Category Archives: Prophecy

Prophecy: Episode Fifty-Seven: Series Finale (Epilogue)

Episode Fifty-Seven: Series Finale (Epilogue)

[Featuring Hal and Pandora]

Hal

Halfred withdrew his sword from the Duthka’gith and was about to engage the
second half-dragon when he was suddenly pulled into the phlactery room and the
door was slammed shut separating him from Seren-Arty. He was about to call out
when he saw Pandora in all her naked vileness.

“Listen, bitch, I don’t know what your game is this time, but this is not the
time for it,” said Hal as he glared at the barely clad half-demoness.

Pandora smiled and purred, “Oh, sweet, Hal. You’re going to what to hear what
I have to offer this time.” She began to move closer and Hal held out his sword
in a warding gesture. She ran her hand across the blade and a small drop of
blood dripped from her finger on to the blade. She lifted her finger to her
mouth and sucked the small drip of blood from it and added, “So long and hard,
are you read to pierce me with your sword and without any foreplay even.”

“I don’t have time for this. What do you want!” He pulled out the torc intent
on his original mission, thinking also that he needed to finish with this
tormentor and get back to his companion in the outer hall.

“This is about our children. I love them dearly, ” Hal’s eyes rolled, “…as
dearly as you do. Now I know that you have some concerns regarding my influence
on them given my natural proclivities.” She winked at him and let her hands
trail across his breastplate as she strolled around and continued talking, “I
too have issues however with your natural bent for…shall we say too strict an
upbringing. So I propose a compromise.”

“Here is my proposal. I agree to give up my motherly rights if you agree to a
period of absence as a father as well. I won’t interfere with their upbringing,
they can raised by that cow that you have married…so long as you agree to
seclude yourself in a place of penance for your temerity of having spurned my
affections and denying me my due rights as a loving mother. Your penance will be
over once they come of age.”

Hal considered for a moment. His first thought was that she was crazy, which
of course was partly true and that she was evil, which was also true. But the
offer of her non-interference was indeed tempting. Having the children raised by
Sapphire, a truly loving parent would be better than having no parents and might
well be better than having the corrupting influence of Pandora balanced against
the love of two parents.

His mission here however was critical however and he could not trade his
children for Serenity who needed his assistace.

As if she were reading his thoughts (which she may well have been), “You
needn’t worry about the Lich-Queen. You don’t need to use that device.

That is just a failsafe. Should she have been here alive when you were
present with her phalactery. Think about what you know of liches and their
phalacteries. If the lich is dead and you destroy the phalactery, are they not
destroyed? Granted, you are going to have some difficulty with the phalactery as
it is trapped, but I can remove the trap for you.”

Hal countered, “Remove the trap while I consider your offer.”

Hold my hand as we walk thru the prismatic sphere, I know the password. She
spoke the password and the passed through the sphere without harm. She got to
work on the sarcophagus and within a few moments a release of magical energy
signaled that something had happened. She lifted the lid and revealed the
withered body of Vlaakith–inert and recovering from the destruction the party
had visited upon her mere hours ago. Pandora paused, “The phalactery is in here,
but there is one more trap that I am not able to remove. It will summon one of
her guardian dragons so once I disturb the phlactery we will only have a few
moments before it arrives. You will need to make your decision before I reach
for it.”

If she was not telling the truth and the destruction of the phalactery didn’t
destroy the queen he still had the torc and could use it. He realized the this
would potentially give a greater reward for a minor cost to himself. He knew
that there must be something in it for Pandora, but couldn’t figure out what it
was and time was of the essence. Asking her would be useless as she would make
up some story.

“Very well, retrieve the phalactery and we will destroy it. Then you never
interfere in the lives of my children ever again and I will agree to your terms
of penance for myself until they reach their age of maturity.”

Pandora kissed Hal on the cheek, “You are so cute, trying to bargain with
me.” She walked back over to the sarcophagus, “Be ready we won’t have much
time,” She reached in and felt around unsure of where their prize was and when
she finally felt her hand rest on it, the hairs on the backs of both of their
necks stood on end and they heard a distant growl. Withdrawing it from the
sarcophagus revealed it to be a small black adamantine box which they both
quickly set to work on shattering. Hal delivered the final blow with his sword
and as he did a shriek of magical energy rent the room and the body that was
Vlaakith’s as her millenial soul was finally disjoined from its husk. There was
a shudder that went out the room and rippled through the city of Tu’narath. The
body crumbled to dust and magical energies started to eddy through the room as
the prismatic sphere began to collapse.

