Upon returning from Athas via the RQ’s ritual, her courtyard is strewn with dead Shadar-Kai. Stones are toppled and scored with signs of a huge battle. The RQ’s body is slumped across her throne, her scepter missing. Something slew her outright, and it used a fragment of Timesus, the primordial formerly imprisoned in Death’s Reach, to do it.
Tarak finds her scepter, drained of all energy, next to a broken ritual circle. Ghrynt takes the scepter. He deduces that the circle goes to Sigil, but the party is afraid to repair it. Uxig, as the Keymaster, builds a portal with Ghrynt’s help and they travel to Ghrynt’s apartments within the High Tower in Sigil, where his Master resides.
All is not well, Ghrynt’s apartments are emptied, disheveled, and marked with the word “TRAITOR”. His bedroom door is 12-times-glyphed, although Tarak easily disables the runes. After entering they are attacked by ethereal worms and dragged to the ethereal plane. There a clever trap draws them into a pocked dimension which rapidly begins collapsing on them.
The party manages to flee after a tense mental battle with the pocket dimension’s, uh, dimensions, and return to Ghrynt’s quarters. Ghrynt examines the trap and deduces that it is too skilled for Cuttleblack to have built. Only one other could have done so.
Party just made their way inside Tyr, strolling through the Warrens.
Being followed by wary Toothcutters. May hear from Shivrin in non-battle arena days speaking out for The Freed.
- Learn a bit more about the ziggurat
- built to transform Kalak into god-like creature
- or built to hold powerful relic
- or built to protect city
- obvious entrance atop great stair
- contains Kalak’s defiling apparatus
- maze-like interior
- Murter Dyan believes group should enter and find Kalak’s body
- Vectrix, a human, last entered but was captured and is in arena
- Met by Mordis Shom, who had hired them and needs income now.
- and wants reimbursement for lost obsidian (2,500 gp).
- emblem is 3 white dragonflies
- Meet up with the Veiled Alliance (Kivrin from Revenge mod)
- Accosted by Templar of Hamanu
- Gladiator fight to either:
- gain access to the criminal Vectrix, who was the last known person inside the ziggurat, who is currently held underneath the stadium and fights ever-tougher bouts
- Sand and Sky: Anakore Render (7), Aarakocra Warriors. Terrain is 6 columns for aarakocra to perch and 4 silt pools 5’ deep for render
- Bug Maze: Thri-Kreen Mauler and Bounders in maze. Terrain is 4 plinths on a wooden table that must be balanced. If fall off (DC 10 + characters off level), takes 1 round to climb up.
- gain their freedom if they get caught trying to break in. Then Shivrin gets them out and sets them up with Kivrin.
- Rumor on the streets that descriptions of the party killed 2 tieflings and then fled into the city.
- Toothcutters put out a series of hits, starting with people who “helped” the party.
- room at tavern is cancelled after one night
- shopkeeper is burned with acid the next day after restocking
- Shivrin may either put a contract on party, or offer to partner with them to release Vectrix if they will give him access to ziggurat. And stop Murter Dyan from entering.
- I like the idea of Gravik the templar being a real bully with the PC’s. he can use his power to make things hard for them, not ever arresting them but using fear tactics.
- tracks the party to their inn/tavern after 1-2 days and shows them a levy credit. “Possession is punishable by death. Unless maybe you took them from someone else. Tell me who, or where you got them.”
Three choices. Two battles.
The Angel of Secrets was true to his secret. A sword and armor, relics of the Dawn War did reside in a stasis vault atop a spire in the waste of Death’s Reach. The guardians defeated, the sword and armor retrieved, the party leaves behind the Sword of Kas!
The dark star over the canyon was home to a vicious nightwalker feeding on the wasted souls lost in Death’s Reach. He and his bonestorm minion could not prevent the party from taking his most sacred treasure, an ancient mithral box, adorned in astral diamonds.
But then Tarak stuffed it into a bag of holding….
Drawn into the Shadowfell, the party fights through Orcus’ forces to gain audience with the Raven Queen. They agree to her request to enter the desolate plane of Death’s Reach and foil Orcus’ plans.
In possession of a psychic map, the bloodcrystal raven skull and a ritual to summon the Raven Queen’s aspect, the party heads for Nerull’s Gate. Along the way they bargain with an angel of secrets who reveals the location of a hidden cache of weapons remaining from the Dawn War that will help them defeat Orcus in the coming battle.
