When last we left our intrepid adventurers…
In the previous episode, Eljay had been killed following the epic battle between a gigantic demon on one side and an animated building (controlled by Eljay) and a giant-size Maxximus (size change courtesy of Anatoli’s Alter Reality). The apparent instigator of the chaos and perpetrator of the murder was called Desade. 15 or so years ago, Desaad was the name of a high level assassin and medium level priest of Iuz who worked for/with the Iuz’s priests.
Tarl uses Augury to check if it would be good to bring Eljay back with a scroll of Restoration we got from Malachi (priest of Tharziduun). The idea checked out, so he did. Then Tarl used True Seeing to see if anything wrong got revealed. He only saw that Eljay’s alignment was trending from chaotic neutral to chaotic good.
We head over to the building that was storing the enchanted stone. There is no rubble in an immediate square around the building, even though everything else in the city is littered with rubble. We speculate that someone had a Cube of Force.
Inside the building is a thaumaturgic circle with a scorch mark breaking the circle. Maxximus and Samshee follow some boot prints from this building back to Eljay’s lab. Maxximus and Samshee notice from the dust marks on the shelves that 4 items have been removed. Eljay tells us that they were the statues of the four wind gods of Karatur. He was investigating them for Juarnez Starcote, who thought they had something to do with demons being contained. When he assembled them into a particular configuration, a cyclone starts up. He also had identified some affinities:
1. Statue of a lady with fans – West Wind – slow
2. Statue of a man with double scimitars – East Wind – fast
3. Statue of an archer – North Wind – cold
4. Statue of a man with a staff – South Wind – heat
Anatoli Dreams about the four figurines. He wakens in a room with paper walls, wearing a kimono. He wanders into a room set up for a tea ceremony. Uncle Grezayne wanders in and performs the tea ceremony. There are four statues on the table to honor the wind gods of the house. There is a fifth statue in the center of a lady with a scepter. Grezaine says that there were once 5 winds. He says that the winds prevented a demon prince from coming to this world, by binding it along with other spirits. “Even though this is not your story, you must finish it anyway.” Anatoli asks whose story it is. “The being behind the door. The greatest stories are always about love.” Grezaine also says “You don’t want to drink from the cup, but you must.” Anatoli wakes up with clean feet, wearing sock-shoes (tabi?).
Samshee knows a fan dancer in Greyhawk, named Mama Zuzu. Mama Zuzu is a little old Renae woman who lives on a barge guarded by a bunch of big eunichs. Samshee asks about a wind goddess who got trapped. Mama says no new wind gods can be born while she is trapped. An oni fell in love with the wind goddess and was going to invade the mortal plane to capture her. He was bringing his friends – the ice and fire demons.Although the wind goddess told the other gods about the invasion, they did not believe her. She and her children stood alone against the invaders. She lead the oni back inside the gate. Her children sacrifice some of their power to close the gate. The wind goddess’ name was Xinye. Her sister was Xanye, perhaps the same goddess we know as the psycho fan dancer, the patron of Zuoken (the monk god), and the goddess of psionicists.
Jet visit’s Taki’s assistants, who were from Karatur. She asks them about Xinye. They say she was in love with an oni and created a gate so they could be together. Other demons came through the gate, so they sealed the gate to protect the mortal world.
Next we head to the temple where Zuoken was recovering from his imprisonment in the God Trap, under the care of Keoghtom. Jet uses her token of Zuoken, to get an audience with Yifeng. Anatoli does the team ceremony, putting the 5 statues on the table. Yifeng is favorably impressed. Anatoli says he seeks the end of the story and he is willing to drink from the chalice. We all drink the tea that Yifeng prepares. We ask Yifeng where the gate is. He says he does not know, but the central temple of the winds is next to the building housing the Celestial Bureaucracy. He thinks the Bureaucracy would know. He spends three hours writing up the properly-worded request for information.
Aldeberan casts “Teleport No Error” to get us to Karatur to present the request. After 14 hours of standing in line, we get an envelope. The presenter tells us not to open it indoors, or in fact, in the city. We go outside the city to a hill. We open the envelope and are surrounded by a swarm of buzzing, winged creatures, wielding javelins. They ask if we are worshippers. Anatoli says no, but we are seeking the lady of the West Wind. They attack. Anatoli asks me to bring in Stonedar, and uses
Stonedar to create a Mirage Arcane illusion of a cavern in the Elemental Plane of Earth. They are intimidated, and make a deal. One
of them takes us to the Lady and the rest can go.
