Monthly Archives: November 2006

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: The Price of a Soul ( 11/24/06)

Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: The Price of a Soul ( 11/24/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

Hal and Sapphire and I went back into the room where Gaea was staying while Lu Fang did his katas and Seren-Arty rested.

Hal spoke first, "My Lady Gaea, might we have a word with you?"

She nodded, "Of course, child."

"Can you tell us more about the threat we face?"

<she says some stuff that Andy forgot>

Hal let her finish and then asked, "And, Cicily Green, our companion who was taken by Gristhane, can you explain why it will be so difficult to get her back using resurrection magics?"

"The relationship between the gods and the souls of mortals is a delicate thing. Had she just died under more typical circumstances, the ressurrection magics would work fine. However, given Gristhane’s direct involvement in the possession of her soul, there may be some difficulty in retrieving it. I will make an arguement on your behalf, but I already know that he is likely to want something else in payment…or at least potential payment."

"What do you mean?"

"If one of you is willing put put your soul up in exchange for Cicily’s I will likely have more success in getting her back whole. What I can offer is that he will only get your soul if you perish on the mission you are currently going on. Should you survive, I can make sure that he will forfeit any claim to your soul as well."

"On the otherhand, we can attempt to return her using normal magics. This may or may not work or may work only partially."

Hal and I looked at each other. "Well, " I asked, "What do you think?"

Hal, "If Sapphire’s soul was in any way in danger, I would insist on being the one to risk his soul on her behalf, even if someone else were interested in doing so.  That is perhaps somewhat of a selfish (or at least self-centered) motivation, but there are personal factors that clearly justify this outlook. So, if you have a similar sort of feeling (for completely different reasons, obviously…..more of an anger towards Drendel than feelings towards Cicily), then if you asked to be the one to risk your soul for Cicily you would also be justified in my mind."

He continued, "My main motivation with Cicily is more selfless than selfish, as it would be for Sapphire, as I just feel that no one else should have to make that sort of sacrifice, and it’s my duty as a paladin to do so. However, if you feel that you should be stepping in for personal reasons, then I will step aside."

"So I am comfortable acceding to your wishes on this one.  If you feel you should step up and take on this burden, then I back you 100%.  If you are uncomfortable or reluctant, or even just feels it would be more appropriate for me to do it, then I am ok with that and ready to step up and have Gaia make the trade on my behalf."

I considered Cicily’s relationship to Drendel. Being his sister and bringing her back to potentially foil him would be some sweet justice. Jack stepped forward, "Gaea, make it so!"

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: A Bit of Treasure ( 11/24/06)

Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: A Bit of Treasure ( 11/24/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

 

Hal found me after dropping Sapphire off in her chambers to rest for a while.

"Jack," he waved me over.

"Yes, Hal?"

"As you are aware, Treasure did not survive the encounter with the earth dragon. You may not be aware that there was a bit of his soul still left in his body when the Lords found him. They were unable to restore him to life, but were able to grant him a final request. He wished to continue to serve the lands of Klarn and so they invested his soul into this ring." Hal held out a golden ring.

"They offered it to me, but I feel that perhaps you should be the one to wear it."

"Why is that?" I asked.

"The ring is of a dragon and you are of a dragon so there is some connection there. But more importantly, I think that Treasure had a closer bond with you than with me. Finally, I wanted to offer you something to say thank you for your assistance in these troubling times we have faced together."

"Let me get this straight. This is a gift from you, Hal–not from the Lords, correct? You are not just giving me something they gave you for me, right?"

"That is correct. Mendel said that it could be used by either me or you, but he didn’t specify who it should go to."

The ring did hold a certain attraction to me that I could not quite explain, "Very well. In exchange, take this ring of feather falling. You may need it where we are going."

Hal nodded and thanked me.

I put the ring on and immediately felt a warm strength flow through my body. I could feel Treasure’s spirit brush against mine and impart upon me some of his draconic heritage.

Hal gasped, "Well that is impressive!"

"What?"

"Your eyes just changed color. The green is gone, and now they are golden."

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Do You See What I See? ( 11/24/06)

Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Do You See What I See? ( 11/24/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

Lorel spoke up, "This party is all well and good and I understand that you have need of champions to defend your realms from the evil that is encroaching upon it, but we have our own lands to defend. With all due respect, I feel an urgent need to return to my home and continue the quest that I was originally given."

Aerdaluna added, "Lorel speaks well, while I grant that this journey may have been part of the quest that we originally set out on, I too feel that perhaps it is time to return to our mission. Perhaps there would be a way for you to contact our Seer?"

Mendel laughed, "Oh stop your worrying. Time flows differently on our two worlds. It has only be a few days on your world. You’ll hardly be missed."

Ishtar whispered into Mendel’s ear.

Mendel’s expression sobered somewhat, "Well, actually perhaps it has been a bit longer than a few days. I may have been mistaken on the time ratios. Gaea, can you open one of your gates so that these fine gentlemen can have their fears alayed?"

