Ground Zero

Aldebaron's Ego Trip

Everything has a cost

When last we left our intrepid adventurers…

Samshee completed her training with Mama Zuzu to learn the Dance of the Seven Veils. Mama asked her if she would like to learn pole dancing, and Samshee said yes. Samshee has visions of opening a combination strip club, gambling den and brothel. She asked Anatoli for advice on running a business.

Al wanted the additional point of intelligence to be able to cast 9th level spells. He looked into Psychic Surgery at the Guild of the Mind (the psionicists guild). The Guild of the Mind leader asks to join the\ Mage’s Guild in exchange for doing the surgery. The Mage Guild leader(Kiren) says only mages are allowed to join the mage guild. Kiren
offers Al the name of a back alley psychic surgeon, but Al decides not to go that direction.

Anatoli uses Dream to look for a way to help Al gain his ability to cast 9th level spells using food. The next day, a gnome approaches Anatoli to give him a box. Inside the box is a prickly pear and a note in Anatoli’s handwriting. The note says take this to the Guild of the Mind. Jet identifies the prickly pear as native to the area
associated with the goddess Xinye, the psionicist goddess (sister of Xanye, the monk goddess).

Anatoli goes to the Guild of the Mind leader and shakes his hand, with the prickly pear hidden in Anatoli’s gloved hand. The spikes from the pear are poisonous, and the leader collapses. Anatoli asks for his help with Aldebaron, and the leader agrees just as he goes unconscious. Jet casts Neutralize Poison on the guild leader and he
revives.

The guild leader identifies the fruit as being from Xinye’s garden. It is sometimes given as a boon for service. He calls it the Philosopher’s Stone for psionicists. Eating it will increase psionic abilities.

Anatoli asks who Xinye’s favorite servant is. The leader directs us to the laundry lady, Ratri. Ratri is a beautiful 60 year old Indian woman. She does not accept the fruit. She offers to wash our clothes. Anatoli, Al, and Samshee get their clothes washed. Ratri says she can’t wash Jet’s clothes (which are druidic vestments).

The guild leader says that Ratri can psychically remove Al’s limitation. However, he will need his comrades to fight the part of his mind that will resist being removed. The guild leader will monitor us. He gives us each a bell, to ring when we wish to leave Al’s mind.

They prepare the prickly pear as a chutney. Each of us get some chutney and get stuck with a spine. Al also gets slammed in the head with Ratri’s laundry stick.

We wake up in Al’s mind in a room that looks like the laundry room in the basement of the Guild of the mind. We look different. Anatoli is 1 foot tall with fairie wings. Samshee is 6 feet tall with laceup boots, guilded armor, and fangs. Jet has a halo, dragon wings, and a flaming tulwar. Tarl is an earth elemental version of a dwarf. Al looks like the high priest Corellon.

We head outside. We see three towers, 1 huge (id), 1 tall (super ego) and 1 more normal (ego).

Anatoli casts Faerie Protection. Al casts Teleport No Error to go to his research laboratory. All of us (except Anatoli) end up in a Force Cage in that room. Al uses his ring to absorb the Force Cage, which does release us. The six Aldeberon Simulacrum ignore us and continue working.

We look for Al’s 9th level spellbook. It is on a shelf too high for Al to reach. Samshee pulls it down for him. The chained Codex of the Infinite Planes rattles in the corner but stays chained.

We hear knocking. Al opens the door and it is Ego-Al. He is angry that we are here. Anatoli and Jet attack the Codex. Ego-Al threatens to break his Staff of the Magi, in a retributive strike. Al casts Stun at Ego-Al. Ego-Al brings up a Prismatic Sphere. Al opens the box that Ratri said to open when he had no choice. Inside is a ring (Al’s wedding ring?). Al takes his own wedding ring off and puts the ring from Ratri’s box on.

Tarl throws his hammer at Ego-Al. Samshee throws a flour dust bomb at Ego-Al, effectively keeping him from seeing us. Anatoli backstabs the Codex with Codex Killer. Jet hits the Codex with her flaming tulwar. The Codex erupts into black tentacles. Al attacks the tentacles, and they dissolve into black goo.

Tarl wades through the Prismatic Sphere, and hits Ego-Al three times. Ego-Al had Frost Shield up, so Tarl is encased in ice. Ego-Al Teleports away (Contingency, perhaps?). The touch of Jet’s flaming tulwar causes the ice on Tarl to shatter.

Al opens his 9th level spell book. A tingle runs through him. He puts the book back on the shelves, but within reach.

Tarl casts an Augury to see if Al can now cast 9th level spells. The answer is Yes. Tarl casts Divination. We learn that in order to get the best outcome, we still need to do something in all three towers, including something additional in the current tower, and repairing something.

Al looks at his newly donned ring. It is a symbol of his devotion to Zagyg.

We head down to the courtyard. On the way, the 6 Simulacrum threaten us, but they back off when Al says he just wants to talk.

