Avlis Campaign 1, Part 4

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Campaign Title Part
Avlis Campaign 1 The "Jade" Campaign Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Avlis Campaign 2 The West End of Time Part 1, 2, 3, 4
Avlis Campaign 3 Vanoviel and The Godslayer Part 1
Avlis Campaign 4 Rune Quest Part 1, 2
Avlis Campaign 5 The Western Underdark Part 1, 2, 3
Avlis Campaign 6 Daggerspace N/A

Chapter 10

Once entering the ocean, the heroes figured they had about one or two days of underwater travel before they reached the city of Qwandovia. They took some time to settle on whether they wished to swim or walk the ocean bottom to reach their destination. Once deciding that walking was better, they set out. The 33 mile journey to the nixie settlement went fairly smoothly. Tupaia used her sense of direction to keep them going in the proper direction, since underwater visibility was not extensive.

When they approached near to the city, a small group of nixie guards challenged them as to their business there. They noted that even though the heroes looked like nixies, they were behaving strangely for that kind. Tupaia used her command of the aquan language to try to relate to the guards they they were passing through the area to use their portal to the elemental plane of water in order to chase down the evil orc wizard Khalik. This however only served to make the guards very suspicious. They agreed that the heroes would be allowed into town if they gave up their weapons and went immediately to the town elders under escort. They reluctantly agreed to this and were shown the way.

The city of Qwandovia was not like a conventional land city. The huddled stone buildings and congested streets were absent here. Instead, small clusters of buildings ranged about an open area. Most of the structures were built out of combinations of shell and stone, along with bits of driftwood, although some of the buildings were extensions of natural caves, holes, and other depressions on the ocean floor. Each building had at least one story, and some had three or four with circular doors, some of which entered the buildings on a level above the ground floor. The buildings towards the center of the city were etched in mother-of-pearl and highly decorative. One of them was obviously a temple, and the others although they were pretty, had no obvious function. It was to one of these that the heroes were escorted. Once inside, they were placed into a waiting room for a while, and after a small time they were escorted to a small audience chamber where three nixies sat at a dais. One seemed to be a cleric of O'ma, another was a female warrior type, and the third was hard to determine. The three elders scrutinized the adventurers and repeated the series of questions asked by the guards. Eventually, the cleric in the group casted comprehend languages to aid in the discourse. This made things much easier and the elders were able to determine what the heroes intended to do.

In reply, the elders decreed that the heroes would be allowed to use the portal to the elemental plane of water if they completed a small task for the city. The party members did not like the sound of this but they agreed. The elders said that a dragon turtle had recently taken up residence nearby and was harrassing the town. A troop of nixie warriors was to be sent out to kill the thing the next day, and the adventurers were to accompany them.

That night the heroes rested, and early the next morning the nixies picked them up and they set out. After about 10 miles, they came to the mouth of an underwater cavern. Immediately inside was the dragon turtle, apparently sleeping, but no one could tell. The warriors and adventurers split into two groups, with 4 nixies posted outside the entrance to try and prevent escape. The battle was bloody. The dragon turtle was in fact not asleep, and immediately spotted the nixies' attempts at being stealthy. Half of the troop paid for that mistake with their lives when the dragon breathed a stream of hot steam over them. Ari was critically injured in this blast as well. Luckily, Jade fired off a quick healing spell, and Tupaia gave her another healing boost from her wand of healing. In no time she was wading back in. Meanwhile the dragon clawed away at some more nixies. Vanoviel got there next and started trading blows with the beast while Andrinor experimented with polymorph spells to little avail. Tupaia supported the mix by summoning large sharks to their aide, and Rynn did the same thing. Jade meanwhile kept up the much needed healing.

After a time, Van was caught in the dragon's breath weapon and then snapped up in its jaws. Luckily, by this time however, the damage inflicted earlier by Van and the others through various means had taken its toll. Just as the dragon was about to finish Van and turn on the others, she reached up from its jaws and hit it in the head with three well placed bludgeoning blows, thereby killing it.

Four nixies out of 15 survived the encounter, and they all returned to Qwandovia. For their efforts, the heroes were allowed to rest and use the portal the next day.

Stepping through the portal was an interesting experience. The plane of water is a featureless ocean with no surface and no bottom. It is water in all directions to infinity. The adventurers soon found out that "up" was determined by one's mind, and that "down" was simply the other way. After a few short falls, the group got the hang of it and with the help of their nixie guide, they set forth to the portal leading to the City of Doors. The journey was brief, lasting only one day. However, it proved perilous. A voracious group of water elemental sharks assaulted the party first, and they caused some moderate damage before they were dispatched. This encounter however weakened their resolve for the next encounter when they were attacked by four fearsome elementals. Everyone took severe damage before Jade was able to block them off with a ring of steam (fire) and a wall of force. From this safe shelter, the magic users in the group were able to pick them off at their leisure. After this incident, they all decided to rest. When they were just about to wake up, a huge countercurrent vortex opened up nearby and sucked them in. Most of the group swam to safety almost immediately, but Ari took severe damage from it.... she was unable to swim out for some time.

