We discuss the ship’s offer some more and agree. It tells us of a planet that was harvested by the Kuru Empire 200 years ago called Octantis, and the ship wants to take us back to the day the Kuru attacked so that we can prevent it.
The days on Octantis are 103 hours long, and the nights are 8 hours long. As Star-Blind lands us in the forest, we get hit by a lightning storm. Inara, Ragini, Mardigan, Largram, Athelstan, and Samsara decide to head toward a town about two miles away. As we make our way carefully through the forest, we can feel eyes tracking our movements. Benaethor is a human ranger—a native of this planet—and he is out hunting food for his town. He tells us that crops don’t grow, magic doesn’t work, and everything is in disrepair and crumbling. The town, Kendai, used to be 5,000 strong until an evil warlord stole the Jade Katana. There are now 300 people left in Kendai. He takes us to Kendai, where we meet Amara Li, the priestess of the temple. She tells us the jade sword is being kept in some ruins about 15 hours away and that Benaethor can guide us to it if we promise to retrieve it and bring it back.
An elderly man (to whom Amara Li bows) tasks Athelstan with bringing the sword back, asking for his sword in good faith. Athelstan kneels and gives the older man his sword, vowing to return with the jade katana to save their people.
We journey to the ruins, and at the base of a gully, looking up, we see a cliff face with a steep slope path up to an iron door. Athelstan and Inara are the first up the slope and begin to inspect the door with Benaethor and Ragini not far behind. Largram and Samsara climb the slope next, and just before Mardigan follows, he sees a human woman buried in the rubble who asks us for help. Taking pity on her, he begins to bandage her wounds when, from the top of the slope, Athelstan Detects Evil coming from her and yells down to Mardigan. He attacks!
Samsara sees this happen, hears Athelstan mention evil, so he turns back and pulls his holy symbol. In the name of Gorum, he Channels Energy to harm undead. Ragini turns back down the slope to smash the undead woman with her hammer, killing her as maggots fall out of her brain.
Largram continued up the slope when Samsara turned back, while Athelstan, Inara, and Benaethor remain at the top of the slope, perusing the way into the cliff. Inara and Athelstan attempt to open the door unsuccessfully, and a gust of wind blows us back one at a time and sends us tumbling back down the slope, one by one.
Even the members of the party at the bottom of the slope get blown back each time Athelstan, Inara, and Ragini tried. They tried attacking the door, which didn’t work, and Ragini intimidated the door very well, but it still wouldn’t open. First Largram then Samsara got blown off their feet and slid down the slope. Next was Benaethor then Mardigan who tumbled gracefully without getting hurt, and then finally Ragini ended up in the valley at the bottom of the slope as well.
And then Athelstan tried the wand AND IT OPENED!!! Samsara healed everyone at the bottom of the slope with a quick burst of Channel Energy from sliding down the slope. Athelstan leads the way with a sunrod and his spare sword. Behind him walks Inara, Benaethor, and Ragini. Largram keeps watch on the corner while we venture into the first room. Samsara stays in the doorway and Mardigan keeps a rear guard watch on the slope.
In the first room we find damaged scrolls and tubes. Athelstan looks at some of the molding trade agreements and shows them to Benaethor. One of them is a contract between the Kendai Royalty, the Li family, and a cult for the warlord to have the lands!
Part of the wall is crushed away, and as we enter into the adjacent room, there is a frog person with a tongue in the corner! Athelstan tries to talk to it. Inara runs up and hits it with her axe, and then it bites Athelstan just before Benaethor sinks an arrow into it and kills it.
The next door (into the hallway) shoots Athelstan with hard jets of water until he knocks on the door with the wand. We see a hallway to the right and a room to the left. Inara runs into the room, and there are skeletons littering the floor as the walls radiate with evil.
Nine skeletons raise up and attack us with rusted longswords, and the fight is on! Our brave fighters are right where they want to be, in the midst of smashing skeletons while Samsara moves around to buff Largram and Benaethor. We slowly work our way through the room, smashing and bashing and Channeling Energy until every last one of those skeletons goes down!
Just as Mardigan kept a watch on the slope before, Inara decides to go back to the entrance and do the same. Athelstan went back to the doorway in the hall, tapped it with the wand, and found a room with black mold and a swarm of giant beetles with sparking fuses! Ragini and Benaethor trailed him and joined the fight.
Unbeknownst to them, Samsara stepped to the corner of the hallway, and three earth elementals made of mud rose up. They advanced quickly, growling and very menacing. Samsara called to the others, “Little help over here!” just as the earth elementals attacked, and Samsara went down hard, bleeding. Largram and Mardigan rush to help, but Samsara is already down.
