Thanks to Shanraa’s manipulations of the Defilers, the party found themselves in the city of Tyr. The first matter that had to be dealt with was their appearance. Regardless of their intent, wandering around a city that hates arcane magic with donkey heads was bound to cause problems. The heroes attempted to craft disguises for themselves.
Once their disguises were set, they took to the alleys trying to make it to the central ziggurat. And while their disguises and stealthy movements helped them avoid the crowds and the templars, they did not elude everyone. The party soon found that they were being followed – by a Preserver!
Preservers were the counter to the Defilers. They believed in finding ways to use arcane power without destroying the world and defiling their bodies. They too sought something inside the ziggurat and made a pact with the party to help each other out.
While the preservers distracted the templars, the party and a chosen member of the preservers snuck inside the now abandoned ziggurat to find some information. They found a massive library, with a mural that depicting the ancient coming of the grey age when the ‘Great Serpent’ came and created the first of the defilers – the Sorcerer Kings. That they used a dark ritual by sacrificing 333 souls to break the ‘great chain’ that ultimately began to kill the world and have it rot away to the sandy wasteland it had become. The heroes saw this and made the connection to the strange ‘Army of 333’ they had heard about in their world, and new exactly what was coming now. The Army of 333 wasn’t a military force… they were a sacrifice!
Rushing to the top of the ziggurat and into the throne room, the heroes opened yet another gateway. The angel reappeared once more, but the heroes were ready for her this time. Calling her out, she revealed herself to the Malicel, the winged creature that had stolen the elemental heart from Zavris in Haivar. And even more of a revelation, Matisse finally put the clues together that Malicel was in fact Camille Veroux – his mother turned monster.
The battle was quick and bloody, Matisse burned his mother to a crisp with his weakened holy might and claimed her brooch, a powerful holy symbol, from her charred remains. Now free of Malicel’s influence, the party entered the portal not to find a massive path full of doors but 12. Twelve doors. All brimming with black light except one. One door was filled with a bright white light. They only hoped that it was the one that would lead them home. They stepped through…
…And appeared in a bar at Forest’s End to the resounding laughter of Haffston Brewsmelter. They had made it home. They found their old crew waiting for them. They got them cured of their donkey heads, and explained that while the heroes had been gone, a whole 6 months, they finished the mission to the last few temples themselves. Haffston had become a paladin of Muradin, and the Raven Queen had granted them the foresight to see when and where the party would return. Now they were gathering up their armies to go to the Stormwall Fortress, and were just waiting on Lenny and Qiton to return with news from Camnir.
However, it is only Lenny that arrives. She reveals that the Army of 333 were assaulting Camnir when they arrived and being led by Nahrees, the Dawn Knight of Earth. Qiton, wanting revenge for the destruction of the Gray Flame, told Lenny to get inside during the commotion and charged in. He fought against Nahrees alone, and in the end they ended up finishing each other off. With the leader now gone, Camnir’s forces quickly slaughtered the Army of 333 in a completely and utter victory, but also sent word that they would not be joining the assault on the Black City.
The heroes were puzzled about this. They had helped the revolution in exchange for their army’s aid. Why would they deny them? However, the now human Shanraa had the answer. Not only had she become a human from a half-orc but her entire history had been re-written by the forces of chaos to match. She was the daughter of a Camnir noble who helped re-establish ‘proper’ order after the revolution for a ‘free Camnir’ proved unsustainable. Now the city was led by a proper council and much was back as it was before the revolt.
Disheartened by the lack of support from Camnir, the heroes decided that in Qiton’s memory they would still march on the Black City with whatever they had. Haffston led them to their horses and they rode toward Stormwall.