Here is the long version of our current story arc. The short version is we freed Kym from possession by a priestess of Iuz. And if we are speculating on what has been going on, Jet has a hypothesis. She thinks the force which has been trying to reignite the war between the lands of Iuz and the lands to the south of Iuz is (ta! da!) the hierarchs of the Horned Society. They were deposed/defeated by the Boneheart, and are trying to start something to cover their own bid for autonomy. So Jet suggests investigating up there. Since the lands of the Horned Society are not “lands ceded to Iuz” by the treaty (am I right, Vernard?), then we can go mess around up there without breaking the treaty. Well, actually, Jet wants us to go figure out what is wrong with IVID IV. (crickets? do I hear crickets?) Doesn’t anyone want to figure out what has been going on over in Aerdy? Anyone? Sigh.
Anyway, enjoy the arc. Its worth noting that the Druid is not present for much of this arc.
Summary of what we have been up to in the last month:
Max invites up to the Elven Ambassador’s compound. While there, Anatoly discovers Dharma Coppervein weeping over Tarl’s dead body. Max tried to raise dead (with three priests (himself, Raythogel, Ariok), but the spirit wouldn’t return. We are attacked by a Silver Predator from the Metal Discordant Plane of Acheron (identified by Ravel). Ravel gives Jet an amethyst chip — possibly from the Eye of Boccob.
We visit Zariya, who summons a spirit (possibly Tarl’s mentor). The spirit says Tarl’s spirit is being held by Imperagon in the Iron Fortress of Imperagon. The spirit says Tarl’s spirit is being used to forge the Blade of … but will tell us nothing further.
Zariya tells us we can go through the World Serpent’s Inn to get to Rigus, a city on the edge of the Disk of Concord and Opposition. Once there, we can talk to a merchant named Varachus. Varachus turns out to be an Efritti with a fire giant bodyguard and a beehir steed. Varachus directs us to a portal to the Metal Discordant Plane of Acheron.
We travel to the Cube of Battle. Maximus and Max banter, and Max says he needs an animal sacrifice for divination. Maximus goes hunting alone for a rabbit, and finds a family of Metal Predators. The rest of us followed him (YOU NEVER SPLIT THE PARTY) and we are almost all taken out by a clever trap set by the Metal Predators. Max uses divinations and see Kal Yural (The Lost Fortress). Garven the barbarian triangulates to find the location. Aldebaran Identifies the magic items found in the Metal Predator lair. The Staff of Archon possesses Aldebaran and he attacks us. We subdue him, and Garven breaks the Staff.
We Cube Hop to Kal Yural, and meet a hobgoblin ranger, Manroot, and his pack of hellhounds.
We see some humanoids fighting some Fomorian ants, and try to help the humanoids. Unfortunately, the humanoids are actually slaad, and they turn on us. Anatoli loses 3 levels, and Max dies in a delayed blast fireball. Anatoli goes to Tenser to get the levels back and asks for help for Max. Tenser restores the levels but says there is nothing more he can do for Max. Aldebaran reincarnates Max, as a half-elven cleric/magic user (deity – Lyra Nevasere, the wife of Max’s original deityi, Erevan Ilasere)
We find the fortress. Anatoli scouts, and sees Imperagon, talking to a fallen deva and a pit fiend. In another room, Anatoli sees a female duergar monk. We sneak in using Find The Path to find Tarl. We find Tarl and other spirits toiling away in a room with Azer guards, a fire elemental dragon, and a forge which is a gate to the elemental plane of fire. Imperagon shows up with his deva, a pitfiend, and a succubus. Anatoli uses Tempus Fugit and we take out everybody except the deva. We Plane Shift out, but Max tells us we have to go back to rescue the deva.
