The Still Night

Numquam Utilis

The fight with the large, gut spewing demon continues. We try a blunt weapon, which also fails to damage it.

We hear a word of power, “Zog”, in our minds. Perhaps a coincidence, but our magic increases in strength at this point and some of our green tinted items explode.

We cure the creature, which seems to have some effect as part of its skin turns black and falls to the ground. The demon shrieks in anger and pain which sets off a series of magic item explosions. The fight proves very painful, not just for the number of people down at the end of the fight, but also for the loss of items – especially the big cure wand. The final death of the demon, after 4 large cures, results in some kind of mind blast that renders everyone unconscious for several hours. We also slay the 8 legged dwarf during the fight.

We eventually awake.

We find several notebooks penned by the dwarf detailing the workings of his large chaotic device. The device is there to gather the chaos within the world with the purpose of then utilizing the gathered chaos. The notes suggest the machine was months away from completion.

We move on up the apparatus to some of the other levels that we’d previously missed. In one of the rooms, we find some Abyssal writings. One of which states:

“The moon shall return, it brings the night”

We rest the night, unexpectedly learning new skills – the universe compensating us for the lost baubles perhaps. After a bit of curing, we use some of the scaffolding poles to pierce the chaos device. The device rumbles, groans and eventually starts to explode. A mad dash to the surface ensues.

On the way we meet Nobby who claims to have arrested all those upstairs, dragging out the locals hypnotized by the game of chaos. We make our way back to the Snickleway, encountering a few giant insects as we go.

When we return to the Snickleways, we’re asked to see Jevica Nor and Haydn. It seems Jevica and her mages are settling in to the northern quarters on floor three. We’re informed that we fought one of the ‘vested’- a Zorg. Jevica is surprised we’re still alive. The Zorg is, apparently, one of the weakest of the Vested. The curing we put on the creature were unusually effective. Previous combats have resulted in people fighting a Zorg for hours with positive energy, with little effect.

Some more information on the crystal : The one that generates the wraiths that we encounter on entry to the Bane Warrens, is the crystal that Wantad was searching for.

Info: The flaming, naked woman entered the bane warrens this morning.

Info: The altar had a lingering presence of Law – indicating it’s of the strongest essence. Woof is also of the strongest essence of Law… suggesting it’s of an artifact level.

Info: There are some boxes, called the Verdant Chests, linked to the green moon, cannot be opened, even by a wish. The boxes occasionally have images on them that briefly appear. The current images suggest the boxes are linked to each of us. One of the images, for example, is of a small child leaping over a crack in the floor. This could represent dog.

There was a time when mages were hunted down and killed by a sword they call the Sword Of Lies. This sword was termed the Sword of Truth before it was corrupted. Jevica wants the sword kept in the warrens.

Sister Marrow Von Witter – one of the priests of Pelor, complete with a substantial force of paladins and clerics have entered the warrens, seeking the Sword of Truth.

Another group has also entered the warrens. Little is known other than they “bend magic”.

Jevica has suggested that she and her apprentices enter Quarn to recover the third part of the bane warren sealing item while we retrieve the second.

Jevica suggests we’re just a few days away from the Night of Dissolution.

We describe the watchers to Jevica. She seems extremely dubious about our description of a portal which she describes as a “planar portal”. She describes this event as impossible. Perhaps the ‘watchers’ are whoever created the prison plane we exist on.

Jevica mentions that Yashala is still suspicious of us and thinks we may be nasty, due to imprisoning an angel. We suspect Yashala was referring to Daynar, rather than ourselves given she would have mistaken Gabriel for Daynar at the time.

Travelling back to the bane warrens we encounter no wraith – the crystal having been moved. We travel to the second level without incident. It’s clear that many of the bane room are now empty. we follow a trail that others have blazed, with opened room and scattered contents. We descend to the third level, with the statue of the pegasus to continue our search for the dragon shaped handle of Yashala.

We pass by a few rooms. The first room has a ghostly hand. The second contains an air elemental. The third contains a skull within a cage. “More visitors” the skull pipes up. The skull confirms that the priests of Pelor came down here hours ago, followed by Flame Tongue. Following flame-tongue was a group of humans and a minotaur, accompanied by some lovely ladies. Sir Varis is the name of the skull, apparently locked up for being a skanky old pervert.

Sir Varis lets us know that the retributive strike from the separation of a staff of power is what killed Daynar. The Staff of Power being the three part item we’re after.

We conclude our conversations with Sir Varis and look to move further along. Just around the corner there’s a visage of Daynar imploring us to go no further, lest we release some of the greatest of evils.

Sir Varis provides a clue as to disarming the traps, that there’s a word associated with Daynar that if we utter the traps will go off. We eventually mention Estalada and the traps go off. We take Sir Varis with us to help as we go.

One of the great doors is open. Sir Varis suggests this is due to the green moon removing magic.

Info : Daynar became Malagoth when he became evil.

We enter a preparation area, where items were sanctified or classified for imprisonment and shortly afterwards we meet Kel Recent and other members of the Temple of Pelor. Their group has met with a vampire, one of the ‘fallen’. The creature whispers evil into the minds of Pelorians which makes it difficult for them to continue.

Info : The Fallen. One of Daynar’s friends was a follower of Pelor. When Daynar fell, Daynar corrupted him (?) and he became a vampire, particularly powerful against the faithful. The Betrayed are those who have been turned away from their god and who are now bitter and twisted.

