that he has, indeed, given up his claim on the Tithe.
Enlightened Spire (Session 32, Day 164 - 165)
Nineteenth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- The party returns to the Beastlands and rests following their harrowing ordeal.
Twentieth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Havoc Gyre.
- Plans made, the party travels to Thahtmahan meets again with Elthan, filling him in on what occured in the Tithe and requesting another audience with Yetra.
- Meeting again with the Goddess of Healing, the party clarifies their mission: so long as Mahl is alive at the end of the ninety-day time limit, Lucien will be fine. Of course, when the Emperor gives up his throne in a month's time, he will no longer have the Tithe's resources to protect him from the Coffin Man's Inevitables.
- The party travels to the Ascendancy, deciding the time has come to claim the first of the artifacts: the staff of Syatela Goldenhair. A meeting with the much improved--though far from cured--queen nets Alaris the key to the royal tomb where the staff is held and the party uses their renown to simply walk through the palace security there. Entering through a secret passage, they travel down a long path that takes them to a hidden crypt far beneath the Radiant Sea. There, the party sees the staff imprisoned in a crystal. Confronted by a voice that asks if they are the "Born Queen," Alaris reaches for the staff and a holy guardian is summoned into the chamber. It is incredibly obdurate, withstanding even the strongest blows that Tomas and Dekne can throw while shrugging off Lucien and Alaris's spells without effort. When Alaris manages to free the staff, Chloe seizes it and it immediately begins to bond with her while the guardian accesses the Tower of Godsfall in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the thieves. The party is finally able to break through its armor, dropping the behemoth and Lucien and Alaris dump the body into the Plane of Fire at the very instant it self-destructs, a small tendril of the explosion ripping out of the closing gate and shattering the room's ceiling, permitting the Radiant Sea to flood into the ruins. With the aid of a skillfully applied wall of force, the party is able to flee before being crushed and drowned.
- Syatela's staff, the Enlightened Spire, in hand, the party quickly rushes to Stormtalon to speak with Eboniron, where they learn that the artifact is now bonded with Chloe's soul. No one can claim it while she yet lives and claiming it upon her death will mean that she can never be raised again. The hidden Ardrua knows of no method other than death by which owner and artifact can be separated.
At the Origin of All Winds (Session 33, Day 165 - 166)
Twentieth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- After asking a few more questions of Eboniron, this time about the Holy Guardian and Skathika's Razor, the party travels to the Iron Peace in the Ascendancy, where they find the province in panic and disarray. Quickly securing a meeting with Prince Pulsiel, they learn that while they were battling the Guardian, the power began to glow, dozens and then hundreds of magic circles appearing up and down its length while massive amounts of magic were being poured forth. Then, just as suddenly, the outflow of magic ceased. They reassure the worried officials, explaining as best they can about the activated Guardian without mentioning the stolen staff or the fact that they poked a hole in the Raidant Sea. They are then given a room to rest in for the night.
Twenty-first Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Tyth Malidrail.
- After some deliberation, the party teleports to the location Lucien was informed housed the horde of Onyxile the Black. There, at a stone platform known as the Origin of All Winds, they encounter a small thri-kreen village. At first mistaken for Empyrean visitors, the party corrects the misconception but are still welcomed warmly and offered a feast; meager by their standards but opulent for the conservative, desert-dwelling insects. Shortly before the meal begins, Faer travels beneath the sands, seeking the hidden treasure chamber. He encounters almost a thousand feet of pure sand--an impossibility by all rational understanding of geology--before encountering an obviously artifical block of perfectly smooth sandstone.
- At the feast, the party is regaled with stories of local events while Alaris speaks about the stories that have brought them to seek a dragon's lost fortune. They also discover an onyx plinth that, after some excavation, reveals itself to be vaguely similar to Azurath's marker in Stormtalon. Following the orders written on it to "Speak your oath," Alaris recites an old Orodravian oath of loyalty from soldiers to their general and the stone platform begins to resonate with magical energy. The party leaps on it and, one by one, disappear.
- In the deep chamber beneath the sounds that Faer had found earlier, the party appears amidst vast wealth...but not quite so vast as they were lead to believe. With some investigation, they find a massive fissure in one chamber wall, a trail of spilled coins leading into the darkness. Following it, the party finds themselves in a huge room of a completely different design from the treasure chamber, a massive obelisk at its center upon which is carved: You stand before the tomb of Imnroc, father of Imnkal, Karthika of the Orj. May the sands take your flesh from your bones. Here is only death, muffled by the tide of ages. You stand before the tomb of Imnroc. Perish in despair.
- Traveling in further, the party discovers the next chamber holds a pair of massive mummies, guardians of the tomb. Faer scouts through the stone by wildshaping and discovers, to his immense fright, that below the chamber is a yawning void into which he almost plummets. With greater care he searchs further ahead and discovers a second chamber in which three more colossal mummies await, two of these attired quite differently from the plain examples in the previous room. Beyond that, it seems as if part of the tomb has begun falling apart, tumbling away into the great empty abyss.
- The party decides to move forward through the room, the pair of mummies immediately springing to action. Between Alaris's fire and Tomas's sword, the first of the seventy-foot giants is felled swiftly, the second falling with the help of Faer's magic, Dekne's axe, and Chloe's simply wandering into it and punching its innards apart.
The Limits of Reality (Session 34, Day 166 - 167)
Twenty-first Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- Advancing into the next chamber, the party encounters a barrier that cancels magic that passes through it. Taking advantage of a clashing rocks spell to bypass the barrier, they force a trio of titan mummies into action. In a hard-fought battle, the party brings down their attackers. Advancing to the next chamber--across a span of broken hallway that reveals the abyss below them--the party finds the burial chamber of Imnroc, karthika of the Orj. They decide to withdraw with all speed, though they are blasted with magic in the brief time it takes to pull back.
- Gathering the items from the fallen titans as well as the remaining gold in Onyxile's treasure chamber, the party then tries to pry one of the golden plates off the wall deeper in the ruin, finding the stone of the chambered weakened by whatever method the titans had used to fasten it there. They save a considerable chunk of gold but decide to avoid further comprimising the structure.
- Bidding a brief farewell to the thri-kreen, the party teleports their new wealth to outside Crimson Dusk and camps for the night.
Twenty-second Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Imnroc.
- The party opens a bank account, depositing a sum in excess of 800,000 gold. A money manager is hired to set Lucien up with some facilities so that the weary wizard can set about producing equipment for the party.
- A maul, armor, and titan skull are delivered to a grateful Temple for study and display.
- Much of the day is spent purchasing a diamond worth 25,000 gold to cast a wish spell in an attempt to seperate Chloe from the Enlightened Spire.
- Retreating to the Killing Lands, Alaris casts a carefully worded wish on Chloe. The world around the party grows warped and indistinct, the sound of thousands of distant bells of all sizes fills the air as light plays across everything they can see, explosions of luminous energy blossoming wherever colors contrast. Purple-blue fire twists out of the Spire while golden light emerges from Chloe, bending towards each other until they touch, the light and sound extinguishing and Chloe collapsing. Though she is perfectly healthy, she is in a coma: her soul has been pulled from her body and returned to the Spire with the artifact's divine spark.
- In a panic, the party rushes to Crimson Dusk, to the Temple of Azuri, and begs a diamond off the staff. With the help of some deans friendly to the party, they are successful and a second wish is set up in a room in the Temple, with a pair of deans--Dean of Academia Melkas Vaneri and Dean of Conjuration Rothél Harragus--in attendance alongside the party.
- When the wish is cast, the area around the party begins warping as it had before...until the walls of the room rip away, leaving those gathered standing in mid-air high above the Tower of Godsfall. In a vertical circle around them are four shadowy forms and, at the apex, an indistinct glowing form surrounded by a nimbus of firefly-like lights. In a wide horiztonal circle were twelve forms too distant to make out clearly. Inside that circle, a second, smaller ring of eleven shocked figures levitated. The party recognized many of them, including Lakrivarideyn, the rogue scholar Zelain, and the Empyrean Lictor Vorthool. One of the distant figures disappeared, reappearing in the center of the little ritual, revealing himself as a pleasent, non-descript man about whom drifted a ring of closed books. He informed Alaris that he was straining the fabric of reality with his attempt to seperate Chloe's soul from the the artifact. Quickly, the wizard returned the staff to the comatose halfling, reviving her and dispelling the entire scene.
- Rushing from the room, away from the panicked deans, the party recovered itself and took stock of what they had seen. They concluded that it must have been the bearers of the other eleven artifacts, since Eboniron, Greenhands, Mahl, and Vonostre were also present.
- Once they had calmed down some, the party teleported to Lir Walhai, securing a late-night meeting with Lictor Antikus. They warn him of Vorthool's possible connections to Lakrivarideyn, cautioning him to be careful with who he reveals the information.
- The party then teleports to the edge of the Sepulchral Tithe, hoping to find some evidence of the ritual Mahl was using. They mange to detect the continued presence of negative energy, confident that means that the liche's spell was not interrupted by the event.
Halls of Dead Stone and Silent Dreams (Session 35, Day 167 - 170)
Twenty-second Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- The party returns to Crimson Dusk and meets with Dean Vaneri and Dean Harragus as well as a number of other senior faculty members of the temple. They explain the religious significance of the situation in broad terms, making no mention of the artifacts.
- The party rests for the night..
Twenty-third Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Argenark.
- Alaris purchases several scrolls of greater whispering wind and contacts Haradis Mahl, determining that they did, in fact, interrupt his ritual but he was able to recover. They are told that attempting to do so a second time will have dire consequences for all involved.
- Most of the party goes shopping while Alaris does some research about their next course of action. He determines that Jagarmundi is aboard his flagship, the Chainbreaker, and likely leading the Eighth Flotilla, though they are still fairly distant from any targets. He also determines that Thaktikal Moon-Seeker, the leader of Malivorm, is respected by those who know him, popular with his people, and apparently fighting Lakrivarideyn's influence in his territory.
Twenty-fourth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Sheel Bladeharrow.
- The party decides to make Urkan Sefrogost their next target, plotting how to deal with Forgemistress Bladeharrow and the illithid threat. Knowing she seeks an item called the Crown of Dwarven Patriarchs-thought to be lost in the plague-ridden ruins of Garand's Forge--the party plans to seek it out the next day, deciding to wait until Lucien finishes up the last of their order.
Twenty-fifth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Crown of Dwarven Patriarchs.
- That evening, the last item the party had on order with Lucien is completed: the resizing of Tomas's new sword, the Rib of Shamal.
- The party teleports to the ruins of Garand's Forge, swathed in a tomb-like silence and an utter stillness...until Faer looks towards the cavern ceiling with his Mask of Howling Shadows. There, the druid sees thousands of specters swirling amongst the stalactites, whirling about in terrible noiselessness. The party hastens their steps into ruined fortress that was once the heart of dwarven power in Faengleis. Moving through it, they pass dried out, papery husks that once were dwarves before succumbing to the boneblack. At the center of the fortress, they find a pair of massive doors which Faer confirms lead to the throne room. From outside, the sound of shireking, maddened specters reverberates and the entire structure begins to shudder as if under massive blows. At a touch of Dekne's hands, the doors glow like molten metal and swing open, admitting the party. They make their way to where the body of Garand Forgemaster sits his throne, looking as if he had died only moments before, still in his full regalia, though the latter shows signs of decay. Respectfully, the party takes the body, the specters quieting marginally at the act, and then the party teleports back outside Crimson Dusk.
- Covered in the sickening residue of the boneblack, the party quickly disinfects themselves and the items brought with them. In addition to the dwarven body--which they wrap in canvas in preparation for returning to the dwarves--they receive three powerful magic items: the Thanemantle, the axe known as Yfendé's Warden, and the Crown of Dwarven Patriarchs.
Dekne Forgemaster, High Queen of the Dwarves (Session 36, Day 170 - 171)
Twenty-fifth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- Figuring sooner is better than later, the party teleports to the northern gate of Shaddac Kraul. Recognized by the guards, their request for an audience with Forgemistress Kintha Battlebronze is accepted, though they discover she is asleep when they arrive at the undercity's Anvil, its central fortress. Impressing on their hosts the urgency of their task, she is roused from bed and agrees to meet with them.
- The party explains about their mission to Garand's Forge as well as the results of their search. They are informed that--while of significant historical value and undeniable magical strength--the political importance of the crown is simply a figment of Forgequeen Bladeharrow's obsession. She is, however, quite interested in how it came into the group's possession, as it was sealed away with powerful magic. During the presentation, the crown begins to glow with a reddish light at Dekne's touch, just as the door within Garand's Forge's Anvil had.
