grey hawk

Books, books and more books
March 21st, 2017

Sanna reads through the books on the table and notices notes in the margins. These notes concern life, creatures, undead and anything considered alive and what constitutes being alive. Pike looks mostly at maps and more fanciful titles. There are a number of maps, mostly of areas that Zagig adventured in many years ago. A lot of these we now know by different names and have been explored numerous times. We discuss ways to bypass the rainbow room and our best option seems to be an antimagic field spell. We would need to return to town to obtain this spell but decide we shall check out the remaining 2 passages downstairs before returning. Vexia does not love this plan as she wants Shinda out now but has no better ideas. Sanna pores over the books on life and it appears that someone has been trying to create a simulacrum that could be truly alive. Maybe that was how Quaal and Heward’s semblances came to be. We sort the rest of the books and put them in Gonoan’s portable hole. After resting for the night, we head back downstairs to the eastern passage which is blocked by double doors. Pike checks and then opens the doors to reveal a narrow white sand beach along a seemingly endless ocean bordered by a blue cloudless sky. There are 2 outrigger boats beached nearby. Sanna looks around and believes it is a portal to another area or dimension. We decide to take a quick look around. Obregon ties a rope around his waist, then anchored by Gonoan and Beltin, walks through the doors and onto the beach. Behind there are palm trees and such but no signs of normal life as in no seaweed or debris on the beach and no animals or birds. While the sea appears to go on forever, behind the doorway, the view becomes hazy and indistinct as if a created extradimensional space. He returns and we close the doors. Brunj points out that the fire crystals are dimming and Sanna believes they will only last about a day so it is time to go so we don’t get stuck down here. We make our way out of the ziggurat and up the wall, and see the juggernaut in the main promenade. Beltin and Pike run towards the secret door while Sanna drops an acid fog over the juggernaut and moves as well. Gonoan, Brunj, Elaine and Obregon join the rest of the party. We can hear the juggernaut moving and a redcap comes jumping out of the fog, landing poorly and falling on his face. Pike finds and opens the door while Beltin takes up a guard position. Sanna joins the group and throws a fireball at the juggernaut. The front end of the juggernaut moves out of the cloud and another redcap climbs down. The fallen one gets up and looks around. We finish moving through the door and close it behind us. We move dwon the hall, across the bridge and in to the reception room and then back to the teleportation room. Pike deactivates the wind trap, we drink our potions and go through. We get through the rest of the tower without being molested and head back to town. Time for a quick re-equip and back to rescue Shinda.

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Fruitless questions
March 7th, 2017
A mournful wail comes from this chamber as though through rents in the earth. We begin moving in the room; Beltin and Gonoan move on to the platform and look over the edge but see nothing but the pit. Obregon walks the walkway, tracking and sees other human footprints, some of which belong to Heward and Quaal. Sanna looks over the edge of the walkway but sees nothing of interest. Beltin spider climbs over the edge of the platform and though there is no support the workmanship is sound. Sanna casts detect magic again and can tell that from the platform one could cast Contact Higher Plane. Pike attempts to use the built in spell and spends a little while concentrating. Beltin climbs down the pit wall for quite a ways but finds no bottom or anything of interest. Brunj offers to help Pike and gives him advice on using the spell properly. Pike attempts to reach one of the Halfling gods but reaches someone else instead. Beltin continues to climb down until a god like being moves up the shaft. The being is here but the features are fairly abstract and it asks Pike if he has a question. Pike kneels in supplication and says with the greatest respect of your magnificence, where is the orb of opposition? The being responds that it doesn’t know and Pike manages to resist the wind that whips through his mind trying to blow him out like a candle. Sanna attempts to use the spell and a different, air type, elemental appears. Sanna asks if the orb of opposition is located in the ruins of greyhawk. Yes is the reply. Is it located in this tower? No. Which tower is it in? War. How many feet below ground is it? I don’t know. Is it above or below our current position? Its irrelevant. Have we been in the same location as the orb? Yes. Now, confused as ever, we decide to head back up the stairs to work on freeing Shinda. We arrive upstairs and find Vexia awaiting us. “You’ve been gone for a while and I was worried you wouldn’t return. What was beyond the stairs?” We tell her there was a lot of magic and things. We decide to go to the barren stone room and Sanna casts dispel magic in it. Nothing happens. So she walks in to the room and this room appears to be long and empty though very shiny. Sanna looks around but sees nothing of interest. We hatch a plan to dispel the magic in the rainbow room. To limit our exposure to the fascinating effects of the rainbow room, everyone but Beltin, Gonoan, Sanna and Pike are going to shield their gaze completely. Pike will be blindfolded and have his ears blocked with a rope around his waist, in case that isn’t enough, so he can open the door without being forced inside. Sanna will cast dispel magic in the room while looking at the floor. Gonoan will anchor the rope around Pike and, along with Beltin, keep an eye on Sanna in case she becomes fascinated. The plan works flawlessly but the dispel doesn’t seem to work. Sanna casts dispel magic a second time which also does nothing. Pike feels around the door, attempting to find a trap trigger but finds nothing. We signal him and he closes the door. He removes his blindfold and begins to search the room carefully. There is a secret door in the east wall which Pike struggles with but is finally able to open. Behind it is a shelf lined room filled with books, scrolls, tomes and other media upon which knowledge can be conveyed. a simple wooden chair next to a plain oak table complete the furnishings. There is a stack of books on the table with a glowing ball of light suspended above them. Pike steps in and looks at the books on the table. They all focus on the creation of life, according to their titles. Obregon attempts a tracking and learns that a female mage has been in here in the last couple of weeks. We search the room but find nothing else. Sanna casts detect magic and finds there are 4 magical books. The shelves are 3 rows deep with books including some of Zagigs personal spell books as well as maps and many other types of tomes and ledgers. Pike and Obregon each collect 2 of the magical tomes. Pike believes one of his books is a manual of gainful exercise +1 (27,500gp), which Sanna confirms. She identifies the other three as a Stone golem manual(22,000gp), book of infinite spells with 4 pages remaining, manual of leadership and influence +2(55,000gp). We put all of the books from this room in our portable hole. Now what? 39,710.2gp
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Of legends and dolls
February 21st, 2017

