Drummer's Adventure Log
Valeria found me at a bar and offered room at their house. There I met Orsic and Stormy. All were decent and orderly people. A tiefling carpenter/wizard's apprentice asked them to take a message to a wizard in the Planewalkers Guild via a gate. The plane where the wizard (Oriam Drasellia) lives at the Endless Stairs. To get there whe most go through The Gate of the Moon to a plane ruled by a single moon. The gate only open when that moon is full and requires an ounce of silver as component. The gate to the wizard is in the palace of the goddess Selune, a moon god. The first gate is a garden gate in the Guildhall Ward. We end up in a cave at a sea shore in dense, clean air. There's a village near by, so we head there. Among the silver grey dressed locals (humans & half-elves) there are two strangers; a half-orc and a red dragonborn. They tell us we're on an island and that the palace is the only othe place of interest here.
The gate of the palace is guarded by a four meter silver golem, but it lets us pass. The palace is silent and without echoes. A female humanoid made of silver flame greets us and leads us the correct gate. It is a door marked with the symbol of infinity. From the door appears a hybrid being; half human, half-snake, with feathered wings. It says it is one of the Lillendi, guardians of the Endless Stairs. The Endless Stairs connect places or art and creativity. The stair leads single travellers to where their heart desires.
The gate leads to a 60 m diameter silver platform, with two sets of spiraling stairs leading up. There are some vines and more lillendi. The lillendi guiding us takes us up the stairs and past more platforms. We climb for more than six hours. The illendi says that the doors here are two-way gates and that their decorations help to guess where they lead. We reach a 20 m platform with a small encampment. There a two dozen people there, including a minotaur and a centaur. The minotaur is the guild's leader and called Thain. He says that the guild's headquarters used to be in Sigil, but politics and competition drove them to the Endless Stairs. He tells us that Oriam had left a week ago, but Yardom (a human man) may know where he is. He says that Oriam left with his lover Shavanistra to map the ”Blue Mushrooms” zone of the stairs. Female tiefling called Caert is heading the same way and can lead us there.
While travelling to the Blue Mushroom zone we encounter another member of the Guild of Plane Travellers, a female satyr. She had not seen Oriam, but saw some lillendi who warned that the area has become unstable. When we reach the blue mushrooms, Orsic finds large claw marks. The stairs show more and more damage, and illumination grows dimmer, but pulsing. Whole steps are missing from the stairs, and a 5 m piece of metallic stairs is missing. Railings are more intact, but there are claw marks everywhere. Orsic leaps over the gap in the railing and attaches a rope for us to cross. Soon we hear a cacophony ahead. It raises from a piping monstrosity sitting on a chair and suurounded by five more seemingly enjoying this racket. We find no signs of Oriam, and check the gate at the platform. It leads to a cave in a desert. We return and continue the stairs downward. The darkness and mist grow thicker and we see more marks of damage by large claws. Up more stairs Orsic sees four more cacophones and an armored human. They create a pillar of stone in the stairs, blocking them, but Orsic manages to climb back. Her returns and someone throws a copper sphere towards us. Snake heads from the sphere bite, but I shoot one of them. After the battle we climb over the stone pillar and once we've passed it, it disappears.
We check a door on th eplatform and find a storeroom with signs of habitation. We want to go further, but are stopped a human female called Shavanistra, priestess of Athena. She talks about her sisters, who are invisible (or non-existent). Others think she may be insane. She tells that deeper in the rooms are illithids. Orsic says that illithids eat brains and memories. The woman does not recognize the name Oriam, but says that the damged stairs up lead to a great big demon. Orsic scouts ahead and sees great demon. It is a Glabrezu, and Riaron would like to go and talk to it challenge it into a game of wits. The demon has made a nest out of broken metal stairs. There is also a half-flayed female human body in the nest where the demon sleeps. We cannot go above the demon as the stairs are broken, but the demon's nest platform is teetering on the brink of falling down. We plan on dropping the whole platform with the demon by throwing more stote pillars on the nest. Riaron drinks the potion of flying we found from Shavanistra. He flies to a platform above the demon's nest and throws stone pillar stones to the nest. He also spots Oriam on the higher platform and brings him down. When the nest starts to fall, the demon leaves for home. Oriam tells that Shavanistra was always an eccentric and summoned the demon here.
When we return to the Guild of Plane Travellers camp. Oriam rewards us for saving his life. The lillendi take Shavanistra and ask us to help by checking seven doors where they have felt someone is destroying art. We agree on this quest, but first rest for a night and return to Sigil.
In Sigil we sell some of our loot. I equip myself with better arms and go seek a faction that interests me. Society of Sensation looks to be offering some of the things that I'm lacking; an escape from the memories of war. I also seek a deity to follow and get confused with the many names of Hannahanna, Hebat, Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Aphrodite or Venus. The syncretist Unified Temple of The Lady of Heaven claim that they all are one and the same goddess, worshipped under different names on different prime planes.
A friendly priest tells us that a renowned dwarven sage who lnows a lot about the planes has died. His soul should be found in the dwarven mountain heaven. Some of my house-mates wish to be able to return to their home planes and wish to learn from the sage. I will join them on their quest. From the priest we hear that the gate to the mountain can be opened with a dwarven hammer. Our dwarves make some hammers so that we may enter.
We travel to the slums of Sigil and pass thru numerous dwarf workshops on our way to the gate. Next we end into underground tunnels. I'm told that we're already in the dwarven heaven. I can't really tell the dead dwarves from the living; all of them are constantly toiling. The venerable curate Pyrus is supposed to know where our sage is. The name of the sage is Zheraqu. Pyrus tells us that due to a clerical error a few days a dead human who was supposed to end in Carceri/Tartarus was sent here. The dwarves threw him into Tartarus. Pyrus says that these errors happen from time to time. This is worrying news for me, as I have been told by priests that believers will always go to their respective plane after death. According to Pyrus Zheraqu must have ended in Carceri/Tartarus.
