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A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:47 pm

After regrouping a bit, we continued our explorations off the cavernous hallway and its side doors. The first door we broke through (with a team effort) had seven clear pillars with dessicated humanoids dressed in Thassilonian finery within. Not all were resting thought- two of them formed incorporeal undead and attacked us. Colin again proved completely immune to the attack of these undead, and with him occupying their attention, we were able to destroy them.

It seemed obvious to me that these were enemies of Xin- put here on display as some kind of trophies. I felt we could use that to our advantage in some way- but step 1 was freeing the bodies, and though I am certain I could have chipped away the immensely hard crystal with time, my compatriots were unwilling to wait. They had a point about the limited duration of our protective spells, so after assurances we would return here, I relented and we continued exploring.

We had the choice of moving up or down a floor, and we chose to go up. We found a room loaded with a huge variety of constructs, obviously made by many different creators given their disparate designs. Many of the doors off this hallway immediately closed shut as we approached, and in defiance of the fortress itself, (and as a personal challenge of sorts) I proposed that I could throw Drax through an opening with such speed that he would be through it before it was able to close. Though I'm fully confident I could do it, Pathfinder wisdom bore out that it would be unwise for him to be separated from us behind a (nearly) impenetrable wall. We moved to examine a set of doors at the end of this corridor.

Inside it were another large group of constructs that began playing a terrible cacophony of music as we looked around. We decided to began destroying the instruments so that we could search in piece. We found out very soon that the music was not as benign as we thought, when Elle turned around and launched a bomb directly into Drax's face, and screamed at him to get out. I'm a little uncertain about what happened next, but it seemed that Elle had to be stopped, and the maddening music muddled my thinking to the extent that my only option seemed to be launching a roundhouse to her face. Although it was on par with some of the strongest blows I have ever struck- she remained on her feet, if somewhat shaky. I saw Colin cast a spell at me and for some reason that also enraged me- but he was just so far away and the menace of Elle still had to be dealt with (in my mind). The fog only lifted when Drax finished the work we had all started and destroyed the remaining instruments.

Profuse apologies ensued- Elle to Drax, and myself to Elle. I was quite embarassed by this latest failure- although I had been ensorcelled before, I was always able to limit my actions to gentle grappling or a simple leg sweep. Never had I been compelled against my will to engage in homicidal aggression against my allies. I have newfound sympathy for Drax.

After ample healing of the damage we had inflicted on ourselves, we moved to the next room. It was filled with jagged crystals and fragments of what might have been forges. We found a secret safe in a pillar which Elle unlocked- inside a was an Iron Amulet that radiated magic.

We moved on and team-smashed through the next door. Thousands of coins floated through the air here, defying gravity. We enter and carefully began pulling coins out of the air. This triggered a response as crystalline tumor-shaped growths on the walls animated and attacked. I called out to the creatures- natives to the Plane of Earth- to cease their attacks, but I think they may have been mindless, as their was no response. They had a strange humming sound that seemed powerful, but did not affect us. In the room, besides the treasure horde itself, was a very powerful Rod that commanded Thunder and Lightning.
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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:30 am

Same day? Same day.

After cleaning out this particular triangle room of all the floating coins, making a tidy profit if nothing else, we headed back into the hallway of constructs. Man o man am I glad they are non active. That would be a hell of a fight.

Speak and be known a fool.

We head towards the next room, and what do we see rising up behind some of the other constructs? A freaking! Construct! Dragon! Remind me to never open my mouth again.

The fight is hard, harder than most have been and I finally figure out why. Besides it’s resistance to magic, apparently it’s claws and teeth can shred through my earthly protection like it wasn’t there. Which means before it focused everything on me, which yes hurt, it was tearing apart Colin and Pyraxis. Oh, and did I mention it could breath a line of fire and cast spells? Also, according to my love, explode when it was near death.

So, after taking a beating myself, and with a lot of help from Elle and her marvelous bombs, I was finally able to get through the spell resistance and to avoid the effects of it exploding, vaporized it’s entire core. Elle seemed impressed, for which I’m glad, but really? I should have been doing that before hand. Freaking spell resistance.

