The Creation Schema:THE FINAL BATTLE FOR POSSESSION OF THE SCHEMA

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 356
“LINNORN”
4/9/14

ARYTH 16, 999

Jasyne feels a wash of energy flow through him but he ignores it. He will not be held today.

“We don’t want a fight. We are merely passing through.” Yells the dwarf. If the creature heard him it doesn’t show.

The Linnorn snarls and charges. Jasyne fires. The arrows stream rainbow colors of the energy types and strike the serpentine dragon. Energy ripples as the defensive spells take a large amount of the power out of the arrows. It roars in anger. It has chosen an opponent.

“I hate violence.” Mumbles Glyder as he motions to Calli. She won’t take his hand this time. She wants to fight. So he teleports further away out of harm’s way.

Calli begins with a hum that centers from her small frame. Her hair moves like a gentle breeze is rises from her body. “WE COME IN PEACE YOU BASTARD!” She shouts. The Linnorn is struck by the powerful burst of magically enhanced sound waves.

Kim relies on an old favorite. A green bead of mystical energy erupts from his outreached hand and as it reaches the still recoiling dragon it bursts. The creature is squarely caught in the fireball. The trees burst on fire as it falters and falls back to the ground with flames trailing.

Play slowly comes out of his trance and blinks at the burning hulk of a serpent that is less than a hundred feet away. His skills with the bow are not anywhere near Jasyne’s (is anyone?) but he draws his weapon.

The Linnorn is quick to move away. These creatures are more dangerous than the warforged fighters. They can strike with great strength from the distance.

“That went better than expected.” Comments Kim with a hint of a smile.

“Will you always run away when a fight begins?” demands the archer of the time traveler.

“I am a pacifist.” Is his only answer.

Calli steps up to defend him. “He has done more to protect and save the entire world of Eberron than you EVER will. Do not question his worth.”

“I mean no harm of character d’Sivis. But as the defender of this group I need to understand what everyone can do and is willing to do.”

“Let’s stop the bickering and find out what the kid found out. He appears to be looking for something.” Interrupts the dwarf.

They walk to Play who is clearly searching for something in the tall grass and brush. “The sword belonged to a warforged that originated from the Mournlands. He also had some gizmo that was somehow tracking the Creation Schema.”

“Impossible! It has magics to stop that.” Clarifies the dwarf.

“Think outside of the box. We cannot divine the location of the schema or its parts but one can of other things around it.”

“But the ownership has changed so much. One cannot do that.” Adds Calli.

“Kim said the Lord of Blades possessed a piece for a short time. If I had the resources he does, a Cannith facility, I may have placed a hidden tracker on it…..”

“He has shown a sense of knowing about things…. Divine insight.” Kim adds in agreement.

“Divine or magical…. Either way, it would help. The instrument I saw was metal and wood, round with a glass cap. Under the glass was fluid and a something like an arrow tip. It appeared to point to the location of the Schema.”

Before anyone even begins to search Glyder presents it to everyone. “It’s a good idea but I doubt it will work.”

“Why is that Glyder?” asks Play.

“It’s designed to work with a warforged… using its energy.”

They look at the instrument. Yes. It has a cord on it and at the end of the cord is a metal and wood ball- a docent. The docent would be placed into the docent recipical within the chest of the warforged.

Kim pats Play on the back. “It was a good idea lad. Let’s go south and hope the giants still have it.”
 

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CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 356
“FIRE GIANTS”
4/11/14

ARYTH 27, 999

“Now much longer?” asks Play in his usual immature way.

“Your humor grows on me…. Like an ugly wart ….” Grumbles the dwarf.

“Based on the heat and the smoke…. Not long.” Answers Calli. They are climbing out of a valley. It is very hot and humid here. Thick black smoke is above them. Kim has used up his teleportation spells, as have the others.

At the top, the trees have no leaves. The heat was removed them. The earth looks burnt and crisp. Vapors rise from cracks.

“Are walking into a volcano or are were already there?” Play mutters to himself.

They reach the top finally and tall black and red stone made wall is there.

Jasyne scans the wall. “Won’t be easy to climb. It looks half melted in areas.”

Play looks into his pack. “I have Spider Climb potions left. Two of us could climb up and secure a rope for everyone else.”

“Or….. assume we are going to meet some resistance on the other side and step back to camp. Restore our strength and magic. Come back in the morning.” Suggests the archer.

“He has a point. Let’s fall back and do that.”

ARYTH 28, 999

“Yup. I see six… no- eight….. Fire Giants…..” whispers John Play.

“Any gaps in the defense?” whispers Jasyne Symtex.

“If you are asking if we could get in without a fight- yes. But to draw the giants out to locate the Schema- doubt it.”

“The two of you are making a lot of assumptions.” Adds Kim Elderich.

“I say we do it.” Comments Calli ir’ Sivis.

“Sigh…. Agreed.” Succumbs Glyder Freetime.

Without saying anymore nor asking- the Dark lantern leaps invisibly over the edge of the wall and begins to attack. The yells loudly as the magical Tonfu strikes its knee. The invisibility spell breaks up.

“Drow!” it yells in Giant. (DM NOTE: Play generally is dressed in pure black complete with a black face mask.)

Telepathically, Glyder reaches into the lead giant’s mind and yells “take cover- Dragons!” The Fire Giant goes low and rushes to the wall for protection from a dragon flying in.

Some of the Giants look to their leader but the one Play struck wants the “drow” removed. A large flaming sword strikes Play twice. He is quick to think this may not have been such a good idea. (duh)

The archer loses his invisibility as he fires rapidly into an unsuspected giant. Only one arrow misses its mark but one explosively strikes a main artery in the neck. It is dead before it even hits the stone walkway.

The dwarf releases a Cone of Cold into the midst of the Giant formation. The cold makes them scream in pain and others to move away further breaking up the formation.

Calli Shouts at the panicked giants. This will both damage the giant and further draw others from the many hiding places beyond the wall. The damaging sonic blast more startles the Fire Giant than harm him.

Play repeatedly pounds on the giant’s knees hoping to cripple it.

A portal opens near the leader and a lion headed powerfully built creature steps out- a Leonal. It understands Glyder’s need and moves in for the attack.

Play is swatted with a flaming sword again but dodges the remaining attacks. The summoned Planar Ally is struck several times by the leader whom has come to realize he was tricked….. and is not happy about it.

Jasyne drops another giant as his arrows strike home (Bane vs Giants no less).

Elderich releases another cone of cold which narrowly misses Play but strikes three other giants, dropping two with frosty breathes escaping there grey lips.

Calli looks onto a fire giant looking to flank the group. She begins to hum and gently whistle a simple spell-song. In giant she begins to tell of a tale of betrayal by giant kind and once she has his attention overwhelms his mind. He turns to instead attack his treasonous allies. It downs a frigid ally.

Play tumbles behind a different giant and wallops its knees and it falls- its head. It doesn’t get up.

The planar creature gets in one last swipe with its talons on the leader before being destroyed. Glyder feels bad about all of this. He truly hates violence so he takes a moment to look around. A few giants are rising from holes in the ground but not many. Good.

Play is struck again as he is caught with his back turned to the damaged and limping giant he started with.

