GM Rat Sass's Legacy of Fire

Game Master GM Rat Sass

Part 6 - The Final Wish
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Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

He shrugs at Mahdi’s suggestion to just give the property to the Grand Vizier, ”Are you sure he’ll give us any value for it? I mean just because he did the right thing the first time… Well, you know these creatures as I cannot. Their politics and markets I have trouble fathoming. I’ll leave it in your hands, and consider it a boon should any wealth come our way. Thank you Mahdi.”

Aldebert is sincere in his thanks, and shakes the mans hand. Abadar only knows the peril his soul would be in if he even could understand these creatures. Mahdi is able to balance world views better then he - and he knows it.

Aldebert picks up a Breastplate (200gp) in the market, just so he’s not totally without protection as they search the house carefully. He uses his crystal greatsword in the battles to clear the house. He looks at the caged pyrolisks and studies them. (Detect Evil)

"Mahdi, do you know anything about these creatures? You may have mentioned when we came through the first time, but I do not recall. Still, I do not think we should leave them caged, whatever else we decide."


Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms

Aldebert:

Fortitude Save: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (14) + 15 = 29
Fire Damage: 4d8 ⇒ (3, 2, 8, 7) = 20

Your eyes alight upon the once familiar pair of birdlike creatures, that seem to be a combination of lizard and rooster. They do not appear to radiate with evil.

Oh, and you're set on fire, again, albeit briefly.
No damage taken, for Mahdi's Protections for the day.

Aldebert lifts a shroud just long enough to see the contents of the cage, before he spontaneously combusts.

It doesn't last long, and the halfling suffers no obvious damage from the enveloping flames. Just long enough for the halfling to pull his crystal sword back, and allow the shroud to return to its resting position, as the flames disappear from Aldebert's frame.


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision

Pent finally comes 'round to getting folk fixed, those who were touched inappropriately by the Qilzar Agha, and bear the wounds which won't heal.

"May Sarah's Soothe see you through." The gnome informs that he's asked for nothing but the ability to Remove Curses, for his third tier of Sarah's Gifts, for this day.

Caster Level Check v DC 20: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (2) + 13 = 15 Failure!
Caster Level Check v DC 20: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23
Caster Level Check v DC 20: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31

Remove Curse to any yokel who tussled with the ghost, and suffered the Curse of the Grave. (Mahdi and Aldebert?)


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

Aldebert pats out his singed eyebrows muttering, "Been meaning to trim those anyway..." half under his breath.

"They're not evil, though I'm not sure how we'd get them to safety. If they're natives, we could just take the cages to the roof and let 'em loose I suppose. Uh, provided we're well protected of course." he grins, still smoking.

When Pent soothes the last of his nagging injuries, Aldebert is appreciative. "Thanks there Pent, that was an itch I couldn't scratch."

Seeing his brother sulking, he talks of home. "We'll be there soon enough brother. Remember the mansion? Remember our sister? Remember the dunes on the north side of town? Ahh the hunting we've done there. It's not long Ami, not long at all. Just a few more days in this heat, and home will feel so much cooler!"

He too is eager to get home, whatever trials may yet confront them.


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)

Amiamble tries to help put out Albebert’s eyebrows, casting Create Water and stopping Yeen from aiding with his own flow.

”Brother, you should be careful. You’re too brave sometimes.” Ami says trying to stay out of the way while trying to help his brother.

Sulking!? SULKING!? I’ll show you *sulking*!

Aldebert Piddlespot wrote:
"We'll be there soon enough brother. Remember the mansion? Remember our sister? Remember the dunes on the north side of town? Ahh the hunting we've done there. It's not long Ami, not long at all. Just a few more days in this heat, and home will feel so much cooler!"

Amiamble tries to smile, but the delay is slowly killing the feral halfling from inside. He can’t *wait* to go home.

”YES! HALEENY is there! And the desert! And the normal sun! I can’t wait, Brother...we’ll be home and everything will be good again. I know it.”


Dwarven Mobile Fighter 12 | HP: 130/130 | Init: +3 | Perc: +2 | SM: +1 | AC: 27 | Mobility: 31 | Touch: 16 | FF: 21 | CMD: 31 Res (fire) 30 | Fort: +13 | Ref: +8 | Will: 5 | +2 vs poisons, spells | +4 vs paralyze, slow, entangle
Pent wrote:
"Last leg, eh? We're destined for a return to our plane, you got any strong desires to expire here in Brass? Or are you fixing for our fight in Katapesh? You've served our cause well, since I can remember. I see no reason to deny you an equal share of the House of Hope. You can have my quarters, as I'm like to move out and find myself and my harem another, more private residence." The gnome grins from ear to ear.

"That's a generous offer Pent, one I will accept with gratitude. As for this place, I don't have anything tying me down here. I've already made notations in my journal regarding the creatures we encountered here, and how to effectively use the horsechopper against them. I'm ready to go back and have the world make sense again."

Aldebert wrote:
Aldebert pats out his singed eyebrows muttering, "Been meaning to trim those anyway..." half under his breath.

"HA! Now you know what it's like!" the dwarf cheers, tugging on the singed, charcoaled edges of his beard.


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Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms

GM Rolls:

1d100 ⇒ 94

Your second day in Bayt al-Bazan proves quite eventful, later in the afternoon. Otah and several azer mamluks are patrolling the Fourth Floor Roof Walks, when a couple of efreeti test the perimeter of the Palace. Word has already reached the street, and the Flickering Candle has sent its regards.

Within several bloody moments, both efreet lie dead, as does one azer mamluk, though a bored gnome tag-along on a Carpet manages to slink his way down to the downed dwarf, and revives the fallen fiery friend. Breath of Life

An investigation of the reconnaissance is met in full force by the Brothers Piddlespot, who meet a set of fire elementals who find out too late that the halflings are prepared to deal with fire-based attacks, courtesy of your resident fire mage. The Fourth Floor Roof Walks are obviously an easy in for flight-able creatures...

No other infiltrations are incoming at the end of the Second Night.

Mahdi:

Your tendrils of inquiry with your market connections produces little substance regarding Prince Jhavhul. But it does root up some information regarding his younger brother, Al-hassan, as the recent events surrounding the Haunted Palace are much fresher and vibrant in the vines of gossip throughout the City of Brass.

Al-hassan has always lived in the shadow of his nobler older brother. As such, his attempt to rise within the Sultan's Court struck many as desperate. He was known to consort with a human, who 'helped' the genie through incestuous wishcraft. Al-hassan died during a raid of marids in Bayt al-Bazan, though the raid failed to succeed in liberating one of its own, the noble marid Shazathared. The conspiring human was never found again, and his disappearance was noted to occur during the same event.

...

Day Three of the week's long sabbatical arrives, and so does a small contingent of marids, including Shazathared herself. They find you wherever you reside in the Bayt. "We arrived in my... in the Fountain Room. They wanted to see where I've been imprisoned all these years. Jhavhul was powerful enough to conceal my exact location..." The beautiful marid woman turns back to you with a sad smile.

"I am sorry. Please, let me introduce you. This is my brother, Dasso. He won't let me out of his sight. And this is Atai, my father's eldest sister. We will see you safely returned to your plane." The two large blue humanoids nod their greetings to you. Dasso appears to be an unhappy statue of a noble marid, while Atai's eyes burn bright with interest, as she regards you all.