On the other side of the permanent gate is a desolate and chilly place. There's a village nearby and a fortress on top of a mountain peak. We pass over a 60' bridge to reach the other side. The villagers are sullen and everything here's expensive. We should have brought some merchandize along to help them and to get them to cooperate. We continue on the second 400' bridge towards the fort. When we're halfway over the bridge, one of the locals starts chopping it's support ropes. He shouts something about a bridge toll of one gold per person. Aldier pays for all, but Riaron refuses to pay back. We continue up the mountain. Hisskiss guides our way. At a fork of the road we encounter a hill giant. The giant is called Tanaakka, and he's looking for his god Grolantor. We say that we can help him and he joins us. We continue higher and higher as twilight draws near. We spot a white marble temple. The temple is further away than it seemed, and massive. The temple belongs to the titan of mass, Crius. The stairs of the temple are giant scale, but Stormy spots a human scale set of stairs. Inside there is a huge glowing throne. From a side door a human sized humanoid enters with a broom. When we enter another small guy, a spear carrying guard intercepts us. He doesn't want us in as we're too tiny for his master. We think about bringing Tanaakka in, but someone remembers that titans and giants were on opposite sides of the war and are enemies. Riaron insults the guard and gets speared. Riaron blasts the guard with magic and Aldier prevents him from dying. Stormy, Kahjo-Olavi and Hisskiss storm in where the guard came from, and Riaron and the dwarves follow. I hide next to the white wall and prepare to defend the rear. The guards are defeated, some of them dying. While I stand guard, the others retreat outside to wait for Tanaakka. They interrogate the prisoners and find out where Zheraqu and Crius are. Luckily they are in different places in the temple. Tanaakka is afraid of Crius and runs away. We search the temple and find Zheraqu. He is imprisoned in a pure white room. He knows a gate back to Sigil.
I spend some time experiencing the new sensation of taste. Together with Gundall I try the different restaurants and cuisines in Sigil. We discuss about what to do next, and decide to first go check out the Modron march in Arcadia. After that we should head for the Infinite Staircase for a quest that will pay the bills. I suspect that there should be others interested in seeing the march, so we ask around for a gate to Arcadia. We pay for a guide for the route, which starts at a small park. The key to the gate is a wreath of flowers. According to the Lillendi, one of the disturbances they detected was in Queen's Domain in Arcadia. Maybe they or the Planewalkers would pay for information on the disturbance or we could even solve it.
The gate in Arcadia is a door in a ruined house. Arcadia feels very nice, the sounds of bird calls and the lush vegetation is better than the descriptions we heard in Sigil. We can see Mount Celestia from here. There are no signs of the Modrons, so we head for higher ground. The goljat Crazy-Olaf talks to a small bird and learns that the Modrons are two days out. In the second night we're approached by a strange glowing orb. It speaks with us telepathically with a sound that sounds like the tinkling of tiny bells. It is called a Lantern Archon. It says that it's superior sent it to look for heroes to help. It illuminates a hidden path throught the woods and we follow it. The path leads to a silver lake and a silver platform with a marble arch. Standing on the platfrom is another, humanoid Sword Archon. It is verry beautiful and serene looking. Her name is Alsier. She tells that the Modrons have been affected by a chaotic taint, and they are afraid that the taint may be contagious. The Archons have been forbidden from contact with the Modrons. They want us to talk with the Modrons to prevent them from destroying the city of Heart's Faith by trampling over it. If we can get the Modrons to use the streets or even slow them enough to enable the city to be evacuated. Alsier asks us what kind of reward we would want. She sends another Lantern Archon to lead us to the Modrons.
By morning we see both the city and the Modron march. They look like a real army colonnade, with scouts in the front. We try to communicate with them and I have to answer to a lot of questions from them. A Pentatron at their head tells that they have an agreement with the city on the route. They even show us the contract, but it is a thousand years old! Unfortunately we don't have anything to write with, so we run for Hisskiss as he should have some as a scholar. We think that it's not possible to budge the Modrons from their route map, but the route seemed reasonable, so just evacuating any new buildings in the way should minimize damages. As their map is pretty abstract, we could fit some of the routes to the streets by stretching them slightly. We split to help in different city loactions at the same time. Gundall goes to evacuate the orphanage, Hisskissto the library and Crazy-Olaf to the guard house. I try to convince merchants to leave, but one family refuses to move an inch. Hisskiss sets some harbor warehouses on fire. The fire is a good excuse to get the merchants moving. Unfortunately some of them start to run toward the city gates, where the Modrons will be entering. Together with Gundall we get people to put out the fires even though Hisskiss is interfering by telling people to evacuate by ship. A huge crowd is gathering on the main street and blocking the Modrons' main route. They were in panic, thinking there was an attack in the harbor. I device a song to instruct them and the people start singing along, following the instructions in the words. Those who had left the city by the main gate towards to the Modron colonnade manage to return and we get them out of the Modrons' route. The mayor of Heart's Faith tries to challenge the approaching Modrons at the city gates. Their leader strikes him down, but Crazy-Olaf and Hisskiss get his body out of the way. They have to destroy a few Monodrons, and get chased by a band of 10 Modrons. Hisskiss burns many of them, but is badly hurt. Crazy-Olaf fights them well. When the higher Modrons are destroyed, the lower forms transform to higher ones to keep the leadership positions occupied! Some fanatical worshippers of Mitra want to die protecting the house of their prophet, but we talk them out of it and instead to save the holy artifacts. Some old men even try to fight to protect their tavern. The Modron colonnade marches though the city and dismantles the harbor to build a bridge to the gate above The Silver Sea. The Lammasu guard and Archon Alsier land after the Modrons have left. The city has suffered a lot of damage, but casualties are almost none.
I hear from the others that they have saved an oracle who has given them three predictions. Two of them tell us where we could find help for the ”chaos plague” affecting the Modrons and more and one of them tells us of an enemy from Baator who's trying to stop us. Others tell us the plague has also been eating inspiration and art. Of the two quests we debate on which one to undertake; finding the book in the library near the Unclimbable Mountain, or the priest in the Swirling Realm (Limbo). We decide on Limbo, to be able to save a life, and also because they may already know how to cure the plague. The book may require some desciphering.
I seek out rumours of Limbo, but they all are second hand. No one wants to voluntarily enter Limbo. It changes constantly and can change instantly. A strong will can affect Limbo. It is inhabited by the Githzerai monks and the Slaadi. The Slaadi are chaos incarnate, xenophobic shapeshifters and evil guys. They are not easily affected by magic and strong fighters. The Githzerai are not evil and are actually pretty friendly if yuo're not an Illithid or a Githyanki. There are some Githzerai in Sigil, so I'll try to find one. One of them is at the Great Bazaar of Sigil and tells of techniques that the Githzerai use to concentrate in the Limbo. They agree to teach us the method and we do it. They recommend not to fight the Slaadi in Limbo and warns that the chaos changes spells unpredictably, especially the elements. None of the Planewalker's Guild who has gone to Limbo has returned. We equip as well as we can and head for the Infinite Stair.
