Living on the Edge
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- Miles Jackson
- Time: Summer 808 WK
- Day: Wednesdays
- Level: Medium
- The Mission
- Employer: Prince Athelon - some sort of planar drow
- Payment: 100,000sp has been paid to The Guild. Anything that is not nailed down on the Rock.
- Our Mandate: Expel unwanted guests from the Winter Palace of Drow Prince Athelon. By any means necessary.
- The Guildfolk
- Dirk: Not a normal Dwarf and not a real Namer either.
- Mira: Human Earth Mage that likes to fight.
- Hamish: Human Wicca, that does the unexpected.
- Dwork: Orc Fire Mage, that likes the three F's.
- Tolmar: Not a normal Elf Earth Mage, that can do healing.
- Theodonna: Not a normal Human Namer.
- Brundah: A Dwarf Binder, with some Golems.
- Falco:A Shadow Celestial Human
1st of Meadow
We met with the Master of Arms of Prince Athelon, who goes through staff quite regularly. He gives us information about the problem that his Prince is experiencing, with his Winter Palace that gets really good skylines.
The Prince has been informed about The Guild by a Calamar that some of us have had meet a while back.
We get some of the Heads of the Prince's small force that went through to question. We do get a bit of useful information from them.
Namer' Banishment and Expulsion do not work on the Prince's rock with the good Skyline.
- Off to see the Witch
We head off to Slippery Rock to get some things and see Karacas. Seems that a couple of hours before we came she had trouble with an uninvited Calamar and she has gone off to sort some things out. This we get from her Apprentice Elenna. To get some greaters off Elenna we need to go to a different plain and get some Tubers from a certain plant.
We also find out some more about Karacas's defense around her cottage, it has some interesting side effects.
- Fetishes and Smelly Gas
We go to the other plain to get these Tubers and we have been told that it is swampy there and too watch out for the Fetish, which are small creatures that will attack you.
We are defiantly attacked by these things called Fetish's and some of them are able to use some of our spells against us and they also control Zombies. Dwork finds out about methane, and some of the other Party members feel the effects of it as well. We get the Tubers and are sort of able to get back to our plain in sort of one piece. Hamish has a close encounter with a sword being embedded in his chest. Also Hamish did some good shooting with his Bow of his.
We get our Greaters and some more information about what is happening, and at the moment I am staying away from Mira as she is poisonious. (We all get some sort of side effect from the Greaters that we get).
- The Guild Strikes Back
We went back to the swamp and killed a bunch of munchkins (swamp fetishes)
- We all had some sort of curse on us that could result in any portal unexpectedly sucking us back to the swamp place (for munchkin revenge)
- They had to die (they had an interesting grenado that turned some of Brundar's golems to water – we've got one, along with one of them staffs)
2nd - 4th of Meadow - In Search of Information
Back at Seagate, the Prince's Man at Arms has been replaced by some cowled dude called Sly (a suspicious gentlemen indeed – no DA possible, worked for the Prince for a number of years, variable in height!)
In search of information and more protective magic. we go to some underground mine city complex that Dirk, Theo and the others seem to know pretty well. We buy a 'one-use' rune portal, some skin changes, healing and grenados etc
5th of Meadow - We go to the Rock
Eventually we go through Sly's portal to the asteroid
- We have taken a donkey and bunch of trade goods with us, travelling as a Tinker (Brundah) and his entourage (might make some money on the side)
- Turns out the plane is pretty much 'outward portal' sealed, so we may have to stay a while (don't know if Sly's portals will be able to punch through to get us out)
- Some Friendly Locals
Met some locals (three competent humans of various abilities), didn't kill them, got some basic information
- There is pretty regular travel between the asteroids (a bit like island hopping in a really big ocean – dangerous, but not impossible with the right equipment)
- Calamar void ships are seen occasionally (and are to be avoided), others fly on a 'space manta ray' (which can carry passengers); Alchemists produce some dangerous sounding explosively propelled rockets (whoho!)
- So, all of the asteroids have a range of inhabitants based on how much resource there is on the rock
- The most valuable resource is some really heavy black stuff (a small piece of black hole?!) which can be used to power the ancient machines (made by Calamar?) that are found around the asteroids
Some rumours from Guild annals, the mine complex Sly and the locals
- In past ages, the Calamar were spit between two groups, the Enlightened and the un-enlightened.
- The Palace is an ancient place were the Enlightened could go, but the un-enlightened could not enter (there is a barrier around the Palace which the locals couldn't get through)
- The asteroid belt gradually falling into the black hole used to be the home planet of the Calamar, which was destroyed by the Gods in revenge for the un-enlightened Calamar's attempt to kill the Gods
- The 'outward portal' seal is gradually fading as more powerful magic is used to punch through it. Each hole reduces the strength
- Jumping at Shadows
Something is watching us while we are talking to people we have met. We are informed about the Evil Shadow mages. At the place that we are at we have fractured Mana here.
