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.