Campaign of the Month: April 2011

The Spelljoined

Episode 2

But Magic Leaves That Funny Aftertaste…

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firstkill

The Werewolf attacks the enthralled Kenari, doing some damage but also snapping her out of her daze in the process. As Vedis’ animated fire sears the flesh from the brute’s leg Kenari uppercuts it with her clawed gauntlet endings it’s life. [First Kill of the Campaign- Natural 20].

Lenata keeps chanting, holding the attention of the enthralled while Sapphira and the Vistani begin killing the wolves before they rouse. Sapphira’s sharp tiefling eyes notice a human sized figure standing enthralled at the periphery of the battleground. As she cautiously approaches she recognizes the person as a freelance sell-sword who has been trying to make a name for himself in Sigil, Ef Utan Izenik. She slaps him out of his daze and he looks around. Eye’s darting back to her he nods, “so, I take it we’re not in The Cage anymore?”

As the two planars compare notes how they got here, “wherever here is,” Lenata begins to search the corpses of the two werewolves. Finding a fur pouch on a thong around the neck of one she opens it. In side is a dodecahedron carved from some sort of bone. On each of it’s twenty faces an unfamiliar glyph is scrimshawed. Closing her fist rapidly the cleric inhales sharply as she recognizes it: The Fist of Emirkol. A legendary relic of chaos it’s precise effects when rolled can range from the apocalyptic to the merely comical. It also has a chance of disappearing after each use. As she reaches down to put it in her pouch she hears the purring voices of Kenari from over her shoulder, “Oohhh! Pretty!”

As the mop up progresses and Sapphira introduces Ef Utan to the rest of the group, the Vistani seem to be gathering in groups and muttering a lot. Periodically fingers point in the direction of our heroes. Lenata and Vedis notice this and let the rest of the group know that that it seems their time at the encampment may well be coming to an end. Shortly after making that pronouncement Bartok, one of the male Vistani who seemed to be on their side, comes over to the group to speak with them.

He apologizes, but the will of the group is that the mist-lost must make their own way. Never before in Borovia have they been subject to attacks by the wolves due to their relationship with Strahd. It takes little logic to equate the attack with the advent of the newcomers.

Gathering their belongings, and their new found companion Ef Utan, the party make their way across the moors towards the village of Borovia in the shadow of Castle Strahd. Kenari complains incessantly about the chill and the wet as they trudge through the drizzling rain. Finishing their first of what the Vistani say should be a five day journey they bed down as best they can at the edge of a small cluster of trees.

That night on Sapphira’s watch a small glowing, white ball of smoke appears floating in the air just outside their encampment. As she wakes the rest it moves closer in fits and starts. Once everyone is awake it tries to get them to follow it by bobbing and weaving in the air. As the compatriots weigh the pros and cons of following it, coming down heavily against it, the small ball transforms into a five inch long replica of The Spelljammer. Lenata and Vedis immediately recognize it and convince the others it might lead them to a way out. Gathering their meagre gear, and with much grumbling had by all, they trudge off through the pre-dawn hours following the apparition.

After a few hours they approach a small grove of stunted, twisted trees. Hanging back they allow Kenari to recon while the rest prepare for possible conflict. Her slit pupiled eyes taking in every bit of light from the full moon, Kenari sees a clearing at the center of the grove, a clearing with a large and well defined ring of toadstools in the center. The apparition they had been following now bobbing at the edge of it. Vadeis and Sapphira immediately not the ghostly blue outline of an inactive planar portal.

Being careful not to enter the confines of the toadstool ring the five examine the area. Ef Utan finds voidmarks on some of the stones, most of them translate into profanity but one indicates that someone tried for decades without finding the portal key. After an hour or two of searching reveals nothing Ef Utan casually asks the ball of light if it has the key.

Suddenly exploding into brilliance, rays of light shoot out from the appartion striking each member of the party. All of them are knocked unconscious except Ef Utan. As he wakes the others up they notice that the ball of light is now gone and each of the five now sports a small tattoo on their inner, left wrists. A tattoo of The Spelljammer, viewed in profile.

