- Plane Weaver
In the weeks following the destruction of much of the Imperial Palace, the following three calls are circulated:
The party are briefed by their various employers to join an expedition put together by House Rom. Cloth, Candle, and Matthias make their way into a strangely mirrored part of the blast zone, the former two not exactly overjoyed to see each other. Matthias investigates the mirrors and finds that they are not planar, not shaped, and that something is watching the group through them. Focusing on the mirrors, they bump into a pack of Fear of Being Eaten, moving in the wake of a shard of the Broken One. Fending off the creatures and talking to the shard, they also encounter Carta, sent a little late, ostensibly by House Rom, and also the Broken One, here to reabsorb its shard. After some discussion, Candle agrees with the shard that they will both jump into the Broken One, and then does not do that. The Broken One thanks them and departs.
Passing further in, the group encounter a pair of strangely mirrored people fleeing from a squad of bureaucrats coming to extinguish anything touched by the stars. The party help the bureaucrats kill the star-touched citizens, but Cloth eats the mirrored flesh from one of them while a bureaucrat watches, and they become suspicious. A strange, seemingly unkillable mirror entity shows up, and though the bureaucrats attempt to take the whole group in for questioning, they are rather forced to move on despite the party's rather flimsy cover story. Carta forges a connection with the mirror entity - it communicates to him that something is broken and needs fixing, but he isn't quite clear on what.
Deeper into the blast zone, the party find forces from House Rom and House Keelen trying to recover the item they were sent in search of, the Glimmering Dodecahedron, in the claws of an enormous, ichor-dripping vulture. In the chaos that follows, several people are infected with corrupted ichor, some surreptitious pvp is enacted, Matthias encounters Unit 18 and is disturbed to discover that it is alive, and Tyrant Anton of House Keelen flees the encounter with the Dodecahedron.
Carta leads the Rom acquisitions team on a wild goose chase to get them away from the trail of the artefact, while Cloth, Candle and Matthias pursue it into the Barrens. They start to sneak their way in, while Carta, arriving later, spots a crack squad of Throne Paladins entering the barrens under the command of Chosen Augustine. As all parties enter Anton's base, there is a horrible cracking noise and they all find themselves inside the Dodecahedron, a plane-binding prison containing various dangerous entities, most notably a huge beating Erosion heart.
Over the course of lunch, the erosion weavers make the acquaintance of a giant locust, an attempt is made to teach both Cloth and Sigma that killing people is illegal, Matthias speaks to an imprint of the shaper who awakened Sigma, and Carta makes contact with the owner of the heart, Want, and arranges things to help it reclaim the item. Sigma spreads to both Cloth and Matthias, the Dodecahedron is picked up by Throne paladins who attack the Keelen base and take it back towards their Sanctum, and Carta helps a very eroded prisoner to remember their identity, which turns out to be something of a mistake when it transpires that they were a Rod paladin who for some reason concluded that their god was a bloodthirsty psychopath who wanted them to indiscriminately kill people.
Eventually, thanks in large part to the party's actions, the Dodecahedron cracks and something huge and terrifying appears to reclaim its heart. This is Want, an exceptionally powerful Erosion denizen that Cloth recognises as one of the four Tetrarchs. The party are caught up in the waves of Erosion stirred up in its wake, but thanks partly to Carta and Candle's earlier attempts to parley with the denizen, it spares some power to protect them from the worst of it. They are ultimately saved from their fate, however, by an Erosion denizen dressed in the ceremonial robes of the Grandmaster of the Throne. The emaciated but very regal paladin - Minerva - explains that she was the grandmaster of the Order a very long time ago, banished into Erosion and kept away from the city by binding wards within the recently destroyed Imperial Palace. With the palace gone, she and Want have made common cause, and now she intends to take her rightful place as Grandmaster and get back to the important business of making Rastaban more expansive, and more efficient.
The party take this relatively well, in large part because she is their only way out of drowning in Erosion. Carta tells her covertly that Miyan is still around, and that the two have some beliefs in common, but Minerva seems uncertain, if receptive. Eventually she draws them out of Erosion and heads to the Throne Sanctum to meet her destiny.
The party, many of them now feeling very out of their depth, find that there is now an Erosion overlay merging a large part of Rastaban with an immense, upside-down, clockwork city. Channels of Erosion and Perfection thread their way through the ruined streets, as of two immensely powerful creatures locked in eternal combat. Pushing on, the lost city reshapes itself to keep them out, forming defences drawn from their own subconscious minds - a warped, impossible patch of space, a deadly set of mechanical traps, a door that makes you forget why you came here when you try to open it, and deadly undead clowns.