We move towards a temple area and are beset by wights, skeletons and the vampire. Gabrial and Charity are turned, fleeing in to the distance. Red and Giro slay the vampire, turning it in to mist. We follow the mist to a black pudding filled vault, slaying the pudding and locating the misty vampire in a small box. Pouring holy water in the box, we seal the box with wax and remove it from the temple. We look for the priests of Pelor to hand over the box but they seem to have retreated somewhere.

Info: Warden Valacor
Info: Malacor used to sign himself with a simple black skull.

Continuing our search we come across a large cavern. created, we presume, by the eruption of the staff of power as part of its retributive strike. Within the cavern is a large crater, likely at the epicenter of the blast. From within its fiery center emerge 3 slaad demons that attack. We slay them but Red (once) and Giro (twice) are afflicted with two burrowing eggs that worm their way around bone and tendons.

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A lump of purest Green

When we wake in the morning there’s a large degree of commotion within the guild. Turns out the moon is now green – they’re calling it the Valis Moon – the Moon of Magic.

Dog hears a rumour that the nomad army has appeared outside and is erecting siege equipment.

The chap in purple sends us a further message. Jessica wants to meet us for breakfast at the Temple of Deep Chaos.

We travel to see Jevica, meeting Knobby along the way – robbing a bookcase as he goes. Knobby suggests he knows a way out of the city should we need it. Knobby points the way to The Lost Way pub where Jevica is waiting for us. Progressing to the pub we’re let in by the landlord and told to go to room 12. Meeting Jevica, she’s missing her magical glass arm.

We’re informed the Valis moon makes magic more powerful but more unpredictable. When the moon is full then some spells may be considered ‘maximized’. When items start glowing green. that’s when they’re becoming unstable.

We’re given the services of Eric, an arcane archer.

Jevica encourages us to look out at the window and look out across the city. Across old town there’s an enormous, inverted pyramid hovering above old town, approximately 1,000 meters a side. At the height of the green moon it’s possible the Inverted Pyramid may explode, or the the magic keeping it in the air may fail, leaving the pyramid to fall to the ground.

Jevica produces another image, that of an elven lycanthrope who she claims is the person the nomad horde is looking for. Perhaps if we find this person and toss him over the city wall then the horde will leave. This elf has various tribal tattoos on his torso and a birthmark on his left cheek – of a crescent. This is the same birthmark as the children who would become giant insects.

Wantad was waiting for us to leave the Temple of Deep Chaos and entered as we left. The Kelcicaro (the lawful artifact): The fiery lady was greatly perturbed that it was missing and, in its place, a crystal was found. When Wantad struck the crystal an undead creature emerged that had to be fought. After several iterations of striking the crystal and fighting the undead, Wantad made off with the fragments. The fiery lady blamed ourselves for the loss of the Kelcicaro though clearly it wasn’t anyone within our group. This perhaps suggests that there are conflicting groups within the chaos cults.

A chaos machine, 200 foot tall. A gambling game where chaos seems absent. There’s a gambling establishment that Jevica believes the chaos machine is underneath, somewhere in south market. This game is Mrathrach. The place is called “The Vast”, in South Market. We’re urged to venture to The Vast and destroy the machine. We’re expecting the fiery woman to be there also.

Jevica refers to the Green Man as the “upright man” and reveals that the guild have never been able to scry or locate him, and is therefore something of a celebrity within the mages guild. Jevica also asks for asylum for her and her guild, asking to be able to hire some space from the guild, for the cost of 3 green-bound-chests.

The broken one the dagger referring to Monty when she mentions this? Apparently this comment is directed at Red. “I (the dagger) keep on talking to the broken one but it never answers back”.

Returning to the guild we make the Jevica’s offer which is instantly accepted and then continue to The Vast, encountering a few insects along the way.

In The Vast there’s a gambling house where there’s a game of chance involving spinning cylinders. The game doesn’t seem to lose or win people much money, with people ending up pretty much even over a long period of time. It’s suspicious that the purpose of the game seems geared to removing the chance element of the game and to encourage people to just play the game over a long period. We suspect the game is powering the chaos artifact underneath.

We move to the sewers to find a way around the casino. We encounter a troll, which we subdue but don’t slay. Moving beyond the sewer to a nearby door we find a trap door down a large shaft. 150 ft later we find an exit to a short passageway leading to a very wide and deep shaft. Multiple horizontal platforms, connected by vertical ladders, lead down to what we hope is a control room – from which we hope to be able to destroy the apparatus. Within the control room are some humans and large insects. Even further below there is an undead demonic toad, complete with entrails weeping from it’s stomach. On the same level is a ram headed creature with a flaming staff.

We travel to the next level of interest, slaying a few insect creatures as we go. Beyond that are salamander creatures with repeating crossbows and some wraiths. Dog throws a spanner in to the contraption which screeches as the machine rotates. Further below is a dwarf in an 8 legged spider-like harness.

Tar sets off a large white dragon/stone giant/chaos thing that demands a password before then attacking. Multiple combats ensure as Charity falls a few levels to the ground. Demonic, horned creatures with fiery staves shoot cones of fire and walls of flame across our path. The fiery angel figure and the dwarven chaos-tec creatures retreat to the back of their caves as we finally slay the horned creatures.

We then move to engage with a hideous winged demon. The creature has its guts half hanging out and seems impervious to our attacks; we’ve tried normal damage, fire and magic missiles – all to no avail. The fight continues …

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Stoned!

An old codger from the guild pulls us to the side for a chat and tells us there’s a bloke in a purple dress knocking at the front door looking for us. The codger complains at the lack of secrecy around the guild since we showed up. The chap gives us a message “my mistress is aware of your actions, all of them. She wants to speak of the Qwan”. The dagger pipes up. “I know all about that place. It’s very smelly.”

