The Circus Performers Red-Hot Jalepeneo and Mexican Jumping Beninio travel around Bigany.
They are secretly agents of King Edgar performing subtle services for the crown.
They persuade a merchant in Redbrick to stop cheating the king and to stay away from The Fallen, by casually overwhelming his guard and nonchalantly unveiling all his secrets.
They travel to the town of Deep Harrow at the personal request of Lord Kaegor Forc.
The crown sends them to investigate the Deep Harrow mine where several miners were killed.
They are attacked by a Neo-lithid which almost destroys them all.
Francesca Vec manages to recover the bodies and they are returned from the dead by the King’s Priests.
They return to the city beneath the Deep Harrow Mines to battle the Neothiilid.
They are once again forced to flee and Verity Kinnett shifts them to another plane in panic.
They arrive in Sigil. Plane shifting to Sigil is forbidden by The Lady of Pain and has unpredictable results.
Fortunately they arrive unharmed, but must immediately flee from The Lady’s minions.
They meet a Githzerai Zuoken Master in an inn called Chaos Hammer.
He shows them a Portal from Sigil and steps through without telling them how to activate it.
They eventually figure out that the portal can only be used by causing physical damage to it by a method that hasn’t been used on it before.
They arrive in Limbo at a Zerth Cennobite - Zuoken Monestary. This monestary is only held in place by the force of will of the monks inside. The Monks train Jethro and the others in the art of forming reality.
Several of the Monks volunteer to join Jethro in the attack on the Neothilid, their recial hatred of all things Illithid goes very deep.
The adventurers and the Githzerai monks attack the Neothilid in the ancient city.
Several of the monks are killed in the battle but evenually the Neothilid is defeated.
They search the city and discover writings on the walls. They learn that the city is named Schliss. The writings reveal some of it’s history.
They find an enormous underground cavern carved with the Skill.
In the cavern is a carved woden snail about the size of a sailing ship.
This snail is floating above the cavern floor where hundreds of others of it’s kind lie fallen and smashed.
This is a Mind Flayer Nautiloid, a spelljamming craft.
Verity reports to the King. The response it immediate and overwhelming.
20 Blackguard, accompanied by scores of Church Priests, Crown Coteries and the King Himself arrive bearing The Crown and The Trainer. The chamber is sealed off and the King’s Advisors consult with them in private.
He orders total secrecy about the revelations. The Illithid advisors from the church reveal the history of the city and their suspicions about the wooden ship.
As the meeting is drawing to a close, Schliss is attacked by a Fallen faction of Illithid descendants of the original inhabitants.
They believe there is an artifact of great power within the city. Their Umber Hulk slaves and their Skilled Warriors are no match for the combined forces of Crown and Church and they are rapidly routed.
The King requests that the adventurers take on an almost impossible mission.
Take the ship which they believe holds the aritfact The Skin of The Metarex and travel among the stars to destroy it.
Of course the adventurers agreed to do it.
The Bard makes contact with the Illithid and they are welcomed to land.
PC arrive at the Planet and land at the Derro slave trading outpost.
This is a vile settlement where many evil races and aberrations meet to trade.
A githyanki war band attempts to kill them and rertieve their silver sword.
They make their way to a disused warehouse and from there into the sewers.
There they find an entrance to the Ilithid ruins.
The Illithid City is not in fact not just a series of ruins.
It was once a major city and is now being repopulated by the Ilithids.
An enforcer band meets the PCs and escorts them into the city.
These are old style illithds and are ruled by an Elder Brain, they are not friendly to the PCs.
The PCs meet the Elder Brain.
The Elder Brain pretends to support the PCs cause saying that the artifact is insane and needs to be destroyed.
Once the Elder Brain has extracted all the information he requires, he lets the PCs leave.
The Illithid city turns of the PCs.
The Elder Brain send his golems after them and a Greater Psion Killer
They fight their way back to the surface or slay the Elder Brain.
A Githyanki Attack Fleet arrive at the Derro City and attack.
They have heard tracked (scry) the PCs here and are determined to extact revenge.
They believe that the PCs are returning the artifact to the Illithids.
The artifact communicates with Sprog and tells it what it's powers are.
Sprog frees the artifact from teh artifunace.
Sprog and the artifact destory the Githyanki attack fleet and dragons.
The Artifact declares that Sprog should be protected and truns into a cloak to protect him.
Sprog grows to adulthood.
The city erupts into chaos as rumours of an artifutrnace and underground illithid city spread like greek fire.
The skin instructs Sprog to attach it to the ship without the srtifurnace.
This allows the ship to sail to an unused potrtal under the surface.
