CURRENT GAMES IN INZELADUN
THE GASPAR/KHRENIKATH CAMPAIGN
Originally played in
Episode 1: Roland the Shipwright, Tristan the rogue, and Gremag of the Mountain are caught in a fire in a tavern and die. They awaken on slabs of stone next to a charred corpse with a gold amulet. The trio do not know each other, but decide to work together to get out. They find they are in a tower and are soon embroiled in the machinations of vile Yuan Ti (snake-men). They kill the Yuan Ti masters and free the human slaves. They have no idea where they are, but decide to head southwest. (Spring, Hera 7)
Episode 2: Finding a human town, Roland, Tristan, and Gremag try to find out where they are. Again they are embroiled in the machinations of the Yuan Ti, for the lord of this town is a Tainted One. With the help of a pair of Half Orc paladins, they bring down the reign of the Tainted Ones. (Spring, Hera 10-12)
Episode 3: Roland, Tristan, and Gremag embark on a walking adventure. They leave the two half orc paladins to defend a town as they went to the Orc capital to tell them of the invasion of Kara-Turian forces. They abandon the Orcs to continue on their quest toward the coast. They fight samurai and endure a thrilling chase to a cliff. They cross the border into some human lands and find a perfect city, where everyone is wealthy. They spend their money. Roland gambles away his freedom and becomes a slave and is tasked to rescue a girl from a
Episode 4: Roland, Tristan, and Gremag find out they are not in a city at all, but in a Yuan Ti laboratory. They escape and free their fellow trapped human beings. The experience imbues Roland with psionics and he becomes a Psion. (Spring, Hera 20)
Episode 5: Roland, Tristan, and Gremag travel East and, after coming to a scene of brutal slaughter, come to the mountain town of
Episode 6: Roland, and Gremag discover that Tristan is actually Isolde! The trio, seeking vengeance, go to one of the nearby tombs to find a psionic artifact. Along the way, they encounter the merchant from Wa Ting Dae. They find out that the merchant also wants to kill E Ching Ta, and has negotiated a plan with a local Red Dragon, a young one, but deadly nonetheless. They also discover that a tribe of Troglodyte's is working to flood Wa Ting Dae for the atrocities of the monk leader. They end up killing the merchant, then they kill the red dragon (barely escaping with their lives!). They gain the psionic gem artifact and return to Wa Ting Dae, where they meet Tsai Lo Mei, the daughter of the previous sensei. They gain some information about the monastery and learn that E Ching Ta had sent some low level acolytes to retrieve an artifact from the Peryton lair. They go to intercept the return of that artifact and kill the acolytes. (Spring, Artim 5-7)
Episode 7: Roland, Gremag, and Isolde drew out some of the Curates of the monastery, so they sought out the Troglodytes in search of a secret way into the monastery. They broke in and find another dragon statue. They killed E Ching Ta and a few Curates. They spoke to the Naga who lives under the monastery. Isolde was killed while trying to break into the monastery vault. She fell into a spiked pit and was impaled.
A monk from the monastery joins Roland and Gremag as they go to the Forbidden Tomb. They battle a bear who was lairing in the entrance of the tomb. A lightning bolt trap singes them, and then they battle the Helmed Horror of A'tesh. Roland solves a riddle which shuts down the Horror. Bypassing a pit trap, they enter into A'tesh's chamber, which contained A'tesh's mummy (a cloud giant in life). They find the secret stair to the next level after they rob the mummy. After having a problem with brown mold (and unknowingly avoiding a trap that would have unleashed a live chimera after them) they found the temple of the Dinosaurs. Roland releases a Chaos Beast that nearly destroys Sheng Dao. Gremag and Sheng Dao defeat the Chaos Beast as Roland retreats.
They met a rogue who joined the group for a short while. The explored the final level of the Forbidden Tomb and found a psionic gem and defeated a powerful choker. The Mummy of A'tesh the Cloud Giant awakened and chased them briefly, but quick thinking by Sheng Dao kept the Mummy from them. They discovered one of the statues found in the
Episode 8: The party took a trip to town, and heard that some of the scrolls of Wa Sa Mukashiwakaru had been uncovered. They also found out about the Psi-Gate. They hooked up with a local innkeeper (after a good bit of whoring) who sells their booty and can arrange jobs for them. They discovered who was trying to sell the information on the location of the lost scrolls and they beat the information out of him, then teleported the rogue/assassin to Golgaryllgar. Roland checked out the mirrors of Wa Sa Mukashiwakaru and gleaned more hiding places for the scrolls. As they prepared to go through the Psi-Gate to an Angustian ruin, they heard of Ravagers in the countryside. After a heated battle, they defeated the ravagers and brought in their heads for the bounty on them. (Spring, Artim 13-14)
Episode 9: Invited to a Masque Ball in honor of their defeat of the ravagers, the party went to the Lord of the town's manor. Roland sent his crystal familiar out to the monastery to keep an eye on things once he found out he was locked inside the manor grounds. They also discovered that a plague of some kind was now raging outside. Inside, they found a party going on. The first room had musicians playing and the room was decorated all in blue. The next room was in green, the next in orange, the next in red, the next in purple, the next in white, and the last in black. The black room also sported a huge grandfather clock made of wrought iron. They met their host and his wife, a severely wounded woman. Roland found out from her that she had been resurrected.
They also found out that all the revelers stopped what they were doing every hour, when the ebony clock sounded its chimes. In the course of the evening, they discovered that the clock came from the Angustian ruin on the other side of the psi-gate twenty years ago when their host, along with a wu jen companion, went with his dead wife into the ruin. Somehow their host made a bargain with the clock, and she was resurrected. Each year now, a plague struck the city, a plague that made blood pour from a person's pores. And during the plague, the lord would invite favored citizens to the keep for protection. But, in reality, the clock was eating the souls of those who came, and at the stroke of , the party would die and be resurrected every year as a ghost, for all these revelers were the shades of the past twenty years worth of revelers. Roland tried attacking the clock psionically, but the clock attacked back.
Gremag attacked the clock with his greataxe and was put into a timeloop, a loop that ended at when everything seemed to stop. At this point Roland and Sheng Dao figured out that during the ringing of the bells, the clock had no power. Unfortunately, the next time it would ring would be the sounding of the toll. They would have 12 seconds to destroy the clock, or be forever dead. They spent the next hour planning their strategy for those 12 seconds. They attacked and destroyed the clock. (Spring, Artim 15)
After this, they found that a local wu jen was stealing the memories of the monks and putting those memories into scrolls about Wa Sa. The wu jen stole the memories of the party's monk, and then the party decided to do something about the wu jen. They planned to go ahead through the psigate, and sent out rumors that they had a full translation of the mirrors and they put fake translations into boxes. A month the rumors circulated, then the party threw a going away bash. The wu jen made a few unsuccessful attempts to use charmed people to destroy the boxes, and finally blasted the party with a fireball.... and thus the episode was cliffhanged. (Summer, Eul 15)
Episode 10: Sheng Dao found the wu jen and beat him into submission. The wu jen tried to insult Roland so that he would be killed, but Roland resisted temptation. Leaving all his belongings behind, Roland went to the Psi-gate and met a Githyanki mystic. Roland summoned his companions, including a new female sorcerer named Phoebe, and they passed through the psi-gate and saw the ancient ruins of Oard, an Angustian city from the First Age. They passed through the city and had a violent encounter with the ghosts of Oard. Roland was dedicated and found his way to the
Episode 11: The characters managed to trap a kraken, ending his murderous spree, and they battled an ancient vampire. (Summer, Ankou 7)
Episode 12: The town was attacked by a pair of cloud giants, brother and sister. The party managed to convince the male to dive off a cliff to its death, and Gremag killed the female with his death mask. The party then used the psi-gate to travel to Alisander. They found that the giants had been sent by Doctor Dalby to close all the psi-gates. They also found that Doctor Dalby was looking for elves. Upon investigating Doctor Dalby, they found he had several residences in Alisander, and one residence in a town called Visaria. Phoebe opted to investigate further alone, and was nearly killed. Doctor Dalby hypnotized her and drank her blood. He then ordered her to be taken to his medical rooms to be dissected for later use. Roland and Sheng Dao tried teleporting into the estate, but were scrambled by Dalby's protective spells, which prevent teleportation. Gremag rescued all three, and Dalby fled back to Visaria to reanimate Seth. (Summer, 15 Ankou)
Episode 13: Roland, Phoebe, Joriku, Gremag, and Sheng Dao investigated Dalby further. An augury told them they needed to slay a serpent to find Glauraith's vampire slaying javelin. (Summer, 16 Ankou)
Episode 14: Roland, Phoebe, and Joriku had a nightmare, and awoke screaming. They slew a serpent and entered a dungeon. Roland was nearly killed by a Trebuchet trap, and Joriku and Phoebe rescued him after defeating a harpy. (Summer, 17 Ankou)
Episode 15: After another dream, Roland, Phoebe, Joriku, and Sheng Dao awoke in the dungeon and battled gargoyles. (Summer, 18 Ankou)
Episode 16: After another dream, Roland, Phoebe, Joriku, and Sheng Dao awoke in the dungeon with Tazi the pirate queen. They avoided a lot of combat, and uncovered secret doors. Roland and Sheng Dao uncovered or deduced a lot of information about the people in the dream they keep having. Roland discovered that the Old Ones are somehow involved, and that Richard Dalby is but a peripheral concern. (Summer, 19 Ankou)
Episode 17: After yet another dream, Roland, Phoebe, Joriku, and Sheng Dao awoke in the dungeon with some newcomers. Olivia, and Ariana joined. Olivia was a princess from Zakhara, and Arianna Aetherlill came from Sigil. They fought through many traps, and Phoebe was infected by the Vargouilles. They fought some more gargoyles and battled a chimera, gaining the javelin of Glauraith. They went down a stair and found a mirror. Traveling through the mirror, they returned to Alisander. They found amongst their treasure a spell book of divine spells that anyone could cast, as well as magical books that granted feats and/or ability increases. (Summer, 20 Ankou)
Episode 18: They traveled to the castle of their dreams, using a Psi-gate to reach Indor. Realized castle was calling for help. Discovered the library and the history of the Vampire Queen, an executioner of the Old Ones. Killed the 32 vampire slaves of the Vampire Queen. Met Indorian. (Summer, 21 Ankou)
Episode 19: Put the Vampire Queen to rest and freed the castle. Ammrah and Xalandra joined the party. (Summer, 22 Ankou)
Episode 20: Went in search of the Skin of the Troll. Met a Nickel Dragon named Sjirocuir, encountered a treacherous Lizard King Psion, and killed him just before destroying the lizard folk lair. (Summer, 30 Ankou)
Episode 21: Roland tried to
find some means to gain disease healing, so he tried using the psi-gate to lead
him to Khemt. After disrupting the ceremonies of the Priest Hatahapur
(10th sorcerer/6th psion), he accidentally invaded the
They entered into the dungeon and battled the goblin trapping party led by Trak of the 'Gator-Baiter Clan (Ranger 2nd). They also quickly slew his friends, Rapad (Barbarian 2nd) and Kolid (Monk 2nd), as well as the 11 goblins of Yikroak's Clan that were assigned to Trak. They also slew Faressa the Seeress goblin (Adept 3rd) and her familiar. They captured Pell the Poisoner (Adept 3rd/Expert 2nd) and killed Chief Yikroak (Rogue 2/Sorcerer 1).
Entering into the "no-man's land" between the goblin territory and the hobgoblin territory, they recruited Kraagaut (Ranger 2) and his six goblins and destroyed the rest of the hobgoblins (except for the chief and his lieutenant). They burst into the lieutenant's chamber, and the lieutenant, a 9th level psychic warrior, nearly killed Roland. The chief, a 10th level barbarian, ran out, but Ammrah held him with a spell, and Spaulding slew him. They slew the psychic warrior, and figured out a plan on how to get past the three devils that guarded the doorway to the third level (which they found out about from Pell). They killed Kraagaut and his goblins, and went back and killed Pell to boot.
Using a Rope Trick to advantage, Phoebe freed the devils, and after they killed some orcs on the third level, they took their treasure and left the dungeon. The party descended down the stairs and found a bunch of slaughtered orcs. They heard more coming , so they hid. They surprised a party of psionic orcs and slew them quickly. (Summer, 1 Nemed)
Episode 22: Encountering
riddle-deactivated traps, Roland and the others explored the level they were
now on. They knew a mind-flayer was down here somewhere. They
misfired a trap and then found their way into a room that held a black dragon
egg. They battled the illithids most advanced Orcish students and slew them.
The illithid decided to deal with them personally. When they turned out
to be more powerful than it thought, it traded minds with Xalandra. The
illithid (actually Xalandra) was brought down with a feeblemind spell and
locked into a room. A bard wandered into the dungeon and joined the
Moving down to the next level, the bard fascinated a behir and sent it upstairs. The group battled a beholder over a pit of carrion crawlers, and vanquished it. Defeating a smoke demon they passed down into the next level, the level of an old black dragon. They negotiated with the dragon, giving it the egg they found in exchange for passage. They passed into the level of the Mummy, and the illithid reswitched minds, and Xalandra, feebleminded, was returned to the party. Ammrah summoned Osden, the Priest of the Silver Tree, who healed her mind. Osden left, for he was busy investigating the situation in Ahmn.
The party discovered the mummy had the power to scry and to cast powerful illusions, illusions that affected all five senses.
