Urgo

A Series of Cold Receptions

The party received word from Ezekiel that he had urgent news regarding the baleful stars. They traveled to Jericho, where they faced an interesting obstacle: as an Eladrin exile, Mikaul was not allowed inside the tower-city. They were able to convince the Patriarch, Isaac, to allow Mikaul to enter as an example of justice to the other Eladrin, accompanied by a young herald named Beth who would shout about the exile’s status. The Patriarch had not overturned the sentence administered by Judas, but he had relaxed its severity.

The party visited Ezekiel in his observatory. The astronomer told him that Nihal, the Serpent Star, herald of Allabar, would reach the world in 30 days. He didn’t know where it would hit yet, but he would keep the party updated. They had two options: let the star fall and cause untold devastation but spread out the damage of the stars, or stop the star before it landed and delay the approach of the other stars at the cost of having them all arrive at once.

Armed with this information, Dipana de Lina and Mikaul performed a ritual to communicate with Judas. He appeared to bear little ill will toward Mikaul, claiming that he had turned over a new leaf. He knew that the party had met with his “sister,” and announced that “we’re fine,” apparently referring to himself and Andraste. He claimed that he alone had the power to destroy the stars and invited the party to help him by joining him at Newhaven.

The party secured permission to travel through Jericho to the Feywild on the pretense of getting information on Judas’s efforts. On the other side, Jericho was a sprawling city. Hogarth Wurmsmasher took time to hunt down a magic belt of strength that would require the pelt of a Winterclaw Owlbear. In order to get this pelt, they had to travel into a snowy mountainous area that was the domain of some sort of imprisoned Snow Princess.

While slaying the owlbear, the party met an adorable mystical snow fox who pleaded with them to free the Princess, who had been sealed away by an evil witch. The fox promised them riches to do so. They had an audience with the Princess and became increasingly doubtful. They learned that the fox was a fey daughter of the Princess and that, if freed, the Princess would try to rule “this land” as a queen of eternal winter. Despite the promise of “riches,” the party left the Princess trapped in her ice cage.

The party headed for the ocean to get to Newhaven. On the way, they passed an Eladrin reeducation camp where Abraham ben Moses was brushing a unicorn. Theron Skarvald stayed behind to break Abraham out of jail, and the rest of the party continued on magically summoned horses to Newhaven.

Newhaven was a giant jellyfish at the site of the material world’s Haven, with an army camped on its massive back. The party encountered Gabriella again and spoke with Judas, who urged them to go into the Abyss and retrieve the Sword of the Hero for him while he negotiated and allied with other powerful beings, including evil gods. The party was reluctant.

Mikaul attempted to contact Tharizdun and received a suggestion that the Sword would be able to corrupt any mortal being. He also discovered that the Seal at Tartarus Chasm was open and cultists were visiting the chained god.

when the Ioun-aligned Eladrin attacked, the party convinced Judas to let them flee to consider his offer. While he was fighting off the invaders they stole some religious implements. Finally, they escaped through a ritual the demigod performed.

Back in Haven, Dipana contacted Avandra for her advice in the situation. She received an enthusiastic vision of everyone working together and trying their best, which was encouraging but lacking in specifics.

The party contacted Onkar and asked for a full map of the portals so that Iola could travel at will. Onkar did one better and constructed a portal at Haven, letting Iola reunite with the party.

Having received word that he had returned, the party went to meet with Silver. Silver suggested they seek out the remaining individuals from The Stronghold Prophecy and provided them with a mysterious metal canister that he said would render the Tartarus Seal inaccessible.

Before leaving, Physic Droog approached the party and gave what seemed like an ominous ultimatum: they were not to close the Seal, as the Apothecareum had plans to use the Sword against the stars. The party gave a noncommittal response before departing for the Tartarus Chasm.

27 Days Left

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Missing Wings and Fevered Dreams

The party was both emboldened and concerned by their trip to the Abyss, and decided to seek guidance from what allies they could find. Remembering the people mentioned in The Stronghold Prophecy, they decided to meet with whatever demigods they could find. They knew that Tetra was in Cannabis, so they tried to make contact with Onkar.