In the courtyard, we are confronted by Ego-Al, Superego-Al, and Id-Al. Al points out that they had controlled the book, not the other way around. He shows them the ring of Zagyg. Al says all three of them are needed to become a full mage. Ego-Al tells Al there is always a price and the three (Ego, Superego, and Id) disappear.

The large tower becomes smaller and the more fantastic tower becomes more realistic and crisp.

We return to reality. Al is unconcious. We revive him. Anatoli tries True Sight. Al is covered with black tentacles. Ratri breaks open the seed of the prickly pear and blows the dust across the tentacles. The tentacles disappear.

Anatoli sees the Codex of Infinite Planes under Al’s bed. His True Sight tells him that the number of “read” pages is counting down from 7. He waits until the number is 1, and starts to stab the book again. Ratri holds him back until the count reaches 0. Then Anatoli stabs the book. Tentacles erupt. Ratri tells the tentacles to shush, and they
go away.

We go back to Haven to get a good night’s sleep. Al dreams that he wakes up in bed with his Ego, Superego and Id. His Ego reminds him that there is always a price. When he finally wakes up, he heads to the beach and tries to cast a 9th level spell – Shape Change. He is successful.

The black soul of Tsunk, the Mad Monk, and the first reader of the Codex, shows up to warn us that we have gained the attention of interesting people.

Al checks his spellbooks. Three books have a trace of black slime on them. When he checks those books, he sees three spells have been replaced. 9th level Wish has been replaced with Temporal Stasis. 7th level Limited Wish has been replaced by Vanish. 1st level Unseen Servant has been replaced with Jump.

Al goes to the Temple of Corellon in Celene and makes a donation. He also goes to the Shrine of Hana-li in Questor to make a thank offering.

Then we head to the World Serpent Inn. Anatoli pins a Kodagnome picture of himself and the black goo of the destroyed Codex on the shadow box which represented the Codex.

Al uses a Sending spell to send a message to Mitchifer, “The bar has new management. Please come home.”

That night, Jet dreams that a squirrel in her druid’s grove asks her, “Where is the third one? Max was the first. Beyodar was the second. Where is the third?”

In the morning we head to the Loom of Fate room in the World Serpent’s Inn where the Infernal Device was. Al casts Temporal Stasis on the Infernal Device. The device stops working and we stop being able to move. We can talk to each other over the link, but nothing else. After a while the loom starts working again and we start being able to move.

Al scouts out the inside of the Infernal Device using Wizard Eye. He locates the center control area about 130 feet in. Jet goes in. When she gets to the center, Anatoli Shadow Moles her a Delayed Blast Fireball (cast by Aldeberon). Jet drops the DBF and some FireSeeds and heads out at full speed as a hummingbird. Anatoli also sends in 7
barrels of Holy Water.

Jet is not quite out of the device when she is trapped. She goes Ethereal and finds the skeleton of the Infernal Device on the near Ethereal. She tells the group over the link and Tarl Plane Shifts to her. They head for the center of the device on the Ethereal. The DBF goes off, setting off the Fire Seeds and Holy Water. Tarl takes out the skeleton sitting in the center of the device on the Ethereal with his hammer. Jet uses Lightning Strike from her staff to take out the beating heart attached to the sitting skeleton. Type IV demons start showing up.

Jet Plane Shifts herself and Tarl to the Plane of Earth. Then she Summons Rockon (the elemental assigned to her by Stonedar). Rockon arrives just as Type IV demons start to appear. Tarl uses a Dispel to break the connection between our previous location and current location. Rockon takes out the two Type IV demons.

Back in the World Serpent’s Inn, Aldeberon puts a Wall of Stone up to seal off the Loom of Fate room from the rest of the inn.

Jet tells the rest of the group about her dream, and asks the group to\ go with her to collect 20 different sticks from places meaningful to Max and Beodar. (Dyvers, Greyhawk – Jebediah’s house, Celene, Jet’s original grove, Max’s mother’s home, etc.) She wants to make Ogham rune sticks (each rune is associated with a different tree, so she
needs a stick from each of those types of trees). She locates a Celtic diviner, and they work together to create the rune sticks and divining cloth. We focus on the question, “Where should be look for the third incarnation of Max?” We get the answer, New Critwall.

Tarl asks to go first to the graveyard where Beodar was buried. He tries to Speak with Dead with Beodar and gets nothing. He tries to Resurrect Beodar, and gets nothing.

We head to New Critwall. We announce a huge party (free beer, free food – food supplied by Anatoli) at the Adventurers’ Bar to remember our absent comrades. We post the portrait of Max’s mother (Alyssa IronBlade) and Jet wears the dagger which was the symbol of Alyssa’s house. We spend 12 hours telling the stories of Sym and Max and
Beodar. Other people tell their stories as well, include One-eyed Jacks. He said that Beodar taught him that every life matters. Vijay writes down all the stories.

After the party, we are no closer to finding the 3rd incarnation than before. We decide to ask Vijay if he noticed anything.

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