SSC Adventures in Epic Eberron

Neon Returns

Neon had run until his legs burned. Just as it seemed like he was getting nowhere, the tunnel suddenly changed from stone to knee deep mold. The mold made a creaking and stretching sound as it continued to expand down the tunnel. Massive ten foot tall mushrooms and a sickly haze floated in the air as a light breezy started.

Neon plunged into the mold and found that the mushroom would burst poisonous blinding spores when he passed close. He did his best to minimize the toll the spores would have on him and proceeded to wade through a quarter of a mile of mold before finding the hole.

Neon racked his brain for any option of how to return to the company of his companions safely. The paladin made his decision by grabbing his holy symbol, said a prayer for guidance, and dove into the hole.

When Neon passed through the portal, he landed in the trench that the Crusty Wench had created, but stopped well short of the cliff edge.

The paladin was blasted continuously by grit and after surveying the surroundings, found that he was surrounded by wasteland, twenty dust devils, and a chasm that had no visible opposite side and stretched to the horizon to each side.

Embedded in the side of the chasm, Neon found a massive spinal column that stretched up at least a mile and descended into the chasm beyond where light could reach.

Neon heard a screeching as a flock of at least 40 demons raised up from the chasm darkness and headed for him. Thinking of retreat, he turned around and found that the twenty dust devils had joined together and formed three large ones.

Down in the chasm, Thom and Azrukal could hear the scratching sounds of creatures approaching from across the net. Azrukal ran across the net behind the side laying flatbed as Thom climbed on top of the engine and leapt to the top of the flat bed. Two demons scrambled to join Thom, while two more began to launch bolts of dark energy into the bard.

Neon drew his sword as the first few demons arrived. He dispatched one of them as the other three raked him with their wicked claws. The fight seemed to be under control until he noticed that the three large dust devils were now one giant cyclone.

Thom and Azrukal battled hard throwing the demons off of the flat be and one over the side. The demons savagely attacked with evil smiles, enjoying every moment. The two of them found that the evil creatures seemed to resist their attacks and forced them to switch from their normal tactics.

Neon felt the wind pick up and ran toward the massive spinal column, but found his efforts strained against the strong gale. The demons pursued the paladin and continued their relentless clawing. However, the cyclone winds soon chased off the flying creatures who left with the rest of the flock for the safety of the chasm darkness.

Neon focused all of his efforts on reaching the spine. As he made his way the final ten feet, he recognized the outline and handle of a door in the side of the spine. Neon shoved on the door with all his might, and found it unmoving. On the other side of the door, a gruff voice let him know that he couldn’t come in without the symbol.

Neon put on his most convincing tone and held his holy symbol forward and proclaimed it the right symbol. The tower door opened for only a moment as a large goat like eye peek out and quickly shut. The gruff voice told the paladin that it was the wrong symbol, but that he could get one in the city below.

The demon inside the spine let Neon know that he had called for a shuttle to pick him up and take him to the city. Neon knew this wouldn’t help him as the cyclone slammed into him, lifting him in the air and dropping him into the chasm where he began to fall.

Thom and Azrukal began to feel the demonic fight taking its toll when their fairy companion Shiny emerged from the passenger car of the train and charged the nearest enemy. The tide changed and Azrukal killed two of the demons as Thom healed their bodies. When the second to the last demon died, a voice called out from the cliff area for the fighting to stop.

Neon fell for three full minutes. His only comfort was that even though he had never fell this far, at least he hadn’t reached the end of the spine embedded in the chasm wall. With little time to react, he landed into a steel netting that without his armor might have cut him into six pieces.

Azrukal and Thom didn’t even react as Neon righted himself in the net and rejoined them. For the first time the group regarded exactly where they were. The sky above them was pitch black, as was the hole below them. The area was dimly lit by luminescent fungus and lichen that grew from the wall.

Beyond the net was a sprawling city made of all shapes of dwellings, some carved into the rock, some even made of dead bodies. The demon speaking to them wore a leather smock and gloves and had a head covered with many small horns.

The demon told them that they needed to play for the damage to his net and for the killing of his helpers. Thom told him that they were merely defending themselves. The demon let them know that he was friends with the blight lord Lady Akaama and that they had to pay him.

