Dark Waters of Freeport

Madness Found

As they search the Labyrinth they encounter a maddening array of traps, puzzles and creatures that test their patience. In addition to the trolls they have had to deal with medusas and manticores. Every time they damage the structure in any way they seem to draw powerful undead from the ethereal plane. Also notable has been 2 powerful serpent creatures that almost got the best of them. One was a monk with snakes for arms, and the other, a human looking alienist that has escaped. The key all their trials has been discovery of some of the strange sigils that the arcane attackers of Freeport had on them. So far they have acquired sigils 1, 2 and 3. They have also discovered sigil 20, but were unable to acquire it as of yet. The vexing issue with these sigils is that once acquired they reveal additional parts of the labyrinth that were previously unseen. So every inch of the maze must be reexamined after gaining new sigils.

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Search for Madness

After asking questions of the heads of the dead wizards and comparing that information with what Fherrol had told them they decide to search the northern coast of A’Val. After weeks of scouring the coast and the ocean floor they uncover an ancient lava tube and follow it into the heart of the mountain. They discover a gigantic enclosed cavern in the center of the island they have been living on for years and never knew of. It is infested with all sorts of primordial creatures, including dinosaurs, giant alligators, trolls and a community of serpent creatures. Atop a large stalagmite they find carvings of snakes that can be none-other than Valossan. Searching through the disturbing images they find several passages that are not only dead-ends but trapped. The fourth and final passage leads to an open room. As they descend they come under attack from powerful invisible fire giants, only to latter find they are trolls covered in illusions of giants. One of these “giants” spends the entire fight casting powerful spells and as the fight turns in the party’s favor, this spellcaster creates a prismatic sphere just of the Fatespinner did in Freeport.

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The Attack of the Six

After a month of research and planning in preparation of an imminent attack from six powerful wizards, the time has come. As the group waits at their appointed places in the city they see the distress call coming from Drac’s End. When they arrive they see several alien creatures rampaging through the city, but more importantly they notice students fleeing from the Freeport Institute. Racing through the academy they find professor Whitmire viciously slain and his office aflame. They track down the Alienist wizard in red dragon form and assault him only to have him teleport to safety.
Meanwhile, the others are attempting to locate one of their own. A wizard from the city guild has gone rogue and they have no idea of her intentions. During the search they see warnings coming from the Sea Lord’s palace and they split up even further. Trey and Frank sprint through the castle passing injured guards and thugs on their way. In what appears to be Marilise’s chambers they find Karl the Kraken and some friends along with an invisible Enchanter. Before even getting an attack off on him he magically walks through the wall and escapes.
All the while a stormcaster is pummeling the Fortress of Justice in an apparent attempt to aid the prisoners of the Tombs in escaping. As the entire party converges on him, he then makes his escape after causing severe damage to the forces and structures of the center of law and order in the city.

They decide a new strategy is needed.

A decision was made to stay together as a group to better deal with the attacking wizards and defend each other. Two days later another alarm goes up in the Merchant district. They race to the Plaza of Gold to see the statue of the deity Xerbo marching through the streets tearing up the vendors booths as it goes. Also, many citizens seem to be frantic or confused, but no sign of any attacking wizard. Moments later an alarm goes up in the nearby temple district and the heroes rush to find the temple to Procan engulfed in toxic fumes and the temple to Kord in chaos, as several members are attacking each other. At the heart of it all is a mass of tentacles that begins attacking them. After several rounds of combat with the party, it leaves to continue its attack on the temples. This time covering the temple of Trithereon in an acidic mist, and setting the libraries of the temple of Knowledge ablaze. They split their attention between stopping the destruction of the temples and killing the creature. None the less, they are able to defeat the creature and determine it to be the Wild Mage.

While all this was going on several other attacks have taken place around the city. The pirate Scarbelly has ordered his crew and other orcs from Bloodsalt to attack the docks. The city watch along with many citizens put up a good fight till the party arrives and settles things down. They find many dead on both sides, including MF. Scarbelly has somehow been put in an invisible prison much to his dismay. In the distant a barrage of lightning strikes hit the Lighthouse and the surrounding area. They latter learn the wizards guild was attacked with many area fire spells aimed at destroying the building and killing everyone in it. The structure was relatively unscathed except for the death of Tarmon, the guildmaster.
The very next morning all hell breaks loose. The party is attack as they stand guard in the tower wall and the streets of old town fill with bizarre creatures. When the smoke clears, they have managed to kill the Alienist and the Stormcaster, but Fherrol has died in the process. They latter learn the Mindbender was killed attempting to take control of the Syndicate.

The final tally is 4 of the Six attacking wizards have been slain, the Wild Mage, the Alienist, the Stormcaster and the Mind Bender. The Fatespinner has escaped and the Archmage was never seen.

