In the southern most point on the continent of Itherion sits the Southern Spear, an oasis city on the southern end of the Wind Desert. Here five adventurers find their way to a tavern known as the Sandy Hydra.
Ophasira, a dragonborn sorcerer was known for accidentally catching fire to objects nearby. Morrie and Popo, a pair of artificier gnomes who came for promise of payment to repair the house that Popo damaged. Mithdoliel, a friendly half-elf bard who adventured trying to find the truth behind myths and legends. Nekane, a teifling paladin who was tasked with a secret mission from her organization.
At the Sandy Tavern they meet a teilfing by the name of Herald who tells them he intends to find the legendary City of Glass, a story told by sailors but discounted as hallucinations. They are promised 5,000 gp each upon return, they all agree to go and continue enjoying the evening. Nekane’s grandmother Kat showed up, much to the barkeep Dragnor’s dismay. As they are leaving Popo accidentally fires off his experimental mortar launching Popo and Morrie into the night. They return long enough to hit on Herald, and to be kicked out of the Sandy Hydra.
The following day they meet Herald at the docks where they board a sand ship scheduled to take them to Quine, an oasis town along the Tempis River. On their way to Quine they are attacked from the sky by a raiding party of Yuan-ti riding flying snakes. The party managed to fight them off. Popo, having fell off during the fight, saw something move beneath the sand having taken one of Yuan-ti knocked off the boat. After safely back on the ship they made their way safely to Quine.
At Quine some make their way to a tavern called the Sandy Bollosom. It doubled as a brothel where they met the crew of Captain Richard Score’s ship. Morrie and Popo make their way to a seedy tavern where they get into a tavern brawl. A few men try to kill Morrie after he used magic to gain an advantage in a fight. They managed to befriend a shipwright who brought them to the ship that they would be sailing on. Mithdoliel heads to the nearby lake, where she attempts to find her companion Faeron, an elven druid who has traveled with her since he found her outside the Swamp of the Dead. Mithdoliel nearly gets eaten and Faeron joins the group in hopes of discovering the source of the madness plaguing nature. They began their adventure heading into the desert.
After a few days they come across a field of strange plants that have a bulb containing water. They started to harvest them when they also came across another strange plant. It was a cacti looking plant covered heavily in furry long spines. On closer inspection they discovered that these spines sucked in water. Later that evening a sand storm began brewing. They suddenly found that the cacti they discovered were carried by the wind. Several larger cacti formed limbs and moved like a humanoid. During combat, Ophasira perished and the cacti responsible found their stash of water plants jumping into them and expanding tremendously becoming a monsterous plant that the party defeated.
During their travel the next day, the ship collided with a rock protruding from the desert itself. Stopping to repair the broken front of the ship the party decided to investigate this mysterious monolith. Upon digging it out they discovered the entrance to a long lost tomb written in the lost language of the Illuna people. Before them was a puzzling set of challenges with depictions of 4 beings, a radiant woman with the symbol of the sun, a bearded man covered in vines, an elegant woman with the symbol of the moon, and a robed man with animated stars painted on the robes. Each held their hands out in a way that let a small compass that resided in the center of the room fit. However the compass did not point north, but in the direction the players chose it to be. They had to set the compass in a specific direction for each statue to open the way to that trial.
The Trial of the Sun was room containing a pillar of light. In the center of the light sat a pedastel with a singular level on it. Written on the wall in Illuna were the words “Scuno’s light burns in the visitors eye”. When they attempted to reach into the light, they were burned leaving nothing but ash. They had to shut their eyes and reach for the lever, hoping not to be burned before they could reach it.
The Trial of the Earth contained a room filled with moving vines. When one got closer to the vines, they reached for that person. When burning the vines it only revealed the lever for a short time before the vines quickly grew back. The solution was to let the vines grab hold of them, which allowed them to pass through unharmed.
The Trial of the Moon amplified all light brought into the hallway. A lit torch caused some of the players to be blinded. On the far side of the room was a single lever, no matter how much they walked towards the lever it seemed to always be just out of reach. By turning the opposite way and walking backwards they were able to reach the lever.
The Trial of the Stars contained a small room with several beds. Written on the walls in Illuna read the words “Overcome one’s fears to achieve one’s dreams”. Each of the characters rested and faced a their own personal nightmare situations. As each completed their nightmare a lever began to fade into existance. Faeron’s nightmare was the forest gone mad, something he had been trying to discover for a long time. At the heart of the forest was a pitch black gem, when touched he nearly went mad. Once all had finished the lever was completed.
Once all four trials were completed the way forward was open. The next room was dome shaped, with depictions of the stars moving across the ceiling. In the center of the room was a sarcophagus and behind it a monsterous snake with the face of a mortal. It claimed noone could pass beyond as it guarded a large door. They faced it down turning it into a smaller snake as they explored the room beyond, finding a magical barrier that permitted no magic beyond and preserved the numerous maps it contianed. Before beginning to copy as many of the maps down they took the Naga outside, had one of the mechanical servervants fly the snake up to the sky and squeeze it. Once the Naga landed, the party and the ships crew open fired onto it killing it.
