Monthly Archives: November 2007

Prophecy: Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Awful Aberrants (online)

Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Awful Aberrants (online)

[Featuring Smitty]

As told by Thorvald Ruathar

I have named them Grellich as I have found no other references to them directly. They appear to be related to the foul aberrations known as Grell, the Eaters. Normally Grell are a creature that resembles a giant floating brain with tentacles that detests sunlight (though they are not bothered by it) that inhabits dungeons and other remote underground areas. They eat humanoids and are extremely intelligent. There are members of the race that have magical powers and I believe that the creatures that attacked our home come from this caste.

My theory is that sometime long ago one of the patriarchs of a grell community decided to experiment with necromancy and achieved lich-dom. This grell then subverted the rest of its community to a similar undead state. Normally, Grell are content to eat only that food (typically adventurers) that wanders into its territory. My guess is that once the community had achieved an undead state, they decided to expand their territory which included our clan.

In the years since I’ve been hunting them, I have managed, with the assistance of several adventuring groups to route them out of their original lair. I know though for sure that some of them have escaped and now lair elsewhere. My attempts to find their progenitor have proved less than successful. I know that it still exists, but none of my attempts to pin down a location have had any success. I have gotten close a few times, but it has always escaped before I was able to combat it.

The leader, who I have named Grellich I, for lack of a better identification appears to have experimented on its fellows with great abandon and as such succeeded in making almost any kind of undead variety of grell that you could imagine. By far the most common ones that I’ve encountered are the grellich which are lich-like sorcerer-grell. Next most common are a vampiric variety and least common are a ghoulish variety. I have encountered individual instances of many other types, but never in any number other than those three apparent main types. All that I have encountered have had other bizarre mutations upon the grell standard in addition to being undead. One was able to emit a prismatic screech and another could disable magical devices with a touch of its tentacle for example. Whether these mutations are a prerequisite for the undead state, or a result of it I am unable to determine as I’ve not seen any spawn of these creatures come into existence. I believe that they are all artificially created by Grellich I or perhaps its apprentices.

The grell appear to have mastered a magical form of alchemy that is difficult to adapt to our normal magical processes, borrowing much from pseudo-scientific studies, though clearly not based on scientific principles but more from magical.

The vampiric ones are affected by sunlight as you would expect for a normal vampire, but otherwise the undead version of the grell still retain their dislike of sunlight, but are not adversely affected by it.

They do appear to be vulnerable to bane attacks that target either undead or aberrations which is a welcome weakness. I even had a companion at one point who had an undead bane aberration bane weapon that was especially vicious to them.

By the time I investigated their original stronghold, perhaps 100 miles north of our clanhome, the Grellich I had left his fellows and another power patriarch was in charge of the community. Grellich II was slain personally by myself, though I couldn’t have done so without the assistance of my adventuring companions, rest their souls.

Many of the grellich have a life sense that allows them to detect living creatures that supplements their already naturally efficient means of detecting prey. A living grell has a sense organ that combines elements of hearing and an electrical sense and that replaces any visual sense (thus they are immune to illusory attacks). To effectively blind one you need to both remove its hearing (silence or deafness attacks) and overwhelm its electrical sense. They are immune to electrical attacks, but a large enough attack can short out their sense organ. Those grellich that have the life sense can only be hidden from by combining hide with undead with the means of defeating their electrical sense. The life sense however, is rather short range, perhaps no more than 30 feet or so.

The grell tentacles emit a mild paralytic poison, but that is usually overwhelmed by the paralytic nature of the lich-state that most of my foes have achieved. They are very proficient with their tentacle attacks and can hold one person easily while they attack another. The tentacles have a bit of reach as well, allowing them to attack from a distance similar to spiked chain wielders. They have perfect flight similar to the beholders, and their speed is typically the same as a elf. They appear to be slightly less vulnerable to turning than one would expect from a creature of their size and power, though not greatly so.

The grell have their own language, but I have not heard these undead versions communicating in the grell tongue, how they communicate with each other is still a mystery to me. It may be telepathic in nature, but the little research I have devoted to that particular aspect of their nature I have been unable to confirm.

I have hear rumors of a new crop of them perhaps manifesting in an area near the Crag Rift in the Bandit Kingdoms, near to White Plume Mountain. I will be using my magical power to determine if the rumors are true and if so will let you know.

 

Prophecy: Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Contact-Answers (online)

Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Contact-Answers (online)

[Featuring Aerdaluna]

Aerdaluna finds himself in a wooded glen, with the night sky above. Moonlight streams through the arboreal canopy suffusing everything with an eldritch luminescence. The scent of moonflowers dances through the air at the edge of Aerdaluna’s perception. Seeing no obvious trails leading from the glen, Aerdaluna sits down and begins to meditate on the questions he wished answered.

Some time later, Aerdaluna feels a presence nearby and opening his eyes he notices a large luminescent moth fluttering near him. As the moth flies closer Aerdaluna realizes that it is almost as large as Nebula. The moth eventually lands on Aerdaluna’s leg and proceeds to stand up on its back two legs. Even more amazingly, it then reaches under its fur with its front legs and pulls out a tiny pipe which it puts into its mouth. After puffing on it for a moment it looks up at Aerdaluna with intelligent eyes as it inviting Aerdaluna to speak.

Aerdaluna asks, "Are you here to answer my questions?"

The moth thrums and nods its head to indicate yes.

Aerdaluna continues, "Wonderful, thank you for your assistance. My first question is seeking the gems needed to complete the torc will supposedly cost us a friend, who?"

The moth puffs hard on the pipe and lets out a large cloud of smoke which shapes into the form of a miniature person. The features resolve into the face of Serenity looking very stately and noble, but then a slight breeze blows by and the features look more like Hal, and as the cloud fades Aerdaluna is shocked to see his own face appearing for a moment in the mist.