- Kintha takes Dekne aside alone and, after hearing about her past, tells her the tale of Theurand Forgemaster, last heir to the unbroken lineage of Garand Forgemaster, the man known by many as the High King of the Dwarves. When Garand's Forge fell at last to the plague, Theurand was already dying of the Blackbone...but there were rare instances of individuals surviving even when the sickness was that advanced. Those survivors were left physically scarred by the advanced sickness, their minds often damaged and memories scrambled or gone entirely. It would not be beyond imagination to think that Theurand survived, his given name ill-remembered as Thurin, and serving as the primogenitor of both the Thurin line and the barbarian band in which the Thurin family has always lived. However, simply having the blood of the dead High Kings in her veins doesn't grant Dekne any real political power, for better or for worse, though it does make her the rightful ruler of the dead city of Garand's Forge and the owner of everything within.
- Upon returning to meet with the rest of the party, Dekne relates what Kintha said, including that she is the rightful owner of the three items recovered from Garand's Forge. Dekne and Alaris then teleport to an abandoned stretch of the Killing Lands, where Dekne dons the crown that glows red once more. She finds herself in a dream of dying Garand's Forge with the crown's last owner, her ancestor Vaelind Forgemaster. There, he lays to rest any doubt: she has the blood of the Forgemaster clan running through her veins and is recongized as the true heir to the name. Further, she is told that it is her task to unit the dwarves into a single force so they can face the chaos of the opening of the White Eye under her guidance. To do so, she must have the ruler of each of the dwarven undercities swear fealty to her before the central beacon of their domain, which will then light up and grant Dekne additional power through the crown. Though she already has the 'loyalty' of Garand's Forge, she most not only get the fealty of the three surviving cities of Shaddac Kraul, Theyed, and Kor Branach, the cities of Urkan Sefrogost--Sefrogost and Isfalkar--and Marak Tün, now sworn to the Empyrean Academy, but those cities lost to the illithid advance: Skar Yltik, Arkazaer, Har Ret Kinik, Ahkmet, and N'qhel.
- Tasking Dekne with this great mission, Vaelind then stops as if remembering something terrible, telling Dekne to be careful. He warns her that there is a great intelligence guiding the illithid against the dwarven people, a thing he calls the Dark Whim, the Consumer of Madness, that the mind flayers call Ilsatar, the Elder Brain. It is unimaginably old, god-like in power, and must not be dealt with directly in any way: not negotiatied with, not threatened, not even fought.
Twenty-sixth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Colossus of Winter.
- Invited to dine with Kintha and her family, the party decides to spend the day in Shaddac Kraul.
- Alaris goes to visit Kintha's husband, a noted dwarven scholar Iyektis, and the rest of the party tags along. The dwarf is a relic from a vanished age, who claims to be one of the librarians of Yfendé Eternal who--along with the library and his entire order--were sealed away by Skathika after the end of the Sandstorm War, when the God of Fate was purging the last of the previous era's knowledge before becoming Kald Skathika, the Emperor Penultimate of the Orodravian Empire. Alaris and Iyektis trade notes and the wizard expresses interest in mastering the scholar's unique technique for memorizing books in a few heartbeats, with barely a glance at the pages.
- The party attends the Battlebronze dinner, with Dekne being given pride of place as befits the Forgemistress of Garand's Forge. Polite conversation is skillfully made and the party holds their own, socially. It is a bit of rest before the party's planned assault on Sefrogost the following day.
By Devils Driven (Session 37, Day 171 - 172)
Twenty-sixth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- The party takes a final evening of rest, all of them preparing in their own ways for the battle to come the next day. They are confident, for all foes have fallen before them with surprising ease of late...
Twenty-seventh Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- In the morning, the party prepares to teleport to Sefrogost and confront Sheel Bladeharrow. They make a last check of their gear and Alaris spreads some bolstering magic around the party. With details plans of the layout of Sefrogost's Anvil--it's central fortress--they teleport to just inside the throne room.
- There, Sheel seems to be in the midst of addressing a group of roughly a dozen nobles, though all activity ceases as soon as the party arrives. Dekne announces herself as the Forgemistress of Garand's Forge and wearer of the Crown of Dwarven Patriarchs: rightful High Queen of the dwarven people. Sheel, incensed but disbelieving, orders them out of her presence, but Alaris simply turns to the doors of the room, releasing a blast of sound that rattles the whole Anvil and echoes out to the undercity beyond, declaring Dekne's lineage and that she is there to battle Sheel for the right to rule the city. At the same time, Sheel's advisor notices the Enlightened Spire in Chloe's hands, announcing that the party is the same one that has been giving grief to Lakrivarideyn. Both sides with their hackles raised and gauntlets thrown down rush to battle.
- A score of guards close ranks before the party, casting off their shape-altering magic to reveal the legion devils beneath: a mighty Ventiet, the largest group the party has ever faced. The personal bodyguards on the raised dais transform into ice devils and the advisor at Sheel's right hand throws off his skin, revealing Selahc K'Tem, a minor pit fiend lord known for skill with magic. Though the nobles and other guards in the room panic and flee out the door or to the room's corners, Sheel s obviously aware of her allies' double nature as she and her giant pet bulette Pulptip join the fray. The battle is heated, Dekne and Sheel rushing to battle one-on-one while Chloe, Tomas, and Jackal-Face are engulfed in a legion devil tide, Faer is surrounded by the ice devils, and Alaris finds himself squaring off against Selahc K'Tem. What follows is the most grueling battle of the party's adventure, the party teetering on the brink between life and death. Alaris manages to feeblemind K'Tem, using his distraction to take out the legion devils and free Tomas to defeat the mindlessly-raging pit fiend. Faer succeeds in keeping the party alive with her healing magic until she herself is felled by Sheel using the Colossus of Winter to invoke a magical power called gates of Cania, tearing open a temporary hole in the dimensional fabric and flooding the throne room with a supernatural chill drawn from the Hell of Ice. She also uses a power of her armor to convert the entire battlefield to a hellscape of shattered volcanic glass, killing the few cowering dwarven nobles in the room. Chloe is able to put the finishing blows on Pulptip when it is left stunned by Alaris' magic.
- But the focus of the battle is the one-on-one between Dekne and Sheel, at the foot of the throne of Sefrogost. With powerful blows--any one of which would fell a warrior of renown--they battered away at each other, Dekne's rage stacked up against Sheel's pure martial prowess, for though a revile creature and abuser of her people, Bladeharrow was also the mightiest living dwarven warrior. Indeed, her strength and the strength of the Colossus of Winter gave her the advantage, until Dekne summoned up her stone idol, the power granted by the Crown of the Dwarven Patriarchs. She also withdrew behind a field of magical force summoned by Alaris and let Chloe heal her, preparing for a final thrust against Sheel. Unfortunately for the Forgequeen of Urkan Sefrogost, with her allies dead and her own pride urging her on, she fell to a last blow from Dekne's stone idol, crumpling within sight of her empty throne, slain by the power of the very crown after which she had lusted for years...
- Meanwhile, the fallen Faer was saved from death by a mysterious power flowing out from her Mask of Howling Shadows. In her place was a bemused-sounding man possessing her body. He claimed to be Dehezon, a wizard who was once an ally of Garand Forgemaster before being slain by Onyxile the Black during the Orodravian War. He aided the party slightly at the end and seemed quite amenable to explaining himself to them afterwards, though all resolved to get him out of Faer's body as soon as possible.
- With the battle ended, Dekne claimed the Colossus of Winter as her own while Alaris announced to the city that Sheel had been defeated and called for the clan-heads to assemble and meet with their new Forgemistress. The bodies were cared for and at least some of the broken obsidian covering the floor smoothed into a path. A priestess of Dirim was also summoned, granting Tomas' sword holy power long enough for it to dispatch the slowly-regenerating Selahc K'Tem. With that, their victory was absolute.
- While waiting, Alaris attempts a major legend lore on Ilsatar, the illithid Elder Brain. He is struck unconscious in front of the party, just minutes before the dwarven clan-heads begin to arrive.
The Great Wait for Someone to Wake Up Plan (Session 38, Day 172 - 177)
Twenty-seventh Autumn Dawning, AG 1277, cont.
- Faced with Alaris' unconscious body and Faer's dead body being occupied by the spirit of the necromancer Déhézon, Dekne, Tomas, and Chloe scramble to make sense of the situation. Faer is sent to wait in the corner with Jackalface as Clanmaster Verrud Hammerglass, the head of the Blacksmiths in Sefrogost, enters and speaks with Dekne on behalf of the gathered clan-heads. He agrees to take charge of the situation and invites Dekne, et al, to his estates to celebrate Sheel's demise and recover from their injuries.
- After ensuring Alaris is well and getting him examed by skilled healers, the group unwinds and enjoys the celebrations offered by clan Hammerglass in their honor.
- Déhézon reveals that he will need to construct a new body for himself, then move both his and Faer's spirit to that one so Faer's body can be repaired, and finally move the druid's spirit back to his original form. It's a process that will take about three days, beginning with gathering the requisite raw materials. Tomas accompanies him to keep him from engaging in some light debauchary on the side.
Twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- The group keeps a vigil over Alaris' unconscious body, healing having proven ineffective at rousing him. It will take his own will to pull him free of whatever nightmare he languishes in.
- Déhézon works on constructing a new body for himself, laying down careful measurements of various powders and substances as Tomas watches on.
Thirtieth Autumn Dawning, AG 1277
- At dawn, Déhézon transforms the materials he has arranged into a new body and shifts both his and Faer's spirit into it. The gathered healers then repair Faer's body, reanimating it and allowing Faer's spirit to return. Déhézon has left him a present in the form of a new spell (Déhézon's from torment be released) and as the druid is adjusting to what has happened, the necromancer disappears...only to appear moments later in the hallway, harassing a maid before running off.
- A traumatized Jackalface reunites with Faer, who is no longer the not-Faer in his body.
- With Faer returned, the party keeps a full-time watch on Alaris.
First Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris awakes. After nearly four days of laying comatose, he jerks awake, mind swirling with the new experiences and information forced into it. He takes some tme to recover as the party informs him of the day's events.
- Dekne goes to take a bath, bumping into Déhézon, who is enjoying to the fullest his reputation as part of the group that liberated the city.
- Alaris gathers some information about what Hammerglass has been up to, finding that he has been efficient in restoring order and getting the city functioning again, but not particularly moral: he's setting himself up to be in charge of the city, granting amnesties to Sheel's followers to secure their loyalty, and other actions Alaris finds unpalatable.
- The party decides to travel to Isfalkar after Alaris meditates and regains his magic. They will offer General Nythik Thorlün-Sheel's representative in the area--the chance to surrender or be killed, beheading the invader's apparatus of state in the undercity.
- When they arrive, they find Thorlün dead already. As they draw near, a hidden figure pulls off its cloak of invisibility, revealing a tiefling who introduces himself as Athyniel, a spokesman for Lakrivarideyn. Concerned only with Chloe and Dekne, he offers them a deal on his master's behalf: if they cease interfereing with Lakrivarideyn's pawns, she will overlook their killing of Sheel and not seek any of the other artifacts. The party refuses categorically and is left with the cryptic warning that "what is to come will be on your heads, then."
- The party spreads word that Isfalkar is free now, liberating the indentured locals and helping to wipe out Sefrogostian resistance.
Second Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris aqcuires a major legend lore on the Enlightened Spire.
- Much of the day is devoted to pacifying resistance in Isfalkar.
- Dekne and Alaris make several trips, speaking with Forgemasters Huln Winterwhite of Kor Branach and Lekt Copperhand of Theyed, introducing Dekne to them and trying to organize a meeting of the city leaders to decide the fate of Sefrogost and Isfalkar. Attempts to speak with Kintha Battlebronze reveal she is at the front.
Third Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Of the Sun Moving Across the Face of the World.
- The party as a whole travels to Shaddac Kraul, to the bridge fortress that is the current front between the dwarves and the illithid. There, they a queer sight: an entire army of drow and deurgar silent and kneeling before the fortress, just waiting. After doing some waiting of their own for a few hours, the group gets a meeting with Kintha and discuss the situaiton, fearing it may have something to do with Lakrivarideyn. They decide to march onto the walls to see if they can provoke a response.
- They get a response, though not quite what they were anticipating. The entire army begins chanting as a sextet of robed mind flayers emerges. When they draw close enough, the first draws down its hood as thick, white veins begin to bulge on its skin and its eyes go white. Through it, the party begins to speak telepathically with Ilsatar itself. What follows is a conversation equal parts philosophy, atrocity, and nonsense. The party ultimately gains nothing of seeming worth as the mind flayers explode one-by-one under the strain of channeling their master.
- After learning the army will--apparently--stay kneeling there until they starve or resort to cannibalism, the party departs to speak with Iyektis Battlebronze. They learn that little is truly known about Ilsatar and that there are things that only a prepared mind should ask. But they are ultimately left with little to show from the ordeal.
The Vanity of Titans, the Folly of Men (Session 39, Day 177 - 178)
Third Autumn Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Godhand.
- The party makes some plans for assaulting Imnroc's Tomb the following day and then appoints a small council of guards and clerks to oversee Isfalkar until a new Forgemaster can be found for the city.
Fourth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a minor legend lore on Yfendé Eternal.
