Nidor, a world given life by titans

Saint Naris, The Heart of Darkness, and the fall of the Cult of the Red Rain. And a surprise dinner.

The party comes to the bottom after what seems to be forever. The same handle is present to allow the cart to be pulled back up and as they turn they see the heart of tomb. Barely developed karumzek begin crawling along the floor and ceiling, harassing the party but causing no real damage. They split out of dozens and dozens webbed cocoons made of the skulls and rib cages of their victims. Bodies that have been dumped down here as sacrifice to Lamashtu cover any remains of what was once a unique wonder amongst the stars. Forged here, with the breath of Beral and blacksmithing traditions of the dwarves were weapons never seen by those of modern times. Broken and rip in twain is the last legacy of these ancient dwarves. The forge itself is sheathed in a thick glass cylinder. Made of stained glass, what was once the forge now houses a beating darkness. The glass mural once displayed the ancient gods these dwarves worshipped. With the beating darkness, over eons, the glass has become warped, displaying Saint Naris in place of those once worshipped. The glass begins to slowly spin and it’s movement combined with thumping darkness slowly drips the voice of the deceased villain in Draconic only:

“Your end meets you here adventurers. The majesty of my goddess Lamashtu and her daughter will spread onto the shores of the city above before the moon’s cycle ends. The end of my species in the flesh means just the beginning of their servitude to our queen! The abyssal swarm will rip the breath from your warm mouths and drink to beyond fill of your spilled blood. Lay down your arms and sorcery before me now, and I might find mercy within my queen’s heart to spare you a most tortoreous death!!!”

The heart of darkness throbs, await the answer of the gathered warriors.

“Then may your soul twist and tear against the majesty of my queen. Let the red rain of her daughter’s breath turn your city to ash! Know that today due to your ignorance, the age of Lamashtu has begun!!!”

The companions battle hordes of evil spawned from the heart of darkness. They beat back countless karumzek’s as well, each wave twisted with a new power given to them from generations of living within this tomb. As each wave of Saint Naris is defeated (undead that bleed through the glass, the history of Saint Naris as he rose to power) the glass surrounded the heart falters and the companions are able to inflict wounds directly upon it.
However, twice the heart pulls the glass back around it after an incredible explosion of necrotic revenge causing great calamity to the bodies and minds of the heroes.

Immediately after the defeat of the last wave, Dainholdt sacrifices himself to take full on the blast from the heart, his body and equipment vaporizing but absorbing much of the fall out.. The party wearily begins to exist the tomb, finding that Vaan and his wolf companion Raju are nowhere to be found, seemingly dragged off into Kurmugia. Unable to re-open whatever gate was given foul birth to steal away their friend, the heroes continue upwards through the Hallway of Bones using the mummified hands of Saint Naris to unlock the giant earth elemental scale.

The fiendish lantern wielder is nowhere to be seen! Dainholdt is his prey and the lantern wielder has left to seek his spirit elsewhere. As the party nears the entrance of the above ground tomb, the ground beneath heaves with a rotten lurch and they are expelled from the tomb entrance into a deep night, rolling with hot salted rains and green thunder. The taste and smell of acidic corrosion is heavy in the air as the shards of the grand stained glass sheets rise from the entrance of the tomb.

Unified as a tornado of undeath and pure evil around the talisman that gives it existence, the true form of Saint Naris entombs Pipsqueak and speaks to the companions:

“You were given a choice worm. I would have allowed you to pass from this life with a minimum of pain and suffering. Now that you have greatly displeased my goddess and forced me into your wretched city I will visit a multitude of horrors onto you and the soft underbelly of this city. I will scrape and tear at their veins until they burst and then bathe in the torrent of blood that spews from their wounds.”

The superheated and heavy wind that pours from the coast of the city spills against the graveyard, filling the lungs of all those present with salted humidity that carries an acidic hint. Saint Naris seems to be infused and empowered by it, an echoing drone of pleasure can be heard.

