September 8, 2019 recap

Modura, Jiro and Hobo priest talk with the genasi that they had rescued at the Yellow Temple. One of them, Seeba, turns out to be Modura’s aunt. She tells Modura of her sister, Zarah who was the leader of the genasi folks when they were located at Akkadia. It is believed that she is in Whitestone and she needs to know that her people are safe once more. Seeba asks Modura to go to Whitestone to find Zarah and she says that will be going with you. Amir, Seeba’s son, tells her no, she must stay with our people here and get them settled in the Yellow Temple. Mother and son argue for quite a while and Modura stays off to the side trying to stay out of the conversation. It is resolved that Amir would go and he will take an amulet that will let Zarah know that her people are safe. He must be wearing the amulet when she sees it or she may think that her people have been destroyed. Modura agrees and then they all make a list of supplies. They included basic weapons and armor, farming equipment, seeds to plant, cloth to make clothes, several horses and several carts. The next decision was how to get into Whitestone. It may not be a good idea to fly the airship into Whitestone. There may need to be communication that they are coming, there may be fees involved and more that they were not sure of. They did not want to walk to 5+ days so they decided to take the airship to the woods just to the northeast of the city, land it there and then walk into town. It would take about a half-day to get to town by foot. They would then disguise themselves so to hide their genasi background, get into to town, stop by Modura’s guildhall to pick up money, buy the supplies and return to the airship. And, do their best to find Zarah to show her the amulet and Amir. The Hobo priest stayed at the Temple to Create Food and Water for the remaining refugees. Modura, Jiro and Amir got what gear that could be spared and set off in the airship towards Whitestone.

Anders, a member of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, a guild/mage school at the University in Whitestone, had observed cloaked shadowy figures around town for several weeks. He would follow them and they must have figured out that they were being followed as they would disappear in dead-end alleys Anders would follow them into. He told his supervisor and guild leader about these strange people and after a while, he was told that this was not a problem and that he should drop any investigation. He agrees to drop it but if he comes across these shadowy figures in his rounds of the city or his general travels he will investigate.

Anders was called into the guild office and was told about a disturbance out on the plains about a half-day out of town. Seems there is a strange howling that farmers and other people that lived out there had been hearing. The howling was terrifying. Anders was to investigate and if possible put an end to whatever creature that was making the noise. Anders found it odd as he had never been asked to leave the city for such an investigation but Whitestone was in odd times so he packed up his gear and set out in the direction of the last known hearing of the howls.

Anders left around midday and as it started to get dark, he set up his Leomund’s Tiny Hut and settled down for some reading and preparing his spells for the next day. Suddenly he heard what could only be the howling that had been described to him. He looked around and saw a light off to the east but howling did not seem to be coming from that direction. He could not see much, so he asked his weasel familiar to check things out. The weasel ran back into the hut and hid inside Anders’ packs. So, Anders lit a torch and stepped out of the Leomund’s Tiny Hut and saw a flash of something run up to him. It slowed down and he saw a decaying body that was floating about 10ft off the ground. Some kind of fleshy material drooped off of its body. In what must have once been a hand, the aberration held a fleshy greatsword that contained a large eye in its hilt. The eye would blink every once in a while. Anders was sure he knew this creature and his friend asked him to come to take a walk with him so Anders followed his friend into the darkness. Anders asked “Friend, where are we going?” The aberration responded with a howl. Anders nodded and continued walking.

Meanwhile, Jiro and Modura had heard the howling as well and had also seen flashes of light off to the west. They decided to check things out. They came upon a strange sight. A floating fleshy creature with a greatsword with an eye as an appendage, Walking behind it was a cloaked figure that was probably a mage. The aberration spotted Jiro and Modura and rushed over to attack them. Ander using Message and asked why are you attacking these two? The aberration replied “Meat”. Anders said okay but these two do not seem like good sources of meat to me. Jiro and Modura attacked in force. The aberration responded with attacks back with its greatsword appendage and with rays from the eye that was on the greatsword. Anders did not attack but he did assist his friend by giving him Mage Armor. Modura cast Shatter hitting both the aberration and Anders. Taking damage Anders shook his head and suddenly found himself 5ft behind the floating aberration from earlier. He knew he had been charmed and he also knew he did not want to be that close to this nasty thing. He cast Misty Step to teleport 30ft away and cast Ray of Frost. which did not do any damage to the aberration. Modura felt that this wizard may be the owner of the beast but seeing the beast as the bigger threat he continued to attack the aberration. Anders shouted I was charmed by this thing. I am doing my best to destroy it. Jiro and Modura sort of believed him but they felt better when Anders cast Melf’s Minute Meteors and started sending the meteors in pairs causing fire damage to the aberration. Soon, the thing stopped floating and dropped to the ground. They started to move to it and suddenly it rose again, wounds were gone and it started attacking again. This went on a little while longer until they realized that the greatsword needed to be cut off from the rest of the body. It took several tries but soon the sword was removed from the body and the body slowly began to disintegrate leaving only the fleshy greatsword with the eye on it.