The portrait breaks and reveals another hole similar to Tasha’s with the same fun house mirror effect. Sanna has heard of a mirror dimension but doesn’t have a lot of information. Pike decides to smash the remaining portraits with the same result. As he is doing this, we hear music coming from down the hall. Beltin and Gonoan move down the hall and see the north door is now slightly ajar and the music is coming from behind it. Pike leaves the timeless room and turns invisible. The music sounds like a 4 piece band and the melody is very aggressive. We move out of the tunnel just slightly and prepare for whatever may come. The music changes to a song as Heward steps out from behind the door and Obregon, Gonoan and Brunj are fascinated by the magical tune. Pike moves up and takes a shot, hitting center mass. Heward staggers but continues to sing. Beltin runs up and spits acid in his face and Brunj suddenly shakes himself awake. Sanna and Elaine move up towards the group. Heward steps back through the door and closes it. We move up and Beltin opens the door behind which Heward has run down the hallway. We chase him down and around a corner where he drops while trying to open the double doors in front of him. Gonoan hears him begin casting a spell as he lies on the ground and decapitates him with one blow from his axe. We loot the body and find +1 merciful whip(8,301gp), wand of grease 43 charges(700gp), chain shirt +1(1,250gp), amulet of natural armor +1(2,000gp), cloak of charisma +2(4,000gp), and a scroll of mass suggestion(1,650gp). Pike checks the double doors and opens them to reveal a dark square room, empty except for the carving of a grotesque humanoid with bat wings and a gorilla shaped posture in the western wall through which the space extends as far as we can see. Brunj says this was some sort of demon and is obviously a warning and likely a gateway to hell. Sanna uses the detect magic wand and there is no magic in this room. We head back to the main room and go down the NW corridor. As we walk along, there are panes of glass in front of alcoves on either side. In each are several dozen doll sized but life like figurines in various adventuring gear. Just beyond are double doors with Turn Back painted on them. When Gonoan looks in one of the alcoves, he sees a doll that looks just like himself, down to his weapons and belongings. Looking closer, it appears there is also a doll missing. When Beltin looks in, he sees one of himself but not of Gonoan and it appears to be in the same spot. Beltin steps over to the other alcove and doesn’t see any of the group in it and it seems to be a completely different set of figures. Sanna casts detect magic again but there is no magic present. Gonoan opens the glass but still no magic is detected. Pike reaches in and grabs the doll that looks like himself and feels a strange sense of completeness and foreboding. There is now another doll in its place which Gonoan grabs as it looks like him. He feels the same as Pike did. Sanna grabs her doll and feels the same though she knows the foreboding is directly related to the double doors. Gonoan attempts to open the backpack on his doll but has trouble working with it because of its small size. Beltin opens the glass to the other alcove but nothing happens. Pike takes his doll and hides it in the main chamber. He no longer feels complete but still feels the foreboding. He checks the door and then opens it, revealing a hallway that turns to the west. Half way down is “go back, it’s not too late” in 9’ tall red letters. The passage seems to continue forever. We move to the NE passage as Pike retrieves his doll. When he puts it in his haversack, he no longer feels complete. He goes to take it out and it’s gone. The hall bends to the north and comes to a walkway around a huge seemingly bottomless pit with a platform that extends over the center.

