Ye Gilde

Varisian In Wonderland II

With nightfall approaching within the hour the party decided to press on. The party originally discussed attempting to contact the Nightpeedler in the Trackless Dearth. Then recalled the Ticktock man was they only point of contact for this Nightpeedler. Suddenly giant clouds on swinging brass mechanical bars dropped from the domed sky. Lighting instantly littered the sky. A heavy rain fell soaking the party. Off to the Smith Caldera they went.

Skritek lead the group through the Briar until rest was crucial. The group then made camp. The first watch was taken by Orko and Iseret. The scheduled watches never came after the first watch. Orko and Iseret both fell asleep. The party all woke up rested well, all but one. Iseret’s shadow was gone and in its steed was a ratty nasty blanket. Iseret was fatigued and felt quite ill from this effect. The party spotted the tracks of what seemed to be a humanoid owl. Orko knew without a shadow of a doubt (get it!) it was a variant avoral that stole Iseret’s shadow. He recalled they often utilized shadows for making a nest. Djelzeem noticed they were on the outskirts of Demon’s Fen and the terrain was becoming hinder some with sinking mud. The group tracked down the creature to a huge dead rotted tree that reached twenty feet in height. Above they spotted a large nest and saw a figure peer out. Iseret screamed at the creature, demanding her shadow be returned to her immediately. The creature was timid but with the shouts even more so. The avoral came down and returned the shadow. He offered to trade his needle and thread for anyone’s shadow! Iseret scared the avoral even more so and convinced him to leave his needle and thread before he scampered off.

Now within a short traveling distance of Demon’s Fen the group decided to go to the lake. They found the terrain a saturated bog. Every step was two feet deep in mud and made the journey taxing. Skritek lead the party through the bog only to find they wasted two hours going in circles. Finally with Egglantine’s help the group was back on point. The party came to an elevated narrow path with no hindering mud. In the vast distance they spotted an old suspended wooden planked bridge. All party members’ heard a song. The gorgeous song part lullaby, part dirge pierced the otherwise haunting silence. In the third chorus the beautiful song was exchanged with a high pitched dissolving sobs of sadness. The song was about Sonnare, the legendary bard. A large multicolored winged serpent now in sight singing then sobbing uncontrollably just short of the bridges start. Egglantine and Enzo approached the winged snake. Diplomacy was the first course of action. Enzo performed with the snake’s ballad. The snake was then would sob uncontrollably. The snake bid the group to stay with her. She said she had eaten the bard’s heart. The burrow king attempted to help her by taking her burden. She was still left with infinite sadness and sorrow. Skritek started to walk past the snake. The group noticed a spell rifled off from the creature. Iseret knew she had resisted some sort of charm spell. The party ran for the bridge. With the party members in a convenient formation the snake responded by casting lightning bolt. Combat seemed the only recourse now. The party slew the snake. The planner life essence of the snake floated off into the sky. Djelzeem watch the direction of this essence and saw it was headed northwest towards the Manmolds.

The group tactfully negotiated the old bridge. The airless environment featured the lake which was congealed and completely littered with oxidized weapons and armor. The island had several spears with dead corpses impaled on them. The ground had numerous old tombstones around it. The large island itself had a wide spectrum of armor and arms in different stages of decay spread about its surface. All party members stopped at the first step onto the island. Enzo had detect magic up on his person. Egglantine had detect evil activated. Enzo knew that four of the speared corpses were dawned with an illusion spell. Egglantine through the detect evil five auroras existed. All party members could see the main feature of the island, a sarcophagus with two lit candles on the edges. The candle’s flames were wavering as if they were in contact a slight breeze contrary to the fact no air seemed to exist. Orko played “The Beating card” from the Deck of Harrowed Tales. Once this card was played the party knew of the haut on the island. Orko then pulled out the scroll of consecrate and started to cast it with the sarcophagus being the target. Hundreds of sad souls sprung from the ground wailing in the area direct in front of the party. Then the undead foursome attacked! Egglantine ran and attacked the cairn brute which she killed with a smite’d attack. Djelzeem used his sword to call down the sun onto the undead. Iseret started to call upon her scarf magic! The Burrow King ran and hit Orko with a swing of his great sword. Orko attempted a summons spell but it didn’t manifest. Enzo ran around to search the sarcophagus. Skritek raged then attacked the Burrow King. The swamp mummy approached and it left Iseret without breath. The outcome of the battle left the adventures victorious. The spoils were plentiful. Enzo found a journal from one Vestji, a cleric of Imoedae. The logbook was dated back in 1337 AR. It spoke of Along the Ever Seeking encounters. It spoke of the blood moon that called the undead in this realm. Enzo also found the token- a tiny dagger.

The party assigned the spoils and moved forward to the Smith’s Caldera. The swift journey was without interruption. The steep volcano was equipped with a large stairway that went up the five hundred feet caldera. An excessive nonsensical brass and copper pipe system surrounded the caldera. Steam would explode from the fittings constantly. The summit of the stairs came to a flat cave. The group started to ascend the stairs. Skritek caught sight of something looking down on them for a brief moment. The next thing overbearing boulders aside the stairway started to rattle and fall. Byo was regrettably smashed by one of the boulders. Orko and Egglantine tried to reason with the group responsible atop the stairs to stop. Insults were shouted down in response with auditable mirthful laughter. More boulders tumbled down. Orko cast a fireball and resolved the problem.