- The party travels to the thri-kreen village at the Origin of All Winds. They find it partially evacuated as per their suggestion a couple of weeks earlier. The remaining elders inform them that the children and youths have been sent ahead early to the winter grounds of their clan. Alaris suggests the thri-kreen present move off for several hours and they agree, saying they will walk east until the sun reaches its apex and then return.
- Waiting until shortly before noon, the party then descends into Onyxile's Vault and from there into the Tomb of Imnroc, finding both as they have left them. At the deepest chamber where they had before seen Imnroc, the party charges in to do battle. It is a brief but fiercely-fought struggle, Dekne falling before the axes of Imnroc himself, who is finally felled by a ceaseless barrage of Alaris's most powerful sorcereries. As he falls, a spiritual echo of Imnroc mocks the party, saying they will join him in true death.
- With a thundering sound, the entire underground chamber begins to rattle and rock. With a swift series of spells, the party manages to empty portions of Imnroc's funerary vaults, taking a fortune in coin and an ancient, titan-sized ar chariot as they teleport outside Crimson Dusk. THey are seen off by the sound of entire mountains of stone splintering.
- Arriving outside Crimson Dusk, Alaris immediately scrys the thri-kreen village to see what effects remain from the tomb's collapse. After the spell's hour-long casting, his sensor is met with a thundering of sound as vast clouds of dust and grit are ejected from the vast, empty pit that the villge has become.
- A second hour sees Alaris scrying on Far Vahandir, the Empyrean citadel now drifting at an angle, the sands beneath it disappeared as well, its defensive magics in shambles, and the air filled with more columns of dust.
- A third hour and Alaris is scrying on the southern reaches of the Killing Lands, well past the southern edge of the desert. The force of the collapse is such that even though the land there is fine, entire mountain peaks are shaking and splintering in the aftershocks of the collapse.
- Alaris, Chloe, and Faer venture into Crimson Dusk to inform their bank of the new fortune they wish deposited into their accounts. Upon arriving, they notice that everyone seems unnaturally subdued. Quickly, they learn of a tragedy in Lagramant's Port, the capital of Sthalafar: the entire city is dead. Alaris responds coldly to everyone's concern, earning him a rebuke from his companions, and then the trio makes their way to the Temple, where they inform Dean Vaneri of the chariot, which they wish included with their titan exhibit. From there, they move on to the palace, where they secure and audience with Chancellor Illyun, whom they inform about the Killing Lands after getting details about Lagramant's Port.
- The party travels to Lir Walhai, finding Lictor Antikus preparing to lead a military force to Far Vahandir against a threat. After some initial confusion, the party learns that a group of Keepers of the Word are in league with an apparently rogue faction of devils trying to take over or perhaps destroy the city. They promise their aide, though they still have a few more stops to make.
- In Shaddac Kraul, they find the city damaged by quakes resulting from the Killing Lands' collapse and the party offers what magical aide they can: Alaris helping deal with rubble while Chloe and Faer heal injuries. Despite the damage, Kintha sees no reason to delay their meeting in a few days to determine the fate of Sefrogost and Isfalkar.
- Finally, in the Empire, the party informs Elthan of everything that has occured since their last meeting with the prince two weeks prior.
- Alaris, Chloe, and Faer return to Crimson Dusk, reuniting with Dekne and Tomas. Their treasure secured, the party retires for the evening, planning on helping the Empyrean efforts in Far Vahandir the following day.
A Party of Lone Wolves (Session 40, Day 179)
Fifth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Hathad Daggermist.
- The party travels to their bank in Crimson Dusk, laying out how they wish their new funds to be handled and with Alaris putting in an inquiry about purchasing vassalge and land in the High Scar. While there, they are invited back to meet with Eivys Meithuriel, the bank manager. In addition to a cheque book, they are given a small coin of unknown material and told to inquire at the Stag's Heart Inn if they find themselves in need of goods that Lucien cannot provide them with.
- The party heads to the Stag's Heart, discovering the building has only two stories. Inside, however, they find a third floor with a single door. Upon knocking, they are invited into the Rözin Corporation, where they are told by a hyperactive elf with an unplaceable accent that any product they wish to purchase can be provided in one week's time. Exiting and re-entering the shop several times reveals to the party that it seems disconnected in both space and time, though the clerk adamantly refuses to admit anything is out of the order. After a long, fruitless argument, they depart.
- After a little discussion, Alaris tries a sending to Nemáron, which does little except to confuse matters. Alaris's old friend is working with the devils, but claims it is for the world's best interests.
- The party teleports to Far Vahandir, avoiding the Empyreans as actively as the devils and begins their own, private investigation into what is going on. Seeking the 'heart' of the citadel, which Nemáron mentioned in his message, they explore the damaged island. They find the Durance of the Word destroyed, surrounded by corpses--many of them obviously not soldiers--and the halls abandoned, haunted only by the sounds of distant battle so distorted by echoes that not even Faer can get a firm fix on their location.
- Upon exploring the monasteries that comprise the Hall, the party manages to locate a cowering civilian in their home, who tells them that the Keepers of the Word went mad and began attacking alongside the devils. He also reveals that the heart of Far Vahandir is located within the stone itself, directly below the central tower and is the mechanism that keeps the city aloft.
- While the rest of the party gathers in the Lictor's Chamber, Faer moves through the stone of the citadel, searching for a quick way down. He sees forces of legion devils and ice devils being lead by powerful warmongers, gathering in the chambers below. Finally, reaching as far down as he can before running into a magical barrier, the druid runs afoul of a quartet of horned devils guarding an entrance to the lower levels. Fleeing, he drags a pair of battle groups--each a warmonger, an ice devil, and a ventiet of legion devils--to where the party waits, the group unloading on them and polishing them off in a couple of rounds.
- As the party prepares to descend, a massive figure appears in the vaulted windows outisde the hallway they've gathered in. Alaris recognizes Azothmog, one of the Infernal Dukes: the thirteen Arch-Dukes of Hell who rule directly beneath the Court Kings. Azothmog says that the devils gathered in Far Vahandir are under Mephistopheles, King of the Court of Rust and Hell's most notorious schemer. As part of their contract with Nemáron, the party has been granted safe passage, though the devils that attacked them did not know that. He grants the party a diabolic mark and sends them down towards the heart of Far Vahandir.
- After traveling down dozens of flights of stairs and passing massed devil forces, the party arrives in a giant, vaulted chamber at the heart of which is a large pedestal with thick pipes running out of it. Nemáron emerges from behind it, visibly changed: he glows with an inner, golden light and giant, almost painfully white wings emerge from his back. He walks inches above the ground and about his head is a halo of shimmering fire. Charged with celestial energy, he greets his old friend Alaris, explaining to him that Alaris's words were the key to finding his new power. It is revealed that a fraction of the athema which Blooding turns inward in Empyreans is stored away in a metaphysical plane, where it has been gathering since the dawn of the Academy, to eventually be used to revive the dead Vanished Gods. Instead, Nemáron seized a portion of the power and is in the process of becoming one with the vast well of spiritual energy. He plans to use it to destroy the devils he is forced to work with and to utterly annihilate the Empyrean Academy, finally gaining the revenge he--and, he is sure, Alaris--have always wanted. He goes so far as to offer to share his new-found power with Alaris, to raise him up as a fellow god, and the offer is painfully tempting to the young scholar. But finally, alongside his companions, Alaris tells Nemáron that his path is one of folly, fated to fail just as all grandiose schemes of revenge like it have failed before. Despite a heated exchange about the nature of both power and justice, the two cannot agree and Alaris refuses to turn away and allow Nemáron to continue unchallenged. Desparing in this sentence to isolation from one he was sure would ally with him, Nemáron prepares to battle the party and they to stop the newborn Godling.
Nemáron (Session 41, Day 179)
Fifth Autumn Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- The party has faced furious battles before, but never has one single entity pushed them so far, brought them so close to ruin, as Nemáron imbued with the divine quintessence of the Empyrean Academy. It is a bloody slugfest that brings to light many of the party's weaknesses and failings and ultimately costs both Faer and Jacklface their lives and nearly claims Chloe's as well. The monk and Tomas are also left with unhealing scars from an akat-vhoa. Only with the end of the brutal affair is the party allowed any respite, Nemáron finally falling to Dekne's axe in his chest. Still in her battle-rage, the dwarven berserker begins pounding mercilessly on the fallen body.
- With a flare of incandescent light, the party is thrown back as a howling, maddened specter rises above Nemáron's body, an image of searing light burned against the fabric of reality. From nowhere, a spear of reddish metal transfixes the figure, which falls silent and begins to disipate. From the shadows emerges Mephistopheles, one of the Kings of Hell, greatly amused by how the party's actions defied his expectations but were predicted perfectly by Lakrivarideyn. With their help, the devils have gotten everything they wanted from Far Vahandir at a far, far lower cost than they had been prepared to pay. Leaving the party alive, Maphistopheles takes his devils and departs the Empyrean sanctum.
- Staggering up out of the earth, the party finds Far Vahandir emptied of fiendish presence and finally makes their way to where the Empyrean's had been gathered. The death toll is staggering; thousands of the Academy are dead, the majority of them civilians slain before the military could respond or while they tried to fight back. Also among the dead is Lictor Antikus and Keeper Lorvrian, while Lictor Inorallis and Keeper In'el are amongst those missing. A badly injured Invidis is there, along with Lictor Lelvieta and Lictor Brykra, who admit that Far Vahandir is doubtless finished as the seat of Empyrean power.
- Also there, to everyone's surprise, was Karakalla Vonostre, having come at the behest of his ally Aeselia of the Empyrean splinter-sect the Wayfarers. Aeselia is actually Invidis' daughter and the party learns she has come into possession of the Ardrua artifact Vicious Path, given to Karakalla's group by the Lady of the Hunt after they dealt with the Eaters of the Moon, who turned out to be a cult of shapeshifters. There is some talk of the two groups teaming up to face Talarmundi and the Eighth Flotilla.
- The party returns to their base of operations: the Ascendancy. Chloe is revived and Faer raised, meeting with Vakad and given the task to attempt to become the Grand Heirophant of the Cabal after it is revealed that Zho'ik isith In'el died during the battle with the devils.
- Alaris attempts to raise Nemáron but is unsuccessful for reasons unknown. Instead, he returns the body to his old friend's parents to be properly buried.
- Despite their victory, the party is under a pall as they retire for the night.
Grim Proposition (Session 42, Day 180)
Sixth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on the Get of Asmodeus.
- The party is awakened by a runner from the bank, bringing them a writ saying that the calculation of their wealth is complete and stands at a value in the neighborhood of seventy-five million gold.
- Outside Lucien's shop--Sline Finery--the party is met by Athyniel, one of Lakrivarideyn's tiefling lackeys. They are greeted with an unexpected proposition: for a period of sixteen days, Lakrivarideyn and her follows will not interfere on the Prime and, in return, the party will not interfere with her activities. At the end of the sixteen days, there will be a meeting of all the bearers of the Ardrua artifacts at Stormtalon, in Eboniron's chamber. Though they hold some reservations, the party agrees to both the cease-fire and the meeting.
- The party visits the Rosein Corporation and puts in orders with their new-found wealth.
- Alaris makes a stop by the Temple and buys the diamonds they have available.
- The party visits Lir Walhai and meets with Lerdannus, the guard captain, and hears that Amaria Antikus, the Lictor's daughter, is still grieving the passing of her father. Alaris does his best to make Lerdannus understand the conflict between the Academy and the rest of the world and how the terrible incidents of the past days should not derail the attempts at peace being made.
- The party stops over in Thahtmahan and meets with Elthan, telling him about Nemáron's passing and seeing where the state of research is on the akat-vhoa. They also visit Zast and have him scrounge up a few more diamonds for them.
- Finally, the party goes to Sefrogost and meets with Kintha Battlebronze, Lekt Copperhand, Huln Winterwhite, Verrud Hammerglass, and some of the functionaries left in charge of Isfalkar. Through debate and magic, the determine that there are three Bladeharrows left with a strong enough claim on the rule of Sefrogost to be worth consulting: the dandy Oleif, the bestial Vadyne, and the brilliant-but-disturbed Thoyr. Fetching all three, debate ensues and it is finally decided that Oleif will be given Sheel's vacant throne, to Vadyne's disgust, Thoyr's relief, and Verrud's dissatisfaction.
- The council also decides that the best solution to the problem of Isfalkar--where Sheel was all-too-efficient at purging the old ruling family--is to fob it off on Dekne, who is unanimously named the new Forgemistress of the tinker-city. The party travels there, Dekne activating the Crown, which glows with a silvery light as it recognizes her as the Forgequeen. That done, the party retires for the night.
The Cabal (Session 43, Day 181-191)
Seventh Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Yfendé Eternal.
- The party spends some time in Thahtmahan.
- The party decides to deal with Faer's divine task. They travel to Fyrall and begins their journey to Feranacht.
Eighth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a minor legend lore on Sa'haz Eoluin.
