Shattered Star

Session 50: The Final Show Down
Chapter Six: The Dead Heart of Xin
 
Talus, Krom, Akrem, and Eililea, and Talus walked into the enormous laboratory that was Xin’s; First of the Runelords. He had foreseen his death, and so he had hatched a plan that would resurrect him so that he might become more of a machine, rather than a man; twisted and evil. His spirit rested upon the golden throne as Vicious and Delicious entered, for what would be the ultimate battle.
 
The Three Legged Machine known as the Reliquary that housed the spirit of Xin attacked with delight, while the minions of Xin did the same.  The battle was a long one, but yet again the heroes emerged victorious. And as Xin’s cry of defeat echoed through the halls, his palace began to collapse. Karzoug was finally able to teleport into the hall, where there he opened a portal for the heroes to escape the wreckage.
 
Karzoug and indeed all of Magnamar were truly grateful for the hero’s aid in stopping the Rise of the First Runelord. A statue was erected in their honor, next to the current one. This time however, Mayor Grobus was not a part of it.
 
After several weeks of helping Magnamar rebuild, the Four were again approached by Karzoug. He reiterated the danger he had spoken of regarding another Runelord Zutha who was on the verge of rising within the Mindspin Mountains. It was there that an army of orcs had been called to the side of Thulos, a Taiga giant who had bested Karzoug once in the past.
 
Karzoug asked the heroes if they would be willing to accompany him on this last adventure to stop Zutha’s awakening and the spread the undead armies across Varisia that would follow. Each of the heroes nodded in turn. As of course did Sivis.
 
And so it was, that Vicious, Delicious, and Krom ventured forth on one last Crusade to save the world from one last encroaching evil.
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Session 49: Walk of Conquest
Chapter Six: The Dead Heart of Xin
 
The heroes ascended the stairs to an enormous room filled with clockwork statues, gears, mechanical joints, and hundreds of other metal pieces. This seemed to be a huge storage room where Xin had stored many of his clockwork trophies. Talus was the only one to notice the clockwork dragon hiding in the cogs several feet in the air. She alerted her friends just as the dragon breathed forth a line of fire that scorched Akrem and Krom. Talus was frustrated that the dragon was high up. She also noticed Xin’s spirit inhabit the dragon. Silverfang hummed with hunger, and Talus longed for the dragon to descend. In short order, the dragon did just that after sending spells out to harass the heroes. And as the battle wore on, it was evident that even the might of a dragon made of metal was no match for Vicious and Delicious as it fell and exploded.
 
They began exploring room after room, finding trapped denizens, disabling traps, and learning more and more about Xin thanks to the Flamma Horalacrum. Some of that knowledge included how he experimented with creating true life and how he had failed miserably in the attempt. Eililea realized that perhaps taking a piece of the simulacrum golem and showing Xin his failure, that it may have some sort of effect on the dead King. Eililea also saw the betrayal of the Runelords as they assassinated their worldly leader, triggering the destruction of Xin while also activating the contingency of his resurrection when the Sihedron would one day be reassembled my some unassuming adventurers.
 
With each victory, the heroes became more and more confident in their quest. Another vision showed Eililea how to activate portals which would eventually take them to their goal. After a final fight against Shasthaak, the risen rune giant to had struck the killing blow upon Xin, the heroes sensed that beyond the next door, they would encounter Xin himself.
And so, they began preparing their spells for the final epic battle…
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Session 48: Rise of a Runelord
Chapter Six: The Dead Heart of Xin
 
The heroes looked on as the enormous Shriezyx began slaughtering people. It then looked at the heroes with its six beaming eyes, and charged in. Eililea quickly used a new ability as she combined her soul and Brin’s into a god-like entity. The shriezyx then lunged at Talus, biting her on the throat and clawing her intestines out. Karzoug, now powerless, summoned Sivis to him. The snake transformed into a magical glaive, from which Karzoug reenergized his powers. With the power of a Runelord, the Devine Eililea, and Krom throwing napalm arrows, the shriezyx fell within a few seconds.
 
The air was filled with crying cityfolk as they mourned over their fallen family and friends. Clerics of Abadar scrambled around, healing the injured at a nominal charge. Akrem then noticed something odd as the waves began getting larger and larger. He realized that the earthquake might have provoked a tsunami. Sure enough, Talus saw on the horizon a huge tidal wave coming closer and closer to Magnimar. Akrem yelled out to the people around to run, and 360 people heard his warning. Eililea decided that she could protect herself and her friends if they went into the Irespan. Krom and Talus did all they could to encourage people to flee into the Irespan with them. Eililea then used a dome of ice to seal it from the approaching water.
As the wave finally hit, many lives were saved thanks to Vicious and Delicious quick thinking. Many more however perished as the waters crashed down upon the city, smashing bodies or bringing them out into the waters where the reef sharks gorged on writhing flesh.
 
