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Diamond Lake: Letter to beloved mentor II
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject: Diamond Lake: Letter to beloved mentor II Reply with quote

23rd Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

Dearest Allustan

I'd thought I'd restart writing to you again. Not only because I know you're safe, but also because I know where you-know-who is.

You'll have to give me your new address though. I attach copies of what I sent my brother, but you already know most of the story. I'm organising a present for you. I don't want to say what it is, but don't write any new spells into anything that you want to have a very satisfying read with.

Although we descended into the Tomb of Icosiol to find items to help us in the fight against K'yuss and his spawn, I am also concerned about the reconstruction and rebuilding of Diamond Lake. Actually I'm a bit concerned that the townspeople might think you're in some way responsible for the black dragon attacking. Not to mention it hanging around and using what was left of the town as a snack bar. I want to make it good. Are you sure you're safe in Diamond Lake?

I think I have found a possible solution but there are a few logistical problems.

Back to the Eye Demon. Yes, we were hitting it but not doing much damage to it. It generated a Mirror Image again but I was only able to take out a third of the images with a Fireball.

I managed to penetrate its hide with two salvoes of Magic Missiles but Tobias was felled by it's triple sword attack and a nasty eyebeam. Churt was struck by an eyebeam, suddenly dropped his trident and started screaming in panic for the door. I have never seen Churt so frightened before! Sheridan stepped in behind him and teleported himself, Churt and Will away.

Ragnor dragged Tobias back into the elevator while Corvan stood alone against the Eye Demon. Corvan was badly hurt in the triple sword attack plus claw and various eyebeams, while I was struck by an eyebeam and felt a sudden wave of terror just like ... some other time when I have for some reason retreated from battle.

Corvan's brave stand bought us enough time to descend down the elevator: the brave paladin joined us soon after. Just as well our Flys were still active!

We set up base just outside the massive 50' metal doors. I cast Extended Rope Trick so no-one had to be on guard overnight, and we could all rest easy. Churt didn't want to join us: he was off down the stairs, bemoaning the loss of his courage by evil magic. I tried to explain to him that magic is very powerful and makes us do things that we don't want to do sometimes, but the big tough guy was inconsolable!

I spent some time examining the metal of the doors. It's not silver and I don't think it is mithral, as it's not quite the same as my mithral armour. The doors are attached via cylinder arrangement to the cavern walls. If only I could think of a way to take one of these doors back to Diamond Lake! Then there won't be any problem with rebuilding the town!


24th Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

The Rope Trick is a great way to rest up overnight but by Pelor they did not consider my brother Ragnor when they made it. Such a stink! And his flatulence nearly concealed my similar sins overnight.

We prepared ourselves to fight the Eye Demon once more. Corvan and Tobias blessed various weaponry with the goodness of Pelor, and cast death warding magic amongst us all except the archers. I cast Fly on everyone except Sheridan, Bull's Strength on Churt and Cat's Grace on myself as I was feeling a bit sluggish. Churt borrowed Will's great axe for the battle.

Churt and Corvan entered the Tomb of Icosiol and picked their way through the litter of our previous battle. Churt gave a cry of delight as he picked up his lost trident from the previous day. We arrived soon behind our fighting men, the Eye Demon appeared out of nowhere and suddenly the tomb was filled with its ghastly image!

I cast Chain Lightning and managed through all the confusion to strike the Eye Demon itself! Then my secondary bolts made short work of 11 images. Ragnor struck the creature with Ice Storm and eliminated any further confusion.

Tobias unleashed a Searing Light but it fizzled against the Eye Demon. Sheridan and Will fired some arrows at the creature.

Churt charged forward and slashed at the foul demon with his good-aligned great axe, and struck a mighty blow. The Eye Demon returned the favour, striking our Churt three times with it's sword and claw attack besides. It's eyebeams flickered harmlessly from our death-warded bodies.

I saw Churt rage and strike the Eye Demon twice with the Great Axe, then the depraved denizen of the Infinite Abyss struck back not once, or twice, but three times with its longsword and grinned evilly as it tore into Churt's lifeless body with a clawed hand! The enchantment around Churt failed and everyone could see that Churt was actually JOLAN!

I don't remember much else. I think my salvo of Magic Missiles fizzled against the demon but Corvan killed it with his sword. I ran forward to cradle my dearest brother in my arms...

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject: #59 Icosiol's Mausoleum and the problems it is causing us! Reply with quote

24th Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

Dearest Allustan

After I finished crying over Jolan's body, it was time to examine the tomb.

The chamber was about 60 feet high, and lit by elongated metal lanterns glowing with the colours of the rainbow floating about 30' off the floor. Just like in the Whispering Cairn!

The walls were carved with a depiction of a funeral procession depicting the body of a fallen general and his ascension though a golden doorway. This wasn't a tomb, but a mausoleum!

The only object within the mausoleum was a white marble sarcophagus floating 10 feet off the ground. The underside of the sarcophagus was carved with a sleeping wind duke, two swords resting on his chest and a winged helmet at his feet. Thanks to our Fly enchantments, we determined that the topside had a similar carving, but this carving's hands was empty and upraised, suggesting they were carved to hold an object.

It was obviously meant for the Seal of Law. When we placed it into the hands the sarcophagus lowered to the ground and the top faded away, leaving the Seal of Law suspended in the air above it. I kept looking at it nervously, wondering if it was going to fall on our heads.

Within the sarcophagus was a dusty silhouette, a heavy platinum ring set with four large pale sapphires, a short bladed weapon with a large sapphire in it's pommel, a larger bladed weapon with six pale grape
sized sapphires set in its hilt, and a fragment of a strange silvery metal rod lined with crystals inside.

Well! Nice. Pretty. I'd give it all up to have my brother back alive and well.

Sheridan concluded that the valuable items were not trapped, but when we grasped them, we felt the presence of Icosiol himself around us, and he was angry, but his spirit presence changed to satisfaction tinged with happiness as our intentions to use the weapons in the fight against K'yuss filtered through. That's how I interpreted the feeling and some would do best if they remembered Icosiol has given us his blessing.

Ragnor's diadem glowed brightly which faded to a pale glow. We got that from the Whispering Cairn. I must check the Talisman of the Sphere as well, see if that is different. I'll have to check what else we got from the Whispering Cairn.

That was it for the day. I examined the metal doors again. Clearly, they were made of some valuable metal, but they were also enchanted. A culture that can afford to create 50' high doors of valuable metal can afford a little bit on lethal magical protection. I was so hoping to bring one of the doors back to Greyhawk and fund the reconstruction of Diamond Lake.

Later that night I identified the ring and rod. The Ring of the Wind Dukes allows the wearer to ignore the effects of wind, makes him resistant to electricity, and allows him to cast a lightning bolt once a day, but there was something else there that means someone should test it.

The rod fragment is a fully functional piece of the Rod of Seven Parts - the largest part, and an end-piece at that. The holder of the fragment can cast Heal once per day, but I don't know if it is as strong as a Heal from Tobias. I recall from my old artifact course at the Academy that each piece can be used to detect it's adjoining partner(s). I tried concentrating for a moment with it, but couldn't feel anything. I suspect the mausoleum blocks the effect. This is good, as whoever has the sixth part will be looking for this fragment.

Maybe if we quested to reconstruct the Rod, it would be a useful weapon in the fight against the Age of Worms.

Will tested the Ring of the Wind Dukes. The Lightning Bolt effect transforms the wielder into lightning and transports them 60' to the other end of the bolt. I'm sure that can be used to our tactical advantage. Will wears the ring while we consider our options, but I suspect he is the best choice.


25th Day of Flocktime
Tomb of Icosiol
Rift Canyon in the Shield Lands

We returned to Diamond Lake without further incident. As we left Icosiol's Mausoleum the massive metal doors sealed themselves.

At Diamond Lake the noise and effort of reconstruction was clear. So was our next destination: Tenser's Castle in Magepoint. I must hand over Eligos's notes and materials on the Worm that Walks, but also if Tenser knows some cure to my chronic illness. I can also thank him in person for my signed editions of his marvellous arcane work.

We visited Allustan to ask for directions to Tenser's Castle, and Allustan gave me some more notes that he wanted given to Tenser, salvaged from Pelor knows where. Allustan also spent some time examining the magic items we found in Icosiol's Mausoleum.

We visited Ragnor in what was left of the Druid's Circle. The druids all seemed to be in some sort of agitated discussion, and the meaning of it soon became clear: Ragnor's attempt to reincarnate Jolan had failed. Ragnor believed that Jolan has been raised from the dead somewhere else. TYPICAL. That is so typical of Jolan, to be so irresponsible as to mess up our attempts to return his sorry carcass breathing and burping back into the presence of his brothers. His rightful kin and only family in existence. What am I supposed to do now, without my brother to protect my back?

We're keeping all of Jolan's equipment, but I can see that some will need to be used by the party while we continue our quest - particularly the Ring of Spell Storing. I just don't feel up to "discussing" the division of my brother's worldly goods right now. It makes me feel like a ghoul chewing on a still living corpse. Corvan and Tobias have been good enough not to mention the small issue of Jolan's disgraceful exile from Greyhawk City and where the "Law" of Greyhawk applies, but Will makes no bones about it.

The druids also wanted Ragnor to stay and be their leader, as he is now the highest ranking druid in the immediate area. Something like that anyway, I have never understood how those druids organise and lead themselves. It's certainly messier than the clear and efficient ways of the Academy of Magic. Ragnor thankfully declined the offer, but I could see it was a hard decision for him. I fail to see how saving the world and making sure he behaves himself in the presence of his eldest brother compares to leading a bunch of strangely dressed people with plant and animal fetishes. It must be the ceremonial drinking and smoking that appeals.

Magepoint is protected from scrying and teleportation, so Corvan rustled up some mounts and riding equipment, and we departed, making good time this day.

The only thing that particularly spoilt this day was that someone was scrying on us. Will spotted the scry sensor first, but it vanished when we reacted to its presence. So we've decided to use the orc word for "food" in conversation to alert everyone else if someone spots a scry sensor.

It happened again during the day, so I cast Dispel Magic on the sensor. It vanished with a pop.

Before turning in, I spent a couple of hours Identifying the swords from Isociol's Mausoleum.

