Ground Zero

Aldebaran's Birthday Gift
May you always be happy

Aldebaran’s wife Crysania throws him a birthday party. We all attend. Al’s mother-in-law send hims a chest with a crystal ball containing what appears to be a baby will-of-the-wisp. He reaches for the card, which reads, “May you always be happy.” and everything goes dark.

Maxximus wakes up 20 years older. He is captain of the Guard to the Lost Temple of Boccob. He has a nagging feeling of something being wrong. Tarl is mining in Grossetgrodel as a favor to Anatoli. Aldebaran is head of the mage’s guild in Raven’s Bluff. The guild in Greyhawk went rogue after Iuz died and Mordenkainen became more direct in his manipulations. Magic is banned in Greyhawk. Mordenkainen went in the Lost Temple of Boccob. Eljay went in to stop him and neither have been seen since.

Jet is a grandmother of six and trainer of hierophants. Clarence teaches at the Gray College in Grayhawk. Alex is a ranger. Aramath
used the Silver Eagle to destroy Rauxis, He then built a new Rauxis which is ruled by Caleb. (Caleb was the young man who rescued Adam, the high priest of Hieronymous.

Beodar is King of Selene, and the Queen of Selene is raising their kids. Beodar solved the conflict between the grugach and the other elves.

The Cult of Sym the Slayer is made of half orcs and accepts all alignments. The fighter / cleric leader is called Slayer. The cult
only wants half-orcs to reach their full potential. Eljay married Arianna, the high priestess of Boccob.

Anatoli is the Ambassador of the Gnomish People. The gnomes have an army, a navy and the beginning of an air force. He freed the gnomes in the Nyr Div by destroying the Master.

Jet tries Sensitivity to Psychic Impression on the crystal ball the Aldebaran got for his birthday 20 years ago. She experiences the last
20 years again, more intense and important than anything else. Tarl and Aldebaran have similar experiences when they hold the ball.

Aldebaran tries an Identify Magic Item on the crystal ball and gets that it is stronger than a wish. Tarl uses True Sight to see that it
is a time elemental. Jet uses her ring of the time elemental and the elemental king shows up. He says that the time elemental in the crystal ball is bound to Aldebaran. It is both dying and being reborn at the same time.

Al figures out that if he wants to be back in time, that the crystal ball elemental will take him there. He starts to be unhappy because he moved forward in time, and the time element winks out. Crysania collapses. Aldebaran starts to remember being happy when he married Crysania and at the party and Crysania is restored. We believe the happy memories caused the time elemental to be reborn.


One week of down time. Aldebaran trains to become (ta! da!) a seventeenth level mage. We destroy the demon trapped in Beodar’s
sword.

We buff up and ask Stonedar to move us to the largest piece of the portal stone, which is in the basement of Castle Greyhawk. We port into a huge cavern with a cracked pyramid, stairs leading down from the ceiling, bioluminescent mushrooms from the underdark, a waterfall, and a huge fallen statue of Nerull with a skill and scythe.

Anatoli in Wraith Form investigates the pyramid. He uses his Wraith Form to scare the excrement out of a group of orog guards near the stairs. Maxximus interrogates the subdued guards. They are stationed there to make sure only their own forces use the path from the underdark to Greyhawk. Maxximus kills them and finds coins minted with the image of Grummush, the orc god.

We search and find some ledgers and notes. The author, Shirath is writing to Vayne, wanting to go ahead and attack Greyhawk directly, instead of sneaking around. The demon Utmar (orc cambion with enmity towards Anatoli, I think because of a card drawn from the Deck of Many Things) has been breeding orcs and demons to create the orog. The orog are smarter and more organized than orcs and do not shun the light.

A later author, of the house of Zanzibar Nomen, describes using the portal stone to launch an attack on the elvish nation.

Jet asks Stonedar to collapse the tunnel leading to the underdark. Stonedar does. He also points out a source of radiation from
something at this depth, which is “primal”. Maxximus decides it is too dangerous to investigate.

Beodar takes the records of the plans to the house Lamagier, to explain why the grugach have been attacking. They were mislead by the orog. Maxximus persuades the grugach that these orogs are minions of the drow. Between Beodar and Maxximus, a truce is arranged and some effort at reconcilliation is made.

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Rug burns

We had attacked Iuz stronghold in the Howling Hills. Iuz was killed, Sym manifested, Beodar disappeared, Igwilv offers us a wish to get Beodar back in exchange for “something of hers” on Anatoli’s carpet.

Jet investigates Beodar’s disappearance by going to the temple of Geb (It was a holy weapon of Geb being wielded by Beodar when he killed Iuz and disappeared). The high priest says Beodar is waiting in Celene.

Tarl checks some of the people listed as infected by Children of Hexus. None of them are still infected. Tarl returns the compass which finds metals to the priest of Dumathoin who lent it to him.

We head to the World Serpent’s Inn. We first go to “The wrong Inn”, but Mitch sends Billy to take us to the right Inn. We head up to Fate’s room. She introduces herself as Natalie. She looks human, but acts like a gnomish tinkerer. She shows us her new mechanical loom and weaves a pattern with our hair, including a hair from Beodar. An indistinct figure, maybe Beodar, lies on a bed surrounded by Jet, Tarl, Aldebarn, Maxximus, and Anatoli.