When the people leave use we are able to do some more Divinations. The monkey that we were given is basically a recording device and an accomplished Thief. A few things are missing from our things. (Monkey is to blame)
When we get to the village, all the people have been stolen away by someone or something.
Brundar and Dwork decide to test the Barrier that is above our heads. Dwork head almost explodes when it gets to the other side of the barrier. He is lucky and just needs healing.
6th Meadow - Day of lots of Battles and Healing
In the very early hours of the morning we are attacked by a Shadow Mage. Dirk, Mira, Brundar and Dwork have been turned insubstantial and the Shadow Mage will be the only one to turn them back. Hamish and I find out about the Shadow Mage holes.
Both Dirk and I get both the Shadow Mage Counter Spells, after we Divinate a few things.
Hamish is able to speak to the dead Shadow Mage and we find out a few interesting things.
In the distance we see Toads and their Riders, but they do not see us.
- Talk to the Boss
We go to the pick up point for our daily portal, but instead of going back to our plain, we end up on the Void Ship. (not happy about this)
Sly is able to sort of help the party members that were insubstantial, but it is not a permanent effect. We are going have to get the ashes of the shadow constructs that we were fighting to make it permanent. Which has been taken away by the time we get back.
- Off to the Tower
We think it maybe another Shadow Mage and he is heading toward the Tower where the people that we met were going. Near the tower we find some new vines that like to try and kill people. The Vines also gather things up to throw down on people. We find a nice Crystal of Vision through this, even though the party gets hurt a little bit.
Instead of one tower there, there are two towers. One looks to be 4 floors high and the other looks to be 6 floors high. There are walkways between the tower on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors. They are made of Bound Earth. The people that we have met are on the steps and they are down for the count, at least one dead and the other two are Petrified. We are able to rescue them, except the one that went into the hole. They go off to rescue the one in the hole and to get the other one resurrected.
We go into the tower ourselves and we are attack by two Crypt Gargole and they have Binder spells and the bugs on them can bite you and you get petrified. After the small battle we go through the secret door that we found on the first floor of one of the towers.
- Hamish destroys the asteroid
There are three Golems of different colours. We get conflicting information about the room. In the end we start using Illusion counters and the room start to become normal. Hamish activates one of the Golems by aim at it. This sets off a chain reaction by activating one of the other Golems which goes to another room and destroys a Crystal Column which activates a Self Destruct.
- Brundar speeds up the destruction - the contract is terminated
Brundar Itemizes the Dark Matter that is the Self Destruct. Around this time the Prince says our contract is terminated and something starts to happen to the monkey's pouch, which he is not very happy about.
When Brundar Itemizes the Dark Matter, it compresses it and it looks more explosive than before. Luckily there is a big Manta in the room as well. We quickly investigate it. It will be taking off very soon, some of grab things from the Binder's workshop to take aboard the Manta.
- The final frontier - space
Well the Rock in space is no more, but it seems that the Winter Palace is still intact. Something is protecting it. There are other Drow in the Palace and they seem to be from the same house of our previous employer and they have utter dismay on there faces. There is also a another area where the tower was. The monkey seems to have survived and the sensings magics seem to have gone off it. We also find a Shadow Mage Portal, and it seems to go to a place that the Manta (Firth) knows. Firth really likes Brundar and will now only take orders from him.
The ship has some funky rooms and we can make use of some of them.
We find some of Kit, one of the people that we had met earlier. We bring what is left aboard so that we can hopefully give him back to someone.
Brundar starts to acquire knowledge of the Dimensions of Space from the ship, so hopefully he will be able to get us back to Seagate sometime.
7th Meadow - a day of Learning and Traveling
We start to travel to Dark Rock to see the Shadow Mages that are left alive. Brundar is still acquiring new knowledge of space.
8th Meadow - Tales from the Back Passage
We get to Dark Rock and start to plan how we are going to get into the tower of the Shadow Mages from the information that we can get from Crystal of visions.
The dynamic intelligences of the party combine (and recombine) to come up with a foolproof plan to infiltrate the stronghold of the Shadow Mage. We are going to drill a back passage from underneath the rock, penetrate silently, destroying all that stands in our way – and clean out this nest of shadow evil (and collect the spoils of the virtuous) Right?
- Into the Cess
Well, we drill the back passage (thanks Tolmar) and are immediately in the shite.
We break through into some sort of cesspit. The cess in the pit drains down the back passage we have so kindly created for it and Hamish gets knocked out by the gas emitted by the slurry worms. We can't get onto an electrified platform suspended over the draining pit, but we charge up the crusty slopes to a door on one side – which leads us into a room with four doors and a stairway up. Theodonna is watching the enemy through a crystal, and Shadow Girl is busy beating slaves - so all good there.