In the distance, a dark red star hovers below a lightning cloud, a yawning canyon below it.
The gith tobacco and alien wine vintage has your thoughts swimming as you retire to your plush rooms in the Outer Beacon. Sleep comes over you in an instant.
You see a temple on a mist-covered mountain, where thousands of ravens circle above its slender spires.
The scene shifts inside, where a knight in black armor pounds on a doorway behind a mirrored altar. His crimson shield is adorned with a black dragon.
The scene shifts again, and you and your companions are locked in battle with an ebony dragon. Each time you strike it down, it rises again and lashes out at you with its primal fury. As you are cut down, one by one, the scene fades….
You are alone on a endless plain, a hopeless land of neither dark nor light. A great black rock, the size of a moon, hurtles toward you out of the sky. It strikes the land spraying sand, rock, and bones into the air, its impact cracking the earth apart in a world shattering collision. You sense the end.
Sweat soaked and temples throbbing, you awaken well before the chimes. The boy cleaning the common room downstairs tells you that there are good medicines for such conditions at the night market where the eladrin watch the Gardens. You stagger out into the stale, dusky light in hopes that the eladrins’ alchemy is as skilled as proclaimed.
In the week following the dream-like vision of your divine image it’s become clear why the chant-broker you had hoped to meet with never arrived. His body was found last night at a grisly scene. Sadly a scene not unfamiliar to your party, as his skull had been raggedly cracked open and his brain missing. Four lesions lined his jaws, a telling sign as to his killer.
Jabreen, your tout, a guide-for-hire on the streets of Sigil, nervously casts his eyes about during what he tells you is to be his last task in your hire.
“Honestly, sirs, I’m fearin for my life. This Cuttleblack fella, he don’t leave survivors when he asks about. I can tell you that he’s got folk watchin you from all angles. And he means you harm when he gets the chance. I don’t know what you have that he wants, but I say you give it to him and be on your way.”
“But that ain’t your only problem. A friend tells me that the Ebon Riders are back in Sigil, and your names are on their lips. As a mercenary band they always been deadly, but this time touts say that they’ve been drawn neatly under Orcus’ banner, as they have fallen under the leadership of the one they call ‘The Elder’. There be godly power at stake, gents, and that’s too strong for my thin spine, thank you. G’day!”
As the door closes behind Jabreen, wafts of gith smoke swirl above your table in the Outer Beacon. Tendrils fall around your goblets of thick wine from some realm you don’t remember the name of. You stare into the haze and try to deduce patterns that will tell you what lies before you.
The Raven Queen herself has laid claim to you. Orcus has summoned heroes to this no-place and set them against you. Clearly a cosmic war is at hand. But…which side is Cuttleblack on?
- There are 2 important story items in the party’s possession: 1) the Tear of Aureon, held by Urus, and 2) the Sword of Kas, held by…?. I need to know. If you guys need the stats for these items I can send them.
- Also, after the visit from your divine future-selves, you may ‘reincorporate’ your epic character in-line with our story and your true destiny. That means if you want to switch to elf, sword-mage, or whatever, it makes sense. The Raven Queen has claimed your soul, not your body.
The chant-broker never showed. You retire to a pleasant room in the neighborly Outer Beacon inn, but again your dreams are troubling.
As sleep closes in on you, you suddenly become aware of a presence. Sitting beside you is a figure with glowing golden flesh, and a divine aura that you know you will someday share. It takes a moment for you to realize that this figure looks just like you.
“You might one day achieve what I represent, but Challenges lie before you. Perhaps you will succeed. Perhaps not. To acknowledge your destiny you must petition the Raven Queen to relinquish her claim on your soul. Seek her at Zvomarana, the Temple of Temples.”
Interlude, February 2010
The streets of Sigil sprawl before you. And behind you. And above! Sigil exists on a unique plane, on the inside of a hollow tube which is formed like the innertube of a tire. Smoke hangs in the air lazily, only moved when a gryphon glides past or one of the many flying carpets silently passes overhead.
Ghrynt has apparently been here before, he quickly finds a familiar ‘tout’, a local who is willing to show you around. After a long walk the tout, Jabreen, leads you into a comfortable-looking tavern. Inside, several githyanki smoke and drink here, intermixed with a few humans and even more monstrous races.
Over a few goblets of very thick wine, you await a contact who deals in information. A chant-broker.