The smaller weapon is a +2 shocking burst mithral weapon, which 3 times a day permits the wielder to gain the effects of a fly spell (caster level 9) - almost as long as a Fly spell cast by myself! Runes on the blade give it the name "Lightning Blade". The Lightning Blade does extra electricity damage and even more on a critical strike.

The larger weapon is a +2 axiomatic mithral weapon, whenever the wielder scores a critical hit, the sword creates a powerful blast of wind more powerful than a Gust of Wind. Runes on the blade give it
the name of 'Blade of Aaqa'. The Blade of Aaqa does extra damage against chaotic creatures and cannot be wielded without penalty by someone like my missing brother Jolan.

We used Rope Trick to sleep overnight, but of course someone has to be on watch to guard the horses. I must obtain Leomund's spells of Secure Shelter, or others. I feel strangely vulnerable...

Nearing dawn, Will was on last watch, and he was approached by "Allustan" wanting to buy access to the Rod fragment. Even Will was not fooled by this attempt at trickery and illusion. While "Allustan" went off to bring back some money, Will alerted us, and we prepared for combat.

I dropped to the ground and cast Invisibility and See Invisibility on myself.

At this point I will make an observation on the difference between academic studies and their practical application: my artifact course at the Academy of Magic mentioned that many search for the fragments of the Rod of Seven Parts. Naturally, one would assume the demons of the Infinite Abyss would be most actively searching for it, in whatever arbitrary manner those foul denizens see fit. But what if the greatest threat came not from Chaos, but from those whose evil is more organised, more systematic and all the more dangerous?

Not-Allustan returned and we soon found ourselves in combat with a Barbed Devil (dispensing his disguise as Allustan) and his henchman, a Bone Devil. My Disintegrate failed to overcome the Barbed Devil's spell resistance, and I have only managed to Haste Corvan, Ragnor and Tobias. We are sorely pressed, unable to significantly damage the devils physically - damn the Wind Dukes and their fixation on Law, a little bit of Good would be of enormous benefit right now! The Bone Devil has managed to hit me with a Dimensional Anchor, so we are unable to teleport to safety. I only have Magic Missiles and a Scorching Ray remaining as offensive spells, and of course, devils are immune to fire. They want the seventh fragment of the Rod of Seven Parts that I have in my pocket, and they can go to Hell.

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #60 Devils can go to hell Reply with quote

26th Day of Flocktime
Somewhere north of the reconstruction of Diamond Lake
Pre-dawn

Dearest Allustan

I cast Mage Armour on the bed-clothed paladin Corvan and he stepped forward to smite the bone devil. I drew the Wand of Enveration to prepare for my next attack. I despise this spell, having seen it's effect on my companions, but I think using it on devils is poetic justice.

The barbed devil looked like it was making a beeline for our Rope Trick hideaway, but Sheridan bet it to the rope, climbed up and vanished inside. Sheridan quickly reappeared, carrying the Lightning Blade. The barbed devil was waiting for Sheridan at the bottom of the rope, and Sheridan got badly clawed.

I was having difficulty aiming the wand properly, and missed with both shots. The barbed devil spoke something in Infernal and the bone devil vanished. Will later said it was "Get help".

Corvan hit the barbed devil hard with his sword, while Sheridan teleported to safety near the cleric. I shouted in Celestial, "hide in the Rope Trick!"

The barbed devil snarled, obviously displeased at the token resistance we had managed up until this point. It shouted in Celestial: "We will get you no matter where you hide!". Then it too teleported away.

We all sequestered ourselves away in my Rope Trick and took stock of our resources. Our first priority was for the spellcasters to rest up properly, although we would not be able to regain our spells cast during the pre-dawn combat. Second was to ensure everyone was back to full strength after the surprise combat.

With the new day, our main preparation was to ensure our weapons were good-aligned. I wish I had a decent melee weapon I could wave in a threatening manner. Even though I'm wearing my mithral twlighted chain shirt, with no weapon it's a dead giveaway that I'm a wizard. I guess I will just have to be happy with the Wand of Enveration.

Corvan plunged first out of our Rope Trick hideaway, resplendent in his glorious paladin armour. He was immediately attacked by the barbed devil, and TWO bone devils. Fortunately the armoured paladin is not such an easy target when protected by the righteousness of Pelor.

I wanted to Haste everyone but I couldn't included Corvan in the casting, so I moved aside from the Rope Trick entrance to let the others join the fight. I leaned out the Rope Trick entrance above the ground and zapped the barbed devil with a Ray of Enveration. I could see the devil wilt until the power of the ray.

Unfortunately the new bone devil was decidedly unimpressed by my brilliant accuracy with the Wand of Enveration, and plucked me from the Rope Trick and prepared to sting me. A crackling, frozen Wall of Ice blocked Ragnor and Tobias from joining the combat.

Will and Sheridan opened up on the other bone devil with their arrows and seemed to have some effect.

I skillfully teleported out of the clutches of the bone devil, within line of sight so I could lightning bolt the two foul devils. Another Wall of Ice appeared, further separating the battlefield, and I couldn't see what the others were doing.

The bone devil teleported over to me, obviously intent on pursuing its quarry. I contemplated another teleport to safety near the paladin, but I could only see Sheridan on the battlefield, everything else blocked by tall, glistening walls of thick ice. I decided I was tired of retreating from devils, and lightning bolted the infernal creature. It screeched and vanished, along with the other devils. Well, the others say it was the barbed devil getting a good sermon from Corvan's sword which convinced it to finally leave, and the bone devils just followed their master. I suppose that could be true, but I like to think that it was my skillful use of spells and wands that turned the tide.

We found our mounts unharmed and in the obvious care of Will's elven horse. We immediately broke camp and galloped towards the north, and the assumed safety of Tenser's Tower. Tonight we will bed down in another Extended Rope Trick. I fear I must divide up Jolan's useful magic amongst the party, as we require every resource at our disposal in this dire time. His Ring of Spell Storing with a Align Good spell, for example, could be crucial if we are ambushed again. Oh dearest brother, why did you desert your kin at our greatest need?

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #61 wind beneath my wings Reply with quote

27th Day of Flocktime
Somewhere north of the reconstruction of Diamond Lake

Dearest Allustan

Our defensive preparations overnight were aided by the unexpected desertion of Sheridan and Will.

Will elected to camp away from the Rod, declaring that "those who feel the need to die for it best have a good plan", and that he would see us in the morning if there was anything left. He even left the Ring of the Wind Dukes and the Lightning Blade with us, apparently thinking they might be of use to us.

Well, it is nice to know that when the going gets tough, those with elf-blood chicken out. However, the elves took the horses with them, so it meant we could hide in the Extended Rope Trick 5' off the ground and not have someone outside on watch. Assuming, of course, that the devils could find where the Rope Trick was.

We had been under surveillance via scrying all day, making me wish for a few decent illusion spells.

The devils found our location, and I was rudely woken by someone wanting me to look out the Rope Trick window. The devils were just blocking the entrance way with horizontal Walls of Ice, no big deal as the ice vanishes in less than a dozen minutes. I went back to sleep grumbling and told whomever it was to wake me if they deployed an Anti-Magic Field.

The day dawned lovely and we were all eager to escape the Rope Trick. Tobias came up with the brilliant plan of using a divine spell called Wind Walk to escape. I'd never heard of it before, but basically it is like Gaseous Form except you can travel at 60 miles an hour misty and translucent! A pity Tobias didn't realise the utility of this spell before we left Diamond Lake. In any case, we waited until the top Wall of Ice blocking our entrance way vanished, and made our escape to Magepoint! See you at the closest tavern!

Well, Ragnor and I were a bit slow leaving the Rope Trick and the devils sealed us in again for a quarter hour. But I still got to Magepoint before Ragnor!

27th Day of Flocktime
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

Magepoint: if there is an arcane heaven, I think Magepoint might be the waiting room.

Green fields of grass, peaceful setting, quiet, well-appointed houses and ... magic.

Tenser's pale blue castle dominates the landscape, with a 20' wide causeway into the village.

I cast Prestidigitation to ensure I was presentable to all, and the first tavern I found was the Allseeing Eye. Clearly a better class of tavern. As luck would have it, Corvan and Tobias were already there, drinking ale with Celeste (the elf woman who connected us with Ekaym Smallcask to fight in the Arena), the formerly deceased Eligos - so good to see him raised and about again - and a tall, lean, female later introduced to me as Cymria.

I had walked into the middle of a discussion, where Eligos was assuring Corvan that the devils would not show their infernally ugly faces in Magepoint without something nasty happening to them. So we were safe for the moment.

I sat down to a well-deserved drink, and soon afterward Ragnor wandered in with some shrubbery under his arm. Corvan quipped "got a date, Ragnor?", and disturbingly enough, Ragnor just grinned and stroked the greenery.

We retold our adventures to Celeste, Cymria and Eligos, because Cymria thought it would be helpful to brief Tenser on it all. Apparently Tenser already knew we were coming, but he was currently elsewhere, and would be back in a few days. Excellent, because I had a few things to prepare before we met with Tenser.

I asked about spellbook makers, and lucky there are two of them in Magepoint, Mofarn and Gnore. I visited Mofarn first. Mofarn listened, looked at my black dragonhide and then started to lecture me about the work required to stitch the vellum together. "That itself can take a week or so if you take your time and put in decent work." he said. He eventually announced that he could probably, under urgency, finish
one in five days.

Gnore could also under urgency complete one book in five days, but he told me so without the lecturing.

28th Day of Flocktime
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

We're staying at the Allseeing Eye Inn. The private rooms they have are perfect for wizards - quiet, and equipped for a bit of magic item creation. I could stay here forever. I haven't found out who is paying for the rooms yet.

I created a Wand of Protection from Evil.

Since the Rod of Seven Parts fragment doesn't help me, I'm going to find someone sick to cure each day I'm in Magepoint. I wonder what sort of thrill that will give me, administering to the sick.

Magepoint doesn't have a hospital. It was more difficult finding sick people than I thought. While walking along the shore of the Nyr Dyv I encountered a fisherman returning from along the coast. He appeared somewhat bloodied, and cautioned me to avoid the water nearby - the closer to Tenser's castle normally the worst the lake monsters are, and he was an example of what happens when they stray. I healed him and went on my way.