We examine the rug that has Iggwilv’s hair/aura on it. That rug turns out to be a Welcome Mat from the World Serpent’s Inn. Apparently, stealing it got to be quite popular. Lots of things have been added to it over time. Jet casts Pristine on it and a bunch of stuff disappears. Max had apparently added a fringe, so we get Natalie to remove that. Mitchifer says a trick magic was added by Mordenkainen because precocious adventurers kept stealing the welcome mat.

We head to Celene to see Beodar. The land is in a state of civil war, with civilized elves fighting grugach (wild elves). One band of
grugach give Maxximus passage and a dagger. Once in the city of Celene, we go to Beodar’s bedside. True Sight reveals a zero level human with 3 for all his physical stats. Tarl thinks Beodar gave up everything to slay Iuz.

Tarl uses the eye of Thera to see what happened in the past. Beodar tells the spear of Geb to take what it needs to make this be over. The spear takes everything. He ends up naked in a pool. An elven woman tells him he is dead, but he gets one last wish. He wishes to say goodbye and explain to the Queen of Celene.

Anatoli meditates and finds that the temple of Boccob (with its restorative pool) is under the curse of the eternal morning. It
appears in a different place every morning. Anatoli summons Zelatian Starfire to get Beodar to the Temple of Boccob. Zelatian’s representative shows up. He takes us to the Lost Temple of Boccob and puts Beodar in the pool. Tarl repeatedly pushes Beodar under water until he stops “improving”. The water is fouled, so Tars uses his ring of water elemental control to purify the water. (Maybe he did a dispel evil too.) A little brown slug is left, so Tarl does something to send it to its appropriate place. (John, do you remember exactly how this worked
out?)

Zelation’s representative takes us back to Celene. The queen who had been in mourning for Beodar now slaps his face for leaving her to deal with things on her own, and walks out. Beodar resigns his position as Cavalier because the queen disrespected him.

On the way into Celene, we learned that the wild elves are besieging the cities of Celene. Apparently the last straw was when Selene closes its borders. Maximus talks to a wild elf leader (Zarza) who says that the orcs have been attacking the wild elves. Investigation reveals that these orcs bore the symvol of Iuz.

We decide to investigate these orcs. The last ones showed up 3 months ago. We track them through the edge of the forest heading north. Maximus notices an unusual pattern. They move north, create a camp, spend three days on patrol, and repeat. The camps they make don’t look like orc camps. Maximus also notices unusual rocks in the areas of the camps. Tarl uses stonetell to find out that the rocks are from the elemental plane of earth, They act as portals, because they are “all pieces of the same rock” So people can step from one rock directly to the next.

Speak with plants reveals that a red headed wizard put those stones down, using an elemental. The description reminds us of a Lesser Boneheart member, a priest named Marynnek.

Tarl suggests that we move the portal rock 20 ft underground so if anyone ports through, they will bounce. He collects a rock sample and puts it in an extradimensional pouch.

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The World Serpent Inn Reborn

On our last outing we followed the mecha pteradactyl to an outpost surrounded by a wooden wall. The pteradactyl was partially unloaded by juju zombies, who only took the boxes with human remains.

Anatoli scouted and summoned a troup of spider monkeys as a distraction, which they were delighted to be. The spider monkey leader says there are two more forts, but that here are a witch doctor and a flesh golem. While the witch doctor is distracted by the spider monkeys, Anatoli takes pictures of the lab where the witch doctor makes the juju zombies. The lab books suggest that the witch doctor can make juju zombies out of living people, probably using the remains of the Aurai. There were also letters from Mr. Shade discussing their agreement. The witch doctor gets potion ingredients and makes potions of human control. We leave but the witch doctor and minions follow us on giant eagles. Maximus gets Silver Eagle to spray them with a flammable gel, and hits them with a flaming arrow.

Anatoli uses Dream to allow Aldebaran to channel the forces against us while playing Dragon Chess. Then he and Al play a game of Dragon Chess. Al chooses the nearly impossible winning condition — checkmate the king. Al tries the standard gambits, forcing Anatoli to choose between stopping Al and winning himself.

Beodar pulls out the crystal ball that can see into the past. (We got it from Aramath’s family home in Thera, and it is called “The Eye of Thera”. It allows clerics to Commune and druids to do something else. Jet tries to use the Eye of Thera to scry the Howling Hills to see what Iuz was protecting there. She moves into a null space where she meets four other selves from four other periods in time. The second oldest tells the youngest she will get through this. She tells the second youngest that Iuz is not the greatest threat, his mother is.

The current Jet says she took the Eye to scry the Howling Hills and the oldest says she can’t because of the protections there. However, there is a conversation she might be interested in.

Jet has a vision. "Hexus kicks in the doors of the World Serpent Inn, tearing them from their hinges. He wants a fight. Mitchifer calms him down and calls Hexus’ mother, Tasha. Tasha has been helping Hexus achieve his ambition to destroy us, while she retrieves the parts of her mortal self left behind. She does not want any more simulacrums made, like the one Vayne made in Castle Greyhawk. She gives Mitchifer a coin asking Mitchifer to accept Hexus as he accepts everyone else.Mitchifer accepts the coin and tells Hexus “Be yourself”. Hexus calms down and gets a beer. Mitchifer gets Tasha to fix the doors."

