The Continent of Morkane

So Far pt. 2

1. The group attempts to parley with the downtrodden and recently attacked Drow. They offer healing and assistance to the Drow, who in turn invite them to speak to their leader in his large tent.
2. The Drow chief explains that there has been a schism in the Drow culture. They, and many other Drow across the continent, have abandoned Lolth as their goddess— dying their hair black with spider remnants to reflect this. The Drow leader speaks of a new goddess, far across the planet on a continent called “Sen.” Those still loyal to Lolth now hunt the infidels. Lolth’s will seems to have converted many loyalists into Driders, either as punishment for allowing society to crumble, or as a boon to aid in retrieving and punishing deserters. Some Drow caught in the middle, wanting neither to worship a new goddess, nor one who would turn them into abominations, have abandoned the Underdark entirely. The group believes this to be the cause of the recent influx of Drow in surface cities. He refuses to go into detail about who or what their new goddess is, or how they came to know her.
3. When the group begins to get too nosy, the Drow leader suspects them of espionage— perhaps on behalf of the Lolth loyalists. Regardless of the motivation, he does not trust the group, and attempts to kill them with a self-destructing tent of some kind. They narrowly escape the trap, only to be greeted by a hail of arrows in the Drow camp.
4. The group escapes the ambush, and makes their way along the massive cavern wall to a raised cave, where they can monitor the camp from relative safety.
5. A portal opens up behind the group, spilling out a Retriever demon and some Vrocks. In-between the demons and their prey, the group is attacked, but comes out victorious.
6. The group considers tracking the Drow, but instead decide to make their way out of the Underdark. They travel for days in a disturbingly empty and enormous pitch-black underground ocean.
7. The group finds a tunnel that leads out of the Underdark. On their way home they visit a small farming settlement where Drow had reportedly made their home. An awkward exchange ensues, with the Drow showing no hostility, and the group not knowing how to proceed. The community seemed to know about, and not be concerned with, the Drow presence there. Eager to relay their experiences to Shen, they attempt to contact him once they return to Aequora.
8. The group repeatedly attempts to contact Shen using the magic pearls he gave them— but to no avail. The only response they get from the pearls is the sound of a massive battle, heavy breathing, and then nothing.
9. The group, fearing Shen may be in trouble, seeks local scrying methods to track his position, but nothing available to them can even begin to detect him.
10. While the group was preoccupied with the Underdark, a small cadre of would-be adventurers had set up camp outside their home. Sif seems irritated by them, and they go largely ignored by the group. When they ask for guidance, Aelith tells them to train themselves, hone their skills, and make sure no one messes with his house.
11. Sif researches powerful divination magic. He comes to learn of a temple called Ikah Dorumvir— an ancient axis of incredible divining power. The group travels to it.
12. Finding a city built up around the temple, the group make their way to a temple entrance. They are barred from entry. They consider forcing or sneaking their way in, but figure any such attempt would be seen coming, and instead formally apply to speak with a member of the temple— a process that would take upwards of a month.
13. While the group deliberates on how to proceed, they are visited by a priest in shimmering white and gold robes. He identifies himself as a priest at the temple, and offers the group a means to be seen by one of their order much sooner— perhaps even the head of their order. The group is sent to investigate what has happened with a trade route to and from the city. When asked how seers such as those at the temple cannot discern what is happening, he reveals that their efforts result only in images of wilderness, fog, and mud. Whatever force is there is making a concerted effort to not be detected by such means. The group accepts the task.
14. The group finds evidence along the path of many ambushes set up for caravans and traders. Little, if anything, is taken from the carts, and most contain only food staples, clothing, and other mundane goods. More and more of these caravans are found, but who or what is responsible is not immediately clear to the group.
15. The group is attacked by a pack of wolves commanded by a powerful druid. They battle, and the druid nearly escapes, but is killed before he does.
16. The group returns to the city, and is granted entry into the temple. They meet the head priest, the incredibly powerful Gorin Tuyek . They explain who they’re looking for, and he agrees to look for him. Even a being as powerful as he can’t pin down his location. He realizes that the person they are after, Shen, was a childhood friend of his— around 1000 years ago. He shows the group in-depth visions of their history together, how they had worked together in a thieves guild, and were sent on a task that went horribly wrong.
17. Gorin reveals that the only way to find Shen is to align The Aruspex Gem, deep within the sealed caverns below the temple.
18. The group agrees to align it. In the sealed-off section of the temple, ostensibly a massive ancient library, they encounter powerful spirits, shadows, and wraiths, as well as a huge Ooze creature.
19. In the underlying caverns, they encounter the mysterious and powerful maelstrom pool that granted Gorin his powers and rended his friends to pieces. The gem, however, is nowhere in sight.
20. A being begins communicating telepathically with the group. Somehow it knows the most minute detail of each of the group’s lives. It tries to convince them that it could find their friend for them if they could lower the protective barrier around the caverns. The group is not in the mood to bargain.
21. The creature attacks the group from the maelstrom, incapacitating Aelith, and very nearly ending Ku’Elsif as well. An impossibly strong blow from Vimik completely vaporizes the creature, however. They align the gem, and immediately find themselves within Gorin’s enormous chamber again.
22. The chamber is abuzz with priests casting spells on the building itself. A group of them restores Aelith, and Gorin sets about finding Shen.
23. Gorin locates and teleports a wounded, unconscious Shen into the chamber. Priests restore him, and he springs to his feet as if under attack. Once he gets he bearings, he thanks Gorin, and is baffled when he realizes who he is.
24. Shen reveals to the group that a massive Infernal army has overwhelmed an island called Strand Ellis, south of mainland Sen. He fought off as many as he could, but the capitol still fell. He believes a planet-wide invasion to be the ultimate goal, but cannot know for sure. When he asks Gorin to use his considerable powers to warn the planet and root-out infiltrators, Gorin refuses. He notes that has already broken his vow of neutrality far too much just by interfering. They argue for some time.
25. Distraught and aimless, a weary Shen emerges from the chamber and speaks with the group. He has no plan, he has no task for them. He knows he must do everything he can to stop the coming invasion, but he does not know how to start. He tells the group he must speak with his god, Polisideus, personally. He does not know when he will return, or how the group should proceed without him. He thanks them for saving his life, and says he would repay them if there weren’t more pressing issues at hand. The group tells him to alert them if there is anything they can do.
26. Figuring the best place to study for, prepare for, and warn people about the coming invasion, the gang decides to go to Ora Novum, the largest, most populous city on the planet. They teleport there.
27. The gang realizes that magic functions differently within the city limits. Teleportation, flight, and likely other uses of magic are closely monitored. Chaffing a bit under this, the group seeks entrance to the “Under City,” a lawless, quarantined section of the city hundreds of feet beneath the city streets.
28. The gang cases a construction site, figuring it the best means of ingress to the Under City. They return at night and disable the spotlights on the work area and make a break for the tunnel, but are spotted by the golems that are there working.

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