Zarantyr 18, 1001 YK
The Eclipse Collective arrives in Newthrone and meets with King Sebastes ir’Kesslan, who offers to have them stay in the castle and asks to have a meeting with them when they have time. Derli makes a short detour to visit Khalar Velderan d’Tharashk in the Tharashk enclave to hire them to find the Sword of Dol Dorn, but he is told the payment must be a particular item from the House Kundarak vault in the city. The item matches the description of Derli’s Rage Shard that he stole before. He goes to the vault to get it, but ends up trapped in a vault by a disguised Mordakhesh the Shadowsword.
Meanwhile the rest of the party meets with Sebastes who tells them that Zil’dejin’s brother is probably either in the Hall of a Thousand Mirrors or looking to attack a Cold Sun Federation tribe of lizardfolk per Sebastes’ request. He also asks that they deal with the “false” kingdom of Hope to the west by allowing it to become part of his kingdom, offering a huge amount of dragonshards for Eros as payment. Before they leave, he introduces them to the famed adventuring “high mage” Rilic Balendal, who joins with them.
They meet with Mordakhesh disguised as Derli. Conlon sees through the disguise, and they ambush him in Sebastes’ castle, fighting him until he teleports away and replaces himself with the mangled corpse of Prince Oargev ir’Wynarn. A brief panic ensues as Sebastes’ guard arrives, but they converse with the king and end up disguising the body to bring back to the Phoenix Eclipse and eventually take to Eros. At the same time, Derli escapes the vault and rejoins the others. Together, they head to the Hall of a Thousand Mirrors.
Here they learn that a dragonborn matching the rough description of Gaviir Firebane came there that morning for healing in the lower levels, where curses, madness and corruption can be made to take physical form and fought to cure those afflictions. The party decides to spend the night there before going down. Conlon dreams of a masked woman who is also in the Tournament of Blades for the Dream pact, and offers him an alliance by helping him find the other participants so he can kill them until only two of them are left. He says he’ll consider it, and as a sign of good faith he tells him where a duel is to be held between two other participants, the Abyssal and Celestial Hexblades.
Zarantyr 19, 1001 YK
The party goes down into the actual Hall of a Thousand Mirrors. The corruption in Iadoes and Conlon is brought out and defeated, clearing them of their respective demonmarks. Soon after, they find Gaviir, and go back up to where Marlamin Tarmikos is waiting. Gaviir reveals he was trying to get Zil’dejin’s attention to bring him to Q’barra in order to help with the Firebane clan, which has fallen to the “Poison Dusk” (the corruption of Masvirik, the Cold Sun) since their father was exiled for allowing Zil’dejin to live as an infant. Gaviir has three goals: bring back Zil’dejin, find their father, and raise a small army. He wants to attack Haka’torvhak, where the Cold Sun’s prakhutu, an ancient black dragon named Rhashaak, awaits. He believes that by defeating Rhashaak they can clear the Poison Dusk, rather than having to kill every living Firebane outside of themselves. Zil’dejin agrees to go looking for their father while Gaviir fights some lizardfolk per an agreement he made with Sebastes for some troops.
The Collective goes to the Stormhorn clanhold and then to Castle Garodya, where they meet the aspiring conqueror and hopeful consort of Zil’dejin, Mishva Garodya Stormhorn. Zil’dejin’s father, Zil’kavak Firebane, has been acting as her strategist. He is taken to meet his father and talks to him briefly, bringing him into the plan. Zil’kavak reveals that the controller of Ka’rhashan might know of an alternate way into Haka’torvhak but after a coup the city has been closed off. The Eclipse Collective decides to go there anyway.
In Ka’rhashan, the party flies over the walls on firesleds and Marlamin’s nightmare, fight off some wyvern riders and make it to the citadel where Harkaj Flamebrow awaits. He initially denies knowing anything but after a duel with Zil’dejin reveals a portal closed off beneath the city by tonnes of rubble and stone. He also mentions a sage called the “Thousand-Learned” who knew more about Haka’torvhak, but he was abducted by creatures that sound like mind flayers. The party decides to go back to the Eclipse Keep to interrogate their illithid captive, but not before Zil’dejin takes Harkaj’s weapon.
Zarantyr 18, 1001 YK
The Eclipse Collective arrives in the city of Newthrone in Q’barra. They meet with King Sebastes ir’Kesslan, king of “New Galifar,” who offers them a place to stay in his castle and requests a meeting when they have the chance. Derli then visits Khalar Velderan d’Tharashk in the Tharashk enclave to hire them to find the Sword of Dol Dorn, but for such a huge task Khalar asks for a favour: an item from the Kundarak enclave’s vaults. The description sounds exactly like the Rage Shard that Derli stole from his father years previous. He reluctantly agrees and goes to the vaults with the premise of being there to perform an inspection. The clerk, a dwarf named Haldar d’Kundarak, knows Derli by reputation, and he agrees to let him in once Derli invokes his relation to Morrikan d’Kundarak. Marlamin tries to accompany them, but is rebuffed, so he goes with the rest of the party to Sebastes’ castle.
