Darkness Falls

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  • GM: Miles Jackson
  • Time: Spring 813 WK
  • Day: Wednesdays
  • Level: Medium/High

Return to Korinia - scene of Where Have All The Dragons Gone?, Six go mad on mescaline, Little Girl Lost in the Woods and Lessons in Enlightenment and Respect. A loose end to tidy up - a powerful drow lich necromancer named Eeallice.

Diary

Duesday: Voodoo Hoodoo at the Guild

A Dude with a Deal

As happens at this time of the year, a motley collection of scarred and feathered adventurers meet up with a dude with a deal. This time it is a tall, dark skinned man called L'roy from the plane of Korina. He carries a cane and wears a cutlass - with a strong aura of Voodoo Magic (whatever that is). Judging by the skull mounted atop his ebony cane (a cane so powerful it stunned a DAer) it looks like he knows some necromantic type enchantments. Typical employer really.
As some of those present remember fondly, a couple of years ago, a powerful drow liche necromancer called Eeallice was finally driven off that plane - disrupting all sorts of carefully laid plans (the usual - taking over the whole plane etc etc). Well, she's back, quite a few thousand miles south of her last attempt. Pretty sure she's going for the 'take over the plane' plan again.

The Party

Six Seagaters stay for further briefing

  • Sooty – Elven healer & ash mage (leader)
  • Dwork - Orc fire blast mage (scribe)
  • Theodonna - A not quite human namer
  • Dirk - Dwarf warrior with a remarkable constitution
  • Hamish - Human wiccan with great restorative powers
  • Zanak - Warror priest of Ahura Mazda, shining light of the party
Briefing

Way down south, down beyond the Gaterville bayous and swamplands there is an ocean - where evil is stirring. Necromancers & bands of undead and pirates of all sorts. A group of secretive powerful beings have divined that it is Eealice again - and they want to counter that evil. They've sent L'roy to make that happen.
He can provide a significant advance (lets us buy greaters, potions, amulets and vials of holy water) and will share a drink with us before opening a portal and putting us on fast hot air balloon from Heliopost Depot to Gaterville Depot. Then we're on our own.

Pay

20,000sp advance.
30,000sp on surviving to return.
Additional gifts for success.

W'ansday: Research and Preparation

Researchers scurry and get down dusky books - as we seek out powerful mages to cast protective magic over us, and Seagate alchemists chortle over their mass sales of potions (100 healing potions - and the rest). Easy come, easy go.

  • Gaterville is surrounded by swamps and inhabited by shady characters (Hamish should fit right in)
  • We discover that the port south of Gaterville is called Port Charles - and is run by the League of Freebooters (a bunch of pirates I imagine)
  • The southern ocean has many islands, any one of which could be Eeallice's base of operations (on that plane a least)
  • In case we have forgotten it, the plane of Korinia is only thinly separated from the spirit plane. Past work by the guild have stopped powerful beings from the spirit plane breaking through - and taking over.

Th'rsday: A Quiet Drink and Noisy Goblins

L'roy Buys a Round

Would you drink a goblet of liquid with dark purple mist rising from it's murky surface? Well Theo and Zanak tried a DA first and got stunned for their trouble. The rest of us gulped it down - not bad. Tasted liked it looks really.
Was a bit of a test from the big man really - those that drank got a season's boon of:

  • Two less points of draining damage (stacks with other draining resistance)
  • Take two off die rolls when roll is to strike or cast vs undead (stacks with lesser enchantment)
Korinia Depot
Green Guys in control

Voodoo guy opens a portal (some sort of rune based magic) and we step through (after the mandatory power-up - just in case). It is an airship depot - infested by half-drunken goblins - including Razzy, which turns out to be the boss of the airship we're going to be flying in for the next two days.
L'roy gives Sooty a dark sphere - clutched by a desiccated hand. He'll contact us through it once a day in the evening to a progress report - or we can trigger it and he'll get back to us as soon as he can. Makes me feel real safe. Razzy gets a bag of coins - and leaves us with a few final words of wisdom

L'roy: the spirit plane is dangerous. Try to stay out of it.
Goblins in Control

Two years ago, one Captain Kree of Heliopolis and his Roc troops troops where good allies, so we pay to send a message to the good Captain - asking for whatever assistance he can give (20sp!). Basically: The Liche is back/We're back/There's gonna be a rumble/Get there if you can.

Sooty's Note:  The message is in basic code.  So hopefully he remembers a few things.

We get into a cabin slung under a long hot air balloon (heated by long term heat metal magic).

  • Ballistae mounted forward and aft. That's good.
  • Goblins carrying on cylinders of highly flamable alchemical liquids. Not so good - we make sure all our flame protection is in place - and wonder about the more serious fate of an explosion - falling! We buy some experimental parachute-things (@5sp!) and put our trust in the goblins (ha!)

Take-off is explosively fast (strapped into our seats), but settles down to a fast, high transport
Dusk comes below and the lands go dark. We maintain double watches.

Frysday: The Orc Saves the Party

Fact or Fiction?

As sky lightens with the warmth of dawn, the morning watch spots another ramshackle balloon refuelling depot. Despite the early hour, it is full of half-drunk goblin ballooners – full of aviation fluids and wild tales of driving off attacks by big eagles and pirate balloons piloted by feral goblins further south. We listen for the truth in all this braggadocio (the eagles sound more like griffins to us) - and ponder the future

Goblins out of Control

After a day of fast flight we sail swiftly into the night. Was it magic that made most lose consciousness? Well maybe, but it was the ever-vigilant orc that roused the sleepers and called them to battle the circling attackers (look like black shrouded goblins on griffins - could have some sort of construct fliers).
Air magics (knock-out gas, thunderclap, air blast?) and Arrow Flight enhanced crossbow bolts make us think about how seriously high we are – and how effective these experimental parachutes might be. Most of our goblins are unconscious or dead, but we rally – Theo counters the incoming spells and gives us the time to prepare a deadly counter attack. The black goblins fade away – obviously not expecting such resistance, but not without a final threat.
Dirk drives off the dark goblin atop the balloon - stopping a vigorous cutting away the ropes attaching us to the balloon. A newly roused Captain Razzy feverously reties – saving many of us from an impromptu parachute test.

