Dark Waters of Freeport

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.

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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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Truth Sunders Again

As the group discusses their fate with the stoic Archon they hear a scream from outside the building and move to investigate. As usual Seal arrives there first and sees a manic escaped patient. She is taken aback by its frightful scream. The Archon appears behind him and ready to strike. A fight breaks out, some trying to subdue the insane citizen of Freeport, others trying to stop the Archon from slaying the poor soul. When the dust clears the Archon is dying and the patient is subdued. They decide to investigate inside Chambers Asylum to get some answers. There they find some more Hound Archons lead by a Trumpet Archon and they are killing all the humans. The group demands answers to what is going on. The Trumpet Archon introduces himself as Mordrok. He explains that due to the increase of insanity in the city it has given an entity, he calls the Primordial Chaos, a foothold into the prime material here in Freeport. Many of the patients have become anchors for this creature of chaos, the others are assessable to becoming the same, and they all must be killed before it is too late. The group agrees to help slay all the anchors but only if they can save those that have just been sundered. Only Ricard disagrees; he will not become a mass murderer, so he leaves to update the Sea Lord. So the Archons and the party destroy about a dozen of the anchored patients and guards. They find about a half dozen that are still able to be saved by Theo’s healing.

They continue their search going upstairs and encounter Bianka Altanish the director of the asylum. She had gathered several volunteers in an attempt to restore order. However, as they are discussing the situation, something comes over her and she begins admitting to terrible crimes against the inmates under her care. She has been using them in her “life research” in an attempt to root out the secret of immortality due to her own fear of death. She and all of her associates are quickly subdued. Theo determines that she has been infected with the same eye that befell Trista, and that is the reason for her surprising and sudden confession. None-the-less Trista intends to turn her over to the City Watch to face trial for her crimes. Before she is turned over Bianka pleads for her life. She lets them know the she has Aletha Dorch of the Truth Speakers in her laboratory. She has been questioning her in an effort to find out the truth of immortality. In these sessions she has learned that most, if not all of the cause for the recent rash of secrets being reveled is due to a lantern of some sorts, and it is currently being wielded by none other than Harcourt Horkel.

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Truth Sunders

With great agility the snake-like medusa slithers around the room putting arrows into Seal, killing her and turning Fherrol into another of her many statues. The remaining two members grab their fallen comrades and magically retreat seeking the help from the rest of the group. They return in full force just minutes later catching the medusa trapped in a small side room and unable to maneuver. The fight is joined by charmed patrons and working girls from upstairs, along with a Rakshasa disguised as the new oracle of Dreaming Street. Theo makes quick work of the feline sorcerer and the charmed girls scatter. However, one of the girls gets a vicious hit on Trista as she realizes she is not what she appears to be. The strange looking creature imbedded some sort of eye from its claw into Trista’s skin as the wound continues to bleed. After a little research they determine the creature is a qlippoth. These fiends predate demons as the dwellers of the abyss.
Over the next several days the situation in Freeport degrades. Many citizens have fallen into madness and sent to Chambers Asylum. One of them being Rolin’s best friend and paladin to Delleb; Jorday. When the group arrives there to investigate, they hear screams emanating from with-in and the asylum guards missing and in their place a celestial being that attempts to drive them away. This Hound Archon is adorned in symbols of law, not the usual motif of good. It warns them that anyone inside will be killed and if they enter, he and his friends will be forced to kill them too. So the party is left with a dilemma, do they obey this creature and leave the fate of the city to him and his friends or do they take the matter into their own hands and enter the asylum?

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