After the fight we gather back up and move to the next door, talking about the dragon and passing the Sihedrin between us to take advantage of it’s healing effects. The conversation is basicly “So that’s a clockwork dragon” “yup” “Neat” “Can we keep it?” “I might be able to fix it” “No, it’s too big.”

The next door on this next north side of the now hopefully empty of any active constructs hallway is once again covered with crystal. Yay. Pyraxis, after a few tries and with Colin and I helping, was finally able to get through.

I’ll spare you the sweeping narrative, it was another spellwell, apparently this time to “Kindness” and I wasn’t paying enough attention to remember which school that was associated with. Though Colin does get a headache from attempting to sit in the chair with the appropriate shard of the Sihedrin on top.

We leave the room, crossing to the South side of the hallway, leaving the larger doors on the East wall for now.

Breaking into this room reveals….nothing. The only semi-interesting thing about this room is the fact that while searching it, apparently a delayed effect from the dragon’s bite and poison seeped into Pyraxis’s blood stream, dropping him to his knees. As confusing as that was, our friend’s explination was more confusing but...I’ve got no reason to doubt him so. I guess sometimes the poison can get stuck in some of his rocky outcroppings only to suddenly effect him later. Seems dangerous to me.

Ok, moving back West on the South wall we get to the next door which….is apparently made of stronger crystal than the other ones. It takes Pyraxis, even with Colin and I helping, a very long time to break through.

We finally do and find a workshop for making more constructs (I assume) with table and parts and electricity everywhere as well as, unfortunately, three more motes of runes like the one we fought earlier and an intimidating looking statue construct thing that I really should have recognized earlier than I did. That was my bad.

One of the motes turns into one of those Axiomites of Xin, threatens us, and promptly sic’s her thing on us. Which drops surprisingly easy after I cause an explosion in the room. Side note, Axiomites have the same strange ability Pyraxis does to somehow dodge out of the way of an explosion without damage. Frustrating but...oh well.

So with the creature down we face the three Axiomites, who are highly spell resistant. Fortunately, they are not lava resistant. It takes a little while but I am finally able to obliterate the last one. However all of us have taken some….damage. Cursed strange “Law” magic. Hurts to Dad’s Realm that one.

As we are catching our breath my love sees a beautiful woman coming toward us, arms outstretched in peace.

They start talking, in Thassalonian of all things, thank you Colin for translating for me. My knowledge is decent, but mostly to the written word. Speaking, well, I was only able to get a few small parcels of the conversation, mostly names like Xin and Azlant.

Ok, short version:

She’s Elthun, an ambassador from Azlant sent to hopefully broker peace with Xin. She failed and was placed into suspended animation for aproximately eleven thousand years and only just woke up when the castle surfaced.

The creature with the statue and construct like features, after she points out that it’s not dead, I recognize as a Kolyarut, a ranger scout of the race Inevitable, freaks of Law from the Axiom plane, who travel all over the planes “righting” chaos. And since only chaos can kill it and I am apparently the most chaotic person around….Colin gives me his sword and enhances it somehow with my chaotic nature and I stab the creature through where I presume it’s heart is. It is well and truly dead now.

Elle and Elthun continue to discuss the situation, Elle sitting on the floor for some reason and Colin continuing to translate for me and Pyraxis. Colin idly wondering if the castle has any offensive capabilities which leads us to finding out that the castle itself started out as almost a crystal seed and was grown by Xin. The castle’s only function is to protect Xin which if you recall, is now a ghost type thing attached to the castle. Lovely.

While talking (and healing) it is decided that Elthun will come with us. She has knowledge of the castle and spells that would aid us. Though her spells are more of divination type than the offensive type or as she calls it, “destructive”. Hon, I’ve got all the destruction you could need.
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:55 pm

Sareneth 7th. 4715 cont.

