We gathered at the usual place on a very cold dark January night. Felking brought sloppy joes. They were sloppy – and very good. We ate our fill and set to work.
We spent a few minutes attending to record keeping details related to skill advancement. We then wrapped up the cleansing of the neogi invaders into Na’Batum. Afterward, everyone settled into a long rest in the Temple of Iowe.
Urien joined Arcturos as he carried on in his work of tending to the needs of the people. He moved through the darkened city with glowing breastplate and helm bringing hope and easing fears wherever he traveled.
Our heroes spoke with Cassilis Na’Sorta about the coming army of burrowing beasts. Defensive preparations at the wall continue, as well as cordons and ambush points within the city in case the tunnelers get in. They also spoke with the Drogue Captain, Heergus Broden, who agreed to send two thousand Drogue warriors across the river to a point south of where the coming neogi/Marghultoa army is likely to advance. Hopefully, the Drogue will be able to flank the enemy.
Meanwhile, Ned pondered some pressing questions. He sought answers to the riddles of the Oracle of Lornen Thirnon and thereby solutions to the tasks which are set between our heroes and the return of Iowe and hopefully, the defeat of Zaghlool. Casting Contact Other Planes, he gleaned what he could from the wisdom of Eleya across time and across the known planes of existence.
The group learned that the Tower of Truth could be restored and Ned’s task accomplished through re-enlisting the Tullabard in their roles as shepherds of knowledge. The gathering of some volumes, books, and scrolls from the Blue Wizards and even better, the relocation of the Klibreck Throne to the White Tower laid the foundation for this great work. The people now have a growing repository of wisdom and a place where they can obtain the truth. The White Tower also has its guardians – the eight remaining Knights Tullabard.
Even though the upper reaches of the tower stand shattered and broken – the old stones shelter a place of hope and promise for the future of Na’Batum.
Of the eight remaining knights, Cpl. Sullorn emerged as one devoted to the older model of a Tullabard – one devoted to fostering and guarding the people’s truth. Our heroes swore him in as Knight. Cpl. Denison, however, was less accepting of this transition. He was more devoted to the idea that the knights themselves should be arbiters of truth, purveyors of justice, and keepers of a sacred truth that people should respect and even submit to. He is ready to “do” justice, to find and destroy evil and to administer righteousness.
With another Contact Other Planes, Ned asked questions about Lilia’s task, “Carry light into darkness.” There was much discussion centering around the idea that the task meant Lilia should confront Chechelon on her home plane – a plane of shadow, the plane of demonwebs. Which light? Any light? The light of Eleya? The understanding arrived at was that Lilia would likely accomplish her task by confronting the Spider God with any light. But, does confront mean destroy?
Ned also sought answers to the Lessep’s task, “Restore the soul wrongly taken.” It turned out that the soul wrongly taken was taken by the adventurers from Dun Alden – by our very own heroes. Felkin and Urien set to work to find the bodies of the three youths. With some very skilled searching in the stagnant canals of Na’Batum, Urien discovered their remains. Lessep wrapped the half-gnawed corpses in sacred cloths. To resurrect the boys, it would take travel to a plane free of the darkness of Zaghlool. All agreed to make the journey to the Astral Plane in Za’Tu’Narath, the Gith Cruiser.
At the Cruiser’s helm, Ned cast Plane Shift and all were suddenly surrounded by the infinite void. In one direction, some hundreds or thousands of yards away, a large chunk of some broken world drifted away with several smaller pieces drifting along beside.
Immediately, Lessep set to work. The power of Iowe lifted his spirit and soon, two of the three boys were alive – if somewhat shocked. Emel and Aysun breathed again. But Lessep did not have the ability to bring the younger brother of Emel, a boy named Hazan, back to life – to restore his soul. Lessep seemed at peace on this point – and accepted it as though deserved.
While in the Astral Plane, however, and feeling the power and light of Iowe – he sought one more answer for our heroes. “Is Queen Tulasamon’s son, the son of Zaghlool?” The answer, “No, he is the son of The Wizard Fendamar.”
Not wanting to risk contact with illithid or githyanki, our heroes returned to Na’Batum. Looming darkness in the east appeared to be deepening on their return and they sought the solace of the Temple of Iowe. Moments later, however, there was a great cry and commotion outside the temple. Our heroes came running out to find a Gith War Barge had appeared hovering over the temple carrying forty gith warriors at the ready.
Their leader, Ibrahil, leaped to the ground to address our heroes. He sought the return of the Za’Tu’Narath, and to find out the fate of its captain and crew. After some tense negotiations, our heroes returned the gith swords captured within the Oynbokigon from the fallen Gith. Ibrahil also sought information about the Eye of Seeing, the Eye of Naberion – the Gith crafter who made the sacred orb. Our heroes were quiet on the subject.
Our heroes agreed to the return the Cruiser, after destroying the marauding band of neogi and umber hulks. The Ibrahil and companions love nothing more, well few things more, than tearing into some neogi. They agreed to join in the fun.
All set out in the War Barge for the enemy forces. Two more spidery flying ships appeared over the mass of troops. They were smaller than the first that our heroes destroyed on their last visit, but equally menacing in their purpose. The gith swung their ship in for the attack. Felkin started firing from a distance, then Ned. The decks were cleared of neogi before the barge swung aside and the eager gith launched their ropes and hooks and then leaped to attack. Seconds later, all returned to the barge and the Neogi ship fell from the sky.
The second Neogi ship got the same. It didn’t stand a chance.
The Gith were in a battle froth. All their eyes and energies strained toward the enemy. Ibrahil swung the great barge out into the desert broadside before the advancing army and lowered the ship to just above the plain of sand. All disembarked to spread out facing eastwards in a line awaiting the coming wall of umber hulks, neogi, bulette, and minions of Marghultoa. Behind the streaming ranks of the charging foe, a great and growing blackness looms from the east.
This is where we left off.
What happens next? Will the gith withstand the coming onslaught? Will they stand and fight to the bitter end? Will you? What of the distant darkness? How far away is the source, the child of Zaghlool? Will you confront that evil? Is there yet hope for yourself and the people of Na’Batum?