The Hands that Move the World

Coming Storm I: Touchdown

Therendor 7, 1001 YK

After resting the night, the Eclipse Collective prepares to convene the Eran Royal Council, but first goes to meet the mysterious ambassador mentioned by Coref Irvallo before. She is revealed to be Umitia, a Magebred human from Metrol and new Lady of Storms, ruling the Seventh Palace of Vermishard with Zebith‘s death in the Starpeaks Invasion. She says Zil’dejin has been usurped as emperor of the Mournland by her husband Metreus Umitian, who wants the Stone of Light Zil’dejin received on his coronation to legitimize his rule. They say they will consider it.

The royal council convenes, which leads to some large changes in the council roles, the founding of the town of Vrinsk on the ruins of Kalazart, new explorations, and more.

Therendor 8 -28, 1001 YK

The party promises the return of the Stone of Light to Metrol while planning to push Metreus out. As the Stone is in the Eclipse Keep, they must first retrieve it from Kythri. Various events take place in Eros, including Girrrth’s first chance to enforce the law, a disastrous magical accident at the magical academy (which unsurprisingly leads to another fire, but a bit less directly this time), Rilic ordering spies to Metrol, and Iadoes developing a magical cipher after his cult is subject to new legal regulations.

Eyre 1, 1001 YK

The Eclipse Collective finally enters Kythri, the Churning Chaos, to get the Eclipse Keep back. They arrive on that chaotic plane on an earth mote, seen previously by Iadoes, near the githzerai monastery of Sanzerathad. Nearby, the Eclipse Keep floats on its own earth mote surrounded by an elemental storm. Below is a sprawling ruined city, on yet another (much larger) mote.

They attempt to enter the monastery, which is surprisingly serene in contrast to the raging storm of elements around them. They are stopped by Issithertha, a githzerai woman who commands the Blades of Discipline, one of two sub-orders of the Sanzerathad monks. She grants them access and while they eat, they talk about getting the keep back. The monks did not create the storm or move the keep, but they can help… with the assistance of Zitholt, the master of the Hands of Order (the other sub-order), who meditate constantly to keep the monastery stable. She says if they find him and return him, they can help.

As they are about to speak with the Hands of Order, the monastery is attacked by froglike slaadi, which the Eclipse Collective help to fight off. When this is done, they interrupt the meditating monks and speak with them about Zitholt, who evidently has gone to the city below for unknown reasons, possibly related to the Chaos Gear (which they call the Star of Chaos). They decide to pursue, and are told to investigate the five most prominent buildings of the city of Illandyano: the palace, the tower, the temple, the gardens, and the crypt. They decide to go to the palace first, and are taught by the monks to exert willpower to shape the plane before they leave.

They jump off the edge of the monastery mote, with Zil’dejin gliding down, Iadoes slowing his fall by focusing on increasing air resistance, Rilic forming a rope to climb down, and Girrrth jumping between floating boulders. On the way, they are assaulted by massive chaos rocs, which are killed through a long battle of climbing, falling, being grabbed, and dodging eye rays. Iadoes is the victim of one such prismatic eye ray that results in his petrification, a process he is not able to fight off. As he turns to stone, he falls about a thousand feet to the city below and shatters on impact with the ground. The party collects what they can of his things when they reach the bottom (climbing for Rilic, gliding on a roc corpse for Zil’dejin and Girrrth), mourn for a moment, and go to the palace.

They see a huge fight between the four main types of elementals and corresponding genasi. They decide not to get involved and turn to leave, only to be stopped by an earth genasi who believes he recognizes Girrrth (falsely). He is heavily wounded by ice magic and asks Girrrth to lead them back to “the Khatun” to give her something he calls a keystone. Girrrth agrees but does not know the way. The genasi realizes they don’t know who the Khatun is but they are amenable to meeting her, so he takes them anyway. They fight air elementals and dodge fire runes on the way, and come to the crypt, which descends into the catacombs the Khatun has made her fortress. Khatun Makra jin Karima is a dao (earth genie) who commands earth genasi, earth elementals, and a number of slaves. Zitholt, it appears, was one of her slaves, but she no longer has him. She offers to tell them where he is if they help her by killing her rival, the djinni Yagmur Reis, who dwells in the tower on the opposite end of the city. They tentatively agree.

While they rest and prepare to leave again, a new slave is brought before the Khatun, who looks human but with some celestial qualities. He calls himself Kaleth, “Khan of the Chronocracy.” Makra doesn’t really want him as a slave, so Zil’dejin persuades her to give him to the party to aid in defeating Yagmur.