The next room we entered was disgusting even by our standards. Blobs of bodies scattered about and in vials made it so I frankly didn’t want to enter. I suggested Drax just cremate the room and we’ll sift through the ashes for the magic afterwards. Not very Pathfinder of me… but Drax leapt at the chance. Some sixth sense may have helped here, because after the flame died down, a large cluster of the bodies rose up in an unholy conglomeration to attack. It was something called a ‘corpse orgy’. Not something I’ve seen before and frankly something I hope I never see again. The way it screamed in agony and hatred at Xin, there wasn’t any particular doubt where it came from. We all worked at it a bit, but I believe Drax’s flames were the deciding factor there.

The next room was full of lifelike statues that were broken apart. Elle warned us to back up, which three of us did immediately. Pyraxis was a little slower, and was attacked by a giant spider-like metal monster…. Apparently a Retriever. Some kind of planar pet of Demonlords… just, hanging around here waiting for unsuspecting adventurers. It clung to the ceiling, but the room was small enough that we could still reach it with my hammer. Not something I’ve used in recent months… and I definitely noticed a difference in my effectiveness. Also, we’ve now encountered the offensive abilities that I was concerned about. Crystal javelins seem to shoot of the walls at various times.

After searching that room we found a few things of note. Incense used to gate in planar creatures… very valuable, but I’m hesitant to sell that openly. Last thing the world needs is more demons walking free. Summoning is bad enough, Gating is much worse. We may have to vet the buyers a bit more closely than usual. Also a rod of withering. Looks like a mace, but saps strength… I’ll add it to the belt since nobody else wants to try it. (seriously… any of them could use the mace… their basic training covered at least this much... ) Sigh, it’s been an uphill battle for sure. Finally and Unguent of Timelessness… Some kind of preservative magic, but only for previously living things? File that away for later.

We moved up to the big door that the dragon was guarding and proceeded to break through. The next room was another Spell well. A red chair designed for the Love/enchantment school. Elthun was offered a chance to use it, but has no interest or need for it. A bit unfortunate in my opinion. I know she’s into divine magic, but hoped the spell wells could give her some more offense. Finally we get an arcane caster… and she’s a diviner.

Which actually brought some interesting discussion. I thought it odd that Azlant would send a diviner to treat with Xin, when it was well established that Thassalon didn’t respect Diviniation as a school. Apparently the discourse went well enough, until it didn’t… but then the conversation shifted to Xin’s character. Elle still has some kind of hero worship I think for the man… where I feel the truth is that he was never any good. Elthun’s best endorsement was that he wasn’t particularly ‘evil’... but since she leans neither evil nor good herself, that endorsements suspect.

Considering the visions we’ve seen of him sending his clockwork army to conquer our homelands… the fact that he’s undead now…the fact that every one of his apprentices went evil, and the way he’s treated his fellow humanoids (ala the corpse orgy and the crystal prisons) I call him evil. He can call his magic virtue or vice… I don’t really care what he calls it, I’m seeing nothing ‘good’ here. I just wish I knew how to stop him. A large part thinks we have to destroy the sihedron and sink the island again… but nobody knows how. His life force was necessary break it the first time… so maybe we have to use the island and/or the spirit haunting it… but there has to be more and we’re not really built for breaking artifacts.

Moving further down the hall, the next door appeared different. There were almost… flakes of crystal like a scab on the door, and Pyraxis attacked it per usual. This time it activated more spikes and a giant hand that caught him fast and started crushing. I nearly tried the rod of withering… I’m not sure it would have worked on the giant hand… but it was very strong and if it was made just a little weaker than Pyraxis could escape easily. In the end we succeeded in getting him free and through the wall into the last room on this level.

In side there was a large Sihedron on the floor. Some detection spells showed us that it was a teleportation circle. We didn’t know where it sent us, but apparently it was activated by casting magic from each of the schools into the corresponding shard. On a good day, and if it isn’t picky, I do have all the spells necessary. It isn’t strong magic, but I have the schools. I still may need to rest first, but I believe we can do this.

