Dining on Ashes

The Dark Call of the North, pt III

That's what Max Damage would do!!!

Our Heroes search Tybalt Haasenstadt’s quarters. They find:

  • A servant girl’s dead body, eyes cut out
  • A collection of black robes and fine clothes with bilious black stains
  • A chest of gold and gems
  • A makeshift alter and icons to The Sleeper
  • A jar of eyeballs
  • Papers, plans and letters similar to those owned by Nashton Stitch and Sash Fix, including the name “Mr. Last”

While inside, the station’s alchemical lights flicker and Bill is momentarily ill.

Sam Rulard informs them the lights are the result of the station’s experiment. The PCs vote to move along, quickly checking out the chapel. It’s a normal Red Dragon Church temple. For some reason no one pees on the Eternal Flame. Windows overlook the other side of the Mountain. A sharp drop-off can be seen, and an airship is docked below. The crew is bustling. It look like they are preparing to take off.

Moving downstairs, the PCs find a giant laboratory dominated by what looks to be an enormous airship engine. Some brazen bluffing on Henry’s part gets the group inside, but when they try to escort out the head scientist, Dr. Salmon Findler, the jig is up. A fight ensues with the four alchemists on staff. Many bombs are thrown and one of them turns into a monkey-man, but Our Heroes are triumphant.

Findler is interrogated. They’ve been working on an alternative fuel to dragonstone, something less toxic. When pressed, he reveals a vast storehouse stacked high with arcane glass cylinders – all containing fire elementals. The lab has been summoning up elementals from a rift deep in the volcano, caging them, and attempting to use them to power the engine. Nothing has been successful so far, and all elementals have died in the process. They had hoped Xichetalpan, a more powerful elemental from a different souce, would solve the problem. Disgusted with the amoral scientist (“It’s not like they’re people!”), the PCs leave Findler sealed up in a cylinder.

The lowest level was originally a large storeroom, but has been partially converted to a fire elemental summoning chamber. A rift to the Plane of Fire swirls on the center of the floor. A man, Tybalt, is arguing with someone, a mysterious hooded figure in blue and red. The party sneaks in; Bill, Henry, and Kothar along a catwalk, Chaska, Nakai, and Grimloc on the floor. The Mysterious Man tells Tybalt that this scheme has ended and he is leaving. He heads towards the airship dock exit, accompanied by a Cloaked Man. It is almost identical to the one in Sasha Fix’s service. Then the big fight starts.

Henry, Bill, and Kothar rush attempt to intercept the Mystery Man, who is now clearly wearing the robes of the Ulhar Tribe. The Cloaked Man delays them, and the Ulhar(?) tells Kothar “Go home Child. You have no business here.” Meanwhile, the group on the floor faces Tybalt, a cleric of The Sleeper, his summoned dretch, three burning skeletons, Old Sklar and his badger. An epic battle ensues, and, by skill and luck, our heroes win. Grimloc and Chaska smash the skeltons. Nakai downs the dretch. After taking out the Cloaked Man, Henry and Bill leap down to deal with Tybalt while Kothar fires magic missiles in support. They see the cleric, mad from the worship of his alien god, has black slimy drool running down his chin. Sklar engages the half-orcs in melee and dies happy. Bill lands the killing blow on Tybalt and Henry figures out the master controls for the elementals’ cages. The badger gets away.

Grimloc, not content to let anyone, except the badger, get away, makes a run for the dock. He makes a tremendous leap, clings to the side of the ship with his axe, and climbs on board. He is confronted by the Mysterious Man, whose face is now exposed. There is a distinct resemblance to Kothar. Grimloc demands the ship land, the Man insults the half-orc in return. A fight begins: Great-axe vs. lightning bolts.

Meanwhile, everyone else makes a plan to release the elementals. Sam runs to evacuate the staff. Bill calls Xichetalpan, who appears in the rift. He informs her of the situation and Henry release the elementals. The storage doors melt, and a wave of fire rushed over the party’s heads outside. Kothar gives Xi a Feather Fall potion in the hopes she can get it to Grimloc.

The fire elementals smash into the airship, tearing it apart. Grimloc gets in one last slash of his axe before he is separated from the Ulhar in the flames. He drinks an Aid potion to keep himself alive and clings to a piece of spinning, burning wreckage. A hand reached out from the flames and gives him the Feather Fall potion. He drinks it and floats down to a ledge. Burning flotsam falls down the ravine and the elementals return to the volcano.

The group reunites and the bad guys are stripped of loot.

Comments

TomK

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