Participants, in no particular order:
I'm summarizing the episodes I DM'd, feel free to expand on some of the anecdotes, or whatever. This is just the flavor info from my notebook, and the stuff I remembered as amusing the party. - StephGrush
Episode 1: Glass to Sand
DM: Steph Location: The Andes, where a group of grad students are illegally excavating some recently discovered ruins. Back story: An oil fire has just occurred in the cooking tent, igniting some of the dynamite being immorally used to illegally excavate the recently discovered ruins. The party gathers to pick up the pieces of some artifacts destroyed in the explosion, but as they bend down to touch them...
There is an explosion. You feel yourself hurtling outwards. Then, there is an explosion...
The party is introduced to the sundered realms via a series of very brief stays on very small sub-planes. With each plane, their garb and equipment changed (including one plane where everyone had godly magic equipment that was utterly useless for the problem at hand, of course). The Plane of Flesh was mildly disturbing.
Episode 2: The Touchstone
DM: Steph Location: A jungled valley populated by numerous lizard-beasts, some of whom control the weather.
a clear, high voice, possessed of an otherworldly beauty, pierces the morning birdsong. a brief cloudburst ensues.
The party gets some time to get used to being Somewhere Else, the clerics have a religion introduced to them, and everyone gets a chance to train. Also, there are lizards. The Bard accidentally steals the Touchstone.
Episode 3: Undead Masterpiece Theatre
DM: Brian Location: Somewhere with undead.
The party encounters their first truly unnatural creatures. Robin makes some skeletons die, and we all look at her in a terrified manner. Robin discovers the effect of the Touchstone.
Episode 4: Attack of the Cliches
DM: Brian Location: Forest, river, town. Fairly normal.
The party fights some orc pirates. On the river Saskatchewan. Because sometimes, it really is just like D&D. Robin hallucinates a hammer.
Episode 5: The Madness of the Moon
DM: Steph Location: A mid-size town, with fairly serious upper-class contingent.
Lloth forgive me, I almost forgot my daily prayer and torture session!
The party enters a mid-size town, and quickly becomes embroiled in the intrigues of the nobles. At least they're getting paid for it.
Episode 6: The Immortal Lands
DM: Steph Location: The realm of the fey.
Have you ever known a jester who did not hate a good joke?
In a forest oddly devoid of rot, several party members ("coincidentally", those who missed the session) disappear. Later, the Queen's jester shows up to inform the party that they have been kidnapped by the Queen. They are given a draught "favored by the southerners of the realm, to aid in the restisting of poisons and mental compulsions", to give their companions, should they succeed in rescuing them.
Episode 7: To Chase a Star
DM: Steph Location: The City of the Artificers
The party appears in a fenced square garden. A strange shape has blocked out the sun, and the townspeople are staring up in fear and confusion.
It emerges that the strange shape is the Mirach, the lost spaceship belonging to the ruler of the city. The party, using the city's handy flying cars, goes out to the Mirach on a salvage mission, meeting a group of criminals. An aerial dogfight ensues. Later, a 50% discount on magic items results in much elemental branding of weaponry.
Episode 8: H4x0r?, and Other Gods of Magic
DM: Steph Location: The Alteration Field
I mean no harm. I've come to offer you a trade...
The party appears in a forest and camps for the night. In the morning, it emerges that the cleric has run off with some powerful guy, taking all the collected artifacts with her. Locate Object insists that the touchstone is to the north, even after we go farther north than its range. A knight shows up with orders to kill the party. Once he is captured, he is forced to lead the party back to the castle. At the castle, much fiddling with the nature of reality is done before duking it out with the cleric, some dire wolves, and some imaginary guards.
Episode 9: Endgame - The Shadow Chase
DM: Steph Location: The shattered planes
The air in the tunnel is getting too hot to breathe as you proceed downward, but you still hear footsteps ahead of you, and the Touchstone pulls you forward.