It’s agreed that we should rest and identify the orrery… which Elthun actually helps with. She recognizes it as a flamma horacalcum. Apparently a magic artifact that while not unique, is very rare. It can be used to see through time and even stop it for moments. The amulet we had found above was very nice. It allows you to control one of the Shield Golems. Nobody else wants it, so I put it on. If the magic worked, I would have three nice magic things around my neck right now… but alas, I can only control my new pet Smashy.


Sarenth 8th 4715.

Elthun insists that there is nothing down the watery stairs that she had come from. So we light the Flamma and start re-exploring the ground floor. It really is fascinating to see through time like this, and I wish Penny was here to see it. Some of the highlights I saw…

Xin angry at his captives in crystal.

Xin, elderly and furious as he puts a black mirror on spider-legs. (possibly divining something he didn’t like? All supposition on our part there.)

Pews in Place in temple of Lissala, a service going on.

Axiomites wandering around.

Xin Pacing in Throne room

Band playing during a party.

Xin collapsing in dining room, apparently poisoned. The Sihedron flashed and brought him back to life. I wonder how many times he’s physically died…






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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:08 pm

We continued our tour with the lantern, gaining insight with every vision of the past we encountered. The next sequences of visions that we witnessed:

-A series of treasury vaults Xin toils in, laden with coins and with piles of a skymetal. Xin jumps between them using a Sihedron on the floor. Wards held the Runelords out, despite their best attempts. When the wards fell, the vault aged rapidly, and then Skyfall.

-Xin using the SpellWell of Kindness

-Xin conjuring and dissecting retrievers. Sometimes a servant of his would become petrified. (Xin's indifference to this was evidence I cited in a dispute with Elle about whether Xin was in fact evil).

-Flashes of Xin's difficulty with creating homunculi- seemed to be very difficult for him. Colin said that Xin, through the centuries, grew so frustrated he gave up.

-Thousands of instances of Xin standing and watching his axiomites construct new axiomites using logic and equations. Many different kinds of inevitables are created, and they even construct what Elle identified as Maruts- most powerful of the inevitables. They all march out the door.

-Xin shouting "Leave us!" as his retainers as he seeks the counsel of his lesser Runelords. He complains of Shoanti ingratitude for his rule. One of the Runelords offers a suggest that displeases Xin, leading to a painful punishment until Sorshen intervenes with honeyed words..."are we not all your loyal disciples?" Xin relents and leaves, and the wizards regain their composure and share conspiratorial malevolent smiles. I suggested to Elle that she study Sorshen's mannerism to improve her future deceptions. Drax did not like that idea.

We arrived back at the Sihedron teleporation room, and having nowhere else to go (other than down amongst the construct army) we used it as we saw Xin use it. Drax touched the Sihedron to the Runeand we teleported to a room with the walls plated in strange metal and adorned with many pictures of Xin. There was a statue of Xin holding a platter and a bizarre contraption. We were attacked by a Bythos aeon-it serves as a guardian of time and planar travel. Colin used his new toy- "Smashy" to aid in the fight. I do not like it.

After finishing off the room's defender, an image of Xin appeared and said "You bent and crooked things- on one can escape time, but one soul can escape the flesh into an immortal body". Colin believe he referred to himself. Elle examined the device the statue was holding and identified it as a very unique and powerful crystal ball- one that could look both ways in time and apparently even send messages. It would reveal a piece of knowledge that was forgotte, put an old piece of information into a new context, or contact someone the wielder had a relationship with. Ellse decided to try it out and viewed the past- and the crystal directed her to the Troll Augur Augustus. Elle, having memorized the entirety of his prophecy, recited it back to him. We have solved one mystery but event leaves me feeling very disquieted as to the nature of predeterminism versus free will. I do not let my inner alarm penetrate my visage.

We also found some Horalcrum to take with us, enough for Colin to make a weapon if he so desired.

We moved teleporting to the next room, a vault of Generosity (Greed). Seven robed statues held black metal halberds. Elle used a feature of the Crystal Ball that let her see things as they really are, and saw some illusory magic around the statue of Xanderghul and Sorshen. Colin looked at the weapon the statue was offering- apparently it was a powerful longsword that could assume the form of other weapons. After Colin took the offered weapon, the statues attacked. Although they hit hard, they were also relatively fragile and went down quickly.

