Geneva Scales of War

Into Tuna Breath

After an extended rest, we summon Mako via the ivory bow, and through Tikus’ portal to Tunareth. We step out into a dank, dark, litter-strew alleyway. A hazy, illusory stone wall opens to a bustling street beyond. Githyanki, Tieflings, Demons, and other outsiders move past. Alien smells and sounds assault our senses. Riven steps through the wall into the street, and sees a Githyanki missing its bottom half, replaced by whispy smoke. He is flanked by two armored Dragonborn wielding wicked-looking maces. From the other end of the alley appears another Githyanki, this one in plate and also flanked by two Dragonborn. After a short, but heated battle, we slay the Dragonborn and plate-wearing Githyanki, and take the wispy one to be interrogated. He “shared” the Emperor knows all, but some suspect Tiamat truly rules. We left the bodies in the disguised alley, and head to an inn.

A sense of oppression pervades the city. A patrol of Githyanki guards muscles its way through the crowd. Many Draconic- and Devil-types are given a wide berth by the Githyanki civilians. We duck into the first tavern we can find, the “Winesink,” and have a drink. Riven and Mako gather some information; not all Githyanki civilians and merchants are happy with the “dirty” Dragonborn. The Morningstar Inn is the place most likely to find those more willing to share this opinion.

Into a bazaar, a voice echos “My Saviors!” and of course, Mayhem would appear. And shortly, Mayhem would ensue. In a blind square, the crowds thin, and a creature, half-giant, half blue-dragon, smashes its way into the alley, as a swarm of angels blocks the exits.

Leaving the square after the fierce fight, we spot the inn: an ancient cathedral, the sounds of clanking tankards and drunken boasting sound from within. But, inside, the room is silent, and all but empty. A lone Githyanki sits at a table, while a Tiefling tends the bar. As it is revealed, Mayhem was part of the original mission to the Citadel Mercane to meet with us, but he escaped the ambush, only to be cornered at the point we saved him. Gorveg is the Githyanki, one of the few rebels not rounded up by the Emperor’s forces. Vlakith, their leader and supposedly the previous queen reborn, is among those captured. We agree to help rescue Vlakith, in exchange for withdrawing Githyanki from the Natural Plane, and their resuming their war on Mindflayers. Rhapsody, the Tiefling, provides cash-up-front as payment (3 AD and 500 PP), and a battle standard with Githyanki markings.

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No One Said Anything Quotable...

Hey! Guess who? I bet you all missed lil’ ol’ Veles, although there’s nothing “little” or “old” about yours truly.

So, the Wayfarers have been reunited with me. In the interim, since taking my leave of the heroes of your story, have been making myself busy making arrangements for the Coalition, and for The Hundred, the code name for the Coalition’s daring, highly trained special mission force. Its purpose: to defend human and demi-human freedom against the Githyanki, a ruthless empire determined to rule the world.

Through the portal at Garaitha’s Anvil, to the now-Coalition-controlled Well of Worlds, the Wayfarers returned to Bejem, and his Astral Giant friend, whose name no one can seem to remember. I’ve taken to calling him “Steve.” Bejem and Steve were able to use the Admiral’s key to take control of the World Gate, and sent the Wayfarers and the surviving Hundred on to the abandoned Githyanki temple serving as the Coalition’s “Forward Observing Post.” In the temple, the Coalition’s regular forces greeted the Wayfarers as heroes, and tremendous cheer echoed though the portal chamber. After a brief celebration, the Wayfarers reclaimed their airship, and returned to Sayre.

On the flight to Sayre, small pillars of smoke were still seen dotting the countryside, and the city itself was still clad in mourning its previous Lord Mayor. But, and undercurrent of resolution had begun to grow; word of the Wayfarers’ and the Hundred’s success preceded them. Reporting to Telecanthus’ former mansion, for the dressing-down they knew they’d get, the Wayfarers were greeted by Amyria, as the rest of the Coalition Council poured over maps. Looking up, some smiled, some grimaced, but Quellena was the first to speak. Her barely-constrained rage boiled through as she scolded, “You’re lucky your rash actions were successful,” but before she could continue, or before the Wayfarers could respond, Amyria stepped between the parties and brought what she called “good news.” An emissary of the Githyanki sent a message; those loyal to the Empress were mounting a resistance in the Astral sity of Tunareth, and wished to meet, on neutral ground, to negotiate an alliance against Tiamat’s puppet. The neutral ground was the Citadel Mercane, a free city in planes, a center of trade. We are to meet at the Dreaming Spire, a inn of note, and our goal is nothing less than the withdrawal of all Githyanki forces on the Natural Plane.