The group reached the top of the stairs lead into a large cave. The roof was thirty foot high, lava flowed through a small channel in the left corner of the room. A small work station with hammers, copper fittings, brass fittings, unfinished metal studs, and other gear like gadgets adorned the room. Huge barrels of ale sit at the end wall. A huge iron door was on the right cave wall. The party debated various tactics but then Egglantine went and knocked on the door. They heard laughter on the other side of the door. They opened the door to see a dozen drunken azurs sitting in huge chairs. Then a bar and its caretaker took notice of the party. He shouted “giants only!” The barkeep was swayed with coin and the visitors became” honorary giants”. The party advanced to the next room. In this room a huge sinkhole with a stoned faced giant lay in the corner of the room. Standing near it was a fire giant who was cursing the Ticktock man under his fiery breath. The group attempted to engage in dialog with the fire giant but he seemed distracted. Another iron door was in this room.

The party finally found the Ticktock man here in this room. The room had a vast number of gears and levers with steam and moisture spraying about it. The Ticktock man was of a small stature and cloaked with the hood raised just above his mouth. The party gave coin to the Ticktock man in exchange for the favor of meeting the Nightpeedler and his token. The party was given two days to get to the meeting area in the Trackless Dearth where the signal would be rain, hail, rain, lastly sunshine. The Ticktock man told them they could stay in this forge with the understanding that trouble was out of the question. The Ticktock man informed them he would give them favorable weather conditions. Also he warned them of all the air elementals in the Trackless Dearth. He also told the party that the Nightpeedler is a business partner and seeing him dead would not be an act that would carry favor with him. Four or five of Marzalee’s grubs would be the going price for his token. Then the party all slept in a giant bed and all feel into a deep slumber!

XP 4,257

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Varisian In Wonderland

The group arrived in Ipeq after five long scorching days of travel. Running around Ipeq for two days the adventures haggled for goods, spells, equipment, and scrolls. Egglantine inquired information from locals in regards to a beast master trainer when she was approached by a Varisian male with bright clothing. The encounter left the group with a dinner date at the Seven Sands Inn. Upon entering, they noted the passer-by from another adventuring party as they exited the Seven Sands Inn. The lovely Varisian woman named Alika (Yea, I forgot to what I told you guys her name was sooo..) invited the party over to her table. She told the tale of her missing grandfather named Meloigne. Her grandfather was on a life quest to find a library of legend. She spoke of Sonnorae a Varisian legendary bard that was the last of her line. This bard’s family had collected secrets, knowledge, and stories from the Age of Darkness. She was the last in her line with no heir to pass them on. Sonnorae stored all her information in a library somewhere unknown to all. Alika informed the party they were here in Ipeq to seek a “Hajeck The All Seeing.” Her grandfather’s last lead was this person. The party got a vague description of Meloigne and received information he held a cane with a golden eagle that topped it. The deal was struck to obtain Meloigne in one piece and the party would receive a bag of holding.

The night was in its early stages! Orko recalled this name and knew roughly the whereabouts of this charlatan fortune teller! Egglantine made the task of locating this place effortless. The party walked into the eerie merchant ally. Enzo and Skritek saw fit to slip into the shadows and move ahead. A different approach was taken by Iseret, she demanded the whereabouts of Hajeck from the first vendor in the alley! The shouting was easily heard by the hired muscle that kept the peace in this place. Egglantine was silver tongued and resolved any further issues with the guards. She was able to contain Iseret by simply out witting her. Orko while having detect magic active spotted a magic item of great power on a person towards the end of the alley. The party collapsed upon “Hajeck The All Seeing.” Iseret immediately started the inquisition of this young lady. Hajeck said she had seen an old man and in fact she had helped him to the place he sought. A few of the party members quickly evaluated whether this was a truth or a lie. They found the statement to be both. Iseret in haste shot off the next question in a high tone of voice. Hajeck slid her hand into her inner vest pocket straight away. The next instant winds of immense power picked up the sand and peppered all around it. A deck of cards swirled about as Hajeck struggled against the wind of the cyclone. The violent cyclone sucked the party members into its vortex.

The party members gathered themselves up off the ground. At first glance at their new surroundings they knew they were not in Kansas anymore! The sky – a featureless dome painted a faded blue. The sun sits on a massive brass mechanical arm creating a high pitched screeching sound every hour. Around them old stalls and small caravans in bad repair lingered in a sad whimsical state. Iseret and Orko collaborated on studying the deck of cards at on the ground around them. They found the deck of cards somehow tethered this “place” to the prime material plane. They noted each card had a utility purpose and could be used like a scroll. Suddenly, the party members overheard a yelping.