Teleporting to the next room, the walls seem to run as if composed of liquid and metal. Two beings pour out of one side, and become the form of Emperor Xin. We hear "I am Emperor Xin- take a knee before your Lord and obey all commands!". Naturally, this provoked no response at all from our band, and after a brief pause it spoke again "Insolence! You will suffer the consequences!" Chain lighting shot out from it and from another source. The lighting was not difficult to dodge, yet it continues on and damaged the others. We killed the Xin-like apparitions. As we searched, we spotted them rising and attacking again. Only then did we identify them as Mezlans- needing acid to finally destroy. They were built by Azlanti engineers for quick strikes on well guarded targets, and were almost immortal. Elle proved that they were not immortal with her acid arrow.

We found some skymetal that enhanced magic, but nothing else.

We moved to the Gluttony/Temperance room. A pale white scimitar hung in the room. A huge skeletal crystal dragon peered over at us and spoke "Master Xin did not permit you to be here....You...you he would dislike the most." His last words referring to Elle. He gave us a chance to flee if we left her behind, and thus battle was quickly engaged. Elle identified it as a wyrm wraith, formed from the restless spirit of a dragon.

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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:06 pm

I don’t even know what day it is anymore:

Why are dragons my bane? First it was that blue one that almost killed me. The metal one that took forever to finally blast through after I got angry enough. Now there’s a ghost one that I can’t seem to do much against.

Thankfully, my wife, my love, my soul, Elle was able to blast it apart with the help of Colin and his ghost hitting flail.

Upon searching the room after the fight Elle and I find a bunch of Inubrix ingots while Colin finds….the most amazing failed weapon ever.

Seriously, a ghost iron scimitar. Extra sharp, magical, can fight on it’s own every few seconds, made of the ghost metal so it can bypass metal armors, as well as hitting ghosts. Apparently it was Xin’s attempt at making a Sin Blade, we discovered while looking at the vision in this room, but it was a failure so he discarded it. Prideful bastard. We also saw him kill an old red dragon and turn it into the ghost dragon. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if it was still a red.

The next room is the one of Envy or Charity. Entering the diamond shaped room, with indentations on two sides, we notice that every wall is covered with a semi see through green metal walls with seven pedastals boasting armor of the same metal.

Also in the room, cause let’s be honest Xin is not going to leave any room unguarded, are two humanoid shaped rock creatures with those strange backward pointed legs that some insects have. I recognize them as Elder Crystallis creatures but unfortunately, since they weren’t from abyss, hell, or abator, I didn’t really read much up on them.

After the fight, during which Pyraxis was hurt enough to make him bleed which I didn’t even know was possible for the agile brawler, we continue to pass the Sihedren around while I use fire to fix Colin’s new pet “Smashy”. I’ll be honest, I don’t like it.

We search the room and find...wait for it….armor made of the green see through metal! Non magical except for a set of full plate.

The vision for the room is pretty basic, Xin building the room and using magic to make some of the wall plates appear to be of the same metal as well as using the room to store armor and well, the metal.

Before we go into the next room, wrath, we decide to use my love’s extracts to further enhance our abilities. And it’s a good thing we did.

The room is originally filled with an orange mist that burns those without protection against fire, the mist then forms into a thick fog blocking out all sight, before becoming a freezing sheet of ice and cold and thankfully I took my love’s protection from the cold or this room would have hurt. The ice then changes back to fog then to heavy hot orange mist.

On the far side of the room is a stack of a silvery metal, Siccarite, about twenty four of them. Also, closer to us, is a very large iron golem who seems to be half covered in ice and half covered in lava.

The fight is longer than I’d like and since the golem is immune to magic/fire I have to use my earth weapons. However it was Pyraxis who managed to finally pummel it to….death? During the fight my companions continuiously passed the sihedren between them to help mitigate the effects of the fire and cold permeating the room.