Aerdaluna adds, "That was a little confusing. Is that supposed to mean that we all are going to pay a cost?" As the creature starts to shake its head in negation Aerdaluna realizes that he has just asked another of his limited set of questions, "Wait, I didn’t mean that as a question. I was just seeking clarification of the answer you had given." The moth smiles, Aerdaluna didn’t realized that it could do that, and indicates that Aerdaluna should continue.

"Who is the ‘former friend now enemy found’ that we are to ‘trust her not she’s frozen ground’?"

Again the moth puffs on the pipe and this time the cloud it releases showed the shape of The Seer, which dissipates as if it were melting rather than being blown away in the breeze as had the first image.

"Regarding the gems or orbs locations listed in the Seer’s cave parchments; where specifically is the tower?"

The moth again creates a cloud picture of a tower that looks vaguely like a lighthouse on a small island barely able to contain the tower. Surrounding the island are the carcasses of ships that had run aground on the rocks surrounding it. The moth puffs again and the scene expands to show the island off the coast of a bay. Again it puffs and along the bay is seen a large town as well as more of the bay itself. One more puff and the scene expands again to display some of the surrounding area at which point Aerdaluna’s eyes brighten, "I recognize that area, that is the bay up by Blackmoor." The moth nods and the image blows away in the evening breeze. As it does, Aerdaluna thinks he may have seen the image of a ship flying through the air heading for the island.

"Again regarding the gems or orb locations listed in the Seer’s cave parchments, where is the Sahuagin cave?"

The image this time is of a cave though the details are murky as if the smoke is diluted with an excess of moisture. The image of the cave sinks to the ground directly between Aerdaluna’s knees. The moth blows a puff of smoke onto Aerdaluna’s lap which causes his knees to appear to be points on either side of a large bay. That image also shrinks so that more of the surrounding area can be seen and Aerdaluna realizes that it was not a large bay but rather the Sea of Gearnat south of Nyrond. He suggests, "That looks like it might be the See of Gearnat." The moth smiles and sneezes, dispelling the image.

"Again regarding the gems or orb locations listed in the Seer’s cave parchments, where is the mountain of undead?"

The moth smoke forms into a large mountain and the moth gently blows on it so that it moves to the east. Then the smoke expands to display a town in ruins that sits in the shadow of another mountain from which a plume of white smoke emerges. Aerdaluna gives an involuntary shiver, "I have heard of that place it is the White Plume Mountain, home of Keraptis, rumored to be a lich of great power." The moth nods, but then points to the first mountain that it had created. "Ah, " nods Aerdaluna, "it is not White Plume that we go to, but a mountain nearby." The moth smiles.

"How many gems or orbs will we need?"

The moth makes a small puff and a scarlet and blue sphere begins to circle Aerdaluna’s head, again it puffs and a pale lavender ellipsoid begins to circle Aerdaluna’s head. He continues in this way for a while and once all the spheres are circling Aerdaluna’s head, they suddenly drop into a cloud formation that looks like a torc where Aerdaluna is able to count 21 in all.

"Who is Melchoir and where do we find him?"

The smoke form turns into a tall blue humanoid standing in a market square–the entire scene though has a reddish hue. In the background, Aerdaluna sees a black wall above which rise two towers made of brass; behind them he sees a sea of fire and smoke.

"Who or what is Ozymandias?"

The smoke takes on a sand-like quality and from it rises a great statue of Gith. The statue crumbles leaving two vast and trunkless legs of stone to stand in the desert, near them, on the sand, half sunk a shatter visage lies whose frown and wrinkled lip sneer of cold command. A wind blows and the sand erases all leaving again only the smoke with a sand-like quality but again the shattered remains, though they look slightly different, more masculine, a great shadow in the shape of a colossal bird passes over and there is a faint glint of something shining near one of the legs. Then the smoke fades away and the moth awaits Aerdaluna’s next question.

"Is Serenity one of the 5 or is he a keeper of one of the gems or pieces of the negation device?"

The moth shrugs; thinks a moment and then puffs out an image of Serenity. Around his head circles an incandescent blue sphere and a pink and green sphere. Embedded in his forehead is another multifaceted clear aquamarine gem. Serenity looks at his hand and sees his fingers and thumb, quizzically he looks up at Aerdaluna and holds out his hand with outstretched fingers and then the cloud fades.

"Was the Oracle the keeper or guardian of one of the gems or a portion of the device necessary to defeat the Githyanki’s dark Queen?"

The moth breaths out a puff of smoke and the shape of The Seer’s body forms lying lifeless on a cold slab of stone, the body fades away and then the slab is dispersed by a strong wind.  

The moth looks up in the sky and Aerdaluna following it gaze sees a cloud cover the moon. Looking back the moth is gone with only a faint smell of pipeweed lingering in the air. Recognizing his spell has run its course, Aerdaluna allows his consciousness to return to his body.

 

Prophecy: Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Contact-The Dweller at the Doorway (online)

Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Contact-The Dweller at the Doorway (online)

[Featuring Aerdaluna]

His first thoughts are, "Where am I? Why can’t I sense anything?"

He seems hang where he is or perhaps isn’t for a brief time before he noticing a faint smell, that could best be described as purple that soon starts to make the soft sound of yellow. Slowly, he feels green crawling over his skin and the taste of blue settles on his tongue. Still he sees nothing.

Suddenly there is a blast of cold air that comes from everywhere and nowhere at once. Aerdaluna feels his teeth chattering and as soon as he considers how to keep warm, the cold is gone and he begins to feel the skin on his body burn away as it is covered in a bath of acid. Again within a moment’s time, the burning is gone and replaced with a discharge of electrical energy, that too fades and he find himself surrounded by flames that wick away at his hair. Lastly there is a deafening crash that causes his bones to shake with its intensity, and then that too is gone.

