Keys to the Kingdoms

Aurum Maximus

Damn... that palace got bling!

It’s difficult to describe so much epic in so little time…

Having defeated an aspect of Asmodeus and connected Liera to Amaunator, the party set about its exit from Moonbane Prison. They wasted no time stuffing the unconscious-but-recovering Liera into a newly-created Paper Body Bag of Holding (Epic Items) and posing the first murdered shadow illithid secretary most inappropriately on the psychic exam table. The party then wasted a lot of time deciding what to do with Ithylgriaa, the second shadow illithid secretary of Moonbane Prison. After making pleasant chit-chat with the secretary and Kavi stealthily relieving it of the second half of the Moonbane Prison key, the party gave serious consideration to the usual “murder death kill” plan, but ultimately decided do draw on the power of Card Void and Card Donjon to open a portal beneath the unsuspecting creature, placing it in Liera’s old cell in a 5-portal figure 8 never-ending portal loop with lights and disco-inspired special effects. The party theorized the loop would accelerate the illithid indefinitely, since they’d also used Card Void to relieve the cell of its air.

With both keys in hand, the party retrieved Sap and placed her into the body bag. The party then walked out of Moonbane Prison through the portal by which they had originally entered as if they owned the place (which, since they’d pwned the place, was practically true). The party decided not to detour by Shar’s dark palace to acquire the Card or Cards she supposedly has (according to the party’s Cards).

Their arrival back at the Cult of the Dragon earthmote was met with a flurry of activity. Sap was handed off to the newly hired Gardener Meridith for care and planting of the dryad’s acorn; King Oris demanded the gardens be enlarged three-fold and after some disagreement allowed her to discuss details with Inky once daily. Meridith seemed gratified but overwhelmed.

The party eventually realized they had Liera in the paper body bag of holding, and released her to the care of a simple nurse, who also seemed overwhelmed at the responsibility and honor.

Then Accountant Willie came by with a stack of well-done, shockingly non-corrupt expense reports. Upon hearing of the accountant’s engagement and planned simple wedding to Librarian Millie, King Oris and Verde couldn’t help party couldn’t help but cover the bill for a significantly larger celebration. Of course, that bill paled next to the ~25K/week deficit the Cult was running in operating expenses, never mind the larger capital defense expenditures being incurred by Commander Hartman.

After musing at the genius of the Scroogean rubber ducky grenades on order, and realizing just how badly the Cult was bleeding gold, Verde lit the fire for the party to take the Cult in a radically new direction: mainstream. Soon everyone was contributing alarmingly-plausible ideas:

  • Merchandising!
    • Cult of the Dragon everything!!!
    • Retail outlets in major cities
    • Company store in all Cult strongholds
    • Cult Card
      • Memberships at the Silver, Gold, and Platinum loyalty rewards levels
      • Cards have Ixy and Grax stylized silhouettes.
    • Tell-Me-A-Secret Line
      • Inky dolls and bobbleheads
      • Manufactured with one-way sending stones, they say “Tell me a secret…”, which is then relayed to Inky.
    • “Inky Diaries”, which produce a copy of the written text in Inky’s library.
    • Verde co-(second)-authoring a Shar book with Inky
  • Direct Marketing
    • Hire mission-/mercen-aries.
  • Cult of Dragontology Branding
    • Slogan: “Helping you achieve your full potential to be the best that you can be.”
    • Oris Island
      • The exclusive resort created by moving the Earthmote to a remote location above the Sea of Swords.
    • Motivational Speaker series
      • “Finding the Dragon In You”
      • “Understanding Workshops” workshop
  • Investigate trade through earthmote shipping with dragon-accelerated travel.
  • … and so much more…

Inky, upon hearing of the “Tell-Me-a-Secret” line immediately approved the entire concept, decided he needed so many more friends, and literally pulled prototypes of the bobblehead and doll out of thin air. The party authorized the start of the merchandising plan immediately, including the hiring of magewrights.

With business settled, Inky reminded the party that they had little time for rest. They needed to act on the offer Ixzy and Grax had made, as time was running out. After careful consideration, the party decided to draw on the power of Card Gem to convert the old stone cave into the lair the ancient dragons had “requested”. As a storm approached, they planned, drew, and designed. And then, they created.

Verde, Kavi, Aeriarthia, and King Oris the Dragonrider each took hold of Card Gem. Verde took lead with her magical might, Kavi offered his life force to the card to fuel the creation of opulence; Aeriarthia sang appeals to the storm to frenzy ambient energy, and King Oris the Dragonrider channeled searing radiance to make some gold aqueous eternal. The palace began to form, but the price would be high as Kavi’s reserves faded and his life force began to ebb. Just before Kavi slipped into unconsciousness, the storm reached crescendo and twin bolts of lightning arced across the sky… and into Verde. With a flash (and a party-cumulative 203(!) on the skill check), the spell was done, and a palace lay before them, just as was in their minds.

What was once a 100’ dome of rock was now streaked with intricate veins of silver and gold, lit from below with everburning orbs. Preceding the entrance lay a landing zone comprised of a grip-textured gold floor with inlaid silver landing lines with a platinum inlay of a dragon silhouette, reminiscent of Bahamut’s profile. And inside… draconic paradise.

The floor, save a space on the right, is solid gold. A molten gold waterfall streams from the rock into a pool large enough to bathe in on the left side, returning in a closed loop with a new moat in the keep’s chapel-turned-throne room. Tucked into the right corner, a large horde on stone makes for a bed. Behind it, a golden gazebo (since all good lairs need gazebos), and spanning the back wall, a pagoda. The pagoda has four room, sapphire windows, diamond support structure, standard solid-gold ply construction, and color gem accents. A large, disco-enabled diamond coffee table centers the pagoda. The lair is furnished with gold pillows and fine tapestries, gems and jewelry.

King Oris managed to squeeze in some reconstruction for himself amidst the vast power being thrown handled. The former Cult chapel has been converted into a throne room, with pillars of carved stone. A large throne of metal and gold leaf sits in the middle against a golden sun headrest, separated from the rest of the room by the molten gold moat. Paintings of King Oris and dragons adorn the walls.

Upon completion of the spell, the storm dissipated and Ixzy and Grax could be seen approaching in the sunset. The dragons graciously accepted their new home. As Kavi went to retire, Ixzy pitied him and healed him with her breath. Verde made a cute attack against them, and they are now her friend. The party deferred discussing Inky with the dragons.

The party decided to discuss the Deck with Inky. Inky said that the current situation is unprecedented as the Deck had split only at the arrival of the Spellplague, but that historically it is an artifact of Chaos, sowing change with every draw made. While in the library, Kavi decided to research Waterdeep further in preparation for further adventure while Ivy plotted to set Inky up on a date with Liera.

Liera is now feeling well enough to be up and about, and was fascinated and disturbed at how other Amaunator worshipers now glow in her eyes. She is conflicted about the change, but is digging the radiant resistance and damage.

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