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

EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/04/06
SEGMENT 188
“BR-234”

BR-234 wandered the Mournlands with very little thought or care. The warforged had no reason. He had even less care. He was created for war and specifically for Breland’s war against Cyre. He was built with an adamantine-coated heavy armor, which was reinforced against precise attacks that could cripple even a warforged. But with no war, no enemy. There was no reason.

He wandered the ruins of the enemy he faced several times before the day the country of Cyre ceased to exist. The mists confused him. They reminded him magical fogs that confused and blinded foes and allies alike. Mages. Bah! Who needs them.

He wandered for weeks, maybe months before he was discovered. Another warforged had found him. This warforged told him of another …a leader of warforged. He wanted to create a home and a purpose for all the warforged. It gave BR-234 something to do so joined them.

What has it gotten him? Patrol duty.

Where is the glory of battle? Where is the testing of one’s ability against another’s? He would walk the southern areas of the lands for several weeks then meet his Lord and report. The reports often were filled with emptiness. If something was seen it involved Living Spells or undead. Nothing to truly combat or test oneself against.

Then he saw it.

High in the sky, a fireball? No. A flying Living Spell? No. An airship! BR-234 followed the airship. He followed it for miles. He feared he had lost sight of it when it disappeared into the hills and shallow valleys near the misty border of Darguun. But he found it. And best of all- it had stopped!

Who was on board? Other warforged? Pirates? Warriors?!? Warriors would be good. He could do battle with warriors. There was but one way to find out. He set out to discover who controlled the ship and test them personally.
 

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EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/04/06
SEGMENT 189
“The Dark Lanterns”

The woman wore black leather with crimson highlights. She moved about slowly and invisibly within the market. She listened to everything the sailors and traders had to say. She was here to learn about threats –threats to the crown and his people. She has gone by many names in the past. Currently she was known as Nadia. Nadia of the Dark Lanterns.

There were many ways to enter the city. Electric Rail, Air ship, on foot or by ship. Today she was investigating the shipping lanes. There were rumors of unrest with certain shipping groups. To be specific- the elves of Aerena.

She heard and listened to hushed rumors of an elven assassin here to kill a noble. She also heard about rumors of a warforged killer being on the lose. Even another rumor that the Sahuagin had new pet to threaten the trade lanes to Xen’drik. A Dragon Turtle! All these she placed in her memory to look into at another time. Two possible pirates and a shipyard tradesman were discussing the subject she sought. The subject- the sudden rarity of Soarwood.

Soarwood was a near magical wood found only on the island of elves. This wood was incredibly light yet strong. It was used with the best of shipping boats and also with airships. Reports had it that the elves were cutting and shipping larger than normal amounts of the resource yet the prices were slowly rising due to greater demand for it. Then three weeks ago shipping ended to Breland. There were even reports of pirate activity. Their target- Soarwood shipments. Were the reports incorrect? If not- then where is the Soarwood going?

Using her powers of the mind, she gently probed the one sailor. He knew little but then the other man seemed to know something. Something he felt his life would be at jeopardy if he told anyone. The name of an island.

Juno.

Two months later, Nadia discovers the location of Juno. It is a small island of the coast of Zilargo.

The Dark Lanterns decide to send in an agent to investigate. What he discovers alarms Viorr Maelak, the head of Breland’s national security team.
 

EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/04/06
SEGMENT 190
“Ore”

Rush Late-a-lot arrived at Metrol shortly before sun down. This was a dangerous time to be within the city’s limits. Many creatures were here that would wish to do him harm. Some of these could. However, there was one creature spotted here by the Karrnath explorers hired by Kim elderich that required further investigation. There was a very large stone creature seen here that was alive and seemed intelligent. Kim Elderich wanted to know who or what this creature was and possibly hire him or at least study it.

Even as Rush transformed his psionic powered wings he could see balls of burning oozes in the fields near the city. Living Spells. While flying over head, he saw the animated skeleton warriors patrolling the streets of the city. He knew there was at least one more Predator here. The mutated vampiric creature that Elderich had hired to steal documents from Cannith. The creature was here exploring and looking for something of great interest to it.

Rush almost didn’t hear the massive 10ft tall black marble stone golem climb up behind him. He turned and found the very creature he was looking for. Ore.

“I mean you no harm Awakened one. I offer peace and employment.” The warforged psion waits for an answer as the Golem looks at him and measures him.

“I sense no evil within you.” Says the Golem as he begins to slowly walk in a circle around the psion. “However, I sense little good within you also.”

