Dawn of the Duskwalkers II: The Fire Within

Time Upended

The Fire Within: Episode 03

Episode03.jpg

The party stands breathlessly in the dining hall of the Dragon Keep with Aiden’s haunting words still ringing in their ears… After a moment of contemplation, they remember the teleportation symbol in front of them, which appeared as a circle on the ground once Waleak had activated the scroll. Upon further inspection, the party determines that the scroll is a map of the ancient city of Deeplight; the reigning civilization at the dawn of magic.

The party makes the decision to enter through the circle, though they know not exactly what they will find. Xavdak posts a few of his men at the teleportation circle to guard it, and goes to speak with his wife Ravalyn to tell her of the necessary tasks ahead of him. Meanwhile Waleak makes a compelling speech to remaining monks of Moriaris, instructing them NOT to take revenge on the elves. He shows the monks Aiden’s axes as a symbolic reminder that a sacred peace can never come through violent revenge. The speech is met with mixed responses; the majority of the monks nod in approval, while some still burn with anger.

Eventually the party reconvenes in the dining hall, and collectively decide that Reg should be the one to keep the Knight’s Jewel safe. Reg places the jewel in his pocket. Then, one by one, they enter the teleportation circle… Upon entering the circle the party feels a strong rush of wind overtake them. Suddenly they are dropped onto a rocky area on the ground. They gather themselves, and realize they are on the outskirts of a small town square. When the party wanders into town, they see a young girl enter an Inn named, “The Heart of the Torch” and choose to follow her inside.

Once inside the inn, they notice the girl has sat down at a table with four fully grown men in leather robes displaying the ancient symbol of Moriaris. Esme and Reg go over to the bar area in an attempt to get closer to the girl’s table and listen in on her conversation with the four men. Esme inches her way