For backgrounds on the characters played in this campaign, look here~
Having recovered from their descent through the hidden sanctum of Nex and having retrieved the errant essence of Arazni, the adventurers gathered together and made exodus from the vault–returning via powerful teleportation to the pleasure palace above. The course had become clear–with the group’s next destination the Isle of Eternal Winter, that they may seek an audience with the ‘witch queen’ there in pursuit of another alternative exit from Kakishon. Taking to the Nexian galley once more, the party sailed for hours once more before arriving at a fog-enshrouded pier, the isle beyond in the midst of a terrible blizzard.
Seated upon the pier itself, an unsettling porcelain doll sat staring at the new arrivals–and much to Pandora’s chagrin, confirmed her suspicions of its nature when it directed the party towards the inner isle when prompted; Emma left a small gift with the doll before she and her fellows made their way along the path beyond. There, the adventurers were greeted by a shadowy stagecoach with spectral handlers which they boarded when bidden; aboard and within the coach, a changeling woman greeted the party and spake of her mistress at the heart of the island–noting that, unsurprising to the party, they had been scryed upon at length.
At the heart of the island, a great gothic fortress was spied in chill-laden splendor, wreathed with a ceaseless snowstorm beneath a gray and gloomy sky; making entrance to the fortress, the party was greeted by the ‘witch queen’–a seemingly young blue-skinned woman in regal finery accompanied by an alarmingly well-dressed gnoll with a noblese mien. Galenna, as the witch introduced herself, had sought to elude affairs in Irrisen and found egress into Kakishon through a planar breach some months ago; the gnoll, it seemed, was a vampire count from the isle of night–leaving the pair peculiar company.
The party joined a small feast for dinner, served by unseen servants as they discussed their endeavors and plans; Galenna shared a potential avenue of exodus from Kakishon which would involve tearing a further planar breach–that such an option might allow for the removal of the plane’s occupants without great loss. Ultimately, the party was drawn to another prospective avenue–for Galenna knew of a fragment of the earth plane possessed by the Shaitan Obherak–and with it, a potential meeting of the minds might allow for the proteans to depart Kakishon, the plane to remain (relatively) intact and for its inhabitants to avoid a messy unmaking.
What followed was a rigorous expedition, with the adventurers paying visit to the Shaitan and solving the riddles of their sphinx sentinel, laying eyes upon the bound missing protean they had been bid to free, debating slaying Obherak after a meeting with the self-acclaimed lord and ultimately and begrudgingly electing to pursue a peaceful resolution. With pitched and perilous diplomacy, the adventurers were able to form a tenuous agreement with both the proteans and the genies, that an avenue of escape for the bound spirits of chaos could be formed–and that Kakishon would, for the nonce, remain ‘whole’. Paying a final visit to the forge upon the isle of flint to retrieve their armament, the adventurers saw to enacting the ritual with the earth seed and at last made their way back to Golarion and Tsar.
With their sidetrek concluded, the adventurers wasted no time attending to marshaling their forces, gathering new information and preparing a great many potions and scrolls that they might breach the citadel anew. Making their entrance into the great fortress once more, a headlong charge was taken through its halls bringing the full force of martial prowess and magical means to full effect. Into the prison wards and overrun lower chambers of the citadel the party charged, sparing no quarter or reserved strength against foes of scarce threat to their magnitude now.
The adventurers came crashing with a vengeance through many dozens of black skeletons whom had been set as sentries to blockade the citadel’s halls; bludgeoning and bashing their way through with frightful potency, the party made short work of near to two hundred undead minions before confronting another fallen champion of the fifty and one–the former champion Lord Vai–slaying the powerful wight and retrieving from his remains the wickedly powerful guisarme ‘Dreadstorm’–capable of erupting a barrier of blades as bidden by its wielder.
Having attended to another of the fifty-and-one and cleared much of the dungeons of Orcus, the party saw to scouring for any remnants of treasure and evidence of finer sorts they could in the aftermath of the destruction they had wrought. While making their way through hidden holding cells, as well, the party freed Osland–a hound archon ranger who had been imprisoned long ago; she shared what intel she could with the adventurers before bidding that she depart the citadel to make her long overdue report–though as to whether any would be able to receive such, the party was doubtful.
A most peculiar fellow was encountered during this breakneck-paced delve–a warped and twisted mongrelman who radiated potent good, much to the party’s surprise; after a briefly wary exchange, the man revealed himself to be as well a member of the fifty-and-one–yet he had become immune to the corrupting effects of the pall over Tsar and had launched a guerrilla campaign against the citadel’s occupants in the centuries hence. This discovery delighted the party, who took readily to considering the fellow a fast ally.
Maneuvering further through the shanks of the citadel, the party came upon dire rat mega-swarms and took care to utilize a great deal of fire and acid to dispatch the monstrous amalgamations from safety. Peculiar traps were bypassed and an ambush of death-bringers was driven swiftly to conclusion, for the assassins were veritably outmatched despite their vilest of intentions.
Moving on and deeper into the fortress, the party came across the twisted and corrupted remnants of another of the fifty-and-one–Count Grebbel–and upon recognizing that the n’gathau, a wicked and twisted collective of extra-planar evil, would recover his remains and spirit should he expire–they took great care to retrieve him alive, that they might be able to remedy and redeem his lost self.
At last, the party came to discover a chamber in which a gargantuan gelatinous cube lurked and–somewhat puzzlingly–decided to take great length, care and expense to abduct the massive cube that it might be relocated to their own home and utilized as a pet, trap and garbage disposal there. This would require some preparation, of course–but soon enough the adventurers would foray once more into the halls of the citadel, once they’d finished… attending… to their new gargantuan gelatinous cube, acquired via miracle. It was a very strange day for adventuring. Next, the adventurers would be prepared to ascend into the ‘lap of Orcus’–near to halfway through the Citadel in Tsar…