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Episode Seventy-eight - From Void to Void

General Summary

Part One

After their death on the road to Castle Rend, Sol was the first to awaken amongst the Champions of Destiny. A skeletal figure appeared before him, pulling him forth with purple, sparking magic. At his feet, Sol stood and the armor clad, weapon wielding figure reached out into the void all around him as his cold, dead skull left little in the way of comfort. The figure seemed to wrangle something in the great distance with his magic and then he looked down to Sol as he worked. He began to talk to the young wizard as he beckoned forth whatever it is he had a hold on. He told the poor boy from Balder's Gate all manner of things and when his ears heard them, they become little more then nonsense. As he spoke, Sol began to lose the sentence before in his mind and would come to find that it would be some great deal of time later before he could understand what he had heard. He gained knowledge, he gained connections to details vital to the party, and he gained the stories of those before him but it all proved to be maddening. Out of need he dismissed the conversation then and did his best to retain, instead, the knowledge held within, the well spring of connections that would build further without the context of how he gained it and then, finally, the conversation concluded and Sol found himself, still yet, sane. He knew intrinsically then that The Master gained his knowledge from his ancient god and that he and his companions would find life once more.   Locking his eyes onto The Master, Sol watched on as he leaned upon his arcane training and embraced uncertainty. Surrounded in purple bubbles like an arcane lasso, The Master reeled in several more souls. As the bubbles fizzled, Sol found his friends floating about him in a plane of void. There was no sense to be found in that place, that void of madness, it is simply Purgatory.   Looking to the souls around him as they awoke, Annabelle, Arion, Katerina, and Sol, The Master declared, "I am The Master. I have bargained for your souls but they are tethered to the Outer Planes. I have made a deal with Klothys, mother of Epione, to give me time; time enough to let you loose unto your mortal bodies once more. It will seem as if months have passed, make use of them and learn. Soon I shall free you but you will have lost your spark, the blessing of the Dawn of the Age of Heroes  . Your will to survive will not be what it once was. Be humbled as you go forth, my ancient god knows the way."   Suddenly, they all awoke in a dark dungeon, what they would come to know as the Catacombs of Akis. Through smooth conversation with the keeper of the place, Annabelle found out that the entirety of the dungeon was guarded by two potential threats. There was an Undead Lord and an Elf from a far. To appease the Undead Lord they would have to learn of his lady, a figure that he worshipped. For the Elf, as they were told it was, they would have to learn from his books. He bid that find the keys to read them and so they did. As Annabelle kept watch on the door, Arion, Katerina, and Sol ventured out and fought claws, severed hands, swimming in the water of the collapsed dungeon. Killing them all, freeing the water of them, Arion found the last key and they opened the double door in the dungeon wall to find shelves of books. Each book referenced Arda in some manner. Many pertained to the Númenórean and told of their early civilizations, up the the times of the Elf Friends. Not concerning themselves over much with the Elendil, they all took interest when Sol read to them about the Keléstial gateways. He told them that many of the Sindarin covered up the existence the gateways but one of them was dispatched to explore them, that Sindarin was Dimaethor whom eventually went missing.   Armed with this knowledge, the party rode doors across the water of the dungeon and delivered themselves unto the next level of the dungeon. Upstairs, they found stories upon the walls, telling of the First Questing Knight and his battle against a demon horde. They learned that he slew a dragon in his time, lost a virgin lover, and served a lawful good patron. They met his ghostly lover and even the undead knight himself, in the form of the Undead Lord. They made peace with him, by way of Arion telling him a brief summary of the story of the Silmarils, as the Undead Lord wanted to hear it again. In time they made their way into the next room but found themselves barred by skeletons whom required a Rite of The Enchantress to allow them to pass. The ventured on then, to find such a rite, and instead found an empty room devoid of all but an old crate and a fallen cloak. As Sol inspected the cloak, it launched up and attacked him.  

Part Two

Arion rushed up to aid Sol as a chimera launched up and transformed from an illusion into its true form and Arion struck the beast well. As Annabelle cast Shield of Faith on Sol she formed a spell and scorched the creature before her. Sol then aged the goat, dragon, lion headed creature with his Toll of the Dead as Katerina tried to keep a trap in check on the chest she'd opened. Afraid, it visibly realized it was doomed and scorched Arion and the wall behind him with flame. Arion then cut the dragon head clean from the beast's body and it fell down, dead.   They headed then to the empty room just nearby and found it held an illusion or teleportation feature. Arion then tethered himself to the chimera and went in, further. When they realized it was a place to talk, the group chatted with a dryad while Katerina continued to work on the trap. Inside, the group met well the dryad a few of them had once saved. They spoke with the Dryad about The Infinite Layers of The Abyss of the one she was currently residing on, the 196th layer. She told them that an order has taken up arms against the evil of The Abyss and they have allied themselves with The Enchantress.   Called the Righteous Army of the White Flame, she told them that for some paladins and knights, the very idea of this kind of evil existing is revolting, but for the Righteous Army of the White Flame it has become a clarion call for action. She told them that the holy order of knights was founded when its leader, a fierce human woman named Lady Tyranna Dawn, was given a vision of a piercing white flame that could consume darkness and evil. She told them that with a small cadre of loyal followers, Lady Tyranna Dawn pursued the dream across the planes and eventually found the White Flame and used it to conquer the 196th layer. A demon lord only in title, she now rules the layer and has gathered a massive force from across the planes.   Sol then found the opportunity to ask about Tarnhem and learned that he is in fact a balor and the ruler of the 489th layer of the Abyss. He learned that Tarnhem's Noisome Vale is home to both is manor and his stronghold and that he now only resides in his stronghold, fluid to time. He also learned that a man named Trewin Brokhan could help him find Tarnhem as he'd become familiar with The Abyss and was an ally to The Enchantress.   After their conversation, the dryad got a Rite of The Enchantress from the lady herself, which was just a leaf, and gave it to the party. The gave it to the skeleton, whom crumpled it up and they march up to the Thunderfall Archive. Inside they found many book about Arda's lore, a dead Sindarin, and a library filled with lore on a place known as Greyhawk. In a side room they found three book stands and cleaved one from its base. It held, magically locked to it, a book about the travels of Dimaethor through Keléstia. After they had the book and stand, they left for the next level up.   Past a set of guards, and the inanimate skeletons they replaced, the Champions of Destiny met a wild bunch of kobolds. Ambushing them, detonating explosives, and failing to fall back, the kobolds found themselves defeated and the party found themselves delivered unto the layer of a beholder. Choosing to navigate around the beast, they blocked several doors of the dungeon and sent the rogue ahead to scout. Scouting to far, Katerina found herself burned in a grease filled hall by yet another kobold. Falling unconscious in Arion's arms, he dropped her to the side and Annabelle dropped water, via a spell, on Katerina from above. Annabelle then healed their new companion and they all watched as the flames died down.  