1st Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

I created a Wand of Cure Light Wounds with the help of Tobias. When I see Will I will give it to him as I think the other Wand of Cure Light Wounds I made is nearly exhausted.

I don't think I've told you what I have planned. I'm getting some dragonhide spellbooks made, using the black dragon hide from you-know-who. The vellum pages will be more expensive than parchment, but you're don't want ordinary parchment in a dragonhide spellbook! They weigh a pound more than normal spellbooks. One for Tenser, one for me. I'm hoping to ask Tenser if I could have the honour of copying Tenser's Transformation into my spellbook. Wouldn't that be great? Obtaining Tenser's Transformation right from the Archmage himself? Maybe I could ask him to sign it as well.

I got a loan of 350 gp from Corvan to pay for them. I had to pawn off some of my scrolls and one of my masterwork daggers to pay for it, but I'm sure it's worth it.

I'll write in my best handwriting on the inside cover "Archmage Tenser, as mentor of Allustan thank you very much, Anlan Evant"

2nd Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

Sheridan and Will finally showed their faces in Magepoint, with horses in tow. I forgot to give Will the Wand of Cure Light Wounds. It can wait.

I created a Wand of Shield. That's all my wand creation materials I purchased in Greyhawk. I have to say, while wands were fascinating to me when I got my first Fireball, now that I command Firebrand and Disintegrate, they just don't do it for me anymore.

The auditory and sensory symptoms of my disease makes it difficult to make contacts here. If I wasn't so grumpy, I'd be more understanding of the other mages' point of view.

I notice Corvan has a new backpack - Heward's again. The prices and range of magic items here in Magepoint is better than in Greyhawk, but I have no money! That little bastard Ragnor refuses to give me a loan of Jolan's money. I'm good for it: I already owe Jolan 40 gp. What's the point of lugging pounds of gold through the wilderness? Better to spend it on something so you don't have to trek through the wilderness like a peasant.

I visited Ragnor in his garden of paradise he is creating just outside of town with plants and shrubs and statues et al. It didn't go well, and I regret I made some observations that plants don't look so good when they're on fire, and statues don't enjoy Disintegrates cast at them.

3rd Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

Magepoint has a great library, almost on par with the library at the Academy of Magic in Greyhawk. The caretaker of the Library Temple in Magepoint is Agath. He's also an expert on magical diseases. I got an appointment with him and described the symptoms of my illness. Tobias helped me out with the divine remedies we have tried. Agath enquired as to when the disease first manifested itself. We thought it might have occurred when I was weakened by the black dragon's noisome breath. Agath promised to look into the matter and asked me to return tomorrow.

The Magepoint Library doesn't have any spell research material. It's great for background material on everything else though. I will make enquiries about gaining access to spellbooks while I'm here. I should have asked Mofarn and Gnore about that I guess.

Agath didn't charge me for using the library, which is good because I hardly have any money left. My arcane knowledge obviously impressed him, and that's probably why he saw me immediately as a patient. It's nice to be appreciated.

A newly arrived human visitor staying at the Allseeing Eye Inn had a persistent cough, red face, and was sweating quite a bit. I overheard one of the visitor's group mentioning having to seek out a
cleric. I inserted myself into the conversation and eventually used the fragment on him. He was happy.

4th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

I woke up feeling even worse than before. It's painful to walk and I am in such a bad mood. I hope that Agath has something for me today!

Tobias accompanied me to Agath's rooms, and Agath directed me to start removing my possessions one by one onto his examination table. I suddenly understood the nature of my illness. It's a curse! I'm wearing the identify focus I made with the yellow sapphire from the mindflayer's lair! None of those items had any good aspects to them! I couldn't remove the sickly yellow thing around my neck. Agath said that it would require a Remove Curse, followed immediately by a Cure Disease and then a Heal/Miracle or Limited Wish to rid myself of the yellow millstone.

Fortunately I was able to memorise Remove Curse from my spellbook, and Tobias, may Pelor bless his soul, had Cure Disease and Heal that day. I started with Remove Curse on myself, and Tobias completed his spellcasting. I dropped the yellow sapphire identify focus, and Disintegrated it where it lay on the floor. Never mind salvaging the 250 gp I spent making the identify focus! It's too dangerous to touch! Then I used the Rod of Seven Parts to cure myself utterly of the affliction. Free! Free at last! Thank Pelor!

Agath didn't even charge for his services. I am hugely impressed with his services as a caretaker. I love Magepoint!

Where is that Spellbook Club?

5th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

We received an invitation to dinner in Tenser's Tower tonight. I am so excited!

I have this big list of spells I want to find while in Magepoint, and hope to get financial assistance from the party while doing so. Is there anything I should get you, while I'm here?

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant

Antidetection
2nd Locate Object
2nd Obscure Object
4th Nondetection (50 gp diamond dust)
5th Mordakainen's Private Sanctum

Defensive
2nd Protection from Arrows
2nd Resist Energy
4th Dimensional Anchor

Fabrication
4th Minor Creation
5th Major Creation (preferable)

Illusion
1st Nystul's Magic Aura
3rd Major Image
4th Hallucintory Terrain
5th Mirage Arcana
6th Veil

Recon/Communication
2nd Whispering Wind
4th Scrying (1000 gp mirror, could be problematic carrying this)

Transport
1st Mount
3rd Phantom Steed

Tenser's research
1st Tenser's Floating Disk
6th Tenser's Transformation (Potion of Bull's Strength)
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glen



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Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #62 the gifts that keep on giving Reply with quote

5th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

Dearest Allustan

I forgot to mention a few things that happened during the last week or so.

I Disintegrated the unholy longsword that killed Jolan. We investigated the possibility of converting it to the side of good, but such evil weapons are irredeemable. I was tempted by the offer of 9,000 gp to "see it on its evil way" but the intent behind the sword was to kill good creatures: it is dust now. I collected the dust as a gift for Jolan when I see him next.

Apart from the cursed greatsword that Ragnor has, the only other item from the mindflayer's lair that we still have is the griffon statuette in Corvan's possession. We tested it in a field outside of Magepoint. Corvan activated the statuette, a griffon appeared - apparently grumpy - and then Corvan commanded it to return to statuette form. I blinked and asked the paladin what sort of test that was supposed to be. Apparently enough, as Corvan donated the statuette to the Magepoint Library that day, claiming the griffon only obeyed him through force of will.

As to our meeting with Tenser himself, in his Fortress of Unknown Depths: Cimbra warned us to be respectful of the Archmage and his castle (I was eyeballing Ragnor at the time, and Ragnor just rolled his eyes back at me). The fortress is defended from the air by bloodhawks, from water by lake monsters, and from teleporting by unspecified but no doubt extremely unpleasant countermeasures.

I fussed over everyone with a Prestidigitation spell, but I think we were all looking our finest when we walked up the causeway to the fortress. I was dressed in my courtier's outfit - with the jewellery - that I haven't worn since the feast in the Greyhawk Arena. Celeste, Cimbra and Eligos accompanied us.

Tenser's study, as you probably know, is very nicely appointed, with deep blue carpet (I get the feeling that blue is possibly Tenser's favourite colour), and paintings of various exotic locations and regions. Tenser's massive antique desk is laden down with scrolls, vials of ink and various magical trivia - including a very fine and beautiful dragon chess set. The dragon chess set intrigued me, as the pieces are not set in their starting positions, but in mid-game. In fact, it looked very much like the configuration you choose to set up.

We sat down in large, overstuffed chairs, and only had to wait a short while before Tenser himself arrived, with Agath in tow.

I imagine Tenser is much the same as you remember him: a surprisingly healthy-looking 60-year old man, with a prominent nose, in blue robes and trousers, emblazoned with Tenser's Coat of Arms - a thin scimitar.

Tenser introduced Agath and went around the room greeting us all and seemed to know a lot about all of us. I was pleased to see Agath again. We then all sat down again and Tenser encouraged us to outline our adventures and travels. Eventually we were discussing the Age of Worms in depth.

Tenser would normally dismiss prophecies - in his position I bet he hears all sorts of wild and woolly ravings - but so far an alarming number of things predicted by Kyuss have come to pass. A city burning in a bowl - the city of Kuluth-Mar, built in the caldera of an extinct volcano, destroyed in an eruption. Return of worm-eating dead. The manifestation of an immense demonic tree overseas. Recovery of potent artifacts from ancient tombs.

But two prophecies he is particularly interested in - the unification of a tripartite spirit and the Rise of the Great Worm to return a city to darkness and death - seem to match our battles with the Ebon Aspect and the Apostle of Kyuss respectively. I discovered a powerful need to know of the other prophecies, since in both of these momentous events I died - although the first death was better than the second.

Speaking of recovery of potent artifacts from ancient tombs, at that point I exchanged looks with Corvan, Tobias and the others, and showed Tenser the end fragment of the Rod of Seven Parts, telling him the command word for it's Heal power, and explaining that it was a devil magnet. Tenser generously offered us a magic item each from his vaults in return for giving him the fragment, to which we all agreed was a good idea. While it would be nice to retain the artifact with its daily Heal, we cannot take on the minions of Kyuss as well as increasingly powerful devil interest. Other parties would also find out about it in due course. Eventually we would lose possession to those who should not have it, and worse. But Jolan died recovering the artifact, and we know he is alive somewhere. I wanted Jolan to be included in the deal, but I was unable to persuade Tenser to include him. Will was most unhelpful, butting into our conversation with the revelation that Jolan had been exiled from Greyhawk for being an evil cultist!

As to our next steps against the machinations of Kyuss, we thought we might follow up Loris Raknian, and find out where he is.

Tenser told us the story of Bucknard, an acquaintance of his. Bucknard had made the study of Kyuss into an obsession, and had eventually determined that Kyuss had ruled the city of Kuluth-Mar two millenia ago, from his Spire of Long Shadows. The city is located in the Armedio jungle, far to the south. Apparently Bucknard, after discovering the location of the city, teleported there immediately, without any preparation, returned in a week, hastily impressed upon Tenser some scrawled notes, then headed off north somewhere, never to be seen again. This was before the Greyhawk Wars some ten years ago.

I remember Bucknard from my time at the Academy. Bucknard was a powerful human wizard, and former founding member of the Circle of Eight group led by Mordenkainen. He was reputed to have crafted a unique item, Bucknard's Everfull Purse, an enchanted coin purse that refilled itself each morning.