We’re also informed there’s some general difficulty in magic at the moment. We’re advised to shun anything that has a connotation of ‘the green’. i.e. the third moon is rising and the consequences for magic could be drastic. [DM Addition – Clue No1]

Jevica would wish to borrow Yashala for a while and offers the following as a lenders fee. In addition, Jevica offers to let us know what information she manages to extract:

A small bottle – a potion of flying
A small round container with a screw lid – two doses of ‘stone salve’

We try some items using the ‘green’ braided hair item that perform the ‘identify’. One of the items explodes and another catches fire. We decide that the ‘green’ items are now affected by the third moon and are becoming corrupted in some way. [DM Addition – Good Pickup on Clue]

We move to the house above the Temple of Kaos and make our way down, through some underground passageways and traps to eventually arrive at the multi-coloured chamber. Moving through to the chamber with the tower we encounter some harpies, rats and a frothing dog.

People notice some of our potions are getting hot and bubbling. [DM – Clue 2]

We make our way in to the tower. The lower chamber has a ceramic figurine of a green figure with tentacles coming out of its head. A small metal bell is in its hand. The bell has a small crack in it, denoting it’s from the Tolling Bell cult. Opening a chest with the dwarfs key we find some gold pieces. Beyond that there are only bedroom furnishings on the ground floor.

On the upper floor there’s a spider abomination, with arms, too many legs and mandibles.

Red hears a creaking beneath the table and bed. Shortly after, the bell rings in the statue Charity picks up the statue and almost immediately falls unconscious, the statue crumbling to dust. Charity had a vision whereby the huge demon from an ancient time (balor) crushed her beneath its massive fist.

Moving through the far door we enter a another large cavern with a square building 40 foot beyond. We get assailed by large insects. Driving snow blinds the party but the insects seem unaffected. Pffff. Didn’t Red do Well?

We destroy the final bowl of lightning guardian. A lightning cloud is released, shooting lightning around the party. It eventually dissipates. We then wait a couple of hours to get some curing back. In the meantime a number of our potions boil and explode. [DM – Clue 3] One of Charity’s tongues is also getting hot. The suggestion is that there’s something related to the rising third moon, and therefore anything ‘green’ that could be causing the effect.

After resting [DM – Listening to people wandering around outside the door for 2 hours] , we venture out [DM- without taking any precautions whatsoever], and get hit by a rune of weakness . There’s another rune between the two broken statues which the rune master diminishes, allowing the party to pass. Passing down the corridor, there are scintillating colours at the end. We pause for a moment to open a chest and get shot by 2 large rats, one with a handful of grenades.

Battle ensues, joined by a medusa, and some of us can’t help peeking. One of the giant rats falls but the other rat, together with the medusa retreat. We return Gyro to flesh and press the attack. We eventually slay the medusa, together with her rat guardian and a couple of huge, giant, winged half-demon centaurs. A chaos beast is released from the alter, which we slay. As Dog kills the beast his sword gets destroyed. Gyro and Tar are returned from stone.

Moving to one of the bed chambers beyond we find some notes. These notes suggest there’s a lawful artifact within the body of the chaos beast that emerged from the altar. Returning from a storage room with a barrel full of apples we’re set upon by a frightful creature with a large mouth and several rows of teeth. Dispatching some more insects we return to the task of searching through the goo of the chaos creature. Alas, there’s no lawful artifact within the creature.

Moving down a set of stairs we locate the source of the insect creation. A fiery, female figure stands upon a floating platform. Child victims dangle from chains beneath. As the chains bring victims to lie on the platform, the fiery figure stabs them with a knife to which a cocoon appears around them. Some “mercy” killing fails to make it into the notes A small child is horribly murdered by “The Evil One” Red. A wall of fire appears across our path and we decide to make our way back to the guild.

We brief Hayden and get a little curing. After resting we are honoured by the guild
[Its a good job the guild had only received the edited highlights] and given our own rooms on the private level.
Identifying some of the items [Having (correctly) identified the item of the green as incredibly dangerous…. we decide to use it anyway – See clues above], several magic items explode leaving Gabe (Gabriel). a little the worst for wear.

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Death to Insects!

Jacks – from the guild of scribers – there’s both a prison and a jail in the city. Jail is at water level and from here people can just disappear or, for a price, get released. The prison is on the third level of a building but people here tend to get to trial.

The Temple of Deep Chaos is where the permanent insectoids are coming from. Jack details this is above ""old town" (an area that sank during the cataclysm).

We travel to the prison with a view to killing any insect creatures and chaos cultists we find. Breaking in to the prison we find some resistance from human guards, some of whom are, we assume, purple knights. We find further resistance from insects and Dog. Bad dog. Gabrial is rendered unconscious.

The streets are largely empty other than a mercenary band and a group from the Sisters of Silence.

We encounter a couple of large insects as we pass to the prison. We test a ludicrous theory that the insects won’t attack anyone in purple. It turns out to be true. A piece of information to pass on to the guild perhaps.

REMINDER : the invading army is likely to use tunnels to pass in to the city. We let the guild know – hence absolving ourselves of the responsibility.

Above the prison we find 2 entries. The first is a small port hole that smaller, more nimble people could navigate through. The second is through a portcullis. The portcullis can be opened, we presume, by a one of a pair of levers in the prison guard house.

Dog is NOT a scout.

