For several weeks now, those paying attention to one of highest towers of the College of the Stars will have seen flashes of brilliant green light illuminate the night sky, while the magically inclined will have sensed great pulses of mana emanating from the same tower. In the last week, the locals around the college have been reporting some rather strange phenomena: a perfectly cubic rat stealing food from larders, a flight of stairs that leads up to the bottom of the same set of stairs, and a fountain that appears to running backwards.
Meanwhile a notice goes up in the Guild of Adventurers reading:
WANTED! EXPERTS IN: DRACONIC GEOMETRY, ADVANCED PSEUDO-PHANTASMIC ALGEBRA, SUPER-DIMENSIONAL PRIME NUMBERS, OR HITTING HIDEOUS GRIBBLY THINGS WITH A SWORD. APPLY PROFESSOR VULSTRAGORN, DEPARTMENT OF TRANS-NORMAL MATHEMATICS, COLLEGE OF THE STARS.
NO TIME OR SPACE WASTERS.
The party arrive at the College of the Stars to find themselves being hired by a small puzzle-box made of Jade. It turns out to be the Arch-Mage Vulstragoorn, emeritus professor of trans-normal mathematics at the College. He's also a universe and needs the party's help.
After being tested by Vulstragoorn the party are found to be suitably puissant for the very dangerous mission he has for them. Namely helping him (or more precisely the pocket universe that is him) sever his bonds to the world, which he considers to be unfortunately 'screwed', and creating a 'potential equilibrium' within himself which should allow him to exist happily as his own stasis managed dimension. The maths certainly seems to work out and he figures there is at least a 50% chance of this not killing them all in a hellish dimensional implosion. This plan will involve realigning his 'Vertices of Power' which are the metaphysical cornerstones of his reality and he needs the party to do that. Plus it would be good if they could find all the apprentices he's lost within himself.
The party set off to progressively align the 8 vertices all of which twist the jade reality around them in murderous and baffling ways. Still by dint of arms and wit the party manage to align them all (only trapping one in statis along the way). This all goes remarkably well except for Karlos eating his own corpse and so trapping himself in a jade golem that can't leave Vulstragoorn's universe.
The next step is to cut Vulstragoorn off from reality, he's got some handy ancient magics to do this, but is pretty confident that, given they'll be the realities being cut, its really going to annoy the dragons. His prediction proves prescient as manifestations of all five show up to attempt to stop the process. The fight is brutal and though the party just manage to rip Vulstragoorn from the maws of the draconic entitles, sadly Anabel is killed. Luckily Karlos has the power to transfer her soul to a new body and Hugh can create new bodies indistinguishable from normal humans…so it is doubly confusing when he decides to make a swan's body instead.
The party, including the now resurrected Swanabel, now help Vulstragoorn with the final stage of his plan. Aided by the knowledge of the canvas of creation taught to him by Hugh, Vulstragoorn reshapes the potential within himself dissolving away much of his domain so that he can create an internal equilibrium of potential. By defeating Vulstragoorn's subconscious, which thinks this whole plan is bonkers, the party complete the process.
Vulstragoorn's demi-plane begins to dissolve, implode, explode and replode simultaneously as he shouts to the party to flee down the narrow umbilicus to their world before it is broken. With reality folding in around them the party cheese it, though on his way out Karlos consumes the umbilicus to try and preserve his jade form outside Vulstragoorn's domain. With a final leap they are blasted back into the world in the tower of the college of the stars. Looking behind them they see Vulstragoorn's reality folding into itself and hear a final cry of; 'Good Job, I think I've got the hang of…', Before space and time implode and all evidence of the jade puzzle-box vanishes. Either they succeeded or Vulstragoorn has been utterly destroyed. His apprentice reassures them that Strumby's Uncertainty Conjecture means there is absolutely no way to know, so best to look on the bright side.
After a scary few moments when it seemed Karlos might have been turned into an inanimate jade statue, all seems to be well. After some wrangling over whether swans can legally inherit from an estate, and whether one is legally obliged to turn in swans who you know to be traitor priests, the party are told that Vulstragoorn's executors will dissolve his estate, on the basis that mathematically it is impossible to prove he is not dead, and their rewards paid with the proceeds.
Before splitting up, Karlos helps Hugh with his inconvenient curse, literally cutting it out of him and then force-feeding it back to him. This seems to work, the only reminder of his curse being that Hugh's lips have turned jet black.