That Which Swiftly Follows

A Chance Encounter of The Demon Kind

Exploring the “city” of Splinter, the Party was immediately accosted by a follower of Syu, the goddess of fire. The follower was burning, his face and arms aflame as he screamed at Trundor in Infernal. Only Urisk could understand him, and struggled with the man, attempting to douse the flame covering him. A helpful Tiefling onlooker understood the raving as well, and assisted Urisk in dousing the follower. The Tiefling introduced himself afterward as Nomdeplus Portmantaeu, and claimed he had been tracking the party for some time. He has a vested interest in thwarting the Grey Lillies, and thinks the party and his objectives align. The party vetted him, demanding loyalty and concessions and warning of repercussions should he betray them. In due time, they accepted their newest member and began strategizing for the upcoming Summit at the Palace of the Pirate Lords. The summit is a meeting happening in 2 days and will determine the “ownership” of the wreckage of the RN Oberon, which holds untold treasures and offers access to the extremely magical Crystal Plains. The party decides to infiltrate the party under the guise of an Entertainment Troupe.

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The Crystal Meeting

The party arrived at the gates to the palace of the pirate lords with their disguise in full swing. Gary was shape shifted into a bear wearing a leotard, pulling a cart with Shiitake in the form of a semi mobile “drug tree”. A crowd of revelers followed, partaking in the “drug tree on tour”.

The guards at the gate were easily swayed by Nom DePlus’s lies, and the party ascended the slap shod palace of the pirate lords. They arrived to find a haggard jester failing to entertain a tense room of pirate lords. The jester graciously accepted their performance onto the stage, and Nom doused the lights for added effect. When he brought up the lights, the drug tree was out in the audience, and the minions and lords began to partake. Zekar and Urisk shouldered their way into the meeting of the lords, claiming they had the first right to the wreckage of the Oberon. Bloodbeard, Jimmy and Silas were claiming they were owed a “back pay” of loot from the Oberon, and Ophelia was unwilling to give that to them. The party began to back Bloodbeard and co, to the point Ophelia decided to leave to announce to splinter that the wreckage was free game for any pirate to loot. In a rage, Jimmy began to cast a spell that lifted the palace out of the water, prompting Ophelia to attempt to stop him.

Combat was fast and bloody. Many of the lords fled during the chaos, but Ophelia and Winter Omen stayed, trying to stop Jimmy’s spell. Ophelia quickly struck down Silas with a critical strike to the skull, but was stopped by Gary’s attempts to grapple her. This gave enough time for Zekar to step between her and Jimmy. Before they could come to blows however, Jimmy told the party to fly the palace to the Oberon and he’d meet them there. He then slit his own throat and triggered a powerful death spell, hurling the palace through the air and dropping Ophelia and winter omen through the floor. Silas and Jimmy lie dead on the floor, Bloodbeard is unconscious, and the party has to fly the palace to the Oberon, even though they don’t know how it’s flying in the first place.

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The Flying Palace

We return to our heroes just moments after Jimmy the Magi’s powerful Death Spell which uprooted the palace of the pirate lords and flung it through the air. The party decides to split up. Trundor and Gary go to the bottom of the Palace to look for prisoners. Nom, Urisk and Zekar leave to investigate the brass and steel tower. Shiitake stays in the room and keeps watch.

Trundor and Gary discover the bottom floor to be an enormous ring shaped floor lined with myriad cages. Many are empty, but they find a large zoo style cage that is filled with seventeen Islanders. Trundor frees them, wrestling with the bars of the cage while Enhanced by Gary. After he frees them, Trundor asks if there’s anyone else they should free. One islander tells them they were an army that was captured, and their commander has been taken away for questioning. Trundor sets off to find Commander Vonanti. Gary escorts the seventeen Islanders up through the floors. Calling out to the commander, Trundor attracts the attention of two large scaly creatures which chase him.

