Fantastical Outerspace

Mystery Skulls
Skeletons, Spies, and Sabotage

Thanks to a ritual provided by Carlyle, The Party is able to pool their resources and regroup before continuing to explore the Haunted Ride.

Heading to the northwest corner of the room, The Party drove out the local zombie populaton, allowing Giet to unearth a mighty sword of radiance.

The sword wielded by the lead skeleton from their previous battle, on the other hand, appears to act as a key, opening an imposing set of doors that lead to the final chamber of the ride.

It is here that the talking skull from before manifests himself again, this time as a skeletal ghost. The ghost-skull-king presents a nonsensical plot about how he was going to abduct Sinikka Takala, and use her connection to the Feywild along with his SKULL MIRROR to open a portal to the Shadowfell, thus allowing his true power to be made manifest.

Sinikka questioned the originality of his scheme, and The Party questioned his competence as a villain as combat began.

Despite being backed up by what had previously proven to be deadly archers, the spectral skeleton was swiftly conquered by the efforts of The Party.

As the final blow was struck, light streamed from the skull-ghost’s collapsing form as the room seemed to peel away, leaving The Party at the exit to the Ride. A door soon opened leading back to the Whimsymines.

Adelmar Schermer was waiting for the group, noting that Sinikka and The Party had been on the ride roughly half an hour longer than a guest should.

The group discussed the strange incident, but was unable to make sense of what had happened. Carlyle attempted to theorize a link between the collapse of the crystal sphere and the planar distortions, but Adelmar was unable to recall any similar events, although he also could not rule it out.

Eventually, Adelmar and Sinikka would depart to continue their business, and The Party would seek out the managment of the Whimsymines.

After demonstrating Abba’s severe injuries, The Party was granted an immediate meeting with Alidove Strifeminer, the park manager. Upon hearing their story, she quickly moved to shut down The Ride and send for the Dragon’s Eye.

A few hours later, some familiar faces would arrive, Galinndan Parma and Thava Oshiro, who had investigated the aftermath of The Party’s battle with the Emmisary of Xiphosura.

Together with Elgretor Warstout, an Artificer from the Arcane University of Layneworth, the group made their way back to The Ride.

As they delved back through the familiar corridors, Elgretor demonstrated some of the random elements of The Ride, searching for the riddle that The Party had encountered.

However, before they could return to the dark, Galinndan discovered a strange residual magical energy on the mock-up of the infamous entrance to the Tomb of Horrors. It had come from some sort of powerful plane-shifting magic that had over-ridden all of The Ride’s safeguards by simply pushing them aside to assert another reality.

Along with Elgretor, they tried to determine what sort of creature or entity could have caused this, it had elements of being enacted by a creature, but also by some sort of artifice.

In the next room, a sinister cackling skull awaited, but it was but one of many illusions that could appear to frighten guests. It was incapable of being picked up and manipulated, only of laughing and shooting illusory energy beams.

The next room would prove very different from the one The Party had seen, being only half the size. The actual skeleton present in the room was also absent.

With much of what The Party had seen being revealed as illusions, The Party decided to take a closer look at the weapons they had obtained during their delve.

Galinndan confirmed not only was the Sunblade that they had found genuine, but that it had an additional enchantment, a divination spell designed to record information about how the weapon was wielded. He also suspected that the creator of the weapon was posing as a follower of Pelor.

In the final chamber of The Ride, Elgretor, made a startling discovery. The massive explosion that ended the battle appeared to have been a massive and powerful illusion.

As The Party further pondered the magics, or lack thereof, during their most recent battle, the possibility presented itself that the portals, the skull mirror, and maybe even the skull king himself were all some sort of elaborate series of illusions.

Based on Carlyle’s keen insights into the riddle-bearing book, Elgretor pointed out that the illusion of the book was not a standard illusion, but some sort of complex arcane simulation. Could this have been the nature of the ghost skeleton as well? If so, why?

Thava also wondered if the missing piece of the puzzle might lie with Adelmar and Sinikka.

