[ZEITGEIST] The Continuing Adventures of Korrigan & Co.

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Session 237, Part Two

The Final Murmur


This planar mote was smaller than most, barely ten miles across, and it floated ten miles from Mavisha. As they drew closer, Uru, Uriel and Leon noticed that proximity to the plane was rapidly draining the ship’s arcane levitationals. So they once again mounted the stone discs – which were powered by psionics – and maintained the Coaltongue at a safe distance.

The surface of Avilona was mostly barren, with just a few scraggly grasses and brushes inhabited by flightless birds. Angular wind-eroded stone dominated the landscape, with slender uneven arches, knife-like overhangs, and huge boulders balanced precariously on pillars of weaker rocks that had been weathered away.

All the erosion was ancient, though. The wind was practically still now, although some unseen presence murmured irregularly, disturbing the silence. Gupta could not identify any meaningful language; Uru could sense no lingering spirit. Uriel, however, sensed the presence of the divine and used location loresight to find out more:

The remains of Avilona were the literal remains of something like a dead god. Ages ago, an eagle whose wings spread a thousand feet perished here, and as the elemental air energy that empowered it drained from its body, feathers, flesh, and skeleton turned to stone. Now the titanic petrified eagle lay sprawled on its back. Its neck had twisted in death so its head – skull and eye sockets exposed – lay near its chest. There the killing blow was revealed: its heart was torn out by another equally colossal creature. The cracked ribs were wrenched open, and now the hollow of its breast yawned up to the sky.

At the very moment they peered over the lips of the pit formed by this chest cavity, the creature shuddered. Its lungs drew in a thin breath, and its head shifted slightly so one empty eye socket could glimpse unit – bracing themselves for trouble. Then, like a sigh, it exhaled. The continuous murmur ended.

Uriel realised that this explained the weakness of air magic on Lanjyr. Only there were already two explanations for that: the eroded, fossilised tree on Axis Island in which the golden icon of Avilona had been embedded; and the failed experiment Kasvarina had carried out on the Ziggurat of Avilona, high above the Cold Claw Sea. How could it be that air magic had always been weak? How could the dragons ever have flown? “And what about Gale?” he wondered aloud. “How can her magic be so strong?”

They would find no answers here.

“Where to now?” asked Uru.

“I think we should go here,” said Gupta, half-joking – pointing at Ascetia on Calily’s chart. Everyone knew how keen she was to go there.

“Eventually,” said Korrigan. “Next on our path is Apet.”
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Session 237, Part Three

The Distant Plane


From afar, Apet appeared to be nothing but a ball of whirling dust. Once the Coaltongue had pierced these clouds, though, a much more bizarre reality was revealed: Apet was not a place of stone and rock, but of pure, solid force. The ground consisted of scattered platforms – akin to magical walls of force– translucent sheets, impossibly thin and completely impenetrable.

Most of these platforms were slightly off kilter from horizontal, and they spanned only a few dozen feet, always assuming simple two-dimensional geometric shapes with perfect symmetry: circles, triangles, squares, and so on, all the way up to octagons.

The force platforms had a slight static charge to them, causing the gritty dust that swirled around Apet to stick to it and provide traction enough to walk. Visibility was limited to about thirty feet for the most part, but certain patches of heavier dust cut visibility completely.

After they touched down on a random platform, using the stone discs, Kai tried to identify the plane’s trait, while Uriel conducted his location loresight ritual. Kai said that Apet made it impossible to travel out of the local system – a trait that was redundant here in the Gyre.

Suddenly, Uriel began to shudder and shake. Korrigan could tell that he was under an immense psychic assault. Before anyone could react or do anything to help him it was over. He had fought off the assault but was drained and exhausted.

“Didn’t your foresight help?” asked Uru.

“What I needed there was hindsight,” Uriel responded, breathlessly. In conducting the loresight ritual he had raised the dormant psychic spectre of all the gidim that had perished here when the plane was cut off – the gidim which had formed the Thing from Beyond that had crawled through Sijhen’s portal and slain Krazy Krauss.

Xambria had been rendered unconscious by the assault. Uriel senses that she would be okay, but could do nothing to revive her. Alexander Grappa had been able to defend his mind as Uriel had, but had been terrified by what he had seen. It transpired that Grappa had never heard of the gidim. The idea of creatures that consumed minds was the stuff of nightmares to the Mindmaker, especially since he now resided solely in psychic form. Grappa was appalled that the actions of the Ob, to which he had made an invaluable contribution, had led to the exposure of Lanjyr to alien predators of this kind.

