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Yikes! I’ve been falling behind[1] on the session reports so these may be a bit abbreviated.

13.1 Mayhem Ensues

The combat with the bone devil was complicated by a random sleep spell taking out Yangrit[2]. In the meantime there was evidence of other combats going on in the vicinity. That inbound drake never appeared, and there were some interesting fireworks going on the sky.

The fight itself ran surprisingly smoothly, Kalmar scored good hits in the 2nd round and the bone devil was eventually defeated as it tried to escape. Several of the party suffered strength damage from poisons in the bone devil’s tail.

13.2 It might be time to leave

As the ground underneath starts getting hotter, the party elects to flee in the general direction of Kali. This is a mixed blessing: Kali may be the toughest thing around but she’s done something to the Hell Gate and is definitely attracting attention as a result.

The sort of attention that regards the party as, essentially, popcorn or crunchies[3].

Kizen briefs Alyssa via the telepathic mindstone, and this starts a running gag of “You let Kali out?! What were you thinking?![4]

With two other ruined villages in the area, one closer to and one further away from  the Hellgate, Menander advises that the aerial squads are likely to have retreated further away.

On this note the party marches southeast through the night to get away from a) the Hellgate and b) whatever mayhem Kali and Libertas are setting off.

13.3 Reporting to Fermin

Arriving at the next village proves Menander to be right, and after some slightly tense negotiations, the party enters the somewhat fortified village to meet the aerial squads.

The squads are pretty wounded so the party turns to healing with Menander setting bones etc before the channeling and healing magic happens.

The discussion with Fermin is the next instance of the “You let Kali out?!” gag. The subsequent briefing includes advising Fermin about breaching her office security, and how it was done[5].

This also reveals that there should have been a human tactician named Sloan at Outpost 13. This was news to the party, as was the mention of increased movements of agitated creatures in the mountains.

13.4 Back at Outpost 13

Returning to Outpot 13, the party continues to see fireworks in the distance. Apparently Kali is still amusing herself out there. Alexis is in the cellar, hung over, and doesn’t know where Sloan is.

A brief search reveals Sloan unconscious on a mountain path just outside the Outpost.

A Gorumite healer is summoned to deal with the imp poison, and it is noted that this is not usually so virulent as to keep someone unconscious for something like a week.

14.1 In which an ambush is avoided

It turns out that Sloan was lured out of the Outpost by reports of a faery circle in a known ambush site up in the mountains. Sloan had seen the traitorous tiefling, but not the loyal one. IIRC, Sloan also played the “You let Kali out?!” tune. 🙂

Further discussions with Fermin, and some of Fermin’s troops who have been to the site before, indicate that there’s no sign of a faery circle, and that this was probably a false lead.

14.2 In which Lorena appears

As the party are preparing to return to Karinith, the white mosaic mage Lorena appears to, ah, retrieve Kali. Lorena is a new type of mage for Treffen which triggers massive curiosity.

The subsequent conversations between Lorena, Kali, and Libertas are… interesting from a distance.[6]

It appears that Kali arrived 40 years after the apocalypse, and Lorena arrived earlier when her private demiplane collapsed.

The discussion does include their history, particularly with elder gods, and Treffen receiving the loan of a book written by Sebastian outlining the history. There is also a scroll written by Lorena outlining the places where Sebastian may have exaggerated his prowess.

14.3 Returning to Karinith

The party teleports back to Karinith and reports to Damien[7]. The initial report to Alyssa reveals that the incursion in Ryx was primarily an assassination attempt targeting Damien, and that Luciana took the hit instead[8].

The subsequent report to Damien is interesting, and comes with a future summons to report to the Holy Council. That should be fun. NOT. This report may also have included a riff on the “You let Kali out?!” theme.

During the discussion a crystal on Damien’s desk goes black signalling Luciana’s death, and that resurrection may not be possible.

Damien orders the party to the inland sea to deal with Nieth’s problem

The party receives payment for services rendered, and starts a brief period of improving their equipment.

15.1 Getting Ready

Whilst equipment is being bought or enchanted by Treffen, the party gets ready to head to the inland sea. Kizen visits the Gorum Temple with Pyro to observe a “discussion” between Kali and Lorena[9].