Main Characters: Zil’dejin Firebane, Conlon Ostrennar, Iadoes Lunaformer, Rilic Balendal, Girrrth Thicktrunk, Kaleth

Therendor 7, 1001 YK

With all of the Eclipse Collective back in Eros and somewhat rested after their adventures on the moon of Vult, they prepare to convene the Eran Royal Council in the temporary meeting chamber of Grey Titan’s Hold’s palace. First, however, they go to meet the ambassador Coref Irvallo mentioned previously. She has been staying in an area of the palace as well.

The woman that greets them is beautiful, but not inhumanly so, with an elegant dress that is frayed around the edges. The room around her has a vague sensation of static electricity. She introduces herself to Zil’dejin Firebane as Lady Umitia, and refuses to introduce herself directly to the other members of the party present. Her purpose in coming is quickly revealed: she claims to be the new Magebred Lady of Storms in Metrol, replacing Zebith after his death and the departure of the Excavators of the Mournland. Zil’dejin, she says, has been usurped as Emperor of the Mournland by her husband, a new magebred ruler named Metreus Umitian. The Emperor requests final legitimization of his rule by Zil’dejin surrendering the Stone of Light acquired when he was crowned in 999 YK. She also mentions that Burl Gadra has been removed from his position. Zil’dejin asks for a day to consider it, and leaves with the rest of the party. They realize that the Stone of Light was located in the Eclipse Keep’s vault, which is currently on another plane.

After this, they convene the Royal Council. The meeting sees major changes to the council’s makeup, with many positions being altered and switched. Iadoes Lunaformer is removed from the council entirely after Nimozaran the Green requests being made Magister, on account of Iadoes being a sorcerer and thus not having as much practical magical knowledge. The council also orders groundwork to be laid for a new settlement built on the ruins of Kalazart, to be called “Vrinsk” in honour of Lucan Vrinsk d’Medani. Some farms and a new mine are to be built in the new claimed territory, explorers are hired for further surveying east, and preparations are made for an elite unit of mages to supplement the existing army of Eros. Additionally, an audit of the Cult of Lharvion is ordered to investigate whether it is operating within the boundaries of the law.

Therendor 8, 1001 YK

The audit into the activities of the Cult of Lharvion is begun by King Zil’dejin, Conlon Ostrennar, and Aria Kavassa. Warden Hamson is also present. Gummy Joe reveals (somewhat inadvertently) some of the more illicit activities the cult performs, including a ritual that encases living sacrifices in molten gold. The assurance that all participants are willing does little to ease the auditors’ concerns. During the audit, Gummy Joe also reveals that another cult is slowly rising to prominence in Grey Titan’s Hold, called the Three Faces of War, or sometimes just the Cult of War.

Following the audit, Zil’dejin, Conlon, and to a lesser extend High Priestess Kavassa decide on three changes:

1. Strict observation of the Cult of Lharvion to prevent the exhumation of bodies, which is explicitly made illegal.
2. Absolute forbidding of all ritual murder or mutilation
3. The establishment of a shrine for the Three Faces of War very near to the shrine used by the Cult of Lharvion

With this, the audit concludes. Zil’dejin returns to Umitia to inform her of the situation, and she gives them the span of one month to retrieve the Stone of Light and bring it back to Metrol.

Therendor 14, 1001 YK

A group of vandals and thugs steals a large amount of construction materials from Vrinsk. Girrrth Thicktrunk, in his new official capacity as Royal Enforcer, investigates, and discovers the leader to be a pudgy dwarf named “Chubby Fingers” Grathak. Girrrth is relatively new to the concept of codified laws, and gives the criminal a somewhat unusual set of choices, many of which involve fighting Girrrth in personal combat. This culminates in Chubby Fingers being sent to work in the kingdom’s mines, with the wages he would otherwise earn being sent back to his family.

Therendor 15, 1001 YK

The Eran spy network becomes more formalized, and requests orders from Spymaster Rilic Balendal. He sends them to Metrol in anticipation of future conflict.

Therendor 17, 1001 YK

Iadoes refines his “moon cipher,” a coded language in which he writes the Cult of Lharvion’s scriptures. He teaches the cipher only to Brown Boots Martin, one of his two lieutenants.

Therendor 20, 1001 YK

A botched ritual at the magical academy leads to the creation of a mortuary cyclone, a semi-sentient whirlwind of discarded corpse bits, dust, and grave dirt. During the ensuing fight to put the creation down, Conlon fires a radiant lightning bolt from his ring of the radiant storm and accidentally sets the academy’s library on fire again.

