Ground Zero


“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
A dream you dream together is reality.”
– Yoko Ono


At the beginning of this adventure, Maximus has left and is refusing contact with the group.

Jet proposes that the recent events are due to being entangled with the Endless, namely with Dream.

Anatoli thinks we are in the dream of the sleeping God Tharziduun. Anatoli summons everyone to the bar in Sanctuary and we get together and go to Beodar’s place to find Vijay.

Vijay invites us into his study, which reminds Aldeberon of the library he visited the last time in the World Serpent’s Inn. Anatoli tells Vijay what happened in the last visit to the inn. Anatoly tells Vijay he thinks we are interacting with the Endless Dream.

Vijay looks through his library for books on the Endless and finds that you can never know if you’re in Dream’s presence. Being in his presence puts you in a dream subject to his will. Vijay realizes that he died of old age and his presence in the dream is so that Beodar or can be here. Anatoly realizes that the beacon he set up in the Sanctuary is what draws Vijay here.

Side note: Jet recalls that just before the Garden of Graves we spoke to Fate. We asked what it would take to make the end safe. She said that Fate grants a boon at weddings.

We decide to go back to the World Serpent’s Inn. Anatoly closes the door to the keep. He bangs on the door and says, “by the power of Fate I enter.”

The doors open into the old bar with Mitchifer and the dwarf servitors and the usual mix of adventurers and avatars as guests. Mitchifer serves us our usuals. Vijay asks for a beer. Mitch first says he looks familiar. Vijay says just one of those faces. Mitchifer says Vijay has an old soul. Anatoli asks Mitchifer how married life is treating him. Mitchifer says fine.

Al asks for directions to the library. Anatoly rifles through the lost and found under the bar to pick up a lost library card. He also finds a glass-steel dagger like Syms. He tosses it to Samshee. She feels warm and fuzzy holding it.

We find the entrance to the library. The sign says “abandon all hope ye who enter here.” The door looks like the door to the World Serpent’s Inn. We open it and it looks like the antechamber of the Almost Gods where we met the members of the Company of Seven who did not make it to godhood. We back out. We discuss which God would be the appropriate one to sponsor entrance to the library. Vijay says, Olidimmara, and pulls out a holy symbol. This time the door opens to a library. The attendant greets him as Resident of Ollamh. We asked who would know about the Endless. People suggest Sandra, who is building sandcastles. Is this name a Sandman reference? Sandra tells us that we can know if we are dreaming if the crystals she gives us are glowing.

Sandra asks us what dream we are in. Anatoly says Therziduun. The room darkens and Sandra says we don’t say that name in the sand areas. Jet asks if Sandra has heard of the Jeddai she says yes. She is a Jedi but there are not a lot of them left.
Sandra says she’s been spending her whole life trying to create a sand castle prison. In that prison, The Prisoner inside can see out and does not know he is imprisoned. She is now retired but she remembers when she was faced with an impossible situation and she was not willing to let someone else make the decision.

The J’Dai are now lead by Zhen Qwan. Sandra’s predecessors just wanted to maintain the prison. Sandra wanted the prison to be preferable to reality. She got too close to the prison and had to let it go. Zen Quan is connected to the sand. If we shake it hard enough, he will come to us. Sandra gives us two extra crystals that she thinks we will need. She tells us when Tharziduun broke out before, he destroyed the Lost quadrant and was infecting the Land of Black Ice.

Anatoly pulls out the Stick of the order wherein Jumper was imprisoned by four Grand illusionists. It is glowing. Anatoly realizes that he cast Dream to go into the stick to talk to the four illusionists. In there the Illusionists are Chain Casting Dream in order to contain Jumper. This is like what Dream of the Endless is doing with Tharziduun.

Jet suggest that we do not need to go back to Dream because if Dream wants us he can get us. However, she does want to meet Jeddai. She thinks that long term we will be in opposition to the Sith and may need help for Maximus.

Anatoli wants to set up a sand Thumper to attract the Jeddai. Jet suggest going to the Invoked Devastation, the Crystal Desert or the Land of Black Ice. Vijay says he suddenly realizes that the head of the bardic college is Jeddai.

Anatoly wants to cast his Dream in the shade of the only living tree in the Invoked Devastation where Murlynd had a house. We teleport into the middle of 40 people in combat. Anatoli changes into the illusion of a 15-foot djin and commands them to leave till dawn. They asked to take some of the healing fruit from the tree. He grants this and they gather two fruit and leave.

Jet examines the tree. It is a baobab tree. Jet uses Speak with Plants to ask for permission to enter the tree’s hollow trunk. The tree grants it. Jet asks about the fruit. The tree says the fruit is given freely but its healing is reserved for those who follow Murlynd’s way.

In the trunk, carved pictures describe seven Wanderers. They show how one achieved godhood through their own adventures and the actions of kindly strangers. We eat one of the baobab fruits and Vijay make some tea from the seeds.

Vijay and Anatoly play Dragon chess while the rest of us watch. We go to sleep and wake up with our crystals glowing, all except for Vijay whose crystal does not glow.

The dragon chess game has progressed into Dragon’s Gambit. One side has a dragon and a bishop at the top level. The other side has all its pawns at the lowest level.

We go outside the tree. Jet sees the world as it was before the Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire. Murlynd’s Hut is now a guardhouse to a great mosque. In the mosque, the map room does not show the land of black ice. Instead, that area is called by its old name, Samaria. Anatoly notes where the big cities were, future tomb raiding opportunities perhaps.

We walk into a room with a big gong. Anatoli strikes the gong. We all feel cold and the room gets dark. Vijay did not hear the gong. A blonde Suelese battlemage walks into the room. He tells Anatoly, you’re a strange looking Jeddai. Anatoly says he isn’t Jeddai but he was looking for one. The Suelese battlemage says we found one. We introduce ourselves. His name is Azek. We tell him we think Tharziduun has threatened to bring our world to an end in 12 hours. Azek says he has not felt this in the sand. Samshee suggests that maybe he has learned to hide the reverberations.

Azek summons the rest of the Jeddai. Jet tells them about the Asitheri Temple at the tomb of Elyssa Ironblade and the wedding. They decide to attack the Sith Temple. Samshee asked if we can come. They agree. We walk through the air into a grand melee. Dukat, the leader of the Sith, is carrying daggers but keeps from engaging. There appear to be seven Sith Lords, 30 worshippers, and 50 Kelmane, all engaged in Grand melee with the Jeddai.

Vijay says that this doesn’t feel right because the two sides both say, “The ends justify the means. The world must be balanced.” Anatoly agrees that this is not right and he turns the battlefield into an Ever Food Fight using Nolzur’s Pigments to make it real.

Ducat and Azek are not affected by the Ever Food Fight. Anatoly talks to the Sith and the Jeddai about what they have in common. While they’re talking, Anatole throws dream crystals on to them. The crystals hang on their equipment. The crystals glow, bringing them into the dream. Now they are affected by the Ever Food Fight. Everyone stops to watch them.

They fight until they are exhausted. Vijay points out that neither side knows anymore what the fight is about. Vijay says that the Sith and Jedi balance each other. Vijay says are you sure this is the right time to release your lord? Have you checked the obelisk? Everyone goes running towards the obelisk. The worshippers around the Obelisk are wandering around confused. The Black Obelisk is now cracked white marble.

Dukat says what have you done? Vijay says what have you done to cause your lord to retreat? Azek says you gave up your righteous anger for a moment to talk. Ducat snarls I will kill you all and leaves. The rest of the Sith also leave.

Jet goes to Elyssa’s grave and tells her what’s been going on. Anatoli starts the ritual of Zagyg around the obelisk. Vijay says “I remember!”, then he collapses and dies. Our crystals stop glowing.

We take Vijay’s body back to the Ollamh College and leave him with the resident there. Then we go to the World Serpent’s Inn. The bar is packed. However, Seemore is not there. Seemore’s fries and gravy are on the table but cold. Mitchifer says Seemore was reading, then frantically flipped through some pages and left.

Anatoli asks after Mitchifer’s wife. He says she’s in the kitchen. We go back there. The lady in the kitchen is a silver-haired human. She wants us to get out so we do.

We asked after the ink black guy. They say he left a couple hours ago. We think he might be in the observatory so we had out there. Al finds him.

He says he is waiting for the dawn. We notice a ring that looks like the Octych. Anatoli tries to pickpocket the ring and gets a different ring. Samshee tries to pickpocket the ring and gets a different ring. Anatoly tries a distraction so Samshee tries again and gets his coin purse.

The ink black guy says he is going to achieve balance four on each side. He says the others will be there soon and perhaps this time the prison may be stronger. The Endless 7 are not balanced. The Gods must learn there is something greater than the gods, that is the Endless.