Anders picked up the sword and asked Jiro and Modura to come with him back to his Tiny Hut adding that he was going to cast Identify on this sword. Jiro said he believed that it was cursed. Modura and Anders agreed. Anders found that it was a cursed artifact called a Beholder’s Blade. It was a +2 weapon that gave defenses and resistances and powers similar to a beholder to the wielder once he/she had been attuned to it. But they also slowly became a beholder type creature over time.

Jiro had gone back to the airship and Amir became worried about Modura so Amir set out to look for him. Amir found Modura and Anders talking about the cursed sword and about what each of them was doing out on the plains. Anders had been sent to find and deal with this creature that they had just fought. Anders said he was disturbed about doing this but he did not go into details. Modura said that he and his friends were assisting refugees and were going into Whitestone in the morning. Modura pointed out the airship that Anders would see in the morning and that they would not be using it to go into town. Anders said ah, yes, bureaucracy. Anders then said, if you would like, we can walk into town tomorrow. It may be better in numbers. Plus, I may know some folks that could assist in getting permits for your airship to land in Whitestone. They agreed and decided to meet back at Anders campsite just after daybreak.

They arrived in Whitestone and showed their identifications. The guard realizing that they were members of the Wild Cards pointed to a wanted poster on the wall for Ruven, Rhom, Mitsune, and a half-elf that they did not recognize. They were told that if they saw these folks to tell the authorities. Jiro, Modura, and Amir went to the Wild Cards’ guildhall while Anders went to give his report to his superiors. They decided to meet for dinner that evening at the Wild Card’s guildhall.

Jiro, Modura, and Amir entered the guildhall and they realized that a food eating contest was going on between Rena and Gary. After a while, Rena said okay, that is my limit and drop the chicken leg on her hand on the table. Gary picked it up and ate it in one bite. Modura asked to speak with Rena. He explained what had happened with him and that they were in town to get supplies for his people. He said but we need better disguises that what we have now. Rena said to ask if Karla would help them. Modura asked about the wanted poster for his friends. Rena said they are wanted for the murder of Lady Wisteria but they told me they did not do it right after they had skipped town. Modura said it does not seem like them. Jiro said that unknown half-elf is behind it all, I just know it.

Karla suddenly appeared and took Amir to the back to get him disguised. About an hour later, they came back. Amir was now a human woman with long black hair and you could tell he was not happy. There were a few catcalls from the guild but they did not last long. Karla then took Modura and transformed him into a half-orc that looked a lot like James a half-orc in the guild that was dating Malibu. Karla said you can be James’ brother John. They then went to find supplies. They were able to purchase 3 horses, 3 carts, feed and seed, basic weapons, cloth, several chickens and a few goats, and an assortment of farm implements. These supplies would be waiting for them to pick up once they were ready to leave the city. Now, to find Zarah but where to start? They knew she was a magic user so the University may be a place to start. There was also the woman that had told Modura that he would not find information on genasi here and then sent him information on Akkadia. She may be someone to talk to as well. But, he had only talked with her at a restaurant. Maybe they would go there.

Anders walked into the guild office. The quest giver said back already? Anders said yes and that the aberration was taken care of. His supervisor said Good, glad to know the werewolf taken care of. Anders replied, it was not a werewolf and then he described the thing but did not give the details about the sword. The supervisor took notes and then thanked him and paid him 50gold. Anders then asked who sent him on this quest? The supervisor replied. They did. Anders said who do you mean? He replied You know…them. The supervisor had a faraway look in his eyes and Anders was sure he had a charm of some kind on him. He thanked his supervisor and said he would be taking a break about last night’s adventure and he would be in touch when he was back on call. He then left, went to his tower room, set things in order there, locking up he decided to see if he could find another place to stay, at least temporarily. He then set out for the Wild Cards’ guildhall.