Thom asked him how much he wanted and he told them he wanted ten soul larvae. The demon then began asking questions about the Crust Wench. Thom let him know it was a terrestrial transport and not of much worth. The demon told them that it was build very well and he might be able to reuse it, but demanded that the group bring him payment first.

Thom told the demon that he didn’t have any larvae. The demon pointed them to the nearest inn a place called the Craven Talisman. He told them that travelers frequented the inn who might have value in gold. Thom told the man that he would return with the larvae, but the demon demanded Shiny as collateral.

Azrukal asked Shiny, and the fairy allowed herself to be boxed by the demon as the group headed toward the Craven Talisman.

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One Way Ticket to Hell

The group cautiously approached the train that would launch their business across Korvaire. Thom noticed a horrific clawed demon scramble into the passenger car. Azrukal suggested that the group start by going to the engine first. The group agreed and headed to the engine.

When the group reached the front of the train, they witnessed a skull faced humanoid creature damaging the controls. The creature disappeared as the lightning rail train rumbled to life. Bolts of lightning erupted from the bottom of the Crusty Wench as it sped into a tunnel that took it down into the earth below Sharn.

Two more lightning bolts erupted from the sides of the train as it entered the first focusing ring that Thom had designed over a year ago. The train picked up dramatic speed as sparks burst from the control console. The group began to investigate closer but were interrupted when a group of the clawed demons scurried up the train and attacked.

The group met the attack with a fierce rebuttal, as the skull faced demon reappeared on top of the engine and launched bolts of dark magic down upon them.

The group focused on the small enemies and soon found themselves facing only the saboteur when something large dropped from the ceiling of the tunnel landing on the flat bed car behind them. The new creature was a disgusting mass of tentacles and appendages that reached across the cars and lashed the group.

Not daunted by the new comer, the group killed the lich, and turned to the new foe as the train speed began to reach a point where turning forced it into the bolts surrounding it.

Neon decided to close the gap between himself and the abomination by jumping to the flatbed car. The train made a turn right as he jumped causing him to fall between the cars and through the lightning to the cave below. Azrukal and Thom jumped to the flatbed and knocked the creature off of the train.

Neon dusted himself off and began to jog toward the train and soon met and destroyed the ejected demon.

Thom and Azrukal both set to work on regaining control of the train. However, with every step forward, they seemed to make a misstep. When the walls of the tunnel turned from stone to a sickly mold, Azrukal lept for the brake lever and despite all his strength, the train launched into a massive hole.

The train arched downward. Thom and Azrukal grabbed onto the rails of the engine and braced themselves. The train fell for thirty seconds before a wave of abyssal energy washed over them. They were suddenly hit with a hot wind smelling of burnt flesh. The blackness of the tunnel was replaced by a brightly lit area under a crimson sky. The train sailed through the air for a few moments turning slowly onto its side before slamming into the hard cracked earth below them.

The Crusty Wench dug into the ground carving a trench behind it. Azrukal and Thom held on waiting for it to stop but once again found themselves falling as the train slid over the edge of a cliff.

The train fell for three full minutes. Thom and Azrukal believed that the impact would be the end of them for sure when the train slowed quickly and stopped bouncing in a massive steel net secured to the wall of the cliff. A voice called out “get up there and see what it is. Kill anything alive on it.”

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Morgrave Shut Down

The group decided to make their way toward Morgrave university to find someone who could help them decipher the pages they had found. However, the journey quickly became an escape from demonic hordes.

The group ducked down a back alley to avoid flying fire launching demons, though Neons loud footfalls tipped the pursuers off to their new location. The group found a partially opened window and jumped/smashed through it and found themselves inside an apartment with demons bursting out of the basement.

Thom opened the front door while Azrukal and Neon held the new attackers back and sealed it behind them. They entered a second alley and the winged enemies were on their trail again. The group ran to a dead end with a magic sealed door at the end. Thom released the seal as Azrukal and Neon again defended the position by knocking spine covered foes with shield, spell and conviction.

