PART ONE: The Goblins' Greed
PART TWO: Mystery of the Ritual Primeval
PART THREE: Rewards of Destiny
PART FOUR: The Planar Children
PART FIVE: Into the Beastlands
PART SIX: The Watchers Of Time
PART SEVEN: Retreat to Argent
PART EIGHT: The End of Elsehaven

PART ONE: The Goblins' Greed

Upon arriving at Elsehaven, a goblin name Candlelore - a dubious friend to the eladrin - came to them asking for help exploring an arctic plane upon which could be found a forgotten treasure. There the heroes indeed found something: a mimir, a skull-like device used to record knowledge from planeswalkers traveling the cosmos. The item had been hidden within a trapped duergar tomb, found at the end of a long icy ravine. A white dragon protected the tomb, and the frozen corpses of both a previous goblin team and an illithid expedition were also found along the way. (Though trapped within a thick wall of eye, the mind flayer proved not quite dead.) A pair of duergar thugs confronted the heroes as they returned to Sigil, but the two were easily duped into a one-way trip into arctic exile after the heroes destroyed the portal behind them.

Candlelore's next suggestion was more dangerous - to explore a duergar tower that had recently appeared in a troll barony within the fomorian kingdom of Mag Tureah, domain of the tyrannical First Lord Thrumbolg. Following a portal to the Feywild and easily getting past the tower's sleeping troll guard, the heroes and a quartet of goblins snuck inside.

In the center of the tower's ground floor stood the statue of a bald genasi holding a sword. A glyph symbolizing water and a plaque identified the metal swordmage as ACIS, THE CHOSEN ONE. The statue was surrounded by boiling water, and a lightning lure trap dragged targets into the water. A smaller engraved set of writing on the base of the status read as follows:

"Cast well, cast wise, for natures near,
be evil or lucky or good,
be chaos or dreams or trickery,
however your wish be understood."

The second floor matched the first, save that it lacked any pool of boiling water and the statue here was of an eladrin maiden named ANASTRIANNA, THE NOBLE ONE, above a symbol of air. Howling winds made movement in the room difficult, and the statue shot magic missiles at random targets. Again small writing was found:

"Three by three, and three again,
The Spider Queen snares them in;
For the key to eladrins' bane,
The Spider Queen craves to win."

The third floor featured the statue of a dragonborn warrior, BHARHASH, THE AUSPICIOUS ONE, and a symbol of fire. Here things went badly for the heroes, as various kinds of dragonsfire led to the poor goblin leader Candlelore getting incinerated to ash. The text on the statue's base read:

"Count them once, count them twice,
and again, three three three;
By childrens' blood, at creation cast,
makes the nature be."

On the top-most floor of the tower was found the statue of a warforged soldier, OMEGA, THE FINAL ONE, above a symbol of earth. Entering the room caused the floor to sprout a vicious carpet of deadline strangleweed, and by now the trolls had become aware of intruders and charged into the tower. Combat between the cornered heroes and the trolls was soon found to be a stalemate, but a show of brutal courage by the half-orc Strawberry -- swimming in boiling water for a half minute to recover a sword -- proved an excellent source of intimidation.

The final plaque upon the status read:

"Create like this, or create like that,
or something in between;
but know you gods your paradise
will never be fully seen."

A small metal bowl was found, and the goblins showed much interest in gaining this mundane-looking item. The heroes caught the goblins dropping a spoon into the bowl, and two spoons came out. A magical pot able to duplicate anything dropped into it was a valuable item indeed.

In addition, a strange ritual scroll and a list of names was also recovered from the duergar's tower:

Aethon, son of the air
Annira, daughter of the sun
Asera , daughter of healing
Balir, son of the animals
Bellavel , daughter of travel
Calarith, daughter of trickery
Dardan, daughter of the water
Devina , daughter of luck
Esus, son of the chaos
Fanar, son of death
Ganiel, daughter of music
Gisin, son of destruction
Helgeth, daughter of shadows
Hemir, son of evil
Kawina, daughter of dreams
Lahan, son of good
Loifur, son of the fire
Moniver, daughter of mechanics
Ralad, son of strength
Runnigan, son of the earth
Sawen, son of the law
Tolf, son of knowledge
Vala, daughter of war
Varan, son of the plants
Wora, son of the magic
Zaha, son of protection
Zoi, child of the madness

Invoking a powerful charm provided by the Court of Stars, the heroes teleported the entire tower to a sun-lit glen of the Feywild, successfully robbing the fomorian king of his prize and capturing the trolls within. (These troll prisoners would later be traded back in a prisoner exchange negotiated by eladrin diplomats.) Slimwass was met with honors for the successful quest.

PART TWO: Mystery of the Ritual Primeval

After a rest as guests of the Court of Stars, the heroes were ushered away by a pair of mysterious eladrin who took them to a remote misty lake. Only there, they said, would it be safe to reveal their discovery as that lake in the Feywild was enchanted to obscure divinations by even the gods. The ritual found in the tower was indeed powerful -- perhaps the most powerful magic in all creation -- as its use would spark the genesis of a new mortal world. Every being in the cosmos would want this ritual, but the eladrin planned its use to create a new planet upon which fey refugees and victims of the Elvenkind War could start again in a sylvan paradise.

Fearing to return the heroes directly back to Sigil for some reason, and unable to reach Elsehaven otherwise, the mysterious eladrin offered to take them to any other place across the planes. The heroes chose Waterdeep, a trade city on the mortal world of Abeir-Toril, and in the harbor of that place their fey boat appeared.

Unwilling to enter the city through its well-watched gates, the heroes and their trio of greedy goblin followers sought less obvious means of access by stopping at a seedy tavern along the water's edge. Here a minor gang of hobgoblins recognized the half-orc hero Strawberry, but they were easily dispatched during a quick bar-room fight. The minotaur bartender serving patrons took little interest in the outbreak of violence, and soon went into a back room to avoid the whole scene.

Just as soon as things seemed to calm down, a darkening of the skies, the rumble of thunder and an infestation of enchanted fireflies alerted the heroes to a sudden shift in reality between the mortal world and the Feywild. A severed troll's head crashed through a window, and huge plant roots surrounded and squeezed the tavern walls. The fomorian king Thrumbolg, First Lord of Mag Tureah, had found them, and he and his cyclops warriors wanted deadly revenge for "stealing" the duergar tower.

