Petha and Lela notice the flash in the courtyard and see familiar faces appear out of thin air. They greet the Drow’s Bane but realize the towels they carry are not needed this time.
Royce is greeted by Lela who speaks to him in broken common,
“Lela, that’s good. You are speaking common now.”
“Yes, master Royce, her classes have been going well; she’s a fast learner of the language.”
Lela takes Royce’s hand and describes to him how she thinks Petha is nice, and Yonica is sweet and says ‘Petri’ shaking her head and frowning. She breaks into Aquan and details how the basilisk scares her; Nong listens and smirks in response.
The party spends the day acclimating back into familiar territory. After a meal and some light rest, Naismith calls to Petha to take a walk with him. The two walk in the garden as he explains to her that Illian and Tusker, have unfortunately passed. Petha grips her scarf and begins to cry; Naismith follows suit. The two console each other and talk about the need for hosting a memorial dedicated to the ranger and her sidekick. They continue this conversation with the others and ideate on what to do.
“I have her two scimitars that I would like mounted. We can place them with the memorial.”
“I can make them into a cairn and we can assemble it on the small mound over there,” points Mordrock.
“What do you think she wants to be remembered by?” asks Petha.
“I think we plant in her name a tree right over here,” points Naismith toward the garden.
Two days later, the Drow’s Bane and Catchbreeze staff hold a memorial in the garden, attributed to Illian Nightbreeze and Tusker. Each take turns speaking about a favorite memory of their friends and an occasional laugh breaks the constant melancholy mood. Lela and Yonica carry baskets of cut flowers, and proceed up to the cairn where they lay them out. The party closes the memorial by planting a tree in Illian’s name. The beautiful event not only helps with closure, but serves as a catalyst for each of them to consider the implication of their next journey.
Over the next few days:
Royce finishes the letter and wraps it with ribbon. He takes it to his father, who has been really enjoying his stay at Catchbreeze.
“Dad, I’m happy to hear how wonderful your stay here has been for you. Listen, I need you to do something for me, okay?”
Royce hands his father the letter, “Please take this to mom after I leave for my next trip. You see, where I’m going will be extremely dangerous and necessary…Dad, if I do not return, then consider this my goodbye,” as Royce hugs his father deeply.
Royce’s father looks surprised but remembers all the times he has kept dibs on the whereabouts of his son; to him, Royce has always been a great hero to this world.
“I’m so proud of you son, for everything you have accomplished in life; especially your dedication to Tempus. I know you have to do what you have to do, and I know He is watching over you.”
Father and son spend the rest of the afternoon together, catching up on old memories and laughing about this, that, and the other.
Mordrock enters the City of the Dead holding a blanket. He makes his way to a familiar corner of the cemetery where he goes to escape from the world. He gently places the blanket down and begins to dig a hole. He unwraps the blanket, takes out the body of a two-headed kitten and buries it. “There you go Samantha. It is time for your eternal rest. I’m so sorry I kept you from it, for so long. Please forgive me.”
Nong looks up and sees the sign, “Monastery of the Sun” and enters. He glances around and sees monks dressed in simple garb and the fragrance of incense burns in the background; he is confident he has found the right place. Nong walks up to a man in yellow robes, “Hey, I’m looking for the abbot of this place?”
The man nods and replies, “You have found him. My name is Abbot Hanor of the Monastery of the Sun. How can I…help…you…?” The abbot trails off at the end of his question when he notices the strange creepy wand and dark aura emanating around this half-orc.
Nong presents a heavy satchel filled with coins, “I would like to make a donation of five hundred gold,” and hands it to the surprised abbott.
“I have one request. The next foundling who joins your monastery, I ask you to name him Taliq. That is all.”
Nong abruptly turns around and walks out of the monastery before abbott Hanor has a chance to respond.
On the opposite side of Waterdeep, Naismith enters the Tower of Luck, a temple dedicated to Tymora, goddess of luck.
“Excuse me, I have an important request for a clergy member. I am seeking the aid of a planar ally known as Jimjar; he is a deva of Tymora. How much would it cost to summon him for me?”
“Your request kind sir is expensive but possible. We can arrange for this for the price of one thousand seven hundred fifty gold pieces.”
