Twilight, 5th day of Issandre’s Renewal, in the year 1312.
The party awoke, reeling from the morning after the party. Raloth was off in the city’s drunk tank, and the rest of the party eventually filtered into the meeting hall by mid-morning. Xaros had convered one of the storage rooms into an office, and had figured out a bit of a direction for the party in terms of fulfilling nearby objectives. The party identified that assisting the Astral Guard with one of their more urgent objectives would assist in building a much needed relationship with one of the organizations in the city, in addition to acquiring a set of magical equipment the Guard were offering them upon completion. Setting out in the early morning, Aust, Tanriel, Willow, Honta, and Steelspine set their sights on the Northeast, where a planar disturbance threatened to grow out of control and potentially destabilize the area even further.
After an hour of travelling, with Starhaven now appearing as walls and towers in the distance, the party encountered yet another undead threat in their path. The sky began to darken, and before long, a small shambling of zombies stood before them. A Necromancer stood beyond, controlling the creatures in the distance. Unfortunately for that Necromancer, the party was well equipped for such an encounter, and quickly ended the spellcaster’s threat, which shattered the Nightfall Orb that the dark ritualist employed. The zombies, then uncontrolled, swarmed around Steelspine. What resulted was the sound of clanking metal echoing for quite some distance, as the party began to pick off those zombies one-by-one.
Dispatching the group, the party continued on their path. After five hours, they began to see strange shapes in the distance. Another hour, and they entered foothills, and found some clarification – the strange shapes were large, crystalline formations that seemed to pulse with arcane power. Rifts in reality opened and closed rapidly, which caused Aust some distress! As they began to traverse the crystals, a number of rifts opened, unleashing four Grell – Extraplanar abominations that appeared as large brains, with a beak for a mouth, and their only appendages a number of wiry, spiked tentacles. One of the creatures had a larger break than the others, another floated upside down and wasn’t very good at harming the party, another had tentacles that were all tangled up, and one of them appeared to be a grey brain instead of a pink one – he seemed extra hungry, perhaps he was malnourished? Regardless, the Grell set upon the party. Battle ensued, and Steelspine found himself entangled in the tentacles of one of the beasts. Aust attempted to bless the party, which seemed to agitate the crystals around him. With a pulse of power, the targets of his spells suddenly found themselves full of lifegiving energy – and their wounds began to close, their scars fading away. With renewed vigour, they unleashed the assault, slaying one of the foul brain-things.
The next odd event happened when Willow let loose a blast of power at one of the Grell, and the crystals sparked and blasted her with purple lightning! Willow began to glow a bright pinkish purple with sparks of energy arcing about her form. When she next attacked, she fired an eldritch blast that rended through her opponents’ brainmeats, but also seemed to backfire and blast her with raw arcane power! Aust, out of worry of what would happen when she started to glow, fled to Tanriel’s side. After having a casual mid-battle conversation, Tanriel, too, began to glow, though her glowyness had significantly less sparking going on. Unfortunately for Tanriel’s curiosity, Steelspine made quick work of the remaining foe, and the party was able to continue on their way. Up ahead, they spotted the likely source of the disturbance – a wizard’s spire in the distance.
Another couple of hours of travel and Tanriel-based glow, and the party arrived at the base of the tower. The crystals were notably more condensed here, and three Chuul that appeared to have been displaced from their home turned their beady, angry eyes upon the party. Unfortunately, one of the Chuul, the party wasn’t able to tell where he was looking – his eyes seemed to go off in really weird directions. The remaining two Chuul, one with a large claw, and one that was bright pink, rushed to attack the party. Tanriel let loose a massively power Eldritch Blast, tearing off the tail of the gibble-eye Chuul, while Steelspine attempted to crack the hard shell of one of the two beasts in front of him. Unfortunately, he also leapt right into the big claw’d Chuul’s large pincer, and found himself pinned as it squeezed the life out of him and tried to suck his face off with its mouth-tendrils. The party attempted to dispatch the creatures, fighting hard to defeat them while Steelspine refused to attempt to free himself from the claws, opting instead to bash the creature repeatedly on the head, which it didn’t take kindly to. Steelspine was repeatedly crushed by the beast and beat upon by Pinky, forcing Aust to focus his efforts on healing the Dwarf. Then a rather interesting thing happened when Tanriel let loose with one of her spells to even the playing field, only to notice that her skin had turned blue! Angered, she attempted to blast the cross-eyed Chuul between his eyestalks, only to find that her spell became corrupted and turned into healing energy, restoring the creature’s tail!
Aust attempted to heal Steelspine through his crushing experience, and found his own spell empowered by the crystals. The party continued to battle the creatures, until the team called for Tanriel to blast the beasts with a Fireball, and in doing so, she managed to roast one! With the smell of cooked lobster all around them, Honta appeared from behind the pink beast, slipping his rapier beneath its shell and ending its life. As it fell to the ground, Steelspine turned around and hacked apart the Chuul with messed up eyes. The party then stood in the shadow of that spire. Honta walked up the wall, jumped through a hole and landed inside the main hall of the spire. He paced over to the door and opened it for the party. After plundering the ruined tower for treasure, they paced up the stairs and into another one of those rifts. Emerging in a cavern, the party found a large Grick protecting its clutch of eggs. The Grick assumed them a threat, and the party assumed him easy to cut to pieces.
Turns out that the party was correct – and were able to hack the beast apart quite easily. As they were leaving, a crystal blasted Tanriel and caused her spells to quicken. They found another portal leading out of the cavern they’d entered, which lead them to a stairwell that trailed its way up into the pinnacle of the spire. There they found a massive rift, some rather large crystals and an mad wizard. There, along with a hook horror, the wizard had conducted experiments that pierced the barrier between Isentia and the planes beyond. The party approached the wizard, with Willow lobbing a fireball at the creature and its master. The wizard retaliated with a fiery blast of his own, then Tanriel spat back with TWO fireballs, which levelled the remaining forces levied against the party. With the battle over in a matter of seconds, they searched the tower for treasure and closed the rift, which deactivated the crystals and returned the area to normal.
Upon returning to Starhaven later that evening, the party entered the Astral Hall and spoke to Perryn once more. She was pleased with the party’s work, and provided them with a cache of powerful magical items – a pair of enchanted bracers of defense, a rod reserved for those who traffic in demons and eldritch nightmares, and a sword of pure flames to incinerate their foes. With an advanced level of respect from the Astral Guard, the party returned to their home. Also, Perryn removed Tanriel’s blue skin. Then, at their home, Zaleria provided them with a rundown of the day at the shop – they sold a few things, including the Dwarven Funerary Masks that the party found within the Temple of the Eternal Flame. The buyers are now looking for the party. The party then went to bed and prepared for the next day.