Some Flare Out

Sessions 16 and 17

Engulfed by Threats

Inevitable Foes

Concluding their business in Waterdeep, the party distributes all the acquired supplies to Lenara and Archibald and outfits themselves in preparation for the joint assault on Arturus’s forest compound. They arrange a meeting point with Archibald, and Lenara says she will contact them the following day to prepare the teleportation arrival point for .Kah’s mercenaries.

As the party leaves, they inform Loren that they plan to find where his mother is being held and free her. Loren decides to join them to put his newfound sorcery to good use in the fight to rescue his mother. They set out early from Waterdeep and remain slightly east of the road as they travel.

It is not long before they encounter a strange phenomenon in the woods. A large, very intense gray cloud appears before them, shifting and expanding. They detect Conjuration magic and set up a perimeter, waiting for the magic to reveal itself fully. The cloud continues to stretch and contract until it resembles a thin plate, standing vertically, hovering several feet off the ground. The sound of magical electricity permeates the air and without warning, the bow of a ship bursts through the grey. The ship stops as suddenly as it appeared, and with less than a moment’s pause, three strange creatures, which the party will later recognize as Gith, throw nets at Lawrence, Petra, and Sim, despite their hidden positions. The nets aimed at Lawrence and Sim fly awry, but the one aimed at Petra strikes home and the five Gith on the ship begin to all pull her in towards them.

Wasting not a moment’s time, Petra invokes the power of Kossuth and envelops the area around her in flames, attempting to break free of the net. The net is much stronger than it first appears, and this does not allow her to escape, but the Gith pull her onboard despite the flames, incurring heavy damage. The rest of the party springs into action in an attempt to get Petra off the ship. They succeed, but Sim and Khaber both find themselves now caught on the ship as it begins to recede into the portal. Disregarding the danger, the entire party rushes through the portal into the unknown realm beyond.

No sooner have all members of the party passed through than the portal dissipates behind them, leaving them stranded in a strange region which resembles space more than any place they have ever seen. Fortunately for the party members not aboard the ship, the laws of physics are tenuous at best here, and so they are able to reassemble and face the threat of the Gith.

Aboard the ship there are a total of ten Gith soldiers, some of whom wield similar silver swords to the one that the party procured from Loren when he was possessed by Markham Ovren. Using his psionic powers, Sim is able to read that the intentions of the Gith are to “kill them and take the sword.” He attempts diplomacy, and even throws the sword down at their feet, but they seem unaffected and their goal remains the same.

With some effort the party is able to overtake the ship and kill all the Gith aboard the vessel. They begin to examine the strange technology; they quickly realize that they have no idea where they are, no idea how the vessel propels itself, and no idea how to return to their own plane of existence. They find a few blue glowing spheres which respond to psionics and arcane magics, but not divine magic, as well as cannons that seem to have no holes for gunpowder. Further examination of the captain’s quarters reveals a psionic comm link, which becomes active once the party places four of the silver greatswords held by the crew into four crests nearby. Sim is able to tap into various messages, but unable to communicate with or understand the voices; in addition, a few of them appear to be repeating the same words in a loop.

As they examine the deck, Sim and Lawrence find that they can summon controls for the ship and, with heavy concentration, manipulate its trajectory. Unlike ships in their plane, which require wind or rowing, once they set a trajectory and give the ship an impulse it continues until halted. Sim spends a few minutes acclimating himself to the controls before engaging the ship towards one of three small islands within eyeshot.

While the ship travels, Sim uses his own silver sword on each of the crests in turn and attempts to use the communication sphere again. The messages change, and he attempts to call out to each in turn, receiving a response from two of them. The voices speak in very fluent draconic, demanding that he identify himself and how he came into possession of the ship. He gives no answer.

On the island, the party discovers abandoned ruins which appear to have been untouched for quite some time. Off in the distance, they see intermittent, irregular flashes of gray resembling the portal through which they traveled. They leave that island assuming that the flashes are more ships coming to assault them, and head towards a different one. The second island they find is similar to the first, except for a few recently-added artillery towers. The flashes continue off in the distance.

