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Dale
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 44 (6 April 2017) Xonthal's Tower
Using the hourglass key, they are transported to a room that is clearly not in the tower, however, if it is below the tower or on another plane entirely is unclear.

In this room are three dead cultists and a blood trail leading to a room that contains a fire and two earth elementals. Speaking with these Magnus learns that they are here to destroy intruders and that Magnus & Co are intruders. The party then decides to get their retaliation in first.

The fire elemental is dispatched speedily by Krega but the earth elementals are more problematic as they use their Earth Glide ability to conceal themselves in the walls, floors and ceilings and strike from unexpected directions. Eventually, Ella banishes one of them and Rider holds the other and the fight comes to an end.

They then pass through a series of rooms that are clearly the laboratory, study and library of a wizard including a room with a portal to the City of Brass. Crossing a passageway hanging unsupported in a starry void, they narrowly avoid being struck by shooting stars.

In a hourglass shaped chamber containing two huge hourglasses the come upon the dead body the cultist Iskander and the Blue Dragon mask. They secure the mask and Ella raises Iskander, who is suitably grateful while still remaining an evil, despicable but disillusioned dragon cultist. He explains that Severns plan to bring Tiamat to the world would be a disaster for everyone and while he is a selfish, greedy pig with no concern for anyone but himself, Iskander knows that he falls within the group "everyone" and what is bad for "everyone" is bad for him.

The party takes a well needed short rest and bonds with the magic items they have found, Rider claiming the blue dragon mask. It's a fake! Rider is particularly peeved and wants to do something drastic and possibly terminal to Iskander. However, close questioning under magical interrogation confirms that the mask being a fake is just as much a surprise to Iskander as it is to the party. Rider sheathes his rapier mumbling under his breath about how he never gets andy magic items, consarn it!

They finish exploring this area by interacting with an imprisoned efreet named Tariz the Fair. In return for a promise that he will never harm them they Banish him back to his home plane Tariz cannot believe the bargain he got as he was willing to do anything to escape.
Session: Session 44 - Thursday, Apr 06 2017 from 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM
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Tags: Battle , Journal , Recap , Summary
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Dale
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 43 (30 March 2017) Xonthal's Tower
Having divined the meaning of the shadows, the party resolves the puzzle with only a minor misstep at 3 shadows and a slight delay at 8 until Rider gets an epiphany.

Reaching the base of the tower they discover that it is constructed without doors or windows, only a balcony high above and a teleportation circle on the ground before it. Stepping onto the circle they are transported to another circle within the tower in a large empty audience chamber with internal balconies above.

The teleportation circle they are standing on has strange symbols arranged in a control panel: a chair, two chairs, an upside-down "L", a rectangle, a flame, a star, a square, an hourglass and a right triangle. Ella immediately writes down where she thinks each of the symbols will take them, she is completely wrong but that has never deterred her in the past.

Some experimentation leads them to discover:
  • the chair: takes them to the audience chamber
  • two chairs: takes them to the balconies above the audience chamber. The left symbol to the left balcony, the right to the right.
  • the upside-down "L": a level of small rooms, currently used as barracks, where they kill a few cultists
  • the star: an observetory where they fight four mages. Rider is agressively disinterested in the battle and only deigns to help when Krega is held by a wizard's spell; returning to his inspection of the telescope as soon as that wizard is dead but before the battle is actually over. One of the wizards is carrying a key in the exact shape of the hourglass symbol on the teleporters.
Session: Session 43 - Thursday, Mar 30 2017 from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM
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Tags: Journal , Recap , Summary
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Dale
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 42 (24 March 2017) Xonthal's Tower
The party arrives at Xonthal's Tower (the village) to discover that Xonthal's Tower (the tower) is within a magical maze. Residents tell them that the tower has long been deserted but over the last year or so there have been strange lights observed.

They also tell them that the only way into the tower is through the hedge maze. Aerial scouting shows that the maze appears to be a normal (if large) hedge maze but that it cannot be flown over. Upon entering the maze it soon becomes apparent that it is anything but normal.

Flying above the maze reveals that it extends indefinitely in all directions and that they only external landmarks, the sun and the tower, move unpredictably. Sometimes the sun is behind the tower and ahead the the right but after walking a few paces the sun is now to the left and the tower is behind to the right even though the direction of travel is unchanged.