Five arrows strike with explosive precision on the leader. It makes him step back from the repeated magical blows but he takes it…. Somewhat to Symtex’s surprise. This one is a leader through strength.

“Leave the leader alive! Maybe he knows where the schema is so that we don’t have to kill all the flaming giants!” calls out the dwarf.

Calli commands her giant to grapple the leader. The leader recognizes what is happening and strikes the soldier as he reaches for him. Then the leader easily holds off the soldier while cursing in giant.

Tired of being swatted by the huge flaming swords, Play leaps up and repeatedly pounds on the giant that just struck him. It stopped moving about three strikes before Play stops.

The leader feels he must take down his own soldier before attacking the others but finds he is holding back (half the damned dice rolled were 1’s)

Jasyne takes down a giant climbing the stairs to reach them on top of the wall. He hopes this discourages them from further attempts.

Kim warns the leader that they will kill him if they must in its own language. “Do you have the Schema? It is a metallic round “coin” about two feet across? It belongs to me and it was stolen.”

“Yours?!?” He screams back at the dwarf. “It was traded to us fair.” And the giant diverts its attention back to its controlled soldier.

He slices the forearm of the reaching soldier and pushes him away again. “Unhand his will witches!”

Changing her song and direction slightly, Calli sings to the Leader. His arms and legs become stiff and heavy. The other giant easily grabs his arms and pulls them behind his back.

“Good idea but being held stops him from talking.” Grumbles Play as he searches his pack for healing potions and burn cream.

“Allow me” says the Time Traveler. “I am already in his head from before the conflict began.”
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 358
“THEN WHAT?”
4/12/14

VULT 3, 999

Glyder learns that the Fire Giants have also traded the Creation Schema. They have gone to ruins along the shore line where a dragon bargained for it. They left two days ago.

The five of them hurry along to catch up with the group. They do encounter them and find they have already left the ruins and the Dragon. It will take them two more days to get there but Kim senses they are near.

Then Glyder asks a simple question. “Once you regain it, what will you do with it?”

Kim has no answer…. In the afternoon of the next day he drops back to Glyder and Calli, figuring the dwarf wants to talk in private, goes to the head of the group to bug Play some.

“Yesterday you asked a very good question. One I have wondered before. The Creation Schema is a powerful artifact. I am not even certain of its limits- if it has any.”

“What do you know about it?”

“I read a reference of it in a tome we found in a ruin in Xen’drik a few decades ago. Curious but not concerned about it I went on with life but then a professor from Morgrave approached me. He suspected he knew where one piece was…. Or at least where the first clue was. All I had to do was retrieve it for him.”

“With your resources that could not have been hard.”

“Harder than you may think. It was in Metrol. The Mourning had already occurred. I sent in several groups of Wayfinders to locate it. Few returned and those that did spoke of how the very city changed. To make matters worse- the tome was kept in a Kundarak back. It was locked using their special wards.”

“Only a Kundarak house member, a high level one at that, could have access then.”

“Correct. To matters worse- one cannot merely ask the bank to release property that was not mine. I tried but got nowhere. A few years ago, an informant of mine told me the dwarves were going into the Mournlands to retrieve something of great value. They needed to stop at their bank for a key.”

“No Kundarak dwarf would do that. Don’t even suggest….”

“It cost me a lot of platinum but yes, I hired a Kundarak dwarf to “borrow” the tome for me (see John Play: Hero For Hire). The Morgrave professor studied the book and learned the first piece was actually in Undersharn. He died before giving me details. (waaaaay back in the first adventure of Creation Schema) Somehow the Lord of Blades had learned of it and wanted it for himself.”

“Amazing.”

“I know.”

“That was not a compliment Kim. How many people have you used or died getting this damned Schema for you?” condemns the gnome. “Go on…”

The dwarf lets out a deep sigh. He had already cursed himself while being held at the Frost Giant prison. His guilt is deep and sincere. “As predicted, once one piece was discovered, it became awakened and soon the race was on.”

“Yes and many of the players were forces that would have misused the artifact for their own goals. The Lord of Blades, the Emerald Claw….. I suspect the dragons have been watchful.”

“Yes. I was warned several times. I wish I took it more seriously but … I want to make amends.”

“How do we destroy it?”

The dwarf frowns… “You can’t.”

“Everything can be destroyed.”

“This artifact was suggested to be linked to the original three dragons. It is a piece of reality itself. It would only reappear somehow. No- I can only think of one thing we can do. And that is why I asked you to become involved.”

“Hide it in time?”

“Exactly.”
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 359
“KARRAVANDOM”
4/12/14

SYPHEROS 06, 999

The unusual looking dragon (Slarecian) was minding its own business fifty years ago when in the Blade Desert. He was taking a few moments to fetch some food made of small reptilian carnivores. He was otherwise happily researching magic in a ruin hidden through the centuries here. He thought he was alone when a small, quiet but polite voice called to him. Turning, he spotted a curious looking gnome whom smelt of time magic. Curious.

“What can I do for you lil’ traveler?” Karravandom asks with a glare of annoyance.

“I am searching for a great and powerful magical dragon that was said to be extinct- killed by the fiends thousands of years ago. I believe my search has reached a conclusion. Hello- I am Glyder Freetime.”

“Should this mean something to me? So far I am unimpressed by your show.”

“I am an agent of Chronos. I am a keeper of time. In the near future you will play an important role in Khorvaire’s destiny. You may very well hold the life of ALL dragons in your hands.”

The dragon is amused and listens to the gnome. He respects the Draconic Keeper of Time whom this lowly gnome suggests he works for. The story told by the gnome is full of draconic folklore…. THE Creation Schema, The Dragon Fear, Draconic Prophecies, and the Hidden valley of the Aberrational lords being revealed.

In the end, he is told he has but a few things to do. The last one- to die.

The dragon laughs and powers up his frightful Presence power. He wishes to punish the gnome.

The gnome says a few words in draconic. Ancient words. Words only a draconic scholar would know….
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 360
“KARRAVANDOM ATTACKS”
4/12/14

VULT 5, 999

“Based on what that giant said, we should be close.” Says Calli.

“Aye but this is the way of Xen’drik. Even time is fractured here.” Says the dwarf.

“Meaning?”

“Two separate but equal travelers left point A at the same moment. Each travels the same amount of time each day. One reaches his destination in 4 days… the other in 5 weeks. Time moves oddly here.”
The dwarf turns to Glyder. Glyder looks tired… troubled.

“The land here harms you doesn’t it…. Because of the fractures…..” asks Kim with true concern.

“Minor irritation. I will be fine.”

“Then what is the problem? For the past three days you have spoken but a few sentences and rarely look up. It’s not your way.”

Nothing.

“Your knowledge of time…. Do we succeed? Is there something ahead- something terrible… something involving our deaths?”

The gnome gives a brief eye contact and continues. He felt bad scolding the dwarf about the use of people. He still thinks it is wrong but is he not also guilty of it? Perhaps even more so. The guilt weighs heavy on the gnome’s shoulders.

Suddenly they hear Play and Jasyne call out. Black tentacles erupt from the ground and attempt to grapple the archer. He has sprung from of it but it is clear they are under attack.