Dipana focused and reached her mind out toward Onkar and felt a dozing consciousness, like a patient drugged and spread open on a surgery table. She wasn’t able to get a precise fix, but she believed it was in the Jovian Archipelago.

Bay 14

The party traveled to the gnome city of Jove and made inquiries. Dipana, Hecate, and Mikaul spoke to officials, learning that they lost contact with Onkar over a century ago for unknown reasons. Meanwhile, after a stop at the interracial nightclub Stilts, Theron, Murrke, and Hogarth visited a curio shop where they purchased what was purported to be a lynchpin of Onkar.

When the party regrouped, they found that Iola was gone. They communicated with her via their Sending Stones and found that she was somehow being controlled involuntarily from a distance. She was taken to the government shipyards into the apparently unused Bay 14, where she descended through giant hangar doors into the machinery below.

The party commandeered a vessel and broke into Bay 14, where they found a hidden shipbuilding complex adorned with motifs of scales and repurposed limbs from some enormous construct. They made their way to the bottom, noting rooms that seemed to be performing almost biological functions.

On their way to Iola, they were stopped in a chapel to Onkar by a group of gnome and construct cultists. They learned that this cult had somehow imprisoned Onkar and cannibalized him into a comatose factory for the Jovian defense program. After some deliberation, the party inserted the lynchpin into the flywheel in the chapel, reawakening Onkar and causing him to tear the facility apart.

The party quickly boarded Iola, taking cultists with them including Father Litor, a beardy gnome who was one of the leaders of the cultists. They watched as Onkar rose from the shipyard, tearing it apart, destroyed any ships which attacked him, and constructed himself a temple sanctuary.

The party entered the sanctuary to meet with Onkar. There they received confirmation that Onkar and Cog were the same being and introduced him to his creation, Iola. Onkar pledged them a boon for releasing him, which they decided to request at a later date.

The Temple at Cannabis

The party then traveled to Cannabis, where they joined the pilgrims traveling to visit Tetra. They ritually cleansed themselves and waited in line, most of them falling victim to hallucinatory vapors. They finally were admitted to Tetra’s chamber, where she seemed confused and dangerous.

She told the party the true name of the Chained God within the sealed prison: Tharizdun. In the confusion and the struggle surrounding the audience, Mikaul was temporarily overcome by some outside force. When all was said and done, the temple was in chaos and Tetra had vanished. The priests of Tetra didn’t seem concerned by any of this.

The party made contact with Ioun through a representative, Aaron, who told them that Ioun was carefully seeking more information on the current situation before acting. She was not inclined to forgive Judas.

Later, Dipana received a pouch of coins, the payout from her investment weeks before. The company had been ruined and liquidated in the construct attacks.

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Abyss and Mechanus

The party was thrown from Karadjin Oh-um’s skiff into the Abyss along with crates of supplies, protected only by some rather simple featherfall vests.

Abyss

They landed in the Plain of a Thousand Portals, a vast desert pockmarked with sinkholes. They fought their way through an iron fortress to a ladder leading deep below into the next level.

On the next level, the Driller’s Hives, the party crossed a swaying, organic bridge to a bulbous structure where a group of demons were performing some sort of ritual to open a portal to the material plane. Wary of taking the direct path, the party moved through some sort of organic substructure that quickly grew hostile.

The party was cut off from each other by woody sphincters in a keratinous maze. They finally escaped into a large chamber beneath the portal. Suspended from fleshy stalks in the middle was a Marut who seemed to be powering the ritual. The party freed him and attracted the attention of a Balor. Theron Skarvald barely escaped the battle with his life when the Marut performed a teleportation ritual to transport the party to the plane of Mechanus.

Mechanus

The party traveled through a cloudy sky on a series of clock faces. The Marut confronted Mikaul, saying that he had gone against his nature by rejecting Eladrin society. Mikaul pledged to return to his proper way of being. Marut offered the group a boon in exchange for their help.

