Treasure Room: Nobody ever said these adventurers were without desire. Spotting an Eidolon in the corridor meant one thing - it was protecting treasure. Probably lots of treasure. Peering around, they discovered one of the walls around the Eidolon was Illusory. It opened to a room filled with pillars and a second Eidolon. Sure enough, the party got themselves tucked into position and as soon as somebody touched the Eidolon's they attacked to protect something. The compact defeated them quite simply and a moment later discovered that the pillars were illusory as well, hiding various items of treasure within the room - and it was the largest single pile of loot the party had found yet. This is where Mauthereign had been hiding his treasured items.
Hall of Tentacles: Parmel led the party through the middle canal connecting the two sides of this labyrinth. They entered a room with a door on each side. To the south was likely the western-most air vent. The room had the same kind of mist hovering on the floor - and something seemed to lurk within it. Once they entered the room fully, the doors shut behind them and the mist began to grab at them. A moment later the western door flung open to reveal a Roper Eidolon. Every attempt to escape the room caused them harm and threw them backwards. It was another trap! Parmel was helpless. What was this Eidolon guarding? Finally, after managing to kill the Eidolon, the party realized they'd need to break open one of the doors in order to manage an escape. Erathon blasted the doors with his magic along with the aid of their new ally. The mist dissipated out the air vents and Parmel was able to move again. They moved west into the room the Roper Eidolon was guarding and opened the door beyond it.
Pool of the Frozen Spirits: The members of the party entered a circlar room. Golden glyphs shined, glowing beneath the ice covering the room’s walls. At the center of the chamber, there stood a great font, about five feet in diameter. A blue radiance emanates from within. An uncommon chill hangs here, far colder than anything they had thus far experienced. Some of the party tempted this font and were affected by it. After this brisk encounter the party decided it would be best to sleep a while. During the night, Reed's hand began to burn severely bad, and the symbol was highly present. He felt affected. At the same time, a great whirling sound was heard early in the morning and awoke them all.
Cold Shadows: Heading north from the four-corner room, they headed deeper into this half of the lair. They must be getting closer. Bizarre and faint cries of Nessus were heard not far off. Moving into the room ahead with dread, they were met by a Shadow Hulk, Hook Horrors and a Beholder Eye of Frost. Somebody didn't want them getting any further. With a fair efficiency this threat was dissolved of.
Mauthereign's Chambers: Mauthereign was not within at this time, but they did discover some valuable drawings about the lair, the locations of items and even the denizens within. They found a scroll of information that has yet to be read as well as books regarding Far Realm communications, making pacts with Demons and another book on making alliances with Shadowfolk. Mauthereign appears to be desperate to gain some kind of allegiance.
With the map of the lair in hand, the party is aware of where the Orerry is and likely the Tear of Ioun. They also know that to the northeast of their current location are the Shrines of Nessus.
Bleeding Universe: A massive, spinning orrery dominates this chamber, a mess of arms, orbs, and other odd protrusions. Hovering in the center of the machine is a black stone about the size of a fist. It pulses with green light that spills out from fractures marring its surface. Above the entire apparatus, a black rip in reality—a portal that writhes with darkness and motes of painful light. In front of the device is a black-robed man with wispy hair. He turns to the party, revealing a distorted face, two eyestalks emerging from his eye sockets. He opens his mouth to loose a shriek of outrage as his fingers start twitch with the casting of a dire spell. The portal leads to the Far Realm!
Immediately the party engages him in battle. A moment later, a massive violet tendril with weird musculature rips through the portal. Its end spews out a humanoid form wrapped in glistening sheets of dark resin. Violet skin wriggling with tendrils is exposed here and there. The creature’s black eyes are also exposed, weeping thick oil. “Well you have done, young Malachi. Kill these wretches so the others may come forth,” it says in a rough hiss. “Volarn!” Mauthereign howls with adoration. The party begins to engage combat with Mauthereign who is laughing hysterically throughout the entire battle and begging for death. Volarn cries aloud for his brethren to enter the world with him.
The party deals with Orerry as it blasts them back, watching the stone rock violently with absurd power, as well as the Kaorti Fallen that enter into the real world, along with Volarn and Mauthereign. Working together in a harmony unique to this party, they counter the attacks with efficieny. Mauthereign, shortly before falling, conjures a portal using his Linked Portal ritual and disappears saying "Thank you, thank you all for that you have done. Thank you for killing me!" and laughing hyserically.
But they still have Volarn to contend with and his Kaorti Fallen. Finally, the tear is removed from the orerry by Will Wadeson using the Bloodclaw weapon taken from Cyrus and the rip to the far realm is closed. "Nooooo!" yells Volarn who fights to his death. Upon dying he cries aloud to his one remaining Fallen in the room, "She lied to me! She betrayed me! She deceives us all!" The remaining Kaorti Fallen fleed. The bloodclaw weapon is immediately destroyed by the tear, and Will Wadeson places the tear within the rune-inscribed box held by Parmel. Parmel now gained the possession of the Tear of Ioun to serve his artifact, the scrolls of Tireon, which demanded a conduit of energy. Upon the tears placement into the the box, the stones that Baeldor collected from the statues outside of the Forlorn tower begin emit arcane energy.
Before departing, the party travels to the Nessian Shrine - and speak with their leader, a Succubus. Parmel lets them know that the compact cleared out their lair. She thanks them and lets them know that people who end up in good favor with the Nessian's are entitled to enter a pact. Nobody wants to entertain the pact except Kalais. He gains some powers, dedicates his soul to the Wrights of Nesses, and also becomes vulnerable to necrotic damage. The party has made a strange ally.
Transitions: The party used the White Gate Rune to travel back to the "Shadow Crossing" portal in Wellspring within the Temple of Ioun created by the Blackgate Rune. They travel to the Blue Plate Tavern to meet with Auric Deepmine. He rejoices in their healthy return and the party takes a much needed rest. During the night, the scrolls grant great favor to Parmel, letting him know they are pleased and that he will be well rewarded. Auric asks the party where they intend to head. Asking around, they see that the Torian is no longer a patron of the Blue Plate Tavern and that neither Lord Criswell nor Gerald Roy have returned to town. Parmel informs Constable Harras that citizens can return to their homes.
The tear secured, the party decides that the next thing they must do is head to Argent. It is a promise that they made to both the Torrian and the Harrowfolk. Yet, nobody knows where Argent is, only that Weldon the farmer, who Will Wadeson agreed to meet, is on the way to Argent. They decide to head out to see Weldon the Farmer first then. In their travels, the tear is swiped from Parmel by another party member.
Weldon the Farmer: Weldon introduces himself as a Sage of Ioun, Leader of the Malachi Order - Gaurdians divined by Ioun herself to gaurd and decipher the precious gifts sent to mortal-kind. He explains the purpose of the gifts as offered by Ioun after the Dawn War with the Primordials - to spread knowledge so that the world may further its light across the lands and ward off dangerous threats.
Harrowfolk: Will Wadeson thanks Weldon for his aid. Weldon explains that he finds it curious Mr. Wadeson is in league with a Kaorti (referring to Reed, to which Reed believes they are referring to Kalais). Weldon tells Will that he is a descendant of the Harrowfolk. The Harrowfolk have been charged with gaurding the Tear of Ioun since the fall of the Kaorti. The Harrowfolk have been watching over the forlorn tower for over a hundred years and is the reason the region below is known as the Harrowood. Many Harrowfolk families have also traveled the world in search of the tear. The Kaorti are malachi that have fallen from grace. Weldon explains that Will's heritage decrees that he protect the tear. Weldon also explains that the Kaorti bloodline has been watched over by the Malachi ever since, and that Mauthereign and Reed are the only known remaining descendants of that line.
Tireon Kaorti: Parmel asks about his scrolls and the orrery. When Weldon asks from where the scrolls came, Parmel says that they are labeled the "Scrolls of Tireon". Weldon explains that Tireon is a man that went corrupt - Tireon was first in the bloodline of the Kaorti. Weldon asks if the party knows why Estered - whose statue sits in the main square of Wellspring - became a Saint of Ioun? Weldon explains that Tireon was led by a woman who tempted him to explore the secrets of the world. To learn everything the Tear had to offer within it - both good and bad and about the world beyond. In his desire to please her, Tireon studied great knowledge within the tear to which he kept in his scrolls. His learnings taught him about an Orerry that would allow him to create connections beyond this plane. In his passion to earn her favor, he created just such an orerry. His writings became more and more jambled - incoherent. Otherwordly. He created the orerry and one night pierced reality with a mere pinhole. And what he saw within that pinhole was nothing more than utter, abberant dread. Tireon created the world's first connection to the Far Realm. Tireon is responsible for the Far Realm ever having touched this land... and though he tried to close that rift quickly, he was too late. A birth of creatures, as small as tadpoles and the like, made their way into our world. Tireon was possessed by those creatures.
Estered, then an apprentice of Tireon at the Kaorti Temple, took it upon himself to defeat Tireon and the Far Realm entities that pervaded the land and threatened the world - making Estered a great hero of his time. But the damage was done. The Far Realm was now aware of the mortal world, and has been ever since trying to gain access.
Volarn Kaorti: Years later, Volarn Kaorti must have gotten hold of those scrolls and created an orerry. As to what his reasons for following Tireon's footsteps are Weldon doesn't know. "But rather than creating a small pinhole, Volarn had tried to use the Tear of Ioun as his conduit of energy - creating a massive rift and physically entering the Far Realm. But the energy of the far realm must have been too much for the tear within the orerry. The tear must have exploded, destroying the orerry as well as the tower itself, closing the rift and trapping Volarn and his brethren within the Far Realm 100 years ago. Once Parmel discovered this information - he disposed of the Scrolls of Tireon.
Mauthereign Vyen: Weldon also explains that the world is currently facing a divine threat. Mautherign, a descendant of Volarn, seems to have taken up the reigns. It appears as though Mauthereign Vyen is trying to gain various types of alliances for something big - Shadowfolk, Aberrant beings and Demons. Who knows what he'll try to line up with next - or what his purpose is. He has been raiding cities for the last ten years searching for Ioun's Stones. Who knows what his plan is for the stones should he gain them, but the thought of a malevolent-being possessing all of them is too powerful to consider.
