New Asgard

Loose Ends

As the Pathfinders debated what to do with the reassembled Omega Key, Aa’rya finished her repairs of the Watchtower. She rose the starbase back into orbit, far from Loki’s reach. After several hours it was decided that Nightcrawler – himself half mortal and half immortal – would be the one to wield the powerful artifact. He did so sparingly, using all of his will and focus to channel the limitless energy. While he held the Key, he sensed what Loki had accomplished with it. Loki had expelled the gods and other celestials from Elysium, exiling them to Golarion. The heroes agreed to restore the gods to their realm, but first they had to ensure one would not stand in their way – Loki.

Thor went back to Korvosa, where after a lengthy discussion confirmed Loki and his followers would indeed leave the planet for good. Loki professed that his actions were necessary to save Asgard, and that his ends justified his means. Thor could not refute the result, and allowed Loki to leave in peace.

To further aid in the search for the banished gods, and guarantee their own safety as well, the Pathfinders sought to quickly coronate a new King of Korvosa. There was only one choice.

The next morning, a confused but grateful “Blackjack” was found in the docks of Old Korvosa. As the Senechal of the kingdom, it was his duty to assume the throne in Loki’s absence – which his humbly did. That day King Artemis I swore an oath to defend his people to the best of his ability, and restore the kingdom to his former glory. As his first act as king, his disbanded the old Order of the Nail and reestablished the Korvosan Guard. The Guard aided the Pathfinders in seeking out several of the exiled gods, who were no more than frail mortals. One by one the fallen deities were assembled, under the promise that the Order would forevermore abandon its plans to force compliance of mankind. They reluctantly agreed.

Iomedae was found hiding in her temple, once the sanctuary of Blackjack himself. Cayden Cailean celebrated his returned humanity by a day and night of revelry at the Tipsy Elf. Abadar stubbornly refused to abandon his schemes within the bank to his name, but relented when he realized he had no choice. Torag, feeling defenseless within the forges of the city, happy agreed to return. Irori, who had remained neutral throughout the Order/Alliance skirmish refused to return to Elysium. He believed the gods deserved their fate, and that they must be left to it.

When the Pathfinders tracked down Erastil, god of hunting and agriculture, they found the farm in which he had been hiding beset by a goblin horde. Batman rushed in and Hex opened fire, stemming the flow of the bestial creatures. The goblins surrounded Batman but were no match for the Dark Knight’s combat prowess, and Hex and Spectre picked off others one by one. When the goblins tore through the barricades protecting the barn, Hex sprang into action. He ran and dove through the glass window, rolling to a stop in an incredible display of skill and valor. It was a feat only matched a moment later when Batman appeared in the doorway, dispatching a swatch of stunned goblins before they could react. Their Orc commander attempted to face Batman, but was no match. Before he could retreat, however, Spectre appeared behind him and reached through the barbarians’s chest – rending his body and soul into a smoking husk.

The Pathfinders only had one more exile to find – Desna, goddess of dreams and stars. The beautiful woman had begun travelling immediately, and it took over a day to locate her again.

As they approached, a massive blue dragon descended on the former celestial. Spectre attempted to seize control of Desna to move her out of the way, but the goddess resisted the possession. Instead the dragon landed and blasted Spectre with lightning breath, vaporizing the ghost in a single blow. Batman tapped into his ninja training to approach the dragon stealthily, but not before it rose into the air – Desna in its claws. Hex opened fire, but his bullets seem to narrowly miss his query.

A moment later, Doctor Fate and Elixir arrived as reinforcements. Fate flew into the sky after the beast. Elixir, however, had another plan. Using all his focus to concentrate, he gripped into the dragon’s anatomy and caused a devastating seizure. The paralyzed dragon crashed to the ground, killing Desna in the process. Batman pulled Desna from the fallen creature, and Elixir healed the goddess and restored her to life. One by one the Pathfinders beamed back aboard the Watchtower before the dragon would awaken. The last to leave was Elixir, who took a grateful Desna with him.

With the willing deities assembled, Nightcrawler used the Omega Key to restore them to their place and power. As a final act, he also willed the Key to once more break apart and the Shards to return to their native planes. With an explosion of energy, all that was skewed on Golarion was at last rectified. The planes once more opened up. Magic returned to the realm. The gods swore peace with one another, for the time being at least. All was as it should be.

Their quest at last complete, the “Pathfinders” returned home. Batman, Fate, Hawkman and Spectre returned to their true Watchtower above Earth-One. Jonah Hex found solace once again in the saloons of the Old West. Marrow, Nightcrawler, Bruce Banner and Elixir returned to Earth-616. Thor and Volstagg returned to Asgard to notify Odin of what happened. Aa’rya remained aboard the Watchtower, vowing to keep an eye on Golarion and report back on any survivors or suspicious activity.

Far below, on the throne of Korvosa, King Artemis listened to the day’s duties and ordered decrees of his own. Once finished he excused himself with a heavy sigh, head in his hand.

“Well, THAT could have gone more smoothly,” a voice echoed from behind the throne. From the shadows slipped a vile-looking man with red skin and elven ears, rounding the front before the king. “I was beginning to have my doubts.”

