Maloran, Jewel of Thassilon

An awakened sleep...

In this installment, the party recovered from being ambushed at dinner and did some local snooping. Whereupon the gnome was approached by a ne’re-do-well that said he was uncontent with the city of Abasloms management and wanted a change and was looking for like minded individuals.

The party met this group of malcontents in the docks district and soon fell undersway of enchantment encouraging the overthrow of the government. The cleric of the party however resisted after a while and began questioning things. All was still going well until he then cast a silence spell. The party began questioning things and causing trouble. The guards and head speaker began combat and then suddenly the speaker turned/melted into a succubus. After the fight, the party found a large chest of coins apparently collected by the troublemakers.

They then made a hasty exit from Absalom to Maldoran. The elven wizard was able to identify a portal at the Armory and active it. The party stepped through…

Into a 50×50×50 chamber underground. The portal from Maldoran appears to be housed on a living portals doorway. The party began examining the portal and tripped an antipathy trap, which drove the party from the room. The living vault was crafted from granite from Mount Celestial and the doorway fillagre of silver and gold.

Walking down the hallway away from the living vault, the party came into a large room with a miniature pyramid in the middle. The gnome noted several invisible mummies coming towards the party and combat quickly ensued.

While the fight went on, the party noticed a beautiful female sit up from the top of the pyramid, completely nude. They assumed the worst (that she was a banshee) and prepared to assail her as well as the mummies.

Lo and behold however, she was none other than Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, awakened from her statis slumber by the party’s meddling with the living vault.

Combat quickly got out of hand with the mummies, Sorshen and a summoned Daemon beset against the party.

Eventually a parley was established where Sorshen was able to (while still guarded) examine the minds of the party and understand their true intent.

They finally befriend Sorshen, they parley further after the Daemon is dismissed, and Sorshen apparently is put-off by the idea that she has been forgotten by the world. The party (in passing) mention the starstone’s ability to grant godhood to mortals and she is convinced this is a great thing to do.

She goes to the living vault, it opens before her and she girds herself in the raiment of war. After which she summons a djinni with her ring, whisks the party and herself to the astral and then the prime (Absalom).

The party leads her to the starstone temple and she begins her test.

The party finds themselves again in Absalom and not much further along in their goals, though further along in information. (Sorshen verified that Xin and Tar-Baphon are in fact the same person).

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A city between time...

In our latest installment, the heroes learn that the city, when it isn’t busy teleporting from place to place in Golarion, is in a place between time. The location, according to the mercane visitors, is in “the Great Beyond” on the “sea of time”.

The city seems to have mellowed a little. The oracle Milthek had a night time visitation and has had something of a change of heart. He’s not quite as full of malice and hate doesn’t glow in his eyes any more.

The party hitched a ride with the mercane to Absalom and did some trading, met Milton of the Academy, hidden down in a basement and somewhat…eccentric. He doesn’t get out much. He has agreed to come to the city and study it. He is the expert on ancient Thassilon (something akin to specializing in ancient babalyon in our time) and doesn’t do much other than read tomes and scrolls.

It has also come to the attention that the city of cities is one giant portal to other cities. Tapping into a portal to a different city should be easy, finding the route back though may be problematic.

The party was jumped in the pathfinders area by a group of orcs, one dressed in full plate and wielding a fell sword. He was bested and rather than surrender he sundered his weapon, causing an explosion (killing one of the clerics) and sending him to an alternate plane.

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The plot thickens

In this illustrious installment, the party was visited by Alseta, The Welcomer. Alseta indicated to the party that the City of Cities is in fact her wayward creation that she has neglected for some time, as she has been attending to other issues.

The City of Cities is not unlike Sigil, city of doors, but rather than a gateway to many places, it is rather the source of many places. Through discussions with Bill and John, representatives of Abraxis and Dispater, it was made clear that the city can be crafted in ways to change the overall design of the city, and the dark folk appear to be manipulating the forming of the city to their own designs.

The party finally made it to the armory and foundry where they returned the horn to the cloaked figures outside the armory and then entered the foundry which was clearly in use. Inside they met Milthek, a deceptive gentleman that at first appeared to be the owner of the foundry but at last instant tried to make an escape. The pary subdued him accidentally and dispatched his glass golem as well.

