The wind whistled outside Omar Zuman’s air ship as it cut through the air far above Spartak’s blue ocean. Our party was sailing high above the Goblin Isles, headed to the city of Maldreg, pursuing the mystery of the missing Djinn.
Our group bid goodbye to Omar in a secluded place a short hike outside the city, and set off across the lush wild towards Maldreg.
Before long, we stumbled across a clearing where a beautiful shirtless man was dancing while surrounded by a gremlin and a group of goblins. With Zefir’s assistance we perceived a low level enchantment spell, and also sensed some suppressed anger from the group in the clearing. Fearing foul play, we attacked the gremlin, breaking from the cover of the trees and charging the small fey creature. Quickly dispatching him, Raven and Bru turned to the shirtless man, who began to move rhythmically in a strange and intoxicating dance. His dancing had the effect of dazing Zefir and Bru, who were suddenly unable to do anything but defend themselves. Raven cast a Pit spell, and although the man avoided it initially, not long after he slipped and fell into it, breaking the trance he’d cast upon his audience. Peering over the edge of the pit, Zefir cast a Scorching Ray spell, which set the man aflame. As he burned to a crisp, he uttered the word, “Emetra,” and cast a dying curse upon Zefir. Feeling her energy and charisma immediately draining, Zefir reeled with the curse’s effects, but it appeared she would be able to carry on with the adventure even though battle worn. Our group mutually agreed they would seek the help of a cleric with high priority.
The goblins that had been watching everything unfold appeared to wake from their trance. Making good use of Mat’s ability to speak the language of goblins, our group struck up a conversation with the leader of this small band of goblins, named Uvula Gag Twice. He seemed relieved and thankful to be saved, and offered to lead the group into town as a small token of gratitude. On the way, Uvula explained that tensions were high in Maldreg between the Kenku and Goblin populations, and the entire area had been in an economic depression since the disappearance of Mackdon the Great, their last great leader, who disappeared about five years ago.
Once reaching Maldreg, the party visited a temple and spoke with the local clergy, hearing rumors that foul play may have been blame for Mackdon’s sudden absence, and that the conflict between the Kenku and Goblins could have caused or hastened this tragedy.
The priest told them that the best cleric available to restore Zefir and remove the curse was likely to be found out near the ruins to the east of Maldreg. On the way out, our group took the opportunity to question the priest about the Djinn, and it caused him to become fearful and only urge the party not to pursue the dangerous matter any further.
Much later, after trudging through the forest and reaching the ruins, our group entered into a clearing where a tower stood, along with three young goblins gathered around a campfire. Approaching in a peaceful manner and using much diplomacy, we introduced ourselves and learned these goblins were named Torkelman, Fervil, and Gertrickle.
Torkelman said his father was inside and seemed eagerly awaiting his emergence from the tower. The group discovered to enter the tower in search of him. Before they parted from the three younger goblins, the group sensed the fact that the younger goblins were none too fond of Torkelman’s father though, and in fact he had annoyed them to such a severe degree, it had spurred them to hunt down the elder goblin. A few follow up questions revealed that this unseemly mission was what had brought the goblins to this tower where he was last seen.
Our heroes used a rope to climb into one of the tower’s windows. Once inside, we found little of interest in the plain room, besides a blast glyph protecting a large stairwell. Mat used his innate rogue abilities to disarm the trap, and the group followed the stairs down into a disturbingly humid cavern. An unnatural growl signified that our heroes were not alone, and the room started to slowly fill with smoke.
Before learning the source of this growl, a glowing column drew our adventurer’s attention. We approached it and noticed that several animals were engraved into the gleaming pillar: a badger, crocodile, deer, and owl. Without hesitation, Mat touched each of the badger engravings, and suddenly a badger materialized and ran off toward the snarling sound as if it was engaging in battle.
Our group followed and witnessed a horrific sight – a large red dragon was facing off with the badger. Engaging in battle, our heroes attacked and stunned the dragon with their sudden ferocity, getting several hits in before it came to its senses and backed down a smoky corridor in retreat. Charging into the smoke after the dragon, Bru ran directly into a gaping pit and fell down thirty feet into darkness. As our group struggled to adjust to the smoky darkness, the dragon continued its escape and soon disappeared.