Episode 23: The mummy confronted the group and battled them. Xalandra was badly hurt, and it was an epic struggle, but the group overcame the mummy at last and took its stuff, including the Skin of the Troll. Receiving a message from a future self, Roland decided to attack the black dragon, for it had Psi Gate Keys. He was going to polymorph himself into a jeweled crown, but another message from the future stopped him. He and the rest of the party decided to wait until another day to take on the dragon. They left the swamps and returned home. Summer, 1 Nemed, Sixth Year, Eighth Age
Episode 24: Six months
later, the group went into action again. Their castle was on the move
toward Alisander, and had been moving for
a month. It was now Spring, 2 Xaul, Seventh
Year, Eighth Age. During the winter, the researches they had made
in the library led them to realize some historical anomalies created and
protected by Grindill. Roland, the Chaos Lord of Oard, formed some
remarkable theories about the First Age empire of Angust. Led by Roland,
the Chaos Lord of Oard, who understood the non-linearity of all things, the
party (Xalandra, Spaulding, Joriku, and Phoebe) traveled to Alisander ahead of
their castle via the psi-gate. They sought an audience with Lord Nadam,
but were put off. They went to see Black Brows for more information on
the city and found out about Darja, the political representative of the
Shipping Guild. Black Brows sent a messenger the next morning to Darja
and Darja got the group into the palace, and, in short order, arranged for them
a private meeting with Lord Nadam. Roland wanted to know if the rumors
were true, and if Lord Nadam predated Grindill.
They spoke with Lord Nadam, who agreed to give them a task before trusting them fully with information about his life. The party went to the Dragon's Breath tavern and nearly got into a fight over Khasmanen, the hero who brought the Word of Olanigan to the world. They also found a cursed woman near the wharves, but could do nothing to help her.
Returning to the palace, Xalandra saw a man with a bloody bandage over his mouth in her room. The man left, and she discovered all the pictures (paintings of cows) in the room were upside down, but she failed to notice the footprints on the ceiling.
In the morning, they were summoned to Lord Nadam again. Lord Nadam admitted to predating Grindill, sort of. He promised to answer their questions if they went to one of Intaba's shamans and found out what the savage wanted, for he had sought audience with Nadam.
For five days (3-8 Xaul) the group traveled from a psi-gate into Silvergate. They battled ten displacer beasts the first night. They found the shaman on 8 Xaul. The shaman said he had a dream. A dark man, with long hair, beard, crown, and a grey, fiery robe choked Lord Nadam and said "You will never tell my secrets!" Also he dreamed of a tree that held up the world, and at the base of the tree was a great clock. He dreamed that he saw Roland, Xalandra, Phoebe, and Joriku climbing down the tree and stealing the clock. He also dreamed of a bird-man with the skull of a dragon. He felt that if the clock was not found that Lord Nadam would die.
The shaman also told them that the children were having dreams of trees that walked and talked, friendly owls, and curious statues. The children wanted Intaba to pull away from Yam ibn Saud. In the night, the children would vanish into the dream world, and would reappear in the morning. Some entity was teaching them something they would not reveal. The children told Xalandra, "Beware the days that the shadows draw toward the sun!" The children also told the group to seek out the clock at the base of the tree that holds up the world.
They found that the children were drawing images of Atla, creating little stone men, writing in ancient Angustian. The children told them about the desecration of Olipe from under the sea by Garmund. Xalandra managed to get a message to the dream-entity and received the message back, "Seek the Master Clock of Time. You must split a psi-gate asunder, from one into two. Once you break the psi-gate, He will know you seek It."
They returned to Alisander on the 14th of Xaul. They talked with Lord Nadam and found out that the Master Clock of Time was Narbonean, and that Lord Nadam hid the clock in dreamland. Nadam believed that the Clock WAS the psi-gates, and that Grindill would reform and return unless the Clock is destroyed.
Episode 25: Walking sideways
into a Psi-Gate, in an attempt to metaphorically split it, the group was split
asunder. Roland and Phoebe were catapulted nearly six months prior, to
the 25th of Nemed, 6th year of the 8th Age.
In Alisander, they walked out of the Psi-Gate of the Theatre. They found they
could not go back through the psi-gate. They went to speak with Darja,
who, at this time, did not know them. Since they owned so much property
(they erroneously were led to believe that at this time they did not), they
were let in. The guard who gave the messages between them and Darja knew
them from their prior dealings with Black Brows. They met Issic the Half Dragon and were led to the
Library of Antiquities. Roland was given access to normally forbidden
books. He wondered why Nadam hadn't mentioned this library and its
contents to him in the future, then realized Nadam may well not realize what
treasures he has here.
They discovered several personal journals from Grindill had been stolen in an attempt to bait Issic. Roland,
Issic said he knew of some resources in Sigil that might help. Roland did not know how to get to Sigil, but said he could get them as far as the Astral.
Episode 26: Walking sideways
into a Psi-Gate, in an attempt to metaphorically split it, the group was split
asunder. While Roland and Phoebe ended up in Alisander in the past,
Joriku, Spaulding, and Xalandra found themselves floating in the Astral Plane
next to a dead psi-gate, one that was killed by an Elder Brain. The trio
encountered Krasmoru, a Githyanki Psion (15th level telepath). Krasmoru
took them to his private citadel that floated in the astral. They
negotiated to use a clear, crystal psi-gate kept in that castle and returned to
their own castle in Indor.
Roland wanted to visit dreamland to seek out the entity they had talked to before. Using the psi-gate in the castle, they traveled to Kharzho and obtained some Dream Willow bark. They landed in a nightmare of a child and battled a neothelid. While there, Xalandra received a mental message from someone claiming to be the woman they sought, telling them to go to the Astral and that what they sought would be found there among the Githyanki encountered earlier.
They traveled to the Astral Plane and approached the Githyanki in a friendly manner. They discovered another mage and his party were there planning to attack the black dragon guarding the Psi-Gate Keys. Roland managed to make the mage, named Shulan, to become aggressive, which caused the Githyanki to likewise become aggressive against the mage. The party attacked Shulan's party, killing them all, except for the mage himself, who escaped. Roland and his party confiscated the eyes of a dead demi-god, a rod of animal awakening, and several other magic items. They also managed to capture most of Shulan's plans, which showed that they were after, ultimately, something greater than the Psi Gate Keys. The papers of Shulan showed that the Psi-Gate Keys could create Psi-Gates, and, more importantly, provide access to the elusive Citadel of Time. Shulan planned to attack the Citadel after gaining the three Psi Gate Keys (two of which the dragon held).
Episode 27 (Eyes of the God, or Feats Don’t Fail Me
Now, DM'd by Bob Probst): In
the Githyanki Citadel, Roland, Joriku, Phoebe, Xalandra, and Spaulding were
told that the wizard Shulan had come from an astral color pool. After
being told this, they were asked to leave the citadel. Roland and Joriku led
the party to the color pool, where they met a rapidly aging man named Gerandal
of Tarin. Before the man died of old age, he gave Roland a gold pyramid
key, calling it the salvation of Tarin. The color pool was red with
radiating yellow rays. Led by Roland and Joriku, the party went into the
They were deposited in a great square of a seemingly deserted city. The city was smoking, and the stones of the square were blue. Seeing a temple, they approached and encountered the high priest and a group of folks, one of which was a barbarian on a giant lizard. Each of their faces were branded and disfigured with the sign of the Fly. The leader was Brother Angolin, High Priest of Serith, Keeper of the Gate at the
Reaching the library, ran by Brother Relanith, who showed them the true text and a loud howling began outside. When they attempted to exit the temple, The Brothers, Remlich and Sturlich, Noble Salamanders, were waiting for them, along with four howlers (Huge size). They found they need to go to
A week later, they headed to the mountains. They battled a frost worm, which was killed by Joriku's quivering palm, but the explosion nearly killed the rest of the party. They met the storm giants of
Episode 28: Roland, Joriku, Phoebe, Xalandra, and Gaspar the Cleric of Wemusa decided to hunt down Gremag. They found him on the shores of Orgaladh, and they helped their barbarian friend to kill a Dragonflesh Golem. Afterward they went to the great swamp to meet with the treants who once battled black dragons. They found the forest there to be on fire. Hunting down the source of the fire, they killed four noble salamanders, and their two average salamander servants. After they put out the fires, the treants loaned Roland three +2 Brilliant Energy Dragonbane longswords. While normal brilliant energy weapons ignore armor, they don't ignore natural armor - but these three swords had additional magic that allowed them to ignore a dragon's natural armor. Roland, however, for reasons of his own, decided not to borrow the weapons.
Episode 29 (The Master Clock of Time II: Grindill Unchained): Roland, Xalandra, Phoebe, Ammrah, Gaspar, and Joriku traveled to the dreams of Grindill to find a clue about the Master Clock of Time. They uncovered a plot to steal the remnants of Grindill's godhood, and they learned the value of Lucid Dreaming skills. They discovered that Grindill's superego had been chained and kept down by his ego and id. Releasing the ethical side of Grindill, they learned that the Master Clock of Time had been hidden in the dreams of Groll the Time Lord.
Episode 30: The Return of Oard: Roland decided to go after the Keys of Time. Phoebe struggled with her newfound addiction to Blue Lotus extract. They traveled to Kharzho and bought some Gloves of Transition for everyone. Gaspar, now acknowledging that he was an experienced Oneiromancer, took them to the dreams of the Black Dragon that possessed two of the three Keys. They found that they were in a desert landscape. Gaspar indicated that this must be a nightmare of the Dragon's, being lost in the desert a fear of the Dragon's. They encountered a caravan of masked sheiks who were confusing to speak with. They kept encountering dead black dragons in the desert as well. Finally, Roland spied a glint of metal and left the caravan. Rubbing the metal lamp they found, only smoke issued out. A genie appeared behind them, a twenty four foot tall efreeti who laughed and introduced himself as Achmed. He said wishes were not that easy to come by. He then proceeded to boast about several things and challenged the party to a boasting contest. He pulled out several magic items from a chest he had attached to his belt and offered as a prize if they could but outboast him. At first, none would take up his challenge, so Gaspar chose to steal the efreeti's magic items, altering the dreamscape so the chest was now in Roland's pack. The efreeti told Roland that he would have to kill his friend, and Roland nodded. The efreeti slammed his huge fist down, and killed Gaspar, sending him spinning out of the dream. Gaspar awoke in Roland's castle, bruised, but alive.
Roland said, "I have endured the boasts of efreeti since the beginning of time and no efreeti has since gotten the better of me. My boasts are so great and magnificent that the boasts of efreeti foam like water from their mouths!" He then altered the dream so the efreeti's next words became water that flowed from him. The efreeti was pleased and gave Roland the two tomes he carried, the Tome of Knowledge and the Book of Dreamwalking. He challenged them again, and again he and Roland exchanged boasts, this time about their sexual prowess. Again Roland won, and the efreeti surrendered the rest of his magic items, which included a Stormseeker Scimitar (+2 keen shocking burst scimitar with the stormseeker power found on p. 164 of Relics and Rituals), a black Dragonstein (p. 184 of Relics and Rituals), Courtesan's Garb (Relics and Rituals II: Lost Lore, p. 188), a Wolfen Rod (Relics and Rituals II: Lost Lore, p. 178), 5,000 gold pieces, a chest of holding, three rubies (1000 gp each), a golden chalice (750 gp), and a green glass water pipe with gold fittings (800 gp). The efreeti tried to trade for his magic items back by exchanging a wish for any items Roland might want to return, but Roland didn't want the boasting efreeti's wishes. During talking, Roland found that the efreeti represented the Dragon's insecurities about himself, for no matter what the Dragon did, the efreeti would boast of having done it better and a thousand times more often. He also found out that someone named Mapungubwe was haunting the Dragon's dreams, a guy in a mask, for the Dragon had a mask phobia.
Roland found where the Dragon's vanity was, a city of broken mirrors, with a trio of horrible giant artists. They refused to model for the giantesses, and tried to escape the city of mirrors, but could not. Roland changed the dreamscape, which caught the attention of Mapungubwe the Masked Dreamer, a horrible dream lich. The lich wore a horrific wooden mask, of a type worn by tribal witch doctors, which did little to hide his skeletal, twisted frame. Mapungubwe had a small army of fifteen hook horrors with him. Mapungubwe sent the hook horrors to charge the party.
Joriku used the monk's ability of Abundant Step (which he untiringly calls "Otherworldly Door Technique") to get behind the mangled Mapungubwe. The masked lich withered Joriku's legs, sending the monk to the ground, trying desperately to awaken from this horrible dream. Kerrigan, the druidess who had mysteriously joined them just before the fight, put up a wall of fire, through which the hook horrors charged. Phoebe used chain lightning and nearly destroyed all of the charging horrors. Roland teleported to Mapungubwe's side and hurt the lich, but the lich killed Roland, sending him from the dream, to awaken by Gaspar. The hook horrors and Mapungubwe took out Xalandra and Kerrigan, sending them to the waking world, leaving Phoebe. Phoebe destroyed the remaining hook horrors with another application of chain lightning, then took out Mapungubwe with a magic missile, casting the lich from the Dragon's dreams.
The dreamscape shifted, becoming swamp-like as Phoebe rifled through Mapungubwe's belongings, which remained. The Dragon's self image came and offered to reward Phoebe for ending the nightmares. The Dragon took Phoebe to her real lair and gave her name as Samber. In reward, the black dragon gave Phoebe one of the two Keys. Phoebe teleported back to Roland and gave him the key. They worked out a plan to get the other key from the dragon, so Phoebe returned to Samber the Black and asked if she could do anything for the dragon in return for the other Key. The dragon thought for a minute and claimed some desert giants had stolen a golden lion statue from her, and she would like that back. The dragon showed Phoebe an aged face and a place in a crystal ball so that Phoebe could teleport to the desert and retrieve the lion.
