grey hawk

O'town, my town
June 5th, 2018

June 5, 2018
We are walking towards the walls of Greyhawk. As we enter the city, Gonoan splits off to head to the green dragon inn. Pike and Brunj veer off to report in to his various peeps. Sanna and Ignis are off to the mage’s guild with Elaine’s body. Beltin and Obregon are going home. Sanna and Ignis arrive at the Mage’s guild and meet with her old contact who tells her that Tenser is at the green dragon inn. She says she wants to report that Elaine was dead and to arrange funeral rites for her. She also shares our story up to the battle with Iggwilv but says the rest is just for Tenser. Elaine is laid out in a special room and the appropriate steps are begun. Beltin and Obregon arrive home and find the house unmolested. Obregon goes in while Beltin walks around until he finds one of the street kids. He finds a few, but they have nothing of interest to report; no sightings or anyone skulking near the house. We suddenly begin to hear a sound like we’ve never heard before. It sounds like a horn and then there are others that join it as well as loud voices. Beltin starts asking what the horns are for and ordering civilians off the street. One man recognizes Beltin and tells him the horns are an indication of a magic affect and they are to keep their eyes open for what it may be. Obregon joins Beltin and several members of the town militia in looking around. We come to a corner near the market and there is a large group of people gathered and some of the watch giving information. It seems something is coming from castle Greyhawk across the sky. Beltin and Obregon spider climb up a tall building and can see castle Greyhawk itself, floating in the sky, in what looks like some sort of bubble. It’s moving somewhat towards Greyhawk but won’t actually come over the city. The wagon and skeletal horses from the main foyer of the Tower of War are flying around its circumference, keeping things away. There appears to be some sort of energy connecting it to the earth but then it pulls away in to the sky and slowly disappears. Sanna drags Ignis along to the green dragon inn in an attempt to catch Tenser. When they arrive, they see Rikard talking to Capt Galanz (who we know is Bilarro). He walks past them on the way out and says have a nice day. Gonoan says Galanz told him everything. Sanna says didn’t you hear the horns? Castle greyhawk has floated away and disappeared. She tells him to meet back at the house and rushes up to Tenser, who is playing dragon chess. She tells him about our last battle and the castle ripping away from the ground. Tenser is nodding along when Ignis taps her on the shoulder and says that this isn’t Tenser, it’s just a figment. They go home. Gonoan tells us that Galanz says he had not been to the ruins and likes to hear the stories. Galanz says something went wrong in the castle but it didn’t make sense based on what we did. He doesn’t know of anyone who had delved in to the ruins as far as we had. We hear people yelling outside about losing their livelihood and that the ruins are gone. Then we hear a tap on the upstairs window and one of the spider women is there. We let her in and she tells us of the castle’s disappearance but they aren’t exactly sure what has happened to it. We fill her in on parts of what went on. They are trying to find out what this may all mean and what is needed to maintain balance in the region. We discuss our plans for the next day and get some much needed rest. The next day we head to Nulligan’s and the market to sell and buy our stuff. We do find the staff is worth 300k gp. Sanna keeps the staff and begins paying off the rest of us for it. We hit the potion shop and restock. Beltin and Obregon head over to the church of St Cuthbert. They are escorted to Eritae and she says there are a lot of things going on and wonders if we were involved. Beltin says maybe and shares everything that happened while we were in the ruins. She says that some people no longer even have memories of the ruins, as if it never existed. Certain landmarks have also disappeared from around the area. She says the church of Boccob likely knows more and just hasn’t shared with her. The ruling oligarchy has not met yet so there are some things that she can’t tell us at this time. She tells us that Mordekainen has pulled in his old allies and gone away and hasn’t been reachable. No one knows what he is up to and he has a reputation as a meddler and will work with anyone to maintain the balance he believes should be. Beltin asks about the ruling oligarchy and is told that they select new members based on need and they discuss what Beltin could bring to the table. We take our leave and head back home. Sanna goes to the mage’s guild again and finds that Tenser is still unavailable and Mordekainen hasn’t been seen in a while. She then stops by the church of Boccob and asks after the mages. The high priest says that they knew the castle leaving was inevitable according to the signs they read. If someone knew the castle well enough, they could likely teleport there. She asks about the creatures in the castle like the dwarves and kobolds but they don’t have any good info yet. When we reconvene, we decide to go out and investigate the site for ourselves. We head out the next morning to where the ruins used to be. We know there are a lot of adventurers heading out and setting up camps around. The gorge is gone and it now looks like just rolling, forested hills. We do see that Mordekainen is there and floating in mid-air. We call his name and he turns and nods at us. We gather near him and see many others that are debating moving nearer. Sanna shares the story of Iggwilv and the god trap. He seems terse and questions how we failed to take care of Bilarro. He worries that he will be causing strife and harm in other places. He tells us to stand down and leave Robillar to him unless he returns. The reason the castle was built here is a conjunction of ley lines and they should still be here. He doesn’t want them to be tapped by the wrong people. He tells us of a place that has a spot for an octych, he doesn’t know exactly what it does or how it works but may give us something to think about. It lies beyond the unopenable doors. Sanna has heard of a place around Maure castle and that the seul probably had a hand in making the octych and the sulatryn is a name associated with them. Now to plan our next move…

