Eberron in Houston

Zileans Labratory pt 2
Halfling Havoc

The group continues on and enters a dank cave, strange area for what seems to be one large complex.

Inside they find halflings feasting on human bones. With a wily grin they charge in using their swarm tactics. Back and forth spells are set and countered and set again. Things go briefly in favor of the halflings when their combined scorching rays take Samael down for the count.

He manages to recover and the tables turn, finishing off the warriors and wizards.

They proceed forward and find a tile puzzle which they solve with ease. Past that area they find a strange laboratory with tanks of bubbling liquids. Before they get a chance explore however they are beset by hulking insectoids.

The session ends there

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Zileans Labratory
Maximum Occupancy: ???

Entering into the “temple” the duo are relieved to be out of the scorching heat from outside.

Inside they explore the area and discover a placard on the wall that sheds some illumination about the purpose of this place and of Zilean himself. The placard reads as follow:

" Zilean, I know that our memory is fading, the chronophage erodes it, eating away at us in such a cruel manner, but there is still hope for our work. Only the memory of our lives is affected, our acute intellect remains. I’ve removed all verbal passwords and replaced them with challenges of wit and perspicacity so you can still move around this place. Our current experiments however have displaced some creatures within these walls so be careful. You must find a cure, focus on the sand, I’m sure that’s the key.

—Zilean"

The group continues past their first puzzle, a logic problem, encountering a clay golem guarding the storage room.

In the “Observation Room” the group finds a portal from which they can see portions of the past, present, and future, although exact dates aren’t given.

The present showed what was just outside the entrance, the sand golem standing in its silent vigil and the sphinx, clearly working on his next riddle.

The button to the past showed an ancient city of the group could only determine to be the Asherati, a group of people who lived in Talenta prior to the halfling, but which disappeared mysteriously.

The button for the future showed a battle taking place in the ruins of Fairhaven, the capital city of Aundair. On one side an army of Warforged, the other a humanoid army that the duo couldn’t precisely identify, but could rule out Aundairians.

With the planar key in hand the group uses it on the only locked door and the machinery beneath their feet winds up. A voice indicates PLANAR travel initiated. Once stopped, another look in the Observation room reveals a demonic looking planescape full of craggy spires, rivers of lava, and clouds of smoke and ash.

Past the locked door the group encounter a trio of Knights claiming to be from some place called Ansalon. Reyna, Onvo, and Ancan became trapped inside this place when a mysterious sphere appeared one day in a marketplace, neatly cutting off buildings where they intersected with the sphere. Once inside the door back outside vanished and they’ve been trapped ever since.

They spoke of “cannibalistic children” that reside beyond the western door. That they were a worthy foe for any knight, but their numbers were too great for them to take on and barely escaped with their lives.

After a promise by the duo to attempt to get the Solamnic Knights home, they agree to assist the duo clear out this place.

But before attacking these “children” the group decides to explore the northern door whose riddle had prevent the knights entry.

Inside they find a wall of water and Sahaugin waiting inside. The duo go into the dark water and do battle. During this battle Samael discovered something, he was unable to dimension door, not sure of its importance he stores it in the back of his mind for safe keeping. The group successfully defeats the sea devils and ends the session.

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Desert Crossing pt 3
Arrival at Zilean's temple

With a story comprised of some truthful events from Samaels past along with some clever threats to Tuatha, she agrees to turn Greggorin back into a human and even gifts them a magical scimitar and replacement waterskins.

Trekking further into the desert the group find a broken carriage and an Ant Lion trap nearby. However it offers no real threat as Samaels incorporeality leaves him immune to its damage.

Later that same night the group is attacked an extraplanar creature called a Soul Eater and its despair filled husks of humans. The group overcomes this newest challenge from beyond the material plane and Samael wonders if its not his for or his powers that are attracted them.

The final leg of their journal brings them into salt flats which seem to leech the water right from them, requiring a tremendous expenditure of water.

