A Tainted Earth...

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 11 & Session 12

Session 11 (10/14/13)

Day 55—October 7, 2081

PLANNING INTERLUDE & FIRST BANQUET: Seeking Yellow vs Green Pearl Discussion/ “Surely the Torrent of This Rolling Storm Has Extinguished the Flaming Lotus.”

—Len describes Crab clan w/ yellow (fire) pearl: live in fortress, obsessed w/ honor. Mei Ling married in for status. She always resented her family forcing her to become a Guardian to boost their own status, which is why she betrayed her station. She also has a jealously guarded reputation as finest dancer, a.ka. “the Flaming Lotus.” She’s been known to personally hunt down & kill any young woman who challenges her supreme dancer reputation.

—We decide to lure Mei Ling (keeper of the yellow pearl) out of the fortress by finding/promoting an exquisitely SUPERIOR young dancer.

—Disguised (see paper notes for details), we visit Goran for intel. Barely save him from Scorpion assassin venom (2 uses of Duffy’s Restorative Ointment gone). He thinks Mei Jing sent assassin and will relocate. Yi can always find him

—Goran tells us green (earth) pearl is with Unicorns, extremely competitive/unified arrogant. They keep to themselves, finding combat or interaction with outsiders beneath them, and if you attack one they will all retaliate.

—Goran also speaks of Xao-lu’s son/the Warlord. Close pair, devastated when Dad fled, has uncanny knack for always getting up again when brought down in a fight.

—Goran says one can summon Yi by ringing the bell in the hall in the middle of the city, where the Dragon Clan once presided. The Dragon (emperor) cursed the building in his death throes, but whomever controls that citadel controls the city.

—Goran says children know rituals for speaking to the soul of the city.

—We return to ship to ask Len about ritual. He says a lone person can talk to Yi by whispering his name three times into a solitary shadow.

—Richard tries this in the city & asks Yi who Xu’s best young female dancer is aside from Mei Jing. Yi says the Crane Clan’s Rolling Cloud Troupe lead dancer: Akane of the Five Storms.

—Richard returns to ship & we plan a huge banquet where we’ll commission Akane and her troop to peform. Munthraurix & Herald Len “suit up” & get invitations out for next week. Banquet cost: 5,000 gp.

Day 62—October 14, 2081


—Akane wows the banquet crowd w/ dance performance. Muntharaurix causes furor of whispering/rumors by uttering, “Surely the torrent of this Rolling Storm has put out the Flaming Lotus.” Akane’s brother, Hikaru Todo, interprets Munthraurix’s open admiration as a declaration of courtship. Moti, in attendance, seemed offended by slight to Mei Ling. No Crabs were spotted.

Day 63—October 15, 2081

Daunting Proposals/ “It Was the Will of the Heavens That You Lift Me Out of Perdition!”

—Next day Flinn, Len, & Munthraurix visit Crane estate. Todo asks for progress & blue pearl & is told there was none. Munthraurix offers to defend Akane cuz’ his praise endangered her, but Todo has BIGGER plans. Todo wants Munthraurix to marry Akane after he leads an attack on the Crabs’ fortress. Todo plans a banquet to discuss battle plans, despite Munthraurix’s protests that they should wait till the Cranes get their pearl back or till the Crabs’ leave their fortress’ safety.

—We return to Shrike the ship. View Len through trueseeing gem: he’s a glowing Samsaran (reincarnating race).

Day 64—October 16, 2081

SECOND BANQUET: Crane’s War Plans/ “Your Compliment to My Sister Made Your Intentions Quite Clear, and I Look Forward to Calling You Brother”

—Crane banquet (disguises for Duffy as water suli-jann & Flinn/Richard as elves). Todo announces Sovelis has “committed himself to Cranes” & plays courtship song. Munthraurix says he can’t marry till he returns the blue pearl. (Later Munthraurix prepares ‘reverse dowery’ but doesn’t announce it.) Duffy engages Len to find out other suitors for Akane that could be encouraged to marry her so Sovelis won’t have to.

—Generals, including Jangwei the chief strategist, discuss the attack. Jangwei will have agents try to bribe the Scorpions that the Crabs have on retainer to betray them. Todo/Generals plan to lure Mei Jing out w/ a decoy Akane at a 3rd opulent banquet. Party does not favor this idea cuz’ it puts the banquet guests at risk. We propose instead setting a trap for Mei Jing while Akane is rehearsing and potentially vulnerable.

Loot/Purchases 10/14/13:
→ None.

Session 12 (10/28/13)

Still Day 64—October 16, 2081

Encounter 20: Acquiring the Red & Green Pearls by Force/ “Me Throat’s a Bit Dry”

—Return to Shrike ship to debate how to avert Crane/Crabs slaughter? Siege? Delay w/ wedding of Akane to…someone? Then begins a round of Send Messaging and crises quickly develop:

—Send Message from Mei Jing to Sovelis/Munthraurix, threatening to kill his bride to be. He taunts her back w/ reply.

— Send Message from War Lord to Sovelis saying he’s had a vision war will break out soon. Munthraurix sends back plea for peace.

—Len gives Duffy w/ list of suitors for Akane: Hu Che-Er (Unicorns), Mao Lan (Scorpions, unlikely), Bu Cao (Cranes). She asks what Unicorns value most (to make Akane seem attractive to Unicorn suitor). Len replies loyalty and family, e.g., family are always given clemency; they also value the green pearl in the guan dao (blade).

—Send Message from War Lord to Munthraurix saying he’ll “restore peace w/ his white flame” and his forces are ready to “restore truth to all.”

—Send Message from Akane to Duffy asking how she can win Sovelis’ heart. They message back and forth, Duffy trying to interest her in the 3 suitors Len named & claiming “Sovelis’ heart belongs to a dragon.” Akane firmly rejects all but Sovelis & interprets “the dragon” as a fierce woman’s nickname.

—Send Message from Jangwei to Munthraurix: “Scorpions secured. Orders?” In reply the dragon born asks if the Crab fortress has a food supply and stock, and whether Mei Jing knows about the “fake Akane,” Ding Wei. Jangwei asks “You mean the false Akane lure?”

—Send Message from Yi to Flinn: “How are things going, student?” Flinn: “Throat’s a bit dry.”

—Send Message from Todo to Sovelis saying Mei Jing/the Crabs have burned down the theater where Akane’s troupe practiced. Akane/the Cranes are marching against the Crabs, who are themselves marching back to the bridge leading to their platform.

—Send Message from Moti to Sovelis: “I can change all of this.” When asked what the price would be, he claims he doesn’t want anything from us.

—Richard speed flies to burn site and starts healing victims. Next he waits for the Crabs to start crossing the drawbridge to their platform & begins smashing the bridge while they cross.

—The rest of the party speeds in Shrike the ship to join the fray. COMBAT! Party vs Mei Jing. Munthraurix flies out, soon followed by Duffy and Flinn riding Polly. As the Crabs fall from the broken bride, Mei Jing flies up with wings of red flame. She’s wielding a rifle containing the yellow pearl. “Consume them!” she cries, firing at Richard and Munthraurix.

