Scales of War
The Bitter Glass
The heroes of Overlook were enjoying a brief rest after fighting the giants and githyanki when they were altered to a disturbance outside of the city: a large ship was seen sailing through the sky towards the city! Springing to action Madmartegan’s Men and Ithyk race outside of the gates of the city to the war-torn outskirts of Overlook. There they observed a strange craft that appeared to be a large war galleon flying towards them. Based on its movements, the party deduced that the ship was heavily damaged and would make a landing outside of the city.
With the High Guard in tow, the heroes approached the vessel. A lone crewmember emerged: a Githzerai named Tokk’it. He explained that he was a monk from the monastery fortress of Akma’ad. Several high ranking members of the githzerai clans were at the monastery to discuss an alliance against the githyanki invasion…ominiously alluding that General Zithiruun’s assault on Overlook was just the first action in an assault on the material plane! While the Githzerai leaders were meeting, they were suddenly attacked by a large force of githyanki raiders! Tokk’it had managed to steal an idol war galleon called Conqueror and sailed for Overlook seeking aid.
Without a moment to lose, the party embarked on the craft and began sailing towards the monastery of Akma’ad. They were only in the air a few moments before being attacked by two githyanki knights riding red dragons. A terrible fight erupted in the sky between the heroes on Conqueror and the gith dragonknights. Several of the party launched from the ship and attacked the dragons with teleportation, flight or bravado. Even a fall off the ship couldn’t stop Madmartegan’s Men (and Ithyk) and the heroes were able to slay the two knights and their dragon mounts.
Conqueror arrived at Akma’ad and the heroes saw that a terrible battle was raging in the rocky valley below them. The monastery was being attacked by scores of githyanki warriors on the ground and the war galleon Sacrifice in the skies. Luckily, the third gith ship Tryanny had been disabled and laid broken on the earth.
The party’s presence was quickly discovered and Sacrifice began loading troops to engage Conqueror while the githyanki Champion rushed to engage the heroes. The Champion rode on a large red dragon and brutally attacked the heroes with fire and psychic assaults. Even though the Champion wounded Madmartegan and Tzolek, he was very quickly slain by the heroes. With that they flew towards Sacrifice to engage that craft as well!
Conqueror did it’s best to out manuvear Sacrifice but it was of no use. The enemy ship speared the heroes’ craft, locking them in place a hundred feet above the battle! The githyanki raiding party prepared to board Conqueror, only to find that Madmartegan’s Men (and Ithyk) had rush aboard their own ship! Fighting on the deck of Sacrifice,, the party made short work of the inital raiding party, slaying the captain and his men. With both ships now useless, and more githyanki rushing up from below deck, the heroes decided to deliberately crash both ships into the githyanki forces below! Tilting both ships at an extreme angle to prevent the enemy pirates from stabilizing their vessle, the party rode Conqueror into the ground. Jumping off the ship at the last minute, the party was saved from the terrible carnage of the resulting explosions!
The crash decimated the githyanki army, allowing for the githzerai defenders to quickly overrun them. The githzerai gave no quarter to their cousins and butchered all that could not escape. The party aided the githzerai and searched their foes for clues or loot. They discovered that the captain of Sacrifice had on his person a strange magical pane of glass. This glass appeared to be part of a mosaic of scrying glasses. Kage the Black deduced that the glass was part of a network of spying crystals that were likely connected to the lightning communications between githyanki troops.
The party were invited into the fortress of Akma’ad and learned that assassins had struck from within the temple during the combat. They met with Odos, the leader of the Akma’ad Clan, who thanked them for their help. Odos explained that there had been several attacks across the plane far from the Vale. These attacks were targeting fortified cities and githzerai outposts. Only Overlook was able to withstand the githaynki assault and all the others had fallen. Clearly, the githyanki were mounting an Believing that a spy may still be in the fortress, the party started an investigation. They deduced that two assassins had struck down githzerai dignitaries. One was able to flee the fortress through a secret tunnel, but the other remained. The party discovered that the remaining assassin was Tokk’it’s lover Gillia, with evidence that she was keeping another piece of mysterious glass! Confronting her in the hall room, the heroes discovered she was possessed by one of the githyanki and was lost. She was quickly executed. With knowledge that the other assassin had fled and the location of Akma’ad was compromised, the githzerai abandoned the temple and made their way to Sayre.
The party accompanied the githzerai to the famous city of Sayre. Fabulously wealthy, and
renowned for it’s university, Sayre was one of the sites where githzerai refugees were flocking to in droves. On approach of the city, the party met Lord Telicanthus—-a githyanki noble! Immediate violence was prevented by some quick thinking, and Telicanthus described himself as a refugee fleeing from the war-like culture of his kin. He was well loved in Sayre and was eager to invite the Heroes of Overlook to a dinner party. He was noteably cold to his githzerai cousins. Verne saw through the deceit and knew Telicanthus was a liar, likely a spy of some kind.