We send the Silver Eagle back to Caer LaForce. Then we head to the World Serpent’s Inn. Anatoli starts insulting Hexus out loud.
Mitchifer hands Anatoli a key which turns out to be a key to Bahamut’s place. Jet searches the library there for more information about the dragon temple in Ket. The fountain there is where all dragons are baptized.

Blackmane comes in. She is very powerful mage whom we met earlier, when we were investigating Melf Brightflame’s claim that the Elven Queen of Selene had been corrupted. Blackmane seemed at that time to be masterminding a diplomatic mission between the high elves and the drow elves. Blackmane is a legendary mage who is rumored to have been the one to transport the drow to Underdark orginally, which is the feat that turned her hair from white to black.

Anyway, Blackmane says she is there to give us a message from a coalition of gods who want to maintain the balance. She lists Orcus, Hextor, Nerull, Cuthbert, Cirilea – the halfling goddess), Zagyg, Correllon and others. She says Hexus is a demigod who wants to move up to fill the void left by Iuz’ death. We try to figure out why she came to us, but we have no clue. She also gives each of us a World Serpent Inn coin from our own patron dieties.

Since we are in Bahamat’s place, Jet asks after Uriah, the dragon god of war, about what could be done to restore the covenant between the dragon kin and her family. He recommends a show of force. She asks about the purpose of the hierophants. He says the hierophants were originally dragon servants used for herding and offering collection.

Uriah tells Maximus that Odin can be found at the girly show in the basement. Maximus and Aldeberan go to the show. Maximus tells Odin about Hexus and the mining of Oerth’s Blood, threatening the life of Oerth. Maximus shows Odin an Oerth’s Blood blade, and Odin cuts himself with the edge. Odin is surprised that he could be cut and surprised that Oerth’s Blood was being mined and he did not know about it.

Tarl uses his compass to scan for Oerth’s Blood in the Inn. He finds some and asks Mitchifer what Oerth’s Blood is doing in the Inn. Mitchifer is surprised and then realizes that Tasha fixed his doors and broke his security at the same time. He rushes upstairs and find his mother (Fate) dying with crossbow bolts tipped with Oerth’s Blood in her heart.

Mitchifer dumps us into the Astral Plane, apparently preparatory to destroying and reforming the World Serpent Inn.

We Plane Shift back to Oerth and decide to find Hexus. Beodar uses the Eye of Thera, and says Hexus is in the Howling Hills.
Maximus plans his zero phase soliloquy. “My name is Maximus Elrod. I killed your father. Prepare to die.” Jet puts on Sym’s carapace and bloodstone. Aldeberan puts Tensor’s Deadly Strike on a stone and gives it to Maximus. Jet summons a storm.
Beodar sends in grenades to break down the fort wall. Low level monsters spill out. Cloudkill and Acid Fog take care of the low level
creatures.

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Oerth's Blood Part 4

Well … we poured a potion of sweetwater in the lake and it turned clear. A young man with a strong resemblance to Tasha /Iggwilv hovered over the water. Jet cast Purify Water and he screamed. He dissolved into a thin scum on top of the water. The scum came ashore and formed into copies of us. The started fighting us but the also attacked the sarcophagus. We defeated them but the sarcophagus was cracked and exuding cold. Jet used a hammer of flawlessness on the sarcophagus. This item moves a flaw SOME WHERE ELSE. We don’t know where. After that, the sarcophagus was no longer cold . The lich spoke to us again and said he would move himself, his lake and his city out of hexus ’ reach. Jet ‘s sense of nature was restored and we went back to the circle of bronzewood. The little girl was there holding her "mother’s " hand. Jet sacrificed Anatoli…..

Okay, no. No sacrificing. Jet asked if the pollution was gone and if the lich had moved yet. Mother said yes and no. We decided to follow the robot chicken pteradactyl and come back later to make sure the mine was really closed down.

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Oerth's Blood Part 3
The floating city

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, they were investigating the floating city in the Nyr Div. We sent Anatoli and Aldebaran with the psychic paper credentials to the city harbor where we believe the Oerth’s Blood weapons are being delivered. Aldebaran’s credentials got them accepted as Barnacle Inspectors. Further queries revealed that the chalk code on the boxes is red for heavy weapons and blue for light weapons.

We all head to the warehouse to check out the “heavy weapons”. There are three battering rams with Oerth’s blood plates, and an attached boiler that looks like it might power the battering rams. There is a trebuchet, 2 ballista, and a personal ballista. There is also a forge for making Greek fire from Oerth’s Blood. The warehouse manager has a book chained to his wrist. He reads from it and talks to it.

Jet recognizes some equipment has the mark of Eljay. It is equipment that Eljay created for Sym during the Shield Lands war.

There is a development facility on the inner ring. The Psychic Paper makes the security people think we are checking the security defenses for the Master.

Inside is a broken ship covered with a barnacle like substance. Maximus (who is pretending to be the moron muscle boy for our gnomish leader – that would be you, Anatoli) runs from his “master’s” lashing and dashes around the warehouse, apparently at random. However, he is actually spying stuff out. He snags an Oerth’s Blood spear head, and emulates the works attempting to scrape the barnacles off the broken ship. His extraordinary strength breaks through. We learn that the barnacles are actually the covering on a single living creature. Something similar is covering a ?tub? The creature we mistook for barnacles is from the plane of water, according to Tarl.

