Rebel monks have left the Makai Brotherhood, charmed by the power of adaro and sick of the weakness of Ziggarat. They have proclaimed a new monk fellowship called the Tide of Supremacy. Slinking into the ocean’s depths they have given the adaro crucial information about the defenses of the Bay of Life. The wisest amongst Yi Tu and Makai have determined the very bones of the earth the Bay is built upon needs to be rebuilt. Journey to Yi Tu’s dormitory, travel down the Training Pit and petition the earth spirits for assistance. Find the Requiem Beetle, defeat the Adaro and Tide along the way!
The party moves down the Training Pit with Dante leading the way. The slope of the earth begins to curve and become more slick to step upon; the rough soil and rock of the entrance into the Training Pit gives way to glassy obsidian and dark crystals illuminated in shades of purple and blue. The party can see beneath them the rooms of the training pit, much like looking down on an opera house from the catwalks above. The Pit lies in ruins, several members of the Yi Tu that were training here are ripped to shreds by claw and scarred with acid. Blood mars the walls and has drained into grooves along the floor. The catwalks collapse as the companion descend into the Pit, destroying all hope of leaving that way. After purification the companions are attacked by several Kurobozu they couldn’t see, rising out of veins of Plane of Earth.
The companions exit through a tunnel created by a huge sized creature. The walls are horrifically scarred and pitted via an acidic gel that still sloshes around clawed grooves in the earth. Passing through this tunnel reveals more exotic veins of elemental earth as the party moves in and out of the plane of earth and the material plane. The tunnel twists and turns; formed to create the most destruction on the surface world far above but still allow passage by non burrowing creatures. After several hours of slow plodding movement the bottom of the tunnel gives way under their feet and they begin sliding down a slick obsidian slope increasing in speed and gravity. The gravity becomes so intense that their blood is pushed down to their feet and they become light headed. Just before the sensation of passing out is too much they pass into a wide opened area, firmly within the Plane of Earth. The slick tube they have been sliding down has turned into a strip of strong dark glass, about 3 feet in width. It tapers into a sharp point which eventually becomes so narrow the companions fly off the ramp into empty oblivion. The intense gravity fades providing release as they tumble through gravel speckled air. A great rocking noise occurs all around them; the sound of 2 grand hill sides moving past each other. The ramp turns into multiple ramps, each one peeling away from the other in a fan like motion. The gravel air heaves upwards from beneath their rotating bodies to form a thick bridge, building outward several feet in any direction they move towards. The ramps rise far above them curving upwards, now 2 sets separated by a grand distance. Horizontal slits tear open in the obsidian and iron under the fanned out lashes; huge boulders of milky white pearl irised with man sized hunks of sapphire turn downward toward the party as they slowly stand up shaking their heads to regain their sense of balance. Defined features graft in the metals and stone beneath the eyes; a slender sloped nose, high arched cheekbones formed of emerald. Rubies embed the full lips of a powerful maw, teeth shorn from shining marble. Dark and royal is her chin, her neck slopes backwards into the darkened depths of the plane. This is the face of the Crystalline Queen, Sairazul. She proclaims aloud with authority, royalty, nobility, and poise: “Creations of flesh, your provokations against my homeland will be visited with weighted vengence. Your bodies will be crushed into paste, and your souls will suffocate under my gaze.”
Sairazul will attempt to attack at the beginning. She shifts the heavy gravitational field towards herself, dragging the companions across the surface of the makeshift asphault. She appears to be ready to unleash a very potent gaze attach when she begins to choke. Her maw opens and up comes a torrientally spout of muddy burning sand. The fire of her lips turns gray. Her teeth and rest of her features take on a pale hue. Charisma and strength seems to pour out of her every orifice. She is terminally sick from the damage the Adaro and Tide have wrought with their tunneling attacks.
After coming to realization the companions are not her enemies she will tell them of the Adaro and Tide, that they need to find the Requiem Beetle who can hunt down the dozen or so tunneling groups that are weaving through the foundation of the Bay of Life. She turns her gaze to the far side of the cavern they sit within. Even through the gravel air the companions can see her gravity altering gaze open a large gash within the solid core of the plane. She tells them this will lead them to the Requiem Beetle. The beetle acts as a rejuvanting force in this vein of the plane of earth, devouring the very bones of the plane to recreate them; stronger than before. The disease and rot the Adaro have brought into her world becomes too much and she begins to crack, her features splitting open with bursts of primal molds and abyssal fungi. Her death cry is the sound of a draining swamp, bubbling and caught in her throat. As her skull pours down her corrupted face her brain becomes visible. A single shining stone seems to have been spared from the disease. With a sharp sounding PING! It pops outward falling towards the crevasse below. After retrieving the stone the gravity holding the asphault together begins failing and the party must flee towards the new opening. If placed to the ear, the faint sound of Sairazul’s sickened moans can be heard. The stone will need to be cured.
