Planejammer: The Seven Stars

Chapter 8 Part 1: House Ellodan

Arriving on Bral the crew gladly disembarks from the Man O War (getting some raised eybrows on the docks) and heads for the Warehouse. A quick update from K’Tel informs them that substantial monies have been put forth in their behalf by the EIN, including 60,000 gold (50,000 of which went to buy a new Dragonfly class ship) to the company and a sizeable bribe to Gadarick Main to halt the audit. Its about then that the Theridon’s daughter, Annya, shows up. A sprightly lass of about 17 with her father’s eyes and a tail!

While making introductions an EIN messenger arrives with an invitation to brunch the next day in the holdings of House Ellodan. That evening is spent at The RockRat, The Laughing Beholder, and then one of Hastain the Reigar’s legendary parties (at whick Etsuriko gets gleefully drunk to the surprise of all present) Theridon spends most of the time catching up with Annya.

The next day they are allowed entrance, with escort, to the Elven Forest. Arriving in a glade set with large tables they notice many familiar faces. Fong Lu of the Seekers, their EIN contact Silvanus, Kiade Ellodan Lord of the Bralian Void Elves as well as his cousin Silas Ellodan of the Celestian Temple, and many others are in attendance. Ld. Ellodan thanks everyone for coming and raises a toast. A magnificent elven feast follows, followed by brandymead and Kaave. It is then that discussion begins. Ellodan then introduces Adm. Icarus of the EIN RealmSpace Fleet.

Icarus then details the EIN reconaissance that the major engagements of the war (now covering 32 spheres!) seem to be misdirection. It is belived that several scro strike teams of one to three Mantis and Scorpion calss ships are making a surgical strike on some unknown objective. The scro believe it will win the war for them. There are also tales that a demigod leads them now, and it is the strike force he is with that shall be hitting the real goal.

“Everyone here has been involved in the war effort somehow. Many of you have come into contact with scro and their War Priests, as well as several major installations like the Gammaro Base. A massive bout of scrying magic is called for, et us see what we can glean from the currents of magic before we take action.” He then shares several pieces of news.

The planet Borka in GreySpace has been obliterated completely (rumor has it that the Elven Gods called down their wrath upon the planetoid); RealmSpace has become part of the front line of the war, and major engagements are constant there; and lastly the scro homeworld, Dukagsh, has been located approximately 18 months beyond known space lanes. The Priests and Mages in the gathering are brought into a small grotto with a scrying pool in it’s center, and the arcane recon begins. Kaolin and Drake are able to conjure images of Morkitar giving a firey speech to a platoon of scro shock troops on board a Mantis ship. Once all the info has been gathered that can, lots are drawn for the missions (just as on the Constellation on Edill).

The party is given two days to get prepared for this mission and then depart in an EIN Man O War ship, The Sword of Correllon. Shortly after takeoff Kaolin and Drake are invited to the bridge to bless the ship before departure. They are then allowed to stay as the ship uses its experimental helm (powered by a psionic and a spellcaster) to breach the dimensional barrier and enter the astral. The PlaneJammer makes the trip to GreySpace in three days. Unveiling another one of their unique helms, the elves put them aground using flitters equiped with cloaking helms that make them invisible. The are set down at the edge of Tovag Barragu, a massive group of standing stones dating from the Suel Empire.

Observation of the two Mantis ships at the circle’s edge reveals them to have only a small guard detachment. Our heroes decide to forge ahead to the center of the stones. On the way in Kaolin stops to use Speak With Dead on a corpse in order to glean information. The corpse was a cultist of Vecna who was slain by invading scro. He says a monstrous figure led the warriors, and they kept chanting, “Ascension!” as they came.

As they enter the center ring of stones they find signs of combat, blood, scorch marks from arcane energies and broken weapons littler the circle. Looking through the arches they see many visual distortions which probably indicate portals. Kaolin uses her portal sense on the one that seems to have had the most traffic. She gets a feeling of evil, but not of hostile physical conditions. It feels as though there is a rain forest on the other side.

Casting Invisibility Sphere and Silence on themselves they step through. The other side is an exact duplicate of Tovag Barragu, but with a few differences. It sits in the middle of a rain forest rather than on the edge of a salt flat, it also is occupied. A small tower rises from the center circle, and nomad style tents are arrayed about 120′ away. Investigation of the tents reveal a party of about thirty centaur nomads keeping watch on the tower. Deciding not to reveal themselves, they approach the tower just as two guards wearing the symbol of Vecna take up position outside the door

Chapter 5 Part 5: GreatSpace / Ironpiece

After receiving the last of the supplies and charts, The Door To Excess ships out for GreatSpace on the first leg of it’s journey. Theridon and Tavist spend the next two days on the Rock gathering all the info they can about the mystery man. Attempts to meet with the dragon Lady of Shou Town are put off by the servants (“We’ll see if Gaspar is interested in my offer then,” Theridon loudly proclaims as he stomps off), but they eventually get a description-A sandy haired man wearing pale clothes and a purple cloak. After a brief stop to rescue K’Tel they arrive at Ironpiece.

Driven almost mad by navigating the Tinker Gnome bureaucracy they obtain a meeting with Gen. Gomja, the Giff commanding the Ironpiece CrashBang Fleet. At first stand-offish he is won over by Tavist who not only appreciates Yaneesh, but makes him a batch “just like home.” He tells them of a patrol ship encountering a lone Wasp Ship followed by a Scro Fleet. In the ensuing Battle Of Ironpiece the small ship disappeared while the gnomes held off the scro. The arrival of EIN forces won the day, the scro retreating at maximum speed. They set off to return to the Rock immediately.

Meanwhile, The Door has just sighted the GreatSpace Sphere when they see an armored Hammership (flying GreatSpace Colors) and four galleons (bearing black flags with a grey cutlass) being chased by four scro Mantis Class ships. The Hammership signals “Distress- Assistance Requested”

“Battle Stations!” Kaolin takes The Door into a climb, rolling so that her gravity plane is opposite that of the scro. Dugan and Drake busy themselves casting greater magic weapon and sharpness on the ships ballista bolts, having runners get them to the weapons crews. Ozzy and Marcus take the two high ballista stations and prepare their crews for combat.

The Door engages one Mantis while the Galleons and Hammership take on the rest. Kaolin begins a straffing run, and enchanted ballista bolts chew through the side of the Mantis, including one which must have hit a smokepowder store judging by the force of the resulting explosion.

Ignoring the minor damage they sustained, The Door begins a run at the next closest Mantis. Kaolin and Drake notice the derelict Mantis signalling with lanterns and take steps to capture the Mantis they are pursuing before it can escape.

Kaolin takes up position 1000 ft above the Mantis while Dugan and Drake dimension door into the “head,” of the ship.

