Ground Zero

My Fellow Citizens pt 3

when last we left our intrepid adventurers:

We had set up a trap in the Critwall warehouse. Anatoli used Prestidigitation to take the crate of Kodagnome 2.0. At 3 am, a human comes and lets in a group of gnome workers, who set up a workshop. Aldebaran immobilizes the workers with Web, and Tarl uses HoldMonster to hold the human.

Anatoli talks to a worker. They were recruited from a gnomish bar, given tattoos with Anatoli’s symbol and are being paid to put the Kodagnomes together.

A smoke bomb is thrown which hides the human from view. Tarl rushes in to the smoke and sees the human who looks exactly like Max. Tarl imprisons the human in a Wall of Stone.

Our communicators stop working. Tarl decides that the Max look-alike is a thorn golem. Beodar gets caught in a Bands of Billaro. He is attacked and Jet rushes to protect him. The attacker leaves glowing beads which Jet thinks is Delayed Blast Fireball. So Jet takes Beodar to the Ethereal to protect him. Jet’s double is waiting for her there. The double says she only wants the Bands of Bolero, so Jet allows the double to free Beodar and take the Bands. Jet returns to the Prime Material Plane.

The warehouse is now on fire. Jet summons a water elemental from the river next door to use river water to put out the fire.

Tarl retrieves the prisoner – Max Totentanz- and strips him (amulet, want, ring, haversack, bracers, mace, gauntlets). Max is Totentanz is a bard, retired after the permanent loss of a couple fingers. He works for Analise. His friends are Opal (human with white hair, possible shadow mage, illusionist, psionic, albino) and Charlie ( half ogre/half orc barbarian). Krunk ( dwarf thief acrobat), Sirius Aquarius (CE cleric magic user with a staff of power), Maxima (monk) and Giovanni (cleric)

We itemize the bard. Anatoli detects a mephit spying on us in the corner. Maxximus almost kills it, and demands that its master appear. Opal shows up and Maxximus casts his dancing sword at her. The sword disappears into the Opal-shaped gate. Maxximus rushes in and goes through a Prismatic Wall. (Ouch.) He kills the guards and tosses us a message back through the gate. “Door Bad”

We use a Plane Shift to get the rest of us to the Plane of Shadows. Opal’s voice says “Leave or I will show no mercy. Jet what would you do?” Anatoli says Jet would go Ethereal. When we go through, they drop Confusion on us. Only Tarl, Beodar, and Al are unaffected. Al uses a Limited Wish to take us back to Caer LaForce.

Tarl uses the Eye of Thera to find out when these people started to be on this plane. They showed up about a week after we fought Hexus in the Howling Hills. When we were fighting, we put Euz in a bag and used Wish to leave. There was a pulling sensation and we think he took some of our essence to create? or bring from elsewhere? our counterparts.

We decide the best chance we have to learn how these people came to Greyhawk is to ask Sym who was there and who ascended when Euz died. We go to the World Serpent’s Inn. Mitchifer suggested that we talk to the Slayer.

Mitchifer tells us that “Hex” and “Slayer” were brawling and a third party, Talazolteoth (goddess of vice) was injured. The fight breaks up and Mitchifer says “Hex” is not on the books.

Mitchifer gives us the key to Sym’s room, which turns out to be Max’s room. Sym says that some of the equipment is still working in the Howling Hills, that leaches energy and feeds it to ?somebody?. Maybe that is powering these “tainted” people like our lookalikes and “Hex” and “Slayer”. Sym gives Maxximus the club with Hexus’ blood on it. Sym tells Maxximus to use it to smash the equipmment. Jet suspects that Hexus is trapped in the equipment.

We speak to Fate. She tells us that a white crystal thread is now attached it us. It used to be attached to Iuz by Igwilv. Using a wooden needle to move that thread will be necessary.

Anatoli uses a spell to take us back to the depths of the fortress in the Howling Hills. While Maximus is carrying the club, he can see that the crystals in the walls contain husks of bodies and wisps of energy are coming out of the husks. The wisps join into a stream of energy and Maximus follows the stream.

In the central chamber, a crystal status is the destination of all these wisps. There are 9 empty chambers around the statue. We cut the wrapping to see that it looks like Mindbender Maximus smashes the status and the 9 chambers explode. We all take damage.