(Over the next few days, Grappa would keep up a constant line of questioning on the topic, questions which Xambria helped to field once she recovered. They were at pains to stress the fact that Lanjyr was even now flooded with gidim energy and under constant threat from hiveminds. While they had fended off an initial invasion, the threat was far from over. They had left the maustin caji on guard while they came here, and would have to hope that was enough.

“Our first priority must be to defend the world,” said Grappa.

“No, our first priority must be to get the sun back,” said Uru.

“I thought you were a creature of darkness?” Uriel asked.

Shadow,” Uru said, emphatically. “You can’t have shadows in darkness.”)

On they travelled now towards their next destination, Wilanir. But before they left the clouds of Apet behind, they came across the dead body of a golden legionnaire, lying on one of the force planes close by. It was a matter of sheer luck that they ran across it, otherwise, they might have blundered into a larger force unawares:

Uriel channelled Malthusius and studied the scene. A trail of writhing tentacles led away through the dust. The legionnaire had been tightly grasped, but his death had been caused by psionic energy mere minutes ago! Other legionnaires must be nearby.

Uru ranged stealthily ahead while the others followed slowly on the Coaltongue. The clouds parted before the deep faen to reveal a golden legion windskiff, the occupants of which were in combat with several gidim thoughtforms – attempting to restrain and enslave them with their golden chains. They were led by a succubus, two horned devils and a pit fiend, the latter armed with a huge staff it used to render the thoughtforms corporeal before they were enslaved.

Thus forewarned, the unit opened the engagement with the element of surprise and a blast from the Coaltongue’s brand, which tore the windskiff in half. The Coaltongue crashed through the remnants, opening fire on all sides: Uru shot and killed both horned devils; Korrigan challenged the pit fiend Laroj Roh; Uriel went ‘full cardinal’ and fired beams of radiant light all around him, picking the legionnaires off one by one and giving Quratulain a run for her money; Leon stunned Laroj Roh and Calily, Korrigan killed him. Rumdoom, still sulking, missed all the fun.

For her part, Gupta deliberately enticed the succubus by pretending she had not seen her, and standing apart from the others. The succubus fell for her ruse and sprang at her. Gupta reacted at once, fending off domination by wiping the demon’s mind completely.

The fight was over in moments.

While they kicked over the traces, gathering gold chains, and the pit fiend’s huge staff, the gidim thoughtforms began to assail them. Only after they had dodged the first few attacks did they realise they weren’t really attacking, simply throwing themselves at these ‘intruders’ for reasons they could only guess at.

Uru thought he was safe, hidden, and was taken by surprise when one whisked through the hull of the ship and straight through him. Its passage did not harm Uru, rather it deposited a thought in his mind: a sphere of purple flesh with infinite eyes and tendrils reaching out to the stars – the gidim homeworld – was shown to have a tiny black leech stuck to its side, siphoning its power. The emotional sense conveyed was revulsion and violation, mixed with intention to avoid the source of the leech in the future. …

End of Session
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
Out of curiosity, do you have any sense as to which players might be inclined to do what when it comes to The Big Decision at the end? (I know a lot could happen between now and then, but still.) Who might want to just put everything back the way it was versus who might want to tweak things to make them better? Have any of them picked up on the idea that they could, in theory, flip the proverbial table and go full metaphysical anarchy?
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Only Uru stands for the status quo. (In the same counter-inituative manner, he supports the Clergy in their ongoing war with the eladrin.)

Everyone else is up for tweaking things as best they can, to which end they are visiting every plane.

Metaphysical anarchy is not on the cards, unless you count Rumdoom, whose thoughts turn inexorably towards the endtimes...
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
DM's Notes

We didn't run a full combat on Apet. They've fought the Golden Legion a lot already, and are about the fight even more of them pretty soon. More importantly, this small group would have been a pushover for the PCs even if they hadn't got the drop on them. So I told them they had won and asked them to narrate all the cool shit they did during the encounter. I love the image of the Coaltongue emerging from the dustclouds, brand flaring, with smaller lances of radiance firing all around, courtesy of Uriel. It was nice for the players to feel super-powerful: hand-waving a fight with a pit fiend!
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
Possible insofar as that they realize that they don't have to establish a new Axis Seal at all. That they could, in theory, disable the whole mechanism that binds the world to a pre-defined set of planes, setting it adrift in the cosmos as it was in the time before the Axis Seal. The Rejection ending to the final confrontation in Adventure 13.

