Atlea and Beyond

Session Twenty Five: Many-As-One
A battle between opposed groups of cranium rats.

The party gathered together the faction members who had pledged to help them deal with the cranium rats and the Us told them where to meet. They headed over to the Hive ward of the city to the slags, a slum region that appeared as in ruins. They met a group of Xaositects there and they warned them about the cranium rats, as well as handing them a “fool” card.

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They were shown the entrance to an underground tunnel that led past many tombs, and the group finally reached a giant chamber wherein resided a massive number of cranium rats. They had found Many-As-One, who was surprised that they had found the place. Many-As-One began to us it’s psionic and magical powers to fight the faction members and created illusions for the party to contend with.
They saw a gigantic demon that charged at them with a lightning sword and flaming whip. Its attacks were vicious, but the group discovered that four pillars of skulls in the room where key to the demon’s power.

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They destroyed the pillars, weakening the demon, and defeated it. They then saw another vision of mind flayers surrounding gith slaves, but the vision faded back to the chamber with the rats as the Us joined the battle.

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There were many faction members killed, but eventually the Us managed to free Many-As-One from Ilsensine’s control and merged the rats into one consciousness.

The group managed to find a portal to a demiplane with the help of the Us and it contained six black gems. They took the gems and left Sigil, returning to Lyraldanis to deposit them. Hanael, the angel of Pelor, informed them that they were in charge of Lyraldanis, including organisation and finances.

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Session Twenty Four: Sigil
A multicultural city filled with different philosophies.

The group now in Sigil, travelled through the Lady’s Ward, overhearing a conversation between a githzerai and a heavily armoured man. The man accused the githzerai of pretending to be a ratcatcher and secretly working with the rats. Another armoured man from the same group interjected that there was no evidence to convict the githzerai, only rumour. The first begrudgingly accepted this and left. The githzerai met the party, calling himself Parakk and found that the group had the apparent smell of cranium rats. He asked them to follow him so he could find the other rats in the city. He lead them through a portal nearby but they found it led to a room with lots of cranium rats surrounding them.
The rats spoke telepathically to the group, saying that they were named the Us. It read their minds, finding that they were here in Sigil to search for a gem and that they had met Strength-in-numbers, a group of cranium rats that worked for a larger group. The other rats in the city were controlled by an entity that the Us called Ilsensine, an illithid god-brain. The Us asked the group to complete a task for it, then it would help them find the gem in the city. The task was to garner support from as many of the factions in the city as possible to separate the other rats. If they could do that, the Us could impose its will on them and free them from Ilsensine. The group agreed to the task and set out into the city to garner favour with the factions.

They eventually managed to gain some resources from the following factions:
The Athar
The Believers in the Source (the godsmen)
The Fated
The Fraternity of Order (the guvners)
The Harmonium (the hardheads)
The Mercykillers
The Sign of One (the signers)
The Society of Sensation (the sensates)

A young kobold who was determined to become a paladin joined the group as well, eager to follow in Zola’s footsteps.
They had an encounter with a magical vision of Shothragot, who told them that it could track them thanks to Rolan’s energy being a part of itself. It also told them that it had pried a gem from the drow king of a desert city by tearing his arms limb from limb, threatening to do the same to the group when it finally faced them. The vision faded and the group returned to the Us. Preparations were to be made as they travelled across the city again, calling in the favours from every faction.

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Session Twenty Three: The Githyanki
Astral marauders and the outland town of Tradegate.

Fully equipped and ready to search for another gem, the group headed off with their Marut navigator, Gax to sail the Astral Sea. Their destination would be the outlands, where they would find a reliable portal to Sigil. After days of travel through the Astral Sea, the group came upon a ship of Githyanki, who insisted that they detected aberrant illithid energy coming from the airship. They eventually discerned that Fern was the source of the energy. After a long confrontation, the group managed to convince all but the leader of the githyanki to abandon their ship and join them. The leader of the githyanki seemed determined to win however, and called upon a red dragon to aid him. The ferocious beast flew alongside the airship and threatened to attack the party. Eventually the party managed to defeat the githyanki leader and forced the dragon to flee. The githyanki they had convinced to join them climbed aboard their vessel and they continued on their way to the outlands. After more days of travel, they found the Astral sphere that led to the outlands.