"So, you are the ones we have to thank for freeing our precious Shazathared. Let my voice convey our Padishah's message- 'Eternal gratitude, and an open invitation to honor you at court, when you are free to join us'. It is only a ripple of our true happiness that you have allowed our pearl to return to our embrace." She goes silent, stepping back and letting Shazathared take center stage.

"Now. Do we have time to sit and talk, or are you anxious to return today?"


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision

Pent brightens from on high, and lets the Carpet take several slow circles to observe the three marids newly returned to the Bayt.

"Well, there are a couple of projects currently underway in the City, so we have committed ourselves to remain for the rest of the week." The gnome looks over his companions, before returning his attention to the rather tall female addressing them.

"We have plenty of time to sit and talk. We've been doing plenty of scouring, I think it a wondrous occurrence to trade stories with an ancient creation such as yourself. Selves. Well, Dasso hasn't moved his lips not even once, and I was watching him with my left eye this whole time. Your sinuses must be turbinate, like a sea creature that can hold its breath for hours at a time. I have no doubt Atai can hold her own, as well, but she's a better breather than he."

Pent places his cheeks upon his palms, and gets cozy on his Carpet, ready to listen to whatever interests the tall drink of water.


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Presuming the others are interested...

"Excellent. Allow me to begin our conversation. This might be a little long-winding, but bear with me, and listen until the end."

The noble marid bids you take a seat, and make yourselves comfortable. Shazathared slips into a dancer’s posture, something that promises a treat for the eyes, as well as the ears, in the imminent storytelling.

”Your part in this Tale is the finest thread yet to be woven, but there is the greater Tapestry, known by many as the Legacy of Fire. I want to share with you what I’ve come to know, from my conversations with Jhavhul himself. What he desires, what he seeks to do in order for himself to be desired.”

The beautiful marid weaves her hands through the air, gesturing as one might to move the pages of a great tome back to its beginning.

”In the beginning, when Rovagug perfected the way of destruction, the lands were littered with the dead. Crows, maggots, beetles, worms, and the other crawling things of the earth complained to Rovagug. “You destroy and maim too quickly!” they cried. “We cannot devour all the meat you give us! Please, destroy the people of the earth more slowly.” “What?” shouted Rovagug, in a voice that toppled pillars. “My glorious destruction shall never cease nor slow!” Yet in the dark, delighting in the destruction god’s slaughter, watched Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, and she heard the base things cry. In those black days when all the land was covered with death and all the air stank, she watched as a few tribes of men, her followers and devout worshipers, ate the flesh of corpses as the crows did, plucking out eyes, savoring the bloodiest cuts. To these cannibals she led packs of hyenas, and their ways became as one. Of those louse-ridden beastmen rose the first gnolls, half-hyenas who love the stench of carrion and praise each corpse as an offering to their dark mother. And the demon queen delighted in her own perversion and reveled in these monsters’ terrible howling songs. Born of devastation, and insanity, and the corrupt of soul, the man-beasts spread upon the world, and where they prowled they indulged in their hunger for murdered flesh. Surely, they are to be despised by any sane god, and so we make ceaseless war on those who seek to feed on the bodies of heroes and innocents. And somewhere in the madness between the stars, the Mother of Perversion and the Mistress of Insanity still laughs her wicked laugh, as her ravening spawn, the bone gnawers and carrion eaters, grow fat off our flesh. Gnolls are among the first abominations, and their death is a blessing. Remember this when their laughter haunts your steps.”

Shazathared pauses a moment, allowing you a chance to take in the full of her accounting.

”When dragons and genies did battle and the people hid in fear of Rovagug’s hordes, their prayers went to Sarenrae, Goddess of Light, Compassion, and Healing. A thousand times, the Dawnflower bound their wounds and gave them courage. But, after a thousand and one answers to the wounded and the dying, Sarenrae ignored their pleas. Instead, the Dawnflower spoke to the other gods. “Rovagug sinks entire lands and buries cities. No healing can help the dead, and we owe no compassion to the Rough Beast and his endless slaughter. I have a plan.” With her sword of light, Sarenrae cut a shining hole in the world, in a distant region of the Windswept Wastes where even the genies wandered friendless and alone. To that place, the archdevil Asmodeus lured the god of destruction and wrath, promising greater power, greater chaos, and an end to all things. Asmodeus said, “Behold, a hole in the world. If you examine it, you may learn how the world was unmade here, and then you may unmake it yourself.” Rovagug reached forward with wormlike limbs and sightless eyes; his million teeth picked at the ragged edge of the hole. Sarenrae pushed Rovagug through the hole with the help of the other gods, for none of them alone could hold the beast for long. Asmodeus sealed the rift of light with a key of darkness that only he could hold, and thus was made the Pit of Gormuz. The gods celebrated their victory over the ravening madness that might have destroyed creation, but Rovagug yet lived. It is said that the Prince of Hell, Asmodeus, God of Slavery, smiled and was content from that day forward. For whatever else might come, he held the only key to Rovagug’s eternal prison, and thus, held the fate of the world in his dark, clawed hands.”

Shazathared smiles at both Amiamble and Pent, and winks at Aldebert, before continuing. She sways, as her hand gestures through many phantom pages, and a single finger alights on the next chapter.

”As the rift closed behind Rovagug, the master of destruction knew himself betrayed. But the God of Disasters could afford little time for regret. Crushing pressure, liquid metal, fire, and stone surrounded him, pressing the Beast from all sides. Rovagug took out his rage upon the planar fabric, squeezing air from earth, turning fire to water, carving vast halls against the weight of rock. In time, Rovagug created enough space to feel safe, and hungered. No souls to consume, Rovagug devoured hidden mountains and washed them down with magma and boiling iron. He dug through the earth, and spent a year gnawing new tunnels and caverns in the depths. And as his halls collapsed, Rovagug recaptured moments of destructive joy, but came no closer to vengeance. He needed more eyes, more feet, more claws. The god had never considered offspring, but now the solution seemed obvious. He drew upon the essences of the stones and base beasts of the depths, and his children were born. To these unholy spawn he granted shells of adamantine, claws to tear the earth, and bodies that writhed and crawled. He sent six of them in all directions, and none returned. Then he sent another six, and another, knowing that their tunnels would surely, someday, reach a portal or a surface.In time, he realized that he could not send too many, for each child left him exhausted. And so the spawn of Rovagug grew fewer, even as he impressed on each monstrosity the urgent need to find a passage out of his prison. Some of these children did find the world of light and, having inherited their parent’s savagery, set to slaying every living thing they found. Yet none of these monstrosities ever returned to the depths, being as wrathful as their father in their murderous abandon, and heedless of Rovagug’s search for freedom.”

The noble marid pantomimes the crushing, the devouring, the birthing, and finally the tunneling. There is a water’s clarity for her dance, and the images pass like reflections in a swiftly streaming river before you.

”Rovagug had sent ten thousand children crawling through the fire and the crushing dark, all seeking an escape for their father from the prison that held him. And nearly ten thousand of them had died in fire and agony. Only one, a creature called the Firebleeder, was true to its sire. The Firebleeder’s claws were sharper than those of an earth demon and its breath fouler than that of pure mephitic death from the core of the world. It slithered through the earth like a colossal worm, uncrushable and always hungry. It devoured miles of stone before it, and dropped dust and slag metal in its wake. And so the creature continued until one day, chewing through gentle sandstone, the Firebleeder found something new: a deliciously glowing bit of lichen in a wet, airy tunnel. It was delicious, a brief spark of sap and living juices against a palate raised on hard stone and dry dust. Ever hungry, the Firebleeder followed the tunnel upward and upward again. Finally it broke through to the surface, under a blinding noonday sun, where it roared and clawed out its own eyes from the pain. The Firebleeder bled magma from its eye sockets and cursed its father’s name, He who had made it, He who had imbued with the urge to dig ever upward. The surface was a place of delicious pain, and so the Firebleeder dragged its bulk just below the surface, scorching everything above it. The flaming demonworm set fire to the forest. It set fire to the city at the edge of the forest. The Firebleeder ravaged the land, incinerating entire nations in an echo of its father’s destructive rage. And so the world began to burn anew.”