Ozzy begins targeting weapons stations on the Mantis and takes out the ballista emplacement in the “head,” just as Drake and Dugan enter the room beneath it. Joint dwarven and Elven cussing ensues…

Battling their way into the Helmroom, Dugan and Drake engage a squad of scro swordsman and crossbowmen. Dugan attempts to dispel the dweomer on the Helm and fails. Using arcane arts and swordsmanship they decimate the scro guards, but discover the War Priest at the helm has a wand of lighting bolts. Dugan takes a bolt to the chest but shugs it off and continues advancing…

RISING- Episode 11: The Path To Refuge

Commodore Sinache, Tavist that is, and Kaolin proceed to plot a course to Herdspace through Realmspace, Refuge, and Spiralspace. While doing so Tavist regales the hadozee priestess with spacer’s stories about Herdspace: the roving Megafauna who crush the magic out of the soil with their footprints, the inhabited interior of the sphere, and other odd stories.

Meanwhile Taj Pach and Grim hire on some fresh crew including two former EIN soulknives (a brother/sister team) who they assign to security at the Bralian offices. Whle doing so an EIN messenger brings them a message from the Admiralty requesting to meet at the air planet Edill on their way outsytem.

As they form up their ships and perform last minute checks and supply loading High Mage Sar Casualik arrives with a contingent of fleet elves and a large crate. It is a gift from the EIN comprised of twenty “airsuits.” Full body canvas suits with glass fronted helmets they use an alchemical filter to recycle one’s air when in vacuum systems like Truespace.

Sar tells Tavist he has the blood of Dydd and of silver dragons from edill. That Priest of Io, the Dragon God of Balance, back him. In addition he reveals to Tavist that he is actuially an ancient gold dragon. While the stunned Tavist absorbs this new info Kaolin and Taj have gotten a Giff book of manners from which they are studying trying to learn about this strange things called “tact.”

Taj, Tavist and Kalin decide to take to the air and make the rounds of the other ships in their armada while flying the air worlds atmospherics. They then return to the ships and prepare to launch.

As the armada prepares to move out Kaolin makes fireworks and launches them into the sky above panicking some of the newer members of the crew. Tavist, once again, drags her off by her hair. The Seven Star’s ships move into formation and depart for Realmspace.

The trip through the Flow is uneventful and Taj uses the time to enact more body modifications in the ship’s surgery giving herself a scorpion-like tail. Kaolin brews up a new batch of beer and spends the rest of her time practicing her archery. Tavist continues with his trapmaking practice.

The ships enter the Realmspace sphere and Kaolin takes two days to magically renew the atmospheres of all four ships while the crews get a few hot meals and a smoke. They take a oneweek break here before departing for Refuge using their new star charts. .

Other than a school of delphids they encounter nothing until about two days outside of the Arcane ruled sphere. As they approach the smallish crystal sphere are formation of three Shou dragon ships are sighted ahead. Our heroes decide to slow their speed, remaining behind the Dragon Court ships.

As they approach the sphere they see a ring of flow beacons outside the sphere, each one pulsing with light in synch with the others. Upon entering Refuge they are met by twelve hammerships and are boarded by guard in gilded plate mail. After the guard makes his inquiries with the “Commodore” they sign the requisite forms and proceed. “Commodore! There will be no living with him now, ” mutters Taj to Kaolin.

Escorted by a hammership they proceed to the moon of Refuge. As they approach they pass the Guardian Ring, a ring of derelict ships and parts that encircles the planet below (which is called Below by the natives). They land and meet with the harbormaster, who Tavist gets along famously with. They rthat air tax here is super cheap, roughly one silver to the gold cmpared to what they are used to. Taj immediately sets up a shore leave schedule with ship captains that keeps no more than 25% of crew off ship at any time. Taj then delivers a speech giving dire threats to crew about behaviour while in port.

Kaolin is inspirred by seeing squads of giff troopers on the docks to try sending a message to Ozzy. Like all prior attempts since their separation her attempt fails.

Taj Pach’s New Tail: 2d6 points of piercing damage. Once per encounter, it can deliver a potent venom (DC 15 + wielder’s Con modifier) that deals 1d6/2d6 points of Strength damage if it affects a target. The tail also defends the user against flanking (giving the enemies no bonuses) and provides her with a +1 bonus to his natural armor.

RISING- Episode 10: Battle in the Flow

As Kaolin pilots the Rock of Bral through the phlogiston with the Staff of Celestian, four illithid ships including a dreadnaught that must weigh at least 200 tons come into visibility through the Flow.

As the lead ships escorting the Rock accelerate to engage more illithid ships appear from the multicolored mists of the Flow. Tentacled hulls move into view from every angle surrounding the Rock while the ships of the Bralian and Elven Fleets maneuver to the defensive.

Taj Pach points out the small form of a cuttle command ship hanging back behind the dreadnaught. Tavist sends word to the helm to plot a course towards it while the elven armada Correlon’s Grace engages the titanic illithid ship. Meanwhile the Infernal Contraption engages a nautiloid using sparkbolts and gnomeflingers.

The Flow erupts in battle, ballista bolts and lightning bombards flying from ship to ship while mental blasts the width of a ship’s deck boil through the intervening wildspace.

Meanwhile in the Royal Gardens of Castle Skyview Kaolin and her guardian General Tomojak the “Mayor of Gifftown” suddenly find themselves targeted by the mental blasts of three illithids as they teleport in. As Tomojak shakes of their mental attack and responds with his devastating Gauntlet of Tamus, disintigrating one where it stands in a single punch.

Kaolin invokes storm rage and flies from her perch, the Rock now moving on momentum alone, and blasts another illithid with lightning bolts from her eyes. Another mental blast clouds her vision and gives her a splitting headache but she remains steady in the air. A moment later another blast of electrical energy strikes from her eyes annihilating the last one. Below Tomojak can be heard bellowing for additional guards and swearing at the lack of his firearms.

At the leading edge of the combat a pair of elven warbirds peel off and turn on their fellows, a problem that recurs across the battle lines all around the Rock. It would seem the mind flayers have seized control.

The Valis evades contact with the controlled warbird and outruns a nautiloid as it heads towards the cuttle command ship. Another illithid ship is not so easy to elude. As it comes within range Taj Pach dimension doors across the intervening wildspace into its air envelope, wings extended. Immediately upon appearing she casts decrease ship rating on the nautiloid, following up rapidly with a an inflict damage blast with the Staff of the Techno Mage she acquired in the Dragonstar multiverse. As chunks of nautiloid hull are blasted away she gets a wave of blurry vison and a sudden splitting headache, sure signs of illithid mind blasts. As she dimension doors back to the The Valis Tavist blasts the ship with a lightning bolt from his belt of spell storing.