Looking down he can finally see and notices that there is no sign of any injury to his body, though the pain of the energies still lingers in him mind. There is ground beneath his feet. A featureless grey plain stretches in all directions with no visible end. In front of him about 20′ away is an archway. Standing in front of the archway is a creature that is a roughly humanoid, dappled blue-skinned toad with almost no neck and a massive, flat head. It is bipedal, with clawed hands and feet. The hands and digits on them are particularly long. It stands half again as tall as Aerdaluna. He recognizes it as the Dweller at the Doorway, a mythical creature that grants or denies access to other planes of existence.

The creature looks at Aerdaluna and speaking telepathically asks, "What is your purpose here?"

Aerdaluna replies, "I have only come here seeking knowledge."

The creature nods and its lips part in what might have been a smile and in a voice that sounds like burning jello it croaks, "Very well, then answer me these questions three. Who is your Queen?"

Aerdaluna answers quickly, "Yolande is my Queen, Her Fey Majesty, the Faerie Queen, the Perfect Flower of Celene, Lady Rhalta of All Elvenkind."

The creature coughs and a glob of violet phlegm lands on its chest. With one of its hands it scraps the mass off and flings it to the ground where it gives off a slight steam, "Who is your father?"

Aerdaluna considers for a moment and then replies, "I am child of the Moon, and a son of Oerth."

Picking at its teeth with an overly long clawed finger, the creature removes something that wiggles and then licking its finger swallows it back down again, "And, who is your god?"

Surprised at the question, Aerdaluna replies, "Sehanine Moonbow, Goddess of the moon."

One of the cretures eyes pops slightly out of its socket and it pushes it back in with a grunt, then moves out of the way of the archway and croaks, "Step through and my the answers you seek be as straightforward as your answers to me." With that the archway comes to life with a swirl of energy. Purposefully, Aerdaluna strides through hoping to get through this with as little damage to his sanity as possible.

 

Prophecy: Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Contact (online)

Webisode Forty-Nine and a half: Contact (online)

[Featuring Aerdaluna]

As the boss finished his preparations he looked up satisfied with what he had constructed.

“This is a magical circle which will contain any spirits that may be loosed with the casting of the spell. Unlikely, but still. I will also require that you bind my feet and blind-fold me. I would have you bind my hands but that would interfere with my spellcasting.” said Aerdaluna as he sat in the center of the circle and motioned for me to come over with the rope and blindfold.

“Why are we doing this again?” I asked. He had explained it to me yesterday, but I was still a little hung over from the elven wine we’d had at the dinner at the court.

“When I cast this spell, I send my mind out of my body to the outer planes in search of knowledge. While I am doing this my body becomes vulnerable to possession attempts and additionally my mind may not be able to process all the visions I will experience and if I cannot control it I may go insane…and before you say anything you know I’m not already insane.” We smiled at his little joke.

“Okay.” I said as I bound him as he directed. Smokey and Nebula just watched.

As I backed out of the circle Aerdaluna asked, “Are you out of the circle yet?” Answering in the affirmative, he began to cast his spell.

As he did so I looked over at the other two and said, “Be ready, who knows what will happen.” Nebula cocked his head as if in thought.

He offered, “Well, I could tap into my connection with Aerdaluna and tell you what he is experiencing I think.”

Smokey and I shrugged, “Okay.”

“Here goes…Aerdaluna is currently floating through a senseless void. He…I…he is feeling purple, no yellow. Wait, that doesn’t make sense. There is a feeling coming from somewhere…I…he…fascinating…”

 

Suddenly Aerdaluna sat bolt upright and a voice came from his throat that sounded like burning jello, “Who is your Queen?”

Nebula responded with Aerdaluna’s voice, “Yolande is my Queen, Her Fey Majesty, the Faerie Queen, the Perfect Flower of Celene, Lady Rhalta of All Elvenkind.”

Smoke issued from Aerdaluna lips, “Who is your father?”

Nebula paused a moment, “I am child of the Moon, and a son of Oerth.”

A screech issued from Aerdaluna as the voice asked, “Who is your god?”

Nebula/Aeraluna asnwerd, “Sehanine Moonbow, Goddess of the moon.”

Then both slumped back to the ground.

However, in a few moments, Nebula sat up right and contined his narrative

And then it was over. Aerdaluna sat up and removed his bindings. We watched to make sure he didn’t do anything crazy.

“Well, that was certainly helpful,” Aerdaluna said, “I’ll have to add that information to my notes. We have much to tell the others.”

 

 

Prophecy: Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Making Connections (online)

Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Making Connections (online)

[Featuring Aerdaluna, Zan, Smitty, and Silent Pete]

While most of the group was resting up and hiding out in the inn, Aerdaluna had gone out to try and make some connections and gather some basic information. After a few hours he returned and Charlie offered him a drink of something called Astral Ale.

"Well, boss, how’d it go?" Charlie asked.

"As well as could be expected. I was able to get some basic information on their setup here which is much like what Celene had already described to us. Most of the Githyanki here appear to just be doing their duty as they see it and are here to clean up the mess left by an incursion of ithillid."

"More importantly however, I was able to find out who is in charge of the front that is patrolling the area that borders Celene. This one, Captain Calli’tao, I was able to get under my control and alter her memories. She now believes that she originated an idea to approach me because she has become aware that the Githyanki hierarchy and/or the Queen are not acting in the best interests of the Githyanki. She is firmly convinced that occupying this township is a mistake and a distraction from the real problems back in their Astral Planar home. I made sure to make her realize that she must be circumspect in these beliefs and in how she works them out so as to avoid being caught."

"She sees the unexpected access to our group as a sign of fate that she is correct and an opportunity that she must exploit it to her benefit and perhaps save the Githyanki. She will monitor everything she can of the Githyanki action providing reports on their activities whenever she is contacted by me or someone acting in my name. She will attempt to locate anyone who might support internal rebellion and keep a sharp eye out for potential allies amongst the Githyanki. She will work to position herself as highly as possible."