Shazathared lets the devastation of Firebleeder ravage your receptive minds, her eyes at turns baleful and broken-hearted. She seems on the verge of stopping the story, but soon presses onwards, her eyes watery, but determined.

”Smoke and ash and cinders flew from the forests charred by the Firebleeder, fires that scorched soil into dust. Vast deserts grew from lush forest in mere days. The smoke turned noon to twilight. Heroes rose to the challenge and set forth to conquer the fire wyrm, but their silk banners burned away and their steel swords were reduced to slag. After countless armies fell to the beast’s wrath, a hundred arcanists and masters of ancient magical bloodlines swore an oath as the Legion of Wands and set forth to test their magic against the nightmare. The Firebleeder’s first blast cut their numbers in half, sweeping the weakest away. This bought the others time to bring their magic to the fore; freezing storms, hails of icy spears, rains of hissing water, and thunderous lightning transfixed the wyrm as bolts of force broke upon it in a furious storm. Magma spewed from the Firebleeder’s wounds, each injury gushing like the eruption of a furious volcano, but the wizards stood strong. Infuriated and confused, the fire wyrm summoned a blast of flame to melt the mountains and boil the seas. Yet as the abomination readied to unleash its final wrath, the wizards spoke as one, shouting a single word of arcane might that silenced all for a thousand miles, ringing off the clouds. And breaking the silence, a great cracking sounded as the Firebleeder’s volcanic blood cooled to stone and the beast crashed to earth. The Firebleeder fell, impaling itself upon a mountain made pale by the bones of the thousands of heroes that died that day, its hide shattering to cinders. A hundred lights glowed over its corpse by night, and of the Legion of Wands, only a dozen survived to rejoice in their victory and mourn their comrades. Yet what none saw was that, at dawn, the corpse twitched and stirred. An ember remained in the Firebleeder’s breast.”

Shazathared looks mournfully at Otah and Mahdi, willing herself to smile in reassurance, before proceeding.

”The Firebleeder’s corpse twitched and fell to ash even as the last mage withdrew from the battlefield. Its outer scales and flesh cracked and shattered by the magic of the Legion of Wands, the Spawn of Rovagug lay buried beneath a mountain of ice and bones, its own adamantine-like skeleton exposed and burning heart little more than an ember. Yet the Rough Beast’s blood is stubborn, and the Firebleeder’s remains refused to be destroyed, refused to die, and refused to admit defeat. Their fire still burned. Stone melted around them, and the corpse of the living holocaust sank into a pool of liquid stone. Though the Firebleeder lay dead, its rage and unholy hunger knew no end. In the depths of the caverns that it created around its own corpse, the heart of the Firebleeder drew to it veins of dark fire from the surrounding land, tapping into the blood of the world and, from its depths, drawing up rivers of molten hate. Deep below dwells the god of destruction, buried in earth and in flame. And so the heart of the Firebleeder beats strong, pumping fire forth from the pits below. Unthinking, yet created for one purpose, this undying organ beats still, endlessly seeking to draw its father forth however it can. Alive only with hatred and flame, its heart pounds, a profane and endless thrum of praise to the horror imprisoned within. Someday, a mote of Rovagug’s soul will rise above, breaching the surface of the world at the beckoning of the Firebleeder’s fanatical carcass. And on that day, the Firebleeder will wake again, to take its rightful place at its father’s side, proudest and strongest of the Worldbreaker’s children.”

Shazathared grows quiet. Her hands come together, closing the great tome, then raising to her lips, while studying you all.

”This was the story Jhavhul requested the most. I told you of Jhavhul’s desire. Do you see now? Why Jhavhul sat with me in rapt attention, as I spoke, again and again, of Firebleeder’s might?” When Shazathared sees something dull behind the gnome’s eyes, she elaborates.

”Ymeri, Elemental Lord, She Who Walks the Halls of the Auroric Palace, considers Jhavhul, a mere efreeti prince, beneath her. Unworthy. Weak. But what of Xotani the Firebleeder? Surely a creature of such mythic power would be a worthy suitor to an imminent Ascendant. So, lowly prince Jhavhul seeks out the means of becoming Xotani Itself.”


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)

Holy piddlespot, this is a trove of fun stuff. Good post. +1. Let’s kill more gnolls.

GM Rat Sass wrote:
”Gnolls are among the first abominations...

Ami sits agape, in rapt attention to the story. He was hooked and lured in by the talk of the destruction of gnolls, then clapping his little hands together when Sarenrae’s work is introduced. He is nearly moved to tears when the great beast Firebleeder dies because such deaths are good deaths and the servants of the Rough Beast must die. That was good.

Sniffling, he looks around to see the reaction of others. He has questions.

”So...so...where is Firebleeder’s Heart now?” Ami asks. ”And how does Jhavhul seek to become the Firebleeder? How can he even do that?” Ami asks, his interest overriding his disinclination to speak to strangers.


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

Great posts Rat Sass!

Aldebert enjoys the experience of the efreeti battles, and practices flying at every opportunity - preparing dual Angelic Aspect spells daily for the effort.

On the third day, he greets Shazathared warmly and welcomes her and her family to the Bayt. ”Welcome all of you. Our kitchens are still working, and Mahdi here has managed some staff, so we’ll prepare what we can for your comfort. Thanks for returning. What Pent said is correct, there are things we await in the city, and possibly the Grand Vizier himself, before we can depart. That said, we are eager to leave when we can, so we won’t keep you any longer than we must.”

When Shazathared begins her speech, he listens quietly and eagerly. Not much of a historian himself, much of it is new to him. He wonders what, if any, part Abadar played in the entrapment of Rovagug. Truth be told, he sort of slept through that bit at the church during his training. He was always more interested in field work, and modern banking.

So he remains fascinated by the tale, and isn’t surprised at Jhavhul’s part in it. Or desired part anyway. He adds to his brothers queries, ”Do you really think Jhavhul is powerful enough to play a part in this story? I’m not trying to underestimate the enemy, just trying to gauge him.”


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision

The gnome looks eye-level at the noble marid, barely blinking, rarely winking. He keeps his cheeks on his hands, and listens to every word woven in tribute to the ancient story, a little crestfallen when the marid's tale comes to an end.

"Beautiful account, Shazathared!! Almost like I was there, watching the Pit form, and the monster fall, and the hole close, and the gods cheer!! I never heard the full of Sarah's Strength in battle!! I could sit in your lap, and listen to story after story!! We've got a couple more days, you might just have to take me up on me taking you up on the offer that's impending, just past the bend in your mind that's yet to invent it!!"

Pent hears the halfs begin their questions, not a word of praise between the two, and harumphs, not unquietly and not unobviously. He does not, however, distract the noble marid in any answers she might be formulating for the two.


Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms

Shazathared nods appreciatively to the gnome, for his kind words, before turning to answer the inquisitive little halflings.

