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Posted by the GM
Imago Deorum
Chapter 7 — First Confrontation
"Wake up! It's Samber!"

   The figure raised his hand, palm forward, and shouted, "An o stobadh!" Then, the cloaked form moved so quickly that it appeared as a blur. It moved the sixty feet to Leokas, passed behind him, and then could be seen in the elf's peripheral vision. Before any of them had even sat up all the way, before Leokas could even turn his head to get a better look, they all heard an extremely high-pitched voice that sounded like a rat or a berrygobbler. Leokas saw a rip in the fabric of space open up just at the base of the hill, and he was gazing at stars. He knew he was trying to move, but it was as if time were moving slowly for him.

   More strange squeaks came from the person behind him, and all of them felt themselves falling, sideways, toward the opened gate hovering in the air, as if gravity itself had been altered. Mythlos frantically reached out to grab onto anything, but his bag of holding thumped him in the chest, and he and the sack slid off the floor of the gazebo and tumbled through the air into the opening and vanished. Kamil nuzzed and thrashed, nearly kicking Belvin in the head, as the poor camel joined Mythlos in his fate. Stormshadow followed, barking loudly. Even the armored guards from the castle fell from their posts toward the rift; however, they did not pass through. Instead, several of them seemed suspended in the air on the back side of the opening.

   Cassiera yelled out as she fell sideways, twisting in the air and grabbing hold of the nearest thing she could reach, as her bag of holding plummeted away. She caught hold of Hakam's ankle. He was floating slowly, parallel to the ground, away from the gazebo, as his ring of feather falling slowed his fall towards the fissure. Leokas found himself hanging from one of the columns of the gazebo, which from his perspective was now horizontal. He glanced around quickly. Looking "down" he could no longer see stars through the rift, only darkness. Twigs and pebbles and leaves were flying, falling, all around him. He saw Hakam floating slowly toward the magic hole, with Cassiera hanging from his leg. "It's freezing!" she called out. Szordrin was trying to prevent himself from falling between two of the columns. Belvin, strangely, was suspended, looking like he was hanging by his leg from an invisible rope. "How? What? Why?" the wild elf was mumbling in Elven.

   Just over the top — or side — of the pillar from which he was hanging, Leokas could see Samber, in his maroon cloak. He had three limbs in contact with the ground, sticking to it like glue so that he was not falling. With his free arm, he held onto Ilthian by her wrist, as she dangled sideways through the air.

   "Are you... the Maker?" she asked. "What is happening?"

   Hakam shouted out and held up his hand as he floated farther and farther away. A beam of searingly bright radiance shot from the cleric's open palm, and the ray struck Samber in the chest, enveloping him in light as bright as the sun. Samber gasped out and dropped Ilthian. She fell like a stone and plummeted directly toward Hakam. In a moment of rare agility on his part, he caught her. Moments later, the Calishite and the two women vanished from within the dome.

   Leokas took this opportunity to pull himself up atop the pillar in a feat of strength to balance precariously along its length. Samber glanced over at him, but a ray of fire shot from Szordrin's magic wand. The fire, however, seemed to pass completely around Samber's form, not affecting him at all. Then Szordrin slipped between the two columns. He caught himself again, hanging with one hand on each and using all of his strength to not plummet.

   With Samber distracted by Szordrin's attack, Leokas leapt from the pillar onto Samber's back, pinning the latter's arms in a tight hold so he couldn't use them to cast any more spells. "Toras gné!" Samber shouted, and the man vanished from within Leokas' grasp. Leokas now fell through the air, but he flipped himself around like a cat to fall feet first, kicked himself from the floor of the gazebo — which to him was a wall — and landed on one of the far columns. He wobbled but managed to maintain his balance. Unfortunately, he also stepped on Szordrin's hand.

   Szordrin cried out on pain. He could not hold himself up with only one hand, and he started slipping. As he fell, he shouted out, "If we go down, we are taking your secrets with us!" and he took one parting shot at Samber, who was now "standing" on the ground near Belvin. Once again, his aim was true, but the blast of fire from the wand simply passed around Samber, and the tiefling wizard fell through the fissure.

   "Why are you here, druid?" said Samber. "Why have you followed me? What do you plan to do?

   "I was sent by my god," Belvin answered. "I do not yet know why."

   Samber began chanting in another tongue for several seconds and then touched the stump of Belvin's hanging arm, as he dangled sideways. "Perhaps this will make you think differently of me," he said. Belvin felt a pleasant tingling sensation, as a white energy flowed from Samber's fingertips.

