Geneva Scales of War

Candy Corn Holed

The Wayfarers remained engaged with the naga and hulking troll, leaving the tunnel via the dry path once the combat was won. The tunnel branching to the right ran for a ways with a trickle of a stream next to it, until the stream disappeared into the rocks. Further along, the tunnel opened to the left into a series of cliff, each sticking up like buttes or small plateaus. The glow of luminous lichen, refracted through crystal stalactites, lit the room. From the top plateau, a horned head peeked out, and whipped back suddenly. During the climb to the first ledge, a devil engaged the heroes; its horned head, red skin, and trident the cliche’ image of a devil—Kah recognizes a War Devil. From the highest plateau, another devil gestured, an abyssal thunderclap echoed through the room—Kah recognized a Storm Devil. In combat, the War Devil called out Odachi, but Orsik’s assault felled the beast, and Odachi grunted over its body, “That’s the power of teamwork…bitch.” From the ceiling, more devils—Barbed Devils—dropped, and in engaging Orsik kept kicking him off the ledge. The dwarf swore he landed on his feet both time, but the Wayfarers remained incredulous. As each devil fell, they let out a string of obscenities Abyssal.

From the top of the plateaus, the Wayfarers noted another passage continuing into the darkness, opening in short order to a gigantic chamber, in which stone pinnacles, like volcanic cones, rose from the floor. In the center, a huge cone emitted a greenish haze and sulfurous smell that filled the room. Two clawed undead stood near the passage from which the Wayfarers entered, as if at guard. A floating figure, armed with a scythe, hovered across the room from that passage. Make opened with a Transposing Shot, bringing the floating undead closer and positioning himself to snipe the undead. Throughout the combat, the cones emitted a greenish-yellow, poisoned gas.

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Don't poke the Naga

Hello Wayfarer fans, Kah here. Odachi took a couple of hard hits to the head leaving him a little foggier than usual on what happened so I am helping him with the old adventure log. When we last left our brave band of adventurers, they were beset by vampires in the small town of Mundahan. After taking out the first wave, Odachi caught up with the head vampire lady as she fled the scene, only to face her reinforcements. And who trailed along to back him up but yours truly (I really haven’t been feeling like myself lately) The rest of the wayfarers arrived and eventually after the bloodsuckers were all bruised, bleeding and burnt with arrows sticking out of them, Odachi knocked out their leader and we dragged her back to the seers hut. She needed a little persuading but eventually after I gave her a glimpse of my primordial form, she told us her master was Cass the Betrayer. Mako had more questions for her, but she was not very forthcoming after Silvermane lopped her head off.

As we investigated the town, a vampire messenger told us that another of his kind named Rolain wanted us to meet with him in a graveyard. “We’ve done dumber things” was the consensus, so we followed the messenger and met the well dressed leach. He also works for Cass the betrayer and offered us a trade. He would tell us where the blade was that would open the portal if we promised to bargain with Cass after we get it. Seeing as how this puts us next to a guy trying to kill us with a sword in our hand, we agreed. Rolain told us that the undead dragon who guarded the portal also guarded the sword. Rolain also revealed the story of how Mundahan came to be in the shadowfell. Back during the Dragonkin and Tiefling war, this elderdragon was a scout for the dragonkin. He was given a secret mission to inspect a tiefling stronghold in a jungle. He brought his daughter along and they found the base. The dragons began to attack the town but after three strafes they realized that it was not an army camp but a refugee camp. They had killed innocent children and crippled tieflings fleeing the war. The dragons daughter was horrified and declared that they must return and explain what happened but the elder dragon would not let her. This was to be his greatest achievement an he could not bear the shame of the massacre it had become. They fought and the dragon killed his daughter. Then he killed all who saw. As he raged, a fog enveloped the town and the dragon. When the mist cleared, the town had appeared here in the shadowfell, along with the Dragon.

We decided we can still take him, so after we rested and the next day one of Rolain’s minions led us to the cave entrance to the dragons lair. We enter and find an underground waterfall where a Naga and Campion tell us we may not disturb the dragon. We kill the campion easy enough but as we were about to end the Naga, a giant troll burst from the water. Is this the end of the Wayfarers? Probably not, but tune in next time to find out!