The group would eventually part ways, with the members of the Dragon’s Eye continuing to sweep the park for information, while Elgretor returned to the University to conduct more research.

Meanwhile, The Party headed back to the LADR, where Kairon Von Brandt feared that spies from the Second Thaumaterigcal Dominion were trying to sabotage the launch of their satellite. The Party elected to stay at the LADR through the night to keep watch.

During the second watch of the night, Carlyle heard a suspicious sound coming from Kairon’s workshop. Sneaking over to investigate, he saw a cloaked figure, who fled upon being detected. Teleporting beyond the fence and into the fields around the LADR, Carlyle was able to slow down the intruder, but was unable to best him in close-quarters combat.

Fortunately, a regular patrol was able to reach Carlyle before he succumbed to his injuries, but the enigmatic figure vanished into the night.

Kairon was thankful for Carlyle’s intervention, as it seemed that the intruder had been frightened off before any serious damage could be done.

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Sunrods 'N Skeletons
This attack to the Skull King

The cackling skull attempted to kick down the door and ride off into the darkness with Sinikka Takala in tow, but Carlyle’s sleep spell caused the skull to slip from Sinikka’s grasp, allowing Abba to crush it, releasing a strange energy that spiraled towards the north. After pulling Sinikka from the skeletal horse, The Party found themselves in a strange, enclosed haunted forest.

Bats swooped from the darkness and wolves prowled in the shadows. Fortunately, a pair of sunrods were deployed to pierce the darkness and reveal the threats therein.

Once the creatures were dealt with, The Party prepared to regroup in a nearby house. However, one sunrod bearer ventured too far north, rousing the ire of a band of skeleton warriors. The bone-built battlers threatened to shoot down the weary party until the sudden reappearance of Gough, who gave the group the fighting spirit and ranged firepower they needed to strike down the restless dead.

With that, the group gathered up what treasure they could find and secured themselves within the house to rest.

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Tourist Trap
The exposition dump from outer space

Before heading to the Whimsymines, The Party visited the Arcane University of Layneworth to have the sending for and stone analysed.

It was determined that the two items in concert could communicate over a vast distance, but that they could not reach across the planes. Attempting to scry where the other paired sending stone was only partially successful. No location could be determined, although the university mages were able to view a metal-furnished room in which several hobgoblins were sitting at a table.

With the research at a dead end for now, The Party set off for the strange magical theme park that was Whimsymines. After trying their hands at some carnival games and looking over the gift shops, The Party ventured into an artificial feywild forest where some visiting diplomats were believed to be meeting.

At one point, Abba and Carlyle took a turn that lead to an imposing illusion. While they were able to break free of the spell, Abba stepped forward to hear what the illusion had to say.

A ball of fire descended from the sky and began to converse with the Paladin, challenging the premise of his quest. Carlyle’s arcane analysis pointed to this message being sent from another location in the world with close ties to the feywild, perhaps by Kupola.

As The Party moved to re-unite, a member of the diplomatic entourage appeared, having become lost in the artificial woods. Together, they ventured forth and located the diplomatic group, which consisted of several other well-dressed security officers, some politicians from Layneworth, Adelmar Schermer, and Sinikka Takala.

Abba and Bulavoda attempt to bluff their way into the ongoing conversation, and Sinikka knowingly obliges them, much to Adelmar’s chagrin. However, her curiosity about their adventures winds up paying off, as useful information about the state of the world is exchanged all around.

Adelmar and Sinikka explain that they have come to the world via Sub-Astral travel, and that they represent a collection of worlds known as the Empyrean Confederation. Adelmar also holds a position of importance with Heliotrope Road Inc, a company dedicated to increasing the speed and ease of Sub-Astral travel.

They had come to this world since it had recently appeared in Sub-Astral space due to the collapse of its’ Crystal Sphere. Their first stop was in Layneworth, since it was a center for trade and technology.

While discussing The Party‘s adventures, Adelmar theorized that the goblins, with their devotion to Bane and their apparent ignorance of this world’s culture, may be scouts for the Iron Bulwark. When Abba brought up the threat of Xiphosura Kabuto, Sinikka and Adelmar noted that the star that the world orbits possessed some unusual properties, but they were unable to determine why the Dome has chosen this world as a target.

