Zarantyr 25, 1001 YK
The Eclipse Collective makes an agreement with Tamztur to forge a Blackclaw Slayer weapon from their existing weapons in exchange for the Tome of Leadership and Courage. They barter with Yrkhetep for information on it, trading some of Conlon’s memories for its location. They then go to the Hall of Knowledge, entering with false Marks of Poison created by Marlamin, and meet with its master: a behir named Trioxit. They find in his hoard the Tome, but he will not surrender it unless Rilic teaches him his “most powerful spell.” Rilic agrees, and begins an elaborate display to demonstrate the teaching of the spell, which partially sets the library on fire and triggers a wild magic surge. They get the tome and return it to the Hall of Commerce, where Tamztur takes their weapons and leaves to get the weapon forged.
Meanwhile, the party goes to find the prisoner Talbot asked for previously. They search the Places of Sacrifice for the man, and find him on the third after a number of trials on the way. They patch him up with magic and bandages and take him back to the Hall of Commerce while they rest and wait for Tamztur, and the arranged date of delivery.
Zarantyr 26, 1001 YK
Tamztur returns, delivering the Blackclaw Slayer and receiving the tome in return. He also trades a magical rake Marlamin found for the cloak of stars he brought, which is a shockingly one-sided trade. Most of the party leaves to deliver the prisoner to Talbot outside of Haka’torvhak while Derli and Marlamin remain within. While they wait in the Hall of Commerce, another paladin of the Sovereign Host, Ser Tabin Hamson, arrives and demands Derli’s shield. The paladin breaks into the Hall and fights him, though since he has only one hand, he is defeated. Marlamin intervenes before Hamson can take Derli’s shield, and the two prepare to fight.
Zarantyr 25, 1001 YK
The party regroups at the Hall of Commerce. With a dragon-slaying weapon and a demon-slaying weapon now in hand, their goal is to forge them together. A highly skilled smith talented in working with magical items is needed for the task, so they consult the merchants in the Hall of Commerce. Ozorr says he knows someone still in the City of Brass who can do it, but he wants Derli’s new arm-ring for it to give to Yrkhetep in exchange for entry into the Teardrop Palace. Tamztur, meanwhile, presents the same offer he did before: he will exchange the Tome of Leadership and Courage, found somewhere in Haka’torvhak, for bringing the weapons to his contacts to fuse together. The party decides to go with the latter, but in order to find the Tome, they deal with Yrkhetep for information.
Many deals are moved on and off the table, but finally Yrkhetep settles for a thorough exploration of Conlon Ostrennar‘s mind. He puts Conlon to sleep and enters his mind using magic, wracking Conlon’s dreams with strange nightmares relating to his past. After a few hours, Yrkhetep finishes his work, commenting that their “candidate” will find the information gleaned very useful. He directs the party to the Hall of Knowledge, a large library in the northwest of Haka’torvhak, which is controlled by a behir named Trioxit.
When they arrive, they are turned away by a dracotaur guard who says that only those bearing the Mark of Poison are to be allowed in the Hall of Knowledge. Marlamin Tarmikos uses his ring to put a fake mark on the members of the party. They wait a while before they show the mark to the dracotaur, and convince him that they have accepted the Poison Dusk since their last visit. He allows them inside the cavernous library, filled mostly with crystals, which the party identifies as knowledge shards. There are some books, though most of them are found in Trioxit’s hoard, which resides at the far end of the library. He sits atop it and watches them while Iadoes tries to gain access to one of the library’s separate wings.
The party approaches and finds the Tome of Leadersihp and Courage among Trioxit’s hoard. They barter with him for it, and he eventually agrees to surrender it if Rilic Balendal teaches him his “most powerful spell.” Rilic agrees to this, and begins an elaborate show involving some fake but highly convincing magic words, alchemical pyrotechnics, and an accidental triggering of a wild magic surge that causes calliope music to play in the library. The pyrotechnics cause fires to break out throughout the library, much to the dismay of the panicking dracotaurs. Apparently satisfied with this, Trioxit surrenders the tome, and the party leaves with Iadoes somewhat behind (as he was gathering knowledge shards from the Halls’ east wing).
They return briefly to the Hall of Commerce, and hand the weapons to Tamztur to be forged, holding onto the book until his return. He opens a portal and leaves with his escort, claiming the forging should take about one day (from their perspective). They rest briefly at the Hall, giving Iadoes some time to look over the knowledge crystals he has found and set some aside fro later study.
While there, the Eclipse Collective realizes that it is the day before they are meant to deliver the prisoner to Talbot. They go to the Places of Sacrifice, four towers with huge spikes on them littered with bodies of the prisoners of Haka’torvhak. The first one requires them to fight a number of lizardfolk to reach the top, and on searching they discover what they think is the prisoner in question… until the Mark of War begins to rub off his face. They realize it is the same gnome that was involved in the bed heist of Trolanport some two years previous. He is left there to die while they proceed to the next tower, where they fight a yrthak before discovering the prisoner is not there. Finally, after fighting their way through about five hundred needleteeth and walking a few dinosaurs, the party reaches the third tower, where they find the prisoner in question. He is prepared with magic to survive a bit longer once removed from the spike, and bandaged while the party returns to the Hall of Commerce to rest.
That night, Marlamin examines the rake that he found at the Places of Sacrifice, finding it to be a rake of tracking, an unusual item capable of temporarily covering one’s tracks. Derli manages to contact Baalondorus in a dream, and asks him for the location of Ser Hamson. Baalondorus reveals that she occupies Torch Keep in Breland, and before leaving, cautions Derli against killing Rhashaak.
Zarantyr 26, 1001 YK
The next day, the party patches up their prisoner again, who is getting worse by the moment. They visit with Tamztur, who has returned from his visit to the Drifting City and has brought back the Blackclaw Slayer, a hybrid longsword. He trades it for the tome, and is surprisingly very excited by the prospect of the magic rake they have found and offers to trade that for the cloak of stars that Conlon was after. They agree, and receive the cloak in trade. While in the Hall, they also learn that Jochimus has returned to Haka’torvhak after causing considerable devastation in the world outside.
After trades are made, the party, excluding Derli d’Kundarak and Marlamin Tarmikos, decide to make the delivery of the prisoner. They are marked with artificial Marks of Poison again, and leave out the front gate of Haka’torvhak, convincing the guards that they are authorized to do so. They begin descending the low mountain. Meanwhile, a fully-armored human bearing symbols of the Sovereign Host arrives at the portcullis of the Hall of Commerce, challenging Derli for his shield. Derli, having only one hand (and one tiny, incompletely-regenerated hand) refuses to allow the paladin, Ser Tabin Hamson, inside.
Hamson breaks open the portcullis after several displays of divine force and engages Derli in combat, who can fight only with his axe and not his shield. Hamson uses several scrolls throughout the fight, all of which are attached by wax seals to the paladin’s shield. Derli is unable to resist the constant assaults of divine magic and goes down after dealing considerable damage to the opposing paladin. As Hamson steps forward to take his shield, Marlamin, who has been watching the fight proceed, moves to intercept the paladin. He claims that he is not going to allow Hamson to take Derli’s prized possession, and the two prepare to do battle…