Then comes the waves of fear. The archer and dwarf force their will to overcome it but the others are caught up in the Frightful Presence as a large pale yellow and white dragon appears. It is clear it is in a rage and mad….. crazy.

“Karravandom….. The Dragon Fear is upon us then…. May Chronepsis have mercy on our souls….” Says the time traveler.

“RARRRGH! EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING MUST DIE! MUST BE DESTROYED!” Roars the crazed dragon in Draconic.

“By the Host! What has happened to it? Dragons are not like this.” Calls out the archer as he pulls back the string to his spiritual bow.

“I think I soiled myself.” Whimpers the Dark Lantern. “Scatter!”

Play will not fight a Huge and enraged dragon straight on. Too scary. Instead he pulls out his most powerful ranged attack wand and only as he calls the command word does he even wonder if it will work the Dragon. The archer fires away. Several shots fly way off target but one shot strikes the dragon in its open mouth (confirmed crit). Glyder slowly step by step moves back. “I am so sorry. I am so sorry. I am so sorry.” He repeats over and over. Suddenly there are 11 of the dragons attacking. Calli calls out with her sonic attack and two dragons disappear. “The dwarf warns everyone the dragon is using a basic but effective Mirror Image spell- does not waste your most powerful spells until we know which is the real dragon. He castes Magic Missile and removes five dragons.

Play’s magical mask allows him to see through the illusion and he releases the fireball from the wand. Even then, the dragon sidesteps the worse of it. A few arrows strike the dragon whom otherwise either dodged or swatted aside the others. It roars in pain as the magical arrows explode on impact. The crazed dragon rushes him suddenly. He gets off one desperate shot before the dragon is on him. It goes to bite him but he steps to the side at the last moment. However, he dares not to use the bow at such close location as this. Still stepping back, Glyder, crying with tears rolling down his cheeks, begs for forgiveness. Calli picks up stones and “attacks” the dragon images. Three more disappear leaving only the one on top of Jasyne. Kim Elderich calls out a powerful Polar Ray to avoid striking the Kensai Archer.

Play calls on the wand again but it only washes over the dragon and its strong magical resistance. Jasyne mentally calls on the power of his cloak and attempts to go on the full defensive. (Cloak of Displacement). The dragon attempts several strikes but misses each time either through his supernatural reflexes or through the magical effect of his displacement. That is, until it decides to sit. He suddenly finds himself under the weight of the dragon and worse- pinned! “You can overcome it oh grand and glorious Karravandom. You can overcome the Dragon Fear!” the Time Traveler suddenly calls out as he draws on the strength of his god. Calli goes for a scroll as she watches in horror. The dwarf uses cold once more. A Cone of intense cold erupts from his outstretched arms. The dragon roars in defiance and motions to bite the trapped archer.

Play decides the spells won’t work for him so he switches to his own bow. Jasyne can only grunt and snarl as all but one arm and his head to pinned under the huge dragon. The Dragon bites onto his arm and gnaws on it… savoring the sounds of his screams more than flesh and blood.

“NO! It is me you want! Not him! I brought you here. I promised you death and yet you have come.”

Before the gnome can go on the Dragon releases a gaseous spell effect from its mouth that sweeps over the gnome. “No!” screams Calli whom rushes to her lover. Kim takes the dragon’s distraction and attacks. Black smoke bursts and forms over the dragon then glows a deep orange color before a column of raw flame strikes down. The dragon shields itself as much as possible with its wing and shifting to side (while remaining on top of the archer with his painful arrows)

Play fires his magical arrows which pale compared to the Kensai’s arrows. One hits home while the others miss the still steaming dragon. Symtex tries to grab and yank on individual scales to at least cause the dragon discomfort. Sensing his death, the dragon bites down and claws at the trapped archer. He screams as he begins to die. Then to everyone’s horror- the screams abruptly end. Glyder becomes disoriented and confused. The effects of time twisting around him and now the Disjunction spell. His magical essence becomes weakened. Calli goes to him. “I’m sorry… I killed them. I killed the dragon…. I may have killed all of them…..” he whimpers and sobs in her arms. The dwarf calls up another spell in hopes of saving the archer. Fire erupts over the dragon again. It howls in madness and pain. “You are next!” it screams in giant. Then the full effect of the magical fire comes to the crazed mind of the once peaceful scholarly dragon. It gets up and staggers to and fro then collapses a few mere feet from Kim.


Play is quick to rush to the downed and pulped archer. He begins to force feed him healing potions.

The purple color of the skin eases and bones audibly pop into place and begins to mend. “Still…. Grandstanding… Play….?” He wheezes and passes out again.

“Is your boyfriend okay?” asks a grim dwarf of Calli.

“I think so. The breath weapon of the dragon disconnected him from the powers of his god.”

“Good. I want him alive. He has many questions to answer- first of which- HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS DRAGON AND WHY DID YOU SAY YOU KILLED IT?!?” demands Kim motioning to strike the prone and deeply humbled gnome.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 361
“THE DRAGON FEAR”
4/12/14

VULT 5, 999

“Being an agent of the god of Time is not always easy. Not only I must I travel to and fro through time but I must correct or set up events to promote time’s events.” Begins the gnome, seated in defeat. Calli tries to comfort him as she can as Kim leans over him.

“In this very moment, there is something of great consequence occurring in the Shadow Marches. The return of the Aberrational lords. They were said to possess an untested weapon to use against the dragons. It was created within their cities to be unleashed when The Day of Nines arrived.”

“Day of Nines?” asks the dwarf.

“Rhaan 9 of year 999… or as the various papers used by Zilargo and Breland write it- 9/9/999. The day of Nines.”

“That was a few months ago…” adds Calli.

“The weapon there has free will, it is alive. But the Orcs that drove back the aberrational lords caste wards on the weapon. Only certain creatures may release the weapon. “

“Then stop them.”

“It has already been done. The weapons have been released. Not by any one person but by many. Most were hapless adventurers exploring the newly revealed area. Others directed by followers of the aberrational creatures.”

“The weapon kills the dragons. How?”

“It doesn’t kill…. It maddens them. It will turn them against each other…. And crush any on the way. Especially those that would otherwise prohibit the aberrational lords from fully awakening. “

The dwarf is stunned. He cannot imagination such a world. The dragons…. At war.

“Then your mission… involving this dragon…. It failed?”

“I do not…. know. I met Karravandom in year 943. I knew he was the one. I had to first convince him of who I was and what the mission was… the importance of it.”

“Aye. An’ you did.” Says the Dwarf…. Beginning to understand.

“I had the dragon do the unthinkable. I had him create a clone of himself. It sat for years and years inactive. In this time, the original dragon went to the Shadow Marches and hid. He had to hide from the Orcs, the aberrations, the druids and the guarding dragons. Yes. The dragons knew of the Dragon Fear. But they knew to go near it may release it.”