The vision….I honestly don’t remember what it was. I’m going to assume it was Xin building the room and storing the strange star metal.

The final room is filled with fine mist shards as well as larger pieces of a floating shards of the same type. The fine particles make many of us except Elle sick.

On the far side of the room is a double door as well as a six armed snake lady from the abyss. A Marilith who instead of attacking us asks to talk since she is bored as hell after being in here with only Xin for occasional company. I’m not a fan of the idea, especially while not feeling well already, but I know how much Elle and sometimes Colin like to parley so….

She informs us that Xin has become much more chaotic in nature lately and behind the door next to her he’s making a reliquary that will give him great power and allow him to control all the constructs in the place and use them to essentially take over the world. He’s almost done making the thing which near as I can tell is a clockwork body that may not work exactly like he wanted since he’s well, dead yet somehow connected to the castle as a weird spirit thing.

The final thing we learn is that the clockwork body may in fact be made with all the skymetals thus rendering it immune to pretty much….well everything. Hearing that I make a command decision that talking is over. If there is any chance to get into the room before that thing is finished (and immune to fire) we need to take it.

The Marilith is weilding six long swords that seem to be each made from a different skymetal, but we are able to finally defeat her.
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Finale, Part 1
Sarenith the 8th

After dispatching the Marilith, we readied ourselves for what may lay beyond the next door. It yielded to us after a few attempts, and we carefully entered, ready for anything.

It was quickly evident that while the construct body that Marilith had spoken of was not being constructed in this room, this was certainly a room of creation. Gears, cogs, and pieces of construct were everywhere in this large room- some were enormous, some tiny enough to be held in the hand. Molds and castings were scattered about, and runes appeared to flow like liquid through the walls. Elle said they appeared to be Xin’s notes on the construction of Clockwork entities. After searching the room, we shined the light of the Horalcum about and saw that several amazingly powerful constructs had been built in this room. These massively powerful machines were not present now though- and we hoped we did not need to face them in the room beyond.

Sensing that our final goal was very near, perhaps beyond the next door, we took a few moments to reminisce about our old times. Then, again working as a team, we powered through the door to the next room.

In this room, red hot crystal shards were pulsing and popping out of the walls, and periodically jets of fire would blaze out of the walls dozens of feet. A 20 foot tile sat in the middle of floor, inscribed with glowing runes. Against a wall was a blackened body of a 40 foot tall giant. As we entered the room, the fire and smoke quickened, and we saw a vision of how the room looked thousands of years ago. An elderly Xin had just finished his war machine, announcing his intention to shed his feeble body for an invincible one, and that the seven traitors would know his wrath. As he took the Sihedron and started to depart the chamber, this massive giant appeared behind him. Xin barely seemed taken by surprise as he sneered “So this is how my loyalty is repaid.” He threw the Sihedron at the giant, and a blinding white fire consumed them both.

As the vision subsided our own situation had changed. The no longer torched giant sprung to his feet, eyes smoldering as he eyed us. His intentions clearly hostile, we moved in to attack, and his attention focused on me, as the current bearer of the Sihedron. I took several shots and knew that I would not hold on to consciousness much longer, so I gambled and sent the Sihedron to Drax, hoping the giant would opt to pursue him instead of dealing with Colin and I at his feet. Apparently he felt he had to deal with “Xin’s henchmen” first. Knowing that I would not be a participant in this fight much longer, I took a mighty blow at the Giants knee, and the strike worked exactly as I envisioned- the giant fell to his back! After having done all I could to give my comrades a change to best this goliath, I took a blow that would meant my death again, except for the contingency I had purchased before we left Magnimar. My trinket burned out as a Breath of Life infused my being, saving me from an unpleasant trip. After Elle brought me back to consciousness, I learned that the giant was slain soon after I went down by Elle and Colin.

After searching the room and finding nothing of interest, we again steeled ourselves and continued on, this time up an ascending staircase. In the room we emerged to stood a throne to the side- another runewell, this one dedicated to evocation. The room had a set of the ubiquitious crystal doors exiting from it, and we again readied ourselves as I smashed the door, caving it in on the first try.