Argent: Finally, Weldon explains that a Torrian has been through his farm lately. The Torrian is a Seneschel of Argent. Argent was founded by many of the Gods at the end of the Dawn War to ward off evil and darkness. Each great nation or city-state was supposed to supply men worthy of being a champion to protect the light. Argent has seen a great threat - but no new champions have arrived to aid in this battle. During the time of the Nerath empire, there was little need for Argent since the light spread so far and so bright. Rather than sending champions every 3 to 5 years, it became 5, then 10, then 20, then not at all. The torrian explains that no champions have arrived in over 100 years - not since the fall of the Nerath Empire and the return of darkness to the world. Argent has only Obanath within its walls right now - and it was the job of the Torrian to find such champions within the world and have them arrive in Argent to take up the silver cloaks and reform the Paragon Compact. Something sacred is kept within those walls. One stone, the Tear of Ioun "Essence of Knowledge" is tainted, and another stone, the Star of Ioun "Essence of Divinity", has already been taken. However, the most powerful stone, the Shard of Ioun, "Essence of Creation" is within argent - and it needs protecting.
Star of Ioun: Weldon also informs the party about recent history: "The Star of Ioun was originally protected within the Haven Temple. But, like so many remaining points of light that have been snuffed out - its city was ransacked and destroyed - and the tear removed. Gaurding that tear was a tribe of malachi led by my preistess daugther, Deirdre. It was Deirdre who first learned of this threat against the world. She was given powerful instruction by Ioun herself on the ways of retreiving stones. But such a ritual is perhaps, overpowering for mortals - yet knowingly, my dauther accepted this sacrafice for her god.
You must go now, to the city of argent. You may be this world's last set of champions, and the remaining points of light are now flickering."
The primordials, elemental creatures of enormous power, shaped the world out of the Elemental Chaos. The gods gave it civility and permanence. A Dawn War ensued between the great entities for control of the new creation. The gods eventually triumphed, and primordials now slumber in remote parts of the Elemental Chaos, raging in hidden prisons, or floating, lifeless, through the Astral Sea.
As the Dawn War against the Primordials came to a close, some of the gods (Erathis, Pelor, Ioun, Bahamut and others) established Argent for the Paragon Compact, the mortal world's first line of defense against any darkness that should threaten the existence of the world. Each god gave the mortals of the world a gift to protect their world, like Pelor's glowing sun in the sky to act as the single beacon of light in the world. Ioun herself gave the mortals of the world thought and wisdom, granting 4 stones containing knowledge to be spread among the civilized races to ward against the darkness. These stones were to be divined by all, their information spread and existence gaurded by the Malachi Order. The four stones represent the worlds "Essences of Existence" housed in great temples.
-Star of Ioun, "Essence of Divinity" at the Haven Temple -Tear of Ioun, "Essence of Knowledge" at the Kaorti Temple -Shard of Ioun, "Essence of Creation" at the Temple of the Dawn -Heart of Ioun, "Essence of Life" at the Temple of Wonders
Tireon Kaorti, first in the bloodline, head of the Kaorti Temple, was tempted by a woman to study the deeper secrets of the Tear of Ioun sent to mortals. Driven by passion, he copied his knowledge into scrolls about a vast cosmos of planes and ways to access them. He created an orerry that pricked a pinhole into the world and created a connection from the natural world to the Far Realm. Tireon was corrupted and his apprentice, Estered, defeated Tireon and the aberrant beings. But the damage was done - the Far Realm now knew of the natural world. Estered was granted Saint-hood by Ioun and was revered within the region below the Kaorti Temple, a town now known as Wellspring and one of the current worlds few remaining points of light.
As the world continued empires came and went: Vardar, Bael Turath, Arkoshia and most recently Nerath. The Nerath empire was so great that the need for a Paragon Compact was lessened. The empire sent fewer and fewer champions over longer and longer periods of time until they stopped sending them at all.
100 years ago, Volarn Kaorti, descendant of Tireon, found the scrolls within the ancient temple. Driven by some unkown purpose, he recreated the orerry written about in the scrolls in a way Tireon never conceived of. Using the Tear of Ioun as a Divine Conduit, he tore more than a mere pinhole into the far realm - he created a great rift. Stepping into the rift within his bretheren, the Tear was corrupted by its touch with the far realm and the orerry that contained it exploded and destroyed the orerry and the temple that contained it while trapping the Kaorti in the Far Realm. Shortly thereafter, darkness seeped into the world and the Nerath empire fell. The few remaining champions within Argent had become complacent and were too few and too underprepared for the threat and darkness took over the world once more. The remaining champions effort were not completely for worthless, they did manage to preserve minor Points of Light before their fall. All that remained within Argent was a single Champion and his Seneschel. A tribe born from a fallen Champion of Argent, the Harrowfolk have been charged as the new Malachi Gaurdians of the Tear of Ioun, hidden below the tower within the Harrowoods.
Today, a new threat exists. Many of the Points of Light have been attacked and ransacked mercilessly while some dark entity is in search of something - The Ioun Stones. The Star of Ioun "Essence of Divinity" has been taken from the Haven Temple from the priestess Dierdre, daughter of Weldon the Farmer, head of the Malachi Order. Ioun sent the priestess into the Kaorti region with a ritual divined to retreive her stones. Meanwhile, Auric Deepmine, informant extroadinaire, has been moving undercover to reveal the secrets of this great plot. He has bore witness to each cities great demise and is familiar with each of the heroes. Auric Deepmine has ended up in Wellspring after learning of the Kaorti symbol. And there he waits and watches. At the same time a supposed Sage of Ioun, Mauthereign Vyen, arrives in Wellspring, as well as a suspected vampire, Gerald Roy.
Mauthereign Vyen, descendant of Volarn, is seeking something greater and more sinister. Naming himself a "Malachi", Mauthereign has been seeking various alliances with great beings under some greater plot. Seeking a connection to the Far Realm, Mauthereign hires members of his legion to find the tear - and with each city they destroy it is not found. But his apprentice, Cyrus, is clever. He learns of the great Dawn History and travels to Wellspring. Cyrus hires the Stormcrows, a local band of mercenaries to retrieve the stone from the tower. Once they retreive the stone however, some of their members immediately become corrupted by the tainted Tear. The party saves a couple of its members including Denva who is on a mission to deal with a potential vampire threat.
Mauthereign then discovers that his apprentice, Cyrus has been comprimised. Allowing the heroes to do his work for him, Mauthereign waits. Mauthereing's operatives have been watching Dierdre within Wellspring's Temple of Ioun however.
When Dierdre uses her divine ritual to recall the stone Mauthereign is immediately alerted, then attacks and steals the stone. Chasing after the stone the PCs stop Mauthereign from allowing Volarn and a permanent rift for the Far Realm into the natural world, but as Mauthereign flees with a dying wound, he thanks the party. One of the Kaorti Fallen escaped.
Travel to Argent: That night they slept. Free of aberrant threats, new threats loomed over them – as they prepared to head for Argent. During the night Reed heard commotion in Weldon’s room and watched a shadowed figure escape from his window as he entered. Weldon lie in a pool of his own blood, his skin grayed and neck pricked with two piercings – he’d been bitten by a vampire. As soon as Parmel entered and attempted to heal him, the Sage of Ioun, Head of the Malachi order, clenched his fist together and the pouring of yellow-green ooze emitted itself from his neck as his skin healed itself. Giving the party the assurance he’d be all right, he warned them that it would be best if they made the start immediate.
Onward they traveled. As they made their way across the farmland of Weldon’s small village, they came across many mysteriously dead animals – all gray in skin. When they came upon a dead riding horse, it became clear that vampires had been eating in these lands recently. They traveled through a dark and mysterious forest until it opened to the Plains of Chaos – and the first sight from that opening was of tree shrubs surrounded by fire – a grayed Torrian being attacked and Denva trying to off the elemental attackers. The party joined in immediately and Denva fault valiantly to protect Rrowthar. Once the elementals were eradicated, Denva informed everyone that Rrowthar had been bitten by a Vampire earlier in the journey and that their progress had been slowed. She had vowed to come to Wellspring to rid her life of the Vampire Hoard and that she needed to continue pursuing. Much to Parmel’s fears, he knew she was as tough as when he met her as part of the Stormcrows, and agreed to aid her in her pursuit when he was done with his. Rrwothar gave the members his scroll, requesting champions to join the ranks of the Paragon Compact within Argent. From there, he led them to an ancient ruin, activated the sigils within and teleported the party to Argent.
The Ancient City: When they arrived in Argent, they appeared in a glowing circle, its runes inscribed into the stone tiles beneath their feat. They stood in a courtyard of sorts, surrounded by marble statues of humans and humanoids. A reflecting pool shimmered with a barely perceptible glow. A statue of a female dressed in grand robes overlooks the pool, her outstretched hand glowing with a calming light. A human in robes and a silver cloak, ancient by all appearances, leaning heavily on a great staff says “Welcome, champions” in a strong voice, “welcome to Argent. You have selected well old friend.” At that moment, everything in the mall shakes as Bulettes explode from below ground. The ancient champion rushes to the statue behind the pool to enable the warding that had been weakened by the teleport while the party disposed of the threat. When Obanar was attacked by a Basilisk, powerful attacks missed him. This was indeed a warrior. When the battle ends, he introduces himself as Obanar, the Last Gaurdian of Argent. He waves a hand over the reflecting pool and the water shimmers to show a top-down view of the city. A red dot pulsates angrily over what appears to be a great tower and among a nearby collection of smaller buildings. “Other invaders have made it into the city; I must go to the highest level of the Guardian’s Tower to restore the protective wards. Rrowthar shall lead you to the intruders so that you can deal with them.”
Street Battle: Thecityis empty and forgotten. As they move toward the area of the invasion near the base of the tower, there is a large rift of some sort, pulsing with elemental energy – and great magma beasts being led by a Hill Giant. They are easily disposed of.
The Hidden Vault: Moments later Obanar returns quickly and says in a rush, “I know that you must have a multitude of questions to ask me, and I shall give you every opportunity to quench your curiosity, but I must ask you to remain patient a while longer. Know that this is the city of Argent, and I am its Last Gaurdian. Right now, the city is under siege by hill giants and elemental creatures, and even as we speak, a force of hostile combatants is making its way to the vaults beneath this tower. I must complete the ritual necessary to restore and re-establish the city’s magical defenses, so I must ask you to stop the intruders before they can penetrate the vaults. Soon, we shall speak of the mysteries of Argent, the destiny of champions, and the fate of a multitude of worlds. But first, we must keep Argent safe.”