As the Wayfarers made their preparations to leave, the Dwarf, Durkik, approached; Overlook was again beset with Gnolls. Mako agreed to take the Shadar-Kai hunters sworn to Arranis and clear them out; Bejem provided a small ivory bow charm to bring him though a temporary portal once he has completed that task.

Through the portal Bejem prepared, the Wayfarers landed on a rocky ledge; in the distance, a path wound into a crack in the earth itself, a misty have pouring from it. An airship appeared through the haze, trembled briefly, and blinked out of existence, indicating towards the crack would be the correct path. Odachi was more than pleased to lead the way through the rocky scrubland, reminding the Goliath of home.

Around one bend, a blue-skinned humanoid stood beset by four-armed, red-skinned demons. At this particular bend, steam vents shot into the sky. The Wayfarers jump to the humanoids defense, earning a talkative, if helpful guide into the city, a giant globe suspended within the center of the rock itself, anchored at points, and orbited by smaller “asteroids.” The spires of towers and rooftops pointed out in every direction. Mayhem guided the Wayfarers to an entrance to the city, where they had to jump, and then could fly in the ether to the giant globe. Riven unfurled his wings and took flight easily and gracefully. Kah, as well, took to flight naturally. Orisk discovered that with a mighty Dwarven belch, he could propel himself backwards with decent speed. The only Wayfarer who did not enjoy this excursion was Odachi, who at best doggie-paddled toward the city as rapidly as he could, muttering obscene oaths in Giant-Speak that could have made the spirits of lust and fertility themselves blush.

Guided to the Dreaming Spire, the Wayfarers entered the inn, to find a large Goliath barmaid serving them. She provided Devil-Wheat Ales and gave some information, included a small brass box that opened when touched along a groove on its base. A small image of a Githyanki appeared, stating, “The Dark Lady’s agents infest this place. Come to Tunareth. We will find you.” Looks at each other, the Wayfarers asked, “Trap?” “Yup. Trap.” “We going anyway?” “Do we have a choice?” “Of course we’re going.” Searching for someone to quietly portal them to Tunareth. A day of searching led them to an apparently empty the warehouse, wherein they quietly approached the rear, until a crate opened, an out climbed a Githzeri, who politely introduced himself as Talkus. Before negotiations for travel could be arranged, however, the splinted inward, and two less-than-angelic angel boomed, “Your mission will fail! And Talkus, your end is here!” Talkus looked to the Wayfarers, and quietly, flatly stated, “Agents of Tiamat are here for you.”

After defeating the angels, Talkus led the Wayfarers into the crate from which he emerged, a square cramped room with a small portal in one corner. The Wayfarers decided to step into Tunareth after a night’s sleep.

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You are dazed, and he titty-f*cks you. You are stunned.

After castingand fiddling with the controls furiously, Kah managed to drop the entry force field just in time for the Fomorian’s club to smash against it, instead of against him. relatively safe for the time being, the Wayfarers moved to scout the improvised fortification the Githyank built atop a 30’ ledge, to defend the Admiral’s flagship from attack. However, the location of the fortification prevented a clear field of view, and the Wayfarers were able to move into place unmolested. Mako stealthily climbed the nearest crane in order to provide a distraction shot and covering fire, Kah flew to the top of the ledge and unleashed a fireball, and Odachi burrowed behind their lines, and engaged the leaders. Riven and Orsik quicly joined the fray. In the distance, Admiral Kadan’ae’s flagship prepared for launch, as it slipped its moorings, Odachi ran and jumped the gap from dock to ship, engaging a Githyanki warrior. The rest of the Wayfarers followed, Kah controlling the terrain and Mako taking shots and the Githyanki crew. Riven, Odachi, and Orsik pursued Kadan’ae, at one poinit, Odachi attempted to tackle the admiral off of the ship, but the Githyanki proved too quick for the Goliath. After a hard fought and hard won battle, the Wayfarers collected what they could from the ship, including the admiral’s Crystal Key, and returned with the surviving Hundred to the temple, and Bejem and Amyria.