- Attack of the little people
We head up the stairs and hear noises through the door at the top. Meanwhile, Mira hears noises behind, as one of the four doors open and really smelly goblin comes out (a Dungmaster?!) surrounded by a swarm of small (6 inch) Gobshites (Mira thinks they're 7 inches tall). Hamish's monkey locks the door at the top while we descend to destroy the little pests. Not a real problem, but we end up with Mira, Theodonna and Dwork without armour (unbindings), Dwork slowed and a floor covered with conjured ball bearings - making movement a bit of a problem (Boris slipped over and nearly hurt himself).
- Attack of the big people
The stair-top door disappears and we see two huge rock apes, armed with axes encased in black pulsing flame. Behind them this guy throws two grenados – one hits Brundar's iron golem turning it into a statue, but the other hits one of the rock apes. Good thing – they turned out to be pretty tough. The remaining rock ape does a leap attack and nearly kills Hamish with a massive malignant flamed overhead blow. Bad news on the crystal front too - the Dark Maid has been alerted and is on her way with some large black summoned creature.
While Boris and Dwork play with the Ape, Dirk puts up a wall of forbidding - stopping any more apes leaping out. The Shadow Maid arrives with a 9ft black crystal construction, which blows Mira away. Dirk goes ethereal, passing through the construction to get at the maid.
Dirk and the maid whale away at each other – Dirk gets a couple of malignant flames laid on him, but is gradually winning that battle.
- When the going gets tough ...
Meanwhile, the rest of us struggle to deal with the remaining ape and the black crystal construct. Strikes by the black crystal thing are nasty – Boris looses an arm and a leg in the process. Hamish wants to let off a double power level 20 lighting bolt he has concealed about his person somewhere but a little voice in his head gives a small hint that it would probably kill everybody in the room (all the corporeal ones anyway). Eventually the ape goes down (Brundar itemises it!) and Tolmar manages to drop the construct down a tunnel (whew). Falco repeatedly casts light down the hole, as that seems to slow the crystal thing from climbing out so fast. Eventually we knock the construct into Tolmar's second lower tunnel with the help of an iron golem statue hitting it on the head. Closing the top tunnel gives us an hour or so before the thing will be after us again.
- The tough get going
A Falco light spell gets the Shadow Mage corporeal enough so that Dwork can get the killing blow in. Falco gets a death buzz. Dwork gets a death curse.
The strong hold lies open to us. So, it all went to plan really.
- Jest wandering around
On investigation of the different levels for the 1st hour we have, before we have to put the Dark Crystal Golem back into a hole for another hour. We find an interesting workshop for the Binder and lots of Gadgets for him as well, which we hopefully will be transferring up to Firth. We have lost most of the small stuff as the Orcs took it when they knew that the fight was going badly. There were also slaves penned up. Falco does ask if anyone speaks Common, and Dwork puts his hand up, which than an older slaves points to and says in Common. "He does"
We find a secret door on one of the lower levels. Dirk almost get stuck into a wall, and he loses his left arm to a big hungry construct cat. Mira causes a big stink with her Death Curse that she received from the Dungmaster, some of the party were not staunch and were gagging on the floor. They are really making me stop thinking of food.
The Secret Area is where the Shadow Mages resided and they have got each of there corridors warded up really well. Also around this time we find some interesting things about the last Shadow Mage that we killed, she was only possessing the body that was killed. On further investigation Dwork is likely to be possessed by her spirit at some point in the near future. Hamish handles this saying to Dwork, "look at the spider behind you", and promptly saps him on the back of the head. He is out for the count, as well as being tied up.
- When in doubt hit it really, really hard
A thousand plans are considered and reconsidered. Finally we open the door and Hamish lets loose a triple strength rebounding lightening bolt. Does about 230 points of damage inside and destroys most of the loot, half of the shadow spawn and the corridor ward's 'intelligence' (Falco gets a buzzzzzzz). Dirk's wall of forbidding keeps the remaining shadow spawn at bay, while Brundar makes a golem out of the kindling to drag out what loot that remains.
- Attacked from behind
All is going well when a black crystal construct appears behind us and Mira charges. Combat ensues until the construct turns to go and Tolmar drops it down a tunnel. Dworc's death curse is gone, so we think the construct has actually been animated by the Dark Mage. Brundar's ship informs us that another manta ray has escaped, heading for the closest, largest city. So the Shadow Maid escapes to die another day :)
- An eye for an eye, a cheek for a cheek
That leaves us with the Shadow Spawn. The wall of forbidding stops them physically, but not their beams of darkness, which they seem to like to shine on Hamish (remember the lightening bolt that killed 5 spawn? Well, they seem to remember). Hamish looses his right arm, his left hand and his left eye, has a fountain of blood sprouting out of his leg (for a while) before we tunnel out and retreat to our ship. (this is added to the arm that Dirk had chewed off earlier).
