Starchaser

The Math Mage

Sir Brom Lionsoul, Nameless, and Atem – personal operatives of the queen of Enthadu – met with First Sorcerer Kaemy’s apprentice, Vesango. The young wizard told them that he was to accompany them on a mission to find Kaemy’s old friend Leraque; the old mathematician could be the only way to find the strange “hopping realm” that Kaemy believes is where an alien threat is entering the Cosmos. The four interrupted an assassination attempt on Queen Darshy, and were rewarded with the Starchaser, a star ship capable of travelling the Cosmos, which they would use while in the Queen’s service.

The four travelled to Inais, the last realm where Leraque was known to reside. Once there, they learned of a group of bandits called Awbel’s Marauders that had kidnapped Leraque. They tracked the Marauders down and killed Awbel and Lozael – a priestess that hoped to use Leraque to find the “hopping realm.” Evidently, Lozael was a servant of the alien threat, and she had corrupted Awbel with her dark religion (Awbel had four red scars on his neck). With Leraque in hand, the crew of the Starchaser prepares to head back to Enthadu and deliver the math mage to First Sorcerer Kaemy…

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Trouble in Dynartle

Having defeated Awbel and his mistress the priestess Lozael, the crew of the Starchaser had rescued Leraque, the “math mage” that First Sorcerer Kaemy needed for help in locating the “hopping realm.” Leraque told the crew that he needed to return to his hut to retrieve his personal effects, and he also wanted to contact Kaemy before the trip to Enthadu.

Upon arriving at Leraque’s home, the Starchaser crew found that a squatter had taken up residence; Ertorust the goblin necromancer and his zombie manservant Lucius were there! Ertorust tried to bluster the crew, but they would have nothing of it, and drove him off after killing his beloved Lucius.

Leraque led the crew to a secret secret room, and when he attempted to contact the First Sorcerer on his holo system, a creature clad in tight leather robes with a bird skull for a head appeared on the system. The device exploded in a flash of light.

Later, upon returning to Dynartle, the crew met Sir Icon Clash, a member of Sir Brom’s order of knighthood. Vesango stressed that the crew had no time to reminisce, and they made their way to the porter station. There they found Snukit, the cute halfling attendant, a mere shadow of her former vivacious self. They soon learned that she was under the power of the mysterious bird-skulled nemesis, Tanagabelsamu. The alien beast told them to bring Leraque to “angel’s monument” or Inais would be destroyed. Vesango argued that time was of the essence and that Leraque must be brought to Enthadu with all haste, but the crew decided to investigate Tanagabelsamu’s threat and put an end to the alien thing if possible. Leraque stayed in Dynartle, and headed to the Naked Bard to pass the time. Meanwhile, the Starchaser crew went to consult with Turtan Hos, a sage who might be able to tell them about the angel’s monument.

Once inside the sage’s tower, the Starchaser crew encountered Und’bann, a beholder rival of Tanagabelsamu. They defeated the aberration and his slaves, but found no sign of Turtan Hos. Perhaps a more thorough search of the tower is in order…

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Swamp Scuffle

The Starchaser crew searched the tower of Turtan Hos, and finally encountered him. Unfortunately, he’d been transformed into a frog, and was only able to communicate using body language and hopping. He did manage to convey to them that they should seek out Umere the Warty, a swamp witch who could transform him back into a man, and who was unfortunately his ex-wife.

The crew found Umere, and finally convinced her to help them and Turtan Hos. She needed three things – the skin of an albino crushgrip constrictor, a big chunk of stirge guano, and her magic bowl, which had been stolen by an orc swamp wizard named Engurn.

The crew tackled the snake, Pinmuck, first. Or rather, he tackled them. The snake was a wily old resident of the swamp, and had defeated numerous opponents before; he proved to be a considerable challenge, but the Starchaser crew managed to emerge victorious (but just barely). Next, the crew sought out the stirge guano. Sir Brom bravely put himself in the center of the swarm, and the rest of the crew managed to slay the bat-mosquito-things with lots of fire and explosions.

While investigating the quano pile, they discovered an intact sheet of parchment that mentioned stars travelling strange paths across the Cosmos. The stars were named: Hadar, Acamar, Gibbeth, Nihal, Ulban, and Caiphon. The parchment also mentioned Tadan, presumably an astronomer who’d studied these stars. The strange thing – all six of these stars had mysteriously disappeared over 4500 years ago, long before travel through the Cosmos was possible.