Loot!
4 Ceremonial silver daggers. Pretty, useless. 1,500 GP value each.
1 Crystal globe, 15,000 GP value
1 Bejeweled dagger scabbard made of mithral mesh, 7,500 GP value
2 Crystal and mithral cameos in the likeness of the Githyanki Emporer
3 Potions of vitality
1 Lawmaker’s stylus
220 Platinum

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I just didn't expect it to pop up like that

With Veles’ small army, the plan is made to assault the shipyard at Gariatha’s Anvil and claim the key. The Hundred—as those who answered Amyria’s call to arms came to refer to themselves, would draw Githyanki forces while the Wayfarers made for the Admiral Kada’ne’s ship. Bejem sketched out a small map of the Anvil for references, and activated the portal. The Hundred charged though with a cry, and the token force of guards on the other side were quickly slain.
On the other side of the portal, the Wayfarers found a series of platforms/docks forming two sides of a triangle, and ultimately leading to a raised platform and door at the apex. Cranes and ladders provided lift from one level of the platforms to another. As the Wayfarers moved forward, a small force of Githyanki poured from the narrow passage to the exit. With a well-placed spell, Kah cleared many of them out. Orsik had a shining moment of awesome when he jumped up and swung on a crane, knocking out one of the Githyanki’s archers. He then dropped down on a prone Githyanki prone below, hammer first.
Through the stone doors at the end of the dockyard, the hall branched into three. To the right, a booming voice chanted a ritual; to the left, the sound of steel-on-steel echoed; and straight ahead, silence and shadow. Kah did not recognize the specific ritual, but was able to identify it was one of summoning or planar travel.
To the right, the corridor opened to a large storeroom: lumber, brass bars, and steel ingots were scattered around the sandy floor. A corridor extended off the far end of the chamber. At the center, an Eldritch Giant completed his ritual, and eight Cyclops dropped to the floor. “Keep the portal open, Mage,” one of them growled, “There are troops waiting to cross—blood to be spilled.” As Orsik clanged, giving away the Wayfarers, the Eldritch Giant replied, “Well, there’s your chance.” After the battle, two ioun stones clattered to the ground as the Eldritch Giant fell. Scouting ahead, the far hall led to quarters.
Returning to the central hall, large forms approached, and the Wayfarers ducked into the shadowy corridor. Three Fire Giants pass, carrying red-hot spheres of metal. Down this shadowy corridor, a blue light emanated from the next chamber. In a mostly empty storeroom, two far exits were blocked by a blue force field, beyond—in a brightly lit area—two Fomorians and numerous Githyanki carried crates of supplies to waiting airships. Another force field blocked a entry opposite the one the Wayfarers stood at. Kah managed to drop the force field—with a large explosion. The Fomorians dropped their crates, all loading and unloading activity ended. The Githyanki giving orders yelled, “Admiral! The invaders are at our gate! Flee!” As the Wayfarers cleared out this threat, reinforcements arrived from the far side of the corridor. After slaying the Fomorians and Githyanki, the Wayfarers discovered, around the bend near the moored airships, a makeshift barricade of crates and airship parts. Githyanki archers covered behind the barricade, as behind them, Githyanki and human shipwrights rushed to set final preparations on the large and imposing airship beyond.

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"There's a Muppet Three-Way in My Mouth"

The vortex of Astral energy swirled quickly below the Wayfarers; Kah warned the party not to fall in.

As the party stepped forward, the Eldritch Giant repeated his warning, and the image of a ghostly Githyanki appeared at the foot of the steps to the study. The giant simply sighed and turned away, as the spectral Githyanki stepped forward, pointed at Odachi, and the Goliath froze in place.

Kah was the first Wayfarer to react, and the battle ensued. As the Wayfarers turned the tide on the ghostly guardian, the Eldritch Giant’s mood changed, and he joined the fray, launching bolts of magical energy at the Githyanki spirit that had dominated him.