On the other side of the door is a small building. Through it's windows we can see the eternally changing Limbo. We're able to form stable ground by concentrating, but travel is difficult. We have no way of navigating and no idea where to find the temple. Hisskiss the ranger tries to lead the way. After a few hours of traversing uphill we encounter a stabile round sand flat surrounding a metal sphere. The sphere starts to roll toward us and it's 30' in diemeter. The sphere floats over us, and has some protruding limbs. A hatch opens, and some stony creatures with nets come out. We stand and fight! They stony humanoids carry nets and there was a large invisible humanoid within them. The last of them surrenders. The prisoner urges us to get inside before chaos undertakes the sand flat. Inside is a large crystal and a chained up Blue Slaadi. The stone prisoner says that he is called Mulk, and is from the elemental plane of Earth. They were slavers under command of a genie called Rav. They came for the Slaadi to bring it as a gladiator to Pandemonium. I heal the Slaadi so we can interrogate it. It doesn't understand our languages, so we let the Goliat to knock it out. Hisskiss manages to get the sphere moving. We dump the unconscious Slaadi outside. The chains are magical and require a command word to activate.
Mulk knows about a mountain with plenty of dead and living Slaadi, and we decide to quickly check it out. This ”mountain” is a kilometer wide hunk of rock covered with carved runes. On the top of it is a simple platform. Around it are floating some dead Slaadi, which are being scavenged by some small creatures. On top there are other Slaadi sitting. The runes are in constant motion and keep changing. They look like some magical spells and Slaadi poetry. There is a single humanoid walking around the platform. It looks like a female Githzerai called Torpelin. She says that she's been researching Slaadi and has gained their confidence. This place is one of the Slaadi Spawning Stones. They have been affected with the plague and have become passive. She knows the hermit priest Sunferrin and which way he is. The priest doesn't seek harmony like the Githzerai, but is still not like the Githyanki. He is more into constant change and chaos.
With her instructions we find a iron fortress on top of a rock that is partially melting. We don't see any entrances to the fortress. Hisskiss manages to find an entrance and we park the sphere next to it. The entrance announces our names out loud. Inside is a great columned hall, with the columns emitting light of changing color. The rug on the floor is also changing in pattern and color. The first characters to step on the rug disappear. The rest of us avoid it and go around. Hisskiss touches the rug with a staff and disappears. With Orsik we string a rope between two columns and Orsik limbs the rope towards the door, but disappears when he is above the rug. I try to open the door, but end above the rug and disappear. We all end up floating in a dark metal tunnel, 40' wide. The tunnel branches and we mark the branches we take. Finally we see a transparent Slaadi head peek into the tunnel. We pursue it in and end into a room with gravity. We must have passed through a portal! The walls here are metallic with illuminating stripes. We pass through doors in the rooms and see a maze of tunnels. When Orsik passes a magically glowing crystal, two of translucent Gith appear. The ghostly appritions are affected by weapons, but not easy to disperse. After defeating them we map the maze, trying to avoid more crystals. After passing the last crystal without incident, we end up back on the rug. The maze seems like a dream.
We pass through the door and end in a large corridor. Bullswrath checks a door in the corridor to find a large alchemical laboratory. We find storage rooms, bed rooms and a library. We come across a short (less than 1 m) tall purple skinned red haired woman. They introduce themselves as Sunferrin. He says that her has purified himself at the Altar of Purification. Holg wants to try the altar to see if he could be transmuted into something else than an old orc. Sunferrin guides us to the altar. The altar is in a space in constant change. Sunferrin touches the altar and grows to 10'. Orsik also touches the altar as he is overcome by curiousity. He grows half a meter taller. Paspartout doesn't want to change, but Holg will touch the altar. He is turned dark orange in color. Bullswrath also goes for a transformation and grows long hair. He wants to try it again. He diminishes in size to 1.5 meters tall and goes once again. He gains pale blue eyes. Once more he goes to the altar and grows thinner. Then he turns into a she. And then grows thicker. And into a halfling. And into medium weight. The priests says that chaos has been lessened in some and this causes apathy and loss of inspiration. Maybe that chaos has been transferred to the Modron? To cure the apathy she gives us a bottle of condensed change to take to the affected planes. We can test the liquid chaos on the apathetic Slaadi. It's likely we can't transport it out of Limbo, so we'll have to find a way to transport it to other planes. We rest for a night and then return to the Slaadi Spawning stone.
Both Githzerai claim that the Slaadi are not chaotic enough for the chaos potion. Torpelin doesn't really want to risk her connection to these Slaadi, but we manage to convince her to help us. She talks to a Blue Slaadi, which will lead us to find a true creature of chaos. It takes us to a stable 50 m wide area where hundreds of chaotic being writhe chained to a great green pillar. One of them is a greatly mutated Orange Slaadi. He detaches the orange monster's chain and throws it Orsik to hold. Helped by Holk I try to feed it a drop of chaos, but fail. Gundall tries again. It and other monsters start baying psychically and finally Gundall succeeds. He also manages to get the magical shackles onto the now mutating Slaadi. Using chains and ropes we steer it towards the Spawning stone. When we reach it, the monster has grown to 40' high and gets out of control. It runs amok towards the center of the rock. There is no sign of Torpelin and we head for the safety of the sphere. The great mutant Slaadi starts a strange dance and the apathetic Slaadi start to wake up and gather around. The other Slaadi attack the great mutant, and consume it. We decide to head for safety. Some of them try to follow us as we return to the temple. This time Sunferrin looks like an elf. We decide to split the chaos potion and hide half at the temple and half at the portal to the Infinite Stairwell. The building at portal has deteriorated and chaos has eroded it. The drop of chaos potion we bring thru loses it's chaos. We bring Mulk too, and say that he is free. We tell the Lillendi of our progress and they have sensed that Limbo has been saved from the plague.
