October 12, 2019 recap

Several companions that had been separated were now returning to the Yellow Temple near Akkadia to the southeast of Whitestone. Ruven was the last to arrive back from Ember after making sure the mermaids he and Mitsune had carried there were safe. He had decided to rest in Ember before heading out. When he woke up Misako was beside him. He went about getting ready to leave trying not to wake her. She eventually woke and they spoke briefly about things. She had heard about their victory at the Pit and she wanted to see it. Ruven said “Sure thing. I know a way to get there quickly.” They used a portal to get to the Pit and once they arrived Ruven introduced her to everyone. Misako got straight to the point why she was there. She wanted to run the Pit herself. She was not impressed by Guido. The group discussed it briefly and decided that it was better to have her in the position to run the Pit instead of Guido. They knew she would probably take money from the operations, Ruven felt it would be odd if she did not. He also knew that she would run the Pit very well. The group agreed.

They needed to get to the Yellow Temple but on foot, it would take around 14 days or so. Ruven talked to Modura through the Yellow Amulet and he gave Ruven some possible words to use on the portal at the Pit. None of them worked. Misako knew that they could buy an airship in Ember. Shanasita did not want to go back to Ember. Ever. But, she cast Calm Emotions on herself and with the aid of the group they went through the portal and to the closest airship dealership that Misako had told them about. To purchase one it could cost 30,000 for a basic one. They did not have anywhere near that amount. But they had enough to charter an airship to take them near to Akkadia. They would walk the rest of the way to the Yellow Temple.

Once they arrived at the Temple they were met by a large group of people that had red fire hair just like Modura. Except one, she had blue fire hair. She stepped forward and introduced herself as Zarah, the leader of these genasi. Modura was not there but Zarah filled them in on what he had been doing. He had found his people in a mine located to the south, being forced to work the mines. Modura also found out that the Orange amulet was there. They were able to get the amulet, avoid the dragon, rescue his people and help them return to the Yellow Temple. He then went to find Zarah who had been a prisoner in Whitestone doing the bidding of Vermathax. To make sure that she did what Vermathax asked, one of her people would be brought before her and killed if she refused to do anything. She was one of three that she knew of that were working with the ancient dragon: Siren, Avarice (leader of the thieves’ guild in Ember and Whitstone) and Zarah who had been given the code name Tempest. She was Tempest no longer. Modura, Jiro, Anders (a wizard from the university in Whitestone) had found her in the middle of ritual that broke the seal keeping Vermathax locked away. Unfortunately, they did not stop the ritual and the seal was broken causing mass destruction through Whitestone. They were barely able to get out of the city.

Zarah continued. She had spent a few days in the library doing research. She knew some of the plans of Vermathax but reading through the documents things were much worse than she thought. With the seal broke, Draccus could be on his way back, to bring total destruction of the world and more nasty things were planned. One of the conditions was that war between Ember and Whitestone would be waged. There was an amulet below Whitestone in Vermathax’s lair. Zarah knew of three ways into Vermathax’ lair, Secret passage at the University, Siren/Wisteria’s home and one in the southwest farming area just below Whitestone. Zarah was not sure where the entrance was as she had never been able to actually go out of it from Vermathax’s lair. They speculated that Vermathax may not be at his full potential but even then he was quite powerful and dangerous. The genasi had several carts and horses and that would be how they would get to southwest farmland. It would take a couple of days to get there.

The amulets that the group has: Green Yellow Orange Red Steel/Gray

The ones that they thought they would need to find: pink, white, blue, brown, aqua, purple, black.