Taking a drink from his bottle, the gnome sighs and continues with his tale of fate and betrayal. “It was released and Karravandom purposely strode towards it. He was Infected and driven crazy. Through force of will before the magical disease fully possessed his mind, he flew south to and over Xen’drik. To where we are. But by this time, when he reached us, the disease fully possessed his mind. We killed him as I knew we would. Even now, his clone awakens. It has the knowledge and experience of the Dragon Fear but none of its effects. He now flees to the island of the dragons to warn them. He sacrificed much…. To save most of the dragons and possibly- the world.”

The dwarf stares hard at the gnome. “I should hate you. You judged me harshly for similar actions…. But I can only pity you.” and Kim Elderich leaves the two gnomes alone…. To weep in sorrow and self-pity.

“Hey guys- this Dragon had a bunch of really useful stuff on him…..” shouts out Play…. Breaking up the pain if only for a moment.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 362
“GIANT RUINS OF DRU-KARSH-MARK”
4/16/14

VULT 8, 999

“Seagulls…. We must be getting close to the ocean.” Says Play watching the noisy birds fly and circle about.

“I could smell the salt in the air two hours ago. Aye, we are close. And as such close to the last known place of the Schema.” Kim adds.

“What is that ahead?” asks the nearly fully recovered archer. Before them is a tall stone pillar towering through the tall trees.

They walk to it and find they are too small to see it. Kim levitates up and through the tree canopy and finds it is a marker made by Giants long ago. “Dru-karsh-mark” He reads to himself. He has never heard of the settlement but from here he can see it was built on the water and appears to be in ruins. He floats back down to tell the others what he has found.

On the way down he thought he saw a shadowy figure in the trees. Once he concentrates on the limb of the tree he finds nothing there. He was certain he had seen something.

“The forest has eyes” warns the dwarf as he reaches the others on the ground.

“Silent and skilled.” Adds the archer as he too has been searching the darkness within the trees.

“Sneaky” follows Play.

“Drow I suspect” finishes the Time Traveler.

“Drow?” asks Calli. “I thought they were a myth.”

“No. They are very real and some would say run this continent.” Says Kim while deciding how much to say.

“I suspect that if they were going to attack us they would have by now. I had a feeling of being watched for the past mile.” Says Play as he begins to walk to and beyond the stone marker.

“I hope you are correct Lad. I truly hope so.” Says Kim with a quiet and worried voice.

They walk another hour and find themselves on a cliff’s edge overlooking the ruins. The ruins begin on land then reach out into a bay. Most of the stone buildings are submerged at least in part. Seagulls and other birds fly everywhere. The water is clear yet looks very deep.

“Thoughts?” asks Kim as he looks over the ruins.

“No birds to the southernmost tip.” Play quickly points out.

“Something is keeping them away. Something dangerous and hard to get to…. Unless one can fly.” Says Calli smiling. She is making mental notes of the ruins. It is second nature for her to do so as a House Sivis bard and reporter.

“Then let’s get going.” Says the Archer.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 363
“UNDEAD GUARDIAN OF DRU-KARSH-MARK”
4/18/14

VULT 8, 999

“I know a few people at Morgrave that would be envious of me now. We are likely the first non-native humanoids to walk here in hundreds if not thousands of years.” Says Play in wonderment.

Finding a gate was easy enough. The massive stone walls are badly cracked and in some cases broken. Thick vines with bright colored flowers strangle the walls. Insects of all kinds buzz about or crawl within the vegetation. The gates themselves are gone. Age has taken the then massive wooden frame and doors. Massive buildings are within set up in very straight rows and lines. Very neat and orderly.

“There was a time I would have enjoyed exploring this…. Now though…. I feel there is no time.” Laments the dwarf. He touches a cracked and broken corner of a building. “Maybe later…..”

“Your granddaughter would enjoy hearing that. When- I stress- When we get done with this mess- you should go and find her.” Suggests Jasyne. He then thinks back to his beloved…. Waiting for him in Breland. He has much to live for also.

“Shouldn’t we be like- flying or something? I feel kinda exposed here.” Says Play looking at all the ambush points that a giant or other creature could use.

“To reach where we are going will require going over the water. I’m saving it for then.” Reasons the dwarf.

The quiet gnomes follow up in the rear of the group. Glyder especially is reserved. Calli studies his face. “Is there something ahead of us that you know of?” whispers Calli in concern.

“I don’t know. This is one of the few times I have no experiences about the area. No one ever talks about the events that happen once we enter this place. It… unnerves me a little to not know or have some inkling of near future events.” Says the gnome in deep worry.

“Do we survive? Do we get out of this whole mess but just never speak of it?” asks Calli.

Before he can answer Jasyne motions for everyone to stop and be quiet.

A few seagulls fly over them. As they Passover a ruin of a building with huge steps the birds falter then fall to the ground. They look decayed and dried out.

“Undead?” suggests Play.

“Possibly.” Dangerous for sure.” Says the archer.

Suddenly the gnomes call out as a large gang-green colored serpent rears up from a building near them. It ripples as if shedding off unseen water and the gnomes pale. Then the creatures moves in for the kill. It strikes Calli and she screams out.

Jasyne fires away on pure instinct. The highly magical arrows strike true and large pieces of undead flesh rip free from the creature. Play fires several arrows also. Two strike home but a third one veers off and strikes a ruined building with a series of stars and solar winds depicted in the stone work. Glyder calls out in alarm. There is little the small pacifist can do but look in horror. A ray of searing light cuts into and through the creature.

The undead Hollow Serpent coils around the gnome and squeezes the life energy out of her- literally. She screams in pain…. Glyder in outrage. She barely can do it as her head swims and her lungs scream for more air but she still releases a Great Shout. It is not as effective as normally but chunks of scales and dried flesh rip free from the fanged face.

Jasyne releases his arrows and the creature seems to explode from the inside out as they strike a fairly small place. Her lifeless body strikes the ground and breaks apart. A gentle wind carries away some of her dust and remains. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” screams the remaining gnome.

Calli d’ Sivis is dead.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 365
“GLYDER AND WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM”
4/18/14

VULT 8, 999

“Please Kim…. Go away. I want to be alone. I can’t keep trying to fix your mistakes when it takes everyone away from me….”

The figure before him speaks in a language he doesn’t know. He looks up and sees a black skinned elf with white hair. She is wearing leather with pieces of bone and shell.

“Hello. Could you please go away? I …. Want to be alone.”

Again the drow speaks but in a different language. It seems like elven but not like any he has ever heard. Doesn’t matter much- elven is not a strong point with him. It begins to set in. A drow…. In Xen’drik. “I can leave.” He says while trying to smile.

She makes no move against him as he gets up. She doesn’t try to restrain him or threaten him. He looks to her light purple eyes. They are hard to read having no pupils.

She seems to mean no harm. “Seems” being the key word.

Again she speaks calmly and soothingly as she kneels down to look eye to eye with him. Sensing this is an important moment, he mentally calls to his god through his ring. The ring receives his request. The power of Chronepsis opens the mental pathway between Glyder and the drow barbarian.

“tark quill swan are you freeh alright small one?” the words begin to become something she and the Gnome understand.

“I…. hello. I am Glyder Freetime. Who are you?”

“I am Avireal of the Clan of Water Scorpions. Your pain…. I can feel it. What has happened Little one?”

“We were attacked…. The undead monstrosity killed Calli…. Destroyed her before my eyes.”