The party inquired about acquiring “an sword of pure evil wielded by an ancient god” and the Marut summoned up a blade that seemed to try to telepathically corrupt those around it. While it didn’t seem to be the Sword of the Hero the party was looking for, the Marut ended up crushing the sentient crate containing the sword after it showed signs of corruption.

The party finally decided on acquiring the powerful artifact Faarlung’s Algorithm and received transportation home to Haven.

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Illithids and Djinns

Assault on Illithids

The party traveled to the Astral Sea with the githyanki to train for their assault on the illithid Ganglion Fleet, which had kidnapped citizens of Haven during the great battle there. At the githyanki citadel, they were told that the illithid thralls were beyond help and were instructed to kill a group of them in cold blood to prepare them for the fight ahead. Some members of the party did so, but they emerged with a distaste for the githyanki and their tactics.

The party emerged from the Astral Sea riding on dragons with the githyanki. They were joined by a pair of adventurers riding a griffon: Mikaul and Hogarth Wurmsmasher, who had been told of the kidnapped citizens by a dragon they encountered.

Together, the group fought through the illithid mothership and rescued the prisoners, smashing the ship to bits as they did so.

A Moment’s Rest

The party traveled back to Haven, where Theron and Hogarth visited a dark oracle, Dipana and Murrke spoke with Brother Li, and Hecate and Mikaul researched with help from Teleth. They emerged with a decision to travel to the City of Brass in the Elemental Plane of Chaos, where they could perhaps find passage to the Abyss.

Slave of Djinns

The party left Iola behind again and traveled to the City of Brass by portal. When they arrived, they found themselves sealed inside an immigration area, where they were forced to find a sponsor in order to enter the city proper. Their sponsor ended up being Karadjin Oh-um. With the help of his water Genassi servant Tiida, he subjected the party to a series of contrived tasks. First, clear his cellar of vermin; second, slay a dragon; and third, retrieve the Sword of the Hero from the bottom of the Abyss.

While waiting in his manor, some of the PCs found a shrine to a spiral-symboled entity called the Elder Elemental Eye. They made unsettling contact with this being who was trapped in darkness and escaped with their sanity mostly intact.

While in the City the party discovered a portal ring that would enable them to return there with Iola.

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Protecting the Seal and the Battle of Haven

Upon arriving at Haven, the party consulted some experts. Salim spoke with Atshe Dean about the nature of the constructs and the malicious memories that he had stored on his removed memory disks. Meanwhile, Murrke and Dipana de Lina worked with Brother Li on an experiment: write spirals in Judas’s prayer book to see what happens. The book sent out jets of fire.

Operating under guidance from Avandra, the party headed for Stronghold where they knew that Haven forces were guarding the Seal there under the oversight of Elka and the Order member Kada.

Stronghold

The party snuck into Stronghold without being spotted by the Haven fleet. They found themselves confronted by soldiers from the Order of the Hero, who attacked to keep them from getting to the Seal. When they got to the Seal chamber, they found Kada leading an effort to unlock the final Lock on the Seal.

The party battled the forces of the Order beneath the open obelisk, preventing them from opening the final Lock. When Elka saw how Kada was willing to attack Haven forces to open the Seal, she ordered Kada and other Order members imprisoned.

When the party emerged, they found that two threats to Haven had arrived at the same time: the Construct Navy’s ultimatum came due at the same time as a storm of small baleful stars was falling on the city.

The Battle of Haven

The party fought an air battle to reach the city and volunteered their services to the city. Suspecting that Silver was really a dragon in disguise, they convinced him to break his cover and help in the battle by making a dramatic entrance to the tavern he was attending and making a compelling argument. They helped with the strategy of the city defense and encouraged stranded adventurers in town to contribute.

