Last week on the Thursday game...
Upon arriving back at the Drake's Nest, Silence had another job for the party: this time, another escort job, but one that's much simpler. All they had to do this time was to go to Duskveil through the astral plane - through a portal that Fenrir knows and has used several times in the past - hand their contact a pouch with 100pp, and then return with a chest full of duskstone. Easy... right?
Travelling to the portal proved simple enough, but once they dove into the Astral Sea, their travels quickly attracted the attention of a githyanki black ship. Armed with deadly silver swords, the alien pirates demanded a ransom in the form of either service or gold; and, seeing how they had little gold to spare themselves, the party opted for service.
This was acceptable to the githyanki, who wanted to use the party to slaughter a bunch of their githzerai cousins. A peace was recently negotiated between the two factions, and although the githyanki were honour-bound to obey the treaty, the party was not. All the party had to do, therefore, was go to the nearby monastery and kill all the githzerai found there. The party agreed, and the pirates gave them a small rowboat to speed their way across the Astral Sea.
As the party approached the island of Keth, they realised that Keth was not so much a landmass as it was a gigantic corpse: specifically, the corpse of an ancient god of fire whose name was, presumably, Keth. Although the god was long dead, a massive pillar of fire still shone from his forehead, and each spark within that massive pillar still shouted the god's long-forgotten name into the infinite depths of the Astral Plane in blind, unthinking defiance.
The githzerai had established a monastery within the neck of Keth, and as the party pulled up to the docks, the Abbot warmly welcomed them to his monastery. Shamed by his hospitality, the party then confessed that they were sent here by the githzerai to slaughter his monastery, but seeing how they were coerced into the deal, they had no real intentions of honouring their side of the bargain. The Abbot understood, and allowed them to use the stairs within his monastery to ascend onto the body of Keth, where they might possibly find another way to leave the Astral Plane and still reach Duskveil.
It took the party a small infinity to travel from the neck to the heart, but seeing how they needed neither food, drink nor food on the Astral Plane, they were not massively inconvenienced by their travels on the divine corpse. As they approached the heart, however, a small band of miners - each armed with silver-tipped pickaxes - stopped them and demanded to know if they were working for "the fops". After some negotiation and fast-talking on the part of Serrano, the miners agreed to let the party through, provided that they carry a message to "the fops": "stop taking our stuff!"
Another small infinity later, the party finally arrived at the guts, where a large university appeared to have been carved into the guts of the god. The adventurers rang the silver bell outside the entrance, and a gnomish wizard appeared in response to it. Yes, this was a wizarding academy, but no, the party cannot enter. Yes, there was of course a way to leave the Astral Plane: all you had to do was find a "phallic stone", use it to lure one of the gigantic scavenger birds nibbling at Keth's toes, and then jump onto one of them and fly off to wherever you wanted to. Where can you find such a stone? Why, from the Cult of Ever-Pleasure of course, located at the groin of the body. Now if you were done with all your questions, I'm going back to my studies.
Another small infinity passed, and the party eventually found themselves at the groin, where the Cult of Ever-Pleasure were engaged in a large, never-ending orgy. While the other adventurers marvelled at the stamina of the lovers, Serrano found the leader of the cult and asked if he could have a phallic stone. "No, they're for cult use only". Well, could he buy one off the cult? "What could you possibly offer me? We have everything we need here."
Realising that it was going nowhere, the party decided to investigate the blazing bonfire that the cultists were all gathered around. Although the fire was as real as anything else on the Astral Plane, the heat from it did not burn: rather, it simply kindled desire in one's heart and, there, smouldered, awakening ancient urges that they never even knew they had. On impulse, Fenrir decided to jump into the fire, and as the fire consumed him, he descended: down, deeper than he thought possible, through endless depths of depravity until pain and pleasure ceased to have any difference and instead became one and the same.
When the cultists realised that Fenrir was not a new initiate but was instead here to steal a phallic stone from them, they attacked him. It proved to be a close fight, but eventually Fenrir - along with the rest of the party, who eventually caught up with the brash ranger - managed to slay the cultists and escape from the lair of the Ever-Pleasure, "phallic stone" (which was really more of a crystal than a stone) firmly in hand.
From this point on, the rest of the journey proved straightforward. The crystal worked much like the gnomish gatekeeper had promised them it would, and the gigantic birds that the stone summoned proved both strong enough to carry the entire party and also easy enough to steer that they made the rest of their journey in record time. However, even as the birds dropped them off at the portal to Duskveil, the party saw that the githyanki black ship had spotted them, and that the pirates had realised that the heroes have not lived up to their end of the deal...