“The daughter of Lamashuta approaches…. her breath flows through the ocean’s winds. I will have to leave some of your city alive so that her hosts can feed and fuck when they arrive. Struggle more, as it makes your kind taste more sweet. ”

Saint Naris animated host begin to tear the Pipsqueak apart. The animated tombstones are shattered by a power channel energy and Aganon lands heavily next to the player; the shinning hot symbol of Saranea at his grasp. Above his hippogriff Razorwing erupts in a war cry above. Dropping from other smaller hippogriffs a small platoon of clerics drop amongst the party throwing sunlight spells as they land. Aganon declares:

“Saranea lends her disciples to defend Ziggarat’s people. Let us send this foul creation to meet his demise!”

The heroes then wage holy war against the ruler of the Cult of the Red Rain. His rampaging form is joined by mudlords spawned from the tengu graves surrounding the party, as well as undead abominations ejected from a Brood; a mass grave of orphaned and destitute tengu that had no family. Most of these mortals in life were of the foulest of the foul; child murderers and rapists. Employed by the Blackfinger cult, agents of Norgorber in the form of tengu also join the battle. Haloren recognizes one as the tengu he freed from Colonel Alexandria Hera’s custody and quickly takes off in pursuit of him. The 2nd, a dragon disciple cloaked in the power of the daughter of Lamashtu flings spells from afar and harasses the summons Eilora has drafted to even the battle.

In a final strike against Saint Naris, both Dante and Soul stand firm to defeat him. He calls on the daughter of Lamashtu, begging her for strength:

“Avenge your cult, daughter of Lamashtu, bring down doom and despair on the backs of these warm blooded beasts of burden. Curse you… Curse you bipedal spawn! You have stolen from me the chance to witness her arrival..Wait… I feel her presence …. Give me power to rend the flesh from their bones!!!”

The air around Saint Naris seems to glisten with a reddish hue and the acidic tinge of the air becomes nearly unbearable. In grand draconic, spoken from a lush feminine tongue, deep in tone. It’s frightful presence will strike the lowest level clerics and cause them to flee.

“Naris, you have served my lineage faithfully for centuries. Yet now, in your twilight years, you have allowed the mammals to breed and make an afront to our queen. Here is the last taste of power you’ll receive from me and it is only to serve as a warning to the warm bloods; when the moon cycle ends I will arrive at your city to demand every half elf within your walls and borders. Bring them to the shores of the city and the rest of you will be given reprieve. Witness your fate should you choose to ignore this demand”

A downspout forms above Saint Naris and pours into him the reddish tinting acidic air. The clouds above him move down heavily in the form of dragonkind, composed of blackened turmoil and the most terrible of nature’s wrath. The chest of the apparition inflates as the balls of electricity that form it’s eyes sweep across the party, taking time to note each one and seeming to scry deep within their souls. The maw cracks open, a zigzaging bolt of electricity creating sharpened teeth from the water vapors. The chest of the storm constricts suddenly and the consolidated acid ejects downward with hideous force. The speed of it’s breath shatters sound and air, causing the salt droplets of the storm to burst into tiny blasts of heated vapor. Saint Naris’s remaining cohesive warsworn body bloats and fills with the acidic breath, bulging and breaking like the dam of an overfilled lake. His serpentine shrieks of pain can be heard for miles as the acid disintegrates every bit of glass and stone it touches. A secondary spray will hit anything within 30’ of Naris for ¼ damage of black dragon wyrm. A brilliant fire rises up from the spot where Saint Naris met his end, ripping upwards through the storm cloud and dissolving the apparition. The orbs of lightning forming the eyes are the last thing to disappear, and close into the slits like that of a dragon, glaring at the talisman. The talisman remains after form of Saint Naris dissipates, slowly spinning and leviating a few feet off the ground.

Pipsqueak recovers the talisman, as it yearns only for her touch and becomes upset to anyone else. The effigy around the brood dies down but doesn’t dissipate completely. Aganon states he will stay with some other clerics to investigate.

The companions rest. Haloren brings the end of the slain tengu arcane thief to Hera and wins her companionship for dinner.

