Through the Gate
Stepping through the gate, the novices found themselves in an enormous cylindrical cavern, open to the sky of billowing black clouds. Far below is a lake of bubbling lava. A series of dozens of strange octagonal platforms made of seamless black stone levitate at 30ft intervals. Each walkway and each platform has four gates, for a total of 64 gates per level.
Kalek stepped through the onto the platform. Two walkers were visible, one 150 ft away another 120 ft away on the next level up. There was also a statue of a woman with an eye-patch. She was apparently in motion when turned to stone, and could be used as cover. Addie followed in after Kalek.
One walker torso twisted to face them and let loose with a rapid fire petrification ray, but failed to hit. The other walker failed to see them.
Draiq advanced through and attempted to hide (poorly). Tatalon entered and turned invisible.
Kalek dismisses his weapons and shot at the pilot of one of the walkers. The arrow hit the walker and bounced off with nary a scratch. Addie took a shot at the pilot with crossbow injuring the pilot.
A walker fired at Kalek, and hit. Kalek’s muscles became stiff, his vision faded to blackness as he slowly turned to stone. The other fired at Draiq, but missed.
Draiq launched a fire bolt at the pilot of a walker badly injuring it. Tatalon summoned a spiritual blade struck at the pilot, but did not kill it.
There was a flash of light as a silver-clad warrior, sword glowings with a marbled effect of white and silver appeared flying in mid-air. He pointed his sword at a walker and disintegrated it.
Kalek was till a statue. Addie asked Tatalon to fetch the wizards. Turning, she saw Azhelm at the gate. He fired as a readied action but missed her. He pulled the dragon amulet out of the arch and the portal closed. Quick reflexes on Addie’s part (26) let her take a shot at Azhelm (confirmed critical). The portal closed behind the arrow.
Walker fired at Addie but misses.
The last gate on AB opened and six ghouls came out. Draiq noticed a couple of gates opening further up. Addie and Tatalon noticed a great many opening. Draiq toasted the remaining pilot and the walker proceeds to walk off the edge. Tatalon hit with the spirit weapon, hacking off a ghoul’s hand. It flapped about and falls of the edge into the lava.
The silver knight teleported amongst them, and threw a temporal shell into the walkway. He had olive coloured skin, long black hair, and the irises of his eyes were a stark white. He restored Kalek to normal. Kalek was a bit disoriented.
Addie reloaded, and asked about the globe:
Silver knight: We are in a temporal shell. It is single use, expensive and temporary. We must talk fast.
Draiq asked if he was here to help, suggesting they should go kill Azhelm.
Silver Knight: It is I who needs your help.
Tatalon’s spiritual weapon was frozen. He thanked the knight for helping, and asked what this place was.
Silver Knight: We have little time but I must beg that you aid, I seek to destroy this place.
He pulled from a pouch a red crystal with draconic runes, counting down 122, 121, 120… A countdown to an explosion was a logical assumption.
Kalek asked “Why are you holding a bomb?”
Silver Knight: This place is the interplanar hub of our enemy… We need to open as many gates as possible before it detonates.
What happens if it detonates with us in here?
Silver Knight: You will be vaporized, of course. We need to open as many gates as possible and make our escape.
He threw bags to each of them.
Kalek: Did you restore me?
Silver Knight: Indeed I restored you.
He then removed the stone effect from the woman. She fell to the ground and gasped, “What happened?”
Opening the bags, they were full of gold dragon amulets. These could easily be symbols of Sol, but have been changed from another god’s symbol.
Silver Knight: "Many of these gates lead to your world. Many lead to other worlds. Which is why we must destroy it. I have been fighting this war since I was scarcely a boy, centuries ago… we have been fighting the enemy all this time… and we are losing.
“Most of these gates lead to bastions of the enemy. We are removing this world from the universe. If we are successful, planeshifting and portals will not work. We will cut the enemy off from his armies and can begin reclaiming the hundreds of worlds he has conquered.”
Is there a way around it?
Silver Knight: “I don’t know, this is my brother, Khaydarin’s, plan. There are other parts of it. Another of my brothers, Ahmose, is putting a barrier in Dream, Khaydarin is literally tearing tearing this plane away from all others.”
Time began to move again…
Round 8 – 102, 101, 100
The globe and the silver knight vanished, the knight materialized a dozen levels above, engaging in combat with something.
Kalek, with ghouls 90ft away, formed plan to open gates if Zaris turned him invisible. Addie shot the one handed ghoul, but it was still on its feet.
A dozen ghats poured out onto walkway HG. The sounds of desperate combat could be heard from high above – the silver knight was fighting something big and ferocious.
The ghouls approached to within 40 ft of Tatalon.
