Ground Zero

The Meta Magic Staff

TANSTAAFL

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.

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