An owl flies past the sunset

While the threat of another gods’ war was ended, the party and their allies still had to figure out what to do with the tremendous power they had gathered from Hecate’s Key Stones. Many ideas were considered, but eventually the idea of trying to stabilize the magic in the Scar seemed to be the most appealing.

While they talked, Amari’s Armada dug through the ruin of Rollo’s fortress looking for survivors. Much of the villain’s army had been killed in the catastrophe, but together they found over a hundred living people previously captured by the mad pirate. Though they had been transformed into Draconian servants, with the Bridge Stones destroyed, these people were restored to their previous forms (cold and afraid). Thetis contacted Garrus Thime and asked him to bring help while she, Azara, and Amari tended to the injured. Despite a great deal of searching, they could not find any sign of the green dragon Gilkass.

Amari then gave Tiffany his Forge Master’s flute which can shape metal as a memento to remember him by, promising to contact her again the next time he was in dire straits. Mulena, from whom Amari had once taken the flute, expressed some dismay at this exchange and to mollify her, Zinmyn gave her the Flute of Mechanical Conjuration taken from the Justicari. The group also returned some of Gustavar’s rings back to him.

As evening neared and the windy mountaintop was swept by snow, a magical burst announced the arrival of young Garrus, loaded down by blankets and water bottles. Distributing these to the beleaguered survivors, the group began to lead them to the nearby teleportation circle that Rollo had used for his raids. Randdall sent off the people in two groups: one led by Garrus to the library at the Isle of Onyx in the Amillin Republic, and one led by Mishra to her laboratory in the Oriel enclave of Honeyport in Tomar. Although Rollo had captured people from many different places, these two locations were central and important enough to make them the easiest ways home.

With the four former Returners and their prisoner Rollo in tow, the party then teleported themselves to the center of the Scar where they had first visited many months before. They walked to the ancient palace that towered over the landscape and after some planning, Regnault, Randdall, Zinmyn, and Amari poured their Key Stone magic into it, transforming most of the palace into beautiful shining crystal interspersed with scattered swirls of granite. With yet more power, they enchanted the crystal palace as a massive version of the stability amulets that Regnault had created, extending the field of stable magic across nearly the entire region. This incredible feat complete, the party found that some of their rich well of magic still remained.

Regnault used his remaining Key Stone energy to craft a powerful staff as a gift to Randdall for his trust and for returning his spellbook, without which he would never have been able to help them. Zinymn then pours all her Key Stone magic into the Sword of Apollo, which awakens, gaining a mind of its own, and offers to lead her to the lost Bow of Apollo, hidden elsewhere in the Scar. Randdall used his Key Stone power to craft a Dagger of Wind Walking, allowing the party to easily travel overland as easily as they did when they had bound Gustavar to a Bridge Stone.

Considering carefully, Amari quietly summoned all his Key Stone power and created a connection with Atropos, one of the Three Fates. He asked this powerful entity what happened to his lost mentor, Mara, and learned that in the explosion that set him on his current path, Mara had been flung past the Astral Sea into a bizarre region known as the “Far Realm”, from which none return. He saw a brief vision of her, in an alien landscape, alone, but alive, before his power ran out.

Together, the party makes camp in the crystal palace and before they sleep, Thetis uses divine intervention to call on Apollo to return the sphinx’s necklace to his people, as the ancient king has asked. The god’s avatar appears before them and takes the gift, explaining that the people of the continent of Omaar, depleted from civil war, banded their forces together one last time to stem the tide when a single person escaped from the land of the dead followed by a great horde. He vows to return the necklace to those that remain.

The following day the party collects the Bow, defeating many beasts and guardians on the way, finally teleporting to the isle of Naxos. There, they speak to Alysei and return not only the Sword, but also the Bow of Apollo lost 800 years prior by her grandmother. The old elf and her children thank the party for their service, and ask them to come visit any time they like. Thetis in particular plans to continue her studies in illusion.

Next, the group teleports to Cadun city, bringing Rollo to a sanitarium in the countryside where the mad pirate is imprisoned and watched by wizards and guards. They actually aim to rehabilitate Rollo, but the bard mostly hides this fact from his friends. Extremely eloquent, Amari convinces everyone that this is the best punishment for their enemy, although some still have their doubts. They make a plan to check up on him every six months or so, just to be sure.

Amari and Randdall together plane shift everyone back to Olympus, where they see some of the damage dealt when the magma dragon was briefly imprisoned here. To be safe, Azara spends a little time destroying the remaining Bridge Stones that they all carry, and to pass the time Thetis paints a beautiful painting of the scene, along with the rest of the party performing iconic poses.

They return to Hephaestus and give back the god’s Hammer and Shield. While handing it over, Thetis gives Azara a gemstone and the dark smoky energy that Kirian had placed into hammer dances over into the gem instead, as if alive. The gemstone gives Azara a feeling a warmth, and of family. Before they leave, they promise to come back and give another performance one day. As a preview, Amari plays an overture he had composed as a score for the party’s journey and their victory.

Amari’s Armada – Final Battle

Hephaestus, completely enthralled, says, “I have not heard much music. I find I do not have time for it. But now I think perhaps I should. This has given me ideas for new sorts of instruments.” Amari says he has some suggestions, and the god of smiths says, “return to me again, and we shall talk.” The party apologizes for dents in the Hammer and Shield, and the god says, “damage to the world can be repaired, but not so easily the human soul; you have managed to do both.”

