Alternate Earth Campaign

The rescue party
if it can be called that . . .

For the Newcomers:

The vizier Alraji has asked you to go and find your compatriots to bring them back for the meeting of the Sorcerer Lords that is scheduled to take place this evening. Alraji’s mephit scouts reported that your companions entered a townhouse near to the palace this morning. Arriving at the address yourselves, you found signs of forced entry through the front, and further found that the basement had been invaded and occupied by gnolls for some time. Taniel pointed out that gnolls had been outlawed in Baruk-Tur for millennia, upon pain of death.

You also discovered that a hole had been burrowed through the flagstones of the basement into the dirt and beyond into the bedrock beneath the building. Following the tunnel for over a mile, twisting and turning and going ever deeper. At best guess, you are almost directly beneath Palace at a depth of several hundred feet. The tunnel has breached into a cavern system which goes to the right and the left. The left branch is illuminated by curtains of fire in a small cavern across a narrow chasm. To the right you hear yips and barks, shouts in some profane language, and a few calls in Ealiiri. The chambers to the right are littered with bodies of gnolls and praeloryte. Throughout you can hear enraged bellows of some enormous nature.

Roll for initiatve . . .

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Catacombs, Wizards and Dragons

For those already in the dungeons:

Vonvaka the Destroyer and the Giant Slayers (Thurival and Percy) met up with Rorth the Unicornucopia after leaving the Northgate and heading back towards the Palace. They followed the suggestion the Masked One, looking into a building at a particular address near to the palace. There, they found signs of forced entry through the front, and further found that the basement had been invaded and occupied by gnolls for some time. Percy pointed out that gnolls had been outlawed in Baruk-Tur for millennia, upon pain of death.

The party also discovered that a hole had been burrowed through the flagstones of the basement into the dirt and beyond into the bedrock beneath the building. The party resolved to follow the tunnel and did so, for over a mile, twisting and turning and going ever deeper. At best guess, party was almost directly beneath Palace at a depth of several hundred feet. There, they discovered an expansive cavern system infested with gnolls as well as praeloryte, the grey hunters. Tharivul was startled, discharging his blaster rifle at maximum setting (weapon familiarization serves a purpose), reducing his target into a pile of dust.

The rest of the party soon piled in causing death and dreck amongst the gnolls and their praeloryte masters. Black Razor drank several souls as Percy cast lately down one of the passageways. Rorth cleared a small cavern in the other direction with curtains of fire. The party pressed forward to the tunnels on the right, discovering an illithid and its hulking bodyguards. They seem to curiously disinterested in joining the fray, so Vonvaka took Black Razor in the opposite direction, amongst more gnolls and praeloryte. Thurival and Percy followed suit, though Rorth inexplicably chose to beard the lion, banishing the illithid to another plane – temporarily.

Vonvaka finally came close enough praeloryte to learn the each had a brand of the Inverted Omega on cheek or forehead. The Ealiiri and Percy took wounds, primarily from the praeloryte, but three of them were slain along with a fistful of gnolls. Percy animated the corpses of two praeloryte party charged into the largest cavern yet. A masked wizard chanting sibilant profanity was surrounded by gnolls and hulking goat headed brutes with enormous pole-arms. Hovering in the great chasm before them was an enormous black scaled Dragon.

At the party’s arrival, the Dragon screamed in rage. The masked wizard hastily summoned a curtain of force stopping a stream of Dragon acid. The party advanced further, as the wizard and his minions maneuvered towards the exit at the far side of the cavern. Animated blades and a ball of fire from Rorth took their toll on the wizard’s minions – and the wizard himself. The wizards rage was palpable as he stared his hate at the Ealiir. Vonvaka noticed that this wizard wore a mask much like those who murdered his brother, and also bearing the sign of the Inverted Omega.

Roll for initiative . . .

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The Walls Are Held

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Eniki, sorely wounded and charred, staggered away from the corpse of Anaik to gather his son in his arms. But the bellows of rage and sorrow outside the wall had not ceased. Hefting his Dawn Blade, Eniki turned to his son and said “run now! Fetch your uncle Fezzik and any others he can bring! We cannot let them into the city.” Kissing his boy on the head he turned back to rejoin the fray.

