Here's a look at what's coming...
Note to my players: KEEP OUT. Spoilers ahead!
In the space between sessions, the party received a divine message, theoretically from Nityada, one of the lesser gods. Stripped down to the essentials the message said: with time broken the gods have been denied access to the mundane world. Since humans caused the problem, they must also, somehow, find the solution. The only power potent enough to break the seal and free Scorborax is Bharshina, the chaos at the end of sea, sky, and earth. The seal needs to be dropped into the Maw of Bharshina, Vishka. Luckily at least one party member knows that Vishka is a volcano on the eastern coast, deep in the Twisted Lands.
Yeah, it's Lord of the Rings all over again.
So the party is facing a 200+ mile journey through the weird no-time realm, which has proven quite a challenge to me. I've come up with three main elements that are going to come into play this session:
The Big Bad Guy
The party aren't as alone as they believe. Primordial beings -- the sentient forces of nature that keep things running -- are still around, and one of these is a big part of the world scene in the PCs's original timeline. Ash-tep and his Kingdom of Light, a powerful theocracy, threaten most of the known world with invasion and conquest. What the party doesn't know yet is that Morgot, the main primordial of corruption, is a big part of the Kingdom's drive for power. The powers that should be keeping Morgot in check, like Scorborax, have been imprisoned, the whole great Cataclysm / corruption of magic thing, leaving it free to wreak havoc. During the Cataclysm Morgot possessed, Hakish Lotem, a powerful necromancer of the Lost Kingdoms, and together they've been building their power base ever since (making Lotem about 900 years old).
Lotem / Morgot have access to powerful magic (hey if you're possessed by the primordial force of corruption, corrupting magic doesn't bother you much). They'll be putting in a personal appearance, and sending various minions after the party in hopes of obtaining the seal and harnessing its power for their own ends. The party will face some serious challenges from these minions: Lotem / Morgot have enslaved several lesser primordial beings, twisting them into dangerous foes wielding deadly power.
- Dinosaurs! - A trip to the ancient past, offering a one-off combat encounter and a chance to resupply.
- Entropy - At the end of time, the world is almost run down. Weird energy scavengers roam a cold and dark realm, drawn to warmth and life.
- The Enemy of my Enemy - The party is dumped in the middle of a conflict they have no part of. Will they choose a side?
- Catacylsm: First Hand Knowledge - The Cataclysm almost destroyed the world. Now the party gets to live through part of it first hand!
Of course the culmination of the adventure is a trip into the Maw of Bharshina itself. If things go as planned, the party will arrive with enemies on their tail and time running out. They'll have to face off against the Guardian of the Maw, pursuing foes, and the physical challenges of the volcano itself. Hopefully they can succeed, because if they don't, well, I don't know what happens next!
If things go anything like I plan, breaking the seal will free Scorborax and return the time flow to something approaching normalcy. The party will get snapped back to their own time frame, and might even be rewarded for their actions -- having a time primordial as a friend might be a good thing. Or not. However it plays out, I expect there will be changes in the world, perhaps major, perhaps minor. The biggest change will be knowledge. The party has drawn the attention of Morgot / Lotem, and that can't be good.
Public domain images courtesy NSBP Library - Cool stuff here!