"Jhavhul mentioned knowledge of an ancient ritual which could fulfill this... desire of his. From what I recall, there was a great conflict between Jhavhul and the Templars of the Five Winds, as his persistent corruption of wishcraft drew their attention. He seldom ranted, but when his ire was up, he mentioned the noble djinni Nefeshti, their leader." She smiles upon Amiamble, but can't answer the first question uttered.

As for Aldebert's doubt, she shakes her head. "He has always been a petulant boy to me, and yet he exerted an ancient magic to see me imprisoned in this Bayt. He thrived in the City of Brass for many years, no small feat in the constant treachery of the Sultan's Court. Efreet are ignoble creatures, as you must know already. I can only speak on things that I know. Rayhan spoke on your time in Kakishon. It sounds like the reason he hasn't returned to his home here was because he was trapped in that demiplane. How he knew not to immediately return here after he escaped, of that I am ignorant. Perhaps he had a sense of the pall that descended over the Palace."

...

The days proceed without incident. The week's end approaches. Market upgrades become available, and Mahdi's intent to return the Deed to Bayt al-Bazan to the Grand Vizier through the Court Liaison, Beema, becomes a greater likelihood.

A little more time for dalliances in the City of Brass, before we move on. Enjoy it while it lasts...


Dwarven Mobile Fighter 12 | HP: 130/130 | Init: +3 | Perc: +2 | SM: +1 | AC: 27 | Mobility: 31 | Touch: 16 | FF: 21 | CMD: 31 Res (fire) 30 | Fort: +13 | Ref: +8 | Will: 5 | +2 vs poisons, spells | +4 vs paralyze, slow, entangle

That's a hell of a data dump. I had never heard the story told that way, just the basic "gods all combined against Rovagug."

"Smart enough to know how, desperate enough to try. A lack of empathy to dissuade against the price of failure." The dwarf sighs, concerned about the fate of his homeland.

"What can you tell us of this ritual? Where would it be performed? How can we stop it once it starts? Would Ymeri, object of his passion, be able to convince him this path is folly?"


Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms

Shazathared turns to hear the dwarf lend his questions to the conversation. "I know next to nothing of the ritual, sadly. Only that it involves wishcraft, which, in and of itself, is nothing extraordinary for our kind. As for any dissuasion by the object of the Prince's desire, I can only describe my failure to convince Jhavhul from pursuing me. You do sound like you understand the dangerous mixture of traits he displays, master Otah."


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Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)
Pent Arotha wrote:
Pent hears the halfs begin their questions, not a word of praise between the two, and harumphs, not unquietly and not unobviously. He does not, however, distract the noble marid in any answers she might be formulating for the two.

"Too true! Shazathared, an excellently told tale, thank you again. I am troubled by the possibility that Jhavhul could wield such power. We will surely need to stop him. But that should not reduce my praise of your storytelling.“ he smiles by way of apology.

During the week, Aldebert spends time with the current and various denizens of the Bayt, but some part of him seems to be always thinking. Eventually, near the end of the week, he approaches Shazathared.

"I've given this much thought, and have come up with little. A wish is a powerful thing, not to be dealt with lightly. I had considered some sort of combination of spells which would enable more regular flight - but I fear such things may simply be dispelled, thereby nullifying your great gift. I also thought about sticking to the basics - perhaps becoming stronger for the fight ahead.”

”In the end, I ask for understanding.” he hesitates, ”I’m not sure if this is even possible, but I wish to know, and be able to speak, the language of the animals. If that’s too much of a reach, how about just Gretiem here?” He pats his lizard on the head and flakes away some old scales to make him more comfortable.

Basically wishing for a permanent version of the Speak with Animals spell, either universally, or just with Gretiem.


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)

Interesting wish, Alde.

Ami is too excited to think or thank anyone or anthying. He is just so excited and giddy by the story.

”Brother, I do not like Jhavhul,” Ami states, wondering still and again how much longer they must wait in the city because its been *forever*. ”Should we not hurry home then?”


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CN Human Wizard 14 | Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +11; (+1 vs. fire) | AC 15 - CMD 17 | P +18, Init +10 | HP 87/94 | 12/12 jets remaining | Current buffs: Mage Armor, Overland Flight, Life Bubble, See Invisibility, Locate Creature (Hazim), Prot from fire 120 pts

some belated question-answering

"Hmmmm? Oh, the pyrolisks. They're not precisely intelligent, a little brighter than dogs. Foul-tempered, though. I wouldn't propose just setting them free. Perhaps a buyer in the marketplace might have use of them..." he absently answers Alde's queries on the matter.

"As for the deed to the Bayt: it is mostly useless to us, or would require far more exchange in potential profit than could be quickly or easily realized. I do not know if the Vizier will reward me for it, but at worst I trade something that is half-way an inconvenience to us for what could be future good will. It's annoying to be sure, to have what amounts to the key to a splendid palace and be stopped by minutiae of the laws," Mahdi smiles thinly, "but I'm sure Abadar himself would probably uphold Jhahvul's current claim, and agree that the lawful arbiter of such things here might be the Vizier..."

***

When Pent removes the strange drained sensation from him with Sarah's prayers, Mahdi favors the gnome with a smile. "Ah, thank you. That IS better. And thank 'Sarah' as well; I feel much rejuvenated."

***

The story itself has Mahdi sitting as rapt as the others, and nodding on in a sort of satisfaction that it is, of course, wizards who manage to ultimately subdue and defeat the Firebleeder. Naturally. He listens with his thin fingers steepled beneath his chin, his eyes narrowed, a frown creasing his face.

"A powerfully-told tale, but your words evoke in me a great dread. We clearly must stop him achieving this fate. I doubt Ymeri would care for our concerns: what is it to her if the mortal world burns? Nothing at all, I'm afraid.

"It may fall to us. Much as I love fire I would not see the world consumed by it. But you mentioned Nefeshti... I know that name." Mahdi pauses, lips pursed, consulting his memory. Suddenly he snaps his fingers. "--yes! Kardswann! He said he was going to go report to her. Do you all remember that? After we freed him from his possession? That means she may yet live-- and if she, leading the Templars of the Five Winds, was able to imprison Jhavhul once before, perhaps she can advise us how to do so again. Perhaps she will even lend her might to the task. Ami--"

Mahdi whirls on the gnome, excited. "What says Vardishal?"

So we knew Nefeshti was a djinni princess. I don't think we knew where she lived, but the Plane of Air might be likely guess?

He looks back to Shazathared. "Our thanks for your help so far, but perhaps you can give us one more bit of information. Do you-- or your family-- know anything of Nefeshti, a djinni? She may be a powerful ally for us... if we can find her."


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Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms
Aldebert wrote:
"I've given this much thought, and have come up with little. A wish is a powerful thing, not to be dealt with lightly. I had considered some sort of combination of spells which would enable more regular flight - but I fear such things may simply be dispelled, thereby nullifying your great gift. I also thought about sticking to the basics - perhaps becoming stronger for the fight ahead. In the end, I ask for understanding. I'm not sure if this is even possible, but I wish to know, and be able to speak, the language of the animals. If that’s too much of a reach, how about just Gretiem here?”

Shazathared listens with the clarity of an ancient well, giving the halfling warrior a long moment following the finish of his request, just in case Aldebert wants to elaborate on his heart's desire. She reaches a single finger down to lift the halfling's chin, a small nudge to see his eyes more brightly.

"My, you are a strange creature. You could have wished for a sultan's riches. You could have wished to become the most desirous specimen of your species. You could have become a virtuoso of any instrument, attaining a bard's fame. But you didn't."