"I implanted a thought that she might attempt a coup and that she might capture other leaders to convert to her cause, but I’m not sure how she will act on that information without more direct influence on my part."

Charlie asked, "There are problems in their hierarchy? I thought that the elves told us that they were fanatically loyal to their queen? "

Aerdaluna smiled, "I made it up! Mostly. However, I did hear rumors of a possible group of Githyanki that were actually dissatisfied with how the Queen is running things. The rumors were very vague and almost like wives tales in their telling, but I think there may be a hint of truth to them. I took that grain of truth and used it to make new memories in our new Captain."

Charlie beamed, "Cool, does that mean that we are ready to head for the command center?"

"Yes. We should put any of your belongings that are ‘restricted’ into the portable hole that Smokey is carrying in case we need to make a quick exit. Nebula, climb in for safety for now." And Nebula climbed into a pocket on Aerdaluna’s shirt that was clearly too small for the wyrmling to fit into, but fit it did and once in the pocket didn’t even look as if it held anything in it, let a long a small dragon.

 

Prophecy: Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Parting Words (online)

Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Parting Words (online)

[Featuring Aerdaluna, Zan, Smitty, and Silent Pete]

Aerdaluna spoke with a controlled fury, "Mind your tone with me Torrelth, neither is my patience without end; if you but think on those things that I have just explained I stated that I had no involvement in the battles with the Githyanki outpost on that other Plane to which I had traveled to and only now recently returned from. Upon my arrival here your ‘trusted’ Captains were apparently a part of the motley embarrassing group of Githyanki that did have the lack of foresight to attack us without cause or warning. It was all I could do to keep from slaying them all! Whence did you think I had captured that soldier that I have returned to you. He alone fought on bravely when  the other scurrilous Githyanki did flee for their lives. Do not make their same mistake, I am not want to be trifled with a second time. I did but expect that these Githyanki might too be a party to those that had been routed on the other Plane. Perhaps I have yet to explain the depth of the corruption and totality of the Githyanki involvement there. What I had witnessed was appalling, Githyanki trading sacred weapons with common thugs directed by a Mindflayer. I understand these same thugs later turned on their Githyanki allies causing vast losses of life and a hail of red dragon scales in an explosion loud and powerful enough to wake the Gods themselves. If these Captains are the best you can offer perhaps you should leave combating the Illithid to Celene’s force and have your forces withdraw to a safer distance for their own protection. Do not trouble me with your accusations again, verily I did leave you a note of explanation at the very site of the battle. Truthfully it was Githyanki themselves along with the creatures they summoned that caused most of the slaughter amongst their forces while we combated the dragon they forced upon us. Thankfully, none of my party was harmed, so at least in that I will not hold you accountable. Let this be a lesson against further unannounced incursions within the borders of Celene. And let us focus on how we might work together against our mutual enemies the Illithlid!"

Aerdaluna continued, "If we are to work together we will need a plan, we have already established some common ground and common enemies. I myself have many pressing matters to which I must attend both here and abroad and I might not always be available but there are those I trust in Celene who I would place you in contact with, those who could carry their weight and more within any battle. When necessary and prudent I am certain that they could be of great assistance to our mission while providing a necessary layer of protection against misunderstandings in the future. I will assist you when I am able, and if would but appoint me with a contact here, I will keep you abreast of any pertinent discoveries I may yet make during my travels. My warning to you here and now is that you keep your eyes open to troubles not only here and now but also to trouble within your Astral home as well. I fear all is not right there, how else could you explain the easy defeat of Mindspear Castle by a small handful of Primes? The answer, Lord Torrelth is as plain as the nose on my face, the corruption had spread there as completely as here! And where did it get them, I ask you?"

Aerdaluna concluded, "We here, my associates and I, have pursued this corruption from Plane to Plane, and I will not stop until it is finished. Wherever this path takes us we will be there to lop off its ugly tentacle covered head. Does Celene have your cooperation in this? What else have you to tell us? Have you located any new infestations? Do you have any tools that may yet assist us?"

Torrelth replied acridly, “Mind your tone with me, Diplomat! You are in our city now and you will take your place as a diplomatic guest not someone who threatens me or insults my captains. I did not realize that it was you personally and your companions that were the people who assaulted our forces at the caves of the aberration whom you called the Seer. Had I know that from the start I might well have had you killed before you even entered the city. We do however respect Celene and her court and out of that respect, and that respect alone, I will suffer you to live without paying for the lives of my men that you took. I think you have deluded yourselves into thinking that you were defending yourselves. When in actuality you were the ones who attacked first. I am fully aware of the actions taken to turn my men against themselves and of, apparently, your ability to wrest control of the elementals that were summoned away from my men and turn them also against their summoner. For this you would normally be sentenced to death. It is only your status as a, now former, ambassador that is staying my judgment and wrath. As for your ‘note’ it was read but the truth of the matter was elaborated upon by observers who saw and heard what was truly said and done. You were observed and your words recorded so that the truth of your intent and actions could be established.”

 

“As for incursions, Celene has not laid claim to those caves since you appeared and thus there was no ‘unannounced incursion within her borders’. You may try to hide behind that defense, and if she now wishes to lay claim to that place, let me know and she and we will battle over it. That place is a stronghold of the illithid and we will continue to monitor it against further incursions of theirs. Should Celene wish to post guards of her own other than you and your companions, that is fine, let us know and they will be safe from our attacks.”

 

“As for you and your pressing matters, by all means see to them. You may carry the message back to your queen that we will deal with the previous ambassador, who while a sniveling sycophant was at least not a lying assassin. I find your presence disturbing as it reminds me too much of the stench of illithid. You claim to hunt them, if so, good hunting to you. I think perhaps you are merely a pawn of theirs and you might think well on that. You claim corruption within our forces because you find weakness. There are those who are weak and they must be culled, that is not corruption that is strength. You make many claims and threats both overt and veiled, but I do not trust you. I will carry your warning of trouble in our astral home, but I will warn them of your possible involvement in affairs. Celene can still expect our cooperation, should she respect our claim on the caves of the aberration as she did before. However, my warning to you ‘here and now’ is to stay away from the workings of the Githyanki. I am done with you, former ambassador. You have free passage out of the city, but should you or your companions return we will treat you as enemies of the state.”