Phoebe teleported to Roland and the entire party teleported to Azrael, to a
During transport, a blue dragon attacked the giants carrying the Lion to the village, and stole the Lion. Phoebe and the party resolved to get the Lion back from the blue dragon. They jumped into the blue dragon's dreams and found out that the dragon had hidden the Lion in a pyramid not far south from the village. They fought a powerful blue dragon mummy in the dream, and Phoebe defeated it with Maximized Fire Orbs.
The pyramid, in reality, was buried beneath the sands of the desert, so Phoebe and the party got together a caravan of camels and went across the desert to find it. They were attacked en route by the flying blue dragon, who blasted Roland with his breath weapon, a lightning blast that clung to Roland a little longer than usual (the dragon had the Clinging Breath feat from Dragon 296). The camels took fright, and the dragon tackled with Xalandra. Phoebe feebleminded the dragon, and, from there, it was easy to dispatch.
They found a hole in the sand that led to the base of the pyramid. At the base, they found a stone door. Joriku used his abundant step and moved to the other side of the stone door. He was instantly blasted by the blue dragon's mate, another blue dragon! The clinging breath hurt, but he opened the door and he rolled under it, to escape the dragon's charge. Kerrigan put up a wall of stone, but the dragon charged right through it and was among the party, hitting as hard as it could. Again, Phoebe feebleminded the dragon. This time, Roland led the monster away using camels as bait.
At the top of the pyramid, they found the Golden Lion of Tannen. As soon as Roland took it, finding he could lift it easily, they heard a thumping sound in the halls of the pyramid, and a growled whisper that said, "Oard..." Roland and Phoebe teleported the party back to Roland's walking castle.
Roland decided to research this Lion, and was arguing with Phoebe that they would not surrender it to the Black Dragon for the second Key. Suddenly, Roland felt his castle lurch to stop and start to settle down, back in castle shape. Roland asked the castle what was wrong. He got a mental image of white frogs. He looked out the window. The castle was surrounded by monstrous white figures, huge bluish white humanoid toad monsters, lead by a horrific pure white one.
Roland asked what they wanted after ordering the castle to stand again. The White Slaad said, "We have come to serve the Lord of Oard."
"I did not summon you," he said.
"We would not have come if you had. We have come to serve, according to the ancient pact."
"So be it." Roland ordered the castle to settle in this place. The sign he had sought for had come. He went back into the castle and summoned the party and said, "Here is where we stop." They looked out the window and saw the slaads hard at work, building a city. Soon, an entire city surrounded them, and Roland recognized the street layout of the ruined Oard he had visited. The Slaads opened portals to Limbo and people began to populate the city, mostly with humans and tieflings, but a smattering of other peoples and monsters as well. The city was out of phase with the rest of Inzeladun, and so would be hard to find, however, 17 psi-gates were in the city, making travel there simple for some.
"We need to find out some things, and find a way to protect our
Roland sought out the Apothoker. Finding it, he traded the Apothoker the vile items they had taken from the Dream Lich. They found out the Bramble Men the Dream Lich had would ultimately destroy Phoebe if they were to be destroyed. The Apothoker gave them several magic items in trade for the other vile items that would help in the defense of the castle. They also found out that the Lion was an ancient symbol of a pact between the Chaos Lords of Oard and the Slaad Lords, and that there are four of them in the set. Roland also found out that there have been no Chaos Lords since the time of Angust. Definitely they would not be giving this lion to that black dragon. Roland decided it was time to go kill that thing. Spring, 30 Xaul - 5 Hera, 7 VIII
Episode 31: Roland was thinking about going
after the black dragon. He wasn't about
to give up the magic Lion, so they would just have to kill it. Phoebe, however, did not want to kill the
black dragon. Xalandra suggested that
they should return to the blue dragons' pyramid, that they hadn't completely
looted it, and it had several other golden lions. They were just lucky that the one they
grabbed was the magic one. Roland hadn't
thought of that.
They teleported back to the pyramid, and found that the feebleminded dragon was still there, lying amongst the golden statues. It looked at the newcomers, dumbfounded. It waited to see if they were a threat. Quickly they devised a plan where Gaspar and Roland would teleport or dimension door in; Gaspar would harm it, and Roland would kill it. Gaspar moved in, and was attacked by the dragon, who was ready for movement. Gaspar got the heck out of there. Roland didn't stick around either. The dragon blasted the hall with its lightning, frying Phoebe, and wounding Spaulding.
Kerrigan and Xalandra went in, and Spaulding fired his arrows. Kerrigan harmed it, and then Spaulding killed it.
They looted the room, teleporting the various gold lions and other statues back to Oard. Xalandra suggested looking for secret doors, and they found two of them. One led to a burial room dominated by a sarcophagus that held someone called "The Green One". The other had a small room with a protoplasmic goo (a pseudonatural balor demon) and a darksome tome (the Book of Oard).
They spoke to the demon and found out that only those blessed by the Green One could have it without having to fight for it. They asked a lot of questions of the demon, and it answered, waiting for them to try and take the tome, wanting to feast upon their souls. However, they returned to the sarcophagus, rearranged the diamonds in the ceiling, and opened the tomb. When the lid was lifted, a sludge made of Tanna leaves filled the coffin, bringing the mummy within to life.
The mummy was Zmach, Chaos Lord of Toteth, from the First Age, the time of Angust. The mummy explained that the lions each came from a different city of the Empire of Angust, so each was valuable. He asked for the Lion of Toteth to be returned. In return, he gave Roland the Book of Oard.
Spaulding returned to Oard to study one of the texts he found in the dragon's lair. Roland, Zmach, Gaspar, Phoebe, Joriku, Xalandra, and Kerrigan used a psi-gate to get close to Eha Ayshnekht, the isle of dinosaurs. Kerrigan turned into an air elemental and flew Zmach and the others the two hundred miles over the sea to the island, then over several hundred miles of island to reach the
Once back at the castle, they schemed out ways to get the other key from the Black Dragon in the
Roland got annoyed and told Phoebe to demand the Key with a threat of death. Phoebe did that, which alerted the Dragon, and put him on his guard. It replied that if it died, they would never find the Key.
They visited the Dragon's dreams and discovered that the Dragon thought knowledge was dangerous, and that it worked with the mummy soul-knife they had killed many months before (on the quest for the Skin of the Troll, where they first met the black dragon). They also noted that the dragon was obsessed with Phoebe. Roland took mental control of a dream image of Phoebe and teased the dragon sexually, trying to get information out of it. They found out that the dragon had met someone called the Traveler, who looked like Elah, but was evil, and that the dragon was planning to recreate an Angustian city and rule it as a Chaos Lord.
They needed a method to get around the scrying they were under, so they went to Alisander, and found Gajee, who owned a brothel/drug house. He sold them Candles of Scry Protection. Gaspar picked up a new cohort, Letarra, a rogue.
They decided to trick the dragon. They sent Phoebe in with a fake lion. The Dragon, wary now because of the threat earlier, scanned her mind after drinking a potion of Thought Reading, and discovered the deception. In a flash, the dragon attacked and killed Phoebe, rending her asunder.
The others teleported in (they had been watching via a scry spell). The attack did not go so well. Kerrigan harmed the old dragon, but got snatched and killed in the process. The dragon dove under the water and healed itself with one of its magic items. Roland and Gaspar teleported out of there, abandoning Joriku, Spaulding, and Xalandra. Crocodiles snatched Joriku, and pulled him apart underwater, killing him. The dragon surfaced and snatched Spaulding and tore him apart, despite his best efforts with an immovable rod. Xalandra, after having killed several crocodiles realized she was the last one left. She dimension doored her way to the top of the dungeons until she reached the surface. She ran for the psi-gate she knew was a mere league away.
With Phoebe, Kerrigan, Joriku, and Spaulding dead, Roland and Gaspar had a choice. Gaspar could resurrect Phoebe and Kerrigan (they had retrieved some of their body parts), or Roland could send a message to the past and warn himself not to go ahead with that plan. They chose Roland's method, and he did so. And thus, the past was changed (and Roland lost a level for messing with time so badly, and gained the notice of the Time Lords…)
Under the watchful eyes of a Time Lord agent, Roland and crew embarked on a new plan to kill the dragon. They went to Sigil, met with the Apothekar, and bought Phoebe a Tiara of Mind Protection, which kept people from reading her mind, but also made people fall in love with her. They knew the dragon sometimes met with that mummy and that the dragon didn't know the mummy was dead. So they teleported down to his lair, which was a level below the dragon's lair. The room had several items in it, all trapped. Letarra failed to find a trap and was turned into a Chaos Beast, but Gaspar restored her to normal with a restoration spell. They decided to leave the rest of the items alone. They knew the mummy would send mice with a message to the dragon, so they grabbed a mouse. They all turned invisible, and Phoebe was ready with a dispel magic should the dragon show up in Gaseous Form. The mouse was ready… then they realized the mummy would have written the message in Ancient Khemian. They did not know the language.
Frustrated, Roland traveled again to the dragon's dreams, who, luckily, was sleeping again. Roland found a message that was once sent to the dragon, and he brought it out of the dragon's dreams. Spaulding translated it and found it said, "Please send a crocodile. I have a message for the Nickel Dragon." Roland decided to return to the dragon's dream. Roland messed around too much, and the dragon awoke, sending Roland to another person's dream, so Roland came out of the dream. The dragon was awake now, so they had the trap set, but no bait. The dragon wasn't coming.
Extremely frustrated now, they returned to Oard. Roland tricked Phoebe into thinking she had a real Lion, but gave her the fake. They returned her to the dragon's lair, where the trade went off smoothly. The dragon, who had hidden the Key in a rope trick, gave her the Key.
When the Time Lord agent saw what Phoebe had, she returned to the Citadel of Time. She also reported that they had said the third Key of the Psi-Gates was somewhere on Eha Ayshnekht. The Guardians of Time quickly assembled a team to go to that island and find the third key before Roland could get it. Concerned by the enormity of all this, Merandius himself decided to lead this team. Spring, 6 - 28 Hera, 7 VIII
Episode 32: Roland put the two
Keys together and found it became sentient. Roland and Spaulding
investigated the libraries of Oard, researching the Keys, Grindill, and
anything related to Angust and history manipulation. They found that Grindill
and his cohort, Groll, did most of the manipulation. Groll, they found, traveled time and served not
Grindill, but the alien consciousness that possessed Grindill. A lich
called "M" traveled back in time and warned the Chaos Lords of the
Angustian King's coming treachery. "M" tried to steal the Key
to the Gates, but the Entity sundered it into three parts and hid it from the
Guardians. "M" tried to steal the Clock of Time, but it was
hidden by the Entity where "M" could not reach it, for "M"
could not dream. "M" promised the return of the Chaos Lords and
the Angustian King swore that the Citadel of Time would fall with the recovery
of the Keys. They also discovered that the three Keys could cause the
Gates to move through time. The books they read told that the portrait of
Thotepkrach could see the Keys, but could not tell its tales without the permission
of the Angustian King. The Angustian King used the Yuan Ti for his
treachery, and the Yaun Ti were to kill the King's enemies. The Keys
could unlock the Citadel of Time, which protects Groll's deceptions.
"M" watches for those seeking the Keys, as does Groll. Walk the
Steps of Thetoporus and see power. Run the Corridor of Xephoratum and
grab the Crown of Akotel. Enter the Outside Spaces and hear the whispers
of the Old Ones, for here the Entity's plans are oft spoken of.
Having learnt all this, Phoebe suggested going to the Apotheker's in Sigil. They went. Gaspar sold some blue dragon scales, and Phoebe gave up the potions she owed the undead chemist. The Apotheker, in exchange for a three day visit to Oard, told Roland about Eha Ayshnekht, the Isle of Dinosaurs, as well as the need to light a torch with an animated rope, and told him "M" was Merandius the Lich, and that Merandius was the lich of Groll. It also told Roland that the Tiger was an emblem of special import to Merandius. It also whispered to Roland to seek Nepethoth, a rival lich to Groll. He also told them that another party, a party of Guardians of Time, were now looking for the third Key.
From Sigil, the party traveled to Khemt. Several of the names they had heard sounded Khemian. Using the psi-gates, they appeared in Tema'enxay. They met in the library there a fellow named Svaengith, who was then rather taken with Phoebe, and became her cohort. Svaengith later revealed himself to be a copper dragon in human guise. Svaengith told them that Thetoporus and Xephoratum were permanent realms in Dream, places only the most experienced dreamers could reach, and that Akotel was an Angustian city founded in Dream eons ago. Svaengith returned to Oard with Phoebe, and the whole lot of them traveled to Eha Ayshnekht. They arrived at the new Toteth, ruled by Zmach, the Green One, and looked at his maps. Zmach introduced them to his Cahoki barbarian guide, and loaned her to them to help guide them through the swamps.
