Smoke's Flame--Adventures in Punjar

The God Forge

When we rejoined Smoke’s Flame in the ruined village populated with bronzed statues (Perhaps a rare type of petrification? One can only speculate) they had just defeated a Copper Dragon and sent it, bloodied, on it’s way after gleaning a bit of knowledge from it. After licking their wounds a bit with the scrap they had with the Copper Dragon they began to continue snooping around these ruined buildings, a small fortress and a tower in particular. Heading towards the fortress first they noticed the portcullis was down and within seemed an unnatural darkness. Marcus Urrek made short work of the doorway allowing for Vellen Tîwele to quickly dart under and attempt to make his way towards what appeared to be the level to keep the gate raised, a careless move. As Vellen hastily made his way within he failed to notice a large pit due to the unnatural darkness and plummeted thirty feet below. Neither than made a more cautious venture within and worked the lever. After which, Cain the Cunning and Neither commanded her Rope of Climbing down into the pit for Vellen to scale. It was at this point that Vellen had began to hear some rumbling down in the pit he was in and a bit of a fluttering was heard by the rest of the group above. Neither decided to piece the darkness (no not with Magic Missle) with her recently found Shard. Once exposed to the sudden bright light the three Darkmantles that had been slumbering above awoke with a screeching and screaming sound. Blades were drawn, blood was spilled, and an Umber Hulk joined the battle. Thankfully all fared well for Smoke’s Flame and they stood among the motionless bodies of the four beasts that go bump in the night. Cleaning their blades and continuing forth, they found a staircase leading upwards and downwards. They went above first.. knowing that there wasn’t another level but that it would most likely lead to the roof where they had spied a battle standard from the outside of the complex. Above there seemed to be four bronzed humanoids locked in an eternal battle, one of which was holding the standard noticed from from below. Ajrash the Wise and Knowledgable easily removed it and in doing so a chill suddenly surrounded him. The heat they had been feeling since entering into this village had subsided in the area near Ajrash. Perhaps if this standard were to hold up, it would come in handy nearer to the forge. They looked through the remaining area of the fortress but nothing of interest remained to fill their bags. Back outside of the fortress they decided to make for the column in the center of the village. As they continued to near it they realized the temperature was steadily rising despite the standard. Once at it’s side they took note of a large door and managed to open it. Within was some levers and a clouded crystal ball. Cain, attempting to peer within the crystal or somehow manipulate it, touched the crystal and opened his mind. He was able to catch a quick glimpse of what appeared to be a completely robed humanoid with yellow goggles that quickly reacted to his scrying and blinked back out of vision and the obscuring clouds returned. It seemed to yell something that seemed almost like a warning or order before vanishing and our heroes feared they might have alerted something somehow. Vellen then took the crystal in his hands and forced his will into it, again getting to catch a fleeting glimpse of the room in which Cain had just seen. With the knowledge he gained from seeing within he attempted to work the levers within this elevator and try to get it moving in one way or the other. Pulling two of them.. the party began to ascend the column. They had made it a ways up when the elevator suddenly screeched to a halt and smoldering gases and heat began to pour down the column into the elevator from above. The party had to act quickly to attempt to dislodge the breaks that had been put into effect from the creatures above. They barely managed to do so, but not w/o severely damaging the lift and once they had began to move once more it was at a much more accelerated speed. They burst through the top of the elevator shaft and Ajrash quickly used one of his powers to teleport the entirety of Smoke’s Flame and just the right moment to secure a safe landing and avoid the destruction of the elevator as it went crashing into the ceiling. A thick metal door was in this room, along with another crystal and the pipe that had been gushing forth the heated gases. Marcus took care of the pipe, preventing more of the gases from belching forth and choking and burning the heroes. Meanwhile Vellen made short work of the locks barring their movement out of this room. Once the door had been thrown open all hell broke loose. On the other side of the door were three robed and goggled guards waiting. They all took swings at Marcus and Vellen. Down the hall a short distance was a similar looking robed figure but with large metallic wings limply drooping from it’s back. To that figures right was two reddish crystals hoovering in the hall that turned to “face” Smoke’s Flame. Four gates, two on each side, lined the hallway that terminated at a very thick and secured door. All the creatures and heroes sprang into action and a heavy battle was waged. The winged creature devastated Vellen and Neither with a dual wing attack that seemed to have removed all the blades from it’s now useless wings. From either side of the hallway more of the robed figures were working levers and a second winged creature entered into the hall from one of the gated rooms. One of the rooms that had two robed figures working levers and the like used these to great effect, allowing them to open the door at the end of the hall (which led to the God Forge they now realized) and redirect the heat of that forge into the hallway. One of the other barred off rooms held a lone robed figure turning on another one of the heated gas pipes and directing that gas into the surrounding area of the hallway. It would have been the end of Smoke’s Flame without the Battle Standard they had found in the small fortress keeping the heat and fire to a minimum in its vicinity. As the battle wore on a large creature of sorts was seen passing by the doorway within the forge room, though it’s precise features were lost on the party due to being unable to catch a clear view of it. Once they robed figures were dealt with and the heat of the forge redirected to the location the Copper Dragon had told them about the heroes made their way toward the forge room where a large metal and bone bird awaited them. A bloody battle linked this fight with the robed figures scuffle and the heroes barely made it through the two of them. Once the creature had been defeated the heroes were able to investigate the forge a bit. Within the forge was the huge body of a dead god, all the while burning to produce a constant heat unknown to all but the elemental plane of fire. Marcus and Neither led their way towards the forge and, with the battle standard in hand were barely able to bear the heat and plunge the cursed blade of the kingspire into the flames. A sudden and immediate burst of air shot from the forge and the Blade began spewing forth thousands upon thousands of wispy faces, creatures, and beasts of all walks of life. Towards the end of it’s purging a few familiar faces began to exit, of most note was that of Dragora, a recently quelled antagonist of Smoke’s Flames past. Lastly was that of a gargantuan creature made up of the elements. It glared at the heroes and a single word was barely heard as a whisper “Pirinoff” (spelling). With that the forges fires ceased and the battle standard had been incinerated by the heat of the forge. The escaping souls were all whisked away toward one of the exhaust pipes in particular and the strain on this structure had began to cause some of the stonework to collapse and fall. The heroes were trapped within the crumbling skeleton of the once great God Forge….......

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Vellen

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