Back on the Rock of Bral the Royal guard and a detachment of Elven Imperial Navy troops arrive in the Royal Gardens to act as reinforcements for General Tomojak and Kaolin. Shortly after they arrive scores of illithid thralls (mostly humans and grimlocks but containing a variety of spacefaring races) teleport in. Melee, of course, ensues.

While the battle rages on the grounds of Castle Skyview teams of thralls and small groups of illithids teleport into various locations throughout the city. In the sky above and behind the castle an EIN armada, Arvandor’s Blade, rams one of the illithid dreadnaughts, the resulting arcane/psionic explosion destroying both craft in a titanic blast that rocks the very phlogiston!

Two nautiloids break through the navy blockade and head towards the Rock itself, making it within 200 feet before being blown out of the sky by the Firebal Alliance.

As suddenly as they appeared, the illithid craft suddenly and simultaneously, retreat. As sounds of battle die down a massive cloud of debris floats around the Rock of Bral. The EIN lost no less than twelve ships, one an armada class, the Bralian navy fared almost as poorly. The illithids did not escape unscathed as the numerous shattered nautiloid hulls can attest.

Taj Pach sets up a triage in the hold of the Valis and psionically corresponds with nearby ship captains to et them know the octopus is now acting as a hospital ship. As the injured begin the roll in Tavist brings his ring gate into the room and gets Kaolin to reach through hers and cast mass cure spells without having to leave her position on the Rock.

Once the excitement dies down and the city guards declare the streets safely free of both illithids and (known) thralls Kaolin glides down to the docks to sit on a pier and enjoy the view. Her guardians have a fit and begin the long run from one end of the city to the other to reach her.

The hadozee priestess, eyes still glowing and fur still blowing in an unseen breeze, ducks into the Rockrat to grab a drink and stays for the daily brawl. Having had her fill she flies back to the palace, passing over her breathless guards just as they reach the docks. She waves cheerily as she flies past heading back.

Over the next two weeks in the phlogiston Tavist makes the rounds, trying to lay the groundwork for some expansion of the House Seven Stars trading business. From the the Burrows where he shares Bytopian hobbit weed with some of Meredyn Sandyfoot’s seconds to The Laughing Beholder where he talks up Large Luigi at length he makes the circuit. He even heads down to Giff Town for some Yaneesh at Ozzy’s favorite restaurant. Tolompo is now managing the place and comps his meal and antitoxin. Tavist tells him that Ozzy is gone for awhile, not sure how long. When asked for details all he will say is ”Last time I saw him he was doing well.”

Taj Pach takes advantage of the time to seclude herself with some of her hive in the surgery on The Valis. Nine days later when she emerges her new body modifications are obvious: she has given herself over-sized and counterbalanced joints. Even her casual movements now ripple with barely contained speed.

Tavist meanwhile has been building a lock making/picking rig in the lab where he can practice his “casual entry” skills.

Soon the mist of the phlogiston part to reveal the massive pearlescent surface of the Greyspace Sphere. Using the Staff of Celestian Kaolin opens a portal in the sphere’s surface and carefully guides the Rock and its escort fleet through it into Greyspace. Looking back at the inner sphere wall they see the stars of Greyspace, huge gems hundreds of miles across set in the inner surface of the sphere and emitting light.

Avoiding further entanglements Kaolin pilots the asteroid city into the sphere until she reaches The Grinder, the sphereical asteroid belt that divides the inner and outer system of the sphere. Under Prince Andru and Admiral Cirathorn’s direction she moves the Rock into place in the asteroids and removes the staff form its setting. Her eyes cease to glow and her fur stops blowing as thought he invisible wind tousling it has stopped.

The Grand Admiral of the Elven Fleet enters and walks up to Kaolin. “Thank you,” she says as she takes the staff from the reluctant priestess. With her other hand she extends a scroll tube, “this should help you, don’t share it.” Later examination reveals it to contain the most comprehensive map of the spheres any of them have ever seem. It even includes coordinates for reaching the legendary Athas!

After receiving thanks from Andru and the EIN Kaolin teleports to the dockside offices of House Seven Stars looking for Tavist and Taj Pach. Tavist is just arriving after having picked up his clothes at the House of Metege. “Nice to have a tunic my wings will fit through!”

After taking time to give K’tel instructions about coordinating with Grim at their warehouse in Greyhawk Kaolin uses her word of recall to transport them to the deck of the ancient nautiloid where it sits in orbit behind Luna. Now that they are all together Tavist brings them up to date on the lead they got from Sar about the fal known as one-six-nine in Herdspace.

Taj tries to get the circuitry to activate the nautiloid, this time receiving an immediate response, ”Awaiting course input.” Deciding that they will probably need backup Tavist sets K’Tel to restocking not only The Valis but also The Killroy’s Folly (turtelship) and The Infernal Contraption (Sidewheeler) as well.

Once stocked and supplied they use the sphere map given Kaolin by the Grand Admiral to map a route to Herdspce. Tavist informs the EIN that they are heading out to finish their mission.

As the three ships assume formation and head for the sphere wall Kaolin’s vice can be heard to say “I flew a city!”

RISING- Episode 8: Jailbreak in Manzessine

Having reached a detente with the former prisoner they all reposition themselves at the sound of movement at the bottom of stairs. Assuming solidity the group array themselves around the tunnel entrance, the illithid off to one side. Taj Pach slaps her shoulder activating a psionic tattoo of thicken skin,

When Rurick gives the signal that illithids have come within sixty feet the xixchil lets off a silent fireball down the tunnel. A high pitched keening accompanies the backblast of heat and small of charred flesh that roars through the mouth of the tunnel. In addition a gracefully tumbling figure about the size of a man comes spinning out of the tunnel coming to rest gingerly balance on its three toed feet.

It is an illithid dressed in plain black, close fitting clothing standing in a fighting stance it’s hands wreathed in silver flames of psionic energy. Tavist identifies the six lines qualith symbol that denotes the Tamer, the illithid creed most like a warrior caste.

The illithid immediately unleashes its mind blast, dropping Kattar and the weakened Albossk in their tracks. Kaloin frowns and gestures casually, calling down a divine flame strike that leaves it blasted and almost dead. Tavist turns his laser pistol on it, shooting it in the head to end its wailing.

Having come to the realization that wind walk will transport all of them but not the illithid they make a deal with it. Kaloin heals it of its damage and after much discussion it grudgingly submits to being magically reduced.

Picking up the now miniature mind flayer Tavist reverts to wind walk form, as do his companions. They make best speed retracing their way in until they reach the chamber at the bottom of the spiral. As the cross the threshhold they are all suddenly made solid and come crashing to the floor. Taj looks up, horrified. "I can’t see any magic!!”

