The Still Night

Dark alleys and fiery planes

We’re waylaid by some well armoured chaps with two-handed clubs. Big lightning bolts and fireball go off. Giro falls, dead. A humanoid cat-like figure seems to be in some kind of control of the group and makes his way out of the fight shortly after it’s started. Some of the foe fall and others wander off. They were tooled up, spell-wise with spell resistance, fires-shields etc. Turns out the “Shadow Knave” paid the humans to attack us.

A messenger comes in to the pub we’re in. There’s a note for Tar that reads: Eliath has been spotted come back and see Gedmarak (the minotaur barman) in the ladies ward.

The civic fest hall has been closed for the first time – could it be because of our wasting disease?

We rest in the Phoenix (?) pub but are awaken by suddenly being thrust out of bed by an unknown force. upon investigation it’s apparent that the doughnut has stopped rotating around the spire. resulting in our part of Sigil being left in perpetual darkness.

Dressed in the colours of the Doom Guard is an individual with flaming hair. We last saw the chap dancing in the hive. We question how he’s better, and not dead: "Listen, I’m newly minted. Yes, I died. I was raised before St. Cuthbert himself. ‘Go, join the Doom Guard. Make something of yourself’ " he was told. He mentions that he was reading a tomb with a number of truenames within it. All he remembers was that he (Larik Stormwing) was in a library in Sigil when he opened the tomb.

There’s a rumbling in the whole of Sigil. The lady of the spire looks furious and gazes at us. It’s clear we need to prioritize removing the bane curse. We go to see the minotaur barman. We’re told the dwarf we’re after is the “Black Sail” pub.

We ask the barman about the Plane of Shadow. There’s a sage (Delentor) who’s left us a message. It’s about the “Bone Garden”. Looks like we need to travel to that place on the Plane of Shadows.

We’re told, no undead will ever attack a “dustman”. That’s a compact between undead and dustmen. If anyone knows about the Bone Garden then it’s the dustmen.

We ask for a way through to the hive without having to go through the barriers created that are barring access to the hive. The barman hands us a beer mat and writes “firebird” on the beer mat. We’re to hand this to a runner and he’ll deliver us to a smuggler who’ll use the alcohol smuggling routes to take us to the hive. Trying to keep the barman sweet we head off to the Black Sails first.

We get a runner to the Black Sails but on the way the runner runs off in fear as an image of the Dabus appears before us. It introduces itself as “Fell”. We’re asked to join it in its ‘shop’, through a door that wasn’t there a moment ago. ‘Fell’ has been asked by the Lady of the Spire to help us. Apparently we’re being blamed for the corruption of the spire and for the introduction of the disease bane to Sigil. We’re to fix both issues or die – though we’re provided with 49,000 gp worth of tattoos in consolation.

[Currently in the lower ward]

We buy passage through the smuggler routes using the “firebird” beer mat and plenty of gold.

Dog tries to impress with his jumping but just ends up being shot with bolts of light. Immediately afterwards we’re approached by rats but the swarm dissipates before attacking.

During the dog healing process Charity sees a couple of dead spirits walking hand-in-hand though no-one else can see the apparitions. These spirits profess to have come from a different plane that’s merged with this one some 6 hours ago. This may coincide with the time that Sigil stopped rotating. The spirits used to work for “the master” some time ago.

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Let's kill some Greens!!!

We continue to explore the orc compound. A number of orcs and tumbling trolls attack. It’s messy. Gabrial falls but the trolls eventually meet a fiery death.

The sarcophagus has images of a king taking gifts from the masses. The name “Cyril Rex” is written on the tomb. Within the tomb is nothing useful – just a cloying miasma of soul sucking-ness.

Lydia : She’s part of the"free league". They’re “free willed, free thinking” folk who act as mercenaries and base their relationships on trust and favors.

We continue along a sliding staircase, through a few trap doors. We encounter a few more orcs, ogres and trolls and a six-armed demon. A brutal fight ensues in which Charity falls and rises a number of times. Dog smashes and wins the day – with a little help from his friends. We’re also aided by Lydia who somehow partially incapacitates the six-armed demon.

We find 4 magical weapons and a blindingly magical rod.

