Fate Unbound

When we last left our heroes (read: In the last DM’s campaign), the city had been monitoring the party’s progress through a dungeon via magical means as a spectacle for townsfolk and gambling nobles. During a previous encounter, the party artificer had attempted to tinker with the surveillance orb, with painful results. The artificer’s tinkering ended up being the trio’s doom, as his obsession with extra-dimensional technology led him to create the (for this campaign world at least) the first portable hole/bag of holding induced Astral Rift.*

Td36 nexus art
I don’t think I need to explain how bad that is.

Their physical forms disintegrated by the arcane anomaly, the trio’s souls were cast far into the astral plane to drift for time unknown. One awoke as a metal monstrosity, unable to speak and beyond recognition. Another awoke as a worm, knowing nothing of his previous life.

Call it fate or chance or circumstance, but the duo found their way to each other. While neither of them remember each other, their souls do, and they formed a symbiotic partnership. Lur (as the worm calls himself) speaks for the duo, while the monstrosity shelters the physically frail Lur.

*As for the artificer? Nobody quite knows.
Chapter 1: The Kython Infestation
We find the party on a converted fishing boat bound for a Jungle Island and on the hunt for an aberrant menace. Joining them is their employer, Grand Scrutator Severius, A gnomish sorcerer named Houpeir Petisse, and an adventurer known as Drake Ivory

After an uneventful voyage, the party landed on the Jungle Island. The party’s unease could only grow as they stepped into a jungle totally devoid of all animal and insect life. After an encounter with a pair of insane spirits, the party found the Kython caves and were ambushed by an Impaler and his broodlings. The party slew the creatures, but couldn’t save Drake in time from the deadly Kython poison. This wasn’t the end for Drake yet though, as something sinister stirred on the Ethereal plane.

On the other side, Drake encountered an apparition clothed in Jester’s Garb, intent on absorbing Drake’s soul and returning to the Mortal Plane to inhabit his body. Drake banished the creature and used the power left behind to do the same for himself, returning to his body as a Necropolitan. Unfortunately, the party had just finished preparing Drake’s last rites and was about to burn the body. Upon seeing the corpse of their fallen comrade stir, the party panicked and Severius called upon the entire might of Pelor to destroy the abomination. Drake’s body was totally destroyed, and his soul cleansed of all evil to undertake the final journey, a walk in Farlaghn’s Realm.

The party continued on, Houpeir calling on his magical might to freeze a massive swarm of Kythons and clear the way to the Kython Nest. There they found a Slaughterking, making a pact with the Vestige Andromalius. The Repentant Rogue appeared to the Slaughterking, refused a pact, then declared his animosity for Severius for burning one of his minions.

The Slaughterking, enraged by Andromalius’s denial, fled with the remaining Kythons deep into the lava tubes below. Rather than chase the Slaughterking, the party deciphered the Kython’s notes and scrawlings to learn more about the Vestiges and what happened to Drake.
Chapter 2: The Voyage

They returned to the beach around dusk, the darkness of the jungle replaced by the dim light of the rising moon. When they previously walked this beach, the calm was unnatural. This time is different. The adventurers realize that the fauna of the beach is back, but not alive as they had hoped. Tiny sand crabs scuttle blindly and sluggishly across the sand. The party finds the first human victim of the new fauna, a crewmember who was waiting in the rowboat, sucked dry by a swarm of undead mosquitoes. The party fought, party to avenge the crewman, but mostly for their own survival. This was made more difficult by the sudden reanimation of the crewman, who joined the bloodmotes in their attack…

The party managed to make it aboard the fishing boat, ready to escape the cursed island. Little did they know, the power of the Vestiges wasn’t limited to the island. Once below deck, they were assaulted by an agent of Nerull, sent to destroy the undead, then a swarm of undead rats.

Chapter 3: Westport

Drained from the continual fights, the party chose to freeze the cabin door shut and rest before clearing the remainder of the ship and setting sail. The party opened the door to the cabin and was faced with a Barghest. The fight was easily won, but Houpeir Petisse‘s powers threatened to fail him. With a cursory glance back to the party and a warning not to open the door “no matter what”, he froze the door behind him and prepared the ritual to restore his power. Moments later, explosions, snarls, and desperate spells were heard behind the door, too late, the party realized that the Barghest had become an Unbound. Houpeir fought desperately, using every spell he had, but the Unbound monstrosity overpowered him and consumed him, body and soul. With his death, the door thawed and the party faced the heavily wounded Barghest. Houpeir was nowhere to be found, and assumed to have abandoned the party via magical methods. With no arcanist, the party turned to Severius for the pressing question: How do they sail the ship? Severius in turn beseeched Pelor for guidance. Unbeknownst to him, his ritual was imperfect, and a trickster spirit took the form of Pelor, offering false advice to Severius and leading them directly into a terrible storm. Bolstered by faith, they sailed headlong into the storm and the boat was torn to shreds. Severius, still weakened by the ritual, couldn’t muster the strength to stay afloat in the storm and was swept into the depths…

The remaininder of the party (having wings) flew east, barely staying aloft in the hurricane winds. Kendra spotted the flying creature, but had her own problem to deal with in the shambling undead overrunning Westport. After taking shelter in a quarry, Kendra took in a strange creature named Rask. They discovered the shamblers’ weakness to running (and holy) water and worked together with Lur to cleanse the city. The party then headed back into the quarry to destroy any remaining Unbound while exploring a report of an “engine of destruction” found in the depths. Upon discovering it, it activated, consuming a nearby unbound and using the vestige within for fuel.

Chapter 4: The Path to Pelor

The engine proved to be an ally of sorts, a divine construct, commissioned by Nerull, lord of death to correct the imbalance caused the the existence of the Unbound. After a battle with some unbound miners and Bulettes, the party continued east toward the church of Pelor. Days pass with no signs of life, save for the tracks of a single party going up a mountain. The party opted to ignore the tracks, instead making their way further east towards the City of the Sun.

Chapter 5: The Blacklight Tome

The party reached the Temple of Pelor, in the center of the ruined City of the Sun. Nameless converted to the church of Pelor, gaining a new holy symbol and the services of the temple’s blacksmith, an otherworldly dwarf of considerable power. After consulting with the High Priest, the party learned of the existence of a cult dedicated to bringing Tenebrous into the world, as well as a separate plot by the minions of Orcus to secure the Blacklight Tome for their master. The church tasked the party with recovering the tome, which the party accepted. The party then left the city through an exit dug by Rask, reaching the Blacklight Tower in short order. The forces of the tower proved insufficient to stop the party, who reached the top floor of the tower before the disciple of Tenebrous could finish reading the tome. In the ensuing battle, Rask consumed the disciple, Tome and all. His unique traits allowed him to absorb the power of the tome, sealing it away inside him.

To protect the Tome from the forces of Orcus, Rask used his Planeshifting powers to retreat to a pocket dimension. There he sits, kept alive by the power of the tome until the end of time, the final guardian of the Blacklight Tome.


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