posted Dec 30, 2018, 8:11 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Jul 8, 2019, 4:30 PM ]

Nonotina 15, 42

The Rustoleii enter the outskirts of Ithl'Quessir and find it to be an ancient ruin. The enter the deserted streets lined with dilapidated stone structures. This causes Hobbs to begin muttering that this is no what he passed through just days before.

As they approach a square, several of the group notice that Aifos has stopped, looking around bewildered. He appears even younger and less draconic than ever. In fact, he appears to be nothing more than a bald half-elf in his teens. He also has lost all of his usual gear, only dressed in robes and wearing shoes.

After a few questions, it is obvious that this is an instance of Aifos that has no experience of what he is or of that which he will be capable.

The group soon becomes aware that they may have shifted through time again, though all together this time. Hobbs indicates some differences within the ruins where trees are in the wrong place. After the group travels back to the spot where they found Hobbs hanging, they determine they are likely far in the future.

Night descends upon them and they return to the ruins where Kinnickinnic erects a secure shelter. They check the night sky for changes in the stars but find they are arranged in a familiar pattern. The five moons are also still floating above, as well.

Nonotina 16, 42

The night passes without incident. Yahara decides to fly as high above the ruins as she can manage and have a look at the surroundings. She finds that the forests have receded and many of the rivers have gone dry. She also notes that the ruins of Ithl'Quessir extend to the north of their current location. Upon her return, Yahara imparted what she has observed and the group moves through the ruins to a bridge that crosses a river into an overgrown, untended forest.

They slowly make their way through the undergrowth until they come to a clearing with a ruined mansion in its midst. As they approach, they hear the clanging and scraping of metal on stone. Shortly, a number of shield guardians emerge from the ruins.

Hobbs again remembers his encounter with them, which ended with his subdual and capture. He informs the group that these automatons are controlled by wizards with amulets, though there are likely no wizards any longer.

The group engages the five shield guardians that pack quite a punch. In the melee that ensues, Patch and Tktk each spot and destroy an amulet that disables two of the guardians.  Hobbs gets lucky and grabs an amulet hanging from the one he engages and takes control of it. Between Patch, Kinnickinnic and Hobbs' guardian a fourth one is dismantled.  Tktk and Aifos recover the amulet of the fifth. Aifos exhibits enough arcane power to take control of this guardian and thus ends the battle.

Searching the ruins, they find the amulet of the dismantled shield guardian, now inert.  They also find the broken skeletal remains of a wizard that had chased Hobbs from the slums to the south into the mansion a few "days" before.  He recognized the wizard's boots and staff, the latter of which he still has a bruise from being struck. Aside from these items, they also find three unusual flasks of oil and a pile of platinum coins.

As the day is getting on, Kinnickinnic erects a new secure shelter and have the shield guardians stand guard outside.

Nonotina 17, 42

During the night a number of zombified ogres encroach on the shelter, but the shield guardians occupy them until the group awakens and takes action to defeat them. In the melee, Kinnickinnic manages to take control of one of them, adding the defenses of the shelter.

In the morning, the group follows the tracks of the zombies back to a cave where they find some treasure before heading along the trail leading through the woods to a rickety bridge.

Tktk manages to find a safe way across the bridge for the entourage, including the donkey, shield guardians and Kinnickinnic's giant zombie. However, once all have crossed, the bridge disintegrates and falls into the gorge it had once spanned.

They follow a dilapidated road to a domed temple where they find for elven priests awaiting them. Hobbs indicates that these are the judges he faces before being hanged. The elves do not speak, but project their thoughts into the adventures' heads and also seem to be able to read their minds. After a bit of a debate, the Rustoleii retreat to the walkway leading into the temple to discuss their suspicions that these are not actually elves at which point, Hobbs reenters the temple to confront them. The other follow and the situation quickly devolves into combat when the elves show their true forms as phasms. They quickly transform themselves into great-club wielding ogres, but they are no match for the adventures and their defenders.

Upon searching the temple ruins after defeating the phasms, they find more treasures including a magical, mithral rapier.

Nonotina 18, 42

The following day, the Rustoleii finally approach the ruins of central Ithl'Quessir. They come upon a cave, which may have been an entrance to the city at one time. Tktk sneaks in to investigate the cave and seems to disturb something within, that something being big enough to rumble the ground as it moves. She leaves and returns to the magical shelter, but by the time she returns a terrific quaking occurs followed by a roar.

The group prepares for trouble and returns to the cave, leaving Aifos behind with his shield guardian to protect him since he still sleeps from not having slept since arriving. It appears the creature that has awakened is a huge green dragon named Sylvorsta. The group converses with the dragon, which is surprised they all speak Draconic. However, dragons in this time are hunted and he doesn't want to risk exposing his lair despite the assurances from the party--and Aifos who has joined the conversation--they will keep it a secret. A battle ensues and the dragon falls. For the rest of the day, the group recovers the dragon's treasure from the cave, now with a much larger opening. Kinnickinnic, having lost his ogre zombie in the battle, animates the dragon.

Nonotina 19-22, 42

The group spends the next several days exploring and identifying items they have found along the way. They enter the ruins of the city proper but find little intact. The only place still with a roof is an ancient mausoleum in the center of the necropolis. They enter the gloomy necropolis and are set upon by several wraiths. Fortunately, Wingra detected them before they attacked. Two she sent to oblivion, but not before feeling their touch. Patch, Tktk, and Hobbs all were significantly affected by the wraiths before the monsters were sent to their final rest with the help of weapons, claws, and magic. All retreated from the necropolis to recover from the wraiths' touches with Wingra's restorations. After a day of rest, the group returned. Wingra hallowed the small cemetery before the group entered the mausoleum. There they found hundreds of dilapidated tombs, however, Wingra detected another powerful undead presence as they made there way deeper into the place. It turns out to be a dread wraith, which emerges from the floor between Hobbs and Wingra. It manages to drain some of Hobbs and Wingra's essence before taking a significant amount of damage and coming under Kinnickinnick's control. While conversing with the ancient spirit, they find the city met its end long after the person whose spirit to which they now spoke. It also indicates there is still treasure throughout the mausoleum, including its own tomb, as there have been no previously successful robberies under its guardianship. Kinnickinnic has the dread wraith return to its tomb and stays there until the spell holding it ends in 10 days.

Ithl'Quessir of this time appears to be of no help to the group and they need to find their way back to their time before being able to fulfill their quest regarding the elves.