And we finally set eyes on our foe and his creation. Guarding him are two of the Elder Crystallises, brethren either enscorcelled or immune to reason, and three of the annoyingly effective Axiomites. The remains of Xin’s physical body-his skeleton- lay housed in a clear chamber inside his final creation, his Clockwork Reliquary. The final battle ensued.
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:19 pm

Sareneth 8th, 4715

The threat of Xin is finished.

I get ahead of myself, but even in victory today was a rough day. I’ll try to be as precise as possible, but unfortunately some of this second hand knowledge.

The Marelith said something that caught my attention. Perhaps too much of my attention as I apparently didn’t pay enough attention about Xin controlling all his constructs… However she said that Xin was working to finish his reliquary. It was his intention that this would be his form of immortality. That concerned me, and I questioned her about it. Elle and Drax were quick to point out that clockworks don’t age.

That got a grin out of me. My main concern this whole time was how to kill Xin. Being an apparition tied to the island fortress… I can’t fathom a weakness. Now I have an idea. Drax wants to get him before he can get in his new body… I don’t. Admittedly a clockwork reliquary designed to defeat the runelords and grant him immortality is a massive risk… but what if THAT was his weakness. An apparition tied to the island I can’t stop…. But a spirit bound to a body? That is amazingly mortal. It may not age, but it should be able to be destroyed. If he’s destroyed in that… then he may be truly dead.

It’s a gamble. My other theory is potentially MORE risky. If we GIVE him the Sihedron… It MAY activate the true resurrection. Once again making him less undead and once again Mortal. Possibly a mortal wizard with no spells… or at least no components?? But with the artifact we planned on as a weapon against the rising runelords…. I think killing the clockwork is our best chance.

The Marileth wasn’t entirely accurate. Beyond the doors behind her was a workshop full of gears and crystals of all sizes. Strange glowing runes shimmered and shifted on the walls all around in a most intimidating manner. Nothing I could recognize, but Elle described it as a powerful crafting instructions… for things that made the clockwork dragon seem pathetic. I’m losing confidence in my plan…

The next room held a disaster. We were struck by another vision of a bent and ruined Xin blasting a giant with the brightest, hottest fire I’ve seen before (sorry Drax…) The blackened body of the giant was still there, but when the room returned to normal, it woke up and attacked us.

It was the biggest giant I’ve ever seen. Easily 40’ tall and dressed in a Tian style armor… it’s skin was a dark grey with the thinnest of runes drawn on it… and I couldn’t recognize it. I’ll call it a Script Giant till proven otherwise. Worse yet, I WAS able to recognize it as a Grave Knight. One of the most dangerous and evil creatures only created by the death of something wholly evil and depraved in life. It screamed oaths against Xin… which it apparently directed at whoever was wearing the Sihedron. I was torn. Part of me recognized it as a powerful ally who hated Xin even more than we did. [To be fair, I FEARED Xin and his magical conquest and domination much more that I HATED him… I’ve barely met the man. I was still prepared to destroy him… but that was pragmatism.] The other part of me however still recognized this thing as epitome of everything I’ve dedicated my life to destroying. It was a bad fight. It tore into Pyraxis something fierce and I think we had a more difficult time against him than the Wyrm Wraith. When I moved to backup Pyraxis I made sure to scream my own obscenities toward Xin… in part hopeful to avoid the fight.. But that didn’t happen. The ghost iron passed through it’s metal armor like nothing and I scored many good hits. It was entirely immune to fire much to Drax’s chagrin, but between Elles’ bombs and Smashy’s fist and my sword… we eventually took him down for good.

Note I didn’t say ‘dropped him’. That honor went to Pyraxis as his last action before being beat to unconsciousness. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing him trip something that’s bigger than the T-rex we faced what seems so long ago…. He dropped it, but we kept it down and hurried to heal him enough to get the Sihedron working its magic. Drax spent a few seconds to repair Smashy… which I heard a mouthful about later. That was a regrettable decisions that came back to smite us.

