Keys to the Kingdoms

Group Therapy
Who wants popcorn?

Liera’s “therapist”, a shadow mindflayer that the party disturbed at the end of the last session, seemed to accept the party as clergy of Shar. That is, until the party decided to kill him. Once hostilities commenced, the mindflayer invoked induced horrific delusions on the party members. These included:

  • Verde was a pixie dolphin.
  • Queen Oris… well, you get the picture.
  • Kavi was a penguin.
  • Shanra … evaded the spell? Crap.

Worse, the characters saw creatures of their worst nightmare, illusions created by the mindflayer:

  • Kavi saw walking slimemolds
  • Verde saw cloudy gelatinous cubes
  • Queen Oris saw Medium lobsters
  • Shanra saw carnival workers with disturbing juggling pins.

These [de|il]usions passed once the mindflayer was slain. The party realized that the mindflayer was one of the two secretaries from the lobby, and Verde understood that its holy symbol is one of a two-key lock system for the rooms.

Liera was sitting on a psychic interrogation table, and everyone but Shanra decided to go in for a look. Liera’s mind was a scary carnivalground, and the party soon ran into a very young tiefling that looked just like Liera. The child seemed disoriented and confused, but every piece of information about herself seemed to help her grow up a bit more. Lessons learned: take wine over popcorn, give the appearance of thanks, it’s not nice to steal, and don’t destroy someone for taking your corn dog.

The party then provided Liera with some sketchy moral guidance when presented with various dilemmas from the vantage of a spinning merry-go-round whose “horsies” were apparently statues of angels and devils. There was:

  • The “protect the kid or take power?” problem (protect the kid and then take the loot).
  • The “protect another adult or die yourself?” problem (don’t die yourself tops the priority list).
  • The “is it okay to kill X?” game (mostly depends on if they’re doing harm, if they’re potentially useful, and/or if they’re more powerful than you).
    Ultimately, Verde told Liera to use herself as a moral compass.

Looking more like herself all the time, Liera playfully suggested the party go visit a playmate of hers… Asmodeus.

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Where'd Liera go?

Inky appeared after Vanrak ate it, and after extensive negotiations, Inky and the party negotiated the following deal:

  • Do what we can to kill Vecna. Inky will help & direct.
  • Inky gets most of Vecna’s power.
    • The party negotiated this to 80% Inky/20% party.
  • We keep what else we find, though not the eye/hand.
  • Inky manages the Reborn Cult of the Dragon in our absence
    • “Moral” management practices: no slavery, no child labor, a livable wage
    • Profits go to the Cult fund
    • Inky shall attempt recruitment of the Gold (Ixzi…) and Silver (Grax…) dragons, luring with:
      • Baby Red Dragon rescue opportunity
      • Shadow Dragon mentorship opportunity
      • Cult Leadership Opportunity
      • Generous Benefits Package
    • Disputes between Inky and Dragons are referred to party via Extra-planar Sending. Party has 24 hour grace period before Inky makes the call.
  • And Inky is friends with Verde

The party also learned that Inky has a contract with Gill the Beholder at a much better rate than Billy came for. Inky asked the party to infiltrate the Masked Lords of Waterdeep, as they hold an item Inky requires.

While we were negotiating that deal, Liera was looking at Vanrak’s body for loose change, and came across the cards of “Void” and “Dungeon” from the Deck of Many Things, and promptly vanished.

The Cards remained; Verde picked them up. They started whispering to her, so Verde created (with Kavi’s assistance) a magic pouch for the deck that’s “mostly thief-proof” (likely with a back-door for Kavi), element-proof, and has room for 2 cards. This could be improved with time and effort.

The party almost unwittingly took ownership of the 50-floor fortress when Vanrak’s goons showed up, frightened and ashamed of his death.

After wrapping up negotiations with Inky, we sought to find out where Liera was. Through a ritual from her blood, the group determined that she was in a jail run by Shar in Shar’s home area of the Shadowfell. Gwendolyn (a twin of the Cult’s librarian) pointed Verde to the right library location, and taking one for the team with some SAN loss, read up on the evilness that is Moonbane prison.

We traveled to the jail via ritual and talked our way in as important Shar worshipers in need of Tiefling sacrificial victims, and were trying to figure out how to break Liera out, were we able to even find her. The party also stumbled upon Sap the Dryad, and has not yet found a way to free her.

The session ended with our finding Liera in a “therapy” session, with us alerting the “therapist” to our presence.

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