The ink black guy says not to put the pickpocketed Rings into the lost and found because they will turn into World Serpent’s Inn aspect coins. Anatoly says okay if they are favor coins, he wants a favor. He wants the Octych ring back.

Jet said she wanted to make restitution for the blood spilled in the World Serpent’s Inn. He said it is done and only we remember the blood being spilled.

Anatoli said that restoring the destroyed octant would be good. Ink guy says that the seed has been planted for that. He tells us we need to leave before the end because we will be destroyed by those coming to imprison him. Hate and rage are bound elsewhere by love and he is only here to balance.

Anatoly says he is willing to take the Octych. Ink guy asks if we are all agreed. Samshee says she will be drinking in any case. He hands her the Octych. She relives her life.

We leave to get drinks. Jet thinks she sees Gaia, a lady in white, come and put her arms around ink guy. He puts his head on her shoulder.

In the bar, we get a drink called drunken bards. Anatoli pays for the drinks with an obsidian ring. A whole bunch of people whose faces we can’t see start coming into the bar and then head up to the observatory. We head up as well and are stopped by a pale guy with galaxies for eyes. He says We say we left safe long ago.

He asks for his tokens back. We all give the crystals back except for Anatoly. Anatoly asks for a boon. He asked that the four who sacrificed themselves to imprison Jumper be relieved. The pale guy agrees in a way that suggests ambiguity between Jumper and Tharziduun. He will do his best for the favor. He leaves.

Before we walk in the observatory, Anatoli puts on his mech suit. We walk in to see the ink man on his knees behind Gaia who is defending with a shield of light from the surrounding host of faceless beings. Anatole casts an area-of-effect truesight. We see Raven, Tzetpolka, Osiris, Tuonatar, Zeus, Surya Odin, Foltuss and Hieronymus.

Aldeberon stabs Tuonatar. Osiris tells Al, the revolving door is shut. Samshee sneaks in and puts on a ring. The boundaries of Gaia’s light are pushed out as Gaia is bolstered by our support. She says what are you doing? Jet walks into the circle with Gaia and touches her holy symbol. She invokes the Judgment of the Gods of neutrality. Eight gods of neutrality appear between Gaia and the other gods. Raven, who had not been fighting, says, “I always thought the Gnomes should have been my people.” Raven disappears.

Surya gestures at the mech suit and enhances its technology. Surya and Anatoly face off against each other.

Voices boom out. “We stood by the first time. We will not stand aside again. You will Retreat. You will not upset the balance further.”

Anatoly shoot Surya. Surya attacks with a sword. The Mecca engages electromagnetic defenses and Surya sticks to the Mecca. Anatoli pushes Surya into the vacuum beyond the observation deck.

Odin says to Samshee, you Mortals don’t know what you are doing. Samshee says to Odin, you gods don’t know what you are doing. Samshee throws flour bombs to prevent the watchers from seeing what is going on.

Gaia tells Jet it is too dangerous to be there. Jet says mother I will leave if you want me to. Gaia says no mother wants her child to be in danger.

Odin says, enough. “I banish the onlookers from our world.” Many gods blink away. Then Odin speaks to Gaia, “for seven days I hung on this tree. Only you came to visit. You know this must be.” Gaia says, “for seven days you hung on this tree dying. Only my bringing you water kept you alive.”

Ink black guy says, “I won’t let this happen to you. Perhaps this is not the time for this possibility.” Gaia says, “I won’t lose you again.” Ink guy says, “I will sleep until another possibility.” Odin walks up to Ink and they blink out together.

Aldebaran walks up to Osiris and politely asks for the curse to be removed. Osiris agrees.

Gaia is crying and Jet hugs her. She says his time will come again.

Odin returns. “Mortals, we chose wisely but that does not mean we were correct. Our gaze will not fall on you again.”

Everyone leaves except for Gaia and Loki. Loki kneels to Gaia. He says, “I am sorry for your pain. He is stronger than you think.” Loki leaves.

Anatoly’s mech suit experiences containment breach. He ejects just before the suit crumples into nothing.

Gaia says she must leave to mourn. She kisses Jet and walks into the Mist. We go back down the stairs. We see Dream, and offer to buy him a drink. He says he can’t hold his liquor. Al says pleasant dreams. Dream says, “They were, weren’t they.” To Anatoli, Dream says, “you asked for Boon. I granted it.” Dream hands Anatoly the Suelese rod of command. Dream says the gods needed to imprison somebody.

Jet checks and Samshee is not wearing a ring.

We walk past dream into the bar. The bar is still as arranged by the Valkyrie. However Mitchifer is behind the bar. He asks us to pay our tab, seven gold. We have never been asked to pay for with gold before. We all go home.

Vernard says several things happen after this. No one can hear Tharziduun anymore. The insane people have stopped babbling. No one can find the Asitheri. We can go to the World Serpent’s Inn but we have to claim the patron deity and we have to use the threshold of a building that has existed for some time. The gods have taken their gaze away from us. Mitchifer is just a mortal bartender and there are no gods in the bar that we can see.

From nothing, everything
Yet another potential origin of Oerth

In the beginning there was nothing, and it was satisfied. And as the Nothing knew satisfaction, it became. And in becoming, was no longer nothing. And so possibility existed. That is, that nothing could become something. And there was a point where the Nothing, now something, recalled being simply nothing, an ordering and placing of things was mandated. And thus the three were. That is, nothing, possibility and regulation.

The nothing, desiring again to be nothing as it had been, set forth to return all to that state. But, being entropy, and being un-inclined to do, the part of itself that desired such had to separate and become. And as this separation was possible, and was within the limits of regulation, it came to pass. And this force of destruction and decay was called Tharizdun. The nothing rested awaiting the success of its child to return it to its previous state.

Possibility and regulation began to conspire to save themselves from this new force of entropy and thus four more beings sprang to existence in the cosmos, Earth, Air, Fire and Water took to the empty spaces and began to create on their own. Possibility and regulation were sated with their creations and rested.

As the elements came together they left traces of creation. As time passed for them it became less imperative to direct their creations and so they took to longer and longer rest, trusting their projects and plans to their first-born. They chose Oerth as a haven and stronghold.

Born of primal elements, Oerth was barren and cold, ravaged by the very
elements of its creation. Elementals roamed the surface and battled each other incessantly, warring because they hated their opponents. Fire raged against Water, Earth warred against Air.

In the beginning...
One possible history of Oerth

The Beginning

The first gods to exist, in unknown order were; Beory (Oerth itself), Pelor (god of the Sun and Healing), Nerull (god of Death) and Tharizdun (The mad god). Many hold Tharizdun was first, alone and mad in the darkness. When the others arrived he desired their death because he could only stand being alone. Soon all the gods came into existence. How that happened is a matter each group’s theology addresses. What all agree on is that soon Tharizdun attempted to kill all the other gods.

The Demihuman Deities

Before the Mad god attempted to destroy all others there also arose the god of the Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and different demihumans. The Gnomes insist they are not from Oerth and their home is elsewhere. They are the last race to arrive on Oerth and their claim seems likely. The Elves and Dwarves, however, say that across all the planes of existence and the worlds, Oerth is their home. And much evidence backs their claim. The Dwarves were not born, but forged, by Morradin the All-Father.

The Elves came about due to a battle. When the father of all elves, Corellon Larethian, came to be he was met by the father of all Orcs, Grummnsh. An immediate hatred was born and the two fought across Oerth. Where their blood fell, elves and orcs arose. Corellon took Grummnsh’s eye and as the battle reached a climax the god war erupted.

The Mad God

Desiring to be the only thing alive, and some believe it wanted nothing alive at all, Tharizdun attempted to destroy all life. So great was his power that it took the collected might of all gods, human and demi-human, good, evil and neutral to subdue it. They cast it into a deep sleep and locked it in a prison beyond the known planes of existence. No one knows where that prison is, but no one on Oerth will speak the name Tharizdun. Because if you do, it wakes slightly and hears. Even in prison and asleep, the mad god is not powerless. It answers the prayers of it’s few mad followers.

The God Pact
After the war, the Gods agreed that they would not interfere in the affairs of Oerth directly. Should they come to battle, they knew full well, everything would be destroyed. Some leeway is given to the elves and orcs since they are made from the blood of their gods. For these races the relationship is closer. For humans, except on rare occasions, all interaction is through the clerics and their ability is limited to some degree. This pact only binds all gods except for Beory since she is Oerth itself. It also does not bind a god who was once a human. This flaw of the pact would eventually undo everything.

