The Council of Nine Saga

see events of the Council of Nine Saga

The Council of Nine Saga details the adventures of Ke'Vadar and his companions Azzel and Leonard as the search for the members of the eponymous wizard circle. This saga is preceded by The Hand of the Drow Saga.

Azzel hunts John Hamundy and Regains His Celestial Blessing

Azzel lamented the loss of his celestial blessing and sought to right the wrongs that lead him to his mortal state. Ke'Vadar sought out Master Chu Hsi, Master of Divination of the Council of Nine, to divine how Azzel may appease the heavens.

They arrived at Prestone Manor, Master Chu Hsi's home and met Moira and the rest of the Felis family. Chu Hsi advised them to bring a corrupt spellcaster to justice and pointed them to John Hamundy, a diabolist living in one of the peaks of the Wheel of Fire.

Hamundy lived in the mountain side with a female feral troll as both his bodyguard and lover, while his young daughter, Mary, was taught the basics of devrilry. Ke'Vadar and Azzel came to the mountain and slew the troll-wench. Hamundy fell while trying to summon a fiend.

However, it seems that Hamundy was not easily dealt with. He appeared again to reclaim his daughter from the two heroes and made away on a summoned Nightmare. Ke'Vadar summoned his own flying steeds and gave chase. Finally Hamundy was captured and the Ring of Three Wishes was discovered on Mary's finger.

Hamundy was brought to Master Chu Hsi for justice and Mary, relieved of her ring, is taken in by the Felis family. It is decided to give Mary the ring back on her sixteenth birthday in 1380 as a family heirloom. As the redemption quest had been completed, Azzel gained back his celestial blessings.

Tenser and Story Ancient

Peace for the two was short-lived when Master Chu Hsi brought Ke'Vadar news of the disbanding of the Council of Nine. The council parted because of infighting, personal differences and the need for independent study. Ke'Vadar knew how important the group was to finding a way to stop the magic disruption that was happening and so began to seek out all the members, one by one.

Master Chu Hsi had already given his support and so Ke'Vadar and Azzel left for Alexandria to seek out Master Otiluke. Once arrived at his library, Master Otiluke welcomed his friends and also gave his grudging support for the revitalization of the council. Master Otiluke also told them where they could find Master Tenser. His tower, Story Ancient, is just west out of Calori. Ke'Vadar teleported there right away with Azzel, Leonard and Artemis in tow.

When they arrived, all they found was the ruined remains of a tower and a disgruntled mephit sitting next to the intact door. After the mephit was bribed, he used a special key to open the door into the extra dimensional interior of Story Ancient.

Inside was the tower's housekeeper, Servant. She informed the heroes that the master was not in and offered them to stay the night in wait of his arrival the next day. They agreed and stayed in the lavish rooms of the tower. The next day, a wondrous meal was prepared but Tenser had not yet shown. Servant assured them that Tenser would arrive the next day.

The next day a similar dinner was prepared, but still Tenser was absent. Servant again assured them the master would arrive the next day. When Ke'Vadar inquired why she repeats her answer, she informed him that they only arrived yesterday. Ke'Vadar realized that Servant was tricking him and the feast and Servant herself were illusions. Ke'Vadar demanded to know where Tenser was, but Servant only begged him to remain where he was.

Against Servant's pleading, the heroes searched the tower and found an illusionary hallway blocked by a wall of force. Ke'Vadar cast a spell to disintegrate the wall, and although Servant attempted to dispel the casting, Leonard counterspelled her dispel to her great chagrin. The disintegration went through and a torrent of wind began pulling everything into the void that the wall was blocking. Ke'Vadar slipped and was sucked inside.

Inside the void, a simple bedchamber existed and sitting in a desk chair was Master Tenser. He told Ke'Vadar that the tower, which was sentient via a heartstone had grown jealous and imprisoned the Master. Tenser urged Ke'Vadar to journey to the underlevel of the tower where the heartstone lie and bring it under his control.

The heroes went to the underlevel and saw the heartstone hovering above an alcove and Ke'Vadar sat under it and connected his thoughts with the construct. However, the tower was able to 'project' its memories in the way that allows Master Tenser to exist. The tower began recreating creatures of all kinds, which Tenser had summoned in the past to stop the wizard. Azzel and Leonard tried to hold them off as Ke'Vadar mentally battled the heartstone. Soon, Ke'Vadar gained control and freed Master Tenser from his imprisonment. The master gave his thanks and agreed to the reformation of the council.