—Mei Jing is defeated. As she falls (still being pummeled by Richard for maximum impact), Duffy smells vanilla, same scent as Lady Alita. (Lady Alita was a half-elf caster, mercenary hired by Manx. She was from Humanus & had married into the Zarinth dragon noble family. Last time we saw her was in Rek’s temple. He put her in stasis as our prisoner after we defeated her to stop her from seizing the perfect alchemical blood she was killing people to find.) Mei Jing hits the ground so hard she’s decapitated.

—Munthraurix grabs the yellow pearl rifle, so hot it still burns him through his fire immunity. He receives another Send Message from Todo: “You’ve done me proud, Brother. Banquet tonite in your honor. I am behind you. Press the attack against the Crabs!” He replies, “Not now! We must wait for Jangwei’s agents to sow dissent, then spring the trap.” Todo warns him not to disappoint & looks forward to meeting him in the peach garden soon.

—Richard flies up to the leader of the Crab clan and asks for a peaceful surrender. Their leader is furious his wife was just murdered & doesn’t want peace. Richard grapples Crab leader & determines he’s not evil. Crab attacks him w/ force damage, hurts him. Richard drops him. Duffy feather fall spells the Crab to slow his descent.

—Richard Sends Message to Hu Che-Er (Unicorns) “Save Akane while her clan attacks the Crabs, and surely she’ll marry you.” No reply.

—Send Message from Warlord to Munthruarix: “I am coming!” As Sovelis he warns Todo & Jangwei that the Warlord is coming & urges them to ally w/ Crab leader against him. Then Munthraurix retrieves the slowly falling Crab leader & urges him to ally w/ Todo/Cranes against the Warlord, who will destroy them all if unchecked. Crab attacks Munthraurix for force damage, & dragon born retaliates w/ Strength-weakened gas breath. He flies away, & Crab leader is left feather falling once again.

—Munthraurix advises Jangwei to trap the Warlord between his forces and the Crabs. Jangwei agrees & says he’ll call in favors. Asks where Munthraurix will be. Dragon noble answers honestly he’s going to go get the green pearl artifact from the Unicorns. Jangwei claims he “didn’t hear that in all the wind.”

—Munthraurix flies over to the Unicorns’ platform, now covered in brambles for defense. Richard & rest of party pursue. The dragonborn points the yellow pearl gun at the platform and yells “Be consumed!” It works way too well. An enormous fireball erupts from the barrel and the weapon goes gray. The brambles burn and the platform’s supports start burning & melting, & many Unicorns perish. Vines barely hold the platform together, tilted.

—A tree trunk rises out of the wreckage w/ ten Unicorn clan folk on top. “To the ends of the Earth we’ll hunt you,” they call out. Richard tries to persuade them to turn over the artifact (or as he puts it, “return the stolen Dragon Lord’s plunder”) & promises no further harm will come to them. They denounce him as a murderer & say death won’t stop them from rising as spirits & seeking righteous vengeance. (They do NOT detect as evil.)

—Moti appears beside Munthraurix & offers “I can change this. You have displaced these innocents and abused the artifacts.” Moti does NOT detect as evil. “Layer upon layer you keep making your mark upon this world, whatever you do,” he warns. When he won’t wish for Moti’s help, Moti says “Maybe I’ll find your companions & ask them.”

—Richard offers to do his utmost to restore their dead to life if they’ll give him the green pearl artifact, & they agree. But they also demand an oath, bound by geas, that Munthraurix will make restitutions for the dead & never harm the Unicorns again. Dragon noble takes oath/geas, & Richard accepts the dagger w/ the green pearl.

BIG DECISIONS: Selecting an Emperor/ “I Wish It Didn’t Have to Be Len, So He Could Keep Traveling With Me and Be Supersweet On My Behalf.”

—Richard talks to Yi via shadows. Yi says the Citadel must be reclaimed so a new leader can unite the whole city. He asks us to choose leader since his last choice failed, & claims each clan has its own merits.

—We talk to Len about each clan. He advises avoiding the clans in the conflict already (Cranes/Crabs/Phoenix). But he says a Phoenix (NOT the Warlord) could bring renewal, specifically the twins Yoh & Goh. The Bear Clan is compassionate but slow to expand. The Spiders would advance trade. The Lions would care greatly & would try to take smaller settlements under their care.

—We ask Yi who the most exceptional person(s) in the city would be. Yi answers “Len and Hara,” says the latter is not Samsaran (reincarnated).

—We ask Len to become the new emperor of all Xu. He accepts & asks us for the four artifacts, which we give him. The green pearl dagger becomes a staff of office. The yellow pearl gun becomes a robe of office. He announces he can grant five magical blessings and perform four banishments and asks us to name them.

—We ask him to banish Moti and the Warlord. Two more?

—We ask a blessing of ceasefire to stop the war between the Crabs & Cranes.

—We ask a second blessing, of regrowth for the Unicorns. This brings back to life ¼ of the 80 lives that were lost.

—Two banishments left, & three blessings…

Loot/Purchases 10/28/13:
→ Dagger w/ green pearl. Gun w/ red pearl. Blessings/Banishments.

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 10

Session 10 (10/7/13)

Day 19—September 2, 2081

Continuation of last session’s TRAVEL/INVESTIGATION SPELL INTERLUDE: Below Xu/ “This Is No Longer Merely the Blue Pearl, the Kitana Has Become a New Artifact.”

Legend Lore reveals Xu was the site of the Monastery of Xaiopi. Centuries ago six disciples surrounded their diseased, dying master Yi during the post-cataclysm fires and rampant infectious mutations and taint, when it seemed the world would end. Refugees sought shelter but were only welcomed by Shen Long (elf bearing title the Dragon). A mysterious hooded stranger from the West urged the elves to seek salvation in a new life upon a sky city. He taught them the secrets of creating a cloud city (DIFFERENT from Raptorans), which necessitated the voluntary sacrifice of master Yi. His disciples tried and failed to stop Yi. Thus Yi became the faceless soul of the city, and Shen Long who had supported him and the refugees became the emperor and Dragon Clan leader.

Legend Lore continued: The stranger gave Yi four immortal guardians (Goran, Mei Ling, and two others). Each disciple became the head of a clan: Fou-Lou the Crane, Hu-Chang the Scorpion, Dian the Crab, Xu-Ba the Unicorn, & Xao-Lo the Phoenix. Outraged by Shen Long’s “betrayal” in the matter of the favoring the interloping refugees & Yi’s death, these clan leaders beguiled or seduced away the immortals, struck down Emperor Shen Long, & stole the pearls. But the pearls would not serve them without Yi’s consent, so they made artifacts with them. Xao-Lo the Phoenix fled with the white pearl in shame for his fratricide.

Legend Lore of Xu concluded: From the six Clans some splinter clans formed, e.g., the Lion, Bear, & Spider Clans. Madame Momo became an important pioneer opening up trade w/ Western sky cities. The newest platform of Yi’s city arose mysteriously, financed by an elf known only as the Warlord who possessed great charisma, power, and military forces. The warlord rose ten years ago, & the Dragon Clan fell thousands of years ago.

—For the next five weeks, Munthraurix cast Legend Lore on the white pearl while we lay low & Regulus made magic items: Cloaks of Res +5 and a belt of physical might.

Day 55—October 7, 2081

2nd Continuation of INVESTIGATION SPELL INTERLUDE: Below Xu/ “This Is No Longer Merely the Blue Pearl, the Kitana Has Become a New Artifact.”