Reapsday: Gaterville Inns - and Outs

The dawn reveals the distant swamp town

We see more details as we close - not a comforting sight. The wood and steel balloon mooring tower sticks 300’ straight up – like the bent handle on a fry pan full of simmering filth – rank after rank of chaos built ramshackle tenements, filled with putrid slum scum. A bit like the Sanctuary Maze and Sewer districts combined really.

We decide our cover story – we’re pursing one red haired and bearded Black Mark to recover some items he borrowed. According to his Journal he came first here, did some croc-hunting, then down to Port Charles (200 miles south). Some of us have history here before, so we decide on cover names (Zanak: Zod, Dirk: Quazzi, Dwork: Dork, Hamish: Ish, Theodonna: Dona, Sooty: Divers)

We get some information from the goblin airmen and descend into the morass.

Inns For All

The Goblin's Revenge - Greeta the Goblin fire mage

The goblin rents us a room for 20sp (it’s like a wooden strong box on stilts over the swamp, with iron bound door and shuttered windows - they take their security seriously here).
She’s pacted to the Baron Alagor (a fire effretti). This is good news, because we rescued the Baron from Eeallice a couple of years ago - and he may be one of secret backers of this mission. The whole inn in consecrated to the Baron (which kinda messes up Zanak - who is pacted elsewhere) and protected against fire. My sort of girl really. We talk.

  • Port Charles has been run for the last year by one Vladimir the Impaler. Greeta can provide transport directly there (a fire portal) - to her other ‘establishment’
  • The air attacks really only started in the last 6 weeks
  • Krane the Croc Hunter is the best guide (stays bought @ 200sp/day + expenses) hangs out in the evenings at The Salty Croc (Gordy is the #2 guide)
Abby – Urchin at the door

We check for eavesdroppers and find one – an almost supernaturally fast urchin, who is a local information merchant. We pay her to make contact for us with the Thieves Guild – and to keep information about us to herself.

The Salty Croc - Akea ex-croc hunter

We head through the streets to see about a guide. We’re all jostled and fend off fingers probing for loose change. For a change, I’m treated to an intimate touch by a lady (normally of the night), Dirk gets propositioned and probed, but they can’t find anything to get a hold on.
Sitting in the sun outside the Salty is a half-orc with half his legs and half his arms (obviously got up real close to croc teeth) - seems to have more than half a brain. For a few pieces of silver the dark skinned guy tells us:

  • All the hunters are out a huntin’ ‘til dusk. He’ll pass a message onto Krane.
  • People have been disappearing in the swamps
  • Voodoo shaman slavers come from the south in big 30 man canoes, often crewed by undead (small, scale mailed and wielding weapons)
  • He is suspects a local voodoo priestess (Natalia) as being in league with the slavers – a huge black-marble coloured woman with a bone through her nose. Lives out in the bayou.
  • The best place to get advice on protection vs voodoo magic is from Volt at the Will o’th’Wisp.
  • Snaggletooth (the protective dragon of the swamps around here) hasn’t been seen for a while, rumoured to have been killed by a truly enormous crocodile
  • Akea is certain the days are getting shorter (yeah, right)
  • We can get more information from Dori, the barmaid at the Ice Dragon’s Demise
Grilled at the Guild - thieves and a vampire

Abby turns up and leads us to a dank alley filled with large armoured orcs – and then inside to a darkened guild stronghold. We tell our cover story and pay (@500sp) to stop the street probings (we’re given a small charm – must see if we can be tracked through it). Sooty joins the guild for more silver (500) to get access to guild records – and a librarian who turns out to be a vampire. She confirms that a crocodile did eat the dragon – about a year ago. And also confirms the days are getting shorter

Will o'th’Wisp - Volt Voodoo Shaman

The rest of us head over to see the cowled, hairless tattooed shaman. Yes, he’s got protection he can sell us, and just by looking at me and Dirk can tell we’re going to need it – ‘cos somewhere in the streets we were relieved of small body fragments, and even now someone was using them to construct a voodoo doll (a three day task) – he can tell these things just by looking at us. Funny how he doesn’t let anybody get close enough to touch him.

  • 100 mins (??) Voodoo counter spell 30%: ???sp
  • 1 day Voodoo counter potion 30%: 500 sp or 4,500sp for 10 (he’s got 7 available)
  • Permanent Amulet vs Voodoo 30%: 2,500sp (he’s got 3)
Volt: the spirit plane is disturbed

Well, Dirk and me have a problem. We have to find our voodoo dolls, dispel magic on them, then dismantle and burn pieces separately. Luckily (kinda) there can only been one voodoo doll controlling a person at a time, so we could keep them which means nobody could start another one.
Abby appears again – other people are paying for information about travellers from off-plane. And, it looks like Natalia the voodoo priestess is behind the inquiries.
We buy all of Volt’s available stock (amulets for Dirk, Hamish and me - potions for the rest) and head back to the guild to pick up Sooty and get some Aura Alternation and Disguise Illusions cast on us (yep, we’re now definitely from this plane – Heliopolis)

Dinner Party - with fireworks to follow

As dusk falls, we head back to the Gob’s Revenge and meet Palace – a specialist transport mage (5 mins notice @100 sp). Zanak vomits and finds the mage is also pacted to the Baron. Krane arrives and stays for dinner.
Greeta agrees that Natalia could be an agent of Eeallice. The voodoo priestess’ place is about two miles out in the swamp, strong enough to have resisted an attack by Snaggletooth, totally fireproofed and protected by water goblins and crocodiles. And it looks like we’re goona have to attack it. What fun!
After dinner, paranoid that we are, we send projected illusions of ourselves back to our strongbox room – which promptly explodes massively (the way goblin balloon propellant could). Only splinters are left floating in the water - around the swiftly diving water goblins that caused the big bang. Fireworks courtesy of Natalia we think.