Eyre 1, 1001 YK

The Eclipse Collective at last makes preparations to retrieve their keep from the plane of Kythri, the Churning Chaos. Iadoes prepares to plane shift them to their destination, using “within sight of the Eclipse Keep” as a reference for the teleportation. Nimozaran cautions him against this, warning that there’s no knowing whether their destination will be safe, so they instead choose to go to the location Talbot informed them of previously: the githzerai monastery called Sanzerathad.

Iadoes magically relocates them to their destination safely. He recognizes it immediately: he has been here previously when he fought Evil Iadoes and Moon Iadoes for control over the Chaos Gear. The monastery is on a floating island in the middle of a constantly-raging storm of chaotic elements, and it consists of a central compound surrounded by pagoda towers on floating earth motes. At the very center is a particularly large block of stone on which is carved an elaborate relief with no visible access to an interior, if one exists. A nearby smaller earth mote hosts the Eclipse Keep, barely visible beneath a constantly-rolling cyclone of elemental power. Below, visible by looking over the edge, a sprawling city floats on a much larger earth mote, crumbling at the edges under the battery of the elemental storm.

The party proceeds forward toward the monastery. As they do, the noise and danger of the storm seem to pass away and the constant chaos above fades away into a clear blue sky. At the gate leading into the walled compound, they are stopped by a githzerai woman carrying a long silver sword. She calls herself Issithertha, and announces that she is the Marshal of Sanzertahad’s Blades of Discipline, which she describes as something like an army or a police force. Conversation with her reveals that this place remains serene and intact despite the surrounding destructive forces by sheer force of will put force by the Hands of Order, the other sect of monks within the monastery. They meditate constantly to exert psionic power sufficient to hold the monastery intact, and to protect the “Room With No Doors.” The party guesses that this room was meant to hold the Chaos Gear, which Issithertha does not directly acknowledge, though she expresses that the item, which she calls the Star of Chaos, was indeed once here.

After a time, she brings them into the monastery to a sort of guesthouse, where she feeds them something that could very loosely be called rice. Issithertha explains that the food is condensed from the raw elemental essence of the plane. While they eat, they talk about their predicament. The Marshal explains that the master of the Hands of Order, Master Zitholt, could remove the surrounding storm and possibly relocate the keep with the help of the other monks. However, he has recently gone missing. If he can be retrieved, she says, he can help bring the Keep back to Eberron. She suggests that they speak with the Hands of Order to find out more about Zitholt’s intent. As they are about to leave, they hear a low horn sound somewhere else in the monastery. Drawing her sword, Issithertha says that the monastery is under attack — apparently a routine occurrence. She asks the party to assist, and sends them to one end while she goes to another.

When they arrive, the party fights a number of frog-like slaadi, creatures native to Kythri with abilities determined by their colour. The fight does not take long as Iadoes speeds Girrrth and Zil’dejin into battle against the brutish blue slaadi while Rilic and and the sorcerer fight off the red ones. With one great sweeping blow arcing vertically over a full 180 degrees, Zil’dejin tears through a blue slaad, grey slaad, and red slaad all at once. Girrrth hacks through a blue one and the green one while the last red one is killed by Rilic. With all dead, they return to Issithertha, who thanks them and directs them to the Hands of Order, who dwell in one of the floating earth mote towers.

With no visible route of access, Zil’dejin flies up carrying Rilic while Iadoes magically lifts himself and Girrrth up. Despite outward appearances, the tower is hollow, containing multiple concentric circles of githzerai monks sitting on mats on the floor in the lotus position, concentrating deeply. To awaken them, Girrrth punches a small gong nearby hard enough to break it off its chains and smash it against a wall. Nearly all of the monks are simultaneously startled, causing a brief disruption in their concentration as the tower plummets for a few seconds before control is regained. Most of the monks sit back down to continue their meditation, while one attempts to fix a gong and another speaks with the party.

This monk explains that Zitholt is believed to have gone to the city below, which he calls Illandyano and describes it as a “city of ghosts.” It was protected by some sort of powerful warding until recently, when it dissipated without any explanation, though he cannot recall exactly when this happened. The Hands of Order do not know Zitholt’s intent in leaving, but believe that his goals were pursuant to bringing back the Chaos Gear (or Star of Chaos). The monk suggests they seek the most prominent buildings in the city’s remains: a palace at the center, a tower, a temple, an elaborate garden, and a crypt. Before the party leaves to investigate, he teaches them the basics of how to exert willpower to control the chaotic nature of the plane with the Three Elemental Principles: movement, transformation, and stabilization. When this is is done, Iadoes — who takes most strongly to this teaching — transforms an earthen stairway from the matter of the plane to allow them to step down freely.

