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Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
Karethas nods at Gen, "Since you can sense it, can you tell if it will hurt you?"
"I do not know what will happen to me inside the anti-magic zone. We may have to find out, however." She look apprehensively at the nearing cloud and you can now see shards of whirling metal are disturbing the black scorched dust of the battle isle. As it draws near it becomes clear that the glittering metal is a swarm of broken blades and shattered armor acting as as if a plague of locust!
Kzrira releases a shot into the swarming steel to absolutely no effect.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
foe 1d20 ⇒ 5
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
He nods at Kzrira, "If magic works, then flying will give us the advantage."
Gen settles upon the wizard's shoulder and he can feel her shiver as she speaks softly near his ear. "Be careful, Master. I can feel the dead zone. It goes beyond the great bones and even higher than the spire."
Karethas' spell does in fact work and the adventurers spend the night hidden from view. In the morning, the landscape is subtly altered. Hills and piles of rubble have shifted, but the great skeleton and spire look the same. The pale shapes seen crawling in the monstrous remains are not seen however in the growing sunlight.
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
DM Voodoo - not sure how far we are or how many shots we could get off. Do we see any other threat? Also, how far are we from where Varkara and Karethas are waiting?
Karethas and Varkata are 500 ft from the bones. Amir and Kzrira are 250. Nothing else seen although it is getting dark. One shot would alert them, but they may not spot you at first.
Gen's sour look shows that she isn't particularly convinced by Karethas' argument. Nevertheless, you carry on and fortunately don't encounter anymore wayward weapons. Whatever serves as a sun on this demi-plane is touching the tops of the peaks on neighboring Kakishon Island when you draw near the Black Spire. It juts like some foul fungus sprouting from an absolutely immense black skeleton. The great tusked skull is bigger than the former Dean's villa itself, not to mention the immense arcing ribs that could hold the Immaculate Repository.
A dozen or so pale humanoid figures slink though the great bones scaled like maggots in comparison to the immense corpse.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
Karethas smiles as he stands up. To Kzrira he replies, "I could have taken another few seconds and cast something protective on myself, but I thought Amir or Varkata could be dead by the time I was prepared."
The staff twists in Karethas' hand and Gen appears in its place. She does not look happy. "Master, that was very brave, but exceedingly foolish! You could have been killed! This is a very dangerous island. Nex trained his warriors here and tested weapons to use against his ancient enemy Geb. You should not jest or take it lightly," the genie berates him.
She bows to Varkata, "Thank you for taking care of him."
One turns out to be a burnished brass colored shortsword enhanced to a +2 keen flaming short sword.
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
. Please let constructs be susceptible to cries.
why? Is Kzrira sad that she has no adamantine?
Varkata staunches her bleeding with a skillfully cast spell on the defensive. Kzrira keeps firing and hits a joint which knocks several blades from the structure. The war machine trembles as it obviously weakens. Karethas decides to play the hero and rushes in to deliver another burst of electricity. He is struck by a heavy bladed leg for his efforts Karethas-18 slash, but the jolt of electricity travels through the spidery construction yielding An ever growing racket of clangs and rattles before the thing explodes in a burst of flying steel. all but Kzrira- ref DC 15 or 21 slash
Varkata's magic sword grates over the bundle of blades forming a giant jointed leg shredding some splinters of steel. Kzrira sends a volley of cold iron arrows with little effect. There is a crash and an arc of lightning flies from Karethas' staff, but the fast moving war construct avoids a direct hit.
Unable to harm the thing, Amir pulls back warding himself. He dodges one hundred-blade leg, but is slashed by another further bloodying the old rogue. Amir-14 slash, 5 fire Another lethal leg crashes down halting Varkata's circling for a moment and then she is run through from behind. Varkata-28 crit pierce, 3 fire
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
Karethas, any clue what will hurt this thing?
knowledge arcana DC 21:
It is evidently a construct and obviously made of steel so only things made of substances harder than that metal will reliably harm it as well as energy other than fire.
I forgot the fire damage last round- Amir and Varkata take 3 more fire damage.
moving along for Amir
Kzrira fires quickly striking the bladed beast, but her arrows do little damage to the steel swords composing it. Karethas' magical force shards do a little better. Amir finds his short swords do nothing.
The array of deadly blades forming the war beast's forelegs rise and fall against Karethas and Varkata in front. Amir suffers a horrible pair of slices and blood gushes as a jagged leg strikes an artery. Amir-29 crit slash, 13 slash Though slow to react, Varkata's armor blocks at least one strike though she still suffers a wound. Varkata-12 slash
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
I can't make that on a +5...
yeah, would have taken a DC 30, but still very high.
