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The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 20: The Chaos Reversed

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Thank you, come again!
Is this not the most honest face you could ever imagine?

Welcome back to another segment of the popular game show 'Whose Chaos Is It Anyway?'! When last we left our group they were about to build a tribute to Jock Cousteau, undoubtedly in land shark corpses.

Calith and Zubat cast water breathing, as planned. It was the last thing to go so.

As the group wandered in over their heads they ran into few problems. Around hour 6 they encountered a group of Locathah apparently skinning a recent kill. As they sighted the tourists they grabbed their spears and held them at the ready. Now, considering Velic's track record thus far it hadn't even occurred to me that he wouldn't attack them. I'm still not sure why he didn't attack them. But he didn't.

And I'd had it all planned out. Once the party attacked them the Locathah hunters would have scattered. Half an hour later they would have returned, towing a Giant Lake Octopus for the group to fight with them. That would teach them to let Velic think with his weapons . . .

But he didn't. Wait a minute. It just occurred to me as I was writing this that he's only ever attacked people who tried to talk to him. Apparently threats with weapons weren't in the same league of insult as cordial conversation in his book. Something is definitely broken within that man.

So where was I? Ah yes, the not attacking. So there was nothing for it but for the group to talk to them. They were so polite the hunters even invited them back to their grotto for a meal. Of course the group got lost. And found by the hunters. And had a wonderful meal of crappie and kelp. Well, they ate it either way. They were also able to learn of an entrance to an abandoned copper dragon's lair, and negotiated for a guide to help them locate same. Not to mention an agreement with the tribe to care for their horses. And all it cost them were a few stones with light permanency on them. Tricksy little hobbitses . . .

The journey to the underwater entrance passed without incident. Inside they suffered the products of a typical copper dragon's sense of humor as detailed here. Most of it went fairly scripted for a change.

I had a lot of fun with Vex running smack into the illusory wall, Wiley Coyote style.

The group used Scrambles to pull them through the greased tube like it was a ride a the fair.

The most important thing we learned as the group confronted the phantasmal merchant was that I can't speak with an Indian accent. It was sad really. However each, did eventually make the trade. Once the illusion was uncovered Vex gathered the duplicate weapons up and burned them before throwing them into the lake from whence they'd come.

And, shockingly, no one attacked the evil radiating shadow duplicate at the end. In fact Velic actually stopped Zornesk from attacking it on sight.

But the absolutely craziest thing about this little maze (aside from the effort required to remove the gnome from the illusory gold) had to be Velic's response to the lever trap. After several people having pulled the lever Velic couldn't help but wonder where the magic of the illusion came from. So, in a burst of vandalism he pried it off the wall and placed it on the ground. He then created a makeshift lever out of two rods in his bag and pulled it.

/*Of course I hadn't actually planned where the spell came from when I created this little jest, but I could see where he was going. And frankly, I found it hilarious.*/

Again, the horrific illusion manifested, this time coming from the floor at Velic's feet. Chuckling to himself at the possibilities, he slid it into his bag.

As the group ascended the steps to Aaronarra's (You may have noted the naming convention here; Anauroch, Anauria, Aaronarra. Believe it or not I didn't name them. These were all found in the lore of faerun) den they found a sigil in the shape of the sign of Asgorath with writing on the back that said: 'In the land of Plain golds , the city of setting flame comes 135 Degrees to where Adamorandor’s greats shrine rests'

The shadow also assumed the shape of Aaronarra and answered several questions for the group.

It confirms that the story of Garl Glittergold is probably correct. It says that the kobold Kurtlemak had been having issues with gnomes stealing from him and had resorted to sealing them in gems. He admits that it was more than possible that Garl stumbled on this, positively leapt at the wrong conclusions, and attacked the kobold by collapsing the cave. But it did not know for certain what happened after that. After the collapse he did scry the four gods breaking Garl's ax apart, but had no other knowledge of what happened.

When asked how the dragon could know what Garl might have done it explains that they'd been good friends and partners in crime for many a good jest. He also said that Aaronarra had a vision that centered on this group of six adventurers. Two were predominant in the vision. One radiated a magnificent light while the other was shrouded in darkness. He could tell that the two were pulling on the threads of fate of the rest of the group but not why. He was certain that this was a turning point in history, and that what became of the world rested largely on their choices. He also congratulated them on not falling victim to the folly that a creature's aura must radiate true, and warns them that auras are a useful tool but hardly foolproof. Realizing that this was the group of the vision he gave them back their weapons.

They then left the way they'd come, actually running into another quizzy mart on the way out. They had barely enough time to form annoyed looks on their faces before the illusory shopkeeper said "Uh oh, repeat customers!" and vanished.

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