We go back, and the deva is restoring his friends. We try to persuade the deva that he can be redeemed. Imperagon says “Zelatian Starfire, I know your sin.” Anatoli does a Reveal Truth and the deva’s glory is revealed. Zelatian realizes that he can be forgiven by the deity that he serves. In thanks for helping him, he cuts off a lock of hair and hands it to each of us. He said that each one represents a wish that he will grant.
The reincarnated Max appears to be a mixture of our Max and a fighter-cleric named Derron (Derron’s patron diety was Hextor). When we stop by Rigus again (to pick up a strength bow for Maximus), we run into Derron’s former commander and the man who killed Derron for abandoning a lost battlefield. Derron kills the former commander.
We get back and learn that Kymbala is marrying Melf. Uncle Awen of House Oakthorn is appointed as Elven Ambassador to Greyhawk. Maximus’ crazy ex-wife, Marissa, shows up with a 7 year old story of courtship, a night of passion, and a dawn wedding — and a seven year old boy. (Maximus can’t remember a thing.) Jet visits the university at Rel Astra and Lo Rel Tarma to see what the chair she endowed to investigate the animuses found. She discovers an animus (Dirk Broga) in charge of the project, and assists in his early retirement. Along the way, Dirk Broga says King Ivid IV wields the Mace of Orcus.
The reincarnated Max has a crisis of conscience over his evil past. Maximus persuades him that we all get by with a little help from our friends.
We all travel to the Vesve Forest to attend Kymbala’s wedding shower.
Maximus, Max, and Anatoli, and Aldebaran (Mama’s Boys) get bored waiting for 6 hours for the shower, so they go bandit hunting. The bandit in question, Blackhand, is an orc fighter. They track him to his lair, and set up an ambush. Using scrying, they see Null bringing orcs through the lair tunnels, and polymorphing the orcs into deer. They track the “deer” to a main camp where 3 helf orc clerics of Iuz complain about their boring support role, healing the raiding parties of Blackhand – who had been “disowned” by the leaders of the lands of Iuz.
Maximus comes up with a plan to backtrack Blackhand and ambush him. They discover Blackhand talking to Antarcus, a legendary fallen ranger anti-hero. Guided by Anatoli and using arrows enchanted by Max, Maximus fires two arrows. He kills Blackhand, and wounds Antarcus (who gets away). The boys return to the bar to brag, and collect the reward. (Aramath is informed that the boys were observed in the Lands of Iuz – a clear treaty violation.)
During the shower, Melf, Prince BrightFlame, second son of Queen Yolande of Celene, is proclaimed the heir to Queen Yolande’s throne, pending his marriage to Kymbala. (The announcement comes from Francella, priestess of Correllon, who attended the party in Queen Yolande’s stead, under the protection of Scintullus, Vizier and member of the House LaMajier.) The original heir, the first son, has been missing for many years.
The shower is attacked by Max (the original, hereafter refered to as Max 1.0), who shoots Aramath and Melf with arrows. Scintullus and Francella rush indoors where they are attacked by Antarcus (fallen ranger), Jolie (gnome thief), Celeste (elven cleric Magic user), and Kruger (human fighter). The “elven guards” protecting Francella and Scintillus turn out to be polymorphed orcs.
After a brief fight, we kill Kruger and Jolie, and drive the rest off. We go looking for Lazarus Lordivar, whose illusion had been in charge of the illusionary elven guards. We find him using scrying. He is riding furiously toward the Vesve. When we meet up with him, he tells us he was attacked by people we identify as Jumper and Null, and left for dead.
Jet thinks this bizarre seaquence of people dying (Kym, Tarl, Max) and having weird things happen when we try to bring them back, is related to our fight with Ivid IV, whose patron is apparently Orcus.
Anatoli thinks Max 1.0 may be a clone created by Tensor’s contingency spell. He visits Tensor, who confirms this. We speculate that somehow a “good” Max and a “bad” Max (or maybe just a lawful Max and a chaotic Max) were created by the combination of the reincarnate and the contingency.