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They entered the town of tradegate, home to the headquarters of the Planar Trade Consortium and sought access to a portal to Sigil. With little fuss they managed to trade some gold for access, and made their way to Sigil’s streets. They arrived in the Lower Ward of Sigil, and immediately found their new surroundings to be unusual. The air heaved with thick smog and it caused discomfort for breathing. The group was addressed by a halfling named Daggertoes, a tout, or city-guide who gave them a map and said he would lead them through the city.

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Session Twenty Two: Tomb of the Dragonborn Emperor Part Two
A perilous dungeon and a swarm of rats.

The group continued through the tomb of the Dragonborn Emperor, and they were contacted by Nine/Sharaea. She told them that Illvanuel had helped her to get in contact with them, and that Illvanuel had scried the location of another gem nearby. She asked the group if they could use the airship to find it. They agreed, and she ceased the communication.
The group heard a voice inside their minds, a psionic presence. It told Zola and Fern that it had frozen their friend’s minds. They looked around and noticed that the rest of the party had stopped moving completely. The voice told them that they alone would be insufficient to take the gem from it.
After some deliberation, Fern and Zola decided to continue onward until they could find the power that froze their friends and defeat it.

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The pair made their way through the second level of the tomb, evading traps and finding treasures. They found stairs that led downward and took them. On the third level of the tomb, they found a large number of rats. The rats had exposed brains, and they began to run towards one another, forming into a swarm. The swarm of rats seemed to possess a new sentience that wasn’t there before, and it spoke to them telepathically. It named itself Strength-in-numbers It told them to leave, for it served Vecna and would not let them take the gem. The rats fought them using powerful spells. After a long fight, the rats fled, scattering and running into small holes in the walls.
The group noticed a crack in the wall and Zola knocked down part of the wall, revealing a small room with a black gem sitting upon a table. Underneath the gem was a small card with a gem on it.

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Activating the gem card gave the wielder of the card visions. They saw a vision of a bustling city filled with numerous different races (Sigil), a city of fire and rock with metal buildings (the City of Brass) and a mountain range back in Atlea that Fern identified as The Ethsmas Mountains.
With the gem, the two travelled back up the levels to find their friends had recovered, not remembering anything about the time they were frozen in place.
Returning to the surface, the group found that the airship was missing, but soon it was visible some distance away.
As it flew towards them, they saw Nine/Sharaea and Alathar/Hayne flying down on the magical disks, eager to greet them. The two of them informed the party that the Prince of Frost had tracked them down, stealing Alathar/Hayne away and telling Nine/Sharaea he would come for her next. Nine/Sharaea did not know what to do and in desperation, called for assistance from devils. Dispater came to her aid, granting her incredible power. With this power she pursued the Prince of Frost and ended his life, retrieving Alathar/Hayne. She told the party that he power would not last much longer, but she could return them to Hestavar. Alathar/Hayne swore to Nine/Sharaea that together they would have to find a way to undo her deal with Dispater.

In the city of Hestavar again, the group was greeted by an angel named Hanael. He told them that with their gem, there were now a total of three accounted for. He told them that since they were able to retrieve the gem so quickly, he would like to place them in charge of one of the operations to retrieve them. The celestials had worked together to create a demiplane known as Lyraldanis and built a fortress there that would serve to house the gems, keeping them safe. He told the party they would be placed in charge of all of the agents that worked there, all of them being experts in their fields.
The party informed Hanael that they were to travel to Sigil next. He asked them to ensure they were equipped well before they left and gave them access to the armoury.

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Session Twenty Two: Tomb of the Dragonborn Emperor Part One
A terrible snowstorm and an ancient tomb.

