The Red Desert
Approximately 965 HKV
As the sun rose over the sands of The Red Desert, the party was called to a brief meeting with Shyael Woodenhawk, mother of Keyleth. Vorlos and she met gaze and recognized each other immediately, as the elven wizard looked the same as she had over thirty years before.
Vorlos asked her about Keyleth, and how the sword she was not carrying seemed to mean little to her. Shyael smirked, and responded that the sword would need to go to the eldest child of Ohas, and that in his youth, the leader of the Sabertooth had been very well traveled.
Annoyed at her misguidance, Vorlos asked Keyleth for his family’s sword, which the half-elf accomodated.
Shyael explained to the party that they would need knowledge of the Artifact in order to enter the portal, primarily from a poem that she was well aware of, that was considered a prophecy of exactly this situation:
“Eiosol herself must reverse her course,
Be raised from slumber by blood-soaked force.
That which is last must now become first,
As the light by which day comes is now been reversed.”
With this poem, she showed that, in Bathsheba’s hands, the Artifact could produce what looked like a glowing shield, a vibrant sphere of yellow light, that quickly disappeared. She explained that the sphere would only continue to glow if the Artifact continued to siphon souls.
Still confused, but otherwise prepared, the party met with the resistance leaders for a final battle plan. Each group would take a sector of the city, occupying defending forces long enough to get Bathsheba, the party, and the Artifact into the center of the town, and allow them the chance to enter through the portal.
To go along with them, a warlock named Kurann offers to provide his services, and the party agrees – if the man wishes to risk himself in what looks to be a suicide attempt, who are they to disagree?
The attack commenced, and the party quickly battled their way to the center of town, cutting down minor resistance, including a token guard force directly in front of two massive doors. Having found their goal, the party opened the doors and shut them behind, finding themselves in a large cavern with three large pillars.
Within, a massive thri-kreen monstrosity stood before them, pulsing with powerful magic energy and sending surges through the cavern. Vorlos rushed forward, axe in hand, attempting to hack his way through the creature’s thick carapace, but the monster never attacked directly, instead bowing down and then sending psychic energy through the air.
The party was forced to quickly discover how to “reverse the sun,” moving the Artifact’s glowing sphere from west to east, Bathsheba siphoning the energy from rushing demons in order to maintain the shield.
As the final platform was reached with the Artifact, the creature finally collapsed, disintegrating to dust as the swirling red portal lay before them.
Unsure of just what would wait them on the other side, the party entered the portal, leaving the future on their journey into the unknown.