Tenser explained to us that from Bucknard's notes, the Spire was where Kyuss ascended to divinity, possibly aiding in the transition. Given what the minions of Kyuss had planned for Greyhawk, I shudder to think what happened to the inhabitants of Kuluth-Mar at the moment of Kyuss' ascension to godhood.

The Spire of Long Shadows rises like a ziggerut from the ruins of Kuluth-Mar, and we agreed it would be best if we found out what Bucknard discovered in person before pursuing his trail northwards. Corvan, Tobias and Will were literally rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of destroying more undead. I wasn't worried about how to get there, but rather how to get back.

Tenser promised us to attune one of his pictures to the location, and to give me a few scrolls of Greater Teleport. I can't actually cast spells of that power, but I didn't want to tell the Archmage that! I'll learn!

Lastly, I presented Tenser with my gift: the black dragonhide spellbook with vellum pages. I had written a dedication with my best quill on the inside cover: "Archmage Tenser, as mentor of Allustan thank you very much, Anlan Evant". I took the opportunity to ask Tenser if I might have the honour of obtaining the spell Tenser's Transformation directly from the source, in a manner of speaking. He seemed agreeable to giving me a scroll to copy it from. I was fairly satisfied at that. A scroll is not as good as a spellbook of course, but the scroll comes from the Archmage himself.

We all agreed to spend one more week in Magepoint and leave on the seventh day, the 12th of Wealsun, to the abandoned city of Kuluth-Mar, and explore the Spire of Long Shadows.

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant

[Anlan's private notes: Tenser seemed to accept Allustan's gift as well without much surprise or fuss, and agreed to visit Diamond Lake to present it to Allustan personally, since he had to go there anyway for research purposes. I had written a dedication with my best quill on the inside cover: "Beloved Allustan, thank you for mentoring me into the ranks of wizardry, Anlan Evant"]
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #63 a dragon just for Anlan Reply with quote

6th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

Dearest Allustan

Tenser was as good as his word and supplied me with a scroll of Tenser's Transformation. I guess I'll get the scrolls of Greater Teleport just before we leave on the 12th.

I dutifully spent the day studying Tenser's namesake spell and eventually I understood it. This is the first time I have seen Tenser's work, and I just admire the cunning way he has harnessed the power of the Potion of Bull's Strength in this spell.

Magepoint may be an arcane nirvana, but I discovered that not all is bliss and beauty in magic-user heaven! Apparently the arcane rivalry here puts even the skulduggery at the Greyhawk Academy of Magic to shame! No-one ever considers trading spells freely via spellbooks, only via spell scrolls. Someone is transmuting paper into gold here. However, I am hoping that this means that uncommon spells will be available at reasonable prices.

In addition to the spells I'm looking for to help the party in general - listed at the end so I don't forget - I'm also looking for the Quick Potion and Spawn Screen spell, which I've read about and would appear very helpful. Quick Potion will allow me to access a Potion of Bull's Strength when I want to use Tenser's Transformation. Spawn Screen, and research into making it permanent, will prevent any of us being transformed into undead creatures if we are killed by them.

7th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

I wrote Tenser's Transformation into my spellbook with my other 6th level spells. I wonder if it would ruin the spell if I asked Tenser to sign it after we return from Kuluth-Mar?

8th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint
Hometown of the Archmage Tenser

I spent a frustrating day discovering that beneath the arcane paradise of Magepoint beats a steady gold mercantile heart. Gold speaks in Magepoint, but I am mute. I only have 5 silvers and 5 coppers to my name. I already owe Corvan 350 gp and Jolan 40 gp. I am following some positive leads regarding the spells I am looking for, but I don't have any money to make it so.

Ragnor flogged off the cursed Greatsword for a large amount of money without giving me a loan. He claimed he needed the money for his armour. I could see in his eyes that he expected me to ask him about Jolan's money again, but I didn't give him the satisfaction.

Sheridan and Will came to us with a proposal - wagons are vanishing from the eastern trade route between here and Half Moon, and an elven ranger hired by the town to investigate, Cannorial El'atherian, has tracked two green dragons to their lairs. He needs a group of adventurers to help kill them. Apparently they have a treasure hoard! Where do I sign up?

Good things come in twos apparently. Ragnor suddenly wanted me to Permanence a druid spell called Greater Magic Fang on him. I don't do druid spells, but I could with the Ring of Spell Storing. It's a bit more effort than a Permanenced Darkvision though, so maybe Ragnor might like to donate to my favourite charity, Wizards Against Spellbooks Too Empty. I represent the local chapter.

9th Day of Wealsun
Somewhere between Magepoint and Half Moon
On the trail of green dragons

I heard the most outlandish back story while Cannorial El'atherian was leading us to the green dragons. It explained why he had sought out the "mighty Dragon-slayers Will and Sheridan".

Apparently the two elvish members of the party knocked off two red dragons while we were dealing with the devils pursuing us across Greyhawk. They also have 40' high statues commissioned in their likeness. I asked Ragnor if he had been sharing his secret herbs and spices with the elves, and cautioned him that such substances can do dangerous things to their fragile brains.

Cannorial skilfully led us to the vicinity of the dragon's lair without any incident, and remained with our horses while we dimension doored down to the valley floor. We sneaked up on the waterfall, behind which was the cave system where the dragons were. Ragnor transformed himself into an eagle and did an aerial recon. By the time we arrived at the pool 15' below the waterfall-hidden cave, Will was also certain enough to say that there was one dragon inside counting coin. Who got some clairvoyance item from Tenser then?

While we were discussing what to do in the absence of the second dragon, Sheridan suddenly shouted out loudly "Oh, Mr Dragon sir, what are you doing counting coins?"

I threw up my hands in disgust, and walked away. Excuse the profanity, my beloved mentor, but by Vecna's Balls, what is the point of stealth and sneakiness when the village moron is present? We might as well have just bought offensively loud musical instruments and played the Free City Anthem on the way here while Sheridan blesses us with his presence. Not for the first time have I wished that Silence was an arcane spell.

However, I do not desert my friends. Expecting trouble, Ragnor, Tobias and I began casting defensive spells. I already had Delay Poison from Tobias before we entered the valley: he added Resist Acid. I cast Bear's Endurance on myself and Haste on the entire party. Ragnor added a Mass Bull's Strength. I felt strong and virile. I could get used to this spell.

Then the second green dragon burst from forest cover some distance away and closed quickly. Sheridan dimension doored away with Corvan, Ragnor, Tobias and Will, leaving just me to face the green dragon on my own. Technically I wasn't alone: there was Ragnor's new animal companion, a Dire Lion, to protect me. I felt safer already with Ragnor's pussy cat nearby.

Sometimes, a wizard's got to do, what a wizard's got to do.

The green dragon breathed acid and poison on us, but the Resist Acid protected me. Three times the green dragon and I engaged in en passant attacks: I was Flying before the second duel. I flung Quickened Magic Missiles and Maximised Empower Fireballs at it thrice. It hurt me once with its fearsome breath weapon, and once with a nasty bite. Then it got serious and tried to eat me in mid-air. It had me in its jaws, and I could see flashes of bright light from below (it was Tobias with a Searing Light) and heard the impact of arrows (a salvo from Sheridan). I also heard a gurgling sound as I realised the dragon was preparing to breathe again. I wanted to cast Chain Lightning but couldn't manipulate the focus, nor could I cast a Lightning Bolt without the material components. I called on my magical reserves and struck with my last salvo of Still Magic Missiles.

The green dragon died in mid-air with myself trapped within its jaws: I struggled to free myself but without a Dimension Door I was at the front end of a falling mound of dead flesh plummeting from the sky. We hit the ground together in a bone-shaking crash.

As soon as I extricated myself I flew back to the lair, and to my great relief discovered the others had dealt with their dragon. Corvan had duelled with it, Ragnor and Tobias had burned it, Sheridan and Will had hit it with arrows. Ragnor and Will had also taken the opportunity to go for a swim, with Ragnor's pussy cat joining them. I thought cats hated water.

I was less than pleased to discover that Ragnor had dropped most of the cave roof onto the dragon inside, burying the treasure horde under much mud and rubble. 7 out of 10 for style, little brother, but minus several million for good thinking.

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant

Antidetection
2nd Locate Object
2nd Obscure Object
4th Nondetection (50 gp diamond dust)
5th Mordakainen's Private Sanctum

Defensive
2nd Protection from Arrows
2nd Resist Energy
4th Dimensional Anchor

Fabrication
4th Minor Creation
5th Major Creation (preferable)

Illusion
1st Nystul's Magic Aura
3rd Major Image
4th Hallucintory Terrain
5th Mirage Arcana
6th Veil

Recon/Communication
2nd Whispering Wind
4th Scrying (1000 gp mirror, could be problematic carrying this)

Transport
1st Mount
3rd Phantom Steed

Tenser's research
1st Tenser's Floating Disk
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #64 next stop: Kuluth-Mar Reply with quote

10th Day of Wealsun
Somewhere between Magepoint and Half Moon
Green Dragon lair (owners recently deceased)

Dearest Allustan

I awoke in the relative calm and peace of last night's Rope Trick. Some were still snoring away - and we had a busy day ahead - but I lay there in quiet contemplation.

I reflected on a vision I had during the night: I saw Jolan approaching me, whispering "Anlan", before vanishing. I think I will discuss the vision with Corvan as to its meaning. I know Corvan has had visions before. Maybe I should mention it to Ragnor. At this stage it might be some self-deluded hope of mine manifesting itself as a dream-like hallucination. Or it could be that middle brother is trying to communicate with me.

Through the use of various magics, invisible servants, Disintegrates and Ragnor's Soften Earth and Stone we managed to clear the mud fall and sort out the items of the dragon hoard.

We divided up the magic items as follows:

Will: Falchion + 1, Magebane
Ragnor: Wilding Clasp, Tanglepatch (single use Entangle)
Corvan: Dusty rose Ioun Stone
Tobias: Wand of Cure Critical Wounds (10 charges)
Anlan: Rod of Bodily Restoration
Sheridan: Vanisher Cloak

The rest of the group voted to return the trade goods to Half Moon, but I insisted on retaining my share. We get paid in loot for the dangerous job of adventuring and I'm not giving up my rightful earnings to fat, rich merchant-noble types without any form of consideration. If it was the life savings of a peasant family or an orphanage's building fund I would be happy to give it back - but I draw the line at risking my life for someone else's standard of living.