Kenari suggests they join wrists and see if that triggers the portal, and is ignored as Lenata and Sapphira debate. After a significant amount of discussion they decide to touch wrists and see what happens. Kenari says, “harumph!”

As they join in a circle there is a low hum and a wooden door, perfectly ordinary looking, appears in its frame in the middle if the ring. A wooden sign over the doors states simply, “The World Serpent Inn.” Ef Utan and Lenata have both heard stories of the place, a pan dimensional bar that moves from plane to plane, and Lenata recalls a story that says invoking your god will open the door. She calls upon the Star Trader and the door swings open.

On the other side is a hallway with walls of stone with a bluish mist covering them. A few short feet an it opens into a huge bar room filled with tables and a huge central bar. Female gnomes zip about serving meals and drinks to an incredible variety of patrons. In the center of the room is a huge island bar tended by what appears to be a stout balding human with a large white beard, rosy cheeks and a beaming smile.

Seeing the bar is much more crowded that the tables our five adventurers grab a table and take it all in Sapphira walks a quick circuit of the room getting the lay of the land. Fiends and Celestials sprinkle the crowd while rest of the patrons run the gamut of races. It is an assortment worthy of Sigil itself. Off on one side of the main room she encounters a fighting pit run by an old neogi, while dotting the walls are the entrances to an array of door filled hallways.

As the tiefling returns to the table her companions are just ordering food and ale. Declining to join them in a round of venison stew she asks for burnt toast and a rotten egg with a glass of warm water to drink. The gnomish server, Sharinda, doesn’t bat an eye and heads to the kitchen with their order.

Shortly thereafter the stew and drinks arrive, much to everyone’s satisfaction. Both the food and ale are excellent. At one point Kenari goes over to the bar and realizes as she places her order that the bartender, Mitchifer, has an unusual beard. It is made up of dozens of tiny white snakes no more than a quarter inch in diameter. Raising an eyebrow she takes her drink and returns to the table.

When Sharinda makes another round they ask her about the doors. She replies “This place is a way station for travellers both intentional and accidental. If yer headed to Sigil yeh hit the door in the central back hallway fourth down on the left. The City of Brass, fifth down on the right. If yeh are moving on to the Plane of Air Bluphoril’s door is the forty-sixth down on the right. I think the door to Union is still fifteenth on the left.”

Immediately upon hearing this Ef Utan and Sapphira look at each other and say,” fourth down on the left.” The two stand up and head for the hallway, stopping only to pay their tab. The others, deciding it is at least a step forward, decide to follow. Heading through the back hallway they reach the indicated door and open it. On the other side looms the Market Ward of Sigil a few hours after peak.

The rest take in the mismatched decor and it’s plethora of bladed ornaments, the weather not unlike what they had just left behind in the Demi-Plane of Dread, and the foul vapors wafting on the air. “This is better how?” Asks Kenari.

Lenata asks the cagers to take her to the Temple of Celestian, Ef Utan knows the ways and acts as guide. Leaving her with Vedis at the temple he then joins Sapphira and Kenari as they head back towards the Market Ward. When they arrive at her father’s house they find new locks and once those have been bypassed an amazing mess. Piles of legal journals support the corner of one table, off color etchings and broadsheets litter the place, and there is a distinct possibility something is living in the sink. “He’d better not have gone in my room..” Sapphira mutters, followed a moment later by “Urrgh! He went in my room!”

Having suffered a modicum of teasing for being Primes, Lenata and Vedis are granted access to the temple library and assistance in finding any recorded info about the legendary Spelljammer. After a few hours Vedis’ interest wanes and she strikes off through the temple quarter looking for the temple to her god, Morpheus.

Not finding anything in the bewildering streets of Sigil, she latches on to a drunken dwarf trying to get directions. The snickering of a nearby tiefling girl distracts her and thus she meets Kylie the tout. Handing over a handful of gold she says, somewhat cynically, “okay, take me to the Temple of Morpheus.”

Without missing a beat the limber young tiefling hops and in the span of seven blocks leads her right to the mist shrouded doors of the Temple of Dream. A dragon sits on one side of the gate and a gryphon on the other. Both are shrouded in the slightly irridescent mist the building seems to exude. Throwing open the front door she sees….

Illustration by Syreene

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