Homeward bound
May 22, 2018

There are 3 large gingerbread men lumbering our way. Beltin moves up and spits acid at them but they don’t seem to be affected. Sanna moves in and casts a sculpted electric ball, hitting all of them but it also has no effect. Obregon starts shooting at the lead one and hits six times. Gonoan rushes one and hits it twice. Pike moves in and strikes the same one from behind, sticking his sword in the crease of its knee joint. Brunj casts bless and moves towards the fight. Ignis turns invisible and moves towards the party. The first two constructs attack Gonoan and each hit him once. The last one moves up and tries to slam Pike, who easily dodges. Beltin flanks the first one and smacks it twice with his Morningstar. Sanna casts arc lightning between golem one and two, which causes number 1 to crumble to cookie crumbs. Obregon starts shooting arrows, cracking number 2 apart and then putting a couple in to number 3 for fun. Pike turns and punches the last one with his gauntlets doing a little electric damage. Gonoan moves and hits the last one once. Brunj moves up and heals Gonoan with his wand. The final golem tries to slam Gonoan twice but only connects once. Ignis continues to move closer. Beltin moves up and swings twice, but it just glances off the constructs icing. Sanna tosses an orb of electricity, making blacken and crumble. We begin to make our way across the ravine but notice a gleam from the roof of the tower and when we look, it is an elaborate metal horse with a bearded man atop it who we recognize as Bilarro. He squints at us, focusing on Pike. “I never turn down a good challenge, is this a good challenge”? he says to Pike. Pike says it is a good one and Bilarro asks if it is him solo or your whole entourage? Pike says he is warming up to him since he said HIS entourage. Bilarro comments that he will accept his challenge at any arena he likes should he like to offer it in the future. “Does your party have a name”? “Company of the Shadow Phoenix”, Sanna replies and says we are going home. Bilarro jumps his horse to the next tower and then away in the direction of town. We start the long walk to Greyhawk not knowing Ignis is still following us. The ground is still shaking violently and we can hear explosions from underground. The whole ruins are moving and acting strangely as if weird magical affects are spreading outward. There are odd looking creatures being ejected and other strange creatures trying to get back in. As we walk along, we identify the magic items we looted from Iggwilv. Suddenly, an elven wizard type uncloaks behind us wearing very expensive robes. His eyes are 2 different colors, skin is bronze and hair is long and golden with some black streaks down the right side. Obregon spins and points an arrow in his face as Gonoan jumps on him. Beltin moves over and gets right in his face and growls intimidatingly. Sanna walks over and says talk! He says his name is Lord Ignis NIghtbreeze but you can call me Lord Nightbreeze. The party scoffs, each in their own way. He looks at Beltin and says dragon brother and shows him some golden scales on his shoulder. He says he is looking to atone for his sins and had heard of what we are trying to accomplish. We accept him provisionally and help him up. We make it back to Greyhawk safely and split the treasure and sell it off. We each pocket 39,714 gp in profit.