Pandora yelled over the chaos of the magical storm they had unleased,
“Quickly, her magics will begin to collapse starting here first and working
their way out through the city and her guardian will be here any second to take
his revenge. We must leave quickly.”

Hal grabbed her hand and they disappeared in a puff of smoke leaving behind
only a pile of dust where they had stood.

They appeared in a large receiving hall. Seated upon a throne was a large,
handsome human-looking being. Beneath his fine robes Hal saw a cloven left hoof
and a slowly swishing tail. He had small horns on his head and his skin was
slightly ruddy as if he had just finished a long race, though he looked very
relaxed. In his left hand he held a long rod.

Standing next to him was an angelic being wearing gleaming platemail with
wings of brilliant light and holding a broadsword across its chest. It had no
facial features, but Hal recognized the symbol of Heironious on the platemail.

“So, Hal, are you ready to hold up your end of the bargain?” asked Pandora.

“Where are we? Who are those two?” asked Hal.

“They are here to make sure that we, mostly meaning you,” Pandora giggled,
“serve your penance and uphold your end of the bargain. But they will but an
onus on me such that I won’t be able to go near the children too so that you can
feel safe. The sinister gentleman is Dispater and the dextrous fellow is Heiny
or something like that.”

Heinereous corrected a voice in their heads.

 

Halfred-After the lich queen was destroyed Pandora gave him
the dilemma of either she getting equal time with the Hal-spawn as mother to
raise them. Or she agrees to give up her motherly rights if Hal agrees to a
period of absence as a father as well. She promises that she won’t interfere
with their upbringing so long as he secludes himself in penance in hell for the
temerity of having spurned her affection and denying her her due rights as
loving mother. His penance will be over once they come of age. (of course she
won’t really let him go at that point and she feels free to interfere with them
once they’re grown and she thinks that being abandoned by both mother and father
is ripe fruit to use as bait for temptation to anger and resentment)

 

 

Prophecy: Episode Fifty-Seven: Series Finale

Episode Fifty-Seven: Series Finale

[Featuring Everyone]

From the Journal of Solaris Solaris

1 Readying 597 CY

Before I leave for the City of Brass and put this life behind me, I must
put to pen a final entry in this journal of Solaris. I start with the statement
that we were successful–the queen is dead! But at such a cost!

Zetch’r’r, a githyanki warlord, and the Sha’sal Khou, a group of
githyanki and githzerai radicals working toward the reunification of their
respective peoples contacted us shortly before we completed the torc. Aware of
our plans to assault the queen they offered their assistance. Zetch’r’r was
concerned that the queen had lead her people down a dark path that was polluting
their true goal. She was corrupting their blood, comingling it with the blood of
red dragons and creating half-dragon abominations. His goal was to set their
combined people back on the path of extermination of the illithids. And
destruction of the Lich-Queen was the only solution he saw to that end.

While Zetch’r’r and the Sha’sal Khou were able to get us through
Tu’narath safely. Navigating the queen’s Palace of Whispers, Susurrus, was
frought with dangers. Within the vast necropolis we lost two of the Silent
Companions, Glauron and Benito. We also lost my faithful companion, Smokey.
However, when the Marilith’s swords struck their killing blow, Smokey shattered
into millions of shards of glass like a broken mirror–this was the Hall of
Mirrors version of my faithful friend and so I hold out hope that perhaps my
true companion may still exist trapped within the mirror halls. Others fell
briefly as well and were it not for Smitty and Jack’s chameleon-like powers we
would have lost more companions.

Two of my companions deserve special mention. We had defeated the queen,
but that had merely caused her to retreat to her phylactery. We knew that we
needed to press on, find the phylactery and use the torc. The path to the
phylactery took us through the heart of a dead god and that took its toll on us
all. By the time we reached the phylactery room, we had been separated and only
Halfred and Seren-arty were at the door with the keys. They placed the keys in
the door and as they were debating who would enter to offer up their life to
destroy the phylactery, they were attacked by Duthka’gith. They began fighting
the half-dragons and when one had fallen, Seren-arty heard the
door close as Halfred had made their choice–making the
ultimate sacrifice assuming that a fight with the remaining Duthka’gith was a
winable fight for Seren-arty. What Hal couldn’t know was that Seren-arty did not win the fight but only
managed to kill the creature as it killed him. We found Arty’s broken body
before the door to the queen’s phlactery. Given the nature of the enviroment we
were in, Serenity’s spirit was able to remain long enough to tell us what had
happened before he left for his own body in the land of dragons. We re-opened the chamber and found the destroyed phlactery and a pile of dust where Halfred was when he had activated the
torc.

