After Dave, furious at Pallando’s, (and possibly a bit of myself”s), meddling with his wager with the Goddess of Knowledge, (Ioun), made a hasty departure down the slide-that-was-once-a-set-of-stairs, the group weighed their options. I decided to begin traveling down the stairs-turned-slides-turned-stairs once again, warning the Goddess that metal sliding down a stone slide would ruin the quiet atmosphere of the library. Pallando and Treehugger stayed behind to ask a few questions of the Goddess, and hearing of answers being given, I journeyed back up to ask questions of my own. Pallando’s questions were had in secret, with ominous warnings being given of his new patron. Treehugger learned the whereabouts of her former master, now known to be the famous monk Brothzar. And I… Well, I learned that the events of this past’s present aren’t set in stone. My people still have a chance at salvation, it would seem. We bid the Goddess farewell, and began our trek down the staircase, to meet a disgruntled Dave at the bottom. We joined back up with the missionaries, who hadn’t had the best time trying to convert the reading citizens of Ioun’s encampment.
We then continued on to the next town of Moradin, where the clangings of hammer against anvil greeted us from far off. The blacksmiths we met, about fifty in number, informed Pallando of their work in creating a mystical invention by the design of Moradin. This invention would be a moving, metal fortress. We were then pointed towards where we would find this architect, inside his gleaming fortress of metal. He sat, designing the invention that we’d heard of so far. He looked up, and greeted us warmly. Except for myself, though. Apparently he doesn’t like my God, Zehir, very much. At any rate, he relayed his intentions for us to bring him Enterei when we get the chance, and that he was planning on using the moving fortress to find the “dwarves” that Enterei had begged for him to send. Pallando then asked him about anything that may have changed with him physically. That is when he revealed the huge hammer behind his throne, and lifted it to his shoulder with one hand. His physical strength showcased, and Pallando properly pissing his pants, I asked for permission to stay the night in his town. He granted the others stay, but due to my allegiance to Zehir, informed me to stay the night outside of town. He told me of something new, that Zehir had had a plan to return the cast of Gods and Goddesses to their own time, but “abandoned” them for some unknown reason. After some playful jestering by Pallando, (or ignorant blasphemy to mine own ears), Moradin relented, and said that he’d allow me to stay in the town for the night. Naturally, I declined. After spending the night in the wilds, I met back up with the others, and we began our trek to the town of Vecna.
Well, town is the operative word. When we arrived, the place was just a collection of ruins, surrounded in a perpetual fog. The missionaries, unsurprisingly, elected to stay at the outskirts of town, as I led the others in an exploration of the ruins. We eventually found a small wooden door in the middle of the ruins that led down into the ground. We ventured downwards, eventually coming to what appeared to be an underground home of sorts. Darkness greeted us in all directions, and a nauseating stench filled the stale air. We traveled further down the dark hallway, the smell intensifying. Pallando paused in order to cast Clairivoyance, stopping the party for a few seconds as he gathered what was up ahead. After he came out of his trance, he relayed to us that there used to be people living here, but that they had been murdered, and that the remains of their fingers were strewn up ahead. Without skipping a beat, he began to lead us further into the darkness. After a moment of shock, I demanded he stop, and think on what he had just said. After some arguing about how asinine it was to keep going, Pallando casted invisibility on the group, and began leading forward again. I briefly considered leaving him to perish in the hellish tunnel, but since he was the party member I was the closest to, and it would take some time to get another friend, I reluctantly followed. We quickly came across the strewn fingers, and after some more time, we came across more remains: hands. It was clear these were the hands that the fingers had come from, as they all had their own fingers missing. It was then that Pallando and I noticed chanting coming from further up the tunnel. After a few minutes, the hallway opened up into a chamber of sorts, with us standing on a semi-circular platform, twin staircases leading down. Thirty feet below us, a room fifty feet by fifty feet stood, with a conical set of stone daises. Cultists knelt upon the daises, each missing their left hands. They led up to the very top, where a man sat on a stone throne. Pallando attempted
REDACTED and so we left. We informed the missionaries of the unlikelihood of success in gathering converts inside, and we continued on to Raquen’s encampment.