A small band of clown Tengu’s where assaulting a fat helpless man on the ground. They were screaming in a squawking tone at the fat man on the ground “Tell us..Tell us..Tell us!” The party attempted to intimidate these clowns but meet with no success. A quick mental tug pulled at Iseret’s mind! It got quite simple once one of the Tengu spring attacked Skritek. The party vanquished the four clowns. The party noticed a strange glowing energy coming from each of the slain tengu floating off into the sky. The party looted the Tengu’s finding four chain shirt +1. Djelzeem squeezed into one of the shirts.
Byo was healed by Egglantine after the combat scene. Once in a stable state Byo told them party of the Harrow Realm. He told them he just escaped from the Striding Fortress. The Tengu were pressing him for rumors from the Patchwork Lord’s latest person of interest, Meloigne! He was an unwilling chef for the Patchwork Lord. Byo told the adventures the realm once upon a time was tranquil and wonderful when Lady Sonnorae was still alive and well. He spoke of the great betrayal, nine conspirators murdered her. Then each ate a piece of her, this giving them power over a certain section of the Harrow Realm. They also tore her kapenia apart taking her tokens attached to it. Byo also informed the party The Patchwork Lord is always mumbling about escaping and becoming real. The Patchwork Lord holds the last piece of Sonnorae’s kapenia. The eight tokens placed together would lead the them to the location of the Striding Fortress were the Blue Dragon reigns as the Harrows Realms master. Byo mentioned that the Ticktock man was always attempting to steal Marzalee’s grubs to sell them to the Nightpeddler. So the Manmolds is locked down tight. The party asked where the nearest conspirator was located and he told them inside the nearby massive tent. The party made Byo wear one of the chain shirts then assigned his safety in the care of Helsha. The Mightnight Circus master was named Bernatidi. Off the party went.

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Recap of what Byo told you of who the conspirators are and what realms they control. The alpha lettering matches the map

A.Ringmaster of the Midnight Circus – Bernatidi (Alligator man – calls himself a rashkia or something along those lines) – Ate Sonnorae’s tongue
B.The Briar – Brambleson (Rabbit Prince) – Ate Sonnorae’s feet
C.The Demon’s Fen – Undead Demon of Lost Souls – Unsettled souls are here All other conspirators but the Patchwork Lord are afraid of the Undead demon.
D.The Manmolds – Marzalee The Weaver (Giant Ant Queen) – Has dwarf Handmaiden
E.The Prophet’s Garden – Sonnorae (an old witch who was once nice but now a witch or something. She has no eyes! She used to very nice until the other betrayed her and killed her. Now they call the garden the empty throne)
F.The Sanguine Playhouse – Balimar & Balio (Doll masters) – They are Twins
G.Smith’s Caldera – The TickTock Man (Stone Master)
H.The Tracklees Dearth – The Nightpeddler (Skinny tall humnnn trade foreigner)
I.The Striding Fortress – Zassrion – The Patchwork Lord (Blue Dragon) – AKA Dominating eye

Skritek and Enzo sneaked up to the tent and peeked into its underskirt. Only to spot wooden boards in a L like pattern. The other party members waited, then walked into the tent’s entrance. They saw a stone giant juggling cupcakes with four bears on unicycles preforming to a bored crowed in the bleachers. In the far left side corner of the tent was an elaborate cage opened to the viewing of the performers. The crowd lightly applauded to the newcomers. This was upsetting to Rogg and his bears. Enzo sneaked off to the left part of the tent. Performance combat ensued! Orko loudly announced the amazing Enzo! Enzo scampered from under the bleachers and told a Drizzy bear joke! Egglantine initially endeavored to parley with Rogg and the bears. Iseret moved into position and activating her scarf to attack Rogg. Skritek cleverly is awaiting a foe to sneak attack under the bleachers. Orko drew the Joke card and played it followed by the Juggler. Rogg threw one of his brownie cupcakes at the highest preforming opponent. Enzo took a cupcake to the face and it felt like a two ton bolder had him rather than a cupcake! The bears in unison cycled in front of Rogg but one of the bears couldn’t maintain his balance and fell to the ground. The crowd cheered loudly for Enzo then it shifted quickly for Rogg. Enzo swooped the unicycle from the fallen bear and started to ride it. Enzo began telling jokes on the unicycle and the crowd intensely clapped for Enzo. Egglantine shouted an insult at the stone giant. Iseret struck Rogg but he completely ignored her. Rogg failed to hit Enzo with his next cupcake which left a hefty creator in the floor. Skritek did an amazing acrobatics over to Rogg. The crowd cheered intensely for the adventures! Rogg started to cry and he dropped his cupcakes and he and his bears withdrew in complete embarrassment.

Bernatidi clapped and came out of his lavish cage to greet the party. The rashkia sipped his tea from his porcelain tea cup. Snapping his fingers one of his lackeys brings him something. Bernatidi then sits on the lackey and crosses his leg with superior etiquette. He welcomes the group and hands them a modified map. The rashkia admits he invariably lies. Dialog was exchanged between him and the party. Bernatidi tells the group he will hand over his token if they can catch him in an irrefutable lie. If he wins he gets to keep one of them as a pet! The challenge was won by the group so he gives the PC’s his token – a tiny cloak with red material attached to it. The group consults with Byo about locations on the map. The group was deadest on going to Demon’s Fen but Byo was very afraid and told them to go to the Prophet’s Garden instead. Egglantine lead the way without error.
The brass arm moved again causing an eerie screeching sound. The sun is steadily moving towards dawn. The group stepped into The Briar and found it very difficult to maneuver through the dense thicket. Egglantine attempted to summon her mount but it didn’t work. The group used the Tangled briar card and all party members gained woodland stride. They came upon a clearing with a tiny bright little house. They overheard a voice shouting, the little rabbit humanoid was on the outcrop of the clearing in a tree. He looked surprised at the party and disappeared from the tree only to appear in front of the group. He had a small crown on his head with a broken tiny sword. Bramble son’s feet never stopped moving! The group played the Rabbit Prince card and gained knowledge he is subject to charm spells. Orko cast charm person with a successful result. The tiny fay prince was very amicable but lacked focus on one subject for too long. He would point at the grass and yell at it periodically. Orko asked for his token and he hopped away and hunched over then hopped back to Orko and handed him his token- a tiny shoe with a red material attached to it. The rabbit prince’s broken sword jolted Orko’s memory about its past. He did mention that the realm was about eighty miles in length and he traveled it a thousand times. He wants to travel and see something new. The party continued to the Prophets Garden.