When they were almost at their destination, they came upon another curious sight: marids were battling efreet who were apparently trying to make a break to escape through a portal to the plane of fire. The water genies known as marids were losing to the efreeti, so the adventurers decided to lend a hand and hopefully make some friends. However, all the marids soon perished in the battle, and the efreeti were dispatched by the heroes soon after. No friends were made afterall.

From there, the party continued on and came to their destination: a huge rock, with many holes and tunnels. This evidently served as a marid community. Deep within lay the portal to the City of Doors. The adventurers dragged with them the bodies of the efreeti they killed and thus gained quick access to the establishment. They were not harshly challenged, but they were watched. Once reaching the center, they came to a large spherical cavern, where there was a portal guarded by some marids, and a marid leader of apparent power.

The Marid leader, Joon, told them they could pass through the portal for a toll. As an example of what could be used for a toll, he showed them a blue sapphire gem left by a previous visitor named Khalik. The orc, Khalik, told Joon that he had gotten the gem off of an elf maiden long ago when he was in T'Nanshi studying elf magic. Her name was Rinturn, or Ringwald, or something like that. Ari recognized that to be one of the gems which belonged to her Ringthon family heirloom and immediately demanded it back. "I want my gem!" The marid looked puzzled that they should be demanding things from him, and he refused them..... so a fight broke out. After a small pitched battle, the party prevailed and recovered the gem, along with a magical bow that could enchant its arrows by the type of gem locked into it.

They entered the portal immediately, for they heard other marids in pursuit. They came up out of a fountain in a small stone building, and breathed a sigh of relief because they were once again on dry land.... that would make things much easier for them.... or so they think.

Chapter 11

Upon exiting the portal, the adventurers found themselves in a strange place. They were standing in a small fountain within a stone building that was apparently empty but for the pool. The doorway of the structure opened out onto a street, which seemed wet from a newly fallen rain. As they strolled out of the building, they saw a fairly quiet street. There was nothing more than a few humanoids here and there walking around. One odd thing they noticed was that no matter which direction they looked down the streets, they all seemed to be going uphill. As the cloudy sky started to clear, they also noticed that high above them were the twinkling lights of the rest of the city! It appeared as if they were on the inside of a gigantic tire.

Decidedly confused by this, they set out to look for the evil orc mage, Khalik, and to find shelter on the way. They soon found their way to a tavern that gave them directions to a more comfortable sleeping Inn just a little ways down the road. While at the tavern, Andrinor decided to order drinks for himself and his companions.... water for the whole lot, and an abyssal ale for himself. When the bartender put the smoking concoction down on the table, Andrinor gulped it in one swaft.... and was promptly knocked on his rear in a drunken stupor. The party members carried him out on their way to the next Inn. Once they set up a couple rooms at the new place, they left Andrinor to sleep it off, and Tupaia to watch him. Rynn decided to play a few sets at the barroom to earn drinks for himself, and the others decided to head off to find a way to get to Khalik.

Back in the room where Tupaia was in tiger form resting, and Andrinor was comatose, they got a big suprise. A huge hulking spider-like scaly demon teleported into the room! Tupaia immediately attacked it and rended it with her claws, but it seemed to pay her no mind. It fixated solely on Andrinor, who was helpless in bed. Once it got him in its jaws, it disappeared, wounded badly as it may have been. Tupaia ran downstairs to Rynn frantically and told him what happened. They decided to wait for the others to come back.

Meanwhile, Van, Ari, Jade, and Orianna were patrolling the streets of Sigil. They got directions to the Hive district, where information was usually bought and sold. Once there, they struggled to get through the twisted streets of the chaotic quarter, and suddenly they bumped into a very pretty blonde haired elf woman. She was stunned to see them. Ari recognized her from somewhere, and it was revealed that she was Leirehanna Ringthon, the aunt that left the family when Aritelda was very young. They exchanged a bit of information, and when Leire heard about Khalik being in the city, she was alarmed, for they had known each other. She quickly invited them back to her place, and they agreed to go after they collected their companions back at the Inn.

Upon reaching the Inn, they received the distressing news from Tupaia and Rynn. When Leire heard that Andrinor was with them, she was equally alarmed and said she would explain back at her home.... where they had better retired to quickly.

Meanwhile, Andrinor came to in a room with a small array of demons present. He was beaten and bound in a chair. Next to him was a curious looking cambion. The cambion had some very strikingly similar features to his own, and he realized this quickly. The cambion looked at him curiously, and then sighed. A voice inside Andrinor's head greeted him and introduced itself as the cambion, Andrin... his father. Once Andrinor figured out he could communicate telepathically with this person, he asked a lot of questions about what was going on. The cambion summarized that he was the son of a mighty Balor lord named Lastryxx. The Balor lord was highly involved in the Blood War between the Tana'ri and the Baatezu, however, his son Andrin did not want any part of it, so he fled his father's realm. The father did not appreciate this, and he was constantly sending out agents to retrieve his son.. and eventually, when the cambion settled down and married an elf named Leirehanna, or Leire, the agents started to come after their son Andrinor. This distressed both of them greatly, so with the help of one of Andrin's psionicist friends, they erased part of Andrinor's memory and placed him on Avlis to be safe. They had no idea he would wind up back there in Sigil. Andrinor imparted the story to him.