“I am what I am. I am paid to do favors for my employer. I ask nothing else of him or others.” The Psion tries to figure out if the golem really is a paladin, cleric or merely trying to pretend he sees an aura. Either way, the magics and the psionics that are weaved about him will allow any alignment he wishes to be seen revealed.

“What of your employer. Who is he and why does he seek my employment?” The granite eyes seem to look pure and white as the setting sun's glow disappears completely behind the gray mists of the Mournlands.

“His name is Kim Elderich. He is the richest dwarf and possibly the richest living being on the world of Eberron. He is an explorer and seeks aid. He will be going to Xen’drik soon and wishes to have proper protection.”

“Protection? What does a man of his rank need protection from? Asks the golem with suspicion.

“He has many foes and more that would take his hard earned prize from him. Then there is Xen’drik itself. A challenging place in the world. Only a few can possibly survive exploring as deep as we plan to go.

“And this is….”

“First Stormreach then deep into the land along the Rachi River. Here there is a ruin. Here he hopes to discover answers to the questions he has.”

“The ghosts and spirits will be coming out soon. Let us leave here and then in a safe place you can tell me more about this Rachi River….”
 


EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/18/06
SEGMENT 191
“A Call of Duty”

When passing over the edges of the Thrane Taskerdoo felt a call or a need. He wasn’t sure what it was, he just knew something called out to him. He looked down to his new wolf companion. The wolf was lying down on the deck away from the fire ring that powered the ship. He raised his head and thumped his tail. “You heard it too didn’t you Spirit. I wonder who it is?”

The ship soon left the waters and reached the Gray Mists of the Mournlands. Taskerdoo tried to listen to the voice or call again but it either stopped or could not enter the Mists. He waits a few more moments before going to join the others.

Two days later-
The agents of Cannith reached the Mine where Whitehearth was carefully hidden. Cider and Cedious were investigating a series of tracks that came in and out of the mine. Spirit paused and looked around. He sniffed and whimpered a bit. Taskerdoo patted the animal on the head. “What is it?” Then he could hear it.

The call. He closed his eyes and listened carefully. The call was weaker and more chaotic this time. However, it was clear it was a call for aid. A call from a powerful druid / mage. He continued to concentrate on the call as Cedious and Cider followed the tracks to a melted hatch. He didn’t hear them talk about what was there and what could have melted the hatch as it did. His mind was elsewhere. His mind wandered and was within a druid’s grove in Thrane. Something serious was happening within Thrane. Something unnatural.

Taskerdoo quietly leaves the party as they search for clues about what had transpired within this branch of the mine. On the way out he hears something near the entrance. Spirit sniffs and lets him know it is wolves like him and another wolf that is different. It is bigger and stronger. The smell of blood clings to them also.

Taskerdoo fears for the worse then sees the lead animal. A Dire Wolf! It looks like it has been in intense combat. Taskerdoo and Spirit step back into the shadows and wait. Suddenly, the Dire Wolf stops and her tail begin to wag quickly. And it speaks! “They are here! I knew they would come! The dead one said no but I knew! Quickly! Quickly lets go see them!” and the small pack rushes away. Taskerdoo hears the pack reach his friends and knows there will be no need for him here.

The call.

They exit the mine and the ship still hangs low. The druid mage and his animal companion / familiar goes to the ship. The mage that was going to watch over the ship and several men are on the ground.

“Where are the others?” he asks.

“Inside. Cedious is speaking to the natives he knows.”

“That large wolf?”

“Yes. Something has come up. I do not take my oath with House Cannith lightly but I must go. If I can I will return.”

“What has happened?”

“I have been …summoned. I really must go.”

“Where are you going? What has happened?”

“I wish I knew. I am being summoned to Thrane. They may need your arcane help.”

“Hmmm. True but yourself?”

“Coming.”

“Go. Help them. Cedious needs all the help he can get. He may be the luckiest halfling I have ever known but he will need all the help he can get when that luck runs out. He will need your help.”

Capio, the mage, considers this briefly then turns to the men. “Have the pilot rise a bit higher. Get away from range of arrows. We will be back.”

The men take their orders and climb the rope ladder back on board. Capio heads for the mining cave entrance. Taskerdoo waits only a few more minutes before a large Celestial Eagle arrives. “Spirit- join your cousins. Join the Dire Wolf’s pack. Look out for them. I must do this. It is important.”

The wolf sits pants and watches as the eagle takes flight with his master on its back. Once the eagle is no more than a dot in the dark sky he turns and bounds for the mine and his new adopted family.
 

EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/18/06
SEGMENT 192
“Boddynoc Grinkle: Friend or Foe?”

