grey hawk

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?

Violence and Violet
June 27th, 2017

Riann casts a spell that appears to heal her and then another while pointing at Sanna and saying “you need to go to the chapel and clean up”. She then flies towards Obregon. Beltin flies right above her and attempts to hit her but misses. Pike begins to aim while Sanna moves off and begins cleaning the door to the chapel which she can’t open. Obregon shoots at her 12 times, hitting once. Gonoan moves over under Riann but doesn’t attack; just looks up menacingly. Brunj moves out and casts spiritual weapon, hitting her once. Elaine moves to Sanna and pulls out the dispel magic wand. Riann pulls the shield from her back which begins to float around her while she hits Beltin with one of her stingers. Beltin swings and misses, and then pulls out a potion. Pike shoots twice but misses as well. Obregon shoots her 8 times, hitting twice. Gonoan stands, cursing Beltin as a coward. Brunj’s spiritual weapon misses and he casts flame strike hitting her plus Gonoan and Beltin. She takes no damage but both party members do. Elaine attempts to dispel the magic on Sanna but fails. Riann attacks Beltin with all 4 stingers, causing him to fall unconscious and drift to the floor. Obregon shoots 8 more times, hitting thrice. Pike becomes invisible and moves next to her. Gonoan looks at Beltin’s fallen body and mumbles about needing to kill him but takes no actions. Brunj casts break enchantment, freeing Sanna and Gonoan from Riann’s influence. Elaine casts magic missile from the wand, hitting with 4. Riann pulls out her spiked chains and says she will kill Beltin if anyone attacks her and then starts casting a spell. Gonoan smacks her once and then Pike reaches on to his tiptoes and slides his longsword in to her groin, releasing the magic missiles stored therein. The shocked look on her face lasts only a moment before her corporeal form vanishes. Brunj restores Beltin and heals Gonoan. We move back down to the chapel and resume our search. We put the remains in the portable hole and find one body is of Riann. We find nothing else of interest so head up the other staircase. It ends at a door which pike opens with Zagig’s key revealing a medium sized room with doors lining the walls. Each door contains a bronze plaque emblazoned with a simple rune indicating the different schools of magic. A hardback chair next to a table heaped with books and papers is on our left. The majority of the room appears to be a laboratory set up with alchemical tools and vials. In the back right corner is a bed surrounded by gauzy curtains. We search the room carefully, and find lots of spell components, items to help create magical items and books for doing the same. Nothing is magical as Sanna uses the wand. Pike checks the door with Evocation engraved on it and finds nothing so opens it on to a small room with spell components and apparatuses for use in Evocation. This trend holds true for the rest of the doors and we collect all of the items from the closets and the rest of the room in to our portable hole. We search these rooms and find a secret door in the 3rd one up on the left. Pike checks it and is able to open it, which reveals a hallway that’s about 20’ long with an alcove opening on the right. We move down and pause while Pike checks the other end. The alcove contains a pair of pale violet metal doors, 10’tall, with a carving of catstle greyhawk in its prime with a large human coming out of the clouds above it to a cheering crowd. Pike finds a secret door and after a few tries is able to open it. He opens it to reveal a passage that turns around a corner. We walk down and look around the corner and see a statue of Zagig. There is a set of foot prints moving from the statue to the double doors, identical to those Obregon found leading to the statue in the other hallway which vanished. So we move back and Pike checks the violet doors, finds no trap or lock but they won’t open even to Zagig’s key. Sanna says prayers to boccob and zagig but nothing happens. Detect magic reveals an overwhelmingly strong aura of unreadable school. Zagig likely created these doors so sanna pulls out the octych and while nothing happens, he notices the octych is a orangeish metal while this is violet. Sanna tries the other key of Zagig she has and….