Continuing through the snaking tunnels within the Plane of Earth; the foundation of the Bay of Life. Signs of toxicity and radiological decay become prevelent. These are the signs of Ayrzul, elemental lord of toxicity, known as the Fossilized King. Abyssal taint is intertwined with these profane symbols, further adding evidence that agents of Lamashtu and Ayrzul are allied in their siege of Ziggarat. The companions hear sounds of humanoid speech echoing from opening ahead. A steep climb followed by a few tight turns brings the companions to the catacomb entrance where the voices originate. The earth here is incredibly dense and seem to inhale the light around them. The catacomb is filled with dim light due to these light sponges. An adaro tunneling team is in the catacombs and have ran into a thick vein of this dead star matter and are arguing about the best way to proceed. The underling adaro slink away as soon as the companions attack.
After defeating the adaro and Tide, the party will be faced with the wall the adaro and Tide were stuck at; they had begun carving into the earth with the bulette’s acid until they hit fortified earth the acid could not penetrate. Dense and layered abjuration magics are applied like mortar to this wall, settled deep into the backbone of the plane itself. The only exit to this chamber is the corridor the adaro underling slinked out of. Within a few minutes the party will happen upon the adaro underling flaying against the wall, just his lower torso and legs sticking out. His abdomen is swollen as if viciously stung. Lines of petrification are actively moving through his skin, following his veins and arteries. 2 length rope like appendages snap out of the wall, snagging the bottom of the underlings feet and snapping his legs down and forwards, his kneecaps splitting in twain. 2 more tentacles barbed with horrific stingers, coil around his thighs. The petrification washes through the adaro and his corpse is sucked into a creavace within the wall. As the party moves past this part of the corridor they can slightly hear the sound of flesh and bone matter dissolving. The creavace and 50 feet in all directions is irridated, interfering with teleportation magic and causing Con drain.
Within an hour of traveling through more corridors, enduring periods of low oxygen, digging through walls of debris, fighting small pockets of heighten gravity, the party can start to feel the ground swelling, then deflating every minute. Passing through a tunnel that has been shored up by the adaro, the party enters into their main lair. 200 feet in length, the Requiem beetle (60 feet in length) has been bound via foul druidic magics on the far side of the lair. It breathes slowly, tettering on death. Dozens of bands of adaro and Tide monks, similar in makeup to the group the party just defeated, mill about the lair in and out of similar tunnels to the one the party huddles in. From here the Adaro are taking the bulettes on destructive expeditions, burrowing upwards to the points where the Bay of Life on the material plane touch the skin of the earth plane. The eldest ashvawg, the cruelest and most cunning of her order, stalks about the beetle with several of her pupils. They are discussing new ways of attempting to control it as they wish to use it’s voracious appetite to their own ends. Based on the wounds the creature sports, some fresh and oozing downward into small pools of slimy liquid, the ashvawgs just failed at trying to torture the beetle into servitude. The party has no hope of battling their way through this situation and will quickly meet their respective makers if they take on the lair by force. The party can attempt to either distract the majority of the forces away from the lair (appeal to the Cave Blights) or wait until the majority of the forces are asleep and attempt to sneak in. In either case they will need to subdue and control the Requiem Beetle in some fashion (sing to it in Terran or anything as creative) after battle the eldest ashvawg and some of her pupils.
Dante makes loose diplomatic connection to the Cave Blight and convinces it to attack the Adaro as it enjoys the taste of their flesh. Soul communes with a clan of earth elements, the Silver Fox clan. He discovers the chamber the Adaro and tide are using as their base is a nursery for newly born elementals. Soul gains alliance with the Silver Fox elementals.
After freeing the Requiem Beetle from it’s prison it can be guided to repair the damage the Adaro and Tide have caused (lots of chomping on them as they flee). The Requiem Beetle can easily carry the party upon it’s back but they will have to enact some level of protection against the earthen environment as they go smashing through the tight caverns. The beetle seems to have little issue tracking any breathing living creature as their scent and movement of air through their lungs is extremely alien to this beast. The beetle swims easily through rock and mortar, murdering both Adaro and Tide trespassers with reckless abandon. It avoids areas of deep radiation, long stretching maws of green tinted stone. Deep with those curved recesses the companions can see the eyes of cave blights staring back at them. The beetle has taken them to the border of the blight’s homeland; pinning the remaining adaro and tide forces against their deadly lands. The beetle picks up speed here, it’s crushing weight breaking the backs of many adaro who are left screaming as the cave blights ensnare them with their stinging tentacles. The party quickly loses all sense of direction as the beetle pushes up, down, and diagnoally to repair the acidic damage done by the forces of evil. It slows eventually, it’s gait and movement become more measured and steady. It tunnels upward bringing all of it’s riders back to the Ruby Cave. Those ruby walls stretch upward but the beetle seems to have little interest in it, shifting it’s weight to the ground and falling into a deep digesting sleep. The party will have to rest here; the path back to the Pit of Training was destroyed when the Crystalline Queen passed.. Those taking the final watches will begin to feel disconcerning unease in their nerves; from the ruby wall ebbs a pulse of ancient evil, grand and powerful. It fades as if something is pushing it back but it only returns, stronger and awakening.