However, Athelstan and Ragini continued picking off beetles one by one in the side room while Benaethor shoots into the room around them from the hallway. He attempts to shoot another beetle, misses, and falls prone. Then Ragini got a little excited with her hammer and accidentally smashed Athelstan instead of a beetle.
Samsara continues to bleed as Largram and Mardigan fight the earth elementals. They got a lucky hit on Largram and he, too, goes down, bleeding, while Samsara loses consciousness and Mardigan continues to bravely fight them off!
With all of the beetles smashed and the room painted with beetle juice, the rest of the party rushes to our aid and attempts to stabilize Samsara and Largram. Then the earth creatures finally wear down Mardigan and he goes down! With half the party bleeding out onto the dungeon floor and two earth creatures still attacking, Ragini smashes one so hard, it dies from embarrassment!
Then our native guide, Benaethor—who was reluctant to accompany us into the ruins but more reluctant to remain outside alone, who didn’t know how we could use magic in his magic less world, who had to absorb a LOT of new information about his planet, us as aliens, and what we were there to accomplish (saving Octantis from destruction)—Benaethor drew his bow and decisively disentegrated the final earth creature, SAVING US ALL!!!!!!!!!!!
Then it became a race against the clock to stabilize and heal Samsara, Largram, and Mardigan…
Athelstan and Benaethor drag everyone into the beetle room while Ragini finds the healer’s kit in Samsara’s backpack. They are able to stabilize everyone enough to keep us alive, but we are still unconscious. As Samsara slowly wakes up, he reaches for his holy symbol, and in between coughing up blood and a wheezing rattle through his broken nose, Channels Energy twice, enough to heal the others back to consciousness.
We decide it would probably be a good time to rest, so we sleep it off for 8 hours (in the black mold room…covered in beetle juice…) Once everyone is safely back from death’s door, we continue on with our exploration! We find the way out (the front door) And then we head back to the hallway by the entrance with the slope (the back door, where Inara was still waiting) and into a dead end hallway covered in webbing with dead frog people trapped in the webbing. Athelstan takes some oil from Ragini and pours it on the webbing. Just before he can light it, though, a giant spider with horns comes weaving through the webbing straight at us!
Athelstan lights the webbing while Samsara casts Channel Energy, just in case the spider is undead. The spider burns to death in the webbing. We continue back through the dungeon and find another way out (the tunnel) and then we go into a closet-type room with robes, accoutrements, and elements of a cult.
There is another door. Samsara Blesses the party, and then Athelstan knocks on the door with the wand.
We see a stone table in the middle of the room with a slain child’s body on it. There are four Kobold acolytes and a priest in robes. The priest begins to laugh and commands the kobolds, “Kill them all”. Then he takes down his hood…
IT IS BUTTONS!!!!!!!!!
Albeit, a younger dark haired Buttons (since we are 200 years in the past) but IT’S BUTTONS!!!!!!!!!!
Without warning, he melts through the floor, but his clothes remain. On the stone table with the child’s body, we see the Jade Katana being used in the ritual, surrounded by ruins. We move in and attack! Athelstan kills the first Kobold; Benaethor and Mardigan do some damage with their longbows.
The walls begin to rumble and shake (not quite pulsing, but close enough that we recognize what is happening).
Largram brings the second Kobold down, Athelstan slices the third, and the fourth gives up, begging for its life in Kobold (that none of us can understand, but we assume that’s what’s happening). Benaethor is having none of it and kills the fourth one as Athelstan picks up the Jade Katana.
Inara comes looking for us as the entire cliff face began to shake and rumble, dislodging pebbles and rocks. We grab her and run out the front door just as the mountain grows spider legs and takes off, disappearing into orbit! The “mountain” was the Kuru ship called the Umbra that was about to harvest the planet Octantis, and as we head back to Kendai, we explain to Benaethor why we really came.
As we come into town, everyone comes running out to greet us and thank us! Benaethor can’t believe his eyes! Crops are growing, people are using magic again, the priests are healing the injured and the sick! We go back to the temple, and Athelstan presents the Li family with the Jade Katana in exchange for his sword back. We then invite Benaethor to come and see the Peregrinus.
When we get back to the ship, Star-Blind, with whom the Peregrinus has been communicating, tells us that we were successful! Then the ship informs us that by altering this moment in history, not only did the Kuru Empire NOT harvest this planet, but we stopped Buttons AND the Cult of the Dragon!!! The takeover and fall of Baldur’s Gate, Faerûn, other worlds, and other home planets never happens!!!