Hexus shows up and says “Well this I did not expect to see. Thank you,” Then he fades away.

We Waypoint back to Caer LaForce. We scry and can’t find any of the tainted people. The items from Totentanz are gone as well. We go back to the Founders Festival.

The election was won by the merchant Jericho Salazar.

My Fellow Citizens pt 2

Hello, everyone. As you may recall, we were still celebrating Founders’ Week in Raven’s Bluff. We had figured out that the tattoos
were involved in causing people to act as other character classes. At the start of the last run:

We visited the Mayor’s administrative assistant, Analise, to ask about the other mayoral candidates.
1. Jericho Salazar – wealthy merchant
2. Marilyn – countess by marriage, glassblower by trade
3. Current mayor “Raven” – ex privateer, not currently running for mayor but still apparently being considered

We head to the next festival activity, The Taste of Raven’s Bluff. Each of the members of Euz Bane have their own feast, Ranger’s Feast, Edible Bouquets (Jet’s), Aldebaran’s Feast, Tarl’s Feast. I believe that Beodar did not have a feast.

Tarl tries True Sight and finds some people with blocked auras. One chef with a blocked aura had an explosively angrey outburst, Using the “Remove Tattoo” darts we had left over from the Floating City takeover removed the aura blocking effect but did not calm the chef. Suggestion (from the ranger) did work. The chef also complained of being tired but a Goodberry helped.

Aldebaran asked some of the elves who made pilgramage to Araphael’s Shrine what they felt. They reported hope for the renewal of the elven race. They thought that this city, created by an elf and by a half elven Queen’s Cavalier is one of the lost elven cities. – that
is, at least the center part of the city, which appears to have come from the plane of Concordant Opposition.

The elves also say that “Leonard Maltin” – the name on the crystal phoenix at the top of the tower at city center – is the Common
translation of the elven high script for Corellon, The Light of Us All.

The Iuzbane wander around handing out goodberries. Many people say they feel better afterward.

We pay a magic user apprentice to go get a tattoo so we can experiment on it. The elaborate tattoo has an alteration magic component, and a small amount of enchantment and charm and evocation. Apparently different colors have different effects, and she got the most elaborate tattoo with the phoenix and symbols representing each of the Iuzbane. After the tattoo, she also had a blocked alignment aura. We notice that gnomes with Kodagnomes are wandering around taking pictures of people with tattoos.

The apprentice gets upset and her tattoo activates. She uses the psychic ability – Ethereal Plane – to leave. Jet goes after her using
the same ability and brings her back. Jet speculates that the apprentice’s tattoos, which corresponded to Iuzbane founders, are somehow allowing their wearer to use the innate character abilities of the Iuzbane.

Al remembers that different colors had different recipes and each recipe had one or more specific donor. Primary colors had one donor. Darker colors had multiple donors. All recipes had kraken blood and ink.

We use Augury to find out how to fix our young test subject. Erase, Remove Curse, Dispel Magic, and Master Pattern Eraser are all
necessary. Also, Augury revealed that a kraken had been in the area. The tattoos can’t be used in a mass fashion unless they are the same tattoo. We cast the four spells and the apprentice appears to be restored.

We ask Analise who keeps track of the ink (Mary) the patterns (Tyrone), and the KodaGnomes (Giovanni). Rudolfus is in charge of the project overall. Analise, Mary, and Tyrone all exhibit confusion over whether suggestions about the tattoos came from Rudolfus or Giovanni. Anatoli confirms that Giovanni is a Rough Rider in charge of the very profitable Kodagnome department of the Rough Riders. We make a rubbing of the Leonard Maltin Runes on the Phoenix statue.

Giovanni is an old gnome. He tells us he is planning a mural of the phoenix on the wall of the library. The mural will be made out of the individual pictures take of people with the phoenix tattoo. He wants it completed by the last day of the Founder’s Festival.

Maxximus looks through the pictures in Giovanni’s office. He see one with a glittery tattoo. We found out earlier that glittery tattoos seem to indicate that the tattoo has become magically activated. Maxximus surreptitiously palms the picture. The caption on the back is Artemis Moldavi, half-elf.