She nodded and swept her hand over the pool. The water clouded over and a chill filled the air.

Slowly an image formed in the pool. The Seer’s caverns slowly came into focus. Something was wrong however. Gaea shook her head, "I am unable to contact the Seer. She is not there."

We looked more closely at the image that had formed in the pool. We could now see that the complex had been attacked. Signs of combat were scattered throughout the area. There were bodies lying on the floor, clearly dead from combat. Some we recognized as servants of the Seer, others were gnolls and what looked like it might be a githyanki.

A slight high pitched whine began emanating from Aerdaluna, Pete, and Smity. The each pulled out their Ioun stones which were making the noise and had begun to pulse with an inner light. Lorel too seemed affected and appeared to be looking around his head as if the Ioun stone he had sold were still there, though it wasn’t.

Our attention jerked as we saw movement. A figure entered the scene. A warrior dressed in priestly robes.

Hal yelled out, "That is Simberious from the temple to Heironeous in Brindenford!"

Apparently he heard as he turned to look at us, probably noticing the magical sensor that was observering him, "Sir Halfred, is that you? I can barely here you." He started walking towards us.Suddently there was a shifting of the view and the waters parted as Simberious stepped out of the pool with a shocked expression on his face.

"Sir Halfred, it is you. What is going on? Where have you been?"

We took a few moments to update Simberious on our goings on for the last few weeks.

"Weeks! Gods, man, it has been over two years since you left."

We all glanced at Mendel who was looking at Ishtar as if it were Ishtar’s fault.

Simberious continued, "Then you must not know. There has been war, Halfred. The Githyanki have invaded our lands. I was barely able to escape Brindenford before they razed it. At first they claimed that they were hunting mind flayers but they have since taken up an occupying force position and are also attacking other areas, " here he paused and looked at the elves, "even, I believe, Celene. I came to the Seer hoping that I would find you to deliver your sword, îbalzôr. I found the caverns in a state of abandonment and destruction. It looks as if a phalanx of gnolls lead by some magic wielding creatures sacked the caves. I could not find the body of the Seer, though I couldn’t swear that perhaps one of the dead were not her given that I only had a rough description."

Hal looked pained, "Simberious, it gladdens my heart that you have come as I miss the company of fellows in the service of Heironious. However, I am set on a quest here that I can not brook from. It appears that some of my companions will be returning however."

Simberious looked relieved, "That is good to hear. Might I ask a boon of you?"

Hal looked quizically, "Speak."

"Would you consider allowing me to acoompany you on your quest? I am currently tasked with delivering your sword to you and then assisting you as necessary."

Hal beamed, "It would be an honor to have you serving with me. However, I must decline the sword you have taken such pains to bring me. My own sword has been blessed by a servent of the heavens and I am loathe to part with it. As a thank you for your efforts and to strengthen your arm in the coming battles, let me bequeath the sword to you."

Simberious beamed as well, "The honor is all mine. You are most generous."

Aerdaluna and the other elf looked as if they were about to barf, he spoke, "Enough of this fauning. Our world is clearly in danger. We must take up the defense of our world and continue our quest. I would like to have remained and learned more of this world, but clearly my services are more in need at home. Who else is returning with me?"

Lorel stepped forward as did Smitty. Pete asked Seren-Arty if he minded if he went and then he stepped forward. Charley and Smokey of course stood with Aerdaluna and the monks followed Pete.

The rest of us decided to stay and complete the new quest that the Lords had asked us to assist them with.

We bid each other adiu and they stepped through the portal. Seeing that they were safely through, Gaea shut down the window to the other world.

 

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Memories ( 11/24/06)

Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Memories ( 11/24/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

I caught u pto Orion as he was returning from outside. He could tell from the confused look on my face that something was wrong.

"Jack, why the furrowed brow? Too much to drink?" he laughed.

I shook my head, "No, nothing like that. Do you have a minute to talk?"

"Sure, but let’s keep it short. Did you see the melons Gaea brought?"

"Orion, stop it! I need you to be serious for a minute. Please," I implored.

Orion looked at me and his jaw dropped, "Jack are you realy you? What’s happened to you?" He looked horrified.

"That’s just it! I don’t know. Gristhane did something to me. Actually, it doesn’t feel like he did something to me, as…well…I can’t really describe it. I have all my memories of my life, but I also have a whole other life of memories of someone else’s life, yet I can tell they are my memories of my life as well."

"You mean like you’ve been reincarnated and now you remember your former life?"

My eyes brightened, "Yes! That’s it exactly! Well…not quite exactly, but that is probably the best explanation that I’ll ever get. That must be what he did. The old memories though are so strong. I truly feel as if they are mine. It is very confusing. The strange thing is that you’d think I’d have a different name in a different life, b ut I don’t think that is the case. Ask me my name and its, Jack Draco. However ask me who my parents ar and my first thought is Tanya and Robert Draco…though they too were adopted parents, just like Melwasúl."

"That’s kind of cool. Hey, here’s a morbid thought…do you remember how you died?"

