Crosswinds Keep in The Elserryn Cluster, Astral Plane.
While Klasath the Githyanki hides aboard the smalljammer with Ibid standing guard and the enigmatic modron talking to itself in non sequiters down in the cargo bay the remainder of the crew have a drink or two and eaves drop on the surrounding conversation in Crosswinds Keep proper.
Klasath realizes fairly quickly after they leave that he is breathing. That means time is passing. Tales say that sometimes the rules change when one is on the corpse of a power. Just because the Athar denies the divinity of the powers does not mean he is stupid enough to deny their reality bending might.
Meanwhile in the Keep’s common room Moswen, Larran and Xring are spending quality time at the bar trying out a variety of Sensate sense stones. Moswen in particular is enamored of the fleeting glimpses of other memories. She buys about a dozen stones that contain the memory of being a daisy in a Bytopian field. Violetta meanwhile has wandered to the adjoining chamber where a bard is performing. The song is the story of a succubus turned to the path of good, a redeemed soul rising from the pit of the Abyss. Scratching her horns she snorts at the subject matter.
A guardsman wearing the same uniform as those on the hammership that escorted them in approaches the group at the bar as they are trying wavoosh, an intoxicating vapor cocktail from the Elemental Plane of Air. He asks them to gather their crew as the owner would like a word with them. As they begin to go looking for the other crew members a guard comes running in from outside yelling “Battle stations! Battle stations!” The various Lion Guards as well as many of the assumed spellcasters head outside the keep.
As Violetta, HIssarmau and Moswen follow the guard they are greeted by an incredible sight. About three hundred feet out, at the edge of the Sphere of Exclusion they followed the hammership through, no less than six Githyanki astral ships are attacking the force shield with fervor. Even more disturbing is the fact that they are backed up by three red dragons with Githyanki knights riding them. The force shield is awash with black laced energies and the flames of the dragon’s breath weapons to the point where it almost completely obscures the Silver Void itself. Moswen joins up with the spellcasters asking how she can help.
Several of the patrons of the common room have also drifted outside, Violetta hears one exclaim, “Oh you should see this! Its always spectacular!” After fifteen minutes or so when it is solidly clear that the Githyanki are making no headway against the protective magics people begin to drift back inside.
The crew, except for Ibid on the ship and Klasath who is in hiding, are gathere together and brought to meet one of the Keep’s owners, Elthure Vildenof a human who seems to be in his late fifties. He has a gray beard that comes to the middle of his chest, and he wears spectacles.
Violetta and Larren are both aware of tales about him. A wizard and a scholar, Elthure Vildenof originally hails from Thay (Toril, Realmspace). He was once on the path to becoming a Red Wizard, but then turned his back on his order and suffered the inevitable assassination attempts that followed. When the Stalwart Lions, his adventurig group, left Faerûn he disappeared from common knowledge. From what Klasath said on the way here it was the Stalwart Lions that created Crosswinds Keep.
Vildenof asks about the smalljammer and its illusion. As the group try to feign ignorance another guards enters bringing Casmir and Endora with him, bikering all the way. Once Violetta is able to get a word in edgewise she asks Casimir what happened.
He remembers nothing between being knocked unconscious at Lavinia’s on Dragon Rock and awaking amidst the wreckage of an Elven Man O War in the Silver Void, along with his mother and several Pirates of Gith. What woke him up was a hammership that had stopped to investigate the wreckage. The ship was one of the Lion Fleet, and the two were rescued and brought to Crosswinds Keep.
After drilling them more on the nature of the ship, Vildenof sits back silently and listens as the group begin to discuss their situation. After awhile servants bring in food and wine and Vildenof excuses himself to chek on the siege.
Suspecting eavesdropping the group proceed to have a heated debate in writing. Larren reveals that he has tapped the universal unsconscious for information and has learned several things. The smalljammers are indeed young incarnations of the Spelljammer. When a Spelljammer dies one of them grows to take its place. He also says that some believe the Spelljammer to be one of the Ancient Brethren, a group of beings beyond even the gods themselves. It is an obscure reference, and one that no one else there has ever heard mention of. He says that in some esoteric circles The Serpent who taught Vecna of Grayspace and the Lady of Pain in Sigil are also rumored to be amongst the ranks of the Ancient Bretheren, at least amongst those that have even heard the name…
Sounds of combat outside draw their attention. Lemmy breaks off a table leg while the others all look for improvised weaponry. Violetta cast invisibility on herself and peeks into the hallway where she sees a furless dog like creature with mucus covered purple skin and a frill of tentacles writhing around its massive jaws. She very quietly retreats back into the room and shuts the door again. After a moment of preparation the group burst from the room and attack. Unfortunately for them the kigrid is no longer occupying the hallway, instead it has been replaced by an Illithid.
As they enter the hallway the Ilithid attack with its mind blast knocking Ibid, Lemmy and Endora Syzygy unconscious. As the catfolk monk closes with blinding speed the ilithid manages to grab on to her with two of its four tentacles and begins drawing her head towards its mouth. Moswen manages to nail it with her eldritch blast and Hissarmau breaks free. After a brief melee the illithid is seriously injured and plane shifts out. The group immediately make for the main entrance of the Keep.
As Our Heroes leave the building they are greeted by an imposing image. Inside the force shield there is what looks like a portal with stars showing behind it. In the foreground is an Illithid Nautiloid floating just off the bow of the deceased Power’s brow. Outside the sphere the Githyanki numbers, and the number of red dragons has skyrocketed. The Gith forces throw themselves at the force screen with mouting fury, driven almost berserk b the illithid prescence.
As the spectacle rages before them they take a quick head count and realize they left Lemmy and Ibid unconscious in the meeting room along with Casimir’s mother Endora. Larran and Casimir go back for them. Moving with the lightning speed of the Astral Plane they arrive in short order only come upon four illithids collecting the bodies of their friends. The tentacle faced horrors turn and unleash their mind blasts. Casimir and Larren join the ranks of their captives.
After getting themselves to the smalljammer the remaining members of the group peer from the portholes to observe the titanic forces being unleashed at the Crosswinds Keep force shield. After a few moments wait Klasath and Moswen decide it has been too long and head back to the meeting room looking for the others. When they arrive the Casimir and Larren are laid out in a line along with the still unconscious victims of the first mind blast. An Illithid and a Kigrid are in the room, as the two enter they get caught in the mind blasts and know no more.
Violetta, Hissarmau, Xring, Individual 23, and Endora Syzygy peer apprehensively out of the Voidskimmer’s porthole at the eerie silence on the dead gods head.