Kylie and the Blackheart Gem

The heroes plane shifted to the gates of Holy Seicania. Guarded by Warden Archons, the heroes were let in with a lantern archon chaperone. They traveled to Tir-Shirak, the Twisted Spire, home of Kylie the Just, Mistress of Abjuration. Kylie told them she doesn't relish the thought of working with the likes of Master Rojio or Mistress Dijanzi, but will resign to her duty. However, there is a more pressing matter of an unholy item called the Blackheart Gem in the possession of Feket Szív, domnitor of Ibben. Kylie wished the gem to be relived from the baron's possession, but also wishes to do so without much notice.

The heroes volunteered their services and left for Piros Barl and requested an audience with Dmnitor Sziv. When the baron refused to allow Ke'Vadar to see the Blackheart Gem, Ke'Vadar reluctantly dominated the baron's mind and forced him to guide them to its location in the dungeons.

With the gem in hand, the heroes shifted back to Holy Seicania, only to discover that they would not be allowed inside. They waited until the solar Corotentionar Usequetas decended with nine trumpet archons and took the mysterious gem to be destroyed.

Rojio and Rhekhavok

The heroes soon shifted to Nerin, the plane of winds. They discovered a caravan of genies and asked them about the location of Rojio the Cheater. The genies explain that Rojio recently 'won' a cloud castle from a storm giant in a game of chance and should be there refurbishing it.

The castle, Rhekhavok, was indeed a giant of a castle. Once inside the massive foyer, Rojio the Master of Illusion addressed them through an illusionary image. He challenged the heroes to travel into his halls of illusion and test their deadly traps.

However, as Ke'Vadar's blindness essentially renders him immune to illusions, Master Rojio's plan fell flat. Defeated, Master Rojio invited them up to a parlor so that they may speak. As Ke'Vadar extended the invitation to rejoin the council, Master Rojio recanted that the most difficult members have yet to be faced. He stated Master Balbaroy was essentially a coward, Mistress Dijanzi was deranged, Master Mordenkainen was eternally stubborn and Master Asamed was an agent of madness.

Ke'Vadar decided to press on anyway and Rojio gave his agreement to rejoin, if only to watch the entertainment of the bickering masters at work. The heroes decided to carefully plan out the next four masters, going after Master Balbaroy next, followed by Master Asamed and Mistress Dijanzi in Dar Kunor. Master Mordenkainen would, no doubt, show himself to them when he was ready.

Balbaroy and the Tomb of Horrors

The heroes teleported to the midst of the Wyrmspires where Ironwrought, Master Balbaroy's home, was located. The fortress, however, was ransacked with neither Master Balbaroy, nor any assailants to be found. A hiding servant was discovered and he told the group that Master Balbaroy was kidnapped and taken to a forbidden crypt, the Tomb of Horrors.

The heroes traveled towards the crypt despite the warnings and soon found the entrance to the horrid place. Inside, a hallway and at the end, a massive carving of a green devil's face, maw agape. The strong magic radiating from the light-less mouth was of the necromancy school. One by one, Leonard, Azzel and Ke'Vadar climbed inside.

To their deaths.

Ke'Vadar awoke some time later, his soul pieced back together by Shaydis herself, chained on the Wall of Torment. Shaydis laughed at his torment and sent his spirit back to his reformed body, naked and without provisions, still in the Tomb of Horrors.

Ke'Vadar, weakened and armed only with his magic, braved the tomb looking for any hope of his companions and any sign of Master Balbaroy. After some searching, he recieved the unlikely help of Leena, an elan psion who saw a vision of the wizard trapped in this terrible maze. Together, they faced the vestige spirit of the lich that haunted the tomb and found not only the belongings of the group fully intact but the exit as well. Strangely, however, no sign of Master Balbaroy was seen in the entire crypt.

Leena and the Pyramid

Leena reported to Ke'Vadar that she worked for the Pyramid, a psionic organization, who was requesting Ke'Vadar's council in exchange for the assistance in the Tomb. They psionically traveled to Kaniwet, inside the Great Pyramid. Ke'Vadar was granted audience by the Inner Chamber and was given the task of liberating a small border town under their control that had been taken over by a psionic monstrosity. They granted him the servitude of Leena for as long as he wished.

Together they teleported to Huoletia-Rata and found the people distraught. They would not speak over a whisper, saying "He is listening". In the midst of town, a large pebbly man was walking about town trying as well to get some answers. He was Timothy the goliath. The three of them explored and found a cave near the town laiden with crystals able to amplify psionic presences. They found an elder psurlon enslaving the town with its thoughts, though it stood little chance under the might of the three heroes.

Traveling back to the Pyramid with Timothy in tow, Ke'Vadar told the Inner Circle the mission was accomplished and he left for the next council members in Dar Kunor.

Asamed and the Ulitharid

Trusting Master Chu Hsi and his locations of all the Masters, Ke'Vadar found the duergar city of Lukkeby. Although the duergar denied the existence of a nearby illithid city, Leena knew the dark dwarves were psionically dominated. Together, they found the hidden passageway below with no help or hindrance from the duergar.