The ship can go etheral to move through rock and find a chamber deep below the surface.
A massive portal lies dormant, half submerged in an underground sea.
The PCs must solve a puzzle in order to activate the portal.
The Portal Opens and a catastrphic maelstrom.
The under ground cavern begins to collapse under the force of the power unleashed from the portal.
The ship sails through and moves from the calamity of the cavern to the calm of the astral plane.
A Githyanki fortress is guarding the portal, but it is asleep and the ship destroys it quickly.
The ship rapidly locates a color pool and plunges through it without hesitation.
The ship glides into a starry purple plan, half way between the material and the far-realm.
All non-aberrations feel ill at ease here.
There are many bright stars in the plane and a large black hole at it's centre.
This is the metrarex system. Here sprog must overcome the artifacts powers.
If Sprog chooses his birthright then the PCs must battle him and the artifact.
If Sprog chooses his foster parents then the artifact will attmept to control the Bard and then destroy the PCs.
Once the battle for control is complete, the Psion Killers attack.
These are the footsoldiers to the enemy that destroy the Empire in the Future.
They reproduce and regereate extremely rapidly and seem to appear out of no-where.
The Metarex recognises them as the plague that cannot be stopped and the herald of the greater enemy.
The PCs must cast the Skin into the Black Hole.
This can be done by a firing a weapon with the skin attached.
It must be done by Sprog. However if Sprog is dead then it can be done by the Bard (UMD DC 25)
Once the Skin is destoyed a massive amount of power is unleashed and the backlash shatters the psion killers.
The PCs must then locate a transport home.
The Bard can tell them that there is a great throne room in a tower in the Metrarex captial.
This hold a way of getting back to the prime material plane.
Various undead protect the throne room, especially illithid vampires and illithid liches.
The vampires live on 'farmed' thralls (grimlocks). They are severly mutated.
An Illithid Lich (Alhoon) guards the throne room portal itself but he cannot get it to work.
Sprog can make the undead obey him and let him pass. But the Alhoon will fight to the death.
The PCs attmpt to activate the Portal.
Once the portal is activated, another maelstrom rips the tower apart.
The PC must dive through and they are thrown into teh astral plane within a few hundred feet of the color pool.
With Githaynki and Red Drogons on their tail they dive through the pool into the great cavern.
The cavern is collapsing and they will need to escape from here with illithid, grimlocks, and githyanki pursuers.
When the emerge on the surface there is a full flegded war going on.
Beholders, Githyanki, Githzerai, Illithids, Derro, Neogi all battle each other.
Some for teh artifurnace, some to destroy each other, some for plunder.
In the distance the battle is observed by the Elven Armada.
The PCs must obtain a ship and sail away.
The 8 Assassins (15th Level Monks), minions of The Black Abbot, attack Jethro while he mediates.
The PCs will destroy them.
The PCs journey home escorted by the Elven Armada.
The King rewards them all and they are declared (priavtely) heroes of the realm.
(Ambush - Chase)
(Ships - Creatures)
(Enemies - Goblinoids, Scro, Githyanki (Dragons), Illithid, Neogi, Black Abbot, Beholders, Pirates, Elves)
(Arcane, Elves, Church, King, Illithids)
(Sprog - Growth, Elder Brain contact -
Not a true illithid but a clone of Theth'Cthu)
(Ancient Illithid City Excavation)
(Illithid Traps - Wards, Glyphs)
(Illithid Mind Games, Telepathic Puzzle Locks)
(Ancient Scrolls, Hive Mind Crystal Fragments)
(How to get the artifact to work)
(How to destory the artifact)
(How to find the Metarex - Answers in depths of the archaeological dig)
(How to get to the Metarex - Accross the Planes from Ruinspace)
Illithids in The Peering Eye
The Mind Flayers of The Peering Eye are divided into two bitterly oposing groups.
The first group are similar to all there kin in other spheres.
They are evil, brain obsessed, slavers, who wish to join with an elder brain upon death.
They worship the fallen out of necessity, but without real devotion.
The second group have embraced the teachings of The Church of The Moons.
They worship the Chosen, primarily Shale Gods.
They have replaced tyranny of the elder brains with a hive mind, which they partially join upon death.
They are still dependant on brains for nourishment but can abide non-sentient replacements.
Various spells and powers enhance non-sentient brains to satisy their needs.
At least once a year each illithid must consume a living sentient brain however.
These Illithids tend to locate themselves near the enemies of the church and of their local sovereigns.
This ensure that they can not only help maintain the peace but also have a fresh supply of food.
Most spend their lives in the depths of the underdark, waging an unseen war for the church.
