The game got off to a late start with last-minute character math and absurd amounts of gp remaining to be spent, along with the fact that we gathered on New Year’s Day and convened at 4pm. We didn’t start until some time around 8pm.
The game also got off to a somewhat rocky start because of my lack of preparation. That notwithstanding:
For various reasons, Orphan, Sierrafinia, Luvanar, and Eilonwy happened to be in the same place at the same time, when they were suddenly attacked by strange, apparently demonic or angelic creatures. It was hard to tell exactly what, because they were invisible, but Luvanar’s see invisibility and Oprhan’s _glitterdust _helped shed some light on the subject. One of them identified himself (telepathically, to Luvanar) as Nekemneron Magekiller; the rest did not bother with such pleasantries.
Whatever these creatures were, they fought with powerful weapons that caused the PCs to bleed what appeared like golden sand when struck, although the wounds suffered were most grievous and painful. The PCs were summarily defeated, but did not die, instead falling through darkness and a golden/amber haze into a strange realm that gave them everything that they desired, as long as it was edible or made them feel good. Orphan took advantage of the realm’s apparently endless supplies of food and drink, while the ithers, most notably Sierrafinia, were a little more cautions, but eventually gave in. Teleportation and similar magics did not work in this place, and other modes of planar travel were impossible, at least by conventional magic means.
After wandering around, they found a small cottage by a lake where an older halfling woman dwelt with several large mastiffs. She identified herself as Aurelina, and offered the PCs whatever hospitality they could ask for. When questioned about the place that they were in, she insisted that since they were there, they had been sent there, and had to remain. It was her task to make sure that they were comfortable in this place, but would offer little other information than that. When asked if others came and what they did, her answers seemed not to line up exactly- others came for as long as they were there, they built such structures as suited them, but she could not tell anyone where nor whom these other people were. There was an end to this place, but they were advised not to step over it, as they might come to harm.
So naturally, the PCs went looking for the edge of the place, much to the anger of their hosts. Another cottage appeared on a plain (which only appeared after Sierrafinia wanted to eat dandelions), this one tended by a younger, but still rounded halfling woman named Rosalina. Elionwy used true seeing to scan the place, and found that the lake had a haze of golden dust around it, and that Rosalina was more than she seemed, she carried a silver trumpet of some kind that was strangely curled and had a woven texture to it.
After an intense question-and-answer session where the PCs found that they were strongly advised not to look in the lakes, and if they desired to swim in the lakes, they should instead swim in the river, awkward battles and rule-wrangling ensued. Sierrafinnia decided to swim, bllindfolded, in the lake, where she heard the sounds of the world that they had left. After telling the others, they decided that entering the lake was the proper course of action.
The PCs managed not to actually kill anything or even sustain real injury, instead finding freedom from this strange prison plane by swimming to the bottom of the lake. The PCs emerged from the lake to find themselves amidst the carnival that sprouts up around the Council of Kingdoms. Elionwy was first to escape, then when Orphan emerged next to her, they were able to see Luvanar struggling through a haze of golden mist.
Sierrafinia eluded the cottage (which had risen up in outrage at the PC’s attempt to escape), and adroitly dove down a channel in the water that Elionwy had created straight to the bottom and made her escape with Luvanar.
The party rejoined at this point and took stock of their surroundings. Some distance off, hitched to a post by the Council building, a heavily-muscled nightmare waited, concealed from the world by the same golden haze that those who had emerged from the portal were able to see those who had not yet escaped. The creature’s hide was carved with runes in Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal and another language that even comprehend languages could not unravel. Those that the party was able to read were accounts of various major conflicts, from the Blood War to civil strife between neighboring kingdoms.
And on that ominous note, we ended.