A Tour of the Planes

Memory Stone 100822
In which our heroes meet the new girl

We are about to make our return trip to Sharn when Audra stops us. She informs us that she has decided to stay in Eberron with her brother. An irrational and short-sighted decision, but I have learned that attempting to reason with my allies is usually a pointless endeavor. Better to choose my battles. I instead ask for the stone she carries. She gives it to me, and we part ways. Just as well. I suspect the shifters will need her before too long.

Our second trip across Khorvaire is much less eventful than our first was. No obstacles hinder our return to Sigil. But still, an impossible task awaits us: to find a single Clueless in the Cage, when all we have is a picture. The streets are crowded with what appears to be refugees. A curious spectacle, but probably short-lived. I tell the others where we should begin looking for our quarry, when Charles bumps into a passerby. It is her. The probability of this occurring by chance is so astronomically low that it would be illogical to believe this was random. This was caused by some outside force, hopefully working in our favor. There is a minor scuffle, in which Charles ends up in possession of the green stone, and we all retire to an inn for introductions.

She is Treasa, a follower of Corellon Larethian, and she does indeed bear one of Gant’s journals. She is somewhat familiar with us, as Gant has written a small amount about us. He has not transcribed his many faults, however. I tell her some of what she doesn’t know, and she agrees to join us. Gant’s journal includes clues regarding the whereabouts of the other stones; we must quickly make our preparations for the next part of the journey. What a pity; I had been hoping to linger in Sigil, there’s no time for it. We disperse. The others go shopping while I must attend to my duties at the Hall of Sensation.



Upon our reunion, we decide to test each of the Lady’s keys and see where they lead. We go from plane to plane, staying just long enough to identify our location before moving on. During this process I end up holding every sigil stone we have acquired. We decide to return to Faerun, for it seems that Ryltar will be able to avoid Lloth’s wrath. I don’t completely understand why Lloth is angered at her follower; probably some pointless religious thing. Ryltar in turn is upset at his goddess, and at all the gods in fact. He sounds like an Athar. If there were more time, I would take him to them. I am disappointed that I am not able to help him now. I hope I can do so in the future.

The portal we take back to Faerun is run by Guy. It takes us back to Nashkel. Most of the others go to speak with Guy, but Yan follows me as I head back to the river. I don’t know what’s changed since we’ve been gone, but there are still fish in the water. I talk to them. Grumnil interrupts me; he wants me to use a stone to check if Guy has been possessed by a Reaver. I do so. Guy does not look particularly happy to see me, but it appears he is not possessed. I return to the fish. They hear what I have to say.

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Memory Stone 100815
In which our narrator... well, just read it...

We press on to the main chamber. More Flamists. Killing them has become… tedious. There is no challenge; I simply press through the motions and emerge successful, the outcome never in doubt. As Klytus dies, he is revealed to be a Reaver. Not possessed by one, but a Reaver wearing his armor. I feel… nothing. No sense of triumph or relief. Just more weariness. Strange. Regardless, we take what we came for and return to the shifter camp.

I restore Shade’s power source and she awakens. She wastes our time by describing her incompetence and flawed construction. According to her, she, along with the jackal-headed being we saw earlier, was built to combat the Reavers. Except she had been corrupted while working for the Lord of Blades, and as such was forced to serve them. Naturally, she has almost no memory of her time serving the Reavers. After much effort she is able to recall that she gave one of Gant’s journals to a half-elf who was on her way to Sigil. Rather than correct her own mistakes and help us find this person, she sets off on her own, making clear that she could have escaped from her bindings at any time.

The situation is either much better than we think, or much worse. The Reavers have hardly been threatening adversaries. So far their strength has been infiltration, not combat. Only Razza gives me pause. And it turns out that there are others, such as Shade and the Jackal, who are also working to stop them. This should be reassuring news.

But then I think of our “allies”, and I wonder if we would be better off without them. Whoever built them prioritized aesthetics over function, and it shows. While they are far superior to the clumsy Warforged of this realm, there are still significant errors. The bipedal humanoid form is unstable and has much room for improvement, but none was made. Their builders, like mine, were trying to replicate the human form instead of trying to innovate. What a pity.

