More people are after the Dragonstone MacGuffins, fortunately we have a deadly, sneaky Rogue, a fireball throwing Tiefling, a hardcore Paladin interrogator, and some hard drinking, hammer throwing Dwarves. Let's go!
Kharduum Steepmine (Hill Dwarf Cleric)
Roza (Tiefling Sorcerer)
Con'nor (Half Elf Paladin)
Kronos (Human Rogue)
Amber (Mountain Dwarf Fighter) Representative of the Pointertown Detective Agency
Barnaby (Warhorse, Amber's steed)
Thaddeus and his miners had left our vault vulnerable, it was clear that there was no intention to mine here, that they were purely trying to access the Dragonstone under our Almshouse. Vonmond and I spent sometime rebuilding the vault walls, making them as secure as possible, I reinforced the walls and doors with Glyphs of Warding, while Kronos set a number of physical traps and alarms to keep it secure. I also sent out letters using the newly established postal service to both my mentor, Lodrom Stoutbeard, and to the Lord Regent of Greywall, asking for counsel on the peculiar magical anomalies happening all around us. I have also been divining with Moradin, seeing the image of a wall, cracks appearing, looking as though it's about to break.
In the meantime Con’nor had been interrogating Thaddeus Umber about his attempted theft of the Dragonstone, he was lining up buyers, including a Gnome merchant, Alex Grozer, Thaddeus was going to contact them once he had it. He was also approached by a vagrant saying his boss was interested, but completely disregarded them, as he saw them as beneath him.
Roza had been reaching out to her brother Laurel about the Dragonstone, it appears rumours of its appearance had reached the capital, and it was abuzz, the next gold rush seemed imminent.
Kronos wants to go undercover with the merchants guild and set up a sting, but we decided to search Thaddeus's residence first, Kronos finds corroborating evidence for the attempted sales, but it doesn't go into specifics, but he gets the sense that someone has been here before us.
Later that day, while working my soup kitchen, I start to ask the recipients about the vagrant who approached Thaddeus, it's clear they know something, but aren't being forthcoming, there's a group of four at the back, who, overhearing my queries quickly get up to leave, Kronos follows, taking care not to be noticed, they eventually turn down an alley and make a secret knock at a door, and go inside, Kronos can't quite make out the sequence.
He flags down a passing child to send a message back to us, and we all meet back at the Buzzin' Meeple, I get a round in as Con'nor goes over the details of the area from a Town Watch perspective, he's not aware of the area being a crime hotbed, or of a Thieves Guild popping up, but petty crime has been increasing as the Outpost keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Kronos receives a tug on the arm, the child has returned with a message for him, immediate payment is required though, Kronos knows he's been betrayed by this kid, so pays him a couple of silvers, hoping to get him on side.
He says "The Court of Rats" have asked us for a meeting, he takes a look at Con'nor and snipes "No more pigs though"
Con'nor flags down a fellow guard, telling him to come in force if we're not back in an hour. But a beggar notices and leaves with a warning for the court.
I borrow the Gem of Seeing from Roza and cast clairvoyance to get a look into the Courts hideout, I see no obvious traps, the 4 people from the soup kitchen are there, along with 3 others we don't know, they're all armed with standard light weapons, one of them, a Half Elf woman, she turns and looks directly through the spell and straight at me, she must be a skilled caster.
As we make our way to the alley, we smell a summer breeze, Amber falls, her foot snared by a root, which withers away as soon as it had appeared, some kind of nature magic we don't recognise. She threatens us into silence "This never happened".
We knock on the door, an enormous Goliath wielding a colossal battle axe opens the door, begrudgingly inviting us in, it's a ramshackle house with a communal living area, the half elf caster welcomes us, she's called Nimea. She admits approaching Thaddeus, saying they would take the Dragonstone from him to sell to a fence.
We reiterate that selling the Dragonstone is dangerous, that it will take lives and cause irreparable damage, that it isn't for sale, and that while we'll happily pay them for info, if they try and take the Dragonstone then we will stop them, she say they aren't stupid enough to try and rob us, that they didn't know where the Dragonstone was coming from. Con'nor tries to intimidate her, suggesting he won't crack down on the Court if they stay out of too much trouble and remain useful.
She seems a little annoyed, but admits that they have been investigating the Dragonstone, that since the trip to the Feywilds, something has broken, that the Feywilds are leaking into our world, she suggests we talk to a Wizard who has set up shop in town, a High Elf, Crystal Blackthorn. Apparently she is a regular at the library and Di may know her. She suggests we leave as our hour is almost up, and that the Towns Guard will be here at any moment to cause a ruckus.
As we leave, we find the Towns Guard waiting outside, Con'nor stands them down, a few are audibly disappointed that they won't have the chance for a scrap.
We make our way to the Library, it's nearly midnight, a Gnome librarian is at the desk, she greets Roza with exasperation, it seems that she's regularly turning up at this hour, she might be entirely responsible for the Library's elongated opening hours.
Kronos manages to finesse a look at the library registration system, Crystal is listed, but she has used the Soup Kitchen as her address, the rest of us head back to Di's room, she says she has seen Crystal in the library, that she's checked out most of the books on the Feywilds, and on Planeshifting, she was in three days ago, so she's probably due back.