I thought about it and it wasn’t entirely clear as most of the memories were, "Well, I remember I was on a planet with a bunch of sycophantic peace loving elves who were a pustual on the Empire’s anus. I had come to deliver their sentence and carry out the execution. I had just returned to my ship after we’d slaughtered most of them…"

Orion interrupet, "Come again? You what?!"

"Hey, don’t judge me! I’m just telling you how it was. They deserved to die. At least I think they did. In any case, it was my orders from the Emperor himself. Wow, that’s a strong memory…meeting the Emperor that is." I kind of went into a fugue.

"Jack, back to your story. You had just slaughtered a bunch of defenseless elves…"

Here I interruped, "They were not defenseless, they were spineless. They had plenty of magic and weaponry to defend themselves had they chosen to do so. They chose to die as cowards. Anyway, I’d returned to my ship and my first officer reported another ship entering the system…things start to get fuzzy here. I think there may have been an elf on the bridge, but there shouldn’t have been. I also think there may have been a mind flayer, but that doesn’t seem quite right either. I definitely remember hearing a child-like laughter and smelling an ancient forest…that’s it. I can tell you anything about before that, but that’s the last thing I rmember of these new memories."

"Well, don’t sweat it. It’s just memories. They’re not even ‘your’ memories, but of, kind of like an ancestor in a way."

"Maybe, but they are so complete, so vivid, and so strong, particularly the absolute hatred I feel towards elves. I want to make the Empire a safer place and don’t know quite how to do that now."

Suddenly, I started tearing and sobbing uncontrollably, "…she’s gone…"

Orion reached over and put his hand on my shoulder, "Jack, what is it?"

I gathered myself together, "I had a wife and children. They were murdered. The foul creatures responsible will pay."

"Jack, snap out of it. You’re only 15. You haven’t even had sex yet."

I shook myself out of the memory, "Actually, I’m 16 now. My birthday was a week ago. I’ll be okay. That was a pretty strong memory."

"I can imagine."

It seemed as if Orion was about to say something more, but Hal and Sapphire came around the corner.

Hal smiled, "Boys, good to see you. Hope we’re not interrupting anything. Not up to trouble are you?"

He was in surprisingly good spirits, "No, everything is fine."

"Good to hear it. I’m walking Sapphire to her chamber. Jack, I’d have a word with you about important matters when I get back. Shouldn’t be but a few minutes."

"Sure, fine. See you back in the main hall."

 

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Bargains ( 11/24/06)

Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Bargains ( 11/24/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

Mendel had put away his flute and was prancing around like a boy in a candy shop, "Come sit and eat. Enjoy the feast. The Lords of Klarn thank you for the great deeds you have accomplished this day." He glanced over at Sapphire and winked and said, "The meat is especially juicy."

The others were trickling into the chamber that now was decked out in flowers, much like a bower. From somewhere there was still the tune playing that Mendel had played earlier. It almost seemed to be coming from the rocks themselves. There was a feast of food on a bench that had appeared while I was out "getting" the others.

The other two lords had not spoken yet.

As our party sat down to enjoy the meal, Hal addresssed the lords, "While it is an honor you bestow upon us to treat us in this way and while we are glad to have been able to assist this land in its dire need, I think it is perhaps a bit early to celebrate."

The lords looked at each other in slight confusion, "What do you mean?" asked Mendel, "You have defeated a great evil that had plagued this land and have restored to the dragons something which was taken from them. How can you not say that that is a great victory?"

"Well, that is true. I did not mean to discount the victory that we have clearly won. I merely wanted to point out that the true threat is not defeated."

I added, "Gristane is still planning foul works with Ezoran’s son."

The older man in the cowel looked slightly worried and muttered, "I fear the lad speaks truth."

Mendel took on a shocked expression and exclaimed with too much force, "What! You mean that wasn’t the end of the adventure. There’s more. Isthar, Gaea, we must give these heroes a rest and reward them for their service before we send them back into the fight." Here he took on his sly expression again, "Besides, we haven’t gambled yet."

The two other lords shook their heads and defered to Mendel who continued addressing us, "Ishtar is right there is still much to do. First though I wish to offer you a chance to engage in a simple wager."

Lorel looked up, "A wager; what kind of wager" Figures the elf would have a gambling problem.

"It is a simple game. We will roll bones and see who gets the highest marks, pairs beaten by three of a kind, beaten by a straight, et cetera. You offer up a magic item and if you loose I get to keep it; if you win I will give you something more valuable in return."

I was surprised to hear Moondrop speak up first, "Pete says he’ll take you up on that offer."

They threw the dice and, low and behold, Pete got a full house easily beating Mendel. Mendel asked what he wanted and he asked for the Skin of a Hero. At first we were horrified, but when Mendel nodded and pulled out a ball of ectoplasmic goo from his bag and handed it over to Pete we saw it expand to cover him and he appeared more heroic. He withdrew the skin and handed it back, Moondrop asked, "Begging your pardon, Lord, but Pete has reconsidered and was wondering if instead you might be able to provide him with a belt that would enhance both his strength and his monk combat abilities?"