Tavist realizes that they have entered an antimagic field. He also realizes that he and Kaolin are now blind. Kaolin tries to cast continual flame to no effect, realizes she cannot cast any spells and has a fit. ”Tavist, tell me you have a torch, man! No?!?!? What kind of dragon are you? What do you mean you can’t breathe fire!”

As the hadozee priestess comes to terms with the loss of her spells (not well, mind you), Taj Pach pulls out a candle. As she lights it they hear the sound of metal striking stone. Rurick tunrs to them with two lit sunrods. Tavist draws his starwheel and his rapier, realizing that he can’t get to any other gear until he’s out of the antimagic field. Taj tries psionics and finds that while impeded by a catapsi field they are not banished like arcane and divine magic. She fires up a force shield.

Deciding that the best way to make it the mile or two up the spiral will be flying they pair off each non flyer with a counterpart. Taj carries Ruruik, Tavist carries Albossk, and Kattar carries Kaolin as they fly towards the top of the spiral. Only harassed once on the way up, by the psionic image of an illithid watching them and firing off mind blasts.

When they reach the top it is not pretty. Dazed looking figures fill the spiral’s exit hall, shoulder to shoulder. Drow, humans, grimlocks, and duergar armed with makeshift weapons and mining equipment. As they hover in the middle of the shaft Kaoli throws a fistful of gold coins amongst them. When the crowd pays no attention she looks at Tavist, “Yep, they’re thralls alright!”

Using telekinetic force to push them aside Taj Pach leads the way as they run the guantlet. Rapidly accruing injuries from the crowd of thralls Tavist and Kattar suddenly drop to the ground. Taj and Rurick note one illithid thrallmaster at the back of the crowd and the armored figures of three illithid Tamers coming towards them from the direction of the exit.

Focusing her mind Taj inflicts a cranial deluge on the thrallmaster, causing the catapsi field to drop whe his head explodes.

Meanwhile a rapid series of mind blasts from the Tamers leave only Kaolin and Rurick Souldforge standing. Having no spells Kaolin fires off arrows as thick and fast as she can, although to little effect. Soulforge disintigrates the Tamer with the green crystal sword.

As Kaolin notches another arrow Tavist wakes up, sits up, and takes out one of the Tamers with his laser pistol. As he does so the anti magic field drops. The reamining illithid plane shifts out. As it does so Tavist notices something odd about the way it did so. Mentioning it to the bugs Kattar offers that in the older writing s of his people they refer to the illithid ability as probability travel. Having recently seen alternate multiverses it gives them pause.

While they are talking Kaolin hears a distant hiss. Suddenly the green glowing gas last seen under the landbridge is rolling down the corridor leaving the chocking and collapsing forms of the thralls in its wake. Taj get light headed and weak (7 pts CON damage) before they are able to assume their wind walk forms again.

Following Rurick’s guidance and moving at about sixty mile an hour they are able to reach Marcus in his encampment at the underground crevasse in a single, if long, day. When they arrive Marcus looks askance at the two and a half foot tall illithid, but says nothing.

Tavist tosses Rurik a chunk of tradebar and talks to him awhile, trying to ire im on, but the dour dwarf is ot interested. He wants to kill illithids here in the underdark and defend his home. After a brief meal and a drink he strikes off through the tunnels merging with the darkness as his figure recedes.

They begin to interrogate Albossk about the Overmind, but all it will say is that it is for the greater glory of Illsensine. When the Thoon are brought up the Illithid clerics reaction is immediate, “Heretics! Tainted!”

“Do you want the Thoon in control?” asks Kaolin, “Do you?”

Taj notices that the psionic circuitry she is wearing seems to be reacting the closer she comes to the illithid. as she moves net to him it forms a long spike and pierces its brain. In their heads they hear its last thought “The Adversary….”

As that thought rattles through her brain Taj finds herself pulled into a mindscape where she stands facing a robed figure, its face obsured by its hood. Rather than initiating combat the figure identifies itself as “The Adversary” and tells her it is mperative that they not allow the illithidae to win. The fate of multiverses hangs in the balance and the psionic circuitry she bears is his “last tool.”

The xixchil’s consciousness returns to our realms and she relay’s the experience to her comrades and Marcus. Kaolin uses her staff of healing to restore the bug’s health in the wake of the oorga gas. They camp for the night on the plateau beneath a sky of stone.

The next morning they patake of a heroes feast before wind walking the next leg of their journey. Managing to avoid confrontation due to the speed at which they are travelling they arrive at the cave in which the Celestian sanctuary is hidden. Tavist searches the area looking for signs of recent passage but finds nothing.

Marcus activates the entrance and they enter the chamber. As they step in they each feel a sting at the back of their necks, accompanied by a burning sensation. Pulling the darts out they turn, drawing weapons, and see three scantily clad drow females. Kaolin smiles disconcertingly and points at the dart, “Ever hear of a heroes feast?” she says, alluding to the immunity to poison it grants.

The hadozee priestess then drops the dart and almost casually casts blade barrier in ring around the drow. Tavist using his ring of tongues talks to them. Just as one of them tells him that they are supposed to “keep you here for a meeting,” a figure drops from the ceiling.

“Oh that was good Dad,” says the pewter skinned elf to Tavist. Looking over her shoulder at the drow in the blade barrier she snaps “you three, stand down!”

Taj Pach looks from her to Tavist and back. ”Seriously?!?!?”

RISING- The Spiral of Manzessine


The group hold still and listen. Taj corresponds with everyone. Marcus draws his sword, the oiled blade dead silent as it leaves the sheath. “How many?” asks Kaolin, receiving three raised fingers from Marcus by way of reply.

At their underdark guide’s behest they wait silently while sounds of a scuffle are succeeded by a meaty thunk and a harsh gurgling sound. There are sounds of movement for about the next twenty minutes until finally the faint footsteps can be heard receeding down the corridor.

After taking a few minutes for safety’s sake they round the corner to find one of the drow lying naked and mutilated in a large pool of blood. Strange and spidery glyphs have been carved across her nude form and her throat has been cut from ear to ear. Upon examination Kaolin is able to identify the markings as those of the Cult of Llolth, a spider demon from the Abyss.

Marcus says their path goes right at the next split while he is pretty sure the drow will go left to Erelhi-Cinlu, their capital many miles below and to the west. Taking a slow and measured pace they proceed until the tunnel splits. Taking the right hand corridor they follow the tunnel as it corkscrews tightly down deeper into the Oerth.