They do not look forward to the rise of the Illithid Empire, believing that it's time has passed.
The Great destroyed the Illithid Empire for a reason and so it should stay dead.
Many have raised doubts about the loyalty of the new Illithids but these doubts are as yet unfounded.
Githyanki Knights Vs. Elder Brain
Brain Golems Vs PCs
Illithid Vs Red Dragons
Where is the Metarex?
It is on a dark planet filled with the ancient palaces of the Illithid Empire's Supreme Elder Brains.
This is where the emperor Teth'Cthan created the Skin of The Metrax.
Theth Cthan was a Demi God Elder Brain of Epic Power.
The Skin of the Metarex was used to defend the Empire's Seat of power from it's enemies.
It was not powerful enough.
The Metarex is thousands of millenia in the future.
It is beyond the planes in another dimension.
It can only be accessed through a closed portal in a single sphere on the prime plane.
This sphere is guarded by the Githyanki and the Red Dragons, and also by a Radiant Dragon of Epic Size.
The sphere is constantly in a state of war as the abberant filth of the spheres clash constantly.
This is the dark sphere of ruin space.
Hidden in an ancient ruined illithid city is a ship sized astral portal guarded by an Elder Brain.
How do you destroy the artifact?
Bring the Artifact to the Metrarex system.
A direct descendant of Teth'Cthan must cast it into the Black Hole at it's centre.
What Consequences will there be?
This will cause the eventual demise of the plane, dimension and sphere.
As a maelstrom rips the fabric of reality apart.
Those invloved will become bitter enemies of the illithid nation and fiends to the Githyanki and Githzerai.
Any Illithid invloved will be targeted with constant assassination attempts.
Why are the Githyanki in Ruin Sphere?
They seek to prevent the Illithids from getting to their ancient homeworld.
They believe that there are arifacts of power hidden there that must be kept from the Illithids.
They have adapted from Astral Travellers to be Void Travellers in order to protect their charge more effectively.
How have the Intleacht Illthids managed to operate successfully?
One operative in the guise of a Githyanki, managed to succesfully find the city after years of searching.
He then returned to Stone Hall with the location of the city.
This gave the illithids the ability to scry out and teleport to the hidden city.
Each expedidition must avoid Githyanki patrols in among the stars.
They usually hire traders to enter the sphere and then teleport themselves and equipment to the city.
Travelling to the city through the patrolled areas is dangerous.
The Complete Version...
The 'Shliss' outpost was founded during the height of the illithid empire over ten thousand years ago, before the time of Tain McLir and during the time of the great races. It was founded by an illithid Empire colonial fleet. The Fleet made landfall on Talamh and built a colonial city. It was from here that the illithids spread throughout the underdark of Talamh and throughout the planes in the Peering Eye world.
The outpost was named Shliss, which means 'Focus', in the Ancient Illithid Tongue. Shliss was initially very successful and many Nautiloids arrived at the great dock of Shliss to deliver and trade in slaves and other valuables.
Several other colonies were founded in various other parts of the underdark and this process lead to inevitable clashes with other races beneath the surface. These wars rages for hundreds of years as the illithid struggled for dominance of the underdark. Once the underdark was theirs they intended to take the surface world and claim the entire planet for the Illithid Empire.
They may have succeeded on Talamh as they had on countless other worlds but for two major obstacles.
First they paid no heed to the Gods, Fallen, Chosen or Risen and so had no divine allies, secondly the Gith revolution overthrew the Illithid Empire and so they had no offworld allies to send reinforcements. These two major setbacks meant that they were unable to conquer the underdark and that they were unable to match the power of the great races.
Needless to say the Illithid leaders persevered and hoped to achieve their goals nonetheless. The Illithid of Talamh were one of the few who managed to prevent the Gith uprising, by slaughtering thousands of Gith slaves and then sealing their city against extraplanar travel and communication. Their massive colonisation and trading fleets were at their greatest size and were used with tactical brilliance against the Gith Navy in great battles in Eyespace. The losses were horrendous on both sides and so they both sought easier targets, vowing destroy their foe once their strength was increased sufficiently.
The colonisation had stalled considerably due to the losses in the Gith Wars and so the Illithids began a long period of consolidation, growing their strength, in preparation for their eventual conquest.
They declined to worship any gods though. The Risen were anethema to their beliefs, the chosen required them to renounce their dreams of planar conquest. And while The Fallen suited their purposes and outlook, they were too few in number and worshiping them provoked to much antagonism from both the chosen and the risen. The Illithids didn't feel that is was necessary to share power with anyone.