Mendel thought for a moment and then smiled, "I believe I have just what you are looking for." He pulled out a thick rope belt and handed it over.

Seren-Arty went next and also won. He looked at the rest of us and asked, "Is there something that I should ask for in particular?"

I jokingly offered, "How about the Annulus."

Mendel wagged his finger, "The Annu…ah, ah, sorry no artifiacts. Try again."

I mumbled, "I was just kidding."

Seren-Arty thought long and hard while Mendel played with some of the others. Finally, he said, "I’d like a Crystal Mask of Psychokinetic Intellect."

Lorel tried to to offer Mendel a few of the weapons we’d picked up for some gauntlets, but was denied.

Hal asked, "Jack, we have the Rod of Fiendish Darkness. Do you wish to wager it or shall I?"

I looked at Hal, "You mean to trade this device of evil for something? What makes you think that the ‘lord’ won’t just turn around and gamble this device to some villianous individual as he is doing with us now?"

Mendel answered for Hal, "You have a good point there boy, but we are afterall looking out for the best interestes of Klarn and will keep this device locked up where it will be very unlikely that it could be found let alone used by any forces of darkness. It will not fall into the hands of evil." There was a hint of something behind his statement that seemed to be saying, that while it might not fall into evil hands, it might some other way end up there…though afterall it seemed like he probably was mostly sincere in his statement that it would be safe with them.

I shrugged and tossed the rod to Hal, "You do what you will with it. I will have no part of this gambling nonsense."

Hal seemed to engage in some internal debate before finally believing Mendel’s promise that the rod would not go easily into the hands of evil.

I took the time to wander out of the room to talk with Orion who had left a few minutes eariler.

By the time I came back the rest of the party had finished their gambling with Mendel and were fully engaged in enjoying the feast. Mendel and Ishtar seemed to be discussing something that they couldn’t agree on.

The lords seemed to be about ready to engage us in more serious conversation when the ground started to shake.

 

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Aarggh ( 11/24/06)

Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Aarggh ( 11/24/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

While everyone was in the midst of celebrating the victory over Ezoran, I walked over and sat next to Smitty. I glanced over at the elves and noticed that they were involved in discussions with the others. I spoke in a quiet voice, "Smitty, may I speak discretely to you?"

The dwarf looked up from his drink with a puzzled look on his face, "Speak, boy."

"You may recall that Caretaker was taken from us unjustly and that I have his gems." The dwarf grunted and nodded. "Well, I’m not sure that where Hal and I are going that we will have the opportunity to make real my wish for Caretaker."

"While I realize that your dwarven greed might tempt you to accept my offer with ulterior motives, I have observed that you are an honorable and trustworthy fellow when you agree to do something." It looked as if he were about to speak, but I cut him off, "No, no, let me finish. You and the elves are heading back to civilization. If you swear to carry out my wishes I would have you impliment them."

"What I speak of is returning Caretaker to his former station. I would like to have a true resurrection cast for him. Then I would like a wish cast to restore to him his lost levels. As you may know, had you listened to some of his tales. He once was a great ship captain until he was drained of his life. You might need to phrase it so that you are actually wishing to find the thought bottle wherein he had stored his memories before the attack as if found that could be used to restore his lost glory. Lastly I want you to secure for him a ship the likes of which would make any pirate captain proud."

"What say you?"

“I say to you, boy, that I am MORE than surprised to hear such a request coming from the likes of you!  But that is of no consequence…..surprised or not, I will do everything in my power to make things as you say.  Are you sure the gems are sufficient to meet the cost of such spells?”

Jack pulled out a bag that jangled of gems and handed it over to Smitty. He did some quick calculations in his head, "This should almost cover the cost of the two spells. But, it certainly won’t get him a ship as well. Hmmm…" He reached into his backpack and pulled out a small ornate box and handed that over to Smitty, "This should guarantee the cost of the spells and get you a decent ship if not a ship of glory."

 

Notes:

Spellcasting costs: true ressurection (26,800 gp), wish (26,500 gp), warship (25,000 gp).

Treasure: bag of "deck" gems (50,000 gp), box of jewelry (30,000 gp).

 

Prophecy: Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Oh, Lords ( 11/24/06)

Episode Fourty-One: The Chornicles of Klarn: Oh, Lords ( 11/24/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

We began to discuss if we should take the time to identify the magic items we had found on Ezoran’s body or to continue our search for Codragon and the missing monks.

“I can cast an analyze spell to make that go quickly. Bring the items over here and lay them out.” I offered.

While they did that, I aligned the magical forces that would allow me to summon a thaumatological energy signature probe.

While I was examining the devices they had placed in front of me, there was a commotion and people started to back away from the dead body.

The mindraper, Aerdaluna, addressed me, “Jack, you might want to get out of the way. Gristhane is back.”

I quickly glanced over my shoulder to see the grim spirit approaching. I gathered the devices up on the cloth we had laid them on and started to back away.

