The Kompanions of Kalador, determined to loot the massive pile of treasure at the center of Nightside decided to spend some time looking through the tomes they had acquired from Laski. Laski was the the keeper of the records of The Porters of Gideon. The Porters were a knightly order formed to protect the realm from the incursions of the beings from outside the multi-verse and the gods of Chaos. The Kompanions, having become aligned with Chaos, the Porters and Laski had turned against them. With help from Tarix the wizard, the Kompanions had overcome the Porters and became masters of their temple fortress and an entrance to the Hall of Infinite Doors.
Stilgar the Chaos monk and Akbar bearer of the Shadow Staff spent a month and half pouring through ancient tomes and learned some unsettling knowledge. The entity protecting the loot at the center of Nightside was something called a nixthisis*. The nixthisis is the greatest of a kind of being called a nakthosis. These creatures comprised purely of Chaos exist in more than one dimension of existence, simultaneously. This makes them extremely difficult to destroy.
Through their research, the Kompanions figured out how they might drive it out but only temporarily. They also still had the problem of how to move the treasure. Stilgar thought perhaps Tarix, master of travel magic, might be able to help. Returning to Nightside to discuss this with Tarix, the Kompanions sat down with the wizard. Tarix reminded them that the Kompanions already had a device which could be used to carry the treasure out. The Chest of Lorox**.
In one of their very first adventures together, the Kompanions had acquired the chest which they thought was a portal to the abyss. Tarix corrected their misapprehension. Within the chest is a pocket dimension that was created to capture and hold the demon Lorox. Once the demon was destroyed or banished back to the abyss, they could use the adamantium box as portable vault for the vast treasure they intended to gather. Lorox was not alone, making its destruction more complicated. He had consumed the souls of his many victims and could form them into undead monsters called the tvorn. The tvorn are able dimension door at will into favorable tactical positions and attack.
The Kompanions returned back to Akbar’s tower in the prime material plane with the chest. Hoping to get some sort of advantage against Lorox, Akbar decided to commune with the creator of the Shadow Staff, the Chaos God Boratha. Stripped to his loin cloth, sitting before a brazier of incense and surrounded by candles made from the rendered fat of human sacrifices, Akbar projected himself into the hall of the god of untimely death. There sat the dark god, within a massive temple built entirely of bones, seated upon a throne of bone, the stench of death from ten thousand battlefields in the air.
Boratha accepted the intrusion of his faithful servant and asked what he wanted. Akbar made his request but Boratha never gives anything for free. The two struck a bargain. Boratha would imbue the Shadow Staff with the ability to control undead that Akbar had not created himself in exchange for Akbar going to destroy a lich that had betrayed Boratha and needed to be punished. The lich had fled someplace Boratha could not reach. Akbar agreed and was given knowledge of where he could find this lich.
Returned back to the world of the living, Akbar formed up his army of undead and prepared to destroy the fell Lorox. The Kompanions opened the chest and before them was a stone stair descending into a misty grey realm of gloom. Rexor, the four armed, beetle winged mutant, wearing a demon as armor flew down into the twilit pocket dimension. Akbar marched his lurching undead down the stair after the warrior. Quickly, a dozen tvorn attacked Rexor and his skeletal guardsmen. Rexor destroyed several of the waxy grey undead and the rest withdrew for the time being. Stilgar, Akbar and their henchman Einar the reluctant fisherman, followed after the army of the undead into the realm of Lorox.
They found themselves in what appeared to be an abandoned village. It was lit like a cloudless night with a sliver of moon. They saw a spirit nearby and spoke to it but found out quickly it was a banshee whose horrible shriek can kill. They overcame the banshee and were afterward more cautious of this strange place. Akbar summoned an invisible stalker to locate the demon. The Kompanions traversed the grey realm of Lorox to place the stalker indicated the demon could be found. When they arrived, they learned that the demon had baited them away from the lid of the chest and was leading an assault on the living world. Fortunately, the Kompanions had anticipated this. Twenty of their elite guardsmen protected with magic armor and bearing magic weapons, surrounded the chest outside of Akbar’s tower of sorcery.
The Kompanions hurried to the stairs leading back out of the pocket dimension and entered the battle with Lorox and his tvorn servitors. The might of Rexor and Stilgar overcame Lorox while Akbar used the power of the Shadow Staff taking control over a portion of the tvorn and set them against their fellows. Quickly the battle was over and the souls trapped within the Chest of Lorox were released. The Kompanions inspected the chest for its suitability as a receptacle for the wealth of the nixthisis and found it to be quite adequate.
Soon, perhaps, they will acquire the wealth of that uncanny dweller at the center of the city on the edge of Chaos.
*Monster from Michael Curtis’s Stonehell Dungeon
**Hat Tip to Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor Games. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of his adventure Knowledge Illuminates. I ran the adventure early in the campaign and a bunch of ideas in it have been a part of my setting ever since. It’s PWYW on Drivethru.