We rescue Dog from himself after he free dives in to the ocean and then gets stabbed up after wedging himself in the porthole.

Giving up on the prison for now, as we’ve made a hash of a stealthy entry attempt we move instead to the Temple of Kaos. We travel down beneath the house and down a ladder, exterminating a few rats on the way and in to a painted chamber with various chaos runes. We pass on to a tower in a large cave, guarded by a dwarven cleric, a massive rat and a large crocodile like creature. A tough fight later we retreat from the complex and return to the guild.

We travel to the Temple of Pelor and meet Kel Recent. He’s cautious about meeting anyone as a group from the temple were waylain and killed by a large group of insects. Is this the first time we’ve heard of insects being so organised? We receive some disease/restoration healings. Kal also volunteered to help us some time in the future.

We return to the Ghostly Minstrel where we’d arranged to meet Jevica the night before. Clearly we’d missed the rendezvous, apparently to the great annoyance of Jevica. Oops.

We do a bit of shopping in the undermarket – break enchantment, enlarge, etc.

We return to the guild and rest the night.

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Monkey Business

As we wander through the corridors beyond the unicorn we find a statue of Estalada – was a nymph who was one of Daynar’s companions. Beyond this chamber is a small room with two lever’s and a glass door. We speculate Estrada herself lives in the water beyond the glass door.

Wandering back and through an area of darkness is a small chamber with a suit of armour hanging in the air above a pit. Lightning guards the path along. The soul is that of Tyranith Inveer who wants his soul removed from the armour. Tyranith was left here to rot by Daynar.

Down another corridor we’re set upon by hard hitting ape’s, perhaps guardians of a statue of Gaen, a rarely worshiped goddess of light, the Provider, that stands in a chamber at the end of the corridor. Giro is slain. Badly beaten by the apes we stay in the chamber over night in the hope of a miracle and the reincarnation of Giro. Towards morning (dawn?) 4 large apes appear as we sleep. Slowly waking everyone we move towards the creaky door though Tar stays close to the altar and to relearn spells. We make it out of the room but not before the monkeys awake and attack.

During the fight another group, including a mind flayer and a yuan-ti, appears and stuns Charity. As we finish off the monkeys a spider descends and teleports off with Tar. Charity is rendered unconscious from the combat. The mind flayer leaves a note indicating that unless we leave the warrens then Tar will have a slow and lingering death.

Venturing back to the city it’s empty of citizens. Meeting Nobby on the way back it seems all the normal militia have been killed by the insects and Nobby and his company (of the red leaf) are now guarding the city. Moving to the Snickleway Kal Recent passes through, unexpectedly. Turns out Tar has inhabited Kal’s body as Tar was taken by the spider to the Spire whereby, somehow, Kal’s body became available for habitation – given it was effectively empty. Tar’s mind was probed for answers on how to proceed in to the warrens.

We get Giro raised from the dead but need to go to the Pelor priests to get the lost levels removed. Moving out of the Snickleways we encounter a couple of giant insects.

We meet sister Delaney at the temple of Pelor. We learn that some in her order want to retrieve a specific sword.Sister Delaney considered this folly. During investigation in to Kal/Tar Kal collapses briefly. For a moment Kal see’s the body of Tar is being torn to pieces by those who took him. Kal see’s his body is kept in a high building with the sound of water. Directly above Tar’s body is a wooden spire complete with Bells – a church perhaps. Temple of St. Thesina in Rivergate?

We seek the advice of Jessica at the Ghostly Minstrel but she’s not available – though we leave a message. We then head back to the guild to seek advice on the location of the tower where Tar is being tortured.

Locating the temple in Rivergate we enact a plan to get Red in through the door as he pretends to be a wandering adept of Pelor looking for sanctuary. The plan works as we bluff our way past a halfling minion.

Climbing the staircase we encounter a funny looking lizard that turns Charity to stone and then further up we encounter Brother Heth, the priest of Pelor – so the Hicksien conspiracy theory turns out to be true. On a torture device, strapped down and manacled is Tar – or what’s left of him. Various tubes connect the torture equipment to Tar.

As globes of flame are exchanged, the door of an oven in the room falls off as spells are removed. A bloody fight ensues. As fire is absorbed in to Charities picture frame, and time passes by, the resulting expulsion of fire around Charity is partially absorbed by an oven which again explodes and takes down the last of Brother Heth’s minions and also rips the tubes attached to Tar. Tar becomes conscious and escapes from his bonds.

We eventually put Brother Heth down. Turns out he has another holy symbol other than just Pelor’s. Brother Heth’s minions had the symbol of …. on their tabbards.

We hear the sounds of a young girls voice goading us to finish Brother Heth off more quickly. Turns out the voice i coming from Nershala – a dagger! Who informs us that Brother Heth was one of the ‘Kwarn’ (a place – the pack Lords used to live there before they became gods. The bone rings we found are symbols of the order – they fuse to the bone and allow the order to track the individual. The second holy symbol worn by Brother Heth we’re later told is of “Father Claw” (an ancient man who became a god).

Healing Kal Recent brings him round. Turns out Kal’s mind was in Tar’s body and hooked up to the torture equipment.

Nershala informs us that the Yuan-ti female leader walked past us and through a portal that exists on a thin ledge on the outside of the building. Nershala’s fading presence suggests the rest of her is in the Spire – either at the top or bottom. Kal finds some evil within Nershala.

