Planescape: Brush with Oblivion

Chaos in the Cage

The slaad's presence in the Underhive proves the rumors to be true. Resolving to figure out where this creature of chaos came from, the companions continue deeper into the labyrinthine tunnels.

Stagnant foamy water and ropy coils of black ooze drool down the walls and through the ceiling into a large pool of noxious slime in the center of the next cavern. The foul liquid is waist deep, and T'chon succumbs to the potent smell, gagging and retching even as another red slaad and a blue slaad emerge from the pool! Silversac Sam and Bryta move to engage the red one while T'chon fumbles with his longbow, the blue slaad's deadly claws slashing at him. Krissy's crossbow bolts whistle fiercly past their heads. Xenephon summons a hammer of pure light to distract the blue slaad. Bryta maneuvers around as well, allowing T'chon to disengage from the melee.

After the two slaadi are defeated, the adventurers burn the body of one and tie up the other with rope. Silversac Sam holds the inert slaad in a firm hold as Bryta graces the foul creature with a healing spell, awakening it. The slaad struggles vainly in the half-orc's grip, croaking on about the stolen Spawning Stone. Bryta asks who took it. The slaad responds that a Ysgardian man is to blame - a rogue, a trickster. Once they get all the information they think they can, Silversac Sam breaks the slaad's neck.

The adventurers continue on, checking out a narrow side passage that branches off the main tunnel. The body of a dwarf in rags lies face down in the muck here, his blood pooling in the hollows of the floor, his arm outstretched ahead of him. A search of his pockets reveals an iounstone, and he wears a ring on one finger. Further on the main tunnel, they find a battered and chipped stone statue of an elven woman with a unicorn’s horn on her forehead. Xenephon identifies the statue as depicting Mielikki, goddess of the woodlands. Krissy resolves to return this statue to the surface after they're all done here.

The terminus of this tunnel system leads to a huge round slab of stone, the face of which bears the symbol of Orcus. Bryta advises her friends to leave it unopened, though T'chon wonders if this is a way out of here. Silversac Sam hauls the stone aside to reveal a small crypt with a sarcophagus in the middle. Mold and slime on the walls have ruined the offerings left ages ago on the stone shelves and alcoves. Xenephon guesses that the sarcophagus itself holds the remains a cleric of Orcus. Bryta again voices her concern about leaving this place alone. Despite the warning, her barbarian friend steps up and pushes the lid aside. A terrible bodak awakens and immediately attacks! Its aura of annihilation and death gaze prove to be almost too much for the party. But with the help of Krissy's summoned shadow demon, they successfully defeat the bodak. A search of the sarcophagus reveals some gold, jewelry, and a wand and mace. Xenephon gasps. "The Wand of Orcus!?" T'chon examines the magic item and determines that this is not, in fact, the artifact Wand of Orcus.

Returning to the room with the large pool of noxious slime, the companions realize that there is a portal to Limbo at the bottom of the foul water! Silversac and Bryta work together to haul the round stone slab over here and block the portal with it. Xenephon secures it with a bunch of climbing pitons and rope.

Leaving the Underhive is more than a relief to the companions. The first thing they do is find the nearest inn and clean up. Then, after a hearty meal and a long rest, they all head over to the Barracks to report their findings.

Arctos Silveraxe is studying a planar map in the war room with a white-bearded old dwarf when a Harmonium guard brings Bryta, Krissy, Silversac Sam, Xenephon, and T'chon in. Arctos looks up and smiles at Bryta, then tries covering his excitement up by scratching his beard and dismissing the guard. The companions explain all that had transpired in the Stink and the Underhive, describing the slaadi they encountered down there and the portal to Limbo they found. Arctos is deeply concerned at this news. He declares that a squad of Harmonium soldiers will be dispatched there straightaway to collapse the entire tunnel complex and seal the portal once and for all.

The dwarf clears his throat, and Arctos introduces him as Grendur, who then informs the party that the town of Ashbringer in Nidavellir awaits certain death from massing slaad hordes unless somebody can distract them long enough for help to arrive. Arctos looks gravely at Bryta, telling her that, although he hates sending her on such a dangerous mission, he needs her adventuring company to delay the advance of the slaadi army before a full incursion reaches the city and destroys it. The werebear factol volunteers to personally lead a legion of Harmonium troops to Nidavellir, but it’ll take some time to organize them. Bryta points a finger at the map on the table, indicating the heroic domains of Ysgard. She expresses her concern about what the slaad had told her, about the stolen Spawning Stone. Arctos moves up beside her, close, and tells her that he will have someone look into it. Their eyes meet for a while. Then T'chon chimes in that there is a portal to Nidavellir in the Great Foundry, the headquarters of the Believers of the Source faction.

The companions take their leave of the Barracks and head on over to the Great Foundry to scope it out. The foundry’s a dirty, sprawling complex of workshops, warehouses, storage yards and furnaces. The Godsmen work it non-stop. By day it belches smoke and steam, and by night the district’s lit by its fires. The produces of this foundry, petty metal goods needed by everyone throughout Sigil and beyond, are the Godsmen’s major source of jink. Their skills aren’t very great; very few of their wares are fancy work, but they’re all strong and serviceable. The streets around the foundry are a jumbled weave of workshops and worker’s taverns; they’re dirty and grimy and full of fiends.

T'chon finds Thildon the Foreman and requests access to the armory. Thildon is gruff and reluctant to allow these outsiders into the Foundry's inner halls. "Bleaker spies," he calls them. Another Godsman named Alissa Tield overhears and comes over to interject. She offers to sell T'chon an enchanted longbow and, after some convincing, Krissy a magic hand crossbow. Xenephon and Bryta sway Thildon to allow them access to the armory because they are on a mission for the Harmonium. There the companions see the great war machine the Godsmen are building for a contractor, a long-range siege cannon. A githzerai woman named Kel’lera is the chief engineer on the project. She is not very fond of the other engineers. Neither is she fond of non-Believers asking too many questions. T'chon convinces her to tell him about the machine, and she reveals its greatest weakness: the controls; she herself is bound to them, and if she dies, the machine won’t work. "I call it the Deus Ex Machina," she says finally. T'chon nods in admiration.

"And this?" Bryta approaches a huge 10-foot-tall iron-framed mirror hanging from the wall. Thildon says that this known as Moradin’s Mirror, a portal to Nidavellir. The key: a stone inscribed with the dwarven symbol for wisdom.

Before they leave for Nidavellir, the adventurers remember that they promised Larcos Dengrin they'd help him destroy those intelligent magic weapons and end the faction war between the Believers and the Bleakers. So they return to the Hive Ward, to a small set of tenements known as the Corroded Kips. Within one of those dens they find the beast known as the Kogoloxen, a powerful rust monster that can even devour magic weapons. They trap the monster in the portable hole Larcos gave them. Bryta goes back to the Barracks to retrieve the Strigibow, and then they all rush to the meeting place where the Bleakers with the remaining two magic weapons await their trap. Larcos is already inside the abandoned armory, talking with the Bleakers. The companions enter, release the Kogoloxen, and all chaos breaks loose. When the dust settles, the intelligent weapons are all destroyed, their enchantment on their weilders now broken. Silversac Sam growls at the Bleakers to return home. As if awakened from a dream, the Bleakers all oblige.

Satisfied that all of their loose ends have been tied up in Sigil, the companions head back to the Great Foundry, and the portal to Nidavellir.

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