As Anders approached the hall a large man with blonde hair to his knees had been thrown out of the second-story window. He landed and then stood up and walked in the front door saying Come on Rena, give me another chance. Entering Anders could hear music from somewhere and saw the blonde man talking to Rena, the guild leader. Seemed that some kind of dancing event was going on and it had not ended well. Anders saw Jiro and walked over to him. Jiro was sitting with a half-orc and beautiful human woman. The woman spoke and it was Amir saying do not say a word. Modura said we have been disguised so we could walk around town without creating suspicion. They talked over a light meal as Anders found out that most of the food had been eaten that afternoon in a food eating contest. They talked about how to find Zarah. Anders said that they had been honest with him and so should he. He told them about the cloaked figures he had seen around town and that he had been told to drop any investigations he may have on these folks. He said that he would but he really did not and eventually he was given the task to go take care of the aberration they had fought the night before. I do not have evidence but I strongly suspect I was sent on that in hopes I would not return. They asked about his connections within the University. Anders said we can go do research in the library and in other places I have worked to see if I can find anything. They would go to the library in the morning. Modura asked if Karla was about and she was suddenly beside him. He thanked her for the help with the disguise and asked how he could repay her. She said, how about dinner and drinks? He agreed thinking that they would stay at the guild. Karla told him to come on and she led him to a fancy restaurant. One of those places where the prices are not on the menu. Modura knew he had been had. “James! I cannot believe you!’ Malibu was at the restaurant and she ran over and saw that James was with Karla and she became furious. Modura said, I am not James, it’s Modura. She replied, James I know you can change your voice. Modura then Produced Flame and Karla began to laugh. It had been a joke that Karla had set up. The restaurant was Malibu’s father’s place so there was a good chance Malibu would be there. It still cost Modura 25gp. Back at the guildhall, Modura asked Rena if she knew if Ruven had spoken to Alistair. She did not know. Then Modura told her about the plans for Ember to attack Whitestone and the preparations for war. She said that she would need to tell this to some of the other guild leaders. Anders was not convinced. He said that place was too chaotic and that they needed a stronger leader than Lady Karris to organize such a war. Modura decided that once they had found Zarah he would see about speaking with Alistair.

The next morning they went to the main library and a few of the smaller more specialized libraries but they found nothing. Anders asked for more information on Zarah. Amir said that she had a fire cat for a familiar. Jiro asked if that was something that was registered within the University. Anders said it was.They went to the room with that info and found that one person had a fire car for a familiar, Shayla Iceheart. They all began to feel that Shayla and Zarah were the same person but they needed to find her to be sure. Modura said that was the woman that gave the clues to go to Akkadia. Anders asked the librarian what office hours Shayla Icweheart kept. The librarian said not sure on her hours but this is where her office is located. They set out. Rounding the hall Anders saw his Summoning and Conjuration professor and they chatted briefly and they went on down the hall to Lady Iceheart’s office. The door was closed and locked. Modura knocked but there was no answer. Her apartment was not too far away so they went there. The door there was also closed and locked. Again, they knocked but they did not get an answer. Not sure what to do now, they went back to ask Anders’ old professor if he had seen Lady Iceheart. He had not but they could ask some of the students. They went to where some students were gathering and Jiro walked up to one and said, Have you seen Lady Iceheart. The student seemed to believe Jiro was a high ranking member of the University and he said Yeah, she and some cloaked student went that way. They went the way that was pointed out but they did not see her. But they did see a fire cat walking down one of the streets within the University with large basket in its mouth. They followed it to an older tower that was known to be used as an observatory to study the stars. The fire cat walked up to a guard sitting in a lawn chair. The guard sighed and stood up and opened the door for the fire cat. The door shut and he sat back down in the chair. Anders recognized him as Chuck one of the low-level guards he had worked with. Anders asked what was going on. Chuck said same was always, sitting in this chair guarding this tower. Anders asked if Lady Iceheart was inside? Chuck said yeah, she went in there with a bunch of cloaked students, some of them had bandages on. I was told to not let anyone disturb their experiments. The tower was old and Anders had never had class in there. It had no windows and only one door led inside. Anders said have you had lunch yet? Chuck said no, and I am starving. Anders I can get you a sandwich? How about the ham? From the regular place? Sure Chuck said. Fries or chips. I will mix things up and go with chips.