Already Avvim were on the battlements inside the walls, moving to take the main courtyard. Percy, a twitching, smoldering, drooling heap on the shattered cobblestones was helpless against them. His sole remaining zombie standing listless atop the gate house. Tharivul dashed to his side and dragged him to the heights of a nearby building to hold him safe.

Vonvaka leapt from the knee of an enraged Rephaim back through the gate as the great giants futilely tugged at the corpse of their master. Even empowered by Black Razor, Vonvaka despaired of being able to hold the gate house by himself. As he turned to look back down the street into the heart of the city, he saw Eniki striding back towards him, and beyond, a squad of soldiers led by Gallotar, a wizard captain to Lord Ming.

Eniki joined the company of humans and marched towards the center of the courtyard. Vonvaka immediately sprang to the roof of a building to his left to meet the first Avvim. The giant screamed in agony as the soul blade began its work, but Vonvaka was wearing down and the Avvim remained standing after two blows. Fleshton moved to engage the Avvim that entered the courtyard slamming one of them with his meaty fists – but their swords quickly cut him down. Gallotar’s squad moved to engage the Avvim trading blows while Gallotar himself lobbed balls of fire at more Avvim that had gathered around the corpse of Anaik.

On the Eastern rooftops Tharivul fought off one Avvim that came for him and Percy. To the west Vonvaka finished the first Avvim as another came to take his place, then yet another behind him. In the yard, an Avvim took a soldier’s had from his shoulders before he himself succumbed to wounds from the soldier’s squad mates. The other Avvim in the yard gave up their efforts to free the corpse and turned on Gallotar’s squad. More soldiers began to die. The Rephaim outside the gate finally took to scaling the walls themselves. Ancient wards worked into the massive stone palisade still held magic causing the giants to scream in agony as they clambered over. One lost his grip and tumbled down into the courtyard below.

Vonvaka, despairing of his allies’ ability to hold the gate, leapt 50 paces from his rooftop to the one sheltering Tharivul and Percy. He demanded the iron flasks from Tharivul and leapt again, to the eastern tower. In the courtyard, the first Rephaim raised himself from the cobbles, strode into the squad slammed his foot down amongst them, knocking them to the paving stones.
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The Rephaim’s attack felled one of his own Avvim and injured another but caused serious casualties amongst Gallotar’s soldiers. Eniki and Gallotar rallied the flagging troops then turned back to the Avvim. Eniki’s Dawn Blade cut down an Avvim, while Gallotar’s magic finished off another.

Two more Rephaim descended to the courtyard below while a third was moving along the battlements towards Tharivul and Percy. Fearing they were about to be overrun, Vonvaka unleashed both iron flasks. With screams of glee and madness, two savage balors leapt wreak vengeance on any they could reach. Vonvaka released one into the inner court and one outside the walls. Flame whips and lightning swords matched against gigantic Dawn Blades in a savage battle that proved to the Rephaim that their fight was lost.
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As the battle between giants and demons raged, the new shadow swept the battlefield as the Sorcerer Lord known as The Halamyrian, Master of the Black Tower, entered the fray writing upon a great silver wyrm, the only Sorcerer Lord to answer the plea of the vizier Alraji. The Avvim were utterly slaughtered, and half the Rephaim with them. The gray clad Halamyrian, himself armed with a black soul blade, turned his attention to the Balors as the remaining Rephaim fled north. Gallotar and Eniki pulled their squad back to shelter amongst the buildings on the Western courtyard while Vonvaka returned to check on Tharivul and Percy. The Dragon dove upon the Balor in the courtyard, slamming it to the paving stones while the Halamyrian slid from the Dragon’s back and thrust the soul blade into the demon’s chest.