Capio arrives to see Cedious hacking away at a slagged chunk of metal while others are standing around him or speaking to the large Dire Wolf. Cider turns with his blade at the ready- “Capio! I could have killed you!”

“Only if I wanted you to. What is happening?”

“It appears a friend of Cedious’ –“

“NOT a friend…” interrupts Cedious between swings. His Adamantine rapier cuts into the sturdy metal but without enough leverage or raw strength, he can only cut so far and so deep. He continues to cut at it like a sculptor would a piece of wood.

“It appears Boddynoc may be alive and here trapped below.”

“Incredible.” Says the mage with only some enthusiasm.

Soon the halfling rogue has cut away a small piece. It is just big enough for him to squeeze through and he does so.

“Where are you going? Wait for us.” Says Pebbles the cook while hefting her large hammer once more.

The halfling waves and goes down without a further word. Ticked off, the warforged warrior and Pebbles begin to work on the hinges. They hope to pop the damaged lid off to follow Cedious.

Cedious reaches the bottom and looks around. The room is as he remembers it. It is round with four colored doors. Near the center is a podium with four colored slots where the keys go to turn or better –rotate the room into place. He withdraws a colored key to follow what looks like a trail. There is dried blood and oil like fluid on the floor leading to a doorway. As he goes to enter the key he hears a hoarse voice call to him.

In mid-turn he feels a beam of light wash over him and he finds himself stiffening up. A hold spell he curses to himself.

A voice hidden in the darkness and with an invisibility spell mocks him. “So –a thief comes to my new home. I seriously doubt he sent you and I thought Cannith had given up on this place. Who can this be?”

Cedious wonders the same thing. The voice and tone is not Boddynoc’s. But when one breathes in a fiendish mutating gas that makes you into an undead one never really becomes warm and fuzzy anymore. He wishes he could speak …and curse out loud.

He feels cold hands touch his rapier grasping hand and undead hands begin to appear. “Argh. Can’t pry it free. Very well I will …cedious…..?”

The [corpse Creature template] undead artificer stares at Cedious. “It is you! This is so good…. “, Darkness seems to dull the light of the lantern, “what are you doing here?”

Cedious now knows that Boddynoc is to be trusted as a friend no longer.

“You have come to steal from me! You THIEF!” The yellowed eyes bulge in anger as he stares at the rogue. He withdraws a vile looking dagger and waves it before his face. “I should gut you here and now. It could only have been you that stole my belongings. MY belongings.” He goes to cut free the haversack when he hears a grunt and the snap of metal over head. He pushes over the held rogue and drags him into a doorway once it is activated. “How much longer will I be held?” wonders the thief.

Above, The adventures have broken a damaged hinge and thus removed the melted and sliced up hatch lid. They begin to climb down as Rorsa and her pack watch over the entrance along with a possible new member of the pack –Spirit.

Capio, Cider, Pebbles, Bob and the warforged climb down and begin to search the round room. Pebbles sees the old blood trail and decides to follow it. She enters a new room and sees some tables and chairs. Knowing when to strike, Boddynoc attacks before her darkvision begins to work. The energy beam from his wand washes over her and disappears. The next thing he knows is a large and heavily armored female dwarf is striking him yelling “Hammer Time!” With his hand broken, he is quickly beaten down as the entire group surrounds him and beat on his undead body. He never has chance to power up any rings or armor nor use his wands already empowered when discovered below the seas when he and asunder walked to shore from Starvos Island to Darguun. Cedious comes out a mere moment later to find Boddynoc defeated. He gives him a bone-crunching stomp anyway. When Pebbles asks why he says that this undead has risen once already.

They spend much of the late morning and afternoon looking around the facility. Boddynoc’s slide into the dark side becomes most apparent when they discover the remains of a human and several warforged. It appears the warforged (one was Asunder) was destroyed in a magical explosion and the human was slowly taken apart. Many of these “pieces” were being assembled into a large freakish body. Cider looked into a table with various items of power. Many of these had water themes.

“Com’on. This isn’t why we came. Lets look into the other hatches to find this Cannith guy in hiding.” Says Cedious.
 

EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/18/06
SEGMENT 193
“A Devious Trap”

Cedious, Cider, Capio, Bob, Pebbles and the Warforged Fighter all stand around a metallic hatch marked with Orange trim. Both Cedious and Cider look over the hatch for traps. Cedious avoids tripping the Shocking Shock trap by using the proper key. Pebbles insists on going first and pushes the rogues aside to climb down. “If she dies- who will cook for us?” asks Cedious. The war forged looks at “Bob” whom shrugs his kreen shoulders. Cooking ones dinner never made sense to the mantis warrior.