The wave brought more than just death to Magnimar. It also brought to the shores many twitching mechanical arms and legs, cogs, and other metal appendages. It also brought several horrors to Magnimar as three huge clockwork leviathans began crushing buildings and swallowing people. In another part of town, another creature with the face of an angel, but with writhing tentacles and four wolf heads began ravaging the docks. It seemed the biggest of the threats were the leviathans and so the heroes left the Scylla demon to do what she wanted.
The battle with the leviathans was a difficult one. Akrem nearly found himself swallowed whole, but he used his raging strength to push aside the maw. The fight was a bloody, but in the end everyone was alive.
 
Karzoug then explained what was going on. He said that Xin, the First Runelord was a master of constructs. Ten thousand years ago, the Seven Runelords that served him decided that the aging Xin had outlived his time. Together, they sent their greatest warriors to assassinate Xin. They succeeded, but when Xin perished, his island sank to the bottom of the sea. It seemed that such an act might have been foreseen by Xin. Somehow, with the reforging of the Sihedron, he had come back from the dead, and his island fortress had risen from the sea bed. Karzoug said that Xin had to be stopped or he would overrun Varisia with constructs. There was also the probability that Xin might hunt down Karzoug and the other Runelords who had betrayed him. Kazoug gave the heroes advice on what they might need and offered them equipment to help in the battles to come. He suggested they take a few hours to prepare for what might be the ultimate battle.
 
The heroes went their separate ways. Of note, Akrem went back to Marou for one final tryst. Eililea went to Wilhelm’s grave and sent a prayer to his soul. Suddenly a glowing blade appeared, similar to the mindblade her friend had so often summoned. It was a blade she could use. And it was one she knew would bypass any armorer skin. Karzoug provided a Vorpal Longsword to Talus at her request. Soon, the heroes were again assembled with new gear, and the Sihidron artifact to combat Xin and his army.
 
Vicious and Delicious soon arrived at the Isle of the First King Xin. They faced off against a trio of aboleths before entered through the front door of the central Crystal Tower. On the other side, three elves greeted the heroes. All three elves spoke in unison. They said the Master was conducting research and could not be disturbed. Karzoug identified the elves as Axiomites. No heads rolled, but the axiomites were easily dispatched.
 
The next room was an enormous throne room. The floor was a transparent glass that showed the below level as being flooded and containing hundreds of constructs standing at attention. Sitting in the single throne was none other than King Xin himself. He stood up on old but steady legs and accused the heroes as being traitors for they stood beside one of the greatest traitors of all time: Karzoug. He said that he would destroy them all and claim the new world as his own as the divinations from Lissala had foretold.
 
With that, his form changed into a fearsome ghostly apparition. That apparition entered a nearby construct, animating it and five others. The battle took its toll, but with the help of a few disintegrates from Karzoug and their combined might, they defeated the Xin Legionnaires. One thing that the heroes noticed was that Silverfang had a very damaging effect on the legionnaire construct which Xin and inhabited. As that construct fell, Xin’s spirit dissipated, but was clearly not dead.
 
Near the throne, Eililea found a crystal ball with a blazing flame at its interior. Karzoug took one look and said he believed it to be the Flamma Horacalum. It was a device that sometimes gave its possessor visions of the past, present, or future. As Eililea held it aloft, a spiral stairs magically appeared leading both up and down.
 
She then received a vision from the Flamma Horacalum: She saw a young Xin holding aloft a large diamond while thousands of dedicated Thassilonians looked on. The diamond then sunk into the ground and a huge crystal tower appeared in its place. The crowd cheered at the spectacle. The vision then fast forwards ten thousand years. During that time, the spirit of Xin fell to despair, then madness and finally frustration. That soon turns to elation as the Isle of Xin rises to the surface. A strange three-legged machine with a skeleton trapped inside leads an army of clockwork soldiers that quickly overrun all of Magnimar. A reborn Xin sits upon the Throne of Magnimar.
 
