The Chronicles of the Competent Adventurer’s
(Report sent to the Merchant Council of Sanctuary, compiled by Spymaster Rudolf Quinn.)
Members of the Merchant Council, high rule of Sanctuary, I’m afraid my spies much again report failure in tracking our wayward citizens who fled during the dragon attack. Though most have been located and persuaded to return, those that settled in the swampland in Port Janus area have proven elusive. Misfortune continues to plague the investigation. Scrying has proved inclusive for some unknowable reason and I’ve lost contact with too many good men to continue trying to probe it on foot.
More fruitful have been our efforts to learn more about the individuals who brought about said dragon; the ‘criminal masterminds’ as Councillor Venn refers, though I believe ‘recklessly competent adventurers’ holds more true. Generally I would not bore or incriminate the Council with the particulars of my method, however due to the subjective nature of our sources I believe that for full disclosure I should reveal.
Primarily we have to thank the magical ‘bugging’ of the Inquisitor Azavir’s journal to thank; though it lack some of the details we’ve found some intimidation ,and a distressingly large amount of speak with dead spells, loosened the lips of witnesses. Razza’s recent drinking has also helped a great deal; the boy sings like a canary complaining about his working conditions. As well as the assistance of a very creepy but knowledgeable slyph named Fitz; who is more than willing to speak at length about the group’s exploits particularly Moxy’s.
Also tell Councillor Venn to keep his ideas to himself from now on, the advanced copy of Moxy Charisma’s book he suggested was not worth the effort to obtain.
Still I believe the following reading should prove… enlightening.
- The Tome*
The adventurer’s first encounter with each other was in Port Janus, specifically the local branch of the Melantirian Church. It was, and still is, a loose collection of men and women of the cloth and assorted mercenaries; Azavir, Ingrid, Razza, Simon, Silthian and Moxy. You may refer to my previous reports for more information on this motely bunch, though my information reveals there were also a ranger and young thief who seem to have disappeared from the quest rather suddenly. Can’t say I blame them, however our band of dragon makers were actually on a rather important quest.
The Church of Melantir was in possession of very interesting artefact, the Tome of the Undergates, they had tasked the group to deliver the tome to island to the south, the Windy Peaks, capable of destroying the dangerous artefact. Boarding a ship almost immediately the group set out, their ship was supplied by the Church with a full crew and captain. Accompanying them was a trusted priest of the Church, there either to assist or keep an eye on the mercenaries and some of the fellow Melantir devotees. From what we’ve found about Razza, the later seems more likely.
Along the way the party encountered its first battle as group, goblins of the Tutorial clan, it did not get off to a great start. Still the party displaced the goblins and after a discussion about the usefulness of a backup raft, opted to let the goblins’ vessel drift out to sea. Things are often humorous in retrospect.
The burden of carrying the Tome of the Undergates revealed itself when their ship was covered by magical fog, carrying a force of Aboleths and Drowned Men. The adventurers were on the back foot at first, however they managed to hold off the Aboleths were varying degrees of success. Azavir attempted to carve his name into one, while Ingrid miraculously avoiding suffocating in a mucus trap discovering the demon’s weakness to fire in the process.
However the Drowned Men took advantage of the chaos to sneak below deck, where the Tome was watched over the priest and thief. Razza followed and coldly prioritised the protection of the tome even as the priest was being choked to death. The others followed but the fierce battle proved for naught, when the tentacles of Ulbecatoth reached from the depths and crushed the boat into splinters. Azavir attempted to follow the demons north, but couldn’t keep pace. While Razza dove down to witness the tentacles retreat into the abyss, the honeyed words of Ulbecatoth invading his mind.
Adrift in the sea the group miraculously washed ashore, the priest and formed ship captain in tow, wracked by exhaust many of the adventurers collapsed. This left Ingrid, Silthian and Moxy alone to contend with vicious lizardmen. Or so they claim, the lizardmen actually seemed quite friendly. They struck a bargain, a canoe and supplies enough to reach the mainland in exchange for an ancestral axe hidden away in an ancient volcanic temple.
