On the way north to the Temple of Learning, the ship was visited by a strange guest. A massive creature of pale stretched flesh, a tentacle arm, and no mouth. Though horrific, Matisse immediately recognized this as Mortekan, the ancient and powerful wizard that he, Malcolm and Rusty had met half a year ago in Magekeep Tower.
He started speaking to the party in a psychic broadcast that rang out in the minds of everyone on the ship, including the crew. This had to unfortunate side effect of freaking out the already on edge mercenaries as well as informing them that the party had been lying and Malcolm was very much alive. In order to stem this problem, Mortekan and the party decided to meet in a field down on the ground, far away from the crew.
They met in a field in the Wyrshann region, a few miles south of the ruined city of Falston. It was there that Mortekan decided to come clean with the party and catch them up on what was going on:
Their world was not the first to face a threat like this. In fact, they are the last. Each world in what Mortekan called ‘The Multiverse’ was once a copy of each other, but developed in different ways. Some were actually known to the part – such as fantastical places like the Feywild or Shadowfell. Mortekan explained that each of these worlds had been destroyed by the Elder Elemental Eye, and now it had set its sights on this world. The LAST world.
Even more dire was the fact that each world served as a ‘chain’ to bind an ancient and terrible horror at the depths on the Abyss in the Elemental Chaos. This ‘Chained God’ that went mad back during the days of the Dawn War was on the verge of being freed, as every world save this one had its chain ‘broken’. Mortekan explained that he knows this because he has traveled from plane to plane, universe to universe, to try and stop it from happening since it turns out it was he that unleashed it in the first place ages ago when he was still a simple human wizard who had set off on an adventure with his allies just outside the town of Hommlet in his home kingdom of Greyhawk .
He also talked about Void and the One in Darkness. The One in Darkness was once a god that was betrayed and destroyed at some point, and while the God’s territory in the Astral Sea was seized by its usurper, the god’s domain was not taken by another god. This domain – a dormant power – fell forgotten and into darkness where it seethed and became consumed by desires of revenge. It awakened as an entity of its own, not a god but a sentient form of power called the One in Darkness. It found Void, who was driven by revenge himself, and freed him from the White King. As it turned out Void was one of ‘The First’, the prototype Dawn Knights created by the White King upon his ascension into power created from those around him in the capital city at the time. In particular, Void was actually Emperor Alric Brelan – the last emperor of Anduris. The White King stole Alric’s body from him and bound his soul to a corpse for all time. This is where the One in Darkness found him, and gave him the freedom to seek his revenge and reclaim his body as the One’s servant.
Mortekan also spoke of Malcolm and his condition. Confirming that it was completely possible that the Devil Blade that Baern wore could be the solution to Malcolm’s problem. He explained that Baern went insane not because of the gauntlet, but because his mind was already fractured and held together by the influence of the White King. Once that influenced was severed, nothing was there to keep Baern’s psyche intact. He said that he might be able to piece together a ritual to track Baern if he had access to a library like the one at Skypierce Tower, or the Temple of Learning.
Finally, Mortekan discussed the crew of the Gray Flame. He revealed that Lenny was formerly an assassin, Qiton was exiled for murder, and Haffston was a con-man (not that anyone didn’t already suspect that of Haffston.) More importantly, he revealed that the very suspicious Senerah was actually Nahrees, Dawn Knight of Stone! That a Dawn Knight had been working with them for WEEKS now and had been watching them. She was also likely responsible for the death of Matthias Seerbane.
Armed with this knowledge, the heroes returned to the ship to face ‘Senerah’. But found a grissly sight. Nearly everyone on the ship had been slaughtered, their corpses shredded and strewn across the ship. They found Nahrees waiting for them, torturing Haffston, Qiton and Lenny. The heroes jumped into action and attacked, but upon being struck, she revealed that she had already gotten what she came for and dissolved into sand on the wind. The party freed the remaining crew, attended to their injuries, and cleaned the ship while searching for what Nahrees was talking about.
It was then they discovered that the body of Rusty’s father was missing.
Fearful of the repercussions of this, the party continued to the Temple of Learning.