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Type - Chaotic Outsider. DR - Yes, lawful bypasses.
The creature hears your voice as two of the wysps suddenly seem to brighten and fly toward you, crooning happily. They seem to have shaken off whatever strange mood they were under!
The chaos-spawn stares at you. In a voice that sounds like the simultaneous baying of hounds and the whispering of a young woman, he calls "Defilers. Spawn of order. INTRUDERS! BE CLEANSED WITH CHAOS!"
Krakos Init: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Round 1: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Ember is up first!
This is a naunet protean, a creature of chaos! Far more bestial than their kin, naunets are the lowest caste of the true proteans, the shock troops of their race and roving marauders in the cause of chaos. Primarily found in the shifting borderlands between Limbo and other planes, naunets are driven half-insane by the stability and stasis of such areas, and frequently rampage through the edges of other planes, tearing up the very fabric of reality itself and returning vast swaths of land to the beautiful, formless potentiality of their home.
Slipping through the portal feels like stepping from a speeding cart: there's a moment of free fall and then a sudden, gut wrenching stop.
The color-streaked blackness expands to fill the entire sky. Above, a ring of electricity hovers in midair. Brightly colored formations shaped like cracks running through stone pepper the sky around it. Below, a forty-foot-wide stone platform bears a runic circle. Smaller pieces of stone are connected to this platform with sturdy iron chains.
Floating around the platforms are four creatures you recognize as elemental wysps. Each one is a different element, but they seem sickened, for they twitch oddly and spew multi-colored sparks. They seem, also, to be singing, but the words are nonsense and you can make no sense of it.
Knoweldge History or Linguistics for the runes!
You recognize that the runes on the circle represent the seven runelords of Thassilon, and that the one in the center represents evocation magic, wrath, and the Runelord Alaznist.
The Maelstrom is a strongly chaos-aligned plane. Creatures whose alignment is not chaotic neutral— everyone but Octaris and Zephyr of the Forgotten Sun—are slightly impeded, taking a –2 penalty on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma-based checks while within the Maelstrom.
A strange creature floats near the runes, studying them with intensity. Tentacles tipped with snapping jaws emerge from this serpentine creature’s back, complementing the vicious maw in its reptilian face. It seems to mutter to itself, and with a strange gesture you can see the portal behind you begin to widen: if this creature gets its way, the portal will spread even more onto the Plane of Air!
Knowledge Planes on this creature.
A peal of thunder rocks the boat as you bring Mikail back from the brink. Over the sound of the storm above, you hear Captain Walren shouting orders to the crew as the boat rolls in the water.
The storm lasts a full day, before finally a wet and tired Captain Walren staggers into the cabin. "We're 'bout a half day out of Aroden's Landing, a sheltered bay where we'll make anchor. Get rest, lads, for the Isle is deadly and you'll need your wits about you."
Rhyol, the dragons are brilliantly designed, but ultimately just art.
Krakos, the library is packed with books, and one of them seems to be a ledger, that indicates that the library belonged to a djinni named Pahwal ijil Ranginori, who was so devoted a servant and worshipper of a being called Ranginori that he was granted the immense honor of taking Ranginori’s name as a part of his own.
Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Mikail stabs the ghost while Zolarus attempts to heal its misery, but it seems steeled against him!
The ghost reaches toward 1=Z, 2=F, 3=H, 4=M: 1d4 ⇒ 4! Touch: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22 for 7d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 5, 6, 4, 1, 6) = 30 damage, Fort Save DC 18 for half!
Heroes are up!
The shelves of this library hover and hang from the walls at a variety of artistic angles. Each shelf contains a minor magical effect that directs gravity toward its back, both preventing the contents from tumbling out, as well as preventing the books from degrading over time. Most of the knowledge contained in the volumes here is esoteric and extraordinarily specific. Volumes with titles such as Breathing, Volume XI: Concerning the Respiration of Mephits and Fruit of the Forest of Oils: A Treatise on the Safe Harvesting of Unknown Alchemical Reagents Suspended in Water are common.
Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
The ghost opens his mouth in a silent scream as Zolarus' holy touch hits him!