Once this discussion concluded, The Party departed the artificial feywild only to find Sinikka already waiting at the exit. She explained that she was tried of working on a day that was supposed to be vacation time, and that she wanted to get away from her stuffy entourage.

She then expresses curiosity about one of the park’s attractions, a haunted house called The Keep of Horrors-The Tomb on the Shadowfell. Supposedly, it was constructed using reports from actual adventurers about famous dungeons. However, she had some doubts as to its’ authenticity.

She declared that the best way to verify whether the ride was authentic or not was to visit it with an actual adventuring party. In addition, her entourage was so concerned with keeping up a positive public image that they had largely stayed away from the shadowfell-themed regions of the park.

The Party obliges, and after a short line, the group found themselves in a sanitized dungeon, filled with illusory jump-scares and bottomless pits obstructed by elastic walls of magical force.

However, as they delved deeper into the dungeon-themed ride, a mock-up of the infamous entrance to the Tomb of Horrors inflicted actual harm on Abba. One pitch-dark riddle solution later and things began to get increasingly real.

A horde of actual undead began to stream into the halls of the ride, and The Party was forced to battle their way back to the recreated tomb entrance.

Inside was a vaguely sinister chapel that seemed to have been built by people who had heard second-hand what shrines to lords of undeath might look like. It seemed as though the threat had passed, until Sinikka picked up a strange skull that suddenly came to life.

It seized control of Sinikka, claiming to be the ‘true’ Mineswell and ‘The Skull King’ while conjuring a Skeletal Horse upon which to ride.

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Back to the Revenge
Inevitable giant robot boss

The Party launched into battle once again against the goblins of the Titan’s Rise. This time, their enemies deployed armored minions, wolves, and a specialist in mystical illusions. However, their tactics were once again insufficient to overcome the might of The Party.

Climbing higher into the Titan’s Rise, The Party disarmed an electrical trap laid across a mountain stream. Pressing further onward, they began to hear the vocalized frustration of the goblin leader.

In a clearing near the top of the mountain, The Party found the leader along with a strange metallic ship speaking in to an apparatus that consisted of a sending stone wired to a sending fork.

As combat begun, another goblin joined the battle, this one at the center of large, mechanized suit of armor. When The Party begain to gain an advantage over the leader, he released the reserves of fuel from within the nearby ship and ignited them, turning the mountainside river into a wall of fire.

The leader attempted to drag Rhasta into the flames, it was he who would meet his end in them. Meanwhile, the powered armor goblin turned to a stockpile of over-sized weapons to deal with The Party. However, Abba’s superior swordsmanship would soon sunder the contraption and its’ operator.

Soon thereafter, the mysterious metal ship exploded, showering shrapnel across the mountainside.

With the goblin threat neutralized, The Party was left to puzzle out the purpose behind the sending fork and stone as they returned to the LADR.

They provided Kairon with the submarine plans, and he provided them with several tickets to the Whimsymines, a local tourist attraction, stating that it would take a few days to prepare the satellite for launch.

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What Bears Have Wrought
Deep blue blueprints

The Party returns their chemical sample to Kairon and makes note of the other missing piece of the puzzle, plans for a submersible vehicle.

Along the way, they see a mysterious airship heading towards the capital. Upon close observation, it appears to be a spelljammer! Inquiries are made as to what the purpose of the ship is, but all that can be learned is that it is on a diplomatic mission of some sort that is not public knowledge.

The request matched up with one of the letters they had found while battling the goblins on the Titan’s Rise, so they offered to seek out this as well.

Along the way, The Party decided to see if any further adventure could be had in the farmlands around Layneworth.

Shenanigans ensued, when Bulavoda decided to sneak into one of the homes to search for valuables. When the owners of the house approached, Abba engaged them with some good news about the Helix. Meanwhile, Rhasta and Carlyle performed their own investigation, hoping to prevent any burglary form occurring.