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A portrait in time
February 7th, 2016

As Pike is looting the body, he notices the fingers moving. He calls out, plants a kick in the clerics ribs while Gonoan cuts his head off. We begin searching the room when suddenly Pike feels very weak. Brunj checks him out and determines that he has several curses on him. Brunj casts remove curse and then Pike drinks a couple of lesser restoration potions. Elaine casts detect magic but only the everburning torches in the room glow. Obregon finds a secret door in the south corner of the room which Pike figures out how to open. it opens on to a hallway which turns to the left and dead ends. A search reveals another secret door which opens on to the southwest corridor from the main room. To our right is a set of double doors. They are unlocked and open to reveal an octagonal room with stained glass portraits of adventurers on 6 of the 7 walls. the other wall used to have one but is now a gaping hole surrounded by tiny flames with broken glass on the floor. The portraits have brass plaques underneath them and are, clockwise, of a wild eyed man in robes with painters brush “Nolzur”, a thin man in a chain shirt with a rapier surrounded by floating feathers “Quaal”, a handsome man with a chain shirt wearing a belt w/many pouches in the midst of a large organ “Heward”, a Wild eyed man in gray robes with zigzag lines in his upturned palms “Zagig”, the plaque under the shattered picture says Tasha, a man with exotic leather armor and wide brimmed hat wielding a hand crossbow without the bow “Murlynd”, a lanky bare chested man in a marshal’s pose “Keoughtum”. In the center of the room is a polished metal sphere on a pedestal. Between the pedestal and the broken portrait lies the body of a woman in a form fitting leather gown. In the far corner are several copies of 2 of the men depicted, Quaal’s are floating and Heward’s is on the ground. Beltin goes to the woman, while Gonoan and Sanna step in. The woman is not breathing and though it doesn’t appear to have happened that long ago, Obregon is pretty sure it’s been quite a while. Pike searches the body and it appears to be warm though she is long dead. The hole in the wall appears to not be too deep but also seems to go on and on like a fun house mirror. Brunj inspects the body and declares she is recently deceased though that is impossible as he and Elaine have been just down the hall for the last several hours and would have heard a battle. Beltin looks at the copies, compares them to the originals and they appear to have all been made at the same time. Pike believes the copies are valuable. Obregon cracks a sun rod and tosses it in to the hole and it goes in farther than it seems it should. Sanna believes Tasha is a mage and a former apprentice to zagig. Elaine detects magic and says we shouldn’t stay in this room too long as there is something wrong or missing with time and space. The orb detects as strong necromancy. We begin hearing some singing from the hallway from a figure that looks like Heward and Quaal comes up behind him. Belitn rushes up and spits acid at them. Obregon shoots Elaine twice as he is under the influence of a spell as are Elaine, Pike and Gonoan. Sanna dispels magic and it works on Gonoan and Elaine. Quaal moves up to Beltin and attempts to stab him with the rapier but is deflected by his shield. Pike grabs the sphere and disappears, a stained glass portrait of him appears over the hole. Brunj moves to Elaine and stabilizes her. Gonoan charges and hits Quaal. Heward pulls out a wand and casts a slippery surface along the front of the room. Beltin smashes Quaal in the face, dropping him. Obregon shoots Sanna, hitting once. Sanna attempts to dispel the magic on Obregon again but it doesn’t work. Pike finds himself in a dark place. He can’t move or speak but can hear the sounds of combat. Brunj heals Elaine and Gonoan moves up and hits Heward once. Heward steps back and casts a spell, disappearing. Sanna dispels the spell on Obregon. She then says that breaking the portrait would release Pike. She and brunj break it and they pull Pike out from the hole. Beltin and Gonoan search Quaal and find a keen rapier +1, MW shortbow, wand of magic missile 9th level 44 charges, mithral chain shirt +1, ring of protection +1, amulet of natural armor +1, and gloves of dexterity +2. We put the portrait copies in the portable hole. We decide to smash the picture of Nolzur to see what happens. The glass shatters under Gonoan’s axe and…

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An Octych and a cleric
January 24th, 2017