Friends and demons
June 13th, 2017

Beltin hits the remaining fiend twice, the first time hitting it right in the gonads. Pike moves into the room, accepting a claw hit from the fiend as he attempts to escape the stench. Gonoan hits it 3 times with his axe as Obregon puts 4 arrows in to it, causing it to disappear. Pike moves to the south door, finds no traps and using Zagigs key, opens it. This hallway has 3 alcoves down each side with a statue of different humanoids in each that do not seem quite finished. At the end, there is a glowing blue pool with a rope bridge across it to a statue of a wizard with a triumphant look on its upturned face. Pike tests the first step of the hallway for traps but finds none. Sanna jumps out front in to the hallway and looks at the first statue, which looks as if it is blurry in some way. Beltin moves down to the end of the hallway, noticing the pool almost seems to give off its own light. The statues seem to look more finished as you go down the hall until finally the triumphant statue of Zagyg is ezquisitely crafted. Obregon tracks around the arena room and can tell that a barefoot woman has been through here in the last week. She came down this hallway and stopped at the second set of statues, facing the one to the west. There are no return tracks, WTF?! Obregon and Pike both check the statue but find nothing so Sanna activates the wand of detect magic. All of the statues glow with necromancy except the one we are suspicious of which glows with transmutation. We check it every way we can think of including Pike attempting to use it, all to no avail. Gonoan attempts to break one of the statues but makes not even a scratch. Obregon moves to the blue pool and sticks an arrow in, noticing it looks like water but doesn’t seem wet. He empties out a healing potion and fills it with the water, though it almost immediately begins to lose its glow. Gonoan and Beltin move back in to the large room, bored of the statues where Beltin goes in to the alcove and sits on the bench. Beltin asks for someone to search the alcove and teleports to the lowest level of the floor. Gonoan moves up to the north door and starts to try and open it. Beltin takes a little damage and feels suddenly weaker so teleports to the north door. Obregon searches the alcove but finds nothing while Beltin heals himself.Pike comes over and opens the door, revealing a statue of a serene looking man with his hands folded in front of him with the zig zag lines carved in to its forehead. There is a hall to the east. Pike searches the statue but finds nothing. Gonoan attempts to tip it over but it won’t budge. Beltin walks in to the hall and sees it turns to the north with a door at the end as well as one in the east wall. Sanna walks back down the other hall and puts her hands on the transmutation statue with no effect. Pike touches the east facing door with the key and we see an empty storage room with shelves built in it. We search it and find nothing. Pike does the same to the north door and it opens on to a small room with stairs going down and the stench of decay wafts up. We go down the stairs and come unto an oddly shaped cathedral like chamber. Hanging like macabre decorations around the room are nearly a dozen mutilated bodies of men and women in rags, several of which we recognize from Greyhawk. Seven alcoves hold statues of Boccob which were once beautiful but have all been deformed in to horrible caricatures. Opposite is an eighth statue of Boccob, also mutilated and an altar crawling with vermin. Lying on the stone altar is a beautiful blond priestess of boccob bound by chains, she calls out “help me” and we recognize her voice as that of Riann. Above her stands a deformed human also dressed in decayed clerical vestments with a knife poised above her heart. He says do no interrup the ceremony to boccob, tosses the knife down and charges at us. Beltin spits acid at it and swaps weapon crystals. Sanna tosses 3 scorching rays at it, hitting once. Pike shoots it once and Brunj attempts to turn it but cries out that the area is desecrated. Obregon turns it into a pincushion with 6 arrows as it charges Beltin, who recognizes it as Rigby. It tries to bite Beltin but takes a shield in the side of the face. Elaine hits it with 4 magic missiles just before Gonoan crashes in to it, axe first, hitting hard. Beltin swings at it twice but is so put off by the familiar face, he whiffs. Sanna hits it with an orb of electricity, it sparks, jerks and falls lifeless. She immediately cast detect magic and there are some strong divination spells on Riann as well as some magic items. Beltin moves up to her, Pike believes she is really Riann, Obregon pours a healing potion down her throat, Sanna checks her pulse and Gonoan has his axe raised in case she does something funny. She sits up and tells us that the area is desecrated and she doesn’t have what she needs to correct it. We ask for her tale and she was attacked in a carriage with the others in this room. Then she woke up here. She asks if we found the god trap but we told her we have not. She says she doesn’t have all of her stuff and needs to get her bearings so would like to go upstairs and try to determine where we are. Beltin and Sanna choose to accompany her and they head up the stairs to the arena room. When we get there, Riann makes a move towards Sanna and Beltin yells out, what are you doing and shoves her away. She grows wings and turns in to a demoness, pulling out a spiked chain. Sanna hits her with a cold lightning bolt and moves in to the hall. Beltin spits acid at her but does no damage. Riann casts a spell causing a glowing dome to appear around her. Sanna dispels the dome. Beltin slams the door shut in her face and moves to the door at the stairs, opening it and yelling that Riann turned in to a demon. The rest of the group races up the stairs and Beltin opens the door again. He steps out and Pike shoots at the demon with a crossbow bolt but misses. Sanna fires off a disintegrate at her, but it fizzles. Obregon moves up and hits her with an arrow. Gonoan moves in to the room and Elaine gets stuff ready. Brunj is ready to heal. The demoness formerly know as Riann casts a spell on Gonoan. Beltin drinks a fly potion and begins to hover in the air above where he was standing. Pike shoots at her but misses. Sanna tosses a blast of cold which doesn’t do much damage. Obregon hits her with a single arrow. Gonoan stares at Beltin but does nothing. Damn, she is hard to hit.

