Scaled Down Scales

After completing their quest...

...looting was much easier....

The platinum sword insisted that its spirit be released. But that proved more difficult than expected. After being nearly exhausted on their first attempt to move the cauldrons of fire from the ritual chamber, Zumos hit on a different approach: He cast a freezing burst on the next cauldron and slid it toward the door. This cooled the vessel and might have made it easier to push the rest of the way…

…but the party (apparently all tuckered out from the their first heroic effect) suffered even more endurance loss from the second push. At this point (and at the verge of failure), they decided endurance was more important than athletics. For the third cauldron, Zumos would hit it with another freezing burst and Raven would follow up with a solo push. The rest aided by stabilizing Raven’s feet on the ice from Zumos’s magic and pushing on his shoulders. While the shaman-revenant was tired by the experience, his effort got the cauldron over halfway to the door before everybody joined in to shove the final 30 feet.

The air grew noticeably cooler…

…when the last cauldron was pushed into the marshaling area. The sword’s next direction: “Now you must break the Abyssal hold Fangren has on the portal by saying a prayer to Bahamut.” Sure enough: As the final word of the prayer was spoken, the fires of the portal calmed down and the feeling of dread lifted from everyone’s minds.

The sword’s voice rang out stronger now: “Break the connection to the Chaos by toppling the Elemental Altar!” Several assisted by climbing to the top of the dais and pushing over the altar. Zumos noticed a face in the midst of the flames, but he could not identify it. The face disappeared from view as the fires in the portal began to flicker once the altar tumbled down the back side of the dais to crash at the base of the portal.

“Use your Arcane Powers to divert the portal to a better plane. Recite this Ritual of Sealing.” Although Drake‘s connection to the Plane of Shadow would have made him the better choice for this ritual, Zumos seized the moment and recited the ritual. (As usual, Drake was discussing ego size with Grigore.) As Zumos’s staff trembled in his hand, the flames of fire turned to flames of shadow.

Once the portal was redirected again…

…this time to a plane of greenness and life, Raven began to suspect the sword had betrayed them. He was sure the Plane of Shadow was a better place for it to draw its energies. But the sword was unmoved: “The Feywild is not enough. We must make contact with the Astral Plane. Only prayer can break through to true Goodness.” Thinking true goodness was best represented by Zumos’s connection to Tymora, the rest of the party let the wizard say his words to the Graceful Lady before Raven, suddenly convinced the githyanki were somehow involved, could intervene.

The good fortune of Tymora was enough to turn the tide as the green flames subsided into the blue of the Astral Sea. Grigore rose, as if in a trance, and drew the platinum sword from its sheath. He stood in the spot from whence he had just toppled the altar and held the sword up to the portal, balanced between his open palms.

The sword rose from his hands with silver lightning dancing from the portal to kiss its blade. Suddenly, a flash of light blinded everyone and confirmed Raven’s fears (however temporarily).

When their vision returned, the party found themselves staring at a young woman wearing unusual makeup. She told them her name and asked them what her purpose was.

Getting down to serious looting…

…the party found two new items for Raven’s set: A blood-encrusted cape once used by a blind shaman to soak up the blood spilled by a tyrant. Indeed, it seems the gnolls must have found a collector who was trying to assemble Zane’s entire set of tools because three items were found on the bodies of various shamanic gnolls in various places in the githzerai fortress:

  1. A mask, which helps with intimidation.
  2. The cloak, which gives shamans some minor teleport abilities.
  3. A dagger, which bestows special powers when it is used to finish off an opponent.

The set (which is known as The Tools of Zane’s Vengeance) has additional benefits:

  • Using more than one of the items from this set improves the user’s ability to intimidate that improves with the number of items in your collection.
  • If you have them all (Raven seems to be short one item, a totem which is unusually grotesque even for this group of artifacts) and if you are bloodied, you gain a kind of magickal blindsight which Zane developed after the tyrant gouged out his eyes.

The group also found another dagger which upgrades the dagger Rinoa has been using, allowing her to pass hers on to Sam, who has shifted his parrying dagger to his off-hand. So now he is able to use the parrying dagger as it was intended. Sam and Zumos also found money, a note and stones of some value.

On to Overlook…

The party followed Amyria to Overlook where Grigore suddenly became concerned about the consequences of his actions at the front gate when he almost precipitated a riot among the workers and guards. It seems that Overlook is once again preparing for war, although nobody seems to know who it will be against. The orc menace has be eliminated, the gnolls have been nipped in the bud, and Jerath has been put to productive labor, writing plays.

Indeed, the brave adventurers were able to break the bard’s writers’ block by suggesting that a portal be added to the balcony scene in Roland and Juliette. and by convincing Jerath to take out the dragon/cloud verse from his crucial song and replace it with a verse about swords.

Finally, the adventurers decided to take up a new profession: lobbying.

They have headed off to High Hall to lobby for…

…something.

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Scotus

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