Searching For a Ioun Stone, the Imaginarium gamble with their lives in a magic Casino
Gulliver and Leif received seperate calling cards from SHADE telling them about the location of a Ioun Stone at the Shadow Prowler's Hideout in Echo Canyon in Lyzarin'ja. They each went alone, hoping to grab the Ioun stone before the other. Leif Brought Tori for backup, and Gulliver brought Jared. They arrived at the same time and fell into SHADE's trap, each becoming ensnared in a torture device. Some were able to escape on their own, but the SHADE, who's identity is Ferys Lockheart showed up and freed the rest. Together they battled the Shadow Prowlers of Lyzarin'ja and subdued the SHADE in charge.
That SHADE turned out to be Ashiir, who told the group that he had lost the Ioun Stone in a game to a lich from Fivay named Zodraz. Begging for his life pathetically, he was killed by Gulliver. The group immediately turned their suspicions to SHADE, (Ferys), who explained that she was trying to help them. She explained how she was the original SHADE, fighting for justice against people in power, but fell in love with a red Dragonborn named Baltheraxx. Baltheraxx had his own ides about shat SHADE represented and, over the course of several years, grew it into an organization that fought from the shadows to end all governments; adopting the slogan, "no more kings" as their rallying cry. Frustrated with the growth of Shade as an orgaization, Ferys left Baltheraxx and struck out on her own, now hoping to undermine the organization she had a hand in creating.
The group remained suspicious as Ferys detailed a plan to help the Imaginarium enter Zodraz's opulant casino in Shadiq to steal back the Ioun stone. As a gesture of good faith, Ferys spent the night with Jared, doing who knows what. Gulliver rejoined Farid and tried to keep his plans to infiltrate Zodraz's casino a secret, but Farid knew something was up.
Later the group entered the casino- via the front entrance, while Ferys patrolled from outside. The first floor was filled with slot machines and roulette tables. Playing at the slots were Ruchan Al Farooq's parents, a charming elderly couple who's names are Namu Al Farooq and Shiri Al Farooq. They asked about their son, not knowing of his fate, or indeed, of their grandson Farid. Leif Promised to introduce Farid to them.
All of Zodraz's casino attendants were dressed the same, wearing red loin cloths and troublingly large face-masks that obscured their identities. All of them moved robotically and spoke without emotion, because they had lost their self will and were in forced service to Zodraz. Presumably, each one of them had gambled with the Lich and lost. Leif Recognized one through his mask and was distraught to learn that it was his former lover Karl. Leif vowed to find a way to free him from Zodraz's service.
Meanwhile the group learned that the only way to advance to the upper levels of the casino, to get to Zodraz's game room, was to win enough casino tokens on the lower floors. The group got to work playing games but learned the games were rigged. They had to sneak into the back rooms in order to find the control table for the games. Doing so, they rigged the slots and roulette tables in their favor and were able to win their way to the next floor.
The next floor the group found them selves in an amusement park which boasted a haunted hall and battle rings. The group entered the battle rings first and each adventurer was pitted against a nasty giant. Farid had shown up on his own and was in the ring. Together the group overcame the challenge and won more tokens. Farid reunited with the others and they tackled the haunted hall. This proved to be quite the challenge, but Farid proved invaluable because he could see very well in pitch darkness. He lead the others safely out of the haunted hall and the Group was able to advance to the top floor.
The V.I.P. room, overlooking Shadiq, presented their final obstacle in reaching Zodraz. The group would need 1,000,000 tokens to activate the rainbow bridge. The group played in a card game with the opulent V.I.Ps, including Ephram Kleft and Bemek Smeltbruer, but it was Tori who investigated a giant gold slot machine and won the Jackpot of 1,000,000 tokens. The group payed the toll and crossed the magestic rainbow bridge to Zodraz.
Zodraz was even more imposing than Leif remembered, his soul animating a colossal stone head. The group demanded the Ioun Stone and Zodraz offered it as the prize in a game of Arcane Blackjack! They were made to bet their souls; if they were to lose to Zodraz, they would join his casino staff as mindless slaves. And lose they did, but just before Zodraz sealed their souls away, Ferys swooped in and stole the Ioun Stone. Zodraz proposed a new game- get the Ioun Stone back and they would keep their souls.
The adventurers followed Ferys to the roof of the casino where she activated the trap she had set up while the group was in the casino. A giant magical roulette wheel, that was unfair, and she tried to kill them. Ferys was confident that she could beat the imaginarium and take Gulliver's and Leif's Ioun stones as well- Jackpot! But they beat Ferys and got the Ioun stone back. Ferys pleaded for them to hear her out. She explained that she wanted to be the one and only SHADE, and that she would use the Ioun Stones to get rid of "No More Kings", but Zodraz had other ideas. The lich imprisoned Ferys as one of his servants, and reduced the size of her head by 60% for good measure. Satisfied, Zodraz let the group keep the Ioun Stone and leave with their free will in tact.
Gulliver kept the Ioun Stone, and Leif, who had wanted to use the wish brought about by gathering 5 Ioun stones together to free Karl, was sad. Gulliver would not budge, because he wanted to use the wish to free Farid's imprisoned mother. Farid convinced Gulliver to give his Ioun Stones to Leif, telling him that he would fulfill his destiny without cheating. Gulliver grudgingly let Leif take his Ioun stones.