Prison or Trap
May 30th, 2017

Pike is able to discern that the draconic runes indicate praise. After comparing notes, it appears that these are a teleporter of some sort. We break out the teleporter handbook but this room isn’t listed. Gonoan knows 2 of them and believes one set says Vault of creation, and one says crypts of the forgotten. Since we can only decipher half of the symbols and all of the symbols are required to make real sense, Obregon copies the runes on to a parchment and we go up to Shinda to see if she can translate for us. She tells us that one of the shards are probably wherever the brightly glowing rune set leads. The room we were in is called the nexus chamber and the last person to teleport went to Zagigs prison. However, we are unable to figure out how to activate it. Our next step is to return to the nexus chamber and let Pike attempt to activate it with his special rogueness. We are transported to another area. There are 3 alcoves overlooking this ocatagonal room with a blue pyramid in the center of the floor. There is electricity arcing and sparking around it. There are a set of black metal double doors as the only exit. The doors are marked with a glowing zig zag, which is Zagigs symbol. We appear in the alcove across from the doors and there are markings that indicate that each alcove accesses a teleporter to a different location. We move to the double doors, taking care to avoid the electrified pyramid. Pike checks the door, doesn’t find any traps and as he goes to pick the lock, it unlocks itself. He pushes the door open. This small hall has another set of black adamantine doors opposite the ones we came through. Pike listens at the door and can hear several large creatures on the other side. He finds no traps and again as he begins to pick the lock, it unlocks itself. We do some healing and preparing before Gonoan pushes the door open on to a large arena type chamber. The room descends by 3 5’steps into an octagonal room. In the north and south walls are black metal doors identical to the ones we are standing in and to the west is an alcove with a stone bench. There are observation booths around the perimeter and 3 demons on the lowest step in front of the bench. They leer malevolently at us and mutter guttural sounds which Gonoan knows is them talking about being ready for us and that we are entertainment. One asks who is watching? Beltin immediately spits acid at the middle one while Pike shoots the same one with 2 bolts, hitting once. Sanna tosses a ball of cold, hitting all three but it fizzles as gets to them. Gonoan charges the one in the center, taking damage with every level he passes so he turns around and comes back to the hall. Obregon opens fire at the center one, hitting 5 times, 3 of them in his right eye. Brunj casts a spell on his arrows. A demon charges Gonoan but misses. Another charges Beltin and hits him once. The third stands in place and glares from across the room. Beltin smacks the one in front of him while Pike tosses the fist of Emirikol at it, turning it in to a toad. BAM! Sanna and Pike succumb to the demons stench and begin to retch and gag. Gonoan slashes his demon twice while Obregon hits the one that didn’t move 5 times, killing it. Brunj is nauseated as well. The remaining demon attacks Gonoan, hitting 3 times and attempting to grab him but Gonoan slips free. The one in the shape of a toad disappears. Two down, one to go.