“Done,” as Naismith hands over a large sack of gold pieces.
Naismith is brought to a summoning room where he is asked to sit at a table and wait. The cleric lights candles around the room and then approaches the middle.
“Jimjar is what you said, correct?”
“Yes, that is the deva’s name. Thank you.”
The cleric begins casting Planar Ally and ten minutes later, the deva appears in the room.
“Naismith. It is wonderful to see you.”
“And you as well Jimjar. We just experienced a horrific situation, and a perilous decision on my part to save the group.”
Jimjar responds with a loving smile and simple affirming nod. Naismith motions the deva to sit at the table with him, as the rogue pulls out a deck of cards and shuffles them.
“Come old friend, and play cards of chance with me.”
Jimjar takes a seat at the table and receives the dealt hand. Naismith begins playing a card and describes the choice he had to make.
“I took your advice you gave me. But I wasn’t expecting that it would lead to the ultimate gamble for my soul.”
Jimjar looks at his hand, draws and plays a card, “Everything has consequences. But I am happy you sit before me alive and well.”
Naismith plays two cards, “Is there a way back for me?”
Jimjar responds with two cards, one face up the other face down, “What you ask I cannot see for it is too far into the future. But there is always a way to play the odds if the timing is right.”
Naismith plays a three card combination of high cards, sits back and waits. Jimjar looks at this hand and knows he cannot beat that; he lays down the rest of his hand, “You win!” and smiles.
The deva stands up and says, “Know this, inspite of your contract, I am still granting you spells. Think about that,” as he prepares to exit. “It was great to see you Naismith. It was time,” and vanishes from the room.
A few days later, Royce returns from a shopping trip having spent one thousand five hundred gold pieces for a tuning fork to Limbo. The group decides to leave the next day. Later that afternoon, Royce approaches Petha and explains to her about their next trip and how they may not return.
“We leave you everything in the coffers and the property itself, so you can enjoy the rest of your life. We have truly enjoyed having you as head of estate.”
Petha gives Royce a hug and says, “Thank you master Royce. I am sad to hear this but in my time working here, I’ve come to expect such things. You know, you are not the first to occupy this estate. I do believe it was granted to you by Lady Silverhand herself. Have you informed her yet of your next adventure? I’m sure she would appreciate the information.”
“You are right Petha, I forgot about that. We definitely need to speak to her as soon as possible. She was the one who brought us together.”
The next day, the Drow’s Bane arrive at the palace to see Lady Laeral Silverhand. She welcomes them into a dining hall where a small feast is presented. They partake in lunch as they fill her in on their latest news. She listens intently and when they are done, asks,
“Do you know anything about the Positive plane?”
“Umm, not really Lady Silverhand. Only that we need psychic power to open up the gate from Limbo.”
“I see,” and turns to her staff to request the presence of Talestra, her loyal wizard.
Talestra appears and bows to formally greet the guests. Lady Silverhand asks her to describe the Positive plane. Talestra does not see that coming, and pauses for a second deep in thought. Once she is able to call to memory, she approaches,
“Yes my lady. The Positive plane is a plane composed of pure radiant energy. There is no air on the plane and it is inhospitable to those that depend on it to survive. One cannot see either and if you stay for more than a minute, you explode from the healing energy that constantly infuses your body until it reaches capacity.”
The party looks at each other in fear for what they just heard. Lady Silverhand picks up on the awkwardness,
“Thank you Talestra. Do you guys have any way of staying alive on the plane? How long do you need to bathe the wand?”
“We are unsure my lady. We hope it requires no more than the time it takes to hold our breath and keep our eyes closed.”
Together, they agree for Lady Silverhand to renounce Catchbreeze from the Drow’s Bane in one year, if they do not return; Petha will become Lela’s official guardian at that time as well. Lady Silverhand is proud of them and promises to begin work on their epic saga with her bards.
“You will not be forgotten Drow’s Bane. I promise you that.”
The next morning, Royce, Mordrock, Naismith and Nong stand in a circle in the garden. They clasp hands and listen to Royce cast Plane Shift marking their destination as ‘Sithka’s adamantine citadel in Limbo’. A moment later, they blink out of existence and reappear in Limbo five hundred feet from the familiar ship.