“The hallow serpent of Death….. Our greatest enemy. Downed by you and your travelers. What can we do to repay you?”

The gnome takes a moment to wipe his eyes. “Do for us….?” Then he looks beyond her for the first time. Dozens of drow, some on large upright lizards have been there- supporting her. Waiting for instructions.

“Do you know much about the ruined city?”

“We used to live there until the Dragon and metal men arrived. They use the undead creature as a guard animal.”

“Then it’s a yes.” Smiles the gnome.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 366
“THE DRAGON MANIPULATOR”
4/18/14

VULT 8, 999

The full form of Breedaernxen rises before the three remaining adventurers. The Huge Brass Dragon, a direct general to the Face of the False Moon, in charge of the Chaos Storms, towers above them. “FINALLY WE MEET FACE TO FACE SO TO SPEAK.” Declares the unnatural dragon.

“UNKNOWN TO YOU, I HAVE WATCHED ALL OF YOU IN THE RECENT PAST, ESPECIALLY YOU DWARF AND LANTERN.” The dragon unfolds its wings to create an impression of a larger sized foe. “ARCHER- YOU BEGAN AS A LOWLY WAYFINDER WITH THE DWARF IN AUNDAIR. THROUGH HIS SON YOU DID MUCH TO ANNOY MY MASTER. BUT ONLY ANNOY HIM.” If Jasyne is unnerved, he doesn’t show it. He merely waits for the right moment- the signal.

“JOHN PLAY, SON OF AUGUSTUS AND JOCASTA PLAY- THE KINGS SHIELD AND WAND HEADMASTERS. BORN WITH INCREDIBLE TALENT FOR UNEXPECTED CHAOS. MY MASTER GREATLY APPRECIATED YOU AND WAS AMUSED WATCHING YOU GROW.”

“You just proved your first mistake dragon. You are wrong.” Declares Play. He had recently (just before Glyder took him out of time in 997) that Augustus was not his true father…..

The Massive dragon looks down with distain before moving on to Kim Elderich. “AND YOU- YOU AND YOUR EFFORTS TO FIND AND ASSEMBLE THE GREAT AND AWESOME POWER THAT THE CREATION SCHEMA WAS, IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE. I HAVE TAKEN GREAT CARE AND PLEASURE MANIPULATING YOUR HIRED HELP. ESPECIALLY THE HALFLING CEDIOUS. HE WAS SO CHAOTIC AND UNPREDICTABLE IT GAVE MY MASTER GREAT PLEASURE. DID YOU KNOW HE YET LIVES BUT ON ANOTHER PLANE?”

“What of it Dragon?” asks Kim debating what to do.

“IT ADDS A CERTAIN SPICE TO THE ENTIRE RECIPE OF THE MASTER’S PLANS. I HAVE MANIPULATED YOU, YOUR HIRELINGS AND EVEN THE OTHERS SEARCHING FOR THE PIECES. DELAYING OR HELPING AS THE MASTER INSTRUCTED. HE WANTED THE SCHEMA TO BE DELIVERED LATE IN THE YEAR 999. THIS IS WHEN HE UNLEASHES HIS PLANS WORLD WIDE. “

“What is this damned dragon talking about Kim?” demands Jasyne.

“NONE OF YOU HAVE BEEN HOME IN A LONG TIME. MUCH HAS HAPPENED IN KHORVAIRE. WAR BETWEEN THE FIENDS AND AUNDAIR HAS BEGUN. WAR BETWEEN DROAAM AND BRELAND WILL BEGIN SHORTLY. A POWERFUL MYSTICAL…. PLANAR PERHAPS…. MASSIVE MAGICAL WARD HAS BEEN BROKEN A FEW MONTHS AGO. THE ABERRATIONAL LORDS WILL BE RETURNING. THE DRAGON FEAR WILL BE RELEASED AND THUS THE DOWNFALL OF CERTAIN AGENTS OF THE CHAMBER. AND YOU- DEAR DWARF- SHORTLY WILL HAVE NO HOME. IT WILL BE DESTROYED BY THE GREATEST EARTH AND WATER ELEMENTALS EVER ASSEMBLED- YOU MAY GIVE THANKS TO MY MASTER LATER….. MAYBE.” Says the dragon with suggested personal pride.

The three of them look to each other. Shook, disbelief and anger rise in all three.

“FOR BRELAND!” Calls out Play even as Kim and Jasyne follow his attack.


Play fires three arrows. Two miss easily and the other strikes doing next to little damage. Jasyne steps up releasing five arrows. Two strike- the others either miss or crumble against The Brass Dragon’s armored hide. Kim Elderich releases a Cone of Cold. The dragon ducks avoiding much of it but not all. Not that it truly matters as the natural resistance to spell effects erases it. The Crazed and chaotic dragon laughs at their poor attempt to down him. A magical smelly pit of acid rips open beneath Play but he easily evades it. He looks down the pit into the bubbling acid and then back at the dragon. It just got real.

Play switches to his Wand of Magic Missiles… they do nothing. “Can’t we go back to fighting international spies and assassins…..? I’m good at that- really good.” Two more arrows from Jasyne hit annoying the dragon. Kim picks a small crusty stone from his pocket and crumbles it spreading the pieces onto the ground. An earth elemental erupts and moves to attack the dragon. Little damage is done. Breedaernxen easily destroys it with a sweep of its clawed arm. “PATHETIC!”

“My magic isn’t getting through his defenses.” Declares Kim.

“Hate running away but…..” Says Play while he debates how to escape a dragon.

“He must have a weak spot.” Demands the archer as realizes another volley of arrows. Many hit startling the dragon by the raw force ( 2 crits  ). “Too me!” demands Kim as he removes a Cubic Gate he took from the White Dragon. Kim presses a random side of the cube. Black energy ripples as a form comes out. The dragon has a new play thing to deal with. A Large mutated creature with pincers and large eyes steps out. “I don’t think so…” Kim depresses another side quickly even as the others grasp his shoulders.

They are gone as the two evils of chaos begin to battle.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 367
“AVOID THE DRAGON”
4/22/14

VULT 9, 999

“Where the frig are we?!?” screams Play as the three of them materialize in a forest.

“Mabar…. I think.” Says the dwarf as he debates what to do next.

“Dark… yeah… Mabar is the plane of death.” Says the archer.

“Dolurrh is the plane of the dead. This isn’t it. I’ve been there- this isn’t it.” Says Play still being extremely cautious. “Can we go back now?”

“Shortly. Give the dragon time to play with the fiend I accidently released.”

“That’s good- just great. Now we have a fiend to deal with also?!?” The archer is nearing the limit of his patience.

The dwarf stares and sighs. He sees the strain is beginning to get to the Archer. He is a protector by nature- and now several of his teams have been decimated in recent adventures. “We go back in an hour or two. Allow the two to beat on each other. The survivor will leave to either flee or lick their wounds. “


=Thank you Avireal…. of the Clan of Water Scorpions.= Says the gnome with a nod of gratitude.

The drow offers him water. They are in a very large room made of stone. Glyder suspects it is a Giant’s ruin.

“How is it you can speak in my mind?” asks the inquisitive drow.

