Midnight at the Oasis

April 8, 2012

In which the party sees the other side of the mirror

While wandering Samarthia, the party encounters a salamander praying to a statue of Hextor. Serge pulls the party aside and proposes they side with the salamanders against the angels, playing them against each other so they can grab the treasure. While the party approaches the salamander, Serge approaches a beholder he spots spying nearby and proposes an alliance; if they work together, they can overpower the salamanders and angels. The beholder leads Serge back to the Congress of Eyes’ hideout.

While Gerxis speaks with the salamander, Alanna and Mardukai head off to the palace to speak with the angels. The angels, however, are rather dull to deal with and refuse to let them enter — they don’t have the authority to let them in, and only Gaius, their leader, can help them, but nobody sees Gaius; he stays locked in the palace throne room. The angel also explains that they control the Arrow of Heironeous, a powerful artifact which controls the entire plane and presumably the target of the party’s quest. Alanna and Mardukai finally get to meet with Neane, an angel who has more personality than its brethren. Neane explains that almost all angels are clones — perfect soldiers and perfect discipline, but only a select few were given the gift of individuality by Heironeous. They agree to attack the salamanders soon, believing they have the party on their side.

Similarly, Gerxis is led to the salamanders’ home — the ruins of a great citadel — where they confirm they seek to grab the Arrow from angel control so they can control Samarthia. The salamander leader, an enormous primordial dragon named The Mountain, rallies the salamanders to attack the palace. At the same time, Serge meets with the Congress (who, true to their name, follow parliamentary procedure), who send out scouts so they can attack once the salamanders and angels are engaged. The beholders and their gith slaves seek the Arrow for something they call “the Great Machine.”

The party reunites and confirms that they’ve convinced each faction to attack the others. By the time they’ve gotten to the palace, they see the battle has already progressed inside — angels, salamanders, and the salamanders’ azer warriors disappear when dead, due to the fact that they regenerate days later, but beholder and gith corpses are omnipresent. The party traces its way to the treasure chamber, fighting their way through a few groups of warriors of every faction and using Alanna’s highly attuned magical senses to track the path to the Arrow. The halls finally lead to an underground chamber, where three frost giants guard the entrance. The party slices its way through the giants.

Inside is the treasure chamber, laden with gold and magical artifacts. The party also finds the other side of the mirror they’ve been holding since Grak’s Pool, indicating this is the place they’ve been looking for. On a pedestal is a metallic, adamantine arrow — as soon as Serge touches it, Leoben appears, having invisibly followed the party, and tells them the Arrow is the weapon they want to challenge the sorceror-kings. However, first the party will have to figure out how to get back to Athas — now that the party holds the Arrow, they control the plane of Samarthia, and they can either merge Samarthia (and all its inhabitants) back into the Dragon’s Bowl on Athas, or they can allow the Congress of Eyes to borrow the Arrow for their own strange purposes, destroying the entirety of Samarthia but allowing the party to travel home.

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BentonSancho

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