Fleeing into the tavern's basement, the drow bard Sharn Twiceborn found the minotaur bartender hiding in a storage room. The creature identified himself as Proxraius the Wizard, an arcane mercenary willing to help them escape -- for a price.

A narrow flight of stairs led the heroes and goblins into the sewers where an ambush by medusa archers awaited them. Though Strawberry was turned to stone, Proxraius was willing to perform a Remove Affliction ritual (for nearly market price). Upon one of the slain medusae was found this note:

Mulgia -

Your sisters' terms are accepted. Our people are indeed interested in one named Bellavel -- should your captive prove to be her. Have no further dealings with the illithids -- their hollow promises of magical power pale when compared to what we offer your sect -- a world of your own, for you, by you -- free of divine pretense. If we understand you Athar correctly, you cannot refuse an opportunity to let us create an entire new mortal planet on which to hide from the gods. Even this act of creation itself will validate your beliefs against the powers' claims of divinity.

Do not bring the captive to Skullport -- it is unsafe here -- better to hide her above, perhaps somewhere unseen in Waterdeep. There is a guild of thieves who can assist you -- find a hobgoblin for aid.

Should your captive be Bellavel, we must take her offworld. We have family in Sigil who can receive the captive -- we will send aid to open the planar portal between worlds.

Again, a warning: Avoid the illithids at all costs. Also beware elvenfolk both dark and bright, for both the drow and the eladrin seek to steal your reward. Finally, watch for a group made up of an orc-blood, three goblins, a drow, a halfling and an eladrin -- they too work against you. All such foes should be slain.

Tasklord Ratig
Third Scion Of House Grausamkeit
Tiefe Shanatar

Exploring the sewers led the heroes first to an unpleasant fight with ochre jelly oozes, and then a horde of sewage-soaked undead. These vile skeletal horrors were victims of necrotized cyclosporiasis (aka "Waterdhavian dysentery"), a disease caused by microscopic undead parasites existing in the feces of reanimated corpses. Despite the threat of disease, the goblins were happy to dredge the sewer line to find handful after handful of filthy gold coins.

Backtracking through the sewer, the party was confronted by the troll leader Sorrowfist, the former baron under First Lord Thrumbolg. Apparently the troll head thrown into the tavern earlier was Sorrowfist, and he regenerated enough in time to crawl after the heroes to exact revenge. Among his rants at the heroes, Sorrowfist reveals the fomorian liege had imprisoned him and "cut off my head 327 times" as punishment for disgrace at the hands of eladrin. As the heroes remained unimpressed, the troll's rage grew and a prolonged fight in the sewer followed, eventually slaying the monster. Squall unleashed a blast of acid to insure the troll would stay dead.

A trip down a third tunnel awakened the mother of all ochre jelly oozes, which slowly pursued the heroes down the fourth sewer line. At the end of the tunnel was found a room full of the remaining medusa archers, several duergar soldiers, and an acid-spitting, wall-crawlking shade drake. The duergar leader appeared before a portal open to some place in the Underdark, and a statue of a young woman -- apparently the victim of the medusae -- was being dragged toward the opening.

The battle was fairly quick, ending with the heroes slaying all enemies save for the duergar leader who escaped into the portal as it closed. In addition to some treasure, the heroes found the following notes on the bodies of the slain gray dwarves..

Prince Ratig -

The returned glory of our people continues to take shape like a blade of cold iron hammered in a blazing forge. Proceed at once to bargain with these "Athar" medusa-witches for Bellavel; meet any price, make any promise.

Since our last report, Calarith is now in our possession. We expected First Lord Thrumbolg to be intractable, but a glib mention of the orc warrior and his goblin, drow, eladrin and halfling followers made the fomorian king our fast ally. He sold the deva child to us for one-tenth what we were prepared to pay, so long as we shared our divinations regarding the tomb robbers' whereabouts. So long as these foul faerie-agents keep using the magic pot, we can find them, and it appears the formorian king will do the killing for us...

Our spies on Oerth report the drow do not yet recognize Fanar for what she is. Dear dead Goestav had not seen the list, so devouring his brain ought not to have revealed the son of death's name to the illithids. However, the simple abundance of mind flayers in Erelhei-Cinlu is cause enough for urgency. As for the fate of Goestav's two half-wit brothers, they disappeared in pursuit of the mimir on some nameless arctic demiplane -- no great loss. So far, dealing with Rule-Of-Three has proved about as useful as the mimir would have been -- but we cannot trust this githzerai forever.

Spare glory and seize victory -

Tasklord Vohag
Second Scion Of House Grausamkeit
Tiefe Shanatar
Tasklords - Below are the locations we have learned from the information broker in Sigil. Astral diamonds are costly things -- prove our investment with this githzerai was not wasted. - Vohag