I can see where players (in general, I don't know your group in particular) might just assume they have to set up a new Axis Seal of some kind and not question that particular part of the premise.

Basically, has anyone (to your knowledge, in- or out-of-character) considered the question of "What would happen if we didn't have an Axis Seal at all?"
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Possible insofar as that they realize that they don't have to establish a new Axis Seal at all. That they could, in theory, disable the whole mechanism that binds the world to a pre-defined set of planes, setting it adrift in the cosmos as it was in the time before the Axis Seal. The Rejection ending to the final confrontation in Adventure 13.

I can see where players (in general, I don't know your group in particular) might just assume they have to set up a new Axis Seal of some kind and not question that particular part of the premise.

Basically, has anyone (to your knowledge, in- or out-of-character) considered the question of "What would happen if we didn't have an Axis Seal at all?"
Not yet, no.

I anticipate the issue will be raised in Adventure #13 when Nicodemus gloats that he has won the moral argument. I doubt they’ll take the Rejection option, though. Untried, untested. They also have a lot of attachment to Av and, hell, choosing new planes will be fun!
 
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SanjMerchant

Explorer
Not yet, no.

I anticipate the issue will be raised in Adventure #13 when Nicodemus gloats that he has won the moral argument. I doubt they’ll take the Rejection option, though. Untried, untested. They also have a lot of attachment to Av and, hell, choosing new planes will be fun!
Somewhere out there, someone has run Zeitgeist, had their players get all the way through everything, defeat Nicodemus, and the cap off the campaign by killing each other because they can't agree on what to do with the Cosmological Debug Mode they've just inherited.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Session 238, Part One

The Lair of Discontent


Before they touched down on Wilanir, Rumdoom sent one of his entourage to find out what had happened on the worlds the unit had recently visited. Since Mavisha he had declined to participate in each exploration, saying he would remain behind to guard the Coaltongue, which seemed reasonable, but the group had already begun to sense there was something more to his decision.

The young dwarf sought out the most approachable of the unit: The king was off-limits; Uru and Leon were invisible; Quratulain was terrifying. That left a choice between a strange blue guy and a young human woman. The dwarf picked Gupta at first and explained that the Avatar of the End wished to know how what had transpired on Mavisha, Avilona and Apet. Gupta was in no mood – her thoughts had been increasingly dark of late – and she snarled at the dwarf, “Wasn’t he there?” So the dwarf withdrew and approached Uriel, from whom he received a very detailed response, to the point where his eyes began to glaze over.

Something was clearly amiss. During the team briefing before their descent to Wilanir, Rumdoom sent a proxy in the form of his wife, Hildegaard. She said that he would again be staying on the ship. As Hildegaard had been an ally in dealing with Rumdoom in the past, Korrigan asked her discreetly if he had suffered a relapse. Hildegaard replied, “The Wielder of the Stone of Not has taken proper account of his station. He will choose his own course of action from here on out. You may of course petition him for aid as always, but he will respond on a case-by-case basis.”

So be it, thought Korrigan. There was no time to deal with this matter now, as Wilanir loomed large.

A land of pine forests, with a central mountain range, permanent winter snow sat sullen on Wilanir, and although herbivores like rabbits, deer, and birds still roamed the landscape, all predators had perished. This included the elves that once lived here, as evidenced by their ruined dwellings and palaces, all abandoned and snowed in.

Kai and Uriel began their usual meditations. Kai quickly established the trait of this world – that guilt weighed heavily, like a fog. Fog appeared more readily and more thickly, especially around those who had committed wrongs. (Indeed, it appeared to be gathering around them even now.) Meanwhile, Uriel pieced together the story of this world: how it was destroyed by a vampiric red dragon named Doverspike. This wasn’t Doverspike’s intention. He had threatened a nation ruled by an elvish archmage, whose people made regular offerings of blood as a sign of obedience. When Doverspike used an epic spell to slay the emperor and everyone in his bloodline, the effect cascaded through most of the population of the world. The dead animated as zombies and inexorably wiped out all the other survivors. Eventually their bodies rotted away, leaving Doverspike as the only sentient being on the whole world. Soon thereafter the world was drawn into the Gyre.