After the battle ends, and the Eldritch Giant had been freed, he revealed much about the Well of Worlds and the Githyanki plot:
The Githyanki sought to tame the Well of Worlds, and couple its teleportational abilities to their own portal network.
The “masters” he referred to were Githyanki mages, who would come and check on his progress.
There were four crystal keys that control the pillar, and the Well. The giant did not know who has them, but he assumed they were high-ranking Githyanki.
The location of the keys may be detected through the use of a scrying pool; he described the key in detail to assist Kah in the ritual.

Using the healing pool in the gallery, Kah cast the ritual to find the key. A vision of an office appeared, and with it, and ostentatiously uniformed Githyanki. The view focused on the neck area of his uniform, assuming this Githyanki admiral wore the key on a chain.
The Githyanki spoke in common to two humans standing in the office, berating them for delays on repairs to his ship; he wanted to return to the war and the work was going too slowly.
The vision included a view of his desk: papers; orders for construction; a word in Deep Speech, “Utagraraith,” known as “Garaitha’s Anvil,” one of the most well-known shipyards of the Astral Sea.

Within the portal chamber, the Wayfarers debated what to do next. As the debate went on, the portal flared to life, and two of the Freeriders, other adventurers from Overlook, appeared. Sent by Bejem to check on why the Wayfarers had not reported, and share that developments have not gone well in the Coalition Council. Amyria had put out word (more or less with the Council’s blessing) seeking adventurers seeking work, and around a hundred had replied.

The Wayfarers planned to return to Sayre, via the Githyanki temple in the Elsir Vale, but when they returned to the temple, they were led to a lesser-used room, in which the Council was in session. Quellena, the Wild Elf merchant queen, stood, calling to establish defense and secure the homeland.

She…did not take well to the Wayfarer’s plan to take the fight to Garaith’s Anvil. And the Wayfarers took sitting idly by even more poorly, knowing there would have been no Coalition if not for them. The Wayfarers were ordered not to assault the shipyards, to which Odachi turned to Mako and asked, “We’re still going to Garaith’s Anvil, right?”

A familiar voice spoke from the hallway, “Are you still causing trouble?” and in the doorway stood Veles. Odachi looked at the human with good-humored disdain, “What…you were my replacement?” Veles shared that whatever the Wayfarers were planning, he was in as well; and as he slipped out, Megan Swiftblade of the Freeriders entered with the same message. Veles returned with Bejem, and the three led the Wayfarers to another chamber of the temple, in which stood the hundred adventurers who answered Amyria’s call. Among them were the survivors of the Shadar-Kai who served under Arranis at Overlook, Thorn (to whom Mako returned his weapons, taken long before), and Jalissa in plate mail and wielding a two handed-sword. Odachi looked at the former acolyte of Ioun and smirked approvingly, “A much better choice for you than acolyte.”

Bejem spoke to the Wayfarers. “I cannot, in good faith, condone any rash actions that may take you to Garaitha’s Anvil to attach Admiral Kad’ane. I cannot tell you that in a certain wing of the shipyards, a teleportation circle sits nearby his ship. I cannot tell you that a small commando team can strike Kad’ane’s office while a larger force creates a distraction at his ship…”

He smiled at the assembled adventurers, turned and left. The Wayfarers turned to the adventurers, and someone said, “Well, let’s be big damn heroes.”

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"I Speak Fluent TARDIS"

With Kah in the form of the Githyanki, the Wayfarers planned to trick the Eldritch Giants on the bridge that he was escorting prisoners to the next level of the Well of Worlds. Questioned by the giants, Kah led Riven to show the giants his Whitefire marking. One giant teleported across the gap between platforms, as the giants both began to noticed the prisoners were armed…and not bound. As the deceit became clear, the Wayfarers attacked. During the battle, Odachi utilized his Ring of Ramming for the first time, and pushed one of the giants into the pit below.

Following the battle, the Wayfarers found 360 platinum, and two large ritual books on the giants. Kah discovered that this room was being used to focus the energy of the Astral Plane to power the portals of the Well of Worlds.