Even the Dragon cringed from the shrieks of the Balor as the black blade drank its life energy, yet the Halamyrian never flinched. Outside the wall, the second Balor took to the air, fleeing after the Rephaim. As the corpse of the first Balor crumbled to dust, the Halamyrian took the blade free from the cobbles and remounted. The Wyrm leapt into the sky to give chase to the fleeing Balor. As Dragon and demon dwindled into the distance, the survivors paused to look around at the carnage. Little remained of the citizens the Rephaim slaughtered to sate their gluttony, but now more than a score of Avvim lay dead on the cracked paving stones. And with them seven Rephaim giants at the corpse of the great Melqart, Anaik. Eniki was still sorely wounded, and the golem lay inert where it had fallen. Percy remained comatose as well. Amazingly, only four of Gallotar’s soldiers were slain, though he stalked about muttering his fears of his master’s displeasure, having committed Lord Ming’s troops to the defense of the gate without consulting him.

And while Vonvaka looked upon the carnage at the gate, the masked one again appeared
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“well, you’ve spent great blood that the effort defending the city for these mortals, yet this whole time your kith and kin are being tortured and sacrificed beneath your feet. Do you intend to aid them?”

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The Final Assault
will the Ealirri hold?

The wall is slighted. The stones are charred and cracked from the blast of the falling star. A crater smokes in the middle of the courtyard. The Melqart, Anaik, First Blood Reaver to the Ba’al, Baruk-Tur, brother of the First Ba’al, Zai’bohl, is slain, ignominiously pinioned by the portcullis like a rancor-ous beast from another world, then impaled by his own Dawn Blade. His minions, Avvim and Rephaim, assail the walls to avenge him. The North Gate is not Sealed.

CRACK! The paving stones shudder again as Percy snaps the golden horns off Anaik’s head. Outside the gate, Vonvaka drains Anaik’s soul energy with his Void Sword. Sheathed in black soul-flame, with strange glints of gold, the Khessian turns to do battle with the Melqart’s retinue, hardly noticing that the effects of the Golden Apples have worn off. Tharivul gives a weary sigh as he discovers that the siege engines he intended to use have been destroyed by the falling star. He feels the rush of the Golden Apples depart his system like a physical force, yet he feels somehow refreshed, empowered as the light of the new dawn washes over him.

As he looks, he sees that Avvim have been lifted up by the Rephaim to threaten his battlements. He falls back down to the courtyard below. One of Percy’s Avvite zombies is destroyed, but second is barely operational. Fleshton, likewise is barely operational, probably on the verge of another berserk frenzy.

The courtyard is consumed by a golden flare as Percy presses the sundered horns to his own flesh . . .

Excruciating spears dig into his skull driving down behind his eyes as the golden horns scrabble for purchase in such a puny vessel. Percy is driven to his knees in pain as he struggles with the weight of his Doom . . .or Apotheosis . . .

Outside, Rephaim howl in rage and despair and they drag at the massive corpse of their master, clogging the gate.

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Retaking the Walls from the Rephaim

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Having retaken the Unicorn intact and discovered, in the broadest strokes, the fate of their fellow crew, the Officers met with Alraji , the Vizier of Baruk-Tur. They decided to help him and the city by retaking the Great Gates from the Rephaim who held them. Donar elected to head to the East Gate alone then to meet up with the Atlantean party sent to take the North Gate. The Officers agreed to the plan and set off, though this was likely to only be a temporary measure, since the Vizier has no ability to order the Sentinels so long as the Viceroy is incapacitated and no Regent of Kerpatis’s blood had been appointed.

Thus the Ealiir, and Donar, had effectively undertaken to defend the city alone.

This they did. Vonvaka and his black blade, followed by Thurival, Fleshton and Eniki, as well as a new Barukturian companion, a physicker called Percy, made their way to the North Gate through sheets of rain. Percy, it happens, was an accomplished necromancer who used his arts to animate the corpses of two of the Aviim slain by Fleshton and Eniki the day before. Thus bolstered, the party crept closer, using Thurival’s familiar to scout the area obscured by darkness and rain.

They discovered that the Rephaim, three in number, had rounded up the gate guards and any local traffic to consumed them, one at a time. One unfortunate was screaming his last as they approached only to be silenced by a disquieting crunch as the Rephaim chortled. This resonated with Vonvaka, a mirror of the loss of his brother, who then casually dropped 35’ to the ground and strolled towards the offending giant. The others were either entirely unaware or flummoxed by the bizarre behavior of a runtling, cavalierly strolling towards feasting giants.