After being led to the vault chamber by Rrowthar, the party engaged its intruders – including Frost Beetles, Fire Archons and the like. The vault was broken into multiple rooms warded by various traps and force generated doors. Some of the doorways had energy differing from each other. After having an easy time of the initial creatures, the party quickly lost Parmel in one of the middle chambers when we stepped into a series of traps that slid him into an elemental cell – that could only be opened by Obanar himself. In the final chamber sat sigil circles on the floor, each containing valuable items protected by a powerful pillar of warding. As Reed, Uaradur and Will rounded the corner of the chamber, there stood Mauthereign, pocketing an item and kicking valuables within the chamber aside. He appeared much more different than before and the hole in his stomach from their earlier encounter was gone. As Will Wadeson approached him, he realized that he was much more powerful than before, and was had become a lich. Will was blasted backwards 50 feet into a wall. Mauthereign blasted his enemies with elemental damage and could immobilize them simply from a fearful gaze. The party was overwhelmed and was not even able to escape. The entire time Mauthereign calling out his thank-yous, Parmel unable to assist his falling party. Will escaped into the same prison as Parmel and then the rest of the party was knocked unconscious. Mauthereign walked directly up to Parmel within his cell and said, “I never did get a chance to thank you for finding me my stone; for enabling my ritual within the tower; for allowing the ritual too occur as I required but without the threat of Volarn. You have been wonderful. Consider this refusal to kill your friends, the one, and only thank you I offer.” Parmel retorted saying, “We will find your phylactery – and then we’re going to kill you.” As Mauthereign began to prepare his portal – Obanar returned to the room and began attacking Mauthereign himself directly. He opened up the cells within the room and had Parmel and Will join in. Mauthereign began to become overwhelmed and as the party had started to gain the upper hand; he was suddenly sucked away – called by some unknown elemental force.
The Last Gaurdian: Afterhealing the party, Obanar explains the state of things. They first learn that Obanar has been waiting for over 100 years for new Champions and that he didn’t even know that Nerath had fallen. He realizes, that what Volarn had done 100 years ago had brought into the world a new age of darkness and that his former Champions did the best they could by providing the world with at least some remaining points of light.
He explains that a single Shard of Ioun was taken, but that unbeknownst to its captor, the shard was actually broken into many pieces. It won’t take long for Mauthereign to figure that out. Obanar goes on to say:
“In the Dawn War, the primordials were led Piranoth. His brother, Haemnathuun, was killed by Ioun. Piranoth is responsible for creating the Titans and subsequently the Giants of this world. Many Giants would like to set them free, and I believe based on what I’ve seen, that Mauthereign has made a pact with these Titans to try to free that primordial.
Today he is bound by a divine engine. There are many such divine engines, like an Orerry that will allow you to travel across planes within the Multiverse. These divine engines, these primordial prisons, are known as Banes – as invented by Bane himself. Divine engines, as it were, require a conduit of energy to run. The particular conduit used to imprison Piranoth within his Bane was a single Piece of Creation itself, raw entropy in solid form from the Elemenatal Chaos. When he was imprisoned, Ioun held this entropy to propel the divine engine while Kord Smashed it with a hammer to ensure this one Primordial was never released – leader that he was. And so it marked the ending of the Dawn War. When Kord smashed it with a hammer, the Piece of Creation broke into 5 shards, including the one that Ioun held in her hand then the remaining pieces flew across the world.
Obanar believes that Mauthereign is trying to gain the Ioun stones for some great purpose. He suggests to the party that they get their full nights rest – for in the morning, it will be time to ordain them as the new champions of Argent and members of the Paragon Compact, such that they may don the silver cloaks. From there, they will strategize their next plan of attack.”
For the first night in 20 days, the members of this thrown together party were able to get a full nights rest without any immediate consequences.
Research: Obanar awakes the heroes the next morning. He informs them that there are three approaches to recovering the shard and preventing the threat of a Primordial returning to the mortal world: Locate the Torrians and convince them to return to Argent to improve the ward and the protection of the world and its Champions; Find the materials to recreate the Implements of Argent to help defeat powerful monsters such as Giants, Titans and Primordials; Research the divine engine.
The heroes of argent chose to understand the divine engine. Obanar says “When the gods defeated Piranoth, they used a powerful artifact of divine magic to imprison the primordial for all time. This artifact is known as a divine engine, and it is just one of many that were constructed during the Dawn War –there are a other divine engines still in this world, like the Orrery you witnessed with its planar-portal opening. They visited the library and Temple of Dawn. Here is what the party learned:
A divine engine is a type of artificact, although one of godlike power and origin. At least a dozen divine engines were known to have been crafted during the Dawn war. Piranoth’s Bane is one such artifact. As the Dawn War was drawing to a close, the gods crafted a divine engine with the specific purpose of defeating and imprisoning the primordial known as Piranoth, leader of the primordial cause – and as such he could not be killed. It was successful in its use, and Piranoth was banished for all eternity. Piranoth’s Bane, a divine engine also called Klar’ekku, was designed by Erathis, the god of invention, and Torog, the god of imprisonment. Moradin, god of creation and artisans, constructed the artifact and gave it form and substance. It had to be used after Piranoth was defeated, while he was in an unconscious state – and powered by a conduit of energy. Ioun held a single piece of pure entropy as the conduit to power the divine engine. Once Piranoth was imprisoned, Kord, the god of strength and battle, shattered the conduit into five pieces while Ioun held it. Each flew off to a different corner of the multiverse – save the one that remained in Ioun’s hand. That stone, became known as the Shard of Ioun, and was one of the first gifts she gave to the world during a time of enlightenment and learning.
The First Gaurdian of Argent, named Deekon, was given the Shard for safekeeping. This is the piece that was stored in the vaults beneath the Gaurdian’s Tower. All head guardians that have since come to replace Deekon have been known as the Last Gaurdian. The mysterious astral giants have been known to keep track of the whereabouts of divine engines. The giants of the Temple of Inchoate Mysteries, in the Astral Sea, are known as the foremost experts on Piranoth’s Bane. It is rumored that they, along with select exarchs of Moradin (such as Torugar), known the ritual necessary to restore Piranoth’s Bane to working order. It is believed that Piranoth can be freed with only a partially intact divine engine. With at least three pieces of the engine and the added assistance of a god, Piranoth’s Bane can be used to unlock Piranoth’s prison. Us such a case, Piranoth would return to the world in a diminished state.
The Siege: After returning from the Temple of Dawn, they find Obanar on an observation balcony high atop the Guardian’s Tower. They can hear angry shouts in the distance, getting closer and closer with every passing moment. “The hill giants have laid siege to the city, the defenses shall hold, at least for a short while. Perhaps you can strike at the enemy while I prepare a more powerful offensive solution.” He directs the party to two attack points the giants have struck. The party heads for the Landing Platform. In a terrific battle against hill giants, their shaman and a huge roc, the party climbed up the ramparts and to defend a closed door the giants were trying to break down. The warding was not yet strong enough to make it beyond the rampart walls. As such, as soon as party members made themselves visible the roc swooped down to attack. He grabbed Erathon and dropped him onto the lower platform hanging over a high cliff. Erathod saved himself from falling and began to crawl back when the Shaman blew him backwards and he fell 200 feet. Then the roc continued to pick off one after another while the party took care of the giants. Eventually all the giants were defeated and the entire party had been thrown over the cliff until it was just Parmel and a wounded roc. The entire party was nearly killed. Parmel rushed to make a couple of attacks that missed and the roc worked to throw him over the edge but Parmel caught himself just in time. Parmel came running forward with a valiant strike that killed the roc. Obanar spoke telepathically to Parmel and explained to him that there were two vials of Immediate Recovery in his laboratory. Parmel headed down and recovered the party members and healed those he could and fed Erathon the vile. Obanar explained that there was a final siege taking place on the Main Gate.
What they saw beyond the Main Gate was breath taking… Hundreds of large humanoids were attacking the warding in an all out onslaught. With enough pounding, as the party approached, a few of them slipped – along with a huge companion of theirs – a Behir. After defeating them, Obanar explained to the heroes that while it was a hard-fought battle, the Giants had made a mistake in this brash tactic. They had revealed themselves and ultimately the tracks to the lair they must have in the Plains of Chaos. He urged the party to head forth and squelch the Hill Giant threat from the Walls of Argent.
Leaving Argent: The party defeated the Hill Giants. Once the immediate threat to the walls of Argent were safe, it was clear that the party needed pursue 3 tasks:
1. Gain some assistance to power Argent. This would first be done with the Torrians. After that, the aid of the Elven nation would be required, as well as a band of humans and goblins.
2. Get the materials needed to create the Implements of Argent. Only these items would enable the party to take on Mauthereign or the Primordial he is trying to awake.
3. Collect the remaining shattered pieces that make up the Shards of Ioun to reconstruct the Shard of Ioun. This one is the race the party faces against the Giants - for that is what they seek. The Giants hope that gaining the shards of Ioun will be what they need to act as a conduit of energy to power the divine engine and set the Primordial Piranoth free.
Torrians: First the party realized that the Torrian's had been taken control of by a demon named Physanthos, who was in league with Mauthereign. They tried to make it look as though it was the Wrights of Nessus, but they are a devil cult. The paragon compact then tracked down the demon and freed the Torrians who agreed to restore order to Argent.
Sky Metal: Then the party went to seek out the materials used to create the Implements of Argent. This took them to see a drunk sailor within the City of Sigils, who took them on a journey through the Astral Sea to meet with the Astral Giants. There, the party learned the Astral Giants had been under the influence of somebody who was working with the Drow. During the time, Parmel learned from Denva that her discoveries had taught her something about Vampires seeking the Ioun stones, led by some great Vampire Paladin. Once the party freed the Astral Giants from the drow, the Astral Giants told the party that the last known place where the material existed was in the residence of a once young wizard named Acerek. It was now time for the party to travel back in time.