Kerrigan traveled through the trees, via a spell, and found the site of the original Toteth. Roland teleported the others to Kerrigan's location. They encountered Gargesh the Lizard Man and learned that the site of the original Toteth was forbidden, and that a monster lived in N'Gark Castle, which abutted the circle of death that marked Toteth's resting place beneath the peat of the bog. Gargesh also told them of a party of five, led by one with flaming red eyes, that entered into Toteth's ring. Xalandra suggested that Merandius had led his Guardians of Time into Toteth, but that the Key would likely not be there, since no one could escape to tell of it. Xalandra suggested the Key was in the castle that had been built next to the border of Toteth. Spaulding went past the border and into the watery and treeless bog. He was trapped. Unable to escape, Spaulding asked Roland for help. Roland tried, but could not, for he was not a Chaos Lord of Toteth, but of Oard, so he could not command the border of Toteth. Soon, a pseudonatural great black wyrm attacked and chased after Spaulding. Spaulding used magic and cleverness to avoid dying, and soon went underwater, and investigated the ruins of Toteth on his own. He found the Chamber of God, where poor souls, trapped in Toteth as Spaulding was, worshipped a great, glowing gem as their god. They were sahuagin. They found out Spaulding could use magic, so they had hopes that he could activate the great ship they had discovered, a ship they believed could pierce the barrier. Spaulding, however, had spent so much time in Toteth that he underwent a horrific change, and became a sahuagin, a deep one of Dagon Hob, who was once worshipped in Toteth, and still slept beneath it...
Meanwhile, unable to help Spaulding, the rest of the party decided to investigate N'Gark castle, which they found to be decorated with the design of the third Key. Upon entering, they were set upon by 17 lizardmen skeletons, each wielding longswords and shortswords, four lizard man ghouls, and Ayborgil, the Dracolich cohort of N'Gark. N'Gark distracted the party with projected images of himself. Later, Ar'naith, a lizardfolk ghast fighter, entered the fray and took out Joriku with his impressive weaponry. Caltrath, a lizardfolk ghost fighter, took out other members of the party. Kerrigan had not prepared any healing magic, so Gaspar was hard pressed to keep the party alive under this impressive assault. Svaergith took out the dracolich, and Roland destroyed the ghost. Gaspar and Kerrigan blew apart most of the skeletons.
Spaulding activated the magical ship and set it to sailing out of the ruins. The psuedonatural dragon flew to attack, but Merandius and his Time Lords appeared on the ship, and sent the dragon a year into the future, allowing the ship to continue on unimpeded. They sailed out of the ruins to Castle N'Gark, arriving at the end of the battle there. Merandius and the party, led mostly by Roland and Spaulding, held a dialogue as Merandius sought to dissuade the party from seeking the third Key. Caught in several lies, Merandius was less than successful. Before the dialogue could be concluded, Joriku and Svaergith, who were in the castle, cried out for help. N'Gark, ruler of N'Gark castle, a lizardfolk fleshbound vampire (fighter 10/ sorcerer 10/ Lord of the Dead 5), was attacking with four armed skeletons and a spectral troll. Gaspar quickly blocked the path of the skeletons, and N'Gark took out Joriku. Phoebe blasted herself with a spell that N'Gark reflected. Outnumbered, N'Gark finally fell, but he took a terrible toll with his +5 keen shocking/icy burst mercurial greatsword of unholy speed. Outside, Merandius and the Guardians of Time waited...
Spring, 2 - 14 Artim, 7 VIII
Episode 33: Roland stepped outside
and surrendered to Merandius. After a brief negotiation, Roland was
allowed to teleport himself and his party (including the dead) away, but they
were not permitted to loot the dead bodies of N'Gark or his followers.
They returned to Oard. Merandius gave a few last second instructions to
his agent just before it followed. Merandius and his four Guardians of
Time proceeded to check out the castle on their own.
Back in Oard, they waited a day so Gaspar could resurrect Phoebe. It took two attempts, but she was successfully raised, although under the condition that if she lost her virginity she would die again. Roland decided they would return to N'Gark. After all, it had been two days, and he figured (correctly) that Merandius had no idea what he was looking for, nor did he have the clue given out by the Apothoker. Gaspar scried the area, and found the castle was gone! Had Merandius gone back in time and prevented the castle's construction? No, figured Joriku, or else they would not remember the castle. They teleported to the location. Spaulding dove into the waters of the swamp, but the water was only two feet deep. He had hit upon the foundation stones. The castle had been stolen. Phoebe suggested the castle was either shifted to another plane or perhaps had been moved in time but a few seconds. They explored the foundation but found nothing. Gaspar then went ethereal... and found the castle and Merandius.
Gaspar returned and gasped out a warning. Then Merandius and his Guardians attacked. Phoebe was taken out by a Temporal Rogue almost immediately. One of the Temporal Champions attempted to dominate Gaspar, but failed. A Guardian of Time temporally pushed Kerrigan the Druidess ahead, causing her to vanish. The other Guardian of Time temporally pushed Phoebe's copper dragon, Svaergith, in time as well, causing him to vanish. Another Temporal Champion cast Chain Lightning at Roland, but Roland reflected it back, and it bounced between the two, eventually hitting both with full effect, then moving on to hit the rest of the party (except Joriku, who evaded it). Merandius began to cast the epic spell Ruin.
The party fought back, but less than effectively. Phoebe took a potion of healing, but Joriku couldn't hit the Temporal Rogue attacking her. Spaulding and Xalandra tried attacking Merandius, hoping to interrupt his spell, but couldn't break up his concentration. Gaspar didn't even try to turn the lich, but cast flame strike upon the Time Lords, but their rings of major fire resistance protected them from much of the damage. Xalandra was hit with the epic Ruin spell, which destroyed much of her. Then Merandius gazed upon her and Xalandra died. Gaspar was temporally pushed out of time, and Phoebe was mortally wounded by the Temporal Rogue. Joriku used his "otherworldly door technique" (dimension door) to get out of there, taking Phoebe with him. Roland teleported back to Oard. Invisible, Spaulding used his wings of flying and caught up Xalandra's dead body, sweeping her out of the castle.
Merandius did not waste time chasing the fleeing party members. Instead they readied themselves for the return of the time pushed members. Kerrigan returned first and was killed brutally by the Temporal Rogue and the two Temporal Champions. Then the dragon returned and was quickly dispatched, killed by Merandius' evil gaze. Gaspar returned, and Merandius allowed the dreaming priest to return to Oard.
Spaulding flew with Xalandra over the swamps, eventually finding a freshwater sahuagin and a lizard man negotiating the price for something. Spaulding became visible and landed. After talking, the sahuagin drew Spaulding a map to the lower dungeons far beneath Castle N'Gark. He also hinted to Spaulding that his Sahuagin tribe had a horrible book dedicated to Dagon Hob that they would sell for Spaulding's Wings of Flying.
During Spaulding's negotiations, Roland and Gaspar found Joriku and Phoebe hiding in the swamps. They soon found Spaulding as well. Roland and Gaspar took Joriku, Phoebe, and Xalandra's corpse back to Oard, and Spaulding went with the Sahuagin into the depths of the swamp.
In Oard, over the next day, Gaspar and Phoebe resurrected Xalandra (on the condition that she sacrifice three souls to Wemusa in the next three days) and the dragon (on the condition that he refrain from sex). In the Sahuagin village, Spaulding was given the Book of Dagon Hob. He traded his wings of flying for the darksome tome, which was one of the original four. Indeed, he believed it simply was the original, scribed by Reliba Vooz herself.
Rendezvousing with Roland, Spaulding hid the Book in Oard for later study. For now, they were ready to go into the dungeons beneath Castle N'Gark. They found the secret opening, and traveled several miles through a dank, damp, dark tunnel. In that moist, tight space, they met Kendra, a druid/elementalist.
They passed a chess/math problem to break into Yuan Ti tunnels. They explored the prisons first, releasing several imprisoned Saurials. They also discovered a small madhouse, where experiments in madness and physical mutations were taking place. Through one of the prisoners, they found out that the High Priest ruled here, and that he loved to play chess. They also found that the Yuan Ti worshipped a mummified ancestor of that High Priest, and that the mummy had the Key. They killed the Yuan Ti guards, and Xalandra sacrificed them to Wemusa Hob.
Using scrying, they discovered that a chessboard, with a chess problem on it, would open the secret doors and deactivate the traps leading through the catacombs for fifteen minutes. They solved the chess problem (a mate in three from an unlikely set-up) from a distance, then they decided to plan a way to get to the
Using Svaergith the dragon to cast an illusion, they made it through the kitchens to the hallway in front of the vestibule. There they found a guard. Roland psionically pushed him ahead in time, and they opened the doors, entering the vestibule. There, two Yuan Ti lounged in the water. One of the Yuan Ti, a monk, detected them and attacked. It was finally defeated. The other Yuan Ti was sacrificed by Xalandra to Wemusa Hob. They sent the bodies floating down the water to the Sensualist quarters, where the bodies were found. In the meantime, Gaspar's cohort deactivated the trap on the door and unlocked the
Using an animated rope, they lit the torch in Dagon's hand and the Key appeared. The mummy nodded and retreated back into the darkness. It had known, through divinations, that a Chaos Lord would come to take the Key. It was to guard it until such a time. Roland took the key, and connected it to the other parts - and thus the Key of Time was recreated. The party teleported back to Oard.
Spring, 14 - 18 Artim, 7 VIII
Episode 34: Roland and his
companions (save Spaulding, who was studying the Book of Dagon Hob, and Gaspar, who was
caring for sick folk) explored Oard for a
while, and found a man selling crystal animals here, much like the ones Gaspar
had picked up in Kharzho. Roland
bought the entire lot and had them distributed throughout the city as
lamp-lights. They found out that the crystal animals were magical, but
could find out little about them. Roland also materialized the city
Episode 35: Phoebe despaired
because of her inability to engage in sexual activity, but Xalandra suggested
that she could still have dream sex, which cheered her up somewhat. Phoebe dreamed of sex with Joriku, Roland and
even Xalandra. Phoebe wanted to research her ancestry; Xalandra
wanted to find her magical halberd. Roland divined that the halberd was in the
Gaspar thought about the price. Roland and Xalandra suggested as strongly as they could that he not take that price. "Spaulding can write you a spellbook," said Roland. "There is no need to buy one."
Gaspar said to the Apothoker, "My soul is a bit steep for a spellbook. Would you take the soul now, or when I die?"
"When you die, of course," whispered the Apothoker.
"Then I wouldn't be able to be resurrected, would I?"
"No," said the Apothoker. "But since you are the only one able to cast the spells necessary to bring someone back from Wemusa's realm, you would not be able to be resurrected anyway, so your soul's final destination once you are done with this mortal life really doesn't matter."
"You are right," said Gaspar. "I will take the spellbook." With that, Gaspar, the priest of Byleth Hob, sold his immortal soul to an undead thing for a book of twenty-five 1st to 4th level spells, spells he could only cast as scrolls (use once).
Wanting to travel to Catemar, they discussed various methods of reaching that black-hearted city of magic. They ended up using the psi-gate to Hrothton, then took a ship to dark Catemar. Phoebe, because she was a sorcerer, was granted admittance to the city. She led them to the
They reached the
Halberd in hand, Phoebe wanted to research her background in the libraries of Catemar. Roland suggested going to one of the main libraries, but Xalandra suggested going to one of the small, out-of-the-way libraries. They found a little library. They did some research, and Phoebe ended up casting Legend Lore. Phoebe found out that her family, on her mother's side, originated via the love of Yrmenthryth and a black dragon in Castle Kelandeg, and that one of her ancestors was smuggled out of that castle by Samber, the black dragon. Apparently, the
They returned to Oard, and Phoebe visited Samber the Black Dragon and found out that it had rescued one of her ancestors seven generations back. Roland thought to travel to Dreamland to check out Phoebe's ancestral castle. Gaspar tried to access the power of his god, but was unable to do so. With the failure of the spell, Roland decided that Dreamland must have been conquered. They traveled via psi-gate to Kharzho and found that the city had been conquered, dominated by the forces that brought the crystal animals. Roland returned and gathered the forces of Oard to invade Kharzho. Preparing themselves for war, Gaspar found out that he couldn't cast any of his divine spells. Perhaps Dreamland hadn't fallen. Perhaps Gaspar had. Gaspar said he had done nothing that would remove his ability to cast spells. Roland and the others continued their preparations. They did not have time to mess around with this.
Roland decided to bring in outside help as well. He traveled to Alisander and gained audience with Lord Nadam and Ordiss Ool. On the silent advice of Ordiss Ool, Lord Nadam made his excuses about lending military aid to the Chaos Lord, claiming that if he depleted his armed forces, Yam ibn Saud would take over the city, although Yam ibn Saud's forces were nowhere near Alisander. Lord Nadam told him about the illithids and their demon-gem, a monstrous stone that contained a demon, and that it controlled the city, allowing the mind flayers to take the city hostage, transporting its people somewhere else on their black ships. He also told them of an ancient dream warrior who defeated such a force with two dark spells. The man cast one spell, walking around the city as his friends defended him, which locked up the city forever. Then a second spell was cast that shattered the giant gem and freed the demon. The demon then went on a rampage and destroyed every living thing in the city. He did not remember the details, but offered the use of his personal libraries. Roland asked Lord Nadam if he knew of anything that could be blocking Gaspar's ability to cast divine spells.
"Did you do anything to anger your god?" asked Lord Nadam.
"No," said Gaspar. "Nothing."
"Who is your god?"
"Byleth Hob, the god of dreams."
"Could Byleth Hob have been defeated?" asked Roland.
"I doubt it," said Lord Nadam. "I am not sure what could be causing the problem." He paused and listened to Ordiss Ool's mental suggestion. Lord Nadam nodded and asked, "You didn't sell your soul to some other entity, did you?"
Gaspar nodded. "Yes, I sold my soul to the Apothoker. I wanted a spellbook. It had twenty five arcane spells in it that I can cast now as scrolls."
Roland stared at Gaspar in shock. Even Lord Nadam was taken aback. Gaspar may well die soon, for the gods did not take such treachery lightly. Lord Nadam said, "Well, since you have deprived your god of your soul, of your truest heart and honor, he has withdrawn his power. Quite a reasonable course of action, I must say."