Through trial and error , they discover that the key to the maze is a magical sundial. The first time they encounter it it has a single shadow pointing to one of the eight paths which they follow. This brings them back to the sundial (or maybe a different sundial) but now with 2 shadows pointing to paths 90 degrees apart.

Following these paths leads them to a chuul pool, a cyclops meadow, a deranged dao (that is deranged from the party's point of view - being a homicidal maniac is normal behaviour for a dao) and a courtyard of animated armour. In each they discover that they must locate a gemstone in order to return back to the sundial (or again, possibly another sundial) or else they simply return to the last place they visited and must find the gems again. The gems annoyingly disappear between the area they are found in and the sundial whenever they are not being watched: literally in the blink of an eye if necessary.

Finally, a Commune spell tells them to "split the shadows" (gnomish gods are so helpful). Pondering this, we leave them by the sundial.
Session: Session 42 - Thursday, Mar 23 2017 from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM
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Tags: Journal , Recap , Summary
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Zyxin Rao
Posted in Iron Gods
[Zyxin's Journal: Entry 1]Fell in with a group...
After my mother left, I spent a year waiting, working odd jobs around Torch, and wasting my time hoping she'd return. The money situation was laughable, but I guess it's hard for most folks, especially these days. I even tried a singing gig, but that fell through because honestly I suck at singing. "Dear Old Dad" would have been appalled, the bastard.

So I thought in my infinite wisdom, when it became apparent mother was not coming back, that I could go out and find her. Ha. Right.

Spent nearly two years wandering around, found a few trinkets lying in the dirt that others had discarded as worthless, but found no trace of Mother. Zero. Which is how I was feeling... like a zero.

I realized that to survive I'd have to find some people to travel with, so I did. Interesting group -- very mixed. I won't write down their details as this parchment could be stolen, don't want to give anyone any free information (Tech League, you reading this you cretins?). Suffice it to say they're a good mix of good people. I count myself lucky...

...more later on what we did, just wanted to jot down that my life has changed -- an new chapter in the life of Zyxin Rao.
Session: #6 - Best Served Cold - Tuesday, Apr 04 2017 from 6:45 PM to 10:15 PM
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Dale
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 41 (16 March 2017) Thay
Thay turns out to be creepy and harrowing.

The party is met by another Red Wizard and a group of undead wights who escort them to a sumptuous set of apartments with an scrumptious banquet laid out in the common room. They are told that they will be called for on the morrow and are cautioned that, while they are no means prisoners, it would be unwise to leave the apartments as the halls are patrolled by undead guards who can be ... indiscriminate.

The eat and sleep. In the morning a delightful breakfast has been laid out: they eat that. They wait. And wait. A group of undead servants brings a delightful lunch. They eat that. And wait some more.

Finally, in mid-afternoon they are brought before the Tharchion. Rider recognizes that she is a vampire and offers her some of his blood - she declines remarking that if she wanted it she would just take it. The party is debriefed as to "the story so far" and they forget that they should always address a Thayan official by title. This among other things, notably their failure to permanently destroy the Thayan traitor Rath Modar counts against them and they are dismissed: they will be informed of Thay's decision in the morning.

That night each of them is subjected to the most horrific nightmare where they are alone in a boiling cauldron secured by chains and tentacles and surrounded by unknown Red Wizards who subject them to "enhanced interrogation techniques". The questions all dwell on their failure to destroy Rath Modar, the intention of the council and the weaknesses of the other members of the party. Some lie and some tell the truth but all are called "Liar!" and subjected to the most excruciating pain they have ever felt.

In the morning they awake to bloodstained sheets and are summoned to hear Thay's answer: no. With a wave of his hand the Red Wizard Nyh Ilmichh teleports them to a small farmhouse which they discover is about a mile north of Waterdeep.

Walking dejectedly back to the city they are accosted by a group of non-hostile dragon cultists who ask if the party will meet their "master" who represents a faction of the cult opposed to Severin and his ambitions for Tiamat. This master turns out to be a bone devil who styles itself Lord Volmer and informs them that it represents a number of the Lords of Hell who are, for their own reasons, opposed to Tiamat's release from Avernus. He offers the party a contract (8 encyclopaedic tomes in 8 point font) to enlist the aid of these devil's hosts in the struggle. The party decides this is above their pay grade and takes the contract to the Council for their lawyers to peruse.

Feeling pretty flat about their failure, the party makes their way to Xonthal's Tower ...
Session: Session 41 - Thursday, Mar 16 2017 from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM
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