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The Serpentfolk Queen and finding a lost hero

Leading away from the party’s initial entrance to the Pit of Shells is the final leg of this dungeon. The exit takes a sharp descent and a couple of sets of richety ladders lead down, with enough stability to support the degenerate serpentfolk. The silence of the underground will swallow the party whole as the world around them seems to melt away. Slime, mildew, and various bulbs of bodily fluids pop and sizzle in the muck of the cavern walls. About 140 feet of climbing later and the companions reach the entrance to the Hall of Drink

Hall of Drink – the party will drop into the back end of the dwarven temple’s mead hall, about 120 feet long with each side being 50 feet in diameter. It is a room shaped like a dumbell, with the party situated at the south end. The dwarven remains are few and far between, what still exists of their kind are twigs that were stone pillars, great outstretching tables that have long since snapped and rotted under the weight of evil that surrounds it. In this den Lamashtu holds absolute domain. Broken flagons are painted with her seal, the torn remains of victims of all shapes and sizes are strewn about the dank stretches of the room. Pillars of pustalance and decay seem erected on purpose to cover any dwarven remenant of their presence here. The ley light of the temple’s presence only stretches 40 feet across the initial room and fades from there, shallowed whole by the presence ahead. Investigating the party will find what appears to be large river, undulating across what appears to be a demonic garden. The party will notice indented orifices, mating spots of the senior serpentfolk. Any attempt to attack will awaken the Serpentfolk Queen. The two remaining clerics of Lamashtu are already aware of the party’s presence and will attack as soon as one comes within 10 feet of the middle of the Hall.

In pitched combat, the companions defeat the serpentfolk queen, a dual head monstrosity tethered to the uterian channel that carves across the garden. The two elder serpentfolk clerics also fall, and are immediately reduced to ash. Dainholdt is saddened, as he will not be able to user their hands to unlock the door above.

After defeating the serpentfolk queen, the party may continue forward through the unhallowed garden. They will come quickly to the true entrance of the Tomb of Saint Naris. Designed exactly as the mausoleum above ground, this entrance has no need to hide amongst the living or withdraw away from the burning sun. It is a glorious site to Lamashtu, fully adorned in her most grandiose of designs. The blackened stone has been twisted to resemble a hooded snake, atop the head of the stone entrance are the three eyes of Lamashtu, creating an unbreakable barrier of lashing evil. This barrier will whip out at any of the party getting too close, causing intense despair and gut wrenching pain. Knowledge Religion reveals that only the touch of one uncorrupted by greed, who lives a path of absolution, can shatter this barrier.

Investigating around the entrance (which is about 30 feet in length and must lead downward) will reveal yet more inky blackness surrounding the party. Knowledge Planes and spellcraft will reveal an opening to the Abyss, hidden from naked sight of mortals. It resembles more a black lake painting the ground ahead and once the eyes of the party adjust to notice it, the fainting lapping of it’s waters can be heard, the coolness of the air comes from here. This is faint touch of the realm of Kurnugia, Lamashtu’s layer of the Abyss. Shining 3 lights of any kind will draw forth a spirit from the blackened realm, the dwarf who founded this tower; Brak. He appears a wispy most transparent version of his living form; a charismatic if unassuming dwarf, clad in but a simple pearl hued robe. His voice carries strength with humility, a patience of eons waiting for the warriors who might destroy this seeded evil within his people’s home.

“I have not seen… not felt a light upon my face for so long. Time’s maw has stretched out before me, swallowing those I called brothers and family, turning their bones into dust while I languished in these waters unable to change my peoples fate. When we fell to this world from our skies, our mettle was tested again and again against the Demon Queen’s forces. Repeatedly we repelled her demons, but only to have our fortress sink deeper into the earth, weighed down by Lamashtu’s new births of evil. The stone and the cave, once our ally, turned against us and split our tower into pieces. Her forces dragged us down like the tunnel spider does it’s prey; slowly but inevitably.”

The apparition begins to free itself from the slow tide of Kurnugia, his holy steps burning away the toxic liquids into warm vapors. He moves with purpose around the tomb entrance as if drawn to his final task in this life.

“We felt the end would come from suffocation, that Lamashtu would see leave us to choke on our own used breath. It was against the most heated of battles that we notice an intelligence behind her hordes. Until then we had relied on her throngs of demons being their own worst enemies.”

There is a shudder to the spirit as he reaches out to touch the unholy barrier, his calloused and gnarled hand causing duress to the seething chaos. It lashes through his form; ineffectual to stopping the spirit’s touch. The chaotic nature of the barrier makes this all but impossible.