Out to a Party in the Bayou

Natalia Manse through the mist

Krane takes us out to the Natalia’s swamp manse (1000 sp for delivery to her dock). Approaching carefully, Theo DAs and the rest of us peer through the rising evening swamp mist:

  • Solid two story fire protected building (about 80’x100’) on 12' stilts. Verandas at each level.
  • Jetty and veranda out the front patrolled by 4 water goblins (water magics, self-bows, scimitars). Jetty 3’ above water, steps left and right from lower veranda to upper veranda. Krane says there are back stairs - very narrow.
  • Crocodile pens underneath (greater salt crocodiles)
  • On the roof we spot 3 zombies (one a ‘fire’ zombie) and a gargoyle (with dehydration)
  • The doors are warded (deafening scream) and windows enhanced (bound glass, enhanced vision).

And that’s just what we can see.

We plan - how do you crack a big nut? With a big hammer.

Sooty has got three earth elementals packed away somewhere, so we get them to make an island firing platform close the house – and then pull it down around Natalia’s ears.
Well, the earth guys do a great job off cracking the nut (split in two, magic pouring out of the windows and cracks), but then they run into something far far meaner than them in the darkness under the house – and pieces of elemental start being thrown out, and signs of a massive (80ft!) crocodile are seen.

The Best laid plans

Crocodile propelled canoes full of goblins with bows and harpoons charge our island – and an impenetrable mist descends on us, but flights of envenomed arrows tell is the green guys can see through it. Hamish desperately slashes at a rope as a harpoon penetrates him - pulls him forward. Zanak triggers Hamish’s healing rune – and then drops full of goblin venom. Theo puts up a warding against crocodiles - and then drops, too

Zanak: dehydrated

Sooty puts down an ash clouds so nobody can see. Dirk battles with the incoming gargoyle. Sooty heals Zanak’s poison. I cut the harpoon rope on the now unconscious Hamish. Zanak flies up to attack the gargoyle and dies – dehydrated from its horn.
Dirk turns to deal the huge incoming croc (DA: demon lizard!) and is swallowed whole – desperately grabbing a gaseous form potion to avoid a crushing death. I’m sure this is the croc that killed Snaggletooth. Dodging inaccurate bow fire, I try to dehydrate the big croc and Hamish triggers similarly deadly magic – to no avail. Dirk escapes the jaws as the croc changes into a large humanoid female – and calls for the gargoyle to come and get her – Natalia is revealed. A dozen goblins make landfall.

We decide to bug out.

The party scatters a bit as we bug out, and it seems like Natalia is initially making a break for town also so some quick scattered skirmishing occurs, Zanak returns to life during this period (amazingly), Dwork takes some deadly arrow fire before he blows most of the goblins into pieces, Dirk forces the Goblin Shaman/ Warrior to make a run for it, and Natalia and the Gargoyle pursue Sooty back towards the 'cracked nut' house, with a massive individually targeted fire effect from Natalia hitting the entire party despite the distance we are spread over.

Smack the House - Sooty at his Best I

The Gargoyle (the size of a small elephant and made of living stone) is taunted into charging Sooty in a dive straight at the house, and a well placed spear with a follow up smite leaves the Gargoyle unable to avoid crashing directly through the roof. At that hammer blow, most of house disintegrates - a raft of broken wood floating in the black swamp water, leaving only a skeleton (!) structure of support beams.
Natalia breaks free before the Gargoyle impacts and reveals that she has her own flight abilities (if slower), and heads for the last signs of the house - where we can now see a Dark portal spewing forth undead, who are then crossing directly into a Bright portal to exit. The voodoo priestess heads for the Bright portal.

Stopping Natalia's Escape - Sooty at his Best II

Scrambling to try and take her out before she can escape (and heal as we aren't sure we can fight her if she is prepared properly), we resort to a desperation tactic - and prepare to put one extradimensional space into another directly on top of her before she can make it to the bright portal. Sooty gets responsibility for the bombing run, while the rest of the maimed party scatters to put as much distance as possible between the house and themselves. The party wins the race, and detonates the device just before she is about to enter the portal.
Natalia is torn into tiny pieces, the bright portal obliterated, the house shredded and all the undead inside it evaporated. We also think any undead just inside the dark portal may have been wiped out. Sooty hangs onto life by the slimmest of threads, saved by Zanak's fast triggering of a Willow Healing - while the rest of the party takes heavy hits as well despite distance.

A mushroom cloud rises into the darkening evening sky

The expanding fireball has killed all life for a mile around. The dust settles into the lifeless silence ... as well as the mere fragments of the items that had been stored in the two pockets that were detonated.

A mere.... 85,000sp, give or take a few thousand between investeds, potions and the backpack

The party lands and joins up as best we are able - blacked and bruised, ears ringing from the concussion.
Yep, we definitely used a hammer to crack that nut.

An Employer to Die For

As we talk with some sort of skeletal lord that pokes it head through the remaining dark portal (not a good idea when a bunch of trigger happy adventures are around) it becomes clear that Death himself is our employer. Eeallice has been taking his dead, making undead (he really hates that) and using them for her plans.
Death is not happy, but cannot do a lot in this realm - of course if you die (like Zanak did) he can provide some assistance. This is really comforting (I think)
Two hours of fast healing ensues, as well as some divinations to see what is going on with Zanak, and on the two gifts we receive from Death.