Artemis sat up, not intimidated in the least. “I doubt you could do better, Azazel. Loki just needs a little… correcting from time to time, but the task was completed. The war is over. The gods are silent. Korvosa has been cleansed. Our foothold has been established.”

“And the masks?” Azazel queried as he searched the room for interlopers.

“Patience,” Artemis responded quietly with a slight grin. “All in due time. An expedition will be underway soon. The North Shore should have no resistance now. They have enough to contend with.”

”How do you mean?”

Artemis smiled once more, his eyes slanted with vile motives as a brief golden glow made them shine out in the dim light.

“Tell me,” he hissed – his voice echoing upon itself in an unnatural tone. “What do you know about Dragons?”
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“Ooooooh, snap! Who didn’t see that coming, I mean really?”

”Wait, so does that mean we’ll be in the sequel?”

”Hell yeah! Campaign crashing is the name of the game.”

“So I’m wondering. Did we win? I mean, seriously. Like, I think Loki won, technically.”

”I’d say it’s a draw. Everyone’s a winner, because no one really lost. In the grand scheme of things, all loose ends were accounted for. Almost.”

”Yeah, almost. And SPEAKING of loose ends, have you seen Mystique lately?”

“Guys…”

”I mean, no offense Kurt, but WAGNER’S MOOOOM HAS GOOOT IT GOING ON!”

“Seriously…”

”Make it stop. Just roll credits.”

”Party pooper. And, speaking of poopers—“

“Good night, everybody.”

TOTAL XP

Chris: -———- XP
Daniel: -———- XP
Jordan: -———- XP

Fate: -———- XP

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Plan C

Having returned to New Asgard, the Pathfinders were welcomed into Castle Korvosa to rest and recharge. Nightcrawler, Elixir and Doctor Fate accepted the hospitality and slept for the night. Batman, however, had other plans. He stealthily patrolled the castle, investigating clues as to the Omega Shards and their use. He came to the open courtyard, where Amora debriefed a squad of soldiers. They were to accompany Loki into Elysium as their primary plan, but should prepare for a preemptive strike. Batman later eavesdropped on Loki and Mystique where he confirmed their intentions. Loki reiterated than only one who was both mortal and immortal could use the Omega Shards, and if The Order was to try and stop him they would need Thor to fulfill that requirement. Expecting to face his step-brother in battle, Loki ordered Mystique to search Thor for the Shard of Time. This had been his plan all along, to force the gods of the Order into using their own Shard to defend themselves. It was a gamble he would need the Pathfinders alive for, to support him in the conflict.

The next morning, Loki began casting a planar shift spell to Elysium. Within moments, thunder rumbled from above and a pillar of light descended from them. There stood Thor, with the archon Astora to aid him. The long-lost Asgardian demanded Loki stand down, and when Laufeyson refused a great battle ensued. Guards descended on Thor as Loki transformed Astora into a harmless dove. The mighty Thor shrugged off the attacks, blasting the guards with lightning from above and the swing of his hammer – a temporary replacement for Mjolnir. Batman immediately turned on Loki, attempting to wrest the Shards from his grasp. However Loki’s visage was just an illusion, and Batman soon found himself set upon by guards as well. Elixir and Nightcrawler watched the battle from the sidelines, and Fate plotted what to do next.

Suddenly another player entered the melee. Jonah Hex, using the Well of Worlds, transported in. He carried with him none other than the Shard of Time. Just how he had acquired it was both a long story and a mystery. Upon arrival, however, the invisible Loki sensed the shard’s presence. He controlled Hex and forced him to hand it over. As Hex fired at his teammates to keep them at bay, Loki fused the shards into a single form. The Omega Key was reforged.

A bright light burst forth, launching a pillar of fire into the sky. At the clouds it exploded into a flaming orb before vanishing. A moment later, a dozen trailing embers like shooting stars descend in silence. The meteor shower rains down, landing dispersed across the landscape. Loki had used the Omega Key.

Nightcrawler finally launched into action, teleporting to where Loki stood and tried several times to seize the key – but to no avail. Batman and Fate approached as well, and finally Loki exploded with magical energy. The sunburst spell nearly killed Fate and Astora immediately, and blinded Batman. The others endured the powerful spell with better success. Thor and Loki argued for a moment, with Loki claiming that his actions just saved Asgard. Without pity or sympathy, the Pathfinders continued their attack. Batman, though blinded, managed to grapple the Omega Key from Loki. Fate used magic to summon it to him.

The Pathfinders continued playing Keep Away with the ancient artifact until Hex remembered his magical shoes. Using them to teleport everyone but Elixir to safety, Hex and the others vanished in a puff of red smoke. Loki approached Elixir and prepared to deliver a killing blow as vengeance for the treachery and theft. At the last second, however, Joshua Foley vanished in a beam of light.

Elixir reappeared in the Watchtower, where Aa’rya awaited him. Though they could scarcely believe it themselves, the Pathfinders felt victorious that day.