I really don't know what came over the others. Should we attempt to track down the poor little rich noble's daughter who is missing her bronzewood music box with the bronze fittings and mechanism highlighted with mother of pearl inlay? No doubt some cultured individual is pining away because of the loss of his tapestry (6' x 4') in silk, silver and gold, depicting a forest glade in bright sunlight: we should immediately embark on a quest to reunite the tapestry lover with the object of his affection! And the mithral comb with inlaid emeralds? I'm sure there is an elven maiden having a bad hair day due to its absence: a worthy undertaking for our heroic elven dragon-slayers!

No, we are quite happy to pawn these treasures off but need to return the trade goods to fat, rich merchant-nobles. Madness.

Even more annoying, the rest of the group actually wanted to travel all the way to Half Moon to return the trade goods in person. It was boring. Thank Pelor we returned to Magepoint the same day.

In Magepoint I ordered four new vellum dragonhide spellbooks with my recently harvested green dragon hide. I ordered two from Mofarn and two from Gnore, just to show I have no hard feelings about Mofarn's verbosity. One of the spellbooks will be very patchy, but that gravity-dented look will make it my favourite.

I tracked down a scroll with Spawn Screen on it, and put an order in for other spells. I then spent the remainder of the day studying Spawn Screen.

11th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint

I wrote Spawn Screen into my academy spellbook with my other 2nd level spells. It'll take several weeks to research whether it can be made permanent, and I'll need access to library resources like that at the Greyhawk Academy of Magic. I can't do everything at once!

Will did very well in getting us the best possible price for the treasure. In the end we each got 2,933 gp from the gems and treasure. Well done Will! I think the new falchion suits him. I'm already annoyed at the dusty rose Ioun stone whizzing around the head of Corvan. It's like some irritating fly you can't get rid of. Speaking of which, Sheridan really enjoys his new cloak. I would take out my Rod of Bodily Restoration and admire it's beauty, but I am too busy right now.

12th Day of Wealsun
Magepoint

Celeste met us at Tenser's Castle and ushered us inside. Tenser had left on some worthy wizardly wayfare as was his wont, so Celeste gave me two scrolls of Greater Teleport, and showed me the portrait tuned to Kuluth-Mar.

I peered at the portrait, getting familiar with the location, etching it into my brain. While kicking myself mentally inside. I had wondered why Tenser offered two scrolls of Greater Teleport. I had assumed that the portrait was some kind of teleportation portal, but it was only a scrying device like a crystal ball. I still had to cast a more powerful spell than what I am currently capable of! And I had only just received it!

Fortunately Tenser's scroll scribing has similarities to Allustan's scroll scribing just as my scroll scribing has similarities to Allustan's. The wizard's mentor connection is more than just a social relationship! I handed the second Greater Teleport to Tobias for safety's sake, drew my companions together and proudly cast the spell of my grandmentor!

12th Day of Wealsun
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

We arrived in a jungle clearing, looking down upon the city of Kuluth-Mar. The Spire of Long Shadows dominated the city - it looked like some weird desert plant atop a tiered flat-top pyramid.

We were immediately attacked by four trolls. I've never seen trolls before, but the stories are true - horrible, rubbery like creatures, bestial in appearance.

One troll was felled by fire arrows from Sheridan and normal arrows from Will, and Tobias struck with his Flame Strike. I stepped to one side, and attacked the closest troll with a Quickened Scorching Ray then a Sculpted Empowered Fireball in a line that killed the remaining three trolls.

Remembering my studies, I implored my companions to burn the remains, lest the trolls regenerate. Corvan contributed his stock of oil, and thick black smoke billowed from the funeral pyre. Fearing our position may be revealed to unknown watchers, we moved away from the burning, and then headed directly for Kuluth-Mar.

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant
Champion of the Free Arena

PS Since Sheridan and Will obtained some profitable work due to their dragon-slaying reputation, I will now use my official title(s) in any communication. I hope I receive commissions worthy of my abilities and skill!
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #65 bugs in the temple Reply with quote

12th Day of Wealsun
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

Kuluth-Mar is surrounded by a 30' high, 6' wide flawless obsidian wall. At first we thought it was part of the city defenses, but runes in Draconic etched on the top of the wall state: "Kyuss forever bound". The entire ground space enclosed by the wall writhes with green Kyuss worms.

There was something in the air as we approached Kuluth-Mar, something oily and evil. As we approached we all experienced some sort of vision. It was a vision of Kuluth-Mar at the height of its power and influence. A man seated on a great green stone carried on the backs of slaves, wearing ornate plate armour and a circlet on his head with the skull and scythe symbols of Nerull, the evil god of death.

The throne was carried to the apex of the Spire, where a 15' black stone trapezoid was located. There were thousands of people cheering on the streets.

The vision faded and we were surprised to see Tobias unconscious on the ground. The silly cleric had cast Detect Evil and then gazed upon Kyuss himself!

After a brief discussion at the foot of the obsidian wall I cast Fly on Will and he lifted us all up on top of the arcane barrier. Sheridan could have done it with his Dimension Door but Will wanted to fly around a bit. I am always happy to indulge my companion's arcane fantasies.

We noticed that the Kyuss worms kept their distance from the inside obsidian wall. After discussing various options, Sheridan just dimensioned doored us over to the first tier of the flat-topped pyramid. Ragnor and his pussy cat were still loitering outside the obsidian wall: Ragnor was in bear form and I think he was trying to climb the 30' smooth wall by himself rather than asking for help.

Will was hovering above us, looking like he was enjoying himself.

Suddenly two large war beetles writhing with Kyuss worms charged down the stairs and bit Tobias and I! Tobias tried to turn the two foul undead creatures but he seemed less confident after being bitten and the beetles were unaffected.

I Disintegrated my beetle but its master appeared at the top of the pyramid and directed the beetle attacking Tobias to bite me instead. Fine! I don't mind protecting my friends. Tobias called upon the light of Pelor again but nothing happened.

The beetle master agreed with my sentiments and ran down the stairs to whack me with his bastard sword sheathed in black flames. Now I know how the sword got its name.

The beetle made some sort of clicking noise which seem to affect Corvan badly: he just stood there and drooled. I don't think anyone would have noticed the difference, but I'm Corvan's best friend, and I could tell.

The beetle master was an undead knight in full plate armour but something was wrong with its eyes. I will call it a "Worm Knight".

It was nice to make Sir Worm Knight's acquaintance but I really had other things to do. I stepped back, grabbed Tobias, put my hand on Corvan's shoulder and uttered the words for a Dimension Door. Back to the obsidian wall!

Will engaged in witty banter with Sir Worm Knight while firing arrows into the remaining beetle. Tobias provided some much needed healing for me. I shouted to Sheridan to stop playing with the bear and the cat, and to take us back to the battle. The paladin stopped drooling.

While Ragnor threw Sheridan bodily up onto the top of the obsidian wall, Tobias struck the far-off beetle with a Searing Light. The beetle had moved down the stairs and had started munching on Kyuss worms for some reason.

Then Sheridan dimension doored us right in front of Sir Worm Knight and Corvan attacked him. Sir Worm Knight seemed pleased by this, and said grudgingly "at last, a decent challenge"

Tobias proved he was a wolf in sheep's clothing - and that the third time is the charm. He brought forth the radiant light of Pelor and destroyed Sir Worm Knight with his faith in the Shining One. The look of surprise on Sir Worm Knight's rotted face was quite funny.

I tried to Disintegrate the last beetle but only took out a chunk of it's carapace. Corvan struck the creature four times with his sword but it survived the onslaught. Will slipped down beside it, turned into a bolt of lightning and tore out it's undead guts.

After recovering the full plate armour, heavy steel shield and bastard sword, we explored the ruins atop the pyramid but there was nothing of interest.

Another vision descended upon us, that of an ancient red dragon ripping away the black trapezoid and flying away from Kuluth-Mar, leaving the top of the Spire in ruins. Will claimed he saw writhing worms within the trapezoid, and my unbearable brother agreed with a grunt.

The only ways inside were the eastern and western openings on the ground level. Tobias helpfully destroyed all the worms within 60' and we made the 15' drop to the ground safely.

As we entered the ground floor, we experienced another vision: armoured soldiers destroying a city of helpless men, women and children. The city looked similar to Kuluth-Mar, and the army was led by an evilly handsome male wielding an exotic polearm with the aspects of a pike, axe and mace.

Ragnor and his pussy cat were scared of the pitch black, so I took one of my Sunrods and activated it. I didn't want my little brother to wet his pants in the dark. I didn't know if I could bear that responsibility.

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant
Champion of the Free Arena

PS "Bear" that responsibility. Do you get it?
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #66 worms in the library Reply with quote

12th Day of Wealsun
Spire of Long Shadows
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

We left the antechamber through double doors. We entered a grand chamber, clearly the main chamber of the Spire's pyramid. At least 100' square and 30' high ceiling, the chamber had a gaping 30' pit in the centre. The pit glowed an eerie ghastly green. Tendrils of vapour wafted up from below.

The chamber had double doors on all four walls, including our entrance. We made our way around the perimeter of the chamber, keeping as far away from the pit as we could, and keeping the pillars supporting the great roof between us and the pit!

The doors exactly opposite our entrance point led into a similar antechamber to the outside. But the walls portrayed undead soldiers destroying a city, killing helpless people, while over them all a huge figure, a seething mass of worms hovered. Somehow the writhing worms also made a horrible face.

Having secured our entrance and additional possible exit, we now chose at random one of the two remaining sets of doors.

The double doors set flush against their walls opened up into a torch-lit library - many bookshelves filled with well-preserved tomes, and clear jars filled with grey liquid containing something moving inside set at strategic points.

Directly opposite the doorway stood another skeletal knight in baroque plate armour, similar to Sir Worm Knight but different. The Death Knight held a massive great sword and looked like he knew how to use it.