Smitty called out to the spectre, “What are you doing back here? We have no wish to fight you. Haven’t you done enough damage already?”

“I have come for what belongs to me.” croaked the voice of death. As he said this he hovered over the body of Ezoran. As he raised his skeletal hand a smoke came out of Ezoran’s nostrils and wafted into Grithstane’s clutch. Similarly, from the pile of ash that had once been Cicily a smoke arose and coalesced in Grithstane’s hand. With that he left.

Relatively confident that he would not return, I finished my task and we divided up the spoils before continuing.

Upon exiting the room where we had slain Ezoran, we encountered what appeared to be a huge summon chamber. Within five magic circles were demons of various sorts. Hanging from a chain above the central circle was a cage within which was a small dragon.

We began planning how best to attack the demons without freeing them all at once from the circles that bound them, when Aerdaluna offered to try to contact the dragon mentally to see what it knew about the demons guarding her. Unfortunately, she was out of the range of his telepathy. Fortunately, he noticed as he did so, that the “demons” in the two closest circles were not demons but rather were humanoids of some sort.

Seren-Arty approached the entrance to the chamber so that he could observe them with his true seeing power.

As he did, Charley offered, “Watch out for the entrance. There is a symbol that looks like it will trigger when you enter the chamber.”

“A symbol of Insanity,” added Aerdaluna.

Well, it’s a good thing we didn’t just outright attack them. These are two of the silent companions. They appear to be in some sort of stupor though. Perhaps they have already been affected by the symbol?

“So which of the demons are really demons and which are our friends?” asked Lorel.

Let me try to reach the dragon,” suggested Seren-Arty. He activated his power to correspond with others telepathically.

My lady dragon, we are here to rescue you. Can you tell us anything of the creatures that guard you? We can see that at least these two nearest the door are not really demons but are our companions. Do you know which others are real and which are not?

“Who are you and why should I trust you?” was her cagey reply.

“We are companions sent by Mondragon to restore to you your freedom.” She seemed not to completely trust Seren-Arty, probably because he was traveling with elves and the dragon knew it could not trust them.

She did however, give us some information. “The ones below me are truly demons as is the one in the far circle. This last is also a disguise however. The sneaky demon can travel from one circle to another, but cannot exit them.”

We discussed our options and resolved to first of all lock the Kelvezu, the sneaky demon, into his circle preventing him from using his teleportation magics. A green beam flew from Seren-Arty’s forehead and encased the demon in a shimmering field. Smitty covered the symbol within the area of his anti-magic shell protecting us long enough to cover it, thus disabling it. That taken care of we rushed the two lion-like demons in the circle below the dragon.

They were vicious beasts that shrugged off most of our attacks. Lu Fang’s and my weapons bit into their tough skins though to full effect. The others were aiding, but minimally so.

As Lu Fang was finishing off the demon he fought, the other creature grabbed me in its mouth forcing me to travel through shadow to escape. As I returned, Lu Fang delivered a killing blow to the second demon.

Smitty dropped his anti-magic shell and enchanted everyone’s weapons with the power of good so as to overcome the defenses of the remaining demon. It didn’t really stand a chance at that point.

We retrieved the cage only to find that it was magically sealed in a way that not even the presence of an antimagic shell or knock could open. We took the cage and dragon with us as we searched for a way to free the dragon. We left our confused companions in their circles for the nonce until we were ready to leave the floating castle and return to the temple below.

Venturing further into the sky castle we found a torture chamber. Strapped into a chair-like torture device was what appeared to be an angel of some sort.

“Who are you?” asked Hal in the celestial tongue.

The being raised its head to look at us, weary from the tortures it had endured, yet still possessed of some sense of dignity and spoke celestial in a voice like the music of the spheres, “I am daylar. What further tortures do you have planned for me?” There was a hint of defiance in her voice that made one wonder if she could ever be broken.

“You misunderstand us miss,” spoke Hal. “We come not to torture but rather to free those herein imprisoned. How did you come to find yourself here and are you truly what you appear to be?”

“Who are you to question who I am, when you have used various means to trick information out of me? How do I know you speak the truth?”

Hal looked to me and I displayed the rod of fiendish darkness. “You can see that we have slain Ezoran and we have his possessions to show it. But you have still not answered my question. How can we trust that you are who you say you are?”

I added, “We have encountered many here who are not what they appear. And even one who appeared to be chained and imprisoned who in turn attacked us in ambush.”

“Perhaps you are who you say you are. In freeing me I will give my trust. As to how you are to believe me, look to the symbols that have been impressed upon my form.”

Aerdaluna nodded, “She has been branded with numerous symbols of pain. This is no ruse. Further she is definitely an outsider.”

Hal spoke to his sword. “Is she good?” he asked.

“Aye, and strongly,” it replied.

We all nodded assent to her freedom. Hal approached and removed the bindings. daylar stretched her wings as if free for the first time in ages. “I thank you for your trust. I must warn you however that there is still a great evil in the works. Ezoran was but a minor player in a greater tableau. A pawn of others stronger than he.”