Free the Gods
October 15th, 2017

Pike appears on a large platform in a 9 sided chamber with an immense gem stone jutting from each wall, each with 9 facets; some glow and some do not. The platform is the bottom of upside down pyramid with 9 bulges along the perimeter. In the center is a huge statue of Boccob with his hands outstretched, palms up. One of the bulges has 9 ghostly appendages, stretching towards one of the large gems, 5 of which hold beautiful women while the other four caress one of the gems. Power is pulsing from the gem through the tentacles and in to the 5 women. The ceiling is 50’ up and the floor is 50’ down. The tentacles are the same we saw drag Iuz under the floor previously. Pike notices a rune filled circle under his feet where he appeared and a similar circle on the other side of the platform. He then steps off the side of the platform and feather falls to the ground. Elaine is unable to push through the barrier. Obregon hits one of the golems once while Beltin hits the same one once. Sanna casts lightning bolt and hits both, but it has no effect. Gonoan swings thrice and destroys the one he is facing. The last golem swings at Gonoan, hitting twice. Obregon shoots it three times. Meanwhile, Pike walks around checking out the topography. Elaine is suddenly able to step through and off the circle, calling for Pike. One of the women shouts “too late” and another cries “can’t stop us now”. Sanna appears in the circle, steps off and begins checking out her surroundings and believes the gems contain the essences of gods that are being tapped for their power. Gonoan moves in to the mist. The Iggwilvs all cast mage armor upon themselves and we can see they each have a staff in their hands with combat gear, rings, amulet, bracers, circlet, a couple of ioun stones floating around their heads and boots. Pike tosses a grappling hook up to the platform. Elaine sees this but maintains her vigilance on the women. One of the tentacles smacks Elaine and she takes wisdom damage. Sanna casts a cone of cold, though 2 of them are totally unaffected. Gonoan heals himself. The Iggwilvs tells Sanna that they will try to keep her alive so they can make her an offer and one casts a spell. A gray beam springs forth from one of their eyes, hitting Sanna and dazing her. Brunj hits one with the rod of searing light. Beltin pushes through and spits acid hitting 4 of them. Pike climbs most of the way up the rope as Elaine attempts to hit one with magic missiles though it fizzles. One of the Iggwilvs casts a spell on Beltin and he disappears. Sanna casts arc lightning on 2 of them. 2 of the women are casting as the other 2 start speaking. Elaine gets hit by 2 beams, and is paralyzed. Brunj gets affected by their sweet voices. He starts to walk to the edge of the platform before he comes to himself again and then tries to hit one with the searing light though it fizzles this time. Pike climbs to the top of the platform and shoots the gem with a bolt but it merely bounces off. A tentacle tries to smack him but he manages to duck out of the way. Sanna tosses a lightning ball, hitting all 5 though they don’t seem to be as hurt as they should be. Gonoan pops through and drinks a healing potion. One of the iggwilvs tosses a lightning bolt at pike which he dodges but it hits and kills Elaine. Gonoan succumbs to the singing. Obregon casts his star spell. Brunj casts prayer. Pike hits one with a bolt but it seems just the fire damage is affecting it. One of them says it is time to destroy them, we just await Obregon and we must kill him immediately. One casts a spell at Sanna and she falls on the floor laughing uncontrollable. Pike is hit with a gray beam and is paralyzed. Obregon pops in and shoots each of them once. He also hits number four with one of his stars. One of them says no more of that to Obregon and tries to hit him with a disintegrate but misses. The most injured one transforms in to a large flying demon. Another cast’s darkness which covers the whole room. Obregon starts shooting arrows, killing 2 of them. One Iggwilv is casting a spell with no apparent affect. A tentacle swings at Gonoan but it misses. Gonoan tries to climb on one of the tentacles which doesn’t work so he jumps at one of them, trying to grab on but fails and plummets to the ground. The one he tried to hit transforms in to a large demon. Another hits Obregon with a beam, paralyzing him. Brunj moves back and casts obscuring mist around the party. Pike mentally asks how to free the gods and a voice says “young master, first you have to stop the user of this apparatus then use the key. Use the key in the hands of Boccob to take control of the apparatus”. So Pike turns invisible and climbs the statue. One of the Iggwilv’s casts a spell with no apparent effect. Gonoan moves to and begins to climb up the rope Pike had left dangling. The demon shaped one moves to near Obregon and attempts to remove his quiver. Obregon releases the rest of the stars floating around his head doing a barrage of damage to the demon crouched over him. Brunj casts Daylight, dispelling the darkness. Pike puts the key in the hand of Boccob and it melds in to the statue, he feels he now has mental control over one of the tentacles. He smacks the demon over Obregon with it. One of the others rises up higher on its tentacle. Gonoan finishes his climb and moves enough to swing at the demon next to Obregon. The demon takes Obregon’s quiver but takes another hit from Gonoan. Obregon begins to move again, releases the rest of his stars and grabs for his quiver. He can tell that the creature has been regenerating. Brunj cast dispel magic on Sanna’s laughter, causing it to quit. Pike smacks the demon for more wisdom damage. Iggwilv #1 tosses a fireball on to the platform but misjudges and only catches Sanna who dodges part of it and the rest of it is absorbed by her scarab. Sanna hits 1 and 2 with arc lightning, destroying #2 and hurting 1. Obregon shoots 4 arrows at 1, only 2 getting through but it’s enough to cause it to turn to ice and snow and begin to melt. Brunj casts searing light from the wand but it fizzles. Pike hits #5 with the tentacle while Sanna tosses a cold fireball at it, which doesn’t affect the creature. The last Iggwilv attempts to dispel the mist but fails. Obregon starts shooting, hitting 4 times. Brunj hits it with searing light. Pike hits it again with the tentacle. Sanna fails again to conjure a cold fireball. Iggwilv moves near Obregon and tosses a gray beam at him, paralyzing him. Brunj uses his wand again but it fizzles. Pike hits her with another tentacle and she falls comatose. Gonoan, goes to her, finds she is a shape shifter carrying nothing and chops its head off. The items that fell to the floor are a staff, wand, combat gear, bracers, ring, ring, boots, circlet, dusty rose ioun stone, pale green ioun stone, stone, pearl, 4 ointments, diamond dust x4, and misc jewelry. The gem shatters and iuz emerges as a feeble old man and the energy spikes and explodes upwards. Robillar and Zooken are released. Iuz glares at them and then us “watch your backs, heroes”, before disappearing. Robillar asks why is it so dark in here as he shakes with weakness. Zooken seems ageless and looks slightly disoriented, finally noticing us, and gives us a formal nod of acknowledgement before leaving. Beltin tells Robillar that Mordekainen is looking for him. He says he was adventuring and having a good time before getting grabbed by the tentacles. Pike challenges him and Robillar says he doesn’t want to fight in this crumbling room but looks forward to it later. He asks how we got here, stands on the circle for a moment and then vanishes. Sanna begins deciphering the runes in the floor so Beltin stands on the second circle and vanishes. Then Sanna, Brunj, Pike, Obregon and Gonoan follow suit. We make our way back through the dungeon, and emerge outside again where immediately a group of gingerbread men move to attack us. The curtain falls.

To beat a demoness
September 19th, 2017

Obregon shoots 6 more arrows at Beltin but can’t seem to connect. Pike sneaks around behind Obregon. Brunj runs up and attempts to grab Obregon while Sanna pulls out the detect magic wand and tries to find the succubus’s aura. There is nothing besides us that she can detect. Elaine looks around and moves next to Sanna. Beltin reaches down and heals some of Gonoan’s wisdom damage. Obregon hits Beltin once causing Beltin to exclaim “Mother Fucker”. Pike reaches out and snatches Obregon’s quiver and moves away. Brunj tries to grab Obregon again, but has his hands slapped away. Sanna picks up the dispel magic wand and tries to dispel the charm on Obregon. When that fails, Elaine takes it and tries as well. Gonoan gets up and runs to Obregon. Beltin follows suit and tries to grab him as well but fails. Obregon drops his bow and attempts to punch Beltin, connecting once doing no damamge but takes acid damage in return. Brunj looks around and realizes the demoness hasn’t been attacking and has probably left, then fails to grapple Obregon a third time. Sanna and Elaine both try dispelling the charm again but fail. Gonoan and Beltin try to grapple Obregon and miss yet again, slippery devil. The demoness reappears, looks around remarks that Obregon isn’t done yet. He says they took my weapons and she replies that she will get them back. Obregon punches Beltin’s armor futilely some more. Pike moves up behind a pillar, and Brunj misses another grapple. Sanna manages to finally dispel the charm and yells at Pike to return the quiver. Elaine casts dispel magic around the demoness, suppressing her shield, cloak and ring. Gonoan goes after her, but gets stopped by a barrier before he gets close. Beltin says fuck her, let’s leave and moves to the stairs out. The demon looks at Sanna, and says oh my new best friend. Brunj moves between Sanna and the rest of the party, saying we need to fight together or leave together. Pike moves up and steals her bag of wands successfully. Sanna climbs the wall as Elaine dispels the barrier. Gonoan steps up and smacks the demoness hard, twice. Beltin moves up and whiffs. The demoness hits Gonoan a bunch and he passes out again. Obregon opens up and with his belt of battle, hits her 6 times; the look of shock on her face as she is banished yet again is priceless. We heal up, collect the animated +1 shield and move on. Elaine says we should be our best selves before we go further and manages to dispel the charm on Sanna after a couple of tries. We manage to arrive at the 10’ tall pale violet metal doors with the carving of Castle Greyhawk on it. Pike touches Zagig’s key to the doors and they open inward. Behind is a highly polished room with 4 steps leading up to a metal archway with swirling mist writhing within. On either side of the room are 15’ crystal statues whose heads turn to look at us as we step across the threshold. Beltin covers one in acid and prepares his Morningstar to fight constructs. Pike, Elaine, and Sanna run through the room and disappear through the archway. Gonoan steps up and hits the other one once. He is then attacked in return, first by an intense beam of light which he sidesteps partially, then takes 2 slam attacks. The other one steps up, taking a hit from Beltin and hits Gonoan with the beam though he sidesteps it partially as well and takes another hit which deadens his axe temporarily. Obregon runs through, taking a hit on the way, followed by brunj. Beltin and Gonoan then make a break for it leaving these shits behind. To infinity and beyond…