There were other rooms to explore and so the party decided to scout these out. The first one room had several pillars of glowing light and each had what appeared to be a body trapped within. Two dread wraiths sprung from them, but Silverfang was up to the task in destroying them. The Flamma revealed Xin sitting on his throne and listening to his servants begging for aid. Xin then ages drastically and he imprisons those servants in living stone. In the room they came across a strange artifact called a spellwell which contained all the transmutation spells.
The next room they entered was a workshop. It was guarded by a Thelgaunt. It resembled a huge spider with tentacles sprouting from its back. Karzoug mentioned what the beast was immune to and vulnerable to. The fight again was a rough one and this time Vicious and Delicious fled the room.
 
The rest of the rooms were scouted out on the first level, with battles that are not worth the paper to pen them upon.
 
The last vision that the Flamma did reveal was how Xin had channeled some of his life force into the Sihidron.
 
They heroes did find a cursed robe that Karzoug disintegrated. With no other rooms to explore on the first floor, and the lower level flooded, they decided to ascend the stairs…
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Session Summary 47: The Sehidron
Chapter Six: The Dead Heart of Xin
 
After Vicious and Delicious and Krom licked their wounds, they prepared to attack Cadrilkasta again. This time they knew what they were up against. They knew as well that no amount of preparation would make this an easy fight. Sure enough, the fight was a long one. In the end, this time the heroes stood upon the bloody corpse of the blue dragon, and claimed the final piece of the Shattered Star. It had taken a mere three weeks to find all seven shards.
Arriving in Magnamar, the heroes rejoiced in their accomplishment. The Reforging ceremony would be held the following day, and Eililea was asked to participate. She accepted, despite what it involved. Karzoug too, would be participating.
Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras made a speech to the delight of all the onlookers. He then revealed a statue to Vicious and Delicious honor. It depicted Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras holding the Sihedron in hand, while the Heroes looked up to him in awe.
As the thousands of onlookers stood in silence, the 7 spellcasters channeled their energy through an ancient ritual. The Shattered Star finally was made whole and became The Sehidron. Songs were written on the spot, journals were filed by the Pathfinder Society, and the Scarni Thieves Guild looked about to ensure no one would dare steal such an artifact.
Suddenly, the earth began to shake. And earthquake like no other struck Magnamar, City of Monuments. Karzoug then hunched over as pain overwhelmed him. He could sense something, a presence he had not felt for 10,000 years.
Xin!
The High King of Azlant that the Seven Runelords had united and slain had somehow come back to life. His wrath hit directly to the heart of Karzoug and indeed all the Runelords, whether awaken, dead, or slumbering. In truth, the re-forging of the Sihedron had been planned before Xin had been slain. The old monarch had foreseen the betrayal of his underlings, and so had come up with an unholy way to one day rise up and retake Azlant.
 
This the heroes would discover soon enough. At the moment, they had a more pressing matter as an enormous Shriezyx emerged from the Irespan piling, killing everyone in reach with it’s claws.  
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Session 46: Cadrilkasta
Chapter Five: Into the Nightmare Rift
 
AKREM used the fountain portal, teleporting to the Plane of Leng; KARZOUG’s preference to go when plotting Golarion’s domination. AKREM found himself on a cliff face, a large yawning cave beckoning for exploration. Below the cliff, clouds hid an unknown drop of many hundreds of feet. From one direction came a swarm of 16 Nightgaunts, flying on dark wings. They swooped in, grabbed AKREM, and dropped him into the clouds. His body fell 200 feet, before landing on another cliff edge, where there he lay broken and bleeding, but alive.
 
KROM then suddenly appeared. He looked around but did not see any AKREM. He did see the Nightgaunts however and Flamestriked their flying arses. Six of the Nightgaunts died in the conflagration of holy might, and flaming death. The survivors swooped in at KROM, but his agility saved him from a flyby drop-to-death.
 
TALUS then arrived on the rocky outcropping. She seemed a little off from the height she realized she was at. She saw only KROM as he pierced a dark flying creature with an arrow and killing it. A Nightgaunt flew in, grabbed KROM and flung KROM off the cliff edge. TALUS took out her crossbow, took a bead on an injured one, and hit it in the face, dropping it dead.
 
EILILEA then appeared. She was used to the nausea that planar travel instilled, and so was quick to react to the situation at hand. She used a Fireball from her wand, immolating all but two of the Nightgaunts. BRINthen flew up and took the survivors out. The Dragon then flew down and picked up the fallen comrades below. After some healing spells, they were ready to continue forth.
 