Aerdaluna nodded his head as he replied, "We shall take our leave Lord Torrelth but know you this, now as in the cave of the Seer, it is the Githyanki’s own weakness that threatens you. Those Githyanki soldiers killed each other out of the darkness contained within their own souls for, who among you has not fantasized about killing another for personal gain or power. These dark thoughts leave your people vulnerable to the manipulations of the type mastered by Illithid. It is not my people who suffered so under their heel. As for me I make no claims that I cannot back up nor did we deny any part in the defeat of your soldiers. Right now your cooperation is more important than your trust; I reserve my own trust for those who can first trust themselves. And if you would make enemies of us then you will be responsible for what happens to you, just as your soldiers were responsible for their culling. Perhaps you should thank us for the blessing of the strength we have added to your people. I wish you success against the Illithid, may your forces travel with Wisdom and Strength."

The githyanki that had just come in moved to escort us from the building. As we left the commander’s chambers he communicated a message to Pete telepathically, "Friend of many masks, I am sorry that it has come to this. The gish was able to report back on your group’s actions at the caves and I was forced to confirm his reports under magical duress. I did not have to reveal my involvement with you and the book however. I was hoping that we would be able to talk more, but this will be my only chance. Should I see you again, I will be duty bound to fight you. The book I gave you, I know not completely, but I had a dream wherein I saw you and some of your companions in a wooded glen, the leaves where of red and gold and you all appeared to be safe. Some were guarding and others lay in a cirlce with you. One had used an enchantment of the book and a mist appeared and you all seemed to enter a deep sleep. Then I saw an illithid in a strange room dark with many small lights like the stars in the heavens. There you were with your companions, all naked and wet as if covered in dew, and our friend was there too! A woman appeared and struck the illithid and I awoke from the dream."

As we exited the building and began our trip to the city gates, suddenly, the inactive gate flared to life and our guard communicated telepathically to us, "She opens the gate. Something brews…" While we watched the first thing through the gate was a colossal ancient wyrm red dragon upon which was a man dressed in red flaming armor. "That is the Queen’s War Champion. His presence indicates that we will be opening up a new front of battle within the very near future." Next came a flotilla of ships and at least a dozen more dragons with riders. "I must get you out of here quickly. With the arrival of the War Champion, there will be an increase in cries for blood and the townsfolk may take it upon themselves to attack even peaceful visitors such as yourselves." We quickly made our way out of the city and returned to Celene to tell the queen of our findings.

 


Prophecy: Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Words, Words, Words (online)

Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Words, Words, Words (online)

[Featuring Aerdaluna, Zan, Smitty, and Silent Pete]

(In the words of Charley)

The compound where we finally found ourselves was in what was once the mayor’s manor. However, there had clearly been a conflict there many months ago and how it had been repaired and reinforced to look more like a military structure. The windows were barred and the door had been replaced with something stronger. There were guards at the front door that asked for our papers and then allowed us to enter.

Another guard inside took us down a few halls and up a set of stairs before ending us at a set of double doors. He knocked and someone replied in what I presume was Githyanki. The door was opened and we were escorted in. The room was a typical conference room. There was a large table to the left with a big map on it (of the city and surrounding area) and another to the right (where it looked like there may have been another map, but was currently empty). In front of us was a large desk behind which sat a Githyanki and another standing next to him. When we entered it seemed like the standing one had just finished saying something to the sitting one. There were two more Githyanki guards who closed the door behind us and stood at attention by it. There weren’t any chairs for us to sit in so we approached the two leaders and Aerdaluna spoke first.

“Greetings, I am Aerdaluna of Celene. I am here at her request to see in what capacity we may be able to aid each other in your pursuit of the foul illithid. These are my companions.”

The sitting Githyanki stood and held out his hand to shake Aerdaluna’s, “I am Torrelth, Lord of Zhjaeve. This is my advisor Torrenth. I am glad to hear that Celene is finally recognizing the seriousness of these blasphemous bastions of illithid. How your world came to be so infested is a serious concern which we a working to discover. Any information Celene has regarding the motives of the illithid would be appreciated apart from their overriding motive of needing food stock.” He sat back down. “How else is it that you wish to collaborate with us? Or, perhaps I should ask, what is it that you wish of us?”

Aerdaluna continued, “While I was briefed by my predecessor, perhaps you could explain your position on this world and what your goals are.”

Torrelth continued, “Very well, our Queen rightly detected that this world had been invaded by a large force of the illithid. Most worlds have a few here and there that we hunt down, but here there is apparently a significantly larger force of them. Concerned that they have some larger agenda she has sent us here to rout out their hiding places and disrupt their activities as we destroy them. We have no intentions of invading the sovereignty of any of the nations that are here on this world; however, if we find that there are illithid within a nation we care not for your national boundaries and will deal with the illithid quickly and dramatically.”

“We have already found that the illithid are not content to remain in the background in a number of places, but have begun to infiltrate and control the existing power structures. Thus we are only marginally willing to ‘work’ with the existing governments as we do not wish to reveal our plans to any spies that may be found in the governments.”

“To put it simply, our goal here is to destroy the illithid that have invaded your world as quickly and brutally as possible.”

Aerdaluna nodded, “Yes, that seems reasonable. However, your neglect of the existing nations puts your goals at risk of being foiled by those nations who you are invading in your search for the Mindflayers. There are many powers on this world, Celene being an excellent example, which are quite capable of resisting your incursions into our national boundaries. I feel that I should warn you that should you ‘detect’ a Mindflayer presence in Celene that you would be best warn us and allow us to deal with that threat or you will find that your threat deterrence force will be decimated before it achieves its goal.”