It's like they don't want us to get to the God Trap
September 5th, 2017

Obregon is sickened by the unholy blight. Beltin moves up to new guy, dodges a bite, and hits once; then teleports back to the door. Sanna tosses an orb of cold at xenomorph causing it to vanish. Brunj moves his spiritual weapon to new guy and moves back towards the door now that Gonoan is out of danger. Pike shoots new guy in the throat right before Obregon puts 2 arrows in it, causing it to vanish. We heal up and continue on to the strange metal doors. As we move in to the desecrated temple of Boccob, we hear wings fluttering on the opposite side of the room though we see nothing. Sanna moves in to the room behind a pillar while Gonoan peers around. Sanna casts dispel magic in the area where we heard the fluttering with no obvious effect. Elaine moves towards the front and looks around. Gonoan and Beltin move up and Beltin covers the other end of the room in acid but it seems nothing is hit. Gonoan then believes he hears something up the stairs and Obregon senses it behind him. Obregon melds in to the wall behind him and Pike freezes. Beltin moves across the room and says let’s get moving, nothing’s happening. Gonoan goes up the stairs but still sees nothing. Obregon moves out of the wall and is immediately under a spell from the demon version of Riann. He then moves down the stairs. Pike shoots at her twice but they both miss. Brunj moves up the stairs and casts a spell on his flail. Sanna moves on to the stairs and casts dispel magic on the succubus’s shield which drops to the ground. Elaine uses the magic missile wand but they fizzle as they hit it. Gonoan steps up and swings 4 times, hitting twice. Beltin comes running up the stairs until he is next to Gonoan. The demoness hits Gonoan with 4 stingers and he collapses from the poison. Obregon shoots 6 arrows at Beltin but they bounce off his shield and armor. Pike turns invisible and Brunj casts searing light which fizzles as it gets to her. Sanna casts an orb at her but misses. Beltin steps up and swings twice at her but misses as well. She reaches down and grabs her shield then disappears. Ugh, now what.

Damned demons
August 22nd, 2017

Pike pulls his sword and attacks Obregon, hitting him once. Sanna hauls back and punches Elaine with her spiked gauntlet. Obregon shoots Pike twice. Beltin teleports next to Obregon and bull rushes him but is unable to knock him over. Pike swings at Obregon 2 more times but only hits once. Sanna hits once on Elaine again. Gonoan grabs Sanna and keeps her from attacking anymore. Obregon shoots Pike 3 times. Elaine gets out of the way and attempts to charm Sanna while Brunj attempts to dispel the magic on Obregon. Neither attempt is successful. Beltin fails to grapple Obregon a second time but Pike manages to hit him with his sword. Sanna shakes off the rage, teleports next to Pike, and then pulls out and uses the wand of greater invisibility on him. Gonoan runs up to Obregon and grabs him. Obregon tries to eye gouge Gonoan but fails. Elaine waits and Brunj looks for an opening. Pike and Obregon manage to come out of it and we heal up. We head back towards the violet metal doors. Along the way we have to stop and re-open the locked door behind the landscape portraits which takes a couple of tries. We make it to the teleporter room and Pike is able to operate it again. As we move in to the arena like chamber, there are 3 demons present again. Beltin steps in and hits one of them with acid and Pike begins to blink. Gonoan moves around toward xenomorph. Sanna casts a cold burst on 4 arms and Xenomorph, though only 4 arms is affected. 4 arms begins casting a spell, though nothing happens. Xenomorph attempts to cast a spell as well with the same effect. Brunj hits all 3 with a flame strike. Obregon shoots at 4 arms, hitting 4 times. Elaine attempts to use the magic missile wand on 4 arms but it fizzles. Gator begins casting and another demon appears. Beltin moves up and smacks the new one with his Morningstar. Gonaon goes after Xenomorph, taking a bite on the way, but hitting it hard. Pike hits it with a bolt while its distracted followed by Sanna casting arc lighting on 4 arms and gator. 4 arms moves towards Beltin and casts a spell on him which looks frightening but has no apparent effect. Xenomorph attacks Gonoan with 2 claws and a bite, hitting with all 3 but fails to grab him. Obregon hits 4 arms 2 times, causing him to disappear and then Xenomorph 3 times. Elaine casts magic missile and hits Gator with 4 missiles. Gator comes around and tries to hit Beltin but it glances of his shield. Beltin sprays New guy and gator with acid, then moves back to the doors. Pike tosses the fist of emirikol at new guy but nothing happens. Gonoan succumbs to the stench of Xenomorph and begins to retch. Sanna casts another arc lightning on new guy and gator. Xenomorph attacks Gonoan again, hitting 3 times. Brunj moves towards xenomorph and casts spiritual weapon which dissipates when it hits. Obregon hits gator twice and it disappears and then puts 3 more in to xenomorph. New guy casts unholy blight around the doors. Damn demons!