TOTAL XP

Chris: 70,400 XP
Daniel: 70,400 XP
Jordan: 70,400 XP

Fate: 70,400 XP

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Shard of the Beyond

After resting briefly, Batman and Fate ventured on with their new allies Nightcrawler and Elixir. The entered the next room, which was a massive and dimly-lit chamber. The floor was inky black water, through which swam several large and vicious eels. Batman and Nightcrawler quickly vanished and reappeared on the central pedestal of the room. There they spotted several Serpentfolk guards, moments before they themselves were spotted. The Sekh sounded the alarm and Batman flew over, taking them out gradually with a flurry of punches and kicks. Nightcrawler teleported one of the guards into the water, where they were both set upon by the eels.

Doctor Face tried to lend his support, but found his magic was not as potent as he had hoped. Nightcrawler, wounded by the eel, teleported away to heal and jumped back into the fray. Elixir, bewildered, did his best to heal and protect himself while remaining out of harms way.

All seemed to going well until an invisible mage cast a suggestion spell on Fate, urging him to fall back. Fate repeated the suggestion, inexplicably calling for the retreat. Batman tried to reason with his Justice League mate, but it was no use. Fate and the others began to retreat while the mage, joined by another, blasted them with powerful spells. The Pathfinders made a mad dash for the exit, then behind closed doors argues amongst one another.

After several minutes, Batman pulled rank and ordered Fate and the others back into the room. They opened the door and were welcomed by a massive fireball. The explosion knocked Fate unconscious immediately, and nearly did the same for Elixir. Batman proved too nimble and Nightcrawler oddly resistant to the flames to be harmed. Nightcrawler teleported into the room, knocking the visible mage into the water to be ripped in half by the eels. Nightcrawler and Batman returned to fighting the Sekh guards. There one of the eels latched onto the blue mutant, dragging him underwater. Batman jumped into the water and quickly pulled his new ally to safety.

Meanwhile the second mage, still invisible, cast balls of fire and storms of ice on Fate and Elixir. The two exchanged healing spells on one another, trying to keep each other alive. Elixir nearly froze in the chaos, unfamiliar with such battles. Through the confusion Fate cast a spell that allowed him to see his invisible opponent, then with a single beam of fire blasted him out of the air and into the dark water. Batman helped revived Nightcrawler and, the conflict over, reconvened with the others.

The Pathfinders, wary of reinforcements, quickly searched the center room of the chamber. Inside glowing crystals provided dim, blue illumination. Rich tapestries hanging on the walls depicted Sekh armies sweeping through subterranean vaults, slaughtering everything in their path in an wave of bloodshed and destruction. A large pedestal, apparently crafted from bones, sat against the curving outer wall of the room.

Atop the pedestal was a vibrant, cylindrical crystal that glowed in a deep purple light. Fate and Batman deduced that it was the Shard of Space, or Shard of the Beyond, which they had been seeking. Having never seen one, however, they couldn’t be sure. Still, they took it with them. Amongst the sparse trappings of the small room, they also discovered a small plaque near the pedestal. The cryptic message on Sekh read simply:

<center_*forge>

Omega Shard in hand, the Pathfinders retreated to the dungeons where they helped the prisoners prepare to leave. Yet at the last moment, they turned and ran into a most unwelcome face.

Loki Laufeyson, self-proclaimed king of New Asgard, stood before them. With a coy grin he thanked the Pathfinders for obtaining the Shard – an act which prevented him from breaking his vow not to do so himself. He asked for the Shard, but the heroes refused.

Loki instead changed tactics. He claimed that all he needed was the use of the Shard, and that who held it was irrelevant. He would, however, need the Shard to cast the spell that would bring them all back to New Asgard (Korvosa). When the Pathfinders appeared reluctant, Loki offered a green Shard of his own – which the group presumed was another Omega Shard – in exchange. The Pathfinders surprisingly agreed to the exchange, and Loki opened a portal to the capital city as promised. When he vanished, however, the green shard dispersed in a tuft of smoke – a mere illusion.

Left without the prize they had fought so hard for, the Pathfinders and the civilians in their care stepped through the portal. They arrived back in New Asgard, empty-handed but alive.

TOTAL XP

Chris: 64,400 XP
Daniel: 64,400 XP
Jordan: 64,400 XP

Fate: 64,400 XP

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Beneath the Seven Spires
Parts I & II

With Serpentfolk preparing to descend on them, the Pathfinders struck first. Jonah Hex drew his pistol and shot Torn Claw several times in the leg and shoulder. Enraged, the Sekh rushed Hex as the others scattered. Fate retreated to the far wall while Spectre targeted one reptilian after another. Batman threw down an inky-black smoke bomb and rushed back and forth, trying to quell the ensuing melee. Hex took blow after blow as the Sekh stabbed and bit at him.

The Serpentfolk priest tried to cast magic on Spectre repeatedly but failed. Soon Torn Claw himself joined the fray. The tribal leader roared in rage as he swung his greatsword, gashing Hex several times. Batman tumbled over to him nimbly and unleashed a flurry of blows, but they seemed to do little against the massive and muscular Torn Claw. Eventually Hex was forced to fall back. Eventually Batman sounded a retreat through the chaos, and with his cape flew up onto the roof. A moment later, however, Hex was run through by a Sekh guard. Spectre remained invisible as Fate tried to heal his fallen ally. He was too late, as the guards stabbed Hex to deliver the killing blow.