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The Assault

After being loaned a sword to help in their quest they pack up and set sail once again through this miasma of elements. Fighting off an electrical monstrosity during an electrical storm. Ival leads them on the way to the White Slaads home. They see several slaads about to enter an unseen ingress. They attack them, and then head inside when they see a small opening appear. They chase slaads deeper into the floating mountain. As they go the see dead bodies of both slaads and other creatures obviously from a previous struggle.

They find a prison, and after killing the two grey slaad wardens, they investigate what prisoners are being held. They find:
1) Large Bronze male Dragon – Goes by the name of Dyson, not interested in killing anything but to help you get out.
2) Chaos Beast – left imprisoned.
3) Firre – A celestial creature that wants to help but is reluctant to face the white slaad.
4) Githzerai wizard – that just wants to get home.
5) Large troll with bat wings – left imprisoned.
6) Vampire – Killed by Theo while escaping.
7) Six armed demon – left imprisoned
8) Celestial Rhino – not very intelligent.
9) Grey slaad – accepted a dominate in order to be released

They release the dragon, the firre, wizard, rhino, and the slaad (under domination). All are sent to the ship except the slaad that shows them the way to his leader.

First they encounter a prepared Death Slaad that makes a hideous example of the dominated Grey salad, before himself being killed by the group. They quickly find the White Slaad waiting for them with reinforcements. Theo is able to dispatch most of the guards as the group surrounds the White, ignoring the remaining guards. Feeling threatened the White destroys Trista then Ricard. Still being outnumbered he fights for his life. Ival somehow sneaks invisible and begins removing items from the crazed frog’s pockets. After several rounds he seems to find what he was looking for and disappears, presumably to return the stone to Asmodeus. They are able to dispatch the slaad shortly thereafter.

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The Nightmare Becomes Real

Each attack against the black crystal is almost useless and met with mind-numbing sensations. Several of the heroes become stunned. Later we discover they just entered a dream state where they were enticed by something or someone. In this dream state some of them are able to overcome the temptations and attack the black pillar much easier than their counterparts in the real world. Once destroyed in the dream-world they easily destroy it for real.
They search and find the blacksmiths, at least the few that remain. Some of them are totally corrupted in their thoughts and wish to remain to finish their work. They are all taken to Neva’s monastery; there the party is rewarded with sanctuary and rest in this volatile world before continuing their quest.

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Fiery Nightmare

They enter the floating smoking rock by willing part of the rock out of existence and begin fighting their way through wave after wave of fire creatures. Each time they clear one area they search for another section of wall to open with their mind. They are met with barriers of molten rock and walls of fire but they fight their way through. They encounter a giant Efreeti surrounded by lave, but when he is approached he flees. After destroying yet another barrier they encounter him again, in the center of a large room flanked by fresh minions. The group does not fall victim to the illusionary trap of him standing exposed and he is force to come out of hiding. This time he stands his ground. He brings both Frank and Neva to their knees but eventually is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the heroes after they dispatch his guards.

They continue in search of the captured blacksmiths and find a chamber containing a large floating black crystal surrounded by sigils both floating in midair and covering all the surfaces. Also in the room are three humans in some sort of ritualistic trance. Fherrol recognizes some of the markings as signs of chaos and entropy, Theo seems to identify other symbols and orders the party to destroy the giant floating obelisk. Suddenly the room fills with despair.

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Into the Quagmire

After stocking the ship with food and rum they set sail for the ever-changing plane of Limbo, with their trusty if annoying imp guide, Ival. After a few short days of trying to get use to floating through the quagmire of various elements they have a brief encounter with a band of native slaads. That is followed a few days later by an attack from tentacle deformed white dragon that is eventually chased away.
Continuing on, several of them notice they are being observed from a distance. When they go out to investigate they are greeted by a githzerai named Neva. After some lengthy introductions she explains she was trying to rescue some of her people from slavery. She has the burns and bruises to prove it. The party offers to help her, so they rest for the day to prepare for a fight into a floating mixture of rock and lava. She describes all sorts of various fire creatures, some they recognize, some they don’t. She believes a wizard has gathered these creatures to operate a massive forge of some-kind, for reasons unknown to her. She encountered Azers, Fire Giants, and some sort of fiery Yuan-Ti. She is also aware that there are Salamanders and at least one powerful Efreeti.

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A Little Get-Together

After much debate about the lantern, and the fate of Harcourt, it is decided the party will keep the lantern for safe keeping and Harcourt will stay with the group to ensure his safe return to Freeport. They spend the night in the desecrated temple rather than risk further encounters on the way out. After getting fully healed and regaining what sanity they had to start with, they set out to explore the metal ship they bypassed on the way in. Once again they face off with the creatures in the waters. After they are killed, Harcourt helps by recovering some of the wands dropped by the dying bodies. The ship itself is infested with fire demons that are just happy to see the qlippoths all dead. Making their way below deck into the navigation room they discover it is haunted by ghostly serpent creatures. Only K’Stallo can remove the haunt but he refuses. He is disgusted that he is not being given the one artifact of his people that could reveal any worshipers to the Unspeakable One. “Humans ask for my help but at the same time deny me what I need to provide this help.” The lantern is handed over to him and he agrees to cleanse the ship and give it to heroes.