Zagig's stunt double
August 15th, 2017

We wake Elaine up and she is back to normal, though she is disoriented and confused about what happened. We walk through the demon shaped hole and down a path which continues to be shaped like a demon. After walking for quite a while, we eventually see a light at the end of the tunnel The evil is palpable and we notice everything is covered in a layer of fine dust. Obregon searches for tracks but finds none. The cavern opens at the base of a cliff, a mile high and wide, onto a dusty canyon floor with another cliff wall in the distance which appears to be impossibly high and miles away. The area is lit as if under a noon sun though the sky is pitch black. The key begins to tug Pike towards the cliff in the distance. Beyond the canyon we see poisonous seas, lakes of bile, mountain ranges and what appear to be scabs over unhealing wounds in the ground. We are moving through the scabs and as we approach the cliff, we can tell it’s about 800’ high. The key is pointing up the wall so we spider climb to the top. Up top there is a structure in the center of large ledge. It is a pyramid of redstone with a flat top. This pectagonal structure has a wide staircase leading up one side, each of the other 4 are arcing towers that look like ribs and in the center of the tips is a large black heart still beating as if alive. There are several tents around the base of the pyramid. We head towards the pyramid and can see threads of ichor flowing from rents in the side of the heart before plunging to a pool on top of the pyramid. 5 channels siphon the ichor into smaller pools around the pyramids base. The air smells like iron and rotting flowers. There is a bipedal tiger atop the pyramid with 6 humanoids arrayed in a semicircle around the base. The tiger shouts out and the humanoids grab bottles from their belts and drink them. 2 run to the top to guard the tiger and the others begin to fly. Beltin runs up and spits acid at the 3 on the pyramid, killing the 2 guards while Sanna tosses a cold lightning bolt through all of them killing 3 cultists, though the tiger seems immune. Obregon finishes off the final cultist and puts an arrow in to the tiger. Pike walks closer and says “you can surrender now, all your people are dead”. Gonoan charges the tiger and swings mightily but his axe is brushed aside due to what appears to be a large magical shield he can’t see. Brunj charges as well and also misses. The tiger runs away towards the back of the cavern. Beltin begins to chase him as Sanna moves up and takes a closer look at the heart. It appears to be beating, the pool of ichor looks to be a foot deep, and she asks Pike if the key is pointing at the heart. Obregon moves to the top of the pyramid. Pike runs up the side and touches the key to the heart and nothing happens. Gonoan chases the tiger as well and catches up to him. Elaine moves up to join Sanna and Brunj joins Gonoan. The tiger steps back and casts a spell which has no visible effect. Beltin moves up and around the tiger to flank him, dodging a claw in the process. Obregon puts a couple of arrows in the heart. Pike can tell the key is pulling him in the direction of the cavern so begins to move that way along with Sanna and Elaine. Gonoan starts swinging at the beast, hitting twice, crushing it’s chest in. Brunj notices movement in the large tent. Beltin turns and smashes one of the tent poles causing it to sag a bit. Sanna creates a flaming sphere and starts burning the tent. Gonoan moves next to the flap and knocks out another pole. Brunj gets ready to attack anyone who exits. Beltin knocks out another pole and the whole front collapses. Pike feels the key tugging behind him now and calls out to the rest of us. Sanna ducks in to one of the other tents and sees just bedrolls and personal effects. Obregon moves back up next to Pike on the pyramid and they are quickly joined by Gonoan. Out of nowhere, a large exotic creature appears near Obregon but does not attack. Beltin moves back and readies himself while Obregon moves away from the elephant. Pike follows the key and moves on to the top of the pyramid and believes the shard is slightly above him. Sanna searches the tent but finds nothing of interest. Gonoan attacks and slaughters the elephant while Pike shouts “NOOOOOOOOO”. Brunj casts invisibility purge and we can now see a chaotic looking wizard hanging in the air above Pike. Zagig points a wand at Obregon and a large hemisphere of darkness appears around him. He cackles and exclaims “I overdid it” and then casts magic missiles at Gonoan. Beltin hits him with a line of acid and then moves up the pyramid. Obregon hastens himself, moves out from the darkness and hits him with 4 arrows. His body plummets to the earth with a splat. We loot the bodies and find the shard, a rod of wonder, combat gear, wand of stoneskin 22charges, mw dagger, amulet of nat armor+1, ring of prot 1, a statuette 3000gp, breastplate1×6, MW long swordx6, mw comp longbow 3str x6, comp long bow1 seeking, gloves of arrow snaring, ring of prot +2. Pike pushes this new shard in to Zagig’s key and it gets smaller and looks wavy. After searching this area, we get the impression that they have been trying to raise a long imprisoned demon without success. We detect magic and identify the items we have found. As we leave, Sanna, Obregon, and Pike are overcome by the rage in the entry room. This is gonna hurt!