The noble marid looks back and forth between Aldebert and Gretiem.

"A shepherd cares little about understanding the thoughts of his sheep, only their whereabouts, and their health. A hunter of foxes raises his dogs for the singular task, and suffers very little when one of his pack is lost to the teeth of a mountain lion. A falconer trains its ward, and reaps the adulation for such a fine bird. But you are none of these. From what Rayhan has told me, Gretiem is a veritable gift from your god, for your service. Yours is a special bond."

Shazathared brings her two pointer fingers to her lips, and presses a kiss into them, simultaneously. Leaning down with a small plié, she touches the foreheads of Aldebert and Gretiem, simultaneously.

"I grant you your wish. For the fullness of my heart's gratitude, I hope it is everything your halfling heart desires."

Aldebert & Gretiem:

For a split second that seems like an age, your halfling throat feels an expansion, then a constriction, then a moistening, then a shriveling. All the while, you hear your voice transform into a very familiar register of noises- the kind you hear Gretiem make, when excited, or under duress, or deeply contented.

If Aldebert is ever autopsied, the examiner will find the halfling to have two sets of vocal cords, one human, one reptilian. For its nature-defying complexity, Aldebert's new anatomy requires a slightly greater consumption of water daily. Aldebert is now able to Speak with Gecko.

Gretiem's eyes also dilate, his nictitating membranes rinsing a rainbow slick of color across the enlarged black of his pupils.

Gretiem now has an Intelligence of 8.

For Shazathared's deep desire to thank Aldebert, the magic bestowed is great. And yet, there is something that nags Aldebert in the back of his mind. There was a price paid just now, but the halfling is as of yet unaware of the cost...

Mahdi wrote:
"Our thanks for your help so far, but perhaps you can give us one more bit of information. Do you-- or your family-- know anything of Nefeshti, a djinni? She may be a powerful ally for us... if we can find her."

Shazathared lingers over Aldebert and Gretiem, smiling at her aunt, Atai, who steps forward to answer the fire mage.

"From what we gathered in speaking with my niece, and further speaking with allies on the Plane of Air, I can impart what I now know of Nefeshti, and her Templars."

"The Templars of the Five Winds is an ancient cabal dedicated to the opposition of reckless manipulation of reality and mortal enslavement of geniekind. At its height several centuries ago, the templars numbered thousands strong, and were led by the powerful noble djinni, Nefeshti."

"She founded the Templars of the Five Winds to oppose meddling on the Material Plane by all geniekind and to combat the practice of mortal spellcasters capturing and enslaving her kin. As proof that genies could work with men as equals and not merely as slaves, Nefeshti granted several potent wishes to her five favored soldiers, transforming them from men into immortal janni generals—each representing the strengths of the five winds."

Amiamble:

"I am the North Wind. I carry the battle cries of all armies."

"This brazen act scandalized many of Nefeshti’s superiors, and even though she and her templars had achieved great success against the efreet, the templars and Nefeshti were exiled to the Material Plane for daring to give mortals such potent gifts."

Atai looks to Mahdi, seeking understanding behind the mage's eyes. "It appears that you are destined to cross paths, with both Nefeshti, and Jhavhul, if you return to your home Plane."


CN Human Wizard 14 | Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +11; (+1 vs. fire) | AC 15 - CMD 17 | P +18, Init +10 | HP 87/94 | 12/12 jets remaining | Current buffs: Mage Armor, Overland Flight, Life Bubble, See Invisibility, Locate Creature (Hazim), Prot from fire 120 pts

"....So it would seem," Mahdi says, his dark eyes musing and brooding over the implications thus far.

(If he thinks worse of Aldebert's wish-request, he at least is wise enough to say nothing of it aloud.)


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Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

”Brother, when our things are ready, we shall return, and all the stronger for it. Strong enough at least, I pray, to take out Jhavhul.”

When Mahdi speaks, Aldebert sees the wisdom of his words, ”Aye, you do think like the natives. Well done. Let us hope the Grand Vizier blesses us one more time.” He listens with great care to the questions about Nefeshti, and the subsequent responses.

When it comes around to him, he replies, ”My lady Shazathared, Gretiem is indeed very special to me and is a gift from Abadar, my god. We are, I believe, kindred spirits as well! He seems to anticipate my every need.” He pats Gretiem on his shoulder.

GM Rat Sass wrote:

Shazathared brings her two pointer fingers to her lips, and presses a kiss into them, simultaneously. Leaning down with a small plié, she touches the foreheads of Aldebert and Gretiem, simultaneously.

"I grant you your wish. For the fullness of my heart's gratitude, I hope it is everything your halfling heart desires."

Aldebert takes a sudden breath, and coughs a little as he gets used to the extra mass in his neck. He thinks about his new needs and feels sure that his brother, or god if needs be, will provide. He takes a sip of his water skin and eyes Gretiem. He sees a spark in his eyes - a greater intelligence than was already there! A brief, but nagging, thought occurs to Aldebert, but in the moment, he lets it pass without introspection.

He turns to Gretiem, and speaks in gecko, beginning somewhat lamely, ”nogsaeg-ui ju-in in geule i (Gretiem), machimnae dangsingwa iyagi hal su-issge doen geos-eul gippeuge saeng-gaghabnida. wau. joh-a, ije yeogie, eodiseobuteo sijaghaeyahalji moleugessda. geulsse, naneun Aldebert Piddlespot-ida. geuleona naneun dangsin-i imi geu”

Gecko:
”Gretiem, Lord of the Green, it is my utmost pleasure to be able to speak with you at last. Wow. OK, now that it’s here, I’m not sure where to begin. Well, I am Aldebert Piddlespot, but I suppose you already know that much. I guess I should start with the basics. I don’t overload you do I? I mean you carry me, and all my stuff. And there’s a lot of stuff. You seem OK with it, but let me know, huh? And what about you? What would you like to know?”
- - -


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Gecko (Per +7 | Fort +10 Ref +11 Will +6 SR 16 | AC 25 (f21/t14) | CMD 27)

There’s a long pause while Gretiem stares back at Aldebert. After another pause he seems about to speak as his mouth starts to open, but it is merely the flick of his tongue, cleaning his eyeball of a bit of grit. He looks at Aldebert impassively.


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

Aldebert looks at Gretiem a while, waiting for a response. Eventually, realizing he’s gotten all he’s going to get, he tries again. "OK geule em-iya. naneun neoleul ihaehal su issdago hwagsinhanda. gaseo yaegi haebwa. jeongmallo, gwaenchanhseubnida.”

Gecko:
”It’s OK Gretiem. I’m pretty sure I can understand you. Go ahead and talk. Really, it’s OK.”
- - -


Gecko (Per +7 | Fort +10 Ref +11 Will +6 SR 16 | AC 25 (f21/t14) | CMD 27)

Gretiem stares back at Aldebert, ”ne, junim. geugeos-eun danji dangsin-i jeoege ijeon-e malhadolog yocheonghan jeog-i eobs-eossseubnida.” He stops speaking again for a long moment before continuing on as before, ”naneun neoege naui juege jim-eul jiuji anh-assda.” he says without feeling, answering the question directly.

Gecko:
Gretiem stares back at Aldebert, ”Yes, my lord. It’s just, you never asked me to speak before.” He stops speaking again for a long moment before continuing on as before, ”I am not burdened by you my lord.” he says without feeling, answering the question directly.
- - -


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

Aldebert sighs, realizing this was not going to be as easy as he thought, and turns to the group and speaks in common, ”Gretiem and I can continue this conversation later. There is no rush.” he grins, very pleased with the outcome if a difficult beginning.

