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The questioning of Omaranthax
We last left the Irregulars having just defeated the Beholder Omaranthax – and during that final battle, their enemy seemed to be either be 1) Insane and talking to the wind or 2) In direct communication with the Titans within Shute and Edryd – though it seemed to respond to unvoiced discourse from (them?) by speaking out loud..
Fortunately, Shiraz attached the manacles before it died, so they could ask a few before the spirit of the Beholder would be gone forever.
From the questioning, relayed via Shiraz, the Back Arrow and the party learn that the remaining Hadrum is hidden near Najala’s Gate in Vor Rukoth. On the effects of Hadrum: “…it multiplies one’s power 10-fold!” How much has been stolen? “Enough for an army!” What do you know about the Titans? “They are where you least expect them, and they will win – and YOU will help them!”
Florynsael returns from Cleoragard with an upgraded Slicing Breeze, explaining that Duggan is still at the tower recovering, eagerly awaiting their return.
Returning to Punjar
On the return trip aboard their airship, the heroes experiment with the ship’s upgrades: Better speed, longer range, stronger defenses (an electric grid-netting around the airbag – and weapons: A harpoon and a rear smoke emitter. Shute has many ideas for how to use the loot she’s gathered over the last few months to do even more!
Arriving at Cleoragard, they debrief. Duggan is in a radically changed state…
He’s taken on many of Stonefang characteristics – gray, unusually tough (and itchy) skin, larger size. To contain the transformation, he is covered in Runes that Cleora and Florynsael tattooed all over his body. He must take an herb every day for some weeks to come.
In local news: For some weeks now, a lot of travelers have been heading into Punjar. Cleora is curious and so joins them as they return to the Sultan Fish.
Upon reaching the outskirts of the city, it becomes obvious that folks on the ground are following the Slicing Breeze along the streets. Close examination reveals that many of them are tall and slight – elven and eladrin.
There is a large gathering of elves surrounding the Sultan Fish – as they land, Florynsael’s theme rings out in chorus. There are elvish guards at the doors keeping everyone out.
Bosnun is on the roof, guiding them in, and he’s joined by Elam Dev’shir.
Before entering the inn, Florynsael addresses the elven crowd on the streets below, reassuring them, including “We have been betrayed, by our own kind!” and “I will meet with each family in person here. I want to know what you’re feeling, and how I can help.”
As they descend to the main floor, they can see that the place has been well kept, even cleaned up quite a bit, if it weren’t for evidence that an unusual number of people have been sleeping in the unlocked rooms/hallways.
The main floor is packed with an amazing assortment of humanoids – almost all races and classes are represented.
Besides staff (many new members there), and Nostalgio’s somewhat reconfigured Imaginary Dragons are on stage –
there are some familiar faces in attendance from earlier adventures: Lana Nisjal, Millek of Thrush, Rallio deVore
Bosnun shares that they are still waiting for another group of Irregulars to arrive before begriming this conclave.
On a table near the entrance is a pile(!) of communicators, like the two they have – which they add to the pile. I looks like the kid has been put in charge of “paring” them all. Our heroes add theirs to the pile.
Most of the tables have been moved to the basement and Shute is eager to head down and take a look (and to get away from all the people!) Agüero and Delfina also descend the stairs to his room, to have a quiet conversation. He makes a commitment.
But, there is someone hiding in the basement! A Drow! “Who’s there?” – “I am Jhaamkantar Kront’Tane of house Del’Armgo. I am an invited guest. Drow are sensitive to light, so I came down here until I am summoned.”
The last group arrives, and Bosnun says “Let’s get started…”
Bosnun introduces – there are Forsite Irregulars groups from Punjar, Waterdeep, Harkenwold, Neverwinter, and the Feywild(!) (a smaller, group that had lost members during the Sundering.)
Charles Forsite appears at the top of the stairs opposite the stage. He booms out: “Hello Agents!”
Thirty voices respond in rough unison: “Hello, Charlie!”
And to many gasps and whispers – it is clear that none of the others had ever seen him before, and most did not expect his appearance or this particular visage.
As he walks across the room to take the stage: “I am so glad to finally meet you all. I made an error keeping my identity secret from you, this has caused distrust, and that distrust has caused ourselves and the world great harm. We end that today. So, on the matter of trust, who here will you trust with your life? Who will you vouch for? For have much to share, and many great secrets will be revealed.”
The band and staff have already left, but some folks now pair up – one Irregular standing next to a external companion.
Florynsael stands with Duggan, Aguero with Delphina, and Nostalgio looks at Shiraz, who says: “We are naught yet true yokefellow. For thy lord is not my lord – though I am sworn to thee, mine saviours and would heed his words. Prithee, shall I be pardoned away? Or wouldst thou have me remain?” Florynsael says: “You are one of us, Shiraz” and so he stays.
