“Let’s get a drink,” I suggest eagerly after the last of us steps through the portal and back to the rain soaked streets of Sigil. “I’m thinking something in a large glass that’s particularly strong,” I chuckle to myself.
Hodey knods eagerly. “I know the perfect place!” He leads us through the twists and turns of the theatre district till eventually we’re led to a large building reminiscent of a plantation crossed with a beaver dam… with only a 5ft door. “Come on in and meet the family!” He says with a grin as he pushes open the door to reveal a warm comforting light, and the sounds of many Kobolds running about.
“A Kobold warren ?” I ask incredulously.
“As long as the drinks are flowing and nobody is trying to kill us,” Annika says with a shrug before she stoops and walks through the door.
“I think they’re cute! Come on, Katya… don’t be a grumpy puss!” taunts Constance before she joins the crowd.
“Just keep the drinks coming…” I mutter as I pull out the Kobold spray that I crafted out of my pouch, “…and keep them off of me.”
A pink-tinged youngling with a viking-styled helmet skips over to Hodey and hands him a rat on a stick before grabbing Hodey’s other hand and leading him into the waiting arms of his clan. They bombard him with questions about his career as he pulls various toys out of his sack like a scaled Santa Claus.
Suddenly there’s a tugging on my braids as well as around the edges of my skirt. I look down and cringe as I see a number of Kobold children looking at my horns in wonder. “Get off… go away…” I say as I spritz them with repellant. They sneeze and rub their eyes for a moment, but seem determined not to take the hint.
“Where did you get your horns? Are you Dragonkin too?”
I can see that handling these little creatures is going to take a more subtle touch then throwing them into an oven and cackling. I look around and find a small stool to sit on as I motion for the children to sit in a circle at my feet.
“Where did I get my horns? Let me tell you a tale… a story of a great darkness… a story of despair… a story of blessed madness as the Great One rises from his ocean tomb to meet out his wrath upon all planes of existance!” Some of the children scatter as my voice rises in a crescendo of impending doom… but some of them merely stare at me entranced. My glory crosses all races and worlds…only the truly blessed have minds willing to see.
“Do you think I should bring on some more staff, Katya?” asks Hodey as he manages to separate himself from his family’s inquisition.
“I think we should start branding the lot of you so I can keep track of your brood,” I snort in derision.
“We do shed, you know.”
“Guess we’ll just have to go in deep, then. Besides… a little ritual scarring never hurt anybody.”
“Do you think we could stop back at the ship before you start getting kinky?” Annika asks with a roll of her eyes. “We need to stow our cargo in a safe place, you know.”
“What about Jinsi?” asks Constance. “Can she come with us?”
“I think it would be wise, considering your current need for protection,” replies the ninja as she makes her way effortlessly through the crowded room to sit by the oracle.
“Well, we’ll need to discuss payment… how much you willing to work for?” asks Hodey cautiously.
“I am dedicated to my god and have sworn a vow of poverty, so-”
“-any salary you choose to give me should instead be given to the local orphanages here in Sigil.”
Hodey’s large grin faulters for a moment before he grins and nods. “Fair enough… sounds like we’ve got a new crew member then.”
“I’m sure you and Jinsi will have a lot to talk about,” I reply as I walk past to the bar to refill my mug. “You two are both so alike… only difference is that Jinsi chooses to give her salary up for kids.”
Sleep comes in fits and spurts that night as I toss and turn on the bedroll I’ve laid out in my lab. I don’t trust my dreams anymore… it used to be if I drank enough I wouldn’t remember them, but lately they’ve been getting worse. The voices… they only speak to me on occasion when I’m awake, but when I sleep they’re so loud that I just…I can’t shut them out. They speak to me of horrors my mind could never comprehend…they promise me that my enemies will be consumed in the belly of the beast that lives beneath the waves if I but speak his name… and gods help me… I can’t wait to see it.
I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, scrambling to my knees with a piece of chalk as I hurriedly sketch what I hope to be a protective circle around my bedroll before curling up into a fetal position and staring at the flickering light of the tallow candle that has nearly reached the end of its wick.
“Just like my soul,” I whisper…
…and then the flame goes out.
Morning finally comes, and I stumble my way to the bar for a strong cup of coffee as the others discuss the nature of the Sword of Fedefensor.
“I did some research, and this is quite the demonslaying weapon, I can tell you,” begins Hodey. “This metal, though…” he tings it with a claw and it rings out with a pure tone, “I just can’t identify it. It seems like some sort of extra-planar silver, though.”
