EPISODE FIFTY-ONE: Onfalcedhuitha (Level 20)
Kristy Eagar (Nirvani)
Mike Eagar (Sadhai)
Adam Rodger (Arhuzimel)
Steve Lloyd (Evran)
Tylor Austad (Terulai)
DM: Graham Ward
A couple days after the family was reunited, Nirvani’s father Icholloth gathered those who were interested in the entering the secret city Onfalcedhuitha. Nirvani, Sadhai, Arhuzimel, and Evran followed Icholloth and Mayvala to a mountain in Tuluro. The mountain, Nel Balaturo, was topped by a steep caldera. They hiked into it, where a formation of standing stones stood.
Icholloth prepared them for the expedited version of the purification ritual. Rather than spend thirty days in isolated fasting, they were to receive a spiritual cleansing by fire. Each meditated until he or she went under the trance of the ritual. Arhuzimel couldn’t enter the trance, despite Nirvani’s help. As they one by one went under, horns blew in the caldera, and a full army of Eitharmos hunters charged toward the standing stones. Icholloth assured them that if they hurried they would be able to complete the ritual before being overrun.
Once under, the others were refined and disappeared into the High Realm. Arhuzimel and Fastus stayed behind, unable to obtain the favor of Jharus. Icholloth forced Nirvani to go under and be purified into the High Realm, leaving the others behind.
As the vanguard of the Eitharmos arrived at the standing stones, everything froze. Time had stopped. Ulthoroch stood before Arhuzimel and Fastus and delivered the difficult news. They weren’t considered worthy to enter. Arhuzimel for his murder of countless jhareth, and Fastus for his murder of a daemon child. Ulthoroch apologized that an exception couldn’t be made, and disappeared. The Eitharmos seized them, and they were carted off.
In the High Realm, Icholloth, Mayvala, Nirvani, Sadhai, and Evran stood on a large pedestal looking up at mile-high towers. The secret city was built of floating capsule-towers connected by bridges of light, arranged in spiraling helix rows like a massive strand of DNA. The whole clustered structure floated in the air some several thousand miles above the ground.
They stood at the foot of the city, facing a great throne where Ulthoroch was seated. He was the hidden king of Onfalcedhuitha. They presented him with gifts and were shown to quarters. Nirvani asked where Fastus and Arhuzimel were. Ulthoroch told her they were likely being held behind the lines of Eitharmos soldiers that currently surrounded the city.
Nirvani led the others in formulating a plan to rescue Fastus and Arhuzimel. She and Terulai (mounted on a griffon) flew down to the toxic surface of the High Realm to resurrect a fallen transport demon — gigantic winged monstrosities that carried Eitharmos troops in fleshy sacks along their underbelly. With it, and some uniforms scoured from fallen Eithalim, they managed to bluff their way into the siege commander’s tent, which was pitched on a floating iron disc a few miles from the floating city.
Meanwhile, Arhuzimel was laid across an iron table. Tethaylaer strapped him into some sort of mechanical arcane device and began fiddling with levers. The device attached to his abdomen by way of a three-foot needle that pierced through him and into the table on which he lay. A burst of energy from the machine sent several towers from the secret city toppling to the ground. He was disenchanting the powerful magic that kept the towers afloat.
The party crept to the edge of the torture partition where Arhuzimel was being kept. They saw Tethaylaer, and in walked one of the Ouleithirim, the five high judges of the Eitharmos. Nirvani was led toward Tethaylaer in the guise of a prisoner. Tethaylaer grabbed Nirvani and leaned in, making oaths of disturbing things he planned to do to her once she was under his control. He bared his teeth for a bite.
Her companions made sly attacks that were disguised as trying to help the enemy, so as not to give away their true identity. Sadhai and Terulai sent Tethaylaer and the high judge toppling backward through the drape that separated that section of the tent from another, revealing a teleportation circle out of the High Realm. Evran snatched the disenchanting artifact from Arhuzimel’s abdomen while Sadhai freed Fastus, but cleverly maintaining his disguise. Nirvani beat Tethaylaer, who was temporarily restrained by the fallen drape. Together the party made a dash for the portal and slipped through into Rhuminos, the subterranean headquarters of the Eitharmos. They destroyed the portal behind them and found an isolated room to hide until Fastus and Arhuzimel were healed.
XP: 16,100 Each
[Purification Ritual Skill Challenge: 70,000 XP
Reaching the Secret City: 1,000 XP
Gifts to Ulthoroch: 5,000 XP
Resurrecting the Sack Demon: 1,000 XP
Arriving at the Eitharmos Camp: 1,000 XP
Bluffing the Guards: 500 XP
Rescuing Arhuzimel and Fastus: 1,000 XP
Escaping Alive: 1,000 XP
TOTAL: 80,500 XP