Derli is led down to the vault containing the few magic items stored in Newthrone, and is allowed inside. When he gets in, the clerk has him examine a box at the far end, and as Derli is doing so the vault door slams shut. Through a small window in the door, he sees the face of Mordakhesh the Shadowsword. Derli tries to escape the vault despite a ward Mordakhesh has placed on it, while Mordakhesh leaves in the guise of Derli.
Meanwhile, the party meets with King Sebastes, who asks of them a favour, “king to king:” there is another “kingdom” in Q’barra, called “Hope,” run by a man named Elder Nevillom. Built for refugees and disgruntled veterans, it is a lawless place that is an offense to Sebastes’ kingdom that he claims is recognized by the Treaty of Thronehold. He asks the party to push Nevillom out somehow, and in exchange he will provide so many dragonshards to Eros that they shall never have to pay for the materials of clearstones again. He also tells Zil’dejin that his brother has left to the east, either to take on one of the Cold Sun Federation lizardfolk tribes (part of an agreement he made with Sebastes for a small number of troops), or to seek healing at House Jorasco’s Hall of a Thousand Mirrors. Sebastes also offers the aid of a powerful high mage who has come to his city, a man named Rilic Balendal.
The party agrees to Sebastes’ deal and takes Rilic with them when they leave to go find Derli, but instead they find Mordakhesh. Conlon is able to see through the disguise with his witch-sight, but makes no immediate mention of this. Instead, they gather in the castle later in the evening and talk in secret to determine what to do about him. Marlamin Tarmikos leads him into a quiet hallway and breaks a torch over his head. Mordakhesh reveals himself and a fight ensues, culminating in Mordakhesh’s escape by teleportation. In his place, the mangled body of Prince Oargev ir’Wynarn appears just in time for Sebastes’ men to arrive investigating the noise of combat. They are shocked to see the body and prepare to raise an alarm, but Zil’dejin requests they bring Sebastes.
The king arrives with an entourage of many more guards and talks about the situation with the party. He does not understand in full what is happening, but believes they were not responsible for Oargev’s death. However, due to the fallout his death will cause, Sebastes insists they keep it quiet. Marlamin Tarmikos attempts to revive the fallen prince with a raise dead spell, which fails. Iadoes realizes that the prince has been dead for longer than ten days, his body preserved by some kind of magic. Eventually, they disguise his body with magic as Derli and take it back to the Phoenix Eclipse to fly back to Eros for a proper burial.
On the way, they cross the real Derli, who has escaped from the vault after denying a deal by Mordakhesh to essentially become his servant for a year. This raises some stares, but they return to the Phoenix Eclipse unimpeded and put the body in storage before flying out to the Hall of a Thousand Mirrors to look for Zil’dejin’s brother.
They arrive at the Jorasco enclave, a new building established over top of much older ruins. Here they meet with Lutes Jorasco, the chief healer. He tends to Marlamin’s injuries and mentions that a bronze-scaled dragonborn, not unlike the one they’re looking for, descended to the lower levels that morning. Apparently, the ruins contain a maze of mirrors that draw out reflections of corruptions, curses, and madness, making it a unique place of healing. Iadoes Lunaformer and Conlon Ostrennar decide to remove their demonmarks this way, resolving to look the following morning. Meanwhile, Zil’dejin interrogates a legless red-scaled dragonborn named Loerchik Flamebrow to learn a bit more about Gaviir Firebane.
Eventually, they retire for the night in the Hall of a Thousand Mirrors. Conlon dreams of a masked woman with a phantom sword, called the “”wiki-content-link-not-found">_Content Not Found: walker-of-dreams_“. She is the Hexblade of the Dream Pact, and has come to offer Conlon an alliance in the ”/wikis/tournament-of-blades" class=“wiki-page-link”>Tournament of Blades. She wishes to find the others so that he may kill them, culminating with a duel between the two of them to decide the victor of the Tournament. Conlon says he will consider it, and in good faith she projects a location into his mind where he can find two Hexblades: the Pactmakers of the Abyssal and the Celestial pacts.
Zarantyr 19, 1001 YK
In the morning, the party goes down the steps into the ruins below, entering a maze of mirrors. Marlamin waits above in the event that Gaviir comes out before they can find him. The others progress into the ruins, where Conlon and Iadoes begin to see their reflections change into demonic forms. Conlon consults Eltimar to learn that Morgue Conlonnar might die if he breaks the pact by removing Levistus’ corruption, and learns a bit more about the Tournament of Blades. He decides to go through with it and proceeds with the others, eventually drawing out two glabrezu representing the essences of Levistus, the Bringer of Ice that haunt him and Iadoes. The party fights and defeats these creatures, and while doing so encounter Gaviir Firebane who, despite his injuries sustained in fighting his own corruption, is excited to see his brother.
