Lharvion 8, 1002 YK
The Eclipse Collective visits a reality related to Kaleth in order to find an item he can use to help fight the Phane. His reality is one populated exclusively by Kaleths. After messing around in this reality for a while, Kaleth is given a whip made of human flesh by a Kaleth covered in the markings of the Rage of War. The party then discovers that this reality was created by the Overlord after he left the time-frozen Chronocracy, and Kaleth tries to acquire another item from him by slaying Culdrathan the Judge. The party decides not to pursue this course and instead returns to the Mainstream timeline.
In the Mainstream, the Phane has frozen time around the Eclipse Keep and is awaiting the party’s arrival. They quickly leap into a fight with it, and though most of the party members are brought down (but not killed) during the fight and the melee combatants aged substantially by the Phane, the party triumphs when Rilic turns the tables by summoning Culdrathan using the token given to him before. Derli deals three massive finishing blows to the Phane, and the party absorbs its Mythic power, achieving their maximum potential as living elements of the Draconic Prophecy.
Lharvion 8, 1002 YK
The final reality the Eclipse Collective visits to collect items to help them harm and ward against the Phane revolves around Kaleth. The symbol he chose to focus on in entering his reality was an hourglass filled with smaller hourglasses, and the timeline the party arrives in appears to be populated by nothing but Kaleths. They arrive in the vast, sprawling city of Kalethopolis, conveniently on market day. Mainstream Kaleth joins a number of other Kaleths in visiting the Kaleth market, where countless Kaleths hawk time-related wares, while even more Kaleths peruse and purchase them using coinage stamped with Kaleth’s face.
The Kaleths in the market are very surprised and taken aback to see the other party members as they haltingly approach. They are immediately accused of being “non-Kaleths” and thus unwelcome in this reality. Zil’dejin manages to persuade the assorted Kaleths that he is a “dragonborn Kaleth,” which is quickly transformed into a Kaleth literally born of a dragon. Indicus convinces all that he is one of the “martial Kaleths,” among the lowest caste of Kaleths, and that he fights for sport. Derli fails to come up with even an unconvincing lie, and refuses to pretend that he is a Kaleth. Rilic announces that he is the “Judge Kaleth,” which all gathered Kaleths are immediately inclined to believe. The Kaleths begin calling out for Kaleth mob justice against Derli, culminating in general agreement when Zil’dejin suggests they put him in a giant hourglass and let him be gradually crushed by sand.
Derli continues to refuse to offer a defense even when prompted by Rilic, eventually leading the party to take an alternative tack. Rilic demands that he have a chance to “further interrogate” the non-Kaleth by taking him aside and then casting judgment later. The Kaleth mob is disgruntled, but soon forgets the matter after Mainstream Kaleth suggests a “time jog.” Here, dozens of Kaleths open slipgates and pour through them, emerging apparent seconds later with various souvenirs lifted from places in time, which are then quickly distributed in the marketplace. Against his better judgment, Mainstream Kaleth finds himself becoming quickly swept up in the flow of Kalethopolis and its many Kaleths, making it difficult for the party to persuade him to focus on the task at hand. An item of value to another Kaleth should be easy to find, but it is quickly apparent that most of these Kaleths have little attachment to their things, instead preferring to trade assorted time-souvenirs back and forth for the sake of novelty alone.
Eventually, the party is brought into the Dark Zone, where they believe they might be able to find Kaleth Prime, the original Kaleth in this reality. The Dark Zone is where assorted reject Kaleths are kept, and where Kaleths with some darker desires come to get their kicks. Dinosaur fights and battles using weapons as-yet undreamt of are taking place all around as they arrive in the Dark Zone, so called because it is essentially a Kaleth settlement in a huge, poorly-lit dome. Here, the party is introduced to “timeball” (a game where a ball is thrown through a slipgate to emerge somewhere randomly, and then thrown through by the nearest Kaleth available), prompting Derli to fashion a set of blinders for Kaleth to keep him on task. They are moderately effective, but Kaleth is quick to be absorbed in what he refers to as the “time mind.”
