The Shackled City

In The End
Post Production Magic

3 Goodmonth, 592 CY (Concluded)

Backed down the stairs to talk quick strategy and spell up. Then they rushed the room and threw down with Dark Myrakul and the demonflesh golem. Started a little dicey with 60% of the party getting dazed in round one by blasphemy, but the party took control of the fight and ended the chief warden of skullrot and his patchwork minion in just over thirty seconds.

Bransen “felt” the key left by Kort the Grey calling to him from his haversack, and so he pulled it out and immediately knew how to open the cage imprisoning/protecting Adimarchus. Ashton cast fly on everyone except Jarvyk, who was already astride Fer Lomarcan, then everyone but Bransen descended the shaft to the first floor of Skullrot. The paladin and his mount took up a guard position on the exit, and everyone prepared to put an end to the threat behind all of Cauldron’s troubles.

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Ascending

2 Goodmonth, 592 CY (Continued)

After Deg searched the small bedchamber containing the demon fly’s fresh corpse, the party returned to the flesh golem lab. Then, something very peculiar happened. Bransen, the farmboy-turned-adrenalin junkie requested that the others give him time to see if he could summon the fallen celestial Saureya, whom he had met on Occipitus. The “sorcerer” decided that questioning the outsider might give the party greater insight that would help them defeat Adimarchus. Everyone decided that would be a good idea, and so they granted him his requested time.

They cleared as much space as they could, even going so far as to shove the large table against one set of the glass vats containing the flayed and faceless corpses. Bransen concentrated on the summoning for ten whole minutes, chanting and gesturing in ways that both Ashton and Greyjek could tell him were consistent with divine spellcasting. Still, the pair saved their breath as they knew their commentary would go unheeded. Jarvyk and Deg watched the exits as the minutes wore on, until eventually a light appeared in the center of the chamber. The somewhat startled figure of the astral deva, known to the Silver Phoenixes as Saureya, coalesced from this radiance moments later.

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Skullrot
The Inmates

2 Goodmonth, 592 CY (Continued)

After they patched their hurt and waited out the effects of the weakening necromantic effect, the Silver Phoenixes ascended the stairs that provided the sole exit from the entry chamber. The steely adventurers heard the volume of the fiendish howling increase from above, in the very heart of the Asylum. As he crested the top step, he could see the room sat at the base of a wide shaft that soared up into the darkness. Balconies with iron railings were visible above, lining the walls of the upper levels.

The room was occupied by a singular creature, though his girth struck an imposing figure in the gloom. The bloated bipedal creature appeared for all the worlds like a six-armed kelubar, and they heard a discordant contralto voice emanating from the mad fiend. As the others came up from behind Deg, they all took in the strange sight, sound, and horrid stench of the demodand waddling around the room apparently trying to quell the screams of the incarcerated fiends trapped within Skullrot with his Abyssal song.

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The Grudge
Demons Are Not Forgiving

1 Goodmonth, 592 CY (Continued)

A couple of hours after they’d dealt with the slaadi, Deg’s tracking magic wore off and the party found themselves within sight of a massive fortress with a gate like a giant frog’s mouth squatting in the low mountains. The structure lay to the left of their intended path, and so they noted its location (Greyjek committed it to memory instantly), and the halfling reactivated his ability. They traveled another hour before the demons set upon them.

A nalfeshnee leading a small horde of hezrou and vrocks threatened them from atop a large rocky spur. He really shouldn’t have, because it just annoyed the adventurers. A few heartbeats later, the greater demons were slain and the vrocks fled the scene as swiftly as their wings could carry them. This minor annoyance dealt with, the adventurers continued on to Harrowfell.

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To Carceri

28 Reaping, 592 CY

The party decisively set out for Sigil, first stopping by Sasserine so they could borrow Daystar from Karamus to get through the portal they knew to led to the City of Doors. A few minutes of banter and a teleport spell later, they stood before the cave that served as the gateway to The Cage. Bransen held the rapier aloft and the cave entrance shimmered open, to reveal the rain-choked streets of the Lower Ward. Stepping through the portal, they once again set foot in the godless city at the center of the multiverse.

They set about searching for Kylie the Tout and found her slumming it in a dive bar in The Hive. She didn’t seem to remember them and she was disinclined to help them find Skullrot, about which she claimed ignorance. Losing patience with the tiefling, they set about seeking another tout. Half an hour later, they were meeting with a creature calling himself “Berker” who promised to seek out information on a portal to Carceri and any information about Skullrot he could find. They agreed to meet him in the Market Ward, and he suggested Chirper’s before anti-peak as the venue. They parted ways with the strange man and made their way to the popular inn.