A shard of enlightenment
July 25th, 2017

Sanna touches one of the large spheres and is pulled inside. She quiets her mind and sees a fist sized pyramid of obsidian sitting on top of an adamantine pedestal. She is expelled and grabs Elaine and Pike and says think up. Nothing happens. Small spheres try to attack Obregon, Gonoan and Brunj, only hitting Brunj. Gonoan attempts to hit one with his axe but it passes right through. Obregon shoots one with a force arrow but it also passes through. Beltin spits acid with the same result. Pike attempts to get a feeling from the key but gets nothing. From the corner of his eye, he spots an orb that appears to be filled with roiling paint and color but it quickly darts away. He thinks himself after it and calls follow me. As they zip along, Sanna realizes that her vision is of Zagigs key, though maybe a slighter older version. Brunj recommends interacting with a large orb and volunteers to try it. He attempts to talk to it with no visible result and then touches it and is pulled inside. He is expelled after a short while and says he saw letters of fire spelling “Zarn’s the way out”. Beltin yells out Zarn as if calling him and disappears. Obregon and Gonoan share a shocked glance and call out Zarn almost in unison, and also disappear. The other group loses sight of the painted orb and so Pike concentrates on the key again and once again it appears and then darts away. Pike continues concentrating eventually being able to keep it in sight and they follow it. As they get a little closer, they are able to see there are 6 smaller motes of light around the sphere. Suddenly, the motes move in to attack formation. Pike turns invisible, while Elaine and Sanna attempt to use wands but neither of them will activate. 3 small orbs attack each Elaine and Sanna, both getting hit twice. When an orb hits, it disappears. Pike tries to shoot the big orb with his crossbow but it passes right through. Elaine wills herself ahead and touches the painted orb and is pulled inside. Sanna also tries to touch it but can’t quite catch it. The 2 remaining motes attempt to hit Pike and Sanna but miss. Pike touches the globe and gets sucked in. Sanna attempts the touch it again and gets sucked in this time. Pike is facing a strange duplicate of himself made of running paint and colors; it is identical down to his gear and wounds. It immediately turns invisible and says “how will you look like me while I am invisible”. Pike hears him move around him, shoots him with a bolt and then turns invisible as well. Peki shoots him in return. Pike tosses the fist of emirikol, hitting Peki and causing him to be sickened. He notices the key is tugging towards Peki. Peki in return, shoots at him again, hitting once. Pike shoots him back twice. Peki then hits him with the fist, dazing him. Peki attempts to steal zagigs key but fails and Pike sees him. Pike shoots Peki again, killing him, and watches him melt away, revealing a shard. As he grabs it, the entire party appears on the beach together by the double doors. Meanwhile, the other part of the party had appeared 30’ from the base of the pyramid. As they wander closer, suddenly, 4 watery humanoid shapes come out of the pool and move to attack. Beltin spits acid at them. Obregon hits one 4 times and it explodes. He hits another twice while Gonoan charges a third and hits it. Number 2 attempts to envelop Gonoan, covering him and both disappear. Another does the same Beltin . The last attempts to hit Obregon but fails. Beltin and Gonoan find themselves floating in the nothingness again. Very shortly thereafter, we all appear on the beach. We move out of this area and back in to the octagonal room. Pike puts the new shard together with Zagigs key and they meld together. Sanna notices it now is almost identical to her vision. We find our fire crystals are almost depleted so we head out to the fire crystal cave and wait for the crystals to regenerate. We take all eleven new ones and go back down. We lock ourselves in to the library adjacent to the rainbow room and awaken on the 12th of Sunsebb. When we wake, Brunj cures the rest of everyone’s ability damage. We decide to head to the room with the demon shaped hole in the wall. This room feels filled with rage and Elaine succumbs, attacking Pike with magic missiles so we subdue her quickly before she can do any more damage. Pike feels the key pulling towards the hole in the wall and it’s likely entrance to hell. Crap!