Along with Azavir, who had awoken by that time, they navigating the traps and undead of the temple to locate the axe hidden within an active binding circle, sealed along with a devil who apparently knew them. They did not recognise the devil, though the devil recognised Azavir enough to compliment his work. However unbelievable the devil appeared to be the great demon Asmodeus, the highest power in hell, naturally the fools insulted and accidently unbound the devil freeing him to do evil. With his thanks Asmodeus left, the adventurer’s claimed the axe whose cursed nature whispered terrible promises to Azavir. Unimpressed he tied the axe to his pack and the group returned to the lizardmen.
With their companions having recovered, the lizardmen took the axe to slay the ‘human’. Wary, and a bit proud of having their suspicions confirmed, they followed prepared to stop the lizardmen only to be taken to a large bull surrounded by lizardman bones. Confused they let the bull be slain and returned to a celebration in their honour. With supplies and as well a canoe as they would get on that island, they paddled the leagues to Dwarvheim. Skipping out on the dock fair, scoundrels, they rendezvoused with the Church, meeting the respected Father Bumpo.
There they learned the true nature of the Tome, its ability to summon and maintain portals of any size and between any of the planes. With the danger this possessed in the hands/tentacles of the demon mother they had to act fast. Armed and funded by the church, presumably due to a lack of options, they set about preparing for a journey to the Abyss. They also did some general shopping and visited Ingrid’s parents, for some reason. Seemed pleasant enough sort of folk, my spy reported that she received some stew when she infiltrated/visited.
Seeking out a boat captain they attempted to hire the services of a rather traditional pirate, due to a sardonic slip of the tongue on Razza’s part it didn’t work. Though he tried to make sure no-one remembered that time. Learning from this Razza with the young thief’s help formed a plan; forging a treasure map which would take them over the Abyss they convinced a rival captain, Jack Nine-Strings, to grant them charter with very reasonable rates. Though Nine-Strings seems to have an issue judging age when he came onto the thief, we hope.
The Church provided the name of Robillard, who could supply the group with magic making them capable of breathing water and surviving the depths of the Abyss. Only the Melantirians would call a drunk like Robillard a reliable wizard, though there was no denying the man knew his stuff. In a surprise the waif Moxy was able to drink the man under the table, with a liquid meal of Troll Liquor no less. Essentially shanghaiing the wizard they prepared to depart for the Abyss.
Nine-String strange homunculi crew provided capable sailors and brought the group within sight of the Abyss. There was, of course, dancing with danger from the beginning. Demons are bad enough, but every sailor in these isles knows that if you travel too far north in these waters, then you’re at the mercy of the blue dragon of the oceans. The fearsome Lavarosse. Only luck could only get them through the seas undetected by her; they don’t seem to have a lot of regular luck.
Incredible luck though, they have in spades it would seem. Fortune enough that this was their first trip, they received rite of passage from the dragon. With one very strict condition, that they would never again cross Lavarosse’s path. Lest she make sport of them.
If you recall the bizarre metrological event that took place that day, one can only imagine how bad it was at the epicentre. Blood raining from the sky in sheets enough to spook any sane man. Though the captain might be such a sane man, the adventurers were not. Nine-Strings though were informed in no uncertain terms, by Azavir, that Melantir would be displeased by any attempt to turn around. Enough that her followers might display her wrath, physically.
Fighting off demons bearing the faces of the innocent, horrific in their audacity, they managed to place the boat as close to the Abyss as Nine-Strings and the sea would allow. As no chain would reach down that far they were forced to attach themselves to a heavy anchor and sink. Trusting that Robillard’s spell could return them to the surface again, once business was complete. Accompanied by one of the homunculi crew, and fully enchanted, the group disappeared under the waves.
Falling for hours into the freezing cold the group touched ground, to an extent, in a massive kelp forest. Breaking free lest they end up like the bloated corpses trapped in the tangled sea-plant. They escaped only to fall to a more dangerous trap, the innocuous wisp-like lure of the Lightbringer consort to Ulbecatocth. It fooled Razza into believing its good intentions, though he didn’t hesitate much when his allies attempted to strike down the creature.