Turns out Lydia is angelic. The Still Night is the uber-orgnaization, one of whose sub-elements is the Order of the Green. Lydia is playing with us, controlling us and manipulating us, just in the same way that the Order of the Green has. [DM – Cough… Accuracy… Cough]

Orcus has apparently destroyed the leader of Mechanus – Primus. One of the Secundus should have morphed in to the Primus but that didn’t happen. That put the plane in danger. If one of the planes of existence is destroyed then all of the the planes of existence are at risk. Red seems not to care about these details.

We find another sarcophagus. It details “Cyril Rex, conqueror and statesman”. Opening up the sarcophagus releases some kind of glass elemental. Tar gets a horn out and shatters the creature. Easy. No goodies in the sarcophagus, alas.

Searching some of the remaining chambers it suggests there are still 8 or so large creatures unaccounted for as well as 15 orcs. We complete some final searches and make our way back to Sigil – which takes a couple of days and the throwing of some yellow flowers in to a cave.

We visit Gadwyn at the shrine of Polum the Lost. Dog is looking to get his war wound fixed and Garbial looks to get his Bane Warren illness fixed. Gadwyn can’t help Gabrial. However, Sir Varis names the illness as Weeping Rot – a famous bane that was responsible for a whole continent dying off. Gabrial asks Sir Varis to contact darker forces for more knowledge.

“Death is the key. You must be killed twice in the plane of Great Shadows. Share.”, says a booming voice. Everyone rolls a D20 … no obvious affect.

The barman (at the sign of the Golden Cockatrice) suggests there are some guides outside who can direct us to the Pleasure Palace (aka the Civic Fest Hall), who can then direct us to the Seers who can then hopefully let us know about the Great Shadows.

We ask about Renob and told he’ll return to the inn in the evening.

We’re given a guide to take us to the Civic Fest Hall. 45 minutes later we arrive [DM – Still in the Ladies Ward] . We arrive at the Fest Hall. It’s very fancy – marble, gold, fancy lighting, incense etc. There’s a large central hall with people in toga’s and pools of water.

We ask about a suitable sage who may know about the Great Shadow and informed that Delanta Vestival has explored the “absence of light”. She’s on her travels at the moment but when she returns she’ll be asked to get in touch at the Golden Cockatrice.

We claim our cash from the Order of Green. Shortly after the doors to the Inn and forced open. In come a wolf headed giant spider.

A task from the Minotaur barkeeper : to get a small golden key with a purple stone inlaid from an ex-patron who’s gone a bit mad. We can complete this in exchange for Tar burning a big hole in the Golden Cockatrice. The patrons name is Eliath (male, short, dwarven, perhaps wearing black leather armor) who resides in a lunatic asylum in the hive.

The “Blood War” : A war between the devils and demons, with a few angels thrown in.

The “Harmonium” are peacekeepers.

The “Great Foundry” – where metal stuff is made.

The Hive Ward consists of:
The Butchers Block :
The Hive :
The Blood Pit :
The Mortuary : Everything that dies ends up here. We travel there and see Brendan Maul – Keeper of the Dead Book. We believe Eliath’s body has been moved to the elemental plane of fire where he’s likely to be incinerated some time soon. The Mortuary also has portals to more planes than any other place as bodies delivered there are sent to the appropriate plane after death.
The Gatehouse (an Asylum) : We check here for Eliath but he hasn’t been here for a few days. We’re off to check the mortuary. On the way we encounter a small group collecting dead bodies from the street. A flame haired figure is calling out the names of demon lords when he’s suddenly slain by an unknown force and with no obvious wounds. It seems recently there’s been a spate of barmies falling down dead suddenly.

Speaking to the Bleak Cabal who run the Gatehouse Asylum we establish that becoming ‘barmy’ isn’t that uncommon in those who travel the planes. Those unfortunates who end up in Sigil are cared for by the Cabal at the Gatehouse. They confirm reports that a number of barmies have dropped dead recently.

The Gatehouse Night Market :

Turns out Eliath was probably taken to the Mortuary and from there would have been taken to his resting plane – the elemental plane of fire. The Collectors brought him to the mortuary initially. We suspect Eliath has placed the key up his butt, to keep it away from prying fingers. Tar promises to use his heal and spotting skills to retrieve the key.

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A venture to the Pillar of Skulls

Jesingar has been raised from the dead.

In this red hell there are a group called the Petitioners – they’re flying, military like creatures that seem to be moving about herding insubstantial looking creatures.