We appear in a small stone chamber. In the center is floating an orange wedge no bigger than a human thumb, it is an octych. Sanna studies it without touching it. it looks a little bit beat up and like it was inserted in to something. Pike and Obregon search the room but don’t find anything to indicate anyone else has stepped foot in here in a long time. Sanna grabs the octych and the curtains and light beam vanish. The visions grow hazy in our minds as if we are suddenly forgetting those experiences. We head back down the hallway and find Elaine and Brunj sitting on the stairs with the gate closed and there is light coming from the western tunnel that wasn’t there previously. Brunj signals us to be quiet and we can hear there are people down the stairs. Pike goes invisible and creeps to the top of the stairs which go down 5’ and open onto a large room which looks like a museum. There is a catwalk around the room with several burly humans in studded leather. On the north end is a black dragon skeleton hung from chains while to the south is huge arm dangling from mithral chains. In the middle are several broken display cases. Pike comes back to fill us in while Brunj and Elaine tell us that we appeared to be gone a couple of hours. while we were gone, the room down the stairs lit up and then there were some arcane sounds. She suspects that something was summoned. Beltin and Gonoan move on to the stairs and the rest of the group comes along. Beltin yells to the barbarians to lay down their weapons and they will not be harmed and readies his Morningstar. Pike moves up invisibly and stabs one in the gut, releasing the stored magic missiles, doing some devastating damage but not quite killing him. Obregon moves up and finishes that one off. As it falls, the body disappears. Gonoan steps up and begins whaling on another, hacking him to pieces. Sanna prepares a spell but holds. Suddenly, we hear arcane chanting from above, after which the dragon skeleton and large arm break free of their chains. The arm moves up and attacks the nearest creature which happens to be one of the barbarians. It grabs him by the head and crushes him. The dragon takes a step forward and attacks Gonoan, slamming him. The remaining barbarian rushes Gonoan and attempts to bull rush him, fails and takes hits from Gonoan and Beltin, dropping him in his tracks. Beltin moves in to the room and breathes acid at the dragon, which takes it full in the face. Pike turns invisible and uses a healing potion. Obregon begins shooting at the skeleton, hitting 5 times causing it to crumble. Gonoan charges the arm and hits it. Sanna tosses a lightning bolt at it, and it looks bad off. A rock comes flying from where the skeleton originated, landing near Sanna and suddenly most of us can no longer hear anything. Gonoan gets hit by a blunt attack that he can’t see. The arm attacks Gonoan, hitting him and taking acid damage which destroys it. Beltin sprays acid along the back of the room where the rock came from. Pike picks up the rock and puts it in his haversack, causing sound to return. Obregon casts a spell searching for any of his favored enemies but doesn’t learn anything. Gonoan listens intently and believes whatever it is, is higher than us so he moves up the northern cat walk. Sanna casts detect magic and there is magic around the ceiling above Gonoan. We hear arcane casting but nothing immediately seems to happen. Beltin climbs the wall above Gonoan and swings wildly but hits nothing. Pike shoots twice and hits something once. Obregon begins babbling incoherently; apparently he is under the effect of confusion. Gonoan listens intently. Sanna casts a dispel magic, ending Obregon’s confusion, Beltin’s spider climb (he feather falls to the cat walk) and the male human cleric becomes visible standing upside down on the ceiling. The cleric does not look happy and decides to vent his ire upon poor Beltin by way of climbing down and swinging at him. Gonoan scores a wicked hit and the cleric misses. Beltin swings back, crushing his chest in. We loot his body and find Slippers of spider climbing, wand of hold person, gloves of dex +2, belt of giant strength +4, horn of Valhalla.

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Behind the curtains
January 10th, 2017