Our guide is named Aerion. He points us east, and we fly Air Shui. Eventually we end up on the plan of Air. There is a cloud palace,
guarded by cloud dragons. Jet introduces herself with her cloud dragon lineage. The Lady of the West Wind agrees to meet with us. She is 20 feet tall, dressed in ribbons. Anatoli tells her he must drink from the chalice, even though he doesn’t want to. She tells us that she can bring us the Cup of Immortality. One sip will allow a mortal to touch an oni, which is otherwise not possible. Too many sips and a mortal will fade from the mortal plane. She gives us sips of the Cup of Immortality, and tells Aerion to guide us to the gate. She also tells us that each of the statues need to be destroyed by an appropriate weapon. Fan – fire, staff – crushing, scimitars – cut, bow – missile weapon.
We follow Aerion to the gate. It is in the caldera of a volcanic mountain. The bottom of the caldera is covered by an icy mound, even
though the air is too warm to sustain ice. Beneath the ice, is a stone door with metal bands. Maxximus scouts the four peaks of the mountain. Each has an empty niche about 7 inches tall – large enough to hold one of the statues.
Jet’s Commune with Nature reveals a live volcano, lots of dragons (white and cloud), and one more human than can be accounted for by our party. Stonedar says the person is in the stone, and expells him. It appears to be an unconscious Desaad. Samshee pats him down, removes his stuff, and ties him up.
The gate starts to open. The figures were in the niches already – just invisible. We retrieve the statues but it does not stop the gate
opening. Stonedar tries to hold the opening minimized. Anatoli casts Tempus Fugit so that we can be in the effect, but the gate not in the effect. He also casts Dispel Exhaustion. Jet assembles the four figures, hoping the figures would hold the demons in. Tarl casts Protection from Evil. An epic battle occurs.
Round 1 – 6 mycodemons
Round 2 – 4 yagnodemons and 3 hydrodemons
Round 3 – 5 piscodemons
Round 4 – 8 demodans
Round 5 – 19 dretch
Round 6 – no demons, so Maxximus throws the bound, unconscious Desade into the gate using Telekinesis
Round 7 – no demons, but Desade starts to crawl out of the gate. Maxximus shoots him in the head with his Deadshot Arrow
Round 8 – creeping fog
Round 9 – stone golems, apparently an illusion
Round 10 – 3 ultrademons
Round 11 – no demons
We hear “Help, help”. Aldebaran send in a Wizard Eye. He sees a woman chained to the wall. We ask Aerion if he would recognize his grandmmother. He rushes into the gate to talk to her. After a few sentences, he starts trying desperately to break her free.
Maxximus rushes in and breaks her chains with the Cold Obsidian maces. As they leave the gate area, a booming voice yells, “Where is she?” A titan starts coming out. Tarl uses Dispel Magic to close the gate. Samshee throws one of Eljay’s Delayed Blast Fireball Crystals (she just happened to liberate from his study) and uncaps the volcano. The goddess aids our escape from the eruption with a hefty tailwind.
The goddess’ children and grandchildren come to us. We give them the four statues. They leave us at an estate that takes care of us for a week, because we are completely exhausted from the effects of the Tempus Fugit.
Samshee is peeved because she didn’t get paid. She asks Aerion about it, and he gives her a reed whistle. If she plays it in Karatur, he will answer it.
Now, all this while, Beodar is in prison for treason – kidnapping the queen and laying hands on her. He is being prosecuted by Thyvar and defended by the priest Corellon. Beodar won’t leave the jail without the Queen’s permission. He is starving himself to death in protest. Aldeberon asks the Queen to give us Beodar to help us on our quest. The Queen grants his request, but makes Aldeberon personally responsible for Beodar’s return in two weeks.
Beodar uses the Eye of Thera to see into the past. He sees Desaad at the volcano, having placed the figurines in the niches. A guy in a cloak on a flying carpet gives DeSade a bag. When Desade turns to leave, the guy uses a wand. A bolt strikes Desade and Desade falls down and INTO the ground.
When Beodar tries to scry for the guy in the cloak, he gets nothing. Jet wonders if the guy in the cloak looks like WArnes Starcoat, whom she has never met but is supposeedly currently a member of the Circle of Eigtht.