With their water now running dry they finally reach the entrance to the temple as indicated by the map. Carved from sandstone and abutting the End World mountains the group finds a Sand Golem, the building ancient guardian and a Sphinx who wishes to challenge them to a test of wits.

A placard on the wall of the entrance proves their first puzzle. The challenge to fill in the blank from the diagram.

The Spinx offers a new challenge. The group wagers whats in their bag that they can solve the Sphinx’s riddle. If they succeed they can choose one of two prizes. The contents of a large chest in the Sphinx’s possession or a answer to the puzzle on the temple wall.

Here is the riddle of the Sphinx
“What is half of dragon, but has not a wyrmling’s strength?
What is half of canine, but not mongrel’s length?
What is it that is of two halves, but has, but half to stand on”

With the correct answer given the Sphinx gives up the treasures inside. He then continues to offer one more wager.

“How about when you come out of there I’ll give you one more riddle. If you get it right I’ll send you back to Gatherhold bypassing the desert trek entirely. However, if you get it wrong you give me everything you found inside.”

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Desert Crossing pt 2
Moths to Flame

The night while still resting from their encounter with the desert devil they find still more threats. Droplet like creatures approach the campsite out of thin air, attracted to the large expenditure of psychic power. Samael blasts them, but these droplets are only more attracted to the blasts, turning his own blasts against him and draining his mental energy. The group struggles throughout the night with these creatures and once all the remaining magical and psionic energy is dissipated they vanish, as quickly as they appeared.

Continuing forwards the group faces some dramatic heat spikes and the search for water becomes a constant struggle for survival

The group encounters a patch of cacti that aren’t too eager to give up their supply and instead attack the group, the largest of which hitting like a runaway rail car. Greggorin nearly dies in the encounter, but some incredible (some might say even retroactive-like) speed on the part of Samael manages to save him, sending him forward in time long enough to take down the giant plant. However doing so at a high cost. Todd is dead.

With even less water then before the group contemplates leaving, returning back with better supplies, but something in the back of their minds (286lbs of something) told them that this desert might be even less hospitable if they gave it this victory.

Fortune seemed to be favoring them a day later when, after once again getting lost and finding themselves again, they spot an oasis, jewel of the desert for those in need of respite. The group encounters some anthropologists already at the oasis, examining Asherati sand sculptures and the two groups join to share food, water, and stories. The two are invited into their caravan, much larger on the inside than out by the leader of the group Tuatha de Dannan a blond female with a vast array of desert knowledge. The brief moment of peace was not meant to be and soon a terrible reality befalls them. When dawn breaks the illusions over the fey fades and fey of bronze skin replace their human guises. Evil fey, the Mirage Mullahs, have played a terrible trick on the two. Luring them in with hospitality Greggorin was turned into a fey himself, forced to ever stay near the shifting oasis and lure others to the same fate as have befallen him. Samaels exotic nature however prevents his change in forms and Tuatha demands he leave or face her wrath. Samael refuses to leave recalling that fey are almost always willing to trade and attempts to negotiate. Tuatha hears his request and ponders for a moment what she would be willing to take in trade for Greggorins servitude. “I will turn him back for only one thing. A story, one so horrifying as to make my spine shiver. There is a catch however, it must use you as the main character”.

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Desert Crossing pt 1

The group gathers the needed supplies discovering that its quite expensive to survive in the desert.

Greggorin got taken in by a salesmen selling him a dubious “map of all the oases”

They hire cleric Todd a priest of the Sovereign Host here on a spiritual journey.

The first few days of their adventure were met with mild temperatures until they saw smoke rising in the distance. Jackal headed creatures called “Marruspawn” were in the process of stealing dinosaur eggs, using fire to keep them at bay.

Samael recalls that those creatures are called Marruspawn after the people who created them, the Marru. The Marru died off long ago, but their creatures live on in the deserts that were once under their progenitors control. Their purpose now that their creators are gone is unknown. All thats known about the Marruspawn is they are dangerous, crafty, and peaceful contact with them has never been established.