The battle seemed grim at first; though the spell casters covered well with illusions while the warriors landing several good hits in melee. They had the advantage in numbers alone. It was when the homunculi disarmed an electrified falchion from the Lightbringer that spelled the creatures doom. With co-ordinated effort Silthian pulled the weapon away from the demon via magic, rushing in Azavir discarded his own falchion to grab the demon’s weapon mid-stride and bring it against its former owner. With a might cleave the Lightbringer was decapitated. Claiming both the sword and head as his prize Azavir lead the party deeper into the Abyss, with Sicknasty taking up the inquisitor’s former weapon. While Moxy pocketed an unusual trinket from the demon’s neck.
At the very centre of the Abyss was the demon mother’s congregation, a veritable army of Drowned Men watched over by a pair of Aboleths. At the centre of their worship were the great tentacles of Ulbecatocth, the Tome of the Undergates ready to fully unleash the sea mother.
Devising a plan Azavir heaved the severed head of the Lightbringer before the congregation, backed with the magic of Ingrid and Moxy for dramatic effort and Moxy and Silthian draped over his legs for sex appeal. He delivered an impassioned speech of fire and brimstone before the Ulbecatocth devotees hoping to sway them to the Melantir Faith. Under this cover of religion, Razza attempted to sneak past to claim the Tome. However the act fell flat, the demons were driven into combat with an Aboleth singling out Razza.
In an honestly incredible display the group proved far greater at smiting than sleight of hand, as they worked together to slay the hoard of Drowned Men. Both Simon and Razza each crippled an Aboleth in single combat. Sicknasty and Ingrid slew the Drowned Men while assisting Azavir in cutting a path through. The tiefling claimed the ancient tome, but returned to help his allies finished off the demons. Razza was pulled into a grapple with the demon, somehow surviving while he and his comrades worked to finish it off.
Just as the last demons were cut down, backup of a force of unfamiliar purple women encouraged the group’s retreat. With Tome in tow, they floated to the top of the sea, and the boat directly above them. Sicknasty, unable to float, had to remain on the bottom. Since he did impress the party and was given orders to meet up with them at shore.
Their arrival on the boat was not meet with the hail of returning heroes they expected, all around them the homunculi, those left above, boat had been rendered inert. Not dead, they found but inert. Well most of them, the lucky ones, though even the unlucky were not the ones in the worst state.
On the deck was the body of Jack Nine-Strings, slain by a truly horrific wound.
Seeing the hatch below deck open they readied weapons and plunged down below, expecting the worse. A massive purple skinned woman was ready for them, no doubt protected by her own muscles more so than the patchwork armour she wore. To say she was a mirror for those purple skinned amazons at the bottom of the sea would be a disservice; they were her match only in race and her betters only in number. Never the less the two were clearly connected.
The formalities were brief, the woman gave her name as the Unscarred, and they commenced battle. The fight seemed impossible; this woman outclassed them individually but matched them as a group. Of course, her name was no bluff of untouchability but the truth, as any wounds would knit themselves closed even in battle.
It seemed the Unscarred would not stop until she got what was she wanted, naturally she wanted the book. It was Moxy who turned the tide, with a mix of beguile and cunning she tricked the warrior woman into believing a seemingly harmless necklace was the Tome of the Undergates. You may have guessed that by stressing ‘seemingly harmless’ I mean the opposite, the necklace was a cursed curio that Moxy had obtained from the demon goddesses’ consort. I’d fathom she brought it from such an occurrence, surely she can’t have been as much of a ditz as she seemed. Likely not a question that needs answering now.
The ploy worked and the Unscarred fled, for now, leaving the group to patch their wounds, bury the dead and work out a way to get the boat to port. The cataloguing of Nine-String’s treasure goes unsaid.
Via magical control rod Moxy got the homunculi moving once more, and all too willing to obey, essentially making her captain of the ship. Intent on moving out they never the less stopped to allow a stranger on board, a lizardman who had against all odds navigated his small canoe to the deepest point in the ocean. No doubt through the blood rain and demon swarms, simply because he didn’t know where he was going. Actually, that makes a lot of sense.