  • Divination on Zanak reveals that the plane is currently being corrupted, sliding towards an eternal night at the rate 15 minutes less daytime a day.
  • The gifts from Death are Death's Touch (Reverse drains undead) & Death's Expertise (Allows Assassin/Warrior specials on undead).
  • A scroll tube is found on a Goblin Captain, revealing some information about events as well as who isn't trusted by Eeallice.
  • Speak to dead on the Goblin tells us she is attempting to capture 'The Hand' in Gatorville, and that she is based on a high cliffed island down south.

We start back towards town, midnight having passed while we got back on our feet & combat capable (if not perfectly healed)

Sunday: Voodoo revenge

Goblins Escape

While we recover from the detonation, fires are visible in town. Scrying shows an attack in the town by an undead army lead by Voodoo shamans, and the goblin quarter & landing platform under siege. The goblins put up walls of alchemical & magical fire and fight hard to cover their escape, igniting their tower to leave nothing of value behind as they break free of the invaders after a couple of hours hard fighting and make for the north in a flying flotilla just as the party begins to approach town again.

Ambush in the middle

Quick notes to be filled in later.
We attack the shaman ...
Dirk: death curse

...and his allies in the middle of the town, doing ok initially, then their ambush on us was sprung. One drow assassin takes Dirk out instantly, the other narrowly missing getting to his target in time before the party takes off back into the air. Agony occurs slowing a few of the party, murderous crossbow fire hurts us badly.
The Voodoo Shaman however, comes under heavy focus fire in return, attempting to make a break for cover while badly hurt. We run him down before he can escape too far into the narrow streets with some lucky flying and shooting, and get back into the skies. Zanak is dying a horrible death from Necromantic magic however cheats death with his healer skills.

The town is starting to burn ...

...near the square from the fire magic flying from both sides, and we help it out a little to try and flush out the drow necromancer hiding in a building launching magic. Then the town begins to explode as the Voodoo shamans revenge comes into effect and all his controlled fire zombies begin to detonate with gigantic explosions. His body & loot are recovered amongst detonations, while the drow slip out of town with a prisoner tied up. They aren't in the mood to talk, so combusting the prisoners ropes allows him to escape, while the drow continue south to meet up with a Specteral flying ship.

Talk to the Hand

I am the Hand of ‘God’.
I read the book.
I know when people are going to die.

Talking to the escaped prisoner 'The Hand' reveals the drow have captured a living 'book' that has information on how to portal to the plane of death safely. The goblins return ready for war, and we begin a long 32 hours of healing after stabilising Zanak between the efforts of most of the party.

Death gifts us
  • with 'Deaths Echo' (Shows time around a death) as a reward for killing the Shaman.

Moonday: Flying Fun & Pirate Port

Goblin War Dirigible

Sooty and Zanak get some much needed R&R (and healing) as we fly south on the goblin war dirigible. In the pre-dawn darkness we investigate the dead voodoo shaman’s gear

  • Staff: Has the ability to teach you a voodoo spell (by destroying it - if you want to ‘focus’ spell selection, then sacrifice someone), also useful when creating voodoo dolls, shattering life, voodoo magic bonus, creating voodoo bones (spell stores). Made by Eeallice and the dead shaman on the Plane of Death
  • Head band: Undead ESP/mind reading (what do the dead think of?!)

Divinations of this Plane reveal it is becoming tainted – and the only way to remove the taint is to deal with the source. So, Zanak calls upon his god (Ahura something or other) and makes a connection (he’s pretty happy). Where is the source of the corruption? A white arrow springs into being – pointing south (a lot of use that is)

A Spy gets Shattered

The Hand: The Liche’s death is grey – it hangs in the balance. Have you found the thing spying on you?

At that, we spend some time trying to find some sort of spy. Dirk spots a feline flicker out of the corner of his eye, which Hamish picks up on the shaman’s headband – and tries to urn (and gets fire-balled in return).
It seems to be ‘under’ the boat, so the healthy party members jump out to have a flying search. Dirk’s flying disappears (oh dear) so he has no choice but to use his goblin parachute (yes, the experimental one). It works.

  • Zanak’s true seeing lets Theo spot a undead feline gargoyle thing well concealed on the bottom of the cabin and flies straight into close combat, knocking it flying (well, not flying – more like dropping really).
  • Dirk gets a stunning crossbow bolt into it (as they drop past him) and Theo goes into a winged rat form and manages to slip from its grasp into a bush - as the cat hits very hard.
  • Meanwhile, I do a power dive with a couple of large explosive goblin grenado intending to do my favourite low level bombing run, but when this cat thing dispels my wings I have just enough control to make sure it becomes a flat cat in many pieces.
Theo: the Orc

The expanding fire ball kills all life within ½ mile (including Theo), and a small mushroom cloud ascends into the darkened sky. With some arcane assistance I just survive (with critical wounds) – long enough for Dirk to rescue me from drowning. Theo has a brief visit with our employer - and all of her dispersed pieces come together. She’s a little annoyed at me – but what’s an orc to do?
Zanak and Sooty find a glowing red crystal of elemental fire amongst the cat’s fragments (trigger by breaking). they won't give it to me, and the goblins lock up all of their grenados. Can't think why.

A Gathering

Well, that rising mushroom fireball attracts a bit of attention …

… and a flight of dark griffins and eagles come our way. Things are a teeny bit tense until a smooth talking Sooty reveals the contents of the dead goblin’s scroll to this pirate captain D’boise. Something about Eeallice writing Natalia to say D’boise isn’t to be trusted - and should be killed at some point changes the pirate's loyalties.
Meanwhile me and Zanak are checking out the captain’s gorgeous side kick Petra. Zanak is excited to find the morose elf is pacted to Ahura Mazda too – sounds like a match made in, well, heaven. She doesn’t seem to agree (but she does fully heal the priest, so he lives in hope).