We head towards a set of foothills and start to climb towards a range of mountains. In the distance a single structure, a number of times large than the entire city of Ptolus, looms to the east beyond the heat haze. Above the fort-like structure something in the region of a quarter of a million creatures fly.

We find the hag’s cave and waiting outside, calling in to anyone living inside. Eventually a witch-like creature appears, coughing as she leaves her smoky cavern. Distrusting at the start she examines us through a lens before declaring that we are “primes” and “the clueless ones”. This seems to pacify her and we’re allowed in to the cavern.

Moving through the initial entrance we find a little cottage in a woodland setting. She introduces herself as “Hexlar of the Outlands”. Hexlar is also trapped on the world but seemingly too scared to venture out.

Bell is the ruler of Avernus.

This is the plane where sages go if they short-changed their customers during life.

The Pillar is back down towards the lowlands, NE from here and near the river.

We spend the night and then travel to the pillar of skulls. We ask the pillar for the key to Sigil. 4 of the skulls pipe up:

1. Kill the ogre and I’ll tell you (Elf)
2. Bring me a fiend and I’ll tell you
3. Tell me the spell-key to the plane … 2 of the heads pipe up. (Gnome). Sir Varis knows the Spell-key (attunes you to the plane) but there’s a price to pay for the knowledge …
3.a : 50,000 gold in the form of a naked elven statue …
3.b : A potion of flying poured in to our mouth.
4. Put the brightest in there (Sir Varis?)

The Ogre pipes up. "One of the other 3 is …
1. Telling the truth
2. Clueless (Elf)
3.

Dog smashes the Ogre in the face. The ogre face withdraws in to the skull to be replaced by a dwarven skull. The Elf informs us that “a flaming wooden torch” is the key to Sigil.

To the NE, beyond the river of blood, there’s a large dias that is the planar gate to Sigil. The price “Red will walk with a limp”.

Travelling back over the river we encounter some blood snakes that leap out of the river and seek to entangle Dog as he air-walks over the river. Beating those down we all eventually reach the other side safely and spot the raised dais.

We return to the hag and she tells us the planar-key – which is a piece of obsidian that’s been blasted by one of the planar fireballs.

We’re attacked by a small group of flying demons. We slay most of them and take one of them as prisoner.

Proving to the skull pillar what the planar spell key is we’re told that we need to obtain “A brick from the great road” but not until we provide the fiend to a lying skull.

We’re being pursued at this point by a large force of flying, short fiends.

“Arkultenz” – A Pit Fiend appears on the portal stone and demands we take a white globe through the portal for him. In exchange we won’t have to fight him. The deal seems like an easy choice though on second thought Red decides that he doesn’t want to be the puppet of yet another powerful figure. A standoff ensues until a fracas kicks off. As we prepare to drop the globe and make our way through the portal Dog gets pushed through by the devil. We all follow suit.

We’re in Sigil.

Charity has already passed through the portal ahead of us and deals with a creature who’s waiting for the ‘bomb’. As the rest of the group passes through the portal we’re momentarily stunned. The ‘bomb’ is removed from Dog’s backpack – having been turned to dust. A pinch of the dust will allow us to move from Ptolus to Hell and then through the portal Sigil.

A creature, Azmaron, divides the dust into two and hands Charity half of it. Azmaron is the dark skinned creature who’s been using portals to follow us.

Red expresses his dissatisfaction at being manipulated by Azmaron.

We move to a Cockatrice themed pub. Red looks at the jobs board and we meet a planar creature called Lydia who agrees to accompany us on a mercenary mission to the outlands we need to track down Renob. Giro decides that she’s curious and wishes to talk with Azmaron about our background. We decide to sleep on it all.

Information of the planes:
1. The planes are what primes would consider the afterlife. There is no change within these planes. If a community, say, within the plane changed alignment/outlook then that part of the plane would break off and merge with an appropriately aligned plane. Numerous planes exist that are absolute law/chaos/neutrality etc.

2. Orcus, somehow, broke mechanus. Other groups were so outraged that other groups decided to act against Orcus. The first group to act were the WInd Lords – they failed. Even forces of Chaos gathered and tried to act against Orcus.