= power of faith in part…. Magic if you wish=

=it is good but you are not a mage… what are you?= she thinks instead of says now beginning to follow Glyder’s lead.

=What do you mean?=

=Your hands are soft. You carry no components. Except for some of your equipment our people sense no magic on you. But they sense….. time and distance. How can this be?= Her light purple eyes look into the gnome’s eyes. They are powerful, fierce yet compassionate.

= What I can tell you is there great danger to your people in those ruins. Danger so great it may destroy this land… all of the land. We came to stop it. I fear we have failed=

=The land yet exists. If you are to fail- it has not happened yet. Tell me more small one.=

He studies her eyes and begins… from the beginning.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 367
“AVOID THE DRAGON”
5/26/14

VULT 9, 999

A ripple of energy opens up within the ruins and outsteps a dwarf and two humans, Kim Elderich, Jasyne Symtex and John Play. They place their backs to each other and search the area. They neither see nor hear anything of danger.

Kim motions to a direction and the Kensai Archer, Jasyne, takes point. Play, a former Dark Lantern government agent follows the dwarf. Kim, possibly the world’s richest single dwarf, uses several spells from his arcane and divine abilities to reach further out beyond their senses. They are both seeking their fourth remaining ally- Glyder Freetime, a time hoping gnome and avoiding a crazed dragon that works for a master manipulator. This person of power and influence has been referred to as The Face of The False Moon.

Soon they arrive onto the same point they encountered the dragon. The area has been battle damaged and ravaged by the battle between it and a summoned creature from the nightmare realm. Play spots blood splatter on the rocks as does the archer. One is red and the other ate at the rock like acid on wood. If anyone survived, they are truly weakened. They hope for the best as they move deeper into the ruins of a giant civilization laid to ruin thousands of years ago when the giants accidently opened a rift to the nightmare realm.

Kim’s magical eye spots something in distant sky- an elemental airship! They watch it fly overhead. It is very high can just barely be recognized by the two scouts. “It has the markings of the Emerald Claw.” Says Kim quietly. Many groups and world powers have sought the artifact known as the Creation Schema. Kim Elderich had spent the last five years tracking it down and spent millions in gold and platinum locating the five pieces only to have it stolen from him.

“We are not alone.” Says Play while still looking to the air.

“Where?” begins the Cleric mage dwarf.

“Drow.” Says Jasyne as he looks to the ruins.

“Hi guys. I’m back.” Says a shadow. Out from a collapsed rock crawls out a gnome- Glyder. Behind him is a scantily clad female barbarian drow. “I made some new friends.”

Jasyne immediately wonders how the gnome can be so happy and good spirited after witnessing the death of his beloved Sivis member and fellow gnome- Calli. Kim and Play, whom have known him for some time are not surprised. As a time traveler, things like this are not absolute. He will see her again… maybe even save her life somehow.

“Avireal suggests follow her to avoid the dragon. She and her clan grew up here. They know it well.”

Kim smiles for the first time since entering these ruins. They may still have a chance.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 369
“PREQUEL TO THE END”
9/07/14

VULT 9, 999

The giants have traveled for several days. They traded a great deal of gold for the strange shield that the metal men wanted. Starkwell . the leader of the giants, carries it with pride. With this item, they will get their chieftain back.

He was taken several weeks ago by the metal men and they were told that the chieftain could only be returned when they meet the fire giants and bring an artifact called The Creation Schema. They will indeed trade for it but it will not be them but their ancestral guides.

Seven wraiths of giants from the days of long ago will take the strange disk and get their chieftain back then destroy the metal men.

They have been camped in the jungle watching and waiting. They saw a very large dragon here and that can be a problem. Dragons are dangerous and crazy dragons have become more of a problem than usual (See either The Hidden Storyhours)


Within the coastal waters of the city ruins several sharks swim unmolested through the waters. They have witnessed the dragon above. They turn slowly and return to the deeper waters. Their masters will want to know. They will want to know something disturbs the ruins.


Two elemental aircraft streak towards the ruins. Each lead by an agent of the Emerald Claw. One on official business and the other for revenge. Either way, they will destroy whatever they find at the ruins they believe their destiny will lie.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 370
“ARSENAL”
9/08/14

ARYTH 15, 999

The large group moves surprisingly quiet considering what they are. Thirty warforged that were hand- picked by The Lord of Blades march south through Xen’drik.

The Lord of Blades is more than a military leader. He is more than a warlord. He is more than a king. He is a direct instrument of a god.

He is for the most part immortal. He has visions of the future that always pertain to his people- to the warforged. At first, he mistook his visions of the Creation Schema as being an artifact to empower the warforged, his nation, their nation…. Steel Nation. He tried to collect the pieces like so many others. But there were too many forces. Worse- it was like a strange force of fate was involved. Pieces would be stolen or lost once found and collected. It was only recently all parts were gathered and remained together…. As if allowed or given permission by a higher force.

Then his dreams that revealed the power of the Schema changed and showed a new aspect… a new player. A crazed warforged from another plane- Xulo-12. She believes herself to be a “sister” or the such to himself. He saw that if she were allowed to harness the power of the Schema she would control her world then officially invade Eberron. The 100 Year War would seem like a mere argument in comparison.

He had to act. He had to correct his wrongs. His visions revealed a ruin in Xen’drik. This is where Xulo-12 would try to collect the Schema. Others would be there also. Including that most annoying human of humans- John Play. He will send agents to keep the Schema away from her.

So- thirty hand-picked warriors were sent to Darguun and secretly took a ship to Stormreach. They marched endlessly through the jungle and mountains. They fought many strange creatures and experienced the “Curse of Xen’drik” for themselves. Magic sometimes warped but even time warped. They would see a group of adventurers once under the employment of Kim Elderich. Then they would see their dead bodies…. Only weeks later see them again. The sooner they were finished with this land the better.

Then came the Linnorn.

This dragon like snake attacked suddenly and savagely. It tore into the warforged troops. Warriors were rendered and thrown around. Few escaped.

Of those few- they faced Mountain Trolls and a powerful Giant Lich.

Only one survived. SN-4. One of the 88…. Arsenal.

He has a decision to make. He wants to fulfill his lord’s wishes and commands but cannot now by himself. He reached the ruins and witnessed the arrival of Kim Elderich and John Play. Others were with them also. Powerful allies.

The weakest one, a mere short creature of no magic or fighting skill has formed an alliance with the natives.

There is little choice then……

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

VULT 10, 999


“Hey guys-Avireal and the Clan of Water Scorpions have found someone or something of importance.” Says the time traveling gnome. Kim Elderich, John Play and Jasyne Symtex look at each other then follow Glyder Freetime to where the drow have set up camp.

In the center of the group of black skinned and stark pure white tattooed elves stands a warforged with over-sized hands and twin knobs on his shoulders.

Play frowns deeply. “I know of this warforged. He works for the Lord of Blades.”

“Dark lantern Play- The Lord of Blades gives his greetings. And to each of you also.”

“How do the two of you know each other?” asks the dwarven cleric-mage.

“I know of him through my ….. various missions into the Mournlands. He is a chief defender against the undead there. He has a knack for blowing up things…. And people.”

