Standing in the shadow of the newly undead Kimeryth, the adventurers retreated into the manor house and left through the backdoor into a walled garden. The immense dragon tried to follow them, climbing onto the roof of the manor to give chase, but the shattered structure could not support his weight and the manor crumbled beneath him, granting the adventurers the time they needed to make their escape.
Leaving the manor, the group saw the full extent of the destruction caused by the fall of the Eye of Orcus; shattered buildings, half-eaten corpses in the streets, the few survivors crying out in their hiding places. The streets were thick with the living dead, shambling hordes on the hunt for meat, their flesh already black and shriveled with decay, despite the moon having fallen less than an hour ago.
As the troupe hacked their way through the swarm, Henrik Von Ditronas noticed one of the cobblestones shifting, rising from the others to reveal a man beneath. The man beckoned the adventurers to join him in the tunnel, promising to lead them to safety. They chose to trust the man, disengaged from their rotting opponents and made their way downward.
Traveling through large stone corridors, half-choked with cobwebs, the party was eventually brought to the headquarters of a band of smugglers. Surrounded by riches, the group was invited to make themselves at home to await the coming of their boss.
Upon the arrival of the boss, Courtland was shocked to see his protégé, Y’ora El, who had disappeared from his service several years prior. Equally surprised, Y’ora rushed to embrace her former master.
Y’ora revealed herself to be the Spider, head of the most successful smuggling operation in the country of Epoch, though she’s recently begun to branch out to the other major countries as well. The rest of Y’ora’s gang was present as well: the brutish dwarf twins, Garlick and Rutledge; a somewhat unsettling half-elf named Sylstaer; a roguish tiefling with a flare for dramatics named Journey; a nimble-fingered halfing, Irary Redthistle; and a huge, scarred human called Sycamore.
The smugglers gathered around a map of their convoluted tunnel system in hopes of finding a way out, but were unable to come to an agreement – running to the north would bring them to the barrier of the Coppercourse Mountain, south led to the Empyreal Sea, west would bring them to the Sea of Araxie, and heading east would find them in the wraithlands.
Hania Highspire suggested they travel south to get to the sea, where they could take a ship to sail to Everlasting Dawn. She also urged Y’ora to aid them in launching a rescue operation in Fierburg to save any survivors of the moonfall – a suggestion which the Spider resisted utterly.
At the door, while escape was being planned, something slipped soundlessly into the room, with strange, gliding movements. A tall, spindly humanoid creature, with long fingers and something akin to antlers sprouting from its featureless head.
Sycamore was standing at the door as the thing drifted in, and he grabbed his axe and attempted to cut it down, but the axe passed through the creature’s body like it was water. The creature responded by moving its fingers in quick, weaving motions around Sycamore, tracing the shape of the man without touching him; he cried out in pain, clutching at his head, and finally, his body collapsed into sparkling dust – magical residuum. Sylstaer took a shot at the thing with his crossbow, but again, the attack passed through the creature’s body like water.
Y’ora grabbed Courtland’s hand and ran. She took him through a secret passage in the wall, the rest of the two groups racing after them. The path ultimately brought them to a small room, with a golden hoop set into the floor and magical runes painted on the walls. The Spider explained that this room was a teleportation circle that would take them across the Empyreal Sea to Nazianz, where she had some colleagues.
With no other choices for escape, the adventurers and the smugglers entered the golden hoop one by one to be teleported to a wizard’s tower in Nazianz.
(Whosoever reads this text shall be granted the boon of hero points thrice.)