So, the party headed to the young Wizards home in the past within the Acerek tower. After defeating him, they confiscated his Sky Metal that they needed. However, he, like Mauthereign, thanked the party for killing him. For they had killed him during the height of his ritual, and they turned him into the great evil lich was to become famous for. Also, within the tower, they witnessed plans for a great Tomb of some kind.
Allegiance: With the material in hand, Obanar agrees to make the Implements with the Torrian Craftsman right away. However, he cautions the party from venturing too deep without them. Instead he urges them to gain the final bits of support to recreate the powers Argent once held. He sends them to gain allegiance with a heritage of Elves, Humans and even Goblins. After defeating a threatening Fomorian, the party demonstrates to the people that they are serious, and they gain the support they're looking for.
Frost Spire: When the return to Argent this time, Obanar has created an Implement for each party member. He lets them know that time has become critical. Their contact within the elemental rift town has sent an urgent request for assistance - that the town of Flotsam is under attack. Obanar explains they will need the Djinn of that town to aid them in their quest, and that they were to head to Frost Spire Island next - so the party goes to help the town.
While helping the town, it is ambushed by both Frost Giants and Slaads seeking shards of Ioun. They tear apart the town in a haphazard manner much like the towns Erathon, Parmel, Uaradur, Auric Deepmine and others had witnessed: without intent to rule over, but searching for something. After stabilizing the town, the local Djinn of the town, Kaseem, shows the party exactly what the monsters were looking for, and he hands them his shard of Ioun. He lets them know that there are more, and that he believes those Frost Giants have some of them. He tells the party that he will sail them across the frost seas of the element chaos to the Frost Spire Island to find where they are holding them. In gratitude for preserving his home town, he grants each present party member a wish - (any level 18 magic item or lower of their choosing).
From there, they battle the seas and monsters allow they way. But as they arrive at Frost Spire Island, their ship the Percheron is badly damaged. Djinn tells the party that he'll use his ability as a genie to travel back to Flotsam for the needed materials, and leaves the party to their task on the island. From there, they battle Frost Giants immediately on the frozen beach. After that, they get lost in a frost labrynth. When they reach the center of the labrynth, they witness what appears to have been a Frost Giant massacre. Floating above their heads is an Elder White Dragon, named Ketherek. He parlays with Erathon who strikes up a deal. If the Wyrm lets them go, the party will give him either a Lvl 21 item, or 2 Lvl 20 items, 3 Lvl 19 items or 4 Lvl 18 items for his hoard. Ketherek tells them he will be watching them from above, allowing them 5 minutes from the time they gain any treasure to hand it over before attacking them.
Finally, the party takes out a Guard Post and gets themselves some sleep for the night. The next day, they begin their travels toward the tallest spire in the distance to the east. Along the way, they come upon a hut with a Frost Giant named Gorrick who is humming to himself. They party begins talking to this jovial fellow, who eventually springs a bunch of elementals on them. After defeating the elementals, the party then binds him up. He continues to laugh and engage them in conversation. He reminds them about how much fun they all just had. After some time, he gives them two treasures. Two genuine shardlings of Ioun. And, a Lvl 23 Frost Weapon.
Gorrick does this for the following reasons: He explains to the party that the Frost Giants have been massacred lately because some of them are resisting the ruling by Frost Titans. These sects of Giants are led by the Frost Giant Jarl. Garrick explains that the Jarl has three men in charge, Gorrick himself, Zaelex and Helstaff. But Garrick explains that Zaelex is actually in league with the Frost Giant, and he suspects Helstaff is too. He asks the party to defeat the two of them. In turn, he, Gorrick the Frost Giant Forge, will work to forge a key for the party that will grant them access into the Frost Spire so that they can defeat the Frost Titan for the shard of Ioun he knows they are seeking. Gorrick explains that in order to forge the key, he will need a book called The Tome of the Frozen Gate which Zaelex posseses and the forge frost fire from Helstaff. The party agrees to defeat these giants and gain their components.
Once they leave Gorrick's hut, they are welcomed by Ketherek, who sees there is a treasure to be received. But the party turns on their deal having gained such a valuable item, and they opt to fight the White Dragon. Ketherek put up a rather frustrating fight, flying most of the time and waiting to recharge. But the party was patient. The one time he did come down within melee the party made him pay dearly fom it. Knocking him prone, pinning him and blinding him. In time, he got himself back up but he was severly hurt. It was only a matter of time. He made a few more attacks but was still taking damage from the one who betrayed him the most - Erathon. Ketherek finally, with all his vain, decided he'd lost the battle and attempted to flee - but the vengeful party wouldn't have it. With the great white wyrm defeated, they extracted 10,000 resdiuum from his dragon scales.
Knowing where his home was, the party made their way to his cave to gain the loot of his horde. But when they arrived, they weren't the only ones that knew of the beast’s death. There, just outside the, the Paragon Compact considers their next decision.
Zaelex: Upon entering the White Wyrm’s cave, the party defeated a band of Frost Giants that were trying to clean the horde first. Along the way they saw a lot more dead Frost Giants. From there they decided to learn more about this Zaelex in the tower to the East. Traveling across the bridge over the waters Elemental Chaos was terrifying and the party feared if they fell they would fall into infinity. Once inside, they were met by Zaelex’s who was not the most hospitable. When finally gaining audience with him he was disinclined to acquiesce. Heading back up the stairs, he used the powers of the tower to attack the PCs in a gritty battle. The floors would quickly become water and freeze dropping party members to a slick bottom floor. Zaelex froze party members into petrified blocks of ice. When the Paragon Compact finally defeated him they did so with great zeal. But to free their petrified allies, they decided to strike a bargain with him rather than kill him outright. Zaelex reported that all he wanted to do was to get off Frost Spire Island and that he knew he couldn’t do it without the Talisman of the Seven Winds – a relic that the Frost Giant Jarl had and some being named ‘Mauthereign’. Zaelex told the PCs that if they defeated his rivals, Gorrick ‘the liar’ and Helstaff, that he would aid them with the use of his book, the Tome of the Frozen Gate. He said that this would grant them access to where the current Frost Giant Jarl was, inside the islands inner sanctum. He explained that the island was actually a prison of a Primordial, Suulkar and that no one could leave the island without one of the Talisman’s. Zaelex did not believe that he would be able to gain access to the Talisman while the other members lived. The Jarl (Gurgonson) had been acting rather strange lately. So, the party agrees to honor bargain made with Zaelex. They still need to find Helstaff. Zaelex also tells the compact that the Shard they hold is a pure Shard of Ice, not an Shard of Ioun.
Frost Giant Jarl Harlgaad (Undead): On the way back, the party goes to the Island of Tombs looking for the desecration of the burial site for the Jarl and Helstaff. Instead, they come up on an undead Jarl who notices that the compact has gained a bunch of urns. They are his urns and the party gladly hands them over. Harlgaad agrees to stop the random undead attacks if the PCs kill Helstaff and Zaelex who desecrated his tomb. The compact agrees. They now have an agreement with Gorrick and Harlgaad to kill Helstaff and Zaelex while having an agreement with Zaelex to kill Gorrick and Helstaff. Look out Helstaff.
Helstaff: On the way back to Gorrick the party comes across a cave of interest – and so they go in. They recognize it as a forge and immediately begin to look for Helstaff. Once they enter deep within, Helstaff springs an attack upon them. Baeldor attempts to negotiate for Helstaff’s assistance, but Helstaff just pleads to be left alone and will not help. Baeldor and company grow impatient and knock Helstaff out. They take a piece of the Forge as proof to Gorrick that the deed is done and then Will Wadeson leaves a note behind for Helstaff.
Return to Gorrick: The party plans to kill Gorrick. However, when they meet up with them, he humbly greets them with excitement. They question why he lied and he says he was scared. He’s a bumbling innocent sort and there is sympathy for him. He just wants to restore honor to Harlgaad’s tomb and that he made an oath that he would do so as a Shaman. He cannot restore its honor until Zaelex is dead. He can sense when the defilers have been killed and he recognizes that the party has already killed Helstaff, much to their surprise. So, again the party agrees to kill Zaelex.
Death of Zaelex: Thepartyonce again heads out to Zaelex’s tower. Once there, he asks them how things went. He reminds them that all he wants to do is to get off of the island. After one more round of going back and forth to Gorrick and Zaelex, their resolve is such that Zaelex has been telling the truth but seems more evil, while Gorrick has been lying but seems more innocent. They attack and kill Zaelex very swiftly. The battle is over in no time unlike their first encounter.
The Inner Sanctum: With the deeds accomplished for Harlgaad and Gorrick, they bring Gorrick back to the Forge. Helstaff is nowhere to be found, and Gorrick crafts the key needed to get into the Inner Sanctum. The snow has been melting fast and the trapped Primordial Suulkar is beginning to wake up. They leave the forge and Gorrick heads off to spend a life time protecting the tomb of the Jarls. On the way to the entrance of the inner sanctum, the party comes across a Rhemoraz eating the body of Helstaff. After a battle with the beast that was looking for fresher meat, the part uses the key to get inside. Within, the consumed Frost Giant Jarl is using the heart of the White Dragon the party defeated earlier to perform a ritual that will free Suulkar from his prison. The Jarl is admonished by his Frost Titan leader but they work together to free Suulkar when the party arrives. A battle ensues between them all. Suulkar begins to waken. Half way through the battle appearing from his invisibility is Mauthereign crying “No!!!! Stop them! Don’t let them perform that ritual!” And he begins to attack the Giants and not the party. Parmel and Will struggle within themselves not to attack Mauthereign. Mauthereign after a couple of powerful attacks rushes forward and grabs the Shard of Ioun from the ill-focused Jarl Gurgonson and in a final flourish, attacks everybody within a close range and teleports away then goes through a portal. However, during the battle, he drops a book that is the map to the Flamefall Tower. This must be where they are crafting the pieces of the Shard to free Piranoth. The party finishes defeating the Jarl and his titan Glacier. When Glacier dies, his body breaks apart into many pieces and goes flying out ward until suddenly they come together into a vortex and disappear. The compact has seen this before.
Return to Argent: Mauthereign has just escaped with another Shard of Ioun has been taken but the party was able to defeat a different threat – a second Primordial. Once they speak with Obanar, Obanar informs them that the Storm Titans have taken another Shard of Ioun – but worse, they have capture Torugar, Exarch of Moradin and crafter of Piranoth’s Bane. They must make haste to Flamefall Tower as Mauthereign now has 3 of the 5 shards (the minimum required) and the Exarch needed to create facsimiles of the others. After a quick rest and the purchase of some goods, Obanar sends them to their destination.