At that point the demons in the room started to force march the pair down the street. They stopped at a sewer drain. Once there they pulled the grating off and threw a bone into the hole, at which point a portal opened up. The captives where thrust through the portal and the demons followed. They came out in a spiked pit in the middle of a forest. After taking some cuts from the spikes, they got out of the pit and continued their march towards another portal to the Abyss, which was perhaps a day or two away. Andrin and his son got caught up on things during that walk.

Back in Sigil, Leire and the adventurers related their stories to each other. The adventurers where stunned to find out that Leire was Ari's aunt, and she was ousted from the family about a century earlier for her lack of enthusiasm in learning magic. The Ringthon family was adept at magic, although their founder, Deritel Ringthon, was a warrior. He was the original wielder of the sword which Ari now held. Leire said the sword was crafted during the Great War on Avlis. It had four stones to enhance its power. When Leire left the family, she started to wander, and became interested in the sword's history. She traced the location of a couple of the stones, and actually was able to retrieve two of them. The saphire which she retrieved was held in the lair of a dragon out in the country of Ferrel. That is where she met a young orc mage outcast who helped her retrieve the stone, but then double crossed her by running off with it and the dragon loot. This was none other than Khalik. On another occasion she recovered a pink stone from the sword which gave it the power to function fully to its ability on any plane. This she imparted to Ari. After that, she told of a long series of adventures where she eventually met and fell in love with a cambion named Andrin.... and to them was born a son named Andrinor. This revelation stunned the party. Ari was suddenly aware that the greedy sorcerer was actually her cousin. At that point, while everyone was sharing, Tupaia divulged that her last name was Dagroth... which further stunned everyone to complete the evening.

Leire informed the adventurers that her husband Andrin was kidnapped shortly before Andrinor. She said that she would uncover information on Khalik's wereabouts, while the rest of them went out to save the father and son. She gave them directions to a portal in the city sewer which was triggered at noon by any dried bone. The next day they bought horses and set out. Orianna also picked up a stone for her gem bow.

Out on the outlands the party road hard to catch up with the kidnappers. When they finally overtook them, a bloody battle ensued. Ari nearly cleaved a Hezrou demon in half with her enchanted sword. The Tana'ri promptly used its supercharged deeper darkness spell to blot out the whole battle in blackness. This unerved everyone and ruined the targeting of spells. They fought on, and took much damage. There were three pincer demons, called Retrievers, who fought the adventurers ruthlessly by using their fire, ice, or lightning rays. Jade managed to dismiss one of them before the battle began. Almost everyone was badly hurt, especially Ari and Van, who suffered badly from the Hezrou's stench. But in the end, Andrin freed himself of his bonds and walked out of the darkness globe and unleashed the full power of his psionics on the demons. In his first blast he obliterated almost 5 of them. By this time, there was only one left, and he later obliterated that one with another of his powers.

The party then made introductions, and it was revealed to Andrinor that Leire was his mother and that Ari was his kin. They set off bag to Sigil which went quickly using Jade's teleport spell and the bag of holding. The next noon, they got back into the city and went back to Leire's house.

She informed them that Khalik was due to have a secret meeting in one of the local demon Inns. However, that was all she could find out. The adventurers then set up to stake out the place. Orianna kept guard while Rynn went in to ask questions. Later on, a second mission by Andrinor revealed not much more information. They needed a way to ambush Khalik and to get into his room. They eventually found out he was staying at the Inn, and with a trip to the roof and into the ventilation system, they zeroed in on his room. However, he was not alone. His minimum company was two golems, and at least two devils of some kind. They decided against attacking from the vents, and retreated.

The next day, Jade, Van, and Andrinor went in again to spy on the meeting from the vents. The others waited out back in case anything went wrong. Khalik was to meet with someone named Quilan. He took his seat in the room with his two devil assistants, and eventually Quilan showed up. From the long conversation they learned many things. Quilan was a former pupil of Angadar's who felt he was mistreated during the god's mortal days. He was determined to get revenge. Khalik proposed that they could help with that revenge if Quilan did some things for him. Quilan was the owner of some rituals he needed. One of the rituals was for changing the origin of the magic vortex which powered all magic on Avlis from the plane of Arborea to Baator. The second ritual was for enchanting a special portal to bring Valok fully onto the Prime Material Plane so he could rule Avlis. Quilan was to supply the mages, and the rituals. Khalik and Valok would supply all the god power needed, as well as taking care of distracting the god Mikon from Valok's entrance onto the Prime. In return, Valok would destroy Angadar for Quilan.

Quilan agreed, and the meeting ended. Khalik revealed that there were two pit fiends in the room with him that were getting ready to set up the deal.

Jade was very disturbed at this news, and when the party reassembled, she informed them that their next stop would be her father's Realm on Avernus... the first layer of Baator.


Sources

Chapter 10 notes

Chapter 11 notes