Communications and Investigations continue
  • Highest rank spells: D’boise – Water Walking, Whirlwind Vortex; Petra – Rack of Truth
  • Eeallice is trying to flood this plane with undead. The pirate knows the general direction of Eeallice’s high cliffed island. Found past a Skull Rock Island, it is a voodoo place of power: undead in daylight, funny fuzzy trees, low mana, weak barriers to other planes – it is not a natural island, it has been constructed
  • His six dark griffins were made for him by Dori (a powerful binder minion of Eeallice’s). Sooty quickly suggest that Petra and Zanak investigate any taint in the constructs, and yes, there was a faint taint which they remove. Possibly some part (brain?) of Eeallice which would have let her control them.
  • Other powerful minions of the big Ee: Gord – a necromancer; Max – a rune mage
  • Confirms that Vlad (a necromancer) is currently in charge of Port Charles (he heard the name from the big Ee). The Port is on an island and has a population of about 10 -15,000 people. Water Mages are particularly strong.

D’boise agrees to work with us against the liche witch – and we agree the best way to get to her island is on the griffins (they don’t get tired and don’t get hammered by summer storms). I don’t trust him.
It is about six hours to the Port, so we agree approach separately (spies are everywhere) – and we spend the time getting ourselves back into shape (and Hamish ritually breaks the shaman staff – and receives the spell of Bind Lesser Undead)

Port Charles

Port Charles

It is afternoon before Task (the goblin dirigible captain) cuts the power and we glide to a silent stop – we can see that the Port island ahead is surrounded by about 40 boats of various sizes and types (typical mercenary fleet) - and we can see that it is a stand-off.
Many slowly sinking wrecks (and spinning water spouts!) are seen in the attacking fleet and the city defences are unbroken: The two towers at the harbour entrance are still intact and a large blue sphere protects what seems to be the Water Mages’ Guild (ensorcelled with some pretty deadly enchantments).
We can spot the fleet command ship – which is a tempting target for us, but we decide to see if we can contact the water mages first. Ee’s attack will probably be based on opening a portal in the city (probably a rune portal) and flooding the city with undead.

Quick summary

We fail to get a message back from Port Charles, so can only hope they received our messages warning of possible attack plans. We leave and head onwards.
We appear to be followed and engage shortly before we land on skull island, finding our tagger to be a cloud that starts to come together into what appears to be a storm titan of some kind, letting loose massive AoE (Over 300' radius) of lightning every single pulse that continues to increase. We manage to down it just before most of the party die. Du'buoir dies as do several of his men, however he is brought back by death, with a note that it's the last time.
We land on skull island seeing a number of dead whales on the beach, dead by life draining, we discover there is a life draining field from 50' up to 50' under sea level that extends out about 5 miles. This field will animate the dead after a while also. We leave as some skeletal lords come to see who we are.
We are followed by sea & air for a bit, till we break the trackers by teleporting five miles & immediately take off in a random direction where nothing of interest lies. We converse with L'Roy as to future plans and settle on a plan of direct teleportation with L'Roy's help to Eealice.

We teleport in, Dwork does a sacrificial attack with Goblin Siege Grenadoes killing the binder, the necromancer & Snaggletooth. The Lich is wounded as is the Golem, and both assassins. The assassins run, the golem plays kick a bubble of force for a couple of pulses before we deactivate it for a few minutes. The Lich makes a break for the portal to the plane of Death as various contingency effects & wards are going off in the area, our preparations allow us to ignore the wards, and we intercept in time to get the Book of Death from her, but she makes it through the portal just. Dirk & Theo follow her, and she is 'killed' there, however her phylactory is still around and needs destroying also. Kel turns up and advances on Dirk & Theo, Theo gets away, Dirk teleports around grabbing a Gem & Urn, then gets back through the portal also. Kel is stalled by Sooty for a couple of pulses, then withdraws before the rest of the party can get onto him also with an exchange of grenadoes occurring well in Kels favour.
Dwork is made immune to the AoE's going on again, as he has ressurected, but is missing buffs, Dirk & Theo are missing all magic. The phlactory chamber is found, and an 'Imp' of great power is guarding it as well as a magical barrier. We do some quick negotiation and appear to have convinced the Imp to sidestep it's contract through the loop holes and help us destroy the phylactory as much as it can (Mainly by not using it's best attacks and moving it inside the room to where we can get it easily) & we do final checks that it is the phylactory before proceeding.