- Looking at Loot
The chest that Brundar's golem has dragged out has 5 bags of stuff. Each bag has its own curse (which we avoid): Spectral curse, Spectral attack, Shadow Pocket Universe (x2), Shadow Teleport
- 1.Ladies gloves: silk and leather (skill enhancement – thief)
- 2.Set of glass eyes: vision enhancement
- 3.Book or diary in unknown language
- 4.Ladies wig: cast a disguise illusion (RK15), and can be used to garrotte/strangle
- 5.Handkerchief: random magic
Dirt-bag grows a bunch of arms and Hamish grows one (don't ask!)
- Back to the asteroid
Before we manage to kill the remaining Shadow Spawn (who were waiting in ambush), Hamish looses his only arm and his left eye (almost harmless), Dirt Bag looses one of his arms and Mira is hamstrung. Sigh. A final bolt crushes a range of Hamish's internal organs.
- The other Shadow Mage Rooms
After some careful investigations, the other rooms reveal some items of interest: An ermine robe, a red rose, and Cherry 2000 flesh golem (whew!), a leather belt (male magic, various effects, increase physical beauty), three broken figurines.
Quotes: Hamish: 'pull my finger' (no hands), 'I'm legging it' (no legs), 'Can I rank unarmed combat?' (no arms)
Using the wig, Theo can disguise herself as a shadow mage (she has the GTN!)
Having finished our investigations/looting, we follow the trail of the Shadow Mage – 3 days travel to the nearest city We use the Crystal of Vision that can find gems to look in the rubbish area to find some gems. We encounter some little lizards that can freeze people. A non alchemist was able to make an oil to unfreeze me, so that I can unfreeze the others affected by the freezing. I am slowed as the non alchemist did something wrong when they did the oil. We travel to the city that the Shadow Mage went. Brundah has been experimenting with the Cherry 2000 flesh Golem that we found on the asteroid. Hamish does some hypnosis when my divination went wrong. Hamish private parts are a bit sore now. Brundah makes a special bum wiping golem for the sometime armless Hamsih.
11th Meadow - Travel
We encounter Lord Gorganstile in this plane, about a day out from the city. We exchange info and find out some info on how to get off this plane and find out more about the things that we can encounter in the void. We tell him about the small spiders that we encountered. The Shadow Mage is getting some people together to maybe come after us.
12th Meadow - City Healing
We get to the city and find out where to trade the machinery that we got from the Shadow Mage tower. We also find some people to grow back the arms on a couple members of the party. I get my slowness removed and the party members with the curses are able to get them taken off as well.
13th Meadow - Battle of the Docks
We had back to the docks, but there seems to be a welcome party of four thugs and at least two mages. One is a Earth Mage, the other is either a Fire or a Wicca mage.
- Multiply, then Divide, then Conquer
After sitting in a tavern (called the Email Arms) for a while and considering all the options a killer plan is devised. Brundar takes Boris and makes a couple of extra golems, and we divide the party.
Dirt Bag goes first with the binder and his friends - armed with needle pin grenados and sheer grit and determination, disguised as wharf porters. They head up the wharf to where the mages lie in wait – walking blithely past the orcs outside our ship, whistling innocent little tunes. Just as that little group reach the mages, Mira and Dwork lead the rest of the guild members onto the wharf.
Immediately magic is unleashed by the enemy mages – everybody's magic resistance drops and an alarm goes off in the wharf offices (and the wharf 'guards' scatter). The orcs begin their charge on the party members – unlimbering grenados as they go.
- Fire in the Hold
Up at the pier point, Dirt Bag successfully unleashes a needle pin grenado on the earth mage (severely cramping his style!) but the fire mage unleashes hellfire, frying people all up and down the whole length of the wharf - love Dwork's fire armour ;-). Brundar's golems are vaporised. The orcs' grenados that are targeted at Hamish (strange that) contain a knock out gas. Hamish is knocked out.
Mira and Dwork eagerly charge to engage the orcs, but events move quickly around them. A fiery battle is underway at the end of the pier, as Dirt Bag charges the self immolating fire mage and tries to whip her into obedience (he fails). A packing crate opens and a horde of goblins leap out – allies for the mages. Those goblins not dying immediately from the fire spells quickly leave the scene, burning tails between their legs.
- The Revenge of the Shadow Mage
Falco (protecting our backs as usual) spots the Shadow Mage (remember her?) materialising over Hamish's prostrate body and start to take his (her?) eyes out (Hamish is wearing the eyes we liberated from the Shadow Mage's room). The celestial tries to slow her down with a stream of corruption, but the dark mistress resists the magic and disappears, cackling wildly and holding Hamish's blood dripping newly re-liberated eyes. Hamish says nothing (and I thought there was at least one eye in Hamish).