Big ivory walls reached high to surround this huge garden. The group entered and eventually came across a unicorn and a goblin standing next to a pair tree. The goblin has a papier-mâché mask equipped that resembles a unicorn head with a horn. The pair tree is constantly blooming producing fruit. A single pair is under the front legs on the unicorn. The bitter enemies are shouting at one another relentlessly. The goblin falls back a few feet to re-slip on his mask as to renew his ruse as a fellow unicorn. The goblin is focused on the pair the unicorn has under his front legs. They don’t notice the adventures until they are right beside them. The PC’s intervene with little results. Skritek decided to slap the goblin. A triggered Song of Discord turned Skritek on Djelzeem. Some “ballize” comments were made between the two. Skritek raged and looked to unleash on Djelzeem but Orko intervened and Skritek shook off the Song of Discord effect. The group decided to move forward.

They came to a starred platform leading up to two benches at its summit. A lifeless looking figure stood still sitting on one of the benches. Puddles of blood ranging from small to large lay on the floor. The PC’s played the betrayal card and the empty throne card. Enzo and Skritek sneaked up ahead. When suddenly the figure disappeared. Orko casted a summons spell which they party already knew was more difficult on this plane. The group braced to fight once the mute hag was visible again. Skritek’s sense alerted him to a presence just before the mute hag grappled him. The party notice the pools of blood slowly moving towards the party members. Enzo aided his ally by casting grease on him to help escape the grapple of the mute hag. Egglantine charged and smited the evilness she felt on this monstrous creature and dented its skull. Djelzeem cracked his sap on the hag and staggered her. Iseret cast a flame spell to find it did more damage than normal. Orko attacked with his summoned celestial creatures and cast spells on the hag most were negated. Skritek finally broke the strong grapple of the hag and attacked her. The hag then pointed to Djelzeem and cursed him threw a spell. Finally, the party brought the mute hag down. The empty shell that was once Sonnorae was no more. The creepy vibe around this place dissipated. Enzo found a secret sliding title around the second bench. The secret compartment held a scroll of Ice storm (CL 7th), Scroll of Planer Binding (CL 11th), a scroll of consecrate (CL 6th), black onyx nib, and a tiny bracelet token.

The party decided to travel back to the entry gate of the massive garden. On the way Egglantine reproached the unicorn and the goblin. Egglantine used her skills in diplomacy to persuade the unicorn to remove the pair by putting it on his horn. The unicorn praised her for her wise words of advice and rewarded her with his horn. The goblin screamed protest but ran off. The goblin returned to throw a pair at Skritek which did hit him. Skritek returned the gesture with a little more force. The unicorn told Egglantine that his horn was a wand of restoration with two charges (CL 13th).

With the massive brass armed sun about to set. The moon on an identical brass arm is perched ready to take the suns place. The party must decide what do to from here!

A kapenia is a family scarf, an intricate and colorful cloth that traces an individual’s lineage through both the mother and father, and goes back as far as the family’s knowledge stretches. Each is quite heavy and its complex loops and whorls are largely undecipherable to outsiders. They are prized possessions among the Varisian people, and only donned during special occasions. Kapenias are received when a young Varisian attains adulthood, and many individuals chose to be buried with their scarf. Alternatively, kapenias are sometimes bequeathed to loved ones upon the owner’s death or, even more rarely, to someone outside the owner’s clan.

XP: 4,428

*Just a hint all 54 cards are linked to this realm therefore all are usable at the right time/location! You guys missed a few 

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Climax in the Oasis
Kalitharius

After some healing and checking the bodies and securing/questioning the prisoners, Egglantine and Iseret are sent up out of the Temple of Set to report to the Sheik. The 30 minute deadline comes and goes without anyone returning.

XP: 4,700
2,000 for Iseret and Egglantine

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Rumble in the Temple

The exploration of the forgotten Temple of Set.

Two major battles and more. Orko commands a scary thing called a blood wight and send it to attack a group of humans and bugbears that have recently tunneled into the temple. Then they fight and defeat the survivors in a savage battle. The last survivor, a sorceror, is chased down through the tunnel into the basement of another building. Then the group ambushes the cultists as they arrive for their nightly evil rituals. It’s a large fight agains lots of sturdy cultists plus the high priest Corga and one of the sheik’s sons plus two of his guards and the leftover zombies. Both Egglantine and her camel mount are narrowly avoid disaster in the form of Slay Living spells from the high priest. In the end the heros win but they are awfully drained by the fight.