They left and went to get the sandwich and chips. Anders would get him a weak ale as well. Jiro said we need to put him to sleep. Anders said there are Potions of Sleep available for those of us who cannot sleep. They got a potion and Powders of Sleep. They put some in the ale and on the sandwich. After the second bite, Chuck was asleep. They looked around to see if anyone was watching and Anders opened the tower door. It was dark. Anders lit a torch so he could see. There was a high ceiling in the circular room but nothing in the upper areas of the tower, not even a telescope. This was not an observatory. In the middle of the floor was a set of stairs spiraling down into a basement area. They took the stairs and followed the passageway to the end where they found a door covered in arcane runes all radiating Abjuration magic. But the jar was slightly ajar. So they crept in. Inside they saw a number of the hooded cloaked figures Anders had seen over the past several weeks. They were in circle of some kind. There were 100s of lit candles around the room. Atop a 15ft high pedestal was another hooded figure and she was chanting. It was Shayla Iceheart. All of the figures were transparent like they were ethereal or one another plane. Modura said I don’t think they can see us. The entire tower shook with a very strong quake. Stronger than the ones they had previously experienced. A shimmering blue area was in the middle of the room and then it was gone. Shayla turned to look at the intruders as did the cloaked figures around the room. Modura called to Shayla and she looked at them and was puzzled by the sight of an earth genasi and a tabaxi stepping forward with a familiar medallion around its neck saying Zarah, a name she had not heard in a long time. She stared a little longer and Amir took off the tabaxi head and Modura rubbed off some of the earth genasi makeup. Zarah said, my people? Are they safe? Yes, Modura and Amir said. They saw the anger in her eyes and the disguise of a human was gone she returned to her fire genasi form but instead of red, she had blue flames. She began to cast. They were not sure that she was on their side so they prepared for the worst. Modura was confused for a minute as he was pretty sure that he heard Ruven’s voice. Zarah then sent down a series of large flaming meteors that damaged the cloaked figures but the fire and stone did not harm Jiro, Modura, Anders, and Amir. Shayla collapsed on the top of the pillar as the cloaked figures came forward to attack. The meteor swarm had caused some of the cloaks to come off of the figures. The group saw Dragonborn like creatures but something was off. They had no eye sockets, just black empty spaces. They all looked like humanoid black dragon hybrids (think Draconians from Dragonlance). Some held black glaives and others were obviously spellcasters. Amir went to help Zarah but he could not reach the top of the pedestal. He fought the dragon folk with a longsword. Modura attacked with his Warhammer and Ray of Frost focusing on the closest which were the ones holding the glaives. Jiro went into attack with his rapier but a spellcaster got a Hold Person spell on him and he was paralyzed for a while. Anders focused on Concentration spells that would assist in boosting his armor class as well as damage as many of them as he could. As the dragon folk dropped, the exploded after their deaths, with the spellcasters doing more damage and pushing folks around the battlefield. One of the dragon folk that was on the pedestal with Zarah flew off of the pedestal with her attached to a magical leash. Amir followed along the floor while Modura cast Ray of Frost and Anders cast Magic Missile at the dragon folk. They both fell to the floor but Zarah stood up and moved away as the dragon folk exploded. Jiro was out of the Hold Person spell and started attacking taking out several of the dragon folk but he took damage from the exploding figures. Anders took a lot of damage as well as the fighters kept hitting him with glaive attacks. Jiro used Lay on Hands and Anders was healed to full. Jiro was pushed away from the group and was dropped unconscious next to an exploding dragon folk. He was not looking good. Anders attempted to stabilize him but he could not get the bleeding to stop. Meanwhile Zarah was being dragged by an invisible something towards the entrance to the room. Amir and Modura did their best to stop her by pulling and pushing her to try to get her to stay in the room. Modura cast Detect magic and saw that a set of spiritual shackles were around her wrists pulling her. Suddenly Jiro was back up and he rushed over to help with keeping Zarah in the room. Modura said to try and attack the area in front of her as he, Amir and Jiro took swings. Once the final dragon folk was defeated they concentrated on stopping the spiritual shackles. Anders cast Bigby’s Hand and set it in Interpose position to stop her from moving. With its strength she was not leaving the room. With several lucky attacks, Modura, Amir and Jiro were able to sever the chain and she was no longer being pulled. They heard a roar outside of the tower and Zarah said He has been released”. Who? they asked. Vermathax. Modura had seen that name before back at the Yellow Temple. He was a black dragon that was the harbinger of THE ancient evil dragon. With Vermathax’s return, THE ancient evil dragon could now be summoned. They needed to leave the other plane that they had fought on. Zarah opened a portal and they stepped through back to the prime plane.

Suddenly Modura could hear Ruven’s voice very clear. Ruven said I kept hearing your voice from time to time. Thought I was crazy. Don’t say it. Finally figured out that it was coming from the Yellow Dragon Amulet. Yeah, I found it. Anyway, I think we have a connection through the amulets now so I can assume you have found another one? Modura said yes, it was with my people. I found them. They had been enslaved but they are free now. They are at the Yellow Temple.

They stepped out of the tower and the city was in chaos. Buildings had collapsed and others were on fire. Zarah said the summoning set of a large earthquake which had set off the fires. They needed to get out of the city and back to the airship and then to the Yellow Temple.

(Cannot remember if we left the city or not. I know we had talked about having Zarah teleporting us to the yellow temple)