- The party arrives in Feranacht and Faer--with some help from Jackalface--begins to circulate amongst the druids.
Ninth to Fifteenth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires major legend lores on Sa'haz Eoluin, Graham Orenson, the Incarnadine Pharoah, the Blind Eye, Nenri ove Mahakir, Truth in Stone, and Blossoms at Twilight.
- Most of the party socializes with the ocmpanions of the other druids in attendance, listening to tales of their adventures and spreading their own stories, including tales about the impending battle with the Abominations and other knowledge about the world as it stands.
- After confessing to the great disaster in the Killing Lands, Faer puts his name forward for consideration as the Grand Heirophant of the Cabal. Six other voices also rise to claim the honor and the week is spent in debate and speech-making. On the final day, after all the voices have been heard, the Cabal agrees to meet again in one full lunar cycle--one month--to elect their new leader.
Sixteenth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Galtstrem.
- The party departs Feranacht.
Seventeenth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Marius Zast.
- The party arrives outside the protected zone in Fyrall. They teleport around to Stormtalon, Thahtmahan, and Isfalkar.
Swords, Sins, and Silver (Session 44, Day 191-193)
Seventeenth Autumn Glory, AG 1277, cont.
- The party travels to Whisthaven. There they find everyone acting in perfect synchronicity, claiming to be Silver. The collective consciousness is remodling the city with a vast defensive spell. Further questioning holds that they come from Home, were invited by the locals who were afraid for their survival after their Ark of Stars was defeated by the diablolic Dead Fleet, and are accepting applicants for the collective mind.
- A quick jaunt to Stormtalon shows that Eboniron knows very little about them, but that Azurath has heard of them and considers them a benign presence that the mortal races will kill off when they find out about it anyway.
- Evening threatening, the party retires for the night.
Eighteenth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- The party travels to Shaddac Kraul, where Alaris pays Iyektis a visit and speaks about the Silver and his concern that they may be related to the un-lorable Silver River. After gathering a group of Healers, Alaris risks acquiring a major legend lore on the Silver.
Nineteenth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris awakes, his head foggy but the knowledge acquired.
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Lakrivarideyn and the party is pitched into a crises of conscience.
- The party visits Lagramant's Port, meeting with Dean Crow's-Daughter of the Temple and Pendlesignor "Hoot" Wahaloon, the gnomish mayor chosen by his peers to act as the interim head of state for Sthalafar. Alaris begins thinking of crafting a mass resrruection spell that could bring back everyone.
- The party then travels to Thahtmahan, discovering that the healers there believe the anti-Empyrean healing staffs should be done the following day. Elthan exhibits an uncharacteristic giddiness at the idea of walking again, though he also admits that Alusa and Shezar have promised a draconian rehabilitation schedule.
- The party returns to Crimson Dusk and retires for the night. As they are preparing for sleep, Tomas can feel the sense of obligation lifting from him: Haradis Mahl has kept his promise, stepping down as the Emperor of Bones. And now, it would seem, that Melthagond, the Devourer of Abomination, walks Faengleis.
Memories of Falling Leaves (Session 45, Day 194-195)
Twentieth Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on .
- The party takes care of small details, visiting Elthan, Zast, Iyektis, and a few others. Tomorrow is important, and they want to be sure they're ready.
Twenty-first Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on .
- The party travels to Stormtalon to seek out Utata Eboniron. There, Tomas challenges her for the right to possess the Autumnal Reminiscence. The situation quickly takes a turn for the worst as a single strike from the Ardrua launches the battle-toughened fighter across the chamber, followed by her easily dodging his return strike. The battle only devolves from there, though a telling blow from Tomas does seem to impress the otherwise-unphased Eboniron. Before the party's horrified eyes, she ends the battle after mere seconds of exchange, driving her fist through the hapless Tomas's face.
- Facing a reality they had never dreamed of, the party--feeling both overwhelmed and betrayed--confront Eboniron, torn between retreat from the obviously-overwhelming power of one of the Ardrua and throwing themselves into battle against her for the sake of their dead friend.
- Meanwhile, in the echoing chamber below Stormtalon, Tomas awakens to see Azurath watching him. He discovers that he has actually passed Eboniron's challenge: he has done as well as any human could expect against her power and more than most would dream possible. He also showed courage, strength, and a willingness to put everything on the line for what he believes, never pulling even from the precipice of death. But it will take more than that to impress the mighty blue dragon appointed as the Ardrua's guardian. He shows Tomas the current chaos in the room above, with the party about to risk everything--even the future of the world--in a needless fight against Eboniron. Giving Tomas the artifact will leave Eboniron weakened--barely on the level of a demi-god, which was the power she was using earlier--and so Azurath demands something in return from the warrior if he wishes to leave with his prize: he must take on himself the role of moral compass for the party. He must keep them from jeopardizing the great mission with petty, personal squabbles such as the one they are watching; must keep them focused on defeating the Abominations. Reluctantly, admitting that he doesn't know how good he'll be at it but that he is willing to try, Tomas accepts the burden.
- Finally deciding discretion is the better part of valor, the party plans a temporary withdrawal, heading down the flanks of Stormtalon when Tomas--slung over the shoulder of a weeping Faer--awakens, startling everyone. After much confusion and Alaris being convinced not to blow the top off of Stormtalon (yet), the party faces the truth: Tomas now possesses the Autumnal Reminiscence and the party holds three of the twelve artifacts.
- The party returns to Thahtmahan for the night.
Great Problems and Grand Problems (Session 46, Day 196-207)
Twenty-second Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a second major legend lore on Lakrivarideyn, revealing the same results as the first.
- In the crystal chamber beneath Stormtalon, each with a pair of followers to watch their back, the twelve artifact holders meet under the watchful eyes of Utata Eboniron:
- Karakalla Vonostre with the Havoc Gyre, accompanied by the dwarven priest of Vakad, Vennin Stonesthrow, and the Xaini child-wizard Mechael Vomamoth.
- Aselia of the Wayfinders with the Vicious Path, accompanied by the wild elf Mythiel and Salthaz, one of the last Titans.
- Thaktikal Moon-Seeker, alahuat of Malivorm and bearer of the Blossoms at Twilight, with an unknown lizardman and an equally unknown dragon-ogre.
- Haradis Mahl, ex-Emperor of Bones, with the Truth in Stone, followed by Melthagond in the form of a nondescript child and an undead guardian.
- Tomas Rayne with the Autumnal Reminiscence, with his allies Faer and Jackalface.
- Dekne Thurin-Forgemaster with the Colossus of Winter and followed by Alaris.
- Chloe Brooks with the Enlightened Spire, accompanied by Marius Zast.
- Lictor Vorthool of Sanguine with the Godhand, in the company of Natasha and another, unknown, Empyrean.
- Pirate Lord Gunther Talarmundi with Nenri ove Mahakir, along with a sahuagin mutant and a strange dwarf, neither of whom were identified.
- Graham Orenson with Galtstrem, followed by a pair of planar beings who were never named.
- Zelain Athelmieris the Corrupt and Of the Sun Moving Across the Face of the World, in the company of an unnamed figure and the an archduke of Hell, Azothmog.
- Lakrivarideyn Ryhelus with Tyth Malidrail, Mephistopheles at one hand and Athyniel of the Get of Asmodeus on the other.
Twenty-third Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris attempts a major legend lore on the UHE. He then passes out.
Twenty-fourth to thirty-second Autumn Glory, AG 1277
- Alaris remains unconscious.
First Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Alaris awakens, visibly shaken. He informs the party that e has not only discovered some details about the UHE--the United Humankind Empire--but the elusive Teachers as well. In seeking out knowledge, his mind actually touched that of one of the Teachers, which then used Alaris' own memories to track down Faengleis. In addition to dispatching a "battleliner" to "incorporate" their world, the Teacher also mentioned a "planetary denial salvo" as a method of keeping the world tractible until the unknown point in the future when the educating forces could arrive. The party is moderately upset with Alaris.
Knock-Out, Drag Down (Session 47, Day 207-217)
First Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Upon awaking, Alaris commands the entire party to Shadac Kraul, where he confronts Iyektis about Fendei Infinatus, though the dwarf seems genuinely puzzled by the reference. He confides in the rest of the party that he has seen "that sort of thing" before, implying that Alaris is studying himself to the brink of a mental and/or physical breakdown and that they need to keep him from running himself quite so ragged. In response, Alaris attempts to re-legend lore the UHE, passing out again.
- Iyektis allows the party to seek rest in the Anvil, waiting for their friend to revive.
Second and Third Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- The party waits for Alaris to revive.
Fourth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Alaris awakes, disturbed that his connection to Fendei Infinatus has been severed. A quick legend lore of Faengleis shows that--whatever their relationship--he still has access to the knowledge of Yfendé Eternal.
- The party pleads with Alaris to not knock himself out until at least Faer's meeting with the Cabal in a week's time. He...reluctantly...agrees.
Fifth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- The party travels to Crimson Dusk, to the portal outside town, where Alaris opens a portal to the Seat of Illimitable Array, where the angels hold their highest courts and seeks out the Throne Solar of Judgement: Valaseriel. Under the command of the Archangel of Justice, Yllestralliel, Valaseriel is tasked with all matters pertaining to divine law and the functioning of heaven's complex legal system. She agrees to preside over the trial of Zelain, provided they can produce some proof of Lakrivarideyn's willingness to abide by her decisions. The party agrees that that is a good idea and will get that proof straight-away.
- Alaris sends Lakrivarideyn a message requesting proof and she says that she will send along a contract the following day. Alaris, Tomas, and Dekne decide to stay in Crimson Dusk while Faer takes Chloe to go cram some last-minute druiding in.
Sixth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Athyniel shows up, presenting Alaris with a sealed contract from Lakrivarideyn, stipulating the nature of the trial, including the return of Zelain's artifact to her if he is found guilty. Reluctantly, the party agrees, signing the document and delivering it via gate to Valaserial. The trial will take place in a month's time, on the Sixth of Winter Dawning.
Seventh through Tenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- The party travels to Feranacht for the Cabal meeting. During this period, Alaris acquires a major legend lore on both the Autumnal Reminiscence and the Vicious Path.
Eleventh Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- On the morning of the meeting, Faer is told to wait in a small clearing away from the main body of the druids, each of the candidates being isolated while the rest of the Cabal debates. To keep him from going completely insane while waiting, the party is allowed to accompany him and wait with him. While Faer meditates and the party waits, a young druid approaches with their lunch. Seemingly awed by all he has heard about the party, the boy asks several questions about their exploits, which the party heartily admits to. The last question holds him the most rapt, however: word that the party is actually trying (and succeeding) at bringing Lakrivarideyn into the light. Proudly agreeing that that is the case, the party sees the boy suddenly go rigid, collapsing with a blood stain spreading across the front of his robe. As Tomas rushes over, dropping to one knee beside the now-dead boy, a portal rips open right in front of him. A portal where none should possibly be able to open...
The Get of Asmodeus (Session 48, Day 217)
Eleventh Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Bursting from the portal, catching the party by complete surprise, is a group of tieflings and some legion devils, at the head of which is none other than Athyniel, the head of Lakrivarideyn's band of loyal tieflings: the Get of Asmodeus. What follows is a pitched battle, Tomas squaring off against the magus Athyniel while Faer's attempt at magic is cut short by Vokkadin the rogue. Dekne trades blows with the scythe-wielding Margra and Chloe faces the diabolic monk Pyranthus. Alaris, trying to control the battle, finds himself pitted against the divine magic of Zentruhn. While the moment of surprise knocks the party back on their heels and allows Chloe to be dropped by a vicious assault, they recover quickly and are tearing into their foes within moments. In the end, not even the weight of their rush is enough to overturn the party's superior power and coordination and they begin falling one-by-one: Athyniel and then Margra. Vokkadin and Pyranthus shout that they've been tricked, but with their escape cut off by the portal's malfunction, they see no other option but to fight to the death. The party is more than willing to accomodate them, The last two falling as Zentruhn is buried beneath the restless earth. As the dust settles, a gate opens and the mastermind looks out: Zelain. He fires a few spells at the party before having the opening closed, deciding that discretion is the better part of valour.
- During their fight, the party heard sounds of battle elsewhere and a quick investigation shows that 1) the devils also attacked the Cabal gathering, to distract them from coming to the party's aid and 2) a gathering of the greatest and most powerful druids in the world can damn well defend itself. There are injuries, but no deaths and the party's aid clears up the last vestiges of the diabolic infestation.
- When the party returns to the clearing, they find that the bodies of the Get have disappeared. Instead, there is an imp there who informs them that the problem has been "dealth with" and that Lakrivarideyn will be more than happy to deliver the heads of the Get the party, should they wish. They do not so wish. Zelain, however, seems to still be at large. And there's still the portal, wavering in the field of Alaris' mage's disjunction.
The Force Elemental (Session 49, Day 217-220)
Eleventh Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- With the teleportation protection around Feranacht disabled, Alaris teelports to Crimson Dusk and retrieves Lucien. Together, the pair close the shard-born portal.
