When last we saw the party, the great troll had chosen eternal banishment from the world as punishment for manslaughter; had gotten married; and his wife had become pregnant. The rest of the party had been asked by the High Council to further investigate the other world that they'd come back from, or any other world they might find, and return with news of whatever they discovered.
The party had two weeks to prepare. Ophelia spent her time learning new sorcery spells and copying others from her master's book; he also cast a number of long-term spells on her, and gave her some low-power matrices to boot.
Dominica spent her time studying alchemy, and learned a recipe for spell-storing potions; they store spirit magic spells, up to four points per vial.
Gormuz prepared to leave home forever, as did his new wife Reznia. She's a high-characteristic female great troll who's quite a good cook, weaver, and tailor. She also fights very well with a huge and heavy cast-iron frying pan in her left hand as a parrying weapon (and to smack her thick-headed husband, when necessary), and in combat strikes with a heavy mace - actually a rolling pin - in her right. She's also got a good Throw skill. She just barely has the stats to have a 3d6 damage bonus, so she's devastating in combat. She wears stiff black leather all over and black leather courboulli on her head, chest, and abdomen. I'm thinking of her as a great troll version of Emma Peel. Which reminds me, I should give her a Kick attack.
The party set out for the Cave Between Worlds, and reached it without incident after fives days of travel. Passing through the first cavern with no difficulty, they leapt the icy stream with a few difficulties; once again Ophelia got dunked, although this time only partially. "I hate that stream", she said.
They continued on to the Cavern of the Dead. The last time they'd been there, the Thing in the large coffin had seemingly been taking control of the plant life there; they'd had to fight their way through. This time, the smell of smoke greeted Dominica as she scouted ahead. The fungi on the walls was no longer glowing; it was scorched and burned. In the cavern itself, things had changed quite a bit. All plant life was dead, burned to ashes. The sole light came from a glowing lance of light which was thrust through the coffin and into solid rock, pinning the massive rune-marked box to the wall with its base several feet above the ground. The party puzzled over the scene, discussing the possibility of removing the lance. But when the dragonewt touched the lance he felt a pain in his chest and a powerful urge to pull the lance free. Instead, he fled to the other end of the cavern.
Passing on from the Cavern of the Dead, the party moved on towards the Pool Room. There they all stared into the glowing pool; Sith'liss gained the draconic effect of Dragon Jaws, Ophelia made fleeting contact with another runic entity, Dominica dreamed, and Gormuz jumped in - gaining a great temporary increase in perception skills, but losing his Darksense for a time.
His wife refused to jump in, since she was pregnant.
That done, they took the left passage - the one they'd never taken before. It turned and twisted, and eventually straightened, slanting upward. The stone became lighter and lighter, finally looking like smooth, worked white marble. A dazzlingly bright fog filled the passage ahead. They pushed through it and found...sky.
The opening was large, and the stone was pure white. Broad, shallow stairs led down to a marble pool that held a thin film of reflecting water. Green grass surrounded the pool, but less than fifty feet further a broad marble terrace opened onto infinite blue sky. They were standing on a tiny island floating in the air. Looking over the edge, they could see no end...just blue going on forever, with other floating islands and clouds dotting the vista.
[This is the setting called the Floating Isles. I've run it a number of times in the past; it's a good, refreshing setting.
No sun could be seen; bright light was everywhere, but had no visible source. The isle was approximately 100 feet across, with a very small but steep hill in the center from which the cave mouth opened. Strange small tree-like growths were dotted here and there. And a small but tall peculiar domed hut was on one side of the isle. A peculiar flared and jointed golden metal tube protruded from the dome, pointing outward.
On investigation, the party discovered a skeleton inside the dome; it resembled nothing they'd ever seen or imagined before, having either six or eight appendages and nothing much resembling any skeleton they'd ever seen before.
The building itself was filled with strange magic or technology. Most of it was made of gold-colored metal, with silver-colored metal and multicolored gems or pieces of glass set with incredibly fine detail. The tube turned out to be controlled by a golden sphere on a pedestal on the ground floor; it was a telescope. While the party was studying this, they were startled by an enormous creature passing near the isle; an airwhale, quadrilaterally symmetrical with fin/wings. It was easily 500 feet long. Before long it flew away.
In the distance they could see larger islands, as well as great clusters of greenery without ground, massive floating droplets of water hundreds of feet across, and more clouds. As they searched the rest of the isle they found several kinds of odd fruit, and two airboats: a badly damaged one-man boat, and a functional eight-man one - both with beautifully-crafted wing-fin sails protruding in odd directions. The larger boat still has power. It's driven with a sort of combination tiller-motor made of a grey glasslike material with a dim blue glow inside. The troll wanted to take the air-boat for a spin, but was persuaded to wait.
And that's where we broke for the day!
Copyright 2012 by Peter Maranci. Revised: December 04, 2012. v.1.0