Shiitake, keeping watch, notices that Ophelia didn’t fall through the entire palace, instead landing on a beam about 15’ below the floor of the bar. Thinking quickly, he threw a Bengal Tiger from his Tan Bag of Tricks at her, and she was quickly mauled by the feral beast. The two fell from the beam, flying down and horizontally to land on the ground of the floor below. Getting restless, Shiitake ventures down to see where they landed and happens across Winter Omen, soaked in blood, doing something to the corpse of the Tiger. Thinking quickly, he throws another trick from his Tan Bag Of Tricks, this time summoning an Axebeak, which does combat with Winter.

Nom, Zekar and Urisk search Jimmy for loot. They find a pair of potions, one inky black and the other with silver flecks in clear fluid. They also find a ring of keys, with many poorly labeled keys. Nom discovers the key to Jimmy’s room is hollow, containing a smaller, pitch black key. The group tries a key on the door before Nom just Knocks it open. Beyond they find a narrow, low staircase with 8 tiny slave quarters attached. At the top of the stairs, the find an open tower with criscrossing metal catwalks and ladders stretching up the walls to the roof. In the center of the tower stands a glass dome, 5’ on a side, that contains a pale blue whirlwind. The dome is being studied by a group of 4 enslaved gnomes with weights on their ankles, who prostrate themselves before the party. At the top of the tower a dark grey cloud is being prodded by a pair of enslaved gnomes. Zekar frees the gnomes with his blade, asking them questions about the situation. They say that Jimmy enslaved them, tasking them with their current project; making the palace fly. They say that it was not ready, that there is no propulsion to carry the palace. Hysterical, their leader explains to the party that the gnomes are trying to stabilize a levitation spell inside the tower, but they need to disconnect it from the main palace, since the spell will not be able to carry much more than the tower. As the party turns to leave to inform their companions, they begin to get lighter. The palace is falling.

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Palace in the Clouds

The palace is in freefall. The party is scattered. Nom asks the gnomes if there is anything of note in Jimmy’s room, and sets off to explore it when they posit he might be keeping some plans in there. Jimmy’s room is a sty, with a disheveled magical workbench on the far end of the room. The bench has a black drawer with a small keyhole, which Nom matches to the tiny key he found inside Jimmy’s room key. Pulling the drawer open, Nom finds a ladder stretching into a pit far too deep for the drawer containing it. Arjuna and him explore the ladder, finding a secret, immaculate laboratory at the bottom of the ladder. Five more additional ladders line the room, four of which have color coding that matches the royal colors of the cities of Aurora, Quaria, Ketoi, Cetaria. Between the ladders stand glass canisters 7’ high. Two of these are filled with a murky green liquid and naked clones of Jimmy. The center of the room holds a circular table with a bloody handprint at the center. Bloodstained runes spider out from the fingertips of the handprint and form a crude pentagram.

In the dungeon, Trundor enters a lightning fueled rage upon seeing the commander restrained on a torture table. With his Bear Strength, he rips the table free from the ground, carrying it on his shoulder. Far above, Nom makes a wild guess and Dimension doors down to the dungeon, trying to warn Trundor of their descent. He undershoots, and falls to the ground near Trundor, delivering the warning while catching his breath. Trundor hefts the small tiefling onto the table he is carrying and hurls him up the stairs in a near perfect throw. The two continue up the castle, but 1 floor from the top Nom fails to kick off from a wall and begins bouncing around the interior of the castle. Trundor tries and fails to catch him a few times, and the commander’s hand is crushed in one of the impacts. Eventually, Nom and he are able to catch the commander and table, and make their way up to the top floor.

