After escaping certain arrest by authorities from the City of Brass, the team meet up with the odd duo Nuria and Doctor Roqet. The party discuss their next direction, revealing information about a mysterious vault full of powerful magic items and relics. The vault traverses through the multiverse, connecting to different planes of existence for a time before phasing into another. With all the potential magical items lost within its ruins, Nuria and Roqet believe that there should be an item that would allow everyone to return back to the Material Plane. The notion peaked Arcaelus, Brightiron, and Rainer’s interest, the group decided to work together for their common goal.
The Elemental Plane of Fire did not quite have the same evening as the Material Plane, it’s bright sun dipped above the horizon, ashen clouds swirled and bellowed throughout the sky to mask the bright light. The plane still carried a hint of elemental illumination, which still proved to difficult for Arcaelus as he decided to work into the night hours on the new trinket he received from the overly muscular Doctor Roqet. At the corner of his eye, he spotted an odd square-like automaton with a single wheel and large orb for an eye crawled over the preoccupied wizard.
“Greetings! I am ART-F4C3 but you can call me Artifice! A Roqet Industries construct with nearly a thousand features.” The little robot seemed cheerful to the wizard, possibly due to the new faces that appeared in Nuria’s workshop. Several bookshelves that covered almost end to end of two walls with several metal workbenches with alchemical and crafting equipment scattered along the empty space. A corkscrew stairwell led the to sleeping quarters upstairs with a small balcony that overlooked the entire space.
Artifice continued to poke and prod the wizard with dozens of incessant questions of various topics, but thankfully Arcaelus managed to learn and fine-tune the ‘firearm’ weapon to his style. The next morning, Roqet had the wizard use the firearm on several floating targets until he was satisfied with the overall result which namely was it didn’t explode.
Brightiron and Rainer went to find a local bazaar recommended by Nuria for possible new equipment and gear for their upcoming adventure, there the goliath barbarian met a spirit of strength who challenged the warrior to a fist fight. After proving that he was a capable warrior, Brightiron was gifted a newfound maul crafted from thunder and lightning. Rainer perused the bazaar for potions and survival gear for the harsh environment, finding several at a reasonable bargain.
Meanwhile, Nuria journeyed into the seedy underbelly of the City of Brass, many elemental crime lords and merchants made their home here. The fire genasi found the abandoned airship dock of an old acquaintance named Brownie. The area once had its own bazaar with arcades and stalls full of commerce and patrons, over time it became empty and hollowed compared to its glory days.
“Why hello there young Nuria!” a voice echoed along the tattered tents of the ship dock. Nuria glanced around and eventually spotted the lanky humanoid with golden scales and green eyes. Large purple tinted spectacles rested on the narrow brow of the entity known as Brownie. The result of mixed genetics gone wrong as the stories tell, but Brownie was a keeper of something greater and forgotten within the old ship docks.
“Hello, Brownie. I need to speak with your other half regarding our upcoming expedition. Where and when specifically.” Nuria inquired, adjusting her own glasses with a notepad on hand. The fire genasi kept to her normal civilian clothing while conducting business as she was quite familiar with the sort of denizens that frequented this area. None would pose a threat to her, though she always kept a few spells ready in case a fight broke out.
“Ah yes! She was expecting you, but then again she always does! I’ll take you the misses.” Brownie have a off-tempo chuckle as he escorted Nuria deeper into the airship docks. Many of them were unfit for service due to their lack of care or crew to man them. A few twists and turns until Nuria approached a large box-like structure, inside a metallic representation of upper torso of a humanoid female with color robes and odd chains along its neck. Once she was close enough, the torso became animated to life as it opened its heterochromatic eyes and spotted the fire genasi.
“AH! My darling, good tidings to you. I had expected you would return in time. Please, tell me what sort of question do you have for me?” The mechanical entity flexed its makeshift arms in large gestures, seemingly mimicking a flamboyant personality if it were not barred by a large box structure encased in glass.
“Well, I–” Nuria started.
The mechanical entity interrupted the cleric, pointing downward onto a metal slot that was written in Primordial: “Please Insert Coin”.
