Timespan: 2nd Work 4:1209 to 2nd Work 5:1209
After a few days of helping the troops of Frosthaven with the end of their war, the heroes notice that winter has finally ended in Frosthaven (late by a couple months). The dragons had a magical sway on the country and it is evident that spring has truly begun here in Frosthaven. Prince Celeborn (now King Celeborn) continues his clean up of his kingdom. The heroes are greeted warmly by Mama Foxx and she begins to hug Jayden (who doesn’t remember her at all). They ask her if Peren will be able to take any kind of leadership for his good work with the Rebel forces and she tells them that he won’t be able to since of his past with the House of the Gifted. They come to realize that Mama Foxx’s house is for gifted half-elves. It’s very common for half elves to be born with magical powers but, on top of that, for some strange reason, they are usually born with some kind of mental disability. Peren’s disability is a high-functioning OCD and it really only showed in small ways throughout his time as leader of the rebel force. But then there’s Jayden and his low functioning schizophrenia that made it hard for him to handle each day growing up unless he was with his “brother,” Crynaden. Mama Foxx is glad to hear the Sehanine songs they would sing when he was growing up still help him today with his mental health.
She asks if Jayden would like to meet his parents. He agrees with most of the heroes going with him. The next day they are about to start their travels when they find that Delad has gone into a state of “Time Transcendence.” Worried for him, Shintaro decides to take care of him while they travel to Jayden’s home.
They begin their travels without any real problems. Jayden seems to be off in his own state of mind as he flies with a now more powerful version of Ralph (Who can turn into a large griffon now under Jayden’s power). They come across a small mountain. A top is a small cottage where many small cages surround it. The sound of various birds echo throughout the valley. The heroes travel up the mountain to the cottage, greeted by the smell of a wood burning stove. An old human man barrels out of the front door as a dozen various birds fly out the door after him. “Ah, fine, I didn’t want to help you anyway!” the old man shouts. He curses the birds in elven underneath his breath until he realizes he has company. “Mama Foxx?” he greets her with a hug, “What are you doing out here? The dragons destroy your home? I told you to live out here, they barely ever come out-” She interrupts him, ‘Seravin, the dragons are dead, the war is over, Prince Celeborn has taken his father’s throne thanks to these heroes. Your son is one of them!’ as she points to Jayden. There’s a long pause as Seravin wipes his hands clean and puts on a pair of small spectacles, “Jayden?”
The reunion is awkward at first, Jayden is stand-offish but tries to learn about his home and father. Seravin is skeptical it’s him though. He remembered an 8 year old boy with severe schizophrenia when he gave him to Mama Foxx. Jayden, Seravin and the heroes begin to explore Jayden’s small home. Jayden begins to remember small things of his house: his room, his father’s writing, how he used to be a soldier for Lykovia who, after the war, retired here and eventually what happened to his mother, Lalani. The elven woman (from Lystra) was killed for being married to a human, only months after Jayden was born (Frosthaven is known for racial hatred for half-elves from both human and elven population). After Seravin buried her in the woods out back (with a shrine to Sehanine next to her grave), the two month old Jayden showed his first bit of magical power: he preserved her image so that her body would never age or deteriorate even after death. Seravin knew there was much power to Jayden, that is why he was so willing to let him become an apprentice for Stondylus. The theorist came to Seravin respectfully and paid him to let Jayden go under his tutelage. He agreed and gave him his sword, “Crynaden” to prove to Mama Foxx that this was a legit transaction. Stondylus showed up at Mama Foxx’s House of the Gifted when Jayden was 15 and was able to take Jayden with him. Seravin asks if Stondylus did a good job and if Crynaden was safe with Jayden now that he was old enough. Jayden avoids the truth and only tells him enough to satisfy him. With the family back together now, things were looking good for the heroes.
Until, at that moment in the woods, they are blinded by a bright light! Angels appear before them and begin to attack them. Gbaja asks Thorin, Leo, and Jayden what he should do. They each tell him to fight until Thorin realizes the angels are only attacking Thorin, Leo, Jayden, and eventually Gbaja when he started to attack them. One of the angels even says to Gbaja, “It is time.” The heroes try to reason with the angels but it seems they wish to hear a scripture. Jayden remembers a Pelorian scripture, recites it, and lays down his weapons. The other heroes do the same and then the angels of Pelor stop attacking.
Gbaja says, “That is the first test of the Oracle. The angels will now lead us to the second test to see who is fit to become the next Oracle of Pelor.” The other heroes are encouraged by the angels to help the candidates, so Balasar begrudgingly goes too.
They enter a portal that takes them to the country of Cush. The angels say, “This is the Test of Priorities. A tribe of orcs and elves are about to go to war. How would Pelor ask you to resolve this? Pelor is the god of healing, show us how you heal.” The angels disappear and Gbaja says he won’t say as much since he is a judge for them now.