He’ll spend a great deal of time with Gretiem over the week, both training him and trying to converse with him on a variety of topics. He is clearly struggling. Aldebert had no idea that the cultural barrier would be even larger than the language barrier. But he does what he can to try and he is patient, knowing they have time.

He’ll also teach him the seek trick. Which is a little weird as I can just talk to him, but I suppose there may be occasions when it makes sense.
Handle Animal: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27 vs DC 15


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision
Mahdi wrote:
"Mahdi whirls on the gnome, excited. "What says Vardishal?"

Pent opens his eyes wide, as Mahdi whirls excitedly. "Why you asking me? I do believe it's Amiamble who barks about his connection with Vardishal. You should try and be more direct with your inquiries. It helps you to build better interpersonal relationships."

When Aldebert begins to speak in a tongue heretofore unheardofbefore, Pent breaks his gaze away from Mahdi, to watch, rapt, the conversation springing to life before his eyes, between a half and a gecko. He really doesn't have any words to lend, in observation. He only marks his own desire to flick back to track the chirps and hisses, the next time Aldebert begins to speak to his lizard.


CN Human Wizard 14 | Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +11; (+1 vs. fire) | AC 15 - CMD 17 | P +18, Init +10 | HP 87/94 | 12/12 jets remaining | Current buffs: Mage Armor, Overland Flight, Life Bubble, See Invisibility, Locate Creature (Hazim), Prot from fire 120 pts

...... player error there. Herp derp. The halfling, yes. Got the name right though.


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision

I will always be there for you, Mahdi, to support you in trying to persuade more players that gnomes really are the better race.


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CN Human Wizard 14 | Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +11; (+1 vs. fire) | AC 15 - CMD 17 | P +18, Init +10 | HP 87/94 | 12/12 jets remaining | Current buffs: Mage Armor, Overland Flight, Life Bubble, See Invisibility, Locate Creature (Hazim), Prot from fire 120 pts

Thank you. Thank you for that.


Dwarven Mobile Fighter 12 | HP: 130/130 | Init: +3 | Perc: +2 | SM: +1 | AC: 27 | Mobility: 31 | Touch: 16 | FF: 21 | CMD: 31 Res (fire) 30 | Fort: +13 | Ref: +8 | Will: 5 | +2 vs poisons, spells | +4 vs paralyze, slow, entangle

"That's quite a gift, Aldebert."

The dwarf listens to the gecko-speak, unsure of what's happening between the rider and his mount, but enraptured that it's even happening.

"What are the strengths of the five winds? Do we know where Nefeshti is at?"


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Shazathared looks extremely pleased at the first conversation birthed by her Wish. She composes herself, and returns to listen more raptly to Atai's accounting, and Otah's question.

"I can answer that. The Strengths of the Five Winds are easy enough to remember- the North Wind, South Wind, East Wind, West Wind... and the Fury of All Winds. The last one is not as well known, but just as important as the points of the compass."

"As for Nefeshti, you'd need to seek her out on the Material Plane, for her exile."

Amiamble:

"Yes. Nefeshti waits. Leave this place, and call out to Her, and she will come."

...

The week progresses. Mahdi makes arrangements in the Grand Bazaar with Beema, Court Liaison, who bears the Bayt's Deed to the Grand Vizier.

Items being crafted are completed, and delivered.

The focus becomes your inevitable return to the Material Plane.

Atai consults with all of you, as to exactly where you'd like to see yourselves emerge. She does her best to understand each of your desires, and the volume of travelers seeking to travel from the Plane of Fire.

She waits for your answer.


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

When consulted, Aldebert suggests, "I think we should drop Rayhan off in Katapesh first. See what's going on there, before heading to our home in Kelmarane. I don't know where our target may be - it could take some time to find him, or he may be laying waste to, well, something, when we return."

He wonders if they have enough juice to return all Mahdi's followers. He hopes so as he's admittedly gotten accustomed to having some of them around.


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)
Mahdi al-Jabira wrote:
”Ami—“ Mahdi whirls on the gnome.

Hey hey now. I know Ami is dirty, maybe a bit smelly and bedraggled, but no need to be insulting. He’s still a halfling.

Ami returns Mahdi’s look, eyes wide.

”Yes, yes, let us see if Vardishal will speak on this. He might remember something,” Amiamble says, leaning down to whisper in Yeenoghu’s ear.

”Vardishal, are you there? What do you know of Nefeshi? What can you remember of the Templars? Are you there? We are close and need your guidance.” Ami seems to listen, then lifts his head up to speak to all.

”He says, ’I am the North Wind. I carry the battle cries of all armies,’ Ami shrugs, hoping it makes sense to others as it doesn’t make too much to him.

Yeen seems to shuffle more and Ami again listens to his cat. He scratches the big cat’s ears and he listens, then relates more.

”He also says, ’Yes. Nefeshti waits. Leave this place, and call out to Her, and she will come.’ Ami relates it true, then scratches Yeen again.

”Brother, we get to go now? Yes?”


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision
Aldebert wrote:
"I think we should drop Rayhan off in Katapesh first. See what's going on there, before heading to our home in Kelmarane."

Pent perks up, as it feels like they're firming up their loins for a triumphal return home.

"That sounds solid. That works well. That echoes encouragingly. That bodes brightly." With his items obtained, Pent whisks away on the Carpet, only to return with both covered cages. He pats them proudly.

"Can't wait to show these to my beloved. Words can't describe..."

With his ability to dimensionally hop, the gnome locates his Carpet well above floor level, keeping the Skulk at bay for their rabid curiosity. The Carpet becomes a glorified shelf for the time-being. He comes and goes from the various rooms of the Bayt, loading up trinkets from here and there, and readying himself for the final departure from the City of Brass, and the Plane of Fire.


Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms
Aldbert wrote:
"I think we should drop Rayhan off in Katapesh first. See what's going on there, before heading to our home in Kelmarane. I don't know where our target may be - it could take some time to find him, or he may be laying waste to, well, something, when we return."

Rayhan seems to brighten at the prospect of directly returning to his Villa on the outskirts of Katapesh. "I certainly won't object!" He returns to Shazathared's side. "That shouldn't be too much trouble, would it?"

Shazathared looks to her aunt, then back to Rayhan. "I think we have things well enough in order." She turns to you all.

"Bring everyone you seek to join you on your travel back to Katapesh. Meet us in the Throne Room, and we shall see you off."

Presuming you do so...

The whole of your entourage, Rayhan, the Muck, the Skulk, the pyrolisks, and the Knights Protector of Kelmarane, make their way into the Throne Room of Bayt al-Bazan.

What awaits you is quite breathtaking- a Disk, twenty feet in diameter, stands before you. Looking through it, you see Rayhan's Villa, dark as is the land, cloaked in the cool of night. The distant barking of feral dogs greets your ears, and the light scent of the desert drifts through this gateway.

Spellcraft DC 29:

This is a newly-cast Gate.

Atai stands by the Disk's side, concentrating. Shazathared moves to hug each of you, excluding the Skulk and Muck, while Dasso looks on stoically, though you can just manage to see a more relaxed furrow in his brow, as he watches you depart.

"You must come and visit me, on the Plane of Water. It is much, much more inviting to your kind. We will show you such wonders. But for now, go and do what you must. May you be a swift sword, seeking Jhavhul, and seeing him brought to justice. I only wish I had more than a single Wish to grant you, though I will still wish you long lives, filled with happiness."