Despite Bulavoda’s incredible stealth skills, he was eventually found by the other members of The Party, but not before he tried to abscond with some silverware and a bejeweled statue.

Eventually, the family could be distracted no longer, and Abba was forced to explain the situation with an explanation that was largely true. He explained that these adventurers had caught a criminal, and that they were now departing to bring him to justice. Compensation was offered for the damaged statue, and The Party departed.

From there, The Party headed south towards Port Minali. As they drew near to the Titan’s Rise night was approaching. The Party decided to press forward in the darkness, keeping off the main road and keeping an eye out for the goblins they had battled previously.

While they never made visual contact, The Party did sense patrols in the woods that most likely came from the mountains.

Late that night, they arrived at the Lundgren Trading Post and spent the night there.

From there, they traveled to Port Minali to meet with Flint McNamara, a shipwright. He explained that the submarine was never finished, due to the sudden end of the war in which it was to be used. He went out to the beach and dug up the plans, presenting them to The Party.

After some debate as to how to return to the LADR, The Party decided to head north towards the Titan’s Rise to put an end to the goblins.

As they drew near to where their first battle had occurred, they spotted explosives hidden beside the road. With a blast of magical force, they detonated them at a distance, sounding the start of the next battle.

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Marsh Madness
Dice rolls Vs Crocodile death rolls

As The Party slept, Killroy saw something suspicious in the swamp and tossed a few nearby stones at it, hoping to get a clearer look at it.

Moments later, he was nearly eaten by a crocodile. Fortunately, the rest of The Party awoke and drove the beast back into the swamp. The rest of the night passed without incident.

In the morning, The Party prepared to assault the thorny enclosure at the heart of the swamp. Taking a safer approach to scaling it, they split into two groups and launched into battle against a handful of remaining bullywugs, some hostile vine-monsters, and a large ooze.

This battle proved to be quite a challenge at times, especially when the ooze suddenly split in two but eventually the monsters were slain.

With this situation under control, The Party was able to extract the chemical sample, as well as raid the spoils that had belonged to the leader of the bullywugs.

It was now time to return to the LADR.

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Swamps and LADRs
And the fantasy space program

Later that day, The Party at last arrives at the LADR. First they encounter the officer in charge of the base, Col Patrin Hanley, who is very displeased that a mind-altering alien was brought into the base the night prior.

Eventually, he allows them to head across the base to meet with Corona about the meteorite incident. Corona reveals that there was a mysterious orb beneath the rocky exterior of the meteorite, and that it split in two, releasing two Emissaries of Xiphosura as well as a ball of light that may well have been Kupola.

One of the halves of the orb had traveled in to town, but the other, along with Kupola was seen heading to the forests in the northeast.

Corona believed that tracking Kupola through the woods may prove nearly impossible, but that another researcher at the station, Kairon Von Brandt has a project in the works that could assist them.

As it turns out, Kairon is working on plans for a launching a fantastical satellite into orbit. As far-fetched as that might sound, Kairon is actually concerned that another nation has already successfully done this.

To complete this project, two missing pieces are required, a chemical sample from the heart of the nearby swamp, and a set of plans for a submarine held by a ship-builder from Port Minali.

The Party set out for the swamp, where they encountered a hostile band of bullywugs. However, the cadre of combat amphibians was unable to overcome their own capacity for battle.

Beyond the bullywugs lay a twisted fortress of thorns, within which the heart of the swamp was sure to lie. However, in their attempts to scale it, many members of The Party fell into the twisted thorns below. Once they saw that the thorny structure was also a nest for monsters, they withdrew to make camp and prepare to conquer the rest of the swamp in the morning.

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Order's Creeping Emissary
Anarchy or Riot

The next day, soon after The Party had awoke, they began to hear strange stories from the guards who had been on watch throughout the night.

Close inspection of the road leading in to the city indicated that someone had been cleaning up the streets after some sort of slimy creature had passed by in the night. Although even in the darkest night, how such a creature passed through the busy streets of Layneworth remained a mystery.