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A Month Later...

The Wayfarers have spent a month following their own pursuits: Odachi returned to the Crystalmist Mountains, driven by visions of the spirits that slumber at the peaks of the mountains, and achieving the climb, learned the secrets of the Earthforgers, before setting on his path to become one with the mountains, a guardian of his tribe.

In that month, the Coalition of Sayre grew into a mutual defense pact. To justify its continued existence, the leaders of the coalition planned to recognized the “Heroes of the Githyanki War.” Summons were sent to the Wayfarers to return to Sayre, and the heroes were again put up in their rooms at House of Sleep. A few days before the scheduled celebration, a messenger requested the Wayfarers report to the Coalition headquarters, once the manor of Telecanthus. Amyria greeted the Wayfarers at the door, stating a visitor requested their presence, specifically. Inside, an angel with a stern face bows, and motions for the Wayfarers to sit. The angel states that one of Tiamat’s surviving exarchs is researching a ritual in Mondahan, The Domain of Betrayal, an “isolated” and unnatural domain of the Shadowfell. The angel warns to guard against betrayal, and the Domains of Dread, such as Mondahan, do not always follow the “rules” of planar travel.

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"I'm a bit foggy on last week. Did we leave anyone alive? No? That sounds like us."
Chromatic Bastion, Day 4

The final head of the Tiamat statue is…not broken. Not even mildly cracked, in fact. No amount of force from Odachi or swings of Orsik’s blessed hammer can shatter the stone. Closer inspection revealed a fist-sized cavity in the statue’s mouth. Kah casts a ritual to speak with the statue, and discovered a sacrifice was required. Ultimately, Kah placed his hand in the mouth, only to have it clamp down, fangs piercing the wizard’s wrist. Poison flowed though the fans, into Kah, as Odachi and Orsik struggled to pry the jaws open. Eventually, the two defenders succeeded, and the head shattered like the others. With a grinding noise, the statue’s pedestal rose to form an arch with the defaced icon of Tiamat at it’s top. Within, a single door opened into a circular room, the base of the three-story tower of the Emperor, its ceiling open to the Astral Sea above. Outside, the battle between loyalist and rebel forces raged; red dragons and astral skiffs blasted each other with dragonfire and arcane energies.

The first level of the tower held a long-disused servants’ quarters behind a heavily brocaded cloth and a pile of opulent cushions spilled out from the curving stairway hugging the outside wall. Voices can be heard echoing from above: one smooth and cultured, one booming and angry. A huge (larger than any the Wayfarers have encountered) red dragon’s tail hung over the balcony from the second floor. A small magic circle glowed on one side of the room; Kah identified it as a local teleport, most likely somewhere in the tower. Mako, sneaking up the stairs, came into view of the dragon, the hugest he’d seen, who abruptly broke off conversation. Looking to the third floor, the dragon growled, “It appears you need to get your own house in order.” With one flap of its wings, the dragon flew through the open ceiling. While Mako made his way to the top of the tower, Riven flew, and the rest of the party taking a chance with the teleport circle.

The third floor of the tower was empty. The same smooth, cultured voice of the emperor spoke, “I suppose I have you to thank for this. The Githyanki race is tearing itself apart.” The Wayfarers, naturally responded that he brought this on to himself. As the threats are tossed back and forth, a stately Githyanki appears, moving fluidly despite his black plate, in place of his eye one onyn stone. After Mako’s opening volley, the Emperor calls, “Handmaidens, assist me!” and spectral Githyanki amazons materialized , joining the Emperor in battle. As the battle raged, both members of the Wayfarers and the Emperor himself were knocked off the third-floor balcony, and fell below.

After the battle, a Githyanki astral skiff lowered from above, Vlaakith and several Githyanki knights drop to the tower. Vlaakith recovers the scepter the Emperor wielded, the symbol of the pack between the red dragons and Githyanki. The Wayfarers are assured the treasure would be delivered to them, Vlaakith had, “No use,” for the spoils of the usurper. The Wayfarers accompanied Vlaakith to the dens of the red dragons, at which she broke the scepter and dismissed the dragons. With a grudging respect, the dragons flew off.