As before, both doors from the bridge from the Eldritch Giants’ chamber distorted space and led to another circular room, this with four evenly spaced mirrors on the walls, and a large metal grate across the floor. Through the grate, the Wayfarers could see a pure white stone stair spiral downwards. A black stone obelisk stood at the center of the grate, a glowing keyhole on each side. The obelisk proved to be unmovable, and the mirrors rippled as if made of liquid.

As the Wayfarers investigated the mirrors, the ripples coalesced, and a white crystalline bat-like creature emerged to attack the Wayfarers. After a few rounds, another, and then another emerged, until four engaged the Wayfarers in combat. Riven, Orsik, and Mako each found themselves embraced by the bats’ wings, and transported to a small room where it is only the bat and the adventurer in combat. Eventually, the enchantment wears off, and both bat and hero return to the chamber. As each bat is slain, they disappear into a puff of Astral smoke, but none leave behind a key.

The Wayfarers chose to camp in this chamber, and Orsik began to hammer on the grate during his watch. Odachi and Riven returned to the pool in the Githyanki’s lounge, where they discovered that a drink of the water provided the equivalent to a full night’s rest. In the couches, they discovered 42 copper pieces. Odachi quickly drained the bottles of wine he took from Telecanthus’, and the two returned to the chamber with enough of the water for each Wayfarer. With Kah guidance, Orsik slammed upon a place where the enchantment upon the grate was weakened. An explosion of arcane energy slammed the Wayfarers (everyone took 4 Damager), and Odachi pulled the bars apart enough to allow them passage.

The stairs spiraled down for several hundred feet, until entering a chamber filled with white light. A stone path floated above a glowing, corrosive whirlpool. Rough pillars of different heights emerged from the vortex of energy. The path turned, and opened into what was clearly an arcane study, tall shelves and table stood around the room. A lone Eldritch Giant stood within the chamber, and slowly raised his hands, “None but the ‘Masters’ have entered, but you shall love as long as they did.” As he held up his hands, faint manacles of blue energy were visible, and he stated his words flatly, not as a threat, but a warning.

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"I KNEW IT! I'm surrounded by Astrals!" or, "We Teleported into an Ethan Allan"

*Following the events in the Githyanki Ttemple, the Wayfarers return to Sayre. The return flight passes without incident.

*Riven discusses the Githyanki’ elder’s comments with Mako, and plans to investigate his past further.

*In Sayre, Amyria, Bejem, and the coalition are anxious for the debriefing, and to use the portal against the Githyanki.

*Bejem desires to research the portal and the Whitefire sigils. He plans to open a portal from Sayre to the True Portal to begin his study.

*In Sayre, the Wayfarers spend their time individually:
1. Kah, with Bejem’s assistance, spends may long hours reverse-casting the ritual, and eventually learns to replicate the Whitefire sigils.
2. Orsik performs his devotions at the temples of Moradin, and at the Wayfarer’s favorite inn in Sayre.
3. Odaci assists the city’s resident druid in restoring parkland to a more natural state, and communing with the primal spirits of Sayre.
4. Riven and Mako report to the University of Sayre (Go Fighting Thamaturges!), and Riven spends many long hours interviewed by a council of professors. (When Mako speaks up, he is quickly “shushed” by the professors who wish to hear the Revenant speak unprompted.)
*As the day wears on, the Wayfarers slowly return to the former manor of Telecanthus, Orsik arriving last, as Amyira returns at dawn for a meeting with the Coalition council.

*Bejem opened a portal to the temple, allowing fresh Coalition troops, himself, and Amyria to arrive at the Githyanki temple. Mako agreed to join them. The rest of the Wayfarers stocked the airship with supplies to bring for the soldiers stationed at the temple, joining Mako a few hours later. In the interim, Mako informed Amyria and Bejem about the Well of Worlds and the use of the True Portal.

*When the Wayfarers arrive, Bejem is studying the portal, and shortly thereafter, the portal opens, the Freeriders, another adventuring group that participated in the defense of Overlook, steps through. A call had been put out for adventurers to guard the portal.

*Orsik suggested destroying the portal, but Bejem countered by suggesting the Wayfarers go through the portal. He felt a small strike team may be able to counter whatever the Githyanki had planned.