They return to the upper floor of the Hall, and while Lutes tends to Gaviir’s injuries, Gaviir talks about what has been happening. He does not really want a claim on the Eran throne, but instead wanted to attract Zil’dejin’s attention. The Firebane clan has fallen on hard times since their father, Zil’kavak Firebane, was exiled after it was learned that Zil’dejin survived rather than dying as an infant. Their mother was killed for removing him to safety, and Zil’kavak went missing with his brother taking command of the clan. Under this new leadership, the clan fell to the Poison Dusk, the toxic corruption of Masvirik, the Cold Sun. Gaviir came here to have his own corruption removed before it took over him entirely. It is the role of the Q’barran dragonborn, Gaviir explains, to protect the world from the Cold Sun and the Poison Dusk’s corruption. The traditional solution would be to wipe out the clan in its entirety, but he believes there may be another way, an almost impossible solution: breaching Haka’torvhak, the ancient city where Masvirik’s prison lies, and defeating his prakhutu, an ancient black dragon named Rhashaak.
Gaviir wished to find Zil’dejin, raise a small army from Newthrone, and also find their father to lead an attack on Haka’torvhak. Zil’dejin decides this plan is preferable to genocide, and so goes with the party to the Stormhorn clanhold, the nearest clanhold to the Firebane clanhold to look. Gaviir, meanwhile, goes to assault the tribe of Cold Sun lizardfolk as he promised King Sebastes in exchange for troops. At the Stormhorn clanhold, they learn that Zil’kavak was once among them, but since went to Castle Garodya to the east with Mishva Garodya Stormhorn, an overly ambitious young dragonborn eager to conquer the west. They fly the Phoenix Eclipse there.
At the castle, they are approached by a great number of dragonborn troops with all sorts of polearms, and told to disarm. They do so, and are brought before Mishva who is eating a feast. She talks to Zil’dejin about how she admires him and his accomplishments, and tells him that she wishes to become his consort. He is taken aback by this, and tells her he will consider this, but first he must find his father. Mishva leads him to Zil’kavak’s quarters, where Zil’dejin sees the face of his father for the first time since he has been old enough to remember. The years have aged Zil’kavak, but he is still an imposing presence, much like Zil’dejin. Zil’kavak confesses he was at first enraged and ashamed to learn that Zil’dejin was still alive when his name began spreading after Remelius Artauche‘s failed invasion of Wroat, but now he has decided that tradition isn’t necessarily everything, and that he is proud of Zil’dejin’s accomplishments.
Zil’dejin explains the circumstances and that he plans to assault Haka’torvhak. Zil’kavak attempted something similar once but failed utterly, and cautions against the plan, but Zil’dejin remains resolute and further convinces him by showing him the Phoenix Eclipse. After some prying, Zil’kavak informs him that there may be another way into Haka’torvhak besides the front gate, but it is knowledge kept only by the current controller of the dragonborn capital of Ka’rhashan. The city is currently closed off after a coup by Harkaj Flamebrow, but the Eclipse Collective decides to go and collect the information anyway.
The city is indeed blocked off, but they take the firesleds and Marlamin’s nightmare over the wall anyway, killing a number of wyvern riders who rise to defend the city. They made a path for a balcony in the bronze-and-volcanic-glass citadel at the settlement’s heart, and there meet the red-scaled dragonborn Harkaj. Harkaj is angered that they have breached the city and tells Zil’dejin that he does not care about his reputation, and believes him to have spent too much time in the west. He denies having any secret information about Haka’torvhak, but eventually admits he might know something when he is challenged to a duel for the privilege of knowing.
Zil’dejin fights him and defeats him, and Harkaj begrudgingly admits that there is an old portal beneath the city, but they have blocked it off with tonnes of rubble and debris. He knows that if they clear it away, the portal will be open to the inhabitants of Haka’torvhak, which will “invite death to the city.” The party then asks for more information on Haka’torvhak, and Harkaj mentions that there was a sage in the city rumoured to be over a thousand years old called “Owier Yora” or “Thousand-Learned”, but he has been abducted according to the reports of the dragonborn in the city by “purple creatures with tentacles on their faces.”
The party decides these are mind flayers, and chooses to go back to the Eclipse Keep to further interrogate their illithid captive. Before they leave, Zil’dejin takes Harkaj’s weapon, a magical glaive, which angers him. Harkaj is only further outraged to find that Mishva Stormhorn has chosen Zil’dejin over Harkaj, but in his severely injured state he can do nothing but watch as they leave.