Menander visits the Order of the Shield to get a briefing on the inland sea. The Order has been withdrawn from the area, and it is fairly strange. The surroundings are usually covered in fog, the lake itself is artificial[10] (no shallows, sheer drop, very deep), and the mages settlement is a castle on an island in the centre.

Mennander also acquires a map with the advice that it changes frequently at the edges.

15.2 The Perils of Being Treffen

Treffen is a godling. The gods are mostly absent these days., but Treffen is right there where the Temple of Nephis can squee over him.

Little things like assigning an official biographer, hosting him at an embarrassing but educational dinner[11]. On the plus side RIku, unlike the high priestess Sora, can actually converse intelligently with Treffen.

On the down side, Riku is essentially a mad scientist/priestess biographer who goes to insane lengths to track Treffen (including getting a blood sample for scrying with).

There is some information to be had from the dinner, particularly about artefacts, and the identification of a somewhat suspicious mage Tarth from Outpost 9[12].

15.3 A Brief Detour

The next day the party teleports to a village about a week from the Inland Sea with a possible faery circle. It turns out that the village kids play there, and have already partly repaired it.

Menander completes the job, and Victa pops out. Some investigations reveal that the circle changed about 3 years ago over a period of about 3 – 4 months. This coincided with an official inspection, but the identity of the council member who performed the inspection is protected by geases etc.

This is reported to Damien, and he will be able to pursue this further.

The tracking stone from the faery circle (which didn’t have the teleport waypoint on it) is sent to Alyssa.

15.4 There’s a WHAT on the Island?

The party then arranged to be teleported to the docks on the edge of the inland sea. The party are rowed across to the island, step ashore, and enter the mythic Anti-Magic Field.

Several party members are… unimpressed by this.

Once Treffen works out that transmutation, evocation, and necromancy still work within the field, this extends to anger.

Kizen is forced back to small (size) fox shape, and is definitely unimpressed. Particularly when Treffen and Kizen suddenly get hungry for the first time in weeks.

The party is then taken to meet Lady Nieth.

16.1 Good news and bad news

The good news is that Treffen doesn’t think that Lady Nieth is the traitor within the council.

The bad news is that this is because Treffen thinks that Lady Nieth is batshit crazy.

Menander isn’t as well placed to assess this, but privately admits that Treffen may well have a point.

The Anti-Magic field allows most attack spells, and blocks most defensive spells/equipment. It doesn’t stop the rooms in the castle moving around.

Or occasionally disappearing.

Nieth has been living here for a couple of centuries, thinks it is fascinating, and hopes to reach the centre of the castle soon.

OK, Menander now thinks that Treffen definitely has a point[13].

Meanwhile there are weird things happening in the inland sea, and there’s a tunnel (which mostly doesn’t move) leading down to a faery circle under the sea.

Copies of Sebastian’s book are requested by several people, so the party heads to the (mostly stationary) library to arrange that.

16.2 Getting Some More Information

A mage called Daffyd has been the librarian for five or six centuries, which is a neat trick for a human. It turns out that Daffyd has been preserved by the Lich Lord.

This arrangement is simple: Daffyd keeps the books organised, and the Lich Lord doesn’t turn Daffyd into a greater undead.

The Lich Lord actually shows up at this point by astrally projecting into the library[14]. The entire castle has been set up as a trap by the Lich Lord and the mages moved in afterwards.

Based on previous encounters the trap is probably for Asmodeus, and the Wizard’s “Guild” may have agreed to be bait.

Daffyd’s advice is that the thing(s) in the lake are probably one of the old defence systems, and that the faery circle is also located in the main defence chamber.

Daffyd is also of the opinion that the defence system has released some undead constructs, but isn’t sure what they are yet.

After acquiring some current(ish) maps, the party heads for the tunnel.

16.3 Down into the Depths

The tunnel is a rope and basket arrangement, and the anti-magic field cut out about half way down the 250 – 300’ descent. A short tunnel led to an aquarium type chamber filled with odd controls, and a faery circle floating in the middle of the room.