My first thoughts upon viewing the town were encompassed by the huge murders of ravens scattered throughout the town. The sounds of laughter, moaning, screaming, yelling, and sobbing surrounded us as we walked further into the village. Pallando approached a man with misshapen/missing legs, who informed us that he’d lost them in the construction of their Goddess’s palace. Many others died, and he left us with the thought that death is natural, and should be celebrated. As we walked away, he thanked us for not pitying him. Naturally, Pallando apologized for the state the man was in, and I ushered him away as the man began to sob. Eventually, we came across a huge bird cage, rivalling the size of Moradin’s palace. We entered though a cage door, and Pallando got the first glimpse inside. He said that he saw fifteen people dancing inside, enraptured with the woman seated on a raised chair, embedded into the wall. After the last few camps, it was easy to tell that this was Raquen. Ravens circiled far above us, numbering in the hundreds. Pallando and I began to approach the figure, as she held up her hand, a single finger raised. In unison, the fifteen people spouted, “Pity not the dead, for they are in a better place.” She raised a second finger and in turn the people, now behind her, stated. “Bring down those who would escape their fate.” Finally, as she was nearing us, she raised a third finger, with the people behind her shouting, “Destroy those who would change the natural order!” We greeted her as she neared, and began our discussion. She informed us that the missionaries would be allowed to preach, but we would not be allowed to help them. After some discussion, and our introductions, she showed particular interest in Treehugger, who stayed to talk with the Goddess as Pallando and I went to lead the missionaries inside. After some time, we returned to an increased celebration. Treehugger was perched right next to Raquen’s throne, and shared some of her “drugs” with the Goddess. After a good hour of attempted conversion, the missionaries gave up. Around this time, the party flew into something past full swing. People were injuring themselves with just the act of dancing, with one man tripping over a table. His neck cracked upon impact with the ground, and the murder of ravens descended upon the fresh corpse. As the body was picked clean, Pallando, the missionaries, and myself agreed that it was time to go. As we rushed to leave, Raquen shouted out to Treehugger, pronouncing her as emissary to the Raven Queen.
As the light of day was fading, we made our way towards the encampment of Palor. However, as we neared the camp, a force prevented Pallando and myself from getting any further. As I attempted to lean against this invisible force, plants rose from the ground and forced me away. Grass then sprouted on the other side of the border forming words that informed us that as emissaries of chaos, Pallando and I wouldn’t be allowed through. As I began to make my own sleeping arrangements, use to this cool treatment, Pallando attempted to talk his way into the domain. I couldn’t help but overhear Pallando calling Zehir a, well, “bitch”. It was at this point that I backhanded him across the face. From the look of it, he appeared to take the message. We told the missionaries to carry on without us, and as Treehugger led them to the encampment, I returned to preparing for the night. Pallando, not quite accepting defeat, informed me of what he had planned: he’d use four enlargement casts on himself, and attempt overpower the forest defenses. Seeing nothing but a boring night ahead of myself, and wanting something to lighten part of it, I egged Pallando on. As he cast the spells upon himself, I already knew that he’d fail. But, it would be funny to watch, so I did nothing but sit back as a 281 foot Pallando began to stomp his way through the barrier. At first, it seemed like nothing would come to stop him. Then, a humongous barrier of plant life rose to block his way, forcing him to head back to our “camp”. Pallando expressed a desire to travel straight to Zehir’s town, but knowing that dead missionaries didn’t pay nearly as well as the living variety, I declined. Someone had to guard them as they traveled to our town, and I certainly didn’t trust Treehugger to do it alone. Not wanting to waste time, or perhaps simply trying to annoy me, Pallando attempted to pick me up. Mistake number two, as I brought my flail up to meet his grasping hands. It was as Pallando lay, apparently floored by what should have just been an average swing, that I remembered something about the Ape-Man’s Flail being used to kill giants. Needless to say, he didn’t bother me for the rest of the night. I did heal him, though, as I’m not completely without mercy. Eventually, Treehugger returned with the missionaries, and we began our trip to the best encampment: Zehir’s.
We arrived to admiration from Zehir’s followers, glad to see their God’s emissary returned. The clerics that I sent this way seemed to have done their jobs, as the citizens appeared to no longer be affected by the snake bites they had been plagued with earlier. Speaking of which, the snakes that had swarmed the town appeared to no longer be present, with the only one being the one coiled on Zehir’s head as we walked up to his throne. He allowed the mercenaries to preach, and explained that he’d begun to garner more control of his powers. He also explained how he’d been forced to leave the ship after Lolth threatened to kill him if he didn’t leave the ship with her. After we both expressed our thanks for various actions, we all drank, and slept in town for the night.
Speaking of drink, that’s exactly what we were in for when we went to visit the next Goddess’s encampment: Avandra. The only structure in sight was a large canvas tent, which housed long drinking tables, stocked full with drunken partiers chugging ale. Avandra jumped up to greet us, jumping across the tables to get to the entrance, where we were standing. She drunkenly welcomed us, and asked who we were. After our introductions, she called Lolth a “bitch”, at which point Pallando informed her that Lolth wanted to tell her to stop “drunk pigeoning” her. With some more swearing and drunken rumblings, she declared that she wanted to go on an adventure. It was at that point that the entire tent was packed up, and Avandra led the partiers west. We followed, and after some time, Avandra stopped, and the tent was pitched once again. As Avandra went to continue partying, the missionaries lamented the Goddess’s current form, saying that she had once been the noble leader of the Pantheon, until the dissolution of said Pantheon destroyed her. Pallando said that he thought otherwise. Finally, we returned to South Twin Lakes, where we rested, awaiting our next set of escapes and wonders.