It started as a simple dungeon run…
Loot some treasure from an abandoned dragon’s lair. But what our team found there turned out to be this! The Secret Keeper’s Amulet. An object of immense power, able to rip through the fabric of realities altogether and speak directly to you, the watchers of this time stream, who can help or hurt our adventurers as you see fit.
And in identifying this object, our team seems to have stumbled into a much grander adventure altogether. They met Torvalt the Timid, a Wizard of the Natural Order, a collection of mages tasked with maintaining balance in the Realms of Ain.
Torvalt sent them to a mysterious fallen tower in the woods, where they rescued Diphthe, a child of the sky, who had lived her entire life without setting foot on solid ground. That is, until her magical lighthouse in the clouds, known as a Lodestar, came crashing to the earth.
In distress, Diphthe told our team there was another Lodestar, still aloft, and they had to get up to it.
Siv, Fahima, James, Uggo, and Lily found a pack of wild pegasus - and one adorable pigasus - defeated the Nightmare Pegacorn that had subjugated them, and rode the magnificent creatures into the clouds.
Upon reaching the Lodestar, they found it altered, the beautiful cloudstone marred by metal, pipes, and gears. And the only way to open the iron door barring their way was to place their fingers into a strange device which seemed to randomly injure Fahima and Uggo.
Inside, they found this. A cacophony of electricity and activity. And a massive creature that could only be one of the Wardens of legend.
In the aftermath of the great War of Ideas that ravaged all of Ain generations ago, the Wardens became the protectors of the Realms. Titans, who maintained peace by being a safeguard and deterrent against the most cataclysmic threats to the land.
But no one had seen one in generations, and as they passed into legend, most people stopped believing they even existed.
But all of you see one. Right now. Imprisoned. Shackled in place, held unmoving in the center of the Lodestar. Its feet shackled and locked on one floor, its wrists chained to another floor, and the topmost floor anchored to a massive neck clamp that holds its head in place. Yet he also seems to crackle with energy. Lightning sparks and bangs all around him like a massive tesla coil. Current seems to snap and jolt out of him and through each of his restraints periodically with a loud, concussive blast, ripping across the metal that has been grafted into the walls, and surging upward to the top of the tower.
Part 1: Lightning and gears.
As the team make that way into the Lodestar, and they notice non-sentient, automated humanoids that are busily at work on the various levels of the modified interior of the building. They are surrounded by mechanical workings of all kinds. Pipes on the walls seem to carry electricity away upward and large gears are in constant operation, added to this is the constant clanging electrical clap accompanied by flashes of blue light from the Warden's body.
Uggo finds himself thoroughly intoxicated. Fahima contacts Torvalt the Timid and confirms that the warden is in the Lodestar and they discuss ways to deal with the situation as it becomes clear that the Warden is the source of the intermittent, powerful electricity coursing throughout the tower. Having walked into the open, James attracts the attention of one of the autonomous, gear-powered Robits, as they are known. Uggo does his best to destroy one of the mechanical creatures, but only dents it. Over the already loud ambient noise and overwhelming commotion, James shouts into the cavernous, hollowed out structure, his voice echoing to the top of the tower where there seems to be a small room. Over what can only be described as electric chaos, James' message isn't heard by its intended recipient in the small room. Lily hastily alters her appearance to that of an automaton. As they reach the second floor, the party notices a massive lock attaching a chain to an electricity point. More Robits approach them and they roll initiative:
Siv causes damage and the Robit starts beeping, disguised Lily engages in a starting contest with another of the machines, one of them makes an almost imperceptible attack on Uggo, Fahima dashes around the wall and spies mechanical movement in an alcove. Uggo rages and hurls an automaton from the second floor walkway and strangely enough, as if the last few moment of time loop once, repeats the same action with a different automaton; a bunch of keys can be seen among the debris of the first Robit which Siv rapidly retrieves. James' prepared Darkness spell is triggered by the encroaching Robits and beeps can be heard in the darkness. Lily, enveloped by the darkness feels her way out and uses her flute to jam a mechanism in an alcove. Fahima continues dashing toward the next level. Uggo attacks the beeping he hears despite being in darkness and obliterates a Robit with his maul, Siv, now holding the keys, makes he way back up from the first floor and gets to work on the lock. James then shifts the location of Darkness revealing Lily in the corner of the alcove and a second set of bent keys. Fahima continues upward to the third floor and as she does so, whirring, flying machines can be seen. Still on the second level, Uggo moves to another alcove and attacks a 'Robit constructing' machine. Carrying the Darkness, James dashes around the second floor walkway, Siv continues wrestling with the massive lock, Fahima is blinded by one of the flying machines and subsequently runs into a beeping Robit. Uggo makes it to the third floor. Having managed to free the complicated lock, Siv steps back just in time as powerful electricity flashes down the chain. The warden then slightly moves one of his feet. Siv then rushes up one more level. Drinking the Potion of Haste, James reaches the top of the stairs to the third floor. Beep.. beep..beep.boom! But Fahima is resistant to the blast.
The wall shudders as the Warden's feet are freed and it kicks out. Despite being in darkness Uggo hoists another automaton over his head which explodes in a shower of metal on its way towards the base of the tower.
Part 2: Robitting hard to get to the top
After attacking once more, Siv comes across another large, complex lock. James quickly takes out a Robit with Toll of the Dead and Lily begins to join her friends on the third level. As it has worked before, Uggo throws another robot just as the Warden attempts to break free once more. The hasty globe of Darkness (James) follows Fahima up the stairs to the final level. Robitting as fast as she can, Lily makes it to the third floor. Fahima, now on the top level, throws a previously committed axe at a new, spidery form of robot. Siv is still confounded by the next lock, and James zips up to and shocks and unnaturally ages a Robit. After jamming a constructor machine, an urn suddenly appears in Lily's hand while Fahima and James and to the small room at the top. Again, the Warden kicks out, thrashing more violently this time and shaking the Lodestar.
James is the first to make it into the small room which is a disorganised workshop/ lab of sorts and encounters Fardinald Ertinfert, who promptly tries to escape; unlucky for him, he receives a Shocking Grasp from James. As 'a matter of safety', Lily implores Siv to take the urn and then hit her. Ertinfert, severely injured by Uggo manages to pull a lever gasping "One last surprise!" and at the very top of the stairs leading from the room to the roof appear two shambling, gray, nondescript figures which closely resemble Fahima and Uggo.