Later, Maxximus scries for Artemis and sees her out-drinking dwarves. He goes to the Craftsmen Bar to see what is going on. Artemis is having a great time, until her brothers come to take her home. A brawl erupts. She fights like a dwarf until her brother’s arm is broken and he screams in pain. Then the tattoo stops sparkling and she seems to snap out of it. The alignment aura reasserts its normal tones. Anatoli finds out that the real Giovanni is a young gnome and our Giovanni is an imposter. However, Tarl’s ring of Truth did not detect it. We speculate that “Silas/Rudolfus/Giovanni” is using a hat of disguise.

Up to this point, Anatoly has been handling things back in his home town, since things are still chaotic from the infiltration of the
Rough Riders from the Stars of Hexus, and going to war to rescue the gnomes from the Floating City, and then taking over the Floating City. However, when Anatoly learns that a Rough Rider has been impersonated, he decides to join us in Raven’s Bluff. We show Anatoly the rubbing of the Leonard Maltin Runes and ask him if it is a code or hidden pattern. He says the letters are in the wrong order. Aldebaron remembers that Araphael said “The Promised Land is real.” Anatoly thinks that the Leonard Maltin rune is actually code for Union.

We track down the bard Rudolfus. He was a bard until he lost a finger he could not get regenerated. Maxximus told him that we were investigating the incidents as requested by the mayor. Rudolfus tells us that the process of making ink is:
1. Components come off the board into the warehouse by the docks.
2. Components get mixed into an ink and a separate additive that will make it eventually fade.
3. The ink is sent to Silas who does quality control. If the color is correct, Silas will mix the ink and additive together.
4. Silas send the correct subset of colors to each of the different tattoo artists.

Anatoly goes to a gnome with a Kodagnome and demands that the Rough Rider hand the Kodagnome over. The Rough Rider complies.

We head to the warehouse where the supplies are stored. In he warehouse, we find a box of Kodagnome version 2.0 components. They are charged magic items, usable by clerics, fighters or thieves. After the pictures are all taken, the box is placed on a stack of sepia slick vellum. Press a button, and all the pictures develop at once. The Kodagnome 2.0 can be locked, pictures can be deleted, and occasionally pictures are misprinted.

The kodagnome 2.0 boxes have a symbol on them similar to Aldebaron’s Wizard Mark. They also have an energy signature similar to

My Fellow Citizens pt 1

You asked for it. You got it. A summary of our last run…

Tarl suggests that the best chance we have of restoring the Guardsmen is to use the Cup and Talisman of Al’Akbar, which we had retrieved for the clericy of Cuthbert long, long ago. We ask Aslan, The Lion of Cuthbert, to help us. He sets up a meeting with the High Priest of Cuthbert, and petitions him on our behalf. Aslan reveals that he is the grandson of The Current high Priest. The High Priest agrees and uses the Cup and Talisman to resurrect the Guardsmen. This is clearly a one-time deal.

We are invited to participate in a weeklong Founder’s Festival in Critwall (aka Raven’s Bluff), since the Euz Bane (minus Jet) were the founders. We go. Tarl uses Divination to ask “Where do we need to be?” He is told to go to the center of the city.

The central part of the city is clearly different in nature from the rest of the city. There are four temples (Myaheen, Cuthbert, Boccob, and Pelor), surrounding a central tower. The central tower has an amazingly lifelike phoenix on top, and there are 6 levels below the tower.

The Mayor asks to speak to us. He takes us to the sublevel of the tower, with a 40 ft. pool with glowing runes in different alignment languages. The runes are the catechisms of each alignment. The mayor tells us that Araphel, one of the Elders of Selene, came to the Critwall Temple of Mayaheine. He started speaking in High Elven, cut his hand and drew a symbol with his blood on the Temple wall. The symbol is a circumpunct (a circle with a point in the middle). He then died. That location is now a shrine, and elves come there to pay homage.

A number of strange things have been happening in the city.
1. A city guard tried to apprehend a kid. The kid hit him and the guard went berserk (super strong, double-specialized in club).
2. A human goes into a restaurant and orders an elvish delicacy that only an elven nobleman would know.
3. An accounting student asked his chemistry professor for help. The professor said get lost. The student said I wish you would die, and the professor immolated.
4. A plump, out-of-shape housewife stole a necklace and evaded capture using the moves of a high-level thief acrobat.
5. A little girl wandered down the street kissing people. Their ailments were cured.
6. A blacksmith who never played dragon chess entered a dragon chess tournament and won.

