Therendor 9, 1001 YK
Derli issues a challenge to all participants in the Tournament of Blades to fight him in honorable combat. He receives no responses, for now.
Eyre 1, 1001 YK
Derli joins the party, and they leave Khatun Makra jin Karima’s catacomb stronghold for the Tower of Air on the other end of the ruined city. On the way, Derli encounters an Aereni elven woman named Valanthe Siannodel, who reveals herself to be the Hexblade of the Winter Fey pact. They part ways, but she assures him they will fight before their business in Illandyano is done.
The Collective arrives at the Tower of Air, a huge structure composed of two halves separated by a gap in mid-air, crossed by lightning and boulders. After speaking with a daft air genasi outside, Girrrth and Derli rip the huge metal door out of its frame and the party fights the greater air elemental guardians of the first level. They then move upwards to the gap in the tower, and Kaleth uses magic to move him and Rilic up while Girrrth and Derli jump up along the boulders. The floating boulders are revealed to be highly magnetic lodestones, causing huge problems for the heavily metal-bound Derli. As they ascend, they must dodge lightning blasts, contend with the magnetism (which causes the loss of Rilic’s rapier and its recovery by Girrrth), and multiple bouts of unconsciousness. Eventually, everyone reaches the top, rests for about an hour, and proceeds further up.
The next floor of the tower contains little besides a brass oil lamp, which Girrrth immediately rubs in an effort to gain wishes. The lamp is a trap, and he is knocked out again by enough lightning to launch him backwards through the air. After bringing him back to health they seek and find the way up, where they encounter a Cloud Giant Oligarch named Helania who has some sort of alliance with Yagmur. She lets them speak with him after they trade some of Iadoes’ petrified possessions. Yagmur is a djinni elemental summoner who asks them to help him instead of the Khatun, whom he believes to be extraordinarily evil. He says he can aid in their goals if they get a keystone for him, one of four required to open the palace that is the center of the elemental conflict in Illandyano. He is trying to keep it shut, while Makra wants the contents of the palace (said to be rich with treasure) for her own greed.
They are advised not to go back to the dao Khatun yet, and instead to either the egotistical marid Khedive in the Gardens, named Hisein, or the dutiful efreeti Sardar in the Temple, named Sa’ida. They choose the former, and they are given accommodations by Yagmur to sleep in the tower. Before they do, he warns them about another adventuring party called the Evening Star Company, including Velanthe, which could be dangerous.
Therendor 9, 1001 YK
Derli d’Kundarak announces publicly that he is seeking other participants of the Tournament of Blades who wish to challenge him in honorable combat. He does not receive any responses for the time being.
Therendor 27, 1001 YK
Eyre 1, 1001 YK
As the Eclipse Collective prepare’s to leave Khatun Makra jin Karima’s catacomb stronghold, Derli teleports to meet them. He is rapidly caught up on the situation while the party starts moving towards the opposite end of Illandyano to reach the Tower of Air, where the djinni they seek, Yagmur Reis, has set up his own stronghold. As they walk through the dangerous streets of the giant ruins, Rilic takes a convoluted path through buildings to avoid detection, Kaleth phases slightly out of time with magic to appear invisible, and Girrrth uses his earth elemental nature to merge with the stone of the city and pass undetected. Derli, meanwhile, strides brazenly in the open.
During the trip to the tower, Derli meets an elven woman walking in the opposite direction: an Aerenal elf from her dark skin and skull tattoo on her face. Her name is Valanthe Siannodel, and following a brief and mostly pleasant conversation, she reveals herself to be a Hexblade who made the Winter Fey Pact. She claims to be preoccupied at the moment but assures Derli that they will fight before they leave the city. The two then go their separate ways.
The party arrives at the base of the tower. Standing about 700 feet, the tower is visible from most areas of the city as most other buildings are comparatively short. Two halves of the tower are separated by a 360 foot gap, above which the upper half is suspended in the air. The gap is bridged by dozens of floating boulder-sized stones occasionally flashing with bolts of lightning. The entrance to the tower’s lowest level is closed by a huge metal door. An air genasi sits nearby and rises to meet the party as they approach. He asks if they are aligned with the Khatun, and when they mention they are in a way, he attempts to fly upwards towards the upper levels of the tower. His flight is erratic and clearly unpracticed, and when he tries to enter the gap in the tower he is rebuffed by a force shield of some kind. After settling back down, he explains he has never tried that before and isn’t actually aligned with Yagmur, but wants to be.
The Collective talks to him for a while and, after deciding he is not a threat, Derli and Girrrth collaborate to rip the massive door out of the wall — a feat of tremendous strength. Immediately after the door is removed, the interior of the first floor is revealed: a cavernous entrance chamber in which four huge greater air elementals await. These elementals, in contrast to the ones the party has previously fought, are larger and more coherent. One flies out immediately to where Girrrth and Derli stand in the threshold and surrounds them with its whirling form. Derli is tossed backwards and slams into a nearby building. He responds quickly by recovering and conjuring a bubbling, self-replenishing wall of molten gold to block the other air elementals from leaving the tower.
The elementals flow out regardless, though they are each severely burned by the gold wall. Girrrth remains firm in the doorway, fighting elementals as they come out and as they are forced back through the door by Derli’s blasting magic. Rilic deals with the relatively ineffective nature of his wands against the air elementals while Kaleth struggles against an elemental that tosses him against the tower wall and pins him there. During the fight, some of his magic is revealed, including drawing clones of himself from alternate timelines for protection and rapidly accelerating time in their local area, causing sections of the area to fall away before time bounces back, restoring it as it was.
