20 December 1998

Isle of the Magi, Part IV

Restharvest Eve

A sudden, intra-dimensional flux, reunited Sir Nagrom, Alvar and Raven in the entrance hall of the Mazkorick’s Tower.  It also introduced, Jero, Huntpriest of Shaleela to the group.  The doughty, if diminished group proceeded into the water weird guarded courtyard, only to see a 3” tall Tallimus the Younger being chased by Mazkorick’s cat familiar.  The hunter and hunted were followed into the now spectrally empty, opulant, dining chambers of Mazkorick.  The fell feline was frightened from it’s diminutive human prey and Tallimus lead the group into the kitchen’s, where the the group deftly handled Mazkorick’s sentient kitchen construct, Oven.  The group discovered two charmed children here, Corrin Bladesmith and Villadama Goldmaster.  The group also noticed the rear kitchen’s exit to the city of Sigil (apparently Mazkorick’s lair spreads across at least three  planes!).
Returning to the dining room to await their meals, Raven started to tinker with ring cut from the Spiderspawn.  The unleashing of its magical energies almost over whelmed the good in Raven’s heart, as well as triggering Oven to attack.  The group escaped the stove golem by fleeing into the courtyard, wisely persuaded by Alvar and Jero not to fight the construct.  The group entered the lounge to continue their rescue.
In the extravagant lounge, they came apon what appeared to be the younglord Eduan Elftrader.  At that time, Nagrom could detect no evil from the merchant son (either it was magically hidden or he was actually himself at that meeting). Nagrom did detect a large grouping of evil behind the group, with the same signature as that detected earlier outside the Tower.  With the help of Tallimus and “Eduan” the group searched the living apartments adjacent to the lounge, finding no one.  “Eduan” was entrusted to guard his companions as the group braved more of Mazkorick’s Tower.
After exploring the porch connected to Mazkorick’s rooms and the lounge, and being unable to force entry to the wizard’s private chambers the group proceeded to the library.  In doing so, Raven and Sir Nagrom were dumped in a pit of glass dust, badly injuring them.  They were pulled from the pit and Alvar propped a table across the pit to allow the group access.  In the library the found a Boccob’s Blessed Book, a cursed tome and a Deck of Many Things. 
The cursed tome’s damning magicks killed Alvar when he touched it, but Sir Nagrom’s fortunate draw from the Deck saved his life, as well as removed Nagrom’s lycanthropic curse.  Jero’s draw gave him great power, but he also faced Death as did Raven. Alvar’s draw caused him to disappear and be imprisoned in a dank cave next to shadowy summoning chamber.  The group split as Raven uncovered a force field protected, secret passageway covered with white, grey and black tiles.  Meanwhile, as Jero covered him, Sir Nagrom proceeded down the corridor from the library to Mazkorick’s chambers only to be caught in the same trap that shrunk Tallimus the Younger
The three quickly re-grouped, and used Sir Nagrom’s detection abilities to ascertain that a bureaucratic, single evil lurked in the office chambers of Mazkorick.  This turned out to be Boorune Suung, another of the missing children.  The group lured the office assitant from the chambers, deactivating the trap protecting them.  They questioned him about the secret, tiled passage from the library. 
His reponse was cryptic, “Life is not black, nor white, but shades of grey.”  Frothing at the mouth he collapsed and was put under the care of the children hiding in the apartments.
Raven interpreted this strange expression and lead the group along the grey tiles of the passage their only irritation being yelled at by ethereal voices.   From this passage they entered the Summoning Room and Laboratory of Mazkorick.  They avoided a dimensional crack into the Blood War by passing through the gateway unarmed.  Attached to this hemispherical mage chamber was a slave pen, from which Alvar beckoned them.  They also freed Matryx the Mighty, a half-sea elf.
The three proceeded to liberate their comrade only to be ambushed by a fearsome, many-eyed globe.  The beholder was defeated, but not before it destroyed most of bladesinger’s gear.  The group found some treasure and eight magikal potions.  They also discovered Villis Goldmaster and an extremely, ill Eduan Elftrader!
Fearing the worst, the re-united four rushed back to the apartments only to find the corpses of the children they had left there.  The “Eduan” they had left behind had vanished, the group suspects this false Eduan to be Mazkorick in disguise!  The other children, however had been freed of from their charmed state.  All together, they returned to the group and discovered a map of the Tower.  From this Jero ascertained the location of Mazkorick’s vault and entered by using a stone to mud  spell.  Jero and Raven were starting the plunder when a large, battle-ready, group entered the Summoning Chamber!  The group was challenged by Yashe the Necromancer, Lord Chromatic, and his undead constructs as well as the shade of Coon.  He dismissed them from the tower and teleported them all back to the freighter-cog.
They returned home without incident, were paid their rewards, the live children returned and the dead ones raised.  Several threads were left loose to torment our heroes...
Firstly,  what became of Mazkorick?  Is he the false Eduan?   Where has he gone and what mischief does he plan?  Another thing, what of  Lord Chromatic, the Necromancer Yashe, what are his designs, how shall Jero and his allies rescue his brother in arms, the shade Coon?  What is his true relationship with Mazkorick of the Maze?  Thirdly, what of Snaryn’s ancient map in blood, what of the Fallen City?  Lastly. the Mazewerks remains uncleared and whole, what evil lurks there and who or what could covet its domains?