TALUS scouted out the cave, passing by statues of Sphinxes, and passing through a pair of huge double doors that had been recently ripped from their hinges by draconic claws. She also noticed a pair of Ghouls running off in the darkness. TALUS was quick on her feet, caught up to one, and stabbed it in the back. The Ghoul screeched in pain. Both the Ghouls and TALUS were now in a room with many sets of doors. The Ghouls turned around and attacked the Dhampir with feeble claws that were easily avoided.
 
EILILEA and BRIN moved up, with the summoner still trailing behind as her Stone of Weight dragged her down. KROM moved in closer, his bow humming and a Ghoul screeching as an arrow pierced its flesh. AKREMthen charged in, his axe cleaving the soulless Ghoul dead. TALUS then pierced the second one in the head with Silverfang, dropping it and ending the fight.
 
TALUS then listened at the doors. She heard gnawing on the other side of one set. After unlocking the door, she opened the way to move in. Within, they stumbled upon a larger group of Ghouls. The undead looked at TALUS and shirked back in a corner, obviously fearful of the intruders. TALUS reached for Silverfang but her fingers seemed to slip on the bloody hilt.
 
KROM took out an Undead Bane arrow and impaled a Ghoul through its chest. EILILEA then Magic Missiled the same undead. BRIN moved in, getting closer to the action. The Ghouls then surrounded TALUS and they clawed and bit at her. She dodged most of their attacks, but three Ghouls latched onto her throat and each bit out a nice chunk of flesh. AKREMthen charged in, letting his rage guide him as he greataxed a fresh Ghoul. TALUS turned around and stabbed that same Ghoul in the chest, dropping it dead. She then turned and stabbed another one in the face, dropping a second Ghoul. The rest of the ghouls screamed out: “No more, no more, we surrender.”
 
Vicious and Delicious refused to listen.
 
KROM impaled a Ghoul with arrows, EILILEA moved up closer, and AKREM sliced a Ghoul to near death. The terrified Ghouls tried to retaliate, their claws were parried aside and the heroes simply decimated the remaining Ghouls. Looking at the bones, KROM noticed that some of the bones scattered about were fresh, while others seemed to be old.
 
The next room TALUS scouted out contained six sarcophagi. TALUSquickly went to one and plunged Silverfang through the wood and into the flesh below. As she withdrew her blade, she noticed no blood. She opened the lid to see what she had skewered, and found a dead man who had been dead for several days. She called in her friends and EILILEA was able to determine that the sarcophagi were magic and that they teleported bodies to feed the Ghouls.
 
Going through another door, and disabling a trap upon it, the heroes continued forth. The door led into a wintery wonderland with snow gently falling upon the bough of the many trees. They entered this seemingly unimaginable place. EILILEA didn’t believe what she was looking at and tried to see through what she thought was unreal; only to open her eyes to the same forest around her.
 
TALUS started scouting ahead. She felt the tickle upon her mind as though someone trying to enchant her mind, but her experience pushed it aside. She called her friends close to her and explained what had happened, putting everyone on guard for an unseen foe. TALUS looked through the branches and spied a very large Spider. She also noticed a sarcophagus a little ways further in the woods.
 
The Dhampir fired her crossbow, and watched as the bolt passed through the illusionary Spider. EILILEA identified the arachnid as a Leng Spider, which was a master of illusion. TALUS decided to move towards the sarcophagus. What she saw was the carving of the Demilich they had fought. AKREM then felt a tickle in his mind. His thoughts were turned inside out and he became insane. 
 
TALUS tried to open the sarcophagi but it seemed that it was impregnable. AKREM hammered KROM with a massive slam due to the magic that had taken hold of his actions.  BRIN smelled something funny above, so EILILEA cast Glitterdust which revealed the invisible Spider above and the webs it was clinging to. BRIN went to a tree and began climbing, but had trouble grabbing the tree trunk. KROM shot the Spider with his bow, but the arrow bounced off of its chitinous hide. The Leng Spider then moved towards TALUS, dropping down in front of her. Silverfang flashed out and made the Spider bleed, but the wound quickly healed up. It then used its web flail, but TALUS dodged it aside. The dhampir then stabbed the Spider through one of its legs, breaking it. She stabbed a second time, right into the brain, stunning the Spider.
 