(INT +2 Fiendbane Silver Bastard Sword)
“Any idea what we should do with it now that we’ve got it?” asks Constance.
“We could always destroy it,” I mutter from the bar. “Then we’ll know for sure that they can’t use it for whatever ritual they’ve got in mind.”
“I’ve got no problem with that,” replies Hodey. “I’m sure I could get quite a lot out of this if I broke it down…”
Suddenly the sword begins to shake on the table as a howling noise eminates from it. “Nooooo!”
“Wonderful… it’s an intelligent sword.” I grab a bottle of rum and start adding it to my coffee; It’s going to be a long day.
“What is your purpose, oh mighty sword?” Constance asks it sweetly. “We don’t want to harm you…” she frowns at Hodey and I before smiling and continuing, “we just want to know how you’ll help me see my grandfather.”
“I kill fiends.”
I snort in derision. “You’re not helping your case against destruction with a statement like that.”
“That’s it? Are you sure you don’t have any higher purpose than that?” asks Constance again.
“There is no higher purpose than killing fiends. I was to be used in a dedication ritual in Fortitude, that is all I know.”
“Dedication ceremony… right… why would a bunch of rogue Harmonium cops bother this much to get you if they’re just using you for a dedication ceremony? I smell something fishy here… and this time it’s not coming from the kitchen.” I slam my empty mug down on the bar and push myself out of my seat wearily. “Look… I’ve got some shopping that needs to be done here in Sigil. Whatever you guys decide to do, I’ll be back in a few hours.”
“I’d like to try and do some more research on the sword while we’re here before we decide anything,” says Constance. “Why don’t we all agree to meet back here for lunch?”
Everyone nods and goes their separate ways while I find my way to the nearest shop of magical devices. The vial containing the piece of that creature is growing restless… I’m going to need some tokens of repose to keep it quiet if I’m going to continue my testing.
After a few hours I make my way back to the ship with token in hand and an idea that I’ve got to ask Hodey about. He’s been offering to build items for people in our downtime… I wonder how he’d feel about a glass coffin of repose? It shouldn’t be hard… and it would be so helpful if I could get some bigger test subjects. I simply must see if I can recreate that regeneration process.
“You wouldn’t believe what we found on Bral!” exclaims Hodey as he waves around a stack of papers in his hand.
“Is that bard you like in town again?” asks Constance hopefully. “He was sooo dreamy…”
“Even better!” Hodey grins widely and slaps the papers on the table to reveal the crudely drawn image of Constance… with a rather hefty amount listed as a reward underneath. “You’re a wanted fugitive of justice!”
“Just what I always wanted,” Constance laughs weakly as she looks over the posters. “I know they don’t like me on Bral, but really… 3,000 gold?”
“There were more posters, but these were the only ones I could grab before Jinsi stopped me,” Hodey replied.
Constance looks at Jinsi questioningly. “Removing wanted posters is against the law,” Jinsi replies matter-of-factly.
“Any luck on your research?” asks Annika. “I ended up getting stuck for hours in lines here in Sigil; hopefully you had better luck.”
“Actually, I did find something when I was in Waterdeep,” begins Constance as she pulls a book from her pack. "I ran across a book about the planes that had some rather interesting notes in the margin about trying to find the Demiplane of Time. From what I could decipher, this person has tried many times, and came to the conclusion that an “Artifurnace” is required."
“That sounds nasty… what is it?”
“Apparently it’s a helm that runs on artifacts instead of spellcasters. From what I could find, only the Arcane know how to make one, though.”
“Those blue bastards… we try to make a deal with them for one and our grandkids will still be paying off the debt,” I growl. “There has to be another way.”
“The notes also talked of another way… through the lawful city of Mertion in the Platinum Heaven. Rogue Modrone founded it and it resides on the edge of the demiplane of time.”
“Wonderful… so now we’ve got to go through multiple layers of heaven; wait till they get a load of us!”
“Any idea who wrote in those margins?” asks Hodey.
“Not sure, but the book belonged to the great wizard Tenser,” replies Constance as she flips to the back of the book. “Hang on… what’s this?” She scrambles to her feet and takes the book over to a window. One of Hodey’s mechanical bugs crawls down her arm onto the book, and after a few moments two pieces of parchment fall from it to the ground. “A-HA!”