After returning to Sigil I visit the Sensationists and apply again for membership. My new sensations at the planes are enough, and I join them. I spend a few days there taking in bottled sensations. They tell me that bringing in new sensations is rewarded with gold. I perform at one of the smaller theaters. At home I realize that my skin color has changed to light blue. Finally we head to the Unclimbable Mountain via the Infinite Staircase. We end up on a vast, boring plain. The sand seems somehow metallic. There are ruins and signs of an old road. One side of the horizon is filled by a massive pillar. In the distance is a glimmering building. It is built of mirrors. It has no straight edges, every surface is curved. Near the main entrance is standing a hill dwarf. The dwarf has a holy symbol of some kind. He is Gamnack Kegbeard, and misadventure has lead him here. He has seen Rilmani and demons and an evil wizard. The Rilmani and demons fought in his home plane. He claims that there was a city there that disappeared.
Inside there are mirrors that magically distort your image in various ways. Gamnack says that there is a machine that makes books on paper, a library of regular books and books made of mirrors. They are heavy and hard to read. Most of them are written by Kamarel, their history and mirror magic. The Kamarel were very xenophobic and isolated race. The writer of these books was banished, because his library had information about other races. They had learned how to work magic this close to the Pillar using mirrors.
In the basement is an infinite magical library where more rooms are accessed through mirrors on the walls. The books are written in different languages, which needs magic to decipher them. There is no index, so I start writing one up. After a day's work we have no clue where the book we're looking for is.
In the morning we find out that someone has stolen some of our rations. We suspect that there could be more secret passages through the mirrors. We find some halfing tracks in the dust. We have a feeling there are some moving in the mirrors. We think about trapping the thief next night. The reading of the mirror books requires all kind of tricks, and we learn there is a magical body building book (Manual of Bodily Health). The mirror library has ladders up to the book binding room in several rooms. The books are from many different worlds. Mirror magic can change size or shape. One can move through the mirrors, but some mirrors require keys of some kind. We make trap for the thief. When we go outside to plan the trap, Stormy sees some humanoids far away.
At night Riardon is contacted telepathically, and asked to go outside the city and tell what has happened to the city. We see the humanoids from daytime, a group of Rilmani. We tell them what we know and they tell us the book we're looking for is The Everchanging Order. They even know which room it is in. When we return the mirror door is closed. Ratspawn tries to open it with his magic sword, but his mirror image strikes him. Thre is a small crack on the door, but it slowly heals. We try to call whoever is inside and let them open the door, to no avail. Orsik uses crowbar and is attacked by his mirror image. The door was barred from inside, and when we enter we see glimpses of something moving in the mirrors. During the night a man-sized baying beast enters from the mirrors. When it dies it grows larger. It was a leucrotta. The body smells so bad that we have to change bed rooms.
Next day we navigate to find the book of The Everchanging Order. We keep in one group as there are monsters in the mirrors. There is a red skinned humanoid with chains lurking around, a Chain Devil. It is watching a mirror. On the other side of the mirror are some small humanoids. We attack the devil. My silvered sword wounds the devil nicely. The humanoids (Kamarel?) see us and run away. I run after the Kamarel, but at some point they cast Darkness, which makes the mirrors impassable. Once I cast Light and follow, they have disappeared. We head back up and try to navigate to the book again. Someone has been searching the library, damaging shelves and throwing books on the floor. We search the first two possible locations and find nothing. In the third location one of the mirrors is smashed and most of the books are on the floor. The book is not here either. Stormy starts repairing the broken mirror. Many surrounding rooms have been ransacked too. There is no sign of the devils. We return to repair the broken mirror. It takes us three days. On the other side of the mirror is a room devoid of books. We test a theory by breking another mirror and once we fix it, that room is empty of books. Where did all the books go?
We go outside the library and take the door stop with us. We converse with the Rilmani and ask them about the way the library works. Looks like the Chain Devils come from the third level of Baator, where the Jingling City is. We return to Sigil, and go for a bar round to relax. I sell the books and Ratspawn sells his mirror book. Orsik and Stormy find the name of the author of the book and even the book! They read from it how distilling the chaos it could be used in other planes. After asking around, we find that the author is still alive on the elemental plane of air. We take the stairs and travel there to meet him.
We find him in an delapidated house, and he looks as dilapidated himself. We cure his hangover and talk with him. We carry him to Sigil and with his guidance find an alchemist to distill the chaos potion. To test it we first head to the Mirror Library to see if we can restore the missing city. We meet the surviving Rilmani and find out one of them is an alchemist. Just a few drops of the potion restores the whole city and it's inhabitants in an blink of an eye! The city is named the Sum of all and we're forever welcome there. Next we bring chaos to the elemental plane of air and the Artisan city of Blurophil. We continue to Arcadia to the Queen's Domain.
I hear from the others of their adventures chasing the would-be-deities and we decide to next go fix the chaos in Arcadia. Before we leave, I arrange a series of solo concerts at the Civic Festhall. During that time I live there and spend my spare time seeking sensations and memories of Arcadia. I shop for some healing potions at the bazaar, and promise to find the sellers and punish them if they cheat me.
We head for the Infinite Staircase and find the door to Arcadia. The door leads to a roughly hewn cave. The air is humid and we hear running water. Next to a pool there are some bronze tools. A slaadi leaps from the pool towards Raven, who is scouting forward. The blue slaadi is slow, but seems to regenerate it's wounds. Gundal is wounded and his magical healing seems not to work. He has caught the chaos plague from the slaadi! Luckily Hjalmar can fix that. There are tracks from giant ants or something like them. Soon our route is blocked by a 15' wide rapid river. We wade upriver and follow Hjalmar in giant toad form to a deep lake with a small island. The water is 120' deep. There is a deep hole in the island, maybe 150' deep. We see moving shadows in the hole. There are two similar islands with holes in the middle. Gundal climbs down the hole and encounters a giant ant or termite. He is frightened by it and we pull him up. We lower Hjalmar down to negotiate with the local insects. Raven disagrees, and predicts they will try to eat Hjalmar. Gundal climbs down to protect Hjalmar. The hole is a ant nest, ruled by Krilik. When Krilik went away, water filled the caves and the ants retreated to their nest. They tell us the slaadi cannot enter their nest. We promise to help and we gain permission to rest in the nest.
Note, we need more rope. It is the most useful piece of equipment.
