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Defenders Summary #75: Wheel of Death

Party Roster:

Felix, 7th level fighter, 70 hp, played by Alex
Balinor, 7th level fighter, 70 hp, played by Joel
Cassian, 7th level cleric, 45 hp, played by Katherine
Kain, 6th level cleric, 43 hp, played by Jeff
Morgan, 7th level fighter, 38 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 8th level druid, 37 hp, played by Jeremy
Donald, 7th level mage, 37 hp, NPC
Albee, 5th level monk, 31 hp, NPC
Bogomel, 3rd level fighter, 31 hp, henchman
Nakumanu, 4th level fighter, 30 hp, henchman
Chiaro, 4th level illusionist, 8 hp, played by Aaron

This may have been our most disturbing game ever.

When we last left the party, we had explored the overwhelming majority of the lower compound under the lighthouse on the orcish island. We had been sent to the island by Dunstill and Illic to clear out the treasure and keep everything out of orcish hands. Well, we did that, and had some of the more bizarre experiences in our adventuring career in the process.

The first of the remaining rooms that we checked out was the one with the high magic balance with a beating heart on one side and a flame on the other. Behind them were two sarcophagi, one evil and one good. The scale was lawful neutral. The ceiling of the room consisted of stars marking the location as at least approximately here, though something seemed “wrong.” There were cricket sounds in the room.

We were unwilling to fool with the scale, but Balinor and Felix did try to pry open the good sarcophagus in the hope of gaining information. All efforts failed. We have since assumed that the sarcophagi are directly tied to the scale by some powerful magic.

Next we checked out the really bizarre room. There were lizardlike Escher figures on the floor, weird twisty bits of metal on the ceiling, two golems against the wall, and a large book open on the table with weird swirling script. There were many mirrors high up toward the ceiling. Finally, there were a pair of frescoes of a beach, one in day and one in night.

We still hadn’t entirely given up on strongarming our way through, so we decided to pre-emptively kill the golems. We came up with a clever plan where Donald cast a Wall of Ice that prevented the golems from using their huge swords and merely pitted Balinor and Felix one on one vs. the golems’ fists. We would back up the fighters with healing and other fighters ready to jump in.

Felix and Balinor opened the attack by slamming their respective golems. Some sort of Stoneskin type shield effect dropped from the golems. In the same instant, ALL magic ceased in the entire room. All spells collapsed, including two Prayers, the Wall of Ice, Aids, Protections, etc.

The golems then swung their weapons at Felix and Balinor, each inflicting massive damage and wounds and holding the fighters at bay.

With few options, Kain yelled, “Break the mirrors!” Indeed, although the doors and the book had vanished with the first attack, the mirrors remained. It was unclear whether anything we had could now affect the golems, and so Albee threw a spear at the mirror, which developed a small crack. Balinor pulled his double shot crossbow and, ignoring the golem, fired into the mirror, and between those shots and the sling bullets of Kain and Donald’s Magic Missile, the mirror shattered.

The room was instantly restored to its original state and everything was magical again.

We fled the room and healed. With few other options, we decided to have Donald look at the book. Donald walked into the room (using Cassian’s idea of stepping on alternating color lizards) and reached the book. The flowing script was probably an illusion, we suspected, and this was confirmed when Donald picked up the book and began reading it intently. When he didn’t even respond to yelling at him, an ESP from Felix revealed that he was very interested in the book, but nothing more. We waited, checking Donald’s alignment every ten minutes, and let him finish the book.

Seven hours later, Donald put down the book. The statues raised their swords high, and a bolt of “lightning” shot at Donald and struck him. Donald looked disoriented. He was wearing a molten gold robe, which detected as abjuration magic.

Donald explained that he had passed a test and absorbed the leadership skills passed on by the people of the temple. He had learned from the beings and survived. In fact, Donald had gained 20,000 XP and a point of charisma!

And the robe, though we had no idea what it does.

Finally, we decided to check out the frescoes. Cassian went through the first one (after getting bounced out when we tried to attach a rope). She was gone for about twenty minutes.

Cassian found a man on the beach, with a deck of cards. He offered her a choice of picking one, two, three, or four cards. Cassian chose two, and first drew a card with a symbol of gems on it, and then a symbol of a skull. A nasty looking skeleton with a scythe approached Cassian out of the mists that had appeared. Realizing that she faced a minor death!

With few options, Cassian called on the power of Phaulkon to drive the creature back, and amazingly, it worked!

She popped out of the portal, gems and jewelry spilling onto the floor in front of the party. She also gained a large number of XP!

Next, we decided to further push our luck by checking out the night fresco. Felix ventured inside, and found himself facing a man. He asked Felix to what god he intended to swear either kinship, fealty, or leave the area.. When Felix, who has no religious inclination, didn’t know what to say, he was chosen for. Clangeddin, the dwarven god of battle, judged Felix… unworthy.

Felix was given the diamond from Orc Isle I (the big baseball sized diamond that we didn’t touch way back at the time of Kaal Na Ka). Since the diamond was what Felix coveted most, he got it, but suffered a weakness to stone thereafter. He would be really hosed by attacks from stone, or petrification.

Kain ventured in, and found that he was not in a position to need testing. He was deemed “earnest, but foolish,” by Silban. As Kain was not seeking kinship, he was told to leave.

We abandoned that portal further. It should be noted that originally all the frescoes had moving waves of water in them, but the daylight fresco had now frozen as a normal picture. The night one had not.

Finally, we checked out the fresco in the room with the fountain in it. In the fountain had been a being that had answered Quentin’s one question, and Quentin chose to venture through this portal as well. The picture was that of a world entirely of water except for the top of a large disk, with a huge castle sitting on the top. The sky was reddish, and their were TWO suns.

Quentin ventured through and discovered himself near the ruins of the castle on the disk. He saw a being of skeletal appearance, who was deemed likely to be the same being who answered Quentin’s questions in the fountain.

Quentin was in the CENTER of multiverse.

The world, the being said, was lost. The Kraken had all but destroyed it. There was a small amount of resistance, but it was losing rapidly. Quentin learned several things:

First, the Kraken that attacked Telvar were merely foot soldiers on a side trip, effectively. They were totally insignificant compared to the might of the Kraken.

Second, the longer Quentin stayed in the world, the likelihood that he would discovered by a Kraken and followed increased, so the conversation had an edge to it.

Third, long before, the drow (black elves) had come through the portal to confer with this world about tactics used to fight the Kraken.

Fourth, the portal opens VERY rarely, perhaps on a timescale of hundreds of years.

Quentin returned, disturbed. He carried with him, wrapped up carefully, a green object. It would, Quentin said, light up when a Kraken approached, and represented perhaps the only early warning system in the multiverse that could prepare defenders against the Kraken.

Obviously this was of some importance.

Quentin immediately changed into an albatross and set off to deliver the object to the Grand Druid at the court.

Well, so much for the druid in the mission. We searched for secret doors and discovered one set and found a magical good circular object of low magic, as well as a number of rooms that may once have served as living quarters.

We plan to attack the orcish temple through the two-way portal we discovered. This would allow us to inflict additional damage and perhaps capture the orcish spell library, while we wait for the Belle Venture to arrive.

The plan is to capture and charm a low level orc cleric and use him to learn about the traps and layout of the compound.

As I said, bizarre. We played with a nasty wheel of death, and in general, we won.



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