Beltin attempts to convince the dragon we are peaceful and are only attempting to rescue a friend upstairs. The dragon says you do not come in peace armed and armored. Beltin says that the area is dangerous and the dragon replies that he is one of the dangers. Sanna moves back down a little bit and checks the ceiling to see if there is anything on it that would help us evade the dragon. Gonoan steps down and starts swinging at the dragon, hitting twice. Pike moves down, finds the gate closed with an arcane lock and uses the knock ring to undo it. Obregon yells that we just want to find out how to deactivate the rainbow room but shoots the dragon 4 times when he gets no response; hitting all 4 times. Brunj moves down and Elaine tosses magic missiles at it but they fizzle as they hit. Beltin spits acid at the dragon and whispers to Pike to check the 4th step for traps or triggers. Sanna casts prismatic ray at it, hitting it for electric damage, while apologizing to the dragon. The dragon disappears. Gonoan listens intently and can hear it is still there, but is unable to connect with a swing of his axe. Pike checks the 4th step but finds nothing. Obregon shoots at the obviously invisible dragon, hitting twice. Beltin swings at it but even though he’s sure he hit, nothing happens as it appears to be ethereal. Sanna hits it with a fireball, manifested as cold and sculpts it to only hit around the outside of the cage. The dragon reappears and crumples to the ground dead. The gate swings open easily under Beltin’s hand and we enter the octagonal chamber. Obregon takes a claw from the dragon but Beltin stops anything else from being taken. There is a shimmering orange curtain in front of the southern door, while the eastern and northern have double doors. West has stairs going down; NE, NW and SW go down a short ways and turn while SE is a long straight hall. Sanna believes the curtains are magical and there are tests between each consecutive curtain in order to pass. Pike attempts to use magic device on the curtain and we all appear in a new area. We are sitting before our teacher, Slerotin, who is telling us about Power magic which the Seul use to prosper. Eventually he turns to us and asks us to repeat the lesson. Obregon goes first but is unable to do so. Gonoan fails as well but Sanna speaks and the scene fades away. We are now closer to the end of this hall, in between the first and second curtains. Sanna touches the next curtain and we are now in a plaza of a mighty city. Slerotin has asked us to create a statue from the rock in front of us in to a likeness of the greatest wizard on Oerth. We have just begun our work and are anxious to see how it turns out. We all choose who to raise a statue to: Pike wrote Zagyg and his intelligence went up a point, as did Sanna’s and Obregons. Gonoan chooses himself but doesn’t receive anything immediate. Beltin says Mordekainen and nothing happens. The vision fades and we are between the 2nd and 3rd curtains. Sanna touches the next curtain and we find ourselves standing alongside Slerotin before the emperor who is talking about mounting an attack against the Bakkarush empire. Slerotin counsels restraint though the emperor wants aggression. Pike says to focus on the perpetrators not the whole kingdom. Obregon agrees and Sanna says she believes the battle will fail. Gonoan says he will do whatever and Beltin says let us assassinate the other emperor. Slerotin smiles with pride and the vision fades. Touching the next curtain, the emperor has ignored Slerotin and has us enacting the violent Power magic but we can feel the opposition casting a devastating magic as well and as the Bakkarush are destroyed a colorless flaming rain devastates the Seul imperium. Slerotin tells us that he has an escape for some select citizens and asks us to accompany him. We decide to go and most of us take damage from the colorless fire, with Sanna falling unconscious. We reappear betwixt the next 2 curtains. We heal ourselves up and touch the next curtain. We are with Slerotin, leading the survivors through an underground tunnel he has created. Occasionally it intersects with other tunnels and we have to defend the others. We each tell how we would defend the refugees. Our plans are successful and we are now beyond the 5th curtain. In the next scene we have emerged from the tunnel and there are many areas to claim as a new homeland. Some refugees want to go east staying within the tropics and others are more interested in going to the north which is less harsh. We decide to head north. We are now past the 6th curtain and touch the 7th. We have found a place for our followers yet the world is not safe. Power magic make this world unsafe and we are the only remaining practitioners and must leave this world. We create a key called an optich and only those who hold the correct key can enter these new worlds we create. We describe our worlds and we are able to move. The 8th curtain leads us to the plaza where we raised the statues but only dust remains. There is a disturbance in the dust and Slerotin appears and questions why we have returned. He does not like our answers but we manage to survive his wrath. What awaits beyond the last curtain?

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Flames without heat
December 27th, 2016