After that we head to the loading dock. A kuatoa ship is there to pick up a 15 ft trident, and they pay for it with 700 pounds of gold. Tarl thinks that the trident belongs to an avatar of the Kuatoan goddess, Bloody Pulp.

We go to a bar to find a gnomish woman to see if an Erase spell will get rid of the Master’s tattoo. Mother Martha, Master Mechanic, is there with her two daughters. Her day job is working on raising the ship from the Abyss. Anatoli charms her, I think using the Rod of Beguiling. Anyway, she works at the head office sometimes, and she tells Anatoli how to get to the central sphere, an extra dimensional space directly over the moon pool. Martha’s daughters are Milli and Marva. Erase gets rid of two tattoos; Nystul’s Paint removed the third tattoo.

The two “Erased” women, Martha and Marva, remember everything as being fine. Milli remembers things not being fine. Anatoli asks Milli if she wants her family removed from the floating city. She says she wants to stay to find out what is going on. We leave her a token (perhaps an Aldebaran’s coin) so that we can look in on her later.

We follow the procedure that Martha gave Anatoli for accessing the Central Sphere. In the Manifest room, we find the same administrator that was in the repair warehouse. His name is Derron. He tells us he is looking for anything that can be related to the Codex of the Infinite Planes. That is the book that the Master wishes to retrieve. The Master’s true name is in the book, and if he regains his name, he will regain his soul and his power. Tzonik, the Mad Monk, wrote his name in the book.

Derron has a ring which glows when anything of interest to the Master appears. Also, he says the reason that the Master is employing gnomes is because he wishes to aid the rise of gnomes. The Book says that the Master will regain his power when gnomes rule.

We sneak up to the Master’s level. Someone there (who knows who) greets us. Jet explains why we are there (stopping the mining of Oerth’s Blood, the creatures of Hexxus, the trail of weapons that leads to this city). Anatoli sneaks around and finds an illusioned book and stabs it with his dagger “Codex Killer” The Master says he is peeved at having a Tome of Constitution destroyed.

We get into a fight and Maximus kills the apparently psionic person (who might or might not be the Master). We fight 12 iron golems — Maximus kills most of them too. The apparent Master regenerates from death and runs away. We pursue and catch him. He negotiates to save his life. He tells us the locations of 4 mines (Hepmonaland, Blackmoor, Blue Castle, and the one we already knew about in Rift Crag). He shows us maps. He gives us a necklace to identify us to his minions if we need to talk to him again, He gives Aldebaran a scrolls which has a spell which will heal a wound caused by Oerth’s Blood. He gives a chit to get the scrolls to allow us to leave safely. Those scrolls contain a spell to put a portal in the protective shell around the city. He assures us he knows nothing about the tattoos on the gnomes in the city. We speculate that one of his henchmen might have been corrupted by one of the creatures of Hexus.

After we leave, Tarl figures out that the Master or whoever he was did not breath after we killed him.

We take the derro back to the university and head out to Hepmonaland, flying the Silver Eagle Express.

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Oerth's Blood Part 2
Near the Nyr Dyv

We were on a quest to find the Oerth’s Blood that had been mined from Oerth, destroy the supply chain, and return whatever Blood we could to Oerth. While we were waiting for the chunk of Oerth’s Blood on display in the “Miner Forty-Niner” bar on Luna, we checked out a dragon temple, with a spring of purified water. We took some of the purified water. We learned that Jet’s mother had broken the pact by not bringing a child to the temple. The dragons will be coming after Jet’s children in revenge — after the dragons take a nap.

Anatoli begins to investigate the “Laughing Gnome” brand to find out who was behind the Rough Riders delivering Oerth’s Blood. The Rough Riders have been corrupted by “starios” – many-armed psionic creatures which can live inside both human, humanoid, elemental, and crystal creatures.

Sven gets away, but we clean out Anatoli’s uncle’s lab. (Darn it, what was his name? He was the arch-lich Lysander’s minion for ages.) Some of the people are carrying stario embryos. Other people are carrying adult starios. Tarl uses a Holy Word to get rid of all the starios in the telescope chamber. The log book indicates that the telescope was used to deliver starios to all the major power brokers on the continent, including Mordenkainen.

We all warn our families about the corruption, learning that attempts to deliver corrupting items went to all of them.

The starios are called “Children of Hexus” by the dead mage that Beodar investigates.

After the fight for the lab, Maxximus and Beodar experiment to find a cure for stario infestation. Uncle Rasputin develops a delivery mechanism for the cure – purified water and a dose of a potion of fresh water.

After the people are are killed or cured, Jet collects up the psionic crystal, including the lenses in Anatoli’s telescope that sees through anything. She telepathically assembles them to locate/concentrate the taint of Hexus and remove it, using the cure Maxximus and Beodar developed. She then disassembles them, disassembles Shui to get rid of Shui’s taint, and reassembles Shui with all the crystal. (Beodar “holds” Shui together during this. Jet thinks that this was a very, very bad idea.)

Maxximus calls Aramath to get the Silver Eagle for transport, since Shui has been “hurt”.

Uncle Rasputin relocates to the Cairn Hills.

Anatoli leads a raid on a Rough Rider starjamming ship (1 of 6) to find out where the Oerth’s Blood weapons are being picked up and delivered. (He thinks that the records in Sven’s office which implicate King Ivid the Fourth are faked for him to find.) He steals some navigation scrolls and other stuff and sets a fire to cover his theft.