Aethon, son of air ... a cloud city in the Elemental Chaos
Annira, daughter of sun ... an oasis in Shom, the White Desert, in the Astral Sea
Asera, daughter of healing ... at a crossroads outpost in Letherna, the Shadowfell realm of the Raven Queen
Balir, son of animals ... in the Beastlands, an animal realm in the Feywild
Bellavel, daughter of travel ... in Undermountain, a maze of portals somewhere on the mortal world of Toril
Calarith, daughter of trickery ... in the Feydark fomorian city of Mag Tureah
Dardan, daughter of water ... among mermen nomads wandering the waterworlds of the Elemental Chaos
Devina, daughter of luck ... in a plane-shifting gambling house
Esus, son of chaos ... in a slaad colony amid the Elemental Chaos
Fanar, son of death ... in a gladiator arena of Erelhei-Cinlu, a drow city under the mortal world of Oerth
Ganiel, daughter of music ... in the eladrin city of Astrazalian, the City of Starlight of the Feywild
Gisin, son of destruction ... in Plague-Mort, an orphaned demiplane gate town to the Abyss
Helgeth, daughter of shadows ... among poets in Gloomwrought, the City of Midnight in the Shadowfell
Hemir, son of evil ... among moneylenders in Ribcage, a demiplane gate town to the Hells
Kawina, daughter of dreams ... on Demos Oneiroi, a misty Astral island where fantasies and nightmares roam
Lahan, son of good ... in a jeweled cave within Celestia, a floating mountain in Astral Sea
Loifur, son of fire ... working at a tavern kitchen in the City of Brass district of Iskalat
Moniver, daughter of mechanics ... in a drafting house in Automata, workshop gate town to Mechanus
Ralad, son of strength ... imprisoned in a titan kingdom amid the Elemental Chaos
Runnigan, son of earth ... serving in a githzerai mountain monestary amid the Elemental Chaos
Sawen, son of law ... a courtroom palace in Dis, in the Hells of the Astral Sea
Tolf, son of knowledge ... a haunted and forgotten library in the Astral Sea
Vala, daughter of war ... as a squire in Chernoggar, the Iron Fortress, in the Astral Sea
Varan, son of plants ... amid the dyrads' Maze of Fathaghn in the Feywild
Wora, son of magic ... traveling Baba Yaga's swamp in the Feywild Murkendraw
Zaha, son of protection ... held deep within a Carceri building, a distant prison in the Astral Sea
Zoi, child of madness ... in a flying fortress that drifts into the Far Realm

Although Proxraius could not cast a ritual to return them all directly to Sigil, he knew of two portal sites on Toril that would work using the portal circle etched into the room's floor. The heroes elected for using one in Kara-Tur, and soon the group stood atop a mountaintop temple on the other side of the world. Unfortunately, no structure remained as it obviously had been reduced to a ruin long ago.

PART THREE: Rewards of Destiny

Before the heroes stood a half-dozen figures: two celestial angels, three infernal devils and a githzerai merchant soon identified as Rule-Of-Three, the original employer of Proxraius. Behind the group floated two women and a man, all humans dressed in noble clothing and suspended inanimate within columns of golden light. The largest devil greeted the heroes warmly and, with help from Rule-Of-Three, explained the mortals among them would be granted their choice of any reward as payment for adjudicating a decision on the following issue:

"Two kingdoms of mortal humanity at war have agreed to peace if the prince of one kingdom marries the princess of their enemy's kingdom. However, this prince loves another and has run off with his beloved. Should the prince be forced to marry the enemy kingdom's princess or be allowed to wed his true love?"

Proxraius, as a direct employee of their moderator Rule-Of-Three, was denied a vote in the matter, as was Slimvass for being a fey noble member of the eladrin Court of Stars. The immortals refused to share any additional information, claiming such details were "irrelevant to the central issue of the case." Sharn refused to provide an answer due to this lack of context. Squall voted in favor of letting the prince do whatever he wanted to do. Strawberry voted to enforce the marriage agreement for the peaceful betterment of the greater group. The goblins (a bit terrified by the whole scene) voted along with Strawberry.

As an aside, the immortals noticed the duplicating bowl carried by Strawberry, and they recoiled a bit from it. The large devil recognized it as "The Pot of Fatal Greed, Doom-Bowl of Bael Turath" (or some such title), and explained every use of duplicating an object killed a number of tieflings somewhere in the cosmos to fuel the enchantment. Having used the bowl several times, the heroes and goblins had slain hundreds of tieflings. Strawberry asked if the angels or devils could destroy it, but the immortals said they were forbidden to lay a hand upon it. However, the magic pot could be destroyed, but only in the most dangerous of places across the planes.

Judgement made 4-to-1, the immortals promised to make good on their offer and vannished, taking the hovering humans with them. Rule-Of-Three seemed relieved and helped the group return to a portal within Sigil. Boons included...

* To Strawberry: "A book detailed where and how to destory the duplicating pot."

* To Squall: "To be a more powerful sorcerer."

* To the goblins: "To be the most powerful, wealthy and feared brotherhood of goblins in all of Sigil."

The heroes returned to the Hive ward where the portal to Elsehaven was hidden. Sharn intervened twice in shift-bariuar street fights (the herbivores and carnivores do not get along in the neighborhood). Next, after bypassing a young women and her zombies passing out pamphlets evangelizing worship of the demon prince Orcus, the heroes made it home and took a well-deserved rest (and scented bath).

The next day the heroes went to Sigil's Park of the Infernal and Divine, where a mob of tieflings and a mob of genasi were close to starting a riot. Rule-Of-Three was among the crowd, ready to deliver the immortal's payments for service.

The tieflings, who had been blaming the genasi "demon-kin" for causing their deaths, were told the goblins knew the true cause of the "plague" and knew how to stop it. Upon hearing this news, the tieflings swore allegiance to the trio of little thieves and made them their leaders.

Next, the genasi were told Squall was the only mortal at the moment of judgement to speak out on behalf of free will over society order and, more importantly, in defense of their queen's true love. The rowdy genasi mob praised the halfling storm sorcerer as their a great hero, and they offered to fight for him anywhere, at any time he wished.

Lastly, a frail old man carrying a large book stepped forward and asked Strawberry if he was willing to accept the book. The half-orc agreed, and at once the old man burst into tears, thanked him, and died. Rule-Of-Three explained the owner of the book could not die so long as he possessed it, nor could another take it without the agreement of current and future owner. Within the book were noted to guide one to the Pit of Unraveling in the Abyss, the forge of creation in Mount Celestia, and the bottom of the Nine Hells where artifacts as powerful as the duplicating pot may be destroyed. Strawberry left to pursue his quest.

PART FOUR: The Planar Children

Under the leadership of Slimvass, the heroes recruited the aid of a human hunter named Brandiss to accompany them to the eladrin city of Astrazalian. Accompanied by Wren the gnome, Slimass and the drow outcast Sharn won an audience with Lady Shandria and accepted an oath to face three challenges before taking Ganiel, daughter of music, away with them. Telling a tale linking a drow conspiracy with fomorians seeking to kidnap the deva child, the heroes won the Challenge of Argument. Sharn Twiceborn faced three questions and bested the Challenge of Riddles. For the Challenge of Combat, one side chose Sharn as its champion, while the other surprised everyone by naming Squall, who had just arrived with his genasi posse in tow.