3. The Quarn were created by semi-deitific/powerful mortals with the purpose of forcing cooperation between chaotic forces. A demi-world was even created specifically for the Quarn. This experiment failed as the chaotic elements fell in to internal squabbles. Another experiment was created, ourselves. The experiment was to try to use something greater than rings to bind individuals together – then notion of family or friendship.

4. The dark skinned man was there to support us though greater powers provided us with items we’ve accumulated.

5. The ‘hive’ is the squalor within Sigil where poor people lived.

6. One a year the modrons (millions) from mechanus leave and march through each plane. At the end of the 1000 yearly event a force of millions is cut down to hundreds before their return.

7. Monty is actually an imp that’s constantly following us, invisibly. Though when Giro casts a “See invisible” spell she can’t spot the imp. [Ed: What a surprise … !!!]

8. Apparently we’re no longer safe given we have one of the 7 pieces of the anti-Orcus super-weapon (a feather in Red’s hat). And, apparently, we can’t sell the item either without dying,. [Ed: What a surprise … !!!]

9. The dark skinned man works for the Order of Green … a group who experiment with poor people and manipulate them to do their dirty deeds.

10. The Green Man is part of the Order of Green … [Red: “Told you so!!!”]

Charity and Red go to see Renob, a cat like creature who offers a bit of mercenary work in the Outlands. We move to get a budget priced key from one of the runners outside the pub. We obtain the portal key and pass through a stable door and in to the Outlands. Many strange creatures roam the planes of the outlands but all seems peaceful initially. We move to talk to a nearby villager.

After talking to some peasants we move to the foothills to hunt down some orcs. Tar flies off and locates what could be a HQ for some orcish activities. We decide on a frontal attack and play it by ear from there. We kill a small number of guards and free a couple of large ettins.

“Cyril Rex conqueror and Statesman” reads a plaque in the HQ…

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A new dawn

We fight with Wantad and his crew. Unfortunately, this crew now seems to include Giro who joins in the dancing – to the effect that the gathering magic gains intensity. The lights in the room get brighter and brighter until they become almost blinding. Even the smallest magic effects becomes incredibly destructive.

The intensity of magic gathers to a crescendo whereby some items explode, including the parrot. Then all magic ceases to function and a wave of force knocks most people off their feet. The room is now only lit by 3 green nimbus’ of light from glass chambers. A small amount of time later magic returns but of a normal magnitude. Charity falls a number of times. We summon Valadrin Grovesong, the angel. Valadrin brings much needed curing and a pleasant aura …

Tar sets about rusting the metal tubes that connect the chosen children to the greater ceremony. The pressure within each of the glass chambers ratchets up to the point where they’re ready to explode. The dancers continue to flail themselves even as their bodies rise in to the air, their bodies flying around in a circle. Wantad continues to grow as he’s enthralled in the ceremony.

We eventually get Charity up to Wanted with the Kalcicaro. Charity smashes the Kalcicaro on the black hand that Wantad is standing upon. The chaos foes all fall to the ground, blood pouring from the eyes and ears. All of Wantads diabolic minions expire though Wantad himself survives, as does his mage. A visage of Orcus appears and screams his anger and fury at Wantad. Orcus claims that the Night of Dissolution will still happen even if he has to “wake them from their slumber himself”. Then Orcus glowers at the rest of us, and his gaze rests upon Red: “You have returned …” Orcus screams. Orcus claims to he ave banished “the Wind Lords” once already and that he shall do so again. The implication is that somehow we’re the reincarnation of these “Wind Lords”.

As Orcus put his gaze towards Red the ex-feather glows silver and seems in some way to be antagonistic towards Orcus, in some way wanting to assail the great demon. Could it be that when Orcus put his gaze towards Red and mentioned "You have returned … " that it was actually referring to the silver wand?

During the final stages of the battle, where Wantad vents his anger on the party, Red gets dragged through the blue portal and into another world, or at least another city. The city is ring shaped and seems to exist on the inside of a spokeless wheel. Through the middle of the city is a giant stone column, possibly several miles across. From within the pillar appears a giant face surrounded by blades of a similar colour and texture. The faces seems to start straight at Red.

As Red watches on, enchanted by all the new sights, a black skinned figure passes a message on to Red before climbing up some vines. “The means to return will drop into your lap if you want to learn more of who you are. Ask the pillar of skulls for the key to Sigil.”. Red returns through the portal, back to the party.