   "Now, farewell!" Instantly, Belvin dropped, shooting head-first through the air toward the rift.

   Now only Leokas remained. He jumped from one pillar to the next, just in time to see his friend fall. Now he balanced deftly and removed his darkwood bow from his shoulders and drew an arrow, but he did not shoot.

   "You are impressively agile, elf!" Samber called up, as he stuck firmly to the ground.

   "You must cease what you are doing here!" Leokas called back.

   "By whose authority?"

   "They sent me back from the grave to stop your meddling."

   "Why? What right do the gods have to stop me?"

   "They created us; they know what is best for their creations!"

   "Likewise, I know what is best for mine," said Samber.

   With that, he simply pointed a finger at Leokas, and everything went black.
Session: 60th Game Session - Monday, Oct 19 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Posted by the GM
Imago Deorum
Chapter 7 — The Dome
"'...None of them were sailors, and the wild elf was not with them, so I can only imagine that there are even more. I must rise and figure out how to deal with them. Samber.'

   "That's the last page in 'writing language'," said Ilthian. "I cannot read the other page."

   "But you speak Common," said Szordrin.

   Ilthian once again looked confused. Szordrin took the journal back from her and read the last page to the rest.

   "Is Samber... the Maker's name?" Ilthian asked.

   The others nodded.

   "He was talking about me! I am the only Forokell who makes new kinds of clothes. Why did he call me a number? What is a Lillikell? I was supposed to be a Lillikell? What does that even mean? Did the Maker make a mistake with me?"

   "Don't worry about it now, Ilthian," said Cassiera. "We'll figure it out. You are not a mistake."

   "You all followed the Maker here from another land? It was not an accident that you crashed on our island?"

   They nodded again, except for Cassiera, who shook her head. "I did not come here with them, or rather, I did not come with them intentionally. I do not know their plans either; I came along for the challenge of facing a fiend. I am learning just as much as you, Ilthian." She turned to the others. "And I think it's time you filled me in on what is going on. I fought with you against the hobgoblins and helped you on your quest to slay the devil. Why have you really come to this island?"

   So, the others finally explained to her the various tales of their adventures that had led them to this mysterious place. Cassiera interrupted a few times to ask clarifying questions, but for the most part took it all in.

   "What are you going to do to the Maker?" asked Ilthian, who had thus far just been listening, trying to make sense of a world beyond any she had ever experienced.

   No one responded.

   "I do not think we have decided that yet," said Mythlos.

   "But undoubtedly we must do something," said Leokas. "The gods have sent us here for a purpose. He must be stopped."

   "My arm is not growing back any faster, if we just sit here," said Belvin.


They examined the room more closely. Szordrin tried to pick the lock on the door and failed, and their magic revealed that it was magically locked. Leokas passed through the portal without incident. He searched the ground thoroughly around the portal opening on the other side and then returned. "I can find no trace of the osyluth beyond the portal among the leaves and grass. Samber's boot prints are there. I don't think the bone devil ever went through the portal."

   "Indeed, it fooled him and then went to explore the caves through the crack in the wall," said Hakam. "Had we not slain it, it would have found a way to the surface and butchered the people there."

   "I never did check that half-domed room for signs of the devil," said Leokas. He crawled back down into the aqueduct and headed back. He returned to the others several minutes later. "Yes, the devil left tracks there. Samber was indeed fooled."

   "So we have time to explore his palace then," said Mythlos.

   "I believe we must," said Hakam. "The gods have willed it. They've given us this opportunity and responsibility."

   "And there may be treasure," said Mythlos.

   "The aqueduct does lead further past the pipe we climbed," said Cassiera. "If this door will not open, perhaps the water will lead us elsewhere we can access."

   Leokas hesitated. "The portal leads to my home. I have missed it greatly. The smells brought back so many years of memories...."

   "We will come back to it," said Hakam. "The portal appears stable."

   "We would also need to retrieve Stormshadow," said Leokas. "Yes, it makes the most sense to explore further while we know Samber is away. Come."


They explored the aqueduct system fully. After continuing 100 feet further, another branch connected to their path from the right at a right angle. They followed this new branch against the flow perhaps 100 yards before it turned sharply to the right again. After another 100 feet. They came to a T in the waterway. The water was flowing from the left, diverging to continue back past them and also to their right. They continued to walk against the flow, heading what should have been roughly west. All along the waterway, there were various pipes extending down into the water, but there were no more cave-ins or openings for them to climb.