After descending about two miles they reach a large irregular cavern with thirteen tunnels leading off from it. Without any hesitation Marcus goes down the third one from the right. The tunnel continues downwards until it open out into a natural cavern whose walls are encrusted with multicolored crystals. Tavist examines them closely only to find them mere quartz.

Marcus steps over to a wall and picks up a small green crystal from the gravel strewn floor. Drawing the sign of a star in the air with it he then steps back. Seven crystals on the wall light up forming the holy symbol of Celestian. The stone wall melts away to reveal a plain but cozy round stone room with rations, basic weapons, a fire pit, and a spring arrayed around a modest altar to The Traveler.

While they bed down for the night Taj scribes more scrolls, two each of mage armor and shield this time.


In the morning Kaolin prepares her Heroes Feast for breakfast, getting everyone into their best form for the next leg of the journey. Before setting out Taj casts mage armor on Marcus, Kaolin, and Kattar.

Off through the damp tunnels of stone go our intrepid heroes as Marcus leads them through the eerie and beautiful landscapes of the underdark. One cave is filled with fungi larger than a human, another like the inside of a monstrous geode carpeted over its entire surface in crystalline formations.

After several near misses when traversing a tunnel colonized by cave morrays they reach a huge cavern. The tunnel comes out on the edge of a cliff, emptiness reaching out far beyond what mortal sense can register. “Alright, we camp here and wait for your other guide. Keep your eyes open for a dwarf.”

Leaning out into the rift Tavist hears the lapping of water in the distance below. Taj, meanwhile, makes more mage armor and shield scrolls. Sleeping in shifts they rest for the night.

Shortly after beginning the morning’s Heroes Feast a dwarf arrives. Clad in beat up looking leather armor with a shortspear over his shoulder the stocky figure does not look very menacing until they notice the illithid skull and the drow scalps hanging from his belt.

Introduced as Rurik Soulforge he confers with the group about their objectives. Taj is fascinated by the fact that he barely radiates any magic at all. Then she tries detect psionic and everything lights up! Studying is aura intently she realizes that he is an illithid slayer. The dorjes tucked into his belt reinforce that impression.

With several miles, most of it straight downwards, ahead of them the group decide that Kaolin should wind walk them under Soulforge’s direction. With the illithid slayer directing they proceed on an irregular course which takes them ever downward. After a few hours they reach what Soulforge says is the entrance to the prison. “Now I’ve never been inside before so be prepared for anything. Think about it, their prisoners are illithids. This place will not be easy.

A large cavern lies in front of them with a narrow land bridge to the other side. Beneath it the chasm is filled with glowing green gas which sits about five feet below the bridge itself. On the far side loom two twelve foot tall flesh golems constructed of illithid parts standing on either side of a portcullis. Taj and Rurik detect an illithid hiding in a nearby stalactite due to his psionic aura.

Continuing on their gaseous way the group rise up to the ceiling and confer. Then slowly and steadily they move along the ceiling and through the portcullis. Following the hall on the other side they find a storage room and barracks for about twenty mind flayers. Thanks to careful applications of conceal thoughts they do manage to remain undetected.

On the other side of the barracks they find the spiral the prison must be named for, a sixty foot diameter shaft falling deep into the earth. A spiraling path wraps around the perimeter wide enough for three abreast. The group proceed downward until Rurick detects an illithid presence, a urophion. Taj manifests conceal thoughts and intellect fortress (from dorje) before attempting to sneak by.

They are almost out of range when Kattar is detected, the urophion felling him with a mind blast. Taj uses telekinesis to move his slowly solidifying form away from the illithidae. Tavist and Rurick begin the half minute long process of returning to tangible form, Rurick’s figure pulling out its short spear as they do so.

While Tavist attacks with his laser pistol Taj batters the urophion with psionics. In response six tentacles lash out and drag Kattar, Tavist, and Rurick towards the baleful red eye of the beast. They are pulled across twenty feet of cavern floor before Taj manifests a cranial deluge blowing the illithid roper’s head apart.

Returning to the gaseous state they wind walk they rest of the way down the spiral. Exiting a set of stone double doors they enter an irregular natural cavern with iris style door (like on the nautiloid) on the far wall. Two illithid corpses lay in front of the door. One is armored and wears bladed tentacle extensions, the other is dressed in more typical illithid high collared robes. The warrior type seems to have met his end through prionics if the blood dripping from its eyes and earholes is any indication. The other died from a dagger wound, the hilt still protruding from its abdomen.

Tavist pulls out the dagger, it is of illithid make. Investigating the site more closely he decides there is too much illithid blood on the ground for the one stab wound. He and Taj beging searching the room for and sort of blood trail and find that there is one. It leads through the iris shaped dorway.

Stepping through they see an irregular junction of five natural corridors (including the one the iris entered). The blood trail leads to the one on the left, which angles upwards at a 45 degree angle. Moving their smoke like figures along the ceiling they cling to the darkness as best as possible.

At the top of the corridor the enter a large cavern containing an underground lake and a small beach. At the edge of the beach, peering down the corridor the way the party came, sits a mind flayer. Its robes are tattered and there are a raw and bloody marks visible on its wrists. Tavist floats down behind it and asks nonchalantly, “Are you trying to escape?”

While taken aback the illithid does not simply mind blast them. After a brief and close to the chest bit of negotiating he agrees to let them help him just as the sound of movements in the hall below reach their ears.

RISING- Episode 6: Into the Depths of the Oerth

In the morning they meet with Marcus who explains about the distances involved and the rigors of their destination. He also informs them that they are meeting another guide in the Deep Dark who will take them the rest of the way to the Spiral Prison of Manzessine. The other guide’s fee will have to be negotiated once they meet.

Taj spends the evening scribing scrolls in preparation for the delve. She scribes two each of fireball and lightning bolt and one of invisibility sphere.

While the xixchil is hard at work crafting scrolls a messenger from Mordenkainen comes to offices to deliver a pair of scrolls to the party. Mordenkainen’s Disjunction and Mord’s Luculution. He then disappears as though using a teleport. Taj immediately yells out “Grimm! We need better teleport protection on this place, NOW!”

Tavist and Kaolin head back to Sigil and hit the Market Ward securing a dorje of Intellect Fortress (15 ch) and two power stones with conceal thoughts and detect psioncs. Tavist also barters his old elven chain, which no longer fits now that his wings have sprouted, for 5 sets of darkvision goggles. Then they head over to Emetriels Fine Flights where Kaolin finds arrows of aberration slaying. While she dickers with Emetriel Tavist stops by the PlanewalkersGuild to ask some questions.

Upon their arrival back in the City of Greyhawk Taj drools over the dorje. She then takes Kaolin’s spell storing arrows and casts lightning bolts into them.

Tavist heads to the Green Dragon after stopping by the offices. He ends up sitting around drinking with former Keoland military hearing news from the front about Empire of Iuz.