Thom unlocked the unmagiced door with a simple shove of his sword and the group entered and sealed the door behind them. This led the group into a magical curiosity shop. Neon located a wood panel on the wall of the shop that didn’t match the rest of the walls. Azrukal inspected the panel and found a hidden latch that opened the panel to a tunnel.

The group traveled down the tunnel and out a secret door and onto the street again. Thom decided to cut the wheel off of an expensive carriage and then the group ran to the alley across the street.

The group had ditched the demons and now exited the alleys to the front of the university. The front entrance was locked tight and didn’t budge when Thom pressed on it. Azrukal spotted a window fifty feet up and teleported through his fire to the window and dropped a rope down to the group.

Inside the school, they were confronted by a nervous elf who once he recognized Thom lowered his defenses. The group showed the elf the pages they had collected and he took them to see the university Abyssal expert a tiefling named Professor Hashorns.

Hashorns removed the barricade from behind the door and inspected the paper work. He told the group that one of the pages were a summoning and release ritual. The pages were from the infamous “Book of Vile Darkness”. He warned the group that the book was believed to have a mind of its own and sought only evil and destruction.

Neon asked Hashorns if their were a way to scrye the location of the book. He said that he could but it would not be extremely accurate. The group wanted what every help they could get and followed the elf to a ritual chamber. Hashorns showed up with a couple of helpers.

Hashorns took the page containing the release ritual into the chamber and shut the door. When Hashorns emerged from the chamber, he revealed that the book was not located on their plane. Unfortunately, it was all he could Devine.

The group took one more advantage of the university in the use of a short distance teleportation that landed them near the Orien lightning rail station. The station was dormant and many dead bodies littered the area.

The group made their way to the far side of the station where they could see the passenger car of a train. When they came around the side, they discovered a sparkling new train with perfect magically done lettering along the side of the engine. It read, “The Crusty Wench”.

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Sharn Overrun.

The group braces themselves against the door to the room as the massive Minotaur charged Thom. From behind the large creature, the group caught a glimpse of another Minotaur unable to fight past his kin, and two devils who began launching fiery attacks.

Azrukal took the position of sniper while Thom used every bit of healing he could muster to stay standing. After, knocking down the devil the Minotaur followed soon allowing the second to attack.

The group stuck to their plan despite hearing a boom that shook the dust from the ceiling. After defeating the remaining two enemies, the group spread out and discovered copied pages catalog stamped by house Cannith written in a strange language on an alter next to a mangled corpse.

The group made their way up the catwalks looking to find a way out. They reached a dead end that became a passage after Azrukal stomped a hole through the bricks.

The hole led the group into a armory shop. Thom checked the front door for a lock and found an alerting charm on the handle. Azrukal set to disarming the lock and declared it finished. He then proceeded to open and set off the still armed charm.

Outside, the group discovered the burning remains of the Breland Capitol ship. Amongst the wreckage, they found the deceased body of captain Kaeles. In his hand they recovered a sending stone that connected them with the king.

The king told them that he had fled Sharn with the head of house Orien. They told the group that the city was over run with demons and that their train was over run as well.

The group decided to travel to Moregrave University to see what the pages they recovered were, and then see about their train.

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New War Begins in Sharn

The group received congratulations from the Breland army till dawn broke. The hole that Oublivae left in the earth had begun to grow a this mold around the rim and smelled of rot and decay. A quarter of a mile surrounding the hole was nothing but dead plant life.

The Capitol airship landed and the group was invited on board to conference with captain Kaeles. Kaeles let them know that Cannith tower had been captured. However, the higher officials of the tower had escaped before they got there leading Kaeles to believe an information leak had occurred.

Inside the tower, they found evidence that connected Aric to Cannith, and also the intent to dispose of their group.

Kaeles described how the dragon marked houses had split and a confrontation had begun that could very well start the last war again.

Kaeles asked if the group could investigate a hole in the middle of Sharn from which
many war forged had poured out attacking the city. Thom was very hesitant to accept the job as he wished to distance the group from the politics of the citadel. He made Kaeles agree to financial compensation before agreeing.

The Capitol ship flew to Sharn by the middle of the day and dropped rope ladders down to the street. The group made their way into the hole and down to a pile of street rubble.

