Time span: 2nd Work 5:1209 to 2nd Work 6:1209
Back in Midia-Urartu, the group celebrates their victory of saving King Eglon III and killing the god, Zehir. They are given a grand banquet in the heroes honor the next morning. The food and entertainment was amazing (though some might say the seafood was a bit sour) and there were many familiar faces who were celebrating with the heroes: Eibon was there who Thorin thought he might be trying to attack them after their previous encounter (refer to chapter 21). After capturing him and dragging him into the kitchen (to make it look like he was choking on the clams), Thorin proceeds to interrogate him. But Jayden interrupts him saying, “It’s OK, he works for me.” Thorin is quite confused and Jayden explains that he freed Eibon in order to find Stondylus. He did so as he posed as Blue Hilt (since he’s a changeling) and proceeded to join “The Locksmith” who took down the mercenaries in Elderwood (refer to chapter 39). After helping Stondylus, who was possessing the “Locksmith,” he barely got out alive as Stondylus went on a rampage and proceeded to possess Hulda. Thorin is upset to hear this all and says they need to find the last artifact here in order to get to Rhodantus quickly.
The group finds at the banquet Kyrynn as well and he mentions that the artifact could be in the kings’ vault. He also says to the group that he is here to help them get to Rhodantus as fast as possible when they are ready. His wizards are ready to teleport them there that day if need be.
“Longcoat” is there, though under his real name: Verankht Longcoat (Eibon points him out to the group). They are able to interrogate him from his previous adventure with Stondylus in Elderwood. He tells them all he knows and explains that he no longer will pick up his crossbow after that experience.
Leonus explains to Delad and Shintaro that after this great celebration he will return to Kinsmet to continue his rule over Rydelle City. He says his goodbyes and wishes the group “Good luck.”
Delad and Shintaro decide to try and see if they can find the artifact in the kings’ vault and Shintaro morphs into a small mouse while Delad distracts the guards at the vault. They are successful but Shintaro is left inside the vault without Delad being able to get him out.
The rest of the party talks to King Eglon and Lord Abbadon. They are commended for their work and, even though Eglon begins to get mad at Abbadon’s futile attempts to rescue him, he shakes off his anger and offers a bitter fruit to the heroes. Noticing something strange, the group finds a very powerful magical spell has been cast upon the kings. While traveling to the vault to receive their prize they try and break the curse. They find it came from Sehanine but two focuses were involved in the spell: two people specifically. Balasar finds Shintaro as a mouse and proceeds to get him out of the vault without drawing attention. Shintaro comes in as normal and picks the artifact that he wants, which is the one he was looking for. The rest of the party gain a new item for their arsenal as well. The heroes eventually break the curse on the kings though at the same time the guards mention to the kings that their children (Princess Vasht and Prince Enos) have gone missing. In the confusion, the two kings come out of their foggy minds and attack each other, not recollecting their peace and friendship for the past year. The heroes are able to calm them down and they find that the two children have escaped to an unknown destination. Through notes and scrolls the party finds in their empty chambers, they find that the two were lovers long ago and were never able to come together until Sehanine appeared before them over a year ago (the date was actually 3rd Rise 25:1208). She was able to cast a spell on the two kings to like each other. The war ended immediately then solidifying the marriage of the two star-crossed lovers. They realized their plans were futile though as it seems the king’s hatred for each other was seeping into specific mechanisms that were helping them deal with this psychological pain. That banquet was their moment to escape their families forever.
And with that the two kingdoms agreed to disjoin, but with the heroes help, they did so peacefully as the Tiefling people began to move out of the cities. The group is thanked for their help once again and they are able to join Kyrynn to get to Rhodantus to meet up with Stondylus there.
While waiting for the portal, Balasar goes to find Rin. He finds him at a fountain that reminds him of his previous life. He remembers the clan “The Straight Teeth,” a club Balasar created with his friends long ago in the Military Academy. They would often meet at fountains before “adventuring.” Rin remembers to be Nevek, Balasar’s old Military buddy who died under his watch. Rin doesn’t remember much else or how he died and Balasar decides to not get into what happened but was able to solidify a relationship with Rin.
Delad is playing with his exodus knife and hears a faint voice from it saying, “Daddy!” He asks the group about the knife where they explain he has a daughter inside the knife. Not totally convinced he uses the knife to create a door. The group goes inside and find Nephelim and Irrbryn. It seems the drow girl has grown to the age of ten quite quickly as Nephelim explains (of course, only by way of the game Truth or Dare) that she ages quite quickly inside his/her dimension; the drow should only be kept inside for another 3 days at most Nephelim says. Delad begins to open up his mind as he spends time with his daughter (having a picnic with small strange monsters, running for miles in an endless tallgrass plain area, etc.) and the Time Transcendence side effects begin to fade away. Through the game Nephelim also reveals her true name: Avandra, the good god of luck. She has been trapped here by Sehanine once the great portal opened up less than a year ago (due to Delad being sick at one point). She explains that she wants to help them with Stondylus and gives them the “exorcism” scroll (though they must find the focus for it). She lets them leave contemplating if they should open the portal more or not and wishes them luck.