Confusion soon turned to rage and fear as Black Razor bit into the Rephaim again and again and again. Using the souldrinker as leverage, Vonvaka scaled the giant from knee to neck, at last severing the spine and riding the corpse back to the pavement – surrounded by a black nimbus of stolen life energy. Thurival began driving arrows into the avvim from hiding above and behind, to considerable effect. Eniki charged into the fray with his looted Dawn Blade cutting into the avvim from behind. Percy’s shambling dead staggered forward, bogging down a few of the avvim, while his magecraft plagued the third Rephaim with blindness and enfeeblement.

But the second rephaim and most of the avvim were drawn to Vonvaka like moths to a flame. And, like the moths, they met their doom upon the black sword, drinking their souls to empower its wielder to slay yet more of them.

The battle lasted some time. Even Black Razor needed to strike avvim and especially Rephaim multiple time before felling them. But finally they were slain, three rephaim drained by Black Razor and many avvim as well. Only two remained alive long enough to escape through the gates, where an even more shocking battle was unfolding.

Donar did not exaggerate when he claimed that he could handle the East Gate alone. He was already speeding along the north road outside the walls on his goat drawn chariot when the Ealiir cleared the North Gate. Aided by the potency of the Golden Apples, Thurival was able to see what unfolded a quarter mile away.

The Melqart and his army were already headed south towards the gates. Donar, a thousand feet short of the Melqart, leapt from his chariot, covering the distance in one bound, and driving his axe into the Melqart’s armored shoulder. The giant swept the man to the ground, slamming him down in a spray of mud. Donar immediately leapt again but was met by the Dawn Blade. 25’ of glowing yellow metal chopped him from the sky, casting him dozens of yards back into the mud. The blow looked as if it could have cut another Melqart in two, yet Donar rose again, leaping through the air in a crack of thunder into the Melqart’s back-swing. Donar’s axe sheared completely through Anaik’s hand sending sword and hand spinning through the rain and darkness to impale the very wall the Ealiir had just claimed.

Maimed, the enraged giant caught up Donar with his remaining hand and threw him into its mouth, gnashing its teeth. Teeth exploded out in splinters as Donar leapt back to the ground. No sooner had the Red-gold brawler touched down than the Melqart began stomping on him with its boots – until a bolt of lightning lanced down from the sky, burning Anaik’s face and chest.

The Melqart staggered back , sorely wounded so many times. Donar lurched unsteadily to his feet. The rains stopped, revealing roiling clouds depicting an angered bearded face. “INTERLOPER!” thunder boomed as a briliant bolt slashed the sky, blasting Donar into a crater dozens of yards wide. The the blast mauled Anaik and his army and even reached a quarter mile to the watching Eliir, threatening to push them off the walls.

All stood in shock while the clouds reached down to the crater picking something from the ruins and receding to the north. Muttered thunder “too soon for you boy. Stay in you own realm.”

The clouds part revealing a watery dawn and a battered, enraged Melqart with a fistful of Rephaim and scores of Avvim looking south to the Gates of Baruk Tur for vengeance. As the Ealiir watched, the sullen Anaik snatched up one of the avvim fleeing from the North Gate, biting his head clean off and drinking the corpse dry. As his followers staggered to their feet he bellows loud enough to reach the walls “Bring me sacrifices! this City will BURN!” Avvim immediately begin scattering to the countryside looking for sacrifices from the many plantations, lest they be added to the menu.

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Retaking the Unicorn

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Donar and Loptr two brothers, a bombastic, brawling warrior and a retiring, sour cynic met the party at the Purple Sails .
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Donar, possessed of delicious apples that glowed with their own golden light, shared them with Aodh, Vonvaka and Thurival. The Ealiir were overcome with a sense of profound euphoria dulling their interest in the mundane world around them. Yet they conspired with Donar and Loptr, or at least Donar, to immediately head out to the captured ship Wylde Unicorn and re-take it. Aodh transformed into a giant Eagle, carrying Donar out to the Meropian vessel, Red Hammer, and dropping him to its deck. Donar smashed through the upper deck and immediately entered the fray, thrashing Meropian brutes with his axe.