Once finished with the prep work Taj grabs Kaolin and they head to the Green Dragon to meet Tavist. As they confer and strategize Tavist reminds them that they still have several scrolls they looted from Vecna’s Citadel Cavitus, including a wish. They all agree that no one in the party has enough skill with spellcraft to utilize the scrolls.

After a few more rounds they decide to get some sleep for possible departure the next day.

{Taj Pach’s Dream – The Xixchil teacher finds herself in a rough hewn cavern, mists swirling ankle deep around her legs. Before her are a series of colored columns: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. As she approaches the closest column, the red one, she sees athe face of smiling, red cheeked, white haired human of wizardly mein appear on its side. The face opens it’s eyes and asks her, “What drconic creator deity emerged from the First Void in the Age before Ages and shed blood in the Shadow Void to inspire all creation?” Summoning up her memories of draconic arcana she confidently answers “Io, the Ninefold Dragon.”

“You May Pass,” says the face and fades from sight. Just ahead it reforms on the next closest column, the orange one.

“Potent magical workigns such as the wish spell or the appearance of a god’s avatar sometimes leave behind a specific magical phenomenon that is detectable only by arcane means, What form do such symbols take?” Taking a bit longer to answer this time Taj answers, ” Ummm… Shadow helices?”

“You may Pass”

Once again the face fades from view only to appear on the yellow column. Smiling broadly it asks another question of obscure arcana.

“What five planar races are signatories of the Draeden Compact governing the transmission of Pre-Great Wheel arcane secrets?”

The next few moments drag on and seem never to end. Finally she stares up at the face with her compound eyes and says, ” I don’t know.” At that moment she awakes.}

The next morning after breakfast Kaolin, Taj Pach, Kattar, and Tavist meet up with Marcus. Kaolin then calls upon the power of Celestian and teleports them to the edge of the Vesve Forest. Having been warned by Marcus that this area is the border between the Empire of Iuz and the stout yeomanry and elves of Highfolk Kaolin casts sanctuary and Taj manifests detect psionics as they enter the forest.

A short way into the forest both Taj Pach and Tavist detect several man sized, magic radiating, figures in hte trees above. Since Marcus does not even appear to notice them no actions are taken, although the xixchil and the dragon disciple remain vigilant.

Entering a cave mouth that is conealed by the roots of the massive bronzewood tree above it, Tavist and Kaolin don their darkvision goggles. Marcus leads them through twisting tunnels and tight switchbacks until they reach an underground cliff, fallling far past their vision’s range. As Marcus takes out his grappling hook and rope the others burst into laughter. “Kaolin scoops him up under the arms and flies down, Tavist and Taj behind her. “God of Travel, remember? Silly.” she says in his ear as they descend about 300 feet to land on irregular rock.

Explainging that the scarcity of resources makes the underdark flora and fauna particularly deadly. Pointing to what seems to be a small pool of water at the cavern’s edge he explains that that is “fool’s water.” If is alive and deadly acid. Tavist pulls out a bottle of wine and the party pass it around till empty. He then uses mage hand to fill it with the fools water, using prestidigitation to clean off any traces from the outside of the bottle. Corking it he stashes it away as possibly useful.

More tight, winding passages and steep inclines await them ahead. At one point the xixchil manages to get caught in a switchback unable to move forward or back. Finally, in a huff, she casts ectoplasmic form and proceeds. Unfortunately Kattar gets caught right behind her. Still ectoplasmic Taj goes back to him and dimension doors them out.

Continuing downwards they eventually reach a resonably straight corridoor in the stone. It proceeds for about a mile before taking a sharp left. As they approach the bend they hearthe sound of blos and a sharp cry of pain followed by a steely soundig female voice.

Marcus inches ahead, careful not make any noise, and peeks around the corner. He pulls his head back quickly and returns. Taj connects them all with correspond.

Mrcus turns and looks grimly at the others his voice echoing one word in their heads: “Drow”

RISING- Episode 5: Gathering Forces in The Free City of Greyhawk

Open on the Ancient Nautiloid (Greyspace behind Kule).

Bugman begins to familiarize himself with the illithid ship while the others head for the Captain’s quarters to confer before heading to their bunks to get some rest and recharge their powers. Confusion over the idea of an illithid “heretic” dominates much of the conversation.

Kaolin goes to take advantage of her bath barrel which she has had brought on board.


First thing upon rising Taj casts permanency (Arcane Sight) on herself. In the next room Kaolin casts commune, discovering that the Annulus is needed to defeat the Overmind and that they are not yet prepared for the encounter. She then casts a divination asking how to get into the Underdark to which she receives the incredibly helpful answer: through caves.

Tavist climbs up to the top of the central shell of the nautiloid and gives his wings a try. As he is flying around the sudden sound of buzzing fills his ears and he turns to see Taj flying towards him.

After breakfast and general spell casting the three, plus Kattar, teleport into Greyhawk. Before doing so Kalin creates a word of recall to bring them back to the Nautiloid. Arriving in the Free City of Greyhawk the group immediately attracts attention. Tavist, now shirtless and bewinged heads rapidly towards the Warehouse with the rest following along.

Grimmirik “Grim” Dwarrodon, the wizened and grumpy dwarf in charge of Warehouse 23, greets them with the enthusiasm of a chef who has discovered rats in his kitchen. He sends for a tailor and haberdasher to equip Tavist with clothes that will fit now that his wings have sprouted. With a mutter and a scowl the dwarf details a boy to escort Kaolin and Taj Pach to the the Great Library of Greyhawk. Kaolin defuses the rustling ill will in the crowd by clowning and juggling apples, which she promptly drops on her own head in a fit of unplanned slapstick.

The two Seekers, go to library and purchase research on illithids, leaving word with the scholars to contact them through the Warehouse. Upon returning to the offices they both tip their young guide. Then they have Grim send to the local alchemists for purple dye, Kaolin wants to dye her fur.

After ordering the finest clothes possible and paying a more than generous price for a complete wardrobe to be delivered in a mere two days, Tavist borrows a cloak with which to cover himself and heads off for the Green Dragon wth Taj. Kaolin, meanwhile, is engaged in an animated if one sided conversation with Grim. After about five minutes Tavist walks back in and pulls her away by her fur, still talking all the while.

The Green Dragon Inn, located on Blue Boar Street, just off of the Strip, is a little quieter than most of the establishments in the quarter. It has also become a favorite of the Seven Stars (probably because of the propensity for bar fights). Then enter and grab a table, Tavist ordering when Brigit the barmaid comes round. They order dinner and proceed to confer quietly about their situation.

Tavist summons Tolenn the cook to the front to compliment him on the quality of his fare. He seems very confused by Kaolin’s seemingly random sense of humor….