The plan proceeds as planned.... as much as could be expected anyway. Zanak & Hamish hold up 'Bertran' just long enough for some lucky guessing to destroy the Phylactory, and we negotiate their returning to hell (Bertran was the real form if not quite the 'true' form of a Lt of Malphas, President of Deception, so exceptionally dangerous) and returning Zanak & Hamish back from Slug & Toad in return for a nice Iron Golem. Which removes another of our problems which while solvable would have taken time. We move onto finding out what happened to L'Roy as Bertran vanishes announcing the plane is dying. L'Roy has had his heart destroyed, and the girl vanished, turns out it was his half sister who is Deaths love, and her going to Death is causing the planes to die. We approximate that Death loving has removed his focus on Death causing the plane to collapse, with a chain reaction. While not entirely accurate and a bit of guessing this seems an accurate enough basis to start planning from. While a problem we have a whole day to solve this, so set this aside for the moment before we move onto our last matter, and deal with the heart.
The Death of Eeallice has removed the taint, however it is still badly damaged and currently on an undead island, so we feed it Necrogeny & Strength of stone potions as well as starting some healing on it. We discover it's a physical representation of the heart of the plane which has been moved here from a Spirit Nexus & Zanak reopens the portal to the nexus while the undead lay siege to the room. Two Spectres first into the room are talked into delaying for a bit as the heart is too weak to allow feeding, while the doors are physically locked, mage locked, and a Cinder Wall laid on our side of the doors to further support them. Sooty takes up a barrier position while the rest of the party gets ready to move the heart. First to attempt anything are the two spectres, who are under prepared and well under powered to meet a waiting Sooty, with one Spectre TK Raging the other into a wall and killing it, before getting diced itself. Beyond the Doors a Skeletal Lord is marshalling forces, so Sooty plays some Fireball catch through the now damaged locked doors, clearing away a large number of minions before some large Ogre undead force the doors. The Cinder wall gives pause, and the Skeletal Lord falls back to get more reinforcements. The Heart goes through, then Zanak goes beserk as he taps into the Nexus, and does a maddened charge with holy light pouring out of him incinerating any undead near him. Fortunately he recovers before he gets too far away and runs out of light in front of something nasty, and comes back to close the portal leaving the heart in it's proper place to continue the healing we started.
The Undead are now less interested in the room, and give us some time, we manage to contact the Fire Plane, and a Greater Efreeti comes through, with a couple of Lesser ones as well, and tells us the Elemental planes are collapsing and probably only have six or so hours. We also question the dead and do a couple of rituals getting some more information, and temporarily resurrect L'Roy using the heart of fire we had found earlier.
It sounds like we have to proceed to the plane of Death using the book, however the hand is the most able to help us with this, so with the Efreeti's help we portal to Du'Boi's camp leaving behind a new undead force coming to lay siege to us with a new leader (Who had just lopped off the Skeletal Lords head). The Hand explains a bit about the book and several of us manage to grasp the basics (Hamish, Sooty, Dwork?) while we get some fresh buffs up then proceed through the portal. Four die on passage despite the preparations, and we travel without major incident to Deaths Abode, though a few manifestations do happen. The Death plane here appears to act a bit like a Spirit plane, rather than a more solidly formed plane of death some other planes use, and is not connected to other planes of Death.

Probably still the same day.


We talk to Deaths Grounds keeper, assuming we are actually at deaths abode, but he doesn't seem to know much so we come up with a plan B, with the Hands help. He tells us a little about himself, and gets Dirk to lead us to a new area where Death often spent time, as he is dying (he's been stealing life using the book, but in the realm of death this doesn't work so well it seems and it's catching up on him), and he dis-corporates on the way.
We arrive in a nice elven paradise with a tower in the middle, and start to head that way, Zanak thinking about having a picnic. Dirk appears to also get distracted by the magic of the place and leads us into a dragon ambush. Fortunately the dragon despite being an 'old' dragon in abilities appears to be an almost mindless construct. Hamish dies horribly in the first pulse, Zanak in the second, then the dragon dies horribly as Zanak's Siege grenadoes explode in it's mouth. We notice two more in the distance now we are out of the thrall of the area, and Hamish & Zanak use Deaths Hard Bargain to come back to life. We use a bit of sneaking to actually get to the tower, pausing a little out of sight.
A decision is made to simply try and talk, and Sooty gets nominated to go forward after Dirk decides a Dwarf calling out to an Elven Maiden might not be the best plan. Instead of a Maiden, we get a hag, some classic fairytale words are exchanged, while active resistance keeps her casting down, then a withdrawal made along with a few magic resistances. The hag follows up with some hellfires through her familiar, before we kill the owl leaving her cursing inside.
Dirk then teleports up to the Balcony, while Dwork fireballs the door, the door gets upset at this, and we threaten it with more unless it opens while Zanak also climbs up the tower. He gets bored half way and decides to attempt to fly, resulting in him nearly plummeting to his doom, luckily the tower is vine covered and the vines are strong. With the Dragons coming to the tower as the Hag shouts insults at us, Sooty joins the climbers while the other three fire arc inside the door. The tower is actually 200' high despite it's appearance as less, and the dragons are confused and sit at the bottom breathing at the climbers and wondering why it keeps falling short. After some playing with wards, the three on the tower also get entrance.
Inside we can see a 750' long room, maybe 80' high. In the middle is a cage with Death & His Love in a frozen bubble of time, sharing a kiss. From insects outside the cage we can tell that this bubble extends outside the cage. At the far end is a 60' tall giant (Titan, Gargantuan? Giant seems too small a word) armed with a 30' club, and the hag. Zanak gets a message from L'Roy telling us about a secret staircase, and suggests we come free him as he can take the plane over without it ending, while the hag wants the plane to end then she will take over. We decide to go for the staircase, leaving a few decoys in our wake, and use willpower to block the staircase behind us, proceeding up. At the top of the dimension trapped staircase is a warded door that will send people who touch it to the 666 plane of hell. We briefly debate using it to escape, then manage to empathy the bound spirits in the walls around it and communicate with them for the password. Between three options we get it right the first time avoiding an Eyreines spawning on us, and enter the room beyond.
What appears to be a unique Cerberus type creature in the room beyond is chained to the floor, the chain having 4 distinct rune aura's (Forcing of a shape, Obedience, Sleep & Misdirection of magic), and a bubble trap that may be keyed to the hags death. However we can't trust these answers are correct. We try using the book to fake the Hags death so any magic keyed to her will end. This seems to remove the bubble, but we can't see L'Roy still, so take a guess he may actually be the beast but shape changed. There are also unknown effects in the other room probably with the Hags fake death.
We shatter the chain, and the room then fades to mist, with the Dog turning into a Horror, so we engage the horror, taking spec grevs around those of us who attack it before we down it in less than a pulse. It's spirit lingers offering all of us massive bribes if we will help it become the new death, so while a few party members briefly ponder the incredibly lucrative offer, Zanak & Sooty dissipate the lingering spirit.
We then find ourselves in what appears at the time to be a repeating trap as we keep appearing in idealic situations, sometimes with L'Roy, sometimes without, with no way to be sure if we are seeing anything real, including L'Roy.
We try a few things to break loose from the trap, such as trying to not play the good & evil game that they seem to want us to play, going to the opposite of life instead of trying to find death, and finally deciding to try and shatter the idealistic moment that we seem to be caught in.
When we attempt the last we find ourselves expelled back to the Rune Portal in Seagate, and find out that L'Roy has become the new DEATH however the planes died with only powerful entities and their followers possibly escaping. Hindsight and a little explanation from L'Roy explain that Death was testing us to see if we trusted L'Roy, however he failed to take into account Adventurers reactions when you place them into environments where they can't know what is real & what isn't.
L'Roy appears with 6 steaming Goblets for the party, and people do various things with their individual Goblets. We then retire to the Guild for debrief, Divination and the split of what treasure we did manage to acquire along the way. As well as a licking of wounds after entertaining Death so much.