I waited for the knight to attack, which it did by lifting the blade and unleashing a massive burst of negative energy which severely hurt Corvan, Tobias and myself. The elves managed to avoid the deadly effect. I zapped the Death Knight with a salvo of Magic Missiles. Sheridan and Will peppered the creature with their arrows. Tobias seemed badly affected by the negative energy and did not succeed in turning the creature.

I shouted to everyone not to use fire in the library - and explained later that we are here to find out what Bucknard found out about Kyuss - and destroying an intact library seems to be an unwise way of achieving that goal.

There were two other Death Knights in the library and a ghoul-like creature which we didn't get a good look at.

I cast my most powerful evocation spell, Chain Lightning, which had no effect on the skeletal Death Knights. I must remember that bony undead are generally immune to electricity attacks! I moved away from the entrance way to get into position to seal the library off with a Wall of Stone - something I should have done instead of wasting my time on Chain Lightning.

Corvan managed to pull the door shut again but the two other Death Knights opened them again, and the first Death Knight unleashed another blast of black-crackling negative energy, striking Corvan and Tobias again. Again the elves avoided the deadly effect. Tobias fell down but Ragnor ran to the cleric's aid.

Will gestured strangely and a shadowy illusion of closed doors appeared in the entrance way. I yelled to Corvan to get away from the doors and sealed the entrance way with a 6" stone wall 15' long and 10' high.

We retreated from the Spire via Wind Walk and reformed on top of the city's obsidian guardian wall. Sheridan brought Ragnor and his dire lion out via Dimension Door.

We agreed we had been unprepared for the trio of Death Knights and thanked Pelor only one seemed to possess the devastating negative energy burst weapon. But it would be foolish to conclude that the other two didn't have some equally devastating attack they just weren't able to bring to bear on us in the time we gave them.

We reconnoitered the city and it's immediate environment while under the half-day influence of Wind Walk.

The northern reaches of the city appear to be troll hunting grounds: the nearest band were located many miles from the Spire itself. We decided to leave them alone rather than attract further attention to ourselves here.

The western sector is strangely empty.

The eastern sector is decidedly healthier than the other sectors, with curious animal trails. Ragnor concluded that the area may be under the care of a druid with many snakes in service.

The southern sector is flooded with the ruins of collapsed buildings serving as islands. Enormous crocodiles mark out their territory here, as well as what appears to be a gigantic purple worm.

As we reformed the group in the eastern sector and I prepared two Rope Tricks for the night, Corvan declared he had also Wind Walked through the ground level of the Spire, and the last ground level chamber in the Spire appeared to be a torture chamber with an armoured elf and two unarmoured angelic creatures. I admonished my friend for taking such a risk - what if the torture chamber had an active Anti-Magic Field? Then the paladin might have found himself one of the grisly amusements!

Before we retired, I Extended Shrunk Item a Huge stone, which might come in handy when we explore the pit tomorrow. I shall try to identify the armour and shield we picked up today. I wonder if negative energy burst weapons can be converted to positive energy burst weapons? I must ask Tenser that when we get home.

Your devoted student


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:43 pm    Post subject: Letter to Mentor #67 to elf is human, to reincarnate divine Reply with quote

13th Day of Wealsun
Spire of Long Shadows
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

Sir Worm Knight possessed a +1 heavy steel shield and + 2 full plate armour according to my examinations overnight. His bastard sword can wait another night.

We prepared ourselves for the new day, mainly ensuring all of us were Death Warded by Ragnor and Tobias. I cast Light from your gift wand on a rock, hoping to use it strategically in the coming battle.

Will had regained his shadow companion, and sent the shadow through the wall to reconnoiter the library. One Death Knight was in the doorway, while the others were essentially in the same position as before. The hunchbacked entity was pacing back and forth in an agitated manner.

Ragnor gave us all Mass Bull's Strength. I Extended Hasted the entire party. Ragnor cast his Transmute Rock to Mud and reduced my Wall of Stone into a morass. My little brother seemed to copy me by casting two spells at once. He told me later it was a Heat Metal on the Death Knight in the doorway. I could have told him it was a wasted effort. Ragnor was in hawk form, and flew into the library unhindered.

Sheridan and Will opened up with a salvo of arrows - Will's arrows seemed to have more effect than Sheridan's fire arrows. Corvan ran forward and struck the Death Knight with a mighty blow! The Death Knight fought back against Corvan, and the Death Knights inside the library unleashed a negative energy burst each! I could feel the cold dark energy roil against my Death Ward, and was glad for its protection. The Death Knight in the doorway was caught in the area of effect and seemed to shrug off all the damage we had done to it.

The hunchback made some gestures in the dark and suddenly we weren't Hasted anymore! An area Dispel Magic if ever I have felt one.

Tobias shouted forth a challenge against the Death Knight's evil which had no effect whatsoever, despite the showy display of the holy symbol of Pelor. So I demonstrated to the cleric how it was done with a Quickened True Strike Disintegrate. The Death Knight's full plate armour clanged loudly on the ground.

Suddenly part of the library with a Death Knight and the hunchback, plus a few book shelves, was engulfed in flame and fire! My moron of a little brother did not seem to understand the term "do not use fire in the valuable library!" I will have to beat it into him later today. Sheridan and Will fired more arrows at the hunchback.

Corvan ran fearlessly into the library and attacked one of the Death Knights. He got flanked by the second Death Knight and was struck three mighty blows from their greatswords, wielded double-handed. The paladin fell dead to the floor!

An outraged Tobias thrust forward his holy symbol of Pelor and uttered such a powerful blessing of Pelor that the two Death Knights disintegrated to dust at his word. I ran forward to assist my friend, but as I got closer I could see there was no hope of saving Corvan. I turned my attention on the hunchback, and after another Quickened True Strike Disintegrate it was no more. A mithral breastplate clanged to the floor.

Then everyone went slightly mad with grief, except I kept a clear head. Although I was sorely tempted to let loose with a few Fireballs. Sheridan ran about gaping at the books. Will strutted about reading the book titles and falsely accusing valuable books on Spellcraft were evil books of necromancy. Ragnor got all excited about another reincarnation and lay claim on Corvan's bleeding corpse. Tobias went around gratuitously smashing each jar in the library and destroying the worm trapped inside.

A brief look at the book on a small table in the centre of the library indicated to me that the worms inside the jars held knowledge important to the library or something. But I needed more time to be sure of it, and possible side effects. But everyone was running around vandalising everything! I rescued one jar from the rampaging cleric, and studied my spellbook for a Comprehend Languages. I should have planned ahead for that!

Detect Magic indicated that the Death Knight's armour was magical, but not their greatswords, nor the mithral breastplate from the hunchback. Such a shame the hunchback was some sort of sorcerer and didn't have a spellbook of its own.

Irritatingly enough once everyone had recovered their wits from the dreadful loss of our dear friend Corvan, and stopped threatening to put the library to torch, they just as quickly buggered off elsewhere, leaving Tobias and I alone. By Hextor's rusted chastity belt, the average tactical nous of the party without Corvan falls below zero.

Some of the books covering recent history of the city were missing, and I claimed a few well-used books on arcane knowledge - skipping the ones on necromancy and Nerull worship. But I really need a whole day ALONE BY MYSELF UNDISTURBED to have any hope of finding out what Bucknard may have found here, and any details on the ascension of Kyuss to divinity.

It was hopeless trying to organise the others without Corvan's clear leadership, so I sealed the library again with a Wall of Stone, leaving the full plate armour entombed. We discovered our previous night's campsite to the east had been visited by druids and snakes, possibly even the legendary yuan-ti or snake people. To avoid being invited to partake in their practice of human sacrifice we shifted our camp to the north.

I prepared two Rope Tricks for the night, and under my arcane protection the party suffered no incident during the night.

Ragnor was up even before Tobias and I, eagerly preparing his reincarnation materials. After 10 minutes of mumbling, shouting and whispering, Ragnor went silent. An hour later our paladin returned to us in his brand new Elven body. Just as well Jolan isn't here!

Your devoted student


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #68 a worm just for Anlan Reply with quote

13th Day of Wealsun
Outskirts of Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

Sorry, I jumped ahead of myself. Corvan was going to be reincarnated as an elf the next morning, but I wanted to tell you about an outrageous trick my little brother Ragnor played on me. I might start calling him Telan just to annoy him. Why he can't stand the name his own mother gave him I'll never know.

Ragnor cooked that night. Some jungle boar he made friends with (yeah, animals: watch out for the friendly druid, he loves animals, he swaps recipes regularly with the rest of the cabal).

It was a nice casserole and I happily tucked into a serving in addition to my daily trail ration. If I had the opportunity I would go to double rations immediately, but I don't know how long we're going to be in this hot, sticky jungle.

I was eating heartily when suddenly I feel something wriggling down my throat! It was a Kyuss worm! I threw myself on the ground and thrust my fingers down my throat, trying to vomit. I noticed in the corner of my eye Ragnor and Will calmly continued eating while Tobias and Sheridan stood up in concern. Although I think it was more curiosity than concern from Sheridan.

The worm was in my mouth at that time and it bit the top of my mouth. This was exquisitely painful and I experienced a strange waking dream of new arcane knowledge. I gestured wildly to Tobias that everything was under control, no need for a Cure Disease, but some physical and mental enhancement would be helpful at this point. Will helpfully knelt forward and attached his Buckler of Wisdom on my arm.

The first seizure was bad, very bad. I recalled reading in the book on the small table in the library earlier that evening that the worms are swallowed and make their way into the host to bite the brain: a contest of wills then takes place and if the host wins, new knowledge is gained. The book was annoying vague on what happens if the worm wins.

I cast a Quickened Bear's Endurance before a second seizure had me arching in agony on the ground. My head felt like it was splitting in two and the worm seemed to be eating away at my memories. As long as it didn't take away mother, I didn't care.

I had mastered myself by the time of the third seizure, and my headache descended in intensity to a massive throbbing hangover with delusions of sentience. I recalled new insights into arcane knowledge I didn't previously know, and could see fascinating connections between bits of arcana I hadn't realised before. Tobias, that blessed son of Pelor, cast Heal on me which washed the headache completely away.

I think Ragnor and Will were expecting some sort of retaliation but I felt the strong need to sleep so retired for the night.