The Marriage of Destiny and Fate



After our meeting with Despair, we knew that Fate was in the Land of Black Ice. So we head there. Jet tries Commune with Nature and gets hit with a 300 hp lightning bolt, also known as a clue-by-four. So we head to Haven (Bubbleworld) to recuperate.

The chimp bartender, Bobo, is talkative and sociable and asking for a girlfriend. Since he never spoke before, we are shocked. Anatoli figures out that Bobo’s new personality is somehow related to Bobo’s have acquired an aspect of Mitchifer. We convince Bobo to leave Bubbleworld and go to the World Serpent Inn.

We don’t see Bobo at the World Serpent’s Inn, we don’t see Bobo. Instead we do see that the Inn has been rearranged into seating areas. Each of us is drawn to a different table with the people we would most like to talk to, thus effectively splitting the party.

We do see Mitchifer, who tells us he has just gotten back from his bachelor party. He is planning to marry.

Maximus is drawn to a table of Sith, including Antarcus (the anti-ranger), some Tharziduun khelmane, and a ink-black human priest of Tharziduun. Jet was reminded of the inkstone that Maxximilien B. Thornblade’s mother used to make those eerie drawings. Maximus vents about his horrible life and how mistreated he is. The Sith are understanding and take his side.

Anatoli decides to lighten the mood by slapping Maximus with a towel. (Slapstick comedy. Haha.) This just makes Maximus angrier. He ignores Anatoli, and the Sith question why he puts up with this abuse. The gnome continues to antagonize. Eventually Maximus uses Telekinesis to body slam Anatoli. Anatoli continues to slap Maximus. Maximus draws his sword and attack, wounding the gnome.

Aldeberon attacks Maximus with Orion Missile. (Al has now spilled blood on the ground at the Inn.) Maximus’s return blow removes Al’s Diamond Skin. Al attacks Maximus again with Magic Missile. Maximus’s next blow removes Al’s Contingency Diamond Skin.

Tarl thinks that the fight might be instigated by something at the Sith table, so he tries to cast Dispel Evil through his Mace of
Disruption, striking at the Sith’s table. This has no apparent effect. Samshi goes under the table to see what might be there, and then decides that is the safest place to stay.

The next round, Maximus attacks Tarl. Anatoli smacks Maximus again.

Next round, Tarl says he won’t attack a comrade. Aldeberon casts Power Word Stun against Maximus, which succeeds.

Next round. Al puts up Walls of Force to separate the combatants. The ink-black guy takes the Walls of Force down. Since Maximus is stunned, Tarl tries to Plane Shift Maximus away to Haven. However, Maximus actually ends up at Angela’s orphanage.

While all this is going on, Jet is out of temporal phase talking to Anita the Red.

Next everyone in the room gets ready to celebrate the wedding of Mitchifer and his bride — who turns out to be Fate. Anatoli is the ring-bearer. He looks at the bride’s ring, and notices that it has an onyx gem, full of endless possibilities. (editorial comment – perhaps an octych?)

They ask if anyone has just cause to protest this union. The ink-black guy protests, and is overruled.

Anatoli summons Zagyg, who shows up and zips his mouth closed, Beetlejuice-style.

Mitchifer says his vows, and his bride puts the ring on Mitchifer’s finger. The bride says her vows, and instead of Anatoli handing Mitchifer the ring, Anatoli gives the ring to ink-guy. The ink guy puts it on, and says thank you. Then ink-guy throws the ring at the bride. The ring is now inert.

The ink guy says to the couple, “You have 24 hours to enjoy the honeymoon.” He leaves.

Now the group starts to brainstorm. Anatoli communes with the guards who have bound Jumper to the Suelese Scepter. Anatoli wants to release Jumper to help thwart the oncoming Armageddon. The guards point out the Jumper would not cooperate with thwarting Armageddon.

We think that we might be able to use the octich that belongs to Maximus. We look for him and Aldeberon finds him at Angela’s. Maximus sees him and slams the door in his face. Al knocks again, and Maximus slams the door in his face again.

Samshi leaves a message with Angela telling Maximus what happened since he left.

The Search for Delirium
Slave Lords Part 2

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, we were following a Windship. The Windship had brought money and supplies to the mine and seemingly had taken the the “mined product” away. Anatoli (still in deep cover as the thief Corwen) had noticed that the supply ship had twice the normal amount of delivery and twice the normal amount of pickup.

Anatoli goes down into the deep mine to talk with the head of mining, a human with oddly short legs named Kobold. Kobold makes him wear an air filter, and takes him deeper into the mine. In the deep mine, Anatoli’s skin fluoresces. Kobold says that is the mark of an “upper”, someone from the upper world. Kobold talks to him about the effects of being underground. Kobold takes “Corwen” down to the site of current mining activity. Apparently, the miners broke through a quartz wall into what seems to be a derro house. Anatoli sees a slave come out with saddlebags for of the processed octagonal crystals. Another slave comes out with saddlebags of unprocessed crystals. Kobold says Corwen was not supposed to be on the boat. However, since the mine is producing more crystal now, Kobold needs more supplies. Kobold gives Anatoli/Corwen a single octagonal crystal and tells him to stay on the boat and take notes.

Tarl suggests that the derro savants had ways of identifying upperworlders and poisoning them.

Corwen/Anatoli gets back on the ship. He is playing cards with some guys when suddently they unlash some chests and batten down others. As soon as they finish, a 50 foot Scorpion King (man’s head and torso, on a giant scorpion body) erupts from the sand. The unlashed chests are sucked into the sand. From the insertion point rises two dozen giant scorpions with the faces of anguished men.

The captain of the Windship, Captain Siptah, climbs a mast and throws his scimitar to attack a scorpion. Next round he leaps down for a backstab. Maxximus sneaks in close enough to use a Sash of Charisma. He tells the Scorpion King to “Go home.” The Scorpion King starts to sink into the ground. The hole created in the sand starts to suck in the Windship. Aldeberan Shape Changes into sand to keep the ship from sinking.

When the dust settles, Captain Siptah has kkilledills many of the scorpion things. He pulls out a holy symbol of Celestian, and blesses the dead sailors. He says this was unusual. Normally, he would expect some purple worms in this area. He also says that three of the sailors who died in the attack and whose bodies are now missing were close friends. Anatoli/Corwent recalls that one of the missing men was involved in loosening the ropes of the now missing chests.

Aldeberan investigates and finds a fist sized ruby in the sand where the Scorpion King disappeared. Anatoli/Corwen collects the poison glands from the dead scorpion things. The sailors work for several hours to pull the ship out of the sand.Then the ship proceeds on to t e next delivery point.

Al uses his Shape Change to become an Earth Elemental and transport Maxximus, Samshee and Jet ahead to where the delivery was supposed to be. Samshee feels the heartbeat of a huge creature below the sand. Coming out of the sand is a man on a metal horse. It looks like Robilar. The horse bears the standard of Robilar, a red flag with a circle of lightning bolts and a white R. We remember earlier seeing a caravan of 5 ships with a white flag, a circle of lightning bolts, and a red R. “Robilar” waits for a while and then leaves.

About an hour later, two dozen scorpion things arise from the sand and
the heartbeat fades away as if leaving. A hooded guy shows up, on a
marble slab. The slab has the same type of navigation symbols on it
as the earlier one that transported Anatoli/Corwen to the mine. The
hooded guy looks around, then taps the stone and disappears.

When the Windship finally arrives, the captain says that the normal
pickup is a guy on a magical horse. Since he is not there, the
captain decides to go on to the Oasis.

In the Oasis, Anatoli heads towards the drinks tent. He is told he can
buy beer but water is free. He meets with Robilar? Bilaro?(we suspect
this is the mirror Bilaro from the Castle Greyhawk adventure, but we
never get his name). Bilaro seems to be willing to pick up the
crystals/dweornite. Anatoli plies him with beer. After 10 drinks,
Anatoli put-pockets a ring of weakness onto Bilaro. Then Samshee
sashays in and lures him back to his room with the intention of

Bilaro is so drunk that he ignores the presence of Maxximus in his
room. Samshee helps Bilaro disrobe. Bilaro then falls unconscious.
Anatoli’s True Sight reveals that this guy is a mirror image of
Robilar. Samshee steals all his stuff, including magic gauntlets,
magic girdle, magic armor and magic broadsword. Note: the name of the
sword is Black Ice.

In the center of the Oasis, Anatoli sees with True Sight a water
elemental trapped between plans and crying. Its tears are the water
source for this oasis. Anatoli sees shackles on the elemental lady’s
feet, binding her to an odd looking rock.