With few options and greatly outnumbered, Fate grabbed Hex’ body and ascended to the rooftops with him. Spectre soon followed. As the defeated Pathfinders regrouped, Torn Claw and his soldiers shouted and applauded in triumph. Batman signaled to Aa’rya in the Watchtower, and the heroes withdrew to recover. There they revived Hex as well, and decided to take time to recuperate.

Once rested, the Pathfinders prepared for a second attempt to locate the Shard of the Beyond. Hex decided intimidation would be the best recourse, and beamed himself back to Sventh-Yi. He held his pistol to a passing guard and demanded to know the location of the Omega Shard, which the terrified Sekh all too willingly divulged. With the location in hand, beneath the largest building in the city, the Pathfinders returned at night to scout. Magically invisible, they crept into the storage crypts beneath the Seven Spires. They encountered an anti-magic field, but Batman located a switch that covered it and allowed passage. The invisible heroes quickly ran into the adjoining room, leaving an entryway full of confused guards.

Rounding the corner, Batman ran into an aged relic-keeper who seemed to be able to see him. Quick to silence him, Batman unleashed another flurry with quickly rendered the old Sekh unconscious. As the guards approached, Hex decided to finally use his hat of disguise, changing his appearance to that of the relic-keeper. In a flash of creative thinking, he convinced the guards that there was no danger. Furthermore he somehow managed to sell the guards a future shipment of snake oil and sent them on their way.

The Pathfinders regrouped and tied up the unconscious relic-keeper, as Hex began to explore the long hallway full of ancient armor and magic items. Spectre scouted ahead, phasing through the doors at the far end of the hall.

There, to his surprise, he ran into Loki. Loki had been talking into a mirror against the wall, until he was interrupted by Spectre. He casually asked if Spectre had come to once again swear fealty to him. When Spectre refused, Loki snapped his fingers and in a display of awesome power banished the spirit. Fate overheard the ill-fated conversation and, with Batman’s aid, opened the doors but found no one there. Fate explored the room, but when he looked at the magical mirror on the wall he instantly felt himself drawn in. He was trapped with the dimension of the mirror, where surprising he too encountered Loki.

Loki implored Fate to “see reason” as he explained his motives behind his actions. He said that the Order of Elysium planned not only to invade the other realms of Golarion, but of other worlds as well – including Asgard and Earth. He claimed Thor was responsible for provoking the gods into eliminating such “threats,” and that returning Thor and quelling the war amounted to the same thing. By Fate’s request, however, he assured him that the world would not be denied access to Elysium or its divine power. His plan would allow that freedom. As such, he asked Fate to leave the shard to him and his Acolytes, who were on the way to retrieve it. Failure to do so, he warned, would cause him to interfere and stop them if need be.

As Loki transported Fate back into the room, Jonah Hex looked into the mirror. Instantly transported back into the mystic dimension, Hex too encountered Loki. The Asgardian had little desire to explain himself again, and instead offered Hex his choice of destinations. He could send him back home to Earth, return him to the mirror room, or even send him to Elysium to help look for Thor. Having grown tired of the adventuring tedium, Hex opted to go to Elysium.

In a flash, Hex arrived at the base of an incredible mountain – topped by a halo-like floating city. The air was clean and fresh, and fields of golden wheat stretched to the horizon. Herds of Pegasi grazed and took to the air, and angels gathered on the roads. One such Archon asked Hex his business, though he knew nothing of this Thor he sought. Instead he offered to safely escort the mortal up the mountain to Sigil, where perhaps he would know more information.

Back on Golarion, the remaining Pathfinders – Batman and Doctor Fate – continued on their way. After fighting their way through numerous Sekh guards as well as Yuan-Ti watchmen – half-Serpentfolk guards – they entered a small holding cell filled with a half-dozen human prisoners. Among them was a young man named Joshua Foley, who waiting patiently for the hope of escape. The golden-skinned outsider watched as Batman and Fate worked together to take out the guards.

Soon reinforcements arrived in the form of a large stone golem. Fate lashed out at it with devastating spells, drawing the construct’s attention. Fate soon activated one of the relics he had found – a cube of force – to keep the golem at bay. Helpless against the magical onslaught, the golem retreated. Fate pursued and, over time, blasted the golem to fiery rubble. Meanwhile Batman unlocked the cages to free the prisoners. Joshua Elixir, who also introduced himself as Elixir, proved quite grateful. He explained that he was from Earth, and that he too was searching for Thor. As the Pathfinders rested and barricaded in the hallway, he continued to tell his story.

Suddenly, yet another Earthling arrived in a tuft of smoke. Kurt Wagner, known in the Munich circles as the great Nightcrawler, nearly ignored the Pathfinders in his scramble to the prison cells. There he found three children, good friends of his, whom he had worried were lost forever.