Flamefall Tower: The party easily makes their way into the tower and past the guards. The tower is made up of 3 towers, the outer of which moves up and down seemingly at random. Once inside, the party witness conversations and negotiations between Incunabulum and the Giants. After infiltrating further, they are able to discover a forge where fake shards were being made. After another incursion with Incunabulum, they force some answers out of one – but he speaks only in part truth. Everything he utters is veiled in some kind of secret or lie with only a hint of truth and knowing what was real and what was not proved challenging. So the party allowed him to flee. In his speech he mentioned a bronze lich and the word Osterneth. Half way through getting deeper into the tower, the party is in need of rest but time is running out. They perform a ritual in this hot place to be able to benefit from an extended rest in an hour’s time. Further still they run into a set of negotiations with a Genasi named Dervish. This Genasi is different than any other they’ve met before since he manifests 4 different elements at the same time. After defending himself the party fights away the rest of the monsters and Dervish the Negotiator realizes the best deal now is to help the Paragon Compact. He leads them down the stairs to where the Azers remain. He explains that beyond the far wall is an illusory door – that will take them into King Snarr’s chambers with the fire titan Wildfire. Entering the room the party sees through the far window a rift into the elemental chaos and the performance of the ritual to free Piranoth. King Snarr tells the party that they are too late – but the party presses forward and defeats the King and his Titan. Yet, as they have seen before, once again the Fire Titan bursts into a vortex of shards that suddenly disappear on his death. While they have been quick to move and Piranoth has only partially restored, the Paragon Compact must now step forward into the Elemental Chaos to a Primordial.
Elemental Chaos: The compact moves forward into the Elemental Chaos, to witness an incredible calamity of elements all swarming together before 3 small, raw pillars of energy bound to Piranoth’s Bane. Above Piranoth, an orrery of sorts is whirling about, divine engine – like the one that bound him to the pillars of energy. The divine engine is being propelled by a conduit of energy – the Shard of Ioun – or a facsimile of it. With the knowledge learned from Torugar, Exarch of Moradin, at least 3 pieces of the Shard of Ioun – and divine intervention they would be able to free Piranoth. But only Mauthereign was before the divine engine and its ritual – so apparently Mauthereign was able to gain the benefits of a divine spark to aid his ritual. Mauthereign also has 3 Earth Archons with him for protection while he finishes his ritual. He is not able to get Piranoth to full strength before the compact arrives, but he must release Piranoth early or have his works destroyed. He finishes his ritual and flees.
Once Mauthereign flees, the Stone Pillar lashes and releases from Piranoth’s Bane, and creating from a Vortex near the pillar, is an Earth Titan, Earthshaker. The Archons and the Titan are no match for the compact. A short rest. Then the Frost pillar lashes apart and a Frost Titan appears, Glacier. The party dispatches of the Frost Titan and his allies – and they prepare for the release of the final pillar. They position themselves: Parmel on the stair pyramid of pillars, Will Wadeson on the Fire slabs of stone, and the rest of the party together on a patch of ice across from the bane. At once, the Flame pillar releases and Fire Titan Wildfire appears – and so does Piranoth.
The energies playing around the pyramid and between the pillars suddenly flares in power and immensity. and a strong wind begins to blow across the surface of the islands. Large creatures that appear to be amalgamations of different elements rise out of the islands, and a bolt of energy from the pillar of magma releases a fire titan onto the island nearest the adamantine platform. As the elemental creatures turn their attention toward the party, the pyramid emits a burst of devastatingly bright light. As the light fades, a huge creature composed of fire, frost, and earth steps forward. While its shape is that of a great giant, its form seems to flow from one element to the next with no apparent pattern. “I. Am. Free.” The creature says, its voice like fire and ice. “I. Am. Piranoth.”
After an intense battle, with Piranoth throwing and lashing party members into the harzards of the elemental chaos, the lava, the ice, the wind and water, Piranoth brings Parmel and Halkad to within inches of death. But the compact does not yield. Will Wadeson keeps Wildfire in his sights at all times. Baeldor collects all the pieces required and assembles Moradin’s Universal Apparatus in case its needed. But the grit of the party forces them to pursue the live force of Piranoth – a chance to outright kill a Primordial. Working together with renewed energy – the defeat Wildfire and the great primordial. They have only a moment to heal themselves. They are not fully rested when Mauthereign appears, devastated at their actions. He has already spent his energy to escape but with the loss of his primordial, and his earlier loss to the compact with his gate to the far realm, Mauthereign fights wildly. He throws the weakened compact deeper into the elemental chaos. The party gives them everything they have – but Mauthereign still appeared to be too much. He brings Halkad to the bring of death. And then a moment later, brings Parmel to his death. But Parmel still had the party’s final potion of immediate recovery, and was instantly brought back to life. Mauthereign, having turned away from his once killed victim, looked back too late to see Parmel lunging forth from the lava, and ending Mauthereign’s life. Mauthereign’s body returned to his phylactery, and the paragon compact stood victorious in the elemental chaos that day. They collected smaller elemental shards from the region in the way of fortune stones, and they all returned to Argent with the Shard of Ioun in hand.
The Council of Seven: Once they return to Argent – they are be greeted by Obanar and an entire city celebrating their success. Denva is there to hug and smother Parmel. Uaradur and his nearly-showing bride Delmina stand and cheer. Weldon the Farmer stands back in the crowd smiling a proud fatherly smile at Will Wadeson. After learning of their killing of Mauthereign, Obanar informs the Silver Cloaks that they will need to hold council swiftly. He asks them to rest and ready themselves, but he has news of his own to report and so do others. He explains they will meet in the Temple of the Dawn, to meet with the newly formed Council of Seven.
Once at the meeting, Obanar introduces them. “I, Obanar, Last Gaurdian of Argent, stand before modern world’s newest line of council, as well as the new Champions of Argent. Heretofore, this day in history will forever be remembered when the Council of Seven was assembled. We have with us this day, to speak with our Champions, Denva of the Stormcrows, Auric Deepmine, Constable Harras of Wellspring, Arjhan Patrin, Weldon the Farmer Deirdre - Exarch of Ioun, and myself. Let us proceed. Denva?”
Denva: Denva speaks to the compact. “I sent a message to you earlier that you were searching for the wrong man. The fact is, Kas is dominating Mauthereign to do his bidding. Kas is clever. He has always been so clever. He is the embodiment of evil. He feeds of human blood for pleasure.” (Denva explains Kas lore). “You see, Kas wants Vecan’s secrets. In case you don’t know, Vecna is known for being the god of secrets is often called ‘The Whispered one’.” (Denva explains Vecna lore). Kas, betrayed Vecna” (Denva explains the betrayal lore).
“So, clever little betraying Kas is trying to get Vecna’s cultist leader to become another betrayer. He wants to gain Vecna’s secrets from Mauthereign – and is having Mauthereign act out his own entire plot against Vecna. However, right now Kas is angry. Mauthereign has failed too many times.“
“Kas wants those Ioun stones and has been killing anything in his path to do it. Kas believes that by having the Ioun stones, he will able to kill know all the secrets that Vecna wants to know. He will then use that knowledge to learn how to kill Vecna – and in that way kill a god. Kas also believes that by killing a god he will earn his seat in the Pantheon. Kas is in a race to gain secrets – already, since your arrival, he has tried to penetrate the far realm and to awaken a primordial.”
“Mauthereign is being forced to work against his will, for Mauthereign is the head of the Cult of Vecna – nothing more. He is a descendant of the Kaorti, and as such he was always inclined to want know more about secrets – just like Reed. This naturally drew Mauthereign toward Vecna. But Mauthereign was never sinister, he just spread his scrolls before – preaching his beliefs in Vecna (right or wrong) – and now Kas is dominating him – forcing Mauthereign to act against Vecna, against his own god, and now Vecna’s newest most trusted lieutenant is betraying him.”
“But his plan goes beyond that. Kas has a kingdom in the Shadowfell that is tolerated by the Raven Queen. Why? Because he has been feeding her secrets about what Orcus and Vecna are up to – however, he certainly hasn’t been giving the Raven Queen secrets about what he’s been up to. How do I know this? Because I know more than Kas would ever want me to know. He forced this noblewoman to become his wife in his youth when was working on his ascension to power. He treated me and my people horrible. I was a trophy of beauty and a puppet for his power. He turned my homeland into a land of dead. But I was near enough to know of the plans he had been working on. He possessed me when he defeated lesser deities and primordials. I was there when he fought his epic battle against Vecna that tore his eye out and his sliced his hand off. When Kas lost that fight he fled, and that defeat freed me – for he thought Vecna killed me after his shameful departure. Since then, I have been in hiding, searching for ways to undo his horrific plan.”
“But Kas is hungry. His defeat has only left him hungrier. As a vampire, he has an appetite that can never be satisfied. He, more than Orcus, more than Vecna, more than the Raven Queen, wants to rule all of the Undead. In the world of Kas, the undead will be the populace – and the living will be little more than a farm to harvest blood out of – like cattle on a ranch. Kas believes that when he rules the world and everything in it, his insatiable thirst will be slated. “
“So, he, like Orcus believes that if he can find out the name of the Raven Queen, he’ll learn the secret to killing her. Kas believes that the Ioun stones can also give him that information. If he is able to kill the Raven Queen and Vecna is dead, there will be no match to Kas – his power will be greater than any god in an eternity. He will have an entire army of undead at his side. “
“Dark days are upon us, but there is a spark of light. I sent you a second message more recently. There is a way to kill Kas before it is too late. He has lost his sword – the very Sword that Vecna gave him. Little does anyone know: that that sword is more than just a weapon. Something only a former wife could have known: it is also his phylactery – and he is desperate to find it. Well, I have found something nearly as good. The Silver Mask of Kas. A mask he used to where when he forced to be together. He would wear it in the sunlight. It has since become an artifact of his followers. If retrieved, and unfortunately, if pleased, we will be able to get that artifact to tell us where the Sword is. Destroy the sword, and you’ll be able to then destroy Kas. To stall his plans, we will also need to gain all of the Ioun stones before he does – or destroy them or whatever.”