Next morning we move upriver to the broken dam, a partition wall with a hole where water is spouting in. Next to it we find the ant matriarch, who served the queen. She says that the dam broke a few weeks ago because the workers were not taking care of it. She doesn't know where the queen is. Next to the dam is a dam repair room. The matriarch could become a queen, but that requires access to the ritual room under water. Together with Hjalmar I go to help the matriarch find the ritual room. Hizzkizz borrows his amulet of survival to the matriarch so she can travel underwater. If we see a dry route there, we will come back to get the rest of the party to help. We swim ½h along long tunnel to a large chamber covered with runes. The matriarch does the rite, transforms into a baryachyr and teleports away. We've been had! Hjalmar saw that there was a dry cave with a bronze dragon, but I don't have time to seek it out. Once we return the others go to the ant mines to find out if they can fix the dam and I go to speak with the dragon.
By a stroke of luck I find the dragon at the same time as the rest of the party. The dragon is surprised and breathes air on me, but I'm OK. I calm it down and we discuss. The dragon had guarded the ritual chamber for the ants, but the ants took it out and chained it to this room. Looks like the false matriarch has been around for a longer time. We release the dragon, who promises to help us with the dam. We also pick up a gnome trader the others found. The dam has some pipes and weird bronze mechanisms. The dragon helps us, but the water pressure is too high to block.
We return to the hive and talk to the other ant matriarchs. They tell us that there is a way to create a new queen in the ritual chamber, but that needs the queen's staff. It is missing with queen. They know that there are other gates and the queen knew them. Hizzkizz locates the gates in the hope some of them would be on dry ground. Unfortunately the gates we find are underwater and we can't get them to work.
We head back to Sigil via the Infinite Stairwell. I go looking for the cheating false matriarch and the ant queen with Hjalmar. He turns into a riding horse and dashes around the city looking for them. From the library Hizzkizz finds that the ant nest has been trading tin. We gear up and find a scroll of wall of stone and some potions of water breathing.
When we return to Arcadia, the water level has risen slightly. We bring Ghuntomas there to have a look at the local lack of chaos. We block the dam with a wall of stone and search the place looking for the queen. Gundal finds some magic items hidden in the room where the false matriarch was. Ghunthomas does some research and devices a plan where we put the chaos potion into a bronze sphere and roll it in a straight line for a mile to add some order to it. This does the trick and the apathy of the ants starts to clear. They still need a queen. The ants reward us with a helm of insects, but no money.
In Sigil we we find out more information about Baator. Some people trade with Citadel of Chain in Baator. Recently the people of the citadel have started to cheat in their trade agreements. The chain devils are a clique of their own, separate from other devil factions. A reliable guide is a must. The Citadel of Chains is on Minauros, the third plane of Baator, known for it's acid rains. The chain devils have increased their domain recently. We buy some oiled cloth cloaks to protect from the acid rain and try to find a reliable guide.
After preparing and shopping for a few days we try to find some sources of information on Baator. We search for the angel Unity-of-Rings in the Hive. The angel is doing charity and shares it's wisdom. It says that dogs are good friends. We talk with the dog with it and I speak with it. The dog leads us to more dogs, and I feed them. The whole pack follows us home. The others negotiate a deal with the Willum General assurance Company. The contract is full of confounding jargon, but Albricht is satisfied with it. Their task is to retrieve the Spider Shield from the fort of Qytel. They warn that visitors in the Visitors Quarter are eaten. The Merchant Quarter is fine. The Devil's Quarters are dangerous. The fort is in the Chain Devil's Quarter, which is also dangerous. The Company will pay 2000 GP for retrieving the shield.
We head for the Infinite Stairs, but the dogs don't have the endurance. We ask the Planewalkers Guild for advice. We sample the minotaur booze and loose a few dogs, as they decide to stay here.
We find the door of chains, and enter Baator. The door leads into a shaking room of chains, possibly in the Merchant Quarter. There is acid, slime and rust everywhere. The dogs don't follow us there. The acid rain burns. Hjalmar suggest that we should find out how the devils are affected by the lack of chaos. If they are apathetic like the others, it would be best to get the shield before we cure the place. The locals try to get stupid customers to go to the Visitor Quarter. The locals seem apathetic and laconic. We scout around a bit, but start to attract attention. After retreating back to the stairs we make a plan to recon the route to the fort. Hjalmar and Stormy will sneak and climb the way. They find it, and also that one part of it's lower floor is made of stone. That's likely where the shield is. They also encounter a smart dog that could see invisible. We rest outside with the dog pack and decide we need more scouting to find out how to use the chaos potion. The scouts encounter some chain devils and return from the Visitor's Quarter reeking of swamp. They will try to scout the Devil's Quarter and to see if the dog can find them. They manage to lure it to us close to the gate. The dog is telepathic and has been observing the place for for a few days. The dog is called Jasruil. We share information and tell we could help it. It says that the chain devils seem to be behind the disturbance. We had heard that the chain devils had came from somewhere else and had started to take over the city. My plan is that we use ”waterwalking” magic to cross the swamp and enter the fort Qytel. Then we find the chain devil leader and kill it. That is necessary as there is no use fixing the chaos plague before we neutralize it's source. Otherwise the chain devils can start it again.
We manage to sneak under the fort in less than half hour. There we find a secret door. Behind the door is a small stone room. There are some nasty slimes in the room, and we need to use magic to destroy them. Riardon uses ”mage hand” to paste some slime to the chain ceiling so we can climb up. Above there is the smell of decay, with rotting corpses hanging from chains. Outside the pantry is a corridor. From one side attack two hell hounds, from the other a chain devil. We kill them all and the devil's body is left on the ”ground”. There doesn't seem to be more enemies around, so we proceed to search the towers.
Upstairs we kill another chain devil, who was performing some kind of a ritual. We find one book from the Mirror Library, the Everchanging Order, and some other books. There's also a large, rusty, locked chest.
Up in another tower is a hill giant hanging from chains. We try to release it down. It's name is Trem. In the third tower is hanging a tentacled fiend. We manage to find some loot, including the Spider Shield. When we release Trem, he runs away alerting the chain devils. We escape out with the loot.
Back at Sigil we find out that to fix the Chaos Curse in Baator, we need to get a fiend to sign a contract with the chaos potion. Next we need to find a fiend from Baator. One fiend we find in a bar will do it for 500 GP. We take it to Baator and return to Sigil.