The pier point action heats up as the fire mage puts up a wall of fire and then changes back to her native form – an effrit (go figure). Dirt Bag and Brundar plug on regardless. Mira and Dwork are just about to get into combat with the orc leader, when Theo blinds him (oh dear, never mind). Theo grabs his hand and half (+2 DMG, +10% hit, +10 defence - stacks)
- Just how bad can it get?
Just when things are getting under control (sort if), it all turns pear shaped.
One of the small moored ships (just on from of our ship) begins to pulse with ever increasing energy – clearly building up to some sort of explosion. You should have seen the chaos! Ships evacuating in all directions, people streaming and screaming off the wharf. Then BOOM and one entire pier brakes off and float off through space. Dirt Bag has the presence of mind to grab the Earth Mage's staff (3 charges, 350 diameter. -25%MR excluding 3 named people)
Every explosion has its silver lining. The highly organised Guild Party are first to the floating wharf and we stuff the ship with 20,000 sp of salvage. Whoohoo!
14th/15th/16th Meadow - Travel Back
We purchase a few goodies (2 x Amulets of quickness RK25), check out the new Shadow Mage reward poster (it was her ship that went boom) and head off back to the palace.
By the way, it turns out the Dark Girl left a letter for us at the wharf office 'Give me back my items or I will hunt you down and kill you all: Cloak, rose, eyes, wig, gloves and scarf).
Hohumm, another death threat
OK, now we have a blind Hamish (again!), so it is back to our healer (Shepherd) to get replacements. This is going to cost us 1500sp and 50 hours, but 'cos we need to pursue Zastra (the Shadow Mage) he agrees to go with us (now remember Shepherd is not able to be DA'ed, so he could be anything – we suspect he's a Calamar.
So our merry little band spends 3 days speeding back to the palace. We will get there before Zastra and Gorganstile.
17th Meadow - Back to the Palace
Once back to the palace we spot two ships of people talking to each other through the barrier – the one outside has 4 drow and a human, the one inside has 3 drow.
Ignoring them, we go around the back (ever the way for us) and are able to pierce the barrier (it just needed a Binder special). The ship has told us where the dark matter is, so we wander around the palace looking for it (Shepherd tags along for some reason (ha!). Eventually we descend a staircase to a corridor. At one end there are sleeping sounds so we go the other way (letting sleeping dogs lie) – which ends in a silver door. Brundar's transparency lets us have a gander through the door.
Behind the Silver Door
OK, through the door there is a 15,000 year old insane cold iron chained Calamar. A DA says that if she died 'something' would happen that is linked to 'The Heart of Darkness'. At the end of the chain there is a mass of black matter. Over her head there floats a broke key.
Behind her there is some sort of force barrier blocking the back end of the room. In that part of the room there is a trapped cupboard.
Anybody for a cup of tea? Might be one in the cupboard.
- The Assembled Masses
So, descending on us from many directions there 'may' be:
- Prince Athelon - our former employer: not an enemy, but don't get in his way (the dear Prince will definitely still be in the area)
- Athelon sisters: neutral to us, but don't get in their way
- Zastra - the shadow mage: bad!
- Gorgonstile and crew: probably good, but may have been employed by Athelon
- The Enlightened Calamar: probably good (if they exist)
- The tainted Calamar: bad, bad, bad
- The mad Calamar: very bad
- The 3 Drow and a human - outside the barrier: I'm guessing these are Athelon's agents
- The 3 Drow inside the barrier: - I'm guessing/hoping these are allies of the Enlightened Calamar
- Shepherd 'no I'm not a Calamar' - ditto
- The sleeping thing down the corridor – ditto
What's next? Who knows!
- Don't wake the sleeping servant (too late)
We know that there is something sleeping down the other end of the corridor. The rag and string golem goes and has a look, as well as Hamish familiar. All that we know is that it is very big and it smells bad.
Dwork and Mira get bored and head upstairs where they find eight dead Drow bodies. Something must of disturbed the sleeping one, as it comes up behind us and tells us to go away and not disturb it Mistress. It did not seem to be trying to hurt us, but the Magical Maul that it was carrying seemed to want to hurt us. It summons some thing from the room that it and the other it were sleeping. The giant type mosquito's were probably the things that killed the Drow.
Hamish finds out the Maul has a spirit in it and is able to get it into his enphorer.
- Don't break the chain (too late)
After this, the big thing is just trying to usher us out. Brundah talks to it and we get a little information from it, while this is happening Shepard heals it and it turns into a normal Elf, it says its name it Kallaburn (this is the great Binder's name). Brundah tells it that its Mistress is chained up. It is not very happy about this and races to her room where it breaks the chain. The Elf dies when it tries to comfort the insane screaming Calamar. (TK rage will do that).
That Brundah needs to be a l i t t l e more careful about what he says sometimes.