However, investigation shows that Max 1.0 visited Sym trying to get him to join the new Fear Masters. He visited Gideon trying to get him to do “something” and they had a big fight and Gideon declared that Max was dead.
In light of the revelation of Max 1.0’s existence, Max 2.0 decides to call himself Beodar. He spends all of Max 1.0’s money in training. Max 1.0 shows up while Anatoli is training Beodar. Max 1.0 knocks Beodar out. Anatoli leaves the unconscious Beodar on the floor and they head to a bar. Max 1.0 thinks we abandoned him on the Metal Discordant Plane. He runs away. Anatoli trashes the bar with a decanter of endless water, leaving it running to put out a curtain set afire by Max, while he chases (but eventually loses) Max 1.0.
The group meets with Beodar, who assures us that Max will find him tonight for their showdown. We decide to wait in the World Serpent’s Inn.
Maximus finds a pretty girl, Struva, handmaiden of Odin, and spends the evening doing the wild thing with her. Repeatedly.
Zilchus is taking bets on the outcome of the fight between Iuz Bane and the Boneheart (HUH?).
Somebody who looks like Max gets into a poker game. He wins 25 coins of the World Serpent’s Inn and gives them to us. Then Lyra Nevasere storms in and slaps “Max”, who is then revealed as Erevan. Erevan drops the key to Max’s room at the World Serpent’s Inn (which Anatoli picks up).
Anatoli asks Boccob who was behind the trouble in Aerdy. Boccob says Orcus. Jet asks Mitchifer who in the bar would tell her about the problems of Ivid IV. Mitchifer says to use a coin of Orcus and ask the guy in a specific room in the bar. It turns out to be a room with Orcus, Nerull, Kali, and some minion of Tharzidun. Jet gives Orcus a coin and asks who is giving power to Ivid IV. Orcus demands the other gods leave, but Nerull refuses. Orcus admits he is Ivid IV’s patron. Nerull smiles, slips Jet another coin, and leaves. Jet uses the other coin to ask Ivid IV’s weakness. Orcus tries to refuse to answer, and Mitchifer enforces the rules. Orcus says sunlight.
Ground Zero gathers in Max’s room. Anatoli converts one room to a replica of Dorakaa with the crater in the middle. Jumper shows up as a little girl. The rest of the Boneheart is also there (except for MindBender, whose real name is apparently Herman Kowalski). We run for the doors which are apparently bricked up. Anatoli opens the doors in Mitchifer’s name and takes us to the lower level of Castle Greyhawk. Jet wonders why she follows Anatoli. Mitchifer shows up and brings us back to the World Serpent’s Inn. We talk Althea out of the fight.
Max shows up and starts to fight with Beodar. Anatoli breaks the vial he got from Tensorr. Beodar and Max die. Anatoli tries to use Beodar’s wish from Zelation Starfire to get Beodar back. However, Zelation says the Primordial Magic (Oerth’s blood) used prevents the restoration. Anatoli uses the liquid ’ from the vial to wash the markings from Beodar’s and Max’s bodies. Anatoli uses the wish again, and this time the wish works, restoring both Max and Beodar.
Max and Beodar decide they still can’t work together, so they flip a coin to see who goes and who stays. Beodar wins the choice, and decides to go help General Sym. Max then gets jealous and demands that Beodar stay with us while he goes to help Sym.
Jet uses her wish from Zelation Starfire to restore the 6 druids from Aerdy who had been entombed in the pit and who were catatonic. Zelation warns her that there will be consequences, but she goes ahead. The druids, lead by Rasputin rush back to Aerdy and raise a circle of stone. Jet calls a Druidic Council, and the Grand Druids of the other octants show up. Rasputin brings a scroll which he left to explain his sacrifice and the sacrifice of the others — to imprison Tharzidun and continue his slumber.