We quickly exited the palace as now that the queen was dead the magics
holding it in place were starting to crumble and the souls trapped within its
wall were bursting free to travel to their final rest. Zetch’r’r helped us get
back out of the city and true to his promise the githyanki withdrew from our
world. The war was over.

The win was bittersweet. We had lost six of our companions. We reported
back to Celene; and, Lorel and Zan choose to stay with the queen having found a
new home where they felt welcome. I have left Arty’s body with Celene as they
may be able to figure out how to reactivate it and if so will contact Jack.

Apparently, Jack had taken some of his treasure and used it to purchase a
restoration for Caretaker, who it turns out was a proficient sea captain and
bard before his life was drained while adventuring. Restored, he was given
command of the astral galley we commendered from the githyanki during the war;
and, Caretaker, Jack and Freya and crew decided to sail the Mystic Seas as
privateers in search of wrongs to right and damsels (and dons) in distress to
rescue. My assistant, Charlie, has decided to try his hand at the pirate’s life
for a while as I get my new identity in place; we will connect later. Staying
clear of Klarn (and the wrath of Grithstane), they tary not long on its shores,
but can be found in other lands more often.

The ship returned Cicily to her home in Greyhawk to take care of her family holdings after stopping briefly in the Mystic Isles to deliver the news to Sapphire of the loss of her husband.
Simberious offered to leave a small contingent of knights to assist Sapphire
with the raising of Hal’s two children, but Sapphire declined and said that she
and her family would take care of them.

Simberious returned to the mainland and took up the banner of his lord
and he now heads the Church of Hieronious. I hear that he is being considered
for the post of High Clerist as well. Smitty returned with Simberious and has
taken the position as the head of the Mountain Temple of Moradin.

Silent Pete returned with Lu Fang to  the temple of Tun Mi Lung. Lu
Fang assumed his place as heir to the throne of the Lord of Typhoons while Pete
and his remaining companions became instructors at the monestary in the shadow
of the temple.

My story…that is for another day.

Epilogue…

 

Prophecy: Episode Fifty-Six and a half: Series Recap (1/10/10)

Episode Fifty-Six and a half: Series Recap (1/10/10)

[Featuring Everyone]

From the Journal of Solaris Solaris

1 Readying 596 CY

We have had much adventure in the past year. My attention to my journal has been neglectful. I will summarize as best I can with the short time I have available.

After the incident in the Hall of Mirrors, we traveled to the Sea of Dust
to retrieve the dusty prism from hulking automata. While there we fought the
githyanki Queen, and even defeated her; though we knew only temporarily given
her lich nature. In some ways it seemed too easy, but perhaps not as Silent Pete
lost one of this companions in the fight. We were rewarded for our efforts as
she had the orange prism and we were able to recover it before her body
disintegrated before us.

Thence we traveled to a vampire infested mountian near White Plum which
held a teleportation circle which took us to the surface of Celene, the smaller
of Oerth’s moons, where we recovered the pink rhomboid from a coven of undead.
The green ellipsoid we found in the watery depths of the Shahuagin graves
corrupted by a cult within their own ranks. The pearly white spindle was
recovered in a shard of the negative material plane which nearly sucked the life
from us all. The black and orange rhomboid nearly took our sanity as we plunged
into the depths of an astral storm to recover it. And the pale blue rhomboid we
elicited from a sentient plane which called it self Neth, and adventure which
nearly cost us our lives and sanity yet again.

The torc itself we recovered by means of the Book of Fantastic Travels and
a journey to a land where dragons rule worlds and people sail from world to
world in sky ships. What was perhaps most shocking to us however was that our
apparent foe, The Blessed, was here in this land, a defender of that which was
right and good. Her actions in our world were meant to be inscrutible to the
foes she fought, in particular, aberrations and the gith. Creatures that gaze
into the future and read the mind. Thus her actions by necessity need to appear
chaotic and random. But, supposedly, her true goals were for the betterment of
all. I did not doubt that her companions in this land felt her to be an
honorable and trustworthy person, but I wonder if perhaps that journey to our
world might have twisted her mind. Humans are so fragile after all. In any case,
we recovered the torc. The other item of great note here was that we recovered
Serenity’s body and were able to rejoin his mind to his body. He continued to
assist us, but now he knew that should he loose his link to the body of Arty, he
would be restored to his body in this other world with Tabitha (the real name of
The Blessed).