“I learned of its location by tracking various Vampire cults – following the tracks that we found in the fields on our way to Argent. So, I began my venture into the Heart of Darkness, a cave where the current possessor of the Mask resides. However, the cave is more perilous than I had anticipated. A proud purple dragon lairs within that cave – spreading the word of Kas – perhaps trying to gain favor in a newer version of the world. Purple dragons are known for their love of secrets as well so it is no surprise. “ (Denva explains purple dragon lore).
“I was overwhelmed and barely escaped. When I did escape, I remembered when we descended the Forlorn Tower together on our way back to Wellspring, overhearing the Harrowfolk say if you were ever in need of assistance. I didn’t know how long you’d be away facing the Giants and Mauthereign, so I asked the Harrowfolk to aid me. I explained what I have to you now and Vaymeer agreed that in order to protect the Ioun stones we’d need to retrieve the Silver Mask of Kas. So Vaymeer prepared a small army, including himself and he ventured forward into the Heart of Darkness. Well, that was more than 2 days ago – and they still haven’t returned.”
“Please help me retrieve the Silver Mask of Kas.”
Constable Harras: TheConstable speaks to the compact. “Well, something awful has occurred since you left. Recently, howls have been coming from the ruins of the Forlorn Tower. And a great, stench. Our water supply seems polluted. Then, just yesterday, we were invaded by a bunch of Aboleths. It’s as if all of Wellspring has become a City of Aboleths. Something has awoken them and they are attacking our city. I have no one else to turn to, the Stormcrows have been wiped out, the Harrowfolk are nowhere to be found, and the mayor having fled. Now, I’ve never seen much of their kind before but I’ve read books… And to me these aboleths seem rather small. “
“The crazy thing… is that good people are starting to lose their minds. They seem to be speaking about the coming of the architects. Spoken in weird gibberish, that all mention something similar… “they know we have awoken…” and “the architects know where it is…” and “the time has come to open the gate”. Champions of Argent, I implore you to help stop the madness once more. I know we have little to offer you, but Wellspring is a good place. It remains one of the last points of light, but that light is flickering. Should you be able to save our town, I can see to it that you are rewarded with Estered’s gifts.”
Obanar: The Last Guardian further addresses the compact. “Well, you killed Mauthereign. Hmmm, yes, that is good news. You know that you have defeated him, but not killed him, he will have returned, you know this? However, this remains very good news. Doubly good in fact. Now that Mauthereign has been killed, he will return to the place of his phylactery and will remain dormant for a few days. I do not know how many. However, if we can find his location, you may be able to locate both him and his phylactery. Better still, you may be able to access his phylactery while he remains dormant. Be aware, that once you have destroyed his phylactery however, he will immediately awaken and be aware of your presence – but he will be corporeal. You will then be able to remove him from this world permanently – sending him to one of the gods his kind hope to take over – the Raven Queen.”
“What has been laid out before you is: The chance to kill Mauthereign. He may sleep a while longer, he may not. This we cannot know. It would seem to me that destroying the aberrant lich before he resumes his search for the Ioun stones is the only way to prevent his increase in power; The chance to retrieve an artifact of Kas – and hopefully save the Harrowfolk, guardians of the Tear of Ioun from a horrible fate. It would seem to me that we do not want to lose this key to stopping the sinister plot at our feet and its evil designer, Vampire Lord Kas; The chance to stop a sprawling aberrant infestation early and save the lives of the city of Wellspring. It would seem to me that this Wellspring is a Nexus of something incredible. Perhaps more is below that city than just a laboratory.”
“What is it that you choose to do this day?”
“If you wish to pursue Denva’s cause then I can aid you in two ways. Firstly, I can request that Weldon the Farmer find this phylactery for you. You know this now, for he is living world’s greatest master of rituals. A secret we must keep to the Silver Cloaks only. Secondly, I can provide you with a guide into the Heart of Darkness. Would you please step forward? (And stepping forward is Auric Deepmine).”
“If you choose to go after Mauthereign now, my only immediate lead would be to tell you of a cult of Vecna that was recently discovered near Garr’s Port. Perhaps you have other means of finding his location more directly.”
“If you choose to free the city of Wellspring and its members from this immediate aberrant threat, then I can teleport you there immediately.”
“Finally, you should know that I will not remain long in this world. My days are numbered, though I still have strength enough to get my new Champions through this. But, as now formally accepted members of my ranks, it is my duty to place the authority of Last Champion among one of the new members should I fall. He shall be known as Guardian of Argent. The same burden will be placed upon the Herald, for he must himself choose Herald of Argent.”
“Parmel, please come forth. You have led your fellow comrades valiantly. You have made good judgment and have always demonstrated self-sacrifice among the party. You have put yourself in harms way without concern for your own well being, and you’ve been able to find love within the world and within your fellow men. Do you accept the honor of Guardian of Argent?”
“Then with this runes, I put this blessing upon you. You will now be the only other member of this world who will be able to either see or interpret these runes and use them to the benefit of you and your allies. May Pelor, Erathis, Ioun and Bahamut all bless you this day. And who is it you see fit to act as your Herald, or do you not yet know? I will ask again tomorrow morning.”
Auric Deepmine: Thedwarf speaks to the compact. “I have traveled nearly all the lands of this world and those under it. Are you prepared to meet with the denizens that lie below this world? Wellspring will look like a vacation hotspot compared to what’s below there. What’s down there you might wonder?”
“The Underdark is divided into two main regions, known as the Shallows and the Deeps. Pray you never have to enter the Deeps. Within the Shallows, cut off from the sun’s sustaining energy, most tunnels and vaults beneath the surface are lifeless, bleak corridors. Narrow cave complexes meander for miles without any sign that creatures or plants have ever found their way into the dark. Seeping ceilings and stagnant pools of subterranean water encourage fungal life of all sorts. Slimes, oozes, mushroom, toadstools and fans. Dwarf mines, Evil Duergar, Goblins, troglodytes, negotiating Drow, gricks and grell, and other soil loving beasts all call them shallows home. This is where the Heart of Darkness lies: at the edge of the where the Shallows meet the Deeps. That’s where we’ll be heading. The entrance to which is at the foot of a small mountain near Northhaven.”
“Now Erathon, I was going through many of my things and I found something from my time in Northhaven, which I believe belonged to your father. Your father knew of the coming of the dark ones that pillaged your town. He knew I had been to previous locations that had been attacked. And he handed me this book after the devastation took place before you moved to Newfields. This is a spellbook – though I do not know how to open it or read it. In all my travels, I have seen this symbol on the face of this book only one time – among a collection of some of the oldest ruins I’ve ever seen. The symbol resembles the rune from The Order of the White Lotus – an ancient group of Wizards.”
Arjhan Patrin: Thepriest of Bahamut speaks to the compact. “I am here to address two of your members. Baeldor, Halkad. You came seeking me in the city of Wellspring. You selflessly freed me from that monstrosity Shathrax, and before we could even get a chance to speak, you were off saving the earning your title as Champions of Argent by saving our world from your first threat. Bahamut has noticed. Bahamut has witnessed your judgement in all cases as you deliberate what is best – and Bahamut in turn has been judging you. I will tell you more of this in a moment.”
“There is much the mortals of our world do not know, and there are secrets that only the Champions of Argent are entitled to. I was in Argent visiting a Priest of Pelor, Regdar, who had requested I meet with him regarding a student of his. However, I as of yet do not yet know the purpose of your visit and why it is you seeked me out at Wellspring – perhaps for training. But now I seek you out, I seek to offer you training freely. And I seek to tell you of lore only Champions of the mortal world would know.”
“Now I will address you all. Let me tell of you Bahamut’s tale. Without the world, and without its people, there would be no reason to be a God. While the Gods serve as the world’s leaders, they are also the world’s servants. “
“A secret to be told to you is that Ioun is herself a gem of the gods. For her divine spark was granted to her in a way different than any other god. She is born of the love between Pelor and Erathis, and so she lives with them in Hestavar. Bahamut is her eternal guardian. Why? Because Ioun is also the gods gift to the world. The gift of knowledge and purpose for the people of the Gods. She is our gem. And as such, this gem has granted the people of the world gifts through her Ioun stones.”
“Allow me to elaborate. Ioun was created without alignment, so as not to be swayed or tempted by the trials and tribulations of good and evil in the search for knowledge. She promotes knowledge for all beings, though some choose to abuse it. That is where the judgement of Bahamut comes into play. While knowledge should be had by all of us, what we do with that knowledge is what defines each of us individually as good or evil. And the evil will be judged by our god.”
“Now, who am I to tell you all this? I, am more than just a Priest of Bahamut walking the streets of wellspring by a pseudoname. I am Kuyutha, Exarch of Bahamut. I am tasked with training a new order of knights on Mount Mertion itself.”
“Returning to Baeldor and Halkad. Normally, I seek out only Dragonborn to join our ranks. But Bahamut has seen the nobility of your cause, as you sought to grant the protection of stones for the god to which he is a guardian. Perhaps it is your destiny to join Bahamut and become a member of his Gold Wyrms.”
“Should you be so inclined, you are invited to Mount Mertion, to test your might. I will warn you, that should you accept this test, you start a journey toward a series of great rewards. But it is a journey that is challenging and with many risks. These risks could cost you – but if you endure through these costs – than your so may your destiny be fulfilled.”
Deirdre: Theexarch of Iounpriest speaks to the compact. “You have now secured two of the Ioun stones. I can tell you what I know of their history. Ioun desired to have knowledge spread to all reaches of the world, and so she placed the stones within the four corners: the Tear of Ioun at the highest point in the world within the Forlorn Tower; the Heart of Ioun at the deepest point in the world within the Ziggarut beyond time known as the Temple of Wonders; the Star of Ioun beyond the world within Hestavar’s Haven Temple; and the Shards of Ioun scattered across the world and within its safest place, the Temple of Argent.”
Weldon the Farmer: Theritualist speaks to the compact. “Well, I must say Will Wadeson, that is quite the interesting contraption you’ve devised there. Perhaps in the future I could use one of my rituals to animate it for you.”
