The Pinnacle of Avarice II

Most High CeoptraSession Date: Saturday 17 October. Character level: 17

[This journal entry contains significant spoilers about the final sections of the Rise of the Runelords adventure path.]

Once the guards responding to the alarm had been dealt with, the tower was quiet. Either all the inhabitants were already dead, or they were waiting for the heroes to come to them. The party started searching the area, finding living quarters and storerooms, but no more living creatures.

The next creature they encountered was another planetar angel. This one was hostile, though it didn’t look too happy about the situation. Andariel (the party’s own summoned planetar), suggested that they try bring this planetar down without killing it, which might break the spell binding it. The fight was a challenge for the heroes, as they were not equipped to fight good creatures. However, they eventually brought Ayruzi to negative hit points, at which point the binding spell was broken. After she was healed, Ayruzi immediately agreed to aid the heroes in destroying Karzoug and his minions.

Nearby, the heroes discovered a strange door that transported them into a horrifying maze, until they were able to use logic to escape it. Radha and Nu then set about disabling the trap on the door, revealing the stargate-like portal in the next room. The strange machinery was attended by a dozen strange creatures wrapped in robes which only partially hid their strange features: talons, horns, hoofed feet.

The portal seemed to be showing an image of Xin-Shalast during its height, and Ciaran surmised it must be some sort of time travel device. The strange creatures ignored the heroes entirely, not even responding to questioning, until they tried to interfere with the machinery. In the battle that ensued, the heroes noticed the portal flicker and flash as each creature was slain. The death of the last creature seemed to overload the portal, rendering it inoperable, but not before unleashing a terrifying creature. The heroes elected to leave the creature in the room, closing the door in the hopes that it would not escape (they were wrong on this, and the creature escaped to wreak havoc on the tower – fortunately, there was no one left alive for it to murder).

The party explored the remainder of the tower, until there was only one way to go: a huge golden door protected by a wall of force. After destroying it, they were faced with an enormous lamia matriarch and her bodyguards, who were all guarding a massive golden sphere that flashed with fire.

Image of Most High Ceoptra by Eric Belisle

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