While I was getting acquinted with religion, the others had guided Modrons through Limbo. Holg was ambushed at night in the Lower Wards and hit with an ugly stick (some kind of magical thing). The stick had spikes and a bottle. We choose to investigate and split to do it. Together with Zoog we talk to poor people in the lower ward and hear rumours about ”sewer lizards”. There are plenty of them, and they’ve appeared about 10 years ago. Others say that there are no sewers in Sigil, so we believe they use gates to sewers on another plane.
We decide to go patrol the area at night, using a decoy to draw the lizards out. Stormy is the decoy; me, Holg and Riaron are close by invisible; and Orsik, Zoog and Hammerstone are far as they wear heavy armor and cannot sneak. When we’re in the Lower Ward, we see a fire and the dwarves go there to help. More than an hour later we find a sleeping minotaur-centaur and sneak on. There are lizards out there! We manage to get two of them, but the others escaped through a gate. Riardon says that the gate opens to Outlands, and it’s triggers are hawk feathers from Arcadia.
We interrogate the two. They say that they came raiding here from the Outlands. Their boss had the magic stick they use to steal beauty. Their king Haak pays for beauty. They claim that their camp in a tree has hundreds of lizards (which is an exaggeration). The boss is a great shaman. We take the prisoners to the home of the elf who had lost his looks. Next day we buy some of the feathers as keys, but guards take away our prisoners. Then we enter the gate. We end up on a quarry on mud flats nest to a half-sunken tower. From the tower comes an Illithid in dirty robes, holds it’s head which then implodes. We wait while Detect Magic ritual is cast. Meanwhile a burst of knowledge pours from the tower, with a shout ”The god is dead. The secrets are lost. It’s killed our master.”. From this burst I gather ”Madarn is opposed to killing the big cat”. Orsik is blasted and his eyes turn white, and healing doesn’t help. We decide to investigate quickly. There’s another illithid without a head inside. There’s nothing magical inside, so we retreat away and Orsik wakes up.
We follow the lizards’ tracks for two days, until we see a town or something far away. We approach it. Once we reach the town, it looks to be the size of around 1000 people. The inhabitants seem to be humans and dwarves. Inside there’s a bunch of people (15?) fighting for a super-beautiful woman. She’s a miller, who bought a Potion of Beauty from the lizards, which turned her too beautiful. She knows approximately where the lizards went and that gods of Beholders and Illithids are nearby in the mountains. The miller is sad when she hears about the curse of the potion. I loan my mask and gloves to her and we cover her with a cloak and Zoog disguises her, so we can travel in peace. Her name is Helene. Some of us search for information about the lizards. The others take Helene out of town. The town is called Ironridge, and we know where it is. We hear that the lizards went to the direction of the Realm of the Norns.
We travel a day to that direction for a day and find a forest. Close to the forest we slow down to sneak. On the secon day we see something dark approaching and try to hide from it. The thing is a 30 m tall walking fortress. The wizard Rami who inhabits the fortress also wants to find the lizards. He says that he wants to trade with them. He remembers that a very large tree, Yggdrasil is in the Realm of the Norns. We start to walk there in the fortress. The wizard tells that he bought the fortress from someone. At some point Rami gets mad and starts to accuse us of stealing something from him. We struggle with him to to convince him and get him silenced and wrestled. He says that something valuable has been stolen and we realize that Riardon is missing. He appears, and tells that he has nothing to do with the missing jewel. We get that he stole it and he starts to fight us. Orsik triest to knock Riardon out, but he disappears into invisibility. We search for Riardon, and find a note telling of a truce offer. I negotiate with him, and he is aware he is unedr an enchantment. We continue our way, but the castle and wizard slowly fade away as we reach the Norn forest. We get down and search for tracks.
The forest leads us to a massive tree. The top of it disappears in a huge multicolored disk. We don’t see any lizards yet, but the color disk is somekind of a color pool. We make camp at the root of the great tree. Through the color pool we get onto a huge branch in a fresh forest. Th ebranch leads to Yggdrasil. Our branch leads 50 m into a branching point. We follow the tracks into the larger root branches. After a second branching point we see a village. The stealthy ones in the group sneak towards the village. We are spotted by some human on a parallel branch, who welcomes us. The village looks to be an actual town, inhabited mostly bu elves, humans and centauroids. This is the town of Crux.
I spent my spare time searching myself. I sampled the sensations at the Civic Festhall, participating in the ceremonies of the Universal Temple of the Queen of Heaven and helping the people of Sigil. Then a Gitzherai envoy came to bring us an invitation from mr. Spiral. He needs our help. We follow his palanquin to Spiral’s castle. Spiral is a well-dressed aasimar. One of his products has gone missing in transport. The package contained Elysian peppers and was sent from the gate city of Hopeless. He will pay us 10 000 gp, and gives us a letter telling we’re working for him. His contact is a human man called Irri. The warehouse is in the third ring of Hopeless. The gate there is in the Lower Ward.
We find Irri and he tells of the caravan that left for the mountains where the gate is. We interview the new bartender and customers of the ”Defenestrated Paladin”, but find little new. Then we head to the mountains following the caravan’s route. Soon we find a crossroads, and an ambush. Some bandits start shooting at us with poisoned short bow arrows. With magic and missiles we beat them, but one manages to run away. Riardon follows it invisible. We take two as prisoners, and hear where their lair is. They also admit ambushing the pepper caravan and killing everyone there. They lie that there’s still a lot of them left.
We followed the last bandit to their caves, with the intention of attacking them in melee to prevent the use of poisoned arrows. I created an illusion of a beholder as a decoy, but it received infernal laughter from the inside. As we went in, we were charmed or held with magic, as the jugoloths (daemons, NE) inside ensorcelled us. They wanted to talk, and had both numbers and greater magic, so we did that. They told us to take a message to Spiral (that amateur) that if he wants to mess with the Blood War, he should send the weapons here. They also mentioned an archon.
We took the message to Spiral, and he wanted us to find out which archon they were talking about. He also paid for our troubles. We went to talk with his contact Brouse, wheo said that they had sent cursed weapons to the devils. With the stolen cargoes he says that Spiral’s reputation is gone. His angel boss is Zalatian 23rd a Trumpet Archon. The Archon’s residence is a 200’tall white marble tower nearer to Celestia. He says that he was trapped by his own device. He doesn’t have many choices; to give the weapons to the devils (which he doesn’t want), to stand back (which cuts the angel’s only influence on the Blood Wars), or continue as before. He asks for our advice on the matter. We discuss the situation in length and say that we will be available if they need help.
