- Having been teleported to Spunghaal, our heroes learned from the townsfolk that the Hole in the Sky, the artifact that would have hopefully allowed them to reach Verra, had somehow been damaged. Further investigation revealed that the town’s leader, a mysterious immortal known as the Guardian, had disappeared – and that his sword had been cast down from the sky by a purplish-black dragon! Upon inspecting the sword with the help of a druid named Calevar (and permission from the four Houses ruling Spunghaal), Felosial and Rosalind determined that the mighty sword had the power to wound the earth itself – and since the Hole in the Sky depended upon a nexus of the world’s ley lines as its power source, the sword was likely responsible for its disruption. Apparently, no mortal could remove the sword without being destroyed, so finding what had happened to the Guardian took on new importance.
- With the help of a swashbuckling bard named Rauun – who happened to be Immie’s father! – our heroes discovered that the only likely nesting place for a dragon in the direction it had flown was the ancient, ruined city of Teshar. The party traveled across the desert on their carpet (strangely, the Yson did not attempt to attack them), and reached the ancient city. After fruitlessly searching the ruined buildings, our heroes encountered a colony of feral cats clustered around an oasis, but these were no ordinary cats. Vividly red, with white tails, chests, noses, and/or paws, these were the sacred temple cats of a now-forgotten desert god – not only was the breed thought to be extinct, but their shed hair was said to be quite useful in making magical incense. Given the value of the cats, the party wasted no time in using druid and ranger abilities to capture them (Lirael, in particular, bonded with one particular cat she named “Ken”).
- After falling through a sinkhole, the party discovered a trap-filled catacomb. More surprising was what lay at the end of the catacomb – a man posing as a woman allegedly captured by a dragon. After seeing through his illusions, the party was confronted by the mysterious man, shapechanged into a dragon! Though Lirael’s wolf companion Kiba perished in the battle, the party was victorious. The corpse, however, revealed something incredibly disturbing. Judging by the unholy symbol, this man was a cleric of Metacroterix, a dark god thought to be a mere myth – rather than one being, Metacroterix was said to be an infection that spread between sentient minds. Whatever manipulation this cleric was planning could have dire consequences for Spunghaal…
- The party discovered a powerful artifact buried in the catacomb, a green ring containing what appeared to be a tiny image of the Guardian. Returning to Spunghaal, the party got Calevar to confess that the Guardian was actually a long-dead demigod whose power was bound into four artifacts, one of which was owned by each House – together, they could summon him to defend the city from monsters and orc raiders. The Houses had been using the myth of a superhuman ruler to prevent the populace from questioning their decisions. Unfortunately, Valentine insisted that, if the party gave House Nelyne its ring back, the Houses would confess their duplicity to the public. Instead, when the four representatives assembled, they summoned the Guardian… and commanded him to “kill the blackmailers.” This would likely not end well.
- Treasure acquired: 25 red temple cats, +1 scimitar of wounding, veil of allure, ancient Imadrethan coins, scroll of Limited Wish, decanter of endless water, bottle of endless sand, +5 full plate, unholy symbol of Metacroterix
A Disturbing Revelation