Episode VII: Up in Smoke
Abraxas Silvermane (Connor), *Akkamas Mohaïva (Mike), *Braxton Chabbone (Steve), Jone Constance (Aaron), Kelwyn (Rodney), Tim (Shaun), **Toman (Mason), Velius (Paul), and Ziyal (Joy)
In the port city of Assayadin, the majority of the party recuperates from their harrowing mis-adventure against the undead minions of Ocasta beside the smoking ruin of Jace ibn Alhazared‘s Al Sahri Tifuln.
While the party examines the magic items they liberated from the razed shop, Tim takes the child he rescued during the attack of the Decaying Dead, a young ten year old girl named Amina Erakat, and presents her to Matteus, a high level lieutenant in the Thieves Guild. Matteus agrees to train her as a rogue and make a place for her in the Guild.
Meanwhile, Jone keeps his eyes on Jace ibn Alhazred, Elspeth Fairweather, and Wilbough Waggons from his perch atop a nearby market dwelling. Tim approaches stealthily from the west, while the rest of the adventurers, curious as to why the three have remained near the bloody pool. They have shown no sign of interest beyond their own conversation and the passing of coin between themselves.
As everyone gathers near Jace, Elspeth, and Wil, Braxton approaches and discovers that it is all an intricate illusion. Velius uses arcana to examine the scene and discovers the remnants of the illusion spell coupled with some type of short-distance apparation magic. Using Locate Object, Braxton keys in on Jace‘s belt buckle, directing them toward a merchant’s tent along the pool-side market.
Jone has other plans. After accidentally triggering a gas trap on the rooftop trap-door, he descends into the building after talking his way past a Magic Mouth. In a round chamber with four doors at the cardinal points, Jone begins inspecting the portals, looking for a clue as to which way to proceed. He discovers a magic glyph on the north door and opens it…
Akkamas enters the building, anticipating meeting up with Jone, but instead is welcomed into the Palace of Otherworldly Delights. He is offered a pull from a hookah wherein he finds himself propelled astrally west, toward a sailing vessel hugging the Vispanian Coast. On board, he sees the Hand of Vecna writing in a journal in Ocasta‘s presence.
Velius follows. He also partakes of the hookah, having a different experience. Battered and bloodied, his astral projection is a rougher ride. He finds himself in a magical library, a great Arcane Seal inscribed on the floor. Jace, Elspeth, and Wil are there, searching through the bookshelves, obviously intent on finding something in particular.
They leave the Otherworldy Palace together, abandoning Jone to his fate, and seek out their companions. The rest of the party, save for Toman, approach the merchant tent, led to where they believe Jace has apparated to. Toman disappears into the dwelling where the family was slain in the last adventure.
Tim hides nearby as Abraxas barters with a magic broker name Zacarta. Braxton also approaches, holding near the hidden elf, while Kelwyn and Ziyal hang out near another tent, observing from a close distance. Akkama and Velius join them.
Zacarta offers to teleport the party to the location she teleported Jace and his companions to — Ocasta‘s former lair in the desert of Crescentia. Abraxas says that he needs to discuss it with the party and they all gather nearby to discuss their options.
Tim is curious about what might lie inside the tent, wishing to investigate the location before they agree to terms. Kelwyn telepathically calls for Toman and Jone to join them, then casts Druidcraft, producing a skunk-like odor, luring Zacarta from her tent while Tim sneaks inside.
Elsewhere, Jone opens the north door and finds himself staring into the depths of outer space. Pulled into the expanse, a nebula awakens, its gaseous form resembling a monstrous face. It casts the arcane trickster back into the world, appearing behind Tim, inside Zacarta‘s tent as he’s picking the third of three locks on a large chest.
From inside the chest, Tim liberates a magic carpet and deftly sneaks out under the back of the tent while the party distracts Zacarta, as they barter for passage to Ocasta‘s ruin. Braxton offers up a magical rapier, but Zacarta believes that is only worth half the transportation cost. Ziyal begins proselytizing to the witch, causing Zacarta to end negotiations and agree to transport them in exchange for the rapier alone.
Meanwhile, Jone attempts to follow Tim out the back, but his coat snags on a tent stake. As he pulls himself free, the stake is loosed and one of the tent poles falls. He scrambles for cover, diving under the canvas of another nearby tent. He finds himself atop a young maiden who was expecting her lover, Ahmed.
Thinking quickly, Velius casts Phantasmal Force, creating the illusion that Zacarta‘s tent is unchanged. They all proceed to the tent, still intent on bargaining for a better price, when the illusion is dispelled. As the witch woman begins to get upset, Ziyal successfully casts Calm Emotions. The adventurers help the woman repair her tent as Toman rejoins the party. Kelwyn telepathically pulls Jone away from his accidental tryst , much to his chagrin, and the party is teleported to Ocasta‘s lair.
Stepping away from the magic circle, the party investigates the room. Akkamas informs them they are surrounded by a dangerously cold mist, hazy and opaque. Tim, tying a hammer to 50 feet of rope, throws it through the mist. The hammer strikes a metallic item 20 feet beyond the effluvium.
Abraxas gathers a number of spellbooks from a nearby shelf, while Akkamas collects books on magical theory and demonology.
Kelwyn opts to investigate more closely a spectacular red orb, suspended on a pedestal. Touching it, his mind is connected with that of a red dragon. The dragon speaks his name and demands to be released. When Kelwyn tries to pull away, instead his hand is pulled inside the orb and he screams out in agony as the flesh of his hand is burnt away.
Velius uses magic missile to destroy the orb while Ziyal heals Kelwyn‘s injuries and thus the night ends for our players, as Toman rushes through the mist and cries out in pain, that sound haunting the party until game night comes round again…
- *Playing via Skype