In a few days travel they arrive in Port Janus to touch base with their contacts in the Church of Melantir. Though most spend their time shopping for supplies, or just shopping as the case may be. I suppose I forget to mention that by this point, it had been a small tradition of Moxy’s to try her hand at dancing. The coin I presume was secondary; she rather enjoyed the attention more. Good and bad, this time though it was very good. Enough to attract the attention of a more reputable sort than you’d expect at Port Janus dockside.
A wealthy noble-man, though closer to a noble-boy if you ask me, had organised a party that night. A party of fancy dress and merriment, in respectable moderation of course, the exotic performance of a half-eleven dancer seemed perfect for this kind of occasion. Naturally her sister and companions were invited as well, provided no mess they couldn’t fix was to be made.
They didn’t forget they carried an item of un-imaginable power; however they now had the possession of a Bag of Holding, an inter-dimensional space and the workhorse of magical items. With it they could hide the artefact and yet keep it on them at all times. Either over-trusting or over confident they prepared of a party of elegance, some even organising fine dresses and robes naturally this included Moxy and Silthian.
In a large palanquin, carried by the homunculi from the ship, they arrived and were announced to the guests. Moxy and Silthian worked together to make a suitable scene for their arrival, and Moxy’s subsequent performance, wowing the guests and host. Meanwhile the others mingled with the rich guests; somehow the only thing that was stolen was a fish. Busta befriended an old solider, Azavir a young ditz while Ingrid found herself with the attention of a gnomish noblemen. Busta even won the fancy dress contest.
For a while it seemed the party was entirely what it seemed, honestly the party itself probably was, but its host had a secondary goal. He ushered the group away from the crowds, and into his private office. His right hand, a red headed sorcerous, kept watch over them in a manner that spoke volumes about what was going to come. Completely straight, the noble-boy set his ultimatum; they would give him the Tome of the Undergates in exchange for more riches than they could carry. Actually with a bag of holding they could have carried practically all the riches, however the host did not appear to know they had this, indeed that was what saved them. Perhaps it saved us all.
As dangerous as these adventurers are, they possess two qualities that I can’t deny, their competence in battle and nobility in their mission. Unwilling to surrender the tome for riches the group cunningly lied, agreeing to deliver the tome by tomorrow, once they had recovered it from its safe hiding place in the city.
The noble-boy seemed surprised and chewed out his sorcerous companion, who must have sensed they had brought the artefact with them. With no evidence that they group had lied to him, and when it became apparent that the large tome could not be carried by them at the moment. He did have their word that the tome would be his, and since the reward would not be delivered until he had the tome, he had little reason to doubt. Except perhaps a niggling feeling in the back of his mind.
Thus they left the mansion as the party wound down, the guest returning home either to sleep or to continue drinking. The adventurers seemed content to put distance between them and the boy and his pet enchantress, my men though will endeavour to keep eyes on this particular noble in the future.
Returning to their ship the party set sail to resume their quest, the Windy Peaks were a great number of days sail away but that was the only place the Tome could be permanently destroyed. Or so they hoped.
Arriving at their ship they found the gang-plank up, which was expected as they had left orders, but the only homunculi they could talk to was unwilling to put it down. In a hurry to leave they argued with the creature until an unseen individual ordered the homunculi to let them on. They stepped on board warily, and found that the majority of the homunculi encased in pillars of ice, and the remaindered somehow scared.
At the bow of the ship stood a purple skinned man, donning the long following robes synonymise (clichéd) with wizard. As well as the air of superiority, and the crackle of magic powerful, synonymise with powerful bastards. He called himself Sheraptus, and laid out his plan for domination of the material plane by bringing an army through the gate. He could not be intimidated or reasoned with, and he gave the party a new ultimatum and a cloth sack.
‘Place the Tome in this sack in a week, or I will start killing your families, your friends and another one any of you have associated with.’ He disappeared leaving them with this disturbing news, they all thought of their loved ones and feared for them. Except Razza, he thought about his family and family outside the party, and drew the conclusion that the one he liked can take this fool and the ones he doesn’t care for will… well what happens happens. That kid has issues.