After a failed interrogation, the party uses the malleability of reality to call upon the Sage, who tells them much about a previous wielder of the artifact. The party also learned that one of the benefit/dangers of the artifact is the chance (if you desire the power or if your will fails) you become an avatar of Mesos (dead god of magic, creator of the artifact)! Yay!
So anyway, the party also learns (partly through Ariel's backfired dominate person attempt and partly through the Sage) that 'Vrable' is the artifact, and of a certain artifact of wish. Then the current Avatar leads them on a merry chase through the multiverse before going to ground at a ball game of the gods...
I'll let the party finish this story, if they like... And now I will interject.
Right then! The chase basically took us back through the realms we covered in the first episode (e.g. walking on the clouds, the Plane of Flesh, the fire tunnels, and the ball games of the Gods, with only the Sage's realm skipped) and the train, and the forest, and the glass tunnel, and the maze - be *glad* I didn't make you run the maze again.. Upon arriving at the ballgame, we taunted Mesos's avatar a bit (he was playing, and on the winning team too). Apparently he has a few levels of Bard, because he cast a couple of thunderstorms at us. So, after the ballgame, we offer to replace their ball with a new one. With some encouragement. Had we mentioned that they play with severed heads? Roll for initiative, monkey boy. One of the gods begins taking bets, 15 to 1 against the party.
Being a god of magic, Mesos gets lots of spells. He never did attack us physically, unless you count the touch attack he did to Ed late in the game. The first thing he did was to give Ed happy feet (Otto's Irresistible Dance). Since Ed has dropped his bastard sword, Chainmaille gives him the wish-artifact (which also functions as an appropriate +2 weapon (e.g. dagger for chainmaille, bastard sword for Ed)). Ed immediately stops dancing. Hmm. Right then - Ed and Chainmaille engage Mesos, at which point Chainmaille discovers the beauty of getting two sneak attacks every round (isn't greater invisibility fun? you mean being flanking. Greater invisibility this -- he's a god of magic.) and we slowly determine that Mesos's AC is 25. In the meantime, Ariel is turned to stone, having cast all of her improve-the-fighter spells except the (useless against magic) Stoneskin, as well as an empowered fireball. Mmm-mmm! Then Chainmaille gets dominated. Oops. Well, Mesos is busy dealing with Ed, so Chainmaille is just told to run away. He does - 30 feet to hide behind the statue of Ariel. At this point, Adrian turns himself into a fighter ("What? Strength affects your to-hit as well? My god, strength does everything!") and joins the fray. And then gets banished. Oops. So we have Ed, valiantly duking it out with the avatar of a god, and Chainmaille, hiding behind a dramatically-posed statue of Ariel (the effects of Prayer apparently allowed her to take up a dramatic pose). Ed fights on, is running low on hitpoints, and...
"Rolling for attack, at +19 and +14...well. The first one hits, and does...19 damage. The second one, let's see if I critically miss. Oh. I critically miss."
Keep in mind that he's using the wish artifact here, which has protected him from the dancing spell, a Power-Word Sleep spell, and a Keep-Out-Of-My-Personal-Space spell. And now it's lying on the ground.
"Mesos bends down to pick up the crystal spike. You get an attack of opportunity."
Which misses. But now it's Ed's turn again...he picks up his trusty, "mundane" +2 bastard sword of burning (it would only be a bastard sword of burning were it not for the Greater Magic Weapon spell). Ed hears faint chanting in his head. Roll for attack...a hit! 18 damage.
"Well, you would have almost killed him - he has 2 hitpoints left. But someone cast a weak 2nd or 3rd level cleric spell on you, enhancing your damage...he's unconscious." (Keep in mind that we're surrounded by other gods, who have been variously cheering, placing bets, eating popcorn, etc.)
Woo hoo! Now we just have to figure out how to destone Ariel and free Adrian, but at least nobody died. And those two difficulties turned out to be not so hard once we got the artifact put together and working, thanks to the Sage's help. Do a little exposition and a lot of protecting Ariel from Mesos's mind control once she starts remaking the universe, and everyone lives happily ever after. until next time........