“On black wings it emerged, a she beast of breathtaking beauty and stunning power. It was this ancient daughter of Lamashtu that led the demons now; flanked by newly adorned clerics. Serpent and man, knitted together in a mockery of our mortal form. They commanded the demonic hordes and reigned them into submission. The winged destroyer flew even within these cavern walls; her red acidic breath corroding flesh and stone and metal and bone alike, rendering it all into fine dust. I watched dwarven battle clerics, their lips torn from their faces by claw and teeth, their hearts shorn from their ribs by the foulest of magics. They choked out their prayers to our dying god as their bodies collapsed under bloat and filth.”

Brak finds his weak spot, a hair’s breath of split between the weave of evil blocking the Tomb’s entrance and let’s loose a stunning fist. The weight of his voice changes drastically from wraith to wrath and in ancient dwarvish he howls, smashing the barrier with such rapid blows that white sparks split the air and cavern dust falls from the cave sky above. The ground splits below him and around the tomb, sinking it a foot on the left side. The three eyes atop the serpentine building crack; the barrier now lashes out in despiration, a gurgling hiss like a snake being choked can be heard all around. A buried set of lay lines, the last vestige of the dead god Beral’s power, sears upwards into Brak’s airy form now revealed from his attacks.

Brak turns and looks to the party, his eyes connecting with each one. They are brilliant, the iris’s burst the brilliant yellow of the sun and the party feels heat within their souls well up replenishing some of their strength. What was once incorporeal, tainted and besmirched by Kurnugia’s midnight waters now appears solid, flesh reborn as steel and honor. Knowledge Religion reveals Brak has been reborn an archon without attachment to any of the current divinities from the energy within the lay lines however it’s power is short, meant to only fuel a lone warrior’s last strike.

“The eldest of the serpentfolk, Naris, attacked and conquered our strongest position. Our forge, once kept white hot by my god’s gaze, lies beneath this barrier. You will fine it subverted, my people’s greatest gift used to fuel Lamashtu and her daughter’s designs. Avenge my dwarven brothers and sisters, see that their sacrifice was not in vain and that Saint Naris is cleansed from earth and sky forever!!!”

The archon release his last flurry against the barrier. Mind shattering light fills the cavern, it’s holy heat chasing the waters of Kurnugia away from it’s makeshift shore. The cavern is lit from tip to tip; the twisted garden burned in the fire of righteousness. The strips of dwarven spirits that were part of the cancerous flow along the surfaces of the rock are boiled to oblivion. The last sight than anyone’s eye can discern is the archon shattering the barrier. It’s release knocks the party flat and a dozen feet away from the impact zone, deafening and staggering the entire group. Once they rise to their feet and look about, dim light hangs in the air and the entire area is purified. The waters of Kurnugia are gone, leaving but baked cracked sand in it’s wake. The barrier has been vaporized, a fine mist of Lamashtu’s power disappearing from view. Behind it is a stone wall within the serpent head entrance, cracked and smoking. A close inspection will reveal the shaft of a weapon and pulling it out will bring the entire tomb entrance to dust and grant the party Brak’s last gift, the warhammer known as Testament.

With the mauseloum in dust and the area cleansed (Kurnugia has disppeared) Vaan helps lower the party via long cart used to send sacrifices down to Saint Naris. Lowered and entering into the real tomb, the party comes face to face with the disfigured forges of the forgotten dwarven people. Here lies the blackened heart of Saint Naris; nestled in the largest forge and protected by thick stained glass his voice booms out, demanding surrender by the companions. They refused and the heart begins to beat with apparitions of Saint Naris attacking the party.

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Deeper still into the Tomb of Saint Naris

After fleeing from the enraged lantern wielder, the companions fall deep into sealed room . The lantern wielder stomps onward seeking out their scent, especially one of a certain orcish persuasion.

Inner Sanctum of Beral – As the sound of the demonic lantern wielder fades away into the distance the party has an opportunity to look about the sanctum. The ceiling is about 30 feet in height and the gate they fell through is completely sealed. The room is hexagonal shaped and is built with a strong dwarven geometry. The area seems sealed mostly against the watery ravages of above, and only small amounts of the foul swamp slowly seep in from small gaps. Given enough time, this place will flood.
The material of the room’s build reacts slowly to the presense of the living, and seems to warm and illuminate over the next few minutes as the party investigates. The exit of this sanctum is an open staircase built into the floor itself that leads to 2 massive double doors with ancient dwarven script.