Ixithectc, the illithid city, was dark and silent. As the trio walked past monumental fountains and cavernous halls, the illithids were there, watching silently. Among them was Master Asamed the alhoon. The Master merely pointed down from his perch to the courtyard in front of the heroes.

There they saw a massive illithid mutant, known as an ulitharid, surrounded by grimlock voidminds, with their green mind tethers whipping around them. The ulitharid chastised them for trespassing and attacked, believing that all illithids would join in, but they all stood to the sides and waited. The ulitharid was defeated and Master Asamed nodded to signal his agreeance to rejoin the council.

Dijanzi and Her Price To Pay

The trio quickly moved on to Ehrenkern, the gateway to Sheoloth, city of Mistress Dijanzi. Ehrenkern was a dwarven city and was proud to have the heroes as guests. The city had been prey to many drow raids from the pioneer fort Til Asperna. The dwarves let the heroes rest and refilled their provisions. Ke'Vadar promised the dwarves they would take care of the drow.

They arrived in Til Asperna and defeated the drow and their giant slaves. They discovered a portal leading to the outskirts of Sheoloth. Once in the city, they quickly discovered killing foreigners was not only legal, but considered fitting sport.

They managed their way to the Crystal Tower where Mistress Dijanzi allowed them inside without harm. Mistress Dijanzi sat in a chamber of lusty terrors. Fleshcrafted walls and torture devices. Her personal pleasure slaves were her own children. She took part in coy conversation before she dominated Timothy and made him attack Ke'Vadar. The wizard was quick and encased him in a wall of stone before any damage could be done.

Mistress Dijanzi, enjoying the scene decided to agree with rejoining the council on one condition; there was a nearby settlement of peaceful nycters, but a great chasm prevented the city from enslaving them. The Mistress's price was for Ke'Vadar to construct a magical bridge for her soldiers to cross and slaughter the creatures. Ke'Vadar, with a heavy heart, agreed.

Vastania and the Shadowed Fen

Once back in Ehrenkern, Ke'Vadar was met by his old headmaster Shamil Smoothhands. Shamil advised the heroes to quickly travel to Yorik and once they arrived, Ke'Vadar met a sad surprise. The Church of Light in Yorik was in a wreck, having been nearly burnt down. Faysal, abbot of the church and friend to Ke'Vadar was dead. Perhaps more disturbing were the presence of two right hands nailed to the church door; one dark and scaled and one fair. A note was written for Ke'Vadar to come to Blackrune Keep to retrieve his revived friends from vastania-darkheart, Daughter of Darkness.

After arriving in Ghoper Forest, the heroes started their search for the elusive castle. What they found was another, unexpected, source of trouble. A trio of elemental sorcerers known as the Witches of Ayan-tash ambushed them with summoned elementals. However, all three heroes took to the sky via their magic and psionics and rained fire down on the witches in a quick defeat. The witches escaped, however, and left the heroes to wonder about the reason for the attack.

It wasn't long before the shadowed walls of Blackrune Keep was in the heroes' sights. They stormed the castle, crushing shadar-kai and shadow elementals alike beneith their feet. In the lower depths, they found Vastania just as she lept through a portal and the heroes followed after her.

They appeared in a hot humid shadowy marsh known as the Shadowed Fen. A village of cannibalistic people attempted to capture them for their fiendish green dragon god. The village defeated, an unseen captive asked the heroes for help. The hellcat, a spy from Carcereth, pleaded the heroes to release it from its bondage. Carefully, the heroes unbound the devil and it bounded on its way but not before telling Ke'Vadar the location of the jungle prison where Leonard and Azzel were being held.

The temple that lead to the prison was guarded with a warning not to proceed. But the heroes proceed through to find a small labyrinth with an admantine guardian. The guardian chased the heroes through the maze as they attempted to open the portal in the center. Finally, the seemingly indestructible foe was destroyed by a combination of powerful magic, strength of arm and a clever strategy.

The portal to the prison was open and the heroes began exploring the seemingly empty location. At the top of the structure, the heroes came across three women, imprisoned and nude, begging to be let free. The heroes decide to unbind their chains and allow them to follow.

Soon, they come across a chamber of tortures. Two chairs with Leonard and Azzel sitting unconscious stood ominously in a room of foul instruments and horrid intention. Both of their right hands were missing and each was wearing a unique piece of jewelry. It is later learned that the souls of these two were bound to the jewelry and they would be able to "change" into them much like a genie.

With Azzel and Leonard, Ke'Vadar and companions shifted back to adnas and allowed the three rescued females on their way. Azzel and Leonard were taken to Prestone Manor for recovery.

