Planescape: Brush with Oblivion

The Deus Ex Cannon

Bryta, Krissy, Silversac Sam, T’chon, Xenephon Keres, and Arctos Silveraxe meet with Olidammara in his Den of Thieves. They speak the true name of the Queen of Air and Darkness before him, which breaks her charm on him. Now free of her influence, Olidammara agrees to help the companions steal back the Spawning Stone from her. He asks if they have any "big guns" for this fight, like a deus ex machina type of weapon. Bryta looks to T'chon, who admits that the Godsmen have been building what they call a Deus Ex Cannon for quite some time. Olidammara suggests stealing it, but he would get much more amusement from watching the adventurers do all the work than doing it himself. (He is a fickle power, indeed.) Olidammara is so excited about this prank that he foolishly breaks into song.

In the boozer
you’re a loser
if the dice you’re shaking.
You’ll get hurt
and lose your shirt,
sit there cold and quaking.
Cailleach, your gifts are bad,
you trick us, then you make us mad,
make us gamble, make us fight,
and sit out in the snow all night.
“Brrr!” the naked loser moans,
when he’s cold and left alone,
shakes and shivers as he groans:
“I wish I could be
asleep under a tree
With a hot sunshine warming my bones.”
But now let’s roll the dice again
and win some drinking money!
Who thinks about July’s warm sun
while it’s still cold and snowy?

Into the great hall — filled with its scoundrels, gamblers, performers and party-goers alike — a satyr arrives to give Olidammara a message. This message comes in the form of a token, a small bone-carved holy symbol of Fharlanghn. But the symbol is broken in half… a terrible omen. Olidammara demands to know who gave this message, and the satyr just replies that it was "some faerie." Olidammara tells the adventurers that he must go check on a friend. Krissy says that this smells like a trap. She tells him that either she and her companions should go in his stead, or they should accompany him. Olidammara thinks on this, but replies that they would only slow him down. He then takes his leave of the Den. The other party-goers there awkwardly look around for a bit, then the music and dance resume.

A few minutes after Olidammara leaves, the barking of his Faithful Hound can be heard echoing throughout the Den. Silversac Sam draws his greatsword and snarls. The Unseelie faeries have come.

Cailleach heard her true name spoken in Olidammara’s song. After tricking him into leaving, the Queen of Air and Darkness deploys a host of evil fey creatures to swarm into the Den to overwhelm and destroy the meddling adventurers once and for all. When the companions rush through the Den of Thieves, avoiding the traps they all know about now, they come to the chasm where Krissy had convinced Olidammara to add an invisible wall. The faeries are here, striking and feeling along the wall, searching for a weakness. Krissy moves to the gap in the wall she knows about and fires a crossbow bolt at them. This causes all the faeries to turn their attention on her. As the sprites and quicklings swarm at the rogue, another fey creature, a korred, summons two gargoyles to the fight. Bryta and Arctos charge up to help Krissy, and Silversac Sam is locked in melee with a couple of darklings. Xenephon and T'chon blast the little faeries with fire magic. The korred uses its magic to open a hole in the stone floor beneath Arctos, dropping the werebear down inside, and then sealing the hole back up. Xenephon and Silversac Sam pound on the floor with hammer and axe, but to no avail. Then Bryta shoves them aside and bangs the Sword of Aaqa upon the rim of her shield, blowing a hole in the floor and releasing Arctos. Seeing the rest of the faeries all defeated, the korred flees.

The party returns to Sigil, still not sure how they'll acquire the Deus Ex Cannon. T'chon leads the way to the Great Foundry. The streets around them are a jumbled weave of workshops and worker’s taverns; they’re dirty and grimy and full of fiends. As the aarakocra talks with the guards out front, Krissy notices someone watching them from a nearby alley. She goes over there to see her ex boyfriend, Vanthus Vanderboren. She is not sure if she's happy to see him. Vanthus hurriedly explains that he's sorry for trapping her and her friends down that hole, and for his wizard's friendly-fire in the green dragon's lair. Since then, he abandoned that adventuring party and has been searching for Krissy ever since. He really wants to make it up to her. He still has feelings for her and wants to fix things. Krissy asks what he has in mind, and he reveals that he knows how to break into the Godsmen's vault which contains a motherload of magical weapons. This convinces her.

But not her companions. Silversac Sam seizes Vanthus by the throat and threatens him. Vanthus apologizes and begs for his life. The half-orc lets him go at Krissy's urging, but warns that Vanthus will end up in the deadbook if he tries any shenanigans.

The foundry’s the same dirty, sprawling complex of workshops, warehouses, storage yards and furnaces that the party had visited before. Within the gates, T'chon seeks out Kel’lera, the chief engineer on the Deus Ex project, at the armory.

Moradin’s Mirror once stood against the far wall, covered by a curtain, but since the slaadi overran Ashbringer, the Godsmen shattered the mirror for their own safety.