Statue of Beral’s follower – The tall statue of the eyeless dwarf is the most arresting feature of the room. It is very zen clothed in pearl hued robes, a dwarven monk of great lineage and dutiful service to a forgotten god. His holy symbol, worn as part of the wraps which are brilliant melted brass sheets draped across his mighty fists, is that of two suns. Analyzing the eyes shows that they are socketed for rounded object to fit into.

Sanctum’s bookshelves – Lining the hexagonal walls are a few surviving tomes, only because they were constructed of a metal based vellum. The dwarven language etched into these sheets are difficult to decode. They speak of absolute opposition to evil, the struggle of mortal life, and that followers are allowed to discover their own path.

After investigating and uncovering the name of the forgotten monk god Beral, the companions push forward into the next room, sealed by 2 massive double doors encased in vine.

The Apothecary – the room outside of the inner sanctum is a massive apothecary. When this temple was fully functioning, the dwarves that followed Beral would teach their healing ways to lesser disciples or even those of alternate religions. 4 main sections of this room are present; the Chambers of Guidance, Chambers of Panacea, Beral’s Kiln, and a snaking broken hole in the floor leading straight down into oblivion (edges of planar binding magics can be seen). The floor of the room is sunken in towards this broken hole and the area around it is difficult terrain. Any exit from this room is cut off as the doors leading away from this room are completely jammed and infested with swamp growth. The rot and stench of swamp is thick here, as well as the slowly evolving taint of lamashtu. Her unholy symbol can be seen as black slime spreading along the ceiling.

The companions cleanse the room of it’s evil presence. Guarded by a massive serpent known as a Seps, they uncover a tunnel leading further into the tomb. An altar of Lamashtu is also destroyed and numerous forgotten dwarven trinkets are found.

Next the companions uncover the birthing chambers of the serpentfolk, the core of the Cult of the Red Rain. Watched over by swarms of demonic vermin and female serpentfolk that have had their reproductive organs ritualistically removed, the companions destroy all of the eggs within this place. Here they are joined by Dante, a mysterious human monk that seems to have spent a great deal of time winding through these cold damp halls.

It is with this monk’s help, his fighting style loosely based on an order that dwells within the city, that the companions overcome the next challenge: a surprise alchemy lab worked by the tengu cult of Blackfinger! Now it is known without a doubt that the followers of Lamashtu and Norgorber have joined forces. Eilora is joined with her pseudodragon familiar here, the sacrifical coral blade originally discarded by Mecurio is found here as well, fully awakened and murmuring the dark arts of Norgorber’s alchemical evils.

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Confronting Colonel Hera and entering the Tomb of Saint Naris

The companions decide to find the Tomb of Saint Naris as the medallion Pipsqueak carries is becoming too dangerous to hold on to. Meanwhile Haloran manages to convince Colonel Hera that detaining the remaining visible tengu of the city will not help her in the future battle against evil. She releases them, warning Haloran at the entrance to the Tomb that she believes one of them to be a Norgorber spy.

The rest of the companions enter the Tomb after unlocking the entrance with the medallion. The explore to find a Temple of Lammashtu that has eaten and wormed it’s way through a forgotten fallen dwarven tower. There are remenants of an unknown deity before the time of Nidor in this place.

Chased by a fiendish undead lantern wielder, the companions do battle with forces of Lammashtu. Lower still they delve.

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The 4 Taverns and finding Roxy Glades

The party explores 4 taverns to find Roxy Glades, a human former adventure the Rovers have been seeking. She was a former wife to a ruling dwarf within the mysterious underground dwarven city rulership. The Rovers believe that Roxy will be a great boon to getting them away from the dwarves’ monthly protection requests.

The party visit 4 taverns; the Mini Bar (a halfling rogue establishment), the Symposium (a high end elvish winery, with drow servants. Mostly Oboro wizards), and the Blank Canvas (filled with noise, color, youth and angst). The 4 area is an empty warehouse, housing an old drow spirit. After tricking the spirit into thinking he is a drow noble, Soul is able to find the location of Roxy. She is back at the Mussel!

Unknown to the party, Roxy is hiding within the Mussel on the plane of Shadow, which the party unknowingly journeys into from leaving the warehouse. Vaan, separate from the party, walks into a 2nd somewhere within the streets.