You have time to say your goodbyes, and then you cross through the Disk.

As soon as the littlest of you, the kobolds en masse, have passed through, the Disk disappears, and with it, your last gaze into the Plane of Fire, and the home of Jhavhul himself.

There is no one to greet you, only the cold blackness of night. Rayhan spends little time walking forward, and through the gate into his front yard. He turns back to wave you through, though he does stand firm on leaving the Skulk and the Muck in his stables, for the meantime.

Welcome back to Katapesh.


Dwarven Mobile Fighter 12 | HP: 130/130 | Init: +3 | Perc: +2 | SM: +1 | AC: 27 | Mobility: 31 | Touch: 16 | FF: 21 | CMD: 31 Res (fire) 30 | Fort: +13 | Ref: +8 | Will: 5 | +2 vs poisons, spells | +4 vs paralyze, slow, entangle

Otah bows to Shazathared and steps back onto the earth of the material plane.

He leans down to scoop up some of the dirt and sand, then smiles as he feels the grit dig between rubbing fingers. "Good to be home."

He lets the moment linger and then falls into step with Rayhan. "Does anything seem out of place? Could be squatters moved in while we were away."


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Rayhan stops in his tracks, as if the dwarf's observation stirs something in his memory. "Oh. Oh, yes. Perhaps I should let you go first. I haven't prepared any aggressive magics today."

Two of the azer mamluks indicate the Stable is all clear. The Muck allows the Skulk to enter first, before immediately slamming the main doors, and posting guards at both possible exits. It takes the Skulk a little to realize that they aren't free to leave, raising a ruckus for a short while, then settling into their new digs, albeit reluctantly.

It does take a little while, investigating the whole of Rayhan's Villa, but search it with a fine toothed comb you do, and find nothing but a dark home, vacated for some time.

Rayhan finds his way into the kitchen. Minutes later, he emerges, with black mint tea, freshly brewed. He has recaptured the look of master of one's domicile in no time.

"It is good to be home. Not, well, you know... not exactly what we hoped for, but still... good. I can only imagine what has happened here. What do you plan on doing now?"


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision

Pent snorts the cool, humid air of his home territory, facing in a different direction each time he does so. When he's good and satisfied that his lungs have been purged of all Brass air, he lifts the covers of the cages, and lets the pyrolisks take in their new surrounds. He doesn't even mind the harmless flames that light up around him, as Mahdi's magic prevents him from any singe suffering.

He supervises the movements of both Skulk and Muck, quietly approving when the Muck demonstrates its superiority over the Skulk.

The gnome commands the Carpet to rise to roof height, and cautiously observes for any hidden snipers or wandering monsters taking up the space for a nest. Finding none, he returns to the group, and secures a room of Rayhan's, in order to dust off, clean off, break off, cast off, and take a load off.

When the group gathers around the round of tea, Pent eagerly accepts, as the mundane experience of a household waking up to provide from its cupboard is a profound thrill to the gnome.

"Well, I imagine we're gonna gather some information locally, regarding the arrival of Jhavhul, straight from the Scroll of Kakishon. Not sure if he stuck around, or if he immediately fled. The city doesn't appear to be in ruins, in flames, in shambles, or waving a surrender white, so we might glean some truth, before we try to contact Nefeshti, wherever she may be."


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

Aldebert speaks something softly to Gretiem as he prepares, loading him up with whatever loot they still haven’t sold - so not much. He says his goodbyes, thanking Shazathared and her kin for their assistance. ”Really, you’ve done too much already. If I find I am able to make such a journey, I would be glad to do so. And likewise, if you’re ever in our area, please let us provide what meager fellowship we may. Ours is a small village, but growing all the time - or was before we left.”

He mounts Gretiem and, expecting the worst, draws his newly forged greatsword. Held high, he passes through the gate to the cool desert air beyond.

He helps Rayhan search his residence, ensuring no miscreants (other than the party) reside here at the moment. ”Well it seems that the villa is quiet enough.”

”Rayhan, may we spend one night here with you? I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I’ll face it well rested if we can. Pent’s right. We should learn what we can in the streets of the city tomorrow morning, and begin the journey home with what we will have learned. Er, does anyone know what time it is? Perhaps we could ply the pubs yet this evening?”

He looks to the heavens, but is unsure what time it may be locally - his planar travels having thrown off his internal clock. Still, he’s exceedingly glad to be home, or at lest close to it. He takes in the smells especially - trying to cleans himself of the painful heat of their recent travels.


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)

Ami, upon returning to the ‘real’ world, takes off to the desert, barely saying anything to anyone, but letting Yeen run. And run. And run. They don’t care that it is night...but only that they can run again. They will run again in the morning, but this cool night is their time to celebrate their return to their sun.

And they rejoice.

* * *

Ami and Yeen return to Rayhan’s covered in dust. Yeen’s tongue hangs out, he is winded, but happy. Ami has a smile in his eyes, his mouth covered by his dusty face scarf. They are joyously joyful as if they had been waiting for this forever.

We should have never left.

Ami and Yeen curl up by the fire to sleep.

* * *

In the morning, before the sun rises, they are gone. They are out again rejoicing and hunting and celebration of the sun.

Ami smiles and even removes his face scarf so that the sun’s light might reach the full of his face. And Yeen chases game and rolls in the sands while Ami hoots and cheers.

They are home.

* * *
They return home in the middle of breakfast, Yeen having fed on rabbit. Ami comes to plop down at the table to eat, dusty and grimy from his rides, but deliriously happy. He chops on bacon while listening to others.


CN Human Wizard 14 | Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +11; (+1 vs. fire) | AC 15 - CMD 17 | P +18, Init +10 | HP 87/94 | 12/12 jets remaining | Current buffs: Mage Armor, Overland Flight, Life Bubble, See Invisibility, Locate Creature (Hazim), Prot from fire 120 pts

Mahdi is the only one to feel a pang of regret when they leave the Plane of Fire behind for a much cooler clime. After so long in such baking heat, the Material Plane feels chilly, especially at night. Mahdi shivers once, and wraps his robe a little more tightly around himself.

"Well.... this has certainly been a journey," he remarks softly to no-one in particular. "And tomorrow is the start of another one."

He instructs the kobolds that they are to behave themselves, and follow the orders of the azer battalion for now. But Mahdi keeps his word about seeing everyone fed, and requests some braziers of hot coals and lots of blankets for their unusual army, to help heat the stable. It won't be anywhere near as hot as what they're used to, but at least it's something.

Before he sleeps, Mahdi addresses the others, whilst leaning against the doorframe of his sleeping chamber.

"We have two priorities as I see them: learn where Jhahvhul now is and how far he has progressed in his machinations, and contacting Nefeshti. Business for the morrow, yes?"


Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms
Aldebert wrote:
"Rayhan, may we spend one night here with you? I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I’ll face it well rested if we can. Pent’s right. We should learn what we can in the streets of the city tomorrow morning, and begin the journey home with what we will have learned. Er, does anyone know what time it is? Perhaps we could ply the pubs yet this evening?”

Rayhan nods slowly. "You've sipped my tea, so you are 'guest' once more in my home. You are welcome to stay here as long as you require," the old man looks over the feral halfling, "though I suspect that won't be for too long."

Rayhan moves to a window, and studies the stars for a moment. "It's a little shy of the midnight. I'm not as sure about the day of the week, but that shouldn't matter, if you truly seek an evening drink in Katapesh."