The party proceeded to copy down maps. After a day had passed a sailor came rushing to them saying “It’s alive!”, Nekane rushed out to face the fallen foe only to be hit with a Geas spell. On returning the party managed to polymorph it yet again, this time into a frog. However their troubles had not ended there. A rumbling sensation filled the entire tomb. The party fled only to discover a massive purple worm bursting from the very tomb they just escaped. From the boat and sky they fought against the Worm, having fired the Naga into its massive maw. The ship took damage but the players managed to down the beast with much expense to the party’s resources.
From there the party saw an Oasis in the distance, having to have outrun a Purple Worm. The ship went to the Oasis to get additional wood and to stock up on water. When the party arrived they were attacked my acid filled creatures that ambushed them. Upon making it to the center of the Oasis the party discovered that the Oasis was infact a massive plant that attempted to consume them. With quick thinking and the ability of flight they managed to get out just in time.
The party then took the time to deceifer the maps and find the next potential location to check. During that time Nekane enjoyed a meal and drink while talking to the ship’s cook. She soon discovered that he was a Marked man, a black skull tattoo symbolizing having been ressurrected without the proper rituals. He was Nekane’s target but she hesitated to kill him. They discovered a location of a strange gate city with a crystalline dome encasing it.
Traveling for several days a short dispute between party members soon caused Score to step in and threaten to throw members off the ship if more fighting occured. Just as the fighting was coming to a close, the ship seemed to have collided with something else. Several members ran outside to see what it was, only to discover that the ship soon broke a portion of the crystal dome which contained the city below. The ship fell several hundred feet, bouncing off layers within the city before crashing below. Several crew members perished, including Herald. The cook was mortally wounded telling Nekane the truth behind his mark, saying that the man who ressurrected him had a message for her grandmother. The message was “I’m back”. She then ended his suffering.
While the party was helping remove bodies and heal the wounded the echos of massive footsteps made their way towards the crashed ship. The footsteps came from a massive Crystal Golem which seemed hellbent on killing anything in the area. The party fought it to the best of their ability before retreating. Morrie stayed behind long enough to kill it, only for the golem to let out a death cry and summoning another dozen of the golems to the location. They all met in the abandoned building that may have housed several of the Illuna themselves. Formulating a plan Morrie went out to scout on his mechanical servants back and found a massive gateway. Passing through it he heard a voice in his head, telling him to wait for his fellow party. He then reached out to the party only for them to find several Crytal Golems outside waiting for them. Instead of attack the party they transported them to the gate. Once through they were guided through the crystalline structure, massive natural crystal formations with strange sounds coming from them. At last they reached a central chamber where there sat an elegant woman in leafy clothing sitting before them. Some members of the party recognized her imagry as the Goddess of Fate and Time, Werno. There she explained to them her dilemna. No matter what she did the party would always return to this spot, so as an agreement the party would not pursue the City of Glass and keep its location a mystery. She offered them all a chance to look anywhere they wished to see as the crystals showed various locations throughout the world. They accepted and came forth.
Morrie asked for a place filled with ancient technologies. Werno showed him a massive city powered by lightning sitting at the top of Sundering Mountains, far beyond where many have traveled.
Popo asked for a way to cultivate the desert. Werno said she could not grant such knowledge but knew of place that could. She showed him a massive library, outside of which was an inky black void dotted with brilliant stars.
Nekane contemplated long and hard but decided she wanted to see how her father was avoid detection. Werno showed her father, entering a familiar crypt, the vision focused on a familiar ring that he wore on his finger.
Faeron asked to see the source of the strange crystal from his dreams. Werno asked if that was what he truly wanted hesitant to grant his request. He was set on it. What he saw was nothing, but that nothing reached out to him and tried to consume him. From that he lost a bit of his sanity having stared directly into the void.
Mithdoliel was most curious about a statemen Werno had said “When my people were young” and asked about that. Werno stated it was not her place to reveal but there was a place that could give more. She was shown a location deep in the Swamp of the Dead, a place whose reputation Mith was all too familiar with. There she saw a massive city, at its heart was a massive step pyramid. On its summet was a cloaked figure holding an ornate staff adorned with a perfect black sphere. Surrounding the city was an army of undead, among which Mith swore she saw some familiar faces.
Having granted everyone their vision she concluded repeating the promise. She paused and remembered saying “Oh, and do take care of the boy. He will be awefully confused.” Snapping her fingers the party found themselves back at the Sandy Hydra. Herald was asking them if they would take the job. Everyone was there the same day they agreed to take the job. However they decided against it, Mithdoliel trying to convince Herald not to go on the quest but to take more time in researching it. Ophasira and Herald had no memory of the journey they had already gone on. The party then split off for the time being, each having things to take care of.