There is a noise like the clashing of two armies all around you as scattered swords lying about the rocky ground and gleaming faintly in the shadow wood suddenly rush together coalescing into a great spidery form. With a roar it ignites and shrieking like a hundred cutlasses sliding on edge, it rushes at you on eight flaming razor-edged legs.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
foe 1d20 ⇒ 10
With Varkata's assistance, the party is airlifted over the half-hidden rapids and up to the top of the ravine. The party continue their way over the blasted land.
Kzrira keeps you on track through terrain that makes no sense. As with much of what you've seen on Kakishon, the land looks to have been shaped by whim rather than the elements.
The Black Spire looms ever closer as you come to a tangled and twisted copse of ghostly, illusory trees.
Perception DC 32:
Old arms litter the rough ground and shadowy roots. A huge array of swords of all types and sizes and even as you spot them they shudder and gather together!
OK, can't argue with two nat 20s
Varkata and Karethas definitely sense that something is off while traversing the battlefield island. They can't quite say what however, until you approach the muddy trickle in the ravine. Though it appears a sluggish stream, they can hear the roar of a wild torrent and see dangerous white capped rapids along with the image of an innocent stream.
Karethas recalls a brief mention in a tome about Nex. An unknown enemy sent a primordial nightmare called the Eater of Magic against him. Every spell or magic used against it was absorbed and only made it more powerful. Nex finally lured it under a great spike of exotic material held aloft by magic. Once the magic levitating it was absorbed the spire fell and reacting with the monster's properties destroyed it.
1d100 ⇒ 48
Not particularly known for his proper consideration of the future at all, Cayden Cailean is rather an odd god to ask for advice about the future. Yet Varkata sits down and leans against the stone arch as she drains a rather pricy pint especially considering how watered down it is. She begins her god's mantra, One hundred bottles of beer on the wall, 100 bottles of beer, take one down and pass it around- 99 bottles of beer on the wall. Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall...
She fades off at about 72 bottles and begins to speak loudly in a drunken doggerel:
Though the sun is still high, you must have covered over a hundred miles in a morning on the miraculous galley, Varkata can make out her conjured light. The magic dead zone of the spire does not reach this far.
A quick inspection of the barracks reveal them to be unoccupied. Beyond the parade ground, a cobblestone road leads up to a plateau passing under a heavy stone arch at the crest of the hill. Once you reach the crest, the sweep of Khosravi lies before you, an unwelcoming patchwork of scrub brush, rubble, badlands, and canyons. You stand at the west end of the island. Far to the east a tall mountain rises wreathed in fire and smoke. This looks to be the famed smith's forge. To the northwest you can see the Black Spire rising from a hill at the island's heart, like a great nail driven into the ground by the hand of an angry god.
That is one ugly genie.
The little island quickly disappears in the wake of the unnaturally fast galley. Next you pass a chain of rocky island covered with sea birds and sea lions. You hear the distant strains of an enchanting song but then you are past and shortly thereafter, you round the southern tip of Kakishon and head north up the other side of the long central island.
Finally, you enter a bay which constricts to a channel between Kakishon and another large island. In contrast to the scenic forests and mountains now on your port, the new island looks dull and blasted. The terrain is rough and scrubby punctuated only by ravines and small copses of trees. As the channel widens you stay with the coast of the drab island leaving the main island behind.
The galley slows and pulls in beside another charred dock. At the edge of the dock is another hostel and beyond, a series of low barracks type buildings. This must be Khosravi.
just say that you grabbed a couple in Katapesh.
A little disturbed by their dreams, the heroes seem quite ready to leave the palace. They secure the simple goods provided and with Dilix's blessing board their galley and command the Brass Helmsman to take them onward to Khosravi. In moments, the oars slip out and pulled by unseen hands, move the ship away from the Gleaming dock.
Once again, you travel southward; the icy island returns to the starboard and the jungle skirted mountains of Kakishon tower off the port. The ship continues following the coast of Kakishon and eventually the frozen coast recedes leaving a stretch of open water to starboard for a time. Then a small strange island appears. It rises from its waypoint to a hillock with a shining brass mausoleum. The rest of the island is covered in a forest of dead trees.
Once the young wizard is alone again, he quickly falls asleep to find Gen looking at him in reproach. Oddly, they are standing in a forest of dead trees. "That is correct Master, I can still enter your dreams and I disapprove. How can you trust these people? They are not what they seem. And how that, that Dilix spoke of Andrathi! She cannot be trusted! I will let you rest now. I'm sure you need it," she adds snarkily. "Mark my words though, Master,"
You dream that you are walking in a forest of dead trees.. You are looking for something important, but you can't remember what. Then you spot something small moving through the trees. Youradiance and find a feral cat running away through a graveyard. It comes to a mausoleum and runs up the stairs to the great bronze doors. You see that the doors are closed, but there is a human silhouette burned upon them. The cat starts howling and you awake suddenly with that piercing and mournful sound in your head.
