Empire of Sand

The Efreeti Conspiracy

After following Damaceus through the mosaic, you found yourselves crammed into a narrow, pitch black room. Hitash thought better of the situation, and decided to see if there was a mosaic on this side and if it could take your back to the Shrine of All Faiths. There was indeed a mosaic, but as he ran his hands over it, he could tell that it was no longer charged. Hitash recalled some details about these mosaics – called Calishite mosaics. He knew that they are an old and complex form of magic and could be used to store any number of spells, this one obviously storing a teleportation spell. To the best of his knowledge, the one you had just passed through required some time to recharge and/or it was only active during certain times of day.

Drumph tried the door in front of you, finding it locked. Feeling the door, he also noticed some metal embossing that seemed to be in the shape of a flame. Hitash lit a torch and used it to activate the rune on the door, causing it to swing open. You peeked in and saw a long room with two doors on the north wall, as well as what looked like two shuttered windows in between.  A few moments later, the shutters slid up and two bladed, mechanical constructs flew out and attacked you. You were able to easily destroy them, though you took some damage as they exploded when they were rendered nonoperational. 

You checked both doors for traps and they seemed to be safe and unlocked. Drumph decided to open the easternmost door and was greeted by a gout of flame.  After determining that the trap was spent, Asad was sent in to investigate. He found a narrow hallway with a door going east and another corridor going west, leading to a downward staircase to the south and another door to the west. Buttles was sent to peek through the keyhole of the eastern door, discovering a dark room holding some rubble and a statue. Asad kicked the door down and confirmed that the room was safe to enter. 

The statue was that of a woman with a mischievous grin, holding a pair of dice in one outstretched hand.  Tagrid and Hitash knew this to be the goddess Tymora, commonly known as Lady Luck. Worshippers of this deity would typically make an offering of a gold coin to gain her favor. Hitash offered up his pair of weighted dice. The statue raised up her other hand and took them. Seemingly pleased with this offering, the set of stone dice in her other hand rolled to the floor and Hitash collected them, feeling like the luckiest man in the world. 

Next you decided to investigate the door at then end of the hallway containing the staircase. Pushing it open, you found yourselves inside of a small office. On the desk, Hitash found an alchemy jug and an ancient scroll that was being copied onto fresh parchment. Inspecting it, he found it to be something called Salivar's Sanctifying Touch. Tagrid found some books on a bookshelf related to the history of Calishite mosaics. Though the tome detailing the full process of their creation had been lost, the books mentioned some of the spells required – you discover that Salivar's Sanctifying Touch is the first step in the complicated process. Asad mentions that the Codex Thealnakar, the book detailing the mosaics creation process, last known location was the hoard of the blue dragon Irykathagria. The dragon perished in Calimport during the Dracorage, and the hoard had disappeared as well. While you were inspecting the books, Drumph took another look at the desk and found a crystal potion bottle that looked similar to the ones Tagrid had gotten from Damaceus. Though he wasn't sure, Tagrid downed the potion and regained some more of his youth. 

Having explored this level, you decided to check downstairs. You stealthed down the stairs and came into a wide corridor that led into a large chamber with a lifted portcullis.  Inside stood three red-robed figures, including Damaceus. Their backs to you, they gathered around a stone alter and held a discussion in a language none of you could understand. You hugged the shadows of the walls and discussed what to do next, too loudly. Damaceus turned, saw you, and hollered in Common, "Intruders!" Tagrid attempted to be diplomatic, but Damaceus was enraged and called for your deaths. 

After trading a few blows with you, Damaceus' two followers erupted in flames, their forms changing into humaniod monstrosities made of flame and shadow. They resisted your blades, and hurled gouts of fire at you. Damaceus ran to the alter and snatched the Efreeti bottle, before disappearing with a loud crack. Looking up, you saw him reappear on a catwalk 20 feet above you. He then targeted Hitash with a spell that made him highly sensitive to the heat of the flames from the elemental creatures as well as the torches lining the walls.  

Tagrid targeted the Efreeti bottle in Damaceus' hands. The bottle glowed red hot, burning Damaceus and causing him to drop the bottle, which landed precariously close to the edge of the catwalk. Hitash saw this and commanded Buttles to retrieve the bottle. Buttles flew up, grabbed the bottle, and then flew out of the room. Tagrid hit the lever for the portculis, lowering it as Buttles escaped the room and trapping the rest of you in the chamber for the time being. As this was happening, Damaceus hurled a chair across the room at Hitash and Drumph managed to cleave one of the creatures in half with his axe, despite its resistance to such damage. 

Damaceus yet again disappeared with a crack, and did not reappear anywhere else in the room. Hitash commanded Buttles to return to his extra-dimensional pocket, with the Efreeti bottle. The other creature, seeing her comrade dead and her master abandoning her, surrendered. She reverted back to her human form. You cornered her and grabbed her for interrogation. Tagrid produced a vial of poison called Midnight Tears and threatened to use it on her unless she talked. When asked what they wanted with the bottle, she replied, "Freedom." When pressed, she explained that her and her people, the Genasi, were tired of being hunted down and forced into hiding. She believed that releasing the Efreeti would help return things to "the old ways". When asked about Damaceus' role in this, she said simply that he was "a friend" of her people.

Though Drumph and Tagrid were skeptical, Hitash knew that at least some of what she spoke was true. The Genasi, the offspring of Djinni and Efreeti, had been mercilessly hunted and exterminated in the past; those that remained kept themselves hidden, sometimes under illusion spells or else deep within the Muzad. The Genasi woman tried to tempt you with the power of the Efreeti, saying that if they helped her cause, you would be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams. You did not buy into it. Tagrid pushed her further, asking if she knew the location of any other bottles, or where Damaceus may have gone. She kept her mouth shut. Tagrid threatened her again with the poison, and this time she defiantly opened her mouth, daring you to do it. Just before you ended her life, she laughed and said you would be in for a surprise if ever you made your way to Calimport. 

After finishing her, you investigated the rest of the room. On a table in the back of the room, you found several items. The first was a set of black metal manacles which Asad determined to be dimensional shackles, used to keep beings bound to a single plane of existence. You also found a bowl holding four small stones, which after investigating, seemed to have the power of allowing long distance communication between the holders of the stones. The only other items of interest were three blackened bone statuettes of Efreeti warriors. 

After a time, you made your way back upstairs and tried the mosaic again. This time, it activated and transported you back to the Shrine of All Faiths. It is early morning, and the sun has not yet risen . . . 

<u>XP</u>

2 Tridrones – 200

2 Genasi - 200

Keeping the Efreeti Bottle – 400

Lucky – 50

Salivar's Sanctifying Touch – 50

Getting Damaceus to flee – 1000

RP - 500

Total: 2400/4 = 600 each

This puts everyone at 2962.   LEVEL UP!

<u>Loot </u>

Salivar's Sanctifying Touch: an old scroll and a new copy of the first step of creating Calishite mosaics (Hitash)

Tymora's Lucky Dice: stone dice that grant +8 to one saving or ability throw, one time use (Hitash)

Sending Stones: small stones that allows a message to be sent over any distance to the other stones in the set – this is done through the sending spell; limit 25 words, recharges at dawn (everyone)

Dimensional Shackles: these black metal manacles prevent a creature from using any form of extradimensional movement, including teleportation or planeshifting (Drumph)

Crystal potion bottles (3): these bottles once contained over 24,000 gp worth of potions (Tagrid)

Carved bone statuettes (3): carved from blackened bone, these statuettes depict Efreeti warriors; value of 25 gp each (Asad)

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nicoferguson

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