The Mavens Guild

CSI: Kjeldon

After finishing up business in Tooj-Reh, which included Kruppe setting off a firework in Siroo’s tent, causing it to fly into the air and burst into flames, the party headed back to Odaan to have Nesk look at the strange candle they found in the ziggurat. Unfortunately, they discovered Nesk’s house had recently been torched to the ground, and he was nowhere in sight, apparently the victim of a kidnapping. Arcurian’s insistence on casting Detect Magic finally, and singularly, paid off. They discovered Nesk’s cigar box of King Dragons was left with an Arcane Mark spell, apparently a last ditch effort to make contact. The mark said, “Hidden Compartment,” revealing the cigar box was not all that it seemed.

Inside, the box held a tattered page with a rudimentary map. It showed a nearby village called Kjeldon sitting on the edge of a cliff, and an island in the middle of a rough sea. The island was called Halimar Depths, and Nesk’s notes above it talked about rumors of a candle once being housed in the caves, where it apparently would not run down the candle, and of a great fish, Jasconius, that may be the protector of the candle hidden within. But Halimar Depths could only be reached by riding a great eagle from Kjeldon, so the party had their new destination.

At Kjeldon, they found themselves fresh in the town’s shocking scandal of the century. Belyor, the Kjeldon skycaptain in charge of flying the great eagle, had just killed his wife the night before, and was locked away in prison. O! if only the party had arrived a day sooner, eh? Belyor swore his innocence, and since they party needed his services, they agreed to look into the matter. Turns out, it wasn’t the butler.

Begin girly-gossip mode: Turns out, Belyor’s wife, Earnesta, was having an affair and Belyor just found out. They had an argument, he left and went to stay at the Dying Naga tavern, and in the morning was arrested for apparently stabbing his wife to death. Now, I heard from Mary Sue who heard from Patty who heard it from Ol’ Granny Applebottom that Earnesta was having the affair with Walos, the cleric of Cayden Cailean. Turns out this whole time that Belyor was two-timin’ his wife with that elvish tart, Darana the seamstress. Well, with some fancy detective work and interrogation, the party found out that Darana was cleaning her clothes this morning in a bucket of water that was blood-red. So they started questionin’ her and brother she started to sing like a canary. They brought her in to the jail, locked her up, searched her house and found a clean pair of shears hidden underneath some loose floorboards at her workshop. Can you believe that? She cleaned them shears but hid them anyway.

Next thing you know, they go-a callin’ Walos and ask him to cast this spell, Blood Biography, and that spell takes a drop of blood and tells you all kinds of things like who it belonged to, how it got there, who did it, all that kinda stuff. So these here five strangers come-a waltzin’ into our town and save an innocent man’s life. Now ain’t that somethin’?

End gossip mode. Thanks to our heroes, this skycaptain has a world of tomorrow.

Lizards & Wizards

Having successfully crossed a rickety bridge they were sure was sent from the 9 Hells to kill them, the group scouted out the two ziggurats that housed the mysterious death ray. The group alchemist did not make the best camouflaged sneak-thief, and the lizardfolk began hurling javelins and sending in monitor lizards to deal with the threat. (Lizards having pet lizards makes me think of Goofy and Pluto, but we won’t get into that here)

From out of nowhere, a fifth figure darted out of the bushes and ran straight up one of the ziggurats. Since he was targeting the lizardfolk, the party deemed him a friend for the moment and carried on with their own battle. While the party was making sure their foes would make nice designer shoes and handbags, this stranger seemed more interested in finding something quick. As he made his way up the second ziggurat, Grog deftly outran him and made it to the pinnacle first. One spell later from the lizardfolk cleric and Grog was running in terror the opposite direction.

The stranger seemed interested in dismantling the death ray, or the Eye of the Sun, and after a shot from his gun didn’t give him the desired effect, he ran and jumped straight into the device, sending all of its delicate parts in every direction, while he tumbled over the side of the ziggurat. When the party finally arrived and dealt with the remaining riff raff, they found the cleric’s secret stash, the most important treasure being one of the candles of invocation they had been seeking.