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Prelude to the End

27 Reaping, 592 CY

Shatterhorn had been defeated for about a week, and the Silver Phoenixes were taking a much needed break from serious adventuring. Ashton had claimed the Shield Guardian that had once belonged to Thifirane Rhiavadi, and he was researching the proper command phrases to control the construct. Bransen had been checking in with Zachary Aslaxin, the acting Lord Mayor and making sure that everything stayed on track for rebuilding the city. He’d also drawn the eyes of a few of Cauldron’s single women, and he had begun the terrifying process of…finding a wife. Jarvyk and the young sergeant Skylar Krewis had fully enacted their plan to put all criminals taken into custody to work helping to rebuild the city. The young man had proven his merit by retaining control of the project in the paladin’s absence. Deg had surreptitiously asked around about the remnants of the Last Laugh and a fledgling organization known only as The Triad, and he had started opening discussions with former leaders and members of these organizations and turning them away from thieving and into the far more lucrative business of adventuring acquisitions. The party knew they had broken the spine of the Cagewright organization, but they had still taken precautions against vengeance from those who had fled the Prime. Greyjek had raised psionic wards around the Silver Phoenix house and other locations within the city that the company tended to frequent. As such, it came as a surprise when they found an unexpected face sitting at the table in the main chamber of the house.

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Last Cagewright Standing
Except for Those Who Escaped

19 Reaping, 592 CY (Continued)

Bransen did what he could for those who had been strength drained, and the adventurers moved back to the chamber with the illusory pillars. Deg was sent to investigate the small east room, and he saw more murals and a semi-circular fountain on the east wall still pouring water. He took the gold statues from each of the four niches in the north and south walls, and came back out to the others. Looking over the halfling’s shoulder, Greyjek’s true seeing revealed for him a magical portal suspended in the center of the chamber. He identified it as one leading to a magnificent mansion, and promptly dispelled it.

A shadar-kai and his three death slaadi minions (disguised as shadar-kai, which did not fool Greyjek and his heightened awareness) were dumped unceremoniously into the small chamber. The shadow fey’s eyes blazed, and he expressed his displeasure by blasting the adventurers with lightning before vanishing from sight. The slaadi managed to implode Ashton before Greyjek could banish them all, but the shadar-kai managed to escape from the room despite Bransen’s blade barrier. When they’d determined that he wasn’t lying in quiet ambush nearby, they collected Ashton’s remains and retreated to the surface where Bransen conjured his own magnificent mansion and resurrected the magus.

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Through the Backdoor
Skip to the End

19 Reaping, 592 CY (Continued)

After discovering (almost the hard way) a crushing wall trap in the narrow secret hallway, Deg disabled the hazard and proceeded around a dogleg, finding himself in a small chamber containing a number of odd things. A woman lie atop a stone altar to the south and looming over her was an emaciated creature with a birdlike face and six arms. The monstrous humanoid seemed to be chanting and gesturing with each appendage in a ritualized manner. He felt his mind come under attack from an unseen source, and decided that he should strike back, targeting the six-armed creature from a hidden position on the low ceiling.

Undead shadows and a ridiculous number of spells followed in this battle, and as each of the adventurers entered the small chamber, they felt their minds assaulted by the same unseen malignant energy. Each resisted the mental attack, but the spell weaver (the seasoned adventurers recognized the creature from their time in Karran-Kural) physically weakened half the party and opened them to attack from the strength draining shadows as well. Deg was forced to flee, and Greyjek was left physically paralyzed on the floor. His mental faculties, however, were left uninhibited and he was able to put an end to the spell weaver.

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Troubleshooter
We Need Some Help

18 Reaping, 592 CY (Continued)

Deciding to press on, they adventurers entered a chamber northeast from the Serpentine hall and discovered what must have been the room belonging to the fallen Alurad Sorizan. The former cleric of Erythnul had set up a makeshift shrine with a number of grizzly trophies – a number of humanoid hearts in canopic jars – collected atop a stone bier. A large chest rested nearby, but the key they’d found on his body fit, and soon they were rifling through the contents.

Afterwards, they passed back by a statue of some yuan-ti priest and headed to the southeast into another heavily pillared chamber. They were attacked by a pair of half-orc half-iron golems standing in illusory pillars when Jarvyk moved to investigate a small chamber to the east. The party retreated back to the wider area and the constructs gave chase, to their ultimate doom. The larger space allowed Fer Lomarcan and Bransen’s summoned elder eidelon to enter the fray and between the two, they easily put an end to the unfortunate pair.

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Serpentine Hall
Cornered Cagewrights

18 Reaping, 592 CY

Having returned to Cauldron via spell to recover from their injuries and refresh their power, the Silver Phoenixes teleported back to Shatterhorn the following morning. They cautiously made their way across the shrine that had formerly contained the profane altar to Merrshaulk, and passed the section of hallway where they’d defeated the medusas. They noted that the bodies of their foes had been removed, and so they redoubled their caution, Bransen and Jarvyk moving ahead while Ashton and Greyjek remained back behind the cover of the pillars.

The vanguard entered a four-way intersection of fifteen-foot-wide passages illuminated by torches in sconces. Like other areas of the dungeon, the walls were adorned with faded murals depicting yuan-ti rituals and great serpents. The passage to the north had collapsed, leaving only two possible paths forward. To their left (west), the wide hallway ended just after a pair of narrower passages opposite one another to the north and south. To their right, the wide corridor extended farther, with more than a couple narrow hallways exiting from it to the north and south. Waving the others forward, Jarvyk began to lead the group west.

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