A few of the figures in the tubes are children but one is the barbarian king who the army outside the city has been looking for. As Wantad rises as a revenant the King puches his way out of the glass chamber and joins the fight. As the fight draws to an end we make our way out, through part of the city and to some sewers. We travel close to the city walls to where we can send the King back to his people.

We head back to the guild to collect our chests of loot. It seems there’s trouble in the guild. Jesingar (the Night Master) and Jamil (the old instructor who had used the All-Key) have been murdered. The mages accuse the guild and the guild accuses the mages. Seems like we’re being roped in to trying to figure out who did what. We go to the murder scene.

It’s an apocalyptic scene … Red’s chest seems to have been looted. It looks like the Red’s chest is empty other than a jar.

From examining the body of the Nightmaster we see a small pin prick in the back of her neck. Her body has some tell-tale signs of poison.

Jamil seems to have had the life drained out of him. Red’s working assumption is that Jamil used the All-Key on the chest and that the chest drained the last of the life out of him.

One of the chests appear to belong to Slab and Wookie.

Javica tells us a story about her lost arm. A dark elf approached her and gave her a chest, very similar to the ones we have. In exchange, she was given our chests and asked to keep them secret. Javica was told that when the right people come along she was to give the chests over and that it was obvious that we were the ones. The arm Javica has is a form of primal chaos and Javica has to force the arm to reform in to the tangible form of an arm that it is today.

During the interview with Haydn he tells us there’s something wrong with Sam and Anna Gill … and Nobby has been behaving oddly. Barin (a cleric of Olidamarra) also, apparently, has no spells left and had to be allowed in to the guild through the use of a coin, rather than being able to make it through the portal himself. We go to talk to Barin and expose him for the treacherous dog that he is.

…. after many hours investigating, searching and interviewing we corner Barin with greater certitude over his suspicious activities. The game is up! Barin changes into a large dinosaur and rushes for the exit. We chop it down, eventually, after it’s changed in to a large spider and then back to its dinosaur form. Upon its demise it transforms into a humanoid form the like of which we’ve never seen before. It also regurgitates some green chaos liquid that Red then transforms in to a hat.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t link Barin to the Green Man so, for today at least, the Green Man remains a criminal in waiting.

The following day we go to the Commissars who rewards us with the deeds to Pythoness House, complete with chaos tint and ghosts.

We then travel to the Cathedral of Pelor to get some ailments treated. Apparently there are a number of high ranking members of the cathedral missing and that a reward is being posted for information leading to their recovery.

We return to the guild and open our chests.

We speculate upon our purpose in the universe. A Tar-ian theory suggests we may be the weapon that Orcus so covets and fears …

We go to Pythoness House. We seem to have a ghostly butler in the making. As we wander around our new abode Gabe disappears. We follow through some kind of portal. On the other side is a red canvas of a sky and a smell of sulfur. We appear lying down with some strange blue lattice effect. It turns out that we’re in Hell, at least according to a diabolic creature we encounter. Apparently we’re in the first layer of Batur. In one direction lies the Great Road, another direction are some mountains. Another direction is a river of blood.

Asking about the Pillar of Skulls the devil suggests we talk to the Old Witch, a planes walker who may know, though the creature does suggest it’s heard about the Pillar. “Over the river of blood is a cave where the hag hangs out”.

Balls of fire burst from the floor as we make our way through a basalt rock laden plain. Temporarily protecting ourselves from fire we make our way to the river and jump/wade/fly our way over.

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The Night of Dissolution

Charity notices that one of her axes, the one that creates steam, has been replaced with another axe, two headed, that seems to bleed. Charity believes she’s seen it before and that it’s the axe that was chained up in one of the bane warren rooms. It’s likely the increase in magic has allowed the axe to escape its bonds and has chosen to take control of Charity. We decide not to ask ourselves any awkward questions and just rejoice in Charity’s good fortune.

Moving on we encounter:
5 brass humanoids – these obey Gabrial’s commands, presumably thinking Gabby is Deynar.
Small, circular iron chest – green, iron bracer in the chest. Gabby picks up the bracer. Charity feels the item should be left behind and reserves the right to say “I told you so …”.