We follow the logs to a floating city in the middle of the Bottomless Sea. The city is built in rings. The outer ring is new and gnomish. The middle ring appears to be of a city long submerged. The inner city is an industrial complex. At the center is a moon pool. There are thousands of gnomes, many bearing the symbol of an illithid looking/squid headed guy known as the Master. The Master is looking for a book. We believe that book may be the Codex of Infinite Planes.

In the moon pool, gnomes are brings up boxes from underwater. We investigate to find a gate to the plane of water underneath. A sea monster comes after us and damages the Silver Eagle. Ulathor, the derro savant heals the Silver Eagle.

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Oerth's Blood Part 1

We go to the World Serpent’s Inn to see if we can find Ezekial, a dragon god. He is there gambling. Jet asks if he found out anything about the pact between the dragons and her family. He says it is an old tradition that the family gives a child to be raised by the dragons in exchange for a blessing. The child is left in a temple, and Ezekial gives us the location. He knows it is a cloud dragon temple.

Jet asks if he knows anything about the hierophants and their purpose. Ezekial says he is the Dragon of Knowledge, but his brother, Uriah, the Dragon of War, is older and might know something.

Next we head to the Mage’s Guild of Grayhawk to talk to the drow librarian about the moons, Celene and Luna. Celene is the dead moon with no atmosphere, but with the ruins of cities. (Remember that people and ships carry their own atmosphere.) Celene is where we Malta’d by accident into a parabolic disk which looked like it had been systematically destroyed. There were architectural elements which appeared to be drow. The librarian said that a descending drow house relocated to the center of Celene. The mage who did the relocation spell had her white hair turn black, giving her the name Dark Mane. Luna is a living world. It has a breathable atmosphere, with flora and fauna similar to Oerth. There are 3 colonies there, human, dwarven, and illithid.

Tarl goes back to Ostahar to get information about the dwarven colony on Luna. He is told that when his deity, Mordain, created the world, he used Oerth’s Blood, aka Aqua Ferro. He used Luna for an anvil. The dwarven cleric of Dunathoin has an “affinity compass”. If you use a small amount of some material, the compass will point to the (?nearest?largest?) collection of that material. He lends it to Tarl. The cleric also says that dweornite may be a creation of the derro.

We check out the estate at Rookroost to see if we can find any more Oerth’s Blood using the affinity compass. We find one nugget, which Stonedar (Jet’s earth elemental ?attache?) says he can use to find other mines. Apparently, he can find the source from which a particular bit of Oerth’s Blood was mined.

We head to Luna to find more Oerth’s Blood. The affinity compass leads us to a city built into a mountain. We find a chunk of it on
display in a dwarven bar called “Miner Fortyniner”. The bartender says that is company practice to put new and interesting materials on display there. A gnomish tinkerer in the bar shows us he can engrave steel with a hammer tipped with Oerth’s Blood, as if he was just writing with a quill.

A thief with 4 arms named Skeezo offers to sell us some of the Oerth’s Blood. He also says there are extraordinary weapons for sale. He introduces us to Mr. NIng. We pose as buyers (Jet is shape-changed), and ask for a demonstration. Mr. Ning sets up a safari for us. On the safari air ship (maybe a Star Jammer), Mr. NIng (whom we never see, only a hooded figure) says he has many products, such as Oerth’s Blood and Ice Giant Tears. He demonstrates that a weapon with Ice Giant Tears does cold damage. He has his employee shatter a +1 sword using a sword with an edge of Oerth’s Blood.

His competitor, Ms. Angelus, sells more esoteric things.

On safari, we find a Type 6 demon. Mr. Ning directs the ship captain, whom he refers to as Steward, and his men, to attack the demon with the swords edged with Oerth’s Blood. The swords clearly damage it and drive it off. Jet suspects that the demon was summoned specifically for demonstration purposes, probably by Ms. Angelus. One of the crew is killed by the demon, and the ship is damaged by the fire whip attack. Steward is angry, but Mr. Ning is indifferent.

Maximus buys the bastard sword Steward used for 18,000 gp. It acts as a +1 sword, and negates magic. Jet negotiates to buy a small amount of Oerth’s Blood – sufficient to make a ring – for “testing purposes”. We are supposed to pick that up in the morning.

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The Search for Bucknard Part 2

After we collected the second and last crystal from pumping station zero (where the shadow aboleth was holding court and the “Duke of Death” was running an illicit Eorth’s Blood mining station), we spent the night in Aldebaran’s Magnificent Mansion. Beodar AGAIN spent the night glowing while “someone else” stood watch in his body.

In the morning, Tarl put on the Mantle of Caelestian and used his badge to contact Doc. Doc tells us that hordes of daemons attacked Caer LaForce. The Silver Swan Plane Shifted to an unknown plane and had to shut down to regenerate.

Also, the elven kingdom is in civil war after Prince Brightflame and Princess Kymbala declared their intention to take the throne.