The party wrested control of the city’s defensive emplacements from aberrant and construct forces, cleared the city streets of the largest threats. Meanwhile the illithid fleet that had been lurking outside the city on the pretense of protecting it from additional threats swept in and collected as many of the meteors as they could. Just as the party had turned the tide of the battle, an enormous dome-shaped construct dreadnaught rose from the ocean and approached Haven.

The party boarded the construct ship and fought their way to its core, where a figure sat on a throne. They recognized him as the artificial body of Chief Ironglove, one of the researchers from the party’s vision at Stronghold. Salim reintegrated his memory plates, giving him memories of being synced with Ironglove. This helped the party to defeat Ironglove and stop the assault on Haven.

Aftermath

The city was damaged but survived. The team was hailed as the Saviors of Haven. Iola was heavily damaged in the fighting. The silver dragon disappeared without telling anyone his name.

At the award ceremony, the festivities were interrupted by the arrival of Gabriella, an angel announcing the arrival of the Hero who would save them all. The party confronted the angel, managing to intimidate her into giving more details. They soon realized that this Hero was Judas seeking redemption, although that is not yet public knowledge.

Salim was awarded a special post as a special protector of Haven, which he accepted in part to recover from the neurological fallout of syncing up with Ironglove.

The party was approached by Physic Droog, who announced himself as the group’s liason with the Apothecareum. Haven also made contact with the githyanki, who volunteered their assistance to recover the citizens that the Illithid kidnapped during the battle.

Rhuu surrendered during the battle. The party interrogated him and he told them that the Illithid were prideful enough to think that they could use the baleful stars to their own end. Rhuu told of the fall of the Illithid universe. When Urgo’s celestial sphere shattered and the stars were repelled, the stars regrouped at the Illithid world. They destroyed it and the Illithid fled to Urgo’s reality.

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Volrun, Thelchtereia, and Mount Bai

The Drow Eladrin seemed to be after the seal in the Tartarus chasm, but the party fought them off. When the Drow were nearly defeated, they begged the party to spare the “Ancient,” the brain in a glass case that seemed to be directing the Drow. The party showed mercy and the Drow left. The party sealed the entrance to the Hero shrine. They discussed destroying it utterly, but decided to keep it intact but locked.

Volrun

The party traveled to Volrun, where the High Surgeon Wulfgar lived who had tried to have them captured and brought before him. There they found the High Surgeon in his Plaguehouse, where he explained to them how poison has the potential to hurt or to heal, depending on how it is used and in what quantities.

They also found Silver in jail, although he didn’t seem particularly worse for wear. He had apparently broken into the Plaguehouse trying to get the location of the third Seal, but somehow arranged to be allowed to cook breakfast in his cell.

Wulfgar told the party where the Seal at Mount Bai was and urged them to make sure it was secure but not to destroy it, as he had plans for it. Silver urged the party to bury the seal forever so that it could never be accessed.

Thelchtereia

The party traveled toward Mount Bai, but first they stopped at Thelchtereia where they had been told a baleful star would land. They found it drifting toward Neugarde, propelled by strange aberrant ice oozes. The party disembarked on the iceberg, found the impact site, and destroyed the icy monster there, which saved the city. They were toasted as heroes.

Mount Bai

The party left Iola and traveled on foot on Mount Bai at the edge of the Barrens. They saw the forces of Orun arrayed in the wasteland below. As they approached they saw the baleful star Ulban fall, then something racing toward a great fortress on the mountainside. They destroyed this aberrant dragon then snuck into the fortress.

They found that the fortress was originally a citadel of the Cult of the Elder Elemental Eye, but that it was now being held by devils led by the succubus Content Not Found: q. The party made a deal that they would leave the devils in charge of the citadel in exchange for the party informing Q of any new developments.

On the way back the party encountered a construct ship that appeared to be engaged in outright piracy. They boarded it and were able to communicate with its home port via a magic mirror. The construct on the other end of the line demanded the surrender of Haven.

They met the deva admiral Thessia at nearby and warned her of the impending danger to Haven, then traveled there themselves.