Deciding to face the threat head-on rather than plan an ambush, the party sets course for the area of the gray flashes at maximum speed. As they near it, they see that the flashes are not in fact more vessels, but seem to be caused by an enormous creature somewhat reminiscent of a colossal djinn. They do see a few Gith vessels, including one that is significantly larger than their own, as well as debris matching the construction of a ship not unlike their own. Sim continues his straight-on path towards the creature, dodging debris with impossible precision.

Seeing that the other vessels are firing on the behemoth, Petra and Khaber man one cannon while Lawrence and Loren man a second, loading and shooting bolts at the creature as best they can; they quickly realize that the bolts do not travel as normal, but that their own mental efforts can influence its trajectory. They manage to score two quick hits on it and Sim continues to dodge debris. The behemoth focuses one of his gray portals at their vessel and manages to clip the left wing; the handling of the ship suffers, and Sim begins to compensate. Soon, the behemoth begins to ignore the other Gith vessels and focus its attention solely on the party.

Most of the bolts fired by the party strike true to the creature’s neck, and before long it begins to show signs of weakening. The larger Gith vessel begins to move on an intercept course with the behemoth, which charges the party’s vessel, firing off more gray spheres at them. Though the maneuvers are challenging, Sim’s quick thinking and analysis skills ensure that the party stays one step ahead of the creature, finally placing them in a perfect position to ram its neck with the ship directly. As he begins accelerating, a huge chunk of debris flies towards the ship, threatening to destroy the party. Lawrence and Petra abandon ship at Sim’s order, but Khaber heroically leaps and uses his scythe to redirect the path of the rock, taking him with it. The ships strike true and the behemoth seems to die.

The party reassembles on their ship unscathed as the large Gith flagship pulls up next to them. An ornately-armored Gith, likely a general, calls out to them in draconic and demands that they explain how they came into possession of their vessel. Sim explains the events, reminding the general that many more Gith lives would have been sacrificed to destroy the creature had the party not intervened. Though the general is clearly hostile towards them, he does acknowledge both their valor and the end result they achieved; as such, he agrees to come aboard their ship to speak to Sim in private.

In the captain’s quarters, he tells Sim briefly about the silver sword that he holds; how it was given as a peace offering to the humans, and how the silver swords themselves represent the souls of the Gith people. He returns the sword to Sim, telling him to make use of it against Arturus, but warning him that should Gith blood ever be drawn with it, there will be no such forgiveness. Sim vows that as no Gith blood has yet touched its blade, no blood ever shall. Finally, the general tells Sim to hold not the Gith responsible for the attack on their party, but rather the deceit of “their own human allies.” Sim notices that the Gith refer to all members of the party as human, and can not discern which of their allies might be the traitor from this comment alone.

The general returns to his ship and commands his mages to create a portal back to the material plane for the party to use. They bid farewell to the Gith and return, finding themselves in the forest but on the far northwest side of Arturus’s compound. After sending a status update to Lenara, they circle around towards the meeting point on the southwest side, making double time the entire way to ensure that they reach the site with ample time to sleep and prepare for the day. They hear no word back from her.

As they approach, they remember the words of the Gith general. At the site they find Archibald’s men; a cursory scan of their thoughts reveals that they are uneasy; the general pervading thought is “they should have been here by now, something is wrong.” Lawrence cautiously approaches, with an escape plan ready, but the mercenaries seem to not be hostile, so the entire party comes out of hiding. Archibald explains to them that they have not heard any word from Lenara concerning the appointed meeting spot or the status of the party.

Worried, Petra uses her magic to scry on Lenara. She finds Lenara still in Waterdeep, preparing a magical site with the help of some mages from the Order of Magisters and Protectors. The party sends a message to Lenara again to hear her response, but she gives no indication that she has heard anything. Petra attempts to scry more closely, to hear what is being said, but the spell becomes hazy and unclear the closer she attempts to get. Given no answers, the party prepares for the next day, wary of a trap.

They awaken before dawn and travel with Archibald as a group towards the meeting site, still having heard no word from Lenara. Upon reaching the site, they watch as a portal forms and .Kah and his men appear before them.

With a harpoon taller than Lawrence brandished at them, through a toothy smile, .Kah says, “Hello friends.”

Comments

DownStatic

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.