We bring in Tarl, who casts Slow Poison on Bilaro to reduce the
effects of alcohold poisoning. Maxximus starts to interrogate Bilaro.
Bilaro smiles and disappears. The rest of us notice a scrying attempt
in the room. Aldeberan casts Dispel Magic on the scrying point and it
goes away.

Back in the drinks tent, Captain Siptah comes in and wonders where
their contact is. Anatoli says he met the guy, and he wandered away
with a dancing girl in veils. Anatoli points out where the metal horse
used to be. The tracks lead to the fountain and then out into the

Eventually a person in a brown hooded cloak with a staff shows up. He
taps the chests and they disappear. He hands a small leather chest to
Anatoli and a pouch of gems to Siptah. Anatoli put-pockets a bit of
Anatoli’s fingernail onto the hooded man. The hooded man asks if
Corwen/Anatoli is ready. Anatoli is confused and the man gets
suspicious. Anatoli acts drunk and pitiful because of his horrible
day. The man smiles and gives him money for a meal and a room for the
night, and a scroll of transportation that will get him to the
rendezvous the next morning.

We follow the metal horse’s hoof prints out to the desert, to the
point where they disappear into a spiral in the sand. A giant ant
lion shows and and we kill it.

Al identifies the huge tear drop ruby. It gives its wearer protection
from fire.

Al uses the Eye of Thera to find the origin of the Tears of Delirium.
He sees a lady in a tavern having a terrific time. Off in the corner,
a manacled lady is crying. Occasionally someone comes by to collect
the tears. It appears to be in the Great Kingdom, in the far eastern
area in an abandoned fort. An Augury reveals that the Tavern entrance
is in Veluna, nowhere near the Great Kingdom.

Anatoli, accompanied by Jet the Safety Rat, uses the teleport scroll.
Al watches him, using the Eye of Thera. For a moment, Al sees
Beyodar, and then the Eye focuses on Anatoli. Anatoli/Corwen and Jet
show up in a barracks, with two soldiers playing cards. He sees
Trelane, a mage and a lieutenant in Veluna, who delivered the Tears of
Delirium to Corwen. Trelane asks if he has been successful in
infiltrating the Iuz Bane. Anatoli/Corwen says he has had some
success. Trelane of Veluna seems to be trying to find the money behind
the Slave Lords.

The rest of the party go to Veluna. While headed toward the Mage’s
Guild, we see the entrance to the tavern that we believe to be holding
Despair. We enter the bar and Maxximus asks Despair why she is there.
She says that is where she last saw her sister, Delight. Once she
leaves, she will only be able to remember her sister as Delirium.

The other people in the bar are Despair’s khelmane. Maxximus asks where Fate is. Despair says, “She is currently in the Land of Black

Maxximus and Anatoli explain that Despair’s tears are being used to create drugs that enslave people. Despair gets mad. The City
Comptroller comes in to collect the tears. Despair focuses on the Comptroller and his guards. They begin to die – aging, asphixiation,
heart attack, suicide.

Anatoli tells Despair these people are only pawns. Maxximus asks Despair to help us find her mother. Despair says, “50 miles east of
the Castle of Fire and Ice, in the Land of Black Ice, North of the Kingdoms of Iuz.”

Despair and her khelmane retinue leave. On her way out, she curses the comptroller, “You will never know happiness again.” Anatoli
performs a mercy killing on the comptroller.

The bartender does not recall Despair being there.

The Search for Delirium
Enter the Slave Lords

General knowledge. The encampment of Tharziduun worshippers is getting a lot of traffic. Many of new Critwall’s ‘undesirables’ have
left for Greyhawk and Dyvers. Law enforcement in New Critwall has become very lawful neutral and the officers have the power of summary execution for endangering the city.

Maximus and Jet each receive a note, “Heard you were looking for the Lady. Might have a lead. Meet you in Dyvers, at the Leaping Frog
Inn.” We know that bar. It is run by Pollywog, a short guy with almost no neck who is a retired adventurer. He makes people who start
fights in his bar have to eat a frog from his collection of frogs.

Samshee and Al leave early for the Leaping Frog in disguise. Anatoli surreptitiously keeps watch on the outside of the bar. Maximus and Jet walk in and chat with Pollywog. We drink to absent companions. He tells us that our contact is in his office. We check our link and are surprised that Tarl checks in.

In Pollywog’s office, we meet a thin, young man who introduces himself as Mister Corwen of Five Oaks. He heard that we were looking for the Lady Fate. He tells about an instantly addictive drug being sold in the Bright Desert. It is made from the tears of a woman, and is called Delirium. The drug is keeping the slaves in the mines of the Bright Desert in line. It is being distributed from the Great Marsh. The head of the distribution network is named Thule. Thule uses dessert svirfneblin and their underground railroad to deliver his goods in the desert. Corwen said he heard Thule say, “This will be the best con in the world as long as the Iuz Bane don’t find out.” Corwen knows of Jet, since her first grove was near Five Oaks. He says his mother spoke highly of Jet. Corwen says he walked away from his job, because he could not stand the way the drug destroyed the ‘soul’ (will?) of the addicts. He
expects Thule to be after him.

Anatoli sneaks into Pollywog’s office and talks to Corwen for a while to get a sense of his accent and some basic information. Anatoli also asks what Corwen would have done if we had not shown up. Corwen said he regularly spends time with a prostitute (elven? half-elven?) in the city. He would have gone there. Anatoli wants to go undercover in Thule’s organization as Corwen. Anatoli switches clothes with Corwen and sees that Corwen has a Wizard Mark on his shoulder. This is very odd since Wizard Marks can only be placed on objects.

Anatoli uses Nolzur’s Pigments to create the Mark on his own body. True Sight reveals that Corwen is a 13th level thief. The Wizard Mark belongs to Emirikol the Chaotic of The Greyhawk Wizard Guild. True Sight also shows that Corwen regularly uses potions. Corwen says it is a potion of ESP. He is also wearing a holy symbol of Istus.

We put Corwen to sleep with Jet’s sleep dust and put Corwen in Anatoli’s bag. Jet asks Anatoli to look over Corwen’s note for a
hidden message, now that we know Corwen is a thief. There is a message in Assassin’s cant. “Thule is seeking to overthrow the King of

Out in the bar, Samshee and Al note that a guy dressed all in gray has finished his dinner. He talks in Pollywog for a bit and gives him a
frog from Down Under for Pollywog’s collection. Pollywog refers to him as Gray. Anatoli, now disguised as Corwen, goes out and sits at the bar. Gray comes up and sits next to Anatoli. Anatoli insults Gray’s wine. They converse in Thieves Cant. Gray walks away.

Maximus and Jet leave to check into a nearby hotel. Al follows us in disguise to see who follows us. Samshee stays behind to back up

A red-headed dandy in brightly colored clothes and a rapier and main gauche ignores us but starts to follow Al. Al’s ESP gives no thoughts from the dandy, a condition true of undead but also occurs with psionic protections and non-detection. The dandy bumps into Al. The dandy reeks of perfume so Al casts Freshen. The spell bounces. The guy challenges Aldebaron to a duel. Al tries to walk away, but the dandy says, “Are you walking away from a fight, Aldeberon Orion?”

Since Al is in disguise, Al is really surprised. He comes back. The guy says he is looking for revenge. Al killed him during that period
of insanity when Al had been making potions and made one incorrectly. Al had paid for all the people he killed to be raised from the dead. Unfortunately, this guy stayed alive only for one week and died again. This started a pattern of living for a week, dying, and reviving. His wife had buried him, and he had not been able to get out of his grave for a year. His wife had remarried and now sees him as a monster. The dandy says Al can call him Grundy. Grundy asks after Al’s wife.

Grundy draws his weapons and offers Al first strike. Al attacks with a sword and sees that Grundy bleeds red. Then Al encloses Grundy in a hemispherical Wall of Force. Grundy says he will do nothing to harm Al if Al lets him leave. Al drops the Wall of Force, tosses in a spell stone with a Fireball on it, and raises the Sphere of Force again. Al then triggers the Fireball. The guy burns to death over several rounds. People come out into the street and the city guard arrive. Jet and Maximus distract the guards while Al casts Disintegrate on the corpse. A death wail (like a Banshee Wail) is heard. We survive but all the guards and innocent bystanders die, perhaps 20 people.

We go back to Sanctuary and ask Tarl to cast Augury to see if using a wish to keep the people from dying of the Death Wail would benefit or harm the party. The Augury says benefit. Al uses the meta magic staff to cast Wish so that the people who died from the Death Wail instead made their save.

In the meantime, back in the bar… Anatoli acts scared like Gray has made him and runs out of the bar as if to leave through the back. Gray leaves from the front. Three guys follow Gray. Samshee follows the three guys. Three other guys come in through the back door. Anatoli distracts these guys by throwing something in a far corner and slips out the back door.