Unable to help Gaspar at this point, Roland and the others traveled to Lord Nadam's private libraries, and discovered that the spells needed for the destruction of the illithid's plot were "Create Barrier of Naach-Tith" and "Shattering Bolt of Tarkhun Atep". The research showed that a written copy of the barrier spell was known to be in a great haunted library on a planet orbiting the star Celaeno in the Pleiades. Another copy was known to exist in Castle Kelandeg, where the dream warrior who used the spells, Chaugnar, fell. Also in that castle could be found a copy of the other spell.
Returning to Oard, Gaspar tried to buy back his soul from the Apothoker. The Apothoker said he never sold his souls; he only bought them. Xalandra told Gaspar he should have the same philosophy. Gaspar prayed to Byleth Hob, begging for forgiveness. Byleth Hob said he return his favor to Gaspar if Gaspar would kill the Apothoker. Gaspar prepared to unleash his horned ferret to disembowel the undead, but Roland stopped him. Gaspar despaired and gave up. Roland, however, went back to the Apothoker and asked the Apothoker for Gaspar's soul back. The Apothoker smiled, a hideous sight, and gave back Gaspar's soul.
Traveling to Dream, they entered into Anavaree, a permanent dreamscape, an idyllic landscape lit by a golden sun. They met Ana, a little girl, and her bronze dragon, Grumpy. They traveled from there and met a vampiric cat who tried to get them to lay down and sleep again to enter the deeper regions of dream (where dreamers can really die), but they figured out their danger and fled back to Anavaree. Ana and Grumpy agreed to watch over them as they slept to enter the deeper regions of Dream.
They entered the realm of Kelandeg and battled a Gray Linnorm, a huge dragon that lacks wings and hind legs. It had an immense, serpentine body that moved through a combination of its forelegs and snakelike slithering. Everyone else teleported to the other side of the river to escape the dragon without violence, but Joriku defended Phoebe (who was not able to get away from the dragon) and killed the Linnorm with his Quivering Palm power ("Screaming Fury with a Ruthless Touch").
Once they crossed the river, they entered into a dreamscape where the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens over a dull, dark, and soundless swamp. It was a singularly dreary tract of country that surrounded the melancholy Castle Kelandeg. The castle, with vacant eye-like windows, sighed with an utter depression of the soul, an icy, sinking, sickening of the heart. The castle sat on the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled silence. They teleported across the stinking mire to the castle walls and entered the home. There they met Roderill Phoenon, Lord Kelandeg, the result of a family that had put forth, except once, any enduring branch; the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain.
The whole of the castle was large and lofty. The windows were long, narrow, and pointed. Dark draperies hung upon the walls, as did macabre paintings of various members of the ancestral family. The general furniture was profuse, comfortless, antique, and tattered. Nothing seemed to give the place any vitality. Roderill himself had a cadaverous complexion with one large, luminous eye and one eye that perpetually squinted. His lips were thin and pallid, and his nose was delicately formed into a beautiful curve. He was balding, but had combed over his otherwise unheeded, silken hair to disguise this fact.
Roderill, who had married his sister, and later married Phoebe's aunt, was now the last of that line. He determined to marry Phoebe, and offered Roland the scrolls he sought as her dowry. In investigating the castle, they found many restless dead, members of the family killed by inbred insanity. Many members of the family, Roderill among them, often allowed alien entities to possess their bodies, and this often led to despair and unwholesome depressions, a feeling of not belonging where they were.
Phoebe found that she could not escape the castle, bound now by its curse on the family. Only a black dragon could free them. They found out that Father, the black dragon that began the line, still dwelt in the swamps outside and beneath the castle, but could not gain access to him. Phoebe summoned Samber, who came and flew her away from the castle. The others went to go destroy Roderill.
Roderill, who had intense and incredible hearing, of course heard every word uttered within the castle and knew they were going to attack. He summoned demons and devils, monsters with whom he had made long-standing pacts, and sent several to fetch back Phoebe. Three (a Gelugon and two mariliths) remained behind to defend him from Roland, Gaspar, Xalandra, Kendra, Joriku, and Phoebe's dragon cohort, Svaergith. Joriku managed to slay Roderill, and the others had a hard fight against the devil and the two demons. Roland dominated one of the Mariliths, and Gaspar killed the other Marilith with a magic missile (from his treasured spellbook) even as it crushed Xalandra into unconsciousness. Gaspar then dispatched the other two (the Gelugon and the dominated Marilith) by opening a Gate beneath them and banishing both to Hell. They found the two spells the sought, as well as the Black Book of Founaugh, and they decided it was time to return to the waking world and defend Kharzho. Summer, 10-13 Eul, 7 VIII
Episode 36: It was time to return
to the waking world and defend Kharzho.
Gaspar was the first to awaken, and he vanished from the castle in Dream.
Kendra was the second to awaken. Svaergith then awakened and
vanished. Roland, Xalandra, and Joriku were all that remained. They
left the castle and looked around the swamp. They decided to
awaken. Xalandra and Roland did so, but Joriku could not. Roland
and Xalandra were on the grassy knoll with the child, and they returned and
helped Joriku out of Deep Dream, then they awoke further and returned to
Oard. Gaspar and Kendra were nowhere to be found.
Phoebe was taken to Samber's lair, where Samber had built her a pedestal to stay upon. Phoebe objected and teleported away. Samber used a teleport trace to learn where Phoebe lives.
Roland, Phoebe, Xalandra, and Joriku spent a week studying the two spells, but they did not study (yet) the Black Book of Founaugh. Khrenikath (formerly Spaulding) joined them, and they discussed options regarding Kharzho. They traveled to Sigil to see if they could learn more from the Apothoker, but they could not. He had nothing more to tell them. They traveled to Alisander and Nadam reaffirmed that he would give them a thousand troops to attack Kharzho with. He told them that Ordiss Ool, who had been promoted to Minister of War, would assign the troops and have them ready.
They discussed and realized that Ordiss Ool would send troops loyal to Nadam on such a suicide mission. They also determined that using the two spells might well be a suicide mission for whomever cast the second spell, for it would have to be cast either within the first one, or timed so perfectly...
Roland went to Kharzho and started walking the area he would have to tread as he cast the spells. The walk took him into the Ratakquixtadat (The Magic Forest). This forest was reputedly haunted by faeries, elves, satyrs, and other fey creatures. Humans were definitely NOT welcome here. Rumors persisted of lost forest cities, lost treasures stolen by the fey and taken here, and rumors also indicated that Neria had another sanctuary hidden deep in this forest. Green dragons also roamed the dense forest according to lore. Roland met a druidess elf who was shapechanged into a bear. The druidess took Roland, at his request, to the Council of Sha'a. Sha'a and his greatest elven advisors told him that the spells he was considering casting were like a cancer upon the earth and were the same spells that doomed Angust and its great cities. Sha'a also told Roland that the mind flayers were seeking a baby, a child that could calm the Elder Gods, and could be instrumental in the war against the illithids. Sha'a told them that they could not find the child, for it kept moving.
Roland realized that the child was the baby girl Ammrah, Vathelos, and Osden took around with them. Roland contacted Ammrah, and Ammrah promised to bring the child to him in a few weeks.
Roland decided to go back to the beginning. He used the psi-gates to take him, Joriku, Xalandra, Khrenikath, and Phoebe to the mountain town of
The Half-Orc took them to their capital where their queen had been killed in a fire. Roland found an amulet similar to the one he found at the site where he awakened after he originally burned to death. He smashed it and a nearby samurai stumbled in pain. Realizing that it was a mind flayer, they attacked and captured it. Roland dominated it and learned that the Yuan Ti tower was also a real place, not just someplace imagined while they lay in the Yuan Ti laboratory, a place were spell-jamming ships were being built. They learned the place was ruled by twelve mind flayers.
They killed the mind flayer, then teleported to the tower where Roland had awoken in Episode 1. They saw more things cloning and they killed the birthing clones and smashed the amulet on the burnt one. This alerted the mind flayer rulers, and they quickly assembled the most powerful among them to ambush Roland, Phoebe, Joriku, Khrenikath, and Xalandra. The fight was short, but Roland and Khrenikath managed to get everyone to retreat and they left the Yuan-Ti city. Summer, 20-30 Eul, 7 VIII
Episode 37: Roland was
concerned. He wanted more information. The more information he got,
the more confused he got, so total information should clear things up. He
decided to go to Silvergate, to find the
lady that had contacted them, the first person that identified herself as the
Speaker in Dreams. Arriving in Silvergate, they found that the illithids
had arrived there first. All they found were brainless corpses and a
yuan-ti dagger. Using divinations, they determined that the
illithids had stolen three children for a sacrifice, and took two children and
a couple of adults because they were "forgotten", whatever that
meant. One of the adults knew something about a "mindscraper",
whatever that was. They didn't do a divination on either term because
Ammrah the Wild turned up in her magical hut. Ammrah showed them Hannah,
the two year old child who was the demi-god daughter of Tomodachi and Shuma.
The White Slaad of Oard contacted Roland and warned him that a Red Dragon had flown by Oard, landed, and shape-changed into a Dwarf. Roland told him to make the dragon comfortable. Roland, Gaspar, Ammrah, and Khrenikath argued about going to Golgaryllgar to rescue the children. Roland thought it was foolhardy for they knew nothing about Golgaryllgar except some old maps of the ship-building facilities. Roland used more and more divinations and gained more and more information, hints and clues, but it was not enough. Roland then found out that he was being scryed upon. Phoebe summoned Samber, who put an end to it in return for Phoebe's promise to have sex with the dragon in dream. They also found out that Ammrah's hut could not be scryed upon.
Finally Roland returned to Oard and met Mornaleim the Dwarf King, a red dragon. The Red Dragon and Sveargith (Phoebe's gold dragon) nearly came to blows in a tavern, for they are instinctive enemies. Sveargith tried to warn Roland that the Dwarf was an evil dragon, but Roland ordered the gold dragon to shut up and never speak ill of the dwarf king again. Neither Roland nor Phoebe had tolerance for prejudice. Sveargith stewed, angry, hoping that the evil dragon didn't cause Phoebe to get killed.
Neria and Fifthbthidl arrived and agreed to go with Roland to Golgaryllgar, a course of action Roland still counseled against due to lack of information. Roland cast more divinations. They learned that the children would be sacrificed at this night, and that the Yuan Ti were doing the sacrifice. Apparently the yuan ti here were becoming hard to control, so the mind flayers were allowing this ceremony to pacify them. Gaspar and Khrenikath argued fervently in favor of an attack, but Roland refused to be swayed. They still lacked current information. Yet, in the end, they traveled to Golgaryllgar via Ammrah's hut.
Finding Golgaryllgar to be a jungle, Fifthbthidl was sent to reconnoiter, with Roland's psi-crystal in tow. Fifthbthidl, invisible, entered the Yuan Ti city of
More divinations revealed that Hannah needed to touch the power of the Elder God that was suspended above the Yuan Ti temple. They also knew that the globe of green light absorbed magical energy. They also learned that the Elvish spelljamming ships were each in little pocket dimensions, and that the mind scraper was on one of the ships.
Gaspar and Mornaleim soon located the mindscraper and took the party to one of the ships, where they found an elf at the Helm, in suspended animation. They woke the elf and found the mindscraper. The elf told them that a crystal staff and torc could release the ships and allow someone to command those at the Helms. Soon a plan was devised, and the group traveled into the city, landing Ammrah's hut in an alley. Cloaked, they went into the temple.
Reaching the center of the temple, the Elder God recognized Khrenikath as a being that could understand its speech, so it spoke to the Deep One, asking for Hannah. Khrenikath tried to get the child from Neria to present to the Elder God, but Neria would not relinquish the child to the monster. Their altercation attracted attention, and mind flayers came into the room to kill the intruders. The fight was brief and violent, but the mind flayers were killed. Gaspar, in casting a flaming evocation spell, discovered the place was actually a Nexus of Magic. Khrenikath took the child and presented it to the Elder God, who took the child. And the
They went ethereally down to the temple area where they found the Abomination Paragon Priest of Mershaulk. They convinced the priest to let them have the crystal staff and torc, and to lead the Yuan Ti city in revolt against the mind flayers. Roland released the elvish ships, and found that 1600 survived intact, although they were largely uncrewed, and only had working helms and pilots. They also secured the release of the children and the adult captives. They also found the survivors of Kharzho. The Elder God released Hannah, and the
Episode 38: For the past thirty
days, Roland and Phoebe planned an assault on the main illithid island.
Phoebe's research uncovered the power of Elder Signs, and, after contacting
Tomodachi, had acquired several of them. They gathered up Hannah, and
Tomodachi acquired the Ring and Finger of Vulthois and attached it to
Hannah. Alexander came along with
Down below, they saw the illithids had built a wall out of women and children thralls and were standing behind it. Each illithid held a child, prepared to kill the children if the assault team attacked. One of the mind flayers had two heads. Xorquarthat the dragon charged... and was stopped by the iron dragon. Somehow it had beaten them to this layer from the top. The mind flayers killed the children they held.
The party's antimagic shields messed up many of their own attacks, and the iron dragon kept stopping the party's attempts to get past Xorquarthat, who had also been stunned by the mind flayers. Using chain lightning, domination, and other spells, the party slowly whittled away at the group of illithids fighting it at the bottle neck. Joriku and Xalandra tumbled their way to the iron dragon and battled the armored illithid mounted on it. The dragon flipped over and killed Joriku, Xalandra and the illithid. Joriku turned to glass, and Xalandra's soul entered into the mindscraper. Neria ran in and nearly killed the dragon, so the dragon grappled with her and took her to the Elder Brain. Other mind flayers arrived on the scene and built up prismatic walls to trap the party. A mind flayer grabbed up the mindscraper and took it to another plane.