I think that the githyanki smiled, “It seems that Celene has sent a voice that is not as effeminate as those who we had spoken to before. It is good to see that Celene has some strength in her voice as well as in her lands. Very well, should we detect a presence you will be notified before we send in our troops. Perhaps we can coordinate an attack in that case, should it come to that.”

Aerdaluna continued, “So, I also understand that there are agents of yours who are not engaged in combating the Mindflayers.”

Torrelth paused as if to consider how to answer, “Yes, not directly, but they are investigating rumors that we have that may lead to the discovery of additional cells of the illithid. As I said, they are in greater number here and seem to be working towards a larger goal themselves. Not all of them are easy to find and thus we must use our resources to discover where they are hiding.”

Aerdaluna asked, “And are those investigative units entering sovereign nations without the permission of the rulers of those nations?”

Torrelth nodded, “Of course, but, before you ask…we currently do not have any in Celene nor do we have any plans to at this point.”

Aerdaluna, “And how is it that you are getting the information that is leading you to enter these other nations? Is your Queen directing you or are you basing it on information you are getting here? Is your source or sources reliable and something that we can use to perhaps assist you?”

Torrelth answered, “Our initial directives, of course, came from our Queen who still is personally directing some of our actions. But yes we are basing some of our decisions on information we have collected here. That information is of mixed reliability. We need to be careful with any information discovered from indigenous sources as they may be compromised.”

Aerdaluna probed a little further, “And these actions that your Queen is still personally directing, are they related to the Mindflayer incursion or to something else?”

Torrenth spoke, “Are you implying something about our Queen’s motives that you are not saying? We have said we are here to hunt illithid and that is what we are doing.”

Torrelth added, “Our Queen’s motives are her own. Where she commands we go. What she commands we do. That is the way of the Githyanki. The Githzerai and their sympathizers questioned our Queen’s motives and they are no longer with us. It is not my place to question my Queen’s motives nor will you broach that subject unless you wish this conversation to be at an end.”

He continued, “We have answered your questions on our motives. Now I would ask you, what are the plans of Celene? What support will she provide to our efforts? Perhaps some of the troops that have been added to her northern border could be used to search for illithid instead of defending against an unreal threat that we pose?”

Aerdaluna paused for dramatic effect (I think), “As you have said, ‘the motives of your Queen are not mine to question.’ However, I am here to provide support. I am quite accomplished in extracting information from sources in the pursuit of truth. The northern troops are a precaution against any accidental occurrences that may occur because your soldiers may not be aware of where the lands of Celene begin. They are meant for defensive purposes only and will provide intelligence in the form of warning your people when they are in danger of crossing our borders. I would suggest that you inform your underlings that they are to obey the boundaries as explained by any Elves they meet rather than engage in conflict for their own protection of course.”

While they were talking I was looking for something to snatch. Before we had entered the building Aerdaluna had instructed me to gather some belonging of the leader so that he could work some magic on it. We were hoping to meet in a more casual environment where it would be easier to gather something such as a hair or similar. I spied a quill on the desk that clearly Torrenth or Torrelth had used. I decided to try for that on our way out.

Aerdaluna continued, “Perhaps it would be wise for you to inform us of what lands you are currently engaged in investigations so that we may be able to provide you with any information we have on the areas.”

They continued to engage in their verbal parley and I must admit that I didn’t hear much of what they said. Things started to get interesting again probably a half and hour later or so.

Torrenth answered some question that Aerdaluna had asked, “That may be, but, again, if we decided to take you up on that offer we will let you know. For now we are confident in our own abilities to gather information.”

Aerdaluna replied, “As am I in mine. You should know that I am the one that unearthed and defeated the Mindflayer in this city. From it I was able to gather a book that revealed some of their secrets. I am more than capable of assisting in this counte-insurgency effort that you are engaging in.”

Torrenth continued, “What book is this? Can you tell us about it?”

Aerdaluna brightened up, “Certainly, it was a book that I retrieved from the cult that was operating here in Brind…Brindenford. It was called The Reality Behind the Void by one Arnaud Vates. It was a two-volume set that discussed various theories on the nature of reality and included some incantations and rituals designed to manipulate spells and creatures…in particular including the summoning of Mindflayers under the supposed control of the summoner. My belief is that the rituals were attempted here and the summoner found that they were not in control of the creatures, but instead became the puppets of the Mindflayers.”

Torrenth asked, “And do you still have this book?”

Aerdaluna nodded sadly, “No, I had left it in what I thought were capable hands at the Greyhawk Library. It was apparently taken from the library while I was traveling elsewhere.”

Torrelth interjected, “You see, My Lord, I told you that the city of Greyhawk had been compromised. It is as she said, ‘Their power centers are corrupt. They will fall beneath your wrathful swords.'”

Aerdaluna added, “Be not so quick to judge others as theirs are not the only power centers that are corrupt. I have seen that your own leaders are involved with the Mindflayers. For all I know you two might even be compromised. There is corruption among the Githyanki as well as with us primes.”

Torrenth jumped to his feet and slammed his fist on the table causing things to fly to the floor, “What! How dare you? What proof do you have for this bold accusation.”

Aerdaluna seemed to be pleased that he had struck a nerve, “While I was away in another world I was with a group of adventurers who encountered one of your outposts. While I was not actually with the group that attacked your people, I was there when the Mindflayer was encountered. It was directing the actions of a group of thieves and bandits dealing in the theft and trade of your silver swords. Granted I did not talk to or encounter any of your people directly, but I was able to free a Guardsman from the control of an individual named Drendel who was working with the Githyanki that were deceived in this matter. It is a tragedy that some of your people were killed in the ensuing battle, but perhaps they were weak from being controlled by the Mindflayer and Drendel’s minions.”