   "We must be underneath his palace," said Hakam. "This is how he obtains fresh water."

   Suddenly, they reached a point where the narrow tunnel opened up. They were looking again into a massive open cavern. The narrow aqueduct continued in a bridge over the chasm. Mythlos' sword began flickering.

   "We've reached the antimagic field again," he spoke back to the others, "and the water flows across a bridge from another part of the cave. This may be a way back, if it comes to it."

   "Let's not proceed any further this way for now," said Hakam.

   They backed up and went back to the T, this time following the water as it continued east. They came a pile of rubble that blocked further passage.

   "We are back where we started," said Szordrin. "That's the rubble from the wall. We've gone in a complete circle, or rectangle, now."

   The others agreed with his assessment. "That leaves us with following the water as it flowed from that other T." They returned the way they came, turning back south and then east again, and finally making a final right to head south, following the flow of the water. Up ahead, they could see light at the end of the tunnel.

   They hurried forward and soon came out into a large pool. At first, it appeared that they had come back outside, but they soon realized that they were far from it. They were within a massive dome, at least a couple hundred yards in diameter. Some strange magic covered the surface of the dome, such that a ball of simulated light mimicked the sun.

   The pool in which they stood was deep enough for wading. It was rectangular in shape and man-made. Marble steps led out of it on one of the long sides. They hurried up the steps and out, because the water was cold.

   "Maybe we'll have time to bathe later," said Ilthian excitedly. "The cave was so dirty!"

   On the southwest corner of the pool the water continued flowing in a small stream to the south. There was a wooden footbridge crossing over it. Fifty feet beyond the crossing, they could hear the water tumbling off a cliff in a cascade.

   To the east, behind them, was a hillside, leading up to the edge of the dome itself. To the west, they looked upon a grassy field with a marble gazebo in the center. Beyond that was a grove of fruit trees. To the north was a flower garden at the foot of a hill, and the hill ran up to a large castle wall about a hundred yards wide and four stories tall.

   "There is a whole estate down here!" exclaimed Szordrin.

   They all began spreading out to examine what was interesting to them.

   Mythlos and Ilthian walked over to the flowers, which were roses of a wide variety of colors. "They remind me of Jareth," she said.

   "Something moved in the grove of trees," said Szordrin. He cautiously approached, but stepped on a twig. A creature dropped down from one of the branches to investigate the sound. Szordrin found himself staring at a tiny creature, about the size of a cat, but nothing like a cat in shape. It had three legs, arranged like a stool. Between two of its legs was a small head on a very short neck. It had a long snout, something like an anteater's, and its delicate tongue shot out like a snake tasting the air. It was covered in a mixture of feathers and fur in a flashy display of colors from violets to reds. Strangest of all, however, was the set of three floppy wings drooping over its back from the center. Convinced that Szordrin was harmless, the little creature raised its wings. They became rigid and then began to spin rapidly. The animal — if it could be called that — hovered off the ground and disappeared in the trees.

   "Did you see that?" Szordrin asked Leokas.

   "See what?"

   "The oddest creature I've ever seen."

   "No, but these pears look delightful." The elf plucked one from a branch and took a bite. "They taste wonderful too."

   Hakam had walked to the edge of the cliff to the south, crossing over the footbridge. The water poured over in a steep waterfall into a body of water below that filled the southern third of the dome. A stone set of steps carved into the cliff-side led down to a stone dock. At the dock, a single-masted ship was moored. Wooden planks led from the dock to the ship, and two guards in full plate armor of black metal stood guard before each. There was no visible way for the ship to leave the confines of the dome in which it floated.

   Hakam walked back to the others. Belvin was pointing up at the castle. Guards in full suits of black armor guarded the main gate and stood atop the four towers. "They are the same as the pilot of Samber's vessel," said Belvin.

   "I think you'll also find Samber's vessel docked over that ledge," said Hakam.

   "We should speak with the guards," said Mythlos.

   "We could send Ilthian up to talk to them," said Hakam.

   "Hakam!" Cassiera protested.

   "I did not mean only her!" he replied.

   They all headed up the hill and stood before the gate. The guards were armed with black swords and bore black shields. They stood motionless. One could not see any eyes behind the T-shaped visors of the helmets.

   "Well met!" said Hakam, trying to mimic the same tone that Jayce would have used.

   The visors on the guards' helmets lit up with a violet glow, and they all heard a low hum. A few of the adventurers braced themselves for some sort of magic attack, but none came.