They arrived in farm country and saw a farmer out in his field wearing a strange pantaloons/overall hybrid. He greeted them and they asked him several questions while dropping Siren’s name and Avarice’s name. They also asked about an entrance to the city. He pointed them back to the main entrance. They talked to him some more and found out about a crop circle just a little ways away that had some old ruins nearby. The farmer’s son has slept there one night and had never been the same. The group decided to head there. The ruins were instead very old gravestones surround by old trees and vines. In the middle of the gravestones was a sinkhole. Gary dropped a rope and it was about 40ft down to the bottom. They all repelled down and began to follow a passageway sort of towards where they knew Whitestone was located. The tunnel grew tight but they were able to squeeze through into an area with sharp shale rocks. They made it through the sharp rocks with only Shanasita getting cut. They went further into the earth and found several holes that went deep into the ground. There was a larger one that they could not quite reach by foot so Rhom flew over to it, Jemporary jumped and Gary took himself and Ruven over by Dimension Door. They followed the path and came upon a waterfall. They actually heard it before they saw it. When the saw it, the “water” had a silver sheen to it. It was more like mercury or quicksilver than water. Ruven asked Súlë his familiar to walk through the shimmering waterfall. Súlë was not happy but she did it anyway. Ruven communicated to it telepathically but he received no response but he could tell that Súlë was dead nor has she been un-summoned. They tied a roped around Ruven and then Ruven then walked through the shimmering waterfall and was gone. The rope was still taunted but they could not pull Ruven back. The group looked at each other and soon followed through the waterfall. The shimmering substance felt like cold water all over them and it stuck to them as they went through it. On the side, they saw Súlë giving Ruven a look like how dare you do that to me. Ruven returned her to her pocket dimension. Looking around they could get see that they were on the edge on an enormous underground city.

Metropolis was the better term but it was in ruins and it was in an even bigger cavern. Could this be Liongrad? They could not see the walls nor the ceiling of the cavern. They were ruins everywhere. And the entire area was covered in low light similar to moonlight. Rhom noticed that Ruven’s yellow amulet had started to flash faintly. They walked forward some and saw that they were in a poor residential area before the destruction had happened. They walked North for 2 hours and saw nothing. They came to the Main road that ran East to West. They made a mark at the crossroads and decided to travel East. The buildings were now more market and business but still some residential area. They saw a large smithy to the west and decided to check it out. They entered a religious part of the city with several destroyed temples. They could not tell what gods these temples were dedicated to. The followed the road then it turned north. They had been in the city 5 hours when they saw a shimmering pool up ahead similar to the waterfall they walked through. Out of the pool/puddle stepped two humanoid black dragon hybrids (think Draconians from Dragonlance). They were black and they had no eyes. They were both in robes that suddenly appeared and one of them held out its hand a glaive appeared. The dragon humanoids walked by and did not notice the group hiding. The group moved on.

They came upon a large collapsed building. They could climb over and through it or they could go east or west. They went east. Around hour 8 they heard some shouting:

“Where are you going? Come back here! What do you have in your hands?” “Nothing sir. Just some bread sir. My mum and I are hungry.” “Stealing is a crime.” The guard picked up the boy. Rhom blasted the guard with eldritch blast causing the guard to drop the boy. The guard had several holes in him from the blasts and he fell over. The other guard started to run and shout so Rhom cast eldritch blast again taken that guard out.

They found a building with higher walls and a ways from the main road. Ruven cast Tiny Hut and the group rested for the night. They woke up and just started to get things in order when they saw two more of the dragon folk creatures standing on a roof not too far off. They attempted to hide behind a small wall but the wall fell over and the dragonlike creature saw them. Suddenly a fog cloud obscured the area and several of the group were hit by Ray of Frost. Gary cast Eldritch blast into the fog hoping to hit one of them. From the sounds, he was sure he had hit. Rhom used dispel magic to get rid of the Fog Cloud and they saw the dragon folk creatures right in front of them. They took them out quickly but they both exploded into many shards of ice after their deaths. They set off again to the east.

In the 2nd hour, they heard the sounds of a wedding. There were many people in a park celebrating. There was food and drink but it was all spectral. They walked around the ceremony as not to disturb it.

At hour 3 they came to the main road again and decided to go north.

Hour 4 they heard laughter and young voices. They saw a priest standing in front of a good-sized building. It was an orphanage and the priest served the god of knowledge. Ruven spoke to him and at first the conversation went nowhere. Then Ruven realized it was a variation of the Quizzes Knowledge priest did presently. Ruven and the priest continued speaking only in questions. Ruven’s final question was “Where can I find the heroes?” The priest pointed to the Southeast. You will find the heroes there.