The group lets fate decide if they will interfere and fate decided to let let the Marruspawn continue on.

A few more days pass and the temperature rises to triple digits and the group is hit by a sandstorm. Digging in using their sand tubes they try to wait out the storm until hard and desperate yanks on the ropes on the camels cause Samael to investigate. Dessicated undead and a flayed devil wielding scimitars are wailing on the camels.

A battle ensues and out in the raging sandstorm. Samael is at first unable to enter the fight as the storms buffet and blow him around leaving Greggorin to fight the creatures alone. A better swordsman by far Greggorn is being slowly chipped away by supernatural sand surrounding the devil. Samael is able to return and wreck havoc on the husks after he temporarily is able to halt the sandstorm with sheer willpower. Several elemental walls and critical hits later the group ends the combat victoriously. The camels were saved, but some of the water was lost.

The group ends the session doing an inventory of their remaining water supply

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To the Talenta Planes

The group contemplated how to get to Talenta and had originally opted to go via train, but after some forethought considering what was revealed in the Korranberg Chronicle about Greggorin they instead chanced joining the Chronicle. In exchange for Greggorins story, they would get paid for passage.

They contacted L.B. Briskes in Sharn and he reluctantly agreed. Worrying partly about the repercussions the Chronicle might incur by House Orien. He procures for them falsified transport papers and with the condition that they investigate deeper into why Darguuns second in command is spending so much time Gatherhold. “I don’t believe its solely because of the warforged raids”.

The group arrives in Gatherhold and is able to get a meeting with princess Lissandra, leader of the Sand Dervish tribe. Winning her good graces with a few pieces of interesting information regarding House Cannith schema and the Lord of Blades desire to collect them the princess says she’ll allow Greggorin to be trained if he can travel across the Blade Desert to the End World mountains and recover Zhona’s Hourglass. She provides a rough map to the location of the ancient temple to help them on their journey.

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A tough decision for freedom

Greggorin and Samael negotiate with Vandar to escape the situation they’re in. He agrees to help them, and to attempt to save the House Jorasco halflings in exchange for Savrin.

The group, believing they have no other choice make the hard choice and agree. Vandar pulls out a sending stone and begins to communicate with someone on the other end. Meanwhile the trio deal with the beast left by the mindflayer on the boat. Although it possessed a few magical tricks up its sleeve the group was able to take it down. Savrin refuses to go with Vandar, but Vandar reminds them of the dangers that reside inside Savrins mind and that sometimes people have to do harsh things for the protection of the greater good and the two subdue Savrin.

Vandar then spills a bag of powder into the ocean near the breached hull and within moments thousands of zebra clams hungrily rise to the surface and while they feast on the food they stick to the sides of the ship, so many that the wholes are filled with them preventing the ship from taking on anymore water.

Vandar then teleports Sammael and Greggorin to the train-station in Sharn.

The group gets themselves cleaned up and then head to check their mail. No messages from Lady Elaydren, but Sammael receives one from Prince Oargev asking him once again to head to New Cyre this time due to concerns about the Warforged attacks on outposts. Greggorin receives a message unaddressed stating that he knows what happened on the bridge and that he believes he can help. A location in Dura is given in the letter.

Greggorin looks for the location and after asking for directions looks like he’s hit a literal dead end. Then as he turns around see’s a very large man blocking his path. The man is built like a wall with some obvious orgre traits. He interrogates Greggorin as to his intentions and after a bit a young teenage human emerges from behind him. The teenagers face is marked with an angry red aberrant mark in the shape of a sword.

The teenager introduces himself as Jacuzzi Splot and ,along with Nice Holystone, tells the story of The War of the Mark and how even now it continues on in secret. “The two people from House Deneith possess an ability to sense aberrant marks. Anyone with a non aberrant mark can have this ability, but House Deneith members are known to have more people with the ability than other houses. Those that they find with the mark often times just disappear, never to be seen again.”

