Zarantyr 10, 1001 YK
Tandi tries to teleport back to the Eclipse Collective, but misses and ends up on a Sulatar airship. He agrees to fetch Jhulae Ssambra, who is lost in Fernia, for the acting captain. He goes there and finds her with an unconscious Namfoodle and some dead genasi, tells her why he is there, and allows her to shrink magically to ride his ponysus Mulp with him to the City of Brass while he waits for his magic to recover enough to teleport them all out. Midway through, he rises Mulp to a height of 1,000 feet and teleports away, leaving Jhulae to drop. She tries to slow her fall with magic, but Tandi cancels it with his own, and Jhulae falls to her death. Tandi grabs her slate, fetches Namfoodle, and they both go to the City of Brass together.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party pursues Jhulae’s airship (sans Jhulae). They board it and kill nearly every drow on board, though Adran and Xulgos both die in the process, and Iadoes loses an arm. Xulgos’ ring, given to him by Atrava the Frozen, shatters when he dies, summoning a very unusual looking glabrezu that contains his mind and soul. When all the drow are dead, they land, and the thri-kreen they let fly the Phoenix Eclipse crashes it. They decide to take Jhulae’s airship instead, with its better hull integrity, stronger armour, and working negative energy cannon. They encounter a priest of Dol Arrah in the desert, Thoman Lander, and ask him to fix Iadoes’ arm. He eventually agrees and decides to travel with them. When Iadoes’ arm has been fixed they fly towards the tomb that they believe has the next piece of Firebring.
Zarantyr 11, 1001 YK
Marlamin finds a stowaway, a cowardly drow who hid during the recent conflict. He brings the drow to the Giant-speaking Iadoes and the Elven-speaking Thoman for interrogation, and learn that the piece of Firebring they are looking for is actually in the hands of desert giant nomads. The drow directs them to the camp, which does indeed have a stone tablet with part of Firebring on it. Here they are met by desert giants asking if they are there to fight their sheikh, the Great Ghaji. They say a drow champion has already extended such a challenge, and Marlamin decides to take the same. They enter the camp to find that the drow champion is Jevan Ssambra. Iadoes bets Jevan that Marlamin will win the duel, and Jevan agrees, even allowing Marlamin to fight first so Jevan can collect his winnings. Marlamin fights Ghaji and kills him, winning the duel. The desert giants move the tablet to the Collective’s airship.
In Fernia, Tandi and Namfoodle reach the newly-frozen Palace of Cinders in the City of Brass. They speak with Atrava the Frozen, who offers to heal their extensive heat exhaustion and give them information on Firebring if they kill Haroun Sepah-Salaar, the leader of the city’s resistance against Levistus and commander-in-chief for the late sultan. They agree, and teleport to his castle, hiding with invisibility and climbing walls in the most ridiculous way possible, ultimately killing the Sepah Salaar and escaping back to the palace. They get information on Ammultun, tomb of the dead fire giant king Ammul, who holds the last part of the eldritch machine Firebring in his mind (not a spell, as they first thought). Atrava believes his ghost will be there and can impart the information. Before they leave, Tandi requests and audience with Levistus, the Bringer of Ice. He gets it but refuses to become a herald, which insults Atrava. Atrava asks that they leave, and they do, teleporting to Jhulae’s ship (now taken by the Eclipse Collective).
Tandi and Namfoodle appear on the airship’s deck. The desert giants load the tablet on the airship, while Jevan mocks them and reveals that he was transcribing the tablet’s contents while Marlamin fought. Iadoes tries to take it by magically implanting a suggestion in the drow, but Jevan kills the hypnotized follower. The giants prohibit fighting in their camp, so the groups part ways while Tandi and Namfoodle mock Jevan about the death of his sister. As the party lifts off, they see Jevan’s airship shift into Fernia. They follow suit, hoping to reach Ammultun first, which they do. They navigate the narrow, jagged canyons and break into the tomb, weathering its curse to meet the ghost of Ammul. He says he will share his knowledge (or sell his silence) for a corporeal body to re-enter the world, as it has been 50,000 years and the Giant Empire has fallen. He wishes to reclaim his throne.
