The Silence Of The Gods

Chapter 1-9 Machinations of a Darker Power (or how our heroes nearly were baked alive)

With the giant’s machine in tow, our heroes, Arlo, Red, & Urmazingquaaw returned towards Stormreach with Tordik Frostbeard (absent) and the un-possessed Horvath. On the return, as they were passing the Titan’s Teeth, Arenora and the unicorn appear as if stepping out of thin air. Arenora is visibly upset. There is something interfering with her divination powers, and she is quite worried. Asking the unicorn (18 persuasion), the unicorn telepathically tells just the party that Arenora is not of the mortal world, and she relies on a unique planar power. Arenora is entirely unaware that she is extraplanar however, and the unicorn is worried at the implications. The party leaves and returns the march towards Stormreach.

Upon reaching Stormreach, the party arrives at the forge. Entering the Forge Heart, they find it a bustle of activity. Tired of Paolo vagueness regarding payment, the party starts hard bargaining for their payment. Upon producing the machine, however, Paolo is so ecstatic that she offers 3 of her trophy cabinets as payment. The machine is moved to a table, and the heroes begin to move towards the cabinets.

4 people in the room throw off hoods and draw weapons. These men have searing glowing eyes of bright steel blue, and they shout in unison “The machine must not survive”. Paolo charges into the fray to protect the machine, and, after landing a sturdy strike, the lead attacker stabs her with a long syringe-like device, and Paolo instantly collapses. The party fights the attackers, and aim to knock them all out for interrogation later. As they fight the party members, Urma and Red begin looting the trophy cabinets, looking for items to aid them. They are able to open 4 of the 5 cabinets (Urma crit fails a strength check), and receive the following: 1 odd mask, 1 quiver of 6 Arrows of Autumn’s Gust, 1 elegant key, and 1 bag of holding.

The party incapacitates 3 of the attackers, and the remaining one is proving to be a challenge. The party drops him still, but he returns with a flash of blue light. He begins levitating, and starts causing general pain and discomfort for the party. They also notice that the rest of the forge outside of the forgeheart is a mess of flashing blades and fire. The entire forge is being set ablaze, and the smoke is too thick to see into outisde of the forgeheart. Red quickly uses her mage hand spell to pull the door’s lever, sealing the grand iron doors, and they trap the fire but trapping themselves inside. As the doors shut, a figure flies through at the last second, and, to all the heroes’ surprise, Aerrous is standing amongst them. He quickly moves over to the fallen Paolo, who has begun to convulse and foam at the mouth. The heroes drop the last attacker, and with a surge of blue light, he crumples.

Aerrous administers to Paolo, but the party begins to realize that although locking the doors saved them from the flames themselves, the fires are heating up the room. The heroes begin looking for another means out before they are baked alive in a human-sized kiln, and start tearing up the room looking for options. Paolo awakens, and, upon seeing Aerrous, says “Thank the gods it’s you.” She tends to the machine, and Aerrous begins divining a solution, which he is certain there is one.

On a set of podiums, Urma finds 3 orbs: 1 blue, 1 red, and 1 half blue/half red. On another set of podiums, Urma finds an urn containing ashes, an ancient waraxe with a cracked, blunted blade, and an old war helm with a severe crack down the middle. On the last set of podiums, red finds 1 stack of silver bricks, 1 stack of gold bricks, and 1 stack of platinum bricks, all stamped with the seal of the central bank of Breland.

Arlo begins digging through crates and boxes around the room, and finds a lot of overflow weapons from the forge, which Urma eagerly snatches up, but Arlo also finds an odd plank of driftwood that is abnormally heavy and carved with symbols. The heroes, upon investigating the plank, discover 2 indentations and 1 small hole between them. Cleverly discerned, the heroes place the the red and the blue ones in the indentations, and the waraxe handle fits into the hole. The dual-coloured orb fits into a notch in the waraxe, and, with that, the wood thrums with power. The room is irrepressibly scorching hot, and Aerrous runs across the room. Arlo sees that the waraxe can swivel in it’s hole, and it can also swing down and strike an orb. Aerrous lays a hand onto the board and yells at Arlo to strike an orb, any orb, but quickly. Every person lays a hand on the board, and Arlo quickly strikes the blue orb. The blue orb, along with the board, shatter into pieces and fall to the floor. The blue orb moves like a ball of jello, and the heroes swear they can see a fish swimming in it. With a rushing surge of water, the heroes discover they are deep under salt water. They all swim to the surface, and they discover they are in the middle of the ocean. They all manage to swim to a nearby island, which is uninhabited.

Paolo then explains herself. For many nights, Aerrous came to her in her dreams warning of disaster in the future, claiming his truthfulness by knowing and keeping Paolo’s secret. Every move that Paolo has made was in her hopes of preventing the disaster. She knew that the Triumvirate, the secret trio of evil stormlords, plans on using an obsidian spire hidden within Stormreach. The machine that the heroes brought back is an ancient giant’s machine used in the Quori invasion to sever the Quori’s connection to the material plane, and can be used to sever other extraplanar beings from the plane. It is powered by the Obsidian Obelisks that the heroes have been encountering in the giant’s ruins. The entire plan of the Triumvirate rests upon that obsidian spire and its planar energies. The obsidian spire is located somewhere below the Tower of Kol Korran in Stormreach, which is a veritable fortress that is guarded around the clock. The heroes must break into the tower, discover the location of the spire, and use the machine and Red’s artifact to prevent whatever devious machinations that is being concocted.

Arlo still has the machine, and he managed to drag it to the shore, but the salt water shorted the machine and it is beyond repair. Paolo, now trusting the heroes implicitly, reveals her secret to the party. She touches the machine with both hands, and beads of blue light dance down her arms and gently swirl around the machine. A fierce blue tattoo on her back shines with a blazing light, and the machine once again thrums lightly. Paolo manifested the Dragonmark of Making in her early adulthood and has been keeping it a secret since then. Aerrous, however, knew of it somehow.

With that revelation, the party rests on this island for 3 days before a ship passes by. Arlo (sailor background) recognizes one of the ships crew and manages to negotiate passage for the heroes back to Stormreach. In the light of the stars and a crescent moon, Aerrous then leads the party to the tower. With a creeping thread of magic forming a ladder over the walls, Aerrous beckons the heroes over the wall and into the fortress.

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