- Faer is greeted by another hierophant candidate: the wild elf Tyroshanda of the Watchful Elk tribe. The older elf confides in her fellow druid that she was the one the council had selected in lieu of Faer or the other candidates. She is very old--musing that she has perhaps only another twenty or thirty years of life left in her--and admits that the only reasons that Faer was not selected was both his relative youth and the fact that his mission is too important to saddle him with the additional burden of rule. Tyroshanda also says that following her passing and the completion of their mission, it is quite likely that Faer will have no option but to become the hierophant. In the meantime, however, the cabal has agreed to speak of a very secret, very private matter druidic matter: the elemntal Primals. They are beings as close to mortal kings that the elementals have, being the most powerful and most fundamental embodiment of natural essence in the world or the planes. In times of greatest tribulation or strife, they will consent to partner with druids whose need is sufficient. There are four Primals and they can be found by seeking out information in:
- the Azer City of Brass on the plane of fire, where the king who sits upon the Obsidian Throne will reveal the locaton of the Well of Everlasting Fire,
- the Palace of the Seven Winds, where you can learn the location of the Eternal Storm,
- the mysterious "deepest place a mortal can go" on the Plane of Earth, where is revealed the location of the Chasm of the Undying Earth,
- and the Undine Court, where a seeker can learn teh location of the Grotto of Endless Water.
- After the subdued festiviites for the election of the new hierophant, the party goes to Crimson Dusk for the night.
Twelfth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Alaris spends the day in the libraries of the Temple, researching what he can of the Elemental Primals, though he finds precious little: only legends and bits of stories that speak of druids with amazing powers, who could call the seas to rise from their beds or great winds that levelled entire armies. Most interesting is the tale of an unnamed druid who helped the Salamanders escape Orodravian aggression. It is said that he called up a great mountain and filled it with fire that would never die: the birth of Skielnarl and evidence tha tit might be possible to secure the aid of more than one Primal.
- As Alaris studies, the rest of the group wanders around Crimson Dusk, doing some shopping.
- That evening, the party heads to Thahtmahan and rests while Alaris attempts a legend lore on the Primals. The result destroys several rooms and blows out a chunk of the castle wall, Alaris getting only a brief impression of fire from the attempt. Apologies are made and the rooms are patched up.
Thirteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
Fourteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Alaris returns to the Temple and speaks with some staff in the Divination department, learning that only a few scholars are known to have attempted legend lore on forbidden knowledge and not ended up in a coma: the dwarf Tharn Piebutter and the gnome Pendlesignor Wahaloon.
- The party travels to Elding, to speak with Piebutter, whom they discover runs a high-class cabaret. The beautiful scholar is a dancer as well as one of Faengleis' leading intellectuals; his dressing room is crammed with makeup, costumes, and innummerable manuscripts of great historic or scholarly value. Alaris talks with Tharn about the UHE and convinces the dwarf that something dangerous has happened with regards to it, but the dancer is unable to provide anything of value with regards to that.
- With some reluctance, the party then heads to Sthalafar, where they borrow the seemingly insane gnome, discovering that he is, in fact, quite mad, stemming from a legend lore attempt on Ilsatar that wiped out the scholar's memories from before the attempt. He apparently ignores attempts to talk with him about the UHE or Fendei Infinatus, but when the party leaves in disgruntlement, Alaris discovers something tucked into his sleeve: a small piece of parchment informing him of a theory that Yfendé Eternal might have been in more than one place and time simultaneously, part of an even vaster library whose wings were disconnected from one another physically but still joined in concept.
- The party travels to Shaddac Kraul, where they confront Iyektis with the idea of Yfendé being more than one place. He scoffs at the idea before admitting, reluctantly, that there were some high-ranking staff members he overhead discussing the idea, but they were in a very small minority. The Library stored information about EVERYTHING; the idea that there was some place somewhere else that stored even MORE of everything was preposterous. Of course, he admits, that was before he knew Alaris was pulling strange information from somewhere in a format he'd never heard of before.
- Suddenly, Alaris receives a sending from Elthan: Thahtmahan is under attack by devils and they need help immediately. Taking only enough time to throw a few bolstering spells over themselves, the party teleports into the air above the Imperial Capital, discovering signs of struggle everywhere.
The Greater Price of Valor (Session 50, Day 220)
Fourteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- As Thahtmahan burns beneath them, the party descends, tearing apart a diabolic regiment assaulting the castle gates. Then they rush to where they see a figure atop the battlements opening gates and sending forth an angelic host to protect the city: Elthan. They quickly learn the situation: while Elthan helps hold the castle and Shezar--along with the holy sword Kallidus--are securing refugees in the paladin's Prelate Academy, it seems the devil's primary thrust is directed at the Sunshine School. The party agrees to bolster the defenses there and protect the Empire's fledgling mages.
- Arriving, the party sees councils of Pit Fiends--groups of nine--roving towards the school before discovering the enemy general at work: the Archduke Azothmog, with his own council of Infernal Dukes at his side. Laughing that he has long desired to match blades with the party, he proceeds to attack, only to be waylaid by Graham, who announces tha the Lady Lakrivarideyn is "resolving" the issue and the devils will be departing shortly.
- While Graham and Azothmog face off, the party deals handily with the council of Infernal Dukes. During a time stop, Alaris discovers that the Enlightend Spire has given Chloe a new power: the ability to share in time stops cast near her. Coming out of the state of accelerated awareness, Alaris then uses a pseudonatural spell for the first time since acquiring the ability after touching the mind of Ilsatar. While the targets are driven mad, the rest of the party is shaken by what they see, reality fraying at the spell's edges.
- As the last Infernal Dukes flee in screaming madness or are struck down, time freezes again, but this time for everyone except Chloe. Stepping from the shadows and seemingly unaware of her consciousness is Zelain, who looks over the scene and announces his disappointment with Azothmog. Chloe uses the Spire to launch a spell at Zelain, only to have a voice not the wizard's chant a counterspell, nullifying her attack and alerting the fallen mage to her presence. The pair battle briefly but furiously, until Zelain's superior magic restrains the monk. Leaning forward, Zelain whispers the last words Chloe ever hears: "The interesting thing about an artifact that bonds with souls...is when you have more than one soul!" With those words, he tears the heart from her body and crushes it, reaching out with his second hand and accepting the now-masterless Enlightened Spire. In a blast of azure light, he claims a second artifact: a theoretical impossibility.
- As Zelain falls back into real time, the party is treated to a single, shocked instant of Chloe falling from earthward while Zelain stands, wearing Of the Sun Moving Across the Face of the World and grasping the Enlightened Spire. And then he is gone, before anyone has a chance to react. As Graham subdues Azothmog, Faer manages to catch Chloe before she hits the ground and Alaris and Tomas, in a mindless rage, tear the devils around them apart with magic and blade. In less than a minute after Azothmog's fall, the rest of the devils stop and disappear, recalled to the Nine Hells.
- Graham immediately takes the party to meet with Lakrivarideyn, where they find also Mephistopheles's head, looking as if it had been pulled from his neck by main strength. She explains that the attack was a plot by her servant and rival in an attempt to dethrone her. All are shocked by the news of Zelain acquiring a second artifact and the party is given access to his lab to try and determine how he accomplished the feat. While leading the party there, Graham also informs them that he has decided to stay at Lakrivarideyn's side, in hope that he can somehow atone for what he has done by aiding in her redemption.
- The party claims Zelain's lab, investigating it and discovering a skull they believe belongs to Akhandakhan Molth.
- The party is then summoned by Lakrivarideyn back to her throne room, where they find the other Lords and Ladies of Hell and the Archdukes in audience, while the Queen of Hell presents them with gifts of great personal significance to her to try and show sympathy for the loss of Chloe. While powerful, the gifts are also unquestionably evil.
Flann Pisch: Junior Member (Session 51, Day 220-221)
Fourteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Finally given a moment of reprieve, the party returns to Zelains lab and tries to plan their next move. Faer cannot be induced to surrender Chloe's body while Dekne anesthatizes herself on the nearest available liquor. After going over the notes they were able to scrounge up from Zelain's ransacked lab, they are able to piece together a troubling theory: the corrupted wizard has discovered a means of bonding multiple Ardrua artifacts to himself by fusing them with the extra souls he accidentally harvested. Based on a crumpled diagram, it seems he has formulated plans to collect a total of twelve souls so that he can hold all twelve of the artifacts. Included is a scrawled list of Faengleis' most powerful magic-users, who the party conclude will be his targets.
- Binding the portal in the lab so that only members of the party will be able to use it, they depart back to Thahtmahan, where they find the situation well in hand. With the devils departing after Lakrivarideyn's defeat of Mephistopheles, the numerous clerics and paladins have set about healing the injured while the people slowly start rebuilding. In the palace, they find Elthan helping to direct the efforts. When the prince sees Chloe, he immediately sends for a healer before the party informs him that it is too late: the halfling isn't coming back. His mood darkens as the situation is explained.
- The land where Chloe fell, outside the Sunshine School, is set aside for a monument to the fallen hero.
- Much to everyone's surprise, Zast appears in the palace. Noted for his reluctance to interfere (openly) with royal matters, he has been drawn out for two reasons. One is to give what information he has about the portion of town he defended during the assault, but the other is to introduce Elthan to a helpful new figure. During the attack, a bard who had been performing took it upon himself to defend the locals as best he could: Flann Pisch. Knowing that the party is terribly weakened after the loss of both Chloe and Lucien--and with Zast's none-too-common endorsement of his character and abilities--Elthan offers the bard's services to the party. Reluctantly, they accept, knowing that the situation they face will require as much help as the can get (and trust).
- The party travels to the Temple of Thahtma, where Elthan has secured them a place to store Chloe's body in repose until the monument has been completed as well as a priest who can help them speak with Molth. They discover that the long-dead hobgoblin made his break-through discoveries with the help of the Dome of the Central Archive in Xain (before the guardian golem of the Havoc Gyre killed him for running off with the artifact, which also serves as the library's key). The last vestiges of the scholar's mind are sufficent to keep his restored corpse from surrendering the location of the Green Hall, however.
- Tomas speaks with Vennin through the gem, asking if they could get access to the Central Archive. The dwarf admits that it would be unlikely, but Karakalla might be willing to get Mechael to do some research for them in return for a favor: during the Winter Solstice attack, the party must personally--and proveably--kill Omala Vindicar, Queen of Xain. The party debates the notion and says they will get back to them on it, but in the mean time have Mechael do what limited research he's willing to on his own recognizance.
- The party rests for the night in Thahtmahan.
Fifteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Mechael Vomamoth.
- The party travels to Isfalkar to speak with Déhézon. They find that the necromancer has insinuated himself into the local government as a sort of chancellor, helping to guide the uncertain and inexperienced ruling council Dekne left in charge. The people of the city seem cautiously hopeful and some semblance of a normal life is returning. The cost, however, is an entire floor of the undercity's Anvil being decorated as a pastel love palace.
- When they find the unashamed necromancer, he answers their questions about the nature of souls and what Zelain has probably done. He also says that, with a little work, he might be able to develop a metamagic effect that will allow a spell to disrupt the binding between souls when used to counterspell magic cast through one of the captive souls. He is left working on the task and told to contact Lucien for assistance to speed up the process.
Mysteries and Mysteries (Session 52, Day 221-223)
Fifteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- Finally sorting through their built-up mail, the party finds several interesting letters, including one that appears to be a cypher. With no magical recourse, Alaris buckles down and begins brute-forcing the code.
- Dekne catches up on what has been transpiring in Isfalkar with Déhézon before going to drink with her subjects.
- Tomas wanders about a bit, but spends most of the day watching over Alaris.
- Faer helps the locals with rehabilitating their subterranean farmland, which suffered from overuse and ill-management during the occupation.
- Flann decides to hold an impromptu concert, much to the delight of the locals, though he feels his performance was one of the worst he's managed in years. Later, he has a drunken conversation with some cats and a threesome with a pair of local fans.
Sixteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Iternaliel. A sending to the banished angel returns the cryptic message "Access to data cluster IEL-559 is restricted to aleph-prime identification codices. Please provide Teacher authentication. Failure to comply will-"
- Alaris continues his work on the coded message while the rest of the party continues with their daily chores. Towards evening, after a flash of insight following Dekne getting him buzzed, Alaris shatters the code and discovers that it is from the Jaguar King, claiming that the semi-divine cat lord has discovered something involving the descendents of his old foe Voymetet and will lend the party his aid when they deal with the situation.
- The party travels to Crimson Dusk and researches the plane of earth. They learn of a few locations that touch upon the "deepest place mortals can go."
Seventeenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- The party travels to the plane of earth, seeking an audience with the Primal of Earth. What they find is a surface through which they cannot teleport and cannot damage. Even earth gliding produces a blinding headache and a flash of gemstone: a citrine that stretches as far as the mind's eye can see. They discover that mentioning the Primal of Earth is sufficient to destroy earth elementals summoned in the area and, when speaking with the stones, they cause an earthquake with their demands, collapsing the area.