While Aerdaluna spoke, I descretely reached down and picked up some of the things that had fallen on the floor on our side of the desk. I placed all but a quill, which I pocketed, back on the githyanki’s desk.

Torrenth sat back down, “Ah, I had heard reports of an outpost that was invaded by a rival outpost that had become controlled by outsiders. Perhaps this is what you speak of and yes, if so, they were weak and it was a service to our Queen that they died. You had nothing to do with fighting our soldiers?”

Aerdaluna replied, “None whatsoever.”

He continued, “So it seems that you have some experience in battling Mindflayers…however you say that you defeated the Mindflayer that was here in Zhjaeve. When we arrived the illithid was still very much alive and in control of the mayor of this place called Brindonfort.”

This seemed to match up with the update that the Elves had given us. Apparently shortly after we left Brindenford the Mayor declared martial law and locked the city down. Then he brought in devils and worshipers of Hextor to enforce the new martial laws. Things got quickly worse for the inhabitants who started disappearing after being brought in for questioning by the new police force.

Aerdaluna bristled, “Maybe not, but we did defeat a deadly Mindflayer in the other Plane while I was on my mission and I had captured the book. Are you questioning my word? Do you doubt my skill or sincerity? Do you want a demonstration? Should you want to see what I accomplished firsthand I could arrange a demonstration right now. I could open my thoughts to you right now so you could see the Githyanki corruption and judge it yourselves as it should be.”

Torrenth smiled knowing that he had found one of Aerdaluna’s nerves as well, “No, no, I just wished to clarify the facts regarding your defeat of the Mindflayer. Would you be willing to accompany one of our units on an illithid hunting expedition in the near future? We have located an infestation that we will be attacking in the new few days.”

Aerdaluna was about to reply when there was a knock at the door. Torrenth said something in Githyanki and the door opened and another Githyanki came in and whispered something to the Lord and his advisor. I wasn’t sure at first, but using the telepathic bond that Aerdaluna had established with us earlier that day Pete confirmed, “I’m pretty sure that that is the same Githyanki that gave me the book in the Seer’s caves.”

Aerdaluna observed him as he spoke to the Lord and his Advisor and told us telepathically, “He appears uncomfortable, as if he is doing something that he doesn’t really want to do.”

Torrenth looked up at Aerdaluna and it seemed as if daggers flew from his eyes. He growled, “You said you had nothing to do with fighting our soldiers? How is it then that I have a report from two of my trusted captains that you personally have killed many of our troops?”

 

Prophecy: Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Diplomatic Visit (online)

Webisode Fourty-Nine and a half: Diplomatic Visit (online)

[Featuring Aerdaluna, Zan, Smitty, and Silent Pete]

(In the words of Charley)

So we wandered up to the gates of the city without any real incident, but when we got there we were stopped by some of the Githyanki guards there. Aerdaluna had decided that it would be a good idea to approach the city with the captured Githyanki in tow as a captured prisoner that we were going to release as a sign of goodwill.

"What is the meaning of this? Are you trying to mock us? Free that Githyanki you have or prepare to be killed where you stand!" growled one of the guards.

Aerdaluna stepped forward, "Cease your foul ramblings until you know who and what you are dealing with! You will address me as Lord Aerdaluna, Ambassador from Celene and you will not question me but you will instead provide for my comforts if you value your miserable lives." As he did so, Nebula repositioned himself on Aerdaluna’s shoulder to draw attention to his claws and the acid that was dripping from his jaws.

The guard seemed somewhat cowed by Aerdaluna’s show of power and the presence of the dragon, even if it was just a wyrmling. He seemed to be considering his options when another guard approached, "Lord Aerdaluna, I appologise for your improper greeting. We did not recognize you as you are not the diplomat that we had spoken to before. We of course will do what we can to see to your needs, which I’m sure you will reveal to us in a moment. You papers?" he held out his hand to receive the diplomatic documents that Aerdaluna handed over for him to look at. He contined, "These look fine. About the…"

Aerdaluna interruped, "You need not speak again, know only that I require audiance with the Lord of this place."

"Of course we will see to it; you will also, I’m sure when you are ready tell us what to do with your…prisoner?" guessed the second guard looking at the bound Githyanki that I was leading.

"I said you need not…," here Aerdaluna paused for a moment as he looked up to see another Githyanki surreptitiously gazing at our party through some sort of magical crystal. The creature looked confused for a moment then put down the crystal and shrugging gazed at the guard that was talking to us, at which point Aerdaluna continued his train of thought, "speak again. But yes, you make take this one from us. He is a gift from me back to your dark queen, a pawn in the game of war, a show of good faith. Now be quick about seeing to my needs!" He barked the last bit and I released the Githyanki to return to his people; smiling inside at the knowledge that he would be able to say nothing of his time with us due to Aerdaluna’s erasing of his memories of his time with us…he wouldn’t even be able to tell them anything of the battle he had participated in against us.

The guard looked back at the githyanki who had the crystal who nodded and waved us through.

The guard started, "But…their weapons? Sir, the peacebonding…"

The other answered, "They are cleared to go through; everything is in order here."

As we entered the city the guard who had first spoken to us began to walk with us, "Forgive my earlier..uh…lack of manners, Lord Aerdaluna. I will escort you to the lodgings were you may place your belongings and receive refreshment before meeting with Lord Torrelth. I appologize if you are already aware of the following, but I am required to repeat it to all guests…perhaps for your companions’ benefits." Aerdaluna ignored him as we walked.