“Ah yes, sorry about that Meredith.” Nuria retrieved a single gold coin from her purse and inserted through the conveniently shaped slot. The sound of the coin hitting a hidden stash underneath gave the cleric a moment of relief.
“Ah! I see many things coming your way! Are you getting married soon?” Meredith inquired.
“No, I want to know the location of where the Vault of Worlds will appear on this plane, and when it will appear” the fire genasi asked.
“Oh that. Right, let me fetch my tarokka cards.” The mechanical entity retrieved a deck of worn cards and began shuffling them. After several minutes had passed, Meredith began drawing several cards in succession before Nuria.
“I see, an anarchist riding into battle, a wizard lost in his books, and an assassin full of regrets. The location of the Vault lies with them and where it all started for them. The Vault shall appear within a week’s time for only a short moment, afterwards it will be gone for another two hundred years.” Meredith bellowed and preached.
Nuria tried to process the information for a little while before thanking Brownie and Meredith for their assistance, promising to return to them to service an airship. The pair were more than willing to give the fire genasi their aid with the nominal compensation fees. The cleric arrived back to her workshop with Roqet teaching Arcaelus the finer points of using a firearm while Brightiron and Rainer double and triple checked their gear for their upcoming expedition. The pieces were beginning to fall into place, in a week’s time, they would journey into the heart of the Elemental Plane of Fire to find the Vault of Worlds.
A week had passed and the group made their way onto the airship yard, there the rest of the group met Brownie and Meredith who had agreed to man the ship and take the group to their destination. Nuria spent several days with various maps of the elemental plane trying to find the possible metaphor from Meredith’s prediction. The cleric deduced that it referred to Brightiron, Arcaelus, and Rainer and wherever they arrived when they first made contact with the plane. The wizard recalled mountains and even some rivers of lava and pointed at the relative direction from the City of Brass when they were arrived with the salamander slavers. Using some divine guidance, Nuria inferred that the trio had arrived in an area ruled by several fire giant lords near the Para-Elemental Plane of Magma.
The airship set sailed, using the hot trade winds from the plane to generate lift and flight. Several hours into their trip, Rainer spotted another airship that seemed to have followed them in a relative distance after they departed the City of Brass. Nuria went to inspect the approaching vessel until she noticed a familiar fire genasi with black robes along with a tiefling in dark brown leathers.
“Brownie! We need more speed!” She commanded, turning to her companions, “we need to lose them. Roqet! Man the guns!”
The large muscular human cackled and ran for a nearby ballista and fired it at the approaching ship, damaging the center mast but not enough to break it. The ship continued to advance until both ships were side by side and within earshot of each other. The group noticed the fire genasi in black robes and the tiefling in leathers, there was even a short and stout azer with an odd-looking staff.
“Hello! Nuria! Remember me? You never returned my messages or calls!” The tiefling cried across the ship, Nuria’s cheeks began to fluster and turn to a brighter shade of orange.
“Funny finding you all the way out here Nuria, let me guess, you’re after the Vault as well!” The black-robed genasi shouted.
“Not if we beat you jerks there first! Artifice, use option 31!” Nuria commanded. The short automaton stiffened and a large coil emerged from the top of its shape, a bolt of lightning surged outward and struck the side of the opposing vessel and sent them to the edges of a large sandstorm. With the apparent delay, the group took the opportunity to increase their speed towards their destination which lead to a series of volcanoes and ash-filled mountaintops. The group found a place to land and explore further ahead until they reached large halls made of obsidian stone.
Evading large fire giants on their patrols, the group finally made their way into a clearing. A shimmer of light appeared above them, instead of some gate or doorway, a female dwarf came crashing down onto the hot ground. The group helped the odd dwarf up and inquired her presence in this plane, the dwarf identified herself as Gilda Torrum but did not know how she came about this plane. The fire giants seemed to have followed the group and began to lay down a relentless assault on the group.
The ground shook, the sky darkened and lightning crackled. Large pieces of lava stone rose and began to take the form of a large archway until a large portal filled it. The party ran for the portal to hopefully the Vault, the uncertainty of what laid ahead was better than the prospect of dealing with a squad of fire giants. The group spun and turned within the mystical portal, where it would lead them? None of them knew. The quest to return back to the Material Plane had only just begun.
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