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The Ilumnos Series

Chapter 8- Temple and Crypt

Having retrieved the inner-piece of the third “fire sphere”, the instrument which gives power to one of the arms which loads color crystals into the Ilumnos Machine, the party retuns to the machine in hopes of loading all three color crystals, Blue, Red, and Yellow, into the machine and traveling to what they hope will be the final world, where they hope they will find a way home.

Hopes are dashed however after the party engineer “Tank” gets the machine ready and it asks for a password! It seems they are trapped. Since the machine is not sending power to any crystals at the moment they are technically in the Grey World. They search all around the Ilumnos Building for a clue to the password but find nothing.

Just then they hear bells… church bells!

The road to the temple is long but very straight. Leaving the center of the city they walk past the many streets which circle the Ilumnos Building. Finally, on the edge of the outer ring stands the large stone building which is the temple.

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Chapter 7- Heavy Hearts

PART 1 – LOST SOULS
Putting the yellow and red disc-shaped crystals into the Ilumnos Machine the party completes the last 2-disc combination and prepares themselves for what unimaginable possibilities lay ahead in the Orange World.

The Ilumnos Machine sits atop a pyramid with a flat top, overlooking a vast expanse of sand in every direction. A few other pyramids rise up from afar, but they are few and far between, and the only signs of permenant buildings at all, there being small temporary clumps of tents here and there. The only other thing this desert has to offer beside more sand is small groups of people, some even alone, all wandering toward the same direction.

The party makes it’s way inside and down the pyramid. On the bottom level they are met with a shrine of sorts. Just then they hear voices, probably two, a male and a female, coming into the shrine. They meet Arsinoe, a cleric of the Gods of this world, female in a her 20’s with brown skin and dark hair and eyes. She is wearing chain mail and carries a staff. Her companion is Seth, a male in his 30’s, short also dark complexion, wearing leather and carrying a short sword, whip, and cross bow. He seems much more irreverant than his pious companion. There also seems to be something odd and unspoken about their relationship.

Arsinoe and Seth join them in travelling to a camp, for she explains that this desert is very dangerous and there can be safety in numbers, though it also attracts attention. Arsinoe explains that she is trying to regain favor with the Gods, for something she did when she was alive….

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Chapter 6- Claudesto's Mansion

Faced with the choice of traveling to and exploring the Green World or the Orange World, the party decides to explore the Green World, so they put the green crystal into the Ilumnos Machine and activate it, sending brilliant green light into the sky through the glass dome above. Outside is a forest, with no signs of intelligent life other than a single road. They follow the road for many miles until they see a huge mansion on a hill ahead. They approach the mansion and knock on the door…

A short man with dark hair wearing a very fine tuxedo and top hat swings the door open and through a shining toothy smile exclaims, “Welcome! Welcome! It’s wonderful to have more guests. These costumes are fantastic, not quite what I had in mind, but just fantastic! … Come in, Come in.”

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Chapter 5- Library and Gardens

After getting the four digit code which provides them access to two of the four buildings in the Grey World the party enters The Gardens. It is obvious that the former residents of the city used some sort of technology to grow food in this large building. It also also pretty obvious that there was some sort of sudden destruction of the plants here. Traces of ash and hollow empty branches and roots scatter the now overgrown with weed field. It is not obvious what the disaster was or if it was an accident of done on purpose.

The library looks a bit like a typical library, housed with tons of books that are completely incomprehensible to the party. However, in the center of the main room there is a strange domed machine that the party manages to turn on. Inside the dome a small humanoid grasshopper creature appears seemingly out of thing air. It welcomes them to the library and asks them what they would like to know about. The party begins probing the creature, and it answers within it’s capacity. It is an interface with some sort of computer like system that houses the knowledge of the entire library and more. They are called the Lumar.

The Lumar were a very advanced race that was able to unlock the secrets of light magic/technology and travel to worlds they could never reach on foot or even by spaceship (if they had that technology). The Lumar discovered that they were immune to a strange disease that seemed to be popping up in many different worlds, and later realised that though immune they were somehow carrying it and infecting countless lives and destruving whole civilizations. Realizing their destructive role they decided the right thing to do would be to quarantine themselves, so they created this space between wolrds, the Grey World, and locked temselves away for 1247 years, which is a holy number to them, for it was believed that the disease would be gone by then and that it would be a good time to come back to the worlds they formerly inhabited. Tragedy struck when many years later a strange outbreak occured that the Lumar believes was the same strange diease which they had spread world to world years earlier. It spread to their food supply and they burned and destroyed it to keep it from killing everyone, but it was too late, they were down to their last numbers. Those still unaffected sent the infected to another color world to be quarantined in hopes to save their grey world habitat, but their numbers dwindled down to one final Lumar who left a message telling of the descent of his species.

Holding the blue, red, and yellow crystals to the Ilumnos Machine but still missing a power source for the third arm/slot they are faced with the choice of going into the green or orange world….