The ghost, still dripping and shivering with memories of its drowned death, reaches toward Ferabras! Touch: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25 It hits for 7d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 4, 6, 5, 1, 4) = 22 damage! Fort save DC 18 for half! Ferabras suddenly feels his mouth and lungs fill with cold water as he struggles to breathe!
Round 2: heroes are up!
Dragon statuettes made of multicolored crystal hover in this room. Its walls, floors, and ceiling are covered in a hovering layer of small crystal fragments. As you look, the fragments seem to change depending on the angle you see them from. In any case, it looks as if the murals they create show dragons fighting in aerial battles, and it's quite the nifty effect.
It takes a good week to get back to Nirmathas, but when you do, Forest Marshall Gavirk is well pleased with your performance. But as he reminds you, the quest will not wait. And so you find yourselves back on the boat with Captain Walren, headed toward the mysterious Isle of Terror!
Over the course of the day you see several fishing boats and trading vessels on Lake Encarthan, as well as what you believe is a Razmiran Faith Barge, a boat known for hijacking other vessels for the glory of Razmir. However today they stay away and knowing your time crunch, you don't pursue.
As the evening falls, however, Captain Walren aims the boat toward the stormy horizon and you're soon engulfed by heavy rain and storms. "Should take about a day!" The Captain calls over the noise of thunder and the crashing waves. You head into the captain's cabin marked by the yellow rectangle on the map to wait out the worst of it. However, you've barely fallen into a storm-tossed sleep when a moan wakes you.
Standing in the doorway is the shape of a man. He's soaked to the skin, pale and shivering. He looks like death, which is appropriate, because you can clearly see that he disappears from the knees down... It raises one hand toward you and water flows from its mouth, disappearing as it hits the deck.
The ghost throws its head back and moans loudly, a sound that drips with smothering lake water and despair. I need a Will save vs Fear, DC 18. Failure means you're panicked for 2d4 ⇒ (1, 3) = 4 rounds!
Heroes are up!
Rhyol noshes down on a crystal, devouring it. It tastes tangy, with a hint of lime.
Krakos smashes into the cyclone, his morningstar whistling as it hits the cyclone with a very solid sound of glass shattering! As the cyclone shatters, Krakos is rocked back!
You experience a rush of visions! The visions show various
images of earth triumphing over air, such as mountain rising up to swallow a tornado, and culminates when a lion-headed cloud serpent being is surrounded in a wooden cage that rapidly transforms into crystalline stone. You are stunned for 4 rounds; If you succeed at a DC 18 Fortitude
saving throw, you are stunned for only 1 round.
As Krakos goes to one knee, the room goes eerily silent. The humming disappears, and the crystals cease their sparking. Where the cyclone once roared, a strange 10-foot circle of undulating lights and colors now stands, a strange portal to some realm of chaos!
Zeph, the only thing you see besides many, many weapons, is a set of embellished bracers that look very nice. They're made of mithral and feature genies and air elementals as decoration. [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/r-z/vambraces-of-the-genie]Vambraces of the Genie-Djinn[/url
Rhyol, you notice the lightning inside the funnel in area 1 is growing. Growing INCREDIBLY quickly. You believe the ghostly figures are enacting some sort of ritual, but as to what sort, you're not sure.
Until the cyclone and all the blue crystals erupt into lightning! It surges from the cyclone, around the room and from (and to!) each of the crystals, like a mad, living thing! Everyone takes 6d8 ⇒ (2, 2, 8, 6, 6, 8) = 32 electrical damage! Reflex Save DC 18 for half!
Once the lightning burst explodes, the humming seems to lower, but it's definitely building again for another explosion...
You believe this is a sort of haunt, perhaps an echo of something from the past? You're almost certain that the cyclone at the heart of the tower is its source. However, you also suspect that the crystals are attracting the lightning, and if you destroy them, it may diminish its effect.
Knowledge Planes check!
Knowledge Planes, DC 18:
This is a haunt, but rather than being harmed by positive energy, it takes harm from spells with the chaotic, earth, evil, fire, lawful, or water descriptors (1d6 damage per spell level), plus from the physical attacks of the faithful of Ayrzul!
Zephyr opens the door to #6, revealing a utilitarian room lined with weapon racks. Weapons of every size and shape and use are here, all lined up and ready to arm a small force.
