Olarune 1, 1001 YK
Derli fights Ser Tabin Hamson in the Cathedral of Dol Dorn under the gaze of an angel of his god. He defeats Hamson, severing one of her arms, and has Aria Kavassa tend to her wounds. The angel bestows on Derli the Blessing of the Avenging Knight for his victory and his sacrifice to obtain power from the daemons.
Therendor 1, 1001 YK
Derli meets with Baalondorus and finds he must lend the Blade of Greed to the dragon for study over several days. Baalondorus also reveals he believes he knows where to find the Sword of Dol Dorn, but it will cost a sizable favour. Derli agrees, and learns that the weapon is probably in Syrania in the hands of an angel called the Second among the Burning Host. The specific location is pending the completion of the favour: he needs an active Rage Shard of significant size, such as the one revealed to be in the sword of Marlamin Tarmikos (though that one is yet dormant).
The dwarf then goes to meet with the party who by now have already passed through the portal and are on the Nautiloid. Derli uses daemonic teleportation to get on board and meets with the others as they question a dwarf who not only resembles Derli, but claims to be him. They bring him along as they explore the ship, finding Tamztur who has paid for passage to their mysterious destination, and a room with ten cells, each containing clones of the Eclipse Collective (mostly past members). They also find in a storage room/jettison a final cell containing a hybrid of various temporary members of the Collective who wishes death. He receives it when he jettisons himself and the contents of the store room.
Meanwhile, clones of Stahlstrauss, Eshunu, and Morgue are fighting mind flayers on the deck above, so the party (including clone Derli and other clones being freed by Iadoes) battle them to the death. Tamztur appears and asks them not to kill anymore illithids, which they agree to if he reveals their destination. He does: they are going to the farthest moon, Vult. Iadoes sees his clone holding the box nearby and goes to investigate, only to find sand. He follows further through the ship to the fore and locates the chambers of the ulitharid commander of the Nautiloid, Quasator. Quasator will let them live for information on the “pyramid of Vult,” which Iadoes claims to have. Resistant to mental probing, Quasator instead prepares another device from an adjacent chamber for an “operation” that will prepare him to remember.
Olarune 1, 1001 YK
Derli and Ser Tabin Hamson square off, preparing to fight. Hamson casts aside the Shield of Dol Dorn, replete with scrolls, at Derli’s accusation that she fights dishonourably. As the first blows are about to be traded, an angel of Dol Dorn appears and watches silently. The fight begins, with Derli (for now) refusing to use the Blade of Greed and fights with his older axe against Hamson. The battle is short with many fierce blows struck on both sides, but Derli narrowly emerges victorious. Hamson refuses to surrender, and Derli chops off her arm (retribution for when she cut off his hand?). After this, she begrudgingly surrenders, though she unsuccessfully tries one more time to banish him back to Gehenna. Derli then calls for Aria Kavassa to tend to his rival’s wounds.
The angel of Dol Dorn then approaches Derli, and informs him that his sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. The recent sacrifice of his soul to better protect his charges was particularly noble, and his ability to protect his followers in the recent duel was noted. The angel confers upon Derli the Blessing of the Avenging Knight, and while he refuses it at first believing himself tobe unworthy, he eventually accepts. The angel then leaves, and he sets to bringing his cathedral and the Hammer of Dol Dorn back to the state they should be.
Therendor 1, 1001 YK
While Iadoes is dealing with the apparently-brainless Nimozaran the Green, Derli is meeting with Baalondorus, who has arrived again in Grey Titan’s Hold. He calls in his next favour from Derli: he demands the Blade of Greed for a few days’ study, which by now Derli has acclimated to using. Derli agrees, and Baalondorus mentions he believes he knows where the Sword of Dol Dorn can be found, but it will require a substantial favour. He considers for a while and eventually agrees. Baalondorus reveals that the sword is likely in one of the floating islands of Syrania, the Azure Sky, and is believed to be in the hands of an angel called the “Second among the Burning Host,” the second-most powerful angel of Dol Dorn’s legion. For information on the precise location, however, he requires completion of the favour.