Meanwhile, Shiitake begins escorting prisoners into the secret lab as his weight drops to nothing due to the falling castle. Gary goes and rounds up the gnomes from the tower as well. Arjuna investigates a strange noise from the bar area, and is ambushed by Winter Omen wearing a fresh tiger skin. She attacks Arjuna relentlessly, delivering a flurry of blows that nearly knocks him out. Eventually, he lands a stunning arrow and flees into the secret lab. Gary defends Jimmy’s room with a pair of snakes, and Shiitake conjures a wall of wind to delay Winter. Upon seeing this, Winter leaves out a window. Trundor quickly destroys the table restraining commander Vonanti while the rest of the group piles into the cramped laboratory. Just seconds before the castle crashes into the ocean, Trundor leaps into the drawer, followed closely by a wall of debris and boat shrapnel. This avalanche of wood and barbarian injures 4 of the prisoners critically, and one of the gnomes. It also delivers enough force to rip apart the ladder leading up out of the drawer, and leaves a glowing crack in the wall of the laboratory, through which you can glimpse geometric clouds and an endless lavender sky.

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Things in the Walls

Moments before the Palace of the Pirate Lords crashed into the ocean, the Band of the Arm manages to cram their rescued mob of prisoners and gnome artificers into the extradimensional space they discovered in the lab bench of Jimmy the Magi. The ladder they descended is destroyed by a torrent of rubble, and a glowing crack forms in its place.

After the dust settles, Gary begins to heal the wounded. While he does so, Nom escorts the remaining prisoners up the Auroran colored ladder. Nom and the prisoners ascend into a ruined but stately office, clambering out a desk that perfectly matches the desk in the Palace of the Pirate Lords. The office windows overlook a view of the Expanse in Aurora, and Nom is able to conclude that the office stands in the Lords District. Nom continues to scout the building, finding it to be thoroughly looted and burnt out. He begins to escort his crowd of refugees out of the building, but hears shouts from the desk and dashes back. He finds the drawer in the desk no longer contains a ladder, merely some nick knacks and assorted office supplies. Beginning to despair, Nom sets out to find

Meanwhile, down in the lab, Zekar’s Moonlight Greatsword materializes in his hand, and he cuts cleanly through one of the Jimmy clones. As soon as his blade penetrates the canister, a keening wail fills the laboratory space. The ladders retract into the ceiling and stone seals over their openings. The party begins to panic. Trundor begins to desperately excavate the stone where the ladder to the Palace of the Pirate Lords once stood. He finds a gap in the stones, and begins to dig at it. Beyond, he sees murky water. Gary and Zekar begin to frantically search the Lab, digging through the desk and the ritual table. Gary places his palm on the bloody handprint in the center of the ritual table, causing Jimmy’s voice to boom throughout the lab “You are not one of my apprentices”. Finally, Gary decides to use his Gem of True Seeing, and spots a variety of ethereal notes written by Jimmy, presumably. One such note says “table now only accessible to Jimmy’s and Apprentices”.

Inspiration striking him, Zekar drags over the recently deceased clone of Jimmy and places its palm on the table. The ritual table opens like a camera aperture, revealing a torch lined spiral staircase. At the base of the stairs is a clinically clean metal room with an operating table and intricate machinery lining the walls. Along one such machine are a line of runed switches, labeled in common. Flipping the one labeled “Lockdown Alarm”, Gary races up the stairs, gathers up his companions and rushes up the ladder to Aurora.

While this was going on, Nom begins to try to find his way across Aurora to find asylum for himself and his ~24 refugees. He finds his way to the High Noon Temple, and mentions he is with the Band of the Arm. The vicar attending him and his group goes white and escorts Nom down below in to the Shadowed Temple, where he meets with Nils. Nom talks a bit too much, but Nils is able to validate his membership of the Band of the Arm via a series of Sendings. The rest of the party is contacted and they teleport to the High Noon Temple. The curtain falls as Nils and the party discuss what to do next.

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The Long Way Round

The sessions begins deep in the bowels of the High Noon Temple in Aurora. The party says a brief goodbye to Nils, teleporting to the town of New Borton.

Several inches of unseasonable snow coat the ground, and the sky is darkened with clouds spilling heavy snowflakes in a constant flow. Despite this, the town seems to be thriving. The buildings of the frontier town have been repaired with fresh lumber and the town is abustle with activity. The farms down the hill are cleared of snow, and neat rows of thin blue mushrooms dot the view.

