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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Imago Deorum
Chapter 7 — First Confrontation
"Wake up! It's Samber!"

   The figure raised his hand, palm forward, and shouted, "An o stobadh!" Then, the cloaked form moved so quickly that it appeared as a blur. It moved the sixty feet to Leokas, passed behind him, and then could be seen in the elf's peripheral vision. Before any of them had even sat up all the way, before Leokas could even turn his head to get a better look, they all heard an extremely high-pitched voice that sounded like a rat or a berrygobbler. Leokas saw a rip in the fabric of space open up just at the base of the hill, and he was gazing at stars. He knew he was trying to move, but it was as if time were moving slowly for him.

   More strange squeaks came from the person behind him, and all of them felt themselves falling, sideways, toward the opened gate hovering in the air, as if gravity itself had been altered. Mythlos frantically reached out to grab onto anything, but his bag of holding thumped him in the chest, and he and the sack slid off the floor of the gazebo and tumbled through the air into the opening and vanished. Kamil nuzzed and thrashed, nearly kicking Belvin in the head, as the poor camel joined Mythlos in his fate. Stormshadow followed, barking loudly. Even the armored guards from the castle fell from their posts toward the rift; however, they did not pass through. Instead, several of them seemed suspended in the air on the back side of the opening.

   Cassiera yelled out as she fell sideways, twisting in the air and grabbing hold of the nearest thing she could reach, as her bag of holding plummeted away. She caught hold of Hakam's ankle. He was floating slowly, parallel to the ground, away from the gazebo, as his ring of feather falling slowed his fall towards the fissure. Leokas found himself hanging from one of the columns of the gazebo, which from his perspective was now horizontal. He glanced around quickly. Looking "down" he could no longer see stars through the rift, only darkness. Twigs and pebbles and leaves were flying, falling, all around him. He saw Hakam floating slowly toward the magic hole, with Cassiera hanging from his leg. "It's freezing!" she called out. Szordrin was trying to prevent himself from falling between two of the columns. Belvin, strangely, was suspended, looking like he was hanging by his leg from an invisible rope. "How? What? Why?" the wild elf was mumbling in Elven.

   Just over the top — or side — of the pillar from which he was hanging, Leokas could see Samber, in his maroon cloak. He had three limbs in contact with the ground, sticking to it like glue so that he was not falling. With his free arm, he held onto Ilthian by her wrist, as she dangled sideways through the air.

   "Are you... the Maker?" she asked. "What is happening?"

   Hakam shouted out and held up his hand as he floated farther and farther away. A beam of searingly bright radiance shot from the cleric's open palm, and the ray struck Samber in the chest, enveloping him in light as bright as the sun. Samber gasped out and dropped Ilthian. She fell like a stone and plummeted directly toward Hakam. In a moment of rare agility on his part, he caught her. Moments later, the Calishite and the two women vanished from within the dome.

   Leokas took this opportunity to pull himself up atop the pillar in a feat of strength to balance precariously along its length. Samber glanced over at him, but a ray of fire shot from Szordrin's magic wand. The fire, however, seemed to pass completely around Samber's form, not affecting him at all. Then Szordrin slipped between the two columns. He caught himself again, hanging with one hand on each and using all of his strength to not plummet.

   With Samber distracted by Szordrin's attack, Leokas leapt from the pillar onto Samber's back, pinning the latter's arms in a tight hold so he couldn't use them to cast any more spells. "Toras gné!" Samber shouted, and the man vanished from within Leokas' grasp. Leokas now fell through the air, but he flipped himself around like a cat to fall feet first, kicked himself from the floor of the gazebo — which to him was a wall — and landed on one of the far columns. He wobbled but managed to maintain his balance. Unfortunately, he also stepped on Szordrin's hand.

   Szordrin cried out on pain. He could not hold himself up with only one hand, and he started slipping. As he fell, he shouted out, "If we go down, we are taking your secrets with us!" and he took one parting shot at Samber, who was now "standing" on the ground near Belvin. Once again, his aim was true, but the blast of fire from the wand simply passed around Samber, and the tiefling wizard fell through the fissure.

   "Why are you here, druid?" said Samber. "Why have you followed me? What do you plan to do?

   "I was sent by my god," Belvin answered. "I do not yet know why."

   Samber began chanting in another tongue for several seconds and then touched the stump of Belvin's hanging arm, as he dangled sideways. "Perhaps this will make you think differently of me," he said. Belvin felt a pleasant tingling sensation, as a white energy flowed from Samber's fingertips.

   "Now, farewell!" Instantly, Belvin dropped, shooting head-first through the air toward the rift.

   Now only Leokas remained. He jumped from one pillar to the next, just in time to see his friend fall. Now he balanced deftly and removed his darkwood bow from his shoulders and drew an arrow, but he did not shoot.

   "You are impressively agile, elf!" Samber called up, as he stuck firmly to the ground.

   "You must cease what you are doing here!" Leokas called back.

   "By whose authority?"

   "They sent me back from the grave to stop your meddling."

   "Why? What right do the gods have to stop me?"

   "They created us; they know what is best for their creations!"