The party were teleported to the Bitter Peaks, a high northern mountain range. They appeared during a terrible snowstorm and had to navigate their airship through the horrific weather. As they struggled to steer the airship, avoiding cliffs and debris, something like a face formed in the snowstorm. It screamed in a low deep voice at them “Cryonax will destroy you. You will never stop the eye!”
After risking their lives in that otherworldly storm, the group managed to escape the mountains. They found themselves flying across the open fields of Amrelnian land. They headed across the sea and in a few weeks, they had reached Arkhosia. Once they reached Arkhosia, they departed the airship to find a town with few inhabitants. The dragonborn were stoic and kept mostly to themselves. Following the signs, the group travelled to the tomb at the edge of town. Outside the tomb they found the body of a female dragonborn and they took it back to the town guard to report the death. The captain of the guard thanked them, but said that with no clue as to who committed the murder, there was little they could do. The group decided to explore the tomb, as maybe they could find the murderers along with the gem they searched for.

They found that the entrance to the tomb was a great dragon face, and they had to lower themselves into its mouth to enter. An inscription on the tomb entrance suggested that they should honour the deceased dragonborn buried there. They did so, and entered. They found themselves in a small room with several doors, and they decided to head south. They rounded a corner and found a few undead dragonborn skeletons wielding weapons, along with a bloody ritual circle on the floor. They defeated the skeletons, while they found a secret door that led to a new room.

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Inside this room they found a spirit that was trapped there. The spirit told them that it was the late Dragonborn Emperor, Thrabilax Ironscale. It told them that he might be freed from his entrapment if they defeated the necromancers that had imprisoned him. He warned them though that they were foul and underhanded beings, these necromancers. They would not be unprepared.
The group headed out and went north, finding a stairwell that led down to the second level below.

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Session Twenty One: Hestavar, the Bright City
Attacked by devils and whisked into the Astral Sea for an important mission.

As the group escaped from the Fortress of Frozen Tears aboard their airship, they noticed a large flying shape came down from the clouds. It looked like a giant whale but flew through the sky. On its back were devils, which jumped onto the airship when it flew alongside.

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The group fought against the devils as Nine and Alathar come up to the deck. Alathar turned to run back down, but Nine put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him. When they made contact, something seemed to pass between them as they looked at each other. They nodded to each other, and Alathar turned. He called upon the dragon Tiamat had bestowed him to fight with the devils and then drew his sword. He leapt from the quarterdeck down to face the foes.

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The devils were defeated and the dragon flew away. Alathar was injured in the battle and Nine rushed over to help him. She called him by a different name however, addressing him as Hayne. When he awoke, he called her Sharaea. When asked about it, they told the group that there was an arrangement between Sharaea and Hayne with the Raven Queen. They wished to escape the wrath of the Prince of Frost, and requested to be reborn in the future as other people. They would only remember who they were if they made contact. When they touched, memories came floodied back to them.

The airship made its way back to Mithrendain, where they were greeted by a legion of angels. Mana thanked the group and left to search for Wenraldio. Illvanuel advised the group to bring the ensnared Aboleth aboard their ship, but to keep it trapped. Trolol did so and the Aboleths attitude seemed to have changed somewhat. One of the angels asked the group to come to a meeting in the Astral Sea about the creature that had just awakened. He assured them that Forever’s Edge would be attended to by angels. The reason they had not acted sooner is because they did not want to hasten the enemies’ plan before they knew what it was, so they remained in secret. The party agreed to go with them, and the angels performed a ritual using themselves as runes for a teleportation circle. The world around them faded as they began to see the Astral Sea materialise around them. In every direction there were stars shining and astral spheres containing colourful and exotic worlds.
They made their way towards one of the spheres that contained a shining city built into the mountainside. The angel welcomed them to Hestavar and gave them a scroll they could use to navigate once both ways between here and the material plane. The party flew down to a giant hall where the meeting was being held and discovered all manner of creatures wandering the city.

In the meeting, they were advised that an entity named Shothragot was awakened recently and searched for hundreds of powerful gems that were scattered throughout the planes and the Astral Sea. They did not have much more information, except the group volunteered that the cultists that summoned Shothragot had spiral tattoos and runes.

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They returned to the airship to find that the Aboleth greeted them. It informed them that it had the ability to read their minds and it knew about the gems. It told them that if they agreed to release it, it had the location of one of the gems in its ancient racial memory. They agreed, but only on the condition that they find the gem first. It told them that it could be found on the material plane, buried in the tomb of the Dragonborn Emperor. They knew this to be located in the old capital of the Arkhosian Empire, Arkhos City. They performed the ritual to planeshift back to Atlea, but the ritual could only bring them to the plane. Where on that plane they would end up was random.