- At a second location, Faer tries earth gliding through the floor again, this time voluntarily surrendering to the magical assault it provokes. The result is him being reduced to inanimate stone. When Dekne goes to lift up the rock, the Colossus brushes the floor, causing it to quiver in sympathetic reaction. Quickly returning Faer to his normal state, Dekne and Tomas press their artifacts to the ground, Alaris and Faer turning into earth elementals to get pulled down with them. Thinking quickly, Tomas jams Flann into his bag of holding so that their last member can accompany them.
Adamanthus, the Primal of Earth (Session 53, Day 223)
Seventeenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- After an interminable descent, the party arrives in the square of a subterranean city filled with dust. Several minutes of searching produces only abandoned buildings and the sound of distant movement. Finally, Faer manages to catch a faint scuffing sound nearby. When the party investigates, they find a small svirfneblin cliinging via spider climb to the wall of a building. He agrees to lead the party to the Elder, who knows of the Primal of Earth.
- The party comes to a small hut in the center of a clearing in a larger part of the cavern. They speak with her and learn that she knows of the Chasm of Undying Earth and will show them the way. Indeed, it lies through the mortar upon which she eternally grinds stones to dust. Placing their hands upon it one at a time, the party is sent to the chasm.
- There they find themselves in a giant, teardrop-shaped cavern at the point of which sits a massive throne and a man-shape of stone seventy feet tall upon it. It introduces itself as the Primal of Earth and bids Faer to speak about why he has come. Haltingly, the druid explains about the Abominations, but the Primal seems unimpressed, revealing that he and his kin have no fear of anything created by the Old Gods. In the end, the Primal believes that Faer wants his powers only for battle and so decides to test him and his companions in that regard. Giant figures of stone begin bursting from the ground, larger and more numerous with each passing second. The party fights valiantly and, when victory is in sight, the Primal himself stands and wades into the combat. Things look grim and the party finds itself in a stalemate that will last only as long as their healing magic holds out. Finally, their resources almost exhausted, the Primal shatters, collapsing to the ground in a pile of rubble. Silence fills the Chasm and the party wonders if they have slain the very creature they came seeking the aid of...
-...and then the ceiling--a single, massive citrine--pulls away. And away. And away. It resolves itself as an eye hundreds of feet across and only one of eight set it a ring of multifaceted gemstones. It forms the face of the true Primal of Earth, Adamanthus. The entire conflict took place upon the elemental's knee, in the crook of the joints made from two fingers pressed together. It is a tremendous being whose dimensions would require miles where a human's would ask for fractions of feet and its voice is a vertible assault that echoes through the truely unfathomable size of the Chasm. Adamanthus concedes to grant Faer a token of his powers, to use as the druid sees fit. Faer's eye turns to a solid citrine in the socket, at which point the party departs, returning to Crimson Dusk.
Aquaelothim, the Primal of Water (Session 54, Day 223-225)
Seventeenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- The party retires for the night.
Eighteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Alaris attempts a legend lore on Leseith Red-Tooth, but gains no information.
- The party travels to the City of Brass on the plain of fire, seeking information about the Primal of Fire. They secure a meeting with Onis, King of the Azer and ruler of the City. He informs the party that the Primal they seek waits in the Well of Everlasting Fire, which is actually a vast volcanic bit above which the palace drifts, down a shaft nearly a mile deep and filled with roiling magma.
- Deciding that they are unprepared to battle in the thick, molten earth, the party retires and Alaris commissions Lucien to produce a spell capable of granting sight through magma.
Nineteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- The party travels to the Undine Court, where they find the Undine Council debating dolphin rights in a boring, public session. Alaris convinces the Council that they have private matters to discuss and the bored audience is shooed out of the chamber. Once they reveal their desire to speak with the Primal of Water, the Council opens the path to the Grotto of Everlasting Water. The party swims through its submerged depths until they find a crossing of two might, undersea chasms. There, they are confronted by the nebulous, humanoid form of Aquaelothim, the Primal of Water. After challenging Faer to say how much he's willing to risk, she agrees to the contract provided they can pass a simple test: in fifteen minutes, a tsunami will strike the port city of Lir Walhai. They must stop it.
- The party goes into full panic mode, Alaris snagging some teleportation circles that he and Flann lay down, directing the civilians to flee through them while the party heads out to the incoming wvave--a mere surface swell at the moment, moving through deep water--and begin unloading all the magic at their disposal in an attempt to bleed energy off the massive natural disaster. Those spells exhausted, they move closer to shore and use every applicable spell left to throw up an impromptu sea wall to mitigate the impact. Flann and Faer use magic to convince even the animal inhabitants to flee the oncoming disaster.
- The wave strikes like a hammer, but the magically-reinforced wall holds, if only just. The wave manages to curve around the edges and still strikes the docks, damaging many ships and toppling a few warehouses close to the shore. There are several casualties and considerable property damage...but the disaster is nowhere near as terrible as it could have been. Alaris teleports to Marak Tün--where the Lir Walhai refugees were sent--and (sort of) explains what happened. He is hailed as a hero to the Empyrean people.
Zypharoah, the Primal of Air (Session 55, Day 225-671)
Nineteenth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277, cont.
- While Alaris works with the leaders of Marak Tün and Lir Walhai, the rest of the party helps pick up the pieces at the damaged port city.
Twentieth Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- Another teleportation circle is opened and the return of the citizens to Lir Walhai begins.
- The party returns to the Grotto and Aquaelothim acknowledges that their performance, while not perfect, was acceptable. She agrees to a contract with Faer.
- The party returns to Crimson Dusk and rests after their ordeal, indulging in some shopping.
Twenty-first Autumn Dusking, AG 1277
- As the magma spell still isn't complete, the party decides to make for the Palace of Seven Winds, where they meet with Alastrasa, Queen of the Djinn. She opens the path to the Eternal Storm with a warning that the Primal of Air will not challenge them in the same ways as the other Primals.
- After surviving the powerful winds of the Storm, the party finds the calm Eye and a four-armed man ruminating over a chess board: Zypharaoh, the Primal of Air. When Faer approaches, he looks up and invites the druid to play a game. Based on his conviction that he will succeed no matter the task or odds, Zypharaoh chooses a game of complete chance, without the aid of magic or trickery or skill. Faer is given 72 tiles to flip over. On the underside of one is the contract, some are blank, and the rest have periods of time on them. Whenever a time is turned over, Zypharaoh will use his powers as the master of the Plane of Air to accelerate the plane's time relative to the Prime Material, making that much time pass back in the normal world.
- Despite some of the party's misgivings, Faer elects to play the game despite some hyperventilating. He turns over a tile...
Twenty-second Autumn Dusking, AG 1277 to Second Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- ...and ends up shooting the party forward by one year, two months, and twelve days before, shivering and in tears, finally turning over the contract. Zypharaoh compliments him on his willingness to continue despite the setbacks. Alaris steps up to ask questions and, unlike the other two Primals, Zypharaoh condescends to answer them, speaking about how Faengleis was created and hidden away from the Teachers by the Primals at the behest of the Old Gods.
- The party returns to the Prime Material, contacting Lakrivarideyn and learning about the Winter Solstice War that shattered Xain, killing many, including their allies Vennin and Mechael, though Zelain escaped. They also learn that Haradis Mahl was slain by the Coffin Man and the whereabouts of his artifact--the Truth in Stone--is currently unknown.
- Returning to Crimson Dusk, the party also discovers that Queen Myrnétlarn has recovered enough to resume ruling in truth and she greets her wayward ex-cousin lucidly. She remarks on a warming of relations between the Ascendancy and the Empyreans following the (latest) saving of Lir Walhai, including the opening of the Alaris Memorial Embassy and the comissioning of a state of the entire party. She also says that Déhézon has been running Isfalkar in Dekne's stead, forestalling the raising of a new Forgemaster by threatening to go find Dekne's father and putting him on the throne.
Incindra, the Primal of Fire (Session 56, Day 671-679)
Second Winter Dusking, AG 1278, cont.
- The party travels to Thahtmahan, letting Elthan and Zast know that they're still alive, filling them both in on where they were, and getting some more information abiout what happened while they were away.
- The party then travels to Isfalkar and Dekne meets up with a relieved--but unsurprised--Déhézon. After some talking, they agree to split up so that Dekne can be paraded around the city to relieve the worried citizens and the rest of the party can take care of some tasks.
Third through Eighth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- While Dekne stays in Isfalkar, the rest of the party travels about to Crimson Dusk, Lir Walhai, Eldesta, and several other locations. Alaris knocks himself unconscious with an attempted legend lore of Origin. On the eighth day, the party reunites in Isfalkar.
Ninth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party travels to the City of Brass, cloaking themselves in their new magma sight spell and other protective enchantments. They then plunge into the Well of Everlasting Fire, swimming to the bottom. There, they are confronted by a massive, unseen form that confirms itself as Incindra, the Primal of Fire. She questions Faer as all the other Primals have and, though reluctant, agrees to give the druid a chance to prove himself worthy of the powers of fire. With only the cryptic instructions to "end winter" and "not stray from curiosity," she opens a gateway that the party exits from onto a frozen promintory, from which can be see a mile-high spire of ice: the Halls of the White King, outside the High Wall.
The Kindred of the First Winter (Session 57, Day 679)
Ninth Winter Dusking, AG 1278, cont.
- The party enters the frozen city of the l'Shai and are immediately attacked, beginning one of their longest and most taxing battles as dozens of the Kindred emerge to challenge them.
The White King (Session 58, Day 679)
Ninth Winter Dusking, AG 1278, cont.
- With the oncoming tides of enemies showing no sign of abating and fearful of exhausting their resources before even reaching the spire at the city's heart, the party adjusts tactics and teleports past the enemies. They arrive at the Halls of the White King and, meeting stiff resistance, fly up the spire's heart, protecting themselves from a relentless hail of arrows with protective magic.
- At the spire's peak, they enter the Durance of Vandal and race towards the throne room itself. There they face the White King and his vassals, cloaked in their cool disdain. Though the King's entourage falls with relative ease, the King proves a terrifying foe, shrugging off magic and attacks with equal aplomb. Their battle will not end quickly nor easily...
The End of Winter and the Beginning of War (Session 59, Day 679-680)
Ninth Winter Dusking, AG 1278, cont.
- The battle with the White King continues. Alaris exhausts most of his magic and draws back to allow Dekne and Tomas to concentrate on their foe. Faer and Flann are reduced to healing the warriors and throwing the few spells they have that have any effect at all. Things look even more grim when Tomas, shouting his defiance, falls to the White King's blades. Locked in desperate battle, it is unclear whether Dekne will be able to withstand the l'Shai's onslaught any better than her fallen comrade when Alaris tries his last trick: a pseudonatural chain lightning. Though the spell has no effect the White King physically, he immediately disengages from battle with Dekne and void steps to Alaris' side where he drives his blade into the very air before the elf. With a tremendous effort of strength, he rips open the fabric of reality where it had been weakened and slips through with a final whisper of "Father, I'm coming..."
- The entire spire gives a sickening lurch and Alaris calls for a mage's magnificent mansion and hurries the party inside, where they ride out the tower's collapse. They emerge a few minutes later to survey the destruction and find...nothing. Every sign of the spire above twenty or thirty feet has vanished and the rest of the city lies quiet and seemingl abandoned. Then a portal opens before the party, leading back to the Plane of Fire. With varying degrees of reluctance, the group returns.
- The party is confronted by Incindra in all her glory, a great, snake-like dragon miles long and fills the air above an abandoned stretch of burning plains. Faer is then granted the power of the last of the Elemental Primals.
- On the ground is the shattered remains of the Halls of the White King, which the party picks over to recover some loot to sell. Alaris also recovers a portion of the ice to preserve for posterity.
- The party returns to Crimson Dusk and sees to the preservation of Alaris' ice and begins organizing their loot to sell.
- The party then travels to Thahtmahan and gets Tomas ressurrected, where the warrior is tasked by the Coffin Man with killing or imprisoning Wekrot the Hunter until such a time as the White Eye has been opened and the Abominations slain.
- After a busy day, the party collapses into sleep.
Tenth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party returns to Crimson Dusk and sees to the selling of their loot and places orders with the Rosen Corporation. They plan to rest for a week before deciding what happens next.
Cleaning House (Session 60, Day 681-688)
Eleventh to Sixteenth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party waits for their orders with the Rozen Corporation to be completed.
- Faer visits his old master, Kel Shrain, leaving Jackalface in her care.
- Flann visits the Plane of Earth and secures diamonds so that Alaris can grant several wishes for him.
Seventeenth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- Alaris acquires another major legend lore on Azuri.
- The party's goods are finished and they suit up, enjoying what their spoils have bought them.
