This is wayyy too much to write up, so I’m going to give it to you in bullet points.
- The Derps won the railroad challenge and were summoned back to the Summer Court to meet with Tinker Oddcog.
- Tinker Oddcog turns out to be the guy who saved Xell’s life during the collapse of Cauldron Hill in adventure 5 in the bleak gate.
- Tinker Oddcog turns out to be a mechanical doppleganger (called a duplicant) that tries to assassinate Bruse Shantus with a comically large bomb he pulls out of his own chest.
- Marian detonates the bomb in a bag of holding, but some of the Bruse’s advisors and guards are also duplicants, and attack. Also, “someone” begins shelling the palace with long range, poison gas artillery.
- The derps flee the court via teleportation with the Bruse in tow, leaving behind Lya Jierre and Rush to fend off a bunch of terminators.
- The derps regroup at Citado Cavallo, where they learn that the attack originated from the Isla de Focas, the home of the Cult of the Steel Lord. An island to the south full of gnolls. Also, the people that were duplicants are actually being held captive on this island.
- Some powerful force is blocking teleportation and divination on to the island, much like the Rites of Rulership common among the rulers of the great nations. Meaning, “Someone” has sufficiently united the gnolls to gain such powers.
- Reporting in to Harkover Lee, the derps learn that the former dragon tyrant that ruled over the Cult was an ancient red dragon named Gradiax. Also, SURPRISE, not ALL dragons are extinct, but have blended into the human populace.
- DOUBLE SURPRISE, Gradiax is one of the still living dragons.
- TRIPLE SURPRISE, Gradiax has been living under the name of . . . BENEDICT PEMBERTON!
- The derps present COAs to King Aodhan, and decide to side with Pemberton instead of the government of Ber, in order to assure they get Tinker alive.
- The derps tell the Bruse that they will help assault the island and take out the duplicant factory. They are on a team with Lya and Rush as well!
- Pemberton agrees to the plan, but only if the party will help sabotage part of the Beran fleet. They do, which ends up killing about 40 Beran sailors.
- The derps secretly plan with Pemberton and the gnolls to ambush Lya and Rush, and KILL THEM BOTH in the factory!
- Tinker is retrieved without incident. Also, they meet Pemberton’s daughter, a young red dragon with steam augmented prosthetic limbs (a leg, and a wing). She detects as evil, but hey, it’s a little late to worry about that now, right?
- Risur now knows the weak points and vulnerabilities of Borne. Also, Tinker is working on technological innovations for the derps, and for the country. Risur now has electric lights, and other goodies like lightning prods, lightning guns, and big Tinker (Tesla) coils that can be used for security.
BREAK BREAK; BREAK BREAK
The derps don’t understand how, but they see through the eyes of a group of Obscurati Officers, arriving on a mysterious island and meeting up with the founders of the Conspiracy at a spooky mansion.
- Han Jierre (sovereign of Danor) is one of the leading Ob members. He greets them on the shore. He then uses amulets to pull the whole group over into the Bleak Gate, which has a manor on this side of existence as well.
- Security is extremely tight. One guy is caught disguising himself to infiltrate the meetup, and he is killed by some terrifying creature known as a “shadowlisk.”
- SURPRISE! Reed McBannin shows up in ghost form along with a few other ghosts, one of which looks like the damn Crypt Keeper. Reed uses the dark arts to bring the spy that just got killed back to life, and he gets carted off for questioning.
- Inside the manor, the “derps” (the ob officers) see several people that they either recognize or that recognize them. It seems to be some kind of grand convention for Obscurati membership.
- After exchanging pleasantries with some of the other guests, Han Jierre takes the derps to meet the leader of the Ob.
- Here’s the text to the last part of this:
In the vast room at the end of the hallway, a central fireplace roars warmly, but out the glass windows on the north, south, and west walls the whole landscape is nearly black. Together it creates the effect of light disappearing, and darkness encroaching.
A set of luxurious leather chairs are arrayed near the west windows, and one man sits smoking. His hands are gloved, and a necklace is visible around his neck, but tucked into his shirt. At first he seems alone, but as he stands to greet the group, it becomes clear that a dozen or more ghosts are floating outside the windows, watching.
He says, “Call me Nicodemus. I’m glad you came. Together we’re going to change the world. Come on. Let’s have a drink and talk.”
- SURPRISE! The person talking to you is Andrei von Recklinghausen, the creation of Dr. Wolfgang von Recklinghausen.