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Session Twenty: Unforeseen Consequences, Part Two
A fortress of tears and an unexpected awakening.

At Illvanuel’s suggestion, the group decided to travel to the Fortress of Frozen Tears to seek out the Prince of Frost. Illvanuel told them that he might know something that could restore Rolan to his natural form, as a master of elemental energy. The group travelled using the airship, and saw the splendour of the feywild as they soared through its skies. After quite some time they came to the Vale of the Long Night, and the green began to turn white. This region seemed to be covered in an endless snowstorm. They finally reached the Fortress of Frozen Tears after navigating a blizzard, and approached it. The huge icy doors opened slowly, but surely.

Inside, the group found a complex of rooms. They entered the atrium and decided to head left, finding a guard post and an eladrin woman named Azara. With quick wits, the group managed to convince her that they were guests of the Prince, and asked her to take them to him. She complied, and opened a series of secret doors that led past the main fortress straight to the Prince.

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The Prince was not welcoming however and insisted that he could not help them cure Rolan of his elemental affliction. The group was not satisfied however, and persisted. As the Prince rose from his frozen throne, the room around them grew dark. On the walls, spiral symbols glowed through the ice.

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An unusual scene began to fade into view, as though it were merely part of the room already.
There were a series of cultists who had carved or tattooed onto them the same spiral symbol and they stood before a huge floating black mass. One of them gestured and spoke to Rolan, thanking him for keeping his seed of power until it could mature. He revealed that it was planted by one of Najala’s crystal demons months and months ago. He drew energy from Rolan, and as it left him, his appearance returned to his normal elven form. The energy flew into the great black mass before them and it began to ripple and change shape.
The thing reformed itself into a roughly humanoid shape but almost appearing as though it were a silhouette, with no defining features. The Prince of Frost seemed to be unaware of what was happening up until now, but said “Shothragot has awakened!” Then the Prince collapsed onto his throne.
It turned to the group and spoke:
“Shothragot. Yes. That is my name. I remember. Im’Azhral was a weak avatar. I must find them. All of them. Then I will awaken anew.”
Shothragot Audio

The scene faded from vision and returned to normal.

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The group didn’t know what to think of this, but decided that since Rolan had been restored they could leave for Mithrendain again. They explored the rest of the way through the fortress, finding letters that revealed some of the Prince’s past: He had been an eladrin of the summer court known as the Summer Prince. He had fallen in love with an eladrin woman named Sharaea, but was possessive of her. She longed to travel, to visit the material plane and beyond, but he insisted she stay with him. One day he found out she had gone to the mortal realm and she replied with a final letter, saying goodbye to him and saying that his heart had grown cold.
The group discovered a silver sword along with the Moon card, as well as a mural of the Prince when he was in the Summer Court. There they found the Sun card.

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The group finally came to a prison block, and found a young drow woman who asked for their help in escaping. They obliged, and she revealed her name to be Mana Rastormel. She spoke about how she wanted to return to Mithrendain and see her fiance Leodor again.
As the group tried to leave with Mana, the Prince of Frost appeared in the hallway behind them, demanding that they leave her here. A battle ensued and the group escaped quickly, not wanting to engage with the powerful archfey.

They rushed out onto the airship and sped to safety. Zola saw a raven fly down to him and it began to whisper. It told him that it had been sent by the Raven Queen to give him the task of uncovering the followers of Vecna who were trying to find the true name of the Goddess of Death. If Vecna discovered her true name, he would hold sway over the power of death itself.

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Session Twenty: Unforeseen Consequences, Part One
A trial for murder and a cataclysm averted.

