all stars game

Stop Thief!
No seriously, you are really going to regret it when I get line of sight on you...

That shouldn’t be missing, you thought. Immediately the thought that someone stole the item was running through your head. Then a foul odor hit you, and a grotesque image: one of spider trees, and a fleeting figure running towards darkness.

They weren’t just running off down the street; whoever it was smelled bad and was capable of plane hopping. You quickly gave chase, but tracing the robber’s steps across the shadow plane proved difficult, especially due to dimensional shifting not working well once in the deep shadow. The chase progressed; following the smell and the odd visions seemed to be leading you in the right direction.

You aren’t the only one the robber stole from. But why? No one could give an answer. Everyone had one definite reason to catch the robber and so the chase began again. With all of you working together, the robber’s lead diminished. Suddenly you ran into a wall! And it exists… around a plane that seems newly formed. No doubt the robber went through here. It seems to have gaps in it, and the robber went through one, and it closed.

It must be the seals! The seals that keep pure insanity, the realm outside this one, from invading. Each one contains vast power that if tapped, could grant one power, not just beyond mortals, but beyond even the greatest of dieties. And this world is sitting on one. Of course, two problems exist… If the robber does tap that power, they are likely to have strength and power beyond imagining… But if the seal fell off the crack in the multiverse, Reality itself could be doomed.

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First Impressions - Thorne

Finally, a respite from the last day’s frantic activity allows me to place pen to paper in an effort to make sense of the situation in which I find myself. The dwarves of Greystone have been very accommodating, especially when they discovered our desire to meet with the Lady of Light. But I digress.

I was distracted this morning (was it only this morning?) by the alarm in my storage and R&D demiplane. I had my speyes collect my traveling accoutrements while I negotiated my defenses to arrive at the location of the alarm, my museum. It was immediately apparent that the Impervious Cloak was missing. After quickly assuring myself that nothing else was missing, I retrieved The Amulet and using divinations, set after the thief accompanied by Shieldfeather and my speyes.

The trail immediately began shifting between planes, eventually settling firmly in the realm of Shadow. It had apparently been busy, as I quickly met with other travelers pursuing the selfsame individual. When the gnoll joined the group, the tracking became much easier, as she claimed our quarry’s scent was hard to miss.

Eventually the trail ended at a semi-invisible golden barrier. The suspension of our trek allowed for a more detailed observation of my fellow pursuers. What had first appeared to be a half-red dragon ogre, upon closer inspection seemed to be something else entirely, and was obviously a follower of Kossuth. A human fighting monk was also with us, from an order I did not recognize. At first glance he seemed nothing special, although I sensed absolutely no magic on him, save that which seemed to issue forth from his very soul. The gnoll, whose sanity I immediately questioned due to her tendency to speak to thin air, seemed to be a typical undisciplined warrior of her people, although a glance at her axe confirmed that it could very well have come directly from the vault of Tempus himself. The final member of our group was, oddly enough, a fellow drow elf, and a male at that. He was obviously a warrior with some skill at the bow, but the fact that in my magically enhanced sight he shone as brightly as a artifact marked him as a powerful spellfire wielder. Interestingly enough, I noticed a trinket on his person adorned with my personal wizard mark. I originally assumed it was an item I had made, but the truth would prove to be much less mundane.

To be continued…

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Introductions and Out-of-Body Experiences

The golden field had us stymied. Conventional magic was failing to bypass the field, and brute strength (and believe me, some of the others had that in spades) was also being less than effective. The gnoll had declared that no simple color would stop her and blithely walked through. I was trying hard not to think about that.

We had discovered “weak” spots in the field and had used methods of shape-shifting and extra-dimensional space to squeeze through the narrow openings, although once on the other side, it was apparent the trip was one-way. We had arrived in a small cave with some evidence of construction, a diminutive stream, and no other apparent ways out. The stream was displaying odd magical properties. I examined the weave and determined that the most probable way out was through the far wall. The gnoll offered to open a passage and did so most readily. This revealed additional information, in that her efforts ripped a hole in the cave and through to the other side. The cave was apparently structured immediately adjacent to the Void, the theoretical non-space which surrounds the outer planes. The sheer emptiness of the Void overcame some of the party, and after they recovered, I repaired the hole and used safer magics to provide egress.

We eventually found ourselves in a larger cavern, which was populated with ruined structures and rubble. A single structure remained – a library. The library, while containing much information on general arcane and planar knowledge, and mysterious elemental spheres, did not shed much light on where this place was and what happened to it. The group set to reading and exploring.

