Refuge

Bridging the Divides

There is more in this world and the next...

The meeting with Armos was awkward, to say the least. Frost remained largely silent, and Armos invited the party to meet with him at his estate, but was evasive when asked for any details along the way. Unable to put up with the simmering tension, Meryn, who had returned from fishing, charged at Armos and Frost. A battle broke out, and Armos put his shadow magic on display once again. Frost demanded his friends to stop, but the battle continued until he revealed that he had a magical timebomb implanted in his chest, waiting for Armos’s word to set it off. Armos eventually turned into a dragon and flew away.

Frost revealed to his party what had happened at Armos’s tower, and the party remembered Olaran the Grim, the powerful Nevydian wizard they had helped in King’s Crossing. They asked for his help with a Sending ritual, and he invited them. The party made haste to Spire, which they found in turmoil. A prison break had occurred just before their arrival, and Arianne the necromancer escaped. The party teleported to Olaran’s tower and, due to the gravity of the situation, explained the whole situation with Armos. Examining the runes and plate on Frost’s chest, Olaran explained that, while Armos could track their location with it, he was unable to actually kill Frost or turn him into an undead minion with it. With the help of Meryn and Ruin, he was able to extract the chestplate and deactivate it (Frost pocketed it for later examination).

Olaran also told the party that Jayce Penderghast turned out to have been conspiring with someone to acquire Olaran’s spire — and an inscription found on one of his personal effects turned out to be similar to one linked to Armos.

Unfortunately, Olaran knew even less about the relationship between the spires, amulet, and anything else than the party did. However, the discussion reminded him of several fringe theories about different planes of existence in which the gods, devils, and other otherworldly beings are said to reside, but he had little else to offer. When told of the Ancient Amulet’s power and origins, he offered to keep the amulet for safekeeping, but was talked out of it when the party reminded him that a five-headed dragon was after it. Meryn insisted that the party hole up in the spire and wait for Armos to appear so that they could confront him, but the others, particularly Ruin, wanted to take the amulet to Caer Kahziel. They decided on the latter course of action after much argument, deciding that Armos was too powerful and that they needed to stay on the move.

Before teleporting to the fey city, the party took a detour back to Spire on an idea of Frost’s. He asked Olaran to teach him the Speak With Dead ritual so that they could try to get an answer out of the Tiefling corpse underneath the farm in Spire. They returned to the farm and waited for Frost to master the ritual, at which point they immediately set to work performing it. The corpse’s skeletal mouth slowly opened, and the party waited in great anxiety as its raspy whisper croaked out answers… It told them that the amulet was a gift for her coronation by the archdevil Baalzenefarath-Ra, who was her adviser and consort, and the amulet was meant to protect her. However, she knew nothing of the stone spires across the land.

The party then quickly made their way to Caer Kahziel, sans Meryn, who insisted on staying behind. The party gave their respects and said good-bye, just in case they did not return from whatever happened there, but vowed to return soon.

During teleportation, the bearer of the amulet had noticed that it caused a most turbulent reaction. Before going to Caer Kahziel, Frost gave the amulet to Friedrich to hold. Upon their arrival, the displacer beast immediately began inscribing new runes around the circle. Frost tried to stop it, but it lashed out at him, and Ruin told him to wait and see what happened… Suddenly, The Lady cried out, “At last! The Ritual is complete! And now the final ingredient… Your blood!” Friedrich lashed out at Ruin, whose blood splattered on the circle and instantly caused a flash of bright red, fiery light, from which emerged a most hideous devil — one that Frost immediately recognized as the creator of the Ancient Amulet. The archdevil roared in laughter, but was suddenly caught up in a white light and vanished.

The Lady appeared in her own form and planted a seed in the circle. She commanded Ruin to make sure that the seed grew, and then vanished. The Eladrin and Reynard suddenly felt an intense wave of emotion, and some began crying that they could feel the Feywild…

The bright light vanished, and briefly, one could see a deep, starry blackness, which in turn vanished. However, before the portal closed for good, an outsider from a very far realm appeared, hovering over the party with its eye stalks glaring at them…

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