The next room was it… We used the teleport circle and it lead to the last runewell. Just past that, we found Xin waiting for us. With Friends. Two of those elder Crystallis and three of the Axiomites that give us so much trouble. On a side note… I’m starting to question if we are actually killing them or not? The way they speak with three voices and finish each other's sentences… how there is always three of the things… I’m wondering if we’re just dispersing them or if he had actually nine of the things around here… Never see more than 3 at a time… but it’s a bit disconcerting.

Then there was Xin himself… kind of. The reliquary was indeed impressive. It was huge with four arms and three legs all wrapped around a large clearish crystal that contained Xin’s skeleton that seemed to twist and shift as the skymetal plates on the beast shifted and changed depending on its’ needs.

That’s when Smashy turned on us and attacked Elle. It’s always the little details that bite me… I tried my hardest to focus my will through the amulet and regain control but I had no effect. Xin’s control was total and he seemed intent to take it out on the Sorshen clone. I activated tried to activate my judgements and share them with Drax. If I could turn his attacks Chaotic, they should rip through the axiomites… but I never got a chance. Xin turned his attention on me. His weapons shifted to two Abysium rods that sickened everyone for a moment preventing me from casting. Next he switched to what I can only describe as a repeating assault weapon of Inubrix. The same as the scimitar… and fired six shards that passed through my armor like it didn’t exist.

Darkness came swiftly.
The rest was just flashes of unconsciousness. I felt at least the first three shards rip into my chest with deadly accuracy, the rest I just assume also hit me and I hit the ground. I knew I was bleeding… a lot and didn’t have much time left. I think Pyraxis tried to stabilize me fast, but I was bleeding too much. I sensed a fireball go off, which I was actually protected by… and a lightning bolt I was not… well, not enough. Regardless the blood loss alone would have ended me.

So needless to say, the rest of this is hearsay. For first hand information, I recommend cross-referencing Pyraxis’ report. It would have the most accuracy as he spent the least time unconscious.

Smashy was still an issue double teaming Elle with one of the axiomites. Drax killed another of the Axiomites on his own without my smiting ability. He couldn’t attack Smashy though as he heals almost as much as hurts it… Well, not really. But there were bigger fish to fry. From what I hear, Pyraxis turned on Smashy after the Crystallis’ were destroyed… and utterly destroyed my favorite Golem. (They wouldn’t hear any suggestions about trying to fix him afterwards… even with Xin gone…) I’m not certain of the order the enemies were destroyed, but Elle took a beating. She eventually turned wraithform again and retreated into the wall to heal… but the Axiomite was also incorporeal so it didn’t help as much as she’d hoped.

Somewhere about that time, Xin canceled all our magic. Our weapons, our armor, our wands.. Any spells active… all of it… well most of it gone. I’ll concede if he wanted to fight Runelords, that would have been REALLY effective. As it was, Elles’ wraithform ended and shunted her out of the wall and dumped half her stuff out of her haversack.

When there was nothing left to fight… They all turned on Xin. I doubt he was concerned. The accounts agree that Elle and Drax both fell after both giving all they had. Pyraxis pleaded for Elethun to do whatever she could… and she hesitantly agreed after forcing a promise to leave her with the island and not return or dispute her claim… Pyraxis did just that (though I can’t help but be suspicious that THAT will come back to bite us later…) I realize she was more of a ‘I’ll back the winner’ type, and that that time it was assuredly Xin.

Pyraxis says he was knocked unconscious… and as he put together, before Xin could take the Sihedron, Elthun pulled him to her, and she killed him outright. Thus activating the Resurrection ability and putting Pyraxis back in the fight. Next she moved to Drax and tried to awaken him. Drax tried to get a blast off, but Xin took him out of the fight again. Finally amidst the flaming adamantine blows…. And Elthun’s lightning blast? Chain Lightning? Xin fell to pieces.

Again, I woke up in intense pain and weakness on the ship heading back, so the final moments should be corroborated by others.

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Colin Marcus
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