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Chapter 4- 3D Maze

The party puts the yellow crystal into the Ilumnos Machine. There appears only a familiar door, the one with the yellow rune on it they saw in the Blue World and the Red World. This time they are able to open the door, hinting to them the nature of the rune, and foreshadowing of the tri-dimensional connections they will be navigating soon enough. The door leads to a short hall with another door at the end. This door has two unlit lights above it, one red and one blue. Nothing the party engineer “Tank” can do seems to have any effect on the locked door and the two lights.

It is suggested that they check out the yellow-runed door in the red and blue worlds to see if now that they have opened it here if it will be open there as well. As they suspected the yellow-runed door is open in both worlds. In those places the door leads to a dead end, about where the second door would be in the Yellow World. Instead of a door though, there is only a single switch. When flipped, the switches light up their respective lights above the door. When both lights are lit the door is unlocked.

The party now has access to The Three-Dimesional Compound.

Yellow map new

Exploring this compound the party realizes that the basic structure of this compound exists in three different worlds, though the contents vary greatly in each. The Yellow World’s compound seems to have been built by some technologically advanced race, most likely the same who built the Ilumnos Machine. The compound which exists far below the ocean waters of the Blue World is a bit of a mystery, but will be referred to as the Deep Blue compound. Far under the mysterious ancient ruins in the Red World which the party guessed may have been home to both the race which built the Ilumnos Machine and the gnomes, existing below the volcanic mountains is what will be referred to as the Dark Red compound, whick must have been built to provide steam power to the the inhabitants of the ruined city above.

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Chapter 3- Time Stands Still

PART 1 – THE REALMS

Having retrieved the missing power cell (or “fire sphere” as it has been called) the group is now ready to power up the second level of the Ilumnos Machine and combine the power of the color crystals they possess (blue and red) so that they can travel to another new world. Powering up the machine with this combo produces a brilliant deep purple light that brings them to what will be called the Purple World.

They make their way over to the exit of the room, but as they approach the door a spell trap is triggered! First a hold person type of spell goes off, temporarily paralyzing all members of the group save for Availin and Pavlik. Then suddenly a web spell fills the space around the door, making it very difficult for the two remaining characters to get to their comrades. They manage to pull them out of the web, but in a short amount of time they hear the clanging of armor, as if dozens of fully armored soldiers or guards are marching down a long hall. Next a single figure steps through the door and disspells the web. He introduces himself as Virote, the court Wu-Jen, the most powerful spell caster in the most powerful realm of the land. He is a Moon Elf, a tall (around 6’) slender elf with snow white skin. He wears plain thick white robes with a purple trim. Three long strands of hair, one from the top, the right, and the left of his head, are pulled tightly back into a long golden ring about 6" long, with the remainder flowing out like a pony tail, on an otherwise bald head. His yellow eyes scan the situation and he carries himself with the utmost composure. He explains that they have intruded into the royal palace and for their safety he suggests that they willing give themselves up for questioning to the Batukhan.

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Chapter 2- Enter Lavarus

PART 1 – NAER DO’EH

After the red crystal is inserted into the machine the sky through the glass dome above them turns a stormy jumble of sooty black and menacingly dark red. There is a familiar door with a yellow rune in the same place, which will still not open and a new door. “Tank” disarms a firetrap on this door, but fails to detect a small wire which sets off an alarm far away, which they do not notice yet.

They walk up a long spiral staircase and out into a world that stands in stark contrast with the Blue World. They are atop a mountain range populated with numerous active volcanoes. Hot air carries embers, ash and smoke from afar, making the atmosphere rather uncomfortable. They are in a small city which is a scaled down model of the city in the Grey World, with one obvious difference; many of the buildings are of a diminutive size. The city also stands abandoned and in ruins. A search of the city indicated that it must have been abandoned long ago, but only destroyed more recently. Where walls have been brought down, with huge gaping holes through them, and roofs collapsed in, the overgrowth is much thinner.

They find a small path, that has almost been completely overgrown, but they manage to follow it down the mountain. During their descent they come across a metal construct that has a humanoid form, but is only the skeletal structure. It is made of all black metal and has only sockets for eyes. There are no obvious mechanical parts, no gears or screws, no seams of any kind. This baffles the engineer Tank, who has never seen an automaton without mechanical parts. He examines it for a while, but due to the considerable weight of the thing, plus the fact that it really creeps out the entire group, they leave it behind and press forward.

They make notice of and head toward a small village in the valley below, opposite the side they are on. Getting closer, they notice it is less of a village and more like a refugee camp. Their homes are tents and the people all look poor and wretched. There are no permanent structures or signs of cultural achievements or any kind. It is a sad sight. They are noticed by stunned residents, all of whom are gnomes.

One very old gnome meets them in the valley before they can reach the encampment. He introduces himself as Krubblemeyer, the oldest resident of the village of Na’er Doeh (which is gnomish for “almost home”). He has a long fu-manchu-type beard and is missing one eye, which has scarred over, as well as many teeth. He looks sickly and coughs a lot. He is overcome by curiously about the group. He wants to know who they are and where they come from and everything else. He knows nothing of an ancient ruined city in the mountains, explaining that his people never leave the valley. There is a nervousness in the way he speaks and acts which makes him a little suspicious, not to mention that he deliberately avoids questions regarding why his people never leave the valley and other things about their situation.