At this point Kizen reports into  Damien who provides some advice about the problematic controls in the chamber, requests a copy of Lorena’s book, and recommends that the faery circle be fixed first. Damien also claims the tracking stone from this circle, and tells Kizen to leave it in the defence chamber[15].

Menander fixes the faery circle, and as usual Victa pops out to chat. The anti-magic field had withered the flowers in Ferus’ tail, so Victa multiplies them into a veritable bouquet.

16.4 Didn’t expect to meet her

Menander and Treffen combine their knowledge to study the defence settings, particularly the hour glass controls that can alter an individual’s personal time.

An offhand comment by Ferus about Chronomancers triggers the entry of a lady in a cloak of stars. The Chronomancer won’t tell the party her name yet, but does answer a few interesting questions.

In response to Menander’s query: Restoring the planes to normal requires a paragon of each of the 9 alignments to work together. Lorena is apparently working on this.

In response to Treffen’s query: Damien will find the name of the foe he’s chasing in 3 months if he dies, and 2 years other wise.

The Chronomancer asks Menander to forgive her for being out of sorts at their first meeting, and then disappears. That would be the first meeting from the Chronomancer’s perspective, since this is the first meeting from Menander’s perspective[16].

16.5 Resetting the controls

The Chronomancer did advise the group to use the settings provided by Daffyd as the ones that would do the least harm.

Treffen orchestrates the  reset, and elects to be the one turning the hourglass. This results in Treffen (physically) turning into an elfling with an equivalent physical age of 6 or 7. Treffen also ends up with purple hair and rainbow swirly eyes, although that is at least partly Victa’s doing.

The party sees an Mummy of the Deep outside the chamber before returning to the castle.

16.6 Back in the Library

Treffen finds a gift from the Chronomancer – a small stone that looks like it holds a shrunken galaxy. The galaxy swirls slowly within the stone.

The Lich Lord appears briefly and tells the party that it was the Chronomancer that made him into a Lich, probably because it led to more stable time lines. The Lich Lord then disappears just as Lord Damien enters the room.

Commentary

The game continues to be the highlight of the week, albeit with somewhat less combat in the recent sessions than I was expecting. Then again this is probably a good thing given that a couple of sessions were missing both Kalmar and Yangrit.

The world is becoming a lot more interesting, and I certainly see why Treffen would want to burn the mages’ castle to the ground. That Anti-Magic field is nasty stuff.

Meanwhile the larger plot of saving the world, and restoring the planes, has entered the game. I doubt that the Chronomancer would have appeared or answered that question if the party weren’t destined somehow to be a part of that.

I’m looking forward to the session this week, and hopefully I’ll even get a report out on time[17].

Snarky Bits

[1] There was life happening. And also Continuum which involved travel.

[2] Translation: Yangrit’s player has been having an even harder time, and had to miss several sessions as a result. Apparently passing studies is important. Who knew?

[3] A term occasionally used by tankers to describe infantry. Or by Ogres/Bolos to describe tanks…

[4] To be fair, no one told the party that Kali or Gorumites shouldn’t be allowed outside the Ring of Fire, and they were the only available force. The only person who did know, Pyro, wanted her gone so he could go shopping…

[5] It was probably best to confess to that, Fermin is a council member after all. Besides, Kalmar is a paladin which made the confession more or less inevitable.

[6] Any discussion that features “how to cook Pit Fiends” and “what spices to use” is probably best avoided.

[7] The maze is getting longer and a meal is required on the way through. This is not a good sign for Damien’s mood.

[8] Which rather explains Damien’s mood.

[9] Said discussion involves frequent use of Dimensional Anchor to prevent Kali from getting away.

[10] i.e A Wizard Did It. Don’t examine this too closely.

[11] There was a fair bit going on in this scene but I didn’t catch most of it.

[12] Which is apparently where most dangerous items get researched.

[13] However Menander is still going to be polite to the extremely high level wizard/sorcerer who can survive in that castle.

[14] Which explains why Necromancy was one of the magic types excluded from the Anti-Magic field: it lets the Lich Lord come and go as he pleases.

[15] Bringing one of those things into the Anti-Magic field was not recommended.

[16] Time travel. What can you do, especially when a Chronomancer opts to pop up in a chamber that looks like an inverted TARDIS console.

[17] I make no promises however.