Note: the oven was referred to as the ‘un-maker’. The top of the hilt of the dagger is of a skill and time lost in time – priceless.
Note: Nershala recognizes Gabriel as Daynar. On showing Nershala Daynar’s hand she goes quiet for a while. Nershala is a Dragon ‘part’ – part of the rod. There are 3 parts to the rod:
1) bane warrens (perhaps Nershala could point us in the right direction here)
2) in Kwarn – through the portal (need to be much higher level)
3) Nershala is the third part

We return back to the church of Pelor. We regale them of our tale. Some had their suspicions of Brother Heth.

Purple Knights – may be using the Jail as a breeding pit and releasing more insects. We may need to break the prisoners out of the jail.

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To Daynar's Lair

Haydn appears from behind a gravestone and invites us in to a mausoleum. We detect some fading teleportation magic on the entrance. Haydn is suspicious as to why our group has been asked to keep guard over the graveyards. Haydn surmises that some individuals of great skill were testing us and viewing our progress, or perhaps out skill set. Haydn spotted the watchers creating a blue portal through which they passed to escape.

Haydn used the phrase “ward pact” to describe the type of coercion the Commissar is leveraging over the guilds.

We travel back to the guild but find a guild member standing outside where the snickleway was supposed to be. Apparently there was a box, complete with legs and teeth, blocking the way in. We’re directed to the new location of the snickleway but the box has followed. Turns out the box is ‘woof’ and has found its way back.

We meet Kal Recent the following the morning. Kal mentions that he’s been expelled from the guild by Brother Heth. Brother Heth believes that an artefact of Pelor is down in the warrens (?) and is creating a force to venture down there. Kal Recent has been attacked by an Ogre Mage and Mind Flayer but managed to see them off. Kal offers to join us in our journey to the warrens.

We journey back to the warrens. In passing down the scree slope we spot a rune with what we presume was an alarm spell – so someone knows we’re here. We pass through to the spiral stair room and open the large double doors with the use of the skeletal hand. A set of stairs upwards await. A single set of footprints going up the stairs mark the dust – many days old.

As we try to wedge the door closed by gathering broken material from the main chamber we’re attacked by a big monkey and a gnoll archer. Abandoning the notion of securing the main doors we clamber up the stairs, leaving the gnoll archer alive in the chamber.

There are a few options up the stairs:
1. Wall of force protecting a triangular shaped room. Touching the hand to the wall of force removes the wall and we descend along a couple of corridors protected by secret doors. Beyond a sunken pit with some amenable mechanical crabs and a gas trap lies Gerius Astronimus – the architect and builder of the complex. Gerius is a mechanical humanoid trapped beneath some stonework. We ask about the dragon wand. We’re informed that we need to proceed from the outer warrens to the inner warrens by passing south. The dragon wand is within a vault. We need to pass beyond the blue stone plug by activating the lights in a NW, NE, SW, SE order. Gerius suggests there was a corruption about the creator of the warrens. Gerius suggests the warding rod should have been used to seal the warrens completely.
2. A bone-chillingly col corridor – wraps around to the back of the wall of force protected corridor.
3. Cocoons behind a glass wall. Lever at the end of the corridor. – Unexplored
4. Metal cage that takes the victim on a flight to the bottom of a long shaft. Beyond the trap lies a complete artifact, throbbing with power – a complete version of the lollipop shaped, giant creation in one of the earlier rooms. Flesh Golem. Mechanical spiders. Slicing room with 3 levers.

We recall that the creator of the warrens was associated with a bronze dragon and winged horse.

Monty the parrot …

We’re momentarily attacked by a large hag and a gnoll archer before turning tail and hiding behind the wall of force and a darkness spell. The night passes uneventfully.

Activating the lights in the circular room and then pulling on the teleporting lever removes the blue stone wall behind the wall of force. Passing through the now open corridor we pass to what may be considered as the inner warrens on the way to the vault.

We pass three small rooms, complete with magic items and pass through to a chamber with what we think is a petrified pegasus on a pedestal. The room gives us a feeling of well-being. A statue, (Daynar – robed figure with a wooden staff) sits in a corner with the following words written in Celestial:

“I see a future day when evil has gone … "

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Temple of Deep Chaos

Travelling through some more chambers we encounter some goblins and drow, which we combat. When we start the fight against the 3 drow one of them turns against the others, dispelling many mirror images with his sword. Turns out the drow is in deep cover and was expecting help sent from the Commissar. The area we find ourselves in is the Temple of Deep Chaos.

We’re informed by Vokan, the helpful drow, that when the insect creatures attack others the victims become cocooned and within 24 hours they’re transformed in to insects themselves. But the insects are there just to create chaos and to prepare for the Night of Dissolution. The Tolling Bell are in charge under Wantad, and it’s Wantad who’s in charge and is trying to bring about the Night of Dissolution. Wanted wants to be created in to a demonic servant of the demon lords. Wanted himself is half-demon. There’s a large device that’s been absorbing chaos from the city that will be powered by a chaos item. Apparently the first creature we’ll meet is a dwarf in a tower, shooting people. He’s a member of the Tolling Bell. Many more rats also exist beyond the current chamber. There’s also a woman in an iron mask, with snakes for hair. She’s feared and everyone avoids her.

One of the crime lords is funding the playing of a game of chance in which people are playing the game and winning a lot of money. The theory is that by playing a game of chance the amount of chaos that be used is increased.

When we return home we find that Vokan may not have been who he seemed to be and that we could have been played.