Now that catastrophe is averted Trista can finally move forward with her wedding. For the bachelor party Hale escorts Rolin to several erotic establishments before finally ending up at the House of Serenity. He not only protects Rolin from dangers of the night but also from the very temptations he subjects him to. The wedding itself goes off mostly as planned. The guests are well behaved considering the business and political struggles between several of the attendees.

Almost an entire year has gone by and the heroes have a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Most of them take the free time to enjoy their passions or to enhance skills. One night they all return home together and are greeted at the door by Seer. She informs them they have a guest. However, before even meeting the guest they notice something different with Seer…she is acting….normal! But their attention is quickly diverted to their “guest.” A stunningly handsome gentleman dressed in red and black finery that is so exquisite they believe it worth more than all of them combined. He immediately greets them and congratulates them on the recent endeavors, especially their latest excursion to Minaurous. He warns them about the repercussions of such an act, and he wishes to help but his office prevents him from doing so without compensation. It does not take the group long to realize just whom they are talking with, none other than the ruler of all of Hell, Asmodeus. When no one is willing to commit their soul to him he seems dejected. “I really like this quaint little town and I would really hate to see it spoiled,” he tells them. When some other form of payment is suggested he comes up with a solution. There is a task they can perform for him, they will need to travel to the plane of Limbo and recover the Owain stone, and an accord is reached. Then he leaves with the group an Imp guide named Ival and demands he be returned with no permanent damage.

Once the stone is delivered to me in working order, I will hinder any revenge set upon you or Freeport by the denizens of Minauros for 100 years or as long as I sit on the Ruby Throne, whatever is shorter.

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Temple of Yig

The remaining search uncovers a demonic black pudding that has corrupted the watery canals that connect the entire structure. They dispatch it with relative ease. Entering the last room at the end of the hall they see the lantern that is the source of so much trouble. As they enter the room it seems to create duplicates of themselves that they have to face in combat. Instead of using their remaining power in an equally balanced encounter they choose to avoid it altogether using magical transportation. Descending down into the lower level of the complex they find an ancient temple to the god known as Yig. Harcourt Horkel and several serpent creatures appear to be defending it. However, nothing is as it appears to be, one of the creatures is actually K’Stallo. Also, they come under attack by an invisible creature, the same creature that has been implanting eyes in each of them, Granthu. The ensuing encounter proves to be extraordinarily disorienting. This ancient abyssal creature has the ability to instantaneously exchange places with anyone that he has implanted an eye into, at the same time changing the looks of the victim to appear as the qlippoth, as he in turn changes form to appear as the victim. This causes several attacks to occur against each other. Ricard is able to remove an enchantment from K’Stallo turning the tide of the battle. When they finally do defeat the bizarre creature all the remaining imbedded eyes borrow their way through the host’s flesh. The sight of which causes loss of sanity, in addition to physical damage. Being emotionally and physically spent, they camp in the temple for the night, with much discussion about whom the lantern belongs to.

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Granthu's Lair

They ask around about where to find Harcourt and quickly find out he is selling enlightening views of a glowing lantern in the backroom of a snakeweed den. They interrupt him as he radiates an aristocratic couple in the lanterns glow. The couple is quickly overcome by madness as Harcourt escapes out a secret door. They follow him into the sewers of Freeport where they find a new excavated side passage leading down. Following it for what appears to be close to a mile, several members begin to fall down into a sloping shaft. They emerge into a large flooded cavern inhabited by some bizarre creatures they have never seen before. In the distance they see a metal ship and a stone structure. Once the rest group is together they avoid the creatures and enter the edifice. As they search the building for the qlippoth or the lantern they met several denizens. Among those encountered is a lightning elemental, some massive spiders, a nalfeshnee demon and an undead bodak. During each of these combats, save the demons, the qlippoth they are hunting sneaks up invisibly from behind and attacks one of the party members defiling them with the eyes they have become accustom to. So far Ferrol, Tray and Theodor have been infected with one or more of these foul eyes, to what purpose they don’t yet know.

Further investigation discovers an advance ancient library created by Valossan arcanist, the original inhabitants of this stronghold. By placing a crystal to your forehead months of information gets relived in a matter of seconds. What they discover answers most of their questions about recent events in Freeport. During the height of the Valossan empire a sect of followers to Yig that called themselves the Revealers of Truth, built an artifact to combat the incursions of the Unspeakable One into their society. This lantern would expose anyone who secretly worshiped the dreaded alien entity. Once revealed the cultist soul could then be drawn into the lantern and thus denied to the Unspeakable One. They call this lantern the Eye of Yig. To guard their creation they traveled the planes in a dimensional galleon and returned with a powerful qlippoth named Granthu.

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