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But what about...

The party, through various ways, found themselves at a town floating on a piece of rock. Far above twinkled the prime, through a shadowy gloom. Below a black hole slowly spun, gobbling wisps of a plane that stretched out in oblivion into the 7th dimension.

Occasional gouts of matter from the shadow plane would rain down upon the town, raining food stuffs along with the occasional shadow mastif or what have you.

The wayward towns people of this town, a motley collection of lost souls from all over Golarion, had a ashen hue to them, as if the oppressive gloom had left its mark upon them.

The town was controleld by a group of dark men and a dark slayer, who gibbered to each other and never bothered the inhabitants as long as they gave the dark men what they wanted, which was little.

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The game thus far...

The party has found its fate somehow intertwined with that of ‘the city of cities’ Maldoran, Jewel of Thassilon.

The latest conversation was:

“I had some concerns about what <mickey’s name="true"> said earlier, along with the discussions we had regarding my auguries. But I wasn’t certain of anything, so I kept everything to myself until I knew more. I have spent most of today searching through town looking for the taint of evil. I have also attempted to ascertain if there is any sort of undead presence here. Both of these searches resulted in a resounding ‘yes’.”

“This city, at least the portion that has rebuilt itself, is in and of itself, evil. The same taint that lies on our followers appears to lie on the city. Interestingly, this only sits on the rebuilt portion. Outside of this area, everything is fine. Additionally, pretty much everybody here, except for us, is undead. Well, sort of. It appears as if they are partially undead and partially alive. This includes all of the 1000 or so citizens currently in the Trade Quarter. Oh and the people, although undead, are in fact not inherently evil—at least, not any more than a normal cross-section of humanity. So, some of them are evil, but not an undue amount. I am not certain, but I believe my detecting them as partially alive and partially undead might mean that they are possessed. But, I am not really sure.” At this point, he looks at <patrick’s> and says, “I am sorry to have to tell you this, my friend, but this includes your wolf. He is both evil and undead. As much as I know this pains you, I believe that this is something you should know.”

“Lastly, all of the items that were either given to us in the Armory or modified while in the Armory are evil.”

Note: The “special items”, city, wolf, and followers radiate faint evil, whereas our “Eye” armor is residual.

“This all leads me to believe that <mickey’s> theory is on the right track. We are apparently helping to rebuild something that is inherently evil and possibly helping the possession of the people here, which as you recall are probably the people from the villages we were investigating. In case you were wondering, this is why I asked for you to remove the armor and such. I don’t want to take any chance that they have some sort of link to the city, or to maybe some being that is driving this evil.”

“But, this is not all.” Maliek sighs and looks even more haggard than before. “No, that is not even the half of it. The last thing I did, tonight before dinner, was another augury. Specifically I asked if it was weal or woe to help save this city. This apparently got the attention of something completely unexpected (at least by myself), as upon asking this question, a planar tear opened in front of me and an Astral Deva came through.”

“I will try and remember his words as exactly as possible, but it was something of a harrowing experience, so…” and he shrugs. “The Deva had a scroll flowing around him with glowing text, and he said, ‘Oh faithful, Sarenrae has sent me as a herald of times past and future. The questions you seek the answers for are beyond your ability to understand. Seek an Oracle, a Wise Man, and a Leader of Men and form a council with them. This council shall study this scroll and determine the fates of its own race.”

“To me this has the ring of prophesy. Also, I find the wording of the last sentence to be interesting.”

“At this point, another tear opened opposite the first tear and an Aeon, specifically a Pleroma, came into our reality. He said that enough had been said by the gods on this matter, and that it was for us, the mortals, to figure out.”

“And then they left. The tears appear to have put a strain on the city, and myself for that matter. They used me as the focus for accessing this reality. My first thought is that this means that using me as a focus was the only way they could access us here in the city, which is somewhat disturbing.”

“Um, I hope that after this we can all agree that something much bigger than we ever expected is going on here. I don’t know what we need to do at this point, but this scroll will tell us. I hope.” At this point, he brings out the scroll described above. “I have not looked upon this yet, as I think it would be better if we were all a part of the reading. Also, I’m not sure that we should look upon it before gathering this council.”

At this Maliek looks at everybody expectantly…

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