Next go Bob and the two rogues. The mage and finally the Living Construct enter the hatch leading down to a new wing of the Whitehearth facility. About 75 feet down Pebbles smells something bad. She was completely oblivious to the trap she has set off. Bob’s attenaes begin to weave about in excitement when suddenly the trap is fully exposed.

INCENDIARY CLOUD WITHIN A CLOSED OFF TUBE!

With no where to go or anywhere for cover everyone (even the rogues) are exposed to it. Her skin burning, Pebbles lets go of the rungs and plummets the last 25 feet to the bottom with a loud crash and a louder grunt. Bob psionically moves down and out of the way as he hears the others scream in pain behind him. The rogues are quick to get below the cloud’s rising level using magic to ensure a safe landing. The mage also levitates quickly towards the bottom but not quick enough. He looks up to see sparks as the warforged has let go and now plummets down. His adamantine armor scrapping and banging in the metal cylinder and rungs the whole way down and onto him. The heavy fighter strikes the mage in mid flight and forces him down quickly. His levitation spell proves near useless with the weight of the fighter thrust onto him. He does roll free from him before hitting the bottom however. The impact the fighter makes resounds within the round metal room.

“Now THAT was not nice!” growls Cedious whom due to his ring of Acid Resistance took very little damage but is unhappy that he had no where to go.

This room has dimmed lights. The everbright lanterns seem to struggle to light up the room. Another common issue with the Mournlands. Many permanent spells are either snuffed out or weakened now. Cedious looks around. They have the colors of Orange, Red, Green or Blue to decide from. He doesn’t have red, which narrows that one out. They go to the green door and enter it.

A twenty-foot hallway leads to a blue door. The walls are blue with yellow and white lines drawn on it. Cedious is certain it is for appearance- not magic (though he avoids touching them all the same.).

On the other side of the blue door is another round room. This has a total of four blue doors and locks on it.

The mistake was made to hand out the extra keys and Pebbles begins to open doors for everyone. Good for everyone, Cedious goes to a door that was trapped. Just as he is about to stick the blue key into the door he notes areas within the hole that are orange. He looks it over and discovers someone has repainted the door and lock to be the wrong color! He puts the orange key into the blue painted hole and sucks in his breath.

Klick.

Inside are bunks, dressers and desks. Sleeping quarters for the workers. Cider and Cedious explore the room and find a journal written by Simon Pell. He was a magewright that was experimenting on giving intelligence to inanimate objects through the use of magic. Nothing about Warforged. Pebbles calls attention to Cedious. She has found some truly disgusting pants. They are purple with blue and whites strips going from hip to cuff. They appear magical (Acid Resist 5 work pants). Another door leads into a water room. This room has tubs of water for washing and bathing.

“No guy named Graymark here.” Comments Cedious.
 

EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/18/06
SEGMENT 194
“Stomper & Helmed Horror”

They return to the central room and try the blue door this time. The lights are completely gone here. Pebbles goes in first with her warhammer at ready and a spell in mind. The hallway is 15 feet wide and very long. She turns and says the coast is clear. As she has turned something has moved within the dark. Green eyes flare out and something very big shuffles to the center of the hallway about fifty feet from her.

Everyone moves in to deal with the threat as she Enlarges. The mage and Cider are more cautious and only walk in. Closer now. They can see what is here- a Warforged Titan! It says nothing but its course is clear as it attacks Pebbles with its hammer and giant axe. Unknown to everyone, it is merely buying time as it waits for everyone to get closer while being trapped within the hallway. Suddenly it charges and tramples everyone. It stops and turns ready to repeat itself. Everyone but Cedious run (crawl in a broken heap) to an area that it can not repeat this damaging attack again. Cedious due to his size, speed and luck has once more escaped injury.

Stomper tries to crush him but fails as the rogue weaves through his strides and swinging weapons. This places the Titan where everyone can attack it and they do. Even with the combined might of the entire party it gets out several rounds of attacks. It is heavily reinforced to block sneak attacks and seems lucky itself (HAS HEROIC SPIRIT!!!!) Finally they do stop it. They are unhappy to find nothing on it of great use.

Capio looks it over and asks about how such a huge warforged could get into the facility. Magic is mentioned and Bob even clicks out psionics.

Three doors branch out from here. Blue, Green and Brown. Being given a brown key, Cedious decides to go there first. He spots a deadman trap and stops it before setting it off. Beyond the brown door is five foot of space then another brown door. Perfect to trap and hold someone. He wedges the first door and sure enough, when he opens the next door it tries to close. Smiling, he has the warforged fighter and Pebbles wedge the next door as well.