Baalondorus requires an active Rage Shard of considerable size, larger than Derli’s ring. He also reveals that one such shard is in the possession of the party, set into the blade of Marlamin Tarmikos’ sword. Activation, he explains, occurs when sufficient hateful violence and bloodshed occur in the vicinity of the shard, bringing its power to the surface from a dormant state. Derli agrees, and Baalondorus leaves for Conlon’s magic academy to study the Blade of Greed. Derli then follows the others, who he witnessed carrying Nimozaran away, to find the portal they went through. He goes through the portal as the Nautiloid is lifting off and uses his daemonic powers to teleport to it, catching up with the party as they speak to the dwarf who vaguely resembles Derli.
After regaining some of his memory (apparently), the dwarf claims to be Derli himself and recounts many stories from Derli’s life as though they happened to him. Iadoes and Rilic come to refer to this dwarf as Derli and the original Derli as Dwarfli. They proceed onwards through the ship, and encounter two lavish staterooms, one of which contains Tamztur who explains that he has paid a considerable amount for passage on the ship, but cannot reveal where it is going. They consider bartering Iadoes’ mysterious potion he obtained in Haka’torvhak’s arena for this information, but he reconsiders, and the Collective moves on.
After defeating a guard at a guard post, they find a room filled with ten cells by the stairs leading to the next deck up. As they open them, they discover that they contain clones of several more of the members of the Eclipse Collective, including:
- Marlamin Tarmikos
- Typhus Phendrakken
- Lythanis Zyk
- Cecil Morris Duran
- Lucan Vrinsk d’Medani
- Garmeth Shitorai
- Iadoes Lunaformer
Iadoes is surprised to find that the (single-faced) clone of himself is holding the Box, but when he tries to obtain it both clone-Iadoes and the box are revealed to be nothing but sand. Gradually, Iadoes goes about freeing the other clones before investigating the last door on the slave deck, which reveals a storage area filled with strange magitech components, capable of jettison by controls within the chamber, and one last cell. It is magically warded, but Iadoes breaks through against the advice of Rilic and Derli (and clone-Derli). Inside is a humanoid figure calling himself “Thadvi Bukamo,” an amalgamation of
- Burl Gadra
- Professor Mordecai Ayel Moriarty d’Medani
- Kavaki Oreblood
- Vice Harbringer
- Adran Nailo
- Thoman Lander
He claims he lives an existence only to be temporary until his creator sees fit to replace him, and he wishes death as soon as possible. He appears to be a highly competent individual, capable of feats of strength, magic, dexterity, and healing, but Iadoes decides to allow him to jettison himself with the storage after some deliberation.
By the time the party returns to the cell room, clone-Stahlstrauss, clone-Eshunu and clone-Morgue have taken it upon themselves to go up a deck to deal with the mind flayers. Sounds of battle come down stairs, and Derli and his clone go to investigate, followed by Rilic. Iadoes stays below to free more clones to help in the fray.
A short battle occurs with clone-Stahlstrauss fighting a number of mind flayers while Morgue hides beneath his cloak nearby. He eventually stands to engrave a shuriken and throw it, while the other clones arrive and join. Rilic traps a number of mind flayers in webs and clone-Eshunu sets them on fire with a fire-hawk. The Derlis prove themselves capable combatants as well, and before long all mind flayers on this section of the cargo deck lie dead.
Tamztur arrives on the deck in his hovering chair to investigate the commotion, and asks that the party not kill any more mind flayers as it could be disastrous for the ship. They agree, on the condition that he reveals where they are going. Tamztur informs them that they are flying towards Vult, the Warding Moon and the furthest moon from Eberron. It is the first craft believed to be capable of such a journey, though he believes the technology is not the illithids’ own.
While they talk, Iadoes sees clone-Iadoes staring at him from behind a door. He holds the box. Iadoes scrambles for it but the door slams shut, and when he opens it, he finds only sand. He cries out in frustration and follows through to the next chamber, with Rilic, Derli, and clone-Derli in tow. Inside is the quarters of the ship’s commander, the ulitharid Quasator. He asks them a few questions and mentions that he must know more about the pyramid of Vult. Iadoes suggests he might know about it (he doesn’t really) and Quasator attempts to probe him for information. Coming up blank, he says that he will have to obtain the information another way, and to prepare for the operation.
He signals for a door in his chamber to open, and some heavy metallic footsteps are heard emerging from an adjacent room…