Even if they had been physically designed properly, the help they could possibly provide is of dubious quality due to their mental flaws. The Jackal seems to believe that destruction of everything is preferable to the destruction of everything at the hands of the Reavers. Based off our current knowledge, he is incorrect. At least the Reavers plan on remaking everything once they are done. As for Shade, she appears to be rather proud, although she certainly has no reason to be so. She allowed herself to be distracted from her duties of watching against the Reavers by working with the Lord of Blades. And while she claims to be a victim of the Reavers, she admits to not actually remembering the details. She could have chosen her path. For all we know, she is another monster like Gant.

I should have killed her. It would have been safer. And I shall be keeping an eye on Ryltar.

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Memory Stone 100704
In which our heroes return to church.

The trail leads us back to, of all places, the ruined chapel. The Flamists were quick to capitalize on our efforts of cleansing the structure of the undead. We enter, and are immediately attacked before being given opportunity to explain ourselves. So be it. I will not protect these fools from their own follies.

The first group of zealots is felled, but there will be more. We press farther into the ruins, pleased to discover that the Flamists did not reactivate all the traps we passed our first time through. The next group is deep in prayer. Again, we attempt diplomacy. Again, we are rebuffed. Heretics, their leader calls us. I find myself actually offended. Blasphemy and abomination, I could understand, but heretic? How arrogant, assuming we were ever of his flock.

Their arcanist uses similar magic to Jan, but it is not enough. They are no match for us.

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Memory Stone 100627
In which our heroes find Shade.

Nagash unleashes withering hexes, but he is defeated, and this time he is not able to escape from us.

We return to the werekin with news of our victory. Pieter explains that he has news for us too. He brings out a cage, and in it lies Shade. This would be useful, except she is… deactivated. Whatever device powered her is missing. Pieter tells us that his scouts found her at the border of the swamp, so that is where we must go. It seems illogical that we must expend effort to save our enemy from the fate she brought upon herself, but it appears to be necessary.

We head back to the Voidfang fort. The shield has been removed, and the fort has been attacked. All of the shifters are dead, a number of them burned to ashes. There are a few bodies of the Flamists, who apparently were the attackers. We search the remains and find the diary of the Voidfang leader. He wrote of Shade’s arrival, and the words she spoke. How those who joined the Reavers would be spared from the eventual destruction. He also wrote of how Shade’s faith needed to be tested. They took her power source and dumped her in the swamp, the idea being that if her faith is strong, she will prevail. Faith. What a strange concept. The device is not here, most likely the Flamists have taken it. So we will follow them. If they are reasonable they will surrender it without a fight, but faith is enemy to reason.

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Content Preview - Return to the Sword Coast
The sea is the only high road for a gentleman

Beregost has never looked as comforting as it has upon your return. Having been abroad for far too long, you are surprised to find that Faerun has changed little: no massive rifts in the planar continuum, no marauding bands of Void Reavers destroying everything in their path. For once, everything is normal, or as normal as the Sword Coast can be. Sure, bandits pop up every so often (though not nearly as dangerous as the Black Talon, thank Helm), and yes, someone might be trying to kill you, but that’s not new. If anything, you could use a vacation. Maybe a nice sea voyage…

Drink Up, Me Hearties, Yo Ho!

For decades, the sea trade between Baldur’s Gate, Athkatla, and points south has been a profitable, if not extremely dangerous, undertaking. Some crusty old salts say that the best way of getting from one place to another is with a deck under your feet and wind in your sails, and in this modern age, they aren’t far off. New discoveries in nautical engineering have made seafaring vessels sturdier and faster, and the average sailor is a highly skilled professional, especially when compared to his forebears of even twenty years ago. Further, the local sahuagin clans have all moved on, looking for easier pickings far to the south. Really, the only danger plaguing the sea lanes would be pirates, and those aren’t that dangerous anymore.

Well, not exactly. The pirate crews of old have taken a more capitalistic approach to their trades, instead offering their services for convoy duties. As knowledgeable of the seas and currents as Umberlee herself (though they’d never say so aloud), these “merchant marines” can be of inestimable assistance navigating treacherous reaches of the Sea of Swords and dealing with the occasional goblinoid raid. However, many of these crews are unscrupulous in the best of times, and are as likely to allow their charges to fall into harm’s way as defend them, and in both cases will probably make a fair profit from seized cargo and other salvage.

Still, there is nothing like a bracing breath of sea air to revitalize and invigorate a man. Unless that man is attacked by the Dread Pirate Tolmek and his crew of bloodthirsty cutthroats. In that case, well.