One thing they all have in common is that they don’t remember the event.

Maxximus cast Reflecting Pool on the pool below the tower. He scried on the shrine to Araphael. He reached for a candle on the shrine and teleported there. He walked back to us.

The mayor takes us to another room In this room, the phrase, “from nothing we came. to nothing we shall return” is inscribed in thousands of languages. Tarl casts Stone Tell in this room. “Who wrote these sayings?” The answer is “The first one, a two-headed being made of light.” Tarl asks, “What came next?” The stone replies that we showed up.

Tarl is not able to contact his own god in this room, but Jet can contact hers. She speculates that this is because her god’s home is Concordant Opposition, and the rock in this room is similar to that of Concordant Opposition, and Jet has the same sense of peace here that she had on the plane of Concordant Opposition.

We decide to investigate the stories the mayor told us.

  1. The guard was out drinking with his buddies and got a very ornate tattoo of a phoenix. The phoenix tattoos are part of the promoted activities for the Founders’ Festival. He gets in a fight with a rich kid. The kid draws blood and the guard goes into a rage. He attends services at the temple of Mayaheine.
  1. The housewife is named Mabel. She and her friends are complaining about the lack of attention from their husbands. They decide to have a girls’ night out. They go drinking. They all get tattoos of a phoenix. Mabel sees a beautiful necklace, named Flames of the Phoenix. A friend makes a snide comment that Mabel will never have anything like that. Mabel says she can get it any time she want. She steals it and runs away, using thief acrobat moves.
  1. Angela, the kissing/healing kid, is an orphan. She works in the laundry. The head laundress sent her out with Michael (another, older kid) to run some errands. Angel says Michael left her at the Temple of Mayaheine and told her to stay there. She moved to where it was less noisy, so Michael could not find her at first. When he does find her, he slaps her. He apologized. She said he could make it up to her by getting flowers in her hair and having her face painted with a phoenix. He does that and then leaves again to get the laundry. She thinks her dolly told her to kiss people to “make it better”.

Maxximus goes to the orphanage he founded, run by an ex-cleric of Iuz, also named Angela. Angela said the orphan girl was called Lisa. She killed a girl and tried to kill two boys, so Angela kicked Lisa out. Maxximus talks to the boys at the orphanage. They say a man named Silas has been paying them to do simple stuff. Recently Silas asked them to “collect the blacksmith’s blood”.

We go by the shrine of Araphael. Aldebaran and Beyodar feel the presence of Corellon. The circumpunct symbol means “I am the beginning and the end.” It is associated with the creation of the leves.

We visit the Temple of Myahein. The priestess there says Angela was overtaken by the Rapture. When she collapsed, she was brought to the temple. She had a foul spirit on her which the priestess rebuked. The curse was associated with the face paint.

Next we investigate the phoenix statue at the top of the central tower. It appears to be a single piece of crystal, signed by Leonard
Maltin. There is a Concordant Opposition type of effect, which even prevents Jet’s Shape Change.

We track down Silas, so that Maxximus can get a good look at him. Then Maxximus uses the Reflecting Pool, to spy on Silas. Maxximus watches Silas collect blood from various runners. He eventually takes the blood to an alchemist and gets pigments from the alchemist. He sells the pigments to various tattoo artists.

The idea for the tattoo campaign came from the mayor’s staff publicist, Analise.

Maxximus scries Silas’ house. While Maxximus keeps lookout via scry, Tarl and Jet head to the house to investigate. On route, Tarl notices that he is being scried, and breaks the scry using his turning fork. Maxximus hears the chime of the tuning fork, so he knows the scryer is in the tower with him. Beyodar and Aldebaran try to find the scryer but she evades them. The house contains little except a chest of many drawers which held blood samples.

We head to the alchemist shop. Aldebaran demands the alchemist tell him about the blood. The alchemist says he does not know anything. So Aldebaran Power Word Stuns him. Aldebaran reads the alchemist’s recipe book. The pigment reads like scroll ink. Augury says the ampules contain kraken blood.

