We discuss what to do; one of the first orders of business, we decide, is to repair the Stone of Planeshifting we recovered from the spelljammer. There are several ways to do this; sacrifice a huge elemental, a runechild, the power source that powers Stompy, or slowly drop spell energy into it. Miriana and Alibard decide to start dumping spells into it, for the time being; at the mention of Stompy, Genn gets a glint in his eye.
With our casters occupied (and Orad still on his vision quest), we decide to take Genn, Kirmaul, and Udyr to rent a boat and scout the island in the center of the lake. First, we decide to go to Phargaryn; the Lake is right above his lair, and he might know something about the island.
We set out early in the morning; the Hooks are roaming the slums, but nobody messes with us. Tol-Bandari’s victory has inspired the city, to a degree; men are patrolling the streets, keeping the peace. As we get closer to the sewers, we see that some adventurers have mistakenly crossed the inchon, and paid the price. They let us pass, however. We proceed to Phargaryn’s chamber.
We approach; as we come in, he says, “Greetings.” Udyr greets him in kind, and asks him (politely) for council. We end up bargining story for story
The desert lies far to the east, toward the Dragon cities.
In the time of the Dramojh, there was a human king, protected by a warrior gifted with unearthly abilities. He did everything in his power to throw the dramojh back, but he was betrayed by his friends, his councilors, his lover. The Dramojh eventually defeated him, twisted his form; the rumor is that he is now in he form of a giant crustacean, existing out of time. If that’s true, the Moment you speak of, it’s a Moment when time doesn’t happen. It wouldn’t be able to effect reality there, but if he were to come into our world, it would be powerful indeed.
We tell him of our plan; he informs us that he doesn’t know what’s on the island, and that he was unable to teleport anything or anyone out. Something’s there, he knows, it’s powerful and evil. No scrying spells have worked on the island at all. There was once a building on that island, and under it is some sort of basement or cave; the barrier to scrying is at the entrance to this dungeon. There’s a brilliant green flash of light, and then sound stops. That’s it. Nothing that goes in comes out. The island is about the size of a city block, at itself is safe; only those who dare into the dungeon disappear.
Udyr returns the Burdenless Stone to Boren, and gets his collateral back.
Back at the house, Genn tries to delve about the green flashing lights and disappearances, and feels as though he’s stopped; he’s on the right track, but then hits a wall — perhaps the person who holds the memory is stopping you. Udyr suggests that it might be Phargaryn.
Lacking both options and answers, we decide to rent a boat and go to the island. It’s about mid-day when we arrive; it’s a rocky island, with a gravel beach around it. The island has a low slope (maybe 40 feet at the highest point) and, as Phargaryn described, the ruins of a squat tower. We see the stains of worked iron on the stones. There are no plants or animals; not even moss or lichen. As near as we can tell, we’re the only living things on the island. There are some footprints leading into the cavern under the rubble; another adventuring party, perhaps?
Kirmual throws rocks into the cavern entrance; nothing. Genn tries a live fish. Nothing. Udyr attempts to conjure a minor earth elemental; instead, he gets a 12 foot tall monster, obviously trying to break free of the spell. Udyr still has it (barely) under control, and directs it toward the dungeon. We hear a pop, like a cork coming out of a bottle, and then the dirt hitting the ground; the elemental is no longer there. We decide to experiment, casting Ability Boost (Constitution) to see if it’s all spells that are being amplified. At first, nothing happens, as before. Then, Udyr begins to swell — after a minute, he looks like he weighs half a ton now. He stupefies, as all of his other abilities suffered. Genn runs over and slaps him, yelling, ‘Stop it! Stop the spell!’ After a moment, he does so, and returns to normal. Udyr, once he’s himself again, he starts to figure it out. Magic seems to be perverted; the primary effect is amplified, but everything else that can go wrong, does. “Monkey Paw,” he says. Bravely, he tries Detect Magic. After a delay, a glow comes from his eyes; we’re pretty sure they can see it from the Giant’s castle. He passes out, and lets go of the spell. Genn tries his abilities (fireball), and they seem to work.
Genn tries to delve for similar effects, and Kirmual sees him explode into runes — the runes
Udyr saw something living on the far side of the lake, toward the Medusa Court, that is exceptionally powerful — it’s got more than one life essence in it. Looking at it, it’s Phargaryn. Two, Genn is a construct; he’s not really human. Not a flesh golem, but like a flesh elemental. Three, there is a massive interdimensional space under the island.
Genn’s vision is simpler; he sees the Habinar Trinity. They say simply, “What you are doing is dangerous. Stop it,” and then one of them strikes him, and he wakes up.
“How long have we been out?” Udyr asks, waking up in the house. “Hours,” Kirmal says. “I brought you back from the island.” Kaezhar shows up, and we tell him what we found out. “Well,” he says. “I’ve been thinking about it, and you should see the ritual you’ll need. But it’s my last bargaining chip; I’ll have you swear an oath that you will see this quest through.”
“I would swear this oath to release Kaezhar from his suffering, even if he did not require it. He was a friend.” The rest of the group agrees, Udyr reluctantly so. We all sip the wine.
Afterward, he pulls a scroll and a small glass phial from Clovek’s collar; the container seems to be full of blood. The scroll actually has two rituals on it; the first tells us how draw the runes needed to get the demon head to speak with us. The second details the runes needed to turn the demon’s head back to flesh, drawn in the blood contained in the phial. (Very specific virgin blood.) There’s a problem. The second ritual requires the power of a runechild. Essentially, a runechild must forfeit his ‘runechildness’.
“Dammit,” Genn says. “We’re even more screwed than usual.”