The group is standing on the steps of the Bailey looking down at the town folk. Some are listening to the soothsayers and town criers. They approach a group where one of the criers is standing on top of a soapbox. Jalana asks the man if she can say a few words, he is obviously insane and falls off the box. A blacksmith in the back ground tells her to be careful on his box.
She cries to the people, arms covered in blood, that she has killed Arryn and taken his heart and will be taking it to the Halflings in the forest…
Quite a few people in the crowd start arming themselves, many women and children are rushed away as a large contingent of guards rush to them, pulling Jalana off the soapbox and asking her why she thought that it was a good idea to tell people that.
They are lead back to the keep, to Wyne, who is speaking with many town officials. He is not surprised about the spectacle that Jalana made outside, and asks them to leave all public relation matters to him from now on.
They agree, and tell him everything that happened in the tomb downstairs. He advises that he has many of his people inspecting the portal down there, a few have gone missing.
The group asks for and is given full access to the library of Corundum. The Librarian Herman knows of Hemmit, heard of him and that wherever he goes there is a wake of chaos behind him. Hemmit wants to learn more about the half-lings and what this Dark Heart of the Forest is all about.
They learn a few things;
~ Prophecy of the emperors return. He didn’t take some of the power of the planet. He took all of it, he needed all of it.
~ Knowledge of the demons of the dark woods of Datura, millennia ago;
The half-lings, calling themselves the Chhaya, had a sprawling empire of beautiful steppe-pyramids and towers, a very successful water trade and spent much of their time on the rivers and riding giant Cephalopodan that would fly with gas and magic.
Then one day their entire civilization fell, some say they went too far with their magic, and they let loose some darkness hidden inside the forests. Since then the paladins of the realm patrol the area and keep the demons at bay. Obviously, one got out. If more were to escape, who knows what would happen?
They then make their way to the infirmary to see Li-Lac. They find him asleep in the same bad that Grash was put in. He is still unconscious but they find a few notes on his bedside table and Jalana decides to read a few.
They make their way back downstairs and come to the decision that they will be sneaking down to the portal and have a look. They walk down, Vuvu charms one of the guards to let them pass and as they make their way in the mages sense them and order them to leave. Instead, they charge and throw themselves into the portal.
Coming out the other side they find themselves in a dense jungle environment, full of life and animals and critters. They look around and notice that they are being watched.
Nagas begin to stream in from all sides, the fighting is intense and the Naga don’t go down easily. As they fight, the group finds in their Nagas mind that they are fearful of retribution should they fail, the Naga are not angry at the group, they are slaves.
They fight persists, however they realise that they are being watched. They are surrounded by figures in the underbrush. Tattooed and holding spears like they have never seen, adorned with relics, trinkets. They overpower the group, even going so far as to put Vuvu into a death-like sleep.
They awake some time later, in a fighting pit, surrounded by the creatures that they assume to be the half-lings. They are tied with an Elf, who seems to be armed, and they soon realise that they too are still armed.
The chanting begins and the Elf tells them that they need to put on a good fight, else they will die, forever. As they ask him what he means by that he mentions that he has died too many times, and he doesn’t know who he is anymore.
The fight begins and the group slaughters the elf, but the fight is not over. They realise that the fight has only just begun.
Quote that the group read on a small stone tablet:
And the lord stood upon her hinder parts,
And with his merciless club he smashed her skull.
He cut through the channels of her blood,
And he made the North wind bear it away into secret places.
They fight until they are exhausted, not knowing how much time has passed. Eventually after many nights, they are brought face to face with an animal like Baer.
He thinks they are tricking him, and lashes out, they fight him and VuVu eventually defeats him by throwing him magically into the surrounding wall of Chayya who skewer him.
A monk is then brought out, and it turns out that he doesn’t want to fight, he tells them that he has a magical amulet that can turn off their forcefield prison. They do so and begin the escape.