*Bejem and Kah performed the ritual to mark the Wayfarers with the Whitefire sigil, then another to open the portal; the sigils flared to life; and the Wayfarers stepped through. Warmth pulsed through the Whitefire sigils as the Wayfarers experienced a bright light, followed by a soft, weightless feeling. The sigils flared almost to pain, and the light faded.

*In a spherical chamber, a small walkway led from a central platform to a lone door. A creature of astral wisps coalesced, attacking Orsik as he walked closer. Through the battle with this creature, the Wayfarers were knocked into the astral fog.

*The doors opened to a curving hallway, as the Wayfarers turned to the right, the hall opened into a large, circular observation room that wraps around the portal room. Couches and pillars are scattered throughout the room, A window opened onto the Astral Plane itself, and a group of Githyanki sat around a small fountain, and while caught off guard, quickly jumped to arms upon the entrance of the Wayfarers. The Wayfarers were able to make quick work of their unarmored foes.

*On opposite sides of the chamber, doorways led to another circular room. Both doors led to opposite sides of the same room. Despite it being on opposite sides of the initial chamber. A bridge crossed the room diagonally opposite the doors. From below, a bright light glowed from a seemingly bottomless chasm. Upon the bridge, two giants sat in cross-legged meditation. Violet-skinned with red and black runic tattoos, Kah identified them as Eldrich giants.

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"If we're not causing the pain, we'll investigate it."

After a restful, if time-distorted, hour in the Solace Bole, the Wayfarers exited to a muffled cry of pain from the far end of the Githyanki camp chamber. Working their way through the Githyanki bedrolls, the heroes approach a pair of large stone doors, hanging slightly ajar. Form the dimly-lit room beyond, a voice a deep voice growled, “This one’s pain is your doing. Tell us what we wish!” A group of ten Githyanki, wearing green-and-silver livery matching some of those slain in the entry chamber (not the red-and-gold of those the Wayfarers most recently fought), huddled against the far wall, chained together and appearing defeated. Slipping into the irregularly-carved chamber, the Wayfarers noted this must have been a training chamber; rubble from smashed weapons racks littered the floor. Around an initial corner, two Fomorians stood over the crushed corpse of a Githyanki, one of the giants still clubbing the remaining body mass. Before losing an arrow, Mako noted what appear to be sigils of a silver sword wreathed in flame upon their wrists. As the Wayfarers engaged the giants, the elder among the Githyanki survivors chanted; ten yellow-white pillars of energy appeared about the room. Identifying the wards, Kah shouted a warning; the pillars would move randomly throughout the encounter, burning both Wayfarer and Fomorian alike.

Following the battle, the elder Githyanki slipped his bonds and proceeded to untie his fellows. As Odachi and Mako played bad-city watch, worse-city watch questioning them, but Mako offered a knife as a token of good faith to help cut the Githyanki’s bonds. As the Githyanki spread around the room seeking weapons among the racks, the elder assured the Wayfarers that these Githyanki bore them no threat, but were followers of the old ways of the Githyanki Lich Queen. The new emperor had thrown in his people’s lot with Tiamat, and become the goddess’ puppet. He shared that the temple in which they now stood was as old as the Githyanki Empire itself; but he casually lied that the duty of securing it fell to the Githyanki and the silver sigils on the Fomorians. The Wayfarers, however, insisted they would not be abandoning the temple that easily.

The next chamber was a massive auditorium, with tiered levels as if for seating along the walls. In the center, a permanent teleportation circle was etched upon a raised dais, a sphere of energy crackling around it. Among the room stood a crowd of Githyanki, clearly wary to get too close to the sphere. Two red-and-gold-clad, well-armed Githyanki stood arguing in Deep Speech at the far end of the room. With a cry of vengeance, the Githyanki who had entered with the Wayfarers spread into the room, picking targets and engaging in battle. During the battle, Odachi pushed one of the leaders into the sphere of energy; white tendrils crackled around him as he bounced in, and was thrown back out.

Following the battle, the elder approached the Wayfarers and the dais. He intoned that the temple is no longer sacred, and once they have seen to their dead, they would be leaving. Defense of the portal would now fall to the Wayfarers. The portal is a World Gate, one of the prime portals connected to the Well of Worlds linking the Githyanki Empire with all worlds and planes. As a “true portal,” it could open to any place, without a ritual circle as a destination. The portal represented a way through the Githyanki’s defenses, and an opportunity to strike at the heart of their empire. However, only those of Githyanki blood could use the World Gates; the sigils, known as “Whitefire,” upon the Fomorians arms seemed to provide transit for other races.

