Dark Tide Rising

Sessions Thirty-Seven and Thirty-Eight

The party crosses over to the dream plane to confront Phargo. They travel through the periphery of the dreamlands, through the dreamscapes of Thron’s sleeping inhabitants, and into the deep nightmare realms. They find a pocket of the deep dream plane that is becoming coterminous with an island in the south Heartsea. There they do battle with the entity possessing Hargo’s body, along with several strange denizens of the nightmare realm, and force it to the material plane. They defeat the entity again on the material plane and force it to leave Hargo’s body. Borg appears in time to taunt the entity as a thick bank of fog rolls in. The fog dissipates nearly as quickly as it arrived, and when it clears, the entity and the entire pirate base are gone. Borg makes a few remarks, but suddenly the party is whisked away into another flashback.

Once again, the group adopts the personae of Hargo’s party. Hargo has made it his mission to track down Rourke Wallenquist, and recover the tablet from the Wallenquists before Rourke can make use of it. The group has tracked Rourke and his allies to a buried pyramid in Northern Algo (similar to the one in Belle Mare). They have been exploring the pyramid and have had several skirmishes with psionic amphibian-like humanoids. Rain (Cid) and Kareth (Zarrick) have fallen in battle prior to the beginning of the flashback.

Wulf (Morgrim) returns from scouting ahead and is chased by more amphibians. After another fight, the adventurers notice that the humanoids have iron bands under the skin of their upper arms. As the group prepares to descend further into the structure, they find a trio of strange floating creatures that resemble jellyfish hiding in some rubble. The creatures are flumphs and they tell the party that they have come to Thron to warn its people of a great danger from the far realm. The flumphs give the party a set of coordinates and tell them that the key to saving their world is at this location.

After speaking with the flumphs, the group continues on. They arrive at the central chamber to find Rourke Wallenquist and a human wizard speaking to a giant illusory eye. A voice emanating from the eye chastises the humans for recklessly wasting the lives of its minions. The voice then comments that the intruders have arrived, and the eye disappears. Elsewhere in the chamber, two priests are performing a ritual, using the tablet, which is transforming the amphibious humanoids into Deep Ones.

The party charges in. Wulf turns out to be the shape-shifter in disguise and assassinates Tobias (Mace) before he can even enter the room. The ritual is completed before the party can get to the priests, and the new Deep Ones dive into a nearby pool. Blitzkrieg (Torc) engages two heavily armored Wallenquist house guards while the others go after the priests and Rourke. The human wizard slays Razortail (Bran) with a power word kill. Jaster (Quinn) receives a mental message from the flumphs telling him that Hargo must survive the battle. He is able to expend all of his remaining arcane energy to teleport himself and Hargo away. Blitzkrieg dispatches the guards and manages to get in one good hit on the wizard. He cuts the man from his collar bone to his waist and sees organs writhing and squirming within. The wound almost immediately closes itself. Blitzkrieg is killed soon after, ending the flashback.

The party wakes up on the beach in the present. They rest for the night and teleport to [somewhere] to leave Hargo’s body in a safe place. The group then travels to Doza to talk to their psionicist contact. They negotiate a deal to get the astral crystals necessary to reunite Hargo with his body. The deal is that their contact will do the work to find the crystals in exchange for the group bringing back extra. After this is done, the party decides to investigate the location given to them by the flumphs. They make their preparations and teleport to the coordinates.

The location turns out to be deep beneath the Iceshield Mountains. Surprisingly, several priests of Borkanis are already there studying the location. The site looks like a natural cave floor surrounded by a hemisphere of smooth rock. The only unusual feature is a structure that looks like a large well with a thick stone lid covered in strange markings. The priests tell the party that there is evidence suggesting that the mountain range formed naturally over this ‘bubble’, and that the chamber may be as old as Thron itself. The lid has resisted all attempts, both physical and mystical, to open it. They also relate that the markings on the lid are impossible to translate, even with magic. The party uses their black pills, and discovers that the markings are slowly changing, like a clock counting down. The adventurers are unable to provide any new means of opening the well, so they decide to pursue other leads. Before they go, the priests agree to send word if there are any developments.

While contemplating the connection between House Wallenqusit and the Iron Band, the group remembers the cave under Wavecrest where Tenzen kept his stash of magic items. They decide to relieve the gangster of his excess treasure. A quick teleport, a short swim, and several dozen disarmed traps later, the group has a new stockpile of magic arms and armor. Rather than sell it, they choose to equip their underwater allies at the lake base.

While planning their next move, the group is visited by Frost. Frost tells them to get to Gryphon quickly, as Helmsley is in trouble. The party tries to teleport to Helmsley’s manor, but they are shunted several blocks away. Helmsley’s manor is surrounded by soldiers from Gryphon’s military and Wallenquist house guards. Helmsley is being arrested for having a connection to the attack on the clone facility. As Helmsley’s various adventuring groups file out of the manor, the party briefly considers attacking the soldiers. In the end, they decide to remain hidden and let events play out. They communicate with Helmsley using the book he gave them. Helmsley tells the party that their mission is more important than his freedom. He tells them that he can keep the matter tied up in bureaucracy for some time. The group reluctantly agrees to withdraw.

Frost asks the party to teleport with him to a remote village in Thornwood. He is very upset by the arrest of Helmsley, and mentions that ‘the rules have been broken’. As the party is speaking with Frost in a tavern, all of the tavern staff and patrons begin to shift in appearance the same way that Frost does. He tells the party that his organization is at their disposal. Frost lays out a map of Thron and tells the group about other places that he suspects are related to the incursion of the far realm entity. He suggests that his organization begin taking out far realm threads while the party follows up on the link between the Wallenquists and the Iron Band.


XP: Session 37 = 100,000
Session 38 = 110,000


I’ve done a retcon on session 38. The reason we couldn’t figure out who Quinn’s flashback persona was is because he wasn’t present for the first flashback. I’m going to fix this by saying that Quinn was in the persona of Jaster Mareel. Instead of being killed after he teleports Hargo out of the fight, Jaster teleported along with him.


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