Chaos filled the audience hall when Sharn turned on Lord Yanenna of House Shiere, with the both of them using magical darkness to cover themselves. Two of Yanenna's courtiers transformed into hideously deformed humanoids, and a wave of psychic sickness swept over everyone. Yanenna was exposed as actually a drow spy, while the courtiers were foulspawn aberrations. During the melee, a hex encased Slimvass in glass and Brandis collapsed into a catatonic state. Wren stole some sort of seeing stone off the drow and fled while in rat form. One foulspawn was slain, another escaped and the drow was captured. Sharn defeated Squall in a "fight to the blood" and won permission to leave with Ganiel.

Upon returning to Sigil, the heroes dragged their crippled companions back to Elsehaven. The glass block containing Slimvass was put on display, while Brandiss slowly recovered. The ring upon his finger seemed to speak into Brandiss' mind, filling his throughts with disturbing rants spoken in Deep Speech.

Several of Squall's gang members -- those who had been "snacking" on fey food appetizers at the eladrin court -- rapidly aged upon returning to Sigil. The Elements also reported an increase in street fights with The Axoim, the tiefling "mafia" now run by the goblins. Word on the street is they have it in for a certain drow and his adventuring companions, including a frightening halfling sorcerer who now runs with their rival gang...

An eladrin messenger arrived at Elsehaven four days after the heroes left Astrazalian. The drow captive was bound under many magics and forced to honestly confess much about his mission.

In the first day of interrogation, the eladrin learned "Lord Yanenna" of House Shiere, a recently vocal advocate for pre-emptive strikes against the fomorians, was actually Xapherq (zah-ferk), a drow infiltrator in disguise. The mission to infiltrate Lady Shandria's Court of the First Sword was intended strictly as routine surveillance on the enemy. The real Yanenna was poisoned a year ago and the false "lord" had been steadily turning the court against since then. Lady Viasia of House Ghaele had begun to suspect something was amiss with "Yanenna," but she could prove nothing.

After the second day of enchanted interrogation, Xapherq described his crystal egg through which his master, the Lolth exarch Lolestra, could observe the elardrin court. The seeing stone could not transmit sounds, so Xapherq and Lolestra used a drow sign language. As far as Xapherq knew, there was no secret alliance between the drow and fomorians as Slimvass and Sharn had told the eladrin Court of the First Sword. Indeed, usually the drow hate fomorians regardless of their common enemies among the elvenkind.

In the third day of interrogation, Xapherq revealed his fellow hidden spies were a pair of foulspawn the drow had found wandering the underdark of the mortal world. Xapherq was pleased they had gotten the twisted creatures to serve as his pawns, but after the events of the eladrin court Xapherq wondered if in fact the creatures had been using the drow instead, playing him for a fool all along. Why such creatures would be interested in spying on an eladrin court was beyond Xapherq's knowledge.

At the start of the fourth day, Xapherq was found dead as an egg sack of tiny acid-spitting spiders ruptured inside his chest despite protective magics laid upon him. Nothing could be done to extract additional information.

PART FIVE: Into the Beastlands

Picking up where Slimvass' plans left off, the Court of Stars dispatched three elven sister-maidens to accompany the heroes into the Beastlands of the Feywild where -- they supposed -- a quick negotiation with the elves there would find and turn over Balir, the deva son of animals. In addition to the druid Aelrue, the shaman Calarel and the cleric Ghilanna, help also was enlisted from the unicorn warlock Besrillidar (aka "Chip") and the pixie-wizard Bitterbell.

Arriving in the Feywild, the heroes found the elven camp long-since reduced to an abbandoned ruin broken apart and covered in webs. A colony of giant spiders living there had recently captured a squad of duergar and poisoned them to death. However, the spiders were content to obey orders given by the drow Sharn, and they allowed the heroes to pass without harm.

Entering the enchanted forest to find the exit portal up to a mile away, the heroes were attacked first by cat-like humanoids hunting "The Outcast Three," and then by the bestial hordes of the Bear Lords -- magic-wielding sentient animals who hate the "hunterkind" of the "finless, furless, featherless freaks." After a prolonged chase and fight through the woods, the heroes revealed the Bear Lords' new "leader" to in fact be a drider working for Lolth to confuse and corrupt the animal kingdoms. The heroes also rescue Asera, daughter of healing, and Balir, son of animals, during the course of this adventure. However, Bitterbell is struck down by the drider, who escapes deeper into the enchanted woodlands.

PART SIX: The Watchers Of Time

The following countdown timeline is a mix of character knowledge and what is told by the Argent warforged mages Epsilon and Theta, who chronicled the last days of their master, the First and Last Guardian of Argent (aka Strawberry the Elder).

About 8 days ago, in Elsehaven: The fanatical elementalist Breven Foss arrives in Elsehaven to recruit genasi in freeing the bound primordial Piranoth and starting a new war against the gods. Although he claims several clans of giants and three titans have joined his cause, none of the "Elements" street gang members are in the least interested in Foss' crazed vision.

4 days ago, in Sigil: The heroes Brandiss, Sharn, Squall and Wren, along with the elven mystics Ghilanna, Aelrue and Calarel, the unicorn Besrillidar (aka "Chip") and the planar children Asera, daughter of healing, and Balir, son of animals, return from the Feywild portal and stumble out from a marketplace fountain. Coming from four different directions on the street are...

* A battered group of House Grausamkeit duergar pulling along reccently captured planar children Devina, daughter of luck, and Vala, daughter of war.

* Mistress Ehjaen, a drow noble of House Aleval, accompanied by her mezzodemon and bugbear bodyguards. With her is Xoklaan, the mind flayer mastermind, who is busy offering her house power in exchange for helping find and capture planar children.

* A group of Axiom tieflings out walking their turf.

* A street patrol of House Despana drow, looking for trouble.