Just outside the door, Anatoli bumps into a short, invisible guy. The invisible guy says he is there to help, but he wants to know why
Corwen left. Anatoli said it just got to him. He needed two days. The guy says it is about that girl, isn’t it? He (Corwen) has two
days, but Corwen knows what will happen if Corwen doesn’t come back after that.

We all regroup in Sanctuary. Corwen had a token which needs to be taken to a particular shaman. The Shaman takes the token and uses a wand and a stone with an inscribed circle to transport Anatoli to a mine in the desert.

Anatoli (still posing as Corwen) tells us over the link that the entrance to the mine looks like a sand lion pit – which makes exit
very, very difficult. Over the next two weeks, Anatoli discovers that there are several mines, connected by the svirfneblin railroad. Only
the slaves in the lowest mines receive the drug Delirium, because 1) the drug destroys intelligence but 2) the drug protects again the
gases found in that part of the mine. That part of the mine appears to be a source of dweornite, the raw material of an untemplated ioun stone.

Aldeberon looks into the Wizard Guild records to learn more about Emirikol. Apparently, he kept trying experiments that the Wizard Guild would learn about and then have to ban. (Who knew that the Guild needed to have a ban against grafting tentacles onto living people? Who knew that the Guild needed to have a ban against vivisection? Now they know.) Emirikol was an Oeridian with red skin, long black hair, a thin mustache, and tended to wear breeches and sleeveless shirts. He is rumored to live in a castle surrounded by whirling air carrying chunks of rock and metal.

During his duties as a courier, Anatoli determines that the pattern of the teleport stones appears to use the symbols of celestial navigation to indicate the destination. They are carved into marble slabs. The marble slabs are moved around to allow different entry points.

Jet asks her earth element assistant, Rockon, if there is a place where rock and metal whirl around in a circle around a castle. (Note:
Stonedar is still recovering from moving all the dragon bone back to the Elemental Plane of Earth.) Rockon comes back having found some dust devils who have been hanging out at just such a location.

Anatoli has discovered 12 mines where dweornite is being dug up (and therefore 12 locations where Delirium is being administered). There are at least 40 mines on the svirfneblin railroad. The railroad worker sverfnibblen all have necklaces of enchanted stones. The
non-slave overseers are paid with gold minted in Urnst. The gold is delivered by sandship, manned by the desert people.

When next Anatoli is selected to pick up the Delirium, he plans to ‘put pocket’ a bit of his fingernail on the delivery guy. We plan to
track where that goes.

We decide to follow the money until Anatoli goes to pick up the Delirium. Jet asks the desert buzzards to find the mine with a sand
lion funnel type entrance. They do so. We intend to shadow those guys to learn more about the operation. However, we do not intend to engage. Our primary focus is finding out about the Delirium.

Empress to the Orc Nation! or not.

Prologue: Encounter with the Hooded Ones

We are at the World Serpent’s Inn. Maxximus is returning to our table after a visit with Struva. In front of him are a bunch of 5 of Tharziduun’s khelmane and a 6th person hidden in a hood. Maxximus feels a faint awareness that there is someone nearby — like the “buzz” in Highlander.

The five khelmane and the hooded guy sit at a table. An adventuring group lead by a cleric of Pholtus head toward that table. The cleric tells the khelmane to leave. Strega, the former Valkyrie who now runs the bar, warns everyone that fighting is not permitted in. The cleric
pulls the hood back from the hooded guy and then stumbles back in horror. The now unhooded man says “You will never sleep again.” and rehoods himself. The Pholtus cleric’s group leaves the bar area. Then a hooded female shows up in the bar and the khelmane and the hooded man leave with her.

As a bit of background: Only gods originally ascended from the Prime Material Plane can have their holy warriors (khelmane) show up on the Prime Material Plane. At least that was true when Fate was living in the World Serpent Inn. Who knows if that is true now? The gods we
know of that ascended from the Prime include Iuz, Sym, Hexus and various members of the Company of Seven such as Zagig, Keoghtom, Murlynd, Nolzur, Tasha/Iggwilv, Quaal, and Heward.

The Orcish Empire:

When Maxximus and Samshee investigated the Pomarj before, they found that Turosh Mak (a half orc) was having astonishing, unprecedented success uniting the tribes of orcs and half orcs and other humanoids. Turosh Mam’s two lieutenants are G’nort (half orc, half hill giant)
and G’rowl (half orc, half gnoll). The priests that surround Turosh Mac are priests of Lugrash. In the orcish pantheon, Grummsh is the chief and Lugrash is Grummsh’s strategist.

We ask Vijay what he might know about Samshee and her history that might explain why she had khelmane chasing her on the Prime Material Plane. Vijay thinks that Turosh Mak is Samshee’s father. Someone learned this fact and was trying to capture Samshee to use in a plot involving Turosh Mak.

Samshee thinks she can do best by revealing her kinship directly to Turosh Mak and the fact that someone was trying to capture her probably to use her against him. We think we might be able to get an audience with Turosh Mak by impersonating a hogoblin leader. We go to
Highport, near the Pomarj, and Anatoli makes us look like a hobgoblin caravan. We ride into hobgoblin territory with a wagon of beer laced with a mild sleep poison. We make our way to the camp of Ulan, and give out “free samples” of the beer we are trying to sell. The hobgoblins have a party. Maxximus has fun drinking and wenching. Some fall asleep from the beer. Aldeberon’s Sleep spell takes out some more. Samshee’s sap knocks out Ulan, the leader of this group. We pop the 12 highest ranked members of the group into Anatoli’s bag
(Bucknard’s Purse). Aldeberon Shapechanges into Ulan, and we walk out, looking like Ulan and his lieutenants. He tells anyone who asks that he is going for more beer and he will be back when he is ready.

Jet takes a Malta’s Carpet and Walks Through Trees to get near Turosh Mak’s court. The rest of the party Malta to join her. Anatoli makes us look like the 12 highest ranked members of Ulan’s clan. Al, of course, still looks like Ulan. We make our way into camp and G’rowl eventually finds us and asks our business. Al says we are there to discuss an alliance with Turosh Mac. G’rowl will only let a “few” of us in. Anatoli stays out in the outer area to maintain the illusion of the large entourage. The rest of us go in.

Al (as Ulan) negotiates a treaty with Turosh Mac – Turosh’s support against the other hobgoblins and recognition of Ulan’s territory as covering all territory held by other hobgoblins in exchange for Ulan’s support in Turosh’s campaigns. Ulan also agrees to pay taxes.

When the agreement is reached, Al gets close enough to whisper to Turosh that he has a secret to share. Turosh and Al and Samshee and G’rowl go into a private room and Al reveals that Samshee is Turosh’s daughter. Turosh is impressed because he knows Al is not Ulan, and he thinks Samshee manipulated Al into setting this up. Samshee describes the khelmane who were chasing her in Greyhawk. Turosh identifies the symbol on those khelmane as Clabash, a tribal insignia of orcs loyal to Sym. Turosh suggests that Samshee publically announce her lineage in front of the orcs. That would give her the protection of his name.
He also suggests that she could stay there and spend time with her people.

Back in the main room, Maxximus gets into a brawl with 15 or so orcs. He easily defeats them and goes back to drinking and wenching.

Turosh sends Al back out to the main room to have some private time with Samshee. He congratulates Samshee on her successful manipulation of “Ulan”. He knows that the real Ulan would never have dared to come here after sending Turosh’s envoys back with their eyes gouged out. Turosh offers Samshee a bone necklace with the symbol of House Mak. He
promises to tell his agents to leave Samshee alone.

Turosh offers us the hospitality of his camp. We go to a tent. Anatoli checks the bone necklace with True Sight. It appears to be a holy item of Grummsh.

Al uses Shapechange to investigate the camp as dog, orc, bat, and invisible stalker. He sees nothing unusual except Turosh’s magic spear.

Maxximus also takes a look around. His Detect Magic reveals that all twelve of Turosh’s generals have some kind of magic effect. Also, the generals’ tents all have some magic wards. G’rowl’s tent has a much stronger ward than the generals – the ward of a 9th level cleric.
Talking to the generals, Maxximus finds that each general was defeated by Turosh using a magic spear. The wound that each got from that spear has never healed.

Jet tries Commune with Nature. Nature asks permission to establish an orcish druid, since no other race stays in the area. Jet remembers her own long-ago decision to expel the orcs from her after Sym’s death directly from Grummsh’s hands. She decides she should demonstrate
that she does accept the orcs now as fully equal to the other sentient races and agrees to permit orcish druids.