Ammul takes Adran’s body and possesses it. As thanks, he gives what treasures he was buried with (that haven’t already been taken) to the party. He also asks for the other pieces of Firebring, which are given to him. Iadoes even offers the Rage Shard they got from the City of Brass in exchange for information on the Thirteenth Moon, which Ammul is surprised about as he thinks that it is common knowledge. As Ammul prepares to build the Firebring machine, Jevan enters the tomb with an escort of drow, including his revived sister Jhulae…
Zarantyr 10, 1001 YK
In Khorvaire, the famous halfling bard Tandi Warmmantle has just finished a performance in Sigilstar in Thrane to fund future adventuring. When he has finished, he counts his money, mounts his ponysus (a small pegasus), Mulp, and attempts to teleport to the rest of the Eclipse Collective. Unfortunately, he errs, and teleports onto a Sulatar airship: none other than Jhulae Ssambra‘s, though its mistress remains in Fernia with Namfoodle. The acting captain of the ship, an older and refined (if slightly crazy) Sulatar priestess, speaks with Tandi and brings him to her quarters. Since he has the ability to teleport, and Jhulae is in Fernia with no way back, she asks him to retrieve her. He gives him a lock of her hair as a guide to teleport. He protests, saying that it’s impossible to cross planes, though she informs him that this is not the case on Sulatar airships, and teleportation is possible between Fernia and Eberron.
He decides to comply, partly as an apology for just appearing on her ship. He hops on Mulp and teleports again just as the Phoenix Eclipse approaches the Sulatar ship from the aft. The Eclipse Collective is giving chase out of the volcano. Wanting to avoid an air battle, they come within 500 feet of the enemy airship and teleport aboard, with Xulgos and Adran appearing in the bridge and Iadoes and Marlamin appearing on the main deck. Some fifteen Sulatar are on the main deck, six of them in the fire-cannons. Meanwhile, the bridge contains only a mage and two elite warriors, though they are soon joined by the priestess.
The fire-cannons target Iadoes almost exclusively, bombarding him with fire, to which he is vulnerable from the Khyber shard in his chest. Marlamin walks slowly across the deck, wading through Sulatar, cutting and crushing them against their ineffectual attacks. Iadoes is soon brought down by a powerful blast of fire that breaks through his shield and burns his right arm to ash, while Marlamin detonates one of the other cannons about to fire. Back on the bridge, a rapid exchange of magic, swords and eye-beams brings down the elite warriors, Adran, and then the mage. The priestess raises one of the fallen warriors, who takes down Xulgos. The priestess soon after stabs Adran’s unconscious body while the warrior stomps on Xulgos’ chest. Desperate to escape the relentless fire cannons, Iadoes teleports into the bridge, where, upon seeing the situation, fires a cone of cold from his remaining arm. Xulgos and Adran are caught in the blast, which kills Adran, but also kills the warrior stomping on Xulgos. Xulgos soon passes away as well, which causes the ring he received from Atrava the Frozen to shatter. A magic circle, ice blue in colour, appears nearby, and a strange-looking glabrezu demon steps out. Xulgos’ mind and soul are stored within it. He communicates his identity to Iadoes, who finishes off the priestess while demon-Xulgos leaps out the window of the bridge. With his huge pincer-arms, he smashes through one of the cannons and with his smaller arms strangles the Sulatar inside. Marlamin continues wading through drow to reach the edge of the ship, where he leaps on the back of his nightmare just as Xulgos smashes through a second cannon and holds the Sulatar within by the head, bashing it into the stone wall until he dies.
Marlamin maneuvers the nightmare back towards the deck, killing two more Sulatar on deck before breaking another cannon and stabbing its occupant through the heart. Xulgos breaks through the final cannon, and the Sulatar inside decides to take his chances jumping out to the ground below. This leaves no Sulatar left in the entire airship, and Iadoes quickly grabs the controls with his one arm to avoid a complete crash of the ship. The thri-kreen guide on the Phoenix Eclipse attempts a landing nearby and crashes the ship. After some discussion, the party decides to take the Sulatar ship, which has better armour and a more intact hull and, while the side cannons are all destroyed, the negative energy cannon on the front works. While they transfer things over, a human stranger approaches from the desert, a priest of Dol Arrah named Thoman Lander. Marlamin approaches him and asks for his help to restore Iadoes’ arm. He agrees, and comes along. They decide to fly towards the next location marked on their map for the Firebring spell: a tomb of some kind.