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Chapter 1- Fang of Fenris

The world before them is a dark forest located on the shore. The air is cold and the earth and trees are slighly frosted over. There is no immediate sign of any civilization. After waundering into the forest the group notices plumes of smoke, a sign of intelligent life. On their way toward a hopeful encounter with someone who could tell them something about what is going on, at the least what world they are in, they are ambushed by a pack of wolves. Outmatched they are saved by a party of hunters from the village of Gamla, the place they were heading toward. The hunters are shocked to see other people, and even more so by the sight of Baran, a sun elf, who they believe must be from a place called Alfheimer. Pavlik Shadehaven, who is a halfling, they find strange but funny. One of the hunters quips, “Well we know he isn’t from Jotanheimer!”

The group is escorted through the village where curious yet frightened villagers peer at them from their huts and to a small circle where the village men have gathered, donning weapons and armor, and the village elder, Krugmar, is awaiting them. He asks many questions about who they are, where they are from and what their intentions are. A handful of runes are thrown into the air in an attempt to discern the fate of this rare meeting. Krugmar gathers some together and they spell Fang of Fenris … The exact meaning of the runes is left unknow to them at this time. He tells the group that they are to be guests of the village and are welcome to food and other hospitalities.

Pavlik meets a small girl of about 9 or 10 named Halldara who is charmed by his small stature and wit. She offeres him a gift, a small flower she tells him she found the day after the Night of Black Moon, or eclipse. She tells him that her father got upset at her for going into the forest due to the fact that there are wolves around which have been viciously attacking their people lately, so he took the flowers away, but she snuck this one out, but wants him to have it. No one knows at this time the flower’s magical properties.

Baran speaks with a man named Falki who has odds and ends, and has even traveled far outside the village in hopes of finding some information. He discovers that it is believed that there are no other people anywhere else in the world, and that the villagers believe they are living in a post-end-times period called Ragnarok, in which a deity called Odin is killed by a deity they refer to as The Fenris Wolf. It is believed that after killing the mighty Odin, he trvaled to their world, which they call Midgard, and hid in a cave on the island just of the coast, which they now refer to as Fengard.

The next day the group notices that Krugmar is wearing a necklace, a silver chain holding a red disc-like crystal. It is obviously the crystal they need to leave this place and move on to another world, which might bring them a step closer to home. They speak to Krugmar, hoping to obtain the crystal. He explains that it is an artifact of their people, passed down from ancient times, and could never be given away, however it could be traded for an artifact of their people of equal value. They are sent to the island of Fengard to retrieve the fang of the Fenris Wolf, which is at least equally as historic and valuable, not to mention legend says it has the power to control wolves, which will stop the vicious attacks that have been pestering them.

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Prequel - Ilumnos

Four strangers from four strange worlds each stumble upon a magical door (thanks to the lead of an exotic and mysterious grasshopper). The door seems to lead into another world. Whether it was curiousity or an enchanment that got the best of them, they each decided to pass through the door and into this strange world. They each find themselves among large stone buildings neatly orangized into circles getting smaller and smaller towards the center of the city where a cobblestone road leads to a large domed building which is also the tallest building around. Thick snowflakes fall peacefully, but never collect on the ground or any other surface, leaving behind no trace of their existance. Strangest of all is that while there is no sun, moon, or anyother type of light source present, a dim ambient light fills the air, making everything it touches glow faintly but with its touch it drains all color. They stand in an empty world of gray.

After some exploration of the city the four strangers stumble across one another in the center, by the huge domed building, which has the word ‘Ilumnos’ etched over its large door. After some introductions and conversation the four enter the building to find it is full of giant gears, moving parts, wires, and tubes. The machine inside is part of the structure of the building, which is itself the biggest thing in the city. The center of the building is a control panel and a large glass tube which stretches up almost to the top of the glass dome, pointing toward a large clear crystal which seems to magically float above the tube.

The only one among them who has any proficiency with machines, a man called Tank, figures out how to turn the machine on. Parts start moving and the building is filled with the deafening sound of mechanical ambiance. A beam of light shines inside the tube, but nothing seems to happen. After searching the room, one of the four, Availin , finds a disc shaped crystal which actually shines blue in this gray world! They find a slot to put the disc in and send it into the tube. when the light hits it, it turns blue and hits the crystal up top which sends blue light into the world outside through the glass dome.

Strangely the door they entered through has disappeared and a new door appears on a different wall, and a large flight of stairs on the opposite side. The door, which has a strange yellow rune on it, appears to be magically locked, so they head up the stairs. They climb for a long time until they get to a door on the ceiling, which they discover is actually a door on the ocean floor, about 3-4 feet deep. They step out of the door and enter a new world.

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