The unicorn Besrillidar immediately fled the scene, taking the planar children Asera and Balir to Elsehaven. During the ensuing melee, the duergar were cut down by Despana drow and Sharn while Squall dealt with his Axiom attackers. Xoklaan became enraged to see all the duergar slain, for he knew he could have gained valuable information by devouring their brains. Mistress Ehjaen captured all three elves and took them away to her Sigilian estate for interrogation; her attempts to sign an offer of parley to Sharn were rebuked. One of the Axiom escaped with his life, vowing further revenge against the halfling sorcerer Squall.

The unlikely coming together of such rival factions was the result of Devina, daughter of luck, and Vala, daughter of war. As these two were escorted to Elsehaven, enemy factions constantly appeared in the streets -- githyanki versus githzerai, dwarves versus orcs, devils versus demons -- giving rise to various brawls in the heroes wake.

After the fight, Xoklaan the mind flayer aids three Sons of Mercy city guardsmen back to their barracks and describes Squall and Sharn as "dangerous criminals" to watch out for in the future.

4 days ago, in Elsehaven: The heroes find two dim-witted ogres named Locke and Keye working as "doormen" to the portal into Elsehaven. Upon getting inside, they discover Ganiel, daughter of music, and Bellavel, daughter of travel, have influenced the sanctuary, the genasi "Elements" gang and moved in, and Sister Rosis leads a staff of zombie servants.

Brandiss, upon entering Elsehaven, again begins to hear the gibbering voices of the Far Realm in his mind. Fearing for his sanity and perhaps the safety of the others, he leaves and disappears back into the streets of Sigil.

3 days ago, in Elsehaven: Sharn and Squall meet with three eladrin nobles -- Lady Viasia of House Ghaele, Lord Ealis of House Noviere and Lord Coarwesh of House Shiere -- who have journeyed from Lady Shandria's court in the Feywild city of Astrazalian. The eladrin claim to have found no evidence of a plot between drow and fomorians to kidnap Ganiel, the deva child daughter of music. When pressed about the Ritual Primeval, the eladrin elders claim ignorance. Sharn and Squall become concerned that they have been set up from the beginning. Another eladrin wizard at the gathering, the disturbing Mabhe the Mad, joins the heroes to figure out what is going on.

Breven Foss, who had been secretly listening to the eladrin nobles discuss the Ritual Primeval with the drow Sharn, immediately gets an idea to complete his master plan to free the primordial Piranoth. The crazed elementalist fights his way out of Elsehaven and uses a charm to plane shift into the Elemental Chaos.

3 days ago, in Minauros, The Third Hell of Baator: The archdevil Mammon, the King of Greed, receives orders from Asmodeus, the god of tryanny, to no longer grant aid or support to the duergar of House Grausamkeit, those who have "failed devilkind for the last time." Assassin devils are dispatched to Sigil and the Underdark of the Forgotten Realms to eliminate these duergar nobles and their agents. It is unknown why Asmodeus would turn on his servants in such a strong manner, but there may be a connection with the younger Strawberry's arrival in the infernal realm.

2 days ago, in Sigil: Mistress Ehjaen of the drow House Aleval, suspicious of her overly-friendly illithid ally, refuses to turn over her elven prisoners to Xoklaan. The frustrated mind flayer returns to his house in Sigil and turns his drow prisoner from House Despana into a mindless thrall.

2 days ago, in Elsehaven: Sharn attempts to train Devina, daughter of luck, and Bellavel, daughter of travel, to conciously focus their powers to travel between planes at will. In his first excerise, Share instructs the planar children to "find a strawberry." The girls skip into the thorny hedges around Elsehaven and disappear.

2 day ago, in Argent: Devina, daughter of luck, and Bellavel, daughter of travel, appear in the Astral City of Argent before the First and Last Guardian, an ancient half-man/half-orc who was once known as Strawberry. At once the Guardian realizes they can be of use to him to finally leave Argent and find "the place where I can at last rest and find eternal peace." Along with their brother Tolf, the son of knowledge, the planar children agree to help. The Argent warforged servants Epsilon and Theta begin preparing the needed spells.

2 days ago, in Sigil: Mabhe and Squall seek an answer to find a "haunted and forgotten library in the Astral Sea." Directed to a sage named Quannidafar, the pair learn of the lost City of Argent, and a Sigilian tout named Kylie agrees to show them the portal to there for a fee of 100 gold pieces.

2 days ago, near the Demonweb Pits of the Abyss amid the Elemental Chaos: Breven Foss petitions aid from Lolestra, an exarch of Lolth and matron of the drow House Xaniqos. The ritual to free the primordial Piranoth would be much easier where a god -- or demon goddess -- agree to break the primordial's bindings. Hearing that the eladrin archfey have discovered the Ritual Primeval, Lolth agrees to help unleash Piranoth and, so doing, set in motion the destruction of the cosmic planescape in a new Dawn War. The insane Queen of Spiders would rather see the multiverse destroyed than lose her war against Corellon (god of beauty, art, magic and the fey) and Sehanine (goddess of illusion, love and the moon).

1 day ago, in Sigil and Elsehaven: Xoklaan the mind flayer disguises three of his foulspawn agents as bounty hunters and orders them to find Elsehaven and demand payment for capturing the House Despana drow warrior. The ruse is simply an excuse to smuggle in and out a planar compass through which the mind flayer may triangulate the pocket dimension's true location in the cosmic planescape. Two of the foulspawn are destroyed as the third flees with the compass intact. Fearing the safety of Elsehaven has been compromised even further, the heroes suggest the eladrin bring in 20 eladrin wizard knights to better "screen" beings coming and going from the hidden domain.

1 day ago, in the Mortal World: Breven Foss returns to a camp of hill giants who have been awaiting the City of Argent to slip back into the mortal world. Foss claims there is a much-needed relic still within the time-worn abbandoned city which will help in his quest to free primordial Piranoth.

The last day, in Sigil: Wren reappears and joins Mabhe, Sharn and Squall in going to the City of Argent. Kylie the tout shows them the way...

The last day, in Argent: The First and Last Guardian (aka "Strawberry") attempts the ritual of passage from the chronomantic Lorebook of Ghaz-lemunda, but the spell is disturbed as the heroes simletanously open a portal from Sigil and step into the magic circle. Most everyone is knocked prone save for the 2,600-year-old Strawberry, who is pulled into the portal as it warps and closes. (Only by the presence of Devina, daughter of luck, and Bellavel, daughter of travel, could such an unlikely coincidence of misfortune come to pass.)