New Instance – Reston’s Quay

It is said that, in the days of high adventure when the seas were the last great frontier, Marcus Reston was a pirate’s pirate: a skilled navigator, sharp-eyed cannoneer, and peerless swordsman. A true leader of men, Reston led a pirate armada of nearly fifty ships and held the admiration and respect of every man-jack in his command. Ship’s scuttlebutt said that Reston was a commander in the Athkatlan Navy, until he was ordered to destroy innocent merchant ships to “prove a point to those damn Northerners”, at which point he promptly mutinied, escaped pursuit from the rest of the Athkatlan Navy, and began a legendary career as a buccaneer.

Stories tell also of Reston’s home base, a secluded island deep within the Sea of Swords called Reston’s Quay. The Quay is surrounded by dense seaweed and long stretches of dead water, making navigation through it impossible to all but the most skilled of navigators and sailors or to those who know the safe lanes through to the island. Many believe that, by now, the Quay must also be surrounded by a ship’s graveyard of great size. Even so, Reston’s Quay remains missing on nautical charts and maps, and whatever riches reside there must wait for those intrepid enough to seek them out.

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Content Preview - A Terrible Night to Have a Curse
After 100 years of rest, an old evil hungers...

For once, you find yourself in somewhat familiar surroundings, with evergreen forests, well-traveled roads, and no sign of robots, dragon-men, or vicious beings from another realm. However, the scene isn’t as idyllic as one would hope: there’s a snap in the air that draws the heat from your body, there are flickers of movement at the corners of your vision, and as the sun sets, an overpowering sense of terror washes over the land.

Welcome to Barovia

Set in the heart of the Balinok Mountains, the realm of Barovia is a heavily forested realm, much like the Sword Coast of Faerun. It is a cold land, and its people are hardy and hard-working. Life here is relatively peaceful, and most would say the biggest threats in the land are the wolf packs that roam the thick forests that surround the town of Barovia and the occasional bandit party that harasses the merchant traffic between various villages.

They also say that, if you’d asked the same question to their ancestors, they would merely have pointed to the castle on the hill.

Visible from nearly every point of interest in the land, the ancient castle looms over Barovia as a chess master over his board and pieces. In hushed tones, the villagers speak of Lord Strahd Von Zarovich, ruler of Barovia, and his undead minions. For almost one hundred years, Strahd has been content to stay in his castle, his edicts delivered by coach to the villages and Vistani camps, and the stories of his horrific cruelty have begun to fade into memory and myth. None wish to court his wrath by entering the castle, nor do they dare disturb his isolation, for fear of a return to the old days, when anyone could be an agent of his will, and the doors and windows barricaded against his wrath.

Unbeknownst to them all, the Lord of Barovia stirs, and an ancient evil stirs with him.

New Instance – Castle Ravenloft

The ancestral seat of the Von Zarovich, Castle Ravenloft lords over the Barovian countryside as a permanent reminder of who rules. A gothic nightmare of stone and steel, the castle has stood for countless generations, many of them in the tyrannical grip of Lord Strahd. None dare approach the castle, for fear of drawing Strahd’s attention both to themselves and to the land he rules.

A message has been sent to the burgomasters and camp-masters of the land with an odd request: a group of adventurers will arrive soon, and they should be directed to the town of Barovia, where the burgomaster will give them a special letter and conduct them to the castle proper. The words are written in Strahd’s hand sure enough, but the tone is grossly out of character, more a polite request than an edict disregarded at one’s own peril. The people of Barovia are on edge and want answers, but they can only be found somewhere in Strahd’s personal domain: Castle Ravenloft.

New Feature – Paragon Paths

With the max level cap being increased to 20, the need for additional character refinement brought about the introduction of Paragon Paths, an exciting new feature debuting with the Doors To Infinity expansion. Upon reaching level 11, a character may select a paragon path to further develop their character’s role and abilities. Paragon paths are often (though not always) class-specific, and some have additional prerequisites; other paragon paths are restricted to members of a certain race or are associated with a nation or faction on a given plane. A given path grants new benefits and abilities along a common theme, and generally draw out a particular facet of the character’s class. For example: a fighter may select a paragon path that improves their resilience in combat, improving their defenses and increasing the amount of damage they can take. Conversely, another path may improve a fighter’s abilities with two-handed weapons, granting them better damage, more accurate attacks, or even the ability to strike multiple opponents at once.

With over 400 individual paths to choose from, every character can find something that appeals to them and that can help make their character stand out.