Turosh invites Samshee back to his tent to discuss family matters. Jet tells Samshee that she will keep a surreptitious (shape-changed) eye on their meeting as a safety net to ensure nothing happens against Samshee’s will. Samshee goes over to Turosh’s tent. He pours her
some wine, pays her somecompliments. She asks about his spear. He says is is the Tear of Grummsh. It formed when Grummsh’s eye was destroyed by Corellon. It will kill any elf it touches. He says he also has another spear, which he hints is kept hidden by his brothers.
She asks how he came to be so powerful. He cuts his palm with a stone knife and drips his blood into a goblet. He adds some wine and offers her the blood-laced drink. He tells her it is addictive. She drinks. She does not remember what happens next.

When she wakes up a few hours later, she is naked and euphoric. She has a few cuts and bites. Turosh is sitting some distance away, clothed, staring at her. He says he is impressed by her strength and resiliency. He offers her a 1000 orcs bowing down. She says she is
not excited by that. He asks her what she wants and she feels some pressure in her head. He invites her to stay in his camp until she figures out what she wants. He says that the blood drink proved she was of the blood of the tribe Mac, since she did not die. He knows
she is not his daughter, because the pull is too strong. However, he thinks this is an advantage.

Samshee asks Turosh Mac for more of his blood to feed her wailing club. He leaves her a small vial of blood and tells her to talk to G’rowl who would be delighted to bless and seal her club.

She goes to visit G’rowl to ask for help with her club. G’rowl says she needs a high priest of Grummsh, and he is not a high priest of Grummsh. He still has both eyes, even though he wears an eyepatch that he pulls down to examine the club.

G’rowl tells G’nort that Samshee is family. G’nort hugs her. G’rowl promises to find her a high priest of Grummsh.

Samshee rejoins our group. Jet reports on what happened while she spied on the meeting of Samshee and Turosh. After drinking the blood, Samshee’s eyes turned red black and she attacked him ferociously with feet and teeth. He defended himself. She then kissed him and started to take her clothes off. He started to move toward the bed. She collapsed unconscious. After a little while, she woke up and attacked him again. Again he defended. Again, she kissed him. He started to respond and she went unconscious again. This happened one more time. He seemed to be waiting for something dramatic to happen, but it
didn’t. Its worth nothing that during their encounter Samshee bit Turosh’s right arm deeply enough to leave a wou**nd. She also at some point bit her own arm. She was slightly bezerk at times.

We head out. We drop the hobgoblins back at their own camp. Samshee put a couple of drops of Turosh’s blood on her club. A blood line forms. She talks to Fuqua (Sym’s orc shaman) and he senses something different about her. He tells her to keep her club nearby because she is now irresistable to orcs. He thinks a priest blessed her. She tells him about drinking Turosh’s blood. He tells her this is an orcish ritual to share the power in the blood. He also tells her that if she gets a priest to bless her club, she should afterwards bash
that priests head in. She gives her club to Fuqua and he chants over it. She thinks the club now feels good in her hands. He says he has to do some research, but he thinks he could seal the club, but it would be slower than if a priest of Grummsh did it.

Tharzidun Has Arisen:

Maxximus notices his Cold Obsidian rods need recharging from Tharzidun’s Obelisk. He last charged them at the Obelisk at the tom of Maxximilian Thornblade’s Mother, Ehlyssa Ironblade. We go there to find an encampment of khelmane around the Obelisk. The khelmane have apparently disassembled Alyssa’s house and used the parts to build the camp.

The khelmane explain that Tharzidun awoke a few months ago. He has risen to establish the balance. They explain that Tharzidun has been misunderstood because he originally allied with evil powers to take out the good powers who were ascendant. When evil became in
ascendence, he started taking out evil powers. All he wanted to do was just maintain the balance.

Jet suspects that the time of the awakening of all these old sleeping god corresponds to Fate leaving the World Serpent Inn.

Maxximus goes into the room with the Obelisk. It is very cold, so he puts on his robes from Tharzidun’s temple. He touches his rods to the Obelisk and they are recharged. He kneels and meditates on the words of the priests. The supplicants around the obelisk are praying and he recognizes that all the worshipers have an overpowering hatred of something and want redress for the injustice that they have suffered. All worshipers have a rod of Cold Obsidian in front of them, but none of the rods are charged. In one corner, a diaper-clad old man in a huge metal horned helmet mumbles that the dark lord has returned. Dark incense is being burned in this room.

A priest tells us that Ehlyssa Ironblade’s grave has been moved. We know that Alyssa Ironblade had one son (Maximilien B. Thornblade) by her elven lover (Gideon Oakthorn) and another son (Oyo) by her human lover (Malachi). Malachi was a priest of Tharzidun, who sacrified Oyo to attempt to resurrect Tharzidun. Alyssa now has a massive mausoleum decorated with Alyssa’s art and filled with the smoke of more dark incense. The inscription on her tomb now reads, “Here lies the Holy Mother, Alyssa Ironblade, who bore both sons of Tharzidun.” Maxximus feels that the tomb is warm in the otherwise freezing mausoleum.

A hooded priest shows up. He gives Maxx the same “buzz” of awareness as the hooded guy in the World Serpent Inn. He lifts his hood. It is Antarcus, the anti-ranger whose previous appears drove Maxximus to homicidal fury. Now, Maxximus does not feel that rage. Antarcus greets Maxximus pleasantly. Maxximus asks Antarcus for his story. Antarcus says he lost his goddess’ favor because he murdered a man to get that man’s wife. Antarcus’ goddess (Beory) refused to allow Antarcus to atone. Antarcus no longer hates other rangers. Now he hates Beory. When Tharzidun manifests, Tharzidun will teach Antarcus (and the other knights of the Asitheri) how to kill gods. Tharzidun will have justice for his millenia of imprisonment. (Note: The foes of the Asitheri are the J’dai. Yes, gentle readers, this is a Sith vs Jedi grudge match.)

We head back to the World Serpent’s Inn. We take a look at the wall of gods. In the area of the sleeping gods, Tharzidun’s “picture” has disappeared. In a different area, a new unlabeled picture of a faceless swordsman has appeared.

Eight khelmane have a table in the Inn. On the table is more burning dark incense. Samshee goes over there, and at first feels the cold. However, one of the khelmane says she is balanced, and the cold sensation disappears. Samshee sits and talks to them for a long time.
Jet is astonished because khelmane have never before had personalities, individualized appearances, or casual conversations. Jet finds this to be beyond strange.

The Meta Magic Staff

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, Al was using the Metamagic Staff to cast 9th level spells as 8th level spells. Using the staff to cast the a spell as a lower level spell took three charges. Casting any spell into the staff charged the staff with the number of charges equal to the level of the spell. By Jet’s calculation, this meant three first level Light Spells would allow Al to cast the 9th level spell Wish which he could not cast before. Because of this power imbalance, Jet thinks the staff must therefore be receiving its power from some external force. Since it was a key component in an Infernal Engine, Jet thinks it is probably connected to an Abyssal Power. ( Either that or we are still trapped inside Aldeberon’s mind )

We are sitting in the Adventurers’ Guild bar, when Al receives a telepathic message from his Simulacrum in Questor. “There is a
problem.” His Simulacrums are dissolving into snow melt. We use our Sanctuary badges and tattoos to get to Questor. The sky is dark and there is a necrotic chill in the air. Large undead of many different types (some level-draining) are everywhere. Everyone there looks shadowy like on the Plane of Shadow, but we glow. We take damage every round. Jet feels disconnected from all planes and believes she will go incurably insane in 10 rounds.

Round 1: Al’s Metamagic Staff throbs as if about to overload. He casts Orion’s Missile using the staff to eliminate casting time and feels a sense of release. (What! The! Heck! is up with that? The staff automatically charges on Negative Material energy? Warning! Warning!) Maxximus destroys undead with his Cold Obsidian Maces. Anatoli’s True Sight reveals that we are on a brand new demiplane. The center of the new plane is inside Al’s tower. The demiplane is one of undeath, where the monsters have 10 times their normal hit points. Jet brings up a Wall of Fire.

Round 2: Combat occurs. We think that the people originally at the the keep have been converted to undead. Anatoli pulls out a portrait of Al’s wedding.

Round 3: We all walk through the portrait. Inside the portrait, an imaginary wedding of Al and Crysania is taking place. Anatoli
receives a Kodagnome of the wedding from a younger version of himself. We walk out into Crysania’s study, where the matching portrait is hung. Jet’s Wall of Fire is now a fiery halo over her head.