References to another way – through Mertion, the Platinum Heaven, a Lawful city founded by rogue Modrone called Rempha, the city on the sands of time. You have to go through each step of heaven to get there. From the library of the archmage Tenser. She finds something hidden inside the back cover of the book. Connie takes it to a window and tries to extract it out without damaging it using the metal bug. Two folded pieces of parchment come out. She opens it to find it’s a brief recorded history of Rempha. Alliance with Ionius the Sapphire Mage who looked back in time, shattering his mind. They hid his daughter in safety (ie her). Granddad and mom’s involvement and Rempha partially exists in a glacial valley on the prime material somewhere.
Modrone worked with Batezu to build the city because the angels wouldn’t.
THE BRINGING – Chronomancy? Illithid involvment in the temporal plane to resurrect their ancient empire? temporal anomalies created by the lady of pain, time cops
Annika suggests we follow the clues of the book to find this valley on the prime material. prime plane is big. Greyhawk, possibly? We’re in Waterdeep… let’s just fly it. they prep the ship and we fly
Before we go a phenomenally beautiful woman with a cloth pack comes to the ship inquiring about booking package to Greyspace. Do we really need to – Of course we do! Hodey greets passenger. I am suspicious of her but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
During the week I brew Cure Moderate Wounds potions – 7 potions. – 800
I also make a liquid concoction out of the remnants of the skeleton creature and keep the gentle repose token in it. I conduct two dimensional ritual spells to boost TWO LIGHTNING SPELLS TO 7TH LEVEL. I also cast a Lightning Bolt spell into my staff.
Anika in hallway comes face to face with bloody and dismembered body of crewmember in the hallway. Standing over it is a vaguely human looking woman with long dark hair and a 3rd eye in her forehead and 7 mouths full of teeth. chittering noises. Connie grabs it and makes it disappear for 3 rounds. I ask what’s going on, annika talks with connie about dead body and says sarcastically she decided to kill a body without me so i give her shit before it appears again. can’t tell what it is by how it’s described.
3rd eye is a bug flesh modification thing with the tattoos. Xixchill?
I cast Shield and Mage Armor on myself and back-up to let the fighters in.
Surrender or Perish! says Constance as she readies a Searing Light spell. I take a 5 ft step and unleash a lightning bolt at it. 27 points of damage. Jinsi leaps in with her fists. and crits with a flurry of blows. crushes shoulder and breaks arm, fist comes through back and kills her.
I ask for the pieces of the heart and spine for later research.
+2 Sickle and a Heavy Crossbow
One of the unnamed human crew is dead. Annika suggests checking out the rooms and disposing of the body. Annika loots the corpse. Jinsi notices stitchwork where the body is modified. spinaretes on the wrists and other odd changes. 7 mouths full of teeth, grafts from a gibbering mouther. Abberation grafts. This is a well known hitman. Chattering Sphinx, assassin with addiction to body modifications. Jinsi asks if he’s wanted, we just need his head, right? Katya drags the bodies to her laboratory and locks the door behind her. Constance casted gentle repose on the body so she’s got a week to experiment with it.
passengers are fine. another human crew member and 3 kobolds have been killed. hodey’s machines have been damaged. Jinsi goes investigating with Hodey. Jinsi says one of the dead bodies doesn’t belong on the ship.
I spend time removing the monster grafts as spell components and getting a few vials of blood from the bounty hunter. my rooms are ok but others had their rooms sacked.
Creature came from one of our smuggling compartments. balled up blanket and hidden effects. bedroll, dry rations, water, brandy, and parchment with odd text.
Draconic parchment says… bounty on Connie’s head not needing to be attached. Collateral damage is not frowned upon. “Agreed upon amount” no other information.
exotic goods sold all over the place. We’re on Siris in the Grinder Asteroid Belt. Hodey sells stuff.
Connie pilots the ship through the asteroids and impressing crew. 4 days we land close to Irongate because it’s close to icy valleys. We make quite a scene with our unusual ship. Irongate is a big stone and steel city off of the end of a cliff. Questioned for being here by the city, etc. pay fees and enter the city. annika questions people about the valley. Dwarven city. they try some taverns.
Connie takes 3 points of damage from a crossbow bolt in the arm. can’t tell where the shot came from. Jinsi covers her while Anika casts detect magic. out of shadows bursts a skinny human figure with 4 shiuriken attacks. she fights off some poison.
Anika whacks the ninja. it punches annika and jinsi. I smack it with a curse using my braid. Annika takes his legs out with a sword sweep and kills him. I scoop up some of the shurikens that missed Annika when people aren’t looking. No markings or symbols on the guy. I give potion of Cure Moderate to Jinsi. We find an inn for HQ.
Hodey can make Wonderous up to 9th, Armor and Weapons.
JAUNT BOOTS? COFFIN OF GENTLE REPOSE