As a majortiy, they were not willing to merely give this man the Tome and instead formulated a plan to deal with a powerful wizard. Seeking allies they headed for the Tower of the Bondsmagi, the wizard Silthian convinced that she could charm the powerful wizards into helping deal with the purple man. At the very least they could steal some spells or potions.
The group though was stonewalled by the Tower’s guardian golem, who wouldn’t let them in just to talk and insulted Silthian when she asked for initiation into the Tower. However when they mentioned Sheraptus they were surprised when the golem assumed they wanted to see him, and that the golem would call for Sheraptus.
A scant minute later and they were faced with the man who threatened to kill their families, the one who they had come to the tower for the, mostly, sole purpose of stopping. Sheraptus was not amused by the coincidence, he wasn’t much actually, and he simply cast a spell against the adventures before they could draw their weapons. Reducing each of them to the approximate size of a doll.
Unwilling to be deterred, the group fashioned togas from the scraps of their now giant clothing, and found a gap in the great door large enough to slip thru in their now tiny forms. Sheraptus was gone by the time they got in, and with the challenge that single stair now proved, things were going to be interesting.
It took them almost a quarter of the day to climb to the next floor, but fortunately this one had more opportunity then the entrance hall. They had come to the library, students weaved amongst the book stacks, studying and chatting in equal measures.
Pulling themselves onto a nearby desk with effort they tried to attract the attention of an awkward red haired boy. Suitably surprised and nervous, the boy never the less understood that things like this happened at the tower, though never before to him. He couldn’t provide much information on the ‘new visitor’ Sheraptus, just that the Archmage of the tower treated him as an honoured guest.
Derwent Fitzgerald, as the boy was called, could however be convinced that the adventurers needed assistance returning to their proper size, and perhaps that Sheraptus was a danger to the tower and needed to be dealt with. As long as the boy wasn’t involved in any fighting and the adventurers would in turn help him with his lady love at the tower. I can confirm that Derwent’s life did not get better from meeting these adventurers; he was in fact hung officially for stealing and then losing powerful potions for the adventurers, though officially as a scapegoat for their actions at large. A pitiable boy, but his actions did directly lead to the very dragon that appeared in our city.
I’m getting ahead of myself, now that the adventurers had enlisted Derwent’s help they sent him away to find out more about Sheraptus. However in doing so they now left themselves open to attack, fortunately it was only a cat that came for them.
Though you can imagine that even a cat with that kind of size discrepancy could well have been disastrous, it was only the natural gnomish skills of Ingrid Forestwalker that saved them all from having to fight a giant cat. They likely would have won, but almost being killed by a giant cat is not the sort of thing an adventurer wants to remember over ale. Utilising her ability to talk with animals she convinced the cat that they would bring it food if it would be patience and not cause a disturbance.
Sure enough when Derwent returned he found the cat quite calm around the small humanoids, as per the adventurers request he had procured a number of sharpish sewing needles. As well as the knowledge of where potions and poisons were kept in the tower as well as the likely location of Sheraptus’ room on the forbidden level, though the boy was squeamish about it. All together the party could enact their assassination plot, with the hope that doing so would break Sheraptus’ spell.
With only a slight detour to the kitchen for the cat’s meal, they set off for the potion’s vault, hidden in the hood of Derwent’s robe. In the potion’s room it was Silthian’s task to locate a suitably vile vial of posion. In a fit of inspiration and skill she also noted a small vial of a Potion of Dispelling, aware that a backup plan was needed in case Sheraptus’ spell doesn’t break upon his death. They grabbed two just in case, though in the back of her mind Silthian was already brewing together a gruesome plan.
The sound of footsteps signalled the time to leave, however they were unwilling to let this moment go without taking something for them. Thus noting that the more powerful potions, such as greater dispelling, seemed to be in the particularly small vials they also took one such vial at random. One that Silthian couldn’t identify, before Derwent had to leave, or they would be caught.
