DM Note: Haven’t done these in a while, so I figured I’d just do a compressed recap of the last few sessions.
So the angels had full knowledge of The Ritual. They knew it was open-ended and could do many things, and they also knew they would need additional Elemental Components to complete it. They traveled back to Omopolis to visit The Man in the Lonely Tower and The Enchantress, one to answer questions and the other to save Harrod from some terrible fate.
But first, they were attacked by relatively inept assassins. Skippy helped detect and reveal the ambuscade, some of the assassins teleported away, and the rest were easily taken care of. The party found the local crime lord who facilitated the hit, killed his guards, and interrogated him. Apparently there was quite a large bounty on the party, stemming from the western continent, that had found its way over to them.
They met the Enchantress, who revealed some additional information: First, to establish some more trust, the Enchantress spoke of her devotion to Boccob, the god of knowledge. She was interested in the injustice done to the party in particular because they held hidden knowledge that they were discovering through their journeys. She also mentioned that each of the Fallen Champions were doing something on the eastern continent, and all but Roderick the Swift were vulnerable to a scry-n-die style ambush with her help.
Astor the Terror was spreading the Demon Plague, and anyone attempting to stop him fled in fear – even Paladins. Merely approaching the Terror was going to be a difficult problem. Yeriel the Warlord was provoking the western nations into war, and using his own personal buffed army to utterly destroy any army that challenged him. The Enchantress also suggested that other fallen champions helped Yeriel destroy more powerful foes who opposed him directly. Halledrim the Shadow was quietly stalking around the continent, going from point to point, but the Enchantress wasn’t sure for what purpose. Roderick’s actions were even harder to track, as he was Teleporting everywhere, and her divinations could not reveal the Swift’s location or purpose, or much of anything about him.
Next the demon-slayers helped the Enchantress rescue Harrod from the lawful clutches of Inevitables. They were Gated to Harrod’s approximate location on Mechanus, which hosted an elite clutch of Formian defenders and enhanced Kolyaruts who were doing… something… to Harrod. Using Raguel’s great speed, the party avoided the Formians; then they took out the Kolyaruts despite being energy drained, knocked out Harrod and fled back to the gate, surviving by the skin of their teeth. The Enchantress suggested that Harrod might be able to recover, slowly, with her help.
Licking their wounds, they were met by a warforged who had found the group and was aware of their bounty. Not being superpowerful or a moron, he didn’t want to attack the party; he just wanted their help in “collecting” the bounty another way. This warforged was apparently quite good at acquiring information, but not as good at fighting; he found where the platinum promised on the party’s death was being stored, but he needed help destroying anything that might be guarding it. The party is still considering his offer.
After a brief visit to the Man in the Lonely Tower and to Alithor’s fast-growing child, the party flew their sky ship to the western continent. A friendly druid informed the group that rifts between the Abyss and the Prime Material had been opening, and that the Druids had been “dealing with it.” Also, Devils – likely bound – were showing up and dealing with the demons as well; the druids were quite busy and let the experienced blood war veterans do their work.
Finally on the open seas, the skyship was attacked by the element of storm itself for daring to fly over its treacherous waters.
Awesome picture by player of Hanuman
The elementals’ very movements were thunderous blows, but the party invariably tore through the thunder and lightning, saving their ship and continuing on their journey.
While venturing towards the closest point, which appeared to be a mountain that held a pure earth element, the hidden mortals investigated a large fire in the countryside. Apparently the wars in the west had become total, as minor soldiers were put on countryside-burning duty. The heroes stopped the burning, found out a little more about the nations at war, and moved on.
They were met by some cautious, stoic dwarves guarding a mountain entrance shaped like a massive face carved into the rock. Upon hearing the moving words of Alithor, the dwarves allowed the party to venture into the crypt that held the element of pure earth. The group encountered various crypt guards, including a Shadesteel Golem and dutiful Bone Naga, but the guards were dispatched after some traded blows.
At the heart of the mountain they encountered an Elemental Monolith of the earth, a great and towering guardian… which they dispatched with relative ease. Hanuman’s efforts to damage the creature by collapsing the cave onto it left the entire cave structure a bit unstable, so the party solved a dumb little riddle, collected the container, and quickly moved on.
The party left the dwarves, met with the Enchantress so she could store the earth element, and continued to collect the point of air. They saw an impossibly-thin spire shoot up through the clouds, on top a barely-visible aerie with a pale construct-looking overseer. The overseer told the group that they had to prove themselves worthy to collect the element, and their worth was tested with gusts of wind, wind-based creatures, and a great Monolith of Wind who turned into a cyclone. This cyclone captured even mighty Alithor and Raguel in its gale forces, but they resisted being knocked down to the ground far below while Hanuman activated nearby lightning posts to shock the creature. The behemoth ultimately succumbed, and with that the overseer returned with a sigh of relief. He opened up, revealing the container of wind to be inside him.