Hundreds of years after the Fall of Penumbra, Shliss was one of the few major Illithid centres still active. A ragged flotila of nautiloids arrived from outside the sphere. They bore the emblems of the Penumbra imperial family. They came seeking shelter in Shliss and declared that they had brought a weapon of great power in order to allow the forces of Shliss to take over the planet. Talamh would then become the staging point for the recovery of the Empire. Negotiations took place for the positions of the newcomers in the Shliss government and for Shliss role within the future Empire. The newcomers who were members of the imperial family did not get the respect they felt they deserved, while the Shliss rulers did not believe that the Empire would ever be reborn and so were disinclined to give up their powers to the haughty self-important refugees.
A nasty battle erupted and the imperial family were slain by their Shliss Kin. Most of the Shliss rulers and their best warriors were also slain in the viscious battle. Their ships were ransacked to find the 'weapon of great power' but it was never found. The Shliss Illithids believed that the Imperial Family were lying about the powerful item in order to gain power within Shliss. They were quickly dismissed as imposters.
Years later, disaster struck. The last Scion of Penumbra an Illithid child called Teth'Cthu, son of one of the Imperial Refugees had escaped into the underdark. He was approached by Athrú who offered to become the protector of the Penumbra Illithids if they would worship the Fallen and do Athrús bidding. Teth'Cthu agreed readily and quickly became one of The Fallen's Minions. Athrú sent protectors to the child while he grew in power. Teth'Cthu began to recruit followers from among Imperial Loyalists and the disenfranchised illithid in Shliss and other settelments. Then he slipped into Shliss central birthing pool and with Athrú's power caused a mutation in the spawn of Schliss' ruler. Teth'Cthu barely escaped with his life and was badly burned by the Mutants' acid breath.
The Mutant, a Neothilid grew in a blinding flash to a gargantuan size and proceeded to slaughter all of the inhabitants of Shliss. The rulers quickly sealed the city and the docks and called all their bretheren to the birthing pool to destroy the creature. The battle raged for days, with massive losses on the Illithids side and no substantial damage to the Neothilid. Then the rulers decided to flee to the ships. The Neothilid anticipated this and ambushed them on their way to the docks. The first illithids to reach the docks were a group that were loyal to Teth'Cthu. They closed the gates to the docks against the rulers and left them to their deaths. The rulers were massacred by the Neothilid. However having supsected that there was treachery involved, they had trapped the imperial nautiloid with poison. The loyalists attempted to use this nautiloid and were poisoned. Meanwhile the remainder of the Shliss population fled through the smaller unsealed air and sewer tunnels into the underdark to seek out the other illithid cities.
Teth'Cthu was waiting for them, hideous in his burned flesh and forced them to convert to The Fallen or be destroyed. Few escaped him. Descendants of Teth'Cthu still rule a vast number of Fallen Illithids but there are still many independant cities scattered throughout the underdark. Some are followers of The Chosen or of Aigne having with the Church in a bid to fend of the growing power of the Fallen.
Ironically the Imperial Refugees did have a weapon of great power with them. One which could unify the illithids and cause serious upheaval in the underdark. The Staff of Ancient Penumbra is hidden in the Illithid Outpost. It is the mast of the only nautiloid remaining in the dock. This is the ship that brought Teth'Cthu to Talamh. It survives due to the superior durability of the Imperial Fleet and due to the power of the staff. The series helm also holds an illithid young, that has been in stasis since the Imperial refugees arrived. This young was eventually to be used to claim back Penumbra as he is the direct heir to the Empire. The young has been in stasis for thousand of years but has also been preserved by the power of the staff. Distubing the pool in which the young sleeps will break the stasis. The young will bond with the first telepathic mind that communicates with it and will consider that mind to be it's parent and the representative of it's hive. The young will eventually aquire knowledge of it's race as it's brain grows but will not be directly aware of it's own personal history.
The Mind Flayers with the King are Chosen Illithid who are members of the Bigany church. The believe the legends that a weapon of great power may be hidden in the city. They require the help of the characters to find this weapon and once they have identified it, they will have additional tasks for the PCs. The staff is well disguised and well hidden in the mast. A Search DC 30 will locate it as will some clairesentient powers that can reveal the past. Hypercognition and similar power will also help. Any other relevant skill will require a DC 25 check to hint at it's location.
The Church want this item removed from the Crystal Sphere. They want it to be destroyed. They need to find out how to destroy it and then do so. It can only be destroyed by casting it into the heart of the Sun of the Ancient Penumbra System.
The Search will be complicated by the fact that Illithid spies have discovered that the Neothilid has been destroyed and so Illithid raiders have started to infiltrate the city in order the either seize it, or else ransack it for it's fabled wealth.