XP: 6,114

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Return to While Palm
Temple of Set

Back in the oasis they continued their mission to find the first son’s betrothed. They checked out a few places including an ancient broken-headed statue to the north east (which a mustache was inscribed upon) and the monolith located in the trees between the Sheik’s camp and the Sandvoyagers compound. There they decoded some inscriptions (one saying this place was for all and dedicated to the old gods) and a secret door built into the monolith. They were being watched though so they decided to enter later.

One of the spies was a young boy that Enzo Fascinated then spoke with for a little bit. The kid took off after a short while though and Helsha followed him invisibly flying. She caught him updating a guard back at the tent camp and the guard later met with one of the Sheik’s sons. Interesting. They all went back to Happy Hogan’s Desert Igloo (and were followed by another man who had been watching from the palms. Egglantine ate “hosepipe soup” which turned out to be made with camel penis.

At sundown they took the solar barge for a ride into the desert but looped back and hid it among the dunes to the west. The returned on foot and after dark went through the secret door in the monolith. It was 10 o’clock.

They discovered a forgotten Temple of Set below ground. But the temple was not forgotten by all. It was empty of all but two acolytes and a trainee. The two acolytes were subdued to death but the trainee was charmed and befriended. He had valuable information. The temple was used nightly by a cult that worshipped Set and desired to return to open worship of the old gods. The high priest was none other than Corga the waterbearer that they had roughed up days before. The Sheik’s second son was also one of their members. In fact he was to be there for tonight’s ceremony. They planned an ambush and disposed of all three bodies in the sacrificial zombie pit.

More of the temple was explored – it wasn’t big. There were some small rooms with evil idols, or torture equipment. There was one tortured prisoner that was freed but then he ate some poisoned food and died without revealing anything. There was another trapped passage that released a thick mist and everyone ran away. Then they found a secret door that appeared to not have been used in a long time.

That led to a second temple area that had recently been breached by a crew of goblin miners. Skritek started up a conversation with them but some bugbears came through the tunnel. Orko used an Aqueous Orb to slurp up and drown six of the seven goblins and a bugbear. The remaining goblin and two bugbears fled and Skritek jammed the lock.

Then the killed some spiders and some of them were trapped in a room fighting summoned jackel headed creatures before they tipped over the big statue of Set. They left there to treat their injuries and plan the ambush for Korus and Corga.

XP: 2300

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Phoenix
Aeraldoth

They scouted the area from the air and found what they thought was a sinkhole, or at least a spot where sand was falling through a crack in the dome. Iseret was first to let herself be submerged. The others followed and ended up in the streets of Phoenix. Much perhaps most of the city underneath the dome was filled in with sand after 4000 years.

They began exploring. First there was a cabaret where Skritek set off the burglar alarm. Then across the street they moved through “Khalif Mubrek’s” where “My fun is your fun” and they were hit by creme pies and had their footwear taken off. Then they exited back to the street on the other side of a sand barrier and entered “The Secret Maze of Kharan” after declining to sign the liability waiver. Inside there was first a maze of darkness with a teleporter that sent them to a brightly lit maze of mirrors. They made it through there but popped into the “Death Trap of Chininsk Ambar” – which they avoided. Skritek, Iseret, and Egglantine did get bounced around in his ballroom however. They returned to the streets and walked up on the Baths of Garimsharr where they encountered Gamal the All Seeing.

Their lights winked out as the undead beholder, aka a death tyrant, descended a hill of sand outside of their vision. Nobody knew what was going on but they heard something and scattered in the darkness. Gamal the death tyrant floated down the sand slope so it could see into the baths. It turned off it’s anti-magic beam and three of its eyes in the front focused in on Skritek, Djelzeem, and Iseret. The first two were missed but Iseret was Held. Egglantine ran up and others flung sling stones or shot arrows at it. Orko conjured up three lantern archons that helped illuminate the area and shoot beams at the beholder. Djelzeem put Daylight from his shiny new Pectoral of Horus on a slingstone.

Two of the lantern archons had moved to the left and right of the beholder and exposed themselves to a new set of eyes. One of the archons turned to stone and the other just perished. Then Egg was telekinetically thrust backwards on a collision course with Djelzeem. He dodged and she sailed into one of the bathhouse changing rooms with Enzo. Skritek made another save miraculously. Djelzeem hit it with a sling stone and Orko fireballed it. Then Skritek scored a critical hit on the floating globe and skewered it with an arrow. It deflated and hit the ground. They won the fight.

After pausing for some healing from the paladin, they climbed one of the sand hills and found an ancient plaza with a large statue of a djinn. It was the resting spot of Aeroldoth! The marble statue’s bronze abs were two doors protected by a Greater Glyph with a Geas spell and while Skritek and Enzo were investigating that, the face animated and began babbling about “thieves beware”, “Aeraldoth waiting for a person of pure heart”, “Aeraldoth needing to rest until the Great Evil is awakened” , etc. Enzo and Skritek played a game of Senet which Skritek won. Feeling lucky he tried to disarm the Glyph and succeeded. The doors opened and the star gem was removed. Like in Pazar, the star gem acted as a cork.