We suspect that the tattoos are intended to affect the outcome of the mayoral election scheduled for the end of the festival. We head to the Mayor’s publicist, Analise. She says the idea for tattoos came from a brainstorming session. Rudolfus, (who we think we know as Silas) thought that disappearing ink tattoos would be a way for people to celebrate the festival without making a permanent commitment. Plus, people could get new tattoos for the next event, increasing the amount of work/profit for the local artists.

To be continued on Saturday….

The Walking Devastation

Ground Zero disembarked from the Cruise Ship at the Word Serpent’s Inn. Mace and Hammer show up to pick up the stasis-ed Guardmen. Doc asks where the rest are. The rest of the senior guard are in Geoff cleaning up after a massacre.

Aldebaran tries to contact people in the Duchy of Geoff and can’t reach them. When he scrys the area, he sees a 100 mile long, 50 yard wide swath of destruction. Some of the dead are Silver Guards.

We walk through a World Serpent’s Inn door to the front door of Aldebarna’s castle. The servants say that the Walking Devastation has taken out four cities already. Maxximus thinks Aramaths’s signal comes from the origin point of the destruction.

Doc calls Ground Zero. The High Guard has been taken out. The Guards’ Stars have all been destroyed except for Aramath’s and Aramath is not responding.

Beyodar uses the Eye of Thera to look at the orgin. There was an explosion. From underground in the Crystalmist Mountains, a bull with huge shark teeth and three tails (mail, hammer, saw) emerges. As he moves, he gets faster and does more damage.

We head to the origina point, flying Air Shui. At the entrance, we see remains of two female Guardsman, Spear and Shield. Inside the tunnel, we see bits of red robed Suelese, who potentially might be members of the Scarlet Brotherhood.

Tarl uses the Chime of Teleportation. It resonates with the 500th level of the Abyss and Summons 6 shadow demons. We destroy them with wands of illumination and a Sunray.

Deeper in the mountain, the tunnel opens into a huge cavern. We find a summoning dais, with bodies wearing Silver Guard Armor. Anatoli tries a flour bomb, and something briefly shows up. Jet tries a psionic ping and finds 12 demons. Beyodar’s area of effect Greek fire makes them visible and we slaughter them.

Using the Eye of Thera again, we find that Aramath was Sunk below the altar. We move the iron hexagram on top of the altar, using Maxximus’s cold obsidian weapons. Dispel Magic brings Aramath to the surface. He goes back to Caer LaForce.

We use the Eye of Thera for a third time in conjunction with Tongues. We learn that the priest offered the souls of the Horned Society hierarchs. Those souls are stored in Molag. If those souls are released, then the demons will regain their preeminence in the Horned Society.

We visit Zarya of Rel Astra and Lo Rel Tarma, to learn more about the characteristics of the creature summoned. She tells us it gets stronger every time it dies, and we need a wish to keep it dead once we kill it. She also thinks that we need to summoning ring to send it away.

We go back to the cave to pick up the summoning ring and see new tracks of sandalled feet going in. Anatoli Alters Reality to collapse the cave on the monks – who are red robed Scarlett Brotherhood, based on our scrying — and bring the summoning ring to us. The death of the monks summons a demon, but we kill it in one round.

We set up a killing ground in front of the Walking Devastation. Aldebaran uses a limited Wish to get the Guardsmen Stars from inside the Walking Devastation. Three Soul Gems have already been corroded off the Stars by the gastric acid. Note: Jet uses Pristine to stop additional corrosion from taking place.

Anatoli uses Bungee Skin and puts on the Aboleth diving suit. Beyodar cast “Take the Hit” to share hit points with Anatoli. and puts Protection from Acid on the suit. Anatoli jumps in the Walking Devastation’s mouth hoping to collect the 3 missing soul gems from the stomach.

We engage the Walking Devastation in combat. Eventually we figure out that each spell only works once. After 4 rounds it dies.

12 piglets emerge from under the Walking Devastation’s shell. We chase them down and kill them too.

Anatoli emerges from the mother’s anus with the thee soul gems. Jet talks all 12 stars and gems to Doc.

Aldebaran's Birthday Gift
May you always be happy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rug burns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The World Serpent Inn Reborn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oerth's Blood Part 4

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

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

Oerth's Blood Part 3
The floating city

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oerth's Blood Part 2
Near the Nyr Dyv

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uncle Rasputin relocates to the Cairn Hills.

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

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

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


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