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Jan 10 2013

Chronicles of Netheril, December 30th, 2012

Spellgard – Present

Upon our arrival in Spellgard, we moored our ship at Sceptre Tower and returned to the audience chamber. Curuvar was there with the ghost of Lady Saharel; they were waiting for us in the ring of Alabaster pillars.

With the Nether Scroll in hand, Curuvar had everything he needed to send us back in time. But before performing the spell he gave us an important admonition. Preserving the timeline was of utmost importance in order to prevent a temporal paradox. Whatever goals or quests were set before us; those relating to recorded historical event had to take precedence.

Spellgard – The Past

With that warning, he performed the spell and we found ourselves in the past. We were still in the audience chamber; in the exact same positions as before the spell in fact. The difference being that Scepter Tower was no longer in ruins; it was resplendent in its beauty. Lady Saharel was now very much alive and instead of Curuvar, standing beside her was an elegantly dressed wizard.

The wizard was quite happy to see us. He was so excited that he was acting like a total spaz. Imagine our surprise when Lady Saharel informed us that this was the Arch-Wizard Karsus.

With the introductions over, Karsus explained why we had been summoned. Apparently our time travelling trip had gone unnoticed; Karsus thought we were simply a band of adventures answering a summons. The arch-wizard had created a powerful new spell (Karsus’ Avatar); but he required two extremely rare ingredients in order to cast it. He explained how he had already hired another group of adventurers to obtain the ingredients; but that they had all been killed mysteriously. (Most likely the work of Lamorak) He now wanted us to procure the ingredients and bring them to him at Karsus Enclave. He then “poofed” away.

The first ingredient was the stone-filled gizzard of a gold dragon. Freshness was not an issue apparently; so whether it came from a dragon we killed ourselves, or a long dead one, did not matter. But he needed a very large gizzard, so the dragon would have to be very old. He also indicated that a man by the name of Nopheus might know where to find a gold dragon. He was currently to be found in the city of Yeoman’s Loft, a centre of spelljamming activity.

The second ingredient was the pituitary gland¬†of the Tarrasque. Saying that this would be a difficult task was an understatement. The only effective way to kill Tarrasque long enough to harvest body parts is to use the Wish spell; which has yet to be created in this time period. On the plus side though, it would be much younger than in our time and therefore “less” dangerous. {The DM lowered its level from 30 to 26.}

Yeoman’s Loft

We returned to our ship and made our way to Yeoman’s Loft.

Once there we asked around for Nopheus, and found him drunk in the streets. He was willing to help us, but only if we performed certain services for him. We took him to his home and once he had sobered up, he explained what was required of us.

When his wife Amanda had died, he had had her preserved until such time as he could afford to resurrect her. Her grave is located in the Shadow Top clan’s holy burial ground in the forest to the east of the God’s Legion Mountains. He had now finally accumulated enough money and wanted us to travel to her grave and bring her body back to him.

Once we had agreed he told us that the ancient female gold dragon Dracolnobalen had made her lair in Moander’s Footstep to the south of the God’s Legion Mountains. Air travel would be too dangerous, so we would have to go by foot.

God’s Legion Mountains – Trip to Moander’s Footstep

Obtaining Karsus’ ingredients so he could perform his spell was the most important task ahead of us, so we decided to do that before accomplishing Nopheus’ request; and so began the long trip to Moander’s Footstep.

When we were about halfway to our destination, we encountered the skeleton of a traveller along the side of the road. The only item of value in the dead traveller’s pack was a map pointing to a nearby “treasure”; the nature of which was not specified. The treasure was close enough that seeking it would not cause a significant delay in our quest. And if it was substantial enough it might serve as a useful bargaining chip with the gold dragon.

When we reached the point on the map identified as the treasure’s location, all we found was a gravely wounded woman and no treasure. She had been attacked by a powerful demon and was dying from her wounds. She wanted us to finish her mission; and when she said she had been tasked with delivering the Nether Scrolls (all of them) to Anauria Enclave, it became clear that the demon had been sent by Lamorak. If the scrolls never made it to Anauria, we would never have been able to obtain one of them from the ghost of Thausimbel and follow Lamorak into the past.

With her last breath she handed us her satchel. It contained a map to a secret monastery of Mystryl where the monks gave us a large chest containing the Nether Scrolls.

Anauria Enclave was quite far, so we placed the chest in our bag of holding and continued on our quest for the gold dragon.

A few days later, during the night, we hear the distant beating of drums. We set out to investigate and discovered a very large group of orcs. We observed them from a hiding spot and discovered that they were planning a raid on Yeoman’s Loft; so we had to stop them. Although they were relatively weak {heroic tier} and posed us no real threat, we decided to attempt finesse rather than brute strength to solve the problem.

Eramus used his hat of disguise to don the appearance of an orc. In combination with his flaming sword Flametongue he hoped to pass off as a great and powerful orc chieftain. He was so convincing {rolled a natural 20 on his bluff check} that the stupid orcs actually thought that he was the Gruumsh the god of Destruction. He managed to convince them that they would find greater and easier plunder to the south and pointed them in the direction of the dragon’s lair; without of course mentioning the existence of said dragon.