“I think something strange is occurring. You will remember that I was bitten by a vampire during the night before your final departure. Denva, thank you, fortunately saved me from my death and the rest of you went on your way. Well, I have been bitten by and yet miraculously, I feel no desire to bite another. I do not have a bloodlust. But something more sinister may be at play here. I feel as they my soul has been stolen. As though, this was not a normal vampire – but rather was a Soul Vampire, or some kind of Spirit Vampire. Please be wary in your travels”. Weldon speaks of the Spirit Vampire lore.
“In the meantime, Will Wadeson, I profer this gift for you. You are a good man, Will Wadeson. You have acted out of selfishness these recent days. Perhaps you felt you were paying a debt you owed to for my assistance in the past. Watching you, I know that your membership in the Silver Cloaks demonstrates that you are more than feral. Yes, I fear that your childhood has been challenged, but no more so than any of us who live to see dark times. Alas, what I profer is a gift of fatherly upbringing, the gift of knowledge, appropriate in this setting I think. I will teach you something that will help you and your survival. I will teach you how to adapt to situations within yourself. The ritual I will perform on you will grant you this knowledge. Then, you will need to seek out the Harrowfolk, the people of your original tribe, and learn the skill they have to teach you. We give this gift to you without debt. You cannot repay this debt. You can simply decide for yourself what you will do with this gift.”
“In the meantime, you will have these comrades to take care of you. And, your pet, Banjo.”
Going Forward: Obanar asks the party to consider their next steps. After learning that it may take a few days if they wish to use Weldon the Farmer’s scrying rituals to determine the location of Mauthereign within the natural world, and that the threat to Wellspring is just beginning, the party decides it’s time to return the favor the Harrowfolk granted them so many nights ago. They head towards the Heart of Darkness as Denva requested, to find the Harrowfolk and the Silver Mask of Kas within the depths of a purple dragon’s lair.
The Heart of Darkness: The party is teleported to the region where the heart is believed to be by Auric Deepmine. After white water rafting their way to the bottom of a great chasm, they fine the entrance to a cave... but its denizens are near the entrance and they seek new food. Creatures of the Underdark Shallows, Bulettes, attack the party. Once victorious, the party descends into the Heart of Darkness artery. Visibility is very limited, and they are warned of the consequences of lighting a sunrod. They follow the light of the phosphorescent fungi.
Penetrating deeper still into the heart, they face Umber Hulks, spiders, carrion crawlers and even a purple worm. After defeating the beasts, they come upon members of the Harrowfolk. Vaymeer, their leader, warns Will Wadeson of a sinister man – Parmel – and that they will need to kill him. Suspecting Vaymeer may actually be under the control of the purple dragon lying deep within the depths of this lair, Will Wadeson and Parmel seek to perform Remove Affliction on the Harrowfolk, but only after having to engage them in battle. Once complete, the party sends the remaining Harrowfolk back to Argent via Sigil Circle, but Vaymeer stays behind to rescue the remaining Harrowfolk. Further on they press.
As they make their way further into the heart, they are besieged by a series of flyby attacks from the purple dragon herself, Orukurtz, who warns the adventurers to leave their lands. Auric Deepmine warns the adventurers that she will know of their presence no matter what they do. She is attuned to the underdark. Vaymeer warns the adventurers that once they look upon her, they may see nothing but beauty.
On still they press. Once, during a flyby, the adventurers nearly finished her, having bloodied the beast but they were unable to pin her down. Finally, they reach the center of the heart, and her very lair. Within the lair, she is far more powerful, able to prevent the weak-willed from moving closer and dominating a victim at will. Controlling the mind of Will Wadeson, Orukurtz used the parties abilities against themselves in torturing encounter. Nearly dead, Orukurtz asks the silver cloaks if they are ready to parley now. She reminds them that she has done nothing to the people above, and that they have come into her lair uninvited. She makes them aware she is merely dealing with trespassers. But that, thanks to the Harrowfolk, she is now fully aware of each individual that stands before her.
Orukurtz seeks to make a deal with the adventurers and the adventures seek to make a deal with her. At first, Orukurtz asks for the scrolls of Tireon, or an Ioun stone, or perhaps even the brain of either Obanar or Parmel – and the Paragon Compact is reluctant to execute this deal. Will Wadeson, wants the Harrowfolk free – so she promises to free them if he does something for her. Not seeing many other options, Will enters into a pact with her – where he promises to kill Parmel at a time of her choosing. Orukurtz fancies the dragonborn Erathon as well, and Erathon is looking to gain the Silver Mask of Kas. Orukurtz makes a similar deal with Erathon – he gains and honors the will of the Silver Mask of Kas, while in return he promises to kill Denva at a time of Orukurtz choosing. She gently bites their neck and their pacts are sealed. Unbeknownst to the two of them, they have just entered into the Dark Blood Ritual. They will forget the terms of the pact once they leave the dragon’s lair. Pact sealed, the party gains what they came into the underdark for, and they leave for Argent. The rest of the party is unaware of the terms of the pact.
Return to Argent: Once they have left, the party is interested in news of Mauthereign, Wellspring, and to discover anything they can about the pact that they’ve just entered into.
Constable Harras implores the party to help save Wellspring. The threat is getting worse and everyone is back at Castle Criswell once again. It is a very long journey to argent with the weak and the Aboleth’s. The town’s people’s are become made as the Aboleths take over and their powers begin to permeate the walls of the castle. The baby Aboleth’s are getting larger every day. Some people are leaving the castle muttering ‘The Architect’ and becoming minions of the Aboleth’s. The people that leave are digging holes in the ground relentlessly without eating… It’s a very freaky site.
Weldon the farmer has discovered the location of Mauthereign’s phylactery. He does not know if his scrying has awoken him up or not, nor does he know how much time they would have. Weldon the farmer does advise the party about the curing of vampire afflictions by a man who has just moved to town in the Necropolis. The man performed the Cure Vampiric Disease ritual on him. A man by the name of Gerald Roy.
Gerald Roy: The party ventures into the Necropolis to meet with Gerald Roy and learn of his intents and of his cures. After enduring his obnoxious servant, (and breaking down his door), the party gains an audience with underground scoundrel. The party threatens him to gain information, but he questions their intentions. He explains that he has committed no crime – but that should he ever, he would like them to punish him to the fullest extent of the law.
After much quibbling, the party learns of why Gerald Roy fled Wellspring. He was working against Mauthereign. Gerald Roy’s pact was never fulfilled because he was not able to kill the Mauthereign within 60 days time as directed by his Vampire Lord (because the PCs had stepped in) – the two of them had been friends within the town of Wellspring. Instead, he was able to devise a way to kill Lord Criswell, his Vampire Lord and ending his pact. That is why Criswell’s Castle is empty. After his crime, he felt it prudent to leave the area. He had never intended to be a killer – just a wheeler and dealer. Gerald Roy is able to perform the Cure Vampiric Disease affliction to humanoids bitten by Vampires that are not Vampire Lords and has been doing so locally. Most recently, he performed it for Weldon the Farmer. Gerald Roy has been hiding in the Necropolis of Argent. As for his ability to cure vampiric disease, the party wants his assistance. He is not willing to discuss such things until he negotiates himself a deal. Parmel gives him a nice pair of boots. Gerald Roy explains that he is not able to cure their disease, but they have not been bitten by a generic vampire, nor was it even a bite by a Vampire Lord using Drain Blood, rather, they were bit by a Vampire Lord that was initiating the Dark Blood Pact ritual. This is what Gerald Roy explains to them. Once they learn about the ritual, they apologize for any misunderstandings in their past, but Baeldor still warns him that he will continue to watch him. Gerald Roy replies calmly, that he will continue to watch Baeldor.
The ‘Dark Blood Pact’ Ritual The ritual is a Vampire Pact created by the Lord of Vampires, Kas. The ritual can be performed only between sunset and sunrise. To enter the pact, the subject is bitten by a Vampire Lord – and gains Vampiric Heritage. The subject then becomes a Bloodhunter of the Vampire Lord, a partial vampire who cannot deny the will of their Lord. To fulfill the pact, the Bloodhunter must successfully complete the Blood Lust Hunt as directed by their Vampire Lord. The Blood Lust Hunt requires the Bloodhunter Vampire to kill an ally using their Blood Drain power and drink a small amount of their target’s blood. Once completed, at sunset on the following day, the soul of the Bloodhunter Vampire will die and rise as a full Spirit Vampire, their target will rise as a full Corpse Vampire and the pact is fulfilled. Killing the Vampire Lord of this pact before it is fulfilled will free the subject of its Vampiric Heritage and they will cease to be a Bloodhunter. Killing the Vampire Lord of this pact after it is fulfilled will grant the Spirit Vampire free will. Any creature that enters into the pact is not aware of the terms required until instructed by their Vampire Lord. Such creatures cannot be freed of this pact or its effects through any other ritual and failure to fulfill the pact within 60 days drains the subject of its blood, animus and soul, feeding its Lord. The subject’s Vampire Lord may end the pact at will without penalty to the subject.
A Vampire’s Life While you are a Vampire, you are required to drink the blood of a living humanoid creature at least once per day or you are weakened throughout the following day. Drinking the blood of a living humanoid creature will prevent you from being weakened for one day after taking an extended rest. Drinking the blood of an unwilling creature requires the use of the Blood Drain power, while drinking the blood of a willing creature will cost the target a healing surge – by placing their blood in a vial and handing it to the Vampire - this healing surge cannot be returned in any way during that day. Creatures that are slain by a vampire’s Blood Drain power will rise as Vampire Spawn if the vampire chooses for them to do so. Creatures that have been subjected to the Blood Drain power a third time within a ten-day will rise as Vampire Spawn.
While you are a Vampire, your maximum surge value is reduced by 2 while exposed to sunlight, and any healing you receive is reduced by half.
A Vampire’s Resting Place Corpse vampires and spirit vampires do not rest in coffins and must instead take an extended rest in a dark place, usually under the earth, each day. The creatures usually do this during daylight hours. If a vampire fails to take this rest, it is reduced to half its normal hit points and is weakened until its next extended rest. A vampire is attuned to the den where it rests. The creature can change its den by resting three consecutive times in a new location (during which time it has half its normal hit points and is weakened). After satisfying this requirement, the location becomes the vampire’s new den. A corpse vampire can burrow into loose soil, and it prefers to rest in a fresh grave—usually its own. A spirit vampire uses phasing to pass through the ground and locate underground caverns or niches.