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Server Maintenance: Patch 1.7.1
Encounter Adjustments and Resource Updates

We will be performing extended maintenance this week to apply patch 1.7.1, which includes a number of content hotfixes in preparation for the release of the much-awaited expansion to Tour of the Planes, Doors to Infinity. We will also be performing a hardware refresh during maintenance, and, as a result, the game servers will not be available until the maintenance period is over.


Patch Notes: 1.7.1

- Adjusted the open quest “Break the Crusade”, including the Grand Templar Klytus encounter, to be more appropriate for level 7-8 characters. This will amount to a significant increase in difficulty, and the loot tables for these encounters have been revamped to reflect this.

- Added new quick travel links between Wolf’s Paw and Passage, making travel easier if not necessarily faster.

- Added in-game resources for Thane’s Domain and the Mournland, paragon-tier adventure areas. These areas are works in progress and will be available in a future content release.

- Added the Planar Keyring. This strange item allows users to store an unlimited number of keys in a single inventory slot. Players may receive this item at the conclusion of the Wolfwood story arc from a specific quest NPC.

- Added a number of new quests in various areas in preparation for the Doors to Infinity expansion.

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Memory Stone 100620
In which our heroes go to church.

We look to each other, expecting something more, but nothing happens. So instead we head north towards the ruined chapel. It is infested with undead, as we were told it would be. Nothing we haven’t dealt with before though. We cut and burn our way through passages of zombies and traps until we reach a balcony from which Nagash stands, overlooking the lands before him.

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Memory Stone 100613
In which our heroes fail the Travelling Salesman Problem.

We enter the Webwood. Perhaps we are distracted by the unnatural darkness, but we are no longer walking on the ground, but on a series of webbing suspended in the trees. As we pause to consider our next move, we are ambushed by a number of spiders. Fortunately, these are the time we need to harvest venom sacs from. They do not pose much of a threat, compared to what else stands against us.

Rather than press on towards the abandoned chapel, we once again return to the shifter camp. We tarry for too long, allowing another day to slip by. I search for Pieter, looking to continue our conversation from before, but he cannot be found. So instead we turn to our rapidly dwindling list of chores and head off to make contact with the last of the missing septs, the Ragenails. On our way there we encounter a ring of standing stones. There is something peculiar about them, but for now they are just another distraction.

We arrive at the camp to find it on fire. These flames are unnatural, colored blue and lasting much longer than they should. We find no survivors, just the body of a Silver Flamist, his holy symbol ripped apart. However, there also is a set of tracks leading away from the destruction. We follow, and it takes us back to the stones. There is a… I do not know. It’s more complex than a golem, and more elegant than a warforged. It has a body of a man, only it is formed of some silvery metal, and the lean head of a jackal. It regards us coldly, as if we are barely worth its notice. “The time of nightmares is at hand,” it says, before creating a portal and stepping through it.

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Memory Stone 100530
In which it snows.

The sky is still dark. Having completed what we came for, we return to the werekin. They too are surprised by the sun’s disappearance. I briefly wonder if the effect is localized or spread across all of Cyre, but there’s no time for that. We need to report to our allies.

We are rewarded for defeating the undead, and that is our best interaction with the shifters. Their apothecary tells us that in addition to the specimens we’ve already collected, he needs a number of venom sacs from the local spiders. This causes some consternation in Ryltar. Apparently spiders are sacred, and he is not allowed to kill them. Inconvenient, but hardly the most illogical idea to come from religion. Except he is able to circumvent this restriction by atoning ahead of time. Once again I find myself swayed by the beliefs of the Athar. I don’t have time for philosophy now; I need to talk to Pieter.

He does not seem to be comfortable speaking with me without his sister standing over us. I ask him directly if he can actually do what he’s promised for us. He doesn’t say “yes”. Instead he attempts to deflect our attention by giving us another chore: reducing the numbers of the Silver Flame. Clearly Pieter is more like his father than I had thought. I’ll need to step carefully.

We find the Rageclaws fortifying their position as if they were preparing for a siege. They want nothing to do with us or the other shifters. As we are turned away, we notice a barded horse with the Silver Flame insignia within their walls. Perhaps there is a traitor. I wonder if my companions will comfort and nourish this one as well.

The majority of our tasks take us to the north. We stop to rest, and when we awake it is snowing. Peculiar, but we are told it is not unheard of in this region. We press on, and run into some Flamists. Once again, Charles’s attempts at diplomacy yield no results. They believe we are heretics. As if I would sully myself with even a variant of their beliefs. As usual, a fight ensues, and I demonstrate the power of a mind unburdened by faith.

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