They went southeast and the amulet flashed some. They came across a side road but kept going southeast. At the 6th hour, they came upon a large building with many parts of it destroyed. There were many pillars. Perhaps this was a temple of some kind. They came into a courtyard and saw a man in chains connected to his arms and those chains were connected to two large pillars. The man was gaunt, his face sunken, his hair was long and streaked with gray and white. he was wearing rags and he was transparent. Behind him were three doorways. There was one on the right, one on the left and a center one. Instead of doors, they each had shimmering portals. The group went left with Jemporary leading the way. After a flash of light they found themselves in an intact room. There were 11 knights all in different colored armor. The door opened to the right and in walked another knight in all black armor. The knight in black yelled to the knights. “We must do this right. If we fail, the city fails. Timothy, you must do as I instruct. Now, let us begin. At the other end of the room, some of the dragonlike figures appeared and rush to fight the knights. The knight in black shouted commands but never engaged. He held an hourglass that was timed to be about 2 minutes. The hourglass was up The knight in black shouted You did not do it. We have failed. Another flash of light and then the group was kicked back out to the courtyard with the chained up man. The man in chains did not look like any of the knights but he had been chained for many years. They went into the right archway and in a flash of light, they were in a small office. The knight in black was sitting at a table. The door opens and in walks another knight, this one in white armor. The knight in white said “What do you want Timothy?” Timothy replied, “Malcolm we must talk.” Malcolm responds quickly. “It is about her, isn’t” “Yes,” said Timothy. “We need to be training together and you have been spending too much time with her. You have missed three days.” “What is it about her? Malcolm snarled. I don’t trust her, Malcolm.” “I am guessing the others do not trust her either.” “They do not.” Malcolm stood and told Timothy to leave. Timothy left out of the door he came in. Malcolm walked to another door and opening it they could see it was a tavern and there were many people eating and drinking. Malcolm entered and began to walk across the. As he did many of the people in the tavern came up to him, shook his hand or gave him a high five. They were shouting Malcolm, the hero of the day. Our hero and many more songs of adoration. He walked passed them all to a table on the other side of the room. Sitting at the table was an incredibly beautiful woman. She waved to him and he smiled as he sat down at the table with her and let out a heavy sigh. She put her hand on his arm and asked what was wrong. He said it is the others. They do not trust you. They do not know you. She replied they are not jealous of you. Malcolm agreed. She continued I can tell there is more you are struggling with. Malcolm said there is but I cannot talk to you about it. She tilted her head and saw a tattoo on the back of her neck. Modura and Ruven have seen that symbol before. It was the symbol of Draccus, the evil dragon god. The conversation continued and after about 20 or 30 minutes they headed upstairs and a flash of light appeared and the group was back out in the courtyard with the chained man.

They went into the center archway. A flash of light and they were with hundreds if not thousands of people. They were yelling “Traitor. How could you let us die? It was my wedding day. You failed us, you failed the city.” The group pushed through and the crowd’s words changed as they got closer to a large pit. The people were now saying “Save me, hero. I want to live.”

They looked down into the pit and saw a man in chains, similar to the one out on the courtyard but not as old and gaunt. Behind him was a statue of a noble figure in armor whose head had broken off and was laying in the pit. The light flashed and they were back out in the courtyard.

(Malcolm was in the middle)

The man in the chains was indeed Malcolm. The group needed to figure out a way to get Malcolm unchained. They would need to go into the scenes and alter things. They knew there were trust issues between the dragon knights. They would start in the training room first.

The group stepped into the places of the dragon knights and did exactly what Malcolm ordered but it did not work and they were kicked out to the courtyard. It was about Malcolm, not the others. He needed to trust them and they needed to trust him. Gary went in and spoke as Timothy and Persuaded Malcolm to join with the other knights and fight together. It worked. As the timer ran out the last of the dragonlike creatures full, there was a flash of light and they were back in the courtyard. The left chain was gone and the left archway no longer had the shimmering portal in.

Now for the two other scenes. Gary (or Ruven) went in and talked to Malcolm as Timothy. Malcolm was encouraged to lead from the front. He agreed with Timothy and then left to go to the tavern. Ruven as Timothy approached him at the tavern and said I want to bury the hatchet between us. I want to buy you a drink. Malcolm agreed and they went over to the table and sat with the woman. Shanasita came over with drinks and said something about the tattoo on the woman’s neck. She put her hand over it and said that was a long time ago. Malcolm put his hand on her arm and said that was no longer a concern. They talked about failing either other, the city and more. Rhom finally said you need to live. The flash of light and they were back in the courtyard and the second chain was gone and the archway was no longer shimmering.