The party travelled across Mithrendain to the Citadel Arcanum, a well-defended region at the centre of the city. Here they were to be tried for the alleged murder of Leodor Rastormel. Wenraldio travelled with them, and when they entered the Citadel, they were met by a pair of eladrin. The pair led them to a shimmering portal that led to a forest clearing. In the clearing was a circle of stones, and this was where they were to be tried. Into the clearing came four entities, The Maiden of the Moon, also known as Sehanine; The Prince of Hearts; The Pixie Queen Sarula Ilien, and The Sovereign Elk, Jalfarian Khaldros. The trial began, and the entities introduced themselves as Archfey. They asked Wenraldio to recount his side of the story. Wenraldio did so, but they told him that he lacked evidence. They asked for the story of the party, and Oizo recounted to them what had happened between them and Leodor. The four archfey determined that they needed to speak with the spirits. They discussed the situation with the spirits and ruled that the party was not responsible for the death of Leodor, and that it was in his nature to kill both himself and his fiance Mana. They decreed that the party be let go, and left the forest clearing. Wenraldio was not satisfied with this outcome, however. He swore vengeance against them, and leapt to attack them before being held back by his fellow eladrin.
Leaving via the portal, the group was approached by one of the eladrin, who asked them if they left something in the forest. They showed them a card that said ‘balance’ on it, and handed it to them.
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Illvanuel met up again with the party when they left the citadel, and said that they should head back to find out what they could do about Rolan. They returned to the Olol mansion to find that Rolan had emerged from his elemental coccoon, but had changed. He now had a snakelike appearance and his bow had fused with his arm.
Over the next couple of days, Illvanuel tried to find out what they could do about Rolan and what had happened. The party re-equipped themselves, and Fern had a nightmare. She awakened to find glowing runes on her spiritual totem, which had grown more powerful.
Illvanuel handed Trolol his grandfather’s old staff, a powerful magical implement.

Finally Illvanuel determined that Rolan had been transformed by elemental energy, and had a week to be changed back or it would become permanent. He would lose himself to his chaotic elemental nature eventually if left in this state.
Regretfully, Illvanuel told them about an archfey named the Prince of Frost who might be able to restore Rolan. He told them that his corner tree had once belonged to the Prince, and he would not be welcome in the Fortress of Frozen Tears.
He told them that there were four corner trees in the feywild, one for each of the courts of the Archfey. His is the tree of winter, and Trolol’s is the tree of spring.

The group began to hear a strange sound coming from outside, and upon investigating they were met with strange floating creatures. These slimy beings seemed to be performing a ritual. Then they saw a huge hulking figure nearby. It was Buarainech! Buarainech looked worse for wear, however. His flesh seemed like it was rotting. Buarainech threw down a crystal to the ground and summoned a stone dragon to fight for him.
The group fought Buarainech, and Illvanuel realised the ritual the strange creatures were casting. He looked to the sky with horror as a huge green ball was falling quickly towards them. He told Trolol that he would get a ritual, and quickly went back into the Olol manor. After a short time, he came back out and asked Trolol to help him cast a ritual to counter the creatures and send the green threat elsewhere. They struggled to cast the ritual quickly enough however, and it failed. The group used their void card to make a huge vortex in the sky which swallowed up the green ball. The vortex however, did not disappear. Three of the four strange creatures were swallowed up by the vortex as well before the party used the donjon card to trap the vortex and dispell it. The group destroyed Buarainech and the dragon, and Oizo attempted to communicate with the one remaining creature. Illvanuel revealed to the group that there was a cost in trying to perform as powerful a ritual as they had. Illvanuel had lost his sight.
Fern was shocked to realise that she knew the names of the strange creatures, Aboleths. She told the party that they were incredibly ancient, maybe even older than the gods themselves, and that they had a collective memory that spanned eons.

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Session Nineteen: The Edge of Forever
A battle at the end of reality and some unexpected complications.

The party slept the night in the Olol manor in the city of Mithrendain, and awoke to find Rolan was missing. They checked his room and found something they never expected. Encompassing his entire bed was a large crystalline structure that appeared like a coccoon. Illvanuel Olol arrived and asked them to come with him to Forever’s Edge. There he could visit the library and find information about what might have happened to Rolan. Trolol stayed with Rolan to study the structure as they left.

They used a ritual to bring their airship along with Nine and Alathar to the Feywild, and set off to Forever’s Edge.
They found the ruins of some old buildings there, and Illvanuel checked the wards he was charged with maintaining. Illvanuel searched the library (an extradimensional space located through a door) and found the tome he required.
As the group stared out into the void, they noticed a few shapes moving towards them. As they grew closer, they noted that one of them was a beholder and two others were mooncalves: huge tentacled creatures that looked like flying octopi with wings. The beasts came closer, and the beholder began to attack the wards at the edge. It destroyed part of the magical wall, and broke through. The creatures made their way towards the party, and Illvanuel advised them that he would help them defend the Feywild.