It was at this point that I began gathering more information about this random group of individuals who shared a similar conundrum. I found through conversation that the dragon-like being was actually a noble draconian known as Tiddus: a created being derived from cursed dragon eggs. He had informed us that we no longer had access to our gods of Faerun, however he had discovered and contacted another fire god who found him quite interesting.

There was one member of the group who did not consider himself separated from his deity, in fact, I was soon to find why the other drow elf, a warrior by the name of Serten, had been staring at me oddly since we had met. He insisted that in fact I was his god, and had the unsettling ability to lend truth to his claim by knowing surprisingly detailed information about my past. Apparently in whatever version of Faerun he hailed from, I held a position alongside Eilistraee as a good drow god. I determined to converse with him further on this point when time permitted.

The gnoll and human seemed to get along quite well from the start. They both exhibited an extreme dislike for sedentary activities and a boisterous enthusiasm usually only found in the very young. The human, named Spot (apparently self-inflicted), seemed to be very standard for his race, although apparently he had seen more than the average human in that powerful anti-aging magics had reset his body, effectively allowing him to live twice. I have decided to test if similar magics could be used to help the shorter lived races behave in a more mature manner collectively. His vow of poverty interested me. I had heard of the holy ascetics and the divine power they were infused with, but had not opportunity to witness it firsthand.

The gnoll, Barak, is an enigma. I eventually discovered that she had a nearly deific ability to alter her immediate reality to match her interpretation of it. She apparently had an imaginary pet wolverine which she has elevated to “real” status merely through force of will. While it is definitely solid and in all senses a living creature, it cannot be seen while under the effects of True Seeing – further confirming my belief in its quasi-real status. The fact that she was raised be humans and has a far more genteel outlook than an average gnoll is only to the good, considering her powers.

Through magical divination, and more mundane methods of exploration, we gradually started to piece together what had happened in the cavern. The lower levels of the library did not enjoy having physical bodies enter it, which was demonstrated when a few of our member had their souls stripped from their bodies. The monk, showing a resilience against such things eventually ventured to the bottom levels and discovered more answers as well as more mysteries.

Tiddus had discovered a magical fire which appeared to be a link to an elemental plane of fire (we had given up on expecting to encounter our own familiar cosmology), and wisely extrapolated that the stream similarly led to a plane of water. These portals seemed to be the only way out.

Piecing together our information gave us the following picture: We were in a small cosmology, created as a safe haven. The effectiveness of this venture was called into doubt as the cavern seemed to be used as a safe haven from the safe haven. A group of elves had tampered with whatever controlled this cosmology and subsequently broken it, leading to unknown but undesirable results. As it was, this mini-cosmology was sealed off from all other worlds, and had the unfortunate privilege of sitting atop one of the seals which kept the barrier against the Void in place.

As the mysteries surrounding this place lessen and new ones take their place, we escape from the “dugout” as we are calling the cavern, and head through the plane of fire, using the draconian’s abilities, into a new prime material plane.

To be continued

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We're not in Faerun anymore, Calca.

Upon arriving in the material realms, we found ourselves in a library. The librarian, a winged woman with a singularly descriptive name, informed us we had come to an elven city, and through our conversation we realized that most of us were of races alien to this realm, and that the information we desired to regain our items and return home would be more difficult to attain than originally thought.

Apparently dark forces were at work to use our items in an attempt at universal destruction. Also, we were most definitely trapped here, as the planar barriers were somewhat different in this realm, along with the basic tenets of elemental magical behavior. With our newfound information, we decided to proceed to a nearby dwarven city, in the hopes of contacting an individual who frequented that place: the enigmatically named “Lady of Light”. One hopes that eventually we will encounter people with more normal names, like Samuel or something.

At the gates of the dwarven city we encountered yet another colorful individual, a female warrior with deific powers who apparently didn’t like us very much. An uneventful fight ensued which we won.

We soon had opportunity to meet with the Lady of Light, who thankfully also had a more reasonable name: Desandra Hawthorne. She informed us more closely as to the actual dangers the universe faced, and from where they stemmed. Cultists following beings from the realms of madness were the ones intent on our (and their, should they succeed) eradication. She assured us that she would help us (although in my experience, that usually means we will be helping her.)

The dwarves were quite helpful, allowing me access to a passable, although rustic, magical laboratory. I immediately set to work attempting to modify my magic to work better in this plane. Apparently the others were busy as well.

The human, draconian, and my “follower” apparently meddled with the time stream in order to combat and slay one of the elder far-beings behind the plot to destroy the universe. Also the draconian had some sort of tryst with this place’s goddess of magic, and he assures me that offspring will result from it. Thankfully, I have grown out of thinking with my crotch; that only causes all sorts of headache.