The party battles a small group of inevitables, self aware constructs sent by the dwarves to find Roxy. After the party defeats them, they find Roxy who readily joins the Rovers.

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Coronation Aftermath

The city of Ziggarat begins cleaning up their dead and damage after the surprise attack by Norgorber’s forces. Aganon retrieves Mecurio’s body as Obol steps next to Soul in the calm after the storm. Aganon slowly carries the deceased over to the portal opened to Nirvana, Sarenae’s land, asking anyone to follow who wishes to say any final words. After the party has their final say, they turn to notice a large group of cityfolk have gathered. Slow, quiet weeping can be heard throughout the congragation, and a small group of aasimar begin to sing softly, a sad hymn of passage amongst their people meant to allow the passing of their own during a time of war. A serenity comes over Mecurio’s body, his wrecked body seems to relax and his wounds are swallowed by a emanating glow from the portal. Several sets of hands, dripping gold and silver of those angel born, reach out to pull Mecurio’s body into the chasm which fades into the ether as he disappears.

Obol turns to Soul and states, “The passage of a dear friend; even those of the Dual Sacrament shed tears for warriors now past. Mecurio’s story, if not ended, is no longer yours to share. The city of Ziggarat has had a terrible loss today.”

Obol shifts in his armor, and for a brief second Soul can see that there is an ancientness to him, an age beyond even the long lived drow race. His hand rests heavily on the large broadsword belted to his side. The blade seems to invigrate him, giving him strength and youth back.

Obol asks Soul to walk with him, across the immediate field of carnage so that Soul may see the full scope of the attack. 5 areas of battle stretch across his part of the city, between the temple and cathedral. Each tells a different story, the cult of Blackfingers was devastating in it’s assault on the people of Ziggarat. Obol takes Soul to the middle of these 5 areas and speaks with him.

“Learn from these 5 battlegrounds. Walk amongst the dead and dying, see that those that have no more future with the living meet a swift and painless end. The healers of Sarenae and Besmara will be tending to those the goddesses can save and still need. However, much like the young cleric that blocked the arrow from Aganon’s breast, the goddesses of this city will need capable hands within their realms as well. Those that do not receive healing, whose touch of the clerics’ hands do not improve, are to be helped to the next realm.”

Obol hands Soul a small scroll, encrusted with age but sturdy, a relic of the drow’s first days within this area. It is a prayer scroll of the Dual Sacrament that casts Rest Eternal.

“Typically, this relic’s power would only work once every cycle of day and night. I give this to you with the knowledge that it can be used for either good or evil, law or chaos. The Dual Sacrament sentences but does not judge. For the next 5 days, the chains on this relic have been removed and our order has decided you are the best to trust with it’s power within this city; the relic will work without rest until your task is complete. You will be serving the order of Sarenae doing this, as it is the goddesses that have removed the limits from this scroll.”

Aganon, Hazzier, Bria, Runas Deep, Aegle would all like to see some member of the party.

Aganon – will meet party at the temple of Sarenrae. Asks about tomb medallion, shares with the party that Norgorber and Lammashtu have joined forces. He believes an assault is coming soon. His ability to discern Sarenrae’s messages is still muddy but two things he must share with the group; pursue the tomb’s medallion and investigate Saint Naris’s burial; it’s uncovering will provide a great boon during the upcoming assault. Alexandria will be present during this.

Hazzier – Dainholdt can share his knowledge of cooling with his clansmen and Hazzier will get right to learning the spellcasting steps. He offers a home for Dainholdt’s toad to avoid the approaching battles. The majority of orcs and ogres are burning their dead, as is practiced through their mostly druidic culture. The ash is returned to the soil to provide life, a necessity in a desert environment. It a roudy ritual of beating chests and orcish war chants, Dainholdt’s clansmen grant him the title of Gijak-Ishi or in common “Blood of Iron”. During this feast of spirits and intoxicants, Dainholdt dreams of a burning wall that falls upon him and his companions crushing the life out of them demonic fire. Over the next 3 days, in tribal rituals and rites, Dainholdt will undergo a rigorous transformation brought on by liquors, serums, and druidic sacrifice to change his blood into a tougher, almost fiberous liquid.

