Scales of War
The Legacy of Io
Madmaritgan’s Men and Ithyk stayed in Sayre for several weeks following the death of Bahamut. All were at a loss as to what to do next. The scribes of Sayre and Nefleus researched and came to the conclusion that the ritual Irfeljar was working on allowed Tiamat to summon Bahamut in mortal form and then slay him. This knowledge brought to comfort to the people of the mortal world.
After several weeks, the party was summoned by their friend Amaryia. The deva looked gravely ill and she informed the heroes that she had had persistent and powerful dreams that were robbing her health. These dreams were of a great arrow, made of bone and sinew, piercing a veil of darkness. She was convinced that this vision was somehow connected to Bahamut and may be a way to bring him back! Unfortunately, she had searched the extensive libraries of Sayre and Nefleus and found no clues. Amaryia told them that the answer must be located in the opulent Swan Tower, the grand library of Hestavar. The Tower held the greatest magical secrets and knowledge, perhaps it held information to unravel this mystery. Amaryia reported she was much too ill to make the journey on her own and asked the party to journey to Hestavar to investigate.
The heroes left at once, sailing on their astral skiff into the vast Astral Sea. The combined knowledge of Kage the Black and Verne allowed them to navigate the beautiful, but dangerous plane to the city of Hestavar. Unfortunately, their journey was not uneventful, and they were attacked by a terrible creature: an astral dreadnought. Astral dreadnoughts were thought to be the former servants of the forgotten Chained God, the source of prime evil in the world, and now wondered the Astral sea weaving a path of destruction. The dreadnought latched onto the astral skiff with its foul claws and began to attack the party. But even such an epic monster was no match for the heroes and it was quickly destroyed.
After this brief interruption, the party sailed into the realm of Hestavar. The large city was situated on a large island surrounded by a sparkling green lagoon. Several massive earthmotes floated above the city, housing even more buildings and structures. The splendor rivaled any previous realm the heroes had visited and the heroes were eager to explore. As their ship landed on the beach, however, they were attacked by two old silver dragons and a cadre of angels. The dragons accused the party of killing Bahamut, something the Madmartigan knew the dragons didn’t believe, and launched their attack. The heroes defeated these unlikely foes, leaving one of the dragons and some of the angels alive to answer questions.
After subduing the powerful dragon Zuraxis with alchemical bindings, the party questioned the great wrym about his assault. Zuraxis confessed that he was ordered to destroy the party when they reached Hestavar. He explained that following Bahamut’s death, the god’s high exalted dragon Dakranad, an ancient mitheral dragon, had seized control of Bahamut’s temple in Celestia. Dakranad had slain the seven gold dragon priests of Bahamut and declared that they, with Madmartigan’s Men, had slain Bahamut. Zuraxis also revealed that Dakranad was supported by none other than Dispater himself, who had left his capitol of Dis to kill the party.
With this frightful information, the party pressed on to the Swan Tower. The dragon Zuraxis agreed to take them to the Tower, but warned that more of Dakranad’s loyal followers would be seeking them. The Heroes of Overlook journeyed through the splendid, but dense and confusing city to reach the fabled library of the Swan Tower.
Inside the spectacular library, the party was approached by a devil named Guionne, who offered parley to the party, explaining that he was forbidden by an ancient pact to induldge in any devilish schemes. He explained that he sought the Arrow of Fate, an ancient artifact of some importance to the twin dragon gods. Hearing this, the party made the connection between a this artifact and the dreams Amaryia was having. They cautiously thanked Guionne and began researching. Through a great effort, and bizarre insight from Ithyk, the party was able to uncover a great deal about this artifact.
They learned that long ago, there was one dragon god called Io. Io was a neutral dragon god of incredible power and he fought with the gods against the primordials during the Dawn War. He faced a horrible Primordial named the King of Terror and was split in twain by the monster’s giant ax. Out of the ruined, bisected corpse of the god, two twin dragons immediately were birthed: Bahamut and Tiamat. The two gods easily overcame the weakened King of Terror and destroyed him. Since that time, the twin dragon gods have fought to destroy each other.
A shard of the progenitor dragon god’s spine separated from his body and became the dreaded Arrow of Fate. This incredibly powerful artifact had power over life and death and fell into the hands of Asmodeus, and it was rumored he used the weapon to slay his master, the god He Who Was. The legend stated that Asmodeus agreed to surrender the Arrow to Pelor, Ioun and Erathis in exchange for he, and his devils, being allowed to freely move in the immortal city of Hestavar. This peaceful pact would remain until the Arrow was removed from the grand city.
The party learned that the trio of gods bound the great artifact with four seals, disguised for their true purpose. Pelor’s seal was located in the Dawnbell, a great golden bell that chimed the coming of the dawn in Hesavar. Erathis’s seal was a giant mosaic symbol, built into the marketplace square. Finally, Ioun’s seal was located in her Secret Library, an inter-dimensional space with entry points throughout the city. Destroying these three seals would allow access to the fourth seal, a raging storm surrounding an island off the coast of Hestavar. Once they journeyed to this island they would face the guardian of the seal: Nakheten the Raging Storm—-a titan follower of the long dead King of Terror. Then they would have the Arrow of Fate and possibly use it to bring back the good dragon god!
