Standing on the steps of the Bailey looking down at the town folk the group see that some of the townsfolk are listening to the soothsayers and town criers but mostly they mill about in groups, speaking in hushed tones and looking at the adventurers. They approach one of the criers who is standing atop a soapbox. Jalana asks the man if she can say a few words and they see that he is obviously insane. He garbles some nonsense and then falls off the soapbox. A blacksmith who was fixing the front sign of his shop sees them, stops, and approaches them.
‘Be careful with that box, it’s mine’ tells them, and goes back to mending his own business.
The group discuss amongst themselves who should be the one to deliver the news to the people of Corundum. Who amongst them has the eloquence and empathy required to properly explain the complicated turn of events that arose from their actions. They decide that Jalana is the best option.
Climbing defty onto the soap box, with it’s previous occupant still raving in the mud beside her, Jalana cries to the people, with raised arms covered in blood.
‘Peasants! Harken to me! We killed Arryn and took his heart from his chest and will be taking it to the Halflings in the forest of Datura!’
Unsurprisingly, quite a few people in the crowd start arming themselves. The blacksmith behind them picks up his smiting hammer and many of the traders about feel the rise of simmering violence. Jalana, happy with her pronouncement steps down from the makeshift pulpit and looks to Vuvu, ‘Well that wasn’t so bad, was it?’
Many women and children are rushed away as a large contingent of guards rush to them, pulling Jalana off to the side and asking her what in the blazes she was talking about. The guards convince the adventurers to come with them, to see Wyne immediately.
They are lead back to the keep, to Wyne, who is speaking with many town officials. As they enter he looks up from some papers on his desk that he was discussing with a nobleman, ‘Ah, the heroes are here. Please excuse me, I must attend to them.’
The nobleman exits Wyne’s company with an irritated bow and the guard accompanying them explains to Wyne what occurred outside. Wyne is not happy, but he’s not surprised either. ‘Please, for the love of all that is right in the world, leave all public relations to me from now on, would you?’ he implored them. They didn’t take kindly to his accusations that they couldn’t woo the crowds as well as him, and a few insults were traded, however they agreed. ‘Now, tell me everything that happened down there.’ he continued.
They agree, and tell him everything that happened in the tomb downstairs. He is upset that they were all deceived by the demon masquerading as Arryn, but as a stoic man of resolve, he didn’t let it get in his way. He advises that he has many of his people inspecting the portal down there, and a few have gone missing. Wyne explicitly forbids them to go anywhere near the strange happenings in the dungeon.
The group then asks for and is given full access to the library of Corundum to better understand the history of the Throne and why this is occurring, with Vuvu convincing him that they could at least help with research. What harm could a few books do?
They learn a few things; firstly of the Prophecy of Second Spark. This speaks of a time where the world will be changed so thoroughly in order to instigate the return of an ancient and malevolent power that will consume the world.
Secondly, 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. Then one day their entire civilisation fell.
Some say they went too far with their magic, and they let loose some darkness hidden below their great temples. Since then the paladins of the realm patrol the area and keep whatever darkness there is Datura at bay.
Obviously, one got out. If more were to escape, who knows what would happen?
They then make their way from the library to the infirmary to see how Li-Lac was doing. They find him asleep in the same bad that Grash was put in. They leave him be, he looked like he needed some rest.
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.