With the prisoners safe and newly nourished, the Pathfinders rested in preparation for their continued quest to find the Omega Shard.
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TOTAL XP

Chris: 57,500 XP
Daniel: 57,500 XP
Jordan: 57,500 XP

Fate: 57,500 XP

View
Day Late, Dollar Short

After Scarecrow stalled their efforts to pursue, the Pathfinders fell back and made camp for the night. As they rested they head a thunderous stomping and crashing in the distance. Batman and Jonah Hex went off to investigate. Soon they discovered a colossal construct marching away from them. The construct looked like the ancient ruins, as if the mountain itself came to life an walked off. No doubt it was the work of Poison Ivy and the Omega Shard, and possibly owing to Doctor Fate’s powerful helmet.

Batman returned to inform Spectre and Fate, who together agreed to rest and recover their strength. Hex, meanwhile, rain off in an extended march across the countryside. He ran all night, eventually catching up to the construct as it set about attacking the city of Primus. Hex decided not to engage in the epic battle, making his own camp until the others rejoined him in the morning. By then the battle was over. The construct lie inert on the countryside, and Primus lie is ruins.

The heroes examined the aftermath and were surprised when the survivors thanked them for their presumed assistance. Sarenrae and her forces had attacked Gorum and his. The clash of the gods threatened to destroy the city, if not the entire plane, until the construct intervened. With her forces decimated, Sarenrae soon lost to Gorum and was destroyed. A grateful Gorum explained that Poison Ivy and her acolytes had helped stop Sarenrae’s invasion using the Omega Shard of the Mind. As they then took the shard back to Golarion, Manah was cut off. The Pathfinders would have to find their own means of leaving the plane. Fortunately, the Acolytes left Fate’s helmet behind as a parting gift.

Out of desperation, the Pathfinders reached out to the gods of Elysium – as that had worked before. As they didn’t want to cause more bloodshed, Batman assembled a shrine to the neutral Irori, god of self-discipline and knowledge. Irori would not violate his impartiality by directly aiding the heroes, but he did grant them knowledge of a spell that would bring them back to the material realm. Using the pedestal of the Mind Shard as a focus, they opened a right and left Manah. Fate kept the pedestal with him, using it as a conduit that would allow him to maintain his arcane power even with Manah closed off.

After resting and resupplying in the Watchtower, the group teleported to the Meirani Forest to speak with Queen Eviana. They arrived to find Crying Leaf nearly abandoned and in shambles. Eviana explained that the resident High Priest Urien had found a purple Omega shard – the Shard of the Beyond, or Space Shard – and offered it to Loki in return for peace and protection. Urien worked for the elite Winter Council, and swore Eviana to secrecy. When Sarenrae vanished, Urien and the Winter Council felt vulnerable and betrayed. They left Eviana to oversee the vacated Crying Leaf. Eviana went into detail about the broken Omega Key. Each shard has different powers and elements, all drawn from the universe itself. The shards are of Power, Knowledge, time, Space, Mind and Soul. The Pathfinders deduced that Loki began with the Shard of Knowledge, which he took from Doctor Doom. With it he acquired Power, Soul and Mind from the Abyss, Oblivion and Manah respectively. That just leaves Time in Elysium and Space on Golarion. The Pathfinders decided to track down the latter.

The Shard of the Beyond was given to the Serpentfolk of the Mwangi Expanse as a peace offering by Loki. The Pathfinders were convinced Loki wouldn’t honor the agreement for long, and that it was only a matter of time before his Acolytes reacquired that one as as well. They ported to Saventh-Yi ( or “Seven Spears”), the largest of the Sekh cities. They were immediately set upon by its residence, and taken to their militant leader Town Claw. The large Sekh warrior announced he knew the humans would attempt an attack and accused the Pathfinders of declaring war – which he was all too eager to grant.

Diplomacy broke down quickly. With little recourse, the Pathfinders prepared for battle.

TOTAL XP

Chris: 52,000 XP
Daniel: 52,000 XP
Jordan: 52,000 XP

Fate: 52,000 XP

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Pool of Death

As the heroes made camp for the night, they heard the sound of thundering footsteps from the direction of the mountains. Immediately the party began arguing over tactics and a plan of action. As Batman and Fate conferred with one another, the still bitter Jonah Hex set off on his own. Spector pursued him into the darkness and eventually so did Groot – though he got lost in the featureless Crystal Forest nearby.

After nearly an hour of walking, Spectre and Hex froze in their tracks as it looked like the mountain before them stood up. It was no mountain.image.jpg It was a gargantuan Displacer Terrasque, a four-legged beast dozens of stories tall. It’s stone like skin crackled with dark energy and flame flickered within its eyes. Rather than run away, though to rivals decided to compete with each other over the glory of slaying the beast.

Spector flew in circles around the beasts colossal legs, trying to corrupt it’s flash or channel energy to harm it – though nothing seemed to affect it. Hex’ bullets route equally ineffective, bouncing harmlessly off the creature. Before they could develop a new plan, a whip of energy lashed out from the beast’s mouth like a dark tongue. Rather than cause damage, the lash sapped Spectre’s energy. In one below it absorb the ghost’s essence into its body, and Spectre was no more.