The rest of the heroes shifted back to the Shadowed Fen and into the temple to gather the remains of the adamatine guardian. They then shifted to Calori to attempt to seel the remain to Gerhert Rotwing. Doubting even kings had the coin to buy such a treasure, Rotwing offered to instead build them a castle and the use of several of his golems to which the heroes agreed. He also gave Ke'Vadar a sheild guardian for his own use.

Meeting of Lore and Kaiha

While at Prestone Manor, Master Chu Hsi received a visit of his old friend, Lore. It seemed that Greymont Temple, which Lore was the keeper, has been facing some trouble controlling the portal to Agnor that was held within. Master Chu Hsi asked Ke'Vadar to go and help with the situation, to which the wizard agreed. Timothy stayed behind to help with the infirm.

Arriving at Greymont, Ke'Vadar and Leena were introduced to Lore's apprentice, Kaiha. The artifact residing inside the temple, the Orb of Silver Dragons, was taken by a Wildfire Sorcerer. The four of them journeyed into Agnor to retrieve it, but not before the revelation of Lore as an old silver dragon, under control of the orb. The sorcerer was soon destroyed and Lore's mind back in his control. Lore thanked the eladrin wizard and Kaiha decided to join his in his adventures.

Battle Against the Elder of Annihilation

Ke'Vadar, having secured all the council members save one, contacted them all to meet at the crimson-towers. After everyone's arrival, Mordenkainen sent an image to summon Ke'Vadar outside the tower.

Once there, Mordenakainen shared with the heroes the origin of the Crimson Tower. Built many years ago by himself in order to keep imprisoned one of the greatest threats to the world; the Elder of Annihilation. Every council member had given the heroes a task to accomplish and this was Mordenkainen's task - defeat the Tarrasque!

The ground shook as the Tarrasque broke forth from its earthy prison. It roared and headed for the village of Asona, destroying everthing in its path. Chu Hsi came to Ke'Vadar and gave him Khwerebes, the Sword of Transistion. Ke'Vadar prepared himself for battle and he, Kaiha and Leena flew towards Asona.

The heroes entered battle with the Elder and tried to minimize the damage to the surrounding village. However, in the midst of the conflict three mariliths teleported in, choosing this moment to strike. These mariliths were the true forms of the three women 'rescued' from the prison. To make matters worse, the Witches of Ayan-tash reappeared and began attacking the heroes as well.

When it seemed the heroes were truly out done, Valaphia Glasrad appeared to help with the mariliths and Stephania entered the scene with a small legion of devils to divert the Witches. Soon, with all involved, the mariliths were banished, the Witches defeated and the Tarrasque was placed back into its slumber.

Tired and hurt, the heroes had little time to recover before a bellowing horn cut through the air. A massive army of orcs appeared on the horizon, but before all hope was lost, another horn called, this one of Nny leading a contingent of Noran cavalry. The heroes rushed out to battle with the help of their friends and the orcs were crushed.

The Prismatic Wilting and the Parting of Chu Hsi

Mordenkainen explained to Ke'Vadar that the entirety of the reforming of the council was simply a trial to make sure he as ready for the final act. The council members enacted a ritual which allowed Ke'Vadar to feel the pulse of magic and therefore able to find the second beating that is disturbing the regular flow.

Ke'Vadar, joined by Stephania, Azzel and Leena, teleported to the Deadlands where they found a massive black shell in the desert. When they attempted to go inside, all but Ke'Vadar felt themselves grow into another form; Stephania into a collar, Azzel into his bracelet and Leena into a circlet. Ke'Vadar placed the bracelet and circlet on himself and the collar onto Graz'zt, Stephania's familiar.

They traveled inside the shell to a large chamber where the Prismatic Wilting, a living spell and embodiment of the magical turmoil. Ke'vadar with the help of his friends as item-familiars defeat the spell and caused the broken magic in the black shell to disapate, shrinking the black shell into a normal sized, and unremarkable sea shell.

The magical disturbance was lifted, but the exact reason had yet to be discovered. Later, Ke'Vadar met Master Chu Hsi deep in the Wyrmspires. The Master asked the eladrin for one final favor, that he journey to Aremia and search for the Turasfyr Arcaenrith, a grimoire owned by an old friend. Ke'Vadar agreed, though was confused by the master's demeanor and timing. Master Chu Hsi told said he was happy to have met Ke'Vadar and then jumped off the mountain peak to change into a massive mercury dragon and fly to a valley below. The dragon bellowed and folded his wings, forming a vast mountain around him, Mt. Farchifald.

Mordenkainen then invited Ke'Vadar into the Council of Nine as the Master of Divination to replace the fallen member to which he agreed. Ke'vadar, in the meantime, sought out Diana Dawnfalcon to train for priesthood. Ke'Vadar and Kaiha went on to take part in the Sixth World Saga.

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