We head to Rook Roost where the human mage managing the teleportation at the Eorth’s Blood mine fled.We track down his teleportation point to a manor on the outskirts of Rook Roost. It is owned by Baron Degaton, He and his family are involved in trade and smithing. The guy currently in charge of Rook Roost is Duke Muertos. Anatoli communes with the body and spirit of Bucknard, and determines that the last piece is on the moon Luna. We use Malta’s Pattern to get there. On the first try, we end up on the wrong moon. There are indications that the drow have a base there. We don’t investigate much though and head for the other moon.

Once on Luna, we find a keep with the symbol of Maskaylne, the vampire member of the Bone Heart. Anatoli sneaks into the keep. There is a caravan leaving carrying something small and heavy. Inside the keep, clerks are keeping records on adamantite. Anatoli goes to the top floor. He finds a vivisection lab with a living drow who has been skinned and organs removed. The lab manager comes in and talks to the drow, making it clear that she is keeping him alive so she can harvest more parts. The lab manager is wearing Vayne’s boots.

Jet does a Commune with Nature and gets a chatty connection with Luna. Luna is riddled with passages, underground “infestations” of drow, a city of undead, one undead in the keep Anatoli investigated, a visiting Promethean dragon (Promethean dragons live in space between the spheres), no permanent elemental gates, but 4 gates to other planes including one gate in the keep. There are four clusters of adamantite, including the caravan, upstairs in the keep, downstairs in the keep, and in the forge.

Beodar scries the keep basement in the past. He sees three coffins, and three weapons mounted on the wall – sword/shield, two-handed hammer, staff, and other gear. The room is set up as a living area. Jet summons an earth elemental, the same one who came last time. He now has the symbol of Lugh engraved in his forehead. He says he is permanently attached to Jet. His name is Stonedar. Jet tells him about the Oerth’s Blood being mined. He goes away and informs his lord. Stonedar returns and says the situation is problematic and has been left to Jet’s discretion.

Stonedar takes us through the earth to the basement. It is protected by an anti-magic field. Maximus uses his club of cold obsidian to break in. We steal the sword, which Anatoli identifies as the Blade Which Cuts Too Deep. Beodar Waypoints us back to Boccob’s temple. Anatoli reassembles the three crystals into a star. Bucknard appears. He wishes his sister back to “normal”. Brecca comes back. Bucknard says “there is something still wrong with me.” Anatoli asks Bucknard to fix his bag. Bucknard pours all of Anatoli’s stuff on the floor and leaves. Brecca says there is a darkness in Beodar. She moves the darkness into Beodar’s eye. Beodar is in terrible pain and pulls out his own eye. The eye contains an amethyst, possible part of the Eye of Boccob. Brecca tells the gem to find its own place. She blows on it and it goes away.

Aldebaran summons Tenser, Bucknard’s best friend. Tensor warns us that we need to go after Bucknard immediately. Aldebaran tries to identify the items Bucknard left behind. The star is a material component for divination, increasing divination by 100%. The sword is a sword of sharpness. When it contained Bucknard’s crystal, it drained levels and bestowed them on the wielder. Anatoli takes us and Brecca back to Bucknard’s Fortress of Solitude. We are surrounded by crystal golems which Beodar Shatters. “Mother” confronts us and Maximus kills her.

In the summoning circle upstairs, Bucknard meditates in midair. Maximus steps into the circle and starts meditating as well. Tarl
looks at Bucknard with True Sight. Bucknard is covered with the worms of Kyuss. Tarl Dispels Evil. A revenant form separates from Bucknard. We kill the revenant. Maximus asks for divine intervention. Brecca runs into the circle and hugs Maximus. The evil power is destroyed.

Anatoli asks for his bag back. Bucknard now pours his own stuff out. He gives the bag to Anatoli. Brecca says it is named Fido. It is made from the skin of a demon dog and is inhabited by a demon spirit. Stuffing gems in it gives it indigestion. Stuffing big gems gives it constipation. The spell effects you got were the equivalent of gas. I got the impression that the bag could give much more impressive results if you made friends.

Bucknard sends us back to the Temple of Boccob. He and Brecca are headed out to see “Mother”. Jet summons Stonedar and explains that Oerth’s Blood is the blood of the elemental kings mixed with the elemental magic of the First Prison. Stonedar has summoned 4 elementals (earth, air, water, fire). They destroy the dam and fill in the Oerth’s Blood mine.

We head to Caer LaForce to see if we can figure out where the Silver Swan went. The area is littered with hundreds of bodies of hordlings – demon creatures. Staff is still trapped in the basement, besieged by demons which rebuild themselves out of the parts of previously dismembered demons. Regis Pellucidar contacts Jet and tells her is remotely manning the defenses. We destroy the demons and rescue the staff.

The Silver Swan is too damaged to leave the plane it escaped to – the Plane of Concordant Opposition – and life support is failing. Maximus remembers the derro crystal savant, and we go there. We force the savant to come with us and heal the Silver Swan.
The Silver Swan teleports us back to Caer LaForce. Beodar uses the crystal ball to see into the past to find out what happened. A fruit seller came to the castle and sold some fruit. After he left, he cast a spell and the fruit turned into monsters. Then he cast another spell and created a collar. He put the collar on one creature. Wherever the creature with the collar went, the hacked up monsters reassembled and attacked again. The collar is still there and bears the symbol of Hexus, the god of pollution and the son of Iuz.

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The Search for Bucknard Part 1

Just thought I would send out a pre-game reminder of what Ground Zero had been up to.

