During the Founders’ Week Celebration, in the fight at the warehouse with our twisted doubles, Maxximus lost several key pieces of his equipment. Anatoli used Alter Reality to restore the ranger’s Girdle of Giant Strength. Anatoli used Dream to restore the Suelese Battle Harness. Finally, we travelled to the Oriental octant to retrieve the Cheetah Speed fetish.
Anatoli used 4 Alter Realities to create a safe haven for us to use as a retreat. Each of us donated a personal item and blood to create an attachment between ourselves and the “bubble” off the Prime Material. We each got badges (except for Jet who wanted a tattoo instead – remember that she shape changes) which allow us to enter. We can also use our tattoos to lock the bubble if we please.
Next we decide to investigate the basement of Critwall City Center. The first room contains the 40 ft pool, surrounded by glowing runes. The runes are the catechism of the various alignments in their corresponding alignment language. Touching the runes for an alignment allows the person to see all the people with that alignment. Concentration allows the scryer to pick a specific person of that alignment. Beodar finds that a person can touch the runes for a different alignment. Jet checked on Mordenkainen, who appears not to be able to regrow his skin. Jet thinks the pool is like a pool on the Astral Plane which allows transport to what is being scried.
In the next room, the words “From nothing we came, to nothing we shall return” are engraved in thousands of languages. When Tarl was here before, he case Stone Tell and asked who wrote these sayings. The stones replied, “The first one, a two headed being made of light” People who touched runes in the scrying pool room can see the alignment aura of other people.
We decide to touch our personal alignment runes and recite the catechisms of our alignment. Now we see a door and a sign . Each person sees the sign in their own language, elvish, dwarvish, common. “All who travel may not have a destination, but will arrive somewhere anyway.”
We go through the newly revealed door and find a city filled with many races of the types which travel the Astral. Some greet the gnome as the Messiah. Noseless, but otherwise human looking guards (possibly golems?) identify Aldeberon as the Defiler. They start to attack so we bravely run away.
We wander through a marketplace. The city is apparently huge, perhaps the size of a country. We take a tour. The name of the city sounds different to each of us, “Clandestine”, “City of Gold”, “Lost City”, “The City which protected itself by moving itself”. We take a walking tour with a professional tour guide to learn more.
The tour guide tells use that the noseless people are guardians bound to the city. They regenerate. They enforce the rules, one of which is no murder.
The guide also tells us about the Messiah and the Defiler. The Messiah. is supposed to be the one who returns the city to the Prime Material Plane. The city was originally lost during the original war between good and evil. Good had an advantage so all the evils joined together to summon the ultimate evil. The ultimate evil (sound like Tharziduun to anyone?) was so bad that good and evil both joined together to imprison it. The city is the lock on that prison. People can come to the city at any time, but they can never leave. There is apparently a writ of leaving that people can apply for, but it was not clear to us what that would do.
The guide also tells us that people who come to the city will eventually get sick and die, unless we go to an administrative building and have soul gems for ourselves. He also says that eventually our magic will stop working. Most people trade their soul gems to other people in order to get various things. The holder of your soul gem can compel you to do various things. If you resist, you suffer.
We notice during the tour that the city appears to be laid out in a fashion similar to New Critwall.
We try Waypointing back to the point where we entered the city. There are runes covered with tar. There are thieves cant warnings not to uncover the runes. The whole long hallway leading up to the door is a killzone. We decide not to try to open the door.
We decide instead to go to the City Center. If it is similar to New Critwall, then there should be an Astral Pool in the city center basement. Anatoli forges papers to get us into the City Center. Then he makes us invisible and we sneak down and into the basement. There we do find a pool room. Maxximus casts Reflecting Pool and scries for Caer Laforce. We all hold hands and step back onto the Prime Material Plane.
Tarl uses Augury to make sure that the lock (Clandestine) is still working to imprison He Who Must Not Be Named.
Tarl is excited about making a Girdle of Giant Strength. He gives us a list of components to obtains (giant, reptile, bullette) and some optional component parts (giant spider webbing and carga). We decide to go to Nogreheim to pick them up. We pay the hunting license fee in Geoff, and Shui to do air reconnaissance and find a giant encampment. The ranger observes for a while, and then decides to follow a hunting party. We wait until the hunting party is engaged in killing a wild boar, and then kill the leader. We take the boar head for the tusks and components from the giant.
Some bugbears come by and scavenge. Then a walking dreadnaught (paleosynchus?) comes up and we kill it and grab some plates. A walking plant (wolf in sheep’s clothing) inches its way up, but Jet keeps it away with an Anti-Plant Shell. Just as we are getting ready to leave, a guy comes up pursued by a posse of lizardmen. We use entanglement to stop the lizardmen. The lizardmen tell Jet that the guy was the last member of a hunting party which came to their village while the men were away and killed all the women and children. The guy confirms it. Beodar Waypoints us away, leaving the guy behind at the mercy of the lizardmen. Al is very upset, but Beodar points out that the guy went into Nogreheim and killed women and children of his own free will.
We give the components to Tarl.
Jet asks Anatoli to use a Dream to restore Mordenkainen’s skin, without resubjecting hims to the curse/brain slug which he got rid of by getting rid of his skin.