Epsilon and Theta rush to their scrying pool to find their Guardian, discovering he has fallen back in time to the moment when Strawberry was awarded the Lorebook of Ghaz-lemunda at the Garden of the Infernal and Divine in Sigil. Shocked and defeated, the elder Strawberry realizes his only way to find final death comes if he begins his ill-fated destiny by giving the chronomancy Lorebook to himself -- thus dooming the Illumians as "his" history recalled. Back in Argent, the heroes watch helplessly as history loops, and the elder Strawberry is seen turning to dust before his unknowning younger self.

With the Guardian suddenly missing from Argent for the first time in 26 centuries, the city immediately slips from the Astral Sea to the Mortal World where raiding parties of giants and elemental creatures have been waiting for it. Bulettes, galeb duhr and a basilisk burst into the courtyard near the scrying pool, and the warforge mages rush to teleport the planar children to safety. The heroes defeat the monsters, but their troubles have just begun as the thunderous pounding of elemental forces are heard echoing off the city walls...

THE HISTORY OF THE PAST, as told by Epsilon and Theta, a pair of warforged mages in Argent ...

The Illumians were a race of virtuous magic-users who exiled themselves from a past version of Bael Turath more than 2,500 years ago when the empire became corrupted by pacts with devils. As war grew between the Turathi wizards and the dragonborn Akhosian knights, the Illumians left the mortal world and created the Ritual Primeval by which they formed the land of Shom, their own utopia in the Astral Sea.

Freed from the conflict of the mortal world, the Illumians studied ever greater planar arcana until discovering their greatest achievement: Chronomancy, mastery of time travel by means of magical rituals. Compiling their knowledge in the Lorebook of Ghaz-lemunda, the Illumians could draw upon the greatest weapons and heroes from all of the past and the future. In their timeline, the Illumians orchestrated the fall of Bael Turath and victory of Akhosia in the mortal world. (They continued after the wars to battle agents of devilkind. For example, a band of duergar stole Illumian relics and exploited a minor chronomancy ritual to shift a gray dwarven treasure tower out of the current timestream.)

The greatest champions of the Illumians built the city of Argent and enlisted the help of The Created, a religious sect of warforged who had becomes exiled from a world of corrupted magic. These warforged served as ideal servants and deathless companions to the time-travelling Illumians.

However, little of this reality still exists.

A half-orc warrior on a quest from a potential future arrived in the Illumians' past using the rituals of chronomancy found in the Lorebook of Ghaz-lemunda. This warrior had vowed to "destroy" an indistructable object -- the Doom Bowl of Fatal Greed, a magical item used to kill tieflings in his future where the infernal half-breed race continued to exist. This rogue time-traveling warrior slew the creators of the Doom Bowl before they could create it, but in doing so, he slew the great-grandparents of those mages who would have discovered chronomancy a few decades later.

This change in the temporal continuum wiped out an entire future, though many relics of the Illumians had been built to resist such annihiliation. As for the Illumians themselves who had come to rely on freedom across time, however, most of their kind were erased in a cosmic paradox backlash. Shom instantly and eternally became an abandoned realm, and few Illumains escaped the reality wipeout happening across all of cosmic time and space.

From that point forward, the history of the world changed. Bael Turath fell, but so too did the empire of Akhosia. The resulting dark ages continued for 1,000 years until the human warlords of Nerath founded a new global empire on the Mortal World. This history all civilized beings know today. (The Nerathi Empire lasted for centuries but fell to the gnoll armies of Demogorgon a century ago.)

Besides the empty ruins of Shom, a small number of Illumian sites survived the temporal shift. One of them was the City of Argent, once a major staging ground for time-travelling champions of peace and order. Ironically, the half-orc warrior who triggered the paradox became the lone surviving keeper of chronomancy lore.

With such arcane power, the warrior travelled the planes to rescue lost Illumian deva children who remained as inviolate (but not immortal) living planar constants. Such children never grew old, but through accidents and random misfortunes in Argent, they could be killed from time to time. The warrior would set off to find the reborn deva children across the mortal world when possible and bring them to Argent for protection, but the task remained arduous.

During his centuries of travel, the half-orc met a religious order of warforged called The Created living in the Shadowfell. These machine-like mystics believed a supreme deity "above the gods" had lost faith in living beings, and once the living (and undead living dead) became extinct, only warforged, golems and other constructs would remain "alive" in the cosmos. Such thoughts may have been an echo of the reality they lost in the paradox shift.

After hearing the half-orc's tale of changing the future and the past, a faction of The Created left their gloomy retreat join the half-orc in Argent and help protect the planar children.

For a brief time during the imperial reign of Nerath, the City of Argent even welcomed paragon champions from the mortal world. As perils moved elsewhere in the world, protection of the planar children grew less and less a focus, until finally none came to Argent. The city grew forgotten to most.

Until today, the ancient half-orc warrior -- cursed to age but never die as a side-effect of chronomancy -- dwelled in Argent with his warforged mystic servants Epsilon and Theta. Attempts to find and warn his younger self have been impossible, in part perhaps due to hinderances from Vecna, the god of secrets. (For centuries, signs of Vecna's interference with Argent have been detected, but the Guardian attributed it to the long-standing feud with Ioun, goddess of knowledge and patron to the city.)

(DM's Note: For a D&D "canon" look at what Vecna was up to with the Ritual Primeval, chronomancy and the secret spell guarded by the Lady of Pain in Sigil, see the TSR adventure "Die Vecna Die!" Long story short: Vecna attempts to remake the multiverse with himself as supreme deity, but in doing so, changes the cosmic laws of reality -- and shifts AD&D 2nd edition rules to D&D 3rd edition in the process. Or so TSR and WotC would have us believe. No, really, I'm not making this part up...)

Not all forgot about the Illumians' legacy. Corellon (god of beauty, art, magic and the fey) and Sehanine (goddess of illusion, love and the moon) sent faeries glamourists to where they suspected the duergar's tower would reappear in the deep Underdark, particularlly in a patch of godless space beyond divine sight. Their most closest agents, the faerie wizard Bitterbell and the unicorn warlock Besrillidar, were given great powers of enchantment to make the pocket realm comfortable, but they were pledged never to open reveal their true powers or mission. Here the fey built the secret lair of Elsehaven... and waited...