   "We have been sent by the Maker," Hakam lied. "Please grant us passage."

   The two guards spoke simultaneously and with the same voice. "We cannot permit anyone to pass except the Maker. You are not the Maker."

   "It is true that he has sent us," Szordrin insisted, holding up the journal for the guards to see. "See here; his journal was written to us. He wants us to learn about his work."

   "We cannot read," said the guards together, "to confirm or reject your claims. Even if we could, we cannot permit anyone to pass except the Maker. You are not the Maker."

   The adventurers whispered amongst themselves. "Do you think Ilthian is permitted to pass, since she is one of the Maker's creations."

   "I can try," she said. "Good sirs, I belong to the Maker. I belong in his castle. Please, permit me to pass."

   "We cannot permit anyone to pass except the Maker. You are not the Maker."

   "This is not going to work," said Hakam.

   "Belvin, can you summon our satyr friend over the wall?" asked Leokas.

   "Krynn? Yes, yes, I can do that."

   Belvin completed the summons, and they heard a voice come from the top of the wall. "Hey! I'm in a castle! Check it out!" Then the guards on two of the towers turned. Purple beams of energy shot from their helmets, and no one heard another sound from Krynn.

   "That was so quick, he probably won't be certain he was even summoned."

   They retreated from the guards and congregated in the gazebo.

   "What now?"

   "I want to get inside that castle," said Hakam.

   "That hardly seems lawful of you," said Belvin.

   "I think the gods instructions to us trump any other laws in this case."

   "So you are saying that the gods can change laws on a whim?"

   "Your god has sent you to this island. Surely, Thard Harr intends for you to enter that castle!"

   "Or maybe he just sent me to this island and nothing beyond that," said Belvin. "I have followed my gods instructions thus far. Until he gives me further instructions, Kamil and I just want to get my arm back."

   "We could just wait here until Samber returns or until we think of something," said Leokas. "Underneath this magic dome is certainly more pleasant than back in the cave."

   "Yes," said Mythlos. "It would also be good to gain our spells back."

   "Is it safe here?" asked Szordrin. "What if there are dangerous animals deeper in that grove?"

   "I'm far more concerned about the constructs guarding the gate than any animals," said Leokas, "especially if they are as bizarre as you mention, and the guards don't seem to do anything unless you actively try to cross their path."

   "Ilthian," said Hakam.

   "Yes!" she answered.

   "Our friend Jayce told us that you once visited the forbidden forest and saw strange animals. What did you see?"

   "I saw a sheep, but I think it was one of ours that had run away. I saw those animals you called 'deer', like the hop-gobbins kept for food and clothes. And I saw colorful, round animals with long noses and three spinning wings."

   "Like what I saw," said Szordrin.

   "...And there were other goat-sized animals... like that!" she said and pointed. A ball of fur rolled from behind some trees and then passed behind others. "It curls itself into a ball and rolls and stops itself with its two feet and its tail."

   "And you and Szordrin never saw such things when you visited the forest?" Hakam said to Leokas.

   "Hey! We came clean about that."

   "Speaking of animals," said Mythlos, "look!" he pointed toward the pool. Stormshadow stood at the top of the marble steps and shook the water from her fur.

   "She finally overcame her fear?"

   "I suppose so," said Leokas. He got up and went over to her. She wagged her tail and seemed to behave like always.


They rested within the dome and around the gazebo. The simulated sun apparently moved across the artificial sky, and it now felt like dusk.

   Hakam had examined the borders of the castle. Three of its walls were stone, and the fourth was simply the surface of the dome.

   Mythlos, Leokas, and Cassiera had re-entered the water system and headed to the where the water crossed the chasm. They crawled on hands and knees in the cold water all the way across to where the water flowed from the wall of the massive cave chamber. Cassiera crawled into the crack in the wall from which the water flowed on her side, because the opening was so tight. She yelled at them to pull her back out.

   "I could fit through as a serpent," she said, but there is no way my human form could fit through, let alone any of yours."

   They returned to the others. It began to grow dark, and artificial stars and a moon magically appeared on the inner surface of the dome. There were four benches in the gazebo; these were occupied by Szordrin, Hakam, Cassiera, and Ilthian.

   "I have never slept outside before," said Ilthian.

   "This does not really count as outside," said Leokas.

   Mythlos sat cross-legged in the middle of the gazebo floor and tranced, while Belvin leaned against Kamil on the grass. Leokas stayed up for the first watch of the night.