Gupta wondered aloud if this powerful spell, which had slain so many, due to their connection to a single individual, was related in any way to the Sacrament of Apotheosis. While they discussed this matter, the fog thickened around them, and – just as they came to the conclusion that it was not, due to the lack of any divine element – the fog coalesced into a great dragon’s maw which bit deeply into Gupta. She snarled back at it even as it bit down on her. The bite damaged not only Gupta but all of her friends – save Uriel, who could not be easily harmed by necrotic magic. Leon responded instinctively with his fiery tiefling curse, but it did no harm to the incorporeal red dragon; Gupta, now versed in the vengeful ways of the Vekeshi, punished the creature with radiant fire.

Radiant magic was just the trick. Although the damage was inconsequential, the dragon recoiled, gibbered an apology and then screamed, ‘It wasn’t my fault!’ in Draconic. Then the fog flowed away at speed. Korrigan pursued it with his clairvoyant eye and saw it travel back to a fortress lair in the central mountain range – one of several, according to Uriel, who had seen images of them during his ritual.

They gave pursuit. The ground-level access was buried in ice, but they were easily able to get in through a higher access point. The fortress was vast, cold and empty save for the occasional zombie, which they were able to dispose of with ease. It did not take long to find Doverspike, curled and shivering atop an ice-trapped treasure hoard, black miasma pouring out of his nostrils and across the scales of his face, which were deep red, flecked with dead white at their edges. A few zombies lurked at the foot of this mound.

“Whose fault was it, then?” asked Uriel, in Draconic.

“Leave me alone!” the dragon cried, before turning to one of the zombies as if it was the one who had spoken. He told it to shut up, then blasted it with fire. When he saw what he had done he was stricken, and scurried into a corner, horrified.

A quick telepathic conference ensued. Wilanir begged the question, do the plane’s traits derive from what happened on the world, or were they inherent? Which came first – Doverspike, or the guilt-heavy fog? Gupta wondered what Lanjyr’s trait would be. “A vast conspiracy will arise and fuck up the world?” she joked in answer to her own question.

“That’s easy,” said Kai. “The stories on Lanjyr are always the best stories.”

“Which may explain why on Av, timings are always the most melodramatic,” said Uriel. “It does, after all, mirror Lanjyr.” Then he turned to the matter in hand and asked Grappa if he knew how to fix Doverspike’s mind. Grappa said he could create refined machine intelligence, but could not fix the broken minds of the living. Otherwise he might have had more influence of Nicodemus…

“He’s an evil dragon who destroyed a world. Do we want to heal him?” asked Korrigan. It was decided that the attempt might be made if a clear benefit became apparent.

Korrigan asked Doverspike how they could help him. “Do you require the sweet release of death? If not, what are prepared to do to assuage your guilt?”

DO?!?” screamed Doverspike, as if the suggestion, not he, were insane. It was evident that the dragon had no concept of penance.

“Human beings make mistake too. There are ways to lift the burden that such a mistake places on your soul. Are you willing to learn from us?”

A slow, halting conversation followed, in which they explained their quest to defeat the legion. They said that the golden legion did a lot of wicked things and that if Doverspike were to help them defeat the demons, it would go some way to make up for the wrongs he had done on Wilanir. “Doing so would restore balance. There odds are overwhelming, but we will fight the legion despite them, because it is the right thing to do.”

Doverspike said he knew of the golden legion, having eaten a few when they came here. They were the last sentient beings he had tasted. (Tellingly, they never came back.) The idea of making up for his crimes appealed to the creature and he said that he would help.

“Are we going to travel with him throughout the Gyre,” asked Calily, appalled.

It was agreed that this was a bad idea and they made a plan with the dragon for Leon to return for him when they were ready. (They could go back for Etiotek and the Huldregaarl, too, they realised.) Quratulain wondered if they weren’t being naïve. What if the dragon sided with the legion? Korrigan did not think that was likely.

Uriel left the dragon with a gift – transmuting a large amount of snow into fresh blood. Calily wrinkled her nose up at this, perturbed by the macabre gesture.

“Do we need a golden icon?” asked Uriel, as an afterthought.