The group continued into the city, but were turned away by the city guard due to the githzerai. Apparently the githzerai were mistrusted and disliked; the refugees had been living in a large warehouse outside of the city proper. Their, the gith had been living like vermin while Telicanthus lived a life a prestige. The githzerai were certain that the githyanki noble had something to do with their situation. While pondering this, the group were amazed to see their friend Amyria. Since leaving Overlook , the deva paladin had drifted over the Vale looking for answers. In recent weeks she had had terrible dreams, prophesying that some darkness was stretching across the plane from the city of Sayre! Kage the Black believed that this was reference to the glass orbs the party had found. Amyria explained that she had gathered several leaders to Sayre and was to meet with them the next morning to discuss the githyanki invasions. She wanted the party to join her. The heroes were excited to help her and joined a debate between the githzerai. They convinced the factions of gith to join them at the first meeting of the Coalition, a group Amyria had put together to stop the githyanki invasion.
Feeling accomplished, the party left the githzerai to retire for the evening. Alas, Thanoril and Verne wanted a look around the city to prepare for the party the following evening. While on patrol, they discovered that strange sounds were coming from Telicanthus’s basement. They also spied a githyanki dressed in the uniform of the Akma’ad raiding party. They chased the gith to an abandoned temple of Ioun. Thanoril gathered that the gith was allied with a band of criminals lead by a man known as the “Filth King”. Once the rest of Madmartegan’s Men and Ithyk arrived, the heroes attacked the scoundrels.
After this fight, they discovered a secret passage and moved deeper into the temple. In the main chapel, they found the Filth King, a degenerate human priest of Tiamat, protected by a murderous band. The party attacked these villains, and quickly defeated the “king”. Beyond the broken king was a massive pile of treasure. Before the party would claim their prize, the horde came to life as a dragon made out of coins! The heroes had a difficult fight against the golem, but triumphed in the end. From there they followed a secret path to the archives, where they encountered the undead remnants of the Iounist scholar priests and quickly defeated them.
The walls of the archives were covered in centuries worth of writing. From these rants, the heroes discovered a secret long buried:
When Auglos came from Nefelus and founded the outpost of Auger, he had began working on a powerful scrying device. His masterpiece was a huge glass globe the color of the evening sky, a device that could transmit messages thousands of miles and even across planes if individually crafted receiving mirrors were first attuned to it. Auglos sold the communication mirrors for extremely high prices, typically to merchant consortiums or the rulers of more prosperous city states. His customers never knew that if he chose, he could hear and see everything that passed through one of his glass devices, and that he also sold much of the information he obtained through his eavesdropping, resulting in an even more profitable secondary business in the espionage trade. Auglos knew that his glass globe created psychic ripples in the Astral Sea when it was used, but he didn’t consider it a problem; how likely was it that anyone would be bothered? He should have done more research. His master glass, the device attuned to all the others that allowed him to listen in on so many fascinating conversations, created ripples near the githyanki city of Tu’narath, and psychic debris from the glass’s communication soon caught the githyanki’s attention. The githyanki quickly determined that someone on the mortal realm was using the energy of the plane to fuel a communication device. Paranoid in the extreme, within three months, the Lich Queen Vlaakith herself named this device the Bitter Glass and decreed that the psychic pollution must be eliminated. This lead to the destruction of Auger.
Another message from the past, this one addressed personally to Verne, explained that Telicanthus had certainly unearthed the intact Bitter Glass and was using it to aid the githyanki invasion force! Armed with this knowledge, Madmartegan’s Men and Iythk prepared to meet the Coalition Forces and later go to Telicanthus’s party.
That morning, Amyria came to get the heroes. Taking them to the meeting hall at the University of Sayre, the party met the leaders of the fractured Coalition. Kalad represented the forces of Overlook. A copper dragon named Fariex was present and, though he had no kingdom of his own, pledged to aid the Coalition with his vast fortune. An ancient elf named Caliandra represented the elves and eladrain of the continent. Lord Divian Torrance, ruler of Sayre, represented the kingdom and a high priest named Inogo was there for the religion of Ertharis. Ordos and his githzerai were welcomed as equals, but the Coalition remained separated. Madmartagan’s Men and Ithyk began discussing the war and the need to stand together. It assembly eventually saw their error and united to fight the githyanki invasion.
Now resolute in their place in the war, Madmartagan’s Men and Ithyk went to Telicanthus’s party. It was an extravagant affair, with all the nobles of Sayre present. The lavish setting was shocked to the core at the arrival of the Heroes of the Vale, mostly due to Ithyk’s bloodsoaked fur. Coordinated effort by the party allowed Thanoril to sneak into a secret sub-basement and discover the location of the Bitter Glass. Tricking guards away from the basement, Thanoril allowed the party to arrive at the magical glass sphere. Inside, a group of githyanki were performing a ritual to project messages to gith forces across the planes! The heroes interrupted the event and defeated them.
No doubt sensing the party’s attack, Telicanthus arrived at the Bitter Glass and challenged the heroes. Finding them unafraid, he offered them high positions in the githyanki army. Twice rebuked, the githyanki spy attacked the heroes with his bodyguard. Telicanthus was cunning, but he was no match for the Heroes of the Vale and fell to their blades.
The party summoned the Coalition forces to legitimize their killing of Telicanthus. The people of Sayre were shown that the githyanki had been a traitor all along and was using their city to wage a cruel war against the world. The Coalition forces would use the Bitter Glass to disrupt the githyanki forces as long as they could, while the party was to travel to Nefelus to gather new allies.