Spirit Vampire A spirit vampire is much like a wraith. It hungers for blood, but it can drink only while possessing a humanoid body. For this reason, it prefers to dwell where it has access to corpses. When it reanimates a body, the form grows claws and fangs. A spirit vampire in possession of a body is easily mistaken for a normal vampire. A spirit vampire often uses its original body as a tool for feeding, even fooling those it knew in life. Because a spirit vampire can possess other corpses, though, a single spirit vampire can seem to represent dozens of different vampires; Although it prefers to possess a corpse, a spirit vampire can possess an unconscious humanoid. It is possible to attack the spirit within the body using ranged and melee attacks without harming the subject of the possession. A spirit vampire attacked din this way can be driven out of the host.
Corpse Vampire A corpse vampire is a pale, feral-looking undead that appears to be slowly decaying into horrifying form. The creature is slow unless it is bounding toward prey. Due to corpse vampires’ unusual movement habits, Halflings call them “pouncing vampires”. A corpse vampire is the result of when a humanoid was improperly killed: Either killed from an ally in Spirit Vampire form as a part of the Dark Blood Pact, or if the cadaver is buried improperly such as being robbed of its burial possessions, or left in a place that is polluted. The creature has no soul, but it retains memories of life. It can speak in bestial tones and often victimizes its one-time relatives and friends – not including the spirit that created it if any.
What’s Next? The party must make a decision. They are faced with the chance to finish Mauthereign before he awakens, now that they know his location. They are faced with an expanding and otherworldy thread from the Aboleths near Wellspring. They also need to complete a pact, either by fulfilling it or breaking it: they can parley their way out of the ritual pact by presenting Orukurtz with a Tear of Ioun or some other gift she seeks, they can try to kill Orukurtz (a challenge since Will and Erathon cannot act against her Will), they can try to gain the Heart of Ioun and learn, if within its volumes of knowledge, is a secret that will free them from their pact, and many other options. Leaning towards Wellspring, the exhausted members take single nights sleep.
While sleeping, Erathon is talked to by his Silver Mask of Kas, promising him great power in return for little more than loyalty and a small service.
Meanwhile, Parmel is spoken, via his telepathy powers, from a distance greater than any other by a voice louder than he’s ever heard. He hears the following: “Son of mine... Hear me. In the mortal world, you know me as Regdar, Head Priest of Sparrowdown is Pelor. I have watched grow in this world. I ask you to please help your sister. You are my gift to the world when the light faded from Nerath’s fall. Your purpose is to connect the Points of Light and spread it throughout the world… Just as your sister raised civilization out of darkness after the Dawn Wars when she connected the world through her spreading of knowledge. She too began as a mortal – and in serving her purpose she became a Saint, and then eventually a god. The last Saint the modern world has known was Estered, son of Ioun. His gift to the world was the Nerath Empire, a time of peace and prosperity that lasted over 1000 years. I ask you know, son, to please connect the points of light before it is too late. Spread your light from point to point, and become a Saint of the world for your father.
Wellspring: The Silver Cloaks have decided to pursue the otherworldly threat facing the fabled town of Wellspring. When they arrive, they see that the people within the city are acting like drones, mindlessly digging through the region, while the skies above harbored no Aboleths. . Investigating deeper in the laboratory sewers, they see that the place is filled with slime but no creatures. While in the sewer, Parmel and some of their party members learned of the unreality that was affecting the region – getting his finger stuck in a liquid ceiling. From there, the party corrals many of its people back to the Castle awaiting the food that they had delivered. The people throughout the town spoke of returning the Mad Architects and waking up mother.
According the Will Wadeson’s familiarity with aboleths, it appeared that the reported aboleths that hatched from behind the Forlorn Tower, were children of Ugutharnum, the maternal half of the abolethic breed, sent to the world during the Dawn Wars. Will Wadeson explained to the group that there are two aboleths parents, Pavan, the father, and Ugutharnum, the mother. Their job when sent to the natural world, was to fester a weapon into the world for the bringing of the Mad Architects in the form of a chrysalis. The story goes that, as their population and madness spread during the infancy of the new world shortly after the dawn war concluded. Ugutharnum placed herself into the chrysalis to begin the calling for the Architects entrance and the corruption of the world – and that the first set of silver cloaks from the past used that opportunity to create genocide and destroy all of her children and their eggs. Locked up in a chrysalis and no children, Pavan fled to bear his own children – the spawn of which represented the known aboleths of the modern world.
These newly hatched aboleths appear to be the children of Ugutharnum, and have been multiplying at a rate that could once again awaken their mother and begin the calling for the Mad Architects into the natural world. The party needed to get into the Underdark and find the chrysalis. So, they decided to trail the slime.
Then, they opted to inspect the Forlorn Tower. Behind the tower lied the cave with the opening to the greater underdark. The terrain featured more of the same as they attempted to permeate its walls. After learning that they would need to don the slime onto their own bodies into to use their minds to control the terrain, they began the march in the deeps of the underdark.
Rock’s Roil: The rock’s roil is made up of the birthplace of multiple aberrant races within the deeps: Xarcorr, city of aboleths; Hatchlands, neutral breeding ground for beholders; Nihilath, ancient empire of the Ur-Brain. This region of unreality sits adjacent to another humanoid city of creation, the original Drow City. The city had long been abandoned, but it was the origin point that the Drow had created when being forced out of their fey world from the elves, where the Drow began pushing the Dwarves out of the deeps and back into the Shallows. At a point in their past, the Drow within that city where annihilated by a tribe of Yaun-Ti. But, the weaker Yaun-Ti minds couldn’t handle the amount of local unreality with the rock’s roil so close by, and their kind went mad. After their madness set in, the Drow sought to take their city back over, use the maddened Yaun-Ti Anathema’s as pets, and the renamed their home City of Anathema – in honor of their past. This is where the silver-cloaks headed.
Throughout the deeps of the underdark, as they wound their way closer and closer to Rock’s Roil, they were maneuvering among an entire allotment of aboleth eggs everywhere they looked, and the physical laws they understood and logic the thought with were all made crazed within this region. Parmel sought to investigate the eggs which alarmed the overseer eggs (the 3 hatchlings from the forlorn tower) to protected and attack. After some tactical struggles, the party was able to move on avoid affecting the hatcheries.
Finally, they reached the border of Rock’s Roil and would need to find a way in. The terrain took them among the Toothy Plains, the Dripping Jungle and the Gyrating Stone. The party would try their luck at the Toothy Plains. Watching from behind them stood a female drow deep in the shadows, Triel, laughing silently at their antics. The aberrant sage psion told the tooth a lie and a smile showed up with a tongue in it – a mouth within a tooth. After more bizarre interactions they were able to see an eye within the tooth. Finally, after watching them take damage from their interactions, the drow uttered, “Pull your tooth out and feed it to the stalagmite.” Turning around and shocked, they readied to attack her. She persisted with her instructions, and finally one of them complied. Will Wadeson pulled out his tooth and fed it to the tooth. In doing so, a rip in reality opened up, and the entrance to Xarcorr was before them. Stepping forward, Will Wadeson felt his tooth replaced back into his mouth as though nothing had ever happened.
Xarcorr: Within Xarcorr, the party was ready to find they chrysalis within, and either destroy it, or find another way to affect genocide like the forefathers had done. After fighting their way deeper into Xarcorr, and learning that there was to be essentially an aboleth meeting of the minds that night, they found the chrysalis. It was surrounded by a cocoon of hardened slime with some open pockets that haden’t finished congealing. Triel and the party climbed the structure and investigated it. Triel attempted to read the runes etched into this onyx obelisk - and when she did so, the runes lit up and the cocoon began to break apart and the structure began to move downward, penetrating itself deeper and deeper into the underdark – as though it were headed towards the center of the earth.
The party fled. In doing so, they witnessed all kinds of aboleth eggs essentially beginning to melt. Something was happening, and they didn’t know what – but they knew it was time to flee Xarcorr. On their way however, the terrain features had been altered, and they ended in another region of Rock’s Roil, within the Hatchlands, home of the beholders.
Hatchlands: They party had to fight a series of beholders in order to finish their escape. But when they would leave from one section, it would cause them to end up back in the same spot they were before – and they had to solve the puzzle in order to be able to escape. The beholders asked the party to show their worship of the greater beings - but the party refused and battles ensued. The minds of the silver cloaks were being overwhelmed by their threats, but they managed to survive. Finally, they solved the puzzle and were able to alter reality, but not before ending up in Nihilath.
Nihilath: Ancient empire of the Illithids, Nihilath’s terrain is made of flesh, blood and veins. Openings and doorways are made with maws and windows are eyes. The land is swelling and feeding everywhere you go. During their walk, they come to a star, they heart of Nihilath, with a great metropolis at the center of many arteries and veins. A Voice from around them invites them deeper into the city, wondering if these new patrons are there to help search for the Ur-Brain. The party is highly hesitant to enter the city, instead seeking to go around. When the refuse, the entity closes off the arteries and forces the party to remain where they are – letting them know he has some rather hungry thralls – and that it will be difficult to prevent them from eating the party’s brains. Now would they like to help search for a fragment of the Ur-Brain. For a time they try to find it, but are unable to – and the entity, an elder brain of the mind flayers, seeking to restore their race to their former glory – opts to eat the members of the paragon compact. They attempt to wait him out, but realize that they will be unable to rest in the area without being attacked by his terrain, since he is connected into the biological terrain.
Opting to face their threat straight on, they venture into the maw of the city. After facing some mind flayers, they party is devastated and deeply without resources, but still alive. Fortunately, an archeologist who was researching the recent aberrant activity, was within the area and able to come to the aid of the silver cloaks. Pushing further into the city, the fight ranged mind flayers and the elder brain. After his defeat, the party uses their trapped Yaun-Ti Anathema, whose madness helps guide the party back to the city of Anathema after being freed. Finally, they are able to return to Argent.
Return to Argent: The cloaks return home to a very warm welcome. The archeologist is introduced to Obanar, who agrees to free up the use of his labs at the behest of Erathon so that they may study the Ur-Brain. The party is informed of the state of Mauthereign by Weldon the Farmer. Erathon also illuminates the party into his dilemma in dealing with the artifact they posses as they plan to pursue Mautheriegn. After some hard earned days, the size of the population has grown, and it’s most important members require a great amount of well deserved rest.