Jet recognizes Rasputin’s place on the council, and suggests that the other druids consider and research the problem and return in a week. She goes back to her chamber and meets Anita the Red, a hierophant who dealt with Tharzidun. She did nothing and the evil gods united to imprison him. Anita also says that the way to contact a hierophant is to find a place special to him/her on his/her home plane and call.
Boccob told Anatoli that we needed to visit Ravel to help him choose a successor. Jet goes by to return the chip of amethyst he gave her. He asks her to walk down the line of his priests with his brooch. The brooch lights up for Adrianna, from Rel Astra, a 9th level priestess (much to the disgust of the 14th level priest who had been running the temple in Ravel’s infirmity). Ravel dies. Jet is devastated.
Adrianna is confirmed as Patriarch of Boccob, and prophesies that dark times are coming and we need to stand together.
We head to Celene for Awen’s confirmation as ambassador. Anatoli uses a Dream to discover what is wrong with Kymbala. The city guard arrested a mirror maker who sold a “cursed mirror” to Melf. Melf gave the mirror to Kym, who saw an old hag when she looked in it.
We meet at the Elven Ambassador’s house in Greyhawk. A note from Adrianna arrives “They are coming.” We scramble outside to see Tyroc Banebuster, 5 mages and 40 crossbowmen. 2 rounds later, everyone except Tyroc (and one magic user pinned to the wall) is dead. Tyroc has Word-of-Recalled away. Maximus interrogates the one magic user and learns he was a member of the circle of Five. His contact was named Lime. We decide to cast Forget on the prisoner so he won’t recall the interrogation and to track him. A day later, the guy is dead.
We visit Adrianna and she says she had a vision of 6 people discussing our death. Priest of Hextor (?Shaitan), elf woman with an engagedment ring priestess of Iuz (?Kymballa), vampire (?Maskylene) blond guy (?Jumper), ogre magi (?), man in shadows (?Max).
We check the treaty that ended the war with the lands of Iuz. “If the governments signing the treaty allow Jet, Sym, Tarl, Eljay, Malachi, Flame, Aldebaran, and Anatoli to cross the borders into the lands ceded to Iuz, then they are declaring war.”
Beodar Communes to learn that Kymballa’s body holds her spirit as well as another spirit/soul. Kym is influenced by Iuz and Hextor, but not Orcus. Preempt Possession on Kym would be in the best interests of Celene, and an outside power is seeding Celene with monsters.
Aldebaran uses Contact Other Plane to determine the people in Adrianna’s vision. (Jumper, Orcus or his representative, the ogre magi is Kym’s guard, Kym, Shaitan, Mascaline) He learns Xavendra (priestess of Iuz) is possessing Kym. He learns that The Hierarchs of the Horned Society are seeding Celene with monsters, and that Rasputin was really trying to keep Tharzidun asleep.
Beodar sets up a meeting in the Royal Garden with Kymbala. We hide there ahead of time using Anatoli’s Veil. Aldebaran casts Vocalize, then Preempt Possesion. Kym collapses into Beodar’s arms. Anatoly Reveals Truth, on a guard who attacks Beodar and is revealed as an ogre magi. Beodar finds a phylactery on Kym and a geas. Beodar removes the phylactery, and Jet removes the geas. Melf is pissed off, at us as well as at the lands of Iuz.
The next day Queen Yolande invites us for an audience. She wants to know why we did it. We answer “Friendship.” She says she wants to cancel the wedding. We warn her that we think the Horned Society is behind the monster seeding.
Jet talks to Kym. Kym assures her that she truly loves Melf. Jet points out that she would be welcome to hold her wedding at Caer Laforce. Anatoli (the lich pocket picker, the maker of kissy faces at Orcus, the plotter of the kidnapping of Prince BrightFlame, the butt-stabbing bad little gnome) thinks that was reckless.
We try to interrogate Xavendra (Beodar magic jars himself and we preempt her into Beodar’s now empty body). She says Shaitan is behind the attacks on us.