After their battle with Umtarathrx the White, the group settled back at the castle for more study and training. This time they posted sentries to watch the skies and the environment for any new threats. Three days later, the dwarven sentries rushed down to inform the group that droning sound was heard as though a huge swarm of bees were heading for the city. Hurrying to investigate, the group arrived in time to see a Colossal airship move over the city – heralded by the single ringing of the Bendicole. Beneath the giant ship was suspended a series of eight interlocking platforms that the airship slowly lowered to the ground once on the other side of the city.
Five Platforms were placed evenly outside the city walls at a distance of about 1,000 feet. Slightly Beyond that, two platforms were dropped on the two roads that led across the river into the city. Further back, near the center of all of the activity, the final platform was lowered. On the flying citadel and all of the platforms was the emblem of the Order of the Five Moons, the most powerful mercenary company said ever to exist in the world. It was this same mercenary company that destroyed Toll’s temple in its quest to gain control over the Lock of Fate! From each of the five platforms came a massive host of soldiers, 551 from each platform for a total of 2,755 mercenaries of which 123 were mounted. After careful study, the 551 break down into 82 initiates of the bow (armed with short bows), 82 arcane archers (armed with long bows), 36 sorcerers, 46 Heavy Crossbowmen, 40 Medium Calvary, 42 Heavy Calvary, 41 Light Calvary, and 182 Heavy Infantry. Remaining Inside each of the platforms to man the catapult that was built inside was 26 Artillerist and 3 Clerics (Adding another 145 to the 2,755 for a total of 2,900 troops amongst the 5 platforms).
The two platforms on the road turned out to be siege platforms as artillerist began to attach wheels and armored horses to pull them. Studying them through the Queen’s scrying curtain revealed that each Siege platform housed 70 artillerist, 45 rogue sappers, and 10 wizards. The final platform that was furthest back proved to be a Temple of Erythnul, filled with a total of 120 clerics. Thus, the total number of troops and support soldiers amongst the eight platforms numbered at 3,270. Then, just to drive the nail of hopelessness into the growing despair of the city of Mythrazel, from the floating citadel’s eight arms were lowered Megalith after Megalith. 20 Large Megaliths were Drill Knights, 10 Huge Megaliths were Harpies, 5 Huge Megaliths were Magisters, 5 Huge Megaliths were Dragons, 2 Large Drill Knights with massive shields were piloted by Devoted Defenders to guard the citadel, and the final Gargantuan Megalith jumped from the flying citadel in the form of the companies command Megalith – Goldredd (Piloted by the legendary leader of the Order of the Five Moons, Derth Khelbin). Envoys were then sent from the military force into the city, apparently to attempt to root out the location of the Lock of Fate. Meanwhile, back at the castle, the group began a long debate about the things that could be done to fight this new foe. In the beginning, it was immediately decided that Lady Arlinde would go to Lord Wintley’s estate to try to find out what was going on, while the rest of the group would go to the Arcane College to see if they could find anything of use there. Gwendon would remain behind on the throne to keep the door open until Lady Arlinde could return to do it.
The group then entered the Arcane College; with the bulk of the group stepping from the castle straight into the college to avoid scry attempts. They then made their way straight to the library to see if they could find anything. After the first confrontation with the living spell, the group learned through their new companion Diana that the entity could be touched in the Ethereal plane. Thus, an hour later they were prepared for its return when Toll magically brought the entire group into the Ethereal plane to deal with it. With a blur of chopping attacks that would make a Cuisinart jealous, Lusipher shredded the living spell into nothingness, ending its effects once and for all.
The group then began to investigate the college itself, first checking out the wing of Illusionary magics. The entry passage into the wing was magically warded from anyone not wearing the belt of an Illusionist by means of a very lethal electrical field, as discovered by Lusipher. Investigating it turned out no information – just a bunch of classrooms and magical tomes (which no one wanted to touch). As others were waiting for the illusionist wing to be searched, Gwendon rejoined the group after being relieved by Lady Arlinde. It seemed that Lord Wintley was eager to turn over the dwarf, although he told the emissary that the dwarf known as Toll was by no means an apprentice, but was in fact a very powerful cleric. But they did not know where in the city the dwarf and his friends stayed. Lady Arlinde also brought invitations from the Shadow Walkers, the Brothers of Stone, and House Drathden to meet with Gwendon as soon as possible.
After leaving the Illusionist wing, the group decided to investigate the School of Enchantment, where even according to the school records there was no such thing, just an empty wing for storage. Upon reaching the wing, it was noted that no one had a belt. Toll and Kobort noted that they were immune to electricity to they offered to explore. Gwendon noted at the Illusionist wing that she had not felt the electric surge like everyone else, so tried to walk through the archway to the School of Enchantment – with no visible effects. So she started in, with the dwarf and elf lightning rods following far enough behind her not to cause any damage. Checking each classroom, she finally opened a door to discover a room that had been magically enlarged. In the center of the room stood an elven woman with energy flowing out of her body over a huge crowd of kneeling figures in a circle around her. Gwendon finally interrupted the circle by walking into it and broke the spell that was being cast, awakening the entire school of Enchantment!
It turned out that the school had been a research institution into something known as Soul Magic, which is where a mage create a scroll-like spell that can be cast by anyone, as it has all the energies already cast into it. The byproduct of this is that the spell gains sentience and can actually force itself to be cast. Apparently a very powerful ancient spell was cast by someone and gathering essence to power some very powerful magics. Shanitus Elwynn sensed the awakening of the spell and gathered her entire school together to protect them by making them not exist. At that same time, apparently the Half-Orc headmaster had fallen under the influence of Grummsh and planned on taking over the college. What resulted was a massive battle where half the school ended up dead and half ended up Soul Zombies. Unfortunately, that left a lack of necessary bodies for the ritual, so the spell was never finished – hence the serpent like construct that attacked the party. Now that Shanitus was awakened again, she took back over the ruling of the school and informed the group that she would give each member an item as thanks for their saving her.
She also could see the god mark on them and informed them that in every generation, each of the gods marked a person with a sigil granting them a portion of their power for good or ill. Usually, the individuals excelled at life and moved on to greater things. Rarely did any of them band together for long, and never in such a great a number as the group. She decided that she would call them the Godhands (Finally a name for the party after being together for 7 months) and wished them well. She also confronted Kobort on being the last member of the Order of Brialyn, and asked if he was fully aware of the weight that had been placed on his shoulders. For should he complete his quest there is a possibility that the Wraith may melt, bringing devastation to the lands surrounding it. He said that he understood, but stood by his decision to join the order.
She also told the group that the three hags that they met were known as the Sisters of Chaos. They were witches of eternal power who seek to bring chaos to the world and upset the status quo. If there is anything that makes the three happy, then it cannot be good for everyone else. Thus did she believe the fact that they called Kobort the Comet was by no means a compliment. She cautioned the others that Brialyn was indeed awake and wanted to complete her quest worst than Kobort did. Apparently the daughter of Pelor had transformed herself into a mighty blade long ago, but at a time when there were no fae to wield her. Thus has she been imprisoned for her purpose has not been fulfilled. Thus will her ire be raised should any seek to stop her from returning to her fathers’ side. The enchantress then gave everyone a magical charm that would prevent anyone but herself from being able to scry their whereabouts and bid them good luck.