After some time struggling to overcome their debilitating euphoria, Thurival and Vonvaka also reached the decks of the ships. Thurival was dropped by Aodh onto the stern castle of the starboard Meropian vessel where he immediately engaged the Meropian captain and ship’s wizard. Vonvaka started on the deck of the Unicorn and held off the advancing horde of Meropian soldiers and brutes from the starboard vessel, standing his ground against the encircling press with the aid of his Khessian training and the Souldrinker Black Razor. Meanwhile Donar boarded the port vessel slaying his way from stem to stern.

In the depths beneath the Red Hammer, Aodh pursued the Meropian Priest who had fled to the water rather than face the Axe of Donar. Taking the shape of an enormous toad, Aodh caught up to the priest, sucking him into his maw. But the priest had been tainted by the malevolence of the Dark Crystal in the caverns beneath Atlas’s Folly. And Aodh was filled with the power of the Golden Apples. Their resulting contact caused an eruption of raw energy that sent a geyser of water hundreds of feet into the sky, shattering the Hammer’s keel and blasting Aodh from his amphibian form and back into the sky.
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After Thurival killed the captain and the wizard, Aodh picked up the captain’s hat and ordered the Brutes to stop fighting, and they obeyed. The fighting on the ships over, they discovered no sign of the Ealiiri crew, though the ghothans remained aboard.

To the North the fires from the ziggurats still burned, the culling unabated. Aodh turned to Donar “you want to kill a god?”

ADDENDUM:

As the unicorn begins to gather way Donar turns to you “It is strange to find you here my friends. I had not expected to see Vanir so far south, or even away from Vanheim at all. Are you related to Frey and Freya?”

Aodh orders the Meropians to unfasten their ships from the Unicorn and being making repairs to their ships under the supervision of a few of the Ghothans. As he mans the wheel of the Unicorn, Donar’s question booms over the sound of the wind and the waves.

“Vanir? Vanheim? I know nothing of these places nor of those of whom you speak. We hail from the island of Atlas. Your language bares some similarity to ours. Perhaps you and your kind are descended from an expedition from our island some time ago. It seems possible that at least one would gain foothold somewhere.”

“Atlas? I have heard tales of him. The greatest giant ever they say. Taller than a mountain. They also say that he was imprisoned eons ago. Bound to bear some great burden into eternity. You come from his island? Have you ever seen him? Is he still bound?”

He stands at the rail and looks out over the water. “My father has told me that I am prophesied to fight the giants of this world and drive them to the farthest reaches, ending the grip of ice, and making the world safe for the race of men. My brother thinks I am a fool for believing it.” He gazes at the city, The red glow of the fire is flickering against the pillars smoke in the sky. “But here, Where the giants call themselves gods and eat their people, I think my father must be right.”

The unicorn is approaching the palace’s private docks. There’s a great deal of activity on the dock, and individuals looking expectantly towards you. Some of your fellow crew members stand there waiting, including your friend Kharis whose left arm just thickly bandaged…

Something doesn’t look quite right about him. Then it hits you, his arm is not just bandaged, it looks like it’s missing above the elbow…

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Interrupting the Culling

After some discussion on the hill, Aodh led the officers and their new retinue into the city to get a better look at the situation with their ship. He exacted promises from the two wizard captains to come with soldiers to help them reclaim the Unicorn. On the way, they discovered a rephaim, his avvite guards and a group of priests with their thugs Culling people on the streets. The Rephaim was simply reaching in through windows, pulling people from their homes and eating them in the street.

His six fingered hands clenched half eaten corpses as gore dripped down his black beard. This was apparently too much for Aodh who, despite the darkening of his soul, immediately proceeded down the thoroughfare against the press of humans, enkidu and Aviim fleeing the Culling. He was followed by Fleshton, Bennari and Eniki.

Aodh’s magic conquered the giant compressing his form to that of a tiny quipper fish – then transforming himself into an eagle he snatched it up in his talons and flew into the sky.

Behind him, his companions were sore pressed by the avvite guard still in the street. The priests (and the rest of their followers) quailing in terror at the loss of their demigod, fled – particularly after Eniki split a priest in half with his axe.