The only thing left was what to make of this strange gun-toting adventurer. After a bit of intrigue and death threats and promises of monetary reward, the group decided to let him travel with them for a while. Having more firepower couldn’t hurt considering the foe they were set out to defeat.

And that’s all that happened. I know, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but this is D&D—where a 3 hour walk is resolved in 30 seconds, and a 30 second fight is resolved in 3 hours.

You Don't Gnome Me!

After rescuing the captain of the guard, he told the party to go to the mage college to seek some answers. The answers they found there, however, weren’t much help. It seems the head of Research & Development for Tarrasque Containment, Nesk Nightworm, had fled Irdor 6 months ago. It left the mage college hurting for ideas on how to stop the Tarrasque, so the party decided to seek him out for those same ideas.

The party got some good intel on where Nesk was last seen, what he looked like, and what his favorite cigar was—an imported cigar called The Kind Dragon with a distinct purple smoke. They set off across the vast lake to another port town, Odaan. At a sleepy little tavern, the party found only 1 patron who was smoking a Kind Dragon, so Arcurian approached him to discern if he was indeed their man…er, gnome. The patron did appear to be human, no matter how many free drinks and pick up lines Arcurian flung his way.

Trippston and Grog tailed him anyway, as they thought he was their best lead. Turns out their intuitions were correct, and they cornered him. Nesk revealed that he had dug up a lot, if not all, of the information one could find about the Tarrasque. He got so disheartened at the odds of defeating it, that he chose to flee, relocating across the lake to Odaan where he figured it would be safe, since Tarrasque can’t (or prefer not to) swim. However, he agreed to let the group in on his findings in the last ditch hope that they may stop the Tarrasque from awakening in 6 weeks time.

The basic plan is as follows:
1. Locate all 9 Candles of Invocation—each candle representing one of the 9 alignments
2. Perform the ritual that opens a gate to the Lawful Good plane
3. (At this time, the candle will only burn for 4 hours) Locate a Solar, an angelic being, and convince him to help defeat the Tarrasque
4. Return to the material plane and have the Solar cast one of the strongest spells known in the world—Wish

With that, Nesk sent the party to the nearest known location of one of the candles—the town of Tooj-Reh on the border of the Khud-Al jungle. They were to meet up with Siroo, a friend of Nesk who would fill them in on the goings on with the town.

The strangest happenings with the town, the party found out, were the sudden fires that would catch random buildings on fire—and sure enough, the party witnessed Siroo’s own hut burn to ashes. A bright light, visible even during the day, would precede these fires every time. The light came from the deepest parts of the jungle, and the party set out to investigate. After 3 days of journeying in thick underbrush, and fighting off an ambush in zero visibility, the party came to a gorge, with a rickety bridge spanning across a rushing river. On the other side stood a monument—two ziggurats surrounded by smaller structures, a bright shining light emanating from one of the ziggurats.

What a Bunch of Geas

Three of our heroes found themselves in the city of Irdor, or more specifically, in its prison. They had all been involved in a brawl at a local inn, which led to its subsequent burnination. However, they would not stay long, for the prison guards rounded up all the prisoners, and a renowned wizard by the name of Leopoldo Bean performed a strange ritual. Every three prisoners were bound to a paladin guard, and a Geas spell was cast on all in attendance. The Geas they were sent on was to stop whatever danger lurked below the prison.

The party was made aware that a series of tunnels and work quarters had been carved in the ground underneath the city, and could be accessed through the prison. Recently, the city’s workers had come under attack by an unknown force. Though this force was not the danger spoken of in the Geas, it would have to be dealt with should the party expect to complete its quest.

After gathering the party before venturing forth, it was discovered that a cult of Asmodeus was responsible for the underground attacks. It also came to light that the cultists were experimenting with necromancy, turning a majority of the prisoners and paladins into zombies. The party was able to rescue a sole surviving prisoner, a woman named Uri. She helped the group find the entrance to the lowest level of the dungeon, where they found out the true purpose of their Geas—to keep a Tarrasque from waking up and devouring the countryside.


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