Meanwhile, in Fernia, Tandi encounters Jhulae, who has killed a number of genasi and knocked out Namfoodle with a sleep spell. He tells her why he has come, and she allows him to teleport her back… but Tandi cannot summon the power to cast teleport again, and requires eight hours’ rest. He asks how he can win her favour in this time, and she tells him to take her to the City of Brass and kill Atrava the Frozen. Tandi agrees, and Jhulae shrinks herself with magic so she can ride on Mulp. About a half hour into their ride, Mulp climbs to an altitude of 1,000 feet and Tandi teleports away with the pony, dropping Jhulae. She attempts to cast feather fall, but Tandi cancels it with his own magic, and she plummets and dies on contact with the ground. He flies down, retrieves the tablet, and goes back to fetch Namfoodle. The two of them go towards the City of Brass, piloting in shifts to get some rest. They suffer some exhaustion in the intense heat, but nothing fatal.
Zarantyr 11, 1001 YK
Midway through their flight, Marlamin discovers a stowaway on their new airship, a drow cowering beneath a table. The drow speaks poor Common, so he drags him by the throat to the bridge, where the Giant-speaking Iadoes and the Elvish-speaking Thoman learn that the tomb they are going to is a decoy, and that the actual spell fragment is with a group of desert giants. He can direct them there if they spare his life, so they agree. They fly towards the location he has indicated.
Sure enough, a number of yurts and a sizable stone tablet at the center of the camp indicate the presence of desert giants. The airship lands nearby, and some desert giants come to meet them. Iadoes mentions the drow, and the giants ask if they have come to challenge the great Sheikh Ghaji. Ghaji is their leader and a fierce combatant who has agreed to fight a champion of the drow to the death for possession of the tablet, which they call “the ancestral words.” If they lose the fight, not only does their champion die, but all of their companions will be enslaved. They agree, and enter the camp, where Jevan Ssambra is already waiting. Iadoes makes a bet with him that Marlamin will be victorious against Ghaji. Jevan scoffs at this, and allows Marlamin to fight first so he can claim his winnings if Marlamin loses. Marlamin steps forward to face Ghaji, and after a quick but brutal fight, Marlamin rips open the giant’s chest with his sword and emerges victorious. The giants begin moving the tablet to their new airship.
In Fernia, Tandi and Namfoodle reach the City of Brass. The palace is surrounded with a shell of ice, and while the city is normally shielded from the intense heat of Fernia, it is no longer so since the Sultan’s death. They fly towards the palace and teleport through the shield of ice to speak with Atrava. Tandi requests the Rage Shard, but Atrava has already given it away. He instead requests healing of their exhaustion and information about Firebring in exchange for a service. Atrava agrees, heals their exhaustion, and sends them to kill the efreet leader of the resistance against Levistus in the City of Brass: Haroun Sepah-Salaar. They agree, and are teleported to the Long Castle’s teleportation circle. As soon as they arrive they are accosted by efreeti and salamanders, but Tandi turns them both invisible and they break through the crowd in the chaos. To reach Haroun, Namfoodle walks up the wall with Tandi playing a magic-woven song standing on Namfoodle’s chest, warded by silence through Namfoodle’s ki power. They reach the balcony Haroun is standing on, and attack.