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Upon defeating the creatures, Illvanuel repaired the wards and the group found a small card with the word ‘void’ scrawled across it and a black picture drawn.

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The group headed back to the city, and Illvanuel urged that he had to report the attack to the city authority. They returned to the Olol manor, and were joined by Alathar again. They heard some loud yelling coming from outside and a knock at the door. Answering it, they discovered that Wenraldio, a guard they had met earlier wanted entrance. He walked inside and asked them if they knew a man named Leodor Rastormel. He described him as an eladrin magic-user with blonde hair. The group realised he meant the eladrin that had attacked them in Ralan’daak’s palace, and then destroyed himself and his partner when they were defeated.
Wenraldio blamed them for his death, claiming that he had never been the type to take his own life.
An argument ensued, but an unusual sound from outside interrupted them. They heard the beating of huge wings, and identified it as a dragon’s flight. It sounded like it landed, and they saw a woman come into view. He had dark hair and was covered in fancy jewellery. She revealed herself to be Tiamat, a powerful evil dragon goddess. She addressed Alathar, and told him to give her an amulet he was wearing. She revealed that the amulet belonged to Asmodeus and was valuable beyond measure. Alathar told the group that he got the amulet from the cult of the elemental eye as payment for helping fund them in Ghalem’Ka until they turned on him. He found out the amulet was cursed and could not give it up. Every time he removed it, he was hunted by devils.
They made a deal with Tiamat that they would hand her the amulet if she gave them a dragon to protect Alathar from the devils and a security payment of one of her many rings.
She removed a sapphire-studded ring and handed it to them, telling them that it could be used to call on a dragon for protection.
She turned to leave, and as she rounded the corner, they heard the beating of dragon wings again. She flew away, leaving them with Wenraldio. Wenraldio had been quiet all this time, giving space to Tiamat. He spoke up now though, demanding that the group come with him to the local constabulary and eventually to a trial. They agreed to go with him, and they set out across the city.

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Session Eighteen: The Tyrant of Mag Tureah
The assault on a tyrant and a city of splendour.

The group came down the stairwell to find themselves in an armory. While they donned new equipment and searched, they received a message from Isis warning them to try to avoid conflict with Buarainech, as he was an Archfey: one of the powerful rulers of the Feywild. The group decided to press on, and were led into a large cavern chamber. Peering around the corner, they saw Buarainech on a huge throne, accompanied by a cyclops. To the side of the throne were magical circles, two of which were activated and used as prisons. Trolol was in one of them, and another eladrin man was in the other, both with their corner trees. The man turned out to be Trolol’s father, and the group set about freeing the two and decided to engage Buarainech. Buarainech fought brutally, and Zola was felled in the fight. As Zola collapsed, he noticed that time had stopped and he was being approached by a humanoid figure with horns and a tail. The figure introduced itself as Dispater, and offered Zola a deal. If Zola would allow Dispater to control his body for five minutes in the future, he would be granted a powerful weapon now for the same amount of time and restored to better health.
Zola refused the deal, and Dispater left the fight to continue. Zola found himself awakening to the face of Isis, and she told him he had been resurrected in the Astral Sea. She told him about the powers in the Feywild that seek to destroy unravel the world, and they took counsel with angels of Moradin, Bahamut and Kord before deciding to send Zola back to the Feywild. They took him to a teleportation circle in the huge golden city and he left the Astral Sea.

In the feydark, the fight continued until eventually Buarainech was badly injured. He took one final blow, and began to fade away, leaving the group wondering if he was really defeated. Trolol’s father found a scroll amongst Buarainech’s belongings in the the room that allowed them to create a linked portal, and they stepped through to find themselves not far from Mithrendain. They approached the forest-city and met with a city guard who said his brother was missing. He asked them to keep an eye out for him and told them his brother’s name was Leodor Rastormel. The group continued through the city and they travelled to the Olol manor, where they rested.
Buarainech

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