Legend Lore on white pearl: It has become a +5 Fan of the Strata. The Phoenix walked two hundred years and settled on Mt. Seriti to mediate. He called lightning upon himself in a seppuku punishment & now his still mourning spirit guards the artifact. The Fan controls the weather & grants chain lightning 4x/day, windwalk at will, & cloudkill 2x/day.

Encounter 19: The White Pearl at Mt. Seritin/ “We Don’t Wish to Kill You and Grieve Your Father Further. That Would Not Help Our Cause.”

—Shrike flies us to Mt. Seritin’s tallest still standing peak in a rainstorm. There’s an altar w/ the Fan of the Strata, a figure in white steel armor (the Warlord), and a weeping ethereal old elf (the Phoenix).

—Regulus, Melinda, et al stay inside Shrike while Richard, Duffy (fly), Munthraurix (fly), and Flinn riding Polly investigate. The Warlord rails at the grieving spirit & calls the white pearl his birthright. He plans to destroy the Clans individually, including his own, because they’re misguided and must be destroyed to rise again from their own ashes, purified, like the Phoenix.

—Richard tries to talk him into letting us restore the pearl to someone who has the confidence of the city and is fit to rule and unite the Clans (secretly meaning Yi). Trueseeing gem reveals Warlord has reconstituted himself as a being of positive energy, able to reform after being destroyed and immune to energy attacks. Warlord identifies us as the ones who betrayed & stole from the Cranes.

—Munthraurix mage hands the Fan off the altar while lightning bolts bounce harmlessly off him thanks to our pro-energy foresight. The Warlord flees to a safe distance as we call down the Phoenix’s wrath. The Phoenix spirit becomes a corporeal elf and enjoins group in battle as a colossal wyrm. COMBAT!

—Richard grabs up the fan & opens it. Flinn’s aura sight (a gift from Yi’s potions) reveals an important gem in the dragon’s forehead & he tells Richard. Richard strikes the gem with the Fan of the Strata, and that’s the killing blow. The dragon vanishes and blood rains over the mountain, then the skies become clear of all rain (bloody or otherwise).

—The surprised-looking Warlord goes invisible & flies away. Richard bestows blessing of peace and eternal rest upon the empty altar.

Loot/Purchases 10/7/13:
→ White pearl/Fan of the Strata

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 9

Session 9 (9/23/13)

Day 19—September 2, 2081

Plotting Interlude: To Zu/ “If You Ask for a Dwarven Longhammer in this Elven Sky City, They’re Going to Laugh at You.”

—We speculate the new warlord building a platform may have the final white pearl.

—We return to temple site to question Yee about the pearls’ powers and plan strategy. Yee says pearls could potentially confer power on possessors, if powers unlocked. Blue holds power over seas/water. Green over earth/wood/life. Yellow over fire. White over air/lightning. It may be possible to suppress powers via Dispel Magic but VERY briefly.

—Asked about the wu jinn, Yee says Hikari Todo is a wu-jinn the Cranes may have entrusted the blue pearl to. He is a learned spellcaster, specializing in summoning great beasts from the void between. Hikari is vain, so posing as students eager to study at his feet could work.

—Yee tells us where we can find a lovely boy to be our herald, if we clothe him.

—We find Len, orphan boy (elf, 40) who does odd jobs. We hire him, clean him up & get him herald outfit.

Encounter 17: Stealing the Blue Pearl/ [After Munthraurix feigns surprise that Richard/Duffy teleported away with the blue pearl.] “That Was So Convincing That I Believed Him—-And I KNEW He Was Lying.”

—Len announces us & Sovillus grandly at the Cranes’ estate gates, Todo’s father owns it. Ten men await, one stands apart as in charge. He is an old white haired elf in sky blue kimono & white obi (belt), kitana & wakizashi. Functionary stands beside him.

—Munthraurix greets “Todo Sempai” & asks to learn arcane arts, while his students will study the “lesser spells.” Todo leads us to pavilion overlooking artificial lake. Todo has tea served & Sovillus asks to see his great artifact.

—Todo draws his kitana and in its guard portion the blue pearl is secreted. Blade has blue shifting sheen. Says father entrusted him with it. Nearby servants dot the landscape, sky is open. Sovillus asks to go inside the manor. Todo agrees and leads us in.

—Richard snags kitana & Duffy teleports him 30 ft away around a corner.

—Munthraurix feigns surprise (epic Bluff) & outraged Todo cries, “Heaven’s judgment upon thee!” and summons water mephit. Richard casts HOLY WORD.

—Wu Jinn summons gigantic blue woman w/ third eye.

SPLIT SCREEN, Plane of Arborea: Richard Plane Shifts away to Arborea w/ Duffy, who came when he called. He leaves a gaping rift (portal) in the air behind him. .

SPLIT SCREEN, Zu: Wu Jinn & his giant summoned ally fly up & start mending the big rift, making it smaller and more stable. Munthraurix vows to Todo he’ll get the item back to its rightful owner. Then Todo uses lake as giant scrying pool trying to find the artifact taken by Duffy & Richard. He sees them.

SPLIT SCREEN, Arborea: Richard detects the scrying and successfully Dispels. He flies on w/ Duffy. They plan to try to Plane Shift back later.

SPLIT SCREEN, Zu: Back in Crane estate, Todo debates attacking Yee, who must be behind the theft. He claims the Soul of the City spreads lies about his own importance. The giant outsider remains, having been summoned through a Gate and possibly w/ some kind of pact that allows it to linger.

—Munt offers to take on the task of retrieving the sword/pearl to prove his worthiness. He talks Todo out of attacking Yee, persuading him it’s better to have someone intercept the blue pearl before it’s delivered to him. Todo agrees & gives him a silk handkerchief w/ a crane on it.

—Once they are far enough outside the estate, Munthraurix Detects for Magic & Scrying but finds none. Then he, Polly, & Flinn return to Shrike the ship.

PLOTTING/TRAVEL INTERLUDE: To Zulong Academy/ “Come for the Academia, Stay Because Your Travel Spell Misfired”

SPLIT SCREEN, Arborea: Richard Sends Message that we’ll wait one day on Arborea and then Plane Shift to mountains nearest Zu.

SPLIT SCREEN, Zu: Munthraurix replies to Send Message asking us to meet the party at Zulong Academy, a day’s flight northeast by airship from the mountains we’d suggested. The message notes it will be easier to Plane Shift there because it’s a “thin spot,” but “weird,” and urges us to be.

SPLIT SCREEN, Arborea: Richard understands the message to mean there are walls preventing planar travel which will help us not rebound too far. Duffy recognizes Zulong Academy as being a site where magic spells are twisted to unforeseen purposes when cast, because of a magical explosion that once took place there.

—Richard sees a Solar flying in the sky in Arborea and flies up to chat. Solar gives his title as “Sol.” Richard asks why Celestials don’t enter the realms of men in these ages. Sol says “You must be new. We all agreed to the compact to seal away the world of men, lest it taint the other realms. This was after the destruction created by the ravager, Moti. The rest of the planes would be sent spiraling if the material plane’s taint were let in, or if the material plane were destroyed. The planar locks prevent this. Those charged with preventing disaster have failed or are still working. Moti still lives, but so do Alan Rek and Cal.”