Fleshton and Eniki were suffering grievous wounds, while Bennari was disintegrating the guards with her blaster. Aodh turned to help his friends tearing the Rephaim in half dropping him down onto the buildings below. The avvim were finally slain, but not before Fleshton went berserk, killing one of the prisoners and damaging the android while she lifted him in the air, channeling electricity through her hands as Aodh blasted it with lightning in the form of a bronze Dragon.

Eventually, they regained control of Fleshton, freed the prisoners and headed south to the Purple Sails for the rendezvous. When they arrived they found a group of onlookers standing around the entrance to the building and saw a giant sail out the front door to slam into a nearby building. Money then began to change hands amongst the onlookers…

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Expedition to . . . the Stump

The party then determined to press on to the newly discovered ruins in the side of the Mesa. They learned that other groups, probably sent by sorcerer lords from the city had beaten them there, some by days.

Having left the white plumed mountain they headed south towards the great Plateau. Along the way they discovered evidence of other groups moving south towards the same destination. As the Unicorns drew closer the evidence was more obvious – other expeditions had beaten them here. Some may have been here for days.

they climbed the rubble from the rockslide to an opening in what appeared to be a great metal wall. The wall did not appear to be made of iron, or at least the Ealiir felt no effects. However, crossing the threshold they felt as if they had walked through some sort of energy field . . .

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The inside appeared to be made of much the same metal, though there appears also to be some sort of paint upon it. The interior was dark and passages lead away into further darkness. Just inside the entrance was a strange round pit. they found a strange device in a pile of rubbish at the mouth of one of the passages to the right. Occasionally they would hear sounds like some sort of movement on the ceiling above, but when they look up nothing is there…
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Leaving half of their group with the baggage and horses, Aodh, Captain El, Vonvaka, Rorth and Thorival entered the ruin. Progressing through the strange metal halls, they were attacked by some strange enveloping creature on the ceiling, then heard voices in the language of the Giants from a partially obstructed doorway.

After some reconnaissance, they arranged an ambush, cutting down the two giants who emerged. However, more Giants emerged from another room further down the hall, behind them.

Rorth’s unicorn was badly injured by their weapons but managed to escape to safety. The rest of the party slew both Giants, but then Rorth was attacked by some strange red toadlike creature hanging from the ceiling. Their weapons drove it off, but they were then ambushed from behind by an oni. The blast of freezing cold it unleashed upon them hurt, but was not debilitating. It attempted to escape but they foiled its plan. Ultimately, Rorth lifted it from the ground with his telekinesis, holding it immobile while it was finished off.

Having slain the Giants, they freed the little vegetable people that the Giants had enslaved. These people gave the party a map depicting what was to be found on this floor. The party then proceeded to move into the core of the derelict.

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As they reach the core, the party split up going to various different rooms of interest as indicated on the map. Aodh discovered a strange, synthetic female dispensing medicine. Thorival discovered a room with two stout, tubular automatons speaking to him, menacingly, in an unknown language.
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Rorth went into a room with a variety of strange metal and glass boxes, some of which displayed moving images and could be interacted with through strange knobs and buttons and other controls. Captain El found something that they later learned was a library, but it was already inhabited by a number of soldiers and a wizard from the city. Over half of the soldiers were very sick, possibly from their wounds. They learned that the soldiers of been attacked by creatures hanging from the ceiling (toadlike and blue).

Rorth wandered off on his own downstairs to an enormous terrarium and was accosted by a grey hunter, somehow summoning yet another unicorn and fleeing back up above.

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Eventually, the party got some highly potent acid from one of the laboratories and use that to unseal the doors that they had entered. They escaped the ruins with some exotic equipment and the synthetic entity, then returned quickly to the city. Rorth was certain that something dire had occurred in their absence.
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Returning to the hill overlooking some of the port, they saw that their ship had shifted it’s Anchorage and was now surrounded by three meropian vessels. Excessive amounts of smoke could be seen billowing from the northern quarter of the city as well.

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To the White Plumed Mountain

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The officers of the Unicorn braved the White Plumed Mountain to retrieve three weapons of power. Brobdingian crustaceans, vampires and ogre Lords were no match for them; neither was a lake of boiling mud nor an inverted ziggurat filled with ravenous monsters.