After a week Spiral’s mansion is burned and he is found flayed.
After 12 more days a small grey cat arrives. The cat, Ydem Jyson, is the previous owner of our ”apartment”. It says that it’s friend, Epponia’s daughter in Beastlands is in need of help. We head for the Infinte Staircase, and there we encounter Epponia’s daughter. She says that one of her sisters is missing, but she knows her last location. She’s not able to sense her. She says that she cannot pay us, but her sisters will help us if we help her. They can be summoned to carry us from place to place (except from Sigil). Her sister was last seen on Kellington prime material plane, which is a peaceful and pure place. One of us had seen nightmares of the death of one of Seth’s proxies.
We return to Sigil to find more information about Kellington and to prepare. I find some traveller who knows someone has visited there. He says it’s a stale place, with faerie-phobic humans. Hizzkizz finds out that there are no deities there, and the only magic is arcane. They believe in the faerie courts of Spring and Fall, who they blame for their misfortunes.
We get a letter from Crux:
Hoping that this finds you in good health and spirit, I humbly ask from you a boon. Because of circumstances that concern you directly, I ask that you return to Crux as soon as possible. Once you arrive, you'll see my reasoning to be quite clear. Time and secrecy are of the essence.
We respond and head there through the gate. We end in a dead world, a cold place with a distant sun. No living things are visible, only ruins and dust. There we encounter ghosts with a message:
”We are the Forsaken. When this world died, we were forced to live on, without home, without family, without love. Even when we died, we lived on ... and on. And the one who did this to us was he whom we had worshiped. He whom we had held above all others.
We heard that, in time, even he had entered the halls of death, and this gave us joyless satisfaction. But now even that has been taken from us, for he lives again. His servants roam not only this world but those nearby from his former temple. He seeks knowledge of that which he has lost. He seeks revenge.
Yet, as a speck can irritate the eye of a man, a man can thwart the plans of an immortal - at least for a time. For can a man not eventually remove the speck?
Pass through this city now, and taste the fruit of his works. Choose your path afterward as you will. We will plague you no further.”
Then the spectres go their ways. We pass through the city ruins, observing a statue of Hades and speculating on the identity of the evil god.
We reach Crux soon and find Veridis Mov. He tells us that there is evil lurking in Crux. People are missing and behaving oddly. Strangers visiting. When he has told his story, we believe the source of evil are visages, we’ve fought before.
Soon there’s a knock on the door, and a cry for help. We prepare for a fight as a young woman with her baby are at the door, requesting Verdis’ help. Hammerstone notes that they are undead and the baby runs away (very fast!). We dispose of them both.
We check the home of this family and find both bodies and and find a map showing a nearby branch of the World Tree. There is some kind of old eagle-people holy place there.
On the branch we find a 150’*20’ hole with wooden eagle ststues and carved niches. Stormy sneaks closer and finds there villagers and visages. We fight them successfully. While we’re recuperating, a smoky winged being teleports in and brings a message for me. When I read it, I notice that it was not meant for us, but the visages.
”Your master commands you to remain near the tree-city. Very shortly, he shall remove the insect that thwarted your previous efforts and shall recover the bloom himself. For at long last, one of the perpetrators has been located and is now securely held within Tcian Sumere.
None shall rest until my vengeance is complete. All who stand in my way shall face the wrath of that which was wrought in the ancient halls of the realm now reduced to only dust.”
After the others had chased clues to the Negative Energy Plane we met back in Sigil. I go to check out the ”Egyptian” pantheon’s temples, temples of Anubis, Set, Ra, and Ptah. These days Anubis guards dead gods on the Astral plane. Their priests confirm that lately one diety has died recently, and one dead god has escaped. The dead god is Maanzecorian (illithid god of secrets). Kiaransalee is not dead. There’s been no clues about portals to the Vault of the Drow, but one is bound to be in Sigil.
I got us a job from the General Assurance Company to retrieve a flying ship from the first plane of Abyss, the plane of infinite portals. We pack for Abyss. The portal in Sigil is a barbershop, and it’ s only open 5 days per month and it only works when the door is open. Abyss is inhabited by chaotic evil demons. They are weaker than devils, but more numerous. The Molydei who guard the plane are one of the stronger demons with a head of a snake and a head of a wolf.
The ruined Abyssal city is surrounded by razorplants. We spot a siege by demons, a tower and a white glare. There is no sign of the ship yet. We fight a Molydei, who turns Riardon into a cat. There is a volcano and lakes of molten iron in the North-East. We see something flying in that direction and head there. Looks like it could be a flying ship. It flies toward a city and then the city bursts into flames. Later when we approach the city, people are escaping it.
The city is surrounded by a moat of molten iron. There are also the wooden walls covered in razorwire. Those are on fire. Ok the flying ship is hidden in the smoke of the burning city. The ship looks demonic and it’s gleaming eyes shoot beams of fire. We approach the city and prepare to board the ship. Looks like the ship is crewed by demons. They seem to be carrying humanoids and supplies to the ship. They move by flying or teleporting between the city and the ship.
We plan to enter the city in dusk and teleport five of us into the ship as a bridgehead and the rest will fly after us. As we approach the ship we increased impulsiveness and loss of concentration. The ship has some kind of a chaos field. The ship is equipped with large ballistae. The ship has a mouth and window domes. The teleportation ends into the brig of the ship.
We gather information in Sigil and the Mirror Library. We also do a bit of shopping and sell some unused aramaments. We work on Father Sanuire’s vision, Torch and Gehenna. The object is to find Maeldur, so we can stop fiends from plane-hopping freely. We find out that Daur Ib Shamiq is very, very old. In the library there is the Book of Derelict Magicks, which has some clues.
”The following text is taken from the pages of the yogoloth text, The Book of Derelict Magicks.
In the begining, primal forces raged back and forth across the playing field of the unformed mass of Being. Their struggles twisted and deformed the whole scope of existence as Each sought to be the guiding force for all that was. Good wrestled with Evil, and Law with Chaos, while Neutrality, the field for which The fought, lay between. But They were too evenly balanced, and None could gain an advantage over Its foe. And then Law combined with Good and Evil, as did Chaos, and the war entered a new stage. They raised Their power in these new combinations, but still no resolution came forth, and the war rolled on.
Eventually, They paused. They saw that Their struggles had achieved nothing, and knew that something new must come. And so They created Their minions, creatures that could serve Them and work as agents in the primordial struggle.