Out of options, Hex turned to retreat. He did not get very far. The Terrasque One step in his direction, crushing the cowboy under a living avalanche.

Left alone, Batman and Fate to as the four-legged Colossus marched over the tree line toward them. As they prepared to fight or flight, he demonic-looking man teleported nearby in a tuft of smoke. He held with him a golden-skinned ally. The strangers introduced themselves as Kurt Wagner and Joshua Foley – or Nightcrawler and Elixir, respectively. The quartet ready for action when suddenly the ground started to shake and crack. From the fissures flowed a swarm of chattering, shadow apes. The evil monkeys jumping over and clung to the heroes, who were hopeless to resist. The Terrasque fortunately passed by, but the week of its feet caused a gust of wind to knock the heroes prone. The evil monkeys and reached back and flung their feces into the wind, creating a horribly toxic Sh-tstorm!

image.jpg“Ha ha ha! See what I did there? A SH-T STORM! Oh, man, could you imagine if that as a thing? Woo. You should’ve seen your face though. Especially so close to the screen, where I could see up your nose.”

“In all actuality, Dear Reader, nothing happened.”

“Yeah, Koji didn’t show so Jordan, Chris and Dale just hung out and shot the breeze.”

“Yup. Just don’t shoot breeze with feces in it. Otherwise you could cause a…”

“Don’t—”

“SH-T STORM!!”

“Ugh.”

“Heh. Nice.”

TOTAL XP

Chris: 67,100 XP
Daniel: 70,050 XP
Jordan: 70,050 XP
Koji: 57,050

Fate: 67,100

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Immortal Enemies

After the heroes parted ways with Gorum, rejoined by a fully-powered Batman, they gathered supplies in Primus before setting of for the Mindstone Mountains. Along the way, Spectre felt a sudden urge to summon the agents of Sarenrae. Surely if one deity could restore Batman’s strength, another could do the same for the rest. They landed at the snow-covered mountain peaks and Spectre, against the last-second objection from Fate, offered up a prayer to the goddess of the sun.

A bright portal appeared and out stepped a dozen solar archons, radiating power and light. Soon a beautiful and tall woman appeared, with pure white wings and long golden hair. She introduced herself as none other than Sarenrae, and thanked the heroes for their assistance. With a brief discussion she agreed to the request in strengthening the others, but first they must get the Omega Gem from within the mountains out of the hands of Loki’s acolytes. She also confirmed that the gods of Elysium do indeed have Thor Odinson prisoner, and will continue to hold him until all the Omega shards are returned to their native planes. Thor, she claimed, threatened violence from Asgard for some unknown transgression. Thor had spoken to Loki beforehand and, in all likelihood, Laufeyson explained that “The Order” of Golarion was preparing to move against the other gods. Thor then, in all likelihood, tried to put a stop on the aggression himself.

With no choice but to continue on, the party traveled for hours through the frozen peaks. They eventually came to a ruined temple built into the mountains. Beyond the entrance lied a hall wider than an open field and mostly devoid of illumination. The chill reigning outside had claimed the room through an open portal to the east. Through that opening, light fell on what appeared to be a gigantic pit in the hall’s center. As the outsiders drew closer, the room seemed to grow darker. Lighting sunrods, Hex and Groot stepped forward to examine the pit.

A hooded figure with piercing yellow and eyes and syringe-like fingers rose for the darkness. “Thank you, heroes, for finally joining us,” Scarecrow cackled. “I wish the welcome could be warmer. But we have the situation well in hand. But should you wish to stay, I’m sure we can accommodate.”

Instant caught in an aura of terror, Hex and Groot dropped their sunrods and raced from the temple with all haste. The others moved in. Suddenly Spectre heard a menacing whisper from an unseen figure. “Your allies are agents of chaos. Put them down.” Coerced into compliance, Spectre immediately rushed outside and attacked Fate. Unprepared, Fate tried to flee but Spectre pursued and rendered the mage unconscious and nearly dead. Batman, having turned himself invisible via new controls on his Batsuit, charged Scarecrow. He leaped into the hair, and with a solid knee strike collided into the figure – which burst into dust. It was a decoy.

Hex and Groot eventually stopped running and turned back. They ran into Spectre, who began channeling energy which corroded their flesh. Furious, Hex unleashed a flurry of bullets – which mystically harmed the ghost. The two engaged in a tense battle, while Groot did his best to fire arrows from a distance. Batman tried to revive Fate with a healing wand, but accidentally overpowered it. Instead his force-fed him a healing potion and ran off to aid in the civil battle some distance away. Launching into the fray, he pummeled Spectre – causing the ghost to use up much of his healing.

While the heroes fought each other, the real Scarecrow hustled out into the snow with a vicious scythe trailing behind. He removed Fate’s helmet and, with one brutal blow, decapitated Doctor Fate himself. Spectre at last snapped out of his delirium, having just killed Hex, and immediately brought him back to life. He then streaked toward Fate with incredible speed and, at the last moment, healed him enough to restore life.

Wounded, weary and furious with one another, the Pathfinders retreated to the archway warding the mountains. There, guarded by three Archons left behind when Sarenrae teleported away, the motley crew set up camp for the night.