After digging their way into the rubble, the group found a finished stone hallway. Traveling a short distance down the dark corridor, they came upon a room. Inside the room, a lone skeleton lay with a cutlass jammed into its chest. Beside the skeleton was a small metal box.

The group all together moved into the room. The room around them vanished and they found themselves on a beach under a crimson sky next to a shipwrecked Cannith marked ship.

The group decided that they must be either transported or seeing a glimpse of the elemental chaos. Azrukal walked over and grabbed the metal box as the rest of the group winced and stepped back. Thom handed him a crowbar that he jammed it into the side and proceeded to bend it very badly.

Azrukal then decided to open it with skill rather than strength and succeeded. Inside, he found a Cannith cataloged map with several strange notes written on it.

Azrukal decided next to grab the cutlas and the original brick room returned and the weapon had transformed into a handle connected to the floor.

Azrukal pulled the handle and the floor opened up and dropped the group down a chute ending inside a windowed tube. Through the window the group could see a near duplicate of the factory they adventured through in the city of Making.

Azrukal decided to blast the window, but Thom held his attack fearing the effects of the attack would affect everyone in the tube.

Thom set to breaking the window as impressively as possible. He managed his way through on the second attempt. The group exited the tube and landed on a cat walk overlooking the factory.

They made their way down to the center where they found a slightly different room than the one in Making. This chamber was windowless and completely made of brick.

The group tried the door to the room and found it open. Azrukal entered the room and came face to face with the most evil Minotaur he had ever seen. The Minotaur glared at the group with its glowing red eyes and let out a snort before charging them with a great axe over its head.

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Rot Comes to Breland

Thom desperately chased after Gloomhollow, who proved very tenacious. Thom was finally forced to attack to end her suicidal journey. With Gloomhollow’s senses returned, the two of them ran and retrieved their flying platforms.

Above the two of them, Azrukal helplessly attacked the emerging Demon, however quickly discovered that she was regaining her endurance using the mist from the surrounding orbs. He savagely continued to attack her while she used debilitating magic to weaken and restrain him.

Thom and Gloomhollow jumped onto the platforms and began flew towards the nearest orb. As the two of them neared, a small creature emerged from the mist and positioned itself to defend the orb. Gloomhollow dispatched the creature with a single blow and Thom followed up by smashing the intact orb and ending the mist.

Thom and Gloomhollow decided that destroying the orbs was the best course of action. They flew from orb to orb and each time the creature seemed to be getting larger that spawned to defend the orb.

Finally after being nearly beaten to death, the demon Azrukal began to see some of his efforts against Oublivae take effect. He noticed that Thom and Gloomhollow were destroying the orbs that surrounded the clearing, and had destroyed nearly all of them. Oublavae’s regenerative powers had diminished.

By the final two orbs, the creatures that emerged were a huge whirl wind of diamonds, and a choking cloud of dust. The two of them dodged around the creatures and smashed the orbs hoping that may get rid of them as it had with the weaker foes. However, the two strongest remained.

The clouds over the clearing had begun to dissipate. Azrukal felt the demonic shell around him weakening. He knew that if left alone, he would lose this fight.
Oublivae let loose a forceful blast that launched Azrukal across the clearing and he landed in a fiery explosion that banished Her Ket’s magic from around him.

Oublivae laughed almost in relief and turned her focus onto Thom and Gloomhollow who were barely holding their own against the whirl wind of diamonds. She raised her claw hand up to blast them, when the clouds above her cleared revealing the Breland Capitol ship directly above her.

The ship immediately set into a dive that brought it full broadside with Oublivae, and opened fire on the weakened demon. Twenty canons slammed into Oublivae and she dissipated into the swirling mist column turning it a combination of black and purple.

The Capitol ship pulled away from the column, which seemed to be speeding up. The violent column of mist suddenly dropped down toward the earth and when the top reached the ground level, it caused a quake like reaction. The initial shock waves set both Gloomhollow and Thom to their knees.

The whirlwind of diamonds vanished. Over the clearing hung a strange silence. Then a sound of tree limps snapping reached their ears. The group turned their gaze out to the forest and noticed the tree twisting and rotting at a rapid rate. They ran to the center of the clearing and discovered the funnel cloud had become a massive hole down into the earth.

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