Hopefully this situation can be resolved with a minimum of wasted time and effort, but Calca assures me I am being unrealistic.

She is probably right.

End first entry

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The answer is rarely "Demons"

It has been a “week” since my last entry, an arbitrary group of 7 days by which this place measures time (even though they use the standard 10-increment mathematical system). This resulted in Metri and I having a conversation about developing a universal measurement system only using increments of 10. The mathematical and computational value of such a system would be substantial. I think I may give her some credit for the idea, possibly naming the system after her.

But I digress. Much has happened in the interval. We had known Desandra only a short while when she proposed the idea of combating our alien foe with demon summoning. Now, I don’t have any problems with binding the forces of evil to my will and forcing them to do my bidding normally, but her idea was nothing less than opening a portal to hell, and allowing demons unrestricted access to this plane. To complicate matters, we would not be able to have any control over this venture initially, as it was to happen 50 years in the past. Miss Hawthorne apparently has an unhealthy fascination with temporal magics, a practice that I do not approve of, but was forced to take part in, nonetheless.

Apparently, my magical expertise was needed in order to finish the ritual necessary to summon the demons. I am a little hazy on the details, as I must admit I have been distracted since arriving by all of the new and different experiences, but apparently my current group agreed to assist in providing the farspawn with additional opponents, in the form of demon princes and their entourage. This apparently disrupted the timestream enough to assault another of our foes.

The combat was mainly uneventful, and I am beginning to appreciate the skills assembled in this group. The offensive capabilities of both fighters are highly laudable, our monk combines a fairly unassailable defense with the uncanny ability to slay with a single blow, and our cleric nicely combines healing power with augmentation magic. I am still not entirely certain why the draconian carries that immense weapon around, as I have yet to see him so much as heft it.

Needless to say, we achieved our goal, however we had the unwanted addition of a major player from our opposition, a water caster by the name of Bela. As we had succeeded in our task, we beat a hasty retreat. Seeing Bela in action gave me pause to consider the benefits of the elemental magic which is commonly used in this plane. I have decided to attempt some methods of accessing the elemental planes in an effort to reproduce the effects back in Toril.

In the haste of our departure, I had left behind my Speyes, whose abilities at stealth apparently kept them undetected. I used the opportunity to monitor Bela’s activities, which mainly consisted of infusing some spellcasters with pseudonatural power, while sacrificing others. Her insanity was obvious. I was concerned to note that she had both an Illithid and a Solar among her companions. These will eventually need dealt with.

Upon returning I had the “pleasure” of experiencing firsthand what I had previously witnessed in the others: the backlash which arose from our temporal meddling. I became the magical equivalent of a sphere of annihilation. It was decidedly not pleasant, and I recorded my observations in the “magical phenomena” section of Al’s notes. I was effectively out of commission for roughly 2 days.

To be continued

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Are you certain? Serten is.

The most recent turn of events has left little time for reflection, so I pen this between council of war and dinner, although the latter is apparently now more luxury than necessity. More on that later.

We have lost our convenient dwarven stronghold base of operations. The opposition has apparently also been dabbling in the timestream, and has rendered all residents of our erstwhile home into the ranks of the undead. The altered timeline has had other effects, such as the eradication of a lava elemental companion of the draconian’s. The archer, more so than others of the group, has had an expression of vindication on his face, when “I told you so” was not on his tongue.

It seems that the state of the dwarven city is merely a byproduct of the activation of the seal which borders the negative energy plane. Since our enemy’s goal seemed to revolve around that, we determined to undo it.

Through divination magics, we discovered the means to close the seal, namely an artifact which Ms. Hawthorne could use to destroy the portal. I traded my Staff of the Magi for it, and we snuck into the basement level where the seal was.

Combat ensued. There was darkness, obnoxious elemental magics, Bela again, and the gnoll discovered that while colors could not stop her, some could still be a nuisance. Apparently even her skewed view of reality couldn’t protect her from a prismatic wall. The monk assisted Ms. Hawthorne in destroying the seal, the draconian teleported Bela away, and the fight was won, however, the artifact of light had been destroyed in the process. I had been intending on returning the artifact in exchange for my staff, so I tried to collect the residual energy which was left behind.

I am fairly certain that touching the souls of artifacts does not normally render one into a god, at least in Toril, but apparently things run differently here. I am now what our drow companion has maintained all along: a deity. If I ever return home, there will be consequences, I am sure.

I am not at all sure that being proven right this much is good for the archer’s mental state. He seems to be stuck on “smug”.

to be continued

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