As in the other rooms, a blue crystal floats here. However, it's now actively emitting sparks! As you notice this, you suddenly spot ghostly figures of djinn moving around in the central chamber, raising their hands in odd, arcane gestures, moving in unison! They take no notice of you, almost as if you didn't exist.
As soon as the book is removed from the tree, there is a sudden feeling as if the air pressure just dropped and you feel lighter. A quick jaunt back to the staircase shows that the gravity-less room is normal once more and the creatures that were here, the barrow hound and the grodair (and whatever else was stuck here) are gone!
That pretty much wraps up Fangwood Keep. Do me a favor and re-post your PFS ID numbers, please!
Over the course of the next week you rest up and return to a known Nirmathi camp nearby. There you rally troops to hold Fangwood Keep. The Molthuni army makes no effort to re-take it or stop you, almost as if they're glad to be rid of the thing. Akre, feeling much better, befriends the little mephit, Dax, who he remembers as the familiar of his friend and former bunkmate. They thank you profusely and head back toward Molthune to rejoin their own army, though they both profess to be quite tired of warfare and looking forward to mustering out and maybe opening an inn.
You make your way back to Nirmathas, happy to have helped the war effort, but with a nagging feeling that there's somewhere else, somewhere very dangerous, you should be...
A quick detect magic indicates that the tome does indeed radiate magic - ALL magic and strongly at that. You're able to work it loose and discover what looks to be a spellbook - one loaded with low-level spells.
This narrow volume is bound in green leather with silver inlay shaped in the forms of letters from the elven alphabet. It gives off a moist, earthy smell, like a forest after a light rain. Unlike a standard book of infinite spells, Tessarael’s book contains only spells of levels 0 through 4th, and only has 18 pages remaining.
Mikail's bag goes awry, hitting the tree and covering it in a gooey mess! Ferabras steps forward! AoO vs F: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18 for 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 But he dodges the skeleton's clumsy swipe! He raises his sword and slashes at the woman, now seeing up close that she has two differently colored eyes. She looks puzzled, as her eyes lock with Ferabras and suddenly go dull as she falls to the ground, lifeless and bloody!
The skeletons are dispatched shortly, as they seems to lose all sense of purpose without their creator nearby.
In a few moments the room is quiet, though as Mikail's goo seems to dissolve it reveals the corner of a tome poking out of the tree...
There seems to be some sort of transmutation effect on the pipes, but it's old and fading mostly.
Ember blows on the pipe, but only a low hollow note can be summoned. Whatever their use, they don't seem to be musical in nature.
Krakos pops the top off one and a low earthy smell flows from it. However Rhyol's sensitive nasal passages are filled with a scent of earthy incense, fragrant and filled with undertones of pine forest!
The blue gem in this room, floating like the others, suddenly begins to hum and thrum with an increasing intensity. Out in the central room, the cyclone begins to fill with tiny lightning bolts that seem to be getting bigger...
Misfortuned Skeleton roll vs Z: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 5 + 2 = 20
Hoshiko cuts into the bloody skeleton, but doesn't seem to do as much damage as she hopes!
Elessia steps five feet to the NE, holding aloft her holy symbol and murmurs a prayer! An explosion of unholy energy rushes from her, dealing 3d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 5) = 10 unholy damage! Will Save DC 16 for half!
Ferabras, Mikail, Zolarus, Soran are up!
Soran's first shot hits the woman, causing her to grimace with pain. She's still grimacing when Ferabras fails to succumb to her spell! Ferabras steps up and the southernmost skeletons attacks!
The swing causes his aim to go awry and he misses the woman!
Zolarus moves up and he, too, is attacked!
His strike, however, hits home! Mikail sneaks in!
One skeleton steps around Zolarus (5' step) and the other steps up, while the third attacks Ferabras!
Possible Crit? Skelly vs Z: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12 for 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 damage!
Hoshiko is up!
Hoshiko's ray hits the nearest skeleton, but it only makes a wet scraping sound.