Neria was offered a choice of surrender and submission, or nearly a dozen children (and Phaidon) would be slain. Still grappled by the dragon, Neria dropped the Elder Sign, and submitted to thralldom, not resisting. Upon seeing the Elder Sign, the Elder Brain ordered the evacuation of the site.
With the iron dragon gone, and upon receiving news that the party had Elder Signs, the mind flayers retreated. The party read the Qualith on the walls, then went down to the next level. As they traversed the stairs, the iron dragon schismed, then fissured, making itself into two. Tomodachi hellballed the dragon, and Roland attacked the dragon with a joyous bloodthirst that was reminiscent of his younger days. The dragon slew Roland and then the party slew the dragon. The copy of the dragon chose not to attack, and the party ignored it, and went on to read the second level of qualith. They traveled to the level of the Elder Brain.
The Elder Brain and the Grand Elder Concord (the ten surviving members anyway) held children (and Phaidon and Neria). The Elder Brain said, "If you attack, the children will die. If you leave, the children will die. Surrender and submit to our powers. If you resist our mental powers, then a child will die per person resisting us." Z'mach the Green One ordered the attack and disintegrated the wall between them and the Elder Brain. The children were killed and Phaidon and Neria were plane shifted away. They noted a prismatic sphere around the Elder Brain. Tomodachi cast a disjunction spell and ended the spell effects in the room, and Gyorn the Elven Priest reversed gravity in the Elder Brain's pool.
The Blood Owls swooped through the thrall city and into the illithid layers, slaying nearly a hundred illithids who had not yet abandoned their posts. Alexander called upon Athena and Hades, and, with Phoebe's help, resurrected Roland. After he was brought back, he swore eternal friendship between Oard and the followers of Athena. He would always come to their aid, so long as their cause be true.
The Blood Owl commander reported the finding of three powerful lion statues, and led Roland to them. Roland identified the lions as a lion of Oard, a lion of Toteth, and a lion of Rior. Summer, 30 Ankou, 7 VIII
Episode 39: Roland, Phoebe, Gaspar and Khrenikath join Xalandra's sister, Xarxersuna, on adventures in Groll's dreams, and they finally liberate the Master Clock of Time. They learn something of the forces against them, and gained new allies. For a more complete version, read The Master Clock of Time, Part 3.
Episode 40: Roland, Phoebe, Gaspar, Xarxersuna, and Khrenikath encountered croaking sahuagin that wandered into Oard looking for Khrenikath. The sahuagin told them that the real Speaker had power over golems, and was alien to them. The false speaker appeared as little girl and was comfortable and natural feeling. They followed the sahuagin to their underwater city and found that the ruler, a powerful kraken, had been possessed by devils. They encountered coral golems who warned them that the true Speaker in Dreams was coming and to prepare the way. They recovered three lions and took a colossal hammer. They used the hammer to defeat the devils and freed the kraken.
Episode 41: Gaspar, Xarxersuna,
Khrenikath, Issic, Anathek Dar, and Ammrah had a foreboding dream. The
world was evil and was being destroyed. The Speaker in Dreams had taken
over. Divinations showed that Kasmophet's death started it all.
Flower visited them in their dreams and said, "It started when the gold
dragons got sick." They encountered in the dreams a man in gray with
one green eye and one red eye, and the man held a staff carved like a nude
woman. He drew a map with a large tree with a face and an owl. He
marked the map, "Sid", drew a line to a cave, then drew a line to
They investigated some dreams, and found a man looking at some books. The man took down "
Next they saw a Dwarven realm, then a castle shaped like a star - the Forbidden Castle of King Garmund, Lord Xathurst. They then saw a huge table, and on the table was a diorama detailing a war between humans and golems. The man said, "It will take religious fanaticism to lead men against the stone and a bit of Chaos." He pointed to a great big black spire and said, "These will help."
They jumped to another dream, the dream of a Lamapachan woman named Kanna. There, the tree with the owl says, "Alisander will fall into darkness. The Speaker in Dreams has fallen before she arose. The power is in a dwarf who hates man for the disease he has. The Speaker has power over golems and the dwarf wants to rule. He lairs below the star castle of Xathurst. Vanquish them and free the imprisoned child."
Using Ammrah's hut, they transported to the mountains outside of the
Episode 42: Gaspar, Xarxersuna,
Khrenikath, and Phoebe had a foreboding dream telling of the return of Xalandra
and a city buried in the ice. Using divination after divination,
Roland felt he had determined much of the meanings behind the dreams.
Then Drynar appeared, a rogue that worked for his libraries in Alisander.
His libraries had been stolen by a typhoon. Using even more divinations,
Roland determined that an Oriental Typhoon Dragon was behind it all. They
battled the Dragon, and the dragon and her allies (air and water elementals, a
strange horned man, and storm giants) nearly killed the party, but the party
was wily and would not die. Using powerful dominations, they
brought the dragon and its allies to their knees and learned that Yam ibn Saud
was interested in learning the location of the ancient Chaos City of T'Bor, and
that one of the books stolen was the only book in existence with the location
of that ancient
The white dragon came and battled them, and Roland led the party to the mountains to hide. This proved ineffective. They returned to Oard, then summoned the Typhoon Dragon they had met, and bartered with it to chase the white dragon out of its lair. They surprised the dragon and slew it.
Gaspar then traveled to the Old Oard ruins, and went in and met the Old One - and became insane and became a Chaos Lord. He was given control of T'Bor by Roland.
Episode 43: Gaspar, Khrenikath,
and Drynar were supervising the initial reconstruction efforts in T'Bor. Huge mecha-armored slaadi were
digging up buildings and restoring the city when three glowing lights appeared
above the city demanding that the work be halted. The three lights were a
trio of planetars (angels) sent from the gods to put an end to the work lest
secrets man was not meant to know be uncovered - and to keep The Horror That Destroyed T'Bor
buried in the ice. Khrenikath demanded the angels show a sign to prove
their origin, and the angels, challenged in a manner they were unaccustomed,
responded aggressively. The fight was intense; the angels threw a blade
barrier around Khrenikath and Gaspar, then waves of exhaustion,
tiring the pair. Drynar, having already been charmed by one of the
angels, was content to merely watch the brawl as the angels unleashed spell
after spell on the hapless duo. The pair were not defenseless,
however. Khrenikath unleashed a prismatic spray and poisoned one
of the angels, killing her. Another angel swooped within the confines of the
magical barrier of blades and bullrushed Gaspar through the barrier, then
bashed Khrenikath down. Ready to perform a coup de gras on
Khrenikath, the angel lifted her sword. Gaspar, wounded sorely, cast a mass
heal in the nick of time and Khrenikath was back on his feet, at full
power. He repeatedly drove magic arrows into the angel, and slew
her. Drynar had entered the melee at this point, and was fighting the
third planetar. The three of them unleashed all they had at that poor
planetar, and slew him. As the planetar died, he warned that more would
come, and that they would perish at the hands of the destroyer, The Horror
That Destroyed T'Bor.
Before they had time to recover much, although Xalandra had finally made it to them, the Horror arose - a kaiju chaos beast! The size of a thirty story building, the grotesque monstrosity was unleashed! Gaspar was first hit, and he lost his physical form, but recovered it quickly, for his force of personality was strong. Immediately it was seen that staying away from this gargantuan thing was paramount. Using ranged weapons, they slowly defeated the monster, although Xalandra was nearly killed and had a difficult time keeping her natural form. Gaspar summoned paladins and a demon to fight it. Of course, some of the paladins opted to fight the summoned demon. The paladins charged the demon and the Horror, and a paladin was quickly killed. Khrenikath was relentless with his arrows, and finally brought the beast down, and it exploded, killing the rest of the paladins. Gaspar sent the demon back to the Pits of the Abyss, although this did not please the demon, and it promised vengeance. Gaspar then healed and restored Xalandra and himself. He resurrected Drynar (who had been crushed by the Horror), but chose not to resurrect the paladins.
A few days later, using divinations to find another Lion of T'Bor and clues from a long-dead alchemist, Gaspar, Khrenikath, Drynar, and Xalandra trekked across the ice and snow to the Rift of the Frost Giant King. Working their way down into the icy canyon, they battled yeti, snow leopards, and undead ghoulish frost giants. Khrenikath learned that his sonic arrows were dangerous around this much ice and snow, and Xalandra learned not to chase after turned frost giant ghouls.
Episode 44: Gaspar, Khrenikath,
and Drynar were shocked when Xalandra vanished and was replaced by Ammrah the Wild. Her spell misfired and
teleported Xalandra to her former location and she took Xalandra's place.
Once introductions were made between Drynar and Ammrah, they continued their
explorations of the ice rift. They encountered frost giant mummies, and
Ammrah accidentally switched minds with one of the mummies as Gaspar buried
them in mud. Luckily, the switch was of limited duration, and Ammrah was
restored to her body.
They discovered a crashed metallic craft in the ravine, and Khrenikath sent prying eyes all over the complex as recon. More mummies were fought, and the map of the layout was received by Khrenikath. They learned where the two Lions of T'Bor were - one was held by a pair of mummified white dragons, and the other was held by the lich of the Frost Giant King. They decided to go after the one held by the dragon mummies first.
Heading down, Gaspar got them through the boulder blocking the entrance to the dragons' icy tomb. Ammrah protected them with a Chaos spell that would inflict a fiery inferno on anything that attacked them. Gaspar summoned five paladins who were instantly slaughtered by the elder mummy. It flew forward, as did its mummified mate. Khrenikath and Drynar were paralyzed with horrific fear. The battle continued, and the mummy dragons were slain. Gaspar, Khrenikath, Ammrah, and Drynar were tired, and their resources were low. They gathered the treasure, including one of the Lions of T'Bor, and teleported back to T'Bor.
Installing the Lion gave Gaspar the power to move the city to the Plane of Dream. They rested for a day to replenish their resources. While they rested, the Frost Giant Lich-King was outraged. Using divinations, he figured out where they were likely to attack again, and what they were after. He asked his queen to watch the the T'Bor Lion of Sh'kona and hide the map to the T'Bor Lion of Gos'shafel. He gathered his undead forces. His queen grew concerned at his anger, and contacted the Druids of the
The next day, Gaspar, Khrenikath, Ammrah, and Drynar returned. They met Tybar the Elder Winter Wolf, an ancient animal representing nature that stood 18 feet tall at the shoulder and was about 32 feet long, and weighted about 10 tons. The Wolf said, "Go no further. You have taken one of the Lions and awakened an ancient power that will do great harm to the world if you persist. Return what you have stolen, and the evil here will not rise against the world in anger."
"No," said Gaspar. "We will take the other Lion. What do you offer?"
"Nothing. I was summoned here to stop a calamity to the world. Would you bring about horror undreamt of?"
"I can dream of incredible horrors," said Khrenikath, unimpressed by this gargantuan wolf.
Annoyed, Gaspar and Khrenikath initiated the attack. The Lich King appeared and put up a Wall of Force, separating Gaspar from the others. Ghosts and mummies of long-dead giants attacked, hurling boulders. The wolf snapped and bit at them. Khrenikath put up a Wall of Force as Gaspar escaped the clutches of the lich with his blinking. The ghost of an ancient storm giant, a lore-keeper of his day, blasted the party with Chain Lightnings, and killed Ammrah the Wild.
Gaspar began casting mass heal after mass heal, and killed the storm giant ghost and most of the mummies. The lich was also destroyed. They looted the body. The Elder Winter Wolf sat, annoyed, at the other side of the wall of force with a force of mummies.
Watching from her Rope Trick, the Queen was horrified. The power of these men was impressive. They would not be able to find her husband's phylactery, and she knew the terror he would unleash in his anger upon this new world. She decided again to try to stop the tide. She dropped out of the extra-dimensional space and caught their attention. She had the T'Bor Lion of Gos'shafel and set it down next to her.
"Take this Lion and leave," she said.
"Why?" demanded Gaspar.
"My husband will be angry, and if you continue to loot our tombs, he will grow angrier and angrier. I think I can stay his anger. Take this Lion. Keep the other Lion. Leave this place."
"I want his phylactery," insisted Gaspar. Khrenikath agreed.
"No. Take the Lions. Free and clear."
"Can you guarantee your husband will not retaliate?"
"No," she said. "I can guarantee nothing."
"Then there is no point in negotiating with you." He and Khrenikath began casting spells. She also began. She was faster. She unleashed Mordenkainen's Disjunction and took down their protective spells... and the Wall of Force. The Elder Winter Wolf snatched up Gaspar and took off running. He used teleport to escape, and was angry. He would destroy everything down here. Meanwhile, the lich-queen had seperated Drynar from the rest of the group with an iron wall and was about to kill him. Khrenikath had put up a passwall to save Drynar. The lich-queen time stopped the area, and set off two delayed blast fireballs, then escaped with the Lion. Gaspar blew apart the remaining Frost Giant Mummies, and the Elder Winter Wolf escaped, running.
The ancient, gargantuan wolf swore that he would bring about the downfall of these new "chaos-lords", and that the druids of the world would send nature crashing against the walls of their cities for this outrage - for this attack on an emissary of peace.
Gaspar wanted to pursue the ancient wolf, but Khrenikath impressed upon him the need to resurrect Ammrah. After Ammrah was brought back to life, they determined they needed to find the Lich Queen. Using magic, they figured out the Lich Queen laired in an extra-dimensional space. They gated there and found a castle - but she had left already.