Well everything seems to start shifting towards that big Black hole that everybody is trying to escape. Estimated time until it eats us it about two days. Well we find out what is behind the wall in that room. It is the very big sphere that Prince Atherlon was after and it seems to be getting energy from some other spheres in the corners of the room. There are images of Alusia and other plains in the centre of this room. Arathea seems to be doing something, even though she is insane.
We get to use some of the items that we got from the Shadow Mage and they do work on Arathea. Hamish gets to inhabit the body of Arathea and it seems she has gone into Hamish's body.
- Mysteries Unveiled (well maybe)
It looks like Arathea was somehow linked to the Heart of Darkness with the chain and the small sphere of Dark Matter. (it was keeping her alive for all these years) The Heart of Darkness was stopping the Black hole from eating this plain and the other plains around this plain in a rapid fashion.
After Tolmar, Hamish and Arathea have some misadventures with the cloak and hypnosis, they sort of get a sane Arathea, who cannot link back up with the big lot of Dark Matter to stop the destroying of the plain. Hamish gets to experience life as a sentient cabbage. I wonder if there are more of them around.
- The Return of the Shadow Mage
The Shadow Mage comes to see what we have done and is shocked. She was only after the items from the cupboard. Which will sort out later. Oh, nobody can exit the plain now. The Drow that are alive in the Palace and the one outside are now sort of with us and we are trying to see if they have any useful talents that they might be useful. (Then they will try to stub us in the back when this is over.)
Shepard's motives seem to see how well we die. Also he is here to see the destruction of this plain. (He will pray for our souls. That's nice of him to do). He does help with some healing and getting some minds back that do go wondering.
The end of the world is nigh
So, it appears the Heart of Darkness is no longer stopping the Black hole from expanding and engulfing this universe in about two days. Ararthea is currently sane - but no longer has the knowledge to control the Heard of Darkness.
BUT Dirt Bag is really really determined that we will not destroy another univerise, so I guess we'll just have to make it so (did I say another universe?)
- Even a small battle can leave un-triggered traps.
|And when that battle is a war between the Gods and the Calamar, some of those traps can be pretty serious. Into that minefield wander a party of Seagate Guild members – a group that are renowned for their caution and delicacy at dealing with such situations. In retrospect, the Drow prince really hired to adventures to trigger any traps that might exist (me thinks).
So, 15,000 years or so ago the Calamar had annoyed the Gods, so the Gods decided to destroy the Kalamar universe. They made the sun at the centre of this small universe turn into a black hole and at the same time, they put a barrier around the universe so nobody could get out. (I guess the gods were really, really annoyed)
What was this trap? Strictly speaking I guess it wasn't actually a trap, but it might as well as been.
A powerful Calamar binder at that time by the name of Kaladan was able to temporarily stop the collapse of his universe. It seems he created a magical 'construct' which was a model of this universe - called the Heart of Darkness, but it wasn't just a model. It was something that allowed those with sufficient power to actually control the universe – stopping the collapse. Now that's what I call a real Binder! (Although I am a little confused by a binder that actually wants to save a universe)
Kaladan's solution was temporary, so he left his girl friend (Arathea) in charge of the temporary solution while he willed himself inside of his construct to complete the solution. Well the Gods were having none of that! They intervened and detained Kaladan inside the Heart with enemies conjured out of the binder's worse nightmares – constantly changing and adapting shadow people – that attacked by sucking out your will. Kaladan stalled them by putting up a constantly changing and adapting bubble of energy around himself – but there he stayed, stalemated for 15,000 years.
Meanwhile, Arathea went mad maintaining a temporary solution that was never meant to last for that long – but maintain it she did – for 150 centuries, protected by her undead companion Callaban.
Well – at least until the Seagate Guild arrived on the scene!
- Will the Wicca return?
The brain wiped Alathea is able to ask some questions of the Heart of Darkness
- We locate 3 Calamar in this universe (2 back in the city and 1 actually in the Heart of Darkness itself)
- Hamish's trident was picked up by a third spectral figure that inhabited Caladan's mace.
- Caladan was turned into a flesh golem by some kind of 'curse' (and Shepherd removed that curse)
- The Heart of Darkness itself was preventing / slowing down the devouring of the place by the black hole
- And Hamish? His body is here, but his will is actually 'in' the Heart of Darkness
Under Arathea's guidance, we use the party members' unified will power to draw Hamish back to his body (well, pretty much unified).
Hamish tells us what he saw – a guy chained to a rock, attacked by grey amorphous creatures, protected by some sort of shield or force field. The creatures tried to attack Hamish - he could feel them trying to drain his very spirit, but because he was not there in body they could find nothing to hold onto (I think that was the reason). It seems time runs more slowly in the heart, as the Wicca only felt he was away for a brief time.
- Goings and comings and goings
Shepherd departs – there is some sort of ward around here that makes him uncomfortable (he's gotta be one of those Gods).