Thanks to Rhasta’s tracking skills and Bulavoda’s street-smarts, The Party tracked the creature to a run-down part of town, which it appeared that the citizens had suddenly devoted themselves to the cleaning of.

As they drew near to the end of the trail, an impromptu sermon from Abba elicited a strong reaction from one of the onlookers, who fled towards a suspicious, guarded building. The Party attempted to approach and investigate, but when Abba arrived on the scene, the citizens displayed signs of being controlled by some outside force and turned hostile. Also present on the scene was the mysterious mystical swordsman, Killroy, who joined them in this battle.

The mind-controlled average citizens and street toughs were no match for The Party, who knocked out their assailants and sought out the source of the disturbing behavior.

Hidden behind a row of meticulously arranged barrels, they found a boarded-up passage, beyond which was a pair of mind-controlled guardsmen and a hemispherical alien creature known as an Emissary of Xiphosura.

Along with newcomer Killroy, Abba took to the front lines against this agent on his arch-nemesis. The Emissary’s armor proved formidable, and the mysterious iridescent silk it produced seemed to weaken the minds of those ensnared in it. However, The Party was ultimately able to overturn and slay the Emissary, with Carlyle harvesting a valuable mystical orb from within it.

Soon thereafter, local authorities arrived on the scene. Several of them appeared to be members of an order known as the Dragon’s Eye. The Party explained the nature of the situation, and everyone involved agreed that it was time to investigate the LADR to get to the bottom of this.

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From the Earth and Skies
Fantastical Outerspace Defense Force 2014

Heading north from the Titan’s Rise, The Party made camp for the night, and Abba began to do some lumber-working. Later that morning, the group set out in the direct of the trade city of Layneworth.

As they crossed the rolling hills of farmland around the city, an explosion rang out far in the distance, from the direction of the LADR. As they ventured further down the road, they heard a more traditional cry of distress from a nearby farm house, which was under siege from giant ants.

The ants threatened to overwhelm The Party, but they held their ground until Bulvaoda was able to infiltrate the house and secure an exit route for the grandfather and daughter trapped in an upstairs room.

Once the family reached a safe distance from their home, the grandfather rewarded Bulavoda with a combat knife from his days with Layneworth’s military, and said that they should use his recommendation to get an audience at the LADR.

The Party head North towards the city and the facility suspected to be behind the blast that disturbed the underground insects. However, before they could investigate these new locations, a peculiar phenomenon caught their eye. A Meteorite fell from the sky and impacted not far from town.

Rushing to investigate the meteorite, The Party approached the ominously glowing rock and discovered that several hostile creatures from beyond the stars were clinging to its’ exterior. A battle with these Fell Taints ensued, but compared to the swarm of giant ants, they posed little threat to The Party.

Shortly thereafter, an ornithopter from the LADR flew by and landed to investigate. After conversing with the pilot about their disturbing findings, The Party headed in to the city to spend the night while the researchers of the LADR further analysed the meteorite.

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Express Delivery
Rocks fall, party mostly ok

Meanwhile, off in another corner of the Fantastical Outerspace Universe, another party of adventurers were walking a well-traveled road.

From the southern town of Port Minali, they ventured north past the mountain range known as the Titan’s Rise. Along the way, they were about to pass a mail courier on horseback when the delivery man was struck from his steed by a sniper’s bolt.

A band of suspiciously well-organized goblins was hiding in the foothills of the mountains. After attempts to negotiate for the contents of the mail bag broke down, the party moved to engage the goblins.

Among the attackers was a sniper armed with an unusually large and complex crossbow, but this did little to halt the advance of the party, as they soon forced their enemies into retreat. A heated pursuit lead them further up into the mountains, past their camp and into a cave, where some explosive traps awaited them.

One of these traps nearly isolated Bulavoda in a clearing with another goblin group and some trained wolves, but with the aid of his allies, he was able to climb back through the rubble and escape.

With this, the party departed the Titan’s Rise and headed further north, with a handful of stolen letters offering hints as to the sorts of adventures that may await.

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