The Lich Queen was desperate. They would hunt her down and kill her if she didn't do something. She figured they would have enemies, and the enemy of her enemy was a potential ally. She used divination magic to determine which of their enemies would be powerful enough to help her, and would be willing to negotiate for that aid. The magic came back with the name of Larbius Prama. She had no idea who this entity was, but she used a gate spell to summon him. After much negotiation, Larbius gained a lich minion and now had a Chaos Lion. Larbius was pleased and took the Lion to his palace in Hell. He and the Lich Queen cracked a plan. She was sent to Ta'akrinat in Lamapacher. There she found a young, ten-year old girl, and cast a contingency that would magic jar the girl's soul - allowing the Lich to possess the young body if attacked.
Gaspar and Khrenikath figured out where she was, and gated to Ta'akrinat. She was there. She had none of her magic items with her. The giant lich promised retaliation like the world had never seen before. Gaspar, Khrenikath, Drynar, and Ammrah attacked. Summoned fire elementals and magical attacks destroyed the lich's body, and they found a glowing gem.
However, instead of destroying the gem outright, they decided to see whose soul was in the gem - whether it was the Queen or the King. Turns out it was a young girl... The Lich Queen had escaped.
Of course, they knew she would be back another day. Until that day, Gaspar and Khrenikath began to plan an assault on Hell. They summoned Neria to their aid. They did not know if she would come, but they would try to build a force that even Larbius could not resist. Drynar, thinking on the insanity evident, decided to depart.
Episode 45: Roland had designed an
extradimensional laboratory for Khrenikath, an extraplanar space that warped
time so that he could complete projects quickly in Inzeladun time.
Khrenikath finished his advanced stone golem. Xalandra traveled to
Kharzho and spoke to Krysathernax,
the Crystal Dragon Guardian of the Kharzho Psi Gate, who cast a spell to
begin the process for Xalandra to become a half-dragon. Roland realized
he had not received any word of his profits in Ta'akrinat. He traveled to
the Lamapachan city and found a dead city. Dead bodies littered the
streets. He returned to Oard.
Roland began casting divinations to find out how he could mollify the angels and the druids of the north. The answers did not particularly please him. He wanted to appease the Frost Giant Lich Queen as well. He divined that the best way to communicate to the Lich Queen was through one of the corpses of Ta'akrinat. He traveled to Ta'akrinat, took a corpse, and returned to Oard. He took the corpse to the
Roland wanted to find out more, so he traveled through the Clock of Time to the past. He watched the death of T'Bor. He witnessed the mecha-armies of T'Bor, alongside their frost giant allies, fight the Horror and what appeared to be a walking glacier surrounded by dragons of the purest white . The hoary glacier was vaguely humanoid, and was surrounded in an ice storm that screamed and howled around it. He witnessed the Chaos Lord of T'Bor giving the frost giant king and queen two of the Lions, telling them that the city's power was tied up within it and that T'Bor must never again rise up through the ice. The frost giant queen and king fled with the Lion of Tazaki Ihsool and the Lion of Sh'kona. The Chaos Lord also gave them a map to where he planned to hide the Lion of Gos'shafel. Roland returned to present-day Oard, convinced that the frost giant queen was in the right - that she was the rightful owner of the Lions and that Gaspar had improperly stolen them.
Roland negotiated with Larbius Prama and found that if he gave Gaspar to the ice devil, Larbius would either surrender the Lion of Sh'kona or the Queen's phylactery.
Khrenikath discussed the option of cloning Gaspar and presenting the clone to the Lich Queen, but this plan did not sit well with Roland. He considered just killing Gaspar for putting them all in this situation, but Khrenikath argued that Gaspar and himself could not have possibly predicted the Lich Queen's irrational actions.
Roland and the rest of the group (excluding Gaspar, who had apparently gone into hiding and could not be found) traveled to the north to find the Druids. They examined the metal disk that had crashed into the crevice of the Frost Giant's lair. They explored the craft and discovered three crewmen trapped in suspended animation since the First Age. Traveling into Dream, Roland found out that they were explorers from another spatial realm, and they had fled their world due to the illithid domination of that world. They had crashed on Inzeladun, and, unknowingly, exposed the frost giants to the curse of the wendigo, causing the giants to seek undeath to escape that cannibal madness. The released crew, two men and a woman, were taken with them. The leader was named Rajah Prabat Ushas. He was accompanied by Mantrika Bhanar Nayaram and Yogi Chandi Dhanna.
Using a spell-jamming ship, they traveled north; Khrenikath and Xalandra were targeted by Wendigo. They whispered mad secrets into their ears. They encountered a white dragon on the third day, a dragon that explained that they must not use magic to approach the mountains to the north any further, for the glacier god would awaken. Roland explained that he wanted to meet the Druids of the North. The dragon said that if he would travel toward the mountain on foot, the Druids would find them.
They began walking through the arctic wilderness toward the mountain, but the wendigo continued to haunt Khrenikath and Xalandra, so Roland ordered a retreat, and they all returned to Oard.
Roland found out that the corpse he had brought back from Ta'akrinat was infected with Life Blindness (Book of Vile Darkness, pages 30-31). He returned to the
Roland and the group traveled to Ta'akrinat, and they found that all the bodies had moved around from the last time Roland had been here. They also found a living man, a man who now believed he was the last man alive on the planet, and was shocked to meet these people from Oard. They learned that the bodies, while dead during the day, would rise as vampires in the night. The man was out replenishing his supply of garlic and mirrors. Roland decided that the Lich Queen was not as in the right as he previously considered. Ta'akrinat used to be a city of 11,000 people - now, but for one man, all dead. And she was killing more and more, and the vampirism and the disease were taking a huge toll already on the surrounding areas. The Lich Queen must be stopped. But how?
That night, Xalandra was attacked by her wendigo stalker, a dire polar bear wendigo. It bit her, and infected her with its disease, and then withdrew. Xalandra told Roland of the attack. Roland was annoyed that it attacked someone within the confines of his castle. They spent a day preparing for the lich queen.
Roland used divination to discover that the Lich Queen would attack the town of
A maid in the castle was murdered and partially eaten, and Phoebe, using vision, discovered that Xalandra was the culprit, even though she could not remember. Using divinations, Roland discovered that there was no known cure for the wendigo disease, but that there used to be one, and that it was hidden by the glacier god of the north, and that the Druids of the
Roland and crew returned to Oard and used divinations to discover the Lich Queen's next attack. Using the Clock of Time, he discovered that this time she would be flanked by frost giant war hulks. They decided she had killed enough people. Even without the phylactery, if they managed to kill her, they could at least take her stuff, and seriously weaken her. They prepared for the attack, and, that night, did so. They were surprised by hidden wendigo, and Phoebe was quickly taken out by the polar bear wendigo. Roland was knocked off of a roof by another wendigo, and the polar bear turned its attentions on Xalandra, bull rushing her past the Lich Queen and one of her war hulks. Xalandra was killed. The battle did not start well for the group, and Roland, after being hit with a Mordenkainen's Disjunction ended up fleeing with the dying Phoebe. The monk, Gerand, did well, however, and methodically took out one villain after another, and Roland had managed to dominate the war hulks and a few wendigo before retreating. Khrenikath sent the polar bear wendigo to the Elemental Plane of Fire, where it perished. Then Khrenikath was taken out by a maximized chain lightning (sonic descriptor instead of a lightning descriptor).
The High Priest Natokzu healed Roland and Phoebe, and they returned with a vengeance. Phoebe put a Prismatic Wall up behind the Lich Queen and Roland ordered his dominated war hulk to push her into the wall. The war hulk was petrified, and the Lich Queen was weakened. She teleported away. Phoebe traced her and found that she had returned to Ta'akrinat, where the Lich King waited as support. They decided to wait until another day.
Episode 46: The infamous pirate Dorolen Xodthex arrived in Oard. He brought an Angustian chest to pay for a spelljamming helm. Although initially reluctant, Roland eventually agreed to accept the price. The chest contained several things. Among them were documents that showed that the Lions of Oard were actually golems and a trio of ancient dragon teachers were hidden away and they knew the command words and they knew of a weapon that could be used against the Vampire Kings. Dorolen was given command of a force of airships from Oard, and the pirate went to go pester Lord Xathurst's shipping. Roland and the others then went and fought against Asuras, banishing them, and freeing the Chaos Dragons.
Episode 47: In the Autumn of the
Seventh Year, Xalandra had been talking to the three dragons and asked if they
could tell her anything about the weapon to fight the Vampire Kings. They said,
"Couthen was created by a mastercraftsman Angel on Celestia. He used
it for seven centuries in various wars against fiends and their undead legions.
When the Angel fell, his essence merged with the weapon, and it is his
intelligence that now guides it. The weapon was left on the battlefield
and eventually was found by Anakia Ghor. She used it to bring down the
Vampire Kings of Angust and their dragons. When she died, it passed down
through her family. During a war against Toteth two centuries later it
was lost, and was placed into hiding."
Xalandra asked them for more information about the war against Toteth. They answered, "In the year 449, Ma'urik and V'lent Inial obtained the
"Toteth had been a living place, a place of greenery and of powerful druidism - this was destroyed by the Angustians. It became a place where destructive drugs were grown for the Angustians' decadent desires for malevolent magics. Within a hundred years, it became a place of death and undeath, and a place where necromancy was practiced. In 673 another war took place.
"Toteth had threatened to send armies of the undead against Oard in anger over a trade dispute. The undead slayers were sent to Toteth in a great war that lasted five years. Toteth won the war, but was so impressed by the Oardians and T'borri that, in the end, Toteth was given to the Prince of Toteth, Ubelloch Geldmantel, who traveled to Oard and learned the ways of Chaos. Ubelloch became the Chaos Lord O'Bel, and Toteth became a practicing
The dragons were saddened that they did not know the location, and that the Chaos Lords of Toteth died out, for they could not sense any living human members of that line. Xalandra told them that Z'mach was a mummy and could still be helpful.
Z'mach told them of the null-magic zone on Dinosaur Isle. The zone, fed by an anti-magic font, was the site of an Angustian prison. Roland wouldn't accept that no magic could work there. He hired the most powerful ranger in Oard, Ibli of Torctheod, to scout out the region. Ibli reported that a race of ape-men and saurials were at war, and that they worshipped Kor the Tyrannosaur God. Roland continued to investigate magical means of penetrating the region while the others argued that they should just head in. Roland didn't think the weapon was worth the effort. Xalandra and Khrenikath argued otherwise. Khrenikath hired four powerful Drychtnothian knights to assist them: Lord Khones; Prince Schkul; Cavalier Commander Xhian; and Lord Xhoberth of Xorgarmundat. Roland decided they needed the aid of the apes, so they sent a bird to scout out surrounding regions and find some apes. The bird found some apes and they traveled to the mountains with magic. Although Ibli was barely able to establish a conversation with the dire apes found there, they were not interested in an alliance and were frightened away by Phoebe's display of magic. With some disgust, Roland agreed to just go into the region. They spent a few days outfitting themselves with the best mundane weapons and armor money could buy.
The first day into the rainforest resulted in the deaths of Prince Schkul and Lord Xhoberth of Xorgarmundat when a pack of megaraptors attacked. Resting for two days in the rain proved nearly fatal to Khrenikath, when he was attacked by a 64 foot long constrictor.
For several days they wandered through the jungle, avoiding dinosaurs and dangers. They encountered a group of Blade-back Saurials, who attacked. They killed the weaker saurials and killed the commander of the saurials, who had summoned reinforcements. Roland, Xalandra and Phoebe, dragging Gerond the Monk (who had been nearly killed by the saurials), ran back the way they came, up a large hill, seeking high ground. Khrenikath, Ibli, and the two Drychtnothian knights climbed trees as the saurials hunted them out. Ibli led the saurials away from Khrenikath and the knights, and eventually the saurials gave up the pursuit.
Coming to a river, Roland argued about building a raft, but the others chose not to. Several days later, they arrived at the ancient prison city of the Angustians. They discovered that a race of Ape-Men (not dire apes) were mounting an attack on the Saurials. Using the attack as cover, they went into the city, crossed the river (they were following a snake befriended by Ibli), and crossed into the ape-men's side of the city. They witnessed a tribal ceremony that summoned Kor to feast upon their enemies. After the ceremony, and after Kor had left the city, the group went into the temple and found the altar and the scythe. It was protected by a shimmering green python of fantastic size (about the size of the one that nearly killed Khrenikath several days before). Gerond spoke to the python and it helped them locate a ship beneath the temple and smuggle the altar and the scythe out of the city by floating down the river and out of the null-magic zone. Inside the large altar they found the scythe, a matching set of armor, many historical scrolls, some dinosaur bones with alienist spells and other relics.
The scrolls related how the Chaos Lords were formed in rebellion against a magical movement created by the King of Angust. Early in history the Angustians practiced Alienist magic, and many were driven insane. The King of Angust discovered the
Journals for this episode: Xalandra, Gerand, Ibli
Episode 48: Roland and Phoebe have retired and left the ken of mankind, leaving Oard in the able hands of fellow Chaos Lord Gaspar, Lord of Dream, High Priest of the Dreaming God, Ruler of the Nameless Ones of T'Bor. King Gaspar, Khrenikath, Xalandra and Gerond traveled to Ta'akrinat to battle the Vampire Kings. En route they battled a death knight and a score of nightmares who were herding humans to Ta'akrinat. Inside the city, they dispatched over a thousand vampires but could not find the vampire rulers. They did, however, manage to surprise Hrelga and kill her, but a spell on her staff and other items stole them from the heroes' grasp.