A pack of drow arrives with a couple of trolls in tow - apparently representing the Prince's sister's interests. No family love lost there - they are concerned that the Prince might recover the diadem in the cupboard. Apparently it is some sort of magical Drow royal regalia - which might upset the power structure of that drow family. The shadow mage makes herself inconspicuous.
Gorgan Stahl arrives (resplendent in black adamantine plate mail) – with 100 tough mercenaries on call.
The room is getting crowded.
Arathea has been reading the diary (that the party recovered from the 'soon to be destroyed' tower). It is the diary of her long (very long) lost lover Kaladan. It turns out that Kalandan is the figure chained in the Heart of Darkness, and may hold the key to unlocking and saving this universe, so of course we head out to save him.
The adventurers prepare.
- Dirk has a mace from the cupboard (which will destroy the chain with one blow)
- we hire 10 of Gorgan's mercs to accompany us (oh, the expense!)
- Gorgan gives us a figurine that will turn into bear and fight for us
- one of the Sister's drow gives Theo a troll to control
- we get a ward to trigger to protect us against the amorphous creatures soul splintering (+30% MR)
- Brundar has Boris and a couple of steel golems
- we buff up!
We gather our individual wills to send ourselves into the heart of darkness. The mercs make it. The troll makes it. Most of the Seagate adventures make it. Only Dirtbag gets left behind - go figure. As we depart a crowd of blue lizard figures arrive and attack the departing crew – and those left behind. Wtf?!
Unchain My Heart
We arrive within the Heart of Darkness and soon find out the challenges.
- First, the amorphous soul sucking things are relatively easy to kill, but will come back again within a minute and all of the pack will immediately adapt and become invulnerable to that specific attack. So, we rapidly slice through them – a golem bashing, a human wielding two-handed sword, a dwarf wielding a mace, an orc bolt of fire, a binder adhesion etc, but as the combat continues the rescue party is left scrambling for more and more obscure methods of attack!
- Next, your worst nightmare may appear. We have to steel our wills try to think of 'nice' things. Some fail – a huge fearsome disintegration wielding iron golem arrives and heads for Mira. Dwork succeeds spectacularly and is surrounded by beautiful naked females (of various races) and a feast piled high. In just three pulses, the orc gets through all of his 3 favourite Fs. His perfect day really.
By the time the fearless leader musters enough will to join us, the battle is underway. Our mercs and golems are slowly whittled down. Hamish uses his 'eyes' to spot the way through the barrier – and sees where it is (before it adapts and changes that weakness). Of course Hamish is now blind for a day (as the item description clearly says). Dirk uses his mace to unbind Mira's favourite golem. Dwork fireballs a soul sucker, while Brundar sticks one down.
It is a race to get to the chained binder and clear out all of the soul suckers - so Kaladan can drop his barrier and Dirk destroy the chain.
- If we lose the race, we will be surrounded by the returning soul suckers – who will be immune to all of our possible attacks. They will be kept company by our worst nightmares.
- The Iron Golem reappears as Dirk, Mira and the bear assault the final soul suckers surrounding our savour. Dirk smashes the chain, and the prisoner disappears
Ok, the rescue is complete. Who's gonna rescue us?
Soon though, the rescuers fade away, pulled back out of the Heart of Darkness by Kaladan's art. Guess who is left last? (assailed by soul suckers and an iron golem). Yes, Dirk is the last to muster up enough will to return.
- When we get back, things are a little tense.
Brundah and I (Theo) are the first to arrive back at the palace. It is not in very good shape at all. Groganstile is still alive, the three lieutenants of the Drow sisters and the Shadow Mage as well. About 50 dead bodies around on the floor and it seems that we have been away a lot longer than we thought. It seems that the Gods did not want Kallaban to sort things out, so sent masses of lizard folk to deal with things.
The Drow are berating Gorganstile for putting all the cracks in the asteroid, seems he can do Earthquakes with one of his feet, (neat). The Diadem that most of them are after is in a force field where the key used to be.
Kallaban is back with Arathea and they seem to be having a lovers tiff from what I can make out. Also there seem to be a lot of blue lizard things trying to get through a force field and they seem to want to die.
The other party members have not come through yet and it has been about a minute. We are able to talk to Arathea and Kallaban to find out the situation. They want the Drow and the Diadem away from here. They want to make a proposition to the Gods that are trying to destroy this plain, so that they can sort out this Black hole thing with a ritual, there will be Geas offered and wanted.
- The Drow fight it out
Some more of the Party members come back and we make them aware of what is happening. We are able to get the Drow to accept a neutral place where they can sort it out with the Diadem, which happens to be Gorganstile's Arena. (What fun for them.)