Some of the unit thought that heavy guilt might help keep people in check and responsible for their actions. Leon shook his head. “It’s a terrible trait. Some people are naturally weighed down by guilt, and this would make things worse; others feel barely any at all when they clearly should. Who’s to say that this plane would even affect them?”

“It affected Doverspike,” said Uriel.

“But only after he destroyed a world.”

Uriel made an icon anyway – just in case.
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
Is Rumdoom's player OK? I feel like he's been sitting out a lot, and while I know life gets busy, this almost feels like prepping for him to bow out entirely.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Is Rumdoom's player OK? I feel like he's been sitting out a lot, and while I know life gets busy, this almost feels like prepping for him to bow out entirely.
He's A okay. Perfectly normal run of absence (for him). Demanding job, etc. What we always try to do is use an absence as a means to tell part of the story which otherwise couldn't be told. Rumdoom giving the others the cold shoulder is just a part of that story. (I recently had every player give me a snapshot of how they saw their story arc develop/end. This fits neatly with part of that discussion.)
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
He's A okay. Perfectly normal run of absence (for him). Demanding job, etc. What we always try to do is use an absence as a means to tell part of the story which otherwise couldn't be told. Rumdoom giving the others the cold shoulder is just a part of that story. (I recently had every player give me a snapshot of how they saw their story arc develop/end. This fits neatly with part of that discussion.)
It wasn't so much the length of absence as that suddenly telling his allies to sod off (however formal the particular wording) through proxies felt like a much harsher distancing than anything before.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
It wasn't so much the length of absence as that suddenly telling his allies to sod off (however formal the particular wording) through proxies felt like a much harsher distancing than anything before.
Yes, that’s the general idea.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Session 238, Part Two

The Salt Wastes


Amrou was so vast that even in the Gyre it took up more space than any other plane. Exploring felt redundant; there were no landmarks, just blinding white salt as far as the eye could see. They waited for Obliatas to dip in the sky before they touched down, cautiously, for fear the salt might be caustic and do them harm, but it was safe. Uru did not like the look of the place and warned everyone to be on the lookout for danger.

Kai quickly identified the planar trait: salt would keep monsters away. Leon and Uriel examined this property further and realised this extended to all mundane counters to the supernatural. A powerful boon! They could not bond with the plane yet, though.

Uriel conducted location loresight and learned the plane’s history: After an onslaught of supernatural foes wiped out all the large folk, people similar to halflings came to power in the world known as Amrou. For a time they ruled and wielded powerful magic to keep the monsters at bay, and in fact used benevolent necromancy to preserve their greatest heroes. Mighty rulers were entombed for eternity with their servants, who were tasked with praying throughout their unlife in order to maintain the wards against evil. But eventually they were betrayed, and the world fell to darkness. The vile priest-king responsible was destroyed, but the world could not be saved. Now all that remained was the sprawling salt wasteland where the tombs were hidden.

It was at this point that Korrigan realised his trusty military boots were gone, and his stocking feet were crunching uncomfortably on the salt. With a cry, Quratulain found that her mask had vanished. Her young, vulnerable face exposed, she cried, “Don’t look at me!!” (They did not. Uriel made a white mask for her out of salt. It was his second gift of the day, having already presented her with a metal puzzle to keep her occupied on the ship.)

Though no one had seen a thing, they soon found footsteps in the salt, and followed them to a hole in the ground where steps led down to a buried tomb. Powerful magical wards had long since faded, and they were able to enter without hindrance. Inside was a central chamber with a large, impressive sarcophagus, with five radial tombs containing several lesser casks apiece. None was occupied: the mummified occupants now shifted uneasily in the gloom, their hideout discovered.

“We have come for our belongings,” they announced. The mummified ruler, Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba, apologised for his actions. He told them that he had recently emerged from his tomb and realized the world had ended centuries ago. His servants, their souls preserved and bolstered by the enchanted treasures buried in his tomb, were fading away. (Some could be seen, lolling on the floor of the tomb.) The magical artifacts he had been entombed with were almost powerless. So Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba, tightened his cloth wrappings, draped himself in a ragged white cloak to better hide in the wastes, and searched for travellers to restock his horde.

“Can’t you accept the inevitable? Death is a part of life,” said Korrigan.

Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba did not like the sound of that. “Preserving ourselves in the afterlife is a part of our culture!” he objected. Korrigan rolled his eyes.