Jacuzzi asks Greggorin to join him in recruiting other people with aberrant marks. Only by joining together can they put a stop to this secret war.

Greggorin refuses the offer stating he has other business he must attend to, but does say if he see’s anyone he’ll let them know.

Teary eyed Jacuzzi thanks Greggorin and hopes that he’ll return to join his group.

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Shipwreck and Sarkt

The trio break up and move about the ship, a general order was issued to prevent the ship from sinking while the the trio was ordered to secure the patients.

The group, heavily deviating from the captains plan, some investigating the ship, while others attempt to repair the ship. Only one patient ended up being saved.

Savrin investigating the ship discovers that its outward appearance was a deception, an elaborate illusion hiding a menacing ship and a deformed crew.

A battle ensues between these creatures and the trio, but the battle takes pause when Sarkt, a mind flayer walks to the edge of the ship and asks for a conversation with the captain, conjuring up metal bands to hold back the water in the meantime..

Despite questions from the trio, Sarkt refuses to speak to anyone, but the halfling captain.

Sarkt seeks to gather his property and gestures to the patients. The captain having no choice but to agree to his terms for the sake of his crew.

The trio, becoming belligerent attempt to escape below decks and hop forward in time. When time catches back up with them Sarkt’s ship is gone, the Nightingale is once again sinking, a large tentacled monster is reeking havoc top deck and a terror the trio are all too familiar with is moving through the ship. “Savrin…where are you…”

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Breaking Ithsharubs control and The Jorasco Shipwreck

The group wracks their brains over how they might break Ithsharubs magic. Samael, having recently shed his corporeal body and inadvertently breaking the magical control over him.

Through use of an illusion of an aboleth and a little bluffing Samael was able to trick Greggorin and Savrin and thus break the rules freeing them.

Ithsharub however was immediately made aware of the situation and when the group returned to port Brendlins vessel was missing, leaving the group stranded in the Principalities.

Over the course of days the group tries to find work on a ship that will lead them back to the mainland, but only find the most putrid of tasks available. After much waiting though the group find a curious vessel seeing guards. The HJS Nightingale a House Jorasco medical research ship. The captain and his team of researches were researching a malady professionally known as Aqua Dementia, but commonly referred to as “Ocean Madness” or “The Deep Down Crazies”.

The group having accepted the dangerous, but unique task of keeping the patients of the ship safe, both from eachother and themselves, set off to a northern area of the Bitter Sea.

There were few incidents out at sea that needed to be addressed by the trio, but that all changed on the thirteenth night when a stormwracked ship named the QBS Infinity appeared to be heading for the ship.

The crews attempt to contact the ship via luminal communication received no response. The halfling ship, now on a collision course, tried to steer out of the way, but the Infinity matched speed and course. Even a boost from bottled winds by the halfings and Samaels telekinesis was unable to prevent the ships from colliding.

The Nightingale now taking on water below decks is in a race against time to plug the gaping hole which every second is pouring the ocean into the ship.

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The man with the screaming brain

The group along with Malzahar an continue their discussions about how to break them free. Malzahar is convinced that the secret lies in creating a paradox in the three rules and offers a few suggestions including finding another aboleth or finding some way that by preventing the group from using will power the group will be unable to protect Ithsharub. He said he would consult his divination and get back with the group the next day.

Meanwhile Sammael and Vlondvir went and found the immortal mollusk. Heading back to the ship the group to continue their work Vlondvir completes it and together the two of them become unbodied incorporeal brains. The transformation however attracted a powerful entity however who sought to consume them. Vlondvir and Sammael are defeated by the entity, but Savrin and Greggorin arrive just in time to save the day.

Malzahar sends for the group and believes he has a plan, although hesitant to have them use and warns them that its only as a last resort. He agrees to sell them the arcane component Ithsharub requires, but requests a 10,000gp price for it. The group, unwilling to sell their equipment for the cash ends the session trying to figure out some other way to pay for the component.

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