Joining the gems to the torc we were ready to proceed with our attack on
the queen.

 

 

Prophecy: Episode Fifty-Six: Mirror Mirror In the Hall (5/22/08)

Episode Fifty-Six: Mirror Mirror In the Hall (5/22/08)

[Featuring Solaris, Smitty, and Zan]

From the Journal of Solaris Solaris

15 Readying 595 CY

We have determined that we will next need to travel to the Plane of Mirrors to recover the next stone. I will examine the ritual in the Book of Fantastic Travels.

21 Readying 595 CY

I will need to spend more time with this ritual. As written it will take me to a demiplane of mirrors, but I will need to modify it so that we can be sure to end up on the plane where the orb we seek will be found. I believe that if I incorporate our existing orbs I will be able to almost guarentee that I will be successful. I will also need to determine what we can expect on this plane. The book indicates that there are dangers there–reflected, twisted versions of ourselves. This is troubling, I will need to consider how best to prevent my mirror self from destroying us completely.

22 Readying 595 CY

I spoke with Smitty’s nephew, Thor. It is strange to find him so much older than Smitty. He is a pleasant sort with an elven perspective on life that I find refreshing. He is also the closest thing we have to an expert on planar matters. His knowledge and library are impressive. I understand that he is more of an expert on aberrations, the depth of his knowledge of them must be truly astounding. He will report back to me on his findings relating to the plane of mirrors.

22 Coldeven 595 CY-

It has taken me quite a while to modify this ritual. It has not helped that Charley has been incessent about needing scrolls. To quiet him, and because it is a good idea in general, I have taken time from my work on the ritual to create a few scrolls for him. {something here has been removed}

Typically each demi-plane of mirrors is distinct from other mirror planes, though each will share a common set of mirrors that allow access, referred to as a constellation. The mirrors in a constellation all have something in common with each other (crafter, owner, materials, etc.) The size of the demi-plane and thus the number of mirror doors varies from a handful to a couple dozen, the largest recorded demi-plane had 31 doorways. The destination mirrors can go anywhere, even to different planes and possibly times (though that is only recorded in one instance and the writer admitted that the “eye-witness” was not completely stable after his return from the plane).

The modified ritual I am using will allow us to jump to the mirror plane that we want as opposed to the mirror plane that would normally be associated with any random mirror that we use in the ritual. Time, gravity, magic all function normally there; though there is no connection to the Etheral, Astral, or Shadow plane and spells that rely on these planes do not function.

The space behind the mirror is a long corridor leading to the right and left. From the plane, the backs of the mirrors appear to be windows into other places. The corridor appears to be made of brick and mortar.

There is an almost guaranteed chance that when we enter the plane duplicates of us will be created that are intent on our destruction. Stories vary as to where and when they show up. Sometimes as you enter the plane, sometimes only after wandering for a while.

Besides mirror-selves, the only other creatures that are commonly encountered in the mirror planes are mirror-like creatures called Nerra. Whether they are natives, or just frequent travelers is not known for sure. They are as varied as the common races with respect to likely powers, though all seem have some innate spell like abilities of a mirror and/or illusory nature.

…here there is a section of the journal that has been removed…

2 Growfest 595 CY

Plan of action – do not question of think about this over much, all the necessary steps have been taken. Have faith in your preparations and confidence in good friends and do not think beyond what is written here. – Solaris

You will utilize a ritual from the Book of Fantastic Travels similar to the spell Mirror Walking to enter the Plane of Mirrors. Reach through the mirror to pull the others through: Smokey, Charley, Zan, Smity are most important and in that order. Less maybe better, immediately after bringing Charley through send him back; he and Nebula will guard the mirror from the other side.

You will enter the mirror with no memorized spells other than Unseen Servant, no scrolls and no spell book. Whatever dopplegangers you encounter will be faced without a reliance on spells but rather mind-to-mind, as ever the greatest victory is over one’s self.

4 Growfest 595 CY

Bitter Disappointment

Beyond the mirror I found no true self-realization but rather it seemed a trap. The only doppelgangers were those brought about by illusions created by the Nerra mirror watchers, servants of a collective that rules this voyeur’s plane.