AKREM attacked and missed BRINEILILEA then tried to Dispel the Confusion but the spell failed. TALUS stabbed the Spider through its brain again and again, trying to bring the arachnid down. AKREM again missed BRIN who was now using his wings to defend himself. EILILEA then fired a few Magic Missiles at the Spider. KROM hit the Spider with a cold iron arrow. The Spider then retaliated on TALUS, but the broken leg got in the way. TALUS stabbed the Leng Spider one last time, and finally the Spider fell dead. The forest around then faded away into nothingness. BRIN then grappled AKREM to the ground and KROM knocked the barbarian out.
 
After about a half hour of chiseling the lid on the sarcophagus, they were able to open it and took the treasure within. One of the things that most interested the heroes was a Heal scroll which EILILEA used on AKREM to heal the insanity.
 
The adventurers continued on, arriving at a summoning chamber. They faced off against 4 Moon Beasts, but they were able to vanquish them with ease. Within the pool of the room was a gargantuan Shoggoth; a tentacled terror that, had it been summoned, would have been the end of all humanity. As the heroes looked on, the Shoggoth’s life force began dwindling away until it was nothing but a pile of sludge. There remained only a hole in the wall, which had been obviously torn out by the Dragon.
 
TALUS scouted out the tunnel, before arriving outside on a cliff edge similar to where they had entered. High above, thunderclouds roiled while upon the ground, on a great mound of wealth, was a huge White Dragon. This seemed odd as the Dragon they were looking for was blue. TALUSnoticed that clutched in the Dragon’s claw was the shard they sought. The Dragon appeared to be sleeping. TALUS gave the all clear whistle.
 
When Suddenly: the White Dragon reared its head an blew a lightning blast from its gullet. All the heroes were electrocuted save for TALUS who jumped out of the way. CADRILKASTA then thanked the heroes for bringing her the rest of the Shattered Star.
 
AKREM used his Haste Boots and ran at the Dragon, hitting it hard and breaking one of its ribs. TALUS then moved in, striking a mighty sting with Silverfang but the blade bounced off of scales. BRIN then pounced and bit the Dragon with its maw. He then tail slapped the Dragon in the face. The Dragon’s brain bounced left and right in its skull, causing a concussion. EILILEA then cast Dispel Magic, which dispelled the Disguise Self  on the Dragon and showing the blue scales beneath the illusion. KROM then took out his Dragon Bane arrows, but the arrow bounced off of scales. The slothful Dragon then activated its electricity aura around itself and its frightful presence that sent everyone but KROM and EILILEA running. CADRILKASTA then called forth a bolt of lightning from the sky that jolted KROM more than the breath weapon he had just taken in the chest. For its final act, CADRILKASTA cast a Prismatic Spray upon the heroes. KROM resisted the blue petrification ray. BRINtook a crackling yellow ray to the heart,  stopping it. TALUS dodged a yellow ray, and a violet ray that would have sent her to another plane. AKREM then took an orange ray to the chest that melted muscle and bone.
 
With TALUS and KROM now running back into the Temple of Crawling Chaos, AKREM and EILILEA fled with their companions; leaving CADRILKASTA to rest up for round Two…
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Summary 45: The Bhole
Chapter Five: Into the Nightmare Rift
 
The Bhole breathed forth a cone of slime that stunned TALUS and EILILEA and entangled them. The fight seemed impossible, and indeed it was as poor KROM was swallowed and digested over a thousand seconds.
 
Eventually the surviving heroes left the room and debated what they wanted to do. They did notice that as the left, the Bhole retreated back into the mist. They also knew that they were simply over matched the colossal being.
 
It was finally decided that perhaps the other rooms might yield something; ANYTHING; to help their situation. TALUS moved into the shadows and scouted out a few rooms, leaving the lightning room alone. The first room she came across had a strange floating stone in the center of it. It appeared that it had a key hole, but there was no sign of a key.
 
Passing by the fountain, she entered the next room which seemed to be filled with glittery sand. In the middle of the sand, it was clear that a great draconic claw had gouged out a portion of the sands.
 
The next room revealed two braziers: one purple and one green. From a grate in the floor, two mists appeared, transforming themselves into an Astral Deva Angel and a Nalfeshnee Demon. The later said that the Demon’s and Angel’s minds had been switched. The former said that was not true, and to tip the purple brazier to kill the Nalfeshnee Demon. After some more dialog, the heroes chose wisely and eliminated the Deva-Demon my tipping over the green brazier. The Demon-Deva was then able to help the heroes with a little bit of information, including the fact that a ritual was needed to activate the fountain portal. She also suggested that the Bhole could be defeated with the help of the lightning room. Within the lightning room was a machine that stopped Teleportation. The best strategy was to get the Bhole to hit the machine, thereby electrocuting itself.
 