They went into the middle archway and made their way through the crowd of people to the pit. They got down into the pit and spoke to Malcolm. Over time they convinced him he did not fail, he had actually saved the world. They needed his help to help defeat the evil dragons once and for all. He asked what he could do. They said to believe in yourself. He went over to the statue and put the head back on. The light flashed and they were in the courtyard once more.

There were no chains and Malcolm stood trembling from exhaustion and hunger. He looked at them.

“You saved me?” “No, Malcolm. You saved yourself.” Malcolm looked through his transparent body. I am guessing then. I did fail. No, you did not. You save the world. No, I did fail. I told her about the dragon amulets. Then she took them and the city fell. I went to find them and the others stayed back. I found all of them but it was too late. Ruven showed the yellow amulet. We have several of the amulets and we are looking for the rest of them. We could use your help. Malcolm says I will help. Follow me to the Black Temple. That is where you will find the amulet. But it will not be easy. He is there.

They followed him to the temple. On the step was the priest of knowledge they had met before. The priest said Vermathax is inside but so is the amulet. Gary as if the priest knew anything about Wrangledeep and a key to the dungeon below the great trees. The priest said Wrangeldeep is an elf city, well the city was inside of the tree. Gary said that the tree was gone and only a stump remained. The priest was not happy to hear this but there was not much that he could do.

Malcolm said I can help you but it will be limited. I can give you advantage on three attacks, but it can be only three. The group walked into the front entrance and saw a humongous black dragon standing in from of a portal. The yellow amulet was at its brightest.

Vermathax looked at them and gave a chuckle. You will die here he said. Several drips from above splattered and 4 dragonlike creatures rose from the splatter rushed to attack. Jemporary ran to attack the dragon while the others took on the dragonlike creatures. Jemporary was grappled in the dragon’s mouth and was absorbed into the dragon. Rhom pushed the dragon back 20ft so they could focus on the dragonlike creatures. They switched to focusing on the dragon after Jemporary disappeared when suddenly the dragon split in two after taken heavy damage from Shanasita and Gary, most in the form of radiant damage. All of the creatures seemed to be susceptible to radiant damage. Rhom cast Force Cage and one of the dragons was captured inside of it. The other dragon continued to attack with claw, claw bit but he was not doing the damage as he had before the split. The one in the Force Cage disappeared leaving one dragon still fighting. More dragonlike creatures were summoned. Each had a different thing that would happen when they died. Some exploded into ice, another turned into a mist that floated around before disappearing and another would implode on themselves damaging everyone around. The black dragon split one last time and did not come back. The dragonlike creatures continued to be summoned but soon there was nothing like in the room but the group and the Force Cage. The cage looked empty but Gary saw an eye in the corner of the cage. They went over to the portal. Ruven used the yellow amulet and they were able to get the black amulet which Rhom put on. They went back outside and saw the priest and Malcolm walking towards them. You need to get out of here before he returns. They asked he is in that Force Cage. No he is not and Malcolm began to look around and the cavern and the city. It dawned on them. They were inside Vermathax. Malcolm and the priest confirmed their suspicions. Vermathax had swallowed the entire city of Liongrad. Vermathax was larger than enormous. Malcolm says I can help you. Hand me the amulet.

Malcolm held the amulet and suddenly a giant mechadragon swooped down. Malcolm said to get in and hold on. I am going to try to exit through Vermathax’s mouth. He pressed all the buttons and the mechadragon flew at top speed and there was a long bang and they looked down and the mechadragon had exploded out of Siren’s house.

Where to?

We need to go to the Yellow Temple, to the southeast. I can do that. But I do not have much time left. As he piloted the mech, he increasingly faded. Soon there was not much left. He said I will not be able to teach you to pilot this. You will need to learn on your own. And he fades completely into the Black Amulet. Rhom puts on the black amulet and they go inside the temple to have a rest and then start researching again on the giant mechadragons and Vermathaxa and Draccus.