“The two of you should be close friends then.” Says the gnome smiling.

“I was sent here to stop the Creation Schema from ever being used. I have lost my forces. I seek an alliance.”

Kim looks to everyone and sighs. “Tell me more.”
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 371
“ARSENAL”
9/08/14

THE NIGHT OF VULT 10, 999

“What are they?” asks the Dark Lantern from his hiding place behind the toppled column.

“Undead. Giant sized.” Answers the dwarf.

“Torkal ah men.” Says the leader of the Drow- Avireal.

“They have a strange disk or shield” translates Glyder.

“The Schema” says Jasyne while clutching his bow.

“What do we wait for? The will of the-“ begins Arsensal.

“The Lord of Blades is NOT in charge here. I tire of this communication gap also.” Grumbles the dwarf. He crawls over to the drow barbarian. She glares at Kim and unseen by him has her hand resting on a blade hidden in her shin guard. He recites a basic spell and reaches out to touch her. Her draws out the blade and tells him that he is a fiend….. in common.

“I… understand you. Do you understand me?” she asks looking at the others. Quarl, her top aid, looks with trepidation at her. He too has his blade drawn.

“Can we fight later? It’s past my bed time,” says John Play in a joking manner, “With your sharper eyes… can you describe the shield? I don’t want to find a bunch of undead glowing giants over nothing.”

“It has several pieces that look like they can detach. A moon and sun….”

“That’s it. Lets go.”

The undead wraith fire giants wander deep into the ruins under a few moons. If not for the potential dangers, the way the moons reflect on the water and the submerged ruins could be considered beautiful nut there is too much danger here.

They quietly follow the undead as they reach the edge of the water. Play’s Dark lantern training kicks in as he inventories his belonging and what the others carry also. Glyder is nervous. But if he knows what the near future will bring he does not share it. Kim also recalls his spells and belongings. Jasyne is ever watchful. He believes this is too easy. The drow dislike undead and the ruins. They know it is important to do this but are uneasy being here. Arsenal, the Warmage warforged, looks forward to combat and being able to rid itself of Play.

Then, at midnight, the Kensai archer spots something in the distance. He nudges Kim and points to it. On the very top of a tower out on the water a glowing portal or rift has opened. A lone figure steps out. Then another. And another. Dozens of figures march out with more coming.

“Xulo-12’s forces?” asks Play to state the obvious.

“I hate it when I’m right.” Thinks the archer. Its never this easy.

It was a simple plan. Break up into four groups and surround the giants. Being undead now complicates the problem. The giants can go over the water. Now with the warforged invasion also…..

“You know Kim…. I still have my mother to find…..” says the Dark lantern whom stands upright and begins to move in.

Arsenal also follows.

“Here we go……” says Glyder.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 372
“CHAOS”
9/12/14

THE MORNING DARKNESS OF VULT 12, 999

The buildings and ruins are both a blessing and a curse as the group moves in on the undead giants. The drow and Play are very skilled at moving stealthily in the dark but they cannot get a clear shot without getting close.

Jasyne is the first to clear a building and strike. He fires off five highly magical arrows. One passes through the wraith holding the Schema within a magical sphere but the other four all hit. It gasps as it seems to breakdown into thousands of white and blue ambers and the Schema drops to the rocky ground and rolls onto the edge of the water line. Avireal rushes up through the brush that grows along a building. The wraiths turn in anger and confusion. They spread out as much as they can within the confined space. Kim attempts to turn them but is surprised by their resolve. They do not move away. He honestly thinks he has only annoyed them further. Play rushes forward and watches the Schema fall and twist and roll into the water. That is his target. Glyder, ever the non-combatant, attempts to communicate with an undead with his mind. The creature’s hate and anger at being attacked makes it difficult to reach it. Arsenal blasts a bolt of lightning into the midst of the undead. Three of them flutter from the damage. The clik-clak of the scorpion creatures known as Scorrow rush in a wave to enter battle. The drow groups begin to merge and attack the wraiths. In his hurry, one wraith gets too close and too quickly. It is touched and gasps from the pain of being struck and from the sudden weakness it feels within his body.

Even with all of the dark shadows (drow + Play) running between him and the undead, the Kensai archer fires off five more arrows. All five hit. Two more already damaged wraiths burst into sparkling white and blue. Avireal, the leader of the drow, runs and dodges between two of the giants but they each strike her. Extreme cold passes through her and her body cramps up. Kim opens a Dimensional Door to a top of a building and steps through. He has issues firing into / over the new allies. Play turns left then right then springs forward. He easily tumbles between the legs of the front most undead but as he stops and crouches to move again he is struck. He is aware of the touch of undeath and wills his way through the raw cold. Glyder tries to explain the situation and the consequences to the undead. Their rage blocks any and all attempts. Arsenal releases a second bolt of lightning. Another wraith is destroyed while a second staggers from the onslaught. The Scorrow climb the wall of a different building that is across from Kim Elderich. The drow move in but without magical weapons can do little against these ten foot tall wraiths.

Meanwhile, 200 feet away, the incoming warforged have spotted the action and begin to move forward to claim their prize.

And 100 feet away but 30ft deep the followers of the Devourer have spotted the bursts of light and move there to stop the invaders from possibly freeing the evil that sleeps here.

And a half a mile away a ring of fire in the sky changes direction and heads quickly to the magical light show.

Jasyne drops another giant. Avireal is struck again and finds it difficult to walk- much less run. Too much energy has been drawn away from her. And more wraiths are created as the Fire Giant Wraiths slay several drow with their draining powers. Kim Elderich spots a lot of activity on the buildings across the bay. The warforged are on the move. They seem to understand how to work platforms that rise and drop. They may arrive before they can defeat the wraiths. John Play tumbles past the last wraith and leaps into the water to retrieve the glowing Schema as it begins to sink. The time traveler tries once more to talk his way through this battle. It is not working. Lord of Blades’ agent blasts the remaining wraiths with a magical ice sphere. Though no wraiths drop each are heavily damaged and begin to howl in pain and frustration. The scorrow line up on the wall and prepare to leap down for the attack. Drow surround the undead. If they fear for their lives they do not show it.

Jasyne Symtex fires away hoping to end this. Three of his arrows pass harmlessly through the incorporeal creatures. But the two that do strike destroy it. Avireal finds she lacks the strength and collapses with her hand in the water….reaching. Two more drow are slain and will rise as undead shortly. Kim Elderich decides the warforged invaders are too close and gives them something to think about. He releases a fireball that streaks across the bay and explodes in a mass of adamantine. Most of the creatures had enough time to avoid much of the blast. Play surfaces and just sees the glow of the magical field that allowed the incorporeal undead to carry the Schema. He dives down and kicks with all of his strength to reach the sinking magical artifact. Bitter at his inability to battle in a war front, the gnome hangs back and watches for something he can do to help. With so many drow at the undead’s feet, Arsenal decides to switch tactics and uses an altered spell to attack the undead. Deadly cold reaches out and touches one undead and destroys it. The scorrow open and close their claws in excitement. The fireball explosion has illuminated the night time sky briefly. An airship is coming!
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 373
“CHAOS FROM LAND SEA AND AIR”
9/13/14

AFTER MIDNIGHT OF VULT 12, 999

The warforged warriors from Shavarath under Xulo-12’s control begin to exit the portal in groups of thirteen. There are ten basic grunts, a mender, a spell caster and a leader per group. Based on the scout’s information, the first groups immediately head out to the lifts. These lifts will take them from the top of the buildings to the bottom. To reach the bottom requires them to become submerged which is not an issue as they are warforged. They do not require air and as such cannot drown.