A blinding flash of blue lightning leapt from the con tainer, followed by a peal of thunder. The statue was pulverized into atoms. swirling away in a gust of wind. Sand and rocks from the dome above rained down into the street, and clouds of choking dust rose from the sand. A cloud ol thick, icy-blue smoke rises and coalesces to form a 30-foot-tall diinn, his arms folded and his eys glaring. Slowly the apparition begins to circle the base of the ruined statue. Faster and faster he moves, and the air around him begins to turn into a tornado of dust. The Wind swirls, tugging at clothing and equipment. Faster and faster the djinn moves until he is nothing but a blur of dust, sand, blue smoke, and a giant head. ln one final movement, all who watch are swept up in the tomado. Equipment and loose clothing are torn off as each of you tumbles, alone and disoriented in the roaring malestrom. In one spasmodic burst of energy, the diinn breaks through the dome of sand that covers the city, whirling out into the light of the desert. In a cloud sevenl miles high, he roars a challenge to Khnlitharius, the Evil One, and then flies off to do combat. The dying wind drops you gently to the soft sand, stripped of your weapons, loose clothing, and equipment. As the cloud dis- appears into the desert, the sky rains down the missing articles, the heavy ones first. All around you, the desert sands stretch away to the horizon. But now, there is a great gaping hole exposing part of the city below, and through the sand protrude hundreds of roof-tops. The loot city of Phoenix, like the legendary bird. is beginning to emerge from its own ashes.

Success though it might not have felt like it. They took their time and gathered up all their belongings.

The three day trip back was almost uneventful. There was a brief encounter with a roc but it was convinced to look elsewhere after a barrage of fireballs, magic missles, sling stones, and arrows. Then that night they witnessed a running fight between Khalitharius and Aeroldoth. In the end the efreet seemed to be chasing the djinn.

XP: Helsha 2,428
Everyone else 6,694

I’ve included information from the storyteller in the section below.

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Oasis of the White Palm
Not Finding the Princess

After meeting with the Sheik and later the younger of his twin sons, the group decided spend some time that night investigating the disappearance of the betrothed princess. They did a lot of legwork and almost instigated an incident at the Sandvoyager’s headquarters but didn’t end up any closer to cracking the case. There are several factions at play: Sheik vs Ruarindi, Skeik’s twin sons possibly against each other, and oasis dwellers that have returned to worshiping the old gods, and friction between the Sandvoyagers guild and the slaver caravans that may be moving slaves taken illegally.

So everyone returned to the sky ship were the revelers were winding down. When morning came, the Sheik was there to great them with his retinue. He brought guides and a storyteller. He hoped they would be able to free the djinni and then return and help with his problem.

Flying day and night, they estimated 3 whole days to arrive at what was left of Phoenix. They departed immediately and their journey was boring until the third night when on the last watch an efreeti rose off the desert floor and launched itself at them. The pilot dropped the ship down to the 10 ft level and they began trying to attack the approaching efreeti. Lucky for them it had started 600 feet away so they had some opportunity to try a few things. The conjured air elemental was annihilated instantly by a double shot of Scorching Rays however. A concerted effort led primarily by flying Egglantine and Iseret killed the efreeti before he could do any more damage.

It seemed like they came upon the efreeti as it discovered a stone dome peaking out of the sand. They had found the lost city of Phoenix.

XP: 1700

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Pyramid Treasure is Never Cursed, is it?

When Skritek looks around from the floor, he can see that he is not alone. To one side was a hulking minotaur rising to its hooves and hefting a wicked ax, and to the other was a slight native woman flicking a scarf. She wiggles into a combat stance (you think that’s what it is) and you notice that she seems to have three boobs. Or maybe that is a trick of the light.

The fight commences while Enzo tries to figure out the trapdoor mechanism and the others run to join up. The minotaur fought bravely and delivered terrible wounds to Iseret and Skritek in turn. The two strangers ganged up on the bull man and killed it in spectacular fashion. Iseret’s bladed scarf crackled with fire and lightning and dripped almost as much blood as her wounds did. Skritek faired almost as bad. By then Egglantine was below the trapdoor hanging from a rope. Skritek climbed out, followed by Egg, and then their new friend, Iseret a Raurindi Scarf Dancer.

Egglantine provided some channels to heal their wounds while the others caught up. Iseret the Raurindi Scarf Dancer introduced herself to the group and they asked her questions. Skritek and Djelzeem climbed up on the statue to investigate the sparkling gem in the forehead of the Pharoah. There was illusion magic on the head and some sort of magical trap that Skritek disabled before prying out the gem. It turned out to be glass worth 1 copper. They decided to return upstairs and finish searching there.

The three unexplored rooms on the level above only gave up a heavy magic book which Orko took. There was nothing else of interest besides the water flowing from the hole in the ceiling. Skritek was first to figure out that it was a magical elevator. He answered the three questions and the water reversed its flow. He stepped into it and was whisked upward. The others did the same.

Each found themselves at one end of a 30 foot tunnel with bronze doors on the other end. The doors were loosely bound with a soft cotton rope. Above them in ancient hieroglyphics was written, “Thieves beware. Nothing inside will comfort you in old age.” There was no aura of magic or traps so they cut the rope and pushed open the doors.