Exploring the city, the group eventually make it to the Throne Sanctum. It appears to be under sustained attack from Minerva's forces, and the ominous force of Want is wrapped around the complex. Entering the courtyard, though, they find Chosen Augustine and a large squad of acolytes, very pointedly not getting involved. Augustine berates Cloth for letting house Keelen get a hold of the Dodecahedron, and the party start to get the sense that something is very wrong when she accidentally namedrops Minerva despite not having met her. With the path sealed by a door that demands deaths in order to open, Augustine decides to offer up the party in order to get past. In the chaos that follows, Matthias and Candle are rendered unconscious, and in an attempt to save them Cloth accidentally releases a maniacal Painter entity which starts gleefully painting the Sanctum. Matthias and Candle both die, and with the other dead acolytes, the door opens.
Carta switches back to his other body, in his house in the barrens, and heads to the nearest Keelen base to round up reinforcements. While there, he finds a very pissed-off Tyrant Anton trying to do the same, and the small force of cutthroats he was hoping for ends up becoming a sizeable raiding party. While he's doing this, and while Cloth is attempting to erode a wall of the Throne Sanctum, Augustine broadcasts a Connection message to the entire city, telling them to stay calm, that the overlay will be over soon, and that any unusual sounds or sights around the Throne Sanctum are merely indications of a minor political disagreement which citizens need not concern themselves with.
The party end up separately making their way into the now-unbarred and quite flooded Sanctum, where they find the current grandmaster, Afef Afolayan, separated from their forces high in the rafters of the great hall. Candle and an increasingly out-of-his-depth Matthias move to defend the grandmaster, Cloth is uncertain, and Carta shows up halfway through with a host of thieves who immediately start sacking the place. The erosion soldiers attacking Afolayan are repelled, and they speculate that this entire thing seems like an attempt to assassinate them and seize control of the Order. They are then proven to be spectacularly right when Carta turns on the rest of the party and forces Afolayan off the rafters, where they plummet to their death. There follows some fraught dealmaking in which the conscious but incapacitated party members try to convince Carta to heal them, while Carta is unwilling to do so unless they agree not to attack him. After much to-and-froing, during which Cloth points out that they all would have been up for killing the Grandmaster if he'd just asked nicely, Candle literally begs for death and is convinced to take Carta's Mirror affliction off his hands, and Matthias agrees to a deal that compels him to die rather than attack Carta, Minerva sends a remote communication that takes matters into its own hands by healing the downed party members.
Ascending to the top of the sanctum, now an impossibly tall ziggurat around which the forces of Want and Glory swirl and clash, the party find both Want and an abstract presence that feels much like the Throne, watching proceedings. Minerva and Augustine face off as the sheer force of Want tries to sweep the party off the tower to their death, during which time it becomes apparent that Augustine orchestrated the breaking of the Dodecahedron in order to have Minerva kill off all her enemies before killing Minerva. The party deduce that Augustine is committed to security, protectionism, and internal matters, whereas Minerva is committed to conquest, expansionism, and external matters. They come down relatively conclusively on Minerva's side, and though Augustine uses an Embrace to turn into a figure made up of solid, immutable law, she is ultimately cut down. The party note that the incredibly powerful energies now surging across the material plane seem to have slightly worsened the structural intergrity of, er, the sky, but only very slightly - they stopped it before any substantial harm could be done.
Minerva wastes no time in declaring herself Grandmaster and thanking the party for their help. She also uses the power of Want to summon an enormous gothic castle and merge it with the Throne Sanctum, on the grounds that it fits her aesthetic better. Cloth appears to very nearly murder Candle, but instead the two agree to be Minerva's court jesters/assassins. Finally, as the huge lost city fades from view, all three weavers pool their resources and attempt to wrench the perfect balance of the city apart, liberating Want and Glory from their eternal trap in a titanic ritual. They sense both entities are pleased with this outcome, though what avenue that pleasure will take is unclear.
Carta makes a deal with Glory and Want to obtain the ability to assume the form of the respective Elder Races of their planes, in exchange for freeing them from their eternal battle. Unfortunately, communicating with entities so far beyond human ken is difficult even for a master connection weaver, and a slight translation error is made, convincing both entities that this gift is a standard way to express gratitude to somebody who helps you. As such, everyone involved in this adventure gains the same ability.
Cloth sneaks away and does some plotting. A little while later, the majority of Carta's house collapses into rubble. It's not a huge blow to his wealth, but a point has been made.
Candle finds every mirror she can reasonably lay hands on and arranges them in a room, sitting in the centre and polishing her mirrored body parts. She falls asleep, and experiences a strange and disturbing dream. When she awakens, the house that she shares with Cloth is entirely reflective, as is everything in it with the sole exception of Cloth herself, the one remaining Painter scarf, and the skull which sits on the dining room table.