“Mean you Gristhane?” I asked.

She cringed at the sound of Gristhane’s name, “One should not speak his name aloud should you wish to avoid his attention. But, yes, he is a part of this evil. There is another however–Tenaris Xin. Tenarsis Xin is lord of  Lacc in the heart of the Plane of Shadow and seeks to not just create a gate from the shadowlands to this world, but to create a growing cancer that will spread and cover this world making it his own. He must be stopped. I must return to the upper planes to let the others know of the progress of Xin. However, before I leave, I can assist you in a small manner.”

She reached out her hand toward Hal, “Will you give me your weapon?”

Hal seemed confused, unsure if this were an elaborate ruse and this the final trick to disarm him before attack or if perhaps she was going to steal his planar sword, ultimately he trusted her however and handed over his sword. As he did so he felt the sword try and fail to activate some power and he thought he heard faint cries of fear from the sword, “Please, don’t.” 

She cut her palm and allowed her celestial blood to flow onto the sword. Then grasping it in her hands it burst into a glow of light. She handed back the sword.

“Zounds! It has become holy,” exclaimed Hal. “You are most gracious to grant this not so minor boon. We will do what we can to assist you should you need us.”

The elves, almost in unison, muttered under their breaths, “Speak for yourself.”

daylar spoke, “May the gods bless your journeys and grant you success against the coming evils,” and with that she disappeared in a flash of light.

We stood stunned for a moment before Smitty broke the silence, “Well, we’d best be searching the rest of this cloud rock and be getting on then.”

We found one more room of interest, a library. Within we found notes on the two items we had found in the chest guarded by the Zolar. It would take time to decipher them, but it would give us more information about them since the analyze magic had failed on them. Perhaps more importantly we found the command words for the prison of Zagyg that held Codragon and we were able to free her.

That done we returned to our confused monks and used a spell from Smitty and one from Aerdaluna to restore two of them to their rightful minds. The last we bound and gagged and stuffed into the portable hole for transport to the temple below.

There we discovered that the hydra and the griffons were recovered and restored behind the portcullis. That was strange certainly, but it was only the beginning. Lorel offered to enter the temple and scout it out for clues as to the whereabouts of the other two monks, his dog, and Treasure. He had barely entered the temple when we were ambushed by fire giants coming from the other passageway into the temple.

We were about to engage them when we heard a rousing melody that froze most of the party in their tracks. While I found it fascinating and certainly toe-tapping, it did not hold me and so I quickly entered the temple searching for it source. Strangely the giants were also frozen. Only Smitty was also unaffected. He smashed his hammer on the toe of one of the giants, taking advantage of the stasis that it was in.

I flew past Mistress Kano and into the lake chamber where we had encountered the fire dragon. There I was astounded to discover Orion and with him were three beings of great power and two other giants, a massive hill giant and a frost giant.

The one in the center who had been playing a flute stopped and exclaimed, “Orion, this must be Jack! Your brother and thus my adopted son! Greetings, Jack Draco. Orion has said that you are a spirit akin to his and that you have saved his life and therefore you must be his brother and thus Mendel takes you as his own. Now be a good boy and go tell your friends to leave off the giants as they are with us. Then come and join us for feasting and gaming. We have cause to celebrate. You have won a great victory.”

I got as far as Mistress Kano and passed the command on to her and returned to the strange winged beings with Orion.

 

Supporting Cast

Freya

Charley

Nebula

Smokey

Sapphire

 

Villians

Demons

Experience Gained

6000 xp

Treasure Gained

see other parts

Equal Share = 0 gp

 

Prophecy: Episode Fourty: The Chornicles of Klarn: Darkness Falls ( 11/08/06)

Episode Fourty: The Chornicles of Klarn: Darkness Falls ( 11/08/06)

[Featuring Jack, Lu Fang, Hal, Seren-Arty, Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smity, Silent Pete]

Chronicles of Klarn

(In the words of Jack)

After freeing Cicily from the spell that contained her, we gathered our wits and her equipment and proceeded to where we presumed Ezoran to be hiding.

Through another of the gigantic doors we proceeded and followed stairs up to a living area. There were all the accoutrements of a well laid out castle residence: study/den, dining room, kitchen, WC, guest rooms, master bedroom, indoor heated swimming pool, even an arboretum.

We thought that the animated suits of armor might attack us when we had our backs turned to them so as we came to them (they were standing ready at each of the rooms) we quickly dispatched them. They were not the threat however.

While searching the area, we were assaulted by an unseen foe. It turned out that Ezoran had summoned a quasit and had boosted its power somehow (perhaps through magic similar to a magic jar) so that it was able to throw spells worthy of an archmage at us. Smokey was the most injured by this assault as the foul creature caused his blood to overheat (which, he being a cold tempered creature, was especially injurious to him). Serenity was eventually able to use his touchsight to locate the foul little snotling. Once found, he was quickly dispatched to the nether realms from whence it had come.

