Breath of Zehir

Breathless: City of Brass

The party journeys to the farthest corners of the universe to put an end to Ghuladon's schemes.

The last few adventures in this story arc are adapted from the Scales of War adventure path published in Dungeon Magazine issue 174.

As the adventure opens, the characters have returned to the material plane to rest, recuperate, and mourn the fate of their homeland. The EDGE has few allies willing to act openly against Ghuladon; many still hold to the alliance of the Dawn War, when gods united against the primordials, and hesitate to enter the war. Balnar entreats the players to join him and seek out the last remaining exarch of Tiamat: Namissi the Blue. They are summoned to the ancient wyrm’s redoubt in the Elemental Chaos, where the dragon lays out the scope of Zehir’s triumphs and his dark hope to turn this near defeat into victory.

The City of Brass is Zehir’s stronghold in this plane. It is held by Ghuladon’s gray exarch Zebukiel, in arrangement with the serpentine salamanders and Ja’Far, Lord of Efreets. Tiamat’s force has the city surrounded but cannot break through its defenses. Zebukiel is attempting to energize Zehir’s legions with elemental power, shielding themselves from Tiamat’s weapons of fire, ice, and lightning. These empowered armies will be too much for Tiamat’s army to withstand and, unless they succeed here, her astral dominion will surely fall.

Namissi enlists the characters to infiltrate the City of Brass by way of a secret portal hidden deep in the Keening Delve. This legendary and deadly warren of caverns and ruined chambers is set within the basalt plate on which the City of Brass is built. After entering the city, the heroes meet with their old friend Jett, a fire genasi noble who represents factions seeking to overthrow Ja’far because of his foul alliance with Ghuladon and Zehir. Jett offers his allegiance to find and kill Ja’far—a deadly quest that requires the heroes to undertake a dangerous pilgrimage across a city under siege. Ja’far’s salamanders patrol the streets alongside Zebukiel’s medusas and basilisks.

After slaying Ja’far, the adventurers must drop the magical wards which protect the city and prevent Namissi’s forces from attacking. Then, at the Eternal Flame Pavilion, the heroes face off against the protectors of the shrine of the Fire Lord Imix, which has been corrupted by Zehir’s foul rituals so as to grant power to Ghuladon’s servants. Hundreds of loyal dragons bathe in the elemental energies, transforming into catastrophic volcanic dragons.

Then the unthinkable happens. Namissi himself, fighting Ghuladon’s gray exarch Zebukiel, is petrified and struck down in a titanic battle that shatters the great Charcoal Palace. Only the EDGE can stand against the Traitor of Dragons in the end.

Eventually the heroes triumph. The City of Brass has been devastated by the battle, but the efreets will rebuild. With both Zebukiel and Namissi gone, Jett quickly establishes consensus among the efreets for his claim to the throne under the condition that no god will ever again hold dominion over the City of Brass.

The adventurers have won the day and slain another of Ghuladon’s exarchs, but their battle against their nemesis is not over yet.

Next week: The EDGE races to catch up to Ghuladon, who has broken through into Tiamat’s fortress and now challenges the Queen of Dragons face to face.

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