Finally pulling Zin and Xamanthe away from the windows, Elias led the way up to the top floor of the tower of Mnenesenia. There he found extremely life-like statues of elven priests and archmagi lining the walls, all looking towards the immense scrying pool in the center.
Taking a few moments to determine if the statuary was in any way magical, Elias peered into the scrying pool. Immediately, the Sigil of Mnemesenia flooded into his mind, but then the pool began showing images of Telementari.
He first saw a younger elf argues with what looks like an older sibling or even possibly a parent. The banners and pennants in the scene indicate that this must be the House Royal.
Then the scrying pool switches to another, darker scene. In the other scene, a group of eladrin, obviously nobles prays at a shrine to Oublivae, the Demon Lord of Ruin. Sacrificing a young elf and eating his heart, one of the nobles takes on demonic features, later showing his ability to change between the two forms.
Through many other scenes, the eladrin noble house creates a demongate, while the young elf’s anger and jealousy begin to corrupt him until finally he is covered in blood and praying at an altar to Orcus in a large area of hidden chambers.
The last scene shows the eladrin house completing the demongate to Oublivae’s realm and demons of ruin begin marching through the portal. At the same moment, the young elf stabs his father through the heart with a thin ritual dagger. A gateway opens and undead flood out into the House Royal. Through the gate, the towering form of the demon lord Orcus itself can be seen. The boys skin turns black as midnight and he transforms into a drow. Then Orcus reaches for him and his skin shrivels into something resembling a lich.
Their quest completed, the party retraces the path that brought them into the heart of the damned city. The ghouls had returned to the site of the first encounter, but fled when the party approached.
Upon leaving the protective barrier of the Encircling Woods, a strong wind begins to blow and leaves from all over the forest swirl ahead of them before taking the form of the Prince in Green. With a wave of his hand, his court flows out of the surrounding woods to join him. Taking his throne, which magically appears behind him, the Prince demands an explanation of why strangers were allowed into the ruins.
Xamanthe reminded her Prince that he did not expressly forbid followers when he assigned her to take Zin into the ruins, nor did he say Zin must travel alone. A youthful looking eladrin known as Celeste, whose eyes shone with the light of Arcadia, stepped up to the throne and suggested that Xamanthe and Zin did no wrong and that only the intruders should pay the price of their folly. The Prince agreed and ordered Xamanthe and Zin to leave the proceedings. Xamanthe did, Zin chose to stay with his companions.
Accepting that Zin’s decision to stay subjected him to the same punishment as his allies, the Prince then asked for the court to decide what should happen to the intruders. Again Celeste stepped up and used her illusions to conjure a view from a mountaintop. She suggested that the party be banished from the Valley of the Sisters until they found their way back from this location. “Make them work to return to their home Sire, as we do for Telementari. If they can even get down from such a height”.
The Prince seemed delighted at the punishment and waved his hands. The trees and vines surrounding the clearing suddenly animated and grabbed the party, flinging them into the illusion.
Getting up, they dusted themselves off and tried to get their bearings. The scene before them was the same exact scene Celeste had pictured, but behind them was a well-traveled path down the mountainside. Torra determined that they were on the Wildland’s side of the Whitecrowns, not much further north or south of where the Darkoak lay.
Picking their way down the mountain path, they soon realized that the were heading south into a smaller valley. Ahead they saw smoke fires and movement. It seemed that the valley was the location of some type of orchard or farm. Getting closer they realized that a patrol or band of some sort was riding up to intercept them. Leading the band of lizardfolk and kobolds was a dragonborn warrior. Although prepared, the party made no aggressive moves when the group approached. The dragonborn introduced himself as Vorkrost Valdur.
Chuckling to themselves and quietly thanking the eladrin Celeste, they accompanied Vorkrost to House Valdur, ancestral home of their ally Brost. Vorkrost introduced them to Selucis, his and Brost’s older sister. Selucis and Brost had been writing back and forth, and she recognized the party from her brother’s descriptions. It seemed that the Valdur’s were just preparing to travel to Krall to witness their brother’s attempt to gain the Blood of Io and become the next Scion of Arkhosia.
Traveling to Krall, they saw the city designed to appear as a huge silver dragon’s head when approached from the east. As guests of House Valdur, they were given accommodations in Clan Loremark’s hold and, the day of the contest, were welcomed into House Valdur’s box in the Arena. Thus they had an exceptional view when the battle began.
Five Dragonborn stepped out on the field of battle, only one would be allowed to drink the Blood of Io and become the next Scion of Arkhosia. This day the paladin Grimm, the fighter Devoric Sus, the sorcerer Shamash, the warlock Skaldrax, and the cleric Brost vied for this prestigious honor.