No beings can be called in or out of Kakishon. It wouldn't be much of a trap if they could.
You don't recall much of your dreams, but you were looking for something important and the words 'Isle of the Dead' come to mind then fade with whatever the dream was.
You dream that you are walkinOrestes forest of dead trees with Varkata. You are looking for something important, but you can't remember what. Then you spot something small moving through the trees. You race after it leaving Varkata behind. It is a feral cat running away through a graveyard. It comes to a mausoleum and runs up the stairs to the great bronze doors. You see that the doors are closed, but there is a human silhouette burned upon them. The cat starts howling and you awake suddenly with that piercing and mournful sound in you head.
Still need the boys.
Karethas ibn Faradin wrote:
Not to steal from Shiek's response, but I think we were all thinking it. :-)
Dilix shakes her head at Amir's question. "I am no wizard, but all the elementals that you see here were bound long before Andrathi sundered Kakishon from the rest of the cosmos. No summoning will work. Your arrival and the efreet's departure is the only time the trap has been breached to my knowledge."
"I will leave you to your pleasures now. I apologize for the poor quality of our spirits, but do try to enjoy yourselves. Do not tarry too long however, for Obherak will certainly not be long in his attack on the palace.
"This is only hearsay, Dilix disclaims, "but the Island of Khosravi was where Nex tested his war machines. There are still things there that might prove dangerous. The Spire itself is said be made of some strange element that quells magic. Nex used the top of the Black Spire to entreat with enemy wizards and not have to fear magical treachery. I have heard that crystals found at the top have properties of use to the smith.
Dilix shrugs, " There is no necessity in going there, but if you can impress the master smith, it could certainly be worth the trip.
Dillix repeats to make herself clear. " I do not see that Obherak will be a challenge for you, but if you have the doubts that you expressed, then perhaps Artel Norrin, a great smith that served Nex himself would forge you a weapon. He spends all his time forging, melting down and reforging legendary weapons to try his skill. I suspect he has little interest in traveling to the Spire though it is not far from the volcano where he toils.
I am merely repeating what I have heard about the strange material of the Spire. It was used by Nex himself to destroy a plane devouring monster sent against by his enemies. It is unique and might prove novel to the master smith and put him in a cooperative mood. He can be difficult to deal with though his skill is undeniable."
Dilix nods smiling. "I see that you know something of geniekind. No, Oberakh is not a pasha. No pasha would deign serve a mortal even a mortal risen to such power as the great Nex."
"Nevertheless, he is arrogant and will not relinquish the artifact to anyone that he counts a future subject. He is powerful, but you have defeated the Golden Ram! Still, there is one that could provide you with even more powerful weapons. There is a smith on the island of the Black Spire whose skill is legendary. He might forge you a wondrous weapon for a worthy gift in exchange. It is rumored that he covets shards from the Black Spire itself to try on his forge."
"The way in remains open for those who hold and understand the Scroll, but Andrathi made it a one-way portal. Before, you had only to walk to the end of a pier and wish yourself out. Now... even Andrathi could not escape his trap."
"There is a chance though. On the island of Khandelwal, there is a shaitan, an earth genie, named Obherak. He is ambitious and cruel. Once he served in this palace, but his fear of Jhavhul was greater than his ambition. Now that the efreet are gone, he will try and take back the palace to make himself a tyrant king."
"I believe he holds an artifact from the time when Nex first bound the wild beings that created this place. He would never allow anyone to use it, but if he were killed and the artifact recovered, I could use it to help you escape."
"Why, yes! He is solely to blame for turning our palace into a prison" the majordomo says heatedly. "But he paid a great price for his insolence. He had not mastered the scroll and underestimated its power. When he stole into Jhavhul's camp and tore open the portal, he was caught in the vortex as well!"
"He avoided Jhavhul for some time before the efreeti finally found and killed him."
You sense a twitch of anger from the genie within your staff and then sorrow.
Future plans give way to immediate needs and you follow Auroz and Neshari to the banquet hall where your host awaits. Now a half dozen male and two female servers dressed alike in maroon tunics and turbans and loose black pants bring out plates of every dish that you could want. Beer and wine are plentiful and Arouz and Neshari are joined by two more women and another man to dance and sing to a ghostly accompaniment along with other entertainments.
Finally, you take your fill and Dilix invites you to a more comfortable chamber where you can talk while the servers clear the table. You are offered tobacco or pesh or spiced wine as a digestif as you recline and your host takes your questions.