He continued, "These rules are provided for your protection as well as the protection of the citizens of this compound. For non-Githyanki the following rules apply while you are guests within our city. All weapons (including wands) must be peacebonded, reach weapons (if any) must be stowed somewhere (they can be peacebonded to a pack until you reach your lodging but must then be stored there) and cannot be carried in public. Wearing medium or heavy armor in the streets is not allowed. Nor is carrying a shield of any type. No spells or psionics can be cast in public without advance permission or a special permit. Spell component pouches must be peacebonded. Attacking or otherwise impinging on the integrity of any guards is punishable by death–there is no exception for non-githyanki (nor for most githyanki for that matter). If you think you are attacked and feel that your life in in jeopardy, you are to run to the nearest guards and seek assistance. We are under martial law here and as such the laws are probably much stricter than what you landwalkers are normally used to. We tolerate no petty crimes; they have consequences that are similar to what you would normally expect for more major crimes. The penalty for most of them is, in fact, death, though some just result in maiming. Do you have any questions about these?"

No one did, and so we continued in silence until we reached the inn. We were shown to our rooms and the guard explained to the inn keeper that we were a diplomatic envoy and that all our desires should be meet with promptly. He also gave us directions to the Lord’s manor for when we were ready to leave.

 

 

Prophecy: Episode Fifty-Two: Azure Bay Iridescence (11/21/07)

Episode Fifty-Two: Azure Bay Iridescence (11/21/07)

[Featuring Solaris, Zan, Smitty, and Silent Pete]

From the Journal of Solaris Solaris

Days 8 thru 12

We returned to civilized lands to research the location of the gem that the necromacer had lost to the githyanki. Between Smitty’s Commune’s and my magics we were quickly able to determine that the gem was now in the lich queen’s possession. Realizing that we were not prepared to confront her yet we decided to return to our original course of searching for the rest of the gems.

We decided to head for the Azure Bay for the next gem.

Days 13 thru 15

We travelled to the Azure Bay. My earlier diviniations had revealed the the Sahuagin village where we would find the next stone were located roughly centered on the points of the bay. Caretaker attempted to submerge the ship but quickly discovered that it was not water-tight. Thus he skimmed the surface with the vessel as we began our search.

Capturing and charming various sea creatures we found in our search we eventually learned the location of the sahuagin. Caretaker was concerned with getting too close to the village as the sahuagin were reknowned for their ability to bring down a ship that invaded their territory.

Day 16

We anchored about 1/2 mile away from the village and after casting a bevvy of spells to protect us from the watery depths and allow us to move more freely in the water, we decended.

As we approached the village a sahuagin patrol spotted us (which was not too difficult given the bubbly sphere we travelled in) and approached.

We began to parley, but the creatures recognized Charley and myself to be locathah. This was a problem as the ruler of this village had recently begun a campaign against a nearby locathah village. The creatures got in a few luckly blows before we quickly slew them. I had hoped to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, but was not completely successful in my attempt. We grabbed their weapons and belt pouches and tossed them in our portable hole and then decided to teleport to what looked to be the leader’s home.

We entered the building stealthily and soon discovered that all within the building were sleeping. Furthermore the only occupants there currently were women and children. I charmed one and we questioned her for a while before she revealed that Baron Neahgataa was likely with the Priestess at the temple. She escorted us past the other sahuagin who were out working on nets and sea farming until we came to the temple, a small amphitheater with a huge set of shark jaws that were the focal point and probably altar.

There we found some lesser priestesses who I charmed. They refused to enter the high priestesses chambers saying it was forbidden. I eventually convinced one of them to at least knock on the door to give the priestess some important information. A fabrication I made up about dragons and the giant centipede that harassed the village. I considered approaching carrying a bucket of blood but realized that it was not remain in the bucket long enough in these watery depths to be of any use.

The priestess answered the door and after a brief conversation she headed back inside to alert some others. We prepared to attack them as soon as they exited the building.

I was slightly taken aback when a huge dire shark emerged following the priestess, following it were the Baron and his companion, a drow, Darkblade Waterwalker. Even with the huge shark I was able to contain it, the baron, and the priestess within a barred forcecage. The drow was quickly engaged by Zan.

At first the battle seemed almost over before it began as we had them captured and Zan was doing well against the enemy drow. However, the longer we engaged our foes that more capable they seemed to get. First the drow disintegrated the force cage then another invisible foe who had been hiding behind the seaweed dispelled the maddening whispers on the shark and priestess, then the priestess sicked her shark on me and and the invisible attacker came for me as well. While this was going on the rest of the party was busy trying to take down the drow who clearly had some magics on him as we were tearing him to shreads but he was not falling. I had stunned him so he was unable to attack, but he wouldn’t fall.

Finally, Silent Pete realized that the prize we were searching for was in front of our faces circling the stunned drow. He easily grabbed it in its flight. As he did so, the invisible attacker hit me, now in the shark’s jaws, with some kind of sonic blast, which triggered my contingency and took me back to the ship. The others, realizing that they had their goal and had lost their primary spellcaster, teleported away quickly as well.

Day 17 thru 20

Returned to civilization and examined the gem we had recovered.

I was analyzing the ioun stone we had recovered to see if there was anything special about it. I made an amazing discovery in that it contained a psychic resonance that uniquely identified it from other ioun stones. Even more amazing was the fact that the same psionic signature was present in the gems that many of us already possessed. Thus we were further along in our hunt than we had realized. We already have 7 of the 20 gems that we search for.

 

Supporting Cast

Charley

Smokey

Nebula

Freya

 

Villians

Sahuagin

 

Experience Gained

6400 xp

Treasure Gained

  • Iridescent Ioun Stone (Solaris?)
  • +3 unholy cold iron greatsword (sold)
  • +1 pearlsteel tridents (11) (sold)
  • +2 pearlsteel trident (sold)
  • Potions of CSW (12) (2xSilent Pete, 2xSmitty, 2xCharley, 2xZan, 1xSolaris, 1xFreya, 1xSmokey, 1xNebula)
  • Potion of Resist Energy (Zan?)
  • Potion of Mirror Image (Silent Pete?)

Total Gold: Pearls worth 1,020 gp.