Clearly though Ezoran now would be aware of our arrival and we could be sure he would be prepared. We also found some skeletons hiding in one of his closets. Smitty disabled them by calling on the power of his god, while the rest of us smashed them into bone fragments that were too small to reform particularly once crushed into powder by Smitty’s warhammer. Smitty also took the occasion to despoil Ezoran’s bedchambers while I took a moment to lighten our heavy hearts with a merry song of slightly less than a half dozen small simians bouncing on the trundle and their misfortune in encountering the floor.

We continued on down the hallways to the doom that awaited us. We were delayed by wards that Ezoran had placed to slow and perhaps segregate us. I demonstrated the power of Corellon by exercising the iron-like strength that he fills my heart with and how it can be used to overcome the barriers to our progress.

Lulled into a bit of a routine, we were caught slightly off-guard when we finally encountered Ezoran. Charley had checked the door for traps and finding none, we searched around for the pattern to open this door and I triggered its opening. The doors opened to reveal a huge area that had been converted into an unholy temple complete with altar and demonic statue. And, there behind the foul altar in front of the demonic statue was Ezoran and an undead being of great foulness. As soon as the doors opened I was targeted by a foul necromancy.

A nauseating feeling started to overtake me and it felt as if my entrails would burst from by body to cover the area in a web of excoriated flesh. As the nausea was about to overwhelm me, I thought on the glorious strength of Corellon and feel his power flowing into me strengthening my bones and causing the necromantic magics to flee in terror.

Instead of trapping me, Ezoran had revealed his hand and opened himself to our attacks. I think I might have giggled as I thought of our most excellently planned out plan. I grabbed Smitty and flew him to the altar, right next to Ezoran and his fiendish servant. Smitty proceeded to cast his anti-magic shell enveloping Ezy and his fetid breathed friend.

Pete moved up to grapple Ezoran and I thought I was helping, but apparently I just got in Pete’s way as when he tried to grab Ezoran, Ezoran was able to fend him off with his staff. Then he ducked around the statue and ran through the wall. Freya quickly went to see where he went.

I noticed Aerdaluna casting a spell to summon an Aspect of Bahumat to destroy the foul altar. I was about to follow Ezoran when the grim faced aspect of death pointed at me and hissed, "I am Grithstane and I am Death. You are not complete, be restored." I saw him follow after Ezoran as, simultaneously, I fell into a confusion as a flood of images, thoughts, feelings and memories assaulted me.

 

Once the confusion of the new information had subsided, I look around and was surprised to see that I was not surrounded by my unit. In fact, I was not where I last remembered myself to be. Was I still on my ship? It appeared that I was in a magically created structure, not the cold hard reality of my vessel. What had happened? The last thing I remembered was giving the command to destroy the infested compound. Were we attacked? Had I been captured?

There were metas and humans congregating around me as if I were part of their unit, though they were looking at me with apprehension. Perhaps we had all been transported here? They though seemed to be confused by my presence rather than their own here.

"Mother?" I thought as I tried to activate the subdermal to send a signal to my ship, hoping they were still in range.

A voice replied in my mind, "Mother is not here anymore. She has been gone for many of your years and is far, far, far away. How is it that you are trying to contact her again? That should not have occurred. Grithstane must have done something. What is your designation?"

"I am Jack Draco, Commander, Imperial Marines. Who are you?" I thought.

"I am your protector. I have taken the place of Mother. I am Calaglin Telemnar-Gift to you from the Warrior. Your unit was attacked by mindflayers. I am attempting to restore normalcy."

"Normalcy, what do you mean?"

My conversation was interrupted as one of the others, an elf, called out, "Jack, are you okay?" They too knew my name. Apparently I wasn’t just deposited here. I realized that I knew the elf’s name, Lorel. Another flood of memories, thoughts, images assaulted me.

 

By the time I had assimilated the new information I had been given, the rest of the party had approached the altar which was slowly being destroyed by the dragon Aerdaluna had summoned. There was something wrong though. Both Aerdaluna and Lorel were elves. How had I come to be working with elves? They were my companions; they had come searching for me when I went through the gate. But, Aerdaluna was a mindbender, perhaps he had placed me under some enchantment for some reason. I was sure he was going to let the dragon chew its way through me to get to the altar, it even looked as if it was about to breathe on me. I hopped off and took my bearings in light of the confusing information revealed to me. The others were approaching me and asked if I was alright. The other elf, Lorel, was circling around to get in a position to prevent my escape. I quickly backed up as the mind-raping elf tried to worm his way into my thoughts. I blocked him out, now though aware that they knew of my recognition of their plots against me. They whispered something to each other and made furtive glances in my direction, further confirming my suspicions.

An RT unit addressed me, "Jack, you appear to not be yourself. Will you allow me to use my power to clean your aura of any falsities that may be affecting you?"

He seemed genuinely concerned and it took me a moment to realize this wasn’t my RT-34 unit, but rather it was the spirit of the changling guiding the mechanism.