Follow the shards!
July 14th, 2017

Beltin manages to push through the barrier and up to the dais. He swings at the queen and though it felt like he hit, nothing happens. Obregon moves up and casts a spell, causing a number of stars to appear floating around his head. Gonoan tries to push through but just can’t seem to move forward. Sanna attempts to use the dispel magic wand against the barrier but it doesn’t work. The queen begins waving her flower wand and a flame strike falls on Gonoan and Beltin. Pike turns invisible. Elaine pulls out the magic missile wand. Brunj moves up and pushes through the barrier without difficulty. Beltin sprays the dais with acid but doesn’t seem to hit anything. Obregon readies to shoot while Gonoan moves up and is surprised as he doesn’t hit any resistance this time. Pike feels the key tug up and to the right. Sanna casts dispel magic in to that corner but nothing happens. The queen calls down flame on us again to which Beltin shouts “Dispel the queen, sanna”. The key begins pulling as if whatever its following is now moving. Beltin bolts to the front doors and stands guard, and Obregon and Gonoan follow. Sanna manages to dispel the queen and poses like a super hero. She tries to detect secret doors but nothing shows despite expecting to. Her and Pike begin looking behind things on the wall until they find a door behind the thrones. Pike opens it and we see a robing chamber with another throne, which is empty, with another door behind it. We open that on to an empty room with double doors and a single door leading out. Obregon begins tracking and can tell a woman has gone through here and through the single door. This opens on to a hallway with multiple doors and a stair leading into a tower. The tracks continue up the stairs so we go on. As we move, guard tracks begin to appear as well. Up a level we come upon a storage/attic area. The key is now pointing fairly level as if we are now on the same level as whatever it is tracking. The queen’s tracks lead further back in this area and may now be hiding. Elaine casts detect magic around the room and it appears she is behind some clothing racks and luggage. Obregon calls out for her to come out but she does not. Beltin steps up to her and orders her out and that she won’t be harmed if she does. She warns that if we harm her, it will go badly for us and comes out. She and Beltin talk about why she attacked us, though she ignores anyone else who tries to chime in. Beltin begins to tell her about Iggwilv and such but she says we need to be in the audience chamber if she is going to hear a story. We follow her down to her audience chamber and Beltin tells her about the company of 7 and Iggwilv and the demons and shards. She says that Lyndurm came to the palace seeking protection and she thought she recognized him but not quite and that she locked the other doors in the palace to keep him from wandering. We introduce each other and she says she is the queen of coreland. She says Lyndurm is under her protection and we can ask him for the shard but as long as he is in the castle we cannot take any action against him. She doesn’t know exactly where he is right now. She tells us we can look for him but not to harm him. She summons a maid to lead us to his chamber but we decide to follow the key instead. It leads us through a few hallways in to a largish room with a few columns and another door to the left. The key is pointing toward one corner. Gonoan runs over and stands in front of the other door. Someone speaks from behind a column saying none of the rest of you better enter, or I’ll start shootin. Sanna tells him we really outnumber him and he asks what we want. We tell him the shard and he says we can’t have it. Beltin moves up on the other side of the column and Sanna moves in to the room as well. Beltin steps up and tells him to give us the shard and he will not be harmed. Pike turns invisible and moves in as well. Gonoan charges him and grapples him, calling to the rest of us to come take the shard from him. Lyndurm attmempts to cast a spell but is interrupted and killed by a cold lightning bolt, acid breath and 5 arrows. We then loot the body and find a fist sized black stone (which the key is pointing to), a dagger, an odd looking crossbow, strangely shaped bullets (28), spoon, headband, gloves, and statuette. We put the body in the portable hole and exit the castle. We head back to the path we came in on. It seems the path has changed and has become maze-like. Obregon stops a leopard with square spots and asks for the exit but is told it is somewhere near the castle and if we follow the paths we will get home. “All paths lead home eventually”. We keep walking and the path leads in to a dark area. The trees down this way become more organized and wall like, with our original clothes and gear lying on the ground ahead of us. Our dolls gear vanishes as we return to normal size and find the new items we picked up are with our stuff. We come back out in to the octagonal room and head to the double doors that lead to the beach. We move down the beach to the outrigger boats and attempt to fit the whole party between the two but we are too crowded. We decide to send Gonoan out with a rope about 50’ when he suddenly fades from view including the rope we were holding. Shortly thereafter, the boat reappears, so Pike, Sanna Elaine and Brunj take the 2 boats out, suddenly find themselves on a vast ocean and spot Gonoan nearby. Beltin and Obregon take a boat when they reappear and join up. There is an island in the distance and Zagigs key starts pointing towards it. This mountain has belching volcanoes, thick jungle covering the mountain slopes and steep cliffs which climb directly from the sea. As we get closer we begin to notice strange forms in the water around and below us. Then there is a fog around us and when it clears we are much closer to the island than we were. This happens again and we are closer again, now near some reefs. Once again the fog billows around us and now we are amongst the rocky reefs and near a rocky beach at the base of the cliffs. There is a hole in the cliff wall with a stream coming out of it down the beach. Unable to control the boats, Gonoan jumps in and swim to shore with a little difficulty. The rest of us crash on the rocks and end up in the water. Gonoan helps Sanna and Elaine and the rest of us make the shoreline by aiding one another but our boats are history. Nearby is a cantankerous dire ape tearing chunks from a large water creature. The stream is coming from a 20’ high cave directly behind it. The ape pauses, sniffs, beats its chest and roars a challenge. Beltin spits acid at it while Sanna tosses an orb of electricity. Obregon turns it in to a pin cushion but somehow it still lives. Brunj hits it with an arrow while it moves towards Beltin, swinging its dinosaur jawbone club. It misses as Beltin rolls under his attack. Elaine hits it with magic missiles while Gonoan charges it. He accepts a hit from the bone club which causes him to miss. Beltin hits him twice with his morning star as Sanna fells him with a scorching ray. We head through the tunnel in the cliff which begins to climb upwards. Other tunnels open up along the way as we move but we continue to follow the key. We hear strange creature noises throughout this area though we have not encountered anything. The tunnel finally opens on to the base of a jagged mountain slope. Directly below us is a circular savannah several miles across. The rest of the isle is a dense jungle with a dark lake in the middle. We continue where the key is leading. We walk quite a ways and begin to see the top of a pyramid. We seem to be heading there and come upon a glittering low pyramidal structure. A flight of stairs runs up the side to its flat top with a pool of clear water on top. This is a strange purple metal similar to the octych with runes covering its surface. There is a line of runes in draconic along the side of the pool which says “ye, who have fought the dormant king enter my knowledge Zagyg”. As we approach the pyramid, the pool begins to churn and a huge lizard creature with razor sharp teeth comes bursting from the water. Beltin spits acid at it while pike runs up the stairs to the pool. Sanna casts disintegrate but it fizzles as it hits. Gonoan readies himself as Obregon shoots at it, hitting 5 times. The tyrannosaurus rex bites Pike and Brunj goes running to try and help. Beltin moves up on to the stairs as Pike jumps in to the pool and disappears. Sanna tosses another spell that again fizzles as it arrives. Gonoan moves to the top of the stairs and the creature steps forward and bites him. Brunj shoots it with an arrow as Beltin teleports next to the monster and hits it twice. Pike finds himself floating in a vast nothingness with small fast moving orbs of light, large slow moving orbs of light and clouds of sparkling mist swirling around both near and far. The key is now dormant and he attempts to touch a point of light but fails even though it seemed the light attempted to touch him as well. Sanna targets the T-rex with dispel magic but it doesn’t seem to affect it. She then races up the stairs and jumps in the pool, while accepting a hit from the monster. Gonoan steps up and begins whaling on it, slicing its abdomen open 4 times and it collapses in to the water as its innards spill out, disappearing. The rest of us jump in to the pool and are falling through space in the vast nothingness. We can see each other but can’t see the others who preceded us. Pike continues to float and attempt to touch one of the spheres. Obregon notices a sphere moving really fast and then slowing and then coming right at him but it misses. A sphere comes at Sanna, hitting and her brain feels a little sluggish and it fills her with an overwhelming sensation of despair. The same happens to Gonoan and he is filled with mirth. Another attempts to hit Beltin but misses. Sanna thinks herself to a large slow moving sphere and touches it, and is sucked inside. She tries to understand the idea contained therein but is unsuccessful and she is expelled back in to space. Beltin thinks himself to a cloud and as he touches it he feels a sense of carelessness but from a distance. Obregon enters the cloud and feels a distant sense of curiousity. Sanna can tell we are in another plane and that the spheres and clouds are not sentient but must be controlled to try and hit us. She also knows that the larger orbs have information but it’s not clear what the small ones do. A small orb attacks Pike and Gonoan again. They are both filled with an insatiable curiousity. Pike attempts to thinks himself to Greyhawk but is unsuccessful. The key begins to indicate a certain direction which he follows and approaches Sanna and the shard she is carrying. Pike wants to touch the key to the shard which immediately absorbs it.It becomes one with the shard becoming an odd shape on the side of it and the whole key shrinks a little. How in the heavens do we get out of here?