Rilic ends up being thrown into the tower from outside by an air elemental, and the rest of the party pursues it while he flees from it, finishing the fight there. The air genasi from outside enters the tower once it is clear and decides he will just spend some time on the lowest level, describing the fight he did not participate in as “exhausting.” They leave him there and proceed upwards, ending up at the top of the first half of the tower, facing the gap above them. To proceed, Kaleth draws a stone disk supposedly from his past (though it is clearly just a stone disk), and standing on it with Rilic, levitates it upwards. Derli and Girrrth attempt to ascend by jumping between the floating boulders, but as they do it quickly becomes clear that they are heavily magnetic lodestones. For Derli, who carries a considerable amount of metal, this is a difficult obstacle to surmount. Rilic loses his rapier to the magnetism midway up, and Girrrth goes to retrieve it. For the whole ascent, the party must dodge the bolts of lightning that arc between the stones.
Nearly halfway up, Derli’s armour snaps into one of the lodestones and, stuck there, he is blasted by a bolt of lightning that renders him unconscious. Girrrth goes down to retrieve him but must remove him from his armour to do so. Once he has, he struggles to continue jumping upward while carrying the musclebound dwarf, frequently getting stuck to lodestones thanks to his unwillingness to drop Rilic’s rapier that he has now claimed as his own. Also, the stone platform used by Kaleth is destroyed, but Rilic leaps to safety and continues artfully leaping and tumbling his way up while Kaleth creates a new, smaller platform (quickly transmuted into wood by focusing, as is the nature of the plane) and rises up. Rilic is the first to get up to the second half, followed soon by Kaleth. Very close to the top, Girrrth is struck by lightning and made unconscious. A similarly unconscious Derli is fortunate enough to avoid plummeting to his death, and is close enough to the top that Kaleth levitates him the rest of the way. Girrrth receives similar assistance but is ripped out of the telekinetic grasp when his body again slams into a lodestone thanks to the rapier. Derli regains consciousness when his body is brought to safety, and he uses his magic to bring Girrrth back to consciousness.
The earth genasi leaps the rest of the way up, and Kaleth sends his familiar — an owl — down to where Derli’s equipment remains fixed to a lodestone. Through the familiar’s eyes, he alters the form of the armour to something lighter using the plane’s morphic nature, and the owl carries it up. Derli re-equips himself, and they rest for an hour before moving upwards.
On the next level, there are few features; the walls are all covered completely in curtains, while a pedestal (scaled to a mortal man) stands at the room’s center. Atop the pedestal is a cushion, upon which is a brass oil lamp. The party stands and asses the situation at the room’s entrance staircase while Girrrth immediately rushes forward, desiring potential wishes from a djinni within. Just as Kaleth is explaining to the others that such a lamp would be used to imprison a djinni and the djinni they are looking for would not be imprisoned, Girrrth rubs the lamp, triggering a magical blast of lightning from the trapped object that sends him flying backwards and nearly kills him. When he is again brought back to consciousness, he has visible tremors that he can’t quite stop.
They spend some time planning how to find a way upwards, approaching the situation with magic and many other complex solutions. Eventually, Kaleth just starts ripping curtains off the walls to discover a simply hidden door with stairs leading up along the outside of the tower. They follow upwards, where they find a partially-open level. A cloud giantess, about 18 feet in height with blue skin and a tremendous, lightning-wreathed spear, sits in an old chair reading a book. Wrapped around the chair is a behir, similar to the one the party saw in Haka’torvhak.
She puts down her book as they enter, and she leans close to inspect them. She tells them that she is called Helania, an Oligarch of the Cloud Giants, here for some sort of vague research purpose. She talks for a while about the Ordning — the giant racial hierarchy — and how it relates to mortals, which frustrates Derli to an extent. Helania mentions that this city was built by giants, but she believes that the giants that did so were even higher in the Ordning than storm giants (the present highest) and possibly extinct. Interested in artifacts of historical significance, she decides to speak with Yagmur on the party’s behalf in exchange for some of Iadoes’ petrified possessions, including his knowledge shards and his moon rock. She then climbs up to the next level using her behir, and comes back down. After a while, a hole opens in the ceiling and stairs descend, allowing access to the tower’s rooftop.
Here, Yagmur Reis waits, apparently in the middle of some sort of ritual. He speaks frankly with the party about their intentions and Khatun Makra’s desire to have him killed. Yagmur explains the nature of the conflict in Illandyano: the palace at the center, called Zenzatun, is believed to hold fantastic wealth and treasure. The Khatun is trying to take that treasure out of greed, while Yagmur, her greatest rival even before they arrived in the city ruin, intends on keeping the palace closed, as he believes it is sealed for a reason. He offers to help the party with what they are trying to do in the Khatun’s stead, whom he describes as “absolutely evil” and “disgustingly greedy.” All he desires is a keystone, of which there are four, corresponding to each element. These are used to open the palace. He has one, while the other three Genie Lords have one each.
He suggests they do not return immediately to Khatun Makra, and instead recommends they investigate one of the other two Genie Lords. He names them: the marid Khedive Hisein Tala’at, and the efreeti Sardar Sa’ida Dewan al-Zaman. He believes they are trying to open the palace for glory and to restore the City of Brass, respectively. Hisein has made the Water Gardens his stronghold, while Sa’ida has taken the Temple of Fire. After some discussion, the party decides to pursue the former option. Yagmur cautions them about any decision they make, as there is another adventuring company, the Evening Star Company,, present in Illandyano and seeking to involve themselves in the conflict as well. This company includes the warlock Valanthe, whom Derli met earlier.
Before they depart, they ask to rest in the tower. Yagmur sends them down to the level with the trapped lamp, and fills it with comfortable cushions, food, and drink for them to spend the night with and prepare to depart the next day.