Sunday, May 24, 2009

My wife endured this, so now you're gonna...

Okay, so, fairly early on in my relationship with my wife, when we were still just boyfriend/girlfriend, we were walking through the mall, talking about various stuff, and probably discussing D&D in at least some small way, and someone set off one of those security alarms at a store entrance. This brought back a memory of a D&D character of mine that set off one of those, and caused me to chuckle, and she asked what for...

Okay, so, in the University campaign, I was playing Rainara at the time, and our group was "convinced" by a Green Dragon to go into this dungeon, to retrieve a magical amulet for him. Not wanting to die, we agreed, and then figured we'd maybe find something in there that we could use to kill him, rather than follow through on our bargain (Hey! Don't look at me like that. He was evil. Who's to say that he'd have followed through on his side??). We delved into the dungeon, only to find it deserted... well, almost deserted. We found out that there was an entity residing there, or at least something that he could speak to us through. It was an ancient, long-forgotten god. He told us a tale of how Satan had been ousted from Hell by the other Devil-Lords and he had been placed into a "null-dimension". A void he would never be able to escape from. However, foolish humans on another world were worshiping him. These humans had gotten hold of a magical necklace from our world (courtesy of a world-hopping wizard) that carried with it a magical connection to our world, through which the wizard could draw magical energy through, in case he ended up on a low-magic or no-magic world. Well, as it turns out, the world these foolish Satan worshipers were on was a no-magic world... Earth.

The ancient god told us that these humans were using the magic of the amulet to summon Satan into their world, and they would succeed without intervention. The god could not act directly, so it wanted us to travel to Earth and replace the amulet with a copy, then bring the real one back. The idea was, that the worshipers would still attempt their summons, but with only a small residual of magic left, they would not be able to complete the summons. Satan, in his anger, would destroy them, before falling back into his prison-void. Thus, ending the threat.

First off, the god needed to establish which of us was the leader, so he had us fight each other in the dungeon. Long-story short (heh), Sarek won. I think he got the ability to copy the necklace. Once that was done, the god sent us to Earth's past, so that we could find a way to learn the language, before he sent us to the time we needed to be at. We purchased was was likely a bible, and then returned to our own world. The plan was for the Bard to take a couple of weeks to learn the language, and then she would teach it to all of us, then we would go.

I couldn't show up the next week to the game, but it turns out that Joe, Zoroaster's player, got bored and decided to search around. He found a secret door that led into a small room. It had a semicircle on the floor of what looked to be strange wavy tentacles, around an area of darkness against the back wall. We figured that the tentacles would grab you if you tried to cross, so Zoroaster summoned a Flaming Sphere and rolled it all over the tentacles to burn them up. With those gone, we approached the blackness... Colin's character stared into the blackness, and Steve called for a saving throw. He rolled low and suddenly screamed in terror, his hair turning pure white. After that, one by one, we started entering the darkness... anyone who's played through Tomb of Horrors probably knows the logic here...

Well, next session after that, things were very different... it turned out that the inky blackness was another entity, named Ik. When we all entered it, it basically took us over. It absorbed all the magical energy from our magical items to grow stronger. It gave the green dragon the amulet that it wanted, and then proceeded to take over most of the northern part of the country. Our characters awoke 20 years later to find that we had been living very mundane lives in Ik's domain. He had turned a fairly peaceful countryside into a bunch of insular walled cities, all paranoid about the others. He had caused a war with the elves in the northern forests, driving them further north, and even had killed off a few of the elven gods in the conflict. The green dragon had taken the amulet, which allowed it to polymorph itself, and it killed the Prince of the kingdom, taking his place. He took over the southern parts of the kingdom, leaving Ik with the north, and reigned as a tyrant.

A further problem with that was, that since we didn't go to the other world to stop Satan's worshipers, he was summoned into that world and took it over. He used the magical connection to our world to draw magic to Earth to become stronger. He then returned to our world, took over Hell again. He began drawing more and more magic into Earth through Hell, which was linked to the prime material plane through a large fissure in the far north called "The Great Rift" (I think). This was causing the magic in the north to be very weak, which was, in turn, weakening the elves, who need magic to survive. So, having gathered together again, we tried to find a solution to this.

In our searching, we were told by the Sun God, Rhom, to go to these three towers nearby. When exposed to the sun, these towers could fire off a beam of magic that could cause great destruction. However, if fired a far enough distance, the magic wouldn't be harmful, it would just bathe the target area in magic. So, we devised a plan to tell all the elves to gather in one spot, and we would fire this weapon there, and since they are far enough away, they would only be supplied with the magic they needed to live, as opposed to being destroyed. To allow for the towers to operate day and night, Rhom gave us three fragments of the sun, in a bag from the god of Thieves, which could hold anything. When the tower was aimed properly, we would place the fragments at the base of each, and that would do it.