TOTAL XP

Chris: 67,100 XP
Daniel: 70,050 XP
Jordan: 70,050 XP
Koji: 57,050

Fate: 67,100

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Total Eclipse of the Groot

Deducing that Poison Ivy and her crew headed across the plain, the Pathfinders set off in pursuit. They traveled four hours across the featureless valley, with only flocks of mist birds and purple bison to break up the monotony. Batman and Soectre examined The road for any sign of hidden divergences. Sure enough they spotted a concealed side path and set out over the hills.

image.jpgby sunset they came across an odd sight – A carnival run by a handful of clown-masked thugs. Batman went in to investigate and came across a group mugging one of the locals. Batman interceded, throwing down a poison smokebomb – which knocked out several of the thugs – and retreated with their victim. Once at a safe distance, the Pathfinders questioned the Suli commoner, Biyo. Biyo explained that four Outsiders – Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Riddler and Scarecrow – had come through several days prior. The villains cleaned several villages along the way, including Wander – which was rebuilt by Harley into the carnival. Biyo also offered to take them to the metropolis of Primus, where Gorum – the God of Battle – resided.

Deciding against engaging Harley and her minions, the heroes opted to keep moving. Biyo led them across the valley once more, where they made camp for the night. After a restful nights sleep, the travelers heard a thundering from above. The mechanical sun and moon became jammed in an artificial eclipse. image.jpg soon a horde of the avernal ghouls materialized from nowhere. They swarmed the party, paralyzing Batman and Biyo with their vicious claws. Fate cast a few spells before flying up toward the eclipse. Down below, Groot grew to double his size while Hex opened fire on both the ghouls and the lodged moon – having no success with the latter. Spector both healed the injured and channeled waves of energy to vaporize the ghouls. At every moment more and more of the creatures appeared, gradually beginning to overwhelm the Pathfinders.

Batman recovered and flew up to assist Fate. He tried to pull the machines apart with brute strength, but to no avail. He did, however, discover a note left by none other than the Riddler. It read:

“This engulfing thing is strange indeed.
The Carrader it grows, the less you see."

Resolving the clue as “Darkness,” Fate cast a darkness spell on the eclipse. With the ominous red light neutralized, the ghouls no longer appeared below. Batman flew down to grab Groot, and with his mighty aid they were able to pry the celestial cogs apart.

Following several more uneventful hours of walking, they at last reached Primus. The magnificent, multi tiered citadel rose above an artificial and crystalline lake. Inside the Pathfinders were met with curiosity by the planar beings, but no hostility. Some of the locals asked if the Outsiders had come “to help the Pathfinders” – alluding to the prospect that Poison Ivy and company were being perceived as allies, or perhaps even heroes.

TOTAL XP

Chris: 67,100 XP
Daniel: 70,050 XP
Jordan: 70,050 XP
Koji: 57,050

Fate: 67,100

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Divine Intervention

As the wall to the next room lowered, the Pathfinders faced a monstrous construct trapped beyond – an iron maiden golem. The holem immediately pummeled Batman and seized Spectre by the neck. As it raised Spectre it open its torso maw, revealing a lethal trap of blades. Hex opened fire, puncturing its dense metal frame only a few times before the bullets bounced off harmlessly. Groot rushed to Spectre’s aid, wrapping his vine-like hands around his ally and pulling him free. The golem inched forward, continually slamming and grabbing the heroes. Doctor Fate found many of his spells to be ineffective against the construct. Still he adjusted his tactics, using force blasts and acid arrows to gradually weaken and corrode the golem. Batman threw down a smoke bomb to cover his withdrawal. The others fell back as well. As the golem, stopped by pillars in the hallway, reached for another victim a faint light flickered behind it. The injured golem turned to fight an unseen foe. While it was distracted, Jonah Hex fired several more shots – breaking the servos in its limbs and causing the golem to collapse.

The smoke finally cleared to reveal a luminous angel, a solar archon, with four wings and an orb of light where a face should be. “Apologies for the delay,” he calmly said in Celestial. “I bring tidings from Sarenrae.” The archon explained that he was sent by the sun goddess to aid the heroes, but was not allowed to intercede without a planar breach to necessitate it. The escape and animation of the golem provided that reason. The archon claimed four mortals had been seizing the Omega Gems, seeking the primordial planes, and that they were currently in Manah. He was not permitted to cross into the plane on his own accord. Instead he gave them a divine talisman of Sarenrae. With it, he assured, they could summon assistance and permit that interplanar breach. With no further questions from the Pathfinders, the archon asked one of his own – inquiring what happened to Specre’s vessel. Specre explained his predicament and the archon offered him assistance – which Spectre gladly accepted. The archon whispered a prayer to Sarenrae and cast a powerful miracle spell. Kneeling down, he conjured a new body for Spectre, draped in immaculate white cloth. No longer separated from a body, Spectre became a ghost yet again. The archon bowed silently and retreated through the Elysium portal.

The Pathfinders took some time to clear out the ruins, gathering an incredible treasure trove. They then retreated to the Watchtower, where they peacefully rested for the night. The next morning they wasted no time in returning to Stonetree, where they made final preparations before stepping through the portal to Manah.

