5th – 6th of Wee Jas, 560 QC
After resting in a Rope Trick, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Grakar Foechuckle, and Finwick Shortwick) awoke to find themselves surrounded by more glowing will-o-wisps. They sang a mysterious song that only Adanna and Finwick could understand, which prompted them to finally explore the regenerating tower. There, they dodged falling shell debris, destroyed a giant lizard, and were nearly eaten alive by phase spiders. Fortunately, the party was able to uncover a couple of things of import. First, they found a room full of replacement parts for the orrery, which they quickly scavenged through. Second, they found the Armillary Amulet they had been searching for.
After resting for another evening, and with the amulet in hand, Finwick was able to finally unlock the secrets of the orrery. He discovered a few of its powers, and determined that it had been purposely sabotaged, locking in the amplified domination that had been taming the blackcove halflings. After another trip to a floating tower for a spare lens, the party fixed the orrery and shut down the domination. They then went on to explore the inverted pyramid in the center of the island, obliterating a number of Skum and discovering a secret porthole to the depths below.
I am truly blessed and grateful to be alive. Never before have I come so close to death. I saw the light of Pelor, and with her strength and my companions’ valiant efforts I was brought back to life. These villains are more dangerous than I expected, particularly those phase spiders. We will have to tread more carefully in the future, particularly I, as it is my power and faith in Pelor that keeps the group going when we are smote by evil.
And the creatures we continue to cross on this island must be evil; or at least driven by evil. Except those glowing orbs that continue to direct our path in cryptic ways. They cannot be evil, as they led us to finding not only a magical Horn of fog to increase our stealth, but one of the armillary amulets that we so desperately needed. Wearing the amulet enabled Finnwick to investigate the Orrery without harm, allowing him to discover the following information in regards to the Orrery’s current and potential use:
- Once weekly, the Orrery may be used to either control the weather, give a significant enhancement to divination spells, or amplify a spell or spell’s effect to a much greater level
- There is currently a mental domination spell active and being amplified by the Orrery, explaining the captive halflings’ hypnotized state.
- A part of the Orrery has been broken, apparently on purpose, so that the dominating effect cannot be undone.
- The two broken pieces are the lens mount, and the lens itself.
By the grace of Pelor, we had already obtained a lens mount from the regenerating tower where we obtained the two magical items from the giant magical lizard and the bed of flakes from whence it came. The task of obtaining the lens itself led us to the Armillary Tower. It was not prudent for me to risk my life again by going into the orbiting piece of the tower. So the task was bravely taken on by some of my companions. Thank Pelor they were successful, and we were able to repair the Orrery and stop the domination spell.
But what to do next? How could we be sure we stopped the evil and saved the Halflings of Blackcove? And why were we not morphing back to our original selves? It seemed logical that if the Halflings were no longer dominated, and returned to their original physical appearance, then we had succeeded. The inverted pyramid was on our way to the beach where we last saw the dominated halflings, so we decided to stop and check it out. It seemed odd to us to have searched the whole island and not the most central part of it, our instincts telling us to investigate.
After tackling some more scum creatures, we split up to search the inverted pyramid. We found a magical banded mail, and 6 magical potions. No time to discover the effects of these potions now, will have to remember to study them later. The most interesting discovery was that of an iris diaphragm, covered by illusionary magic. It seems this leads to an underground chamber of some sorts. But as my companions continue to feel the effects of this strange transmutation spell, we need to get off this island. Now.