The party makes their way to the Circle Of Druids they left in Borton, and spend the night discussing the happenings in the town over the last few weeks. They learn that the town’s lost some members over philosophical differences, but that otherwise it seems to be doing well. The snow falls constantly, so the Druids have worked to move the colony to grow a mountain mushroom from Ket, which can survive the cold. After they rest, the party teleports to the wreckage of the RN Oberon.

Their teleport goes horribly wrong, and they appear half in the surfaces they wanted to, dematerializing and re appearing in seperate parts below deck of the Oberon. While exploring their surroundings, a few of them notice a pillar of glowing crystal in the center of a ruined kitchen. Crystaline constructs crawl on its surface, like four legged crystal spiders. Arjuna makes a noise while scouting, and kills the crawler that investigates him with a powerful deep split arrow attack. The party converges, Nom casting invisibility, Gary casting long strider, pass without trace and shifting into a giant snake. Arjuna stealthily routs behind the remaining crawlers, and Zekar and Shiitake converge on the fighting.

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They Can't Be Caught

The party flees the fighting with the crystals, climbing up a ruined lift shaft to the deck of the wrecked airship. Below they see a shanty town of tents surrounding the Oberon, and a tent of armored guards near the base of the deck. Emaciated slaves are used in digging operations across the town, as well as in constructing makeshift walls protecting the borders. Wealthy merchants’ tents dot the crowds, guarded by well armed mercenaries. Offshore float dozens of ships near a makeshift jetty, and three galleons. The massive ships tower over the smaller boats, and Urisk recognizes one as the Reckless Abandon, the ship he used to serve on.

The party schemes below deck before deciding to make a break for the Reckless Abandon. They are spotted by the guards, who ask them to come meet the “bosses”. Nom casts Charm Person on one of them, Conrad Zeph. Between Conny and Nom’s convincing, the guards send a limited detail with the party. Once the guards get back to their tent, they alert their superiors. A chase ensues! Nom plays a brown note, causing their pursuers to release a Stinking Cloud. They begin retching and reeling from the fumes, buying the party enough time to begin leaping from boat to boat, heading toward the Reckless Abandon. Not used to such uneven and shifting terrain, the party struggles from boat to boat. Eventually, Gary and Shiitake become Giant Octopodes, Gary cradling Nom in his tentacles. Urisk takes to the sky on his Ebony Fly, and Arjuna takes to the sea. The curtain falls as the party approaches the Reckless Abandon

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Meeting On Deck

The party approaches the Reckless Abandon, arriving to the top deck of the ship. Three crew members and a man in a First Mates coat jump in shock when they arrive. Nom conjures an explosive bomb with a fuse, convincing them to listen to them before attacking. The first mate introduces himself as Tyran “Sharps” Beltoy. The party implores him to set sail for the Palace of the Pirate Lords, as that’s where Captain Bloodbeard is trapped. Sharps explains that he lied ot the crew when he hadn’t heard from the captain, and that they would mutiny if they discover it. The crew member calling for mutiny is named George Dreyfus, a dwarf who is suspicious of Sharps.

The party decides that Sharps should tell the crew that they have discovered a vast wealth of treasure at the location of the plume of smoke. Sharps is unsure if he can sell the message, so he has Nom do it for him. Nom delivers the speech, wooing over the crew and the party sets sail for the Palace of the Pirate Lords.

Also, a guy named Taln Obradine got wedgied and then pantsed right in a row. He’s very embarrassed

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Plumbing the Wreckage

The action opens with the party aboard the Reckless Abandon, sailing toward the wreckage of the Palace of the Pirate Lords. They are approached by a stout dwarf woman named Hildje, who is disguised as a pirate and is actually a member of the Adventurer’s Guild. She explains that there is a mutiny brewing and she would like to flee the ship with the party in the event the mutiny comes to pass. The party agrees, planning to question her more when they have a bit more time.