EILILEA cast Displacement on AKREM who moved into the Abyssal Core in the lightning room. Lightning flashed all around as be readied himself for the Bhole. And indeed it appeared and attacked the mute barbarian time and time again. Angels summoned my EILILEA were able to heal up AKREMs wounds as he was slammed by the Bhole time and time again. There were however times when the Displacement worked inAKREM’s favor and each time the Bhole cried out in pain as its bulk hit the machine and eventually destroying itself and the machine. The explosion of the machine nearly took the remaining life force out of the man from the north. It also but an end to the Dimensional Lock that prevented Teleportation.
 
The next room was the most revelationist of all within, as TALUS found a Ghoul named MORCRUFT.  TALUS attacked the Ghoul right away, before suffering a return claw attack that bounced off Stoneskin armor. The Ghoul screamed out that he knew the ritual to get out of the realm. That was enough for TALUS to call his invisible friends over. MORCRUFTsaid that in order to activate the portal you needed to get the ritual from the floating orb, after activating it with the key which had been stolen by a floating skull. One then only needed to anoint oneself with the glittery sands to teleport away.
 
The last room, the heroes faced off against a Demilich who had possession of the key to the Whispering Sphere. The fight was a tough one, but not nearly as much as the fight against the Bhole. Soon, the heroes had the key, ritual, and sand. They decided to go back to the chamber holding the Dragon’s horde in the water.
 
They then Teleported away to the Magnamar to get KROM resurrected. After a good night sleep, a Heal to get rid of TALUS’s schizophrenia and another to restore AKREM’s mind, the heroes went back and activated the fountain…
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Summary 44: The Lake of Fear
Chapter Five: Into the Nightmare Rift
 
The underground lake was massive, as was the denizen that dwelled within.  They travelled to a nearby island where there they met some friendly Nagas. They were making a portal to leave, not knowing that such a thing was impossible. 
 
As the heroes ventured further into the giant cavern, the Mother of Oblivion reared up from the waters with maw and tentacles. The fight was a long one, but the heroes again were able to vanquish their foe.
 
They continued on and were met by a Drow scout who brought them to her mistress XAIVANSHEE. The priestess said that she wanted the Shard of Sloth to complete a religious ritual. She offered information in return for a brief moment with the Shard which was needed to complete it. The heroes agreed, and so she told them of the Dragon who currently possessed the Shard of Sloth and who had flown down a concealed passage on a nearby island.
 
They followed in the winged menace’s trail, which soon brought them into a huge room with many doors, one of which sounded like there was a storm within. In the middle of the central room was a pit filled with mist. 
 
And from that mist emerged the most ferocious worm-type creature they had ever seen.
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Summary 43: The Curator
Chapter Five: Into the Nightmare Rift
 
After the fight against the two Water Elementals, the party found themselves banged up. A few healing wands and spells were passed around, allowing for further exploration. TALUS scouted left, entering in a room dedicated to the old gods. A pair of waterfalls spewing forth waters on either side of the room were in homage to the Aboleth society of old.  An alter with a crown and a horn also were symbols to the Old Ones.
 
Suddenly, TALUS found herself surrounded on all sides by water. The crushing depths made it hard to breath. Before her, an Aboleth suddenly appeared. At first she thought this to be an illusion, but the stinging tentacles proved otherwise. The Aboleth then let forth a mucous-like substance that entered into TALUS’s lungs. And like magic, the Dhampir could breathe water! She used Silverfang to inflict critically inducing wounds. Soon the Aboleth was dead and TALUS was returned to the room she came from. All she had experienced had transpired within a few seconds.
 
TALUS then began chocking as she could no longer breathe air. Her friends looked on as mucous vomited from her mouth, and she mouthed the word “water.” KROM conjured several gallons of water to give the rogue a mouthful of water. TALUS then jumped into the nearest pool of water. EILILEA was able to identify what she was suffering from. KROM used a Break Enchantment scroll but it did nothing to ally the effects. After a few minutes, the effects wore off.
 
As they did, the CURATOR appeared. He said they had disturbed the sacred waterfalls and now would perish. The Ghost proved to be one of the most deadly opponents they had ever faced as it’s spells turned KROM to stone, nearly killed TALUS with a green poison ray, sent AKREM into a Hungry Pit that continuously ate him, and harassed EILILEA and BRINwith spells. It was thanks to  summoned creatures and their Lightning Bolts that won the battle.
 
