Three days into our journey to the home of the Dream Stone, the Imaskari wizard decides to share some more information with us that makes the mind boggle.
“The Dream Stone is actually a solid pyramid shape about 400 feet on one side.”
Woah… how in the 9 Hells are we supposed to move something like that from this sphere?
Before we can ask him more about it, however, he turns to look out to the stars and begins to mutter in Common. “Strange… it doesn’t seem to be here.”
“What?” Ef Utan exclaims as he walks up beside the wizard and looks out to the stars.
“There,” he replies as he points out to a dark patch in the sky. “That is where the Dream Stone should be.”
As we get closer I notice something that I hadn’t picked up on before: all of the stars are pyramid shaped here. Amazing… could the Imaskari have made this whole sphere? I simply must read more about them!
Eventually we make it near to the inside edge of the sphere only to see that we’re not alone. Dozens of Spelljammer ships have entered the sphere and anchored themselves in this area. Climbing up into the rigging, I do my best to get a closer look at the flags and banners they are flying. I can just make out a large X on one of them.
“10th Pit,” I spit out as I land back on the deck with the others. “These are the evil ones we spoke about, oh Lord.” I say as I turn to the Imaskari. “Verily, they deserve to be shown your wrath for thinking they could use your creation for evil.”
“Presumptuous child,” the wizard snorts. He then turns and whispers into his cupped hands before gesturing towards the ships. After a moment he acts like he heard something and then before I could even blink he’s casting lightning towards the ships and cutting the smaller wasps to pieces.
“Forward!” he commands as Hatuk relays it through the communication tubes.
We move in closer through the rubble till more ships come into view. I barely get a chance to even look at them before I’m having to shield my eyes from the fireball blast ripping them apart.
Thank the gods that he’s on our side for now!
We move through the rest of the scraps till we finally reach our destination… only to find an arrangement of asteroids where the Dream Stone should have been. Looking out at them I can just pick out some kind of figures out on the rocks. Across from the grouping of rocks is one last spelljammer. This one seems to be the flagship of the group, as it is much bigger and flying a white flag.
The Imaskari squints at it and sneers. “I’ll be right back.” With a flick of his hand he then rises up into the air and floats over to the other ship.
“Nice trick,” Ef Utan says with a whistle. “I’d like to learn that one sometime.”
“Yeah,” I chuckle as heads begin to go flying on the other ship. “I hear it’s a real killer.”
The wizard then floats back to rejoin us as and stumbles in pain on the deck as the other ship explodes behind him. I’m not sure how I feel about his rampant destruction. Sure, I’m very happy that they are gone… but I can’t help but feel that we’ve missed out on some important information gathering with their total destruction; not to mention some worthwhile salvage operations.
“Take us to the rocks,” he commands before sitting down on a pile of rope to rest.
Ef Utan relays the command and then summons Takero and Hatuk to him. “You two, I want you to take one of the paddle boats and see what you can salvage from the wreckage. Perhaps we can find a helm or two?” Hatuk grins and slaps Takero on the back. “Be careful, you two.”
Once we move closer we can see that the figures are actually statues… but there does seem to be a figure strapped to a rock. “Come on, let’s check it out!” I cry as I leap over the side onto the rocks below.
“There is a planar overlap here amongst these asteroids,” the wizard declares as he walks around the stones.
I’m only barely listening, however… as my attention has been grabbed by the corpse strapped to a boulder. A Dvati corpse… and missing the top of his head. Eww… and his brain.
“Lenata?” I call to our cleric. “This looks like it might have been Melchot, that Dvati sorcerer we were told about by Parvatta. Do you think you could ask your god for help to speak to his spirit?”
“I will try. Give me a moment.” She clasps her hands together and prays… but then looks up in disappointment. “I’m sorry… the spell doesn’t seem to be working.”
“Are you unable to talk to your god here?” Ef Utan asks as the wizard snorts.
“It’s not that… it’s more like… like he’s not dead.” she replies nervously.
“He definitely looks dead to me,” Vedis grimaces as she notices the partially chopped off skull and turns a little green. “Unless… you don’t think that… his brain could be alive somewhere?”
“Disgusting, but not something I would put past those Illithid,” I answer as the Imaskari wizard stomps his foot and large portal activates in the middle of the rock.
“Tell me slave… what do you see?” he asks as he beckons me over with his hand.
I defocus my eyes and let the information from the portal flow through me. “This portal leads to one of the inner planets and is opened by the blood of a Dvati. I see… burning sands, a pyramid at the bottom of a bowl of sand, with nasty looking humans and Mulhorandi directing slaves to dig it out.”
“Very good,” he replies with what I swear was almost a grin. “If you are to serve me, however, you need to be quicker.” He then reaches out and grabs my head with his hands, his two thumbs meeting in the middle of my forehead. I let out a small yelp of surprise and pray that he doesn’t kill me before my brain is flooded with images and words. It’s like his hands are ripping into my brain and taking away the parts he doesn’t need so that he can replace my knowledge with something new.
“There…it is done.”
“I…I…” I shake my head and grab my temple as my thoughts rejoin into their proper places. “I thank you, my Lord.” I then bow and grab one of my empty flasks out of my pouch as I approach the Dvati corpse.
“Oh gods… what are you doing?” Vedis asks in disgust as I find a spot where the blood is still dripping from his still fresh wounds.
“Just being practical, you know. If Dvati blood is the key to this portal, we better have some handy!”
“Good idea,” Ef Utan replies and joins me with his own flask.
“Eww.. you guys are just gross! I’m going to check out the statues over there… away from you two.”
Suddenly a gong sounds from nowhere and rings out seemingly across the whole sphere. “You are the one to blame for the plight of my people, wizard!” a voice calls out before the avatar of Ma’at appears in the middle of the circle… and squishes the Imaskari wizard to a pulp under her sandal. “He has taken you as far as he is useful,” she declares to the rest of us. “Your quest is not finished, however you are now on your own.” She then disappears as suddenly as she arrived.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” I hear Vedis moan as we see what’s left of the Imaskari wizard spread about the circle. “Oh gods, Kenari… what are you doing now?”
“What?” I answer as I gather some of the Imaskari’s blood into a vial. “This is rare stuff! You never know what a wizard might pay for it as a spell component! Besides… there might be other valuable stuff left in this mess.”
Bingo! This amulet looks nice… and there seems to be some kind of crystal rod strapped to the inside of his thigh. Heh… if I hadn’t seen all his power I might have thought he was compensating for something.
“These statues… I think these are of the demon lord Asmodeus!” Lenata says in shock as she joins Vedis.
“The one over there looks different, though,” Vedis points out. The thing over there is covered in snakes!"
Snakes… Mulhorand… and now the second demon lord statue we’ve encountered in all of this. Bast protect us. “I think that one is Set,” I reply in dread. “He is the god of evil and destruction for the Mulhorandi people.”
“What does this all mean?” Vedis asks worriedly.
I shrug my shoulders as I look at the portal. “It means we’re on our own… and in it deep.”