Mahdi wrote:
"We have two priorities as I see them: learn where Jhahvhul now is and how far he has progressed in his machinations, and contacting Nefeshti. Business for the morrow, yes?"

Rayhan produces a key, and sets it on the tea tray. "If you decide to head into the city tonight, please use this key to gain entrance to the Villa, alright. I am going to take great pleasure in sleeping in my own bed tonight. Good night."

The option for evening investigation is still open. Pending the possible outcomes, morning eventually arrives...

...

The sun rises strongly, bright blue sky, and a light breeze off the waters below tempering the rising desert heat.

Amiamble:

Yeen's eyes shine brightly, as the alien intelligence that lurks behind them rises to the surface.

She is there. If I can feel her, then she knows. She knows we have returned. You will meet her, and you will love her.

The azer mamluks remain on the Villa grounds, while the kobolds migrate towards the cliff's edge and the new overlook towards the city. Word in the courtyard reaches you. The kobolds are searching for materials to construct improvised weapons.


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

Upon being told the hour, Aldebert begs off. "No, let's get some sleep and come fresh to it in the morning. Thank you Rayhan, for your hospitality."

He sleeps well, happy to be home in the cool desert air.

In the morning he's up early and eager. He prays fervently this day for success, and dons his armor with care.

He meets with he others over breakfast. "Let's spend the morning around town learning what we can of Jhavhul. We should stick together, though I'm not sure what to do about Mahdi's retinue. I don't think we want them coming with us. They'll attract too much attention. Mahdi, will they behave themselves for a time while we're gone?"

[b]"I think, depending on what we learn, we should plan on heading home this afternoon. I don't see a reason to stay here another day if Jhavhul isn't here."[/bb]

After sorting out the details, Aldebert will learn what he can about town that morning. He's asking about Jhavhul - has anyone heard the name? Any unusual incidents here in the past few weeks or so? That sort of thing.

Gather Information: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (9) + 18 = 27 Hours: 1d4 ⇒ 3


Statistical Representation of Character's Sunny Disposition:
Male Gnome Ex-Jester HP: 99, AC: 13(t 11, f13), F 13, R 4, W 16, Init 0, Perception 23, Low Light Vision

Pent rises with the dawn, making his way to the rooftop, where he ceremonially blesses and cleans his Carpet, before taking several slow passes over the cliff's edge. If the skulk is lurking about, Pent keeps his distance, and observes the interactions between the kobolds, should anything interesting come to light that would benefit Mahdi and his mandates.

When his mind is clear, he returns to the rooftop, where he prepares his spells, picturing the needs of the gathered, before heading into Katapesh.

Spell Preparations, Returned to Katapesh:

Domain Spells: Longstrider, Locate Object, Fly, Dimension Door, Breath of Life, Find the Path

Cantrips: Create Water, Guidance, Read/Write Magic
First Level: Divine Favor, Endure Elements, Liberating Command, Shield of Faith(x2), Theft Ward
Second Level: Resist Energy(x2), Lesser Restoration(x2), Spiritual Weapon(x2)
Third Level: Magic Vestment(x2), Prayer(x2), Stone Shape
Fourth Level: Blessing of Fervor, Divination, Freedom of Movement, Restoration
Fifth Level: Commune, Raise Dead, Scrying, True Seeing
Sixth Level: Heal, Heroes' Feast, Greater Dispel Magic

With his spells prepared, the gnome gathers his gang, and drops the dishes in the dining room. Cast Heroes' Feast

Temporary Hit Points: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13 For 12 Hours

Every creature partaking of the feast is cured of all sickness and nausea, receives the benefits of both neutralize poison and remove disease. The ambrosial food grants each creature that partakes a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and Will saves and a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against poison and fear effects for 12 hours.

Pent makes sure to include Rayhan, bringing his mandatory crew to six, and defers to Mahdi to provide six seats for his Muck or Skulk. He's not particular.


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)

Amiamble pauses during his morning run, looking down at Yeen and asking the wildcat to stop catting, even just for a moment.

He leans into Yeen and speaks into the cat's ear.

@Vardishal:
"Vardishal, is that you? Where is she? Where can we find her? Can you track her like a rabbit upon the desert?"


Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms

Amiamble:

She is not the hunted, She is the Huntress. She is there, in my Monastery. She is vigilant. She waits, and now that we have returned, She waits for us.


Roll20 Link- Legacy of Fire | Roll20 Link- Age of Worms

Otah:

As you step through the noble marids' Gate, you hear the rising thrum of an avalanche. You feel a steady vibration on your person, and you smell something electrical on the air. None of the others seem to be aware, at all, of any of the new sensations you're experiencing. Looking over your shoulder, as the Gate closes, Shazathared gives you a knowing wink...

The thrum is then given a voice. It is an, old, feminine voice.

"He chose well. Artel is a master of his craft, as you have yet to learn, but he also placed his creation in the right hands. Well met, Otah Cragsmith. You know me as Zenzirad, but between you and I, I prefer Zen."

The Guisarme in your hand vibrates gently, assuring.

Zenzirad has Awakened. She is now a +2 Fire Outsider Bane Ice Burst Guisarme. And she's Intelligent. And all that implies...

She's communicating with you through Telepathy.


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)

Amiamble's head perks up, his eyes flashing. Need to find Brother!!

He spins Yeen around and gallops back to Rayhan's manor. He jumps the fence, then careens into the kitchen, then into the living room dragging dust in a cloud behind him. He doors crash open and are not closed as the halfling looks for his brother.

"BROTHER! BROTHER, WHERE ARE YOU!?" Ami yells, looking for Aldebert.

When his brother is found, Ami and Yeen race to pounce on him while Ami tries to explain what Vardishal has said.

1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31 CMB - Surprise cat pounce

Ami lets Yeen wrassle his brother for a bit, hoping to speak the halfling when he is properly subdued.

"Brother, Vardishal has spoken to us! He says that 'She is there. If I can feel her, then she knows. She knows we have returned. You will meet her, and you will love her.' and 'She is not the hunted, She is the Huntress. She is there, in my Monastery. She is vigilant. She waits, and now that we have returned, She waits for us.'! Are we the hunted, Brother? Or shall we strike there as soon as we can?" Ami gently asks Yeen to unpin his brother if the attack succeeded (or was allowed to succeed).


Halfling (Per +18 | Fort +17 Ref +11 Will +15 | AC 26 (f25/t14) | CMD 28)

"Brother, yes?" Aldebbert looks up from his bed, whereupon he has some paper scattered. Nothing important, just the last ledgers for their trade business and household. He was planning ahead to see what changed when they returned compared to his projections. A worthy test of his meager skills.

...when he's bowled over by Yeen! He laughs as he rolls around the bed and floor, knocking documents everywhere and tearing a receipt from their head of household, and butler, Fredrick for his services.

Eventually he struggles to his feet even as his brother is speaking. He listens carefully and grows serious, "That is good information Ami. No, I think Jhavhul is the hunted. We are the hunters brother. We are the hunters. But which monastery? We should check the ones here in town today as we ask around about Jhavhul."

"Unless you know which one the vision speaks of?" he questions his brother for clarity.


Stats:
HP 107/107;AC27; F 11,R 15,W 15; Init:9; Perc 20 (normal). Yeenoghu: 154/154; AC 37 (usually);F 14+5,R 15+5, W 6+5; Perc 8;Acro 18 (lowlight)

Ami rolls his eyes as if his brother is as dense as Pent or Otah.

"Brother! Where we started! Where Yeen ate the mold! That's where! That's where we have to go!"

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