Bria – she will meet the party at her home/laboratory on Wraith Island. She states they have removed all the serpentfolk hiding amongst the Pelagic Way. A pair of high level clerics of Lammashtu were found to be behind the sabotage, using a mix of polymorphism and illusion. Survayas will be here and the two will show the party the discovered and opened (only by a native to the plane of Shadow) shadow rifts that have been found within the city. 5 interconnected “tunnels” that allow quick transport across the city. A map is given with their location.

Runas Deep – Runas will explain to the party that he cannot keep the gold from Mecurio’s books and other various literature, he has announced that from hence forth his texts will be given free of charge. However, the coin from previous sales is still present and Runas would like the party to have it, 20,000gp. He also states that he has already received word from several investors within Oboro that a new tower of learning is being built, the Tower of Istima (having knowledge in the elvish tongue, no doubt named by the half elven land owner Drust) and that he has been asked to pledge as many books as he can. Runas’ eyes are wide with excitement as he explains this will help maintain the stories and history of the Jim Jum. He shares a drink for Mecurio’s loss with anyone who wishes.

Aegle – She can be seen waving her children and Gavius towards the temple of Sarenrae. Having obviously taken Soul’s advice the 2 children are sullen as they ride in the trollum. Aegle announces her new wares.

During the 3rd day of Soul’s task, he will find himself at the temple, enjoying it’s cover from the furious sun. He will spot Gavius and the two girls across the way, Gavius will come over and speak, stating that he has taken Soul’s advice and decided to come to the temple. Aegle is expecting any day now, and cannot endure the ride across the city. Gavius will mourn the loss of those that have fallen. The sound of a fallen basin of water, and the two girls have lept back away from it yelling at each other. Gavius scolds them quickly, placing the basin back on the pedestal and walks away towards a place to sit during the sermon, reprimanding the girls for being undisciplined. If Soul examines the basin, he will find a scorch mark along the side as if someone touched the basin and was badly burned from it’s brass surface.

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The Coronation of Aganon

The party heads to the coronation of Aganon, taking place between the Temple of Sarenrae and Cathedral of Besmara. Aganon will be on his steed, a gray spotted hippogriff named Razorwing (slightly outfitted with armor, spectacles, bit and bridle). The coronation ceremony will come to stop at a hastily errected raised platform, complete with both Besmara and Sarenrae’s alters (hallowed ground 20 ft out).

Aganon is a tall broad leather skin man, bearing the same bronze tone as his daughter Alexandria who will come to stand next to him a few words into the ceremony. The unnamed young priest of Sarenrae will sit slightly behind, looking somewhat forlorn. The string of light can be seen by Mecurio and Soul angling through the air in front of the platform. He is clothed in a brilliant array of Pelagic Way decorations, ranked as a captain.

Hera’s Honor, Aganon’s retired ship, is currently docked at the wide marina ready for decommission (typically means it is sold to the highest bidder). The salt of numerous journeys on the open seas have cracked his skin, but his teeth reveal good hyigene, and his common is very well spoken. His speech starts:

“Those of Ziggarat, the pearl of Orthos, welcome to a momentous event within the history of our great city. Through the grace of Besmara and Sarenrae, I have decided to lend the width and breadth of my experience to the struggling petitioners of Sarenrae. To accompany this annoucement, a new statue of Sarenrae will be erected within the city, and she will be sister to Besmara as a patron deity of this land!”

Amongst the applause, the lowly cleric of Sarenrae sees the falling shaft of light, he wonderously goes to approach it, standing from his seat. Anyone following his movements will get a sign of something sinister moving through the crowd. Both the young cleric and any party members will spot it as an arrow is fired, hurling a bolt of metal sharpel and fire towards Aganon. The young cleric takes the blast to the chest, then combat.

Aganon will tell the party his first missive from Saranrae was the death of the young cleric and it was to be his transition between deities. Despite the volume of enemies there seems to be no known leader and any surviving blackfinger will suicide before being captured.

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Building a school

The party begins to put the pieces together to construct a tower of learning slightly outside of Oboro for Aegle’s children. They notice security and the overall level of those within Oboro are much higher than the rest of the city. They first meet Drust, a half elf architect and are able to inspire him to create the blueprints of the tower and procure the land deed. Second, the party meets with Tippin, a halfling engineer in charge of a small fleet of orcs and ogres. Dainholdt is able to prove the strength of the party to Tippin who gives his support to the project. Through Tippin the party learns of a trio of sister sphinxes that inhabit a glade right beneath the hill which the tower will be built. The party meets with the sphinxes and after answering their riddles of Besmara’s interaction with the Blue Lotus are asked to protect their glade against the inevitable runoff of being near a large human development.