Nonetheless, Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba agreed to hand over their valuables, though he lamented what would happen to his servants. Uriel handed him the ensorcelled chess piece he had gained during the memory event in the Navras Opera House. Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba accepted it humbly, but said he would need still more treasure – a great deal more, in fact.

Uru remembered the cache of gold chains they now carried on the Coaltongue: tonnes of gold, all magical. They arranged for them to be brought here, and Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba was overjoyed. Uru showed him the Codex of Little People and said, “On my world, we’re in charge, though the big folk don’t realise it.” This cheered Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba even more. Uriel now found he was able to make a golden icon.

They left the halflings frolicking in the sea of gold chains.

“Enjoy it until it turns to salt,” said Korrigan, deeply unimpressed by their morbid obsession.
 

SanjMerchant

Explorer
Session 238, Part Two

The Salt Wastes


Amrou was so vast that even in the Gyre it took up more space than any other plane. Exploring felt redundant; there were no landmarks, just blinding white salt as far as the eye could see. They waited for Obliatas to dip in the sky before they touched down, cautiously, for fear the salt might be caustic and do them harm, but it was safe. Uru did not like the look of the place and warned everyone to be on the lookout for danger.

Kai quickly identified the planar trait: salt would keep monsters away. Leon and Uriel examined this property further and realised this extended to all mundane counters to the supernatural. A powerful boon! They could not bond with the plane yet, though.

Uriel conducted location loresight and learned the plane’s history: After an onslaught of supernatural foes wiped out all the large folk, people similar to halflings came to power in the world known as Amrou. For a time they ruled and wielded powerful magic to keep the monsters at bay, and in fact used benevolent necromancy to preserve their greatest heroes. Mighty rulers were entombed for eternity with their servants, who were tasked with praying throughout their unlife in order to maintain the wards against evil. But eventually they were betrayed, and the world fell to darkness. The vile priest-king responsible was destroyed, but the world could not be saved. Now all that remained was the sprawling salt wasteland where the tombs were hidden.

It was at this point that Korrigan realised his trusty military boots were gone, and his stocking feet were crunching uncomfortably on the salt. With a cry, Quratulain found that her mask had vanished. Her young, vulnerable face exposed, she cried, “Don’t look at me!!” (They did not. Uriel made a white mask for her out of salt. It was his second gift of the day, having already presented her with a metal puzzle to keep her occupied on the ship.)

Though no one had seen a thing, they soon found footsteps in the salt, and followed them to a hole in the ground where steps led down to a buried tomb. Powerful magical wards had long since faded, and they were able to enter without hindrance. Inside was a central chamber with a large, impressive sarcophagus, with five radial tombs containing several lesser casks apiece. None was occupied: the mummified occupants now shifted uneasily in the gloom, their hideout discovered.

“We have come for our belongings,” they announced. The mummified ruler, Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba, apologised for his actions. He told them that he had recently emerged from his tomb and realized the world had ended centuries ago. His servants, their souls preserved and bolstered by the enchanted treasures buried in his tomb, were fading away. (Some could be seen, lolling on the floor of the tomb.) The magical artifacts he had been entombed with were almost powerless. So Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba, tightened his cloth wrappings, draped himself in a ragged white cloak to better hide in the wastes, and searched for travellers to restock his horde.

“Can’t you accept the inevitable? Death is a part of life,” said Korrigan.

Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba did not like the sound of that. “Preserving ourselves in the afterlife is a part of our culture!” he objected. Korrigan rolled his eyes.

Nonetheless, Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba agreed to hand over their valuables, though he lamented what would happen to his servants. Uriel handed him the ensorcelled chess piece he had gained during the memory event in the Navras Opera House. Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba accepted it humbly, but said he would need still more treasure – a great deal more, in fact.

Uru remembered the cache of gold chains they now carried on the Coaltongue: tonnes of gold, all magical. They arranged for them to be brought here, and Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba was overjoyed. Uru showed him the Codex of Little People and said, “On my world, we’re in charge, though the big folk don’t realise it.” This cheered Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba even more. Uriel now found he was able to make a golden icon.

They left the halflings frolicking in the sea of gold chains.

“Enjoy it until it turns to salt,” said Korrigan, deeply unimpressed by their morbid obsession.
I'm always curious how the running gag with Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba's name always appearing in full gets handled in an actual play session.
 

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