Odachi suggested sending for Coalition troops, and he and Mako hiked back to the garrison, where the captain provided as many men as he could spare. While Orsik and Riven assisted with tending to the Githyanki dead, Kah examined the Whitefire sigils; he felt he might be able to recreate them, but wasn’t sure. After Odachi, Mako, and the garrison returned, the Goliath suggested seeking assistance from the Deva, Bejem.

The humans and half-elves of the Coalition set up camp within the portal amphitheater. A nervous peace existed between the two parties, as the Wayfarers kept the peace with tales of heroism and more than a bit of ale taken from their airship. As the Githyanki prepared to depart, the elder pulled Riven aside to say, “The Emperor is a dog, lashed to dogs. A pawn. The gods Tiamat and Bahamut are locked in an eternal struggle, but she foresees as ‘final’ conflict between the two. This will be their last battle; she seeks to slay Bahamut. She has plans for the Githyanki as well, but I do not know what it is. You may less recent than you think. Fate chooses her champions wisely. We will leave; do not follow.” The sphere around the portal melted away, the runes making up the circle glowed and rotated, the surviving Githyanki stepped into the circle and with a flash, were gone. Kah stepped up and began his own ritual, sealing and warding the portal.

Loot! (off Fomorians)
2,000 loose GP
2 Gems-studded platinum statuettes, worth 15,000 GP
2 large rubies, Cyclops-cut, valued at 5000 GP
Total, cashed out: 42,000 (or 8400 GP each)

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I Have an Ability to Make Bursts Bigger

Following the battle in the hallway at Kaleshane’s, the Wayfarers noticed it was silent…perhaps too silent. None of the Fomorian’s guards, no servants, no retinues of visiting dignitaries, no one appeared following the sounds of their battle with the drider and drow. Stopping only to check on Troque, as Bram Ironfell volunteered to take charge of the unconscious dignitaries, the adventurers doubled back to the throne room. Outside, two dead Fomorians showed no wounds. Inside the throne room, Kaleshane and Sovacles stood, and the human spoke to his “master,” “See, ‘my lord,’ they slay your soldiers and now they come for you.” Odachi tried, briefly, to reason with the Fomorian in Giantspeak, but it was in vain; the Fomorian attacked the adventurers as they moved on to the glass floor. Most of the combat focused on the human, but occasionally the Wayfarers were forced to defend themselves from Kaleshane. After taking heavy damage from the Wayfarers, Sovacles’ control broke, and Kaleshane stumbled back on to the throne. His eyes flashed to Mako, “Kill the traitor, and we will discuss alliance.” And with a command, the glass floor disappeared, sending Odachi, Orsik, Riven, and Sovacles tumbling to the arena below. In the arena, a gladiatorial combat raged, three Eladrin fought one Treant chained to the arena floor. Orsik quickly offered reward to the Eladrin, who joined in the fight. Sovacles revealed four forms as an exarch of Tiamat, as the Wayfarers slew him in each form.

Following Sovacles’ defeat, Kaleshane orders a purge of all Githyanki in his realm, word of which gets back to the Coalition. Kaleshane agrees to alliance with the Winter Court, and he provides the Wayfarers transit back to Rhest.

Upon return to Sayre, the Coalition shares intelligence that a Githyanki incursion force was spotted searching for a ruin in the mountains east of Elsir Vale. The Wayfarers stayed in Sayre only long enough to resupply before loading up their airship and heading to their home. At the base of the foothills, a small Coalition stockade sits. The Wayfarers are welcomed inside and share their stock of ale from the airship with the soldiers. The commander of the fortress shares news that the bodies of three Githyanki were found in the mud up a patrol trail. The Coalition soldiers knew they were shadowed by Githyanki, but never engaged.