There were three rooms beyond. Each had the aura of necromancy permeating the whole environment. It was the Pharoah’s tomb and filled with grave goods to take on his journey in the afterlife. There were many clay pots (uninvestigated but believed to be full of food and drink), expensive cloth, statues, all manner of valuable treasure, a chariot, and even a 70 foot river barge. The floor was decorated in a mosaic of the ancient land of Bakar showing the course of the River Athis and location of settlements. Amun-Re’s sarcophagus sat in the center of it all. The lid was heavy but slid off with some work. Inside were the mummified remains of the Pharoah in a gold mask holding a scepter and the Star of Mo-Pelar. Enzo and Orko snatched those two things up. Skritek lifted the mask and took the magic cloth eye covering.

There were other magic items in the rooms too – weapons and armor mostly but other miscellaneous magic including the 10×70 foot boat. There was a lot of discussion about what exactly they could and should take and whether there were any curses to worry about. Then they noticed Helsha filling her pockets. They didn’t spend much more time arguing. On a hunch they got on the boat and Enzo placed the star gem into a pedestal. The boat shifted and Enzo started working one of the rear rudders. The boat responded and he successfully piloted it out through a desert mural on the wall.

They didn’t know where to go next and looped around the pyramid spooking the locals, but discovering that the giant bowl at the foot of the temple was filled with water that spilled over into the sand-choaked channel. They had succeeded!

They headed off in the general direction they thought was downstream. After about a half hour they realized that they had left their caravan’s behind, so they dropped off Skritek and Egg. To make a long story short, they avoided the Raurindi that had been following the slow moving sky-boat and got the caravans moving. They all eventually met at the ruins of Pazar and the guides took them to the Oasis of the White Palm which had been part of the ancient country and still remained an important oasis in the desert. It was close and they were met by pegasus riding lancers that guided them the final little bit to the oasis and to the Sheik’s tent.

XP: 3,000 Enzo, Helsha, Orko
4,000 Those characters that didn’t steal from the Pharaoh’s tomb.

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Pyramid of Amun-Re III
Munafik and the Fist of Fury

They almost slept peacefully. During the last watch a wraith floated out of the wall near Skritek and jammed his cold hand into the hobgoblin severely draining him. Half the group kept their distance and the other half tried to help. It was a spirited defense that took out the wraith but not before Djelzeem and Egglantine felt it’s chilling touch.

The party pressed it’s luck exploring numerous side passages and rooms before exiting the level buy climbing up out of the domed waterfall room and passing through some doors with a glowing warning into a 30×100 foot ascending stepped hallway the original architect dubbed “The Gauntlet”.

Ten foot wide stairs climbed the middle and on either side was ten feet of rushing water. There were three landings evenly splitting the long room and at the very top a large sculpture of a man-sized fist sat in front of the stairs. Sampson and Lulu Spider Climbed the back wall and everyone else started preparing for a fight in their own way.

Sampson and Lulu climbed across the ceiling. From there they could plainly see a dried up husk of a person in priestly clothes in a chair directly behind the fist statue. As the two of them passed the bottom step, they activated the magical trap. Two clay men stepped out of the alcoves on either side of the fist landing and ineptly threw spears. And so it began.

Each person to ascend the stairs brought out another pair of clay men. Orko told people that they could be split by a slashing weapon or crushed by a bludgeoning weapon but couldn’t be killed. Those with the skills tried to disable the magic trap while the better warriors ran up the steps and started pushing the clay men into the cascading water on either side. It was a good plan.

Meanwhile Sampson and Lulu continued climbing an activated the second trap, a wall of fire. They continued past and activated the third trap. I duplicate of Sampson and Lulu appeared but they couldn’t follow up the walls only shoot the occasional slingstone at Sampson. About this time the fist moved. It dropped to the floor and scrambled spiderlike up the wall clearly headed toward Sampson and Lulu. Sampson also reported that the dead guy in the seat seemed to be whispering and wriggling his fingers.

And so the gauntlet fight started. Poor Sampson and Lulu were left to fend for themselves against the fist and Munafik the former High Priest of Terbakar while a spiritual khopesh took swings at the young druid. The others cautiously advanced using the many rogues to disable the traps as they went. It was looking dismal for Sampson when he surrounded the priest with 3 summoned creatures and two of them were promptly annihilated by a Flame Strike.

Once the Wall of Fire was removed Munafik began wiggling his dried up fingers in their direction. And so the fight continued with the party slowing closing the distance between themselves and the top. Egglantine tired to Detect Evil on him and was stunned by his evilness. The high priest pointed at her and she aged into middle age. About this time the fist statue was finally destroyed and it turned to a pile of clay.

Munafik was heavily protected by spells but still took a lot of damage. They began to realize they weren’t really hurting him and recalling a verse found on a wall downstairs, they knew they would have to find his heart to kill him. They rushed the top platform and surrounded him. He tried and failed to turn into “dust form”.

Sampson led the rush through the two bronze doors behind Munafik. Skritek, Egg, and DJelzeem surrounded him. Orko trapped Munafik in a Pit with a small earth elemental. Now everyone followed Sampson.

There were a couple ways to go but the room containing the heart was quickly located. However it was guarded by a mummy that strode up and crushed Sampson’s skull with its fist. What’s with Sampson and fists? The mummy paralyzed half the people to see it with fear. The other half made quick work of the undead.