Arathea transports them there. We are still waiting for the Party Leader to arrive. Arathea says it is not safe for us and recommends that we get transported to somewhere else. All of us but Brundah (who stayed behind), Shadow and Dirk are transport to the spectators seats of the Arena, where we get to watch the Drow fighting. The Drow sisters arrive to help with the fight. In the end Lady Arial makes a deal with the sisters as they come to a stalemate in the fight. The also offering a reward for Hamish (50000sp), this is after some of us get pulled back to the plain with the Black hole. Mira and Falco inform us when they are eventually pulled back.
- Wheeling and Dealing
Meanwhile back on the plain with the Black hole, Kallaban has called upon lots of other Calamar to let him negotiate with the gods from a position of strength (always a good thing to do!) Deals have been made. Geas have been accepted. Brundah and Dirk seem to have had to accept one as well. The Gods will let the Enlightened Calamar do the ritual to keep the plain safe.
We are able to get Hamish's Trident back from the Greater Undead Specter. It takes a liking to Dirk's Battleaxe and its trying to set up residence there. Dirk is not very happy.
Dirk is able to talk to Lady Arialstile about the price on Hamish's head. It has been sorted out.
- Small Pouch from the Swamp Fetish Shaman
- 1 x sword (has been embedded into Hamish's chest at one stage)
- Dark Hawthorne Staff - ability borrower
- 1 x Globe (Gernado) turn to water
- 3 x Acorns (Petrification)
- 2 x Sphere of Compressed Air
- 1 x Sleep Dagger (used last magical charge)
- 1 x Cloak Magical (Shadowmage can only use)
- 1 x Magical Rapier
- 7 x Gem stones
- 1 x Crystal of vision (Rk 15 Gem Hunter)
- 1 x Magical Book (Wood Golem)
- 1 x Scroll Greater Enchantment
- 1 x Electrical Glave (+5%SC, +10pt electrial damage, 3x per day)
- 1 x Leather Armour (Shadow mage)
- 1 x Well made Rapier (Shadow mage)
- 1 x Dagger (Malignent flames)
- 1 x Black Leather (Black Dragon)
- 1 x Cat Golem (itemised)
- 5 x Void Spiders eggs
- Void Spider Silk
- 1 x Flesh Golem (Cherry 2000)
- 1 x Wig (makes you look female, garrotte)
- 1 x Scarf (Mending)
- 1 x Gloves (Thief Skills)
- 1 x Pair of Glass eyes (improved vision)
- 3 x Gems
- 1 x Belt of many pockets
- 1 x Red Rose
- 1 x Black Ermine Coat
- 30000sp for machinery (part paid in Dark Matter)
- 1 x hand & a half (from the Orc leader on the Docks
- 20000sp for Salvage
- 1x Maul
- Loot from the dead fighters
- 8 x Healing potion 10pt (Rk 13) 400sp each
- 1 x Waters of Healing
- 1 x Rune Portal to Dwarvin Mine 500sp
- Permanent Portal to Slippery Rock 10000sp (not sure if doing just yet)
- 8 x Skin Changes (Rk 20) 300sp
- 8 x Greek Fire Grenado @ 550sp
- 2 x Iron Filing Grenado @ 1000sp (used)
- 6 x Iron Filing Grenado @ 1000sp
- 500sp Docking Fee
- 30sp for street kids to take us to Shepard
- 300sp bribes
- 2000sp Curse Removals (1000sp each)
- 3000sp limb growing (1000sp each)
- 500sp for the slowness being removed
- 15sp for the three kids to stay around
- 60sp for info from the street kids.
- 1500sp healing for Hamish's eyes
- 1500sp for the Trident back to Hamish
- Thrill to Shepard to see us die and take the plain with us.
- Dirk and Theodonna - Shadow Mage General and Special Counter Spells, Calamar Special
- Brundah - Create Iron Golem
Keeping up Standards
- Standard Buffs
- Armour of Earth
- Standard Marching Order
- Dirt Bag and Mira
- Hamish and Brundah
- Thedonna and Falco
- Standard Watches
- First: Hamish and Theodonna
- Second: Dwork, Dirk and Shadow
- Third: Mira and Falco
- Forth: Tolmar and Brundah
Nominations for Adventurer Awards
- Stupidest Adventurer
- Dwork, told by the Party Leader not to use fire spell on the Plain of Mould (swampy area with Methane Gases around. He uses the magics and hurts himself and other Party Members.
- Brundah for Itemizing the Dark Matter.
- Hamish for aiming at a not quite active Golem and ignoring the warning from Cordelia.
- Hamish for using an item that makes him go blind at the beginning of the last critical battle.
- Smartest Adventurer
- Brundah, making special toilet paper Golems for Hamish when he is armless.
- Bravest Adventurer
- Best Death
Brundah backfires his flight spell on an item. The flight spell affects him by making him rigid and floating off the ground. Dwork: I mount the Binder
Falco, "Does anyone speak Common?" MR Dwork puts his hand up. A slave points at Dwork and says "he does."
Hamish says to Dwork, "look at the spider behind you" Dwork turns around to look and Hamish saps him.