The Green Man returns from the Commissar and asks us for an audience in the third level. We’re told:
– there was magic involved in the summons with the Commissar activating an ancient binding among the large city guilds compelling the leaders to attend.
– It’s possible the power of the binding goes a lot further than just compelling people to talk. – Guilds are being asked to prepare their troops to rally against the 50,000 foes marching towards the city
– The guild has been asked to track, locate and eliminate the insects and the chaos cults
– We’re also asked to look after the necropolis and keep an eye on it, dealing with anything that tries to get out

Sagely learnings: The wolf tabbard is associated with werewolves. There’s an ancient order. There’s a hint of a house in Ptolus associated with it.

Sagely learnings: Ancient armour – it pre-dates the gods.

Sagely learnings: There’s an organic element – chaostec – to the items we have. These items seem to be pre-history. The All-key is of a similar vein – chaostec. To learn more we’d probably need a legend lore. The feathers in Red’s hat also seem to be chaostec.

We travel to the ghostly minstrel and have a meal with Jevica. We provide an update on our activities. She wants us to continue our search for the key to the seal in exchange for further trinkets which she pulls from various places as if she was already aware of the choices we’d make. All very suspicious!

We travel to the noble district, complete with well lit roads and large manor houses. We scout the house we’re after and discover:
– It’s surrounded by an 8 foot stone wall
– guards at various points on the outside walls
– packs of dogs roam around the woods
– werewolves look after the dogs
– a guardhouse- 2 floors
– a secondary guardhouse – smaller in scale
– 3 story manor house protected by invisible protective wards

We return to the guild and go to see Gideon – the man with the plans (“master of the rolls”). Gideon resides on the third floor. He shows us plans that suggest a basement level only accessible from inside the house. We meet a guild member who remembers a Knight of the Cord who got tortured by House Vladem. The Knight used to hang out in the Rising Star. Perhaps that’s worth a visit. The Knights have a temple in the Jordon Temple Hall in Old Town. The person were looking for is Nikolon Regellis though he hasn’t been seen for a couple of weeks and is believed to be outside the city at the moment. It’s unknown when he’ll return.

The following morning we travel to the Rising Star to seek out Nikolon. We’re eventually given a note by a street urchin that suggests Nikolon will meet us back at the inn at 7pm. So in the meantime we travel back to the Vladam manor house and have a look around. The only other pieces of information we glean is that many of the dogs in the kennels are lifeless.

Talking to another knightly order we also glean that House Vladam has dealings with demons but that they aren’t undead in any way. The owner of the house is supposed to be abroad but that the son and daughter are still living there.

Updates on the state of the city today:
– The docks have been shut down for a couple of days after a couple of insects ran around and killed 10 people
– A second outbreak of insects has happened in north gate. The two creatures were taken down by the commissars men.
– A catastrophic event will precipitate, or be precipitated by, the sacking of the city

We travel to the Rising Star to meet Nikolon.
Nirvana Vladam was the one that tortured Nikolon. Nikolon escaped by jumping through a window and then over the cliff. There were runes Nikolon triggered when he tried to escape; fire, lightning, confusion, dizziness. Nikolon volunteers to guide us to the house and aid our endeavors provided we only take a single item.

We agree to meet Nikolon the next day and traveled to the Vladem manor house. Travelling through the woods and through a broken window we make our way down to the saferoom – as indicated by Nikolon. Through some doors and traps we find the key – in the form of a skeletal hand – and look to make our way out via the window and then over the cliff. Nikolon then transforms in to Nirvana Vladem and, together with her brother, seeks to take the hand from us. We just manage to escape over the cliff edge.

Rumour has is within the guild that 3 people had escaped from Madoths Ayslum.

We guard the graveyard and encounter a number of tough undead.

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Return to the Bane Warrens

Back at the guild we chat with the Green Man. A seer has foreseen the return of a third moon – the moon of magic. It will bring chaos with it. The Sigil Children developed runes on their bodies under the light of the previous moon, and some of these people have been seen within the city. The Seer has seen the start of the end of the world and it would start in this city with creatures emerging from underground and killing all within its walls before then spreading across the world to slay all living creatures.

Eons ago there was a war between law and chaos. …

Talk within the guild is that the 50,000 strong nomads are on their way to Ptolus, having deviated from their original path. The army seems some weeks away.

The Green Man presents us with a lock of green hair that allows identification. It’s limited in nature but investigation in to its parameters starts immediately.

We have an appointment at the Wandering Minstrel to talk to Jinchtha’s brother Iltamar about what he learnt from his time in the chaos guild. Iltamar reiterates the Night of Dissolution and that it’d occur when an event happened in the sky (third moon presumably). The group called themselves The Brotherhood of Ptolus and are experts in poisons. The brotherhood had been working with the Ebon Hand. The Ebon Hand didn’t like the Centaur as he represented a third party of chaots. The groups talked about destroying an anti-chaos device to power a ritual.They talked about taking Iltamar to a house in Old Town after his surgery. The Centaur was always well organised and he came with plans. Iltamar knows where this house is in Old Town. We don’t really know what’s there but it would be worth looking in to as it seems to be somewhere where rituals are conducted. The poison being used was Ascara. ‘Thrall’ and ‘venom’ were also mentioned. Iltamar had also heard the name ’Wantad’and was associated with a ‘bell’.

We return to the BaneWarrens and cast the Legend Lore. [See “Legend Lore on the Door” in the Wiki section]. We find the Pelor paladin being attacked by the charming snake lady and a minotaur or two. A tough fight ensues and we prevail, if only just. The next time we meet the snake lady we should learn Silence and prot lightning before we go.