Beltin spider climbs up the back side of the ziggurat until he reaches the top. The heat from the flame is overwhelming but before he moves back down a level he notices that the flame originates from a shaft down in to the pyramid. The rest of the team move up and Beltin stops them before they get too close. Sanna attempts to dispel it with the wand but nothing happens. She does feel that this probably taps in to the elemental plane of fire. Next, she pulls out the wand of detect secret doors to see if there is a hidden entrance. It only shows the fire’s shaft as an entrance which is odd, but no others. As they walk around, they notice the dragon creature is not where we left it. Obregon runs down to track it and sees it moved around the back side of the ziggurat. He hollers out to the rest of the party and we all race to the nearest edge to attempt to spot it. Gonoan hears it near the mouth of the cavern and heads towards it, yelling out its location. Beltin runs to the edge of the ziggurat and leaps off, feather falling to the base. Obregon charges it and kills it with one hit but he hits it a couple more times just to be sure. Obregon tracks around the cavern but finds nothing else of interest. Beltin and Gonoan manhandle the dracolisk corpse in to one of the portable holes. Sanna uses the detect magic wand around the ziggurat and the flame. Meanwhile Beltin and Obregon check out the small chamber with the glowing crystals. Sanna gets that the flame is extremely powerful elemental fire and the ziggurat has magic against magical movement/teleportation. Beltin and Obregon notice the glowing crystals are easily broken off. Beltin takes one and runs back to the top and no longer feels the heat from the flame. He relays that information to Obregon who breaks off the remaining 10 crystals. Beltin moves in to the shaft and feels like he is floating but can choose to go up or down. He goes down a little ways and it opens in to a large chamber which appears to have been melted out of the metal. To the west is a granite door with an intricate carving of an exotic coiled dragon. To the north and south are double iron doors with strips of ivory and jade. The rest of the party follows, comes out in to the room and we begin to look around. Sanna can actually feel the presence of the magic she detected earlier. No scrying or teleporting will work here, and the surfaces cannot be transmuted in any way. We decide to start with the dragon door and Pike finds no traps and hears no evil behind it so he opens it quietly (sort of). It opens to reveal stairs going down which change about 50’ down in to metal risers surrounded by metal lattice work. Sanna and Elaine begin moving down the stairs despite warnings from the rest of us. She stops and listens, hears nothing and retreats back to the top. Pike checks the north doors and opens them to find a chamber where the walls appear to undulate and have a rainbow petrified within them. There is a door shaped as a white cloud to the left and one that looks like rippling black mist to the right and each have bronze handles shaped like the tongue of a gargoyle. This room is almost psychedelic and several of us are entranced by it and the wall begins to slap us with prismatic effects. Beltin gets hit with a red beam but nothing happens and he grabs the handle of the door with the black mist. It pulls open on to a room containing just a tall back chair with red velvet cushions and hanging from a chain in the ceiling is a 6” diameter bird cage in which a small humanoid lies slumped. Sanna is fascinated by the rainbow effect, is hit by the yellow beam and takes a lot of damage. Gonoan is also fascinated and hit by 2 beams, a blue and a red, neither of which affect him. Obregon yanks Sanna out of the room. Pike gets hit with red and takes no damage and then runs back in to the main room. Beltin grabs Gonoan and pulls him in to the room with him. Beltin then walks up to the cage and peers inside. There is a tiny woman lying here and when Beltin calls to her and asks if she is Shinda. She stirs and raises her head, her eyes are glazed and she appears to be in despair. She says she is Shinda and Beltin says we are friends of Vexia and here to rescue her. She begs to be freed but doesn’t know how to get out. Beltin spider climbs to the ceiling and removes the chain from the hook. We then run back through to the original room. We each take a beam but resist the effect. As we enter the original room, the cage disappears and returns to its original position. We decide to check the southern double doors, hoping to find a way to neutralize the rainbow room. The doors open and we see a barren wide chamber. The stone in this room is polished to a glass like sheen. Elaine casts detect magic in the room and finds powerful illusion and transmutation effects. We decide discretion is the better part of valor and proceed down the stairs. This octagonal domed room has 8 hallways radiating from it though one appears blocked by rippling orange energy. The ceiling has an elaborate carving of a serpentine dragon. As we approach the bottom, a large sound occurs as a mosaic rips itself from the wall and forms a guardian dragon. Beltin yells at the party to run and then yells at the dragon that we are friends in draconic. Sanna runs back up the stairs toward the door. The dragon wraps itself around the lattice work cage, its mere presence causing most of the party to be shaken. It then breathes fire up the stairs, which does not affect us thanks to our crystals. Gonoan moves back up a few stairs and take a defensive stance. Pike tells the dragon we don’t want to fight it and if it is begin compelled, we can help it. Obregon moves up by Sanna, as does Elaine and Brunj. Dragon hunting anyone?