Summary

SGT Summary

Death Destroys Pocket Plane & Attached layers.

In a horrific turn of events, the local Death of the planes of Korinia allowed the plane along with its attached Elemental & Spirit planes to be destroyed by neglect or design. The guild party present (Dirk, Dwork, Hamish, Sooty, Theodonna & Zanak) for this terrible event had been hired by Death through one of his proxies to take on a Lich.

This lich had been engaged by a previous guild party already and had escaped, and was now continuing on with her plan to take over the plane, this time by a combination of corrupting the Heart of the Life spirit plane in order to plunge the plane into an eternal night, as well as seizing the reincarnation portals on the plane of death to provide a stream of souls for her to bind and create powerful sentient undead with which to conquer the plane.

The party battled through a lack of information, having merely been told she had simply reformed on some islands south and that a few spirit entities wanted her finished this time for good, as well as numerous ambushes from her forces as she was a mere week or two off completing her entire plan when the party first got to the plane.

However, when they finally got to her, and destroyed her and her phylactery, it was discovered that she had actually been keeping Deaths true love captive in order to save the planes from destruction, and that this was a long standing grudge by Death against her as a result. The plane then having a mere 24 hours left to live before it completely imploded the party scrambled to try and find their way through the plane of death to find out what was going on and stop this happening, only to be trapped in a series of illusions by Death who was doing some obscure testing of his acolyte using the parties reactions to gauge trust. Needless to say, expecting Guild Members to trust anything when trapped in illusionary worlds was foolish, and Death fairly swiftly decided he might as well let the planes collapse.

The exact fate of the old Death & his true love is unknown at this point though it seems likely they escaped somewhere, and his acolyte has given up what remained of his humanity and assumed the title in order for the plane to reincarnate, however untold numbers of sentient beings perished when it was allowed to collapse, and the fate of many powerful beings remains unknown.

People met & of note

  • L'roy: Bound Spirit. Voodoo shaman of power who owed service to DEATH. Acting as his agent interacting with us. Mostly Dead.
  • Eeallice: Lich. Powerful Necromancer/Planes Walker who has designs on the plane of Korinia. Has previously crossed paths with the guild & was defeated but not destroyed. DEAD.
  • Natalia/Blue Belly: Demon Lizard. Shapechanger Human/Elf/80' Croc. A Demon Lizard is what the Tribes people of the fire valley were meant to be pacted to. Extremely powerful entity. May have been permanently killed if was in true form, otherwise out of the picture for a substantial time as was a more powerful than normal avatar if not true form.
  • The Hand: Philosopher of Gatorville thieves guild. Rescued by party from Drow. DEAD.
  • Volt: Human. Voodoo shaman in Gatorville. Died trying to betray the party.
  • Task: Goblin War Dirgible Captain
  • Greeta: Goblin inn owner. Pacted to Baron Alagor, a Greater Efreeti fire power. Ally
  • D'Boise: Pirate Captain of six griffins and eagles
  • Petra: Cute priest of Ahura Mazda, travelling with D'Boise

Places of Note

  • Gatorville; A den of thieves & worse in a Drake infested swamp to the south of the continent. Destroyed 813 by a Voodoo shamans dying revenge. Will probably get rebuilt.

Organisation

Loot and Expenditure

Cash Advance

20,000 sp

Guild Purchases

Each

  • Rank 20 Greater: Lucius @8,000 sp
  • 20 x 10 pt Guild Healing potions @ 650 sp
  • 5 x Water of Healing @ 1,200 sp
  • 3 x Vials of Holy Water (free from Zanak's Church)

Treasure

Death's Gifts
One per person only. Can not be traded to outside the party. Does not need to be taken immediately.
  • Deaths Touch: Ability to drain undead. Sooty
  • Deaths Expertise: Assassin & Warrior abilities can be used on undead, Spec Grevs can be inflicted (Certain may still not apply) Dirk
  • Deaths Echo: Shows a period of time before & after a death, Can only be used once per death. Zanak
  • Deaths Footsteps: Allows teleporting to a prepared place of death, including chance of cross planar. Hamish
  • Deaths Resistance: Resistance bonus to all magic from undead, doesn't stack with counterspells, highest applies. Theo
  • Deaths Questions: Short question to a dead entity, who will answer it truthfully & as well as possible. Dwork
Natalia
  • Scroll Tube/Letter to Lt.
Volt
  • Anti-Voodoo amulets (+? vs Voodoo magics) *3
  • Anti-Voodoo potions (30% MR vs Voodoo, counts as General & Special counter, 24h Duration. *7 (6 drunk, 1 left)
Gaterville Shaman
  • High DP 'leather' armour. (9 DP?) Theo
  • Bone Staff Sacrificed by Hamish, Hamish gained Bind Lesser Undead.
  • Feather Headdress (Read undead thoughts) Carried by Hamish
  • Assorted other items of value.
Cat Gargoyle
  • Red crystal of elemental fire: trigger by breaking. Also acts as a Heart for an Entity allowing resurrection if they 'pact' to Fire. Zanak (Traded for Invested's by Sooty & Dwork, used for other things.)
Voodoo Island.
  • 3 Star Sapphires & Assorted scavenged loot of value from artefact tables in room, Nothing Magical. 150,000sp total?
  • Fancy Wedding Gown. Grants appropriate Female attire for the situation, as if dressed by rank 10 Courtier. Theo
  • Deaths Dagger (Now De-powered or substituted from original form) +10% Smithing? +1 DM above normal. Extra +20% SC, +2 DM vs Undead. Hamish
Names/Counterspells
  • Plane Name; Sooty, Dirk, Theodonna.
  • Voodoo Counterspell; Dirk, Theodonna.
Dragon Construct

Dragon Eye; Can be crafted into glasses that will give the wearer Enhance Vision & Limited PreCog, will bestow them as abilities after a while but glasses loose magic then. Sooty
Dragon Scales; Can be crafted into heavy 12 DP Armour, -3 AG, -20 Stealth, 6 Weight factor? Hamish

Goblin Loaners

4*Goblin Grenadoes; 60,000sp?

