Geneva Scales of War

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

View
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.

View
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.

View
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.

View
"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.

View
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.

View
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.

View
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.

View
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

View
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.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.