Vlaakith reiterates and reaffirms: 1000 years of Githyanki non-incursion in the Prime Material plane. They plan to again take up the hunt for Mindflayers. She also tells the phylactery was the heart of her predecessor. The former Vlaakith overthrown by the Emperor. She had been reduced to an undead guardian: the floating spine guarding the entrance to the Chromatic Bastion. The Githyanki would not agree to a pact of mutual defense or aid; Vlaakith stated the actions of those from the Prime Material, the Wayfarers, would not be forgotten.

Through a portal, the Wayfarers were returned to Sayre. After a day of portals, airships, and impromptu teleportation thanks to Mako’s arrow, Odachi was beyond relived to be on solid ground again.

And the loot:
16000 GP
A Silvery Cloak (mundane) @ 15000 GP
A Mitheral Mirror (mundane) @ 15000 GP
A Golden Idol of Tiamat (mundane) @ 15000 GP
600 Platinum (60000 GP value)
2 5000 GP value diamonds

Cashed out, 26,200 GP each

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Chromatic Bastion, Day 3

The southernmost door on the same (eastern) side of the keep was iced over, and stuck fast. The Wayfarers entered through the door off the red dragons’ lava lair, however, though a small, icy antechamber, its shelves lined with brass-threaded robes. Odachi took one and put it one, being significantly taller than a githyanki, it hung to slightly above his knees. Odachi and Orsik crashing through another icy door, the party entered what amounted to a giant cold storage. Along the walls, the corpses of red dragons hung by their tails, preserved as if for use later.

Three insectile ice devils turned to the door, as a huge, frozen dracolitch—the iced over skeleton of a red dragon—welcomed the Wayfarers to the room and their doom, threats all the adventurers responded to with weary, “Yeah, yeah…we know.” As the dracolich fell, the Wayfarers were bathed in an explosion of arcane energy; infusing weapons and armor (upgrade one item to +1). 400 platinum was found in a sizable chunk of ice. Returning to the temple, the “white” head of the statue was easily shattered by Orsik’s hammer blow.

Through the second (northernmost) door on the west side of the building two githyanki stood at attention; obviously, the Wayfarers’ clashes through the east side of the keep did not go unnoticed. Quick work was made of the githyanki, and through the chamber was a training room of sorts, a door to the south slightly ajar. Mako slipped down the corridor, and peeking around a corner, came face-to-face with a squad of Githyanki lined up for attack. Ultimately clearing the githyanki form their barracks, 100 gold was found scattered in bedrolls.

In the final chamber of the Chromatic Bastion, in the northwest corner of the building, the room smelled of rot and decay. Two winged, crab-like demons stood on raised platforms, while the charnel pit described in the mission brief dropped to unknown depths. Two statues of blue dragons stood in opposite corners. With a the ozone smell of lightning, a crackling, draconic-shaped creature of energy appeared at attacked Orsik. When pushed into the pit, Odachi, Mako, and Riven faced a creature of ghostly, screaming faces. With the defeat of this chamber’s challenges, the blue-dragon head on the statue of Tiamat shattered.

Total treasure each:
One weapon, armor, or neck slot item upgraded to +5
80 platinum
20 gold

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Chromatic Bastion, Day 2

Following the battle with the red dragons, the Wayfarers decided to enter the temple chamber ahead. The heavy iron doors opened easily, reveling a effigy of Tiamat, carved of what appeared to be solid emerald. the statue cast a sickly green glow across the room. Four Githyanki stood within, two at guard flanking the doors, and two in worship at the statue. Of those at the statue, one wore plate and wields a silver sword, the other in scorched robes appeared to be undead. Mako lets fly and pulls the plate-clad Githyanki into the Dragon’s room, almost into a lava pool. Odachi finishes the task, knocking him in and them moving to combat the others. The battle passes quickly, inspection of the room reveals one of the statue’s heads is cracked; Kah and Orsik identifies it as the shape and location of the red dragon head of Tiamat. With a swing, Orsik shatters the head. Two halls led off the temple chamber; the Wayfarers knew the right led to a room containing some sort of energy field, and the left a charnel house. The Wayfarers plan to head left, but first to backstep and see if there are two entrances.