The heroes find themselves on what appears to be a battlefield, many orcs and elves dead on the ground. They find the elven encampment and are welcomed with open arms as they are recognized for their heroic duties when they were in Cush long ago. They find this mainly archaeological camp wants to find an elven shrine to an ancient elven king named King Vencesllas. But the orcs are hording it.
The heroes then visit the orcs to find them getting ready for war. Balasar busts in with just his fists since these weak orcs (compared to his epic strength) can’t hurt him. The heroes intimidate the orcs as their leader, Jafar, is respectful to them and wishes to hear what they have to say. They try to make a peace treaty but want to see what this elven shrine is all about. The orcs say it’s a good hunting ground and that the elves tried to attack them while there. Vinkas, a lowly orc scout, was there in the first fight and accidentally shot too early causing the fight to escalate. Jafar explains Vinkas is being disciplined but the elves wish to go to war so they will retaliate.
The heroes are able to calm the orcs down and are able to search the elven shrine. Ancient traps from a shrine built many centuries ago hinder them but the party is able to enter the shrine. They find an undead king rise from his tomb, King Vencesslas himself. All he wishes is to sleep but the orcs and elves keep bothering his “bed.” Jayden explains the elves just wish to know what happened to him so he sheepishly admits his folly as a wizard: He was researching a powerful spell and it backfired on him, killing him. A heavy tablet holds the recordings of what happened, and so he gives it to the heroes as long as he will no longer be disturbed.
The group agrees to the terms and Jayden seals the ancient tomb with a powerful spell. Thorin recognizes it to be the same spell that was used to seal Stondylus in his old tower in the Glubroon Woods. The heroes take the tablet to the orcs but war is practically inevitable at this point. The heroes get Jafar to agree to talk before battle. The heores ask to bring the orc’s flag (golden circles being a consistent trend with the patterns of the flag) as a representation to talk before the war begins with the elves. The armies gather on the field while Gbaja is busy giving last rites to those who died in the previous skirmish. The negotiations are hard but Jayden, Thorin, and Leo are able to get the two nations to make peace: The elves will let the orcs have the hunting grounds that also holds the shrine as long as the elves can send a group to see what the shrine has. Jayden agrees to show them what they have found in the shrine, the elves begin to realize that this great elven king is not as special as they thought he was. At that moment Gbaja steps up to Jafar to reprimand him. The group realizes that the orcs were Gbaja’s own, their flag has hints of signs of Pelor within them. Gbaja was very nervous throughout the test as he realized the test must take precedence before taking care of his own people, so he disguised himself to not look like their leader and didn’t talk much. He was very happy to see the two nations getting along now and at that point, the angels return to take them to their next test. Though these angels seemed to talk a bit differently compared to the last ones. The heroes enter the angel’s portal regardless.
Fire, heat, and lava fill the air as the group steps through the portal: They have entered the Nine Hells. They find themselves on a rock island hovering above hot lava not only with themselves but an unconscious Delad and confused Shintaro next to him. It takes a moment for the characters to realize that something has gone terribly wrong to end up in a different plane. Gbaja seems most concerned as he looks to see a tall, horned, human-like man sitting in a chair with a hell hound next to him, growling at the confused party. The horned figure begins to smile and says, “Ah, it seem Asmodeus’ ‘angels’ have found you and brought you here to Asmodeus’ establishment.” He begins to laugh as the heroes begin to become forcefully compelled to bow before the Overlord of Baator himself, Asmodeus.
As the heroes struggle to gain a will of their own body, Gbaja yells, “What do you want foul beast?!” The evil god begins to pick up a small figurine piece that looks remarkably like Thorin and says, “Do you ever feel like you are part of large game that holds your lives in the balance from death and life?” The heroes look at the grid-like board and see figurines of themselves on the board.
Jayden says, “No! Why would we?”
Asmodeus continues, "Oh? Well, today Asmodeus is sure you will feel like that. You see, Asmodeus would love to play a game with you right now. Now that you are in Baator, there are clones of you all on your little home of Erryes. They look, act, smell, and feel like you in every way. And they are on their way as we speak to kill the ones you hold so dear to your heart. But you have a chance to stop them, Asmodeus is a god of fairness, you see. A gith artifact named “The Looking Glass” is somewhere near us right now giving the energy for these clones to act. If you find it and somehow stop the energy from working in time, then the clones will fall to the ground becoming the puppets they truly are. And then your loved ones will be safe."
“Why are you doing this?!” shouts Balasar.
“Why? Why?!” he rises up out of his seat as searing fire erupts around at his feet, “Asmodeus does not need a reason why, all that matters is Asmodeus is giving you a fair chance!” He calms down for a moment with a simple, “Ahem,” and continues, “Besides, Pelor has taken an interest in you and it seems it’s Asmodeus’ turn to test you in ways Pelor would never allow.” He turns to Gbaja, “So you should be thanking Asmodeus for such a wonderful test for your simple little Oracle.” He pauses and begins to set the figurines up, the characters find themselves free of the evil god’s mental grip on them and he smiles saying, “Now! Let’s begin our game!”