Now with everything they needed for the task Derwent took them to the entrance of the forbidden level. Located under the headmaster’s quarters it was likely the spare rooms for guests of the Tower, though it was so rarely used that students had concocted a number of ghost stories for the place and usually went up there to stare at the door in terror. Derwent would take his small charges no further; though the risk of being caught with a group of tiny assassins as they went about their business might have actually factored more than ghosts in this case.
With great care and caution, and a lot of time, the adventurers snuck into Sheraptus’ room. By passing both magical doors, a regular sized –corridor which to them was a great trek – and hiding from the ass kissing right hand to the Archmage.
Taking advantage of their stature they scurried underneath a wardrobe, and readied themselves to attack while he slept. They had to wait a while, as it was revealed in circumstances that left little to the imagination, the wizard Sheraptus and the warrior woman the Unscarred were lovers.
It wasn’t until eight hours laters that the two had finished, and another two hours to ensure the pair were deep asleep. It at least gave them time to sharpen their needles on the stone floor, and also brainstorm a plan of attack.
Uncorking the poison the group readied their needles, while Busta readied one vial of the Dispelling Potion to carry with them onto the bed. Scaling the sheets the carefully climbed onto the soft matress and positioned their tiny forms at specific places around Sheraptus. At his ears, neck, feet and eyes most of the party awaited the signal to stab the wizard with needles coated in a powerful poison. This would be the Plan B when they’re inevitably crazy Plan A failed, which would act as the signal to stab.
Busta readied himself on Sheraptus chest, watching the wizard mouth as he attempted to count out a rhythm. With vial of Dispelling Potion under one arm, and a sharp poisoned needle in the other, Busta leapt into Sheraptus’ mouth. His poison needle aiming for his uvula, though the lizardman fully expected to hit the teeth and stab his gums.
It was a fortunate surprise when Sheraptus’ breathed out at just the right second, allowing Busta to smoothly sail through his teeth to lodge in his throat. The wizard stirred quickly as he gagged on the lizardman shaped obstruction.
Acting quickly the others stabbed their needles deep into the Wizard’s exposed soft parts, intending to ensure the netherling was poisoned even when he spit Busta out. Meanwhile Busta himself uncorked the potion, though in the wet and awkward position he found himself, it was more likely he smashed the bottle over his head and drunk what splashed down.
Within seconds Busta expanded to his full seven foot stature, still within Sheraptus’ throat. It was the least clean decapitation to ever occur. Those still on the bed had to cover themselves or drown in the gore, fortunately within several seconds of his beheading –they say the head still stays alive for a time, bet this one had the rudest awakening –the spell was broken.
The adventurers returned to their normal size, though naked and due to the sudden size shift sprawled in a bit of a pile along with Sheraptus’ corpse (still better than the last group of adventurers to cause large scale damage to our city, those freak would have done something like for fun- in the biblical sense). It sounded incredibly disgusting, even for an assassination; I have it on good authority that at least Razza still has nightmares about the event.
The Unscarred was left unscathed from the event, however her body was thrown from the double bed, confused and covered in the red of her lover she blearily surveyed the scene in shock.
Her face, initially an expression of surprise, shifted quickly as she realised what had happened, however unlikely it could have been. The Unscarred’s expression was stuck between utter sorrow and pure horror, the expression when one can’t decide whether to scream or cry. However as her eyes began to show recognition, her face was the picture of rage.
Smashing through the door behind her she called for the guards, informing the entire tower of Sheraptus’ assassination. The adventurers were naked and had only seconds to flee, grabbing what they could in the room they leapt from the window, relying on skill to avoid a brutal death on the sharp rocks and roiling waves below.
Silthian’s Slow Fall carrying most of the group to safety, allowing them to safely protect their loot as they treaded water. However Razza was left with the damaged body of Busta –injured as he was in the events –unsure how much a good idea this was, he followed the others out of the window.
Clinging onto Busta’s body he extended what vestigial windows remained on his tengu form and prayed to Melantir for the wind to catch them. His god must have answered, because he and Busta were carried safely to the waters below. A relative definition of safety, considering the lizardman was now bleeding out into the water and the tower of the Bondsmagi was notoriously and intentionally shark infested.