14th Day of Wealsun
Outskirts of Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

The jar containing my Kyuss worm has a different symbol on it from the jar that Will had liberated from the library before the rampage of Tobias. Will had arranged with Ragnor to slip the worm into my food. I shall have to consider what my response will be.

Ragnor's mumbling, shouting and whispering - he claims he incants in a clear fashion, but it sounds like a mouthful of porridge to me - attracted some attention from the jungle. A wild elf suddenly appeared in our little clearing, asking in good Common permission to approach the campfire. Will said "Huzzah, it's another elf". He insisted I write that phrase in my letter to you. Is "Huzzah" some sort of elven code word, greeting or obscure deity? I assume I have to write it with a capital letter, since it seems so important.

The wild elf introduced himself as Kael, the Huntmaster. Our little troll explosion two days ago had attracted their attention, and Kael and about a dozen other elves had been observing us for a few hours already. I thought it was a bit annoying they tracked us so well, but it was nice to meet some people for once who didn't want to kill and eat us.

It turned out the wild elves were descendants of an elven civilisation who fought a great war against the undead plaguing the Armedio jungle. Eladrin were involved as well, and originally erected the obsidian wall. I asked about Bucknard, and while Kael didn't know anything about a human wizard turning up alone at Kuluth-Mar, he thought I should pose the question to the leader of the tribe.

Corvan seemed to be in an extended trace, so the wild elves made a stretcher, and we trekked a few hours through the jungle. I should mention that initially, Will conversed with elves in Elven, and helped translate our inquiries, until I learned Comprehend Languages from my spellbook and he could no longer lie about "minions" and "pack horses".

In the village we were treated to an excellent lunch which eventually became a dinner as well while Will sang for our supper by retelling our epic battle against the evil of Kyuss. He did it in many languages, and I assume he gave a reasonably accurate representation of everyone's roles when he was speaking Elven. I could have done some special effects, if I had been asked, but I wasn't, so I just sat there stuffing my face.

I discovered to my delight that my trade goods are accepted currency here, although the tribe also understands the value of bullion in the form of coin. I eagerly purchased some wild elf jungle food, quite a bit of it - double rations for me now! While they didn't go into jewelery, I got myself an excellent softened bark cloak for the equivalent of 20 gp, which is no doubt waterproof as well as extremely fashionable! Ragnor is so jealous! I have plenty of trade goods left, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what else to buy. Sheridan and Will got some odd-looking blunt arrows, which are effective against bony undead, but I couldn't get the same in crossbow bolts.

Vos, the tribe's leader, explained to us that the elves had lived in peace with the human folk many generations ago until the city fell to the dead. Other worldly elves came to stop the undead plaguing the jungle. Many lost their lives in the war. At various times there have been those heroes who have arrived and declared their intention to cleanse the ziggerat, but no-one has succeeded so far. The wild elves were very impressed we had destroyed Sir Worm Knight and his beetles.

Vos remembered Bucknard. Bucknard visited the city a number of times and studied the area around it. He learned the tales of the elves around the fire at night but had a magical hideout. Vos was not sure if Bucknard went into the Spire proper - but Bucknard asked questions about the top of the ziggurat, indicating that it may have been missing something. Bucknard thought it important to leave the worms within the obsidian barrier.

Lastly the elves gave us some more details on the areas we explored via Wind Walk. The north is troll territory, led by something that is smarter than the average troll judging by their tactics and behaviour. The east is full of snakes and yuan-ti. The south is swamp land with big nasty creatures with even bigger mouths and larger teeth. The west used to be goblin territory but they went quiet.

The night ended with the wild elves offering to accompany us back into the ziggurat. I don't think we have the resources to babysit more elves, quaint and friendly that they are. Once we have secured the torture chamber and made sure the pit is safe, then an expeditionary force to secure the ground floor while we explore the Spire proper would be a useful role for the elves to play.

But no doubt everyone else will disagree with the voice of reason and intelligence.

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:31 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #69 Seeker of Wisdom Reply with quote

15th Day of Wealsun
Spire of Long Shadows
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

As predicted in my last letter, the others felt the need for someone to lord over and feel superior to, so they permitted four elves and Kael the Huntmaster to accompany us back to Kuluth-Mar.

It did make for a pleasant journey through the jungle, avoiding mud patches and tanglevines, and on the way we heard various methods by which the jungle elves amuse themselves. Apparently one of the rites of adolescence are to run through the worm hordes within the black obsidian circle. This is usually done at midday, when the previous inhabitant, Sir Worm Knight, was less likely to be out sunbathing. Never at midnight on a full moon.

We easily gained access to the ground floor of the Spire thanks to Sheridan's Dimension Dooring skills. After some lengthy discussion, we left two elves to guard the entranceway.

Corvan knocked on the door of the supposed torture chamber and the doors opened for him. There was some song of welcome from the angels "Hark, the Petitioner in Search of Wisdom", and the armoured elf said "Welcome, Seeker of Wisdom", and claimed to be called Kalvos.

The other elves started upon hearing this name and through whispered enquiries we discovered that Kalvos was the name of one the elves missing, presumed dead, in the ancient battle against the undead of Kuluth-Mar!

Corvan is a subtle diplomat, and immediately declared: "We seek the wisdom to destroy the evil worm god Kyuss". I wish he wouldn't use that name inside this Spire.

I cast Light from my favourite wand onto a stone and tossed it into the entranceway. Kalvos reacted to this and said "Oh you bring the Light Giver" and Corvan replied "Praise be to Pelor".

Will obviously grew tired of this witty banter and prematurely released a salvo of arrows. Two arrows missed completely but the third was caught by Kalvos himself. Kalvos vanished: I suspected it was a Greater Invisibility so I cast See Invisibility.

The angels smashed some glass walls and Worms of Kyuss poured out and started advancing into the main chamber! The angels flew out into the main chamber with vicious looking swords in the place of their forearms and hands.

I briefly saw an invisible Kalvos at the entrance: he cast something and I fell unconscious.

I understand that while I was unconscious Sheridan rescued me from advancing Kyuss worms via his Dimension Door. The jungle elves apart from Kael had just died where they stood.

Tobias banished his angel with a pop, well done! Ragnor struck with a Flame Strike on the worms in the doorway, but the invisible Kalvos was strangely unaffected. Ragnor followed up with a Quickened Fairie Fire but it didn't work against our invisible foe.

Korvas responded with a Flame Strike against Ragnor and Tobias. Tobias tried to banish the second angel but he was not successful, and fell bleeding to the ground after the angel attacked him.

Ragnor healed him but then left the cleric unprotected at the front line. Corvan and Will were successfully keeping the other angel at bay.

I recovered consciousness about this time and cast a Maximised Empowered Fireball on the advancing worms from across the great pit. Some Lesser Globe of Invulnerability effect blocked my attack. Kalvos had managed to get behind Tobias and Tobias fell down, in front of the worm swarms advancing on his location.

Your devoted student


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:34 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #70 Finder of Mercy Reply with quote

15th Day of Wealsun
Spire of Long Shadows
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

Things looked grim for us with the fall of the cleric. We received another vision, showing Kalvos accompanied by two angels captured, tortured in unspeakable ways, and turned to evil. I declared that we must take Kalvos alive, to undo the evil damage done to him, and return another devoted soldier to the army of good.

Corvan challenged Kalvos to single combat, which Kalvos accepted, striking the paladin a mighty blow with his unholy greatsword. Sheridan dimension doored over to Tobias and dragged the helpless scion of light and goodness away from the worm swarms.

I cast Dismissal against the last remaining angel, calling upon the grace of Pelor to restore the angel to health, and it vanished, unable to resist my arcane might. Tobias stood up, staggeringly slightly, turned to face the worm swarms and destroyed them with the light of Pelor.

Ragnor decided not to run away but changed into a dire bear, charged Kalvos and bear hugged the armoured elf to the ground.

The next moment, Kalvos and Ragnor appeared over the glowing green pit! Fortunately, I reacted appropriately with my superior arcane skills, and bridged the pit with a Wall of Stone, preventing Ragnor from falling into the pits of hell. You owe me one, brother!

Ragnor later told me Kalvos boasted to him then that Kalvos knew what was in the pit. Ragnor remembered my frequent excuses for not teleporting him everywhere - I need to have seen the point of arrival in some form to ensure a safe teleport. So Ragnor clamped his bear paw over the mouth of Kalvos.

Corvan walked up to the pit and newly formed bridge, laid his sword against the throat of Kalvos, and demanded he yield. Kalvos said something but it was muffled by a bear paw. We eventually settled on a nod in the affirmative from Kalvos. Sheridan and Will tied and gagged Kalvos, and Ragnor released him.

We discussed what to do with Kalvos. Actually, Corvan, Ragnor and Tobias discussed what to do with Kalvos, something about an atonement spell the following day. I spent the rest of the day in the library. I used Dimension Door to get in so the others couldn't follow me in, and teleported out. Sheridan felt he needed to accompany me to keep me safe, and chattered constantly while I was trying to study the books. I warned Sheridan I still had two uncast Disintegrates, and he took the hint and thought he might see what the others were doing. Good elf.

Kael the Huntmaster arranged with Sheridan to get the bodies of the four elves killed by Kalvos out of the Spire and beyond the obsidian wall. Another good elf. Next time, the elves should listen to me. I know more than they do. And I'm not afraid of saying so either.

The library was missing key books. Bucknard might have taken them, but some of the missing places had not been disturbed for centuries. We will need to question Kalvos, and explore the Spire further.

We spent the night on top of the ziggurat, because Kael pointed out that Kalvos was probably imprisoned in the Spire thanks to the obsidian wall. We didn't want to test the wall's defenses and it seemed logical. If Kalvos could teleport out of Kuluth-Mar he would be making punitive raids against his elven brethren. I cast Rope Trick for those that cared.

The worms seemed somehow different at night time. They made a weird, creepy noise, like a slow moving percussion orchestra, which sent shivers down the spine. And seemed so strangely appealing. The last thing I did before going to bed was disintegrate the unholy greatsword of Kalvos. It's such a shame we cannot rescue these weapons for the cause of good.


16th Day of Wealsun
Spire of Long Shadows
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

The day dawned bright and beautiful. I've never seen an atonement done, so I was quite excited. Of course, I didn't show this excitement to the others, as that would be telling. Some elven druids from Kael's tribe joined us with the various material components needed.