Eighteenth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party travels to the Beastlands and visits the Jaguar King, seeking information about Wekrot. Learning that he is only on the Prime when he is strongest--at the full moon--they decide to hunt him when he is on the Beastlands and only with the King's help.
- From there, the party uses their portal, traveling to Whitehall. Alaris takes offense at the Church's attempts to safeguard the area from planar incursions in their absenece and enlists Elthan's aid to have them ejected from the premises. The prince is able to smooth over the situation and keep the Church from getting its feathers ruffled.
- The party then conducts another interrogation of Akhandakhan Molth's corpse, learning that the Green Hall lies outside the High Wall and that the hobgoblin researcher only made it there by selling his soul to Adamanthus (and that only because the Earth Primal believed that deals with mortals involved the selling of their souls).
- The party travels to Hell and visits briefly with Lakrivarideyn.
- Finally, the party travels to the Mountains o fthe Shield of the World and speak with Tuska Hreel, War-Crown of the Hobgoblins. She tells them flat-out that if they wait a decade before going to war, it is likely they will not have a hobgoblin army to help them. After casting around for a war to involve them in--including asking Vonostre if he needs them, only to find that the new king of Xain is fine with Griefholme and Vystus Gol being active as it weakens Western Xain and Ofir in the process--they end up allying the hobgoblins with the dwarves in a bid to begin reconquering the ancient undercities lost to the drow and their illithid masters.
Hunting (Session 61, Day 688)
Eighteenth Winter Dusking, AG 1278, cont.
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Skathika.
- The party sets up teleportation circles and the hobgoblins file into Shaddac Kraul. Battlebronze and Hreel begin working on their plan to retake N'qhel, the last city taken by the illithid.
- Traveling to the High Wall where it meets land in the abandoned Great Salt Forests at the northern corner of the world, the party speaks with Vakad. They learn a little that the God of Knowledge is willing to tell them about the workings of the world, including that Zelain seems to be up to something in the Abyss.
- Finding Zelain being the new most urgent task on their plate, Faer summons Adamanthus, asking for his help in finding the rogue wizard. He informs them that figures meeting their criteria can be found in an elven tree-city on the shores of a lake, in Crimson Dusk, and in the salamanders' redoubt in the volcanic Skielnarl.
- The party explores the dead tree-city of Silversun in the Empire and makes a cursory investigation in Crimson Dusk, though the city is too large to be effectively searched in any meaningful amount of time. With no other options presenting themselves, Alaris and Faer take the shape of earth elementals and sneak into Skielnarl. They identify a chamber at the volcano's lowest point that is likely to be Zelain's redoubt, if he is there.
Zelain! Or is it...? (Session 62, Day 689)
Nineteenth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Incara.
- The party infiltrates the lowest part of Skilenarl and approaches the salamanders openly, dropping Incindra's name. Along with Flann's smooth-talking, they get in to see the Salamander King Vortysikan. When confronted about Zelain, he admits that an elven wizard matching that description has been helping the Queen with a difficult pregnancy in exchange fro privacy and access to certain elements available only to the salamanders: celesteel and hellbrass.
- King Vortysikan goes to confront Zelain, only to be slain in an explosion that alerts the party. Descending, they fight Zelain and his golems Kierkos and Ravenos. Faer summons Incindra to use her powers to ensure that Zelain can't leave the volcano, in return for letting Skielnarl erupt (though the Fire Primal ensures the salamanders will not be adversely affected by it). It is a brutal battle, but the party proves up to the task. However, upon his death, Zelain's body dissolves and there is no sign of the artifacts.
- The party negotiaties with the Salamander Prince Gissitarl to have the ruins of Zelain's experiment delivered to Crimson Dusk for study.
- Having learned that the Primals are restricted by their oaths from interacting on the Prime Material without invitation from a contracted mortal--and that they use said contracts as an opportunity to muck about--the party returns to the Great Salt Forest and allow Adamanthus to raised a mountain there in payment for his earlier help. Thus is born Mt. Faer-Is-Bad-At-This.
- The party travels to Crimson Dusk and then to Hell, speaking with Lakrivarideyn about her theories on their fight with Zelain. She says that is it likely a form of soul-based magic and that what they fought was merely one of the souls Zelain had stolen, temporarily split off to conduct some work. The real Zelain remains elsewhere, with the greater part of his power intact.
- Then Faer summons Zypharaoh to request a second search for Zelain, hyperventillating when the Air Primal proposes a simple coin toss to decide what the price shoudl be. Fear wins, allowing Zypharaoh to summon a storm on the flanks of the new mountain. They then learn that the other candidate in Crimson Dusk departed shortly after the not-Zelain's death. And that he left from the residence of the long-dead Councilwoman Vendyne.
- The party travels to Crimson Dusk and finds that the Councilwoman's residence is being patrolled by guards who appear at first helpful, but refuse to allow anyone onto the premises. The party quickly realizes that they have had their minds tampered with. They rouse the Witch-Queen and her Royal Guiard, who apprehened the damaged guards and assign some of their best troops in their place. Inside, meanwhile, the party finds that the teleportation device designed to pierce the protections around the Tower of Godsfall has been partially rebuilt. They disable the device and ensure no one will be able to use it again.
Short-Term Plans (Session 63, Day 690-700)
Twentieth to Twenty-sixth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- Alaris acquires major legend lores on Sarazad, Aktetik, and Urog.
- The party takes a week for new orders of magic items to come in and for some down-time.
- Faer and Flann go on a sex-venture through Crimson Dusk.
- Dekne returns to Isfalkar for a 'vacation.'
- Tomas wanders around the Temple, beating up student wizards to learn more about fighting mages. Terrified, helpless mages.
- Alaris dedicates his time to researching magic and teleportation in particular.
Twenty-seventh Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party travels to Hell, speaking with Lakrivarideyn. They discuss the nature of the war with the Abyss and discover that Zelain may be rallying disaffected demon forces for an assault on the Prime. The party travels to the battlefront and follows demons after a rout, eventually tailing them to a great meeting. There, they hear a speech by golem using Zelain's voice that the time is coming for a great war on the Prime that will help them to regain their lost power in Hell, as well. Details are few and the party leaves with what information it has.
Twenty-eighth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party calls the leaders of the world together and informs them of what is coming. They despair until Elthan convinces the party to speak with Thahtma. The Sun Goddess tells them that, because Zelain used to be the court wizard of Hell, they can take his actions on the Prime as a planar incursion, which will allow her to match the wizard's demonic forces--and ONLY his demonic forces--with angels.
Twenty-ninth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party speaks with Larkivarideyn again, getting her to commit forces defending her Abyssal acquisitions to instead search the infinite layers of the plane for wherever Zelain might be planning to stage his attack from. She agrees, in return for the party's assistance in recapturing any territory lost during this time.
Thirtieth Winter Dusking, AG 1278
- The party returns to the Abyss and captures the golem they listened to earlier. Teleporting back to the Prime, the golem again speaks with Zelain's voice, deriding the party's plan as juvenile and their long-term goals as untenable. He says that in two days' time, their two agendas will collide for the final time and the stronger of the two will be decided.
The War of Heaven and Hell (Session 64, Day 701-702)
First Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Sythen-Varanthir Meduivegil.
- The party travels to the Killing Lands and Faer summons Aquaelothim to fill it. She does so by calling down a tremendous storm that will hover for weeks, flooding down water.
- The party then travels to Thahtmahan and speaks with Zast about creating a spy network to keep an eye on Zelain when he appears during the following day. They use sending and wizards stationed far and wide to try and get what coverage they can.
Second Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- The party finsihes their spy network that morning and then they wait.
- A little after noon, the assault begins, focusing on the world's major cities--Crimson Dusk, Thahtmahan, Elding, Sulicar, Lir Walhai, Liberty Bay, and more--and a number of the 'spies' jump the gun, using their sendings as soon as demonic forces appear.
- Alaris leaps from battlefield to battlefield, but finds no evidence of Zelain. Faced with no other options, Faer summons Zypharaoh, who challenges her to a game of her own choosing. Though Faer loses, he is able to use a house rule to keep Zypharaoh's devestation limited to outside the High Wall.
- The party learns that, even as they speak, Zelain is beginning his attack on the Iron Peace, the network of fortresses that ring the Tower of Godsfall. The party begins buffing and prepare for the final confrontation with their more tenacious foe yet.
A Long Time Coming (Session 65, Day 702-703)
Second Spring Dawning, AG 1279, cont.
- The party arrives in the Iron Peace as Zelain leads an army of drow, illithid, werewolves, and constructs through the battlements and towards the Tower of Godsfall. Ignoring all distractions, the party makes for Zelain, announcing their presence and wasting no time in attacking. As Dekne and Tomas rush to the attack, Faer and Flann provide their most potent supporting magic. Responding with all his power, Zelain transforms into a hideous demon-spider, revealing the depths of depravity he is willing to indulge in his pursuit for power. Alaris tears open a gate and summons Lakrivarideyn to join the battle. The devil-queen of the Nine Hells agrees in return for one of the two artifacts Zelain carries. The elven wizard acquiesces and Lakrivarideyn joins, striking Zelain with Tyth Malidrail. Under the combined might of the party's most potent attacks and the queen's onslaught, Zelain withers, dying in a final blast of pitch-black lightning from Alaris's hand.
- During the battle, Alaris attempts a cataclysmic magic missile and discovers the spell, in his hands, raises a vast forest covering the whole of the Iron Peace and beyond, rendering everyone within its borders unconscous.
- Zelain dead, the party and Lakrivarideyn flip a coin over the two artifacts. Lakrivarideyn receives the Enlightened Spire, leaving with her prize. Alaris swiftly dons Of the Sun Moving Across the Face of the World, from which tumble the scattered pages of Zelain's diary. Busy then, they decide to save the information contained within for later.
- Tomas and Dekne fell the two iron colossi that Zelain had brought for some unknown purpose.
- The battle at the Iron Peace done, Alaris quickly jumps around and tries to ascertain the damage. They discover a werewolf attack at Crimson Dusk, with Queen Myrnétlarn falling to the claws of Wekrot the Hunter himself. In Thahtmahan, Linnor Blötfathom was saved from Kierkos and Ravenos by Shezar Sendeyvrian (and the timely disabling of many of their construct back-up by Zelain's defeat), though it came at the cost of Kallidus, the Sword of the Sun and symbol of the Empress. Deep beneath the mountains of the Shield of the World, Shaddac Kraul was assailed by an army of drow and illithid, but the timely appearance of Déhézon saved the city, albeit only because he took the highly controversial action of raising the dwarven dead to help defend the city.
Third Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Without sleeping and well after midnight, the party travels to the High Scar, to see Alaris' ex-grandfather, whom they believe to be the next in line for succession to the Ascendancy's throne. As they brief him about what happened, the entire manor shakes and a sound like a thousand blasts of thunder assails them. Securing the old man in safety, the party heads outside and sees the city nestled in the valley beneath the manor aflame, the heart of it reduced to a smoking crater. At the center of the blast, they find a scorched and blackened lump of dense metal.
- They finally read Zelain's notes. In its pages, they learn not only about his own research into the UHE and their plans, but of his growing madness after consuming the soul of Pendlesignor Wahaloon and gaining some sort of connection to the illimitable Ilsatar in the process. But most importantly, it tells them what has struck the city: the Planetary Denial Salvo. The long reach of the Teachers has finally found Faengleis and their defeat of Zelain--far from ending the crisis--serves as little more than a prelude to the true battle.
The First Step Down the Last Road (Session 66, Day 703-710)
Third Spring Dawning, AG 1279, cont.
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on Pluessa Aredhel, Faer's mother.
- Armed with their new knowledge about the disaster, the party travels quickly to the world leaders. In Thahtmahan, they find that civil and military targets were ignored in favor of population concentrations and that while Elthan, Alusa, and Shezar live, Zast died in the strike. In Crimson Dusk, the story is the same, with Dean Vaneri and Dean Harragus dead, slain while they were out helping deal with damage incurred during the one-day war. Dead also are Councilwoman Secondary Palfoua and the Prince of the Iron Peace, slain in the capital city of his own province. The Empyreans sustained a terrible blow, all their city-states being struck and the Lictors of Greening, Tann, and Marak Tün dying with their people. Luckily for them, Far Vahandir survived completely unharmed, the storms summoned by Aquaelothim sufficient to mask their location, resulting in a strike visible from the floating city but too far to cause any damage. Everywhere the party goes, the story is the same: cities gutted, leadership dead or in disarray, and the people thrown into panic. Only Eastfall, the capital of Vonostre's Xain survived unscathed, protected by the general's Havoc Gyre.
- Alaris experiments with his magic, locating one of the Occuli high above. He also secures Faer's assistance to experiment on the nanomachines, determining that they can be healed, but it requires some strength to accomplish and the people will simply be reinfected again later.
- The party finally goes to bed as the sun rises.
- Waking up much later, Alaris uses his earlier experiments with the Occuli to locate one and destroy it through the use of a prismatic wall.