“Agents, Report! First Harkenwold, then Waterdeep, Neverwinter, Feywild, then Punjar”
During the reports, they learn that they have a tall ship, and other resources. There have been dimensional breeches and the appearance of large quantities of unnaturally occurring giant obsidian shards in the form of portals. Politics in the Heartland seem to be solidifying around the activity of certain dragons, and the weather in the north is unstable.Every team reports rumors of the Titans returning – with sightings in the mountains west of here. Rumors of a Sea Titan.
The Fey report is depressing – with 3 members of the team presumed dead as they were trapped on the other side of a crossing during the Sundering – they were all attempting to escape a brutal attack by clan Velfarren forces. These Irregulars are bitter and angry. They want to know why did House Velfarren destroy the crossings? What could threaten the FeyWild so strongly as to take such drastic measures?
The Punjar report is as complete as it is devastating, detailing the role they played in the Sundering and ends with the reveal that three known titans are amongst them – Shute/The Rainbow Phoenix, Edryd/The Fire Titan, and Duggan/Stonefang along with a rendering of the children’s nonsense tune by Nostalgio.
There is much discussion amongst all the Irregulars, and Charles takes charge:
“Let’s gather all our questions for consideration!”
“You say ‘The titans are safe with us’ for now, but for how much longer?”
“What role with they play in the coming conflict?”
“What role will the dragons play?”
“What about the infection – why was Omaranthax’s mission ‘complete’ when they titans were infected?”
“Can we destroy the Titans with or without destroying the hosts?”
“Who and where are the other Titans?”
“How do we heal the Sundering?”
“Take the deck from them! They can’t be trusted with that much power!”
“Should we use/destroy the deck of many things? How?”
“What about the Hadrum – we must find it and destroy it!”
“Agents! Quiet for a moment! There is one more report to share. Close the shutters please… Thank you… We have another agent to report, let me introduce Jhaamkantar Kront’Tane of house Del’Armgo, of the Drow.”
Jhaamkantar reports that he suspects the Drow are indeed moving against the Eladrin, and that the stratagem of closing the crossings may have delayed the invasion. But that is not enough to bring him out of the depths – there is another thing – a Spider Titan named Arachnaroth has returned to the great city – and if Lolth should come to command it, could wreak great havoc. Once Drow have girded for battle, blood must be spilt, and he fears that if they don’t find a way to the Feywild, they may turn their aggressions to the overworld.
After much discussion it was decided to split into five quests:
Team Aboleth:An expedition to Menzoberranzan, the core of the Punjar Irregulars being the obvious group to send, accompanied by Jhaamkantar. Find and capture Arachranoth and determine Lolth’s plans.
Team Beholder: Try to find Timeresh: The Mirror Library, supposed to have copies of every book ever written. So many questions need answers – Titans/Vessels/Infection/The Deck/Sundering, etc. A hand-picked mix of FIs from most teams are in this group to find first, the Infinite Staircase which is supposed to have a door to every world – and then to find the library itself.
Team Chimera: Visit the Shadowfell to see if the Sundering destroyed the crossings there as well and gather intelligence for the Feywar – Stealthy and the remaining Fey Irregulars were chosen for this team, and Millek the Thrush is their guide.
Team Dragon: Prince Rollio, Delphina, and Charles Forsite himself (with a escort of Irregulars) on the Slicing Breeze to tour the known kingdoms to use politics to find allies and research this possible Titan/Dragon War.
Team Efreet: Takes the Steadfast (Sailing ship) to travel to Vor Rukoth to recover the Hadrum and along the way try to locate (and capture?) the Sea Titan.
They had one month to prepare, so the ships were upgraded, Florynsael met with her people (who were split about her authority to lead), and Charley met with each team separately for briefing and details, while Bosnun guarded each group for privacy.
Besides pairing all their communicators, they equip the vessels with summoning circles, and those traveling without a ship have the circles on large folded tarps. It is hoped that teams might be able to reconfigure as needed along the way.
[DM’s note: My intention was to allow players to switch characters here, if they were bored. That didn’t happen, but when I asked which mission they wanted to go on, they were split between Menzoberranzan and Timeresh. So I had an idea! The players would be allowed to play the Irregulars assigned to Team Beholder to go to the Mirror Library and we would suspend time until that thread reached a stopping point, and then resume with Team Aboleth. That way everyone gets to try another character, and everyone gets some of the kind of adventure they want. Feels a lot like the Lord of the Rings books when Frodo and Sam leave the Fellowship…]
Team Beholder would be the first to leave – because opening a gate to Argentil, the palace of
Selune on the plane of Ysgard would all the combined skill of the Irregular’s mages gathered at the stones of power in Cleoragard…
They were surprised at the stability of the gate that they opened, given many of them did not believe the “mythical” alternate planes even existed!
What will be on the other side? How will they find their way to the Infinite Staircase and then to The Mirror Library?
Find out next time in “The Temple of Selûne”
- Party HQ
- See this post for details on The Sult’n Fish
- BOILERS & COGS: Aerial Steam Carriage by Fat Dragon Games
- Battle Markers
- World Works Games Battlepacks: Basics
Next: “The Temple of Selune”