Ragnor and Tobias began to cast atonement, while Corvan discussed with the gagged Kalvos his deeds before his Fall. And how he could once again be a force for good in the world. It brought a tear to my eye, how passionately Corvan spoke. At some point during the atonement, the light around us glowed and grew so bright as to outshine the sun itself. Kalvos glowed and light poured forth from his form. He shuddered and collapsed, with tears falling down his cheeks. We all experienced another vision, one of Kalvos, turned to darkness, doing despicable acts of evil and violence. A long, long list of such acts.

We stood there for a while, stunned by the horror of what we had seen, and shocked by the sight of this pathetic weeping creature who had wanted to kill us not a day before. How do you hurt a man who has lost everything? You give him back something broken. I hope we had given Kalvos something to live and fight for.

Before the elven druids took Kalvos away to begin his long path to redemption, we asked a few questions about Kuluth-Mar:

What's down in the pit? A sea of worms
What does the Worm God have planned? Kalvos didn't know much as merely a servant, but it was something to do with the black monolith. We think this has already happened: Kyuss ascended to godhood.
Who does know what the Worm God is planning? The Harbinger, who brought the worms to Kyuss
Where to next in Kuluth-Mar? The spire is decoration, solid stone. The pit - once a staircase leading down until destroyed - leads to more worms, more knights of Kyuss, and the Harbinger.

I forgot to ask Kalvos about Bucknard. I only just remembered now while writing this letter.

Sheridan took Kalvos and the druids to the obsidian wall. The atoned Kalvos was able to reach the jungle ground beyond the wall. Sheridan reported breathlessly, that Kalvos cried again and kissed the ground. Sheridan wondered aloud whether kissing the ground was a good think to do. I told Sheridan that yes, it was a good and healthy thing to do. But to live forever, you need to use your tongue as well. I look forward to watching Sheridan's antics when we leave Kuluth-Mar again.

We searched the torture chamber, hampered briefly by another vision of the chamber in full and fearsome operation. Kyuss received a gift from a strange six-armed creature like an insect, with rotting moth-eaten robes - clearly an undead creature. The creature held a long green crystal rod in one of it's left hands and a cruelly hooked red rod in one of it's right hands. Another pair presented Kyuss with a bejewelled gold box. Using a pair of iron tongs, Kyuss extracted a green worm from the box, and as the vision faded we could see the look of exultation on his face.

The torture chamber had a lot of scrap metal, but nothing else of value.

We sent Will's shadow to reconnoiter the pit. It reported back a 30' drop then cave openings all the way down, a labyrinth of caves with 10' long large green worms with faces infesting the entire system. Jolly.

Your devoted student


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #71 face-to-face with Faceworms Reply with quote

16th Day of Wealsun
Spire of Long Shadows
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

Having atoned Kalvos and sent a minion to scout ahead, it was time for us to gird our loins and descend into the depths of the Spire of Long Shadows.

I disintegrated a 10' section of my Bridge of Stone covering the pit, where I saved my younger brother from a fate worse than death the previous day. Ragnor refused my generous offer of a Fly spell, transforming himself instead into a common sparrow. I predict horrible, vicious, terrifying monsters fleeing in panic from such a form.

Bading Sheridan to wait for our signal and bring Ragnor's Dire Lion companion, we descended cloaked by my Invisibility 10' radius spell. We entered the first tunnel and ambushed one of the Faceworms. I struck it with two Maximised Empowered Scorching Rays, along with Will's arrows and Corvan's smite: it died, but not before roaring a warning to the rest of the cave system.

We examined the creature and my superior knowledge of things led me to believe it was a hideous aberration, probably some attempt to breed naga with Worms of Kyuss. The creature was not undead, and despite it's face we did not know whether it was intelligent or what other abilities it had.

We waited in a poorly defendable position - our retreat was up towards the pit opening, but four tunnels lead in each direction, and of course the pit descended into unknown depths. Will hid in the shadows provided by unknown sources of ghastly green luminance. I Shielded myself with my wand, while Ragnor took human form and used the Lightning Blade to imbue him with the power of flight.

We did not have long to wait for another Faceworm to appear. Suddenly, without warning, in our midst, from below, a Faceworm attacked us with Scorching Rays. I struck back with two salvoes of Magic Missiles, conserving my arcane might. It was struck various other blows, and then it attacked Corvan with some sort of death effect, which Corvan fortunately resisted. I hit it with three Maximised Empowered Scorching Rays, making the Faceworm burst into flames and send its burning body plummeting down the pit.

Two more Faceworms attacked from our flanks. This time Ragnor and Will suddenly dropped to the ground - an area Dispel Magic if ever I had seen one. These Faceworms are quite versatile! I zapped one with a Magic Missile salvo, the same one Corvan and Will were attacking. Will got bitten by the second Faceworm, and slumped to the ground paralyzed: Tobias moved to assist him. Will's attacker retreated down the tunnel while Corvan charged the other Faceworm.

I flew into the tunnel to investigate where Will's attacker had vanished to, and I was right: the creature had merely turned invisible. It tried to dispel my powerful magics, failed, so my Quickened Disintegrate hurt it badly. I t retreated further down the tunnel, and screamed when Ragnor dropped the roof on all four tunnels at once with Rock to Mud.

Corvan had dispatched his opponent, Will had recovered thanks to Delay Poison, and we heard noises of an unknown number of Faceworms approaching our position. So we gathered together and Tobias cast Wind Walk. We took the opportunity to scope out the tunnels, identifying a further six Faceworms. In one 15' diameter chamber we discovered a small pile of coin and items. We manifested into physical form and bagged the treasure. Then we returned to the pit entrance, where Sheridan was waiting for us, talking the ears off the Dire Lion.

2450 gp
180 pp
Gold amulet of a centipede
Silver necklace of rubies
Masterwork heavy flail
Chainshirt made of dark metal
Branch of wood (I recognised it as a wand before the others mistook it for firewood)
Two gloves made of snake skin

I'm looking forward to identifying these items later today, while we discuss our strategy for tomorrow.

Your devoted student


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #72 the tunnels are ours! Reply with quote

17th Day of Wealsun
Spire of Long Shadows
Kuluth-Mar
Armedio jungle, far to the south

Dearest Allustan

After a night discussing tactics and strategies, we returned to the tunnels. I cast See Invisibility on myself, and cast another See Invisibility into the Ring of Spell Storing. Ragnor needs to remind me about that Ring, it's important that it always has spells in it. Again, we descended down the pit, with my powerful Fly and Invisibility Sphere spells protecting the party.

We sent Will's shadow to find a Faceworm: it duly returned and lead us to the nearest group. Two Faceworms, guarding a four-way cross-tunnel. Will cast See Invisibility on himself from the Ring of Spell Storing.

Corvan immediately started casting a spell, which alerted the creatures. I stared closely at the Paladin, wondering if Sheridan had obtained a Polymorph spell and had replaced the man or elf or whatever he is now.

Having lost the element of surprise, Ragnor hit the two Faceworms with a Flame Strike, turned himself into a bat, and flew elsewhere. Will hit with two arrows. A Faceworm closed and fired a Scorching Ray at the now visible Will: one ray burned the ranger while the other missed the invisibly noisy paladin standing in front of Will but struck the quiet unassuming wizard adjacent. Fortunately my Ring of Counterspells was not spinning loose on my finger like yesterday and it blocked the ray. I had loaded it with a Scorching Ray spell way back when devils were chasing us on the way to Magepoint!

Corvan moved forward and whacked the first Faceworm with the Lightning Sword. A large electrical burst hurt the creature and flashed stark shadows down the corridor. Will struck home with two more arrows and then my salvo of Magic Missiles killed it. The second Faceworm had retreated down one of the tunnels.

Ragnor had flown into the cross chamber. Will ran up to the entranceway, hesitated, then released an arrow. Corvan saw this, ran forward, and attacked the second invisible Faceworm. I flew forward and disintegrated the creature.

Ragnor summoned a Large Earth Elemental and told it to go look for another Faceworm. Shortly afterwards we could hear the sounds of combat, but by the time we arrived on the scene the Earth Elemental had done its deed, and vanished, leaving the bludgeoned corpse of the Faceworm on the ground. I must review this Summon Monster spell, and explore the possibilities with my own elementals.

We heard more Faceworms approaching, and Will suggested we hide behind an illusion of a rock wall he could create, and let his shadow warn us when the Faceworms were close enough to attack with surprise. We agreed to this innovative tactic, and Will cast his Silent Image, and a dull rock-coloured flat wall arose around us adventurers, huddled against the real wall. Will had to concentrate to maintain the illusion.

It was a great idea, but Will and I forgot that only the two of us could see invisible creatures. However, Ragnor got impatient with waiting and we heard the characteristic crash and boom of his Rock to Mud spell. I stepped out of the illusion to support my youngest brother, zapping an approaching Faceworm with a Maximised Empowered Scorching Ray. The creature survived all three rays, and hit me with a negative energy effect: I felt drained of a quarter of my energy. Nasty! I believe Ragnor had suffered a similar effect.

Will shot four arrows like a blur and dispatched the creature.

We saw three invisible Faceworms down the corridor, covered in mud and muck, seeking to flee down the tunnel and avoid the fate of their companion. We hit them with Flamestrike and Fireball, and Will contributed the obligatory four arrows. The way forward was blocked by five foot of mud, but Corvan and I still had our Fly spells active. But then Ragnor summoned a Huge Earth Elemental and sent his summoned assassin after the last remaining three Faceworms.

We eventually found the Faceworms, and the results were not pretty. I am most definitely getting Summon Monster as a higher level spell. And I might get that Silent Image spell too when we get back to Magepoint.

PS Will and I examined the treasures last night, and the results are:

Gold armband of a centipede 800 gp
Silver necklace of rubies 1200 gp
Heavy flail, masterwork 315 gp
Chainshirt +1, adamantine 6,100 gp
Wand of Barkskin, 42 charges 3,780 gp (Will)
Gloves of Arrow Snaring, snake skin 4,000 gp (Anlan)

I would love to wear the adamantine chainshirt, but my current mithtral twilighted chainshirt does not hamper my spellcasting.

Your devoted student


Anlan Evant
Champion of the Free Arena
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