However, when we were going to do this, Ik had gotten wind of it all, and caused basement of the tower to collapse into a dungeon underneath it. The mechanism for aiming the tower was broken apart and scattered throughout the dungeon. So, we had to go find them. Rainara died in the dungeon, crushed to death by a creature that had taken the form of a chest of treasure (a mimic, or maybe a protein polymorph). To replace her, I brought Mizraith, my dark elf magic user, into the game. He helped continue with the search, and Colin's character came upon the main compass of the aiming device, set behind metal bars, just out of reach... he had found a new sword a few rooms back, an old, rusty sword, but one that was magical... he used it to reach through the bars, to pull the device towards him. Well, it turns out it would have been better if he touched the bars with it... it was a sword of rusting. Very good when fighting foes in metal armor... but very bad for touching compasses made of metal. The compass turned to rust dust before our shocked eyes.

Well, that plan was down the toilet. Angered by our stupidity/incompetence, Rhom showed up again and sent us to Earth, to fix things there, hopefully cutting off the flow of magic to our world. We showed up there, with some knowledge of the language, and proceeded to try to get by. Mizraith was sticking out like a sore thumb, though, so he turned invisible. The invisibility spell, in those days, worked indefinitely, as long as you didn't attack someone, so the one spell stayed on him as long as he needed it. Now, we needed some equipment, so he sneaked into a store (with tools, camping and hunting equipment, etc) and started making his way around, grabbing what they needed and storing it on him, under his cloak, so that it would turn invisible too. Now, here's the part, finally, where we get to the security alarm... bet you'd forgotten about that by now, hadn't you? heh... so, he grabbed all this stuff, and he went up to the exit, with its automatic doors, and he saw people going through, but he couldn't get it to activate on his own, 'cause he was invisible. So, I waited until some unfortunate man was attempting to go through the door, struggling with a large box. As he delayed slightly to shift the box in his arms, Mizraith quickly exited, setting off the alarm. The two men grabbed him and dragged him off. I'm sure he was fine, though. heh. I brought my ill-gotten wears back to the group (including a nifty pair of sunglasses for my light-sensitive dark elf eyes), and we continued on in our quest.

Now, so as to not leave you hanging on the rest of the story, we tracked down Satan's "lair" to a large sports arena. Apparently, this place looked normal from the outside, but inside was a completely different world, a little pocket dimension. Avoiding entering through the front doors, we climbed up the building, and found a maintenance entrance through the roof. Inside, yes, there it was, a vast forested landscape, with a tall tower in the distance, far larger than the actual sports arena. We entered, and traveled to the tower, but were unable to find a way to affect it. So, I had a brilliant idea... we'll go back to that maintenance entrance, climb back up, and just before we're going to close the door, we dump those three fragments of the sun into the world, hopefully burning it all up and destroying everything in there, including Satan, or at least his connection to our world (I think that's what the tower was).

Well, we definitely hit upon something there, because as soon as we decided on that plan, a massive blizzard kicked up, making it extremely hard going to get back to that exit. We had to camp for the night at one point, digging into the huge snow drifts for warmth. I joked, while we were doing so, that we should just summon Satan to our location, and use the fragments to destroy him directly. We all chuckled, and went to bed, setting a watch.

Well, seems Colin took me more seriously, and on his character's watch, he took the bag with the fragments and went off to make a deal with Satan. Satan would restore his youth (remember that 20 years? That was nothing for Rainara, an elf, but Gawain was a human, suddenly in his mid-forties.) and he would give Satan the fragments. He agreed, restoring Gawain's youth, and had Gawain throw the fragments in a hole that opened up in front of him... Gawain did, and the hole closed up and they were gone... this is when we all hear that "Zonked" sound from Let's Make a Deal. Should have taken the box, Gawain. Satan wasn't even physically present, so the fragments wouldn't affect him. Well, that was that... we woke up and everything was calm, no more blizzard, and we were allowed to leave, peacefully... we were no threat then.

Great. We returned to our world, failures. Rhom and the other gods weren't pleased. I think we were sent on another mission after that, to go up to the Great Rift, and go into it, to attempt to close the connection from this end. The only thing I really remember about that is walking along a tunnel that had all these traps in it.

Well, I moved to Edmonton, Alberta, shortly after that, so that was the last time I played Mizraith. I don't know what went on in the game for the next 6 months. When I moved back from Edmonton after those 6 months, I started playing Thorn. I met them in Hell, and transported back to the prime material plane with them, and adventured with them after that. We were still doing work for the gods... probably still trying to fix the same problem, but I don't think we were doing much better after that.

I think Steve just got burned out on DMing at that point, and I started running Star Wars. heh.

So, yeah... my wife, then my new girlfriend, endured that whole story, and she was STILL my girlfriend afterwards, and still went on to marry me a year later. That's love for you. :)

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