The second door clockwise off the red dragons’ chamber led to a room full of skulls; illithid, or mind flayer, skulls were piled in stacks and lined the walls. The room carried the feel of a trophy room, telling the tale of the Githyanki’s genocidal revenge on the mind flayers. The room appears undisturbed for some time, however, no new skulls added, nor anyone having even entered.

The next chamber held an altar, upon which stood a smaller replica of the blasted statue outside the Necropolis. Kah was able to deduce it was Gish, the “savior” of the Githyanki and Githzeri races. Within the altar, we found a horcrux, or phylactery.

The final chamber, that with the energy fields, contained two guardians appearing to be made of steel, and two glowing cubes. The Wayfarers flanked the room: Odachi, Riven, and Kah entering from Gish’s temple; Orsik and Mako from the temple of Tiamat. Within the room, a dragon head rose form each corner, spraying acid. Odachi saw a control panel around the corner from Orsik, and burrowed to tell him. Mako attempted to deactivate the black dragon heads, but dropped the force cages containing a gibbering abomination and an invisible stalker. Following the battle, the party returned to the statue of Tiamat, to find its black head cracked as well. On the floor of the room, the Wayfarers discovered scratch marks, as if the statue could move, but no amount of force shifted the statue. Using the Solace Bole ritual, the Wayfarers camped for the evening.

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Shopping by Proxy

While the Wayfarers studied a floor plan of the Emperor’s “Chromatic Bastion” provided by the Githyanki resistance, runners were sent to purchase any equipment we felt we needed. The Wayfarers’ mission was to storm the fortress and slay the Emperor, a fate not unlike what he brought upon the previous Vlaakith. Oh, the irony. The rebellion provided a distraction while the Wayfarers were teleported into the Necropolis, a run-down mausoleum, its vaults in various states of disrepair, dedicated to Githyanki warriors. As they moved forward, shades and shadows could be seen at the edge of their vision, never quite approaching, and disappearing into nothingness when gazed at directly. Before the iron double-doors of the Chromatic Bastion, the wreckage of a once-towering statue, most likely of a Githyanki female, stood in the silent courtyard. Its legs, broke off at the thighs, and tip of its sword, planted in the ground, were all that remained; rubble lay strewn around the ruin.

The Wayfarers found the doors of the bastion unlocked, cold light emanating through the five-colored stained glass windows surrounding it. The adventurers entered into a narrow entry, four pillars in the square foyer, narrowing into a smaller entryway beyond. In that smaller entryway, a spine floated, the cold light catching on six purple gemstones set into the vertebrae. as they step forward, Mako and Riven noticed shadows coalescing in the near corners of the foyer, as Riven strode forward, the moved menacingly and engaged the Wayfarers, moving through the pillars. At the end of the battle, as Kah’s magic missile shattered the floating spine, the vaguest of female forms can be seen, with a hoarse “release me” whispered into the empty room.

Another iron door led from the narrow hall into the next chamber, this door searing hot to the touch, was pushed open gently by Orsik. The draft of warm air was stifling, the next room glowed with red heat; two pools of lava flanked the room, the view to the far end of the room distorted by the heat mirage rising off their surface. What could be made out, however, were two napping red dragons that leisurely raised their heads, and acknowledged the Wayfarers, another promise that this would be as far as the heroes came on their journey. One took to the air as Odachi shrugged, dejected he was unable to add a blue or black dragon head to his collection, but flung his javelin into the still-grounded one, pinning his wings in place, and then drew his great sword and flung it at the dragon in the air. It missed, sadly, but the Goliath was quick to catch his sword as Orsik planted the battle standard. The Wayfarers were able to make quick work of the dragons, and at the top of the dais at the opposite end, leading to two huge double-doors, a modest horde had been accumulated by the pair: 8 5,000 GP diamonds, 2 1,000 GP fire opals, 21,000 GP in gold, and a pair of rings: a Ring of Heroic Insight and a Ring of Hrunder’s Halls.

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There Was Some Box Text. Then, Violence Ensued.