Dodge the frame
May 16th, 2017

We get off the wall and head towards the church of st Cuthbert, using only side streets. Sanna notices someone walking ahead of us who doesn’t appear to have noticed us. Obregon notices a nightwatchmen in a stand but they make no alarm. We arrive at the church and ask to see Eritae. Several priests take us to a room where they normally check bodies and do healing. We put the priest’s body on a table and the priests ask what help we need. We tell them to check the body to see if he is truly dead and to wake Eritae. When they pull the vestments back, the body is now that of a doppleganger. Its eyes flutter open and Beltin yells out to restrain it and he and Gonoan each grab an arm. Beltin orders the priests to find shackles. About 10 minutes later, Eritae arrives in full armor. She asks what is going on and Beltin apologizes for waking her and relates our tale. She asks the creature how long it has been impersonating Dasinder but it says nothing. She says we will put this creature away in a place it can’t get out of and asks what our next move is. We say that we aren’t sure as we are worried about issues with the church of Boccob. She offers us asylum for the night. She warns us that any of the factions we share info with could be manipulating us or this could be something from Bronwyn and her ilk. Sanna decides to go back to the church of boccob and Pike decides to accompany her. He goes invisible and when they get within site of the walls, so does Sanna. She walks close to the wall and can see a stone golem and a number of guards and priests moving around as well as more of a presence at the entrances and towers. She doesn’t hear anything helpful so she begins to head towards the mages guild. There now appear to be at least one person always in view. Pike thinks this is just normal patrolling. When she arrives at the guild, Pike returns to St Cuthbert. Sanna researches dopplegangers and finds they tend to kill their prey before impersonating them. She does meet with her old contact and she gives him a quick rundown on what happened in the ruins. Her contact said the octych is a part of an artifact. She then rests there and returns to the rest of the party in the morning. After she returns, we go down to question the doppleganger. When the door is opened, the chamber is empty. Eritae feels the floor and declares it has been gone for a while. We suggest maybe there is a traitor in the church and she responds with it could be some other creature. What else could have escaped from a sealed room? Then Beltin goes to the privy after which he leaves the church and heads to the church of boccob. When he arrives, the gate guard recognizes him and he asks for the high priest or the highest ranking member available. They take him inside to a waiting room. After a short while, a few low ranking priests come in accompanied by Dasinder the high priest. Dasinder explains that he was prepared for an attack and used the doppleganger to represent himself. He was occupying the creature when the attack came and he departed to remain safe. The church bears no ill will towards the Shadow Phoenix. After leaving, Beltin returns to the church of St Cuthbert to find that the rest of the party has gone on to the Green Dragon Inn. Obregon questions Rikard about Captain Gallanz, who has not been seen in several weeks but apparently that’s not unusual. Pike is talking to the other patrons, seeking information on Gallanz. He has left the city and has residences in other places but he isn’t one to talk about his comings and goings so no one knows where he actually is. He does like to hear about others adventures and likes to be where the drama is. We decide to head home and attempt to use the octych. Pike attempts to use it and even though he feels like he did it right, nothing happens. We know it may activate gates or open a portal but it isn’t working here. Brunj believes it is not religiously affiliated. Sanna feels that it may be only operated by power magic which would be why it is not working. We continue discussing our next step and decide to head back down below the rainbow room and finish exploring those areas. We leave on the 10th of Sunsebb and return to the ruins. We arrive to the octagonal room below the rainbow room and head down the southeast corridor which shortly turns to the south and ends in a T junction. We go left which ends at a door. Pike checks it, finds nothing and opens it. Behind it the hallway continues with several alcoves on each side and one at the far end. We enter and each alcove is decorated with an oversized landscape painting with amazing detail. They are as varied as they are beautiful. In the lower right corner of each, Nolzur has signed them. They each are of areas of great danger and adventure, including White Plume mountain, tomb of horrors, sea of dush, and the land of black ice. Sanna pulls out the octych but nothing happens here either. Sanna detects magic while Pike and Obregon search the room. One of the paintings is of Castle Greyhawk and there is actually a secret door behind it. Pike knows something will happened to the painting if it is moved. He isn’t sure he wants to try moving it but Gonoan reaches in and grabs it, causing it to crumble to dust. Pike figures out that the door is magically sealed so Sanna dispels the magic and Gonoan opens it. There is a hallway behind here which clearly connects to the opposite hallway. Pike finds the secret door at the other end which is also arcane locked. Sanna dispels it and Gonoan opens it too. Here are more alcoves and paintings which Gonoan begins pulling from the walls. They crumble as he pulls them down. We go back and search the secret hallway and find a secret door in the south wall. Sanna opens the door and there are 2 identical C shaped tables built in to the east and west walls. There are glowing runes in the top of each and one set is glowing brightly. They are written in abyssal, celestial, draconic and infernal. If one knows each language the message can be decoded.