They talk to Issithertha briefly to keep her posted on the situation before proceeding to the edge of the monastery, away from its relative safety. Iadoes is first to descend, focusing his will to compact air around him and increase air resistance to slow his fall, also providing a current to keep him partially buoyant. Zil’dejin is the next to leap from the edge, preparing to glide down to the city below with his wings. Rilic manifests a sturdy silk rope by concentrating, and begins climbing down. Girrrth jumps down to some of the floating intermediate earth motes and leaps between them to reach the city.

Midway through the descent from Sanzerathad to Illandyano, the party hears a terrible screeching as two gargantuan birds descend upon them: chaos rocs. They resemble the enormous rocs of the material plane, but their bodies are rapidly-shifting landscapes of different elements, giving them a constantly changing appearance. It is clear that they see the party as prey, so as they approach, Zil’dejin performs a complex aerial manoeuvre, flying up to slash one under the wing. Girrrth leaps off a rock to jump on the back of the same one and begins driving his axe into its spine, while Zil’dejin climbs up from beneath its wing to assist him. Meanwhile, its companion swoops down to attack Rilic in mid-climb, but he swings out of the way and avoids being blasted by a prismatic eye-ray. It flies around and towards the other roc, grabbing Zil’dejin and Girrrth in its enormous talons and carrying them off its injured partner’s back. The injured one flies down to Iadoes, who has been blasting it with moonbeams, and discharges an eye ray. He experiences powerful shocks, and feels his skin begin to harden. After piercing and killing the chaos roc with a final moonbeam, he focuses on doing everything he can to avert petrification. Meanwhile, the other chaos roc is killed as Zil’dejin paralyzes it, Girrrth rapidly cleaves it with his axe, and Zil’dejin finishes it off by driving his glaive into its heart. The two then jump up to the wings of the dead bird and manipulate them, using it as a glider to safely reach Illandyano.

Iadoes, meanwhile, can no longer fend off the petrification. He drops his concentration on a slow descent and plummets as he petrifies, falling nearly a thousand feet and shattering on contact with the ground. When the party reaches the surface, they spend a few moments in mourning before collecting what they can find of his material possessions (also petrified, but largely intact) and proceeding towards Illandyano’s palace. Here, they find a fierce four-way battle proceeding between a large number of elementals, and genasi of the corresponding elements. They decide not to involve themselves in this and walk away, only to be stopped by an injured earth genasi who has mistakenly identified Girrrth as a companion of his. He is injured, impaled with an ice spear, and asks Girrrth to lead him back to somebody identified as the Khatun to deliver something he calls the keystone. Girrrth agrees but has no idea where he is going, and it soon comes to light the party is not affiliated with this Khatun. They seem amenable to the idea of meeting her, however, so the earth genasi leads them instead. On the way there, he expresses his excitement to meet Rilic, of whose autobiography he possesses three volumes (though he cannot read).

Before they reach the Khatun, they are attacked on the ruined streets by air elementals. They fend these off with little trouble, and barring an explosive fire glyph on the ground, they reach the stronghold with little trouble. Khatun Makra jin Karima has established a foothold in the crypt mentioned by the monk, which descends into an elaborate catacomb beneath the city. Here, a number of earth elementals stand guard, supplemented by earth genasi and some slaves of various descriptions. The injured genasi, now riding on Zil’dejin’s back after the explosion, leads them through the twisting corridors of the catacombs to meet with the Khatun, a dao conqueror who claims to have taken about a quarter of the ruined city.

Apparently, the dao is at war with genies representing the other elements, though she only names one of them: Yagmur Reis, a djinni. When the party asks her about Zitholt, she casually explains that he was her slave, but she has sold him (or otherwise gotten rid of him) since. She refuses to tell them his location unless they take care of Yagmur, who is her greatest rival. They tentatively agree, and rest for a short while in the catacomb. While they are here, a genasi guard detachment bring in a new slave for the Khatun. He is more or less human in appearance, though his hair is stark white, his eyes glow faintly gold, and a halo shines above his head.

He identifies himself as Kaleth, “Khan of the Chronocracy,” and considers himself at least equal and probably superior to Makra. He does not acknowledge that he is a slave despite his compromised position, and the Khatun grows quickly frustrated in dealing with him. To diffuse the situation, Zil’dejin persuades Makra to surrender the slave as he is “not worth the trouble” and could be helpful in dealing with Yagmur. With this new companion, they prepare to leave for the tower on the other end of the city, which Yagmur has made his own stronghold.



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