Mako began by transposing his position with that of the angel, effectively cutting it—and Kah—off in the stairwell. The devilish humanoid responded by dominating Mako, the archer attacked Odachi. Kah summoned a Rockfire Dreadnought to defend himself and occupy the angel. Making relatively quick work of the Barbed Devils, the Wayfarers moved on to the angel and humanoid. Twice during the battle, the devilish humanoid caused a scalding hot iron fence to erupt from the ground, dividing himself from combat. The second time, he pinned himself inside, and both Odachi and Riven were able to maneuver inside with him, putting an end to his magic. His dying words attempted to explain why the world was doomed if Vlaakith went free, but he did not live ling enough to complete the thought. As Kah’s Dreadnought finished off the angel, Odachi and Riven discovered a holy symbol of Dispater, the Devil Prince, on the horned humanoid.

As the Wayfarers escaped with Vlaakith, the city went form occupied, to under siege; Red Dragons and their riders flew low over the populace, the followers of Tiamat stepped up their brutality, but the fugitives were able to return to the Morning Star Inn, and the next day, negotiated a peace, under the grim, and at times disdainful, gaze of Githyanki rebels. In exchange for throwing off the Emperor, Vlaakith promised 1000 years of no Githyanki conflict in the Natural World.

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"And We're Going Up The Uvula"

In the docking bay of the Three Sorrows prison, Riven slipped up the spiral staircase, to hear Githyanki voices in a large circular room, doors to either side. Three Githyanki and a large, red, draconic creature guarded the room, debating in Deep Speech. With a surprise rush, we engaged in combat; shortly a new Githyanki opened a door and fired a bolt of magical energy into the melee. Shortly thereafter, a group of archers entered from the opposite door. Kah and Mako headed into the surrounding hallway to take on incoming Githyanki and discovered a row of prison cells around the outside, but no sign of Vlakith. Following clearing out the guards, we found three beater, but alive Githyanki prisoners. After arming them, we were told one overheard “the special prisoner was held upstairs.”

The central spiral stairway continued upwards, into a square room with a door on each wall. Using the keys found on one of the guards, we discovered an armory and two storerooms. A cursory search revealed a barbed javelin, a cerulean gemstone, a Gem of Valor, a Talisman of Vitality, 300 platinum, a silver box containing 4400 gp in residuum, 5 potions of vitality, and 3 potions of vigor.

Entering into the last room, a female Githyanki is suspended in a column of flame. A slim, horned human and a large angel stood by; two menacing demons guarded the door.

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I entitled this one "Ssss-un-ah" in my notes. Anyone remember why?

Debate regarding the next step ensued among the Wayfarers and the members of the Githyanki rebels, eventually settling on two plans: an assault on Zirch’r’r’s Chromatic Fortress or freeing Vlakith from her floating prison. Eventually, we came to a decision. The prison is guarded and warded against crying and teleportation; an assault on the Fortress of Three Sorrows seemed ridiculous, so it would be our first approach. Freeing Vlakith and providing the Githyanki with a figurehead for their rebellion is the decided approach. The prison was the head of a giant statue, in orbit around Tunareth; three small islands stretched from the statue’s eye, chained in place. With assistance by Gorveg the Githyanki rebel, we draw heavy cloaks and approach the shipyards; the plan is to commandeer a supply ship and sneak into the prison. Long metal docks stretch to the Merciless, the ship making the supply run. A tall observation tower looms over the dock. The Githyanki guards are quickly dispatched, and Kah took the controls of the ship. All went well, and as we approached the Three Sorrow’s loading dock, in the mouth of the statue, the guards signaled to approach at a broadside, so Kah pushed the ship to maxim speed. We slid into the landing bay, barely upright, Odachi cursing flight, airships, the Astral Sea, Githyanki, Tiamat, the gods in general, changelings, and Kah’s parentage. The damage to the ship ensured it would not be flying out of the mouth, but two small patrol air boats were moored in the dock, as were two red dragons and their riders, as well the rest of the Githyanki deck crew. Once they’d been taken out, the docking bay was eerily quiet. A metal spiral staircase curled upward into the prison.

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