Set up!
May 2nd, 2017

We make our way to the connecting hallways beneath the towers and go in to the tower of Zagig. We find no evidence of Iggwilv immediately so we move down the through the fountains but still find nothing. We move back up through the tower of magic and go around to talk to the priests of Boccob. We ask if they have seen Iggwilv or know where she might be. They believe it is of no importance to Boccob but think she would be in the tower of Zagig. They don’t know what the shards are and don’t know about the demoness. We let them see the octych and they believe this must be important to Zagig for some reason. They surmise Iggwilv has likely shut herself away at the God trap. The shards are probably the only way in at this point. Pike attempts to use the octych without success. Elaine looks over the octych and believes it is of seul construction. We decide to talk to Kellick after all. We make the trek back to Greyhawk and show him the octych and ask what he knows. Kellick offers to call in a fellow seeker that knows more about them. He arrives and is a Seul. He and Sanna exchange pleasantries. He then approaches Sanna and takes the octych while assuring her that he will not claim it. He agrees it is an octych and stresses how important it is. Eli Tumerast is someone who would love to get their hands on it and has a heritage for using them but we should keep it away from him. Mordekainen would probably know more. He then takes Kellick in to another room. They return a few moments later and ask if there is anything else we need. Kellick also asks if we have found anything else of interest. We tell him about the items from the cases off the rainbow room. He says if we leave them there, he will take a look at them so we do. We head home and find a scroll on the table. It says I need to talk to you about Riann, meet me at the church. We send back “when” and get back “now, its important”. We head out with Pike and Obregon scouting ahead. They see Riann waiting for us and immediately hide. Pike comes back to the rest of us and we decide to come at her from several directions. She is startled and tells us that she didn’t call for us. Her high priest told her to be here and look for us. We notice that the top of one tower is lit up and someone is moving around. She says there have been some strange incidents, from the demon attempting to breach the walls and now the high priest is acting not like himself. Beltin turns and begins climbing the tower. Sanna moves to the base of the tower looking for a way in . Beltin looks in the window and sees an older man in his night clothes. He does not seem surprised to see Beltin at his window. Beltin asks if we can help him and he says that is a strange question after climbing up the wall. He invites Beltin in and asks why he’s here. Beltin tells him that someone summoned us to talk about Riann and sent Riann to meet us, and it was probably him. So what did he need? He says it will be quick and closes the window. Beltin opens the window and hollers out “this seems hinky”. The rest of the party starts running up the stairs inside the tower. The priest says you should not have opened that window. His form changes and he grows bone like wings with stingers and now appears to be a female succubus. It seems this is the demon that has been terrorizing the church. Beltin gets in a hit as she changes though it doesn’t seem to hurt as much as it should. He then spits acid in her face and jumps out the window. The party is at the chamber door and Pike picks the lock. Sanna opens the door and immediately shoots the succubus with a disintegrate. She is pretty messed up but isn’t dead yet. Gonoan runs up and hits her with his axe while Elaine hits her with some magic missiles from the wand. Pike shoots at her with his crossbow but misses. Obregon begins shooting her with arrow after arrow until it crumbles. As it falls, it turns back in to the priest. People outside are beginning to yell and congregate towards the tower. Beltin climbs back up and tells the rest of the party to come out the window and bring the priest. We make a beeline toward the outer wall and climb over it. At least one person spots us and hollers out as we are going. Shit, we have been set up.