The group reaches Rhodantus finally and Shintaro is trying to hurry the party along. Even though it seems the artifacts continue to age him, the shifter is eager to find his lost civilization. They make their way to a small temple in the middle of a lake on the island. They find many shifters dead inside and vampire bite marks on a dead half-elf and dead half-orc as well. Thinking the worst they continue further underneath.
Meanwhile, that same afternoon in the same temple, Bart the Scallywag, Balderk, Gaan, Nord Cooper, and Telnar are fighting the ancient creatures of the Sleeper One. After defeating the monsters they find a dead end in the cavern with a gold statue of an ancient shifter sitting on a throne. While resting they are met by Hulda (who is possessed by Stondylus). She explains she was on the same ship as them and wanted to end up here. Her and Nord converse and catch up as she begins to be very affectionate with him. She tells that the ancient shifters here were once in control of this island but were affected by these strange abberant, other-worldly creatures (the same ones they defeated). She is able to “convince” (by magical means) Nord to help her in finding The Kingdom of Lau Jahnan here. The rest of the group doesn’t like this and Hulda attacks the rest, fangs ready. They are able to dispel the magic on Nord and begin to attack her. However, Bart slinks away and is never seen from again, not knowing if he lived or died in those caves. When the skirmish turns in their favor she falls to the ground and they begin to argue of whether they should kill her or not. While that happens she vanishes from sight. Balderk is very nervous and suggests they leave. They begin to do so but hear a cackle from the shadows as a fireball comes out of no where hitting the party. Appearing is a half fleshy version of Hulda and a half skeletal lich who begins to cackle and attack the party. The party is killed one by one by the lich who explains that he is Stondylus here to prove his Great Theory to be correct. When the last one falls a shout can be heard in the distance as Jayden yells for Stondylus to stop.
Thorin checks on the bodies from a distance to see if any are alive: only one is, Nord. Stondylus realizes this too and steps on his throat saying that if they try anything funny that he will not only kill Nord but Hulda as well. The heroes try and bargain to let them go but Stondylus is set on his goals. The ghost says, “I’ve always been right: about my studies, the month of entropy, and now, the Great Theory: will the gods be so bored where they are that they must push themselves with all their strength and power to attain the world which that they cannot enter. Think about it: they can help with all of our problems here. Famine and darkness can be vanquished in a blink of an eye to them. World hurt and problems will vanish into thin air. They can teach us the secrets of Erryes. This can benefit our world, don’t you see that? The portal has opened for at least 3 or 4 gods to come through by now. Let’s see if we can attain more!”
Realizing that this won’t change at all and the fact that Shintaro feels he doesn’t have much time left, the shifter proceeds to put the artifacts on the gold statue. As he does so he translates from Supernal to Common what each artifact has been written on them:
#1: “Moradin forged the heavens which the gods reside in”
#2: “The gods once all viewed one another as friends”
#3: “One god will roam Erryes for eternity”
#4: “Sehanine is the power behind all portals on Erryes”
#5: “Bane destroyed many before the Tabula Rasa. Bane was the catalyst…”
#6: “Ioun held a terrible secret from all the gods in order to keep peace”
#7: “No one can travel to the other planes because of the gods’ folly”
As he puts on the last one he has, he gains the seventh from Stondylus. The floor caves in and parts of the ceiling begin to collapse on them. Revealed from the rubble deep underneath the island, is a vast city of gold: The Lost City of Lau Jahnan. Erryes’ greatest and most mysterious civilization has been unearthed after hundreds of years. In the center of the city is a large golden ship with magical sails. The gold statue talks on behalf of the dead King Quang Ziu: "Shintaro, before you is all that is left of our city. Rebuild it with the shifters that are willing to listen. The ship, “The Loring Beacon,” will guide you to the untouchable northern lands where a great portal resides. This portal is said to be a gateway for the gods. Do with the ship what you will as you are the only one who can operate it, but protect our city and all that’s left of it."
Shintaro, who is quite old at this point from having the artifacts on himself, sighs a great sigh of relief. But his joy turns to sorrow as he realizes he must help his friends get to the portal before he can truly start to rebuild his nation.
The group, along with Stondylus and Nord (who has been charmed by Stondylus again), board the ship and a large opening is created to the outside. The ship magically rises into the air, and proceeds to head north, rising high above the storm clouds that normally prevent people from getting to the unknown lands to the north, beyond the two continents.