During a game of timeball, a slipgate opens to reveal a new Kaleth, covered in the markings of the Rage of War. He grabs the timeball and sets it ablaze before asking Kaleth a few questions to determine his identity. Once he has confirmed Kaleth’s place in the Mainstream reality, Rage Kaleth hands him a whip, apparently crudely fashioned of human flesh. Rage Kaleth mentions vaguely that he was under specific instructions to give it to Mainstream Kaleth, who accepts the whip. Mainstream Kaleth then accuses Rage Kaleth of “time crimes” for “violating the sanctity of timeball.” Rilic, under the guise of Judge Kaleth, prepares to preside, when a new Kaleth approaches: it is the Overlord, here known as Kaleth Prime.
The Overlord apparently created this reality after fleeing the time-frozen Chronocracy by systematically seeking out the dawning of all other races he could find and eliminating them, replacing them with Kaleth time-clones to create a reality consisting of nothing but Kaleths. Time is incredibly fragile here due to the massive abuse of chronomancy, but for some reason this does not appear to bother the Overlord. Kaleth questions him, asking him about an item he might use to potentially combat the Phane, and the Overlord offers up his hourglass (more or less the same as Kaleth’s old one, which he gave away to Daroon). For this, he wants the Collective to eliminate Culdrathan the Judge, who has been causing problems for the Kaleth world. Kaleth is inclined to do so, and the party prepares to accompany him, but Rilic vocalizes opposition. Kaleth claims that he needs something else to fight the Phane, but Rilic counters that he already has the flesh-whip and is “just trying to double-dip in [his] reality.”
Ultimately the party decides to side with Rilic, and chooses not to engage Culdrathan in battle. Kaleth grumbles, but he still opens a slipgate to restore the party to the Mainstream timeline.
Arriving back at the Eclipse Keep, the party finds that the Phane has already arrived, and is waiting for them. The area in and around the Keep is frozen in time, and all people in the vicinity are in stasis as the Phane gradually feeds off of their future. The shadowy, shifting abomination regards them, telepathically displaying to each of them images of the destruction of the timelines they visited and finally, the destruction of the Mainstream timeline. Kaleth is quick to attack the monster, beginning a bizarre battle.
The Phane is surrounded by a null-time field that catches Zil’dejin and Indicus relatively early in the fight, and its stasis touch freezes Derli, who is thereafter unable to be freed except by counteractive magic. Kaleth does considerable harm to the Phane with his magic but is frequently hammered by the Phanes “chronal blasts,” twisting and distorting time around Kaleth. This damages him to the point where he is forced to resort to his contingency, transforming into a Timeasaurus Rex, which he quickly abandons to use more magic. This mistake proves costly, as the next chronal blast knocks him out. Zil’dejin frees himself from the null-time field effect shortly after to attack the Phane again, doing further damage to the dark form, but soon he too is affected by the stasis touch. Lucan is also taken down by the chronal blasts, leaving only Rilic standing.
He resorts to the Wand of Wonder multiple times with variable effectiveness, and then finally in desperation summons Culdrathan the Judge using the token given to him by the time dragon. Culdrathan emerges from a slipgate and engages the phane in battle, periodically stopping to free Zil’dejin and then Derli from temporal stasis. Culdrathan is himself eventually frozen in time stasis, and the Phane feeds off of its future, but despite is capacity to regenerate in this way Zil’dejin and Derli manage to take it down, with Derli dealing a trio of tremendous blows to finish the abomination off, his axe flashing with radiant might and the darkness from the talisman seized from Cassianus.
With the Phane destroyed (and Derli, Zil’dejin, and Indicus considerably older for the Phane’s time-consumption), time restores itself around the Eclipse Keep. Nimozaran congratulates them, expressing that he did not see any part of the fight but that he saw the Phane one moment and the party the next, correctly assuming that the Phane did not destroy time. For the party’s efforts in stopping the Phane, Culdrathan decides to call it even between them, and that he will restore all of their lifelines… except for Kaleth, whom he still deems to be a major threat. He mentions that he will be keeping an eye on them from now on.
In the meantime, the Phane’s mythic power is absorbed and distributed among the party, allowing them to reach the pinnacle of their Blooded abilities.