Banging heads against walls
April 18th, 2017

We decide to not see Kellick. One of the street kids reports in to Beltin that Riann is leaving Greyhawk and wanted us to know that she was leaving. She also sent a potion of resurrection for us which Beltin puts in his haversack. We pick up Gonoan’s magic item the next morning , the 6th of Sunsebb, and then head back to the ruins. We make our way back to the ziggurat without molestation. We stop in the side cave and get new fire crystals before entering through the fire pillar. Sanna is suspicious of the crystals and figures out that the crystals are illusory and that the real ones have been removed. We decide to wait until the crystals regrow and fortunately nothing happens while we wait. We harvest the new ones and proceed to the ziggurat and go down through the fire pillar. Beltin leads the way and we enter the main room again. Vexia is waiting for us and tells us that for the last couple of days a pile of the fire crystals have come falling down the opening. She kept expecting us to show up but was getting frustrated when we didn’t. We put our plan in motion and take all of Elaine’s magic items and high tail it down the stairs. She attempts casting Mordekainen’s disjunction but it fizzles. Pike joins her and she tries the anti-magic field spell which also fails. She tries a second time but is still unsuccessful. We are out of ideas so decide to head back to town and buy more. After we leave the tower, Obregon notices that some moss has been planted along the route between towers. He can tell there have been a couple of human females digging in the ground here. He is pretty sure one set of tracks are the same as those in the secret library. He pokes the ground with his spear and nothing happens. Sanna looks it over but can’t come up with what it could be. Obregon puts his nature skills to the test and realizes that whoever planted this moss knew what they were doing. Pike is pretty sure this is a trap of some sort. As a precaution, Beltin breathes acid on the moss, killing it. As we cross the courtyard in front of the tower of power, Obregon notices some strange marks in the ground as if someone was stepping a large piece of furniture along. It leads to the bridge and then turns around and comes back in to the tower of power. We also notice several dead bodies in the crevasse below the bridge. We keep going until we get to town and buy twice as many scrolls and more gaseous form potions. We turn around immediately and head back to the tower again. We arrive at the tower of magic and ask the kobolds if they saw the women plant the moss. They did see 2 human women there and they have been wandering around the ruins every now and again for the last week or so. We warn them about potential traps, and ask them about something moving around the center tower. They did see 2 huge monoliths moving around. We move down in to the tower, through the teleport and on the way to the pit, Obregon notices that something human sized has moved down one of the other holes that leads to the underdark. We move on to the ziggurat and down the flame pillar. We set Elaine up in the library and have her cast Mordekainens disjunction which goes off successfully. The long room looks exactly the same as it was even without its illusions. The rainbow room is disjoined and the 2 doors look the same as any other doors now. Sanna opens the door to the room with shinda’s cage. Shinda looks worse than the last time and calls for Vexia. She says she has to tell us something before “she” returns. You must stop Iggwilv, she is my enemy. She is the witch queen and only she can let me out. She looked and sounded like the witch queen but seemed off. She was sometimes accompanied by a beautiful women with horns and broken wings who was a demon of some sort. Last time she bragged she had captured her son, Iuz. She then told the demoness to tell the company of the 7 that they must hide the shards in the demiplanes. The shards must not fall in to Boccobs hands. I suggest contacting one of the deposed rajahs; they have no love Fraz Erbluh. They need to be hidden for a few more weeks and after that they can longer bother me. One of them is likely in the 176th layer of the abyss, Fraz’s realm. Shinda suggests finding them if we can. “Go if you must, I’m not sure if you can save me”. Pike looks over the cage and finds no traps. He attempts to unlock the cage door but fails twice and then uses the knock from his ring, which also fails. Obregon opens the other door and there are 9 glass display cases around this room which contains weapons, jewelry, clothing and other items. In the center is an ornate gaming table with a white rune in the center covered with shards of glass and playing cards. He sees a rod, a bag, and a crystal ball at first glance around the room. Sanna detects magic on Shinda’s cage and concentrates, discovering that the cage is a powerful artifact. She then walks across to the other room and sprays the detect magic around. Each item in the cases have a plaque underneath them. There is a rod of lesser metamagic quicken (for use only in real emergencies), bag of holding IV, crystal ball (do not observe), headband of intellect +6 (what’s the point), periapt of good health(peril), book(do not read this), pink lace belt giant strength +4(has its uses), sword(not to be used among friends), spear(not to be trusted), and a deck of many things on the table. Pike uses his mage hand to pick up the items and put them in to the portable hole. We then place the hole on the floor and tip the table inside. Beltin takes Shinda’s cage and puts it in his haversack but it immediately reappears in the room. We try blinking, bending and disintegrating but nothing works. There’s nothing for it but to hunt down Iggwilv if we hope to save Shinda.