After Eramus returned to the hiding spot and removed his disguise, we continued on our way to the dragon’s lair, using a different path than the orc horde. Being a much larger group than us, we could travel faster than them. The plan was that we would reach the dragon first and use the diverted horde as both proof that we were good and as an offering of food for the dragon.

The next night we encountered a group of elves who offered us shelter for the night. They had seen what we had done to the orcs and were quite amused. One of the elves kept looking at Voulge and eventually mentioned that he had heard that similar beings were being built in the Polaris Vault at Karsus Enclave. We decided to investigate further once we brought the ingredients back to Karsus, as there was the potential to find further upgrades for Voulge.

The next day we reached Moander’s Footstep and began the difficult climb up the mountain.

Moander’s Footstep – The Dragon’s Lair

At the top of the mountain we reached the dragon’s lair but found that the entrance was blocked by a sleeping Cloud Giant. Since gold dragons are good by nature, the giant probably was as well. So we decided to take the diplomatic approach.

We woke the giant and asked for an audience with the dragon. We needed her help and were willing to make an offering; the dragon horde. The giant said that an offering was not necessary and that he doubted the orcs would make it up the mountain; they would die from the cold on the way up.

The giant agreed to grant us an audience on the condition that we leave all our belongings in his care so that we wouldn’t pose a threat to his friend. We complied, entered the cave and approached the dragon.

We explained why we had come. We were in need of the gizzard of a gold dragon and hoped that she knew of some gold dragon remains from which we could harvest the gizzard. Since this was an extremely odd and gruesome request we decided it was best that we explain everything that was going on and that had brought us here.

  • how both we and Lamorak Tanthul had traveled back in time
  • why Karsus needed the ingredients
  • why Lamorak had come to the past
  • what would happen once Karsus performed his Avatar spell
    • we produced the diagram that Curuvar had made for us
  • what would happen if Lamorak killed Karsus and performed the Avatar spell himself

The dragon said that she could indeed obtain a suitable gizzard for us. Her mate had recently died and its gizzard should be suitable for our needs; but she would only give it to us in exchange for performing a service.

The tarrasque is slumbering in a nearby cave, but it will soon awaken. When it does, a barbarian tribe that lives in the valley outside the cave will be destroyed. Dracolnobalen is in possession of a special sleep potion that if poured on the tarrasque would ensure that it slumbers for a few more millennia. She wants us to go to the beast’s lair and use the potion on it. Since we need to harvest a body part from the tarrasque anyway, she figures that while we’re there we can kill the creature and take what we need before applying the potion.

We accept her very fair proposal and suddenly find ourselves and all our equipment teleported to the valley of the barbarians.

Valley of the Barbarians

We made our way to the barbarians’ village and sought a guide that could take us to the tarrasque’s cave. While in the village, we noticed a young boy that bore a striking resemblance to our friend Ilikan. This must have been his village.

This meant that all that we had been through since we had started our adventure in Loudwater was somehow connected; and that the timeline was somehow protecting itself. By helping Karsus prepare his spell we would directly insure Ilikan’s survival, which would in turn allow him to join our team in the future, which would allow us to survive long enough to travel back in time and start the cycle over again.

Valley of the Barbarians – Defeating the Tarrasque

We eventually find a guide who takes us to the cave where the tarrasque is currently slumbering and when we find the beast, we unleash all our might upon it.

Because we have the element of surprise, we are able to land quite a few good blows before it even wakes up. And while it is an incredibly powerful creature, having just woken up, it is still groggy and disoriented, which allows us to defeat it in short order. We were quite surprised at our victory. The tarrasque is a nearly invulnerable engine of destruction; the gods must have been smiling upon us. {Because the tarrasque was slumbering we had a surprise round and before attacking, we were able to apply quite a few buffs. During the fight itself, we kept getting high rolls and the DM kept getting low rolls. By the end the DM was quite frustrated, and understandably so; we had defeated the tarrasque in 3 rounds.}

We hurried to remove the creature’s pituitary gland before it can start to regenerate and then we pour Dracolnobalen’s sleep potion on the remains. While we were performing the dissection we happened upon a pair of Holy Avengers that had lodged themselves in the beast’s gullet. We made sure to take them with us, as well as a few of the creature’s armoured scales.

Karsus Enclave

We exited the cave and returned to the barbarian village to tell them the good news. They put us up for the night and we got some well deserved rest. The next morning Dracolnobalen came to the village to give us the gizzard of its deceased mate.

We then made the long trip back Yeoman’s Loft and once there used the local teleport station {think train station} to reach Karsus Enclave. We were expected and upon our arrival were immediately escorted to the arch-wizard’s laboratory.

Karsus was quite pleased with the items we had brought him, and seeing that we had some tarrasque scales in our possession directed us to an arcanist who could use them to create some tarrasque plate armour for us.

Once the armour was forged, we would have to make sure to remember to visit the Polaris Vault.