Circulating in the crowd after eating they discreetly put the work out that they are looking for an Underdark guide. While doing so Tavist also puts out feelers for info on the areas near the Vesve Forest to the north. As always with the Empire of Iuz, gossip flows freely. Fairly reliable word says that the Empire has advanced to the Vesve as have the Perrenlands. The usual stories of a “great evil” beneath Castle Greyhawk are accompanied by the curious observation that there has been no word of any member of the Circle of Eight for several weeks now, hardly shocking to him after seeing Mordenkainen defending Liga with them.

Shortly after reassembling at their table a smallish human sits down and introduces himself as Marcus, a Deep-Oerth guide. While unfamiliar with the illithid prison they seek he seems optimistic that he can find the info. They give him the names and such that they have and tell him to contact them through the Warehouse.

Returning to the Nautiloid Kaolin first makes a refuge token and then has Taj’s buglings dye her purple with the dye she got from the alchemist. Being impatient she uses wind wall to dry her hair. Meanwhile Taj scribbles away madly crafting two new scrolls: web and scorching ray.


Taj wakes up and continues the program she began once discovering how to add permanency to a magical effect, namely adding permanent effects to herself. This morning it is detect magic and read magic that she casts.

Kaolin and Taj Pach arrive at the warehouse offices to find a brutally hung over Tavist making Kavee in his magic tea pot. He seems almost as grim as Grim.

Taj decides that toady is the day to follow Grim around “learning the operation” and preparing questions for her audit of the company. Grim seems thrilled.While the bug pesters their Greyhawk staff Tavist heads outside the city to practice flying. Kaolin tags along.

Taj returns to her scroll making, this time creating one of cone of cold and two scrolls of mage armor.

The rest of the afternoon is spent waiting for word from any of their various efforts. Keeping with tradition they hit the sleazy bars along the docks while waiting. Kaolin tries out eagle’s splendor and really likes it.


The next morning porters arrive with Tavist’s new clothes. Once dressed and tricked out the group head for the Library to check in. Surprisingly their efforts have netted some new information.

The illithid prison known as the Spiral of Manzessine is an outpost of the illithid city Illkool Rem. It would seem that Albossk is there because he is a cleric, probably of Illsensine. Signs seem good that he/it is not one of the Thoon. (Info mostly obtained from the Green Book of Oriel the Wanderer) The nearest entrance to the Deep-Oerth that is rumored to have access to Illkool Rem is about 800 miles to the northwest, at the lower edge of the Vesve Forest in the area known as Highfolk. Kaolin procures a map of the Flanaess before leaving the Library.

The three return to the warehouse offices to find Marcus sitting in a chair, evidently having made himself comfortable for awhile.

“I’ve found a way. Its going to be expensive!”

RISING- Episode 4: Sorten, Valis, and Progeny

Kaolin uses her crown of stars to bring the Nautiloid into orbit, hiding it on the far side of Kule, the moon.A few moments with incense and chanting and she establishes a Word of Recall that would bring them back to the bridge. (Trigger word: Tango).

Setting the buglings to guard and leaving instructions to flee in case of discovery Kaolin teleports the three to the Green Dragon Inn in the Free City of Greyhawk on the planet below. The hadozee priestess wants to stop for a cocktail but just gets the stink eye from the others.

Appearing in the shadows near the portal to Sigil Kaolin does a very colorful few dance steps, hooting in hadozee the whole time, activates the portal and the three surviving Seven Stars step through.

One of the patrons looks at another, slams his ale down and says, “Nope, I didn’t just see that either. Barwench!”

Exiting the portal in the Clerks Ward they rapidly make their way through The Cage until they they reach the Temple of Celestian in the Lady’s Ward. Not even taking time to check in at Stray Manor they make their way to the garden and step through the portal to the Rock of Bral.

As they emerge from the portal it is very easy to see that things are not going so well here. While far from extinguished the sun burns dimly compared to its usual radiance. There is a decided chill in the normally temperate atmosphere of the asteroid city. Looking upwards they see an amazing array of Elven Imperial Navy ships, including an Arrowing ship flying the colors of the admiralty which seems to be heading for Prince Andru’s private landing strip.

Setting out for the lower city and the offices they walk through streets filed with palpable tension. People around them seem to be suffering from protracted stress and fear.

Once the arrive at House Seven Stars’ offices Tavist is informed that K’Tel (their administrator) is down at the docks. Deciding time is of the essence they part ways, TAvist heads to the docks to look for K’Tel and get the skinny on what has happend in their abscnce while Kaolin and taj Pach head for the the Library of the Spheres to see if they can dig up anything on Arack or Thoon.

As the hadozee and the xixchil head for the library Kaolin grabs Taj by the elbow and says, “We have to make a stop first!” They head into Shou Town and pick up some fod at one of the noodle shops. As they enter the Library who should be at the desk but Gerald, Kaolin passes the food over the counter to his obvious joy. After a few moments of conversation he advises that they speak with Sorten, the resident expert on illithids.

Meanwhile down at the docks Tavist find K’Tel waiting at an empty slip just as three EIN Warbirds escort The Valis, long thought lost, into port. “Where is he?” asks Tavist, meaning Falkirk.

“The EIN said he escaped,” replies the gnome.

As he speaks the familiar six foot tall figure of Sar Casualik, the High Mage of the EIN appears on The Valis, along with numerous Imperial Guards. As he looks down on Tavist, whose Draconic blood he ignited in a blood ritual several years ago, he smiles. “I see you have been studious in continuing down the path of the Dragons!”

The amazingly tall elf tells Tavist that Falkirk managed to evade them at the last but the ship is recovered and seems in good order. K’Tel takes possession of the ship and Tavist instructs him to have the Praetorians detailed to the Valis. Sar and Tavist then repair to the Seven Stars offices so that they may speak privately.

Once away from prying ears Sar tells Tavist some very disturbing news. Evidently his former lover, Kavara Liveoak, was recently outed as a szarkai (albino drow) infiltrator. Even more staggering is the fact that she had a child and the best divinations point to it being Tavist’s.

While Tavist is getting his world rocked by the EIN High Mage, Taj and Kaolin meet with Sorten at the Library of the Spheres. A native of Toril in RealmSpace, Sorten is a specialist in Illithid Lore. His many encounters with them in the Underdark of his own world and others, as well as in WildSpace itself have left him nervous and paranoid. Due to age retarding magics he looks a youth of 18 despite being well over 120. He is also a member of the Fireball Alliance.

Between their talk of the Overmind and the sample of green fluid from the Thoon Altar his interest is sparked. He sends them away while he does research, telling them to return at 9 bells.