—Richard asks after those two. Sol says Alan Rek & Cal are very sterile souls, and elaborates, “They have good intentions but don’t always follow the ways of virtue.” Asked about Manx, the Solar says “He’s an abomination to the order of things. Not evil, but too chaotic.”

Day 20—September 3, 2081

Encounter 18: At Zulong Academy/ [After “Daylight,” “Snapdragon Fireworks,” and “Continual Flame” spells cause a “Searing Light,” “Flamestrike,” and strange red lights in the sky.] “Shall We Try Another Spell?”

—Richard Plane Shifts w/ Duffy up 254 miles away from the old academy. Along the way plants grow, wither, & die in mere moments from a kind of rapid aging. Our feet hover above the ground. Large ethereal creatures like tarrasques fly right through us because the planes are overlapping here.

—After a series of spell mishaps, a giant tower springs out of the ground and both the ship and the two lost party members move toward it, reuniting near its base on the main campus.

—We all approach this new building, except the ship’s crew, Melinda, and Regulus. There’s a feeling like water cascading over us. We feel smaller, like children and there’s a sense of some heavy mass on our backs (except Richard who is used to wings, but not these wings; he feels clumsier). When we face one another we appear as Raptorans. Looking around is like seeing through a curtain of water. It is like living in someone else’s memory. Other figures phase into view a few at a time until the street teems with people. Pedestals line street. Armored, winged men stand by. Alan Rek is ahead ushering folks toward the tower.

—We notice the children are afraid & adults struggle for calm. Inside the tower there’s a crowded meeting room with several levels/balconies. The doors close & a few people outside start banging furiously on the door. Soft, rhythmic thrumming noise emanates from the tower. Parents clutch their children as the tower starts to Plane Shift away through some technical means. A kind of crushing wave of energy evaporates those unlucky enough not to be safe within the tower.

—Suddenly the tower’s gone and we’re back in the present in the wild magic zone. Regulus says we were only gone for a moment & he saw nothing odd.

TRAVEL/INVESTIGATION SPELL INTERLUDE: Below Zu/ “This Is No Longer Merely the Blue Pearl, the Kitana Has Become a New Artifact.”

—We fly in Shrike to a city below Zu and buy “legend lore” scrolls to study the pearl and Todo’s sword.

—The +3 crystalline kitana artifact is a Austere Blade of Torrential Vengeance. It’s been passed down through Todo’s family for centuries on the heir’s 16th birthday. Hikaru is its true bearer & there are 14 creatures (by now) bound to serve him via pact through the unique artifact.

—Alone, the pearl merely connects you to the power of water. If you defeat the spirit within, you can gain power over the blue pearl itself. With the pearl you can walk on water, control water, create water, and summon water plane creatures. The pearl’s guardians were ageless immortals (including Goran) and they were indeed lost when the ill-fated ruling Dragon Clan was assassinated, like Yee said. The other pearls have been forged into new items that are symbols of leadership as well.

—We discuss the trustworthiness of Hikaru and Yee and to whom the blue pearl should be returned, begin as either party could probably aid our planes rift problem in Rek’s temple.

Loot/Purchases 9/23/13:
→ Blue pearl, 3 scrolls for Legend Lore (6,300 gp total spent). Of 97,000 gp from Momo, we have 90,693 gp left to spend (after -7,000 for dragon burial).

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 8

Session 8 (9/2/13)

Day 19—September 2, 2081

Travel Interlude: To Zu/ “It Is Disgraceful They Should Take Away the Manhood From Such a Young Man” (says Munt., on learning the air traffic controller is a eunuch)

—We heal ship & fly to Zu to find Boccob clerics to help restore Alan Rek’s temple. It’s an Elven sky city with one central platform w/ a palace & ten additional platforms, plus a new eleventh one being constructed. Each platform belongs to a different clan, and each clan comes from one of the sons of a dragon noble Elven Clan Leader/Emperor of Zu killed via patricide. Now the clans are little better than organized crime as his sons vie for power. Though the city tolerates foreigners, any foreigner harming a citizen would be severely punished.

—We disguise ourselves (magic disguises for “Sovillus” (Munt.) & Richard) & go shopping.

Shopping Interlude: Momo’s & Moti’s/ “How About We Tie a Rope to You and You Go Through Moti’s Portal?”

—Duffy & Flinn explore Moti’s shop. On the outside it has one story, but inside it has three stories (certain floors are invisible) & far more space. Also it has a black hole like Gate or Portal to another plane, perhaps a demiplane.

—In Moti’s shop the proprietor appears Elven without the Trueseeing gem. But with the gem eyepatch, he appears as an ancient man w/ very multitudinous cracks in his skin & blue glowing light b/t the cracks.

—Among the swords, magic items, and alchemical items there are red glowing seams that separate categories of goods. There is a woman working on clothing in the floor above. Duffy buys an antitoxin & leaves.

—The rare glass bottle w/ Moti’s symbol is extraordinary, and though it raises the value Moti does not raise the price. Perhaps he has a cheap source of exquisite glass & a dragon or other exotic ally to blow glass, which could be important.

—We all get fancy clothes from Madame Momo’s, noble outfits for Munt. & Rich & servants’ garb for the rest of us.

Encounter 15: The Soul of Zu/ “Tis a Fine Drink!”

—Flinn receives a gift bottle (possibly from the gods) containing saki labeled “Peace, Protection, & Transcendence.” It emits magic auras of transmutation, divination, & enchantment. Drinking it turns Polly into a fey creature and guides all of us to a simple temple.

—Yee, the Soul of Zu (who appears faceless even w/ the Truesee gem) sits in the temple w/ five worshippers. He asks us to retrieve four pearls (blue, white, yellow, & green) that were stolen from the former emperor when his bureaucrats failed to protect them. If we do, he will lead us to scholars of Boccob who can help us. He gives Flinn two more magic saki bottles.

—The pearls were tokens of favor given to the nobles by Yee, but the clans stole them. Yee says the four pearls are each hidden on a different outer platform. He suggests we start by questioning the cowardly but loyal Goran, one of the bureaucrats who used to oversee the pearls.

Encounter 16: Goran’s Pearl Knowledge/ “If You Choked Out the Soul of the City, Would There Be an Earthquake?”

—Yee opens a portal into Goran’s home. We calm him down & coax him to restore his honor by helping us recover the pearls for Yee.

—Goran says the blue pearl is with the Crane Clan (see map) & guarded by a wu-jinn sorcerer. The Cranes also have many skilled guards & silver-tongued diplomats.

—The yellow pearl is with the Crab Clan because the wicked Mei Jing betrayed her post (same as Goran’s) and stole it for them.

—The new Unicorn Clan has the green pearl. The newest platform is neutral ground held by a warlord, who builds the platform for his battle arena. He welcomes dishonored outcasts from other clans to compete for the honor of serving him.

—Goran reports his Lord died before him, stabbed when the other Clans rebelled against the Dragon Clan. He warns, “Never trust the Scorpion Clan with anything.”

—We debate impersonating a Clan member by learning the high signs they greet each other with.

Loot/Purchases 9/2/13:
→ Purchased fancy duds and antitoxin.

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 7

Session 7 (8/5/13)

Day 17—August 31, 2081

Interlude: A Motley Crew for a Monster Ship/ “Will You Join Us in Sailing for the Dawn?”

—Munt., Regulus, Joe-Bob, the Heinrich Bros., Richard & Melinda receive an airship w/ bat-like wings & tinted windows from Manx, who also sent two escort ships. The skeleton crew of 12 humans offers to serve on the ship but Munt. & Richard decide to hire their own crew. So the 12 rather rude Humanus natives fly away on the escort ships. Munt. gathers dragonborn airshipmen while Richard convinces the Captain & crew of a rust heap to sail on his bizarre ship.

—Munt. & Richard use the gem of trueseeing to investigate the ship: it is a living creature with dark bones (not steel girders), skin instead of a normal hull, & a normal elemental ring in the engine room. Regulus tries to detect thoughts on the ship & concludes “It’s not thinking about eating us. It’s tired.” After considering setting the ship free because it is sentient, Munt. instructs Regulus to monitor its moods.

—On further inspection, the ship has 3 guns onboard fitted with acid sprays. But it’s unclear where the organic tubing leads that fires the acid spray, probably some orifice on the creature.


—Back at the temple, Rek tells Duffy, Flinn, & Corvo that he’s found a beach a short distance away hidden in the shadow of a cliff face. He thinks he can safely hide the temple there. The temple is mostly stable but on its monitors are red areas indicating problem spots, like the open planar rifts. Duffy, Flinn, & Corvo (fearing they’ll attract Moti’s attention sooner or later) stay behind in a web shelter while Rek powers up the elemental ring & flies the temple away.

Day 19—Sept. 2, 2081

Encounter 13: Monster Ship Meets the Whole Gang/ “Are We Not Past Introductions, Now That You Have Been Inside of Me?”

—Two days later the monster ship heads to the rendezvous point with uncanny grace, like a swimming fish. Increasing the flight to top speed produces an unnerving, high pitched shriek & tremendous pressure in the cabin.

—Party reunites at the temple’s former site & explains what’s been going on to one another. The monster ship responds to greetings and conversation in the tongues spell. It says its mind is 7 days old, that it will accept a partnership with us though it barely understands the concept, and that it’s chief desire is to “touch the sky, as I was meant to do.” We name it “Shrike” and experiment with turning it invisible to where you can’t see its passengers either, and it works!

—We send message to Alan Rek asking if we can help him guard it and establish a base of operations there. He replies “Not a good time. In air duel with dragons. Meet me in Xu if you are still alive. Should be there in 3 weeks.”

Encounter 14: Air Duel with Dragons/ “The Term for a Group of Dragons is a ‘*Screwed.’ But It Is Misleading, Because You Only Need One Dragon to Make a ‘*Screwed.’ (*Edited for public consumption.)

-Our ship “Shrike” joins Alan Rek’s air duel with 3 chromatic dragons—one red, one green, and one blue (a white one has just died and falls from the sky). COMBAT! Vs 3 adult dragons. We learn that mixtures like alchemist’s fire can be poured into an alchemical induction unit built into our ship to spray different energy weapons. Together with Alan Rek’s air lances and other magic, we slay the dragons. DEAD: 4 chromatic dragons.

—We invite Rek onto Shrike. He tells us that 10 dragons attacked initially, though some abandoned the fight. He kept them focused on himself because the temple is not weapons ready yet. Rek suspects the dragons have been flying free from their hosts (as Munt.’s did) and congregating & that they were merely testing themselves in battle against him.

—Richard suggests finding a powerful cleric of Boccob, to whose magic the temple is attuned, to help us defend the temple. Rek is certain no deity would attempt to enter or interfere with our plane directly because our material plane is experiencing unique static that makes crossing borders difficult and could lead to an other-planar visitor being trapped. Typically though, travel is easier once you leave our material plane and enter the multiverse. The hindering static may be a side effect of the Cataclysm, a kind of magical feedback.

—Richard considers traveling solo to the Celestial Plane to speak directly w/ Boccob, but Munt. suggests we should use a commune spell like Ivos did. Rek says that except for Ivos, the commune spell is less reliable than it once was.

Blood biography reveals the following:

a) The red dragon was “Xyllentex, a whitesmith by profession killed by Richard Anik, who melted me with his foul ship 20 min. ago.”

b) The white dragon was “Graal, a matchmaker, killed by Alan Rek w/ Air Spears 30 min. ago.”

c) The blue dragon was “Thallun, a mercenary, also killed by Rek’s Air Spears.”

d) The green, Eastern dragon was “Prince R’ockkithun, decapitated by Alan Rek 10 min. ago.” Munt. recognizes him as a dragon noble from a family whose (humanoid) members traffic drugs.

—We decide to bury 3 dragons after the style of an ancient dragon king, Relegar the Merciless, a.k.a. Master of Xorvintaal and Ruler of All He Surveyed. We conceal them in mountain caves w/ their bodies covered in 7,000 gp of melted gold. But the green dragon is buried according to Eastern tradition to avoid rising as undead: face down, hands/feet nailed, away from red things.

—Rek recommends we journey the rest of the way to Xu where there’s a scholarly sect of Boccob clerics & find help mending and guarding the temple, and we agree.

Loot/Purchases 8/5/13:
→ None, except Shrike the mighty living ship!

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 6

Session 6 (7/15/13)

Day 5—Aug. 18, 2081

Encounter Nine: Onyx Petal (and Some Answers) Acquired/ “How Long Would It Take to Fix?" “Do You Mean This Facility, or the Whole World?”

—After a night of rest we discuss what to do. Alan Rek claims fixing the temple will take six months by himself, whereas a crew could cut the time to weeks. (The crew he used to work with could shift their shapes, as he can, due to having energy-based forms.) He also claims the world could be fixed (of the mutating corruption) over several decades.

—Rek explains that the Cataclysmic war started after his people shared technology w/ the other races & some races advanced much faster than others. But at least the war spurred further technological advances.

—Asked about the Worldbreaker and Ivos’ role, Rek says the Worldbreaker was once an engine that powered the sky island of Critas. The current sky city engines don’t harness the full power of the Raptoran technology. Ivos was originally the key for the Worldbreaker engine, but he went bad & had to be locked away. Quorian (student of Cal’s) could tell us more of Ivos, if he’s still alive.

—Rek examines Alita inside a glass alchemy tube & determines she’s a construct containing the consciousness of a half-elf. Stasis has her trapped in that construct body, though she could probably escape the body otherwise.

—Munthraurix & Regulus descend the shaft to retrieve the Onyx Petal & Regulus interprets directions on the wall to a white room w/ a pedestal holding the crystal. They retrieve Duffy to remove the crystal (w/ many spells to boost her efforts). Success! We return w/ the Onyx Petal to the room w/ the giant vat of perfect blood.

—Richard scoops 7 vials & 3 potion bottles of perfect blood to sell or bargain with, including a dose that’s intended for Manx in the hopes he won’t send more adventurers to the temple. Rek plans to relocate & thus conceal the entire temple using a giant elemental ring.

—Duffy describes the “troubleshooter” of Cal’s who called himself Rek & who hunted down Richard & Melinda for Moti, & asks if Rek knows him. Alan says he once took an interest in some tenacious humans & gave them his family name. He imagines that Moti & Cal’s ambitions could be aligned by now.

—Rek describes the god of Humanus as a great hero who Ascended (attained great power & assumed a form that could wield that power). Their god was cast out of the Realm of the Gods for his xenophobic ideas, however, & now resides in Humanus.

—Rek asks Munthraurix if dragons still exist & learns of the tiny dragon that flew out of his mind when he transformed into a full golden dragon. Rek applauds the dragons’ cleverness in seeding themselves that way (each generation of dragonborn would be more draconic in their physical features, hence Munthraurix’s unusual form at birth). He thinks Cal has done something similar.

Day 5 through Day 18 up to Sept. 1, 2081

Encounters Ten/Eleven/Twelve: Split Quests/ “Stupid Crabhand, I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere Near No Butter, Know What I’m Sayin’?”

—At the temple, Rek spends two weeks teaching Corvo, Duffy, & Flynn dimensional physics & together we get the flight and cloaking systems for the temple online (by repairing the giant elemental ring under the temple). Rek notes that elementals who power elemental rings do not tend to go berserk, but those trapped in golems go mad in the process.

—Meanwhile, dragon Munthraurix flies Regulus, Richard, & Melinda to meet Simeon Ben-Yudah. They give him pressurized acid, azoth, all the black lotus, & one vial of perfect blood. In return for these & promise of future goods, he gives party 2 potions of Baleful Polymorph & offers to be our alchemist on retainer (True Res, etc.). He offers to tell us where a lich artificer & his artifacts/treasures but is turned down for now.

—Next, Munthraurix flies the crew (plus Ben-Yudah) to meet Capt. Jace Tercorian of the Weatherlight & manservant Joe-Bob. The airship returns to Critas.

—In Critas Munthraurix & crew deliver the Onyx Petal to a tipsy Alistair St. Demain. After haggling rewards w/ the dragonborn, the Head Artificer grudgingly rewards Richard w/ a “maul of the titans” & Melinda w/ a small magic gun that shoots giant ammo & a 5th-level Fireball 2/day. Those whom St. Demain orginally hired get 11,600 gp each, special mention in his article, & one moderate magic item each: “boots of teleportation” [Regulus], “Headband of Mental Prowess w/ skill ranks in Survival & Prof. Pilot” [Flynn], “gem of seeing” [Duffy], & superweapon +4 holy dwarven longhammer [Munthraurix].

—The group sells & barters loot at Madame Momo’s Emporium for 3,720 gp each & figurines of wondrous power: one elephant, one gryphon.

—Darastrixiejir servants Regulus, Joe-Bob, & the Heinrich brothers go (unescorted by party) to Humanus on a six day round trip to sell one potion bottle of perfect blood to Manx. Manx seems (non-evil &) goodnatured, but crazy. Manx’s superbees sting the servants, transmuting them as follows: crab claw hand for Joe-Bob & lizard eyes for the Heinrichs. He begins building the party an elemental airship in payment, hoping they’ll bring him more goods.

—While they’re away, Munthraurix gets Ben-Yudah set up to share Regulus’ lab & tests his family’s workforce for evildoers, detects none. Richard & Melinda perform healings & other miracles to win followers who worship Pelor. Richard also Sends Message to the others to tell them of St. Demain’s rewards so they can request magic items.

Day 19—Sept. 2, 2081

—Whole party reunites at the temple.

Loot/Purchases 5/15/13:
→ From the underground room: the Onyx Petal
→ From Simeon: 2 potions of Baleful Polymorph
→ From St. Demain: 11,600 gp each & “boots of teleportation” [Regulus], “Headband of Mental Prowess w/ skill ranks in Survival & Prof. Pilot” [Flynn], “gem of seeing” [Duffy], & superweapon +4 holy dwarven longhammer [Munthraurix]
→ From Madame Momo: 2 figurines of wondrous power (1 elephant & 1 gryhpon), 97,000 gp party loot
→ From Manx: one elemental airship (in progress)

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 5

Session 5 (7/8/13)

Day 4—Aug. 17, 2081

Encounter Eight: Overcoming Vanilla-Scented Evil/ “Are You Sure That If He’s The One Helping an Evil Person, That Would Still Violate YOUR Vows?”

—We rest. Next day we explore down the staircase. We disarm two traps (gaining pressurized acid & some tanglefoot bags) on the door at the bottom. Behind the doors is a busy, automated alchemist’s lab with more azoth & giant vats of strange goo.

—Duffy ascends two catwalks & overhears a red-cloaked, vanilla-scented half-elf female talking to two henchmen: “Marshall, ignore the intruders below as long as they don’t interfere. Find the blood so we can leave.” Duffy descends & shares this info.

—Richard cautiously flies up to talk to Lady Alita. She offers to pay gold/rubies/ambrosia/an elemental ring to power a ship if we’ll aid her search. She claims her buyer is a competitor of Moti’s. Richard asks if she might arrange a favor for us in Humanus as part of payment & she agrees. He tells the group.

—Regulus speculates her employer may be famous alchemist Mr. Manx (70-ish now). Manx was kicked out of the university in Humanus for controversial/dangerous transmutation experiments. Also, we’re surrounded by dangerous transmutation compounds now. We debate helping Alita OR subduing her before she kills more simulacrums or other victims.

—Alita cries, “Enough!” & death punches her minion’s neck & he splats on the ground. Richard is so outraged he casts Holy Word. Six other invisible minions drop off the catwalk, stunned & paralyzed, & their guns clatter around them. Some die, splat! Corvo is deafened & flees.

Combat! vs. spilled vats of azoth & goo (some of it ON FIRE), Lady Alita (alchemist/spellcaster?), a summoning caster, a dullahan & graveknight from the ripped plane of shadow, & Marshall. DEAD/DEFEATED: dullahan, five minions, & summoning caster. CAPTURED: Lady Alita & Marshall, but also graveknight who now obeys Munthraurix.

—Munthraurix’s graveknight fetches all the minions’ bodies & carries them to the room next door, while Richard takes Melinda & Alita & the roc takes Flynn & an altered Duffy. (Duffy has longer fur & claws & glowing white eyes. She’s become a celestial guardian Foo cat.) Richard dispels four effects from Melinda & deprives her of all gear, especially magical gear. We loot the minions & restrain & gag the prisoners.

Exploring Interlude: A Free-Birdman & a Forcecage/ (After Hearing That Removing a Crystal Could Collapse the Whole Temple) “So Regulus Will Get the Crystal While the Rest of Us Wait Outside Then?”

—In the adjoining room a vat as tall as the ceiling contains the perfected blood solution. The vat is surrounded by a forcecage.

—We move beyond that room to a docking facility for Alan Rek’s deadly airship. Richard retrieves Alan’s birdman body & lets conveyors lower the airship into the bay. He restores Alan to his body & explains the current situation w/ the four open elemental planes, etc. in our wake. Alan uses control panels to mend & quarantine various areas, muttering about the giant mess & how terrible Ivos’ freedom is. He also places Alita in stasis to stop her using her (mostly) evocations & transmutations.

—Alan explains the forcecage is powered by a (currently rare) focusing crystal (maybe the Onyx Petal) stored in another dimension beneath it. Retrieving it will require a perilous ethereal jaunt & a very knowledgeable caster to avoid refracting the crystal in error & collapsing the whole temple. Regulus may try anyway.

—Alan volunteers that Cal was 800 years his senior & not from our plane. Moti is probably not from our plane either & was a man when he first heard of him. Cal likely found a way to seed himself for rebirth. The perfected blood to create real life is his masterpiece. As to who created the planar lock, any plane (Ashanti, the Astral Plane, Celestia, etc.) could have intervened to stop the Cataclysm from affecting their home.

—An altered Corvo flies into the room on new bat-like wings…

Loot 5/8/13:
→ From the traps: 3 tanglefoot bags [Duffy] & pressurized acid.
→ From Alita & minions: 2 +3 keen longswords w/ poison-holding grooves, Alita’s poisoned orcbane/elfbane knife, 4 doses black lotus extract, 6 pepperbox pistols, 21 alchemical cartridges, & 4 potions cure serious.

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 4

Session 4 (6/24/13)

Still Day 3—Aug. 16, 2081

Encounter Seven: Good Help Is Hard to Find/ “Farouk, Are You Evil?” BLAM!

—Richard stealthily investigates a camp at the base of the mountain. He detects one non-evil man with magic items in a tent & overhears two evil Moor-like brigands, Sayid & Farouk, discussing their frustration at not being paid by ‘the old man.’ Richard returns to openly visit the old man while the others hide nearby. Upon learning his hired men are bandits, the old man executes them with an arcane gun. He asks Richard where he might find other employees.

—Whole party arrives & meets the old man, a.k.a. Simeon Ben-Yudah. He is an alchemist questing for wonders and rare agents among the ransacked tombs. Simeon offers up for sale alchemical goods and magic rings. He will reward us if we retrieve pressurized acid from the traps in the temple of Boccob (God of Magic) we’ll be investigating. We bury (and loot) the bandits.

Exploring Interlude: Of Golems and Gates/ “You Seem Awfully Paranoid—-Have You Had a Traumatic Experience with Evil Altars?”

—After one hour’s travel from Simeon’s camp we reach the temple. Richard flies to the tip where the bladed survey ship o’ death hovers. Alan Rek’s body is concealed nearby. Richard communicates w/ Alan about moving the ship & his body into a special chamber in the temple once the area inside is deemed secure.

—We enter the temple & find traces of magic & vanilla perfume, & also a secret room. The hidden chamber is newer and built just like the one that stored the survey ship, complete w/ panels & a compartment for a pilot’s body. There are also three vials: one blue, one green, & one orange.

—Beyond the ship chamber is a hall leading to another room that contains bloodstains, a cask of red liquid and one of blue liquid, & two man-sized shattered tubes. Hanging out of the tubes & impaled on the broken glass walls are two birdlike humanoid corpses. Regulus determines the red liquid is an advanced blood-like solution used to make living simulacrums. Richard takes samples. The blue liquid is azoth, a.k.a. “the fire of creation,” used to bring a simulacrum to life. Blood Biography reveals one victim identifies himself as “1-1-2-4-7,” his position as “servant to Master Cal,” the one who shed his blood as “Lady Alita, who caused the containment failure,” and the date as “three days ago.” Munthraurix recalls Lady Alita is from Humanus & married into the Zarinth dragon noble family.

—Down another hall is a 10 foot waterway flowing into a chasm. Richard & Duffy fly down to where the flowing water abruptly vanishes in mid-air. The room holds an altar in ruins, more recent carvings of blood grooves for sacrifices, & a floor covered in dark blue liquid. The others come to investigate & it appears the dark blue stuff is highly volatile but kept stable by the dampening effect of the flowing water. The water flows into a gate presumably leading to the plane of water.

—We return to the ground floor & explore the hall across the 10 ft waterway. The next room holds 4 tarnished bronze cots w/ old linen, one vanilla scented. Richard tries to open door to adjoining room but springs a TRAP! The vampiric touch blades miss him & he destroys them in a red mist w/ his magic blade. Then we walk on, hard.

-Down a passage is a room w/ 4 large stone men (one per corner) & 3 human corpses in the center—deadly clay golems! We prep for battle. COMBAT! Vs 4 golems. We break all four. As each golem cracks & falls, something within it gleams red, white, blue, or green. A howling vortex sound fills the room—-the golem-bound elementals are escaping, & begin opening gates to their home planes of fire, air, water, and earth! We hurry through the room to the opposite door, grabbing two dead adventurers along the way (plus one sword, thanks to a summoned celestial monkey).

—We slam the golems’ door behind us. We face a winding stair that curves into rooms above and below.

Loot 6/24/13:
→ From the dead adventurers: +2 longsword, +2 short sword, +1 adaptive composite longbow, 2 vials of gravity bow, 2 armors of +2 light fortification chain mail, & bracers of dawn (can cast awaken & light at will, daylight 1/day) [Richard wears these].

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 3

Session 3 (6/10/13)

Still Day 3—Aug. 16, 2081

Exploring Interlude: Tomes, Traps, & Talking Tridents Part I/ “Stab the Book, I Shall Feed Upon Its Magic!”

—Party discovers and packs up more books, some are magic. Kuroken wants to absorb the books’ magic but gets a unanimous “No.” Another room contains a hidden cabinet with an ancient plate and a magically sealed box. The plate has engravings reading “Quorian” and we keep it.

Encounter Five: Moti’s Traitor/ Famous Last Words: “Aaaarrrggghhh!”

—Moti’s servant who’d been following us catches up. Munthraurix convinces him to join our cause. But almost immediately Moti murders him with a remote Phantasmal Killer.

Encounter Six: Tomes, Traps & Talking Tridents Part II/ “I Don’t Believe You’ve Answered His Question.” “Yeah, Do It Again!”

—We defeat the magically sealed box’s trap defenses (a very high level wizard’s Cloud Kill, etc.). Inside is Ivos, a very evil sentient trident! Kuroken wants to destroy the trident but is outvoted.

—Ivos (unaware Munthraurix is listening to his thoughts) communicates he wants to find the “World-Breaker.” [Magical analysis shows he’s a powerful artifact, +4 bonus and with class levels & strong lawful evil aura, made with Commune spell.] To us he declares no one is the party is sufficiently obedient and fit to be “wielded by him.” But he’s persuaded he owes us for freeing him & offers one limited wish each. He calls Munthraurix “dragon pawn” & Corvos “demon spawn.”

—Corvo wishes to know who the World-Breaker was & what happened during the Cataclysm. Ivos teleports him into the past. From a bird’s eye view Corvo watches the world ravaged and destroyed by magic and in doing so he experiences death multiple times. When he returns, shaken, he doesn’t understand what he saw. Richard suggests Ivos did not fulfill his bargain & Flinn urges a do-over. So Corvo is transported back into the past. This time he beholds a dark elf working powerful magic with a large, heavily engraved crystal held within a cage. Then as before he feels the world destroyed by the World-Breaker firsthand and returns to us, quaking with shock. [Will save for sanity, requires magic healing to Wisdom score.] Ivos comments that the fey were instrumental in “the strife,” a kind of war in a series of events that led up to the cataclysm.

—Regulus wishes for a Blessed Book with spells from levels 3 to 7 (?).

—Melinda sighs to Ivos “I wish you were Good.” Instantly the spear splits into two [+2] spears, one Good Ivos (“That Which Knows”) and one Evil Ivos (“That Which Sees”). Good Ivos will grant wishes to Flinn & Richard while Evil Ivos will do so for Duffy & Munthraurix.

—Richard wishes to become an angel & transforms into a glorious kind of deva. He alternates between that new form & his more human form & tries out his wings.

—Duffy asks for a pact instead of a wish, which she fears he’d twist into something harmful. She asks Evil Ivos to agree that if we meet him in the future, he will not harm us nor have his minions or wielder harm us. Evil Ivos protests there’s no assurance we will not harm him & we point out his mission may be too destructive for us not to oppose him. He agrees to the pact.

—Good Ivos grants us one use of Commune for Richard to ask 9 questions of Pelor, The Sun Father (Light/Healing/Strength/Sun Domains).

Did Moti Cause the Cataclysm? YES.
Is the temple we are heading to on our map the same as the ‘safe place’ Alan Rek referred to? YES.
Is Alan Rek currently relatively safe at the temple he mentioned? YES.
Are there dragons on our current plane? NOBLE SEED SPREAD AFAR BEAR DRACONIC AMBITION.
Are dragons active on this plane? NO.
Does Alister St. Demain intend to acquire the Onyx Petal for nefarious purposes? NO.
Is the Cataclysm the cause of the planar lock on this plane? NO.
Is it possible to remove the planar lock? YES.
Is it ill-advised to endeavor to remove the planar lock? UNCLEAR.

—Duffy asks both tridents about their origin and wielders. Evil Ivos explains his maker, a powerful wizard, was destroyed as part of his genesis, as he knew he must be. Though his creator’s essence remains, the wizard’s personality was cleansed away by the matrix during the process. Evil Ivos says he’s already communed w/ his wielder, a human in the Republic of Humanus who will help him find the World-Breaker. He complains of having been used as a sorcerer’s tool before his imprisonment. Good Ivos has communed w/ an elf in Zeltania (Britain) who will help hide the World-Breaker, & in choosing the elf is eager to uplift someone who needs it & redeem the elven race from its ancestors’ deeds. We ask Good Ivos what will happen if the World-Breaker is found & he answers “Change that is too erratic even for me.”

—Flinn wishes for all of us to be permanently immune to the Corruption on Earth since the Cataclysm. Good Ivos teleports away after her wish.

—Munthraurix wishes to be a dragon. As he transforms, a small gold dragon flies away from his body as though freed from containment. Evil Ivos comments he need not be a “dragon pawn” after all. At will Munthraurix returns to his old, humanesque form. He explains he’d been born with scales & claws, highly unusual for his kind, but had learned to disguise his dragon nature in adulthood.

—Evil Ivos teleports away. We begin a trek to the temple where Alan Rek went.

Loot 6/10/13:
→ From hidden compartments/tridents: More books (some magic), one limited wish per PC.

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 2

Session 2 (5/27/13)

Still Day 2—Aug. 15, 2081

Travel Interlude: From Jungle Jaunt to Mountain Climes/“Does That Sign Say, ‘Beware the Friendly Giants?’”

Party chops through jungle brush and scales/soars up a cliff to behold the desert of crumbling pyramids & obelisks beyond the mountains. We opt to circumvent the rock giant settlements marked on Alister’s map by journeying an extra day and a half. A magical rainstorm makes our ascent difficult & reveals some malicious caster is 2-4 miles away. We take shelter in a cleft, perform a nightly Lesser Res cleansing, & set watches.

Encounter Three: Monster Served Extra Crispy/“It Appears I May Have Overestimated the Necessary Force.”

—Horrible cries approach our camp. Combat! Vs gibbering mouther. Munthraurix’s spell (boosted by a summoner’s rift into Fire plane) reduces the aberration to ash. The fireball also causes the cleft to collapse inward, revealing Pre-Cataclysm old Elvish carvings in a door. Old carvings read “Here Lies the Hall of Knowledge” & below it newer symbols say “College of Weaponry.” It seems the facility was re-purposed. We sleep again.

Day 3—Aug. 16, 2081

—Regulus reports the soldier we let escape is reporting on us to Moti via crystal ball. We recover gear.

Encounter Four: Borrowing a Library & Disarming a WMD/“Did It Seem Weird to Equip Your ‘Survey Ships’ with Slicing Blades and Bombs? Wouldn’t That Just Destroy Everything in Its Path?”

—We descend into cave beneath the cleft. Richard trips an acid trap on the door but evades harm.

—In the rotunda reception room we pack up all 500 books on engineering & magic (written in Raptoran w/ Draconic margin notes), mostly to keep them from Moti. Duffy keeps a second copy of Warmage’s Maxim for Critas’ great library. Richard keeps a manual on the planes (although its info. on paths to planes is outdated). Regulus & Munthraurix gather the rest, e.g., Crystalline Matrices and You, Siege Engineering, a book on dragons, and a tome of lost knowledge on how to build and maintain the core of a sky city. (Technical note: The giant rings to support sky cities are like those for airships, but more enormous & requiring many precise types of crystals & carved runes & lots of elementals, far more than can be summoned easily nowadays.)

—The next room is almost filled by a slender grey craft w/ a dorsal fin & wings (made Keen to slice through flesh & other obstacles), which floats over a pedestal. Glyphs on the fins/wings denote a complex flight spell. Richard barely resists being pulled inside the craft when he touches it. Regulus detects a modified soul-trapping Magic Jar spell used to provide a pilot. Explosive Runes, too.

—We experiment with the controls & end up revealing a cylinder that stores a Raptoran-looking body, on which Duffy casts Blood Bio. His answers: “I am Alan Rek, a male Azlan research advisor. I am alive…barely.”

—We revive Alan w/ Lesser Res & he asks if the catfolk is a creation of Cal, the biomancer who altered his race when they migrated from another plane. Alan claims centuries ago his race migrated to our plane when theirs collapsed & lived beneath the waves to avoid alarming the natives. But eventually his race (which had an undersea city, Critas, that could float in the air during emergencies) sought other promising races to share their technological advancements. Cal (an Azlan) gave the Raptorans their current avian features and flight to support life in the sky.

—Alan seems to recognize Munthraurix’s draconic blood & regrets he has no gold to appease him. He does not know the true dragons’ fate, except that some lived beneath the waves like his people.

—Alan’s last memory is of assisting a Quorian elf 1200 years ago who put spells on him so he could pilot a survey ship with his soul. He insists the crafts like his were not weaponized until later & is dismayed to learn of the Cataclysm.

—Alan has heard of Moti, a very shrewd & long lived individual (neither Raptoran nor elven). They’ve never spoken but he’d find it ‘threatening’ if Moti took possession of the rotunda library’s knowledge or the WMD.

—After much debate, Alan agrees to pilot the WMD to a nearby temple, where a summoned outsider will meet him with his body. He will re-enter his body & find a way to keep the craft safe.

—Regulus confirms the soldier is still tracking us, huddled in the rain. The Control Weather spell may hail from another servant of Moti to slow our progress.

→ From gibbering mouther: None.
→ From rotunda library: 500 books, including Warmage’s Maxim, a manual on the planes [Richard], Crystalline Matrices and You, Siege Engineering, a book on dragons, a How-To book on sky cities.


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