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The grey hunters attacked them as well with their hyena headed minions … But proved no match.

Aodh released an imprisoned balor, that was ultimately destroyed. The vampire retreated further in mist form. Keraptis was not seen.
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The party recovered Wave, Whelm and Blackrazor. Vonvaka wields Blackrazor, though it is unclear who bears the other great weapons of power.

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Thwarting the Coup

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The Unicorns thwarted a coup led by Prince Ari and supported by terrible demons and Praeloryte, grey-skinned hunters in the city of Baruk-Tur.

Thanks to Aodh, the prince has been captured. The uprising has been defeated, though there were many casualties, including the Viceroy. He is mostly sequestered with his physicians. His vizier, the djinn Alraji, has been your liaison.

The Viceroy still greatly desires that you head to Keraptis’s mountain of power to retrieve the artifacts. Time is of the essence because there’s no telling how long princess Arellia has in the clutches of the Ba’al. But, once the mountain of power is breached, The Ba’al will surely know and the truce will be broken. He could come at any time to destroy the Viceroy and reinstate himself his direct divine ruler of the city. The Viceroy needs you to collect up the weapons of power, and anything else you can get your hands on, to challenge the Ba’al and return princess Arellia. He promises to pay you handsomely for your assistance.

It is unclear whether the Viceroy will survive his wounds. Princess Laria is apparently not competent to take over rulership. And with the Prince imprisoned, things are starting to look bleak. Some of the other Sorcerer Lords of the city have apparently realized (probably through imp spies) that the royal family is in trouble.

There were reports, a few days earlier, of some sort of earthquake or landslide on the edge of The Stump, the great Mesa to the south and east. Apparently, there is a belief that an intrepid group could enter the Mesa and come back with powerful magics and artifacts, rather like Keraptis, Iggwilv and Xarot did so long ago.

Vonvaka spent some time doing research in the Library of the Viceroy of Baruk Tur:

As for the library, you dig around in there but it’s tough to read much of the books since they’re not written in your language. Giants apparently don’t write too many books.

There are some in Ealiiri, evidently written by Xarot himself. He says that the giant plateau to the south (which measures approximately 300 miles x 600 miles) is believed to have been much taller once. That is why they call it the stump. He references even more ancient writings (which you do not find copies of) the call the previous formation “The Boil.” Apparently it was a giant dome of stone peaking about 5 miles tall.

Ancient myths say that that land was once a cradle of civilization, but fell to debauchery. Divine beings came from the sky to destroy wicked cities that were found there. The earth boiled up around them to entomb the wicked cities.

Apparently Xarot, Keraptis and Igwillv found a secret entrance to the plateau and began hunting around for powerful magics to use against The Ba’als.

He mentions a tomb that he warns others away from, that of Acererak. He generally describes a war against the Ba’al that was fought to a stalemate. A truce was reached. Keraptis agreed to be sealed into his mountain of power. Igwillv retreated to a mountain fastness to the north. In return, The Ba’als would allow humans to operate as their viceroys, so long as their priests still provided a steady supply of sacrifices. Keraptis’s son became viceroy of Barak-tur. Others became viceroys to other cities.
There is brief mention of three other cities to the north. Remnants of an older empire called Halamyr – Khaalamdea and Arduun, both peopled by humans, and Caras Viel populated by the most vicious of Druthgar’s followers, the adherents of Ursynic.

Finally, there is some mention of a cult that is focused on releasing some ancient power from the boil. That cult bears the sign of an inverted Omega and apparently came into direct conflict with Xarot’s people, creating demon spawn praeloryte to hunt them to extinction.

There is a little other writing in Ealiir apparently by someone else lamenting the fact that Xarot had succumbed to the Fugue, implying that if he had not, the outcome of the war might have been different.

Other Developments:
Aodh gained:
a Djinni Ring
4 iron flasks – 3 with Balors, 1 empty. 1 has since been used. The flasks are now missing.

Party met Eniki an Enkidu giant and owner of a grog shop near the Purple Sails.
Party also met Taniel – a later generation Ealiir and descendant of Xarot.

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