The crew didn’t understand this information, and since it had no bearing on their current mission, they tucked it away and proceeded on to Engurn’s cave lair. The orc alchemist wasn’t happy to see them, and the crew fought yet another epic battle just to drive him off and escape with their lives. While investigating the lair, they encountered a talking statue named Middib who told them that Engurn was an insane alchemist from a clan of insane alchemists. The crew promised to find a way to return Middib to his human form. Middib suggested that Engurn was the kind of person that would seek retribution on Umere for sending armed thugs against him to reclaim her bowl, and so the crew hustled back to Umere’s home, hoping to catch Engurn before he could harm the swamp witch.

Engurn was already there when they arrived, but the Starchaser crew slew him with extreme prejudice. They retrieved the magic bowl, and Umere gifted them with magic belts made from the skin of Pinmuck as tokens of her gratitude. Nameless discovered a strange alchemical substance called Madness Mist that Engurn had evidently developed. He has two sample bottles of the compound, and seems excited to study it.

Now the crew must escort Umere to Turtan Hos’ tower where she will perform the ritual to transform him back into a man. Then, they can hopefully learn about “angel’s monument” and travel there to deal with Tanagabelsamu. And after that, maybe they can escort Leraque to Enthadu, and he can do his thing to find the “hopping realm.”

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Meanwhile...

While the Starchaser crew were out dealing with Turtan Hos, Umere, and Engurn, Leraque was bored. He was hanging out in the Naked Bard, drinking and getting annoyed by the regulars there. Since he pretty much hates people, he decided that he would head on up to the Starchaser to check the ship out and move his belongings there. Once onboard, he met Snubnose and the two, both scholars, started talking about math and botany, and they hit it off. Leraque got his stuff moved into one of the vacant cabins, and then decided to explore a little. Snubnose gave him the grand tour, but warned him not to go into Section 12. Leraque, of course, decided that he wanted to see the forbidden area. Snubnose tried but couldn’t stop him. The young dragon could do nothing but follow and try to keep the mathematician safe…

Meanwhile, back on Inais, Sir Icon grew worried when he couldn’t find Leraque. He had taken the safety of the math mage as his responsibility, and knew that Sir Brom and his friends would be angry if harm came to Leraque, and that they would blame him. Sir Icon searched Dynartle, and when he talked to Snukit, she told him that Leraque had gone up to Starchaser the day before. Sir Icon decided that it would be a good idea to make sure that Leraque was okay, just in case. And it had been years since he’d stepped aboard a star ship; he wanted to remember what it was like to walk the metal halls of a mighty Cosmos-faring vessel. And really, what could it hurt?

Once onboard, Sir Icon found the ship empty. This worried him, of course, since there should be somebody onboard a star ship at all times (usually the ship’s dragon). He frantically searched the vessel for the dragon, Leraque, or anybody else. He eventually came to the doorway to Section 12, and, having looked everywhere else, went inside…

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Section 12 - Part 1

After Umere the Warty returned him to human form, Turtan Hos told the Starchaser crew that “angel’s monument” could only be Sword Height, a huge statue of an angel on the other side of Inais. This part of their mission accomplished, the crew returned to Dynartle to collect Leraque and board the Starchaser so they could head to Sword Height to deal with Tanagabelsamu. Unfortunately, the math mage was nowhere to be found in Dynartle.

Nameless decided to seek out Sir Icon Clash who had promised to keep an eye on the surly hermit. Meanwhile, Atem and Sir Brom Lionsoul went to buy a new sword to replace the one that Sir Brom had had eaten by a rust monster. Nameless discovered that Sir Icon had disappeared, and Sir Brom successfully purchased his new sword. Snukit told them that Lerque had gotten fed up with the “civilization” of Dynartle and had ported up to the Starchaser. Sir Icon had followed him, trying to fulfill his promise to keep an eye on the math mage.

While in the porter circle station, the Starchaser crew met with a gang of Union of Agreement goons. The goons were soundly trounced, and slunk off with tails between legs, promising that this wasn’t over…

Once on the Starchaser, the crew found the ship empty. The only place to search for their missing friends was Section 12, the mysterious and sinister section of the ship that they had been warned against entering. Upon stepping into Section 12, they were transported to a strange maze that led to…elsewhere…

While in the Dodecamaze, the crew saw a vision of six stars that broke away from the dance of the Cosmos. These six stars – Hadar, Acamar, Gibbeth, Ulban, Caiphon, and Nihal – converged on a single point in the Cosmos. Upon the convergence, Nihal exploded and the other five vanished. Centuries passed, and five of the stars – all but Nihal – returned to the Cosmos. These five stars seemed to chase a realm that broke from its path. They overtook it, and a blackness spread from this realm, growing to cover the entire Cosmos. The vision ended with a tentacled monster entering the Cosmos, growing until it filled the entire Cosmos, devouring everything. It opened like an eye, and the Starchaser crew knew it was looking directly at them…

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