Belorin had abandoned the party following the vision. To leave the pocket dimension, Draven summoned a planar ally – a skeletal demon – with whom he made a deal to leave the demi-plane: to grant the demon the soul of an “experienced” person.
As expected, Sortan was at its head. After a touching reunion with Draven, he revealed what he had learned of Aiden’s fate; the boy was almost certainly Asmodeus, and was being used by Desmiel to march on Heaven. Sortan asked to meet Nikolai, another known god, and declared his intention to rescue all of the gods – Asmodeus included. He asked the group to council with him in his kingdom that evening.
Lady Meridia took Sortan aside and told him of four heroes in Azlanti society who had begun to stir the people against the gods, before she had been turned to stone. She named them:
- Nhur Athemom, a powerful wizard obsessed with creating life.
- Savith, a champion and warrior who was instrumental in defeating the god Ydersius.
- Zura, their queen who lusted after eternal life. She had begun to dabble in vampirism to extend her life. Although overthrown, she had not been killed.
- Aroden, a leader who created government and law. A magic practitioner and philosopher.
Seven teleported to Draven’s kingdom to grab Nikolai and Jubei and returned with them to Zirnalaen.
The party met, and decided on a few things:
- Belorin is not to be trusted
- Sortan sent orc scouting party, with scrolls of sending, to Arcadia to keep an eye on the necromantic pool, where Belorin had sent an expedition
- They asked Lady Meridia to compile a list of the known pantheon so they could decide which gods they should attempt to restore
- They would travel to the Labyrinth to locate the Mask of the Midnight Lord
Part-way through the chat, Sortan detected that somebody had turned the privacy spell inward. Instead of protecting them from listening ears, the walls had become listening ears. Sortan immediately ended the discussion.
Wary of the many ways in which Belorin had power over them, the group decided to send to Jubei to Sigil to research ways to counter the arcana. Yet word also reached them that Ronah and Corvo had not reported in from Rostovia in overlong. They had perhaps gotten into trouble.
Matters for later. For now, the party gathered at Draven’s kingdom and prepared to enter the Shadow Realm and find the Labyrinth. The shae resistance waited for their lord in his throne room. As he entered, they turned to him, ready.
Standing before them, Draven delivered a speech:
“Family, today we embark on a journey to restore our homeland. A journey frought with peril and mystery. When we leave here, we will attempt to take back our dynasty, to take what was stolen from us, to take back the mask of shadow kings past. And with that mask we will take back our homeland. Together we will take down ”/characters/astarot" class=“wiki-content-link”>Astarot and take back our freedoms. Be ready, my children, for when I call, it will be you that provides us with our victory."
The shae cheered, and joined together in unison as the lights faded from the room, and Draven felt the worship and true devotion of his people.
Aminette activated the Cubic Gate, and the Lords of the Federation and their allies entered the Shadow Realm. Before them stood the massive obsidian wall of the Labyrinth.
Jubei took the Cubic Gate from Aminette and departed for Sigil, the City of Doors, leaving his new allies to their quest.
Yet no sooner than Draven and Nikolai began to investigate the Labyrinth in search of its entrance, a pair of young umbral dragons spotted Sortan and dove to attack…