Last Episode: As the Mulhorrandi sits down she and the helm are suddenly surrounded in a corruscating numbus of purple flame sot through with black arcs of energy. There is a violent lurch and everyone except the catfolk and the xixchil is thrown from their feet. As they get to their feet they notice the sky outside the ship’s posts has gone completely silver. Khlasath cowers away from the window exclaiming “No, no, no, damnit! Not the Astral!”
As the silver light streams in through the windows Violetta feels momentarily light headed. While Xring tends the unconscious Ibid, Klasath explains that he is a pariah amongst his people and being on the Astral is a death sentence if they get caught. As they interrogate Moswen about what happened and discover she has no idea the githyanki explains some basics of the plane: lack of time, getting places by thinking about them, etc.
During the course of the conversation a change in Violetta’s chain, as it now has the aspect of both being made of silver and being of githyanki craftsmanship. As Klasath asks her about it a figure comes into view in the distance. In short order it resolves into a strange looking cube, a cube with spindly chicken like arms and legs as well as a strange almost comical face. Larren identifies it as a Modron, native to the plane of Mechanus, a creature of pure Law.
In a strangely stilted prose the creature introduces itself as Individual 23 and, they think, inquires why they are there. Closer view shows the creature seems to be made of a an odd mix of metal, stone, and flesh. All in all it almost seems more of a construct than a creature of flesh and blood. Under its arm it carries a stone tile about a foot square and it holds a staff in its left hand.
After a brief and slightly confusing conversation the Modron asks, “Interrogative: Participate in game?” After a bit of conversation they agree and the Modron tosses the board out into the Silver Void where it rapidly grows to huge proportions.
Upon attaining full size the crew are transported to the surface of the board where they have taken the place of several pieces on the white side of the board. Surrounding them are living chess pieces, the Chaturani from Mechanus. The Modron sits on a raised dias at the other end of the board directing the black side’s pieces.
A rapid, vicious game ensues. As the pieces move, animate, and fight Violetta feels a pulse at her temples and, suddenly released by the energies of the Astral, strikes out for the first time with an Ego Whip. As the strange, boxlike entity plunges headfirst into depressive lassitude Larren directs the game towards a rapid checkmate. In the course of the combat Lemmy had been “killed.” At its end he appears on a dias opposite the Modron beaten but barely alive.
As a booming voice from above announces “checkmate,” the black pieces defeated, including the checkmated King evaporate in amber light leaving behind three scrolls hanging suspended in mid air where they stood. Two are maps, in the same style as the map of Athas Violetta memorized a few weeks ago. One is labeled Dasaraches, The White Fortress. The other one is a city map emblazoned with the name Tyr.
In addition to the enigmatic maps is a scroll bearing a powerful incantaion, The Song of The Jammer. Combining elements of arcane, psionic and musical notation it seems to be a complex multi hour ritual that allows a smalljammer to breach dimensional barriers. At least that is the best they can gather from it.
After the game Klasath explains to Moswen how to rest in the Astral. Being a warlock she is unused to the energy draining effects of the helm. Being bereft of all her arcane abilities has rattled her a good deal. Individual 23 has, in the meantime, begun balling to himself while standing on the open deck of the Voidskimmer. He keeps saying that “Mad, mad, mad! Giotractuszeit mad will be,” wringing his strange spindly hands.
Acting as the native guide Klasath finally suggest the best place to seek shelter would be Crosswinds Keep in the Elserryn Cluster. As a githyanki he would have to hide in the ship, his race are forbidden there and constantly attempt to breach the settlement’s defenses.
He gives a detailed description to Xring and off they go. After five hours they come to a swirling array of color pools, portals to other planes that orbit in a complicated array much like and asteroid field. This is the Elserryn Cluster. Off on the other side of this maelstrom of color pools floats the enormous stone head of a dead god. Built o the back of the head is their destination, Crosswinds Keep.
As the smalljammer describes a sweeping arc around the swirling array a pair of seemingly normal hammerships move into view and hail them. A quick visit from the guards of the Lion Fleet allows them to be escorted inside the magical sphere of exclusion. Moswen immediately picks out the leader, Justin, and begins the now familiar batting of her eyes. Violetta rolls her own eyes and walks off. In short order the Voidskimmer is following the hammerships through the force shield and up to a dock on the side of the head.
While Klasath hides and the Modron sits in the hold talking to itself Ibid paces the perimeter keeping watch and guarding the ship. In the meantime the rest of the group make their way to the main keep where they are charged two gold to enter. After doing so they make their way to the common room and order a round of drinks.