In the bigger picture, we had assisted in the uplift/revival/empowerment/deification? of Murlynd. Anatoli asked the Company of Seven for information about Bucknard, since Anatoli has the original Bucknard’s Everfull Purse. (Side note: Anatoli is trying to fix the Purse, which has been malfunctioning ever since Anatoli fed it the soul gem of a type 6 demon.

While we were waiting on the information, we went on two side quests.

1. Aldebaron was quested by the elven high priest of Corellon to handle the hollow called Beodar. Aldebaran cast Preempt Possession while Beodar stood in a circle of protection. Hextor, Cuthbert and Myahein appear, Myahein says, “I told you I would stop you” and they disappear. Tarl’s earlier True Sight had revealed a bruise of Maxximillien B. Thornblade, so Anatoli used Alter Reality to empower the chaotic neutral spot which is all that is left. Even that starts

to fade, so Aldebaran casts a Reincarnate. We get a tall paladin of Lyra Nevasere. (Jet wonders – if we got a hollow when Aldebaran casts Reincarnate with the real corpse of Max, what do we get when Aldebaran casts Reincarnate without a corpse? Jet thinks this version/creation might be a really clever way to find out what gods are screwing with us currently.)

2. Jet wants to find out more about her so-called dragon heritage. While investigating a village in Ket, we splatter it with green slime, and then wait while a red dragon incinerates the remainder. Then we find a portal to the Plane of Earth. Through the portal, we find a castle of dragorns. Jet learns that her family made a pact with them, to receive strength in exchange for sacrificing a child occasionally. We free a hostage, Ezekiel, who claims to be the brother of Jebediah. Tarl and Anatoli free a Jann scheduled to be the main course for dinner. We leave in general bloodshed and mayhem.

Back from our two side quests, Anatoli picks up the report from Keoghtam on Bucknard. The report reads:
“Bucknard left the Circle of Eight, because he had been chosen to destroy Iuz’ soul object. However, the soul object had been split into eight parts, and formed/joined into eight innocent children. Bucknard refused to kill the children, and Mordenkainnen was angry about that. So, Bucknard left. He disappeared while investigating some evil in the Rift Crag near Rook Roost. He left laboratories scattered all over the world. He had a fraternal twin sister named Breccia. Breccia married a Rennae named Arduino. She disappeared a few years after Bucknard did, while searching for Bucknard.” We went to visit Arduino. He lent us Breccia’s journal. Hidden inside it, we find a letter from Bucknard. He warns that this might be the last letter he ever writes. He thinks Kyuss might be involved in the evil in Rift Crag. Three evil powers are trying to join and he will try to stop them. On the letter was an unholy symbol. It had three parts (dagger- associated with temple of elemental evil and earth gods ?maybe Geb?, star – associated with navigation and Starylia, and skull – associated with undead and Kyuss.) Also hidden in the journal is Breccia’s half of the a twin amulet. Breccia’s spirit appears and begs for aid. Anatoli agrees to help and his eyes turn lavender.

Note: We learned somehow that Bucknard was an archmage savant, and that Breccia was a cleric savant. She has an innate ability to “see”, speak with dead, and raise dead.

We Malta back to Max’s bolthole in Rift Crag, and go to investigate Bucknard’s lab in Rook Roost. It is currently being lived over by a regular family, so Jet drives them out with an infestation of rats. We investigate the hidden lab below it. There is evidence of investigation into the type of undead known as Sons of Kyuss. (green residue)

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Rebuilding Beodar
That's a reaaaaaaly big green slime

After Murlynd’s ascension from the meersalm, we asked him to take us to Rauxes, since only a servant of Hieroneous could get through its barrier. He agreed, and furthermore led us into the temple through the back way.

The temple was filled with powerful undead, including a death knight. The death knight Dismissed Murlynd. We run to Adam’s room, where we find him dying. A young ?guard? attends him. We use a door to escape to the World Serpent Inn. We take them to Room 7 (where the all the members of the Company of Seven are hanging out – including Tasha, whom the others do not see). Keoghtom says he cannot fix Adam’s illness. Tasha says she will fix it and she will regret it and she will blame us. We agree to her request that we not interfere for 10 minutes. Tasha uses Jet to mask her healing of Adam. Then Tasha appears to the rest of the Company of Seven. They draw weapons, but do not attack. Tasha sneers and leaves.

Anatoli asks if the Company know anything about Rift Crag and Bucknard. Quaal and Keoghtom tell us that Dragotha (reputedly Tiaamat’s undead dragon lover) lairs in Riftcrag. Bucknard was the youngest archmage in history. Everyone liked him. “Forever darkness holds the triune.” Keoghtom says he will research it for us and leave the report with Mitchifer. Keoghtom gives Anatoli
the password to pick up the report.

After Adam recovers somewhat from his illness, we ask him what happened. He says he trained his warriors as infiltrators. They investigated Ivid IV’s inner circle. Ivid IV apparently has a ratting, wasting disease, but he is not dead or undead. They tried an assassination attempt. Adam was captured and questioned. 6 people were killed every time he refused to answer a question. A boy named Caleb brought him food. One night Caleb snuck in and broke Adam out of prison and brought him back to the temple. At this point, no priests were/are getting spells unless Caleb – the ?guard? we found with Adam – was/is present.