Upon waking the beetle will follow whatever orders the party wishes; it can be directed to bring them back to the surface or it can begin moving through the ruby wall in front of them. This direction will take time, as the beetle moves slowly through this substance, thereby revealing it’s defensive powers. After moving through a few dozen yards of ruby, the walls strata changes to a deep exotic green. Veins of emerald seem to be sewed and stitched into the ruby wall.
After several hours, with a final push the beetle breaks through the last segment of the wall, emerging into a wide open domain. It will venture no further. An expansive dome lies in front of the party in a large flat field. Surrounding the field on all sides is the ruby and emerald wall. As the party moves across the field long decayed remains of dwarven weaponry litter the ground, evidence of an epic battle. They turn to vaporous dust when disturbed. What corpses may have been here have long since mixed with the earth below. But as the party moves across they begin to hear the sound of pitched dwarven battle. The ground seems to push forward under the movement of metal clad boots. Battle cries mixed with hundreds of screams ignite the air. Sparks from metal against metal spray onto the heads of the companions; showing the weapons of giants must have clashed against the dwarves. Most arresting on this plain of battle as the party moves ever near to the dome are signs of large swatchs of graveled earth. These patches have no dwarven weaponry and the phantom sounds die to but a whisper; areas where death was swift and efficent to these ancient dwarves.
Within 50 feet of the dome, the party’s booted feet ignite runes of protection pounded into the earth with dwarven blood. Spellcraft check reveals these runes bind against extraplanar movement; nothing can teleport into or out of this area. One final phantom battle order can be heard, commanding clerics to sanctify the area and for arcane artisans to begin building a cage around whatever foe they engage. The dome is impossibly large, constructed by team of ultra rare dwarven stonemasons who wield wizardly powers. It is enarmored layers of walls of stone, force, and regal materials known only to long dead sages. A single skeleton, the only fallen dwarf to have a corpse, lays against the entrance to the dome, it’s hand resting upon a lock, it’s pin the firing mechanism of the Radiant Silvergun. The party knows this is the final cell, enclosing whatever this clan of dwarves enprisoned. It is from here the pulse of evil originates. A gunsmithing plus religion check shows that Crystalline Queen’s existance was integral to these binding mechanisms outside of the dome; the runes on the ground, the protective layers entwined within the ruby wall. With her death, the only thing that remains is this dome and it’s single lock built as a failsafe. It will not fail immediately but eventually and it will destroy the Radiant Silvergun’s mechanism with it.
Within the dome is a lair of elemental and foul evil. Radioactive pools pock mark the landscape; tall spires of rigid stone pierce upwards into the darkness. Statues of giants litter the area, most broken but a few standing tall quite regal with scythe in hand. From out of the largest pile of radioactive decay, the serpentine swish of tail, buffet of wing, and tear of claw can be seen. The crystalline dragon emerges:
“I am Gordess, son of Aryzul. General of his armies, commander of the entombed legions. The dwarves of ages long decayed captured and confined me here; making me a prisoner within my own lands. With the demise of Sairazul the final bindings on me have been released. Her throne is now Aryzul’s and while he rules our homeland I will stretch my wings and venture upward; into the aired lands of mortals and partake of the upcoming feast of flesh that even now encroaches onto your shores. Such is your lot in life; to be fuel for the engines of greater kingdoms. Paladin, monk, sorceress, and rogue; you are too far under earth for your prayers to reach the ears of gods or goddesses. Look upon me; and beg for quick slaughter”. The battle immediately turns against the party as Gordess dampens their initiative. As the party struggles to keep in combat, the spirits of the fallen dwarves outside in the plains whisper a lost secret to them; they have learned Refocus!
Pipsqueak is able to open the domed door with the last assistance of the dwarven skeleton outside; this is the spirit of Geth Belmont wielder of the Radiant Silvergun.
Upon Gordess’s defeat, Pipsqueak moves out of the domed prison back into the open fields. Reacting to her casting additional spells into the void, the rest of the companions join her. Before them are a battalion of phantasm Tomb Giants; much like the ones defeated alongside Gordess but with more powerful weapons. In the raised sky of the cavern the party can see a projected dragon’s face eclipsed mostly in shadows. Her eyes are older and wiser than Gordess’s but carry a strong familial bond; this is the mother of Gordess. She lets loose a powerful roar and tears down the walls of ruby and emerald surrounding the field. The debris pools up, rolling around 2 central points (one for the ruby and one for the emerald). Her draconic power brings life to these golems, Ruby and Emerald Engines surrounding a core of infinity. With that, the projection fades, the Engines burrow off into the distance and the phantasm Tomb Giants evaporate into ectoplasmic mist.
The party rejoins the beetle back in the ruby chamber and rides it back to the city of Ziggarat. They speak with the Makai and Yi Tu about their victory. Riches are split and spent. The next day, they move to investigate the southern cliff sides of Ziggarat and the foreboding inflammation of the southern sky….