T'chon makes a very strong argument that his friends need to test the cannon before it goes to its buyer, and what better way to test it than in combat against the Queen of Air and Darkness! Kel’lera reluctantly agrees — reluctantly because she is bound to the cannon's controls, so she must accompany them into Pandemonium.

A squad of Harmonium Hardheads arrives. Thildon the Foreman had noticed T'chon's companions enter the foundry, especially Arctos and Bryta, who are now wanted by the Harmonium, and fetched the guards straightaway. The squad is accompanied by an archmage. Kel’lera warns T'chon that these elite troopers know how to deal with canny adventurers and will be more than happy if they resist arrest. She recommends surrender.

Vanthus Vanderboren tells the party that he knows of a secret portal that will get them to safety. He says the portal goes to the Outlands, down by Sylvania. Krissy suggests sending just Bryta and Arctos into the portal while the rest of the party tells the guards off. And so Vanthus opens the portal and escorts the two former Hardheads through it. Unbeknownst to everyone, the sneaky tiefling doesn't actually go into the portal; he stays behind to help protect Krissy.

The portal closes just as the Harmonium soldiers break into the armory. T'chon almost convinces them to leave, but the archmage mind-reads Xenephon and suspects lies. They are about to arrest everyone here when suddenly, Vanthus sneak-attacks the archmage, killing him outright! Combat ensues.

Silversac Sam's first blow takes a Harmonium soldier in the throat with a cut so fast and hard that it nearly severs his head. Blood splashes onto the half-orc's face. Krissy dances in beside him with her rapier. A spike-armored soldier swings an axe at her that she turns aside with her graceful blade, sliding the point into his exposed armpit. Xenephon summons a wall of flame that roars to life, separating half the soldiers from each other.

While, Silversac Sam, Krissy, and Xenephon hold off the soldiers, T'chon and Sprout dump the Deus Ex Cannon into Krissy's portable hole. Vanthus reopens the portal so they can escape.

The party quickly learns that Vanthus's portal does not, in fact, take them to the Outlands, but rather an audience chamber in one of the Revolutionary League’s many safehouses. The faction high-up, a kenku named Beringe, lounges upon a chair, rapping his fingers on the armrest, as though impatiently awaiting company. Four assassins stand guard in the shadows.

When Vanthus and the party arrive, Beringe rises to his crow-feet and greets them. Beringe expresses his pleasure with Vanthus for delivering these cutters to him. He says that he’s heard so much about them as champions of their respective factions. Xenephon snorts that that, remarking that they are more wanted dead by their factions than as "champions." Beringe, believing the azer to be bluffing, goes on to explain that their deaths will disrupt the plans of those factions the companions represent.

Beringe is an anarchist, through and through. He opposes all the factions. His primary goal is to remove the old order. That way, everyone can have the freedom to find the "Big Dark." He believes that he’s helping the multiverse by destroying the factions.

Krissy slaps Vanthus. Silversac Sam draws his derhii greatsword. And then Beringe casts some kind of time stop. The anarchist orders Vanthus to kill the adventurers, starting with Krissy. Vanthus is torn. He steps up to her, draws his Nine Lives Stealer rapier, hesitates. Beringe shouts at him to hurry up, taunts him for not being true to the cause, for being a slave to his feelings for her. Vanthus draws his poisoned crossbow and fires it at Beringe, piercing the faction higher-up in the throat. A second later, Beringe’s assassins move in. Time resumes. All chaos breaks out.

Krissy throws a magic bean at the feet of one assassin, which bursts into a full-sized tree, carrying him upward in its leafy embrace. Another assassin lunges at her with a dagger, but Vanthus intercepts the blade with his own. Xenephon uses his blessing of Christmas to summon a treant, which then steps on a third assassin before animating the bean-tree. Bryta and Silversac Sam meet their enemies with their blades, and T'chon freezes two assassins with a cone of cold.

After the fight, Vanthus compliments Krissy on her fighting prowess. He then suggests fleeing this safehouse before more anarchists show up. The League has eyes and ears everywhere; it won’t be long before they learn what happened here. The party still doesn't trust him, but they are all weary and wounded, and they allow him to show them to another safehouse where they take a long rest.

Krissy and Silversac Sam return to the Styx Oarsman to ask Rule-of-Three for a portal to Pandemonium. But they don't find Rule-of-Three here. Instead, they encounter a shoosuva, which barks recognition and runs up to Silversac Sam, jumping on him and licking him with its tongues. The half-orc laughs and looks past the ugly dog-demon for its owner. Iku-Tursa and her tanar'ri crew are spread out among a few tables in here, enjoying the spoils from their latest raid. But of course they’re also looking forward to their next job. The demons volunteer to help load the Deus Ex cannon onto Corpsecutter and take it to the fight against the Unseelie Court. Iku-Tursa suggests that they first pay the Abyss a visit to pick up more help, that the demons there will be more than willing to rally behind Silversac son of Skarjaw Sam if it means they’ll get to see blood and chaos. Silversac Sam agrees to this plan. While he and the succubus go upstairs to get a room, and to get reacquainted, Krissy returns to the safehouse to inform her friends of the next step in their quest.

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