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Lake Sinon and Tartarus

The party traveled on Iola east past the Illithid lands to the shores of Lake Sinon. There they saw a beam of light piercing the clouds. In a circle of standing stones, they joined a crowd of peaceful animals to witness the reincarnation of Hecate, a deva with only scattered memories of the current situation. While they were making their introductions, a blinding light fell from the sky elsewhere on the lakeshore.

The party quickly traveled there and discovered a small tribe of goliaths that had been mind-controlled by a fell taint. They dispatched the creature from the Far Realms, and in its dying throes it sent out a psychic wave that triggered empowering visions in each character.

The party departed the lakeshore, made a short stop to record an airship portal that Iola noticed, and continued on to the Tartarus Chasm. When they arrived, they noticed a strange dark cloud hovering below the regular cloud layer. When they investigated, however, the cloud dissipated with a strange smoky, mineral smell.

The party stopped at a dwarven mining structure in the chasm and shared an awkward exchange with the residents. The dwarves gave the party a gift of ale and pointed them toward a strange door that the dwarves had ignored. When the party arrived there, they found a door covered in buttons.

After experimentation caused gouts of fire to burn the party, Hecate used a ritual to determine that the buttons should be pressed in a spiral pattern. Beyond a door, the party found a complex carved out by a single man, crafted to tell the story of a Hero.

According to the reliefs, when three gods shattered a crystal wall or gate, strange orbs descended toward the world. The Hero crafted a black sword and fought back the largest of the orbs, which retreated. The gods grew fearful of the Hero’s power and attacked him by surprise. The sword fell and apparently created the Abyss, while the Hero was trapped in chains and sealed away. The reliefs ended with a plea to defy the gods and free the Hero.

At the end of the complex, the party found a huge cube: a Seal like the one below Stronghold. Two of its three locks were already open, and the corpse of the dragonborn sculptor Medrash kneeled before a half-finished key meant for the third lock. The Seal had been contained in an obelisk carved with the Supernal words, “We are sorry, Brother, but what you have become must never escape.” The party got the instructions to finish the key and prepared to leave.

Dipana created an impromptu shrine to Avandra and prayed for information on why the gods attacked the Hero. There was a rumble, and the statues elsewhere in the complex shifted. The party found a god’s statue beheaded by the fallen sword of the Hero, and the Hero’s blade split open with the word “EVIL” formed inside.

When the party stepped out of the complex and the door closed behind them, they found themselves confronted with strange dark-skinned, white-haired Eladrin stepping off of a foreign airship surrounded by a smoky cloud. On the deck was a brain in a glass enclosure.

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Wylgarde Surprises

The party moved on from Jericho toward the mainland of the northern continent, and stopped at the port city of Wylgarde in Jurn to do some business. Upon arriving, they noticed a smoking and damaged ship limping into dock and three prominent merchant vessels next to each other, flying the flags of different companies’ management.

After engaging in commerce, the party headed to the Scurvy Spyglass, a middle-scale tavern that appealed to tourists with a piratey theme. They discovered Silver there, standing on a table and singing. Theron snuck into a back room, disguised as a server, to spy on the merchant admirals having their discussion. It seems that merchant ships are being attacked by strange vessels of unknown origins which are only stealing the most valuable items.

Silver left and snuck back in, and spoke with the party about their progress. Upon learning of the Hyperion prophecy and Ezekiel’s news, he grew quite concerned. He explained that a group or cult called the Order of the Hero believed that a great hero had defended the world from a great threat and then been betrayed by the gods and imprisoned. Silver believes that the Order will be seeking out the Seals and trying to free the being imprisoned in chains. He suggested ignoring the falling lights completely, calling them “a symptom,” and focusing on securing the seals so that the Order could not unlock them.

After playing a prank on Silver, the party left and was immediately lured into a confrontation with some well-trained and -equipped thugs. The party defeated the thugs and interrogated one. They believed that the thug was a member of the Apothecareum, a supposedly-mythical underworld organization. He claimed that he was given orders to capture the party and bring them to the High Surgeon in Volrun. The party told him to go hide in the mountains for three days before he even thought about reporting back.