The duergar's time-shifted tower reappeared in the present, but not where Corellon and Sehanine predicted. (Such gods are powerful, but not all-knowing.) Instead, the tower appeared in shallows of the Feydark within the troll barony of Sorrowfist, a loyal vassal to Thrumbolg, the fomorian First Lord of the Feydark realm of Mag Tureah.

After a chance ambush by the mind flayer Xoklaan, the duergars' secret became known to illithid mastermind who set off to find and pillage the tower before the grey dwarves. However, a goblin quartet also learned of the scheme, and their leader Candlelore enlisted a group of eladrin-backed heroes to recover the items first. The tower contained the treasures of the Ritual Primeval and the tiefling-killing Doom Bowl of Fatal Greed which had been created by the now history-erased Illumians. When such lore was reported to the eladrin elders, such knowledge became known to Corellon and Sehanine. Appearing in aspect forms to the mortal heroes, the elven gods tasked the eladrin Slimvass, the drow Sharn and the halfling sorcerer Squall to seek out Elsehaven and begin collecting planar children from across the planes.

Eilistraee -- the "Dark Maiden" goddess of the good drow, song and beauty -- foresaw other consequences of this adventure: The demon goddess Lolth will go mad and order suicide-like attacks to thrwart her enemies' plans. To warn the heroes, Eilistraee sent visions of this future into the dreams of Sharn Twiceborn, one of her paladins.

Meanwhile, the younger version of the half-orc warrior Strawberry -- then an ally of the goblins and eladrin -- came into possession of the Doom Bowl of Fatal Greed, and after a celestial encounter with angels of Ioun, he set off on his quest which would literally change history by destroying an alternate reality.

The duergar and illithids have sought the planar children in hopes of crafting their own use of the Ritial Primeval, to be used to create their own planets. Drawn into these schemes have come rival houses of drow nobles who, until recently, were largely ignorant of what was at stake. Should the eldarin gain use of this world-spawning magic, they could further build legions of fey champions to defeat the dark elves in their ages-old war against elvenkind.

And most recently, a mad elementalist named Breven Foss has learned of these affairs (in some detail). Although plotting his own schemes to unite tribes of giants against the gods, the idea of mortals acting as primodials in building new worlds is nothing short of absolute blasphemy.

All of these events were foretold in an ancient rhyme somehow known to the Illumians before their fall from reality...

"Cast well, cast wise, for natures near,
be evil or lucky or good,
be chaos or dreams or trickery,
however your wish be understood.
Three by three, and three again,
The Spider Queen snares them in;
For the key to eladrins' bane,
The Spider Queen craves to win.
Count them once, count them twice,
and again, three three three;
By childrens' blood, at creation cast,
makes the nature be.
Create like this, or create like that,
or something in between;
but know you gods your paradise
will never be fully seen."

PART SEVEN: Retreat to Argent

Shortly after the heroes' arrival in Agent, the ground around the city's scrying pool erupted as elemental creatures (two bulettes, a basilisk and several earth elementals) attacked the heroes. After the fight, Epsilon and Theta confirmed further breaches in the city's defenses, and the heroes raced to track down the invaders. Ultimately they confronted Breven Foss and several elementals in Argent's underground vaults, but the crazed elementalist managed to steal something called a Divine Engine and escape.

The warforged mages restored the city to stability, but found themselves "grounded" in the mortal world. The heroes spent two weeks in Argent, practicing and improving their powers. At one point the group journeyed into the catacombs of the city's fallen champions and confronted a ghostly warrior who told them the secret to the long-lost sky metal used to craft powerful magic items. Some of this material was found in Bael Turath before the tiefling empire's fall -- in particular, records show the last batch of star metal being owned by Acererak, then still a human (?) wizard. (Acererak is fated to become a lich, and later a demilich, and construct the infamous Tomb of Horrors.) The warforged can calibrate a chronomancy spell that will transport heroes back to Acererak's time to steal the star metal -- perhaps thus being the cause of its disappearance and later rarity. However, that adventure is yet to come...

Epsilon prepared a portal spell taking Mabhe, Sharn and Squall back to Sigil, but the other end of the trip deposited the heroes in The Slags, a bombed-out ruin within Sigil's Hive ward where lairs the Kadyx, a playfully evil and undying beast. Mabhe played her flute and attracted the attention of some sort of monster, but it was unclear if the creature was indeed the Kadyx. (According to Sigilian lore: "The Kadyx is a living weapon created by the tanar'ri (demons) for use in the Blood War. For a few thousand years now, it stalks the Slags in the Hive Ward, where it shows its evil sense of humor in the way that it kills.")

Upon reaching the "better" part of the Hive, an orcish bookie named Goldtooth informed the heroes their odds of surviving against two houses of drow, the Axoim tiefling mob, a house of duergar, the illithid mastermind Xoklaan and a squad of "redcap" gnome assassins dispatched by fomorians all add up to 120-to-1 odds against them. Squall put down 10 gp toward at least his own survival.

Before entering the portal to Elsehaven, the heroes noticed the second- and third-floor balconies of nearby buildings had become watchposts for drow, mind flayer and gnome spies, confirming their once "secret" lair was no longer safe. Still, eladrin and genasi guards had kicked out all undead and other "visitors" from Elsehaven and set up fey hounds to help the ogres Locke and Key sniff out trespassers.

Mabhe and Sharn convinced the eladrin warrior-princess Lady Shandria to review Argent as a possible new place to guard the planar children. Increasing "earthquakes" troubled the fey "demniplane," which did not bother Shandria. She rejected the heroes' warning about Underdark threats against Elsehaven.

Squall learned several genasi Elements had pissed off the Lady of Pain and ended up in her Mazes, extra-dimensional prisons. Other gang members noted they had contracted someone who could rescue people from the Mazes, and that helpful guide turned out to be Proxraius, a mercenary minotaur wizard in the employ of Rule-of-Three. It turned out that although Prox was able to help perform such rescues, he really was using the opportunity to get in contact with Squall and deliver a message about meeting someone at a secret location outside Sigil.