Kal Recent thinks the dragon rod is still within the bane warrens while the key (see Legend Lore) has left. “One is used to open the door and one seals it”. During the Legend Lore some people saw a manor house in the background of which was a cliff. We surmised this was the cliff separating the levels within Ptolus. Tar and Gabrial attempt to draw the manor house so we can locate it at a future date. It seems likely this manor house holds the key seen in the Legend Lore.

While venturing back from the warrens we encounter a couple of large insect-like creatures. We slay them but they poison Charity who falls limply to the floor after a while.The bodies of the slain insects turn to goo and inside we find the bodies of two small children. Etched on the body of the children are sigils. These creatures were the same ones we’ve seen in the building Iltamar informed us about. A neutralize poison cast on Charity fails to help and she’s slowly cocooned in a black. But by morning Charity has been covered in blue moss and all is well. The same can’t be said for Snub who’s been affected by the self-consumption disease though the Priests of Pelor may have a cure for the disease so we’ll take that down to Kal Recent and see what happens.

We talk to the Green Man who’s feeling compelled by the Commissar to go and have a meeting with him. He’s decided to meet the Commissar as he’s confident he can come out of the meeting unscathed. The compulsion is via some ancient ritual that the Commissar seems to have invoked.

[Miles was ill for a bit so some other stuff may have happened …]

We enter the house Iltamar told us about with a view to killing any insects and associated cultists. We’re not disappointed. A couple of cultists are slain and a couple of large insects. It seems the house is being used as the center for spawning of such creatures as there are dozens of broken cocoons littered about. A large tunnel has been dug down in to the earth from a corner of the house.

Tar has a close brush with death. While he didn’t actually die, though he was pretty battered, he did come out of an exchange with a gibbering creature with a mark of chaos on his forehead.

We head off down a deep and dark hole. Some 40ft down the hole stops.

We’re also offered the bashing of some Balakazar bashers.

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Chapter 7
To the Bane Warrens!

Red is woken from his slumber by the stuffed parrot which has had a dream of (perhaps) events past. An ‘epic’ battle between Orcus (great horn headed demon), more, smaller, balor demons are fighting against a host of multi-hued elves (?). The fight lasts for hours, if not days, and it looks to the parrot like Orcus is winning.During the dream the parrot sits atop the elven leaders shoulder

Message from the Day-master: The guild kept an eye on Illtamar who was taken last night – sack over the head job. Illtamar had been talking to a tall, thin guy with dank looking hair who worked behind the bar. They had some recognition between them, perhaps through a ring they were both wearing. The inn in question is in mid-town, The Ghostly Minstrel.

Message from the mages: “Somewhere in the bane warrens is an elf who has the answers”.

We travel to the ghostly minstrel and employ a street urchin from the guild to ask around to see if anyone saw the abduction of Illtamar. Coincidentally, the red armed mage from the inverted pyramid guild will meet us at the Ghostly Minstrel at dusk, so we plan on returning later in the evening.

We head on down to the Bane Warrens to complete their closing. We encounter the shadow creature, again, which drains us, again. We encounter a large blue troll-like creature that regenerates anything but fire damage. We force the creature to teleport off and seek to rest but the creature reappears 10 minutes later and interrupts us. We again force the creature to teleport off and move to save the life of a beautiful female adventurer caught in a pit trap. The creature encourages Red to seek vengeance on her behalf which he accepts. Her foe is a priest of Pelor. Red moves to attack but the priest eventually gets the better of him and he’s rendered unconscious.

Chatting with the priest of Pelor it seems he is now cursed and cannot leave the warrens. The priest was infected by some shambling creatures. The curse seems to overcome the victims senses and the creature starts to devour itself.

Within the area the priest is found is a large piece of mechanical apparatus; a tall stem with many branches, atop of which is a large sphere almost jigsaw like with a few missing pieces. Also within the room is a large set of double doors with numerous symbols etched upon them.

The priest hands a wooden cross to us and asks us to hand it over to Sister Delania Verunun. We’re to say that she handed it to the priest under the third star on the night of the rising moon. The Sister resides in the Grand Cathedral in the noble quarter. This will show the sister that we met the priest.

We travel to the Grand Cathedral and show proof of our meeting with Kel Recent and explain about his predicament. We hand over the body of the monk who accompanied Kel. The order of Pelor asks a task of us. We’re provided with a scroll of legend lore and asked to read it upon the doors, and to take supplies to Kel. Brother Fabitor gives us the 2,000gp offered for the task.

Evening arrives and we travel to the ghostly minstrel. The street urchin tells us that 3 men waylaid Illtamar. They were humans but with nothing in particular to identify them.

We meet Jebica in the Inn and inform her of our travails in the warrens. She suggests the only reason the warrens were broken in to was because the seal just wasn’t finished. Jebica opens a scroll upon which is written ancient elven. Whenever she taps the scroll further writing appears. We notice the words “tremoc Korin”. Apparently “tremoc Korin” means the “bane heart”, the centre of Jabel Shamar and the door in the bane warrens could lead to the top of the tower. -Necrophagon, a disease that causes people to eat themselves – not heard of in centuries.

Jebica wishes more information about the bane warrens and wishes to maintain our services. If we’re willing to work for Jebica then she can provide us with an item of our choice up to 2,000gp.

We retire to the bar and try to keep an eye on Jemil, the barkeeper who worked with Illtamar.