It was the homunculi crew that came to their rescue, driving the boat they picked up the adventurers and pulled Busta from the water for Ingrid to heal. As soon as Moxy had half-ways regained her breath, she ordered the homunculi to set sail, in order to put a lot of distance between the Tower of Bondsmagi and them.
Fortunately the homunculi had collected their gear, previously over-sized now regular sized, and brought it to the boat. Everyone felt a lot more comfortable with clothes on and, more importantly, weapons in hand. In addition Razza could finally stop radiating that subtle superiority about that fact that he needed only his hands to kill.
As they sailed out to open sea, Silthian took count of their loot. In addition to the cursed amulet, which Moxy promptly recovered, loose gold and the like they were amazed to find Sheraptus’ spell book. The mildly power lustful wizard she was, Silthian promptly began to absorb its contents the best she could, pausing only to identify a magical amulet and ring which Busta and Razza were arguing over. That ring in particular was an enchanted Ring of Regen, which Razza will not shut up about if you get him onto the topic.
When they had finally recovered the group came to the decision that the Tome of the Undergates needed to be destroyed, and quickly. However the Windy Peaks were still weeks by sail, they decided on a plan to make use of the book for once and thus turned around to dock at Dwarvheim.
They stopped to resupply before heading to the church, though primarily Silthian and Moxy wished to find an alchemist or apothecary to identify their mystery potion. Loathe as Silthian was to admit that it was beyond her talents. The herb woman they found kicked them out of her shop at the first sign of the potion. That should have been their first clue, but alas.
Unwilling to waste any more time asking around, the group convened at the Church of Melantir and met with their trusted compatriot Father Bumpo.
With the Tome they planned to form a dimensional portal to take them into the plane of Melantir herself, hoping for a boon to aid them or a celestial envoy to help protect the Tome on its journey to the Windy Peaks. Aware of the danger however, they requested a secure room, hidden deep within the church and barricaded while they kept the gate open.
The priest prepared a room especially for them, warding the room to prevent the event being scried or otherwise seen or sense by malevolent forces. The more able bodied Razza and Busta used cupboards and spare pews inside the room to barricade the door from the inside while the others opened the gate.
The dimensional gate proved quite easy to summon in fact, so much so they were a little wary about traveling through. It was decided that initially only Azavir would travel through the gate, connected with a safety line in case they opened the gate to the wrong plane. Assuming it was safe, the more diplomatically minded Ingrid and Moxy followed.
Considered this might well be the only time they would see their god’s plane in person, Azavir offered to let Razza come into the portal as well, though he technically wasn’t needed. However Razza, who had not been comfortable with opening a direct connection into Melantir’s heavenly plane, was convinced something would come for them and thus to guard it from this side. In his head he was prepared to close the gate in the worst case scenario, it’s not as if his friends would be trapped anywhere bad as he assured our spy. Though it seemed he knew no-one would agree with this method, and wisely kept quiet.
Azavir entered through the portal and found himself in a shimmering ocean, the sea literally flecked with gold. To his surprise he could breathe, and move easily through the water, it was even a pleasant temperature for him. Surfacing he found that the sea was filled with giant, ornate trading vessels.
Returning to the portal he gestured for the others to come in, together all three surfaced. The first thing they saw was one of the large and ornate trading vessels right above, the largest and most ornate of the fleet, which seemed to be getting more impressive by the second. Despite the fact that the vessels had been on the horizon when Azavir had dived down.
Taking the rope which dropped from the ship, the three climbed on board. They were greeted by an impressive crew composed of seemingly every species imaginable, as well as a shining woman whose airs seemed to command attention in the nicest way possible.
Believing the woman to be an angel of Melantir, Azavir bowed with all the respect he had and explained they were there to ask a boon of the goddess Melantir in their quest to destroy an artefact of terrible power.
The woman, who proved in this conversation to be quite the ditz understood, and at some point realising it was impolite to speak before introducing herself sighed dreamily and introduced herself as Melantir. Azavir managed to recover from his heart attack in time to fall to his knees, rather than outright faint and began heaping praise on the goddesses. She calmly, but firmly, asked him to stop that and the tiefling fell silent immediately.