Adam also tells us that Beodar is a hollow. We (except for Beodar) head to Celene. We find a way to talk with the high priest of Correllon, by breaking in on his archery practice. Aldebaron asks if there is anything going on with Lyra Nevasere. The high priest says no, and remarks how unusual that Beodar has not been to pay respects to Correllon. We asked what the priest would do with a hollow. The high priest suggests killing him. Aldebaran accepts a knighthood from the high priest, along with the high priest’s sword, and a geas to “open the jar that is Beodar, and do with it as he (Aldebaran) feels right.”

While we are in Celene, Gideon Oakthorn gives Anatoli a scroll from Maxx. It has a spell “True Sight”, illusionist version. In ultraviolet, the message is “in case you read this, I am dead and something of mine is causing trouble. This sees the truth behind the truth.” In Braille, there is a Greyhawk address and an account number. With lemon juice, the following appears, “I am not sure that was a lich’s pocket we picked.” When sprinkled with diamond dust, the message is " This is an augmented spell – clerical, magic user, illusionist, necromantic and divinatory.".

We travel to the Temple of Boccob to ask Adrianna to cast Divination. During the visit, she maneuvers Anatoli into agreeing to attend services of Boccob in a couple of weeks. We ask if we should cast Preempt Possession (yes), cast Plane Truth (yes), is Maxx still in Beodar (no), is Derron in Beodar (no), is there an aspect of Hieroneous in Beodar (yes), is there an aspect of Lyra Nevasere in Beodar (yes) is there an aspect of Hextor in Beodar (no) and should we go to Rel Astra next (yes).

We pick up Beodar and go to Rel Astra. Jet takes the opportunity to visit the department of animus research that she set up there. They report that Animuses appear wrinkled and smell musty without concealing magic. Most seem to have regeneration powers from a special ring of regeneration. They cannot be killed while they are wearing that ring. Healing spells work more powerfully
on animuses than on regular people. Milk damages the body, but undoes the damage to the “corrupted soul”. Honey works in reverse.

We go to visit the lab of Zariya Zavinde. She is not in, but we ask her assistants to let us use her lab. They reluctantly agree.

We tell Beodar about Adam’s assertion, and ask Beodar to stand in a thaumaturgic circle so that we may discover the truth. He transfers ownership of Leomund’s Chest to Jet, and moves into the circle. Tarl’s True Sight reveals a lawful influence like a homunculus. Anatoli cast the Augmented True Sight. He sees a knight with mace and platemail armor, surrounded by the aura of Hextor, surrounded by the aura of Lyra Nevasere. There is a ?bruise? which seems to be the remainder of Maxximillien B. Thornblade.

Aldebaran casts Preempt Possession. Beodar goes hazy. The form of Myaheine appears, Then the form of Hextor, and then the form of Cuthbert. Myahein says “I told you I would stop you.” They fade away, leaving a chaotic spot, the ?bruise?. Anatoli uses Alter Reality to empower that chaotic neutral spot. Beodar appears but says he cannot last. Aldebaran decides to cast Reincarnate.
Beodar reforms as a tall, muscular cavalier/paladin of Lyra Nevasere.

Next we go looking for the priests of Hextor who have been proseletyzing in Rel Astra. After a brief fight, we learn that the priests of Hextor have also not been getting 4th level or better spells.


Jet decides to take Odin and Jebediah/Baha’s advice and go see her father. She also wants to arrange for her kids to visit her parents for the summer. Her parents are happy to have the kids visit, but disturbed when she tells them that Jebediah suggested she talk to them about her heritage. It turns out Jebediah was involved in settling her parents on their farm, and that
her father got in touch with Jebediah to look after Jet when she left home as a teenager.

Her father tells her that her parents were both members of the Dragoons in Ket. He gives her his badge.

Jet’s mother tells a story of herself as an 11 year old. Wandering in the mountains, she met a cloud dragon. Her brother came after her and thought she was in danger. He fired an arrow at the cloud dragon. Jet’s mother begged the dragon for her brother’s life, and was granted it in exchange for one of her children.


Jet asks us to go to Ket to investigate her ancestors. Anatoli has his drug trade contacts there who might be able to help, not to mention the Rough Rider spy netwo—, errr, information brokers. Aldebaran uses Maxx’s Malta’s Carpet to get us there.

Jet goes veiled and disguised in this area. We visit a casino to gather information about the Dragoons. They are the Secret Service of the Ket government. Different wings of the Dragoons have different colors, matching those of the evil dragons.

Some Blue Dragoons hassle a dwarf. After they leave, Tarl brings the dwarf a beer. The dwarf says that the dwarves were brought in to fix the corrosive vapors in the mine. They could not fix it, so they were forced to work the mine in the place of the humans who died there. We use a commune with nature and learn there is a football-field size green slime down near the mine. The secretions from it are leaking into the water supply, causing the vapors which are making everyone sick/dead.

Tarl goes to the leader of the Dragoone, Fenrac. He offers to help with the problem. However, Fenrac is afraid to shut down production long enough to give us the opportunity, because he superiors will kill him if the mine is not sufficiently productive. Tarl persuades him, though. The next morning, Aldebaran uses Move Earth to create a passage from the surface to the pool (lake?) of green slime. Fenrac offers to bring fuel and the Red Wing of the Dragoons in to burn it off.

Aldebaran uses Detect Magic to find “alteration” magic in the middle of the green slime lake.

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