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Seekers and dragons
December 13th, 2016

Pike goes to visit Kellick with Obregon and Brunge accompanying. Kellick is polite but abrupt about dismissing them for a private chat with Pike. Kellick takes Pike into his trophy room, The deck of many things is there as well as what looks like some type of handle made from clay. Kellick shows Pike a new acquisition, a ring. Pike expresses interest in what the handle is and Kellick tells him that he found it while adventuring with Tiira and Auric. It appears to be part of the protoype of a rod that was broken in to many parts. The ring is from a secret group of beings called the seekers. He believes that Pike has abilities that would be of use to this group he belongs to. They are the seekers and he is wearing a ring that looks like the one in the case, though newer. Pike agrees to meet some of them and Kellick asks the other 2 to wait. Pike is offered the ring and puts it on. Obregon decides to head home rather than wait, so Brunge goes as well. Kellick tells Pike that they will want him to keep a journal of his journeys with interesting finds included. They go to Gelds Maps, and Lazaryn Geld is there and wearing a seekers ring as well. The back of the shop is very splendid and full of journals and items which would be of interest to treasure hunters and adventurers. Geld leans in and whispers to Kellick that Pike seems to divulge a lot of information but he does believe he would be trustworthy. There are more members in another room, and they are Farlindell, Nestle a pale blond haired man, and Stillwar a dwarf. The seekers consider The scarlet brotherhood, and The silent ones, as enemies. There are many other members and they are known by their rings. Pike is expected to keep a detailed journal and to archive it annually. He is presented with a blank, thick journal. He returns to the house and tells the rest of the party that Kellick had something to show him. We have a ceremony the next day to receive our reward for killing Laurus Racknian. His head is mounted on a spike and revealed to the hundreds of people in attendance who are thunderstruck. We are presented with our coin in an elaborate sack by the head of Greyhawk, as well as a certificate noting that the order of the Shadow Phoenix is being recognized for this feat. We are introduced and cheered individually. Pike declares he is donating his share to the orphanage and begins to scope out a mark to pick pocket. He sees a 2600 gp bracelet that he likes and tries to snag it. The mark catches him and he begins to act drunk and claims he was just admiring it. The person looks skeptical but walks away without making a scene. Obregon notices him getting in to something but not exactly what. The crowd disperses and we make our way back to the ruins. Vexia awaits us in the top of Zagig’s tower and we tell her to meet us in the welcome chamber. We are able to make it back to the gaseous teleporter without incident. We have Pike attempt to figure out the wind trap and he locates the trap and knows it needs a word or phrase to deactivate. Sanna finds a ring of runes that Pike attempts to decode successfully. We get through the wind chamber and to the reception room and meet Vexia. She asks where to and upon learning that we want to explore the other side of the cavern, she tells us there are only deep black holes she believes lead to the underdark. She warns us that the red caps may have been setting traps for us so we decide to pass the promenade in gaseous form. We arrive at the cavernous area and move to the left which we had not previously explored. The walls here glitter with crystals and stalactites stab down and there is a large one that meets a massive stalagmite. We see the holes and Beltin floats over a hole which is very deep, hundreds of feet down. Obregon tracks around the hole and can tell that something like a dragon or aberration has been through here as well as humanoid undead. Beltin floats around and notices that the northern most hole does not go down nearly as far and then slopes toward the north. We regain our corporeal selves and decide to explore that hole. We spider climb down about 40’ and notice light coming from a side cavern and a larger cavern ahead of us. The main cavern contains a number of statues as well as stalagmites and stalactites. The walls are striated with silver and red. Arrayed around the floor are stone drow, driders, deep gnomes, umber hulks and giant spiders. The light is coming from a glowing ziggurat. This appears to be the answer to Vexia’s riddle. Elaine points out that the side chamber could be something dangerous. Pike moves up to the side cavern stealthily and sees this rooms walls, floors and ceilings are encrusted with thick beds of rock crystals, and here and there tiny patches glow as if on fire. He checks the ground in front of him, finding nothing and keeps moving forward but still finds nothing else. He returns and we decide to move toward the ziggurat with caution, Obregon attempts to tell what has been moving around and can tell that the creature moves between the exit and the ziggurat. We begin to move forward cautiously, eyes downcast in case of gaze attacks. The ziggurat’s first level is a vertical 30’, the next 2 angle inward and each rise 10’. A steep staircase rises to the apex upon which is a vertical, smokeless flame. There are also braziers of brilliant flame in the 4 corners of each level. We begin to approach and notice a large creature lying to one side that may be asleep. Sanna believes it is a cross between a dragon and a basilisk. Sanna shoots a disintegrate ray at it but misses. A large shadowy neck detaches itself from the side of the ziggurat and stretches forward, with over-large glittering eyes, the depths of which promise death. Obregon shoots at it, hitting it 6 times. Beltin breathes acid at it to no effect. Brunge moves up to the creature as Sanna hits it with a disintegrate ray, doing massive damage. Gonoan runs up to the creature as well. The creature gazes at Brunge but he avoids the gaze and then it begins to fly away. Gonoan and Brunge take attacks at its back, both hitting. Pike moves up and so does Obregon who puts 2 arrows in it, causing it to plummet to the ground.

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Death and disintegration
November 29th, 2016

We close the door to this room and Obregon searches the room. He finds a secret door near the rear of the room but nothing else of interest. He manages to figure out how to open the door and it opens to reveal a mostly empty room with a few gnawed bones in the corner which have obviously not been disturbed in many years. He searches it thoroughly and manages to see through an illusory wall covering an adamantine coffer on a narrow shelf. As he picks it up, 3 green beams shoot out and 2 hit him, dealing a massive amount of damage. The coffer is disintegrated in the process. We do a little healing, spike the door and rest until morning. Pike awakens and Beltin heals him a little more. We begin to make our way out and decide to cut through the rooms off the promenade but it doesn’t go through the way we thought so we retrace our steps. As we make our way over the promenade, the redcaps spot us. We make a break for it and manage to get across without being scathed except Beltin who accepts some magic missiles while dodging some magic stones hurled by the redcaps. We make it back to the teleportation chamber. We cross when the gale force winds begin again; knocking Beltin off his feet and against the wall. We manage to extricate him and take our potions of gaseous form to reenter the hole. We come back out in the tower of magic. We move through the tower in gaseous form to avoid danger. Even after resuming our normal forms, we escape the tower without incident. We return to Greyhawk on an overcast 28th of Ready’reat. The guards refuse us entry with the creature Gonoan is carrying without a cage or leash. Obregon heads to Lord Henway’s estate to gather a way to transport the creature. He is escorted to Lord Henway who greets him warmly and is excited to hear about at least one of them being alive. He provides Obregon a collapsible cage to carry it in. We return directly and give him not only the living one but also the dead one. He is a little bummed that we weren’t able to bring Laurus Racknian back alive but gives us 2500 gp as a reward for the return of the Aurumvoraxes. We move towards the church of Boccob and ask after Riann. She has us put Sanna’s body in a special chamber and asks us to leave while she prepares. We find another priest to heal Pike. Obregon asks for a checkup since he hasn’t felt right after being disintegrated. He appears to be fine. After everyone is medically sound, we go shopping and restock our supplies. Pike checks in with the thieve’s guild and eventually Tiira shows up. He pays his dues and updates them on our adventures. He shows her Laurus Racknian’s belt and tells her how he killed him. She tells him the reward is 6000 gp but comes from the city not the guild. Beltin suddenly feels weird and notices his skin begins to melt off so he goes to the church of St Cuthbert and gets cured by Eritae. He then pulls out Laurus Racknian’s head and shows it to her. She asks where he was and if we knew what he was doing. He fills her in on what we found. She also asks about Iuz and his disappearance. She is concerned that his followers may act erratically and may mount an attack on the ruins to try and free Iuz. He leaves the head and she says we will get paid, most likely within a day. Pike meets with some clerics who answered his ad. Brunge is a half orc cleric who catches Pike’s eye. He is non-denominational and Pike tells him that we need him to destroy evil, do some healing and bust heads. They agree and shake on it and Brunge is coming by the house the next morning. Beltin heads to the diner and checks in with the owner. The owner tells him that a lot of the clerics, wizards and wealthy are hiring bodyguards and moving their valuables but he is not sure why. Also, Tenser has retired to his tower and Mordekainen hasn’t been seen lately. Sanna and Elaine compare notes about the ethereal plane though neither remembers much from their death experience. Sanna dismisses Brother Justin from service. Gonoan heads to the Green Dragon Inn and talks with Rikard, relaying tales of our battles. At some point Kellick comes in and after looking around approaches Gonoan asking after Pike. Gonoan says he is in town and alive but not sure exactly where he is. 7.785.56 gp