Taj dimension doors them to the street outside the Seven Stars’ Offices just as Sar Casaulik is leaving. Tavist looks thunderstruck, something they understand once he recounts the conversation. Upon hearing that the Valis has been returned Kaolin runs screaming down the docks towards its slip.

When Tavist and Taj catch up they do a walkthrough of the vessel. As they get to the lower areas they find K’Tel coming out of the hold holding his nose and looking sick. A look inside shows the rotting bulk of something made partially from flesh and partially from seemingly random items and parts. The smell is phenomenal.

While debating cleanup Kaolin suggests letting the buglings eat it. Taj is horrified “Do you eat rotten meat? No! Fresh, fresh meat people!”

Next stop is back to the offices where they appraise K’Tel of the fact that the the thers are missing in action and that the bug s buying in. Taj immediatley goes into negotiation mode while Tavist returns to help search the Valis. He and Kaolin, to her great joy, find her missing tapestry of the Spelljammer over Toril in the Captain’s Quarters.

Since one of the things Taj is bringing to the table is psionic communications she arranges a regular schedule of check ins with K’Tel.

9 Bells: The three set off to see Sorten.

When they enter the illithid expert’s study he seems surprised by Tavist and it takes a moment for them to get him abck on track. He does have some information that should be useful.

He tells them that The MInd Flayers of Thoon are a sect of Far Realm touched illithids. He also says that while he has been unable to unearth the location of the Annulus, hardly surprising, he may have found a lead. An illithid heretic named Albossk might have info that could help them find it. Unfortunately Albossk is currently incarcerated in the illithid prison known as the Spiral of Manzessine. The prison exists in Oerth’s underdark.

Kalin offers to bring Sorten to the Ancient Nautiloid via portals. He nervously declines. Tavist then steps in and offers to allow one of Sorten’s assistants to come on board for research purposes.

After leaving Kaolin casts discern location on the triangular item that Thought Taker had removed from the Juna Outpost before he plane shifted away. The results? Overmind, Elserryn Ethergap, Ethereal Plane.

While Kaolin is casting Taj and K’Tel finish the paperwork making her “a boss.” Immediately after the final paper is signed and official she tells K’Tel to institute an audit of the House resources and busieness for her to review. The gnome’s jaw drops.

Business attended to Kaolin and Tavist decide to take the bug to their favorite dive bar near the docks- The Rockrat. As they approach the door the figure of a burly human fighter type is thrown throough the doorway with enough force to leave him unconsious and limp against the building across the street. Cutpurses converge on the still figure as our heroes enter the bar.

Grinder, the ogre bouncer, greets them and collects their (visible) weaponry, except for Taj whose weapons are part of her. They enter the dimly lit and boisterous room and hed for the bar. While ordering Tavist notices Xamboor Arvo, or “Bugman” as the crew call him, a Rastipede pilot for the House having a drink. Bringing a refill for the insectoid they head over and chat. In fairly short order they’ve enlisted him to pilot when they next depart.

Taj, in the meantime, obsessively observes the extra large female xixchil at the other end of the bar. If she had ahckles they would have been raised.

After another round of ale they depart The Rockrat, taking Bugman along, and head a few blocks over to the docks where their offices are. Once there and away from prying eyes Kaolin activates her word of recall and the group are immediately transported to the deck of the Ancient Nautiloid.

“Whoa!” says Bugman

RISING- Episode 3: Return to Greyspace

Kaolin: “Can you play cards?”
Taj Pach picks up glass and throws water on the hadozee: “You know I’ve learned to make people’s heads explode now…”
-Overheard during the Heroes Feast on the Ancient Nautiloid

After laying their plans over dinner the Seven Stars and the buglings get a god nights rest in preparation for their hopeful departure in the morning.

With Dave on standby in the Kelhorn’s Grace in case of disaster Taj tries to activate the course setting for Penumbra. Try to activate course for Penumbra. After processing fr a time the ship reports back that it is unable to plot the course due to being “on an unidentified vibratory plane at odds with the multiversal constants of their home multiverse”.

Using the psionic circuitry in conjunction with the ship’s systems Taj Pach detects a dimensional gate forming nearby. Firing up the engines they chart and intercept course.

As they approach the site of the gate they see a bust of purple energy, much like the ones that preceded their other quantum jumps, and a ship appears. It looks similar in design to the ones native to the Dragon Empire (i.e. high Tech Level) but is blazoned with the markings of House Seven Stars!

While Taj projects a minor image of the Seven Stars coat of arms outside the Nautiloid tavist notes some small differences in the blazon on the newcomer’s ship. For one thing there is a laser pistol integrated into the design….

The ship stops and after a few tense moments a space suited figure exits the airlock and jet packs over to the party’s Nautiloid. Entering through the force field the figure takes off its helmet and the face of Finn beams out at them.

It immediately becomes apparent that this is “A Finn” as opposed to “their Finn”.

Talking rapidly while he wires a wand like device into the ship’s controls the alternate Finn tells them they are not supposed to be here, they are needed in their home multiverse. From what he relays the Illithids are trying to reshape the entire history of the multiverse so that their empire never fell. If they can do this the changes to Greyspace, Oerth in particular would resonate throughout the other multiverses and the change would affect all of them. In effect, if the Overmind is not stopped it will mean Illithid domination of both this and all other realities.

Wishing them luck he departs for his ship, leaving Taj Pach studiously examining the “D-Wand” he wired into their controls. Tavist leans over to her and whispers, “So its only good for one trip, eh? Good thing you have that techno-magic staff to refuel it with!”

As the alternate Seven Stars ship disappears in a bust of purple energy Taj Pach engages the newly modified Nautiloid’s engines. After several minutes of sensory distortion and physical turbulence they appear in space in close orbit around a fire body. Almost immediately they are attacked, the ship lurching under them as it is impacted by fireballs.

Moments after the first impact a tall, bald human with a van dyke beard appears on the bridge and casts hold person on them, all escape except the xixchil. As Kaolin shouts out “Mordenkainen?!?!” Tavist fires with the laser pistol. The beam of light deflects its course six inches from the figure’s chest.

After a quick but heated exchange which includes Tavist actually managing to tackle the Great Mage they cease hostilities to talk. Seeming to gain interest when they tell him a condensed version of events Mordenkainen tells them he must “remain with the others to defend Liga (the Sun).” Then, with an almost offhand gesture he waves his hand and the Nautiloid is suddenly parked in the Selintan River a few miles outside the Free City of Greyhawk.

It is decided in short order that rather than deal with the reactions they would get from attempting to sail an obvious mind flayer ship into port they should just leave it hidden behind the moon and teleport to the city.
Meanwhile the Bug makes it well nown that she wants a contract……

Take off and park behind the Moon


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