We follow Jemil to a meeting of a brotherhood of chaots. Red enters inside with an almost impenetrable disguise and meets Nobby, who recognises his manly odour. Nobby is now working security detail with a couple of other goblins. Nobby allows Red to continue in to the meeting where a bunch of inept cultists are meeting,

Dilar wasn’t available – a centaur so one of the cultists chairs the meeting. The Ebon Hand seems to have been driven from the city, they mention, -they were taking some people and taking them away to change them. The unfortunate creatures were being taken to the temple to be changed in to chaos spawn. Illtamar was mentioned as having been too talkative and had been taken to the surgeon. The meeting ends with Red pilfering a ring from one of the other chaots.

We decide on a ruse to talk to the surgeon about a bit of augmentation work. We talk to the orc with Dilar and they get us to follow them to a secret location in old town. It turns out to be a trap and we’re attacked when we arrive. We slay the centaur and his minions but a humanoid creature, probably the surgeon (metal chin, horn and clothing covering a large frame), utters “you fools, why did you bring them here, don’t you know who they are?” before teleporting off.

We find Illtamar. Illtamar mentions that there’s a plan to raise a device to the sky that’ll stop the chaos. They’re getting together with the Ebon Hand to transform people.

We take one of the cultists to the sisters of silence and tell them of their plans. They seem very interested in the location of the surgeon.

We return Illtamar to his sister. 10% off all amour!!!

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Chapter 6

Back at the guild the chest is opened with the All key – at the major expense of one of the guild members (using the key steals a several levels). Inside the chest are a number of useful magic items.

Wantad and his cultists are probably from the cult of the Tolling Bell – that seeks the end of the world.

Kell Recent – a champion of the church of Pelor was investigating some strange goings on. He went missing around a week ago. Kell is 5ft 6in, half elven by blood and normally dressed in plate mail with long golden hair. Kell had a companion, Blacklyn, 6ft human dressed in grey or brown robes. Bald. The church of Pelor has promised 2000gp (and an extra 1000gp from a priest) for his safe return. Spells cast haven’t been able to find Kell and the trail has gone cold.

Bizarrely, a chap runs down the street on fire. We quench the fire.

There are rumors that KillRaven is looking to remove the Balakazars. This may be an opportunity for our guild to attack the Balakazars when the Balakazars retaliate against the Kill Ravens. We’re put on a 10 minute warning before we move against the Balakazars.

Ginsa has left a message for us. She needs some help and asks us to go to help. We travel down there. Apparently Ginsa’s brother, Iltimar, is infatuated with a strange woman and that “he’s not himself”. Ginsa hands a ring to us. The ring is one of a broken square (a symbol of chaos) that she obtained from a group that Iltimar is becoming obsessed with. Ginsa obtained the ring from her brother without his knowledge. The Brotherhood of Ptolus is the cult responsible.

One of the guild members comes over and let’s us know that there’s a woman standing next to the snickleway in North Market -seemingly just hanging around it.

We move to talk to the woman who appears to have an animated arm made of red glass. When weconfront her she introduces herself as Jevica Nor from the inverted pyramid (mages). This guild is against the guidance of Pelor who state that such magical guilds should be outlawed. She wears green robes and a bent staff. She wishes to employ our services, having cast spells to find that we were the ones she needed.

Jevica informs us that the wishes and miracles her guild have cast won’t let them enter the great spire at the center of Ptolus. Jevica wants to seal up the evil artifacts at the top of the tower. [If we ever find out how the evil artifacts are sealed in then there’s good money from the guild for that information].

The bane warrens (just below the tower) were sealed for centuries but something has escaped. Jevica is interested in paying us to seal up the bane warrens. 1000gp a piece is offered for our services. We’re to seal away whatever we can and to let Jevica know what we find and how the place was sealed. Jevica let’s slip that whatever escaped has an interest in ourselves. Whatever escaped did so a couple of weeks ago.

Scribbled on to the note:“The entrance is in the wine cellar in a manor in old town.”. There’s a map drawn to the location.“The house is vacant, leave word with the barkeep at the Ghostly Minstrel in North Market. Expenses provided.” A bag of gold appears at our feet with 150gp each.

We attack two of the Balakazars warehouses and defeat some minions. The peasantry are allowed to come in and help themselves to stolen goods once the place was cleared.

On our return we’re asked to get hold of some alchemical fire that the Balakazars were using and to return it to the guild for examination.

We move on the task given to us by Jevica and travel to Old Town. While scouting out the old house we spot someone watching us. Confronting the figure he reveals himself to be Tavern Zith. Tavern had been locked up for many years (centuries). Tavern welcomes us as followers of the true faith, as agents of chaos. Apparently we have an aura that helps others recognize us. Tavern is one of those who escaped from the bane warrens when a group of yuan-ti like creatures smashed their way in. Jevica makes his excuses and leaves.

Travelling in to the house and down to the wine cellar we find a tunnel dug in the earth. We later encounter an umber hulk that we eventually slay.

We wander along a tunnel and find a scree slope. Tar investigates and slips down, prompting a nearby apparition to attack. After slaying it a couple of times we move to investigate further and find an iron door covered in runes. The door’s open and a discussion ensues as to whether this is the entrance to the warrens themselves or to just a single cell. Red closes the portal, after which the door seems to magically re-seal itself.

Shortly afterwards we’re attacked by a couple of insect creature that seem to have made their way out of an insect infested pit. The pit is surrounded by runes, similar to the ones on the iron door.

After slaying the insect creatures and looking to leave, a figure appears, dressed in green robes and insubstantial. He introduces himself as Gulab,a servant of Jevica Nor and insists we tell him what we’ve found so far. He wishes us to dig further and suggests the iron door isn’t the one that controls access to the warrens.

We return back to the guild.

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