Skritek broke into the chained cabinet in the room while Orko warned them that Munafik was free. As the bronze doors opened and Munafik’s shadow could be seen on the floor, Enzo smashed the clay jar containing the heart and Munafik dropped to the floor. Victory.

There was some very quick healing courtesy of Egglantine’s channeling and some scrounging then Skritek and Enzo ran off after hearing about a room downstairs where earlier Egg and Sampson had found a huge statue with a big gem in it. They left the others rummaging the bodies and praying over Sampson.

Unfortunately Skritek and Enzo triggered a pit trap directly in front of the statue. Enzo dove to the side but Skritek fell 40 feet into the minotaur lair a level below.

XP: 4,000

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Pyramid of Amun-Re II
Don't Split the Party

The androsphinx didn’t know the answer to Orko’s riddle and roared in frustration. He declared that nobody must find out about this and prepared to pounce. Orko was ready and Dimensional Slid into the hallway and moved into the rusty mist out of sight. Others rushed the door and then the angry sphinx roared again frightening half the group into running blindly out of the room. In the mist many of those people fell. Elspa wasn’t affected and moved into the doorway to heroically block the sphinx from entering the hall. The sphinx roared again and several of the adventurers were paralyzed with fear and deafened. Others continued running for their lives. Thus the group was split up and other denizens of the maze alerted to the presence of intruders.

Meanwhile Egglantine’s group had made up for starting a day behind and reached the ruins. After talking to Achmed and Wa’de, they rushed into the temple and then on to the pyramid. They successfully figured out the secret teleporter that transported Egg into the maze in an empty octagonal room. She heard the roars, sounds of hooves running passed the door to the north, and soon shouts, and the sounds of combat. She took off in that direction.

Three separate fights broke out. Sampson and the fear crazed Lulu, Orko, Enzo, and Djelzeem had rushed along until stopping at a closed door where 4 of the 5 were out of the mist. A pair of minotaurs had come up behind and the one in the lead was trading blows with Djelzeem in the blinding mist. Back at the last intersection, Elspa had rescued paralyzed Skritek and dragged the hobgoblin out of the mist and started fighting the second minotaur. When Skritek overcame his paralyzation he got up and ran off into another direction eventually opening a door to a room with 3 desert elves that began chasing him.

A fourth fight started when the door to their backs opened and 9 desert garbed humans began launching arrows and slashing with scimitars into Sampson, Lulu, and Enzo. Djelzeem and the minotaur were still swinging at each other blindly in the mist and sometimes connecting. Elspa and the second minotaur were battling back at the intersection. Egglantine and Skritek met in the hall and talked down the pursuing elves but then were joined from behind by another minotaur. That became fight five.

Fortunately the Orisani in the room were not a match for their adversaries. Orko popped in and began burning them. Sampson cast Flame Blade and followed frightened Lulu inside slashing at the desert people. Enzo and Djelzeem began backing into the room. Poor Enzo took a wicked hits from the minotaur’s battle ax and gore attacks. Elspa was cut down the in hallway and beheaded by the other minotaur. Skritek and Egg were locked in a deadly struggle with the third minotaur while the elves watched. Unbeknown to them, another of Egg’s adventuring comrades had joined but was staying hidden while waiting for her opportunity.

Back in the room of Osiriani, the adventurers consolidated their position. Orko created first one pit inside the room then another to catch the minotaur. The others fought hand to hand. Orko used some of list last magic to kill the pair fighting with Djelzeem and Sampson. The minotaur that killed Elspa wandered through the mist toward the fight and fell into the conjured pit in the hallway. The last two Osiriani at first wanted to work together against the minotaur but then the leader grabbed Orko and tried to barter with his life. Djelzeem stepped up and bashed the skull of his remaining follower with his light mace.

Egglantine and Skritek finished off their minotaur but then the elves turned on them. They walked up to the paladin and their faces changed into copies of hers. They they dropped their weapons and instead slashed her with their claws. Helspa moved invisibly through the area observing and Skritek stepped up to fight his original foes. Egg managed to trip one of the dopplegangers before going down in a flurry of bloody claws. Helspa started firing arrows into the fight and Skritek cut down one then another doppleganger. The last one died about the same time as the Osiriani leader perished back in the room.

The last magic pit disappeared and freed the remaining wounded minotaur. The other had been killed by a summoned giant ant before it had been killed. The minotaur hacked Djelzeem before retreating. It was chased down and caught by Lulu, Sampson, and Djelzeem in the intersection where Elspa died. It hit the ground and was beheaded by Sampson with his Flame Blade as a partially healed Egg and Skritek arrived. The fighting was over for the moment and they quickly looted the bodies before coming up with a plan to pass the sphinx.

Sampson and Egglantine went back to the sphinx to barter for passage back through the room and into the water passage. It took a little convincing but after providing the large creature with some fresh meat and some stories, it let them pass and they climbed or were hauled up a level and into the illuminated tropical room where Sampson ran from the fruit flies.

There they caught and ate a few of the fruit flies which did indeed give them a temporary strength and dexterity bonus. They explored the room finding two secret doors in alcoves, gathered some fresh food, and peaked into the next domed room from which the water issued from a giant stone lion head. Being pretty ragged, the group decided to rest there before stretching themselves too thin. They set up camp for the night.

XP: 2,287

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