Draiq ran to the platform, firebolted a ghat. Down the hole there were more platforms with the same hole. There were no stairs, and no other structure holding the platforms in place, they were just hovering. Draiq grabbed some gravel and threw it over the hole. It hovered in mid-air.
Tatalon used a greater turning toasting 4 ghouls. The spirit weapon cuts off a ghoul’s foot and it fell into lava – one ghoul was left.
Round 9 96, 95, 94…
Pieces of Balor Demon fell from high above. The woman drew a falchion and ran to the platform.
Kalek charged the remaining ghoul. Addie shot it.
A levitating brain in a jar plus 6 more ghouls came through a gate. Ghats advanced to 10ft away. A towering Trug came through the ghats’ gate and then stood up.
Draiq killed one ghat, misses another. The woman assisted.
Tatalon opened a gate, revealing a dark stone room with cobwebs and skulls, then
cast invisibility on Kalek.
Round 10 90, 89, 88…
The silver knight flew to the centre of the cavern and ses the bomb.
Kalek opened two gates. Beyond one was a shrine with candles and a man in robes. Beyond the other was the interior of a giant tent of animal hide and sticks. Light came out of the gate. Knowledge geography revealed the location to be north in the Mountains of Slumber. Kalek yelled “home here”.
Addie opened two gates – one was a stone room used as an armoury with light coming in through windows. A gorge or valley, brightly lit, could be seen through the window.
A number of Dwarves entered the opposite walkway with a mortar. Two ghouls attacked Tatalon, both miss. Ghats attacked Draiq and the woman. Draiq was injured.
The trug tromped up.
Draiq killed two ghats. Tatalon turned three ghouls, causing them to run. He looked into the shrine to see it was of an evil deity, and the cleric inside was casting a spell.
Round 11 84, 83, 82…
A huge fireball fell to the opposite walkway, destroying the dwarf cannoneers. The walkway was left smoking and cracked. A humanoid made of fire, stood up and flew away.
Kalek opened another gate into a wine cellar. Addie opened a gate to reveal rubble which tumbled out.
Ghats and the the trug attacked Draiq and the woman, inflicting further injuries. Ghouls attacked Tatalon, injuring but not paralysing him. The brain attempted to dominate Tatalon, but failed.
Draiq killed a ghat and engaged the trug. Tatalon turned the remaining ghouls and the brain.
Round 12 78, 77, 76…
The silver knight flew upward.
Kalek opened a gate into a ghat parade ground, where hundreds of ghats were staring back at him. Addie opened a gate into a room with an ancient corpses in plate armour.
The trug clawed and savaged Draiq, who began dying. The horde of ghats advanced. the cleric finished summoning a hellhound, which lunged at Tatalon but missed.
Tatalon healed Draiq.
Round 13 72, 71, 70…
A bright white glowing humanoid appeared on a walkway below and incinerated a hundred or so ghouls.
Kalek opened a gate to be hit by a sickening stench. Two dozen ghouls looked up and advanced toward him. Kalek ran into the tent, discovering it to be a Deinuk camp. Addie threw her mindblade at the trug, striking it, but its wounds were closing.
The trug landed a horrific wound upon the woman then bit Draiq. Two Ghats hit at Addie but both missed. Ghats poured out of the portal. Ghouls poured out of another one. The ghouls started eating the ghats.
A walker elevated to F. The hellhound charged Tatalon but missed.
Draiq confirmed a critical, beheading the trug. The remaining ghat dropped its spear and put its hands up. Then when it saw the hordes of ghats it picked it up again.
Tatalon dished out some healing (I didn’t note down to whom).
Round 14 66, 65, 64…
An epic-level wizard in blue and white teleported into the cavern along with dozens of other wizards in the blue and white uniform of his academy.
Kalek explored the Deinuk camp, hearing reptilian noises. He scouted stealthily, spotting deinonychus pens and Deinuk, noting that Deinuk were the enemies of Garethlion. Kalek stepped back through amongst ghats being eaten by ghouls.
Addie sneak attacked the hellhound, injuring it.
The walker fired its petrification rays but misseed. The hellhound missed Addie. Draiq then attacked and dropped it.
Tatalon opened a gate to reveal a steampunkish laboratory. Three young men with lead aprons, tools and an array of lenses attached to their heads stared back in surprise. One turns to another: “Did you do that?”
Round 15 60, 59, 58…
The silver knight toppled the walker and teleported to them: “You have my gratitude. Reinforcements have arrived – you should escape now.”
Kalek moved to open the original gate, but it doesn’t open.
Round 16 54, 53, 52…
The silver knight explains that leaving one amulet in locks the gate from the other end.
Round 17 48, 47, 46…
Everyone goes through the gate to the guys with lenses.
Round 18 42, 41, 40…
Tatalon uses mage hand to remove the amulet from the other side and the portal closed.