The Ilumnos Series

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.”

His overly enthusiastic nature and peculiararities raise alarms for the already cautious party, but they enter nevertheless. He introduces himself as Claudesto, lord of the manor, and explains that many of the other guests have already arrived, but if they would like he can give them a tour of his home first. The group seems to think this is a good idea, they want to survey their surroundings so its the perfect excuse to do so. He brings them through long corridors leading to rooms adorned with exquisite art. He even shows them his chess room and arena. The chess room is a room that opens up to a blacony that over looks a huge chess board with man-sized stone pieces. The arena is shaped like an ampitheatre with 3 massive gated doors hiding three of the rarest beasts not only of this world, but of all the worlds, he boasts.

Finally they are brought to the ballroom. Between 50 and 100 costumed guests are dancing elegantly to orchestrated music. Claudesto tells them to mingle and he’ll be back to check on them. They take the oppertunity to try to gather some info from the guests. They want to know about Claudesto and this party and anything else relevant. It seems that the guests are all very delighted to have been invited because Claudesto throws only the most exclusive parties and they are the envy of the elite from all corners of the world. Strangely they notice that they never meet anyone who has ever been to a previous party, it seems that for all of the guests it is their first time here with Claudesto.

As the sun goes down the guests’ appearances begin to change and the group realizes that they are all dead. This is especially frightening to “Baran” who is dancing with one of the walking dead. The party freaks and the other guests begin to attack. A huge battle ensues with “Baran” using as many powerful area of effect spells as he can and the others mowing down zombies left and right. After all the guests are killed Claudesto appears clapping and laughing. He tells them how impressed his is with them, that they are definately going to provide him with much entertainment. He explains that to gain their freedom they will have to win three challenges, else they are doomed to spend eternity here like the guests they just slaughtered. They are teleported to the chessroom where the pieces begin to move and attack with swords, polearms, spells etc. These puppets of Claudesto prove a harder challenge, but the party fights their way through an assault of these stone golems and manages to take down the king, ending the game.

Finally they are teleported to the arena where some sort of spell (wall of force??) is blocking their escape, and it is coming from a spinning sphere above them, also protected by the force field. It is part of the power cell (or fire sphere), exactly what they needed from their world. Unfortunately for them more pressing matter are at hand. The first gate opens and out steps a strange looking skinny dog with tentacles. Claudesto introduces it as a blink beast, half blink dog half displacer beast. The dog is able to disappear and reappear instantaneously, and wherever it appears to be isn’t where it even is, for it is an illusion, a displacesment of light making it appear somehwere else. This makes it very hard to hit the creature and nearly impossible to target with spells. The second creature they must fight is even worse. It is called a Ta’naari Knight,it has a hairy apelike body with a bears face and reptilian wings. It weilds a chaotic greatsword and immediately charges Availin Lucretcia, due to his mixed heritage— only recently revealing to the group his devilish tiefling blood— he is among the archenemies of the ta’naari. This monstrous beast takes little damage from their attacks and nearly kills Availin with a few hits. The group puts all its efforts into keeping him alive and keeping the beast away from him, but it is enraged simply by his sight and won’t quit. It takes some high level magic and many powerful blows to bring down this fierce fiend.

Finally the last creature they must face is probably the most frightening thing any of them has ever seen, Claudesto calls it a Diamond Dragon. It looks a bit like a triceratops without the horns because of the large frill on its head but also has spikey plates along its spine and a spiked tail like a stegasaurus. The beast simply charges at the group full speed, they (luckily) manage to dodge out of the way, and it slams into the wall nearly brining it down. This gives “Baran” an idea. He realizes that the spell holding them in their with this creature might be broken if dealt a large blow by this beast. He tells the party this and Pavlik Shadehaven, being a dragon shaman, taunts the dragon in draconic, enraging it and charging a point along the force wall them dodging out of way last second. The dragon head tears a crack into the force wall and send sparks up it till it just completely goes out. The dragon realizes it can now get the one who imprisoned it and chases after Caludesto.

This is the last they see of him. They take the outerlayer of the powersphere and head back to the Ilumnos Machine.



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