We get waylaid by some gnolls, a minotaur, a couple of other beasts and a not-so-fiery, and now naked, woman; and a creature called “Greneris”. The fight initially goes badly with Gabby ineffectively headbutting the naval area of a large bear. It starts to look bad as we think about retreating when the caverns natural inhabitants start to attack each side. There’s some antagonistic conversation (“You should not have come here… the Kwarn will betriumphant.”) between the caverns leader, a large cyclops named Tamas, and the not-so-fiery female figure. During the fight one of the creatures gets thrown in to a large pool of gloopy liquid. Weirdly, at this point, the anti-magic affect now drops.

The fight continues. Tamas turns in to a white dragon and moves to attack the fiery lady. In anger, the fiery lady casts an enormous fireball killing Red stone dead and collapsing the bridge some of the party were on. As Red dies the cursed hat falls to the floor. Two of the feathers are completely destroyed and one now resembles a long straw/wand.

After a long and painful fight, in which Gabe also nearly dies, all foes eventually fall, including the fiery lady (Iladras?). After the fight, a fleeing drow is seen moving through a portal between some stalagmites. This creature has been seen before, perhaps the same one we encountered in the graveyard many moons ago. Talking to Varris about it later he mentions that the portal leads to the City of Doors.

We also pick up the 3rd part of the key to the bane warrens from the body of the white dragon. However, the second part has been destroyed by the magical flux and is now in two…. doh!

Moving away from the area we encounter Yashala playing with the little helpers – hopscotch. “The lady [Jevica] said I had to go to sleep but that’s boring”. Yashala suggests that locking the warrens is easy and that all she needs to do is to close the main door. Though to get her help we need to play her game.

We leave behind all the banes other than Sir Varris.

Sir Varris suggests the bane warrens will be destroyed on the night of dissolution.

We decide to leave the warrens. Yashala stays inside the warrens and seals the door behind us. Yashala insists that the hand remains with us. Just beyond the main warrens door are the Pelorians. We agree to give them access to the warrens in exchange for a resurrection on Red and plenty of other curative spells. We then condemned them to an eternity in the bane warrens.

We’re given the Kelcikaro – the breath of the last emperor. It can be used a single time. Break it open and the breath is release. It’s something akin to a massive explosion aimed solely at chaotic creatures. It may be useful in our attempts to stop Wantad.

= we all go up a level =

We go to get our chests from Jevica but it turns out the snickleways aren’t available.

We travel to the Temple of the 53 where we believe Wantad is performing the last rites to invoke the Night of Dissolution. The ‘53’ are the gods of chance. We expect the lost nomad king to be part of the ceremony.

On the ground level of the temple are a couple of initial guards, one of whom sounds the alarm via a large bell. We find a way beneath the temple via a secret passageway and encounter a “what’s the password” issue. We fight a couple of large demons and some little minions. Problems include:
– big loss of strength
– demons not affected by elemental magics and also have spell resistance

We make our way down some stairs and in to a major ceremony area. Three levels of elevation with caged archers, an enlarged Wantad, a cat woman, a large, heavily armored female humanoid, a mage and a couple of other minions. Wantad is now a huge demon-like creature.

Charity has a wander around with her big lollipop.

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The Sword of Lies

There are 3 groups with us within the warrens:

1. The Pelor priests + 9 armoured figures . Sister Marrow Von Witten – who had been beaten back by the Betrayed. She’s prepared to assist us if we return the sword. She’s made the same offer to two other groups. She offers to exchange the Kelcicaro (the item in the altar) with the Sword of Truth/Lies.
2. The fiery lady
3. A group of humans with a Minotaur, accompanied by some lovely ladies.

A warrens repair creature skitters in to view with a piece of paper: “The ward generator has now been completed, as instructed”. This infers that when the front door to the warrens has been closed, that the ward generator will stop the door from being opened. So …. all we need to now do is to get the part of the staff of power and leave, closing the door behind us, while leaving the Sword of Truth in the warrens.

Moving to the corridor to the south, we believe a minotaur party had ventured this way before us. We find a weapon room with a plinth for 5 special weapons, one of which is likely to have been for the Sword of Truth. The plinth is empty. There’s also a book that has a passage circled. [https://the-still-night.obsidianportal.com/wikis/book-found-in-the-banewarrens-inner-area ] – though someone had scribbled out the four winged angel section and written ‘Malificient’ in its place.