As they stepped through they found themselves in the center of a large, obsidian disk hovering above a pool of liquid gold. The disk stood at the heart of a beautiful marble temple – its white columns inlaid with mithril runes. There was no roof above, and they could see a bast but cloudless sky. Mimicking the sun was a radiant brass orb, pulled along its track by a metal arch. Across from it was the mithril moon, which made a similar track in a different direction. A flock of birds composed of blue mist fluttered above, breaking the monotony. All else was silent. Exploring the temple on their way out they discovered nearly a dozen Jinn slain by blunt trauma and magic.

Outside the temple, a flight of white stairs descended to a road. The rolling hills beyond were made of stone, adorned with polished boulders. The road forked: left toward a forest of crystal trees, forward toward a river and right across the plains into the distance.

In the intersection sat what looked like a stone, but soon it stood on two tiny legs. As the group approached cogs whirled when the construct opened its mechanical mouth. Soon a surprisingly human and supple voice issued like a recording: “All across the countryside, to front doors he travels. But you never invite him in. Please, this mystery do unravel.” The Pathfinders confered for a while on the answer to the riddle and came up with “Death.” The clockwork replied “Then death it is,” before charging the group and exploding.

There was no permanent damage done, but the heroes had their first taste of the oddities they may yet encounter in the Arcane Plane.

TOTAL XP

Chris: 61,950 XP
Daniel: 65,050 XP
Jordan: 65,050 XP
Koji: 52,000 XP

Fate: 61,050 XP

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It's a Trap!

After examining the spaceship crash site of their new colleague Groot, the Pathfinders returned to Crying Leaf to investigate further. Batman spoke to Queen Eviana, who once again expressed disbelief in the Omega legend but slowly warmed to its possibility. She explained that, according to the legend, the Omega Key was broken into 6 pieces, or crystal shards, and divvied up amongst the 5 primordial realms. One was the master shard, which could lead its bearer to virtually any object in existence. Doctor Doom reportedly had such an artifact, and it soon became apparent that Loki now had possession of it. Eviana also expressed concern over the recent disappearances or outright evictions of other faiths, leaving only the primary deities of the Elves to be found in Meirani Forest.

Spectre confronted the High Priest of the Erastil faith, Urien, about the brooch of his deity found at the crash site. The indignant Urien dismissed the connection, and claimed any object found – which he did not acknowledge was found at all – would have been brought to the Winter Council for examination. He neglected to mention that he was on the Winter Council, and the ancient Elf proved a bit too charismatic for Spectre to continue questioning. Flabbergasted, Spectre backed off.

The Pathfinders reconvened. Together they determined that something of great importance was indeed found at the crash site, and that whatever it was had been used or traded to purchase the recent peace in the forest. This peace was further compounded by the shutting off of the Abyss and Oblivion planes, severing any power their enemies may have possessed.

Finally, after salvaging what rare starmetal they could from the wreckage, the group continued on their way. They returned to Stonetree, where Groot seemed a but uneasy about trying to persuade such a large and magical creature as the Moonflower before them. Instead Spectre conversed with the plant and convinced it to stand aside peacefully.

Down below they encountered a deadly Wailing Maiden trap. As they worked to open a stuck door, several iron maidens rolled out from the walls and unleashed a deafening shriek. They they ejected numerous spikes, greatly damaging Spectre and Groot – though Hex nimbly avoided them. After healing they continued into a long corridor which had a magical pyre of blue flame at the end. As they investigated the hall, they failed to notice five shadowy creatures lurking in the darkness. Unable to identify the creatures, the Pathfinders were stunned by their appearance and ferocity. The shadows swarmed Hex and Groot. Groot quickly fell to his injuries while Hex barely escaped. Batman did his best to brawl against the attackers, but his fists were only moderately effective. Fate and Spectre stepped forward to attack mystically. After healing Groot, Spectre unleashed multiple waves of devastating energy – turning the undead creatures to ash.

Moving on, Hex spotted a hidden door. With help from just about everyone in prying open the stone door they witnessed a veritable treasure trove of coins, gems and magical items. When Hex went to gather them, however, he inadvertently set off yet another trap. This one sealed the hall and flooded the floor. Groot slipped several times, and Fate cast water breathing on the party, saving them from a watery death. Eventually Batman scoured the floor but couldn’t find a means of shutting off the trap. Spectre, however, grabbed one of the magically burning bones in the pyre – but it had no effect for the Neutral inquisitor. Inspired by the attempt, though, Batman did the same. This time the fire died and the pyre lowered, draining the water.

Beyond the new door they saw a room with four large, magical doors. In the center was a large and terrifying construct, which looked like an iron maiden golem. A horrific torture device, the iron maiden stood ready for its next victim—only it didn’t stand patiently. It began to clomp forward on iron legs, its lid slowly swinging open as if hungry for a new soul to torture.

TOTAL XP

Chris: 54,950 XP
Daniel: 58,050 XP
Jordan: 58,050 XP
Koji: 45,000 XP

Fate: 53,050 XP

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