Part Three

As the last vestiges of grease burned, Arion charged the hall. At the end, he flung open the gate and found little life beyond. A large light flickered in the distance as he closed the iron gate and blocked it. Returning to his companions, Arion diverted into a small room with a hardly hidden doorway. Inside, he was stabbed by a poison needle, who's poison did not take root, and nearly dropped into a pit trap. Avoiding the trap, the entire room filled with gas and Arion began to choke. Holding his breath, he rushed to the door and began to hammer on it with a piton and his handaxe's back. The others then rushed to his aid; as Annabelle watched the lowest hall, Sol deduced the workings of the trap from the outside, and Katerina watched Sol's back. As Arion made progress and a hole in the wall, it was Katerina who saw that the beholder was awakened once more.   A fierce fight ensued that proved the guile, wit, and determination of each member but eventually the beholder fled the area and, after knocking out Sol in a trap of its own, so too did the party. Further on they found only more kobolds. They flung a giant exploding ball at them from down a hallway as one of their kind pushed it with a metal pole. As Annabelle woke Sol up form unconsciousness again, from the explosion, one kobold even sprung a trap on itself. They even tried to goad the party into an attack as the Champions worked through the situation.   "Come get us chicken man!" One taunted in Draconic.   Arion responded, "your mother likes to kiss dwarves!"   "Don't taunt a dragon, wormling!" Annabelle offered in Draconic.   "Little coward man!" one called back.   "Can't take us, he's a big baby," cried another.   Arion then snorted in derision, "there are.. twenty of you and but one of me and still you do not attack? Is that urine I see you standing in?"   Called everything from a pee-pee head to a butt sniffer Arion then stared at the kobold on the end and remarked, "I think I was but four when I last used that insult."   "Your face is four!" One gave.   "Stupid idiot man, come get us you chicken boy," one retorted as he flung a shot from his sling.   As another brandished his groin from beneath his loin cloth, Arion simply shook his head and asked, "how do you procreate with something that small?"   "I've not had younglings yet, its still growing," that kobold mourned.   "If you want to live to have younglings, little worm, you'd best surrender!" Sol offered.   "You're the ones who can surrender," a stronger, deeper voiced kobold demanded. "Just leave some gear and we'll give passage."   "We could, but why would we to such miserable fleas as you?" Sol quiped.   The banter went on for sometime but the battle eventually began. Fighting on two fronts, the party soon realized the holdup's purpose as an attack launched from behind. Trapped, surrounded, and outnumbered; the party could do little but fight for their lives.

Rewards Granted

55xp Part One 606xp Part Two 3870xp Part Three

Missions/Quests Completed

Of Gods and Men Campaign Continued, Sidequest Forlorn Founding Started, Subquest Tomb of the Void Started

Notes

Notable Party Damage:

  • Aldrich has a horrible burn scar on the left side of his neck in front of the ear from an azure fire elemental summoned by Seldra Tylmarande. His armor and shield are extremely claw marked from many Lizardfolk. His shield has a large fist shaped dent in it from when he was crushed by a Sacred Statue.
    Noted Effects: Horrible Scar (Neck). You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar. Missing.
  • Annabelle is pristine.
    Noted Effects: None
  • Arion came from Arda with a scar that won't seem to heal.
    Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Head). The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
  • Katerina has several broken ribs from falling when she was lit on fire by a kobold.
    Noted Effects: Broken Ribs. This has the same effect as Internal Injury above, except that the save DC is 10.
  • Sol has tear marks across the back and chest of his shirt, as well as down the sleeve, from the claws of lizardfolk. He has a burn mark on his cheek where a water droplet seared his flesh. He was shot in the stomach by a beholder's enervation ray and it bruised his intestines. He has a scar across his right jaw from a nail that was shot at him in an explosion.
    Noted Effects: Minor Scar (Left Cheek). The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar. Internal Injury. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. The injury heals if you receive magical healing or if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting. Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
Report Date
19 Jun 2021
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