At the bottom of the pit, Bru found a recently deceased elderly goblin. A quick search revealed a dog slicer and a snow globe, which Bru pocketed and promptly forgot about in all the turmoil. The group helped Bru out of the pit, and he pulled up the goblin’s corpse along with him, slung over one shoulder.
Giving up on the dragon, our group set off further down into the cavern, the opposite way the dragon had gone, and soon discovered a faintly glowing sarcophagus. Sensing Abjuration magic, Zefir warned the rest of the group to be careful. Raven suggested the group drag the coffin outside into the sunlight in case a vampire was inside.
But as soon as Bru leaned over to push the sarcophagus and touched its surface, he, along with Raven, and his eidolon Kellin, all disappeared from sight. Mat and Zefir watched in shock as half of their party vanished right before their eyes.
Raven, Kellin, and Bru woke up confused but feeling fully rested in a nicely furnished room. Wind whipped outside the room’s walls, and the wood creaked in response. It sounded as if a great storm raged outside this place’s walls.
Searching the room but finding nothing of interest, we listened and cautiously peered out a door along one wall, which was the only method of exit. Initially seeing no living thing, we emerged into a museum-like room with high ceilings filled with ornate paintings, pottery, and art displayed throughout. While examining these objects, a large tusked humanoid creature wearing armor entered the room and gazed at us murderously. A scuffle ensued, and the creature cast several damaging spells on our heroes throughout the attack. As it became clear our heroes would overcome this creature in battle, he transformed into a gaseous form and began slowly floating away. Kellin was able to continue to inflict damage on the gaseous beast, and finally slayed it before it could get away. Raven examined the body and found the beast had been wearing a locket necklace that contained the image of a young human man inside.
Deciding to pocket a bunch of jewelry and antique pottery pieces we found on display in the halls, we soon found a stairway leading up, and at the top of it, a small library. A man was sitting at one of the chairs, deeply immersed one of the many books that littered the room before he noticed these new visitors. Our heroes learned the man was named Valmarius, and he was being held here by a raging storm that allowed no exit. Valmarius told the group he was from a place called Solace originally, and most recently had been reading a book at a library inside the city of Maldreg, studying the legends surrounding the Djinn, when suddenly he was transported to this place. He had been stuck here for several days and living off of rations he’d only brought by chance inside his backpack. The heroes had found him trying to get back home by using the same method of transportation that was perhaps hidden inside the books that filled this strange library. But what was most unsettling to our heroes was that Valmarius claimed to be from the year of 680, nearly thirty years in their future. Sensing no mal intent or deception, Raven and Bru had no choice but to accept this as a possible truth. As the heroes explained how they had arrived, Valmarius soon revealed that some of the paintings adorning this places halls showed images that resembled objects we had described in our story. One of the paintings contained the image of a sarcophagus, another one had a picture of a locket just like the one we had just taken from the fallen tusked creature.
Suddenly a crashing was heard downstairs, and our heroes rushed down to see two foreign looking creatures engaged in combat. Apparently they had also been unwittingly transported to this place just like everyone else here. They appeared malicious, and as they turned to face our heroes, a short and harsh battle broke out before the creatures were dispatched by our battle weary group, now wounded, in addition to being lost.
As we walked around and examined the paintings, Raven cut them down and placed them in his backpack. When we touched the painting that showed the locket, the locket suddenly disappeared from our possession. Our group began to look at each painting deeply and notice these notable images:
- The boy from the locket
- The sarcophagus, which did in fact look to be the same as the one that had teleported them here
- An image of ruins, titled “The Fall of the Tower of Isis”
- And most disturbingly, an image of a woman who appeared to be Zefir, burning on a stake. The painting was titled “Cursed Ending”.
Touching these paintings appeared to have no further effect, and it wasn’t until our heroes were struck with a moment of divine inspiration to look at the snow globe we had found from the fallen goblin at the bottom of the pit. We noticed that there was a structure inside the globe that was pictured in yet another painting that hung on a nearby wall. As we approached the painting, we sensed that something was about to happen… and when we touched it we suddenly vanished from the strange gallery entirely, just as quickly as we had come.