This room is mostly well lit. Dozens of lights line the ceiling of a 30x90 room that is about 30 feet tall also. There are several stands set up at the end of the room. Beyond these the walls are poxed or burnt. Some armor still hangs on the stands. It appears this room was used to test armor against magical and non-magical effects.

Near the door are a quiver and a set of nice looking armor. Cedious spots a white key hanging around the neck of this suit of armor and reaches for it. The armored hand quickly grabs his and stops him. Purple energy lights up from within the helmet and a blazing sword roars to life. It lasts only so long as everyone jumps on it and takes it down. Cedious checks out the key and then pockets it.

Cider takes the quiver and the few arrows within. They all suspect this is magic within the either quiver or the arrows.

They leave the room and try the Green door next.
 

EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/18/06
SEGMENT 195
“The Greatest Enemy is Yourself”

Behind the Green door the party discovers a meeting room. There is a magical image on the four walls, floor and ceiling that suggest the room is floating high over a river within rocky mountains. Pebbles suggests these look like the Iron Root Mountains of the Mror Holds region.

Finding nothing of interest they look for hidden rooms or exits and find one. Pebbles goes through first with her hammer readied. Cedious chases after her.

She steps through a secret door and sees a mirror. The image is her and suddenly comes to life and attacks her. Cedious goes to destroy the mirror casting his reflection onto it also. Based on their yells of distress and discovery Capio figures this to be a trap using a Mirror of Opposition. He destroys the mirror from the distance without casting his reflection.

The two dwarves trade blows with neither taking any damage. Cedious and his foe dance around trying to outwit and feint each other to get the best possible strike in. Capio saw which Cedious was the real and which was not but remains clueless of the Dwarven Battlesmith Cleric cook. He marks Cedious with ink (he will not be happy that his cloak of Resistance has ink on it!) and together they defeat the rogue.

The battlesmith however is another story. Her armor makes her a hard subject to strike. Once one begins to try other doors in a rush of activity the group gambles that this is the real one and begin to attack the other. Even then. It takes time to defeat her.

Meanwhile, the first Pebbles can be heard yelling “Hammer Time” and going to the doorways to open.

If there is someone here to hear them, they will know they have intruders now for sure.
 

EBERRON: THE CREATION SCHEMA
02/18/06
SEGMENT 196
“The Fist of Onatar”

Kim Elderich knew this was required and could be done but it still gave him pause. He was not certain if anyone has ever tried this before. He and his most gifted mages and any he could hire that he trusted enough were about to enter another plane. They were going to Fernia to enslave two of the biggest Fire Elementals they could find. They were hoping to capture Colossal Elementals.

Each Dragonshard was about the size of a Freeball (8 inches around) and magically enhanced. These would then empower the Siberys Heir and ensure his glory and discovery of new things.

For the past eight months, Kim Elderich has been searching for the best of the best and certain magical artifacts to build and run his Siberys Heir. Once built, he would explore the world become known as the greatest mortal explorer to have ever lived. It was his destiny.

He had hoped to use the Creation Schema somehow to aid in building this vessal but it has proven very difficult to locate. His agent, Lady d’Vown has located and attained three pieces which will be added to his one. House Cannith North reportedly has a piece and now the chase for the last piece begins. Vown has narrowed it down to the far north, either on an island of Karrnath or even into Frostfell. It is only a matter of time.

“Are you ready Ore?” asks the dwarf to the awakened Iron Golem.

The Golem has been amazed by everything he has seen since agreeing to aid the powerful and incredibly resourceful dwarf. But as amazed as he was, he was also very wary of the dwarf. He was certain he did not everything about the dwarf, his team or his many projects but he could see how the dwarf was at times blind. The golem often questioned “Why” and “Is this for the betterment of all?” He agreed to stay more to monitor the dwarf than to help him.

“I am.” He says in a deep voice born of magic and stone.

They had taken a small earth elemental driven cart to reach this spot. It was one of the highest spots of the Iron Root mountains. The Fist of Onatar was an active volcano that always threatened to erupt and fill the air with ash and the valley with molten liquid. Within this liquid were diamonds and occationally Khyber Shards of large size.

“That is good. Once we open the portal there is no turning around. We are about to make history. Too bad I can not tell anyone …just yet.”

“But they hear songs and tales of your glory and adventures soon enough.” Says a ever-smiling ½ elf. She has been taking notes and scribbling drawings about Kim for as long as Ore has been here. She seems to be his personal Bard.

The mages before him call out. The time is near. The heat increases and becomes near unbearable except for the golem whom feeds from it. Then comes the burning light and soon… nothing. All eighteen adventures are gone from Khorvaire.
 

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