- To assuage fears about the possibility of a secondary detonation, the party takes one of the projectiles from the Salvo and polymorphs it, determining that it is nothing but solid--and inert--metal.
- Faer summons Zypharaoh and Aquaelothim, requesting that the pair cause a storm to clean the atmosphere of the titanium dioxide released into the atmosphere to cause global cooling. They agree, though decide that a snowstorm would be more effective. Across the whole of Faengleis, the entire world experiences a record-setting blizzard for three hours. Luckily, the winter is only just done, so the freak snowstorm does not excite too much terror in the populace, but riots and panic and still wide-spread.
- Alaris detects and disposes of a second Occulus, though this one shows definite signs of having learned from the previous one's destruction.
- The party stops by the Rozen Corporation store in the ruins of the inn in Crimson Dusk and informs the shopkeeper that the UHE has attacked. Citing a non-interference stance on UHE concerns, he tells them that the shop will be closing and that any purchases they wish to make then will be delivered to an address of their choosing.
Fourth to Ninth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Alaris acquires a major legend lore on 'A Speaking in Zhend,' 'The Book of Drowned Cities,' and 'Myr Kennok Tohl.'
- The party trains and waits for their order from Rozen to be ready.
Tenth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Alaris finishes his research, creating the spell Alaris's ultimate conveyance. With its use, the party--along with 24 other wizards--will be able to use the Tower of Godsfall to transport the party outside the High Wall. Outside, but not back in; unless Alaris can discover some other means of transit, it theatens to be a one-way trip.
- The party speaks with Vakad, who reveals that if the party goes outside the High Wall while Tomas's death quest remains unfulfilled, the warrior will die. Of course, the gods are willing to accept a substitute as collateral--Elthan and Déhézon are both named as suitable candidates, as is Lucien--but the easiest way would be to deal with Wekrot before departing.
- As they preapre for their battle with the werewolf demi-god, Faer and Alaris travel to the wilderness and experiment with a few more cataclysmic spells.
Wekrot the Hunter (Session 67, Day 711)
Eleventh Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- The party travels to the Beastlands and meets with the Jaguar King. Their ally promises them his aide: he will distract Wekrot's pack while the party deals with the demigod himself. He can guarantee them ten minutes worth of time, without letting any of the Get of Wekrot past, but after that, the party must be prepared for the demigod to receive reinforcements.
- The party travels to a pre-arranged location and waits for Wekrot to arrive. Right on time, the demigod of werewolves does so. There is no dialogue, there is no banter, there is only battle. As no battle before has, Wekrot begins to show the party just how great the power of such beings as he can eclipse the individual strength of any party member. Though just a demigod, Wekrot remains blessed with divine gifts and the party finds many of their attacks and abilities failing against him. As Faer and Flann pour all their energies into keeping the party alive, Tomas finds every attack he makes rending only air as Wekrot's alacrity proves too much. Alaris is hard-pressed to strike home with all but his most powerful spells, while Dekne's luck proves slightly greater than that of her martial companion as she and the stone idol are able to connect more often with their attacks. Still, the battle proves to be easily the longest the party has ever endured and it is an exhausting slog that burns through much of their resources and showcases the might of a god.
- With a final, tremendous blow, Dekne strikes Wekrot down before the entire clearing is levelled in a flash of light. All that remains of the demigod is a smoking crater and Dekne's axe, glowing with new power.
Beyond the High Wall (Session 68, Day 711-720)
Eleventh Spring Dawning, AG 1279, cont.
- Ragged but victorious, the party returns to the Prime. Though they have defeated a demigod, they must immediately begin preparing for their next task: breaching the High Wall.
Twelfth to Eighteenth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- The party spends time preparing itslef, visting with various foreign powers, training, and comissioning a few last scrolls from the Temple and some final magic items from Lucien. Much of the time is spent gathering the mages that Alaris's ultimate conveyance will require for its casting. Last words are exchanged with Elthan, Zast, Tuska, Déhézon, Iyektis, and others.
Ninteenth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Gathering the needed 25 mages--including Alaris, Lucien, Déhézon, Blötfathom, Dean Illuviel, Dean Crow's-Daughter, Piebutter, and Elthan--at dawn, the 24-hour ritual is begun.
Twentieth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Dawn, the day later, and everyone holds their breaths. Alaris opens his mouth to speak and the entire party is pulled a little prematurely through the breach, launched away from all they have ever known.
- Dekne awakes in a strange room, where she is confronted by a naked man of unimaginable beauty. They speak only briefly before he sends her on his way.
- The entire party arrives as one, several feet above the ocean, into which they all plunge. Exhausted, Alaris manages to open a mage's magnificent mansion and the party helps him inside, where he collapses to sleep.
- That afternoon, rested and some of his powers regained, Alaris and company teleport to Yfendé Eternal, the Great Library of Faengleis. They find a series of imposing buildings set atop a series of massive, drifting boulders and connected by suspended walkways. They are greeted at the entrance, told that their coming has been anticipated and that they have a meeting with the Head Librarian.
- The party enters the offices of the Head Librarian, where they meet a tall figure of indeterminant race and silvery skin. Alaris is staggered and the rest of the party has their first glimpse...of a Teacher. There, they learn that when the First Titans were fleeing the UHE and met with the Primals, forming Faengleis and sealing it away from the rest of the universe, a UHE pursuit ship with six Teachers aboard was trapped within the shell. Not being Titans or creations of the Titans, they did not have the ability to break through the Primals' barrier. Being creatures of infinite patience, they decided to bide their time and wait until the UHE inevitably discovered the world. The Head Librarian dedicated himself to cataloguing all recorded knowledge the world had to offer, so that a record would remain after the UHE conquered the world. A second Teacher decided to wander the world in disguise, learning what he could of the indigenous races that escaped the Head Librarian's focus on books. Of the other four, nothing was said.
- Alaris was offered a place at the library, but refused out of hand, instead preferring to try and rile the Teacher to little visible effect. The audience ended, the party stormed out.
- The party then stormed back in and met with the Rare Books Division, where they were able to find information about Faer's father, who perished in the pursuit of his duty for the library.
The Outside: Land of Constant Disappointments (Session 69, Day 721-722)
Twentieth Spring Dawning, AG 1279, cont.
- Having learned their stories of Faer's father, the party stormed out of the library again.
- The party then stormed back in a second time and gained some information about the outside world, including a map and some likely-looking places to visit. A strangely abrupt meeting with one of the Librarians gave them instructions to visit the town nearest the library.
- Arriving in the city of Taber, the party is met by predominantly-human yokels who show signs of almost no magic use what-so-ever and no interest in or knowledge of the world beyond their humble borders. Only when they finally meet the Mayor do they learn anything about where they are: one of the many semi-independent cities in the nation of Greater Mallon, which surrounds Yfendé Eternal. It is a simple land, where people avoid the dangerous wilderness in favor of staying close to the safer cities. Magic is not-unheard-of, but is much rarer and more advanced there. The party is then given instructions to travel to yet another location: a rock in the middle of the ocean.
- Teleporting to the empty stone, the party is met by Thagda, the Librarian from before, as well as several of her compatriats. They share concerns with the party about the Head Library and his closest confidants: they know he is not of any race they are familiar with and that there is no one alive who knows of a time when he wasn't the Head Librarian. The party gives them a little information about the Teachers, telling them to be watchful, as events are coming to a head. The Librarians leave and the party retires for the night.
Twenty-first Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Following up on informatoin the party received the day before, they begin their exploration of the world outside by travelling to Pearl Moon Bay, a city of the moon elves. They are quickly horrified to discover that the distant racial relatives of Alaris's people are hairless, baby-faced elves who speak with a disturbingly moist, tonguey accent. They get as much information as they can stand before leaving, heading to one of the two largest cities they have learned of: Rigicel, Capital of Karnarestra.
- Arriving in Rigicel, they find a city with more magic, though still not as much as they would have expected from a capital city within the High Wall. They also learn that iron and steel--not gold or silver--are the most valuable metals in circulation. For reasons that remain unclear to the party, there is very little iron available anywhere (and, thus, even less steel, as few have the skill necessary to make the alloy), while gold is frightfully common, available in disc-like chunks that the party recognize as titan coinage.
- At Rigicel's center, the party finds a strange palace with three keeps, three gates, and three great roads leading into it: the seat of hte Three Kings of Karnarestra. Entering one, the party is granted an audience with one of the kings, though they proceed to ignore any of the etiquette requested of them, instead storming to the far end of the audience chamber...where they stop when they find themselves facing a massive dragon with a color scheme unlike any they have ever seen before: red and gold and the green of aged copper. Suddenly more polite, the party learns that they are speaking with one of the three children of Tarkhardra Dragon's-Father, the lord and origin of the dragon races. They also discover that the coming of the Teachers has not caught the Kings of Karnarestra or their sire by surprise. With a promise of aid, the party departs, to decide their next destination.
Two Days, Six Halls (Session 70, Day 722-723)
Twenty-second and Twenty-third Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- The party spends two days locating and exploring the remaining five of the Six Halls of the Namitha Ardrua.
Peace at Last (Session 71, Day 724-725)
Twenty-fourth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- The party travels to Li Chien and meets with their ruler, a lost angel trapped outisde the High Wall.
- After some debate, the party meets with the Teachers on their own terms. After some long discussion about competeing ideologies, they finally decide to give diplomacy a chance.
- Alaris returns to the Lands of Godsfall and sets the machinery of peace into motion.
Twenty-fifth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- The party returns to Li Chien, which sits at the base of Six Peak Mountain. Now that everything is in place, they will confront one of the last great mysteries of the world: the Century Locks. Boldly, the party steps into the First Lock, ready for whatever awaits them on the other side.
Here, At the End of All Things (Session 72, Day 725)
Twenty-fifth Spring Dawning, AG 1279
- Inside the First Century Lock, the party is faced with a stone platform and an endless, curving sea. Upon the platform with them is a glowing series of hexagons that seem to be counting down the time they have remaining before the flow of time desychronizes: 27 minutes and 46 seconds.
- Alaris and Faer discover the old scholar who most recently entered the Lock, content to be left alone on his little ocean. They also find the body of Imoloi, Karthika of the Sah and proceeed to loot it.
- Faer and Dekne, traveling through the water, discover that they are, in fact, resting atop a great tower whose entrance is more than a mile beneath the water's surface.
- Alaris touches the glowing hexagon, triggering the puzzle that must be solved before the Century Lock can be exited. The party struggles mightily with the puzzle, but ultimately fails...
B A D E N D
- The peace brokered between Faengleis and the Humankind Empire is a fragile alliance at the beginning, but it holds.
- With 3 of the Weapon Bearers sealed in the Century Lock, the Teachers provide assistance to the remaining 9. Eboniron, last of the Ardrua, sacrifices herself to open the White Eye and the Divine Abominations spill forth. It is a terrible battle and, in the end, only the arrival of the Imperial Battleliner is enough to bring down the final monster, Phane, the Abomination of Time. With Phane's fall, the Weapon Bearers ascend to godhood.
- The New Gods break open the Tower of Godsfall, releasing Skathika from within. Rather than face them in battle, the God of Fate is resigned. What he always feared most had come to pass: the first children of the Gods had been slain by their last children. He had failed them and, as he watched the sun rising on the first dawn of a new era, Lakrivarideyn granted him a swift end, taking his head with the blade of Tyth Malidrail.
- Tearing down the High Wall, the New Gods moved out across the face of the world. Déhézon, the New God of Death and Life, followed the stories of the vanished party until he arrived at the Century Lock, which he opened. Inside the re-synchronized time, Alaris, Dekne, and Tomas were able to use their own divine powers granted as Weapon Bearers to free themselves.
- With Skathika dead, Faer summoned the four Primals and was granted the power of Origin, the Primal of Creation. In so becomming, he awakened the wrath of Ilsatar, the Primal of Madness. On throughout creation, their power struggles against one another in an undending cycle of destruction and rebirth.
- Lakrivarideyn would revive Kells Amun and share her divine power with him, becomming known as the Paired God. The ressurected prince would prove to be a good guide for the recalcitrant devil-cum-deity.
- In Far Vahandir, there would be a resurgence of faith. It would come to be the home to the Cathedral of Inner Light and the base from which the Paladins of Alaris would spread the teachings of their savior throughout first the world and then the cosmos beyond.
- Jackalface ended up a demigod, imbued with a sliver of Origin's power.
- The New Gods were accorded a status equal to that of the post-human Teachers in the new alliance and Faengleis was brought into the Humankind Empire with the 12 New Gods given voices in the Consensate. They would prove to be a powerful moderating influence as the secrets of 'magic' slowly began to filter through the Empire and be joined with technology.
- Unremarked by anyone, a small branch of the Rozen Corporation would open again on Faengleis and continue providing for the needs of adventurers. It remains the best place on the planet to get an enchanted laser rifle.
- The universe is a big place and who can really say for sure what the end has in store for anyone? But, as our vision of Faengleis fades, everything seems well. People are happy, the land is safe, and life goes on...