The nest day, the Wayfarers headed up the patrol trails into the mountains. It did not take long to find the spot where the bodies were found, but they had since been removed. Odachi led the party up the mountains, eventually into a box canyon that ended in a cavernous overhang. A company of Githyanki stood watch within the cave opening. The Wayfarers made quick work of the Githyanki, discovering four X’s carved into the floor. One of the Githyanki fell onto the mark, and with an explosion of force, was thrown into the air. On the Githyanki, the Wayfarers found 290 platinum pieces.

At the far end of the cavern, a stone stairwell led up to a worked-stone door, ornately carved. The door opened into a simple carved hall that was lightly, but clearly, travelled, leading to a stairway down. At the foot of the stairs, the stench of death was overwhelming, as a room opened up, full of fallen bodies and smashed statues, both appearing to be of Githyanki, the “real” Githyanki wearing two different liveries. A large circular hole opens to the floor below. Odachi sees a larger room, with three dozen bedrolls. Three Githyanki stand below. From the rubble of the statues, three translucent Githyanki warrior ghosts move towards the Wayfarers and attack. As the battle rages, the Githyanki from below find their way up and join in the attack on the Wayfarers. Using the terrain to their advantage, the Wayfarers we able to defeat both the ghostly and living Githyanki.

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Knock Knock. "Who's there?!" "We have beer."

After the hamadryad, whom Kah attempted to charm with a string of poorly crafted “wood” lines, led the Wayfarers to their quarters, Mark suggested finding a common room or ale house within Kaleshane’s domain in order to take a drink and perhaps find more information. Some aimless wandering later, the adventures stumbled into a bustling kitchen, where the Cyclops and dryad staff prepares that night’s banquet. Brought a keg by one of the Cyclops and striking up conversation, the Wayfarers find some useful information:

Of Sovacles, the advisor: the human is new to the role of advisor, less than three months. The previous advisor was removed for stealing from the treasury. No one knows what happens to traitors, Kaleshane likes to keep that mysterious. The staff has no opinion on him; he has their lord’s ear, and they remain employed.

Of Sanguir, the Fomorian upstart, rumors have been heard, but nothing more.

Of the other ambassadors, they are:
Dro’eth, a corpulent Cyclops present on behalf of Kaleshane’s cousin and ally.
Andrina Ba’alsblood, a tiefling merchant and slaver
Troque, a satyr unhappy with Kaleshane
Bram Ironfell, the dwarven traitor whom the Wayfarers already encountered. The staff is even less sure why he is there.

Odachi hoists their keg of ale, and the Wayfarers paid Troque a visit. Troque eagerly opens the door at the Wayfarer’s response, “We have beer.” The satyr wants an audience with Kaleshane, as the fomorian’s troops have been hunting on Troque’s ancestral lands. The satyr plans on giving the fomorian and earful at the banquet that night. As the conversation moved from politics and invasions to adventures and maidens, the keg quickly emptied and the dinner bell was rung.

At dinner, the Wayfarers meet the other ambassadors. Andrina is elaborately attired, and clearly looks at the adventurers with disdain. Dro’eth sits at the center of the table, appearing fat, lazy, and bored he looks the Wayfarers over with one bloodshot eye. Bram nervously twitches under the gaze of his githyanki guards. Sovacles appears at the top of the banquet hall’s stairs, and announces that Kaleshane will be unable to join dinner that evening, “An urgent matter had come up.” As awkward small talk continued between Andrina, Bram, and the Wayfarers, Troque grew more agitated, and Dro’eth surveyed the room silently. In the middle of a rant, Troque collapsed face-first into his dinner; Andrina’s laughing reaction was cut short by her own collapse. Through hazy vision, the Wayfarers see Dro’eth’s form change, into an oni, and the githyanki’s form gives way to raksasha. Intent on taking everyone captive, the Wayfarers combat the interlopers. The lone remaining raksasha drags Troque’s unconscious form away, up the stars towards the sleeping quarters, when he is felled. A rumble fills the passageway, and a bullete erupts from the wall, followed by two flaming bats, four drow, and a drider climbing on the walls. Throughout the battle, none of Kaleshane’s guards arrived, leaving the wounded and exhausted Wayfarers wondering what was happening.

On the bodies, the Wayfarers claimed a belt, a ring, and 26,500 in gems and gold. (Add 5300 to your bankrolls, guys.)

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