The party departed Wylgarde, intending to visit Volrun, Lake Sinon, and the Tartarus Chasm.

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The Events at Jericho

The party briefly moored at Landing to take on supplies. They named their ship Iola the Arctic Gale after a little girl that helped outfit it.

In pursuit of the scholar mentioned in the Hyperion prophecy, the party traveled to Jericho, an Eladrin city. The city was one enormous pair of towers, dripping with greenery, and with parts of the towers disappearing into a cloud of mist and a mass of leaves. Most of the party submitted to having their weapons peacebound and entered the city, but Abraham refused and stayed behind.

The rest of the party toured the city with the accompaniment of a minder, Peter. They learned that it is very xenophobic and that the only way to get access to the astronomer at the Academy was to get permission from the Patriarch, Isaac. While they were making a plan, they noticed that their ship was no longer in dock, but instead was hovering over the city.

Upon visiting the guardhouse at the docks, the party learned that Abe had attacked the ship in some sort of attempt to enter Jericho with an unbound weapon. Peter recognized Abe, saying that he was a proponent of the “Judasian Heresy.” This drew the attention of Micah, some sort of special investigator for the Patriarch. Because of Abe’s crimes and heresy, he was to have a trial in front of the Patriarch, and the party was permitted to attend.

At the trial, Abe was allowed to speak in his defense. He shouted that Judas was alive, and was immediately silenced by Micah. The Patriarch passed sentence on Abe: reeducation. Suddenly, the Patriarch’s guards were killed by a series of well-aimed crossbow bolts, and a figure dove from the gallery into the crowd.

The party leaped into action, fighting the apparent assassin, who seemed to be in some sort of berserker trance. Abe ran up to him and demanded that the assassin release him, but both the party and the assassin attacked him and knocked him unconscious. The party defeated the assassin and the Patriarch survived. Afterwards, someone in the crowd shouted out Theron Skarvald’s real name, even though he was traveling incognito. As cheers rose, Salim determined that there were plants in the crowd, designed to interfere with the guards and help with the commotion.

After Abe, the body of the assassin, and a conspirator were dragged off, the party met with the Patriarch, who granted them permission to speak with the astronomer, Ezekiel. They traveled up to the Academy through the fogbank and found themselves in a missing section of tower apparently located in the Shadowfell.

Ezekiel told the party that the Baleful Stars were becoming more active. When asked about the terrible light mentioned in the Hyperion prophecy, he searched and discovered that Acamar and Gibbeth were sending meteors down into the world. Gibbeth’s child star was smaller, and would land in Lake Sinon; Acamar’s was larger, and would hit the massive iceberg of Thelchteria. Both would strike with enough force to momentarily blind anyone looking at them.

Before leaving, the party asked a few questions of Ozem, the academy’s arcane historian.

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Discovering a Workshop

The party found out where the stone circle was found and departed from Shelter in the morning. They slogged through ashy mud and rain, climbing toward the volcano’s caldera. They encountered a pair of dragons twisted by elemental energy and accompanied by clusters of floating storm shards that attacked the party with lightning. The party prevailed.

They then found the stone circle against a cliff. It was very large and marked with runes like those on a portal circle. Dipana de Lina was able to activate the portal by touching it with the claw of Azzah. The portal led into a dark room.

The party explored the other side and found it to be the workshop of a person named Cog. Cog could apparently use both human-sized tools and enormous tools, and had built an airship. The party found Cog’s notebook, work area, and living area. Everything seemed to be about 500 years old.

Salim placed the magic core from the stiletto ship into the magical nexus of the airship, and it awoke. The ship spoke via an orb on deck, answered some questions, and accepted the party as its assigned crew. Theron seemed to convince it that Kilo was really Cog. The ship was able to register portal codes for Home/Drydock and Hyperion, but didn’t know any other codes. It opened the portal and flew out to Hyperion.

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