The Abandon arrives at the wreckage, which is smoking and sinking into the ocean. Only the top floor of the Palace is above water, and not for long. The Abandon is hailed by a goldenrod yellow ship called the First Light. They claim to be privateers from the Quarian Navy, and to have claimed the wreckage for Quaria. They send over a delegation of sailors, along with their Captain Nelle and a white robed magi. Nelle believes the party is intending to rescue Bloodbeard, and plans to send some crew members to accompany the party. Before they can set forth, Nom uses mage hand to pull the shirt of an Abandon crew member up over their head, provoking them to draw their blade. The remainder of the crew draw their weapons and begin to charge the First Light delegation. Nelle leaps back to her ship, dragging her crew on invisible strings back to the deck of her ship. The party decides to jump off the side of the Abandon, swimming desperately for the wreckage. As they swim, a battle breaks out on the deck of the Abandon, the mutiny fully kicked off. Sharps spots the party and follows them, swimming some distance behind.

Once on the wreckage, the party descends into it, finding themselves in the top floor where their earlier battle took place. They find the bar where they performed, but only a pool of blood where bloodbeard and Jimmy’s bodies should be. A trail of blood stretches out a door and into Jimmy’s old suite. Arjuna tries to flush out the occupants of the room with his decanter of endless water. A figure emerges from the torrent of liquid, sputtering. He is dressed in beige military dress with a red beret and a bushy auburn mustache. Other than that, he is the spitting image of Jimmy the Mage, and introduces himself as Colonel Jimmy. He recognizes the party and asks if they want Bloodbeard, who is bleeding out. The party administers first aid quickly (in the form of a health potion) while Col. Jimmy explains that Jimmy the Magi is dead and that he will rendezvous with the party at the Oberon in one days time. Col. Jimmy descends into the desk drawer, pulling the desk in with him and leaving the party in an empty room.

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A Crystal Panic

The party emerges from the wreckage of the Palace to see the First Light engaging in naval combat with the pirates trying to loot the area. The Reckless Abandon’s crew is still battling against the mutineers, who are led by George. Nom uses his Thaumaturgy to hail the Abandon, announcing that Bloodbeard is alive! A rescue party retrieves the party and their companions, bringing them to the deck of the Abandon. The crew apprehends the mutineers, and sets sail for the town of Folly and the RN Oberon.

While sailing, Bloodbeard wakes up and thanks the party for saving him. In return, he offers them any favor. They spin a tale of the crystal forces attacking Folly, asking Bloodbeard to retract his crew from the town. Nom manages to convince him of the lie, and he agrees to pull out of the Crystal Current, though he’s confused about what the party gets out of it.

The crew of the Abandon set out into Folly, recalling their fellow crew members who had gone to ground there. That sparks anger from the remaining crew members, who call Bloodbeard’s crew cowards and fools for abandoning their endeavor. Seeing this, Nom decides to spread rumors to get the other townsfolk worried about an attack from the crystals. Zekar uses Hallucinatory Terrain to make the crystals appear to spread across the sand, which ignites the spark of panic in the town. Suddenly, dozens of pirates pull up their tents and flee into their ships, bringing their slaves with them. Shiitake uses reverse psychology to drive the seagulls of the area to shit liberally on the pirates until they leave, making the riot a very messy one. The remaining party members sit back and watch the chaos unfold, setting up camp some distance from town.

A few hours pass, and the town is down to about one third its previous population, and those that remain warily watch the illusory crystals. As the party begins to get ready to Long Rest, a row boat approaches from the north carrying Colonel Jimmy. He asks the party for information about the Oberon and their dealings with the crystals. They recount their journey, and Jimmy takes liberal notes. They then ask him about the Jimmy’s plans, and he informs them that he only follows orders of “Capital J Jimmy, the Big Jimmy, the original Jimmy”. He then tells them that “danger follows you and you should stay away from the RN Oberon so as to not interfere with the Jimmy’s plans”. Zekar tries to Suggest Jimmy to stay, but he resists and calls Zekar out for trying as he departs. The curtain falls as the party decides where to spend their apparent time off from the Crystal Plains.

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