Round 4: Ice Demons attack. Possibly they are the undead form of Al’s Simulacrums. Maxximus’ Cold Obsidian Maces and Jet’s fiery halo take them out.

Round 5: We rush to the top floor. There is a demi lich with his hands around Crysanian’s throat. The demilich says, “I want to see who was playing with my things.” Anatoli with his True Sight can see that there are five gems in a pouch around the demilich’s neck. Four gems are the ones needed to recharge the Metamagic Staff. The 5th gem appears to be the demilich’s soul gem.

Round 6: Anatoli uses Nolzur’s Pigments and his True Sight to create an exact replica of the demilich’s soul gem. Anatoli then holds the fake gem up and says, “You have something we want. We have something you want.” The demilich reflexively reaches for the gem in his pouch, releasing his hold on Crysania.

Round 7: Samshee pushes Crysania out of the way. Maxximus uses his maces and Jet throws her fire halo and the lich’s skull explodes.

Round 8: Anatoli grabs the soul gem out of the pouch and uses Codex Killer on it. It was the focus of the creation of this demiplane, so it causes the bubble of undeath energy to pop. Jet feels her connection to the other planes restored. Yeah!

Anatoli summons Tarl (Class 6 emergency) to come deal with all the undead running around Questor. Al and Tarl look at the “fake” soul gem and see that it now contains the soul of the demilich. Tarl and Crysania ritually destroy the original soul gem and the “fake” soul gem. Al Disintegrates the dust. Jet uses a spell to lay the soul to rest.

We head to the College of Rel Astra and Lo Rel Tarma to find a sage or two on sleeping gods (Wotan’s awakening raises some questions in our minds), the Ace of Spades (the previous owner of the Metamagic Staff) and the Plane of Undeath.

Maxximus visits the Martial College to investigate an odd triangular scar. They tell him a triangle of bone was cut out of his skull, and then re-inserted. The meticulous work suggests elven craftsmanship. They speculate that the drow did it and that it potentially explains his extreme violence and hatred of drow. It would be part of the process of turning him into a perfect weapon against other drow.

Another sage tells Anatoli that his dagger, Codex Killer, is actually the tooth of a Tarasque. It was taken by some member of the Company of Seven and fashioned into a holdout blade. Since then it has been regenerating. It is already a large dagger.

Jet gets a list of some notable sleeping gods. Wotan (Norse, father of Odin), Cronus (Greek Titan, father of Zeus), Yung Lao (Chinese, predecessor of the current Jade Emperor), Gilgamesh (Babylonian, poisoned by Tiamat), Bryn Warr (Celtic, follower of Morrigan), Madrirappa (Indian, opposed the Trinity of Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva), Mikko (Finnish, gave other gods their aspects) and Cthulu.

The sages consider the Plane of Undeath to be a theoretical idea. It would need a Power, and the sages suggested Vecna or one of his acolytes.

Next Jet asks us to continue to look for Beodar’s most recent incarnation. Anatoli decides to Dream a path. He wants to use one of Max’s Carpets (Malta’s Pattern for Dyvers) and something from Beodar’s keep in Sanctuary.

We go to Beodar’s keep and find it furnished inside with sumptuous elven treasures. It is being maintained by six elven shield maidens (Beory, Elanwy, Oreanna, Deanna, Ayenna, Rhianna). This keep includes a temple of Corellon and a room with the Cavalier’s sword and shield to be used in defense of the elven lands. In the room with the sword and shield, Anatoli’s True Sight reveals someone whose touch leaves a visible signature has been touching the sword and shield within the
last month. There is also an extraordinary library of all the books an Elven Cavalier would need. The same prints are found in Beodar’s library, especially on a book on Elven bards. There are no elven bards as far as we know. We check out Beodar’s bedroom in the basement (straw pallet, niche shrine to Lyra Nevasere with a lock of red hair). Someone with red hair has been sleeping on that pallet.

We also check out the Honeymoon Suite. Someone small with red hair has been sleeping above the covers in that room as well. In the Temple of Corellon, there is a stack of chants written in Common that do not have a recognizable rhyme or meter. The brazier in front of the statue of Corellon (in his Redeemer aspect) is filled with ash. Al translates the top chant to Elvish (it rhymes) and then burns the parchment containing the chant in the brazier. To Aldeberon only, the statue of Corellon briefly appears to change and say “no”.

Jet tries a Sensitivity to Psychic Impression on a chant. She sees a long haired man being taught by the shield maidens. She tries again in the honeymoon suite, and sees the Queen of Selene, except the woman has red hair.

Anatoli Dreams, wrapped in the Malta’s Carpet, and sleeping on Beodar’s pallet. He wakes up and wanders into the kitchen to get some warm milk. The shield maidens refer to him as “My lord.” A mirror shows that he looks like a long-haired human man. He wanders into the library and finds notes about a traditional bardic journey. In the Honeymoon Suite, he sees the sleeping Queen of Selene with red hair.

He wakes her and she says, “I knew you would return.” She goes back to sleep. Anatoli turns around and sees Max’s brother Oyo (who we know is dead). Oyo says, “Why do YOU get to cheat death?”

The next morning we talk about it. We think the long haired guy looks like Vijay, except about 20 years younger We visit Vijay in New Critwall. We show him the picture and one of the chants and tell him about Max and Beodar and Jet’s vision and Anatoli’s Dream. Maxximus hoods Vijay and we take him to Sanctuary into Beodar’s keep. The shield maidens recognize Vijay as their lord, and present themselves to him by name and aspect, to serve him.

Anatoli casts True Sight and reveals Vijay as a 96 year old human bard, 22nd level. His name if Valifenor Jolen. He uses Druidic Shape Change to look different ages. He is the Grand Master of the bardic college MacFurmidh

Vijay says Samshee’s father is Sym’s half-brother, Turrosh Mak. Golgoth Mak was blessed by Grummsh with long life and fertility. Every woman Golgoth Mak had sex with had his baby. Golgoth was the father of Sym and Turrosh Mak.

Vijay asks what he can do to assist Ground Zero? Maxximus shows Vijay his scar. Vijay says Maxximus was a made into a Living Weapon to be used against drow.

Al asks about getting rid of the Curse of the Codex of the Infinite Planes. Vijay says Al’s spirit is tethered to the book. He needs to research the creator of the book and its first victim – The Mad Monk Tzonk.

The Krampus

Oh my goodness, it WAS the Krampus. He is the personal “pet” of Wotan, the now sleeping father of Odin and previous All Father of The Norse Pantheon. Somehow, Wotan has been awakened and with that, the Krampus. We managed through a serious of events involving a comedy of errors or is that an error of comedies to create a new Klaus who is the other side of the coin of Krampus who has the job of successfully targeting kids for the Krampus so he only takes the bad ones and then making sure that they are returned safe after they are punished appropriately.


After dealing with the events of “Inception”. We decide to head on over to our favorite hole-in-the-wall, The Crypt, for some cheap beer and free entertainment. Upon opening the door, we immiediately recognize that there is an issue because no one yells to close the door or throws anything in our direction. After entering, it is obvious the place is mostly desserted. The arkeep, Baldrick, explains that almost everybody that is anybody is off trying to complete a quest. Apparently some kids have gone missing. A few eye witnesses say that they have been kidnapped by something called The Krampus which is a beast from Nordic lore. A priest of Freya is offering a reard. The notice is posted at the Adventurers Hall so we head over that way. once there we read the quest:

Offering 5,000 gold pieces a person for up to 5 persons who are able to locate the missing children and clear the good name of the Norse pantheon. All or\ nothing. First one successful gets the reward. We decide to investigate and \ head to visit the priest. Her name is Astrid. She explains to her that yes, it does sound like them mythical norse beast but that the beast really is just a myth and doesn’t exist. Its a story used to scare children and that is all. She thinks someone is trying to frame the norse priests and make them look bad. She gives us the location of the last few missing children and we are off.

We then remember that we know a Norse cleric and go find him. We contact Fenris, a cleric of Uller who is training some acolytes north of Greyhawk. After we gather info from him about the Krampus, he volunteers to join us on this soiree. He said that his prayers said that he should help solve this problem but that he was to wait until the mystery came to him. He thinks we
are that sign.

After a lot of investigative work in both the Artisan’s Quarter and the Thieve’s Quarter with Fenris, we managed to find some kids that have actually seen what is going on and they give us more leads. Everything seems to indicate that whomever is taking the kids, is in the sewers. We head in. We are able to track over time slow. It takes both Maximus and Fenris skills to keep the trail. We eventually find a small shrine like area with what appears to be a door. Using Fenris skills to interpret, the thieves are able to disable all the traps that were around it. We then open the door. Which appears to lead to a pocket dimension. Maybe even totally off plan. We can see large footprints leading off into deep snow. Fenris recommends that we follow so that we don’t loose the trail. After a short discussion, we head in.

