In-world dates: 18-20 Ilvin 720 TR [second week of winter]
Daylight hours: 9
Moon: waning gibbous (full moon was on 15 Ilvin)
You are in the Deep Gnome enclave of Djebel (pop. 500), where you meet some old friends: Juan's girlfriend Adompha and the Ivinian warrior Alexandra.
With Cyrkanosh, Djebel's headwoman, at your side, you use your scrying crystal to place a conference call with your various allies:
- in Cherafir, the Melderyni capital, Andronikos, a member of the Shek Pvar and the Council of Eleven
- in Azadmere, the Dwarven spymaster Fjola
- in Evael, the Elf Queen Aranath
- in Tashal, the capital of Kaldor, the Countess Curo, first counselor to the king
You explain to all your plan to seize one of the Earthmaster teleportation daises and set The Operator to work activating the protocol that will cause each site to link randomly with others, with the intention of preventing your enemies from using the teleportation daises to move their army around Hârn. Your allies give their opinions. Andronikos is in favour of the plan, as are Queen Aranath and Cyrkanosh. Fjola is on the fence: the pros and cons seem balanced to him. Countess Curo is strongly opposed: she fears the chaos that may be unleashed by opening connections to places unknown. A stirring speech by Cade focusing on the lives that will certainly be saved moves her, but does not diminish her opposition.
The allies share what news they have. Countess Curo has received reports that a great black-sailed skyship has been spotted northeast of Minarsas; apparently it crashed while under attack. A mage is being sent to investigate. Andronikos states that Cherafir is cut off by land and sea; ships cannot get out and gargun raiding parties are reported nearby. An attack seems imminent. Fjola announces that the Dwarves' Secret Weapon is nearing completion and should be ready for use within a week. Cyrkanosh's scouts indicate that more than fifty Drow guard the teleportation dais on the shores of the Sunless Sea, along with giant lizards and spiders. The headwoman theorizes that reinforcements would be quick to arrive from the Drow city nearby if any attempt were made to seize the dais.
With all this intelligence in hand, you revise your plans and decide upon a two-pronged approach: while The Operator begins the process of activating the randomized network protocol, you will investigate the teleportation dais at Pesino, on the western marches of the Elf-realm. You teleport to Cherafir, where you leave The Operator in the care of Andronikos, then to Elshavel, where you spend a night in Gil'Doren's home and gather a team for your reconnaissance en force to Pesino: six Elven rangers from Evael, Mada the street urchin-turned-rogue, several awakened animals and plants; four volunteers from Djebel. Adompha joins as well (her parents were killed by the Drow), as does Alexandra. All told, your company numbers 25.
You Wind Walk to Pesino, arriving in the midst of a winter storm. Rain and sleet lash the deserted landscape. No birds can be seen. You see the massive pyramid of Pesino rising above the plain. What terrors await you inside?