Initial Payment. 50,000sp
Total pure SP Value. 50,000sp
Item Value.  ???sp

Total treasure value: 100,000sp + Item Value
Minus expenses of lots depending who you are.

Pay if return to guild

30,000 sp
Deaths Hard Bargin

Buffs

Magic Rk Effects Dur So Dw Th Di Ha Za P7
Daily buffs (dawnish)
Corruscade (1Ft ea., Za) 20 +42/21 Defence/Close 31 hours (Enh.Enc.) Y Y Y Y Y Y
Ash Armour (1 Ft ea., So) 15 80pts ablative vs Elemental damage 26 Hours (Enh.Enc.) Y Y Y Y Y Y
Twice Daily buffs (Dawnish & duskish). Ritual with Orb
Rune of Willow Healing (2 Ft, Za) 6 3 End a pulse for 8 12 Hours Y Y Y Y Y Y
Mind Shield? (1 Ft, Ha) 4? Immunity to Telepathy 9+ Hours? Y/Pos. Y/Pos. Y/Pos. Y/Pos. Y Pos.
Feather Falling (1 Ft, So) 17 Float to ground 9 Hours Y Y Y Y Y Y
Quarterly refresh as needed with restoratives/Enh.Enc.
Ash Shroud (2 Ft ea., So) 6 4 End Armour (No stacking) 6.5 Hours Y Y Y Y Y Y
Smite (1 Ft ea., Z) ? D+? Damage, Stun ?(Enhanced) Hours Y Y Y Y Y Y
Fire Proofing? (1 Ft ea, Dw) 6 Protection from normal fires 13 hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y
Wings of the Phoenix (2 Ft ea., So) 7 37mph flight, Dark ash trailing wings. 7.5 Hours Y Y Y Y Y Y
Quietness (1 Ft ea. Za) 6 +11% Stealth 6.5 Hours Y Y Y Y Y Y
Combat Buffs.
Weapon of Flames (2 Ft ea. Dw) 13 +14% S.C. +7DM(+13 vs Undead) 18/28 minutes (Enh.Enc) 2? 6? 5? 1? 3? 4?
Breathing (1 Ft ea., So) 11 Can breath 3 Hours 1 4 3 2 5 6
Holy Light (So/Za) 10 Drain protection + AoE Drain protection 21/33 Pulses Y Maybe Maybe Maybe Maybe Y
Spell name rk effects... 99 minutes Y Y Y Y Y Y
Other Buff Notes

Enchanted Area: When down, recipient pays Ft cost rather than caster. Morning buffs cost 2 Ft each. Ritual buffs only cost caster, Quarterly buffs cost 5 Ft per round. Pets/Primary allies will be included in buffs.
Restoratives needed dawn & dusk to keep party at high Ft levels as a result.
Restoratives: Hamish
Healing: Sooty/Zanack (Via Healer)

Times to buff.
Dawn/Dusk Rituals 1 hour + 10 mins for other spells + restoratives/healing. But full/almost full fatigue.
Midday/Night < 1 min to buff but everyone down 5 Ft.
Amulets of Jasper.

Purchased (12,000sp): Dwork, Theo, Zanak, Hamish, xxxx.
Loaned (8,000sp on loss): xxxx, xxxx.

Party Skills

  • Mil Sci: Dirk (6), Sooty(5, Skirmish, Naval), Zanak (2)
  • Ranger: Dirk, Hamish, Sooty (5, Damned Terrains)
  • Healer: Sooty (8, No Resurrect), Zanak (6)
  • Silent Tongue: Sooty (6), Zanak (6), Dwork (4), Theo (5)

Watch Orders

Normal
  • Hamish, Zanak
  • Sooty, Dwork
  • Theodonna, Dirk
High Alert
  • Hamish, Zanak, Dwork
  • Sooty, Theodonna, Dirk

Marching Orders

Standard
  • Dirk.
  • Dwork, Hamish.
  • Theodonna, Sooty
  • Zanak.
Single file.
  • Dirk, Dwork, Hamish, Theodonna, Sooty, Zanak

Calendar

Spring: Thaw (10) 813wk
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon3.jpg Candlemansa 1 Guild Meeting 2 Study & Prep 3 A Drink, Noisy Goblins 4 Travel Trouble 5 Gaterville & Natalia 6 Gaterville Gone
Moon0.jpg 7 Flying Fun & Pirate Port 8 9 10 11 12 13
Moon1.jpg 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Moon2.jpg 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Spring: Seedtime (11)
Moon3.jpg 28 29 30 1 2 3 4
Moon0.jpg 5 6 7 8 Rites of Thunor 9 10 11
Moon1.jpg 12 13 14 15 Equinox 16 17 Eostre 18 Seagate Spring Ball
Moon2.jpg 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Moon3.jpg 26 27 28 29 30 1 2
Spring: Blossom (12)
Moon0.jpg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Moon1.jpg 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Moon2.jpg 17 18 19 20 21 Floralia 22 23
Moon3.jpg 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Walpurgisnacht