Shadow Phoenix in Wonderland
July 11th, 2017

Pike attempts to blindly use the doors as a magic item but nothing happens. Elaine suggests we may need to assemble something from the shards. Gonoan believes it is a super hard metal that was forged or magically created all at one time. Sanna and Elaine sit down and begin reviewing all of the notes we have accumulated. We learn that most of what Iggwilv has comes from the level below where Shinda is imprisoned. She is trying to become more powerful but cannot grow as adventurers do. She also has a plant called obliviax which can steal memories. Sanna believes we are still on our home plane. We decide we need to rest and obtain new fire crystals before proceeding further. Then we will go back to the level below Shinda and finish exploring. We begin to make our way out and teleport back in to the nexus chamber, and then head up to the chamber with Shinda. We rest there for the evening. We go back up through the ziggurat and get the new fire crystals. We head back down and Pike takes another chance at opening Shinda’s cage which somehow works; she appears outside and becomes full size. She is ecstatic and hugs Pike. She tells us that despite the urgent situation her priority is her estate but will use any of her spells and spell-like abilities on our behalf. We ask if she will translate the runes tables so we head down and she says they indicate the vault of creation, tower of zagig, zagigs prison, and crypts of the forgotten. As she is leaving, she says that we will see her again when all of this is settled.We then head towards the hallway that said “do not enter”. We pass by the display cases and each take our dolls out, then feeling the sense of completeness and foreboding. Pike puts his in his pouch without touching it. Gonoan opens the door that says Go Back and sees “It’s not too late” on the northern wall. This hall seems to go on forever but after about 20’ the walls seem to become tree trunks instead of stone. Along the ground are what appear to be a couple of playing cards kind of twirling as if in a light wind. We move down the hall and as we get closer the playing cards start to move away. We are able to tell that they are actually little creatures shaped like playing cards. Obregon notices that there are no natural sounds and suddenly the hall is gone behind us. We are physically unable to move backwards and our gear is growing larger as we move ahead. Obregon moves up ahead of the party until he is the same size as his doll, takes the gear off of it and puts it on. All of what he had is there and functional so the rest of us follow suit. We move further on and the forest starts to sound more normal and the card creatures are gone. Obregon notices that the sounds aren’t quite right. Sanna digs deep in her knowledge to determine we are on another plane and knows that it has normal gravity, a finite size, and impeded travel so we should stay on the path. A flower says good morning to Sanna who replies. Obregon asks it where the exit is and it responds that there is no exit. In the distance it appears the path becomes a maze. There are some odd creatures as well which look a little familiar but not quite right. Zagigs key begins pulling Pike and we decide to follow its suggestion. After a while we come to a clearing with a 3 story white marble palace made with alternating white and red slabs. The card creatures are peaking from the palace doors and disappear inside when they see us. Off to the side is a strange looking snake creature wearing spectacles which has obviously eaten something as it is thick in the middle. It asks if we have a spell book, as it needs spells to escape. It claims to have eaten a pepper shaker. It says we haven’t been here long enough but wonders what we will turn in to. It then slithers off and the key pulls us towards to the palace doors. The cards are beginning to close the doors and Beltin and Gonoan charge the doors causing them to flee. When we get in, we see a large room with alternating rose and white blocks. To the north and south are double doors emblazoned with red hearts. The west has two sets of stairs going up and between is a set of stairs going down to double doors which stand ajar. Through the doors can be heard a shrill voice arguing with others. “My husband is not here, he is out hunting the bandysnitch and won’t be back for a while. You are supposed to protect us, sweetie”. We head to the open doors and this is obviously a royal court. On the far end are red thrones, one of which is occupied by a striking noble woman. In front of here are 6 square shaped humanoids. Beltin calls out “Greetings your highness”. She points her rod at us and asks “Are these the ones that vex you so, Lindurm”. A male voice comes from the air beside her saying yes. She cries out, “very well, Guards! Off with their heads”. Beltin runs up and sprays them all with acid, though the queen seems unaffected. Obregon begins firing off arrows at the guards, killing 2. Gonoan charges one and cuts it in half. Sanna drops a fireball on them, killing 2 more leaving just one. The queen appears to take no damage from this either. Pike takes a shot at the queen but it appears to pass through her. Elaine shoots the last card guard, killing it. We hear a clicking noise followed by an explosion and something goes whipping by Obregon but doesn’t hit him. Beltin moves towards the dais and is stopped by an invisible barrier. He attempts to teleport through it but it seems the very plane resists him. How do we get through this?


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