From there we learned about the next few months and years of the party’s adventures.

Thetis spends much of her time on Naxos, and then travels the continent with Alysei’s daughters, flying in their airship with Slosek to stop evil, educate, mediate, and spread peace wherever she can. She also joins her crew on plenty of supply runs and emergency aid missions as the Shooting Star has become quite a well-respected trading vessel after the help it gave to both Tsuta City and Honeyport as they rebuilt.

Azara returns home to Arandel to discover that her mother and stepfather are having a child. She spends the next several years helping to raise her little brother, Kuriel, dedicated to being for him the close sibling that Kirian was for her. Keela visits from time to time as well, always happy to be the eccentric aunt and taking Kuriel sledding in the mountains. At special times, and whenever Azara visits her brother’s grave, the smoke in the gem she carries emerges to playfully poke at her or swirl around before returning to the gem once again. As time passes, she makes plans to some day seek out her biological father.

Keela spends a lot of time in the Underdark helping to construct the new free city of Maerimydra and defend it from the minions of the Spider Queen with Tazikiz and Triel. The younger Drow elf becomes over time more and more of a leader and treats Keela as a mentor almost more than her mother. Keela also enjoys spending time in the party’s townhouse in Cadun where Greaser lives and taking the exuberant Kenku engineer to the Underdark as well to help with construction.

For Roobius, the next few years involve spending time in Port Amo to help rebuild the island after Rollo’s domination and traveling to help rebuild the business and community that his parents and brother had run before the pirate lord took over. He’s occasionally visited by Captain Melili and her legendary ship crewed by water elementals between their many adventures. He keeps in contact with his patron Akaz, as the Marid has gained considerable power from the Key Stone and treats Roobius as a favored ally.

Randdall returns to the Illuminated City, using his connections with the Dathos family and his knowledge of the Justicari and the Lightbringers’ Council to overturn his banishment. Over time he becomes an influential politician, working tirelessly to reduce the corruption on mount Elbrus and in the valley below starting with creating representation for non-wizards in the Council. This makes him a target for the conservative powers in the city but thanks to the undetectable Ring of Mind Shielding he got from Laquel, he is able to say whatever he likes under a Zone of Truth, giving him the ability to undermine even the most merciless of his enemies.

Even after their many adventures, Zinmyn still has serious wanderlust and spends the following years traveling all around visiting everyone and spreading news. Her exuberance makes everyone extremely pleased to see her for a while until she starts getting into a little too much trouble at which point she skips out of town just ahead of the guards. In secret, she joins performances at any traveling circus she finds, wowing the performers and the audiences alike. She visits young Fwel in the reformed city of Galekeep, which has made itself even more of a trading powerhouse than before and also begins importing more tea from Arandel than any other city. She spies on Tiffany who is living in the Silver Wilds helping her sister to recover and even visits the Feywild for a dance or two, but for those she always brings a designated non-dancer to prevent being charmed for too long.

After Olympus, Amari returns to his senate seat in the Amillin Republic, gathering funds for “magical research”. Actually, he has asked Brack and Regnault to help him come up with a way to open a passage to the Far Realm, to find his mentor. The former magical scientists eagerly accept this challenge. Mulena and Gustavar, well disguised, remain in Cadun as well, acting as advisors and taking on much of the actual senate work in Amari’s stead while he travels for his research. He even buys the land rights to Crow’s Leap to cement his senate seat which had been gained under false pretenses.

Over the following fairly peaceful years, Gustavar and Regnault have long talks into the night, slowly recreating the relationship they had in a different time. Thetis checks in on the townhouse every so often to make sure that Amari and the Returners are not up to any evil deeds and everyone cleans up nicely. After a time Randdall improves trade relations between the Illuminated City and the Isle of Onyx and is able to provide additional resources for Amari’s research.

Keela eventually uses her earnings to buy a small homestead in Three Creeks and reestablishes connections to Favrus and Feneth Theltonus, Gate Warden Jamus Grath, and to Bret Uthgar in Misten, since they helped her out early on.

Lada Cairnstock eventually leaves Maratook’s circus and founds a small community for expat Xorn and other elementals who live on the material plane. Other outcasts congregate there as well, and their island becomes one of the wonders of the Bay of Stones.

The party sets up a permanent and secret teleportation circle from their townhouse directly to the crystal palace in the Scar to protect its stabilizing magic and over the years they collect vast wealth from the ruins. Randdall leaves a Ring of Spell Storing in the townhouse so that the rest of the party can use the circle whenever they like.

Many years later, Amari gathers the group together outside of Cadun, past the vineyards on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Stones. He then steps up and delivers a speech. “My oldest companion, my greatest friend, my most charming ally. He’s served me through thick and thin and three great wars. He’s earned all his stars and stripes. I think it’s time to formally part ways to relieve Captain Eclair of his service. I think it’s time for him to go back to where he belongs.” He retrieves the owl statuette, and summons the giant owl one last time, using a spell he created in his research to make the summoning permanent.

As the party watches, Captain Eclair flaps above all their heads, nods sagely, and then banks off toward the sunset.

Published by Payton Swick

Vegan. Digital craftsman. Tea explorer. Avid learner of things. Writes code @automattic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: