Episode Forty - Shadows of Madness Report
Arion was the last to come through the portal, behind a living Kelaryn, and he immediately snatched up the book he was sent through with. He was soon awe struck along with his compatriots as they all witnessed a massive chamber full of untold mounds of gold coins. Five massive dwarven tapestries, more grand then they'd ever seen, hung upon the walls. Beautiful gems lay strewn about, the four best of which laid decoratively on a marble table. A wooden box sat on a pedestal beside another with a potion on it. Two spell scrolls hung on the far wall between a large glyph and below them rested a rolled scroll encased in gold. In a pile of gold, an axe made of pure gold and sized perfectly for a dwarf laid dormant. Around the room were several interesting pieces of art and resting next to one, a music box, was a golden broach. The wealth of the marble room was clear but as a pulse of wind flowed past the Champions of Destiny, her eyes darted briefly away from the treasure room and to a crack in the wall leading to unfinished stone beyond, and then back to the gold. The heroes gathered many of the items the room held and then activated the glyph on the wall. The glyph on the far wall appeared to be a symbol of chaos to Grumwish. The magic of the glyph was clearly identifiable to him, when a palm was placed upon the glyph it cast an illusion. The older man presented began speaking, "However you've journeyed here whatever set you on the path, I'm sure I'm what you're looking for; I am Grehnan of Heathsfire and the creator of the illusion you see. You'll likely meet many interesting entities on your path if you're to follow my glyphs. Two such interesting entities have lived in this stronghold, a dragon seeking the cosmos and a man who's seen an entire contained multiverse and has fallen into our own. I am however, just a man. I'm a human from the cosmic Outlands but the knowledge I'm sharing is paramount and required a great sacrifice and only ever came to me through a grand quest. Likewise, you'll likely covet this knowledge and proceed on the vast quest for the entirety of my knowledge when you realize that this knowledge is power. Allow me to remind you however, with great power comes great responsibility; thus, the reason for the quest, its the only way to safeguard what I know from those that would use it for dark purposes. The knowledge I'm hiding in this glyph regards the first portion of the foundation of the Multiverse. For those lacking in scientific education, a multiverse is a collection of universes with roughly similar or linked properties. A universe is all space and all time. Our Multiverse is one of infinite multiverses but what makes our definition is our creator, Zenric. Zenric was the first entity in our Multiverse but not others, he guided our stars into formation but he was not the first being in the infinitude, the ebb and flow of all multiverses and universes. All existences rest within infinite paradoxes as does our existence. The first potential paradox in our portion of reality was called the Pre-Convergence Universe which failed to make its first loop. All that is left of the Pre-Convergence Universe are stories held within the SourceBook, from which I've gained my knowledge. The stories tell of mighty heroes whom battled for the cosmos, who's appearance matched nothing in the world. After an explosion in a futuristic energy mill, heroes were given great gifts, called Paranormal Powers, and teams such as the Heroes Emporium would fight for the survival of Earth from the year 2017 Common Era of Earth to the Universe's destruction. The Heroes Emporium fought great battles with great beasts that destroyed many of the major cities of the world. A man known as Steel Patriot sacrificed himself in a cataclysmic final battle against a world ending alien that would lead to the Universe's downfall. Most of what is easily known is that before its destruction, it largely resembled the Earth of our future but the appearance of heroes forever changed its landscape and fate. According to the SourceBook, this existence spun from a prime reality that created a string that would lead to our Multiverse. Although he was almost joined by two members of the Heroes Emporium, The Stranger and Behemoth, only the knowledge of the being known as the Red Watcher, which was vast and nearly a complete history, would survived the end of that Universe. At the end, The Stranger used his electric powers to battle the Goblin of Free Harbor but the Orb of Entropy was destroyed releasing an entity that knew only of hunger. That entity would be called Entropy. The universe that followed became known as the Post-Convergence Multiverse. I must stop there for now but all I've told you is for a purpose. Already, by hearing my words, you will have gained an enemy in Entropy. If you are daring and of great cunning, arm yourself with my knowledge; follow the glyphs, hold parchment to them, and collect what you can but safeguard this information with your life. I doubt you know the breadth of what you've heard but you will. Travel south and along the treeline it will find you, you'll be drawn to it like a moth to a flame. The mage's ruin will hold the next, seek the Glyph of Crisis." Having decided to set out and find the next glyph, the Champions of Destiny looked inside the crack in the wall and saw a long dark tunnel that faded out into the darkness. In the tunnel ahead they saw nothing but uncut stone leading slightly upward. Through the narrow passage they climbed, wind sweeping by them, toward an unknown destination. For just under an hour they journeyed through the winding corridor and up two miles of passage when at last they met a dense forest, through a small hole, in a large rock-siding on the bank of a creek. The wind sheer met their faces with a harsh gale and as the open air sank into their nostrils, they inhaled the familiar sense of returning winter weather. It must have been a warm period they caught the tail end of previously but as the sun sank down behind the trees just slightly, their minds shifted to the blackening forest which reminded them of the coming nightfall. After camping, the Champions of Destiny set out to fine the Wizard's Tower. As the heroes approached the treeline of the Kryptgarden Forest of Faerûn, they saw the grassy plains that were likely once littered with trees; the once dense forest now reduced to nothing but sprigs and grass. Above the the fields, that once held such valued lumber, they saw trickles of snowfall as the truth of winter rushed upon them. Near the edge, where the vegetation stood thick, they saw stone bricks piled five feet high. The ruined stone wall rested atop a similar dark grey platform largely overgrown but cut by a stairway leading downward. The circular shape and the smell of sulfur and brimstone hinted at magic in the air, The mage's tower, nothing more then a ruin, only held a stairway leading downward. Inside the basement of the mage's tower, the heroes fought phase spiders, shadows, and ghasts before Duryo and Marlyn found themselves trapped in two mirrors in the bedroom of the tower's mage. As Arion and Grumwish worked to solve the problem, Kelaryn began to wonder what was happening below.
Part TwoWith the mirrors facing one another and Kelaryn having caught up to the group, Duryo waved to a sobbing and frightened Marlyn with a heavy heart and told her to be patient and hopeful. Duryo did his best to keep Marlyn distracted with pictures and readings of the less disturbing monsters listed in his book. The heroes spent sometime trying to figure out how to get their friends out but ultimately left the room to find answers in the dungeon. As they left, Duryo and Marlyn found the time to comfort one another. Duryo stayed close to the glass surface and rested his leg against it. As his world view faded to only Marlyn,he went to the Fey section of the book and started showing and teaching Marlyn about them and their whimsical magical abilities. Marlyn asked, "can I practice magic too?" To which Duryo responded, "perhaps someday Marlyn, it will take a lot of time though my magics do not work in here." With an understanding nod from Marlyn, Duryo got into the finer points of evocation magics verses abjuration magics. After a feeling of enlightenment, Marlyn would receive the best of news as all the while, her companions had been at work. In the dredges of the dungeon, Arion, Grumwish, and Kelaryn rescued a traveling merchant's daughter named Evandra from ogres before Kelaryn risked her life to converse with gibbering mouthers for answers. Once Kelaryn learned how to free her companions, the group did so and Arion took the time, with Kelaryn at his side, to destroy the trapped mirrors. Outside, the adventuring party, as Evandra called them, journeyed to the outskirts of a town called Kheldell. A caravan was waiting there hoping to find Evandra and they did, along with the adventuring party. Camping there, Marlyn figured out the family's special stew recipe and Arion received a copy of the very same recipe. Leaving the area, the heroes followed the directions of Evandra's father and found, between Kheldell and Amphail, a large cut oak that pointed between the two towns, to both. In Amphail the Champions of Destiny stayed in The Stone Stallion for a gold piece each before they moved on to Rassalantar. In town, a Gnome farmer picked a fight and Arion accidentally knocked him out after he punched Marlyn. Met by an Elf named Feil, who wanted some company on the road, the adventuring party traveled south. In the mean time, in the dead of night, Kelaryn had rushed out to purchase six Amphail Grays, beautiful horses all. On the night of the 3rd of Alturiak in the Year of the Ageless One, the Champions of Destiny would arrive in Waterdeep.
Quest of Fate Continued, Subquest Glyphs of the Multiverse Started.