Travelling through the melted cavern to the next corridor, we find a carving of a man in robes, touching a dragon headed rod to some runes of sealing, protected by angels with bows. Beyond one of the doors is a large, 4-armed skeleton that waylays us.

We traverse through to another corridor where we encounter Kel Recent. Kel informs us that Sister Marrow is planning to waylay anyone that attempts to leave the warrens, just in case they had they had the sword. The ambush place would be the entrance place. He also gives us a gift from the mages guild lackey (Balock (?)) with the message"success and failure". The gift is the haft of the dagger, wrapped in cloth. Kel does provide a couple of cure-diseases and some further healing before trying to find his way out of the warrens.

Upon examining the haft of the dagger, it’s very ornate, golden … and glowing green. Now all we need is the final part to complete the staff.

Info : The magical cave would seem to have some kind of relationship with interdimensional/teleportation meddling having been performed on hit. Perhaps this explains the presence of the demonic toads.

Checking down another corridor is an Earth creature uttering the word “food” at us and an angel crucified, upside down, and burnt against one wall. A corridor with electricity blasting down lies between us and the angel. Yashala has informed us that the third part of her lies in that direction.

The earth creature proves of little use, even after we throw it some metal to chew on. Instead, it starts to chew on some gems that have been placed in the glass cabinets in the room. Ignoring this we move to examine an angel that’s been pinned upside-down to a far wall. Tar frees the creature who changes from a singed, almost skeletal creature in to a winged angel. The creature, Callin.

Callin informs us that Woof is a “mono-drome”, a “modrom” from one of the planes of Law.

Callin regards Charity with some disgust. It turns out the vial of liquid Charity has been carrying for some time is the essence of an angel, captured and placed in the vial. We empty the jar on the ground. Callin dispels the corruption binding the angel and another angel appears.

Angel ‘B’ turns out to be -REDACTED— who we can call upon to serve us once. We just need to mention her name 3 times.

We’re informed we need to go past the hall of statues and beyond another chamber of one of the creators to find the Sword of Truth.

We’re waylaid by a group of invisible undead creatures, though we open up with an ill judged fireball and quickly dispatch the group. A hell-fire wielding tiefling irritates us through a set of wards. When Dog gets to the creature we’re not if it was just an illusion or not though we decide to move on at this point and continue the search for the “room of statues”.

Tar finds an open doorway and interferes with some binding runes keeping the Winter Harrowden in check. A brief and chilly encounter later and Dog is frozen solid. We’re told by Sir Varris that there’s an answer in this place to remove the frozen element though dangling Dog in the cavern is likely to kill him. We ponder a while.

… and finally give up. We ask Sir Varris for the answer to Dog’s predicament. We’re to drag him to the item destruction chamber and place him on the platform, activate level ‘B’ and pull him off (oo-err) before he gets squashed. This knowledge would seem to cost us one of our lives over the next hour.

After bringing Dog back to life we move to the Hall of Statue’s where we use the tale of Daynar we found in a book to tun the statues in the appropriate order. A couple of figures appear with hammers and break down the layers of the prismatic wall blocking our passage. It’s clear from the footprints in the room that many figures had beaten us to this point.

Throughout the day we’ve been through a number of magical spell/item enhancements or explosions. Some spells are re-learnt, some are learnt too often and explode.

We pass through the “lair”, passing a plinth with a crystalline cylinder upon it, scintillating gases swirling around it.

Within another chamber most of the floor is cover in a frosty glass. Within the glass is a large draconic figure (Sagarintius – a figure who Yashala used to play with). High above the floor is a floating throne, fit for a large humanoid. A large dragon motif forms part of the ceiling.

Gold, bronze, silver, iron, marble, wood (oak) disks float in a secret chamber off the dragon glass. There are another 4 rows of invisible discs.

Moving on, we find a room with a fountain in the center. In the center is an male elf. The figure turns to regard Gabriel “What does it mean to be good”, it asks. The figure bows to Dog and a secret door opens leading down some stairs.

Moving down the stairs is a deep cave. A bridge used to span the chasm but is now broken. Tar changes in to a bat and goes for a scout but encounters an anti-magic area, and falls 90ft. We move to find our lost scout and encounter some hostile, grey-skinned creatures. We kill them.

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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: Malagoth used to sign himself with a simple black skull. The Sir Varis informs us that the area we’re in now isn’t part of the original bane warrens.

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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