While Jimmy and Aydan contended with their trials in the mysterious world of gloom and shadow; Arcaelus, Rainer, and Brightiron found themselves in a much different realm where the air is hot and land is barren. This trio of Team BAJA must traverse through the harsh and burning wasteland where the sun never seemed to set and the air was hot and arid. For several days the trio marched alongside a set of mountains and the tough earth beneath them, forcing them to survival against the elements. 

Episode 3/Team BAJA Episode Guide

The air was hot and dry, which for Arcaelus was another day with no sign of change. The wizard awoke and stared beyond magical veil of the ethereal hut he conjured overnight. Though night was a relative term as the sun never seemed to set here. It had taken several days but after consultation with the spirit of intellect, Bob, they deduced they were in the Elemental Plane of Fire. Arcaelus luckily had recalled a spell he read from the library archives from the Tower of the Purple Order in Illinathar, which crafted a magical hut to rest against the elements. The spell worked and had provided the group with a means to stay rested and well nourished without having to forage for food themselves. Unfortunately the several days of travel from where they fell had yielded no change in scenery or civilization as far as they could tell. The sun never seemed to set in the plane, night was simply the light source dipping lower than usual before rising high again.

The sound of the wind continued to bellow in the relative morning, the wizard prepared some breakfast from the magical rations created along with the spell. Rainer and Brightiron eventually awoke and the three had a relatively quiet breakfast before setting out for another day’s worth of travel. Their hope was to find a settlement and discern their next course of action, specifically to return back to the Material Plane.

The three continued on their journey, travelling by daylight until a sandstorm caught the trio off guard and buffeted their progress through the land. Fatigue began to set upon them even after resting, for the conditions were difficult and the heat eventually began to eat away at their stamina. The wizard and halfling fell to the scorching heat, Brightiron used his goliath strength to pull and carry his companions across the desert dunes and hot winds but eventually even the large barbarian succumbed to fatigue, collapsing onto the sand.

The trio awoke to find themselves chained and in carts that were dragged by large reptilian creatures, further inspection revealed large, red serpentine creatures with blades and pikes glided nearby speaking unfamiliar words amongst each other. There were a few other creatures in the cart as well, specifically a short and stout humanoid creature with fire that seemed to envelop its face like a mane or hair. A pair of red imp-like creatures were huddled in the corner of the cart, there was sense of fear and terror on their faces. Unfortunately the creatures spoke to the party only Infernal, barely able to understand the party with their few words in common. While Brightiron contemplated about breaking out of the cart and fighting their way out, Arcaelus and Rainer believed it was better to wait for the captors to ease their guard first. Not far from their view, they saw their apparent destination: a city hovering over a vast sea of molten lava, it appeared golden or cast in some sort of metal. The wizard recalled stories of such a city in the Elemental Plane of Fire, it was known as the City of Brass. The three believed that their opportunity to return home could possibly be within the city or by someone that resided there.

City of Brass, Image by Wizards of the Coast
City of Brass, Image by Wizards of the Coast

Their captors dragged the cart to a large structure somewhere within the city, along the way they saw a myriad of creatures and elementals that seemingly roamed through the city. The team were shoved into a cell with bars made of black iron, their weapons were removed from their since they had awakened and they contemplated their next plan of action.

Meanwhile, a duo had arrived to the large structure after a fresh cart of potential slaves were wheeled into the city. A female fire genasi dressed in a tunic and long coat who was accompanied by a large 7-foot tall muscle-bound human walked along the dark hallways. They surveyed each of the cells full of would-be slaves that were to be sold off in the coming days, none seemed to interest them until they arrived to the cell containing Arcaelus, Rainer, and Brightiron. Granted the duo were not truly discreet with the large human yelling profanities and off-hand conjectures. Occasionally mouthing off some form of bandalore riff and off-hand expositions about explosions.

The trio see the fire genasi and the tall humanoid who then inquire whether the wizard, halfling, and barbarian were any good for what they needed. After some bickering between the two groups, the fire gensai with her notepad and stern looks told the three they would need to prove themselves in the Gauntlet if they wanted to their freedom which afterwards contained the promise of treasure and means to traverse the realms. A notion that could not be ignored by the three, which they begrudgingly agreed.

A couple hours later, the trio found themselves at the center of a large coliseum full of elemental spectators, some looked they were flame based, but there were other elemental denizens participating in the audience. They crowd chanted in various languages of words none of the party could comprehend. An announcement rang about the stadium, which seemed to be in all known languages that beckoned the start of the battle royale. Arcaelus readied his staff, Brightiron unsheathed his silvered greatsword and roared back at the crowd.

Rainer began to shift his form and become covered in shadow until it consolidated into the shape of a dagger. The shadowy dagger was the new of the artifact Timeaus Randor employed Rainer to retrieve from Nim Rock, once they defeated the aspect of its draconic guardian the relic became affixed to the halfling rogue. Since their arrival, the halfling had spiritually bonded himself with the spirits locked within the weapon, special runes denoting the previous owners with a new one formed to represent Rainer. The weapon had the expertise of nearly half a dozen warriors and wielders before Rainer, their spectres instilled a sense of memory and guidance to the assassin’s hands, allowing his mind to shape the weapon with his will.

The large gong sounded, with ten participants were at the center arena; tall, armored fire elementals emerged with large flaming scimitars encroached on the party. The battle had begun.

Fiery Myrmidons, Image by hamsterfly
Fiery Myrmidons, Image by hamsterfly

The excitement continues next week! Find out how Arcaelus, Rainer, and Brightiron fare! Please like, comment, and share. If you want to stay up to date with me, please follow our Facebook and Twitter pages. We have an Instagram for behind the scenes Team BAJA goodies and boardgaming fun. If you want to help us out, please click on our donate button, every little bit helps the site. If you have any inquiries or questions, please email me at: archmage@deathbymage.com. Thanks again and we’ll see you all soon!