There are three types of Nerra–Varoot, Kalareem and Sillit. Varoot are stealthy and sly – they moved very quickly, Kalareem are strong and more disciplined and Sillit intelligent, manipulative and at least by my account annoying. However annoying the Nerra were not without ability and training; furthermore they appeared to have a neutral disposition, perhaps they feel a higher purpose would be dangerous and futile. They walk a very fine line between all alignments often doing things one might think are good, evil, lawful or chaotic. I believe they may have observed and recorded our activities through their mirror portals and regardless of the methodology they were entirely prepared for our incursion into their realm. Still we did not encounter perhaps the most dangerous aspect of travelling through the plane of mirrors which is not the Nerra, who are very dangerous indeed, but mirror clones. So it is possible that my trap worked for I had placed a death symbol with a shell as a gift for my other and in fact I did not encounter him.

Upon my entry into the realm of mirror I was set upon by a quartet of Nerra, one large, one smart and two shifty ones. Before I could react one of the shifty ones set a magical rope to entangle me giving me only enough time to summon my associates from the other side of the mirror. Immediately battle was upon us but to my surprise a bag was thrust into my hand on the other side of the mirror. Zan, Smity and Charley were already battling foes when I opened the bag to find two scrolls and our portable hole. Having purposely enter this plane without any useful spell prepared I was desperate to be of some assistance so I ripped the first scroll open without caution seeing I had scribe a number of spells upon it.

Reading the first spell, I pointed my finger unleashing a deadly explosion of sound that destroyed one of our opponents while Smity chased off another with his own bolt of divinity. Smokey charged through the mirror knocking a third opponent to the ground further down the hall while Zan kept the fourth opponent busy in melee.

This allowed the space and the opportunity to locate a Prismatic Sphere spell upon the scroll. Using the scroll I created the sphere in the safest widest area available to me, unfortunately cutting Smokey off from the rest of the party and I took cover within the sphere. Thinking I was safe within the sphere I quickly took stock of the implements within the portable hole and then looked for a way to assist Smokey who was now being attacked by two of the Nerra. I released a second sonic explosion attempting to repel his foes but this only succeed in drawing the attention of one of his foes who ignored my deadly sphere of light and entered my sanctuary coated in painful acid and flames as I exited the backside of the sphere while threatening him with death and revenge should his forces harm the hapless Smokey who was evidently overcome by their magic.

On the other side of the sphere I found the battle was still raging and I fired my third and final sound explosion destroying the last foe on this side of the sphere and ordered Charley to retreat into the mirror and guard our escape route. Smity, Zan and I organized ourselves and together we decided that I should dispel the sphere and attempt to rescue Smokey who was still trapped on the other side of the sphere but first I decided to see whether or not our foe was still within the sphere. Peering in I found he had somehow summoned a huge fire monolith! I had not the time to fathom how he could have accomplished this feat in a plane where the summoning of creatures was impossible. Yet with Smokey threatened I dispelled the sphere and even though both Zan and Smity fought furiously they were overmatched by the massive beast of flame. Smity fell and as I reached down to drag him through the mirror Zan retreated and provided the assistance I needed to drag Smity to safety; we retreated into the mirror leaving Smokey behind.

Extricating ourselves before we suffocated, I had Charley pass back through the portal to see if it could save Smokey who was still trapped on the other side of the monolith.

He returned moments later saying that he had seen no sign of the creatures, nor Smokey. But, holding up a pale green prism he snidely said, “Well at least I can take credit for finishing the mission.” So saying he tossed the prism into the air where it began to circle his head. He also handed Smitty a towlette moist with Smokey’s blood to have him ressurrected as it is a sure sign that he is lost to us.

I will consider the advantage of resurrecting my servent or search for his mirror self. The discipline might be a welcome change from Smokey’s impulsiveness, but I could also imagine it grating on my nerves before long.

4 Growfest 595 CY

Smokey emerged from the mirror. It was not our Smokey but the doppleganger. He approached and spoke thusly, “Friends and master, I return to you. I am spoken with Nerra who bosses of mirror place. After I talk them, they say us use mirror to go to right place. But, they say do job first. They say tell you they know a mirror go to more floaty ball place. Sorry for missunderstanding; upset you kill mirror people. Make it better by helping.”

 

Supporting Cast

Smokey

Charley

Villians

Nerra

Experience Gained

6800 xp

Treasure Gained

  • +2 shard longsword (Charley)
  • pale green prism ioun stone (Charley)
  • moist towlette (Charley–>Smitty)

Total Gold: None.

 

 

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.