The Runeforge Edit
The Heroes of Sandpoint entered the whirling portal in Freezemaw’s lair, after activating it by following the rhyme. They found themselves in a long passage, which took them to a large round room with a large pool of bubbling prismatic liquid. Seven other passageways exited from the room. They headed down the one with the statue of Karzoug out front, the Vault of Greed.
They came across a fountain where several water mephits played. The mephits warned them of the silver man who casts powerful magic. After fighting their way past a stone golem, they came across Ordikon, the Mithral Mage.
Ordikon was dismissive of the PCs, and told them to leave so as to not disturb his studies. However, when Twitch mentioned that they are here to stop Karzoug, Ordikon attacked, defending his lord. His mithral body proved difficult to injure and his powerful magics almost destroyed the party.
Beyond Ordikon’s room the heroes found a pool of deep blue liquid with lightning dancing upon its surface.
After returning to the main room, they headed down the Hall of Wrath. In the midst of fighting an iron golem, High Lady Athroxis and her Warriors of Wrath entered the room and called off combat. An imposing figure, Athroxis demanded to know why the heroes were here.
After speaking with the High Lady, the Heroes found out it is her duty to guard the Master Circle, the way out of the Runeforge.
The heroes asked about the other denizens of the Runeforge:
- The Abjurant Halls had been destroyed when their envious ruler had tried to take the Runeforge for himself.
- Azaven the Lich ruled the Ravenous Crypts; Athroxis warned he could not be trusted.
- Ordikon was the ruler of the Vault of Greed.
- Delvahine was a demonic creature who ruled the Iron Cages of Lust with hers daughters.
- Vraxeris was a master of illusion and ruler of the Shimmering Veils.
- And Jordimandus was the slothful wizard in charge of the Festering Maze; Athroxis warned not to underestimate him.
The heroes thanked Athroxis and travelled to the Shimmering Veils, hoping they could appeal to Vraxeris’ pride. The they were attacked by six clones of Vraxeris, who almost destroyed the party with their magic.
(stopped play here)
Beyond the room was a study and bedroom. In the study the heroes find Vraxeris, in his chair, dead. He looks as if he died only moments before they entered. A journal lies before him (see below).
In the bedroom are six demons, beautiful winged women wearing very little. All look alike, and the Heroes realise they are also clones. They shriek and howl upon sight and attack the heroes, who manage to kill them.
Vraxeris’ Journal Edit
The runeforge pool awoke! At first, I took this as a sign that Runelord Xanderghul had risen. However, when I arrived at the pool to investigate, it seemed that the others had come to similar conclusions, but regarding their own lords. The damnable Wardens of Envy thought to siphon the new surge of magical energy for their own purposes, but with the aid of Azaven, Ordikan, Athroxis, and that lovely creature Delvahine, we were able to defeat them and now their Abjurant Halls lie in ruins. The alliance was short-lived, however, as Azaven absconded with the bodies almost immediately and that treacherous wench Athroxis nearly burned me to death before I made it back. Worse, I was mistaken about the significance of the pool – Runelord Xanderghul still slumbers. It is that monster Karzoug who quickens and nears rebirth. Damnation! He must not be allowed to precede Lord Xanderghul into the world! He would rebuild Thassilon in his own inferior image, a testament to his own greed rather than one of pride in the work. He must be delayed or defeated!
I have finally managed to escape these halls, at least to a certain extent. By astral projection I can now explore what the world outside has become. It is a brutish place, yet it pleases me to see that Thassilon’s mark endures in the shape of our grand monuments. Gone is the world I knew – so much has changed! Karzoug’s city of Xin-Shalast is now hidden high in the mountains, and when I finally discovered it, I found the spires where his body is hidden to be inaccessible, warded against astral travelers by the occlusion field around the peak of Mhar-Massif. As long as his runewell is active, I fear even a physical approach would be impossibly deadly. I must determine a way to pierce these wardings, and to send an agent in my place. No need to risk my own life before my clone is ready.
I have taken steps toward an alliance with Delvahine. She may be able to escape this place physically, for she is not of the original blood. At the very least, she can call upon agents from outside, and perhaps through them we can secure servants in the outer world. She seems completely uninterested in Sorshen’s return; all the better for Xanderghul, that.
The runeforge pool is the key. As I suspected, the occlusion field in Xin-Shalast has a flaw. Karzoug’s lack of knowledge regarding the intricacies of enchantment and illusion magic has left an opening that may be exploited. One must use components infused with our lords’ virtues, extract the latent sin magic into the pool and then anoint the chosen weapons with this raw power. Those weapons enhanced with the powers of Lust and Pride will be most potent against Karzoug’s particular defenses and they may even prove to be pivotal in his defeat. For my own part, fragments of any of the mirrors in the Peacock’s Hall should suffice for a component. Delvahine’s… equipment… should suffice for the Lust component, although one would be wise to cleanse them thoroughly before they are handled.
The search for an agent goes poorly. Delvahine seems more interested in her own lusts than in aiding me. I fear that I will be forced to see to Karzoug personally, in which event I will need to use the master circle built into the Halls of Wrath to escape this place… forging even a temporary truce with Athroxis will prove challenging at best. In darker news, the fevers and lapses are increasing and I fear that I must set aside this work on delaying Karzoug’s return and finalize the development of my 205th clone. I believe I should have sufficient time to finish before the dementia takes hold.
From here, each entry becomes more repetitive, obsessive and eventually entirely incoherent before they stop altogether. It seems that he didn’t have time after all.