Planescape: Brush with Oblivion

A Caw for Help

The hat-box mimic lashes out at Silversac Sam with its powerful adhesive tongue that holds fast to the half-orc. As his friends come to his aid, the barbarian beats on the mimic with his greataxe. T'chon and Bryta shoot arrows at it, Krissy fires a crossbow bolt, and Xenephon hits the mimic with a sacred flame. After a brief but memorable combat, the mimic is defeated.

The companions go into Bargle's bedroom right nextdoor real quick. Krissy takes an armillary sphere from off the table, then she tries breaking into a locked chest without success.

With the help of a couple more kobolds, Bargle and his books are all loaded onto a wagon outside. Then the companions head back in the direction of Breidablik.

After half a day of travelling, an injured aarakocra named Deekek flies down to them, begging for help. He explains that slaadi have invaded from Limbo and are presently marauding the aarakocra cloud realm Maztica in the Vale of Syranita. The aarakocra god K’ooriall flew out to meet the slaadi in battle but was slain and turned into a slaad himself! Deekek notes that they’ve been attacked in the past by slaadi, but not to this degree. The aarakocra cannot mount a unified defense against the slaadi right now because the Eyrie where they hatch their eggs is being attacked by harpies that raid the place and throw aarakocra eggs off the cliffs. If the adventurers can help drive off these harpies, then the aarakocra at the Eyrie can join those in Maztica and hopefully keep the slaadi at bay until help arrives.

Bringing the befuddled mage with them to fight harpies doesn't seem like a good idea, so the companions send Deekek off to Breidablik to ask for reinforcements while they continue on to Hunclay's cave. The firbolg is reluctant to accept Bargle, his thousands of books, and the kobolds into his home, but Krissy, Silversac, and T'chon convince him to allow Bargle and the kobolds to take up residence in the old troll cave as long as he checks on them every day. Hunclay asks if they'll be staying for dinner, but the adventurers decline, instead riding back toward the Mountains of Gladsheim and the Eyrie.

A couple days into their journey, the green dragon Khavalanoth sees an opportunity for glorious combat and swoops down to attack them. Krissy tosses a bag of silver coins onto the ground, hoping to appease the dragon's greedy appetite, but it doesn't work. Khavalanoth exhales a cone of flesh-corrosive gas that catches Silversac Sam and Xenephon together. Despite his horrible injuries, the half-orc throws himself into melee with the dragon. A fierce and desperate fight ensues. Ultimately, the dragon is outmatched, and flies away.

T'chon knows that following the river Fyris will lead them safely through the mountains. The river ends at Fyrisvellir, or the Fyris Wolds, the marshy delta west of Gamla Uppsala, which is home to a village of hill dwarves. Fyrisvellir is actually a wide canyon consisting of a deep gorge through which the Fyris empties into a marsh. Rock spires rise from the canyon floor, and when the wind blows past these natural structures it makes a sighing — and sometimes a howling — sound. The canyon walls are hundreds of feet high.

The companions choose to bypass Gamla Uppsala and head straight into Fyrisvellir. The first combat encounter when they enter the canyon involves an ettin. The bloated, rotting body of a red slaad lays just inside the cave, along with signs the ettin has been camping here for many days. T'chon suggests sneaking past the ettin and continuing on along the delta. The aarakocra spurs his horse and rides forward, but when he nears the slaad's body, his horse suddenly plunges into the ground as if it were water!

As creatures of chaos, slaadi already affect the natural world wherever they set foot; after they die, their body fluids soak into the soil and pollute the area. This particular slaad’s decomposing body has caused mini pockets of chaos to form nearby.

Xenephon moves forward, but when he does, the ettin retreats back into the cave. Silversac Sam charges at the two-headed giant, only to suddenly find himself hurled straight up into the air a hundred feet. Krissy sneaks into the cave next, but she, too, drops into an unnaturally liquid patch on the ground. Bryta is more lucky. She ties one of her axes to a rope and tosses it into the pool after T'chon. Then the ettin, with a toothy grin, emerges from the cave and swings its huge spiked clubs at the intruders.

After the ettin is defeated, the companions take an hour to rest and recuperate. Continuing onward, they encounter a low ridge near the canyon floor, where two aarakocra named Ruki and U’ack have set up a watch post hidden with brush. The aarakocra claim to have seen jötunn proceeding into and out of Fyrisvellir, and they witnessed a recent raid on the hill dwarf village Gamla Uppsala. Certain that the giants’ presence has taken hold in the canyon, they are now debating what action to take. The adventurers offer to confront the jötunn in the canyon, and Ruki and U’ack are grateful for it.

The higher the companions climb, the colder it becomes, with ice, snow, and frigid wind assaulting them constantly. Krissy and Xenephon use some furs they found in the ettin's lair to craft cold weather clothing for themselves and their friends, which helps a little.

Carved into the icy crevice at the end of the gully is a road that leads up the mountains to the Vale of Syranita. Gálgviðr (meaning “gallows-wood”) is the lair of the four jötunn, who presently forage among large rocks and evergreens. T'chon alights upon a tall, thin spire of rock and fires an arrow down at one of the jötunn. With an angry bellow, the jötunn hurls a rock at the arrakocra. As other three jötunn move up to investigate, Silversac Sam, Krissy, Xenephon, and Bryta charge at them.

Silversac engages two jötunn simultaneously, his greataxe rising and falling in bloody arcs. Krissy snipes at them from hiding. Bryta runs forward, leaps across a sheet of ice, and slashes with her longsword. It is a brutal engagement, but our heroes emerge victorious.

The Eyrie is located near the border between Ysgard and Limbo, in a hidden vale at the top of a peak in the Mountains of Gladsheim, several thousand feet above the valley floor below. The companions approach by a narrow causeway, passing through three way-castles guarding the ascent, with aarakocra archers glaring down at them, and then proceed in single file up the narrow road. T'chon explains that the Eyrie is considered impregnable to any attack that does not involve flight, and its defenses have never been overcome. A single tall tower surrounded by a dozen shorter towers overlook the Vale of Syranita, which is a good half-mile wide at this point. While the architecture is stunningly beautiful, the towers all seem damaged and worn, but new timbers and shingles suggest that repairs are underway. A white banner with a gold feather flies over the tallest of them. The front gate is closed.

T'chon flies up to the gatehouse and politely asks for admittance, requesting to see Syranita concerning the eggs and the harpies. Syranita is the aarakocra deity of protection and watchfulness, and is the matron deity of the aarakocra. Relieved that help has finally arrived, the aarakocra guards consider the companions to be important guests and open the gates. While T'chon flies up to the tallest tower to meet with Syranita, the rest of his friends must ascend the spiral staircase.

Syranita appears as an aarakocra female with silver skin and pink-gold feathers. Her adornments and feathers are so bright as to be almost blinding to look upon. The loss of K’ooriall has Syranita deeply troubled. She worries for her people — indeed, for all the realm. While the Ysgardians find endless distraction in glorious combat, the slaadi gather in strength beyond the mountains. She doesn’t know why they are so hostile all of a sudden. For now, Syranita welcomes the party’s offer to help the aarakocra with their harpy problem. Most of the aarakocra guardians of the Eyrie left to go fight the slaadi in Maztica, leaving so few behind that they cannot defeat the harpies themselves.

And sure enough, right on queue, the alarm is raised. Five harpies are attacking the eggs!

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