One force created the baernaloths, creatures of sagacious wisdom and unbridled cunning. The baernaloth consulted among themselves for a time beyound imagining, seeking a way that their patron might triumph over the rest of creation.
In their wisdom, the baernaloths created the race of yugoloths, setting up the entire caste system and structure of the creatures so that their patron force would gain ever more adherents, followers who could act with power to carry out the edicts of the baernaloths.
And thus arose the only race that seeks perfection. Other races claim that their goal is to achieve this ideal state, but these unfortunates allow mistakes and are tainted by their weak philosophies. Only the yugoloths truly court perfection, and only the yugoloths have a chance of realizing this goal
[At this point, the text digresses on the merits of the yugoloth race, returning to its original focus hundreds of pages later.]
But the perfection of the yugoloths was threathened by the meddlesome hands of Law and Chaos. The early yugoloths had to contend with warring natures and questions of ethics in their pursuit of perfection. One of the first yugoloths to achieve the rank of ultroloth devised a solution: It would expunge all Law and Chaos from its race, forcing these base corruptions into the lesser creatures of the Gray Waste. After much experimentation, the ultroloth finally found an answer in the creation of a magical stone called the Heart of Darkness, and it summoned its fellows.
When the ultroloth explained its plan, it was hailed as a hero for its clear thinking and ability. And thus it began to remove all trace of Law and Chaos from its cohorts, passing the purged energies into the multitudinous larbae it had collected. Some yugoloths refused the Heart of Darkness; they fled deeper into the glooms of the Waste and beyond when their brothers turned on them. Their eventual fate is not known.
When the ultroloth had finished, its brethen stood tall and pure. The larvae grew and mutated, the forces of Law and Chaos twisting them into impure mockeries of the yugoloth, and the ultroloth drove them forth from the Waste. Those who'd received strands of Law made their way to Baator, while those who'd received threads of Chaos journeyed to the Abyss. Though they varied in form and purpose, all these creatures still carried the essence of the yugoloths; thus will they be controlled when the yugoloths are once again ready to extend their dominion over the planes.
The ultroloth general took the accolades of its lessers, and taught a number of the arcanaloths the secrets of the power. When it had finished, it vanished into the misty furnaces of Gehenna, bringing secrets that will drive the multiverse to its knees. Until that time, the yugoloths are free to plot and plan for the future, each seeking a place in the history of the illustrious race”
Then we head for Torch to get more recent information. We start in the Festhall of Falling Coins. There we find a rich old drow information source.
We find the old alchemists’ mansion and from there a way to a pocket plane where Daru Ib Shamiq is waiting for us with a table set especially for us. Everything is covered in dust, but the food and drinks are fresh.
The Baernaloth, who created the Yugoloth and more.
We have to swear on our souls that we don’t kill Maeldur when we set it free as it’s sentence is over.
Maeldur has been take away from it’s storage, but it can be found and communicated with . He made Vuuge, which can be used for this. A demon called Tapheon has it, but doesn’t realize it’s power. He is on the 348the layer of Abyss in his Fortress of Indifference.
I ask him about how were things when the universe was new, and he has many cosmic anecdotes to tell. In th ebeginning the Powers were selfish and played only for their own gain. He is proud of Maeldor, and has created many other beings.
Since we’ve found out that the modron-hybrid experiments are still going on and the Tachirrim knights are doing it and ambushing caravans to get test subjects we head to Gehenna to track them. There we follow their tracks from one ambush site to their flower-shaped base (it looks like their symbol). It is in a narrow gulch, on a small islet in the dark water running at the bottom. I scout the area with Stormy and the others stay behind to keep watch on the base as it’s petals are still closed. At one point one steel petal opens as a bridge and a patrol of 4 leaves it. At least two petals are used as draw bridges and the patrols use horn signals to open the bridge. Partrols are usually 6-12 people and there were 4 patrols. There are tunnels within the petals, and they are blocked by portcullis. I estimate that there could be 20-30 knights and 30-40 squires in the base.
The others suggest to capture a patrol first and I suggest that after that we attack the base before they know that the patrol is gone. With ”Seeming” it should be easy to get to the drawbridge. We wait for the best patrol to ambush, something that has approximately as many members as we have. We ambush one patrol succcesfully, but the last survivor manages to sound the horn. We get three prisoners; a priest, a squire and two knights. We also take the others’ heads to prevent them from being resurrected. As we return to my Magic Mansion, we discuss on what to do with the prisoners. We can deliver them to Automata to be judged for their crimes against the Modron or put them in Pandemonium for keeping them out of the way.
The Squire is cooperative and willing to spill the beans on the order. Doranion Blackarm & Valron Stonefist lead the knightly order of Tachirrim. Both are human-modron hybrids. Valron is in a Nonatron shape with telepathy and is a mighty wizard. Doranion is a female human warrior with modron limbs and leads the knights. They have 50 footmen and knights, 2 priests, 3 paladins with Nightmare mounts and 1 serjeant. They also have prisoners and mad hybrids. They have a few of Valran’s elite hybrids imprisoned. The base has 4 floors, 4 petal-drawbridges with magical portcullis and siege defenses. The others have surgeries, stables and barracks. In the center are the leaders and also the controls for the petals. The inner flower is around 100’ in diameter. The two knights and the priest refuse to talk.
We sit down for a while making strategies for the assault on the Flower Infernal (the fortress). We decide on a sneak attack through the front gate using Seeming spell. Zook buys some horses to help us look more like the Tachirrim patrol. Our escape plan depends on having multiple Plane Shift spells. Hizzkizz knows some details about the Nonatrons; they have telepathy with 100 mile range and can heal. We Plane Shift to Gehenna and rest in the Mansion. Once we see one patrol leave out, we head for the fortress. There our disguise gets us in, but we have no clear floorplan so we have to search carefully and act inconspicuously to find our target. We gain access to the lower hall around the stem, but the guards somehow become aware of us and a fight begins. Unfortunately Valron joins the fight and strikes us with a psychic blast, stunning most of us. Riarion manages to Disintegrate it, but we decide to evacuate using the favor we had from the magical horses. After regrouping we scout the fort and find out that the leadership (Dorian, serjeant, paladins and cleric) has ran away with their Nightmares. We mop up the place, knowing we’ve shut down their operation. At least for now.