Its cold. And for some of us feels very familar, like we have been here before. BUt that could just be the eerie feeling that location was exuding. In any event, we travel forward following the tracks. We noted that the tracks got larger as if the creature were getting bigger, possibly a giant class creature.

We had a random encounter. out of almost nowhere, a very large wolf. I mean GIGANTIC appeared out of the snow in front of us. Maximus only came up to the first joint in his front leg. Maximus locks eyes with him to send the message that we are predators and not prey. The creature circles us a bit and stars at Fenris and then leaves. Aftwards, Fenris seems shaken. he mentioned that he had been thinking about his namesake, The Fenris Wolf from his pantheon and wondered if he were truly real. And then the Fenris Wolf shows up! He thinks we must be careful what we think about and believe in this place because it seems to have some affect.

Eventually we start catching up to the large creature. and it is similar to a satyr the size of a fire giant. he is mostly naked below the waste and is obviously male. He has large chains woven into his hair and a large sack thrown over his shoulder and we can hear the muffles cries of children from within.

We decide parley instead of fight. We ask the Krampus to let the children go as they are not nordic. The Krampus says that they must work in the mines for their punishment for being bad. It won’t kill them. After they learn their lesson, he will let them go. We explain that he has non-norse worshipping children and they aren’t as touch and won’t survive. He ignores us. We engage. The Krampus summons harpies to help him. But they were larger than normal and much more intelligent. We remembered that most creatures in the Argardian related planes are tougher and bigger than normal and we deduce that we are somehow close to that plane. We decided the goal is to get the kids, not to fight the Krampus so while Maximus and other engage him, the thieves try to get the bag. The Krampus’s uses his hair chains to enntangle Samshee when she approaches him from behind. Anatoli cuts Samshee loose with CodexKiller but she is still engangled. Krampus also exhibits other abilities that seem to indicate that
he is a power of some sort and not something we can just kill. While engaging him we talk and he gives us info stating that his master must tell him to stop and he is just doing what his master says. He says his master is Wotan and that he and Wotan were asleep. But somehow they were awakened and that is why he is snatching kids again. We decide to go and talk to Wotan. Samshee makes sure she takes the length of Krampus chain with her.

Since Wotan is a Norse we go to the World Serpent Inn to get some info on where he is. After talking to Hilda, she tell us how to locate Wotan’s Lodge. We go there and talk to him. He insists that lots of sleeping gods are awake now. Ant that he CAN’T stop the Krampus. the Krampus can only be stopped when the Klaus shows up signifying the end of their punishment. Wotan refuses to really help us further but complains that he was sleeping well and now has an
itch that must be scratched. He tells us to go talk to his Son, Odin now. Odin is the all father and only he can summon the Klaus. Wotan also warns us that other sleeping gods are shrugging away their slumbers but that all of them would rather be asleep.

We head to Big O’s place back at the World Serpent Inn. Odin doesn’t seem too happy about us telling him that Wotan is back and he seems even less interested in helping us with the Kringle. He finally gives us a scroll and says to take that his son and have him read it and everything will ok. We then go locate Thor. Who is in the middle of a serious drinking binge. Through some fast talking, Anatoli is able to get Thor to read the scroll. which summons a Santa hat. Basically the scroll says that whoever reads it must put on the hat and become the Kringle. Thor resists. And finally after exerting all his energy to resists, Thor reaches for his hammer. At that point, Anatoli grabs the hat and slaps it on Thor’s head. A transformation happens and the new figure is a much older, slightly chubby, and much more cheerful representation called Klaus. Klaus has a sword on his back. He looks at Thor’s hammer and then tosses it into the Lost and Found and then makes a comment about it being good to be back after so long and that there was much work to do. He then leaves. Within another week, the kids all show back up safe and sound. We are rewarded by Astrid and all is well.

Be careful what you ask for.

Maximus returned from his personal errands. He comes looking for Aldebaron to help answer some questions about some missing spells of his. After doing some digging, Aldebaron discovers that a number of spells no longer seem to exist in addition to the _Wish_level magics for magic-users and illusionists. The full list is:

Magic User
1st: Unseen Servant, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disc, Armor, Taunt
2nd: Zephyr, Rope Trick, Deeppockets, Magic Mouth, Forget
3rd: Blink, Windwall, Phantasmal Force, Material
4th: Dimension Door, Hallucinatory Terrain, Massmorph, Rary’s Mnemonic Enhancer, Wizard Eye
5th: Animate Dead, Contact other Plane, Distance distortion, Fabricate, Leomunds Secret Chest, Rock to Mud
6th: Water to Dust, AntiMagic Shell, Geas, Legend Lore, Reincarnate, Stone to Flesh
7th: Limited Wish, Statue, Simulacrum, Phase Door, Mass Invisibility, Duo Dimension
8th: Clone, Trap the Soul, Sink, Permanency, Mind Blank
9th: Wish, Astral Spell, Imprisonment, Succor, Gate

All Bigby’s Spells as well. Doesn’t appear to affect all of any other “named” spells.

1st: Gaze Reflection, Spook, Light
2nd: Whispering Wind, Misdirectin, Hypnotic Pattern
3rd: Delude, Non-detection, Continual Light
4th: Emotion, confusion, phantasmal killer
5th: Tempus Fugit, Summon Shadow, Magic Mirror
6th Phantasmagoria, Mislead, Conjure Animals
7th: Astral Spell, Weird, 1st Level Magic-Use Spells

There was no easy connection between all of them but they seemed to cross divination, resurrection, reincarnation and communication. But it wasn’t consistent across MagicUsers and Illusionists.

While we are investigating the missing spells, Angela, the person that manages the orphanage in New Critwall comes and notifies Maximus (and us) that something really crazy is going on in the Lands of Iuz. There are reports that a large physical gate (that might also be magical) has appeared in the capital city of Dorakaa. Hundreds of humanoid golems have come through and are decimating the city. The golems look familiar to us as they are identical to the ones that the doppleganger to Jet sent in a while ago. These dopplegangers were full of evil squirrels but so far the golemns that have been reported have not seemed to disgorge them. Reports say that the center of Dorakaa has fallen including the physical buildings as well. Anatoli uses the Eye of Thera to scry one of the clerks in Dorakaa that he remembers from the time we rescued Angela’s daughter from there. He confirms via scying that City Hall has been razed to the ground and all individuals inside appear to have been slain.

Other information also makes its way to us. Apparently the 8 tribes of Orcs in the Pomarj have voted Turrosh Mak to be the War Leader for a great assault on the surrounding lands.

At this point, Maximus calls “shenanigans” and says that this can’t possibly be true. Its just not possible. Orcs are Chaotic Evil, not Lawful evil. The world may be screwed up magically but there is no way that all the Orcs would change since they aren’t inherently magical in that way. Anatoli suggests that perhaps we never left Al’s head.

As we began to discuss this in earnest, one of Al’s highest level simulacrums came in and acted oddly and then collapsed and turned into a pile of snow and slush. That was odd enough and then apparently, it happened again. And again and again, the exact simulacrum did the exact same movements and the exact same motions. After doing this 5 times, it stopped. This further made us indicate that the world we were in wasn’t real.

At this point, Maximus put forth the concept that the reason we are trapped in Al’s brain is that it’s the only place that he can completely control everything and be able to cast 9th level spells. Maximus posits that if Al accepts his limitatins and that there is nothing special about him that should allow him to cast 9th level spells if no other elf can do it then they will be released. It takes a while but eventually all accepts that at least the current scenario won’t work but never quite accepts that he is just another elf like all the others. Apparently this was enough to get us out of the Ego World and back into reality. Mini, the psychic warrior that had brought Maximus into the Ego World then proceeded to remove a psyhic spike from Al’s brain. She said it was the psychic remnant of a powerful Psionic entity and was most likely what was interfering with the original surgery. The scarring that it left makes it extremely unsafe to do any more psionic surgery on Al and they are lucky to have escaped as it is.

Al still cannot cast 9th level spells. However, he has discovered that the Staff of MetaMagic that we retrieved from the Elven Graves Adventure can let him cast 9th level spells as 8th level spells at the cost of some charges from the staff of meta magic. All has also determined how to recharge the staff using the gems that were also found with it. its not obvious as yet as to where the energy is coming from.

After this was over, we did some tests to verify that we were indeed outside of Als’ brain. Once we were satisfied we decided to celebrate surviving by going to one of our favoriate bars in Greyhawk: The Crypt.

insert writeup of The Krampus here


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