Perhaps it was the familiar form, in any case, I answered, "This is not an environment where I feel safe discussing that. I would not exclude your assistance out of hand, but, " I glanced at the pointed-eared back-stabbers, "I am not in company that would allow me to lower my defenses at the moment."

It struck me that if I had been freed from some subtle mind control exerted by the mindworm elf, perhaps the others had been influenced as well and were not yet free. Did they not realize that one cannot study the art of mindbending without loosing one’s good side? I had conveniently forgotten it; perhaps that was part of the subtle magics that Aerdaluna was working on us.

We were about to continue our discussion when Lu-Fang called out, "Qrickry, I have rocated te opening to te doo. Preese to stop jibber-jabber and forrow."

We looked down to see a long corridor, which suddenly was filled with an enveloping darkness that swept over us. The others were blinded, except for Sere-Arty who still had his touchsight activated. I discovered that while it created a slight shadow over the area, I could see relatively easily in this mock darkness.

I used the distraction to quickly fly down the hall in search of answers; as I flew away I heard Hal mutter in an astonished voice, "Zounds, he stinks of evil."

To which his sword added, "Perhaps, but he glows of good as well. Fascinating…"

Moondrop cast a spell on Pete that allowed them to fairly easily navigate the darkness and then they chased after me. I was unsure of their intentions. Were they working with the elves or did they have their own agenda. The elves had sowed seeds of misdirection in the party and had convinced everyone that they were working for good and thus had probably duped the silent monk and his fey companion.

"You should come no further. Your rapid pursuit leads me to believe that perhaps you can’t be trusted and are a threat to me. Will you demonstrate your trust and withdraw?" The monk appeared to be weighing my words.

Suddenly a black sphere, 4 feet in diameter burrowed through the door I was standing next to. The monk was not able to avoid it and I saw a layer of his skin and a large chunk of his side vaporize as the sphere of destruction bumped into him. He would have to fend for himself. I waited for the ball to continue its travel and dove through the hole it had made passing through the door.

While the party dealt with the sphere of annihilation I saw Ezoran preparing to continue his assault on the party, Grithstane stood nearby. Ignoring Ezoran, I approached Grithstane. I shrugged off the feeble attempt Ezoran made to weaken my will.

I confronted Grithstane, "Explain what you have done! What is this that you have revealed to me?"

Grithstane appeared amused and gestured. Ezoran appeared to now not even notice my presence. "Be careful how you address Death. I have freed you to be true to your nature. You must now slay him," he said with a sneer as he pointed to Ezoran.

I was confused, "You want me to kill him. He’s working with you. He’s not with the elves." I paused to consider what I was being asked to do. The principle of active morality would allow me to kill him with impunity, as his superior had ordered it, so I asked, "What is in it for me if I do your bidding?"

Apparently I had pushed things too far, "You are not to question one such as I. Feel the consequence." I looked out of the corner of my eye and noticed that Ezoran was again aware of my presence, though he did appear surprised by my "apparent sudden appearance." Realizing my situation and not really caring whether Ezoran lived or died anyway, I turned my attention to him and began to attack.

I summoned a transmogrifier and used it to take on the form of a Kelvezu. The blackheart sorcerer tried to work his most powerful magics on me only to fail–as soon his life would fail him. The power of the Kelvezu gave me a heady rush as I debated toying with my prey or making it quick as it would not take much to slay this weak mortal. He tried again to target me with a spell, but by this time I had begun my blink spell and I wasn’t there when he released his magic in the spot where I had been.

I took a swing with my sword which went right through him as if he wasn’t even there. Also now some of the others were working their way through the hole. Switching to claw attack as it appeared that the metal of my sword could not touch him, my attack found flesh and with the blink guiding my hand, the claw materialized in his arm causing him great pain.

I could see in his eyes the approach of Death–Grithstane’s image reflected off his enspelled eyes. The others surrounded him and Pete, grown to huge proportions, swung his guisarme, first staggering Ezoran, then killing him, and then beheading him. Turning around we saw no sign of Grithstane. I knew that he had collected his payment and was off to work other fell actions.

Apparently those in the hall had spent their energies combating the spells that Ezoran had sent after them before he died. Apparently a huge fist descended from the sky and slammed into them repeatedly and would have killed many of them were it not for the protection of Smitty. However there was one casualty, one of those spells, the sphere of dark death, completely engulfed Cicily reducing her to a pile of ash. Though others were injured, none others were dead. The loss of a fine warrior such as she is always hard on a unit. We would all morn her passing.

As we debated what to do next, we stripped Ezoran’s body of any magical aids that might allow him to recover and attack us. Granted it is very difficult to recover from a beheading, but he was a necromantic demonologist so it wasn’t out of the question. Though with Grithstane’s presence and now absence I very much doubted he’d recover.

 

Supporting Cast

Freya

Charley

Nebula

Smokey

Sapphire

Cicily (dead)

 

Villians

Some construct servants

Quasit, Ezoran’s familiar?

Aspect of Gristane

Ezoran

Experience Gained

5600 xp

Treasure Gained

Ezoran’s stuff

Equal Share = 0 gp