   Near midnight, he saw motion at the gate of the castle with his sensitive elven eyes. The two guards stepped to the side, the gates swung open, and a cloaked figure stepped out.

   Leokas darted behind one of the columns of the gazebo and shouted to the others. "Wake up! It is Samber!"
Session: 60th Game Session - Monday, Oct 19 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Viewable by: Public
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Posted in Imago Deorum
Samber's Journal: Entry VIII
Merciful gods, are you so careless in your punishments to allow for this? And how fortunate that you can blame me for the countless deaths that will no doubt follow! Yet, I admit the guilt falls on me. Never should I have risked the binding. You have no time to ramble, Samber. You started this; you must end it. I have just entered my lower portal chambers to find chaos and destruction. While the earthquake seemed to have done little damage to my palace above, a fallen column punctured the bindings that held the osyluth at bay. It is free. It seems to have set fire to all of my writings and apparatus. Years and years of work are now gone. Clear tracks lead right through the gate to the High Forest. As much as you seem to hate me, O gods, I pray you see that I am risking my life and using my powers to make it right. I am leaving this book here in the open in the hope that, if the devil slay me, at least the intruders to my island might stumble upon this and learn more. I write to you directly now, whoever you are who have followed me here. Do not judge me until you have understood what I have done, and know that I loved all of my creations. Is that a sin? ~ Samber
Session: 59th Game Session - Thursday, Sep 17 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Posted in Imago Deorum
Samber's Journal: Entry VII
I was just now awoken from my sleep by the gong. It is not the "hour of summoning"; it is not even highsun. There are strangers on the island! I can only imagine it was the ship that had been following me, but how? I never saw them after I sent the lightning bolt down on them. There were four of them, a blue-haired elf, two Calishites (a male and a female), and a Lantanna like I. None of them were sailors, and the wild elf was not with them, so I can only imagine that there are even more. I must rise and figure out how to deal with them. ~ Samber
Session: 59th Game Session - Thursday, Sep 17 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Samber's Journal: Entry VI
So this is it then? They are not giving up. They want war, it seems. Cannot they tell that I have no desire to fight them? What is it now, you ask? Everything is going to the hells. I do not have time for this. This voyage started well. The journey to Chult was smooth. I dealt with financial matters. I purchased my merchandise from the Consortium, and it arrived within the promised window. I was excited to make use of the sequencers; I spent the night making plans, scribbling in my technical journal at the rented room in Shilku. On the morrow, I was busy working, when a crazed-looking elf came through the portal. I incapacitated him, set the delay on the gate, hurriedly grabbed the papers from my desk, and fled. Thankfully, the Kell had already loaded the Eternity. I gave orders to leave port at once. I considered my options. My portal in Chult would have to be abandoned. Had even Ubtao betrayed me? Ubtao, who is said to care nothing for matters outside his realm? Or was it simply an accident? Some greedy adventurer in search of famed Chultan emeralds who stumbled upon my gate? Was it the Consortium? Were they no longer happy with me as a customer? I began to hope it was only a fluke, and I began to daydream instead about my journey to the Fugue, but then, a fire broke out above deck. Sabotage. The mast had been set aflame, the work of fire elementals who then vanished. Summoned, clearly. I began to put two and two together. It must have been the elf. He was wild, like a druid. But how could he have followed me? If he came through the portal, he could not have had a vessel waiting on the other side, could he? Perhaps it was simply pirates, but I have never encountered pirates who could summon a creature from such a far distance. A member of some sea race, perhaps, who boarded the ship just long enough to call the elementals and then flee. But why? I was baffled, but the next day confirmed that I was indeed being followed. I spotted their ship through the spyglass. Several hours later, they must have called down flying lizards to attack my ship. I destroyed their mainmast with a lightning bolt, hoping to send them a warning, whoever they were, that I was not to be trifled with. Having dealt with that potential hindrance, I at last arrived home. The journey's setbacks now seemed nothing compared to what awaited me; an earthquake had struck the island in my absence. Much of my palace was in disarray. I have spent the last few hours checking through the rooms to see how badly everything is damaged. Bookshelves have tumbled and items have fallen from their places, but the damage does not seem too severe. Now I wonder of this. Have the gods now recruited Grumbar to their side? Is this only the first of several quakes? Do they hope to break through the dome by force? If they send a more powerful quake, what can I do? I will be finished. I am exhausted from my stressful sailing voyage and must rest. I only hope that the Forokell fared well in the quake. The poor things were probably terrified. ~ Samber
Session: 59th Game Session - Thursday, Sep 17 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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