   "Likewise, I know what is best for mine," said Samber.

   With that, he simply pointed a finger at Leokas, and everything went black.
Session: 60th Game Session - Monday, Oct 19 2015 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Samber
Posted in Imago Deorum
Samber's Journal: Entry VIII
Merciful gods, are you so careless in your punishments to allow for this? And how fortunate that you can blame me for the countless deaths that will no doubt follow! Yet, I admit the guilt falls on me. Never should I have risked the binding. You have no time to ramble, Samber. You started this; you must end it. I have just entered my lower portal chambers to find chaos and destruction. While the earthquake seemed to have done little damage to my palace above, a fallen column punctured the bindings that held the osyluth at bay. It is free. It seems to have set fire to all of my writings and apparatus. Years and years of work are now gone. Clear tracks lead right through the gate to the High Forest. As much as you seem to hate me, O gods, I pray you see that I am risking my life and using my powers to make it right. I am leaving this book here in the open in the hope that, if the devil slay me, at least the intruders to my island might stumble upon this and learn more. I write to you directly now, whoever you are who have followed me here. Do not judge me until you have understood what I have done, and know that I loved all of my creations. Is that a sin? ~ Samber
Session: 59th Game Session - Thursday, Sep 17 2015 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Samber
Posted in Imago Deorum
Samber's Journal: Entry VII
I was just now awoken from my sleep by the gong. It is not the "hour of summoning"; it is not even highsun. There are strangers on the island! I can only imagine it was the ship that had been following me, but how? I never saw them after I sent the lightning bolt down on them. There were four of them, a blue-haired elf, two Calishites (a male and a female), and a Lantanna like I. None of them were sailors, and the wild elf was not with them, so I can only imagine that there are even more. I must rise and figure out how to deal with them. ~ Samber
Session: 59th Game Session - Thursday, Sep 17 2015 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Samber
Posted in Imago Deorum
Samber's Journal: Entry VI
So this is it then? They are not giving up. They want war, it seems. Cannot they tell that I have no desire to fight them? What is it now, you ask? Everything is going to the hells. I do not have time for this. This voyage started well. The journey to Chult was smooth. I dealt with financial matters. I purchased my merchandise from the Consortium, and it arrived within the promised window. I was excited to make use of the sequencers; I spent the night making plans, scribbling in my technical journal at the rented room in Shilku. On the morrow, I was busy working, when a crazed-looking elf came through the portal. I incapacitated him, set the delay on the gate, hurriedly grabbed the papers from my desk, and fled. Thankfully, the Kell had already loaded the Eternity. I gave orders to leave port at once. I considered my options. My portal in Chult would have to be abandoned. Had even Ubtao betrayed me? Ubtao, who is said to care nothing for matters outside his realm? Or was it simply an accident? Some greedy adventurer in search of famed Chultan emeralds who stumbled upon my gate? Was it the Consortium? Were they no longer happy with me as a customer? I began to hope it was only a fluke, and I began to daydream instead about my journey to the Fugue, but then, a fire broke out above deck. Sabotage. The mast had been set aflame, the work of fire elementals who then vanished. Summoned, clearly. I began to put two and two together. It must have been the elf. He was wild, like a druid. But how could he have followed me? If he came through the portal, he could not have had a vessel waiting on the other side, could he? Perhaps it was simply pirates, but I have never encountered pirates who could summon a creature from such a far distance. A member of some sea race, perhaps, who boarded the ship just long enough to call the elementals and then flee. But why? I was baffled, but the next day confirmed that I was indeed being followed. I spotted their ship through the spyglass. Several hours later, they must have called down flying lizards to attack my ship. I destroyed their mainmast with a lightning bolt, hoping to send them a warning, whoever they were, that I was not to be trifled with. Having dealt with that potential hindrance, I at last arrived home. The journey's setbacks now seemed nothing compared to what awaited me; an earthquake had struck the island in my absence. Much of my palace was in disarray. I have spent the last few hours checking through the rooms to see how badly everything is damaged. Bookshelves have tumbled and items have fallen from their places, but the damage does not seem too severe. Now I wonder of this. Have the gods now recruited Grumbar to their side? Is this only the first of several quakes? Do they hope to break through the dome by force? If they send a more powerful quake, what can I do? I will be finished. I am exhausted from my stressful sailing voyage and must rest. I only hope that the Forokell fared well in the quake. The poor things were probably terrified. ~ Samber
Session: 59th Game Session - Thursday, Sep 17 2015 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Samber
Posted in Imago Deorum
Samber's Journal: Entry V
I have received word from the Interlink Consortium that the sequencers are ready for pickup. If I wish to make the exchange, I'll have to leave on the morrow. I have not made much progress in the months since I have returned from Thultanthar. My Loross is not as good as it used to be. The baatezu I imprisoned a year ago has continued to not be cooperative, and I have not had the time yet to investigate No.s 14 & 15. So all three plans are stalled. Even so, while my research has not moved forward, I find myself able to cast every arcane spell I once could. ~ Samber
Session: 59th Game Session - Thursday, Sep 17 2015 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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