En route to sell off magical treasure, Squall and Mabhe followed Proxraius to a portal and found themselves in the Court of Storms, a pocket of thin but stable atmosphere in the Elemental Chaos where a partially crippled storm titan named Enceledus holds court. The titan claimed to be the great-great-grandfather of the princess Squall defended during the "Rewards of Destiny" encounter with celestial judges. The titan was no friend to the gods -- he used a petrified angel as a walking stick -- but nor was he sympathetic to Breven Foss' conspriacy of giants aiming to free the mad primordial Piranoth. After enduring the storm titan's questions and occational blasts with lightning, the titan rewarded Squall with a lightning artifact and released into their care Aethon, the deva child son of air.

Meanwhile, Sharn and Shandria went to Argent. As the First Sword defender of the Feywild city of Astrazalian, against which fomorians have staged raids for untold ages, Shandria was confident she could organize defenses in Argent to match against future giant attacks there. However, the warforged mages found they could only successfully link portals back to Sigil, not the Feywild, so travel to Argent would have to be coordinated through the City of Doors.

The heroes gathered back at Elsehaven and escorted the planar children and eladrin out of Elsehaven, into the Hive of Sigil, and prepared to portal to Argent. The genasi Elements gang would stay behind in Elsehaven, along with the unicorn Besrillidar (aka "Chip"), who feared leaving his familiar surroundings.

Outside Elsehaven, a small group of drow warriors kept a careful distance from the entourage. The drow sent their weakest member to deliver a message to the heroes: the captive elven maidens Aelrue, Calarel and Ghilanna still lived and would be auctioned off as slaves sometime during the next few days. Sharn debated staying behind to mount a rescue, but the priority of getting the planar children to safety forced urgent action. Mabhe blasted the drow messenger with visions of nightmares, and the hapless victim's dark elf companions put him down from a distance with a volley of poisoned darts.

The heroes, planar children and eladrin arrived in Argent to find the city besieged by hill giant attacks against the arcane shield surrounding the outer walls. The heroes responded to an aerial platform where dragons somehow bound to serve the giants had delivered a quartet of attack assaulting the gate. Squall was snatched from atop a wall and dropped to the platform below, only to respond by blasting the dragon out of the sky and launching massive thunder and lightning attacks against those giants on the ground. After about a minute of melee, the giants and their flying "pet" were destroyed.

Further giant assaults continued elsewhere. The heroes rushed to the southern gate where a second breach was in progress. A trio of giants, an earth archon and a young rune-covered behir were defeated -- the giants slain, the earth archon scared off and the behir ultimately captured.

After the giant battles, the heroes returned to the towers where Epsilon and Theta struggled to maintain Argent's magical defenses. A small group of eladrin wizards also serve there as bodyguards for the planar children under the heroes' protection (Aethon, son of air; Asera, daughter of healing; Balir, son of animals; Bellavel, daughter of travel; Devina daughter of luck; Ganiel, daughter of music; Tolf, son of knowledge; and Vala, daughter of war).

Potential quests before the heroes include:

* To build special weapons, the warforged need some rare and exotic magical material called sky metal. Historical records claim a batch of this substance was known to be in the possession of Acererak the Necromancer during the reign of Bael Turath about a thousand years ago. (Acererak would later become a lich, then a demi-lich, and build the infamously deadly Tomb of Horrors.) Epsilon and Theta believe their knowledge of chronomancy would allow a group of heroes to travel back in time and raid Acererak's lair, stealing the sky metal (and thus perhaps causing it to become so rare in the first place).

* Epsilon and Theta relied on Strawberry, the last guardian of Argent, to manage the magical city. Now that Strawberry is gone, they need more help. The rest of their kind, the former Warforged of Argent, left the Mortal World long ago for unknown reasons and now dwell in a remote sanctuary in the Shadowfell. Appealing to them to return to their former duties and come back to Argent would fix the city's broken magical workings.

* Lady Shandria, warrior-princess leader of the Feywild city of Astrazalian, has promised to deliver more eladrin warriors to help defend the planar children, but she cannot return to Argent directly. Someone needs to follow up with her in Astrazalian to deliver aid.

* The primal warbands of hill giant laying seige to Argent must have a home base somewhere near the city. Finding this outpost and killing any leader there may break their organization and ease up the seige.

* During both attacks on Argent's walls, draconic beasts covered in strange runes were encountered. Not quite Primordial nor Supernal nor Abyssal, but related to all three, the meaning and use of these runes remains a mystery.

* Rumors in Sigil say the captive elven maidens Aelrue, Calarel and Ghilanna are to be put up for auction by the slaver drow of House Aleval. Sharn seeks to rescue these elves, but Mabhe claims to have written them off as casualties of war.

* Recent trips to Sigil suggest the heroes are still being stalked by various enemies: drow (obviously), the mind-flayer Xoklaan, tieflings of The Axiom, and "red cap" gnome assassins known to work for fomorians (in this case, probably First Lord Thrumbolg).

* Several planar children remain "at large" across the cosmos.

PART EIGHT: The End of Elsehaven

Mabhe stayed behind in Argent as Sharn and Squall returned to Sigil and went on to Elsehaven. What they found instead of their familiar sylvan faerieland was instead a site of utter horror: A acre-wide chasm dropping into the Underdark with bloody genasi bodies pinned to the pit's walls by huge spikes. A half-dozen genasi were strung up to the cavern ceiling, suspended by their own entrails while still alive. Sharn and Squall spent several minutes climbing and flying to reach one survivor, carefully getting him down and back to Sigil. Once leaving the ruins of Elsehaven, the heroes realized they were suffering ongoing psychic damage and the wet blood on their clothes was in fact ichor (gods' blood), a sign Torog (the deity of torture) had found and attacked the fey retreat. The pair rushed the wounded genasi to the Temple of Corellon, and all the way the horrified victim kept muttering, "The shaking ground... the digging... he came, the King The Crawls, he found us... pain, penance, pain, trespass, pain, rage, pain..."

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