Having exhausted the staff’s power, Gwyn and the other could find now way to the island with the pyramid and decide to move further inland towards the purple light. They found the violet beam to be coming from a tower that was overgrown with vines and other plant life. Gwyn could feel the energy of the Feywild radiating from the tower.
The interior of the tower was easily accessible and consisted of a large ground floor chamber and an array of wooden platforms and walkways which provided access to the violet gem floating in the center of the tower. As they took in the sights and attempted to figure out the best way to reach the gem, a garishly dressed figure appeared out of thin air. He introduced himself as Hespotherad and insisted that the party play a game with him. He agreed to let the party retrieve the gem if they bested him in a contest call the “Cones of Dunshire” an obtuse game of strategy, bluffing, resource management and luck.
While the party played Jax learned that Hespotherad was from the Lands within the Wind and that it had continued to deteriorate despite the destruction of the Fey Engine. Hespotherad spoke of a new primordial tree of life that started to grow but recently had begun to wither. Only Gwyn knew of Elleandra’s tree of life beneath Kled, and she feared for what the dying tree might mean for her friend. Hespotherad became irrationally angry when he was out-maneuvered and even more upset when he thought the party deliberately tried to throw the game. In the end the party was able to best him and the close final score, as well as Lena intimidating presence, caused him to storm off instead of attacking the party.
Moving quickly, before he returned, the group studied the gem and felt sure that in order to master it, someone would need exceptional strength. Way-Lynn was the obvious choice and grasped the gem in his large had. Although Way-lynn was by far the strongest, there was a backlash of energy and Way-lynn was thrown back and crashed to the floor. The others rushed to his side and watched as his body contorted and began to shrink. Within moments, the once gargantuan half-giant had shrunk to the size of a halfling. After a few minutes, Way-lynn came back to consciousness and although very confused, appeared okay.
Unsure if the condition was temporary or permanent, and having no ideas on how to correct it, Way-lynn soldiered on and attempted to obtain the violet gem again. This time Way-lynn was successful and he attuned to the gem. Once again the energy beam ceased.
A Prayer For He Who Was
Back outside, Banoc said a desperate prayer and was able to summon several strange winged-creatures that they used to travel to the island with the pyramid. The creatures waited at the edge of the land although Banoc knew they would only remain for short period of time. They group entered the pyramid and followed the orange light as it reflected off of polished mirrors to go around corners. Eventually they reached a large central chamber.
The chamber had a wide pool of red liquid in the center, above which floated the orange gem. The slanted white marble walls of the chamber are decorated with corpses of numerous humanoid species. Their blood once flowed in small rivers down the walls and into the pool. In the shadows behind it, a half-dozen alcoves can be seen on the back wall of the chamber.
While the rest of the party was discussing the ominous nature of the room and trying to determine the best way to obtain the gem, Lena moved into action. Before anyone could stop her, she struck the nearest mirror with the haft of her spear and shattered it. The resulting breaks sent numerous small orange beams firing off in random directions. Way-lynn and Gwyn were hit hard and fell unconscious, nearly drained of all their vitality. Banoc and Lena were hit by a lesser strength beam and were only severely weakened.
In the chaos following the destruction of the mirror, five women emerged from the shadows. They moved unnaturally fast and had very pale skin an long fangs. Their murderous intent was obvious. Daqiq shot the lead creature with an arrow and although the aim was true, the arrow only wounded the creature. Banoc rushed to the aid of Gwyn and Way-lynn attempting to bring them back to life. The wounded creature compelled Lena to start to position herself against the wall next to the corpses and she was powerless to resist.
Gwyn and Way-lynn were able to stand and the group began a fighting retreat. They were able to lure the lesser creatures out and barely defeated the leader before her ritual was completed on Lena. Once she came to her senses, Lena was able to attune to the orange gem and took possession of it, although she was badly injured during the attempt.
A Slime Party
Heading back to the center portion of the island, the group followed the yellow beam to the mouth of a cave. As they descended into the cave, the walls became damp and dripped with a viscous slime. The rough cavern had several pools of slime and the yellow gem was floating in the air above one of the large pools. A woman was seated next to the slime pool and rose to her feet when the party entered.
The woman appeared to be a human female with long blonde hair and a shimmering, flowing blue gown made of many layers of thin cloth. She spoke in an excited tone…
“I’m so glad that you are here, there was nothing to do for the longest time. Nothing fun at all since Ania was taken away. But now that you are here you can play with Elsia!” She is clearly referring to herself in the third person. She continues, “What are we going to do?” They party made several suggestions, all of which she rejected. At last she spoke excitedly again – “Oh, of course. We can have a slime party. This will be so much fun!” As she spoke, the slime on the walls and from the pools began to move. “Woah, there is so much slime!”
The group found themselves surrounded by animated puddles and cubes of slimes that moved threateningly towards them. Elsia start to hum a tune and twirled around, a spray of slime issuing from her and striking the party members. The woman and the slimes were much harder to defeat than they looked, being resistant to most of the weapons and spells the party had prepared. Elsia was eventually struck down by Daqiq’s arrows and the slimes were burned awayed.
Banoc was able to retrieve the yellow gem of insight and the exhausted party retreated to the rusted tower to tend to their wound and get some much needed rest.