A daunting situation presented itself. Pelor, Ioun and Erathis were not located in the city at the moment, for they had been called away to deal with the ramifications of Bahamut’s death. As such, there was no way to reach them to convince them to lower the seals. The party would have to face the loyal followers of good gods, who would likely fight to the death to protect the seals. The good-natured forces of Bahamut were hunting for the party, believing that they were responsible for their god’s death. And, if they were successful, it would free a restriction on Asmodeus! An impossible scenario, but if they turned back Tiamat would have won and plunge the world into darkness. Distressed, but resolute, the party began their task by searching for the Secret Library.
The Secret Library existed in another world, with portals accessing it throughout the city. These portals were often hidden in places of learning and required different methods to open them. The party began investigating bookstores and found one headed by a priest of Ioun, who dealt with a scholar dedicated to Vecna in the city. Believing that this was of importance, the party journeyed to the scholar’s library and questioned her. She revealed that Vecna favored the party, for all their work in destroying his traitorous minions, and suggested that the angel Rachaela they met had truly been an angel of Vecna. She offered them no problem and directed them to the portal’s location.
Using the scholar’s information, the party opened the portal and reached the magical Secret Library of Ioun. Inside the darkened library, they met angel researchers and librarians dedicated to protecting the library. Madmartigan tried to trick them, but they saw through the ruse and attacked. The party defeated these angels, but tried to spare their lives as they pressed to the first Seal.
The party arrived at the great seal, which was carved into the wall of the grand library. The seal was guarded by the Headmaster Burage and the enigmatic sphinx Granosos. Any attempts to reason with the two failed and Madmartigan’s Men and Ithyk were forced to fight the loyal exaults of Ioun. Though they were cunning and powerful, the Headmaster and sphinx were defeated. The stone seal was immediately destroyed and the party fled the library to reach the second seal.
The heroes went for Perlo’s Seal next. The Seal itself was the large, golden Dawnbell located on the outskirts of the city. The party quickly flew to the earthmote temple, narrowly avoiding detection from the city guards. They arrived at the Dawnbell sanctuary, and were immediately attacked by the angels guarding the Seal. They knew not the righteous task the party was charged with, and defended their charge heroically. The heroes spared as many of them as they could and proceeded to the hallowed Bell.
The Dawnbell was protected by one of the grand champions of Pelor, and archangel called Memon. Surrounded by a host of angels, Memon was in deep prayer, awaiting attack by his foes. Utilizing stealth and magic, the party was able to catch the angel unaware and were able to subdue him quickly. The Dawnbell itself fought back with thunderous magic, but it was destroyed as well. With this, the Second Seal was broken with an explosive crack, alerting many in the city to the assault!
The party had to race from the Dawnbell Tower to destroy the third seal. Unfortunately, the remaining angel defenders of the Tower were alerted to their attack and tried to stop them. Madmartigan’s Men incapacitated them as harmlessly as they could and moved forward through the celestial city of Hestavar.
With its residents ignorant of the intention of the heroes, fear about the destruction of the Dawnbell brought the city to a state of panic. The party was able to slip passed multiple patrols searching for them and arrived at the third seal: the massive symbol of Ethrais carved into the stone floor at the main bazaar. They found the bazaar full of civilians, intermingled with numerous guards. As the players stepped forward, additional angelic servants appeared.
The most senior exalted was a celestial dwarf named Goran, who ordered the party to leave immediately or face destruction. So close to accomplishing their noble quest, Madmartigan’s Men regretfully had to decline. A furious battle erupted, with the exalted servants of Erathis trying to stop the party from breaking the third seal. Though thoroughly exhausted from the intense fighting of the day, the party was able to defeat the exalted without killing any of the gallant warriors.
With the breaking of the third seal, a terrible storm descended on the Sunlit City, enveloping it in darkness and disrupting the lagoon. Out on a newly revealed island, the terrible titan Nakheten awoke and began its thunderous rage. The party raced through the panicked city and crossed the lagoon to face the dreaded titan. Though the creature was a horrible foe of creation birthed at the dawn of the world, the party fought it with incredible skill and power. The Raging Storm fell to Madmartigan’s Men, and Ithyk, destroying a great terror and shattering the fourth seal. Madmartigan was able to grab the Arrow of Fate as it emerged from the Titan’s corpse, just as the walls of water came crashing down on the party.
The heroes washed up on a shore of a nearby island and were greeted by Guionne, who demanded they give him the Arrow. The party laughed at the devil and his wicked minions, and refused to give up their prize. The devils attacked in a vain effort to claim the powerful artifact and were soundly defeated. With that, the heroes left the city.
Arriving in Sayre, the party learned that the forces of the Dakranad, the Mitherial Dragon priest of Bahamut, had declared that they were the servants of Tiamat and had aided in killing the Platinum Dragon. Amaryia approached the party, visibly frail, and explained that it was time to journey to Celestia, the city of Bahamut, and use the Arrow to resurrect the dragon god before Dakranad stole the god’s power!