The assault is relentless, and Namfoodle beats him to a pulp, ultimately killing him. They turn invisible again and flee, returning to the teleportation circle and back to Atrava, who gives them what they want to know. The party has already learned the location of the volcano and the desert giants, but they learn also of Ammultun, the tomb of the 50,000-year-dead Fire King Ammul. The spell (actually an eldritch machine, as they learn) cannot be held in one place, for the knowledge is too powerful for the mind to contain. Ammul memorized one third of what was needed and discarded the rest. Atrava says that his ghost will have the rest of the knowledge needed. Before leaving, Tandi asks to speak with Levistus, the Bringer of Ice and completes the ritual to this effect, though unlike Conlon and Iadoes before him does not make a pact. Atrava is insulted and sends Tandi and Namfoodle on their way. They teleport back to Jhulae’s ship, which by now is controlled by the Eclipse Collective.
The desert giants are loading the tablet onto the ship while Jevan stands nearby, mocking them. Tandi and Namfoodle appear on the deck and mock him back, insulting his sister and relaying her death in graphic detail. Jevan says they will “get theirs,” and makes a showy display of his own self-writing tablet, which he used to transcribe the copy of the larger one owned by desert giants during Marlamin’s fight. Iadoes attempts to control one of Jevan’s followers to deliver the tablet to the Eclipse Collective, but Jevan sees what the drow is doing and cleaves him in twain before it can happen, recovering the tablet himself. The giants warn them that they want no fighting in their camp (though they are okay with drow killing drow, as they are in the same faction and they perceive them as slaves still anyway). The two factions have a tense parting. Tandi shows Iadoes the map, and as he takes off, they note that Jevan’s airship seems to catch fire and vanish, transferring through Fernia. Not wanting to be outdone, Thoman takes the controls of the airship while Iadoes goes to perform the plane-shifting, halving their trip to Ammultun. Oddly, the Sulatar airship is nowhere in sight when they pass through the plane of fire.
They emerge above a narrow system of canyons lined with jagged black crystals, which make landing nearly impossible. Tandi uses magic to ensure a safe landing for himself and Mulp near the tomb’s entrance, and the others land the airship and teleport over to them successfully. The huge stone doors of Ammultun stand before them, and Xulgos can detect the magic on them plainly in his glabrezu form, as well as dispel it. He also detects necromantic magic clouding the tomb as a whole. While the others hide nearby, he and Marlamin smash through the doors and the stone barrier on the other side, opening the tomb and activating the curse. Marlamin quickly purges the curse from those affected with a simple blood ritual, and they pass inside with light provided by magic from Iadoes’ lucky coin (floating by way of mage hand) and Thoman’s shield. They find a large sarcophagus and a nearby hidden door, the latter of which Marlamin smashes through with Xulgos’ help to great effect. The secret room contains a number of smaller sarcophagi, which Namfoodle soon learns are all empty. Xulgos detects a fire giant ghost hovering above the sarcophagus, not revealing himself to anyone until the door is broken, upon which he approaches them.
The ghost belongs to the ancient fire giant King Ammul, also known as the King of Fire, who has little knowledge of what has happened in the world since his time and is outraged to learn that the Giant Empire has fallen. He also professes full knowledge of the Firebring eldritch machine, which he claims “formed the backbone of his conquests”. Though he hates drow as slaves, he sees no reason not to share what he knows with them if they provide him with what he wants: a new corporeal body to reclaim his throne. They tentatively agree, first offering Xulgos’ old body, which Ammul refuses, and then offering Adran’s. Ammul accepts despite Adran being a “half-blood,” and Iadoes brings the body.
Ammul then asks for what they have of the Firebring fragments, and Iadoes presents what he has, which accounts for the missing fragments. He also returns to the new airship to retrieve the Rage Shard when Ammul promises to tell him all he knows about the Thirteenth Moon, though he feels the notion is ridiculous because, as he puts it, “everyone knows there are thirteen moons in the sky.” Xulgos protests, but the others are largely ambivalent, and Tandi goes to rest in the slave sarcophagus room while Ammul, with Iadoes and Thoman, commences the multi-hour ritual to enter his new body. When he finishes, he thanks them, and offers what treasure he was buried with as a reward, hidden in yet another secret room. Much of the room has been looted, but some potions, a rope of climbing, and a bag of holding remain. They take what they find.
While Ammul begins to create the Firebring eldritch machine, the party hears a crash. With a few other Sulatar in tow, Jevan, with a revived Jhulae at his side, enter the tomb…