Who is who?
April 4th, 2017

We return home and chill out. Pike uses his knock feature to unlock the steel box we found in the demons library. Inside is a dark rock which appears to be its only contents. Pike reaches in and grabs it, finding that it feels very heavy. Sanna casts detect magic and learns this is a lodestone, a cursed item that slows down the bearer. Brunj can remove the curse in the morning so no running for Pike until then. Brunj does just that the next morning and then he casts speak with dead on the female mage we found in the timeless room. He asks her name and she say Ahsat. We ask how she came to the timeless room and she says she was pulled through a portal and immediately attacked by her evil doppleganger. We ask if she touched an orb or anything before arriving here and she says no she was attacked and then appeared here. After this answer, she stops responding. We sell our loot and order our items then decide to head to the mage’s guild with Ahsat and the dracolisk. The dwarven porters lead us through a back way to a waiting room and then Tenser shows up. We tell him that she is the doppleganger of Tasha. He asks where we found her and we relay the story. He says the orb of opposition has other names and then “um, Nolzur, Quaal, Keoughtum, Heward, Tasha, Zagig and Myrlund were the company of 7 who were there that day. Excuse me, wait here and touch nothing”. He returns and says “Mordekainen has not made himself available to me to answer any questions”. He says the body needs to be destroyed as having the opposites on the same plane can have disastrous results. We tell him to do what he needs to do. He tells us that Robilar betrayed them back at the signing but that may have been Bilaro. He asks that we don’t discuss these details with others. He gives us 30,000 gp for the dracolisk body. Sanna remembers that Tenser was different after he was killed and came back. And that when we first encountered him at the green dragon inn he looked at Rikard for a moment and then stared at Galanz. He pulled out a dragon chess piece and set it in front of Galanz who then tips it over. Tenser stalks out and Galanz tucks it in to his belt. We now know Galanz is really Bilaro so this is very odd in retrospect. Pike and Brunj go to the thieves guild and report in. On the way, Brunj asks how much he will be getting for his services and Pike offers 5k gp now and around 12% of his take each time we adventure out plus raise him from the dead if needed. Agreement struck. They meet Tiira and she acts a little disdainful towards Pike. Pike shares the tale and she nods. She asks how Pike is going to enrich her and he responds by saying he pays his dues, is there something else she wants him to do. She says to keep doing what he is doing and they will be watching. He donates 3k gold to the guild. He then goes to Kellick and shares our adventures with him. Kellick says he doesn’t have to come by to check in, just to keep up his journal. He asks if Pike has anything new or interesting to share and specifically asks about the octych. He offers to trade something for it and would like to talk with us about some of the things we found. Pike asks about the deck of many things and Kellick allows him to pull from it. He chooses 2 cards and gets the rogue and Vizier cards. Pike and Brunj return and say that Kellick would like to see Sanna about the octych she is carrying.


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