To procure these funds, the party travels back into Oboro to seek the coin of Feylin, a drow noble woman that is in the upper echelons of the banking community. Despite some uneasy feelings and objections, the party agrees to Feylin’s terms of removing her brother Faralae from the city. He is nestled within the Ajari District.

The party uncovers his underground lair, beneath the graves of ancient wine smugglers, and finds him to be the leader of the Skinsaw cult of Norgorber. Through might and willpower, the party defeats Faralae and his minions in combat, ending his life. Mecurio is able to trick the altar of Norgorber into accepting his presence and proceeds to burn it to ashes.

The party splits, some heading towards Oboro with prove for Feylin of her dead brother, and some head to the ceremony welcoming a conversion of a Besmaran cleric to Sarenrae’s flock.

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Coral Blades revealed

Mecurio is nearly drowned by a crazed Randy the rhino, a summoned creature of his. Bobbing in the ocean, he is saved by several undine. They speak with Mecurio, convincing him to produce prove of the serpentfolk his party has slain to start a possible alliance. Their story tincludes details of a blood feud between serpentfolk and undine starting from their homeland to the south. The undine claim proximity to the serpentfolk cause disruptions between summoners and their summons.

Mecurio is led back to Wraith Island and proceeds to give the hollowed sacrifical dagger that pipsqueak carries to the ocean’s waters. Vann attempts to stop him, recognizing the Coral Blades are actually bloodthirsty killers amongst the undine people. Bria treats Mecurio of any possible poison he may have suffered from the Coral Blades. The party also learns that the emblem used to strike such a blow to Bria is linked to the Ajari Tomb, the burial place of the tengu Ajari, whose district of scum and villany houses the planation owned by Remy.

Soul speaks with Remy and asks if he would like resurrection, to which Remy replies he has been offered another position. At the end of their talks, the party can see the pirate spectres that help with the compass of Besmara.

The party leaves Wraith Island and splits up across the city. Dainholdt brings the elemental glass to Hazzier, a gift from Bria. This will help Hazzier bring the wizards of Relm’s Blessing into his potion business. Dainholdt also meets Rickshaw who attempts to draft him into the Rovers.

The rest of the party arrives at the Mussel and gives the ferrous metal to Shurvayas, who in turn develops the raw material into a base that can be applied as a magical enchancement to melee or thrown weapons. Two applications are given to the party. Also, she reveals to Soul that the Rovers have discovered rifts to the plane of Shadow within the city and are looking into ways to use them to move quickly between large distances.

At the Temple of Serenae, Soul donates another 2000 gp to the cause. He and Mecurio beginning seeing that the current leadership would prosper under peacetime but their mounting evidence of an attack on the city pushes them to search for more martial leadership of the temple. Mecurio and Pipsqueak set out to return the cutlass of Besmara to Father Agni. Mecurio asks in payment that Agni require one of his higher level clerics to abandoned Besmara and join the ranks of Serenae. Agni agrees.

Vann speaks with the owners of the Mussel, Kenth and Claddath. He overhears them telling stories of defeating the Coral Blades many years ago and informs them slowly that the undine clan is still amongst the ocean’s waters. They vow to reach out to Orienna, the tiefling barbarian recently turned rogue, and see if she can find where they have been hiding in the depths of the coastline.

The party decides to head to Aegle’s to assist her with the plight surrounding expanding her business.

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The Lost Art of Ferrous Smithing IV, a new ally!

The party is able to finally defeat the forces of Lammashtu in a pitched battle, with the thanks of new allies Vann and Dainholdt. An undine ranger and half-orc fighter will make a great addition to the group.

After investigating the serpentfolk, the party finds a relic of sorts, expended, that was used to fell Bria with a necrotic blast. Soul is able to identify it as a emblem from a crypt within the city but the group lacks the local knowledge to know where. Unfortunately, Mecurio the Great was pulled away during the fight by an out of control Randy the rhino and the party has temporary lost him.

The party decides to spend the rest of the night rest within Bria’s lab.

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