Episode 49: After defeating Hrelga, the heroes decided that it was obvious the Vampire King (or Queen) was not going to come out during the day. They decided to rest during the day and return to Ta’akrinat at dusk.
Xalandra spent the day practicing with Couthen, while the others relaxed or meditated. While discussing strategies and possible plans of execution, it was decided that some extra help could be useful. Gaspar summoned the power of Byleth Hob to him and contacted Tomodachi, Steward of the Sacred Flame. Tomodachi agreed to meet them at dusk to aid in the battle. As evening drew near, they were gathered around a small fire Khrenikath had started. Xalandra was meditating and regaining psi points. She opened her eyes and looked towards the wide open gates of Ta’akrinat as a fog began to roll from the city. The evil, malevolent fog quickly covered the ground as it poured from within Ta’akrinat and all of them began to see movement within the city. Xalandra stood up and grabbed Couthen from where he leaned against a tree, “It is time.” Khrenikath slung his bow across his back as Gerand helped Gaspar finish buckling up his heavy plate armor. Tomodachi appeared amongst them and the camp fire extinguished itself.
They met no resistance as they entered the city. As the citizens of Ta’akrinat caught sight of
the heroes, the corrupted, diseased things began walking toward them. After determining the time it would take to
destroy every vampire between them and the main palace, it was decided that
flight was the best option. When they
took to the air, two huge draconic shapes erupted from the shadows beyond the
Xalandra did not survey her intended location, she only knew
that the best course of action was to get away from the dragons and get as
close to the palace as possible. She
chose a balcony high up on the front of the grand
King Rackham knew not this female warrior, but he would never forget the weapon she wielded. This warrioress must be eliminated, immediately. King Rackham leapt at Xalandra, his hands grasping her throat as he tried to strangle the life from her. Xalandra was ill prepared for the speed at which the vampire moved and in that instant, his hands were around her throat. Pain coursed through her body as the negative energy of that vile creature entered into her body. A body that failed Xalandra that day and left her paralyzed so that she could only “watch” as the vile King Rackham leapt off the balcony intending to smash Xalandra into the pavement some thirteen stories below.
Gaspar looked to Tomodachi as the firelord motioned him to go help his friends. Gaspar teleported to the balcony just as King Rackham leapt off with Xalandra as he throttled the life from her. Khrenikath summoned his arcane magics and slowed the descent of the entangled pair, knowing that Xalandra would be killed by the fall, hoping that she could break free if he gave her some extra time, not knowing that she was helplessly paralyzed.
Khrenikath then turned his attention to a Death Knight that stood mere ten feet away from him. The Death Knight was invisible waiting for the proper moment to strike, but Khrenikath could see him because of his magics. Khrenikath summoned a mighty hand of force that pushed the shocked Death Knight off the balcony and crushed the vile creature into the street far below.
As Khrenikath was dealing with the Death Knight, Gaspar, the Lord of Dream, opened the doorway that led from the balcony into the palace proper. He was greeted by the icy cold grip of Queen Ocska Erzebet Jehaila of Vulba Mon. The force, with which she latched onto Gaspar’s neck, lifted the mighty cleric off the ground momentarily. Gaspar felt his life flowing from him at the mere touch of this horrible creature. Gaspar desperately tried to break Ocska’s hold, but he could not muster enough strength to break free from her relentless grip. However, Gaspar’s body held strong against the paralyzing effects of the vampires, yet he could not free himself as he was dragged into the palace.
Meanwhile, Tomodachi was unleashing his magic on the iron dragons and their riders. He took control of one of the riders and ordered it to attack the other dragon. The rider veered his dragon to the left and the two great iron wyrms engaged in a fierce battle.
Khrenikath ran after Ocska and Gaspar only to be waylaid by nine gorgeous female vampires who clawed at him, seeking to tear his warm, living flesh. Khrenikath blocked their advances and took control of three of the vampires. He ordered them to attack the Vampire Queen, but they were grabbed and held in place by the other vampire women. Gaspar was rapidly losing consciousness. Try as he might, he could not break free from Ocska’s grasp. For all the power he wielded, he could do nothing to keep the vampire queen from taking his life. Ocska dragged Gaspar into another room beyond Khrenikath’s sight.
Xalandra continued to float to the ground with the horrible King Rackham upon her. She could do nothing, but watch in hatred as Rackham continually bit her as he yet continued to squeeze the life from her. How could this have happened? For all the power she wielded, Xalandra was failed by the one thing she had worked her entire life to perfect and maintain…her body. She didn’t know how, but she would return and make Rackham pay for this. To its credit, the Armor of Ghor protected Xalandra from Rackham’s power, but that protection would soon come to an end. Couthen was cursing aloud at the fact that he could not wield himself. He was crushed between Xalandra and the vampire he longed to rend asunder. He burned into Rackham’s undead flesh as best he could. As they finally touched the ground, the holy power of the Armor of Ghor gave out and Xalandra’s body went limp. King Rackham of Enrikhal released his grip on Xalandra’s carcass and the lifeless husk fell to the ground and Couthen clattered across the flagstones as Xalandra let go of him.
King Rackham momentarily turned his attention to the great iron worms which he commanded. They immediately ceased their fighting and turned their attention to Tomodachi. Tomodachi tired of this and unleashed his most powerful of magics. He literally unstitched the magics that created the golems and their undead riders. Pieces of the creatures rained down on the vampires below. Tomodachi began immolating the vampires of Ta’akrinat.
Khrenikath could waste no more time. The unwilling sahuagin stepped backwards as vile, unspeakable words formed at his lips. In an instant, the room filled with unholy fire as bright as the sun itself. In that same instant, the nine vampires were instantly disintegrated. Khrenikath staggered back, severely weakened from the blasphemous energies that had coursed through him. Energies from beyond and power from places where horrible shapes and hideous entities waited for Khrenikath to join them. Yet, somewhere, deep in the recesses of Khrenikath’s mind, Spaulding Goldmantle screamed in agony at the horrors he had just witnessed. Khrenikath pressed on to track down Ocska and save Gaspar. The next room he entered was a shrine to Dagon Hob. Khrenikath had to time to waste and made a mental note to return to this place. He followed the trail where Ocska had dragged Gaspar along the floor in his plate armor. The trail suddenly stopped and Khrenikath used his magics to locate the Vampire Queen. He surmised that she was several floors below him now and Khrenikath summoned an Earth Elemental to his aid. He ordered the Earth Elemental to bust directly downward through anything in its path until they reached the bottom. The Elemental did as Khrenikath commanded, bursting through wooden floors with his bulk and tunneling aside earthen stone to break through the stone floors of the lower levels.
Once at the bottom, Ocska was nowhere to be found. Nor could any traces of Gaspar be found. Khrenikath once again located Ocska with his magics and she was now flying high above Ta’akrinat. Khrenikath raced outside and looked into the sky and saw Ocska flying across Ta’akrinat. As his attention returned to ground level, Khrenikath saw King Rackham of Enrikhal striding toward him. Khrenikath spied Couthen lying nearby and though he was severely hampered by the dark magics he had summoned earlier he leapt across the ground, grabbed up the mighty scythe and advanced on the corrupted Vampire King. Khrenikath winced at the pain that coursed through him as he held Couthen in his hands. Couthen screamed aloud, “Ignore the pain you fool! Kill that abomination! Kill it! Kill it!” Khrenikath stepped forward and swung mightily at King Rackham who deftly stepped aside to miss the blow. King Rackham pressed forward to claim yet another victim, but he had underestimated his foe this time. He was facing not a mere wizard, but a skilled fighter as well. For Khrenikath was a student of all things martial as well as magical. Khrenikath’s returning blow sliced through the neck of the vile vampire. King Rackham of Enrikhal’s hands instinctively went to his throat as a look of shock and horror washed over his face. His hands were greeted with nothingness as his head bounced across the cobblestones with a few sickening thuds. The body of King Enrikhal collapsed to the ground and crumbled to dust. In that very instant, over twenty thousand vampire spawn in Ta’akrinat became free-willed vampires. Most of them were common people and those vampires unknowingly headed back to their homes and jobs as if nothing had happened. The more powerful vampires, the warriors, the wizards, the psions, and others knew what had happened and they knew that Tomodachi was summoning power from the tower to erase Ta’akrinat and anyone in the general vicinity from existence. Those vampires began to flee. Having rid herself of The Armor of Ghor, for it now burned her undead flesh, the vampire of Xalandra fled Ta’akrinat. She had no plan, but the possibilities were limitless. The vile creature used transported herself as far from Ta’akrinat as she could.
Khrenikath did not rest. Khrenikath could no longer hold on to Couthen and had dropped him onto the cold flagstones of a nameless street in Ta’akrinat. He had no fear that Tomodachi could deal with the countless vampires. Within seconds, he was upon Queen Ocska Erzebet Jehaila of Vulba Mon. Khrenikath had one last weapon at his disposal; Tsalchbokgat the javelin of Glauraith the Vampire hunter. Khrenikath took aim with Tsalchbokgat and launched the mighty javelin at the Vampire Queen. Khrenikath was sure that he had failed because of his weakened state, but Tsalchbokgat sought out Ocska’s heart and impaled itself in her vile chest. Queen Ocska Erzebet Jehaila of Vulba Mon screamed out in horrifying terror as her corrupted, ancient body burst into flames along with Tsalchbokgat. A myriad of black ravens flew towards Khrenikath and coalesced back into the form of Tsalchbokgat.
The remaining vampires in Ta’akrinat became free-willed and began fleeing or wandering about aimlessly. Khrenikath flew up to Tomodachi, “Hurry up! They’re getting away!” Then, Khrenikath’s senses returned to him, “No, wait. I have to get something first.”
Tomodachi grunted, “Make up your mind. You do not have long. I will not wait for you.”
Power and traces of
arcane energies danced about Tomodachi’s body as he built up the power that
would destroy Ta’akrinat and its vampires.
Khrenikath raced back to the main
Tomodachi erected a protective field around himself and Khrenikath just as he unleashed all of the magic he had been building up. A small red bead of energy zipped toward the center of Ta’akrinat and when it reached its destination, exploded into a fireball of unheard of proportions. The initial explosion was deafening and the sound could be heard as far away as Drychtnoth. The force of the blast caused many of the buildings in Ta’akrinat to begin to collapse. Those buildings at the epicenter were melted and eradicated from existence. The colossal fireball spread outwards quickly, destroying everything in its path in a fiery inferno. Buildings melted or caught fire as the flames spread quickly outward in a hemisphere of flaming death. Khrenikath could barely see the fleeing vampires, who had gotten quite a way from Ta’akrinat, through the flames. Tomodachi’s fireball quickly raced beyond the boundaries of Ta’akrinat, which now lay smoldering, a pile of destroyed and burning buildings. The flames eradicated anything in their path. Trees were turned to mere matchsticks and entire villages were reduced to ash. Even as the flames continued to race from the center of Ta’akrinat, Vampires continued to be consumed by the lapping flames that hungered for their undead, corrupted flesh. The flames raced to a distance of five miles in all directions where they suddenly stopped. Nothing remained in five mile area but charred remains. Even small hills and cliffs were flattened by the power of the blast. Yet, well over five-hundred free-willed vampires escaped Ta’akrinat that day. Five-hundred of the most powerful vampires to ever walk the face of Inzeladun were set loose on humanity that day, including the vampires of Gaspar and Xalandra. The victory was won and the Vampire King and Queen were defeated. Ta’akrinat, city of the dead, was no more. The price of victory was higher than any imagined it would be, but it was a victory none the less.
Tomodachi spoke, “Come. Our work here is finished.”
“Did any of the vampires escape?”
“Not many. We will deal with them at a later time. I am nearing the end of my capabilities. You dispatched the lead vampires expertly. You’re the damndest bastard there ever was.”
Khrenikath nodded as he watched billows of black smoke fill the air, “We will avenge the loss of our comrades soon enough.”
As Gaspar’s soul left his body, he summoned his dream magic and cast his spirit into the realm of dream where he became a dream lich. Now, almost as vile and twisted as the vampire his body had become, Gaspar intended to return to T’Bor. He would use T’Bor as the seat from which he would rule all of dream. Once he was truly the Lord of Dream, he would then focus his attentions on Inzeladun once again. Somewhere, deep within the realm of Dream, the Speaker in Dreams worried and beyond space and time, Byleth Hob smiled.
Xalandra once again found herself standing before Wemusa, the Morose One.
“We meet again, Xalandra.”
“Aye. I do not want to be here long. I wish to return.”
“Why should I let you return to the world?”
Xalandra wanted revenge. She could think of nothing else. She though for a moment before answering the towering God, “I want revenge. Besides, if you send me back, your brother does not get to add me to his armies.”
Wemusa almost smiled, “Anytime I can cause my brother distress is a minor pleasure. Very well, you shall be returned to the world. However, since your body is inhabited, you will return somewhat differently. When you have gained your revenge, you will return to me and pass on to my brother as it is meant to be. Much to his pleasure, I am sure.”
“Very well, I will do whatever it takes.”
In an instant, Xalandra found herself back in her room at Castle Oard. She headed for the door and her hand passed right through the door knob. Xalandra could not figure out what happened and then she realized she was floating. She floated over to a mirror and gasped at what she saw. She was a ghost! She looked like herself, but was completely naked and her ghostly form even had the marks that were left by King Rackham on her physical body. Xalandra was furious. She wasn’t going to let Wemusa get the better of her. She would find a way to affect the living world. Then, she would track down and slay her physical body and any who stood in her way.
Somewhere under the smoldering rubble of Ta’akrinat, The Armor of Ghor and Couthen waited.