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Brains with legs
November 18th, 2016

Sanna suddenly begins to feel her throat close up and Beltin jumps forward to heal her but it doesn’t work. She realizes that she needs water to breathe and takes off for the pond below the balcony. We follow her and help her get in to the water. She can now breathe normally underwater and lets us know that she is under the effect of a water breathing spell and it will last for several hours. Pike, Vexia and Obregon return to the lab room. Pike manages to salvage a jar and collects some of the mucous in it. Obregon finds there is a head band (intellect +4) and ring (protection +2) on the lich. He removes them carefully and rinses off the slime. He puts the crown in the portable hole and Pike tries on the ring. Nothing obvious happens. They come back to the rest of us and after a few hours, Sanna’s breathing returns to normal. We head back to the lab room and search it. The north door opens to reveal several chains and manacles designed for humanoid and non-humanoid restraint alike. The south door opens on to a tiny reading room with a table and chair. There is a shelf above the table that contains books. They appear to be spell books so Sanna comes in and detects magic, which shows that the ring, and crown are but the books are not. The books go into the portable hole and Sanna puts on the head band. We move to the hallway that leads to the odd shaped room. Each alcove in this room contains a pair of manacles. Beltin moves in to the room and around the corner but nothing happens. Sanna is able to determine that some of the runes are to either keep out or keep in evil, others eliminate the need for food/water. Obregon uses his tracking ability and can see that there are some small bare hand and foot prints around this room but whatever it is hasn’t appeared to leave in quite some time. It appears that whatever made them has moved to the exit but can’t seem to leave. We search the room and in the first alcove Pike enters, he hears something move. Suddenly he feels dazed and activates his blink ring. Sanna notices and asks what’s wrong. Pike says something did something to him from a different alcove. Obregon tosses a thunderstone where Pike indicated the attack came from. But nothing seems to happen. Gonoan moves to that corner and peers in hard but doesn’t see anything. Beltin spits acid in to the corner as Sanna calls a flame sphere in to existence at the same spot. Obregon shoots 6 arrows in to the corner but with no apparent effect. Vexia moves and checks on Pike. Gonoan swings blindly, hitting nothing and Beltin does the same. Sanna tosses an ice knife in the corner which may have hit something. Suddenly, there is a small creature that looks like a brain with legs in the alcove with pike, which gets shot by Obregon immediately. It appears to be trying to crawl in to Pike but is baffled by the blinking. Sanna and Gonoan are hit by confusion. Vexia attempts to shoot at the creature but misses. Gonoan hits Beltin while his back is turned who turns and attacks the creature next to Pike. Sanna babbles incoherently while Vexia hits one with an arrow. Obregon starts filling the same one with arrows, finally killing it. Gonoan attacks Sanna while she attempts to attack the remaining creature but misses. Vexia attempts to shoot the hidden one but fails. Obregon moves back and attempts to spot the remaining creature but fails. Gonoan kills Sanna with a massive blow. Beltin spits acid again. Obregon manages to hit it with a couple of arrows while Gonoan hits it once as well. Beltin moves up and takes a defensive stance. The creature seems to be focusing on Gonoan. Vexia tries to send a magic missile at it but can’t seem to penetrate its defenses. Obregon hits with another 3 arrows, finally killing it. Gonoan manages to shake off the confusion and we try to regroup. We put Sanna’s body in the portable hole until we can get her back to Riann.

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