Even as the first group begins to descend, they spot activity on the shore. Uninvited guests are attacking the undead that carry their queen’s prize. Time is important.

The first group watches the glare of lightning as it is released. They enter the warm waters and continue down. As they reach the murky and dark bottom the mender and caster creates light. They expected to see buildings, fountains, and marine life. Instead they see humanoid figures carrying tridents swim in formations towards them. Accompanying them are sharks. Some of these sharks are incredibly large. They appear to be hostile.

This will not do. The queen wants her prize.

She will not understand.

The normal sharks attack first. They are swift and fearless. The warforged are still on the lift and thus cannot avoid the attack. They bite down on shields and arms but find the heavy armored bodies are not soft and bloody. As the sharks are weighed down attempting to chew up a warforged, two others attack and stab their weapons deep into the under bellies and faces of the sharks. The blood of the sharks blends with the water making it murkier to see and drives the creatures into a frenzy…. The warforged that is.

Dead sharks are cast aside as the forces unload and the scaly humanoids become easier to see. Sahuagin. Other lifts arrive and sharks are killed here also.

Then in an eerie fashion, pieces of stone work fall into the water above them. The water’s surface is lit up by fire and even as this fiery illumination recedes, a large ring of fire is seen. An airship!

“This will not do.” Thinks one of the leaders below the water’s surface.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 374
“ENTER THE EMERALD CLAW”
9/13/14

AFTER MIDNIGHT OF VULT 12, 999

“Report!” demands Lady Demise.

“Reports say there is magical activity in some ruins on the water front.”

The Emerald claw commander ponders this. She has been trying to follow Kim Elderich for weeks now but he has recently blocked her scrying attempts. She tried to do likewise with a figure dressed in black but he also proved immune to her magical watchful eye.

Frustrated, she resorted to flying along the water front looking for clues or activity. This quest has truly been a test for her. It began years ago when Garrow proved unable to separate his hatred from the needs of the mission. Lady Vol, her queen and mistress, made it clear that the Schema was very important and need to be found- ALL of it.

Perhaps, she has finally found it.

The ship turns towards the activity and there is a powerful fireball explosion on top of the ruins over the water. Demise cannot help but to wonder if their arrival through the magical flames is causing fear in the combatants below. The fire elemental powered airship bursts through the apex of the fiery explosion and they see below glowing undead giants being attacked by magic wielding adventurers. Large scorpion like creatures are on a building.

….and a human leaping into the water after a glowing item. Could it be?

“Stop the ship here and deploy the undead!” she calls out. As the undead are released from their holding cells below, she gives out clear and concise demands. Retrieve the glowing item no matter what.

Ropes are deployed and feather fall tokens meant for the crew in case of an emergency are handed out. The undead quickly disembark to pursue the item. Then she and the other clerics of Vol on board turn their attention to the battle below.

Even as the Ghasts hit the water, the three Flesh Golems come out for orders. They are magically transported onto the building where a mage is casting spells. Demise pulls out a magical item from her robes. She recites the last of a series of prepared arcane words and pours the fine ash into the water one hundred feet below.

Unseen by anyone, the ash doesn’t remain on the surface; it sinks rapidly and seems to swim to a ruin below the water’s surface. It finds a crypt here and works its way into the various areas of holding. Huge boney hands lift covers and false walls up and away. Fifteen foot tall skeletons rise!

An undead warrior that acts as a body guard to Demise steps up. With him as a dozen living soldiers. He awaits orders; he hopes it is of combat.
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 375
“AND IN THE DISTANCE”
9/14/14

AFTER MIDNIGHT OF VULT 12, 999

The creature doesn’t seem to belong here. It is a dinosaur…. Sitting on a ruined tower with its friend…. A halfling.

What really makes this dinosaur strange isn’t its purple skin or size. Nor being in a tower or with a halfling. It has wings.

What kind of wings? Butterfly wings.

This dinosaur also has a name- Screecha. The wings came from poorly worded (and an evil DM) use of a magical wish by the halfling. They lived but now Screecha has butterfly wings.

They could be worse. They have a magical aura about them. They allow for true flight…. Not the fluttering of a butterfly.

They did escape the dangers of a glacial avalanche that appears to have taken everyone in their group. They also escaped the dragon and frost giants. It could be worse.

Thinking about its friends makes the Megaraptor sad. It misses the insect man- Arcanis. It was fun to play with it.

After that fateful day, they tried to fly north – back to the Talenta Plains but the craziness of Xen’drik confused both of them. It seems they went south instead.

Lost, they now wander Xen’drik in hopes of adventure and fun. Maybe they will make new friends.

Then she sees something in the distance. Lightning. But it’s at ground level….. in the ruins this broken tower acts as a watchtower for. And…….

Mentally she begins to yell and hops up and down. “Alton! Alton! Rainbows! Rainbows!”

She has recognized the energy signature of Jasyne Symtex’s magical bow. He is there- nearby.

The halfling is slow to wake up but when he does- he sees the ring of a fire powered airship. A show of magical combat….. and the familiar arc of a rainbow energy trail of a specific bow. “Adventure!”
 

CREATION SCHEMA
SEGMENT 376
“WATER COMBAT”
9/14/14

AFTER MIDNIGHT OF VULT 12, 999

John Play dives into the water expecting it to be shallow- ten feet deep at most.

Nope.

The land has split as it submerged under the water. He can just see the magically encased Schema spin off the edge and sink into deeper water. He is forced to surface and take a deeper breathe. He calls on his Aberrant Mark to grow stronger and goes after the artifact again. He vaguely remembers seeing a fireball in the distance and something big was behind it.

Doesn’t matter.

He needs to get the Schema so that maybe he can back to his own life.

Kick….kick….kick…. drive down deeper. Ten feet…. Fifteen…. Lord its dark…. Twenty and his magical mask kicks in. It gives him clear sight even in the dark murky water…. But wishes it didn’t.

Shark!

And Sahuagin!

Neither sees him nor at least pay any attention to him. Being in their natural environment, the creatures easily reach the schema before him. Cursing at himself, he stops and begins to float to the surface. He understands that he can’t win in this situation. His Dark Lantern training kicks in. He notes everything happening. How the creature taking the Schema has a necklace of bones and crystals. Possible magic user or spiritual leader. It takes the schema but doesn’t seem to want it. A shark swims over and allows him (or her) to settle on its back and they slowly glide away.

At this point John’s lungs are beginning to burn. He used up too much air trying to reach the schema. As the shark nears the limits of his vision he kicks for the surface.

He gasps once for air then again…. An airship has arrived and people are disembarking. Several are very large and seem to landing near Kim. The undead Giants are down. He sees the drow leader- Avireal collapsed on the water’s edge.
 

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