Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus

The Man Who Wasn't There

Richfest 5, 636 CY

Dearest Thereca,

I have a great deal to tell you about. Well, not a GREAT deal, but a few important things. Actually, one important thing and a bunch of events… Anyway, I’ll get to that.

When we emerged from the mists on our way out of Barovia, we found ourselves standing in the deserted streets of Greyhawk City. The more observant of us realized that we were actually in some sort of ethereal, dream plane overlayed on top of the city. Very quickly we spotted the reason why we hadn’t arrived at our destination — THE Bogeyman. An aspect of the Mad God standing on the roof of a chapel of Pelor. And we were surrounded by monstrous spider creatures with eerie mechanical enhancements.

In short, it was a trap.

The spiders quickly began closing in, and we moved to fight them. Ardes, with the sword Mistkeeper in hand, dodged the monsters and headed towards the bogeyman who lept to the roof of an orphanage. While we were fighting, a great, black mass of shifting darkness appeared. Loreli instantly realized it was the ink duplicate that had been made of her when one of Bartholomew’s other traps went awry. She summoned her eidolon, the rainicorn which battled it’s own, dark replica that the ink creature summoned.

While the rest of us fought outside, Ardes managed to knock the bogeyman through the roof of the orphanage and out of the reach of the ink-Loreli which made a direct line towards it. Idrys then cast the daylight spell on the building to keep the dark creature at bay. Faern managed to smash the thing with a brutal blow, sending it fleeing away from us. Tulla noticed a portal opening nearby, but we weren’t sure what it was for.

Inside the building, Ardes and Mistkeeper managed to beat the bogeyman down to the point it was discorporated. With the vile creature gone, we immediately found ourselves back in the actual Greyhawk City. When he emerged, Ardes handed us a map and explained that Thaddeus had been waiting to give it to him before vanishing off to points unknown. The map was to the City of the Gods in Blackmoore with a date of Reaping 1st. Now with a new deadline and a destination, we called Jack to come pick us up in the airship so we could hurry to Geoff.

On the way, Idrys read about Ashell Terrain, the former life of the demon now attached to him. He learned a great many things, including that Ashell has some kind of mystical connection with the city of Rauxes where he died. We are hopeful this will come in handy in the near future.

Once we arrived, after Ardes returned Mistkeeper, Sir Christopher warned us that there was an avatar of the Mad God imprisoned in the City of the Gods which was Taren and Bartholotwo’s likely target. He gave us maps and a hefty amount of warnings about the mysterious place. The city was evidently something akin to the airship, but of massive size and technology so advanced as to be essentially magical. He advised that we stop Taren and Bartholotwo from getting in there if at all possible. He also talked to us about Aislin, an ancient Flan goddess of dreams and Incabulos’s sister. Evidently she has been more active than in the past and seemed to want to share something important with everyone. Hopefully this will be made clear soon.

We then had time to enjoy Richfest and the celebration of the anniversary of the defeat of the Archlich. I asked Kylie to help me purchase a dress — don’t laugh! She happens to be a very stylish person, so I thought she would be able to make a better decision than I. Which proved to be correct. The others spent time in the market, browsing things that were useful or reminded them of home.

I decided to catch up with Jack who, along with his crew, were enjoying some much deserved shore leave. He expressed how odd it was to be able to simply be out and about in such a place without need of disguise. To which I pointed out that it was a benefit of being gainfully employed. And then he started trying to buy me gifts.

I’m not sure if you remember, but that was what he did anytime he fancied a girl when we were much younger. Whenever he ended up smitten with one of the village girls, he would shower her with little trinkets. Nothing greatly expensive since his mother would get angry, but nice little things to show his appreciation. So I decided rather than ponder endlessly it was smarter to just ask him if Villius was right — that the whole group was certain he fancied me.

Jack seemed reluctant to answer, rather choosing to make a joke at Villius’s expense. I honestly assumed at that point that he simply wasn’t ready to talk about it. But he surprised me by explaining that his feelings hadn’t changed at all, though my own were much more in question. Since I had been thinking rather seriously on the subject, I answered honestly. Frankly, I had expected him to have changed much more considering his experiences. At every turn, though, he proved that we was the same impetuous, arrogant, pig-headed, selfless, brave, and magnificently honorable person I had always known. And certainly the only pirate I’ve ever heard described and genial.

In summation, I’m pretty sure I’m engaged… or re-betrothed? I’m not sure what it’s called. I think the dwarves probably have a word for this. I’ll have to ask Faern. They seem to be exceedingly precise on the subject of terminology for arranged marriages. Would you mind talking to our family? Or should I write everyone letters? Someone needs to keep Adam calm, and I know he’ll listen to you if you talk to him. Don’t be mad, okay? I could really use your wisdom in all this. I don’t actually know how to be betrothed…

Anyway, very shortly after we received word that King Tristan’s jacinth wanted to speak to us. It seemed odd to be summoned by a gemstone, but considering it’s power to summon the souls of all the past Flan kings… We decided to hurry to the palace.

The stone explained that King Tristan’s unborn heir was also a potential host for Asmodeus. Evidently the queen is a gold dragon? I was honestly a bit frustrated by the thought of having yet another person being drawn into this mix. The jacinth told us that it was the dragon blood in the Von Slythe’s line that made them able to be vessels, while the infernal taint would allow Asmodeus to use his full powers. It assured us that the royal heir would be well guarded and that young Jack was certainly safe in the presence of the Seafires. Jack, on the other hand, was easily the most exposed and definitely the best choice of host. Rather than delving into that further, the stone said it would speak to Jack on it’s own. We were instructed to learn more about Lianna Von Slythe and that Taren had already been in the clockwork dungeon. Then we were bid to hurry to Blackmoore to prevent Taren and Bartholotwo from reaching the fragment of the Mad God.

There’s still so many things we need to look into, the pieces of the Song of Ages to get, whatever lies in the Clockwork Dungeon… So much left to do. It was nice to have a break, but it’s time to be on the move again.

- Yours Devoted
Wilhelmina Stalwarth
PS. Please don’t be mad. Love you.


Davidnic Davidnic

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