Elessia laughs. "Rays of light, little girl? You think a little positive energy is going to stop my bloody boys? I take it by your appearance that Vos is dead? Poor stupid tool. Keeping him under my thumb long enough to find this place was sooooo dull. But the ruins of the Arcane Engine was worth it! As soon as I reawaken its power I will be able to pluck minions from any plane to build my army! But we can start with your corpses!" Elessia strolls forward, smiling. "You there, tiefling, would you be so kind as to retrieve Vos's corpse and bring it here?" Casts suggestion on Ferabras! Will Save DC 18!
Ferabras, Mikail, Zolarus, Soran are up!
This is an important room, so I'll give Soran and Hoshiko a chance to retcon a single prep action when they post!
Ferabras throws open the door!
An enormous machine takes up the majority of this chamber, its various complex and seemingly illogical components made up of a combination of stone and black wood. Half-engine, half gnarled dead tree, the tendrils from this otherworldly device crawl up the walls in every direction as if to choke the chamber that holds them. A faint sound like that of a breeze rustling through leaves can be heard coming from the machine.
Standing next to the tree is a woman, who by the description the Hobgoblin leader gave you, is Vos's woman, Elessia. She stands studying the tree intently with her back to the door. However behind her, and between you and her, are three bloody bugbear skeletons, dripping blood on the floor!
Ferabras: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
Hoshiko: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Mikail: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Zolarus: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Soran: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Bloody Skeleton: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Elessia: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
The bloody skeletons raise broken scimitars and let out deathly howls. Elessia glances over her shoulder and smiles. "Ah, more corpses for my service!"
Hoshiko is up!
Ember, the cyclone seems to be swirling forth from somewhere inches above the tower floor, though it's not apparent if the tower is causing this or simply anchoring it.
Zephyr moves toward the antechambers. Their walls are decorated with complicated reliefs. In one room, the walls depict a city made of ice and djinn bustling around a massive spherical building surrounded by dozens of similar but smaller round buildings. In another relief, a group of mephits emerges from a cloud dragon’s breath. The most striking scene depicts an immense being with the body of a serpent spun from storm clouds, the head of a lion with a mane of lightning, and hundreds of clawed feet. His expression is approving and content as he gazes upon the other creatures. Knowledge history, planes or religion!
You recognize that the lion-serpent is Ranginori, a benevolent lord of air who was trapped and exiled ages ago.
In the other room, the lion-serpent appears again, this time wreathed in an aura of lightning with an expression of fury. Djinn, mephits, wysps, and other creatures of air fly by his side, all surrounded by a raging cyclone. Hordes of creatures made of stone rush forward, only to be sent flying as they approach the cyclone.
In each of these rooms, a single blue crystal floats at precisely five feet above the ground, stationary even as the tower itself shudders.
Knowledge Planes on the little plasma guys!
You tack the airship's sails and head toward the tower. It gradually gets clearer as you get closer to it.
Rocking and swaying ahead is a white marble tower adorned with golden reliefs of lightning. The thin ornamental bridge that once led to its double doors has snapped, and there is no sign of whatever once connected to the other side. The tower’s roof is entirely missing, replaced with a menacing mass of black sky shot through with shifting streaks of color. The scintillating mass struggles erratically against some invisible barrier above. Knowledge Arcana or Planes!
Knowledge Planes or Arcana DC 20:
The mass of black sky is trapped within a ward of some kind that preserves a boundary between the Plane of Air and the Maelstrom, a plane of primal chaos.
Mooring the skyship to the broken bridge, you disembark, heading inside. A short passage opens into the central circular chamber. A cyclone rages at the center of this circular atrium. The winds trap the same shifting, colorful mass that emerges from the top of the tower, making passage to the upper floors difficult. The cyclone broadens as it grows higher, from 10 feet wide at the base to around 100 feet wide.
Which would you like to explore first?
Ember and Krakos:
Ember can see Krakos, wreathed in flames and apparently dumbstruck by the experience. Ember is able to fascinate the creature, but not before Krakos utters something strange while under the flames' influence. "The eye of the storm, the broken tower. All answers lead there." He points off toward a direction in the storm and Ember can see a strange tower floating on an island. It seems like the storms around here all revolve around it. You retrieve the jar of smelly unguents and head back to the ship with Krakos!
One by one, everyone makes their way back to the ship, laden with new experiences and your lost possessions. What now?