We decide to wait to see if she shows up, Roza and I stay in the library, Kronos and Con'nor head home, Amber heads back to the Guildhall. As we wake, we all seem to be humming the same tune, weird.
As the others are on the way back to the Library, an enormous castle sized castle has appeared in the town centre, Con'nor fights the urge to kick it down, and comes to fetch us from the Library. One of the Town Guards tells us that it appeared around him in the early hours of the morning, and that it is fully furnished inside, but everything is made of sand.
I check out the sand, it is completely normal and dry, but Amber uses her badge to detect magic, it is held together with transmutation magic, Di appears and tells us that Crystal has just appeared at the Library, we turn and see a tall High Elf leaving the Library and crossing the square, she's wearing robes from the College of Enchantment.
We go to follow and Con'nor heads her off with Misty Step, startled, she drops her books in a puddle, annoyed at this Roza picks them up, casting prestidigitation to clean and dry them, she says that she doesn't like to be surrounded, we apologise and try to explain, as soon as we get to the Dragonstone, she stops us, extremely excited, she knows that we are from the Guild, she is keen to discuss it further and suggests that we discuss this somewhere private.
She pulls out a piece of chalk and starts drawing a door onto the closest wall, light pouring out, it opens into a pocket dimension, Amber recognises this from a Wizard she once fought alongside, as Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, a huge building inside a demi-plane, filled will magical servants, it's a mess in here, it's being used as a Giant Lab with people in lab coats running around conducting all manner of experiments.
She ushers us into a room and starts pushing notes off the table, she wants to talk to us about the Planeshifting explosion that occurred when the Dragonstone was damaged, she says that it happened to her many years ago, when she undertook an experiment with a small piece of the stone (she hit it with a battle axe), before the abjuration, she ended up being shifted to Averness, a demonic realm, but she was able to get back, but the ability to Planeshift hasn't been working since the abjuration, but the Dragonstone managed to punch through, unfortunately it damaged to barrier between the realms, which is why the Feywilds seem to be leaking into our world and vice versa.
We tell her what has happened recently, she's particularly interested by the humming, she says this could mean something, and that the Dragonstone draws its power from the space between realms, she believes that the demi-plane will be the safest place for any experiments, as she can contain the damage, she also promises to not use a battle axe this time.
We say that we need discuss this privately as we're reluctant to relinquish any of the stones, she agrees and summons some walls around us, allowing us some privacy. We agree that we need help with this, and that we don't have to many options, before we can discuss it much further though, we feel a rumble, the walls around us crack and disintegrate.
The mansion is now a battlefield, the lab coated assistants are running around, there's panic and chaos, Crystal shouts over at us mid fight, "Are you going to help?!" Then we see it, an enormous Hydra stands before us.
I summon my divine powers and bless the party, throwing my spiritual hammer at the gargantuan creature, but it clatters off its thick scales, it let's out a roar, shaking the entire demi-plane, and charges at us, Con'nor and I step up to meet it, it's heads crashing into us, we fight off some of the heads, but can't stop them all at the same time, fortunately the rest of the party remain unharmed.
"My notes!" we hear Crystal cry from further afield, as Roza launches a searing fireball at the Hydra, blasting off two of its heads, the flames seemingly cauterising the stumps.
She moves away, but it snaps a head at her, but she counters with Hellish rebuke, Amber smashes one of its heads clean off, and Crystal cauterises the stump.
The Hydra screams once again, the plane is coming apart, the ground separates and splinters, each off us thrown away on these makeshift platforms, below us only blackness, a seemingly never ending fall, some of us manage to keep our footing, while others are thrown to the ground, barely clinging on to the twisting, spinning platforms.
I keep my footing and light the Hydra up with Sacred Flame before bringing my spiritual hammer down, it cries out in pain before jumping the gap and landing on my platform, I smash one of its biting heads away with my shield, but the other head savages my arm.
Con'nor takes a run up and launches off his platform, misty stepping at the jumps apex and teleporting onto the platform, smashing into the Hydra with a mighty Smite, destroying another head. A moment later the stumps start to convulse, new heads burst out, two new ones where each of the others used to be.
Kronos is hanging onto his platform for dear life, his grip is about to fail, but he manages to pull out his grapnel with the other hand throwing it across the platform, it hooks on, securing him.
Roza is clinging on to hers, she pulls up with all her might, the spinning platform adding to her momentum, she springs up with a flip and lands with perfect poise, she clasps her hands together, pulling them apart to reveal a flaming orb, she hurls the fireball with incredible accuracy and causes massive damage to the creature.
Amber pulls herself to her feet, pulling a crossbow from her pack she starts firing bolts into its body.
Crystal starts chanting, the air around us changes, and the ground snaps back into place, becoming whole once more.
I pull divine power into my hammer and thrust it at the creature, hitting it with a guiding bolt at point blank range and filling it with radiant light, I bring my spiritual hammer down into it, bursting the radiant energy, but it isn't done, it lets out another roar as suddenly, Kronos emerges from the shadows, his rapiers a blur, he buries them into the creature as it lets out a final gasp, dead at last.
Crystal immediately starts bringing the rest of the plane back together, her assistants in a frenzy of activity as they start to clean up this terrible mess.
We hastily leave, agreeing with Crystal to share any findings that each of us make, stumbling out into the light of the material plane, we make our way back to the Buzzin' Meeple.