When all was said and done, they had a companion who was stone and partially melted, while everyone else was either out of spells or near death. TALUS called for SIVIS who always seemed to have a link with KARZOUG. He agreed to help out if EILILEA agreed to apologize for being the biggest fat bitch in the world. After some back and forth arguing with TALUSEILILEA agreed. After a few hours, SIVIS returned from the Familiar Pocket with a Stone Salve. This was used to bring petrified KROM back to living flesh.
 
TALUS was extremely angry as she believed they had not in fact disturbed anything. She thus went on a mission to recuperate every treasure they had left behind. And that is what the party did.
 
The next room that TALUS scouted was a room with an altar. She shook her head at the dizziness she felt before suddenly realizing she was being held aloft by a pair of Gargoyles. Below her was a 5 mile drop. And indeed the Gargoyles dropped her. She felt her sanity escape her as schizophrenia took over her mind. With nothing to be done, they party was forced to move on.
 
They passed through a room where the CURATOR’s bones were stashed. Within the ribs, a ball of demonic light began emerging. It was clear that the CURATOR was slowly reforming. EILILEA estimated it would take 24 hours for the CURATOR to regenerate.
 
The next set of doors opened into a magnificent mansion! Unseen Servantsreadied to  greet the visitors, dinner was prepared, slippers and robes were passed around, and TALUS broke her own nose. And so, in the darkest of dungeons, Vicious and Delicious found a wondrous sanctuary to rest up and relax for a few hours before moving on.
 
A pair of doors let to a huge corridor with hundreds of columns in the form of faceless angels. KROM and AKREM took the lead, and after a while, came to a window that dissected the entire corridor. Both KROM and AKREM suddenly saw an army of jackal-headed warriors being led by an immense Sphinx through a mountain range. KROM felt his mind wander away, but was quick to return to reality. AKREM however found his mind lost to the image, and he fell under the effects of a Feeblemind with no hope of recovering.
 
They continued traveling down the corridor for another 3 miles before all but EILILEA noticed two columns that were not attached to the ceiling. These were in fact Caryadid Columns. The battle was quick, as they were able to dispose of the constructs with ease.
 
After another 2 miles, the party came to a huge underground lake. Pilings sprouted from the depths as though there had once been a bridge leading to a far off island. AKREM grunted as he felt the pull of the Shard of Sloth nearby. Yet sadly, the Feeblemind had sapped all of his intelligence and charisma.
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Summary 42: The Museum of Guiltspur
Chapter Five: Into the Nightmare Rift
 
As the heroes arrived back in Maganamar, it was clear that celebrations were in preparation for the forging of theShattered Star. Dignitaries from as far away as Xian Tia were scheduled to arrive and witness one of the greatest events in history. Obviously the Pathfinder’s had sent their bards far and wide with the adventures that Vicious and Delicious had been through. They spend a few days relaxing, but AKREM could not resist the pull of the Shard of Wrath. It told him to return to Guiltspur. And so, after a last plate of pancakes; the heroes returned to where several of them had nearly perished.

There seemed to be only 2 places to explore. EILILEA hadBRIN dug out the collapsed passage. They passed a large stone, made of the same material that Guiltspur was constructed from. They then made it to a hole that was covered with mist. There was no way to see the bottom of the hole, so TALUS jumped in, relying on her Feather Fall ring.BRIN meanwhile flew EILILEA and AKREM down.KROM took a Flight spell. When they arrived 60 feet down, they found the broken and nearly dead body of TALUS. It seemed as though she had fallen from a great distance.

The mist Dispelled all magic and magical effects temporarily. This was quite the unwanted effect as the heroes were now in a library, facing a pair of scorpion-like Skull Rippers. The battle was a fierce one, but they emerged victorious. That gave them the time to explore the library they were currently in. EILILEA Detected Magic in a few places. When reaching for the scrolls however, TALUS warned her not to touch them. She said that during the battle she had seen a Ghost who had warned her not to disturb anything.

They began exploring, going from a room with 6 faceless statues holding swords. From there, they came to a pair of double doors, and a passage going left and right. TALUS led the way to the left passage, where there she came face to face with a stone Sphinx. As she met it’s gave, she felt the world crumble around her. She was alone, in the endless space. All around her, stars hid the malevolence of time. Soon the image faded and she found herself a little Confused.AKREM tackled her to the ground before she could stab anyone.

They soon entered an ancient laboratory with several large vials containing fearsome creatures, including a Roper and a Dragon. TALUS went to the double doors, and discovered a sonic trap that most assuredly would have destroyed the vials, and perhaps the heroes in the battle. Luckily TALUSwas able to disable the trap.

The next room had a huge waterfall that plunged into a fountain. From the water emerged two huge Water Elementals. The watery beasts were able to absorb a lot of damage, but they had never dealt with Vicious and Delicious who were able to slay the Elementals.

And so the heroes continued their search for the Shard of Sloth.
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Summary 41: Eililea’s Show
Chapter Five: Into the Nightmare Rift
 
The battle in the corridor continued as BRIN continued his massacre of Hill Giants, while TALUS and EILILEA did all they could to aid him. Acid Arrows flew from the summoner’s hands to melt flesh, while Silverfang flashed in the fire light, bringing mortal pain from perfectly placed stabs to vital areas.

Down below, AKREM and KROM had dealt with the Trolls, but were now dealing with the added threat of three Rift Drakes that were flying by and attacking, or breathing their acid breath. AKREM scaled the wall to get closer to them, and let his guisarme cut away Draconic flesh.

EILILEA heard the cries of pain from the hole, and so eventually decided TALUS had enough help from BRIN. She jumped into the pit, taking out her Immovable Rod as she approached the tri-section of the shoot. Her momentum started carrying her towards the left shoot, and so she used the rod to stop her slide and aimed for the center where he heard her friends suffering pains. As she hit the floor, she heard another cry of pain, this one from BRIN. Her distance from her summoned friend had become too far, and he had lost half his life force because of this. 

As the battle wore on, EILILEA felt BRIN’s life force continue to dwindle. She transferred her own life force to save him, but alas it was not enough, and the remaining Giants were able to destroy the mighty Dragon. Now the summoner was locked eye to maw of a Rift Drake. She quickly sent a Baleful Polymorph at the Drake who then became a Pigeon thanks to the magical spell.

Noticing her friends now had the situation under control, she Dimension Doored back up to help TALUS. As she appeared, she noticed TALUS down and bleeding to death, with three smiling Hill Giants standing over her limp body.EILILEA thus went into her Dino knowledge and summoned a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex. The carnivore swallowed a Giant whole, and bit a second one in two. The remaining Giant simply looked up in shock, and terror, and charged at KROM. The Tyrannosaurus Rex did not hesitate to lash out and bit the Giant’s head off.

The battle was finally over.

It had been without a doubt the most difficult battle they had faced. TALUS was out, BRIN was gone, AKREM was near to passing out, and both EILILEA and KROM were critically injured. KROM thus conjured a Pillar of Life to heal up everyone’s wounds. They then heard the plaintive cries of a Hill Giant in the cell next to the one with the Trolls.EILILEA was able to Dimension Door TOGBAD to the surface. The Hill Giant was so very thankful for his freedom and gave TALUS a slight pat on the shoulder which dislocated her shoulder! TOGBAD was warned not to touch anyone again. The Hill Giant agreed and said he would join the party to take down Chief JUBAKK. He also warned that there was a corridor to the left which led to a cursed area.

The door towards JUBAKK was locked, so TALUS askedTOGBAD to bash open the door which he did. TALUS was the first into the round room. She noticed the floor was made out of wood. She also remarked the corridorTOGBAD had warned them about. To the right was a room full of cushions.  As well, from the shadows, a Panther began stalking the Dhampir.  TALUS then called for the T-Rex. And as the T-Rex entered the room with the wooden floor, the floor collapsed under all the weight. Time seemed to pause as TALUS tried to scramble to fall atop the T-Rex to cushion her fall, while the T-Rex tried to do the same toTALUS.

The T-Rex won.

TALUS found herself crushed to near death as 14000 pounds of Dinosaur fell upon the Dhampir.

From the cushioned room came forth the Hill Giants andJUBEKK. From the cursed right corridor came two Fire Giants. The battle from there was a fierce one, but in the end, Vicious and Delicious and TOGBAD were victorious.

AKREM was drawn to JUBEKK’s morning star. One of the spikes within the head was in fact the Shard of Wrath.EILILEA Teleported everyone back to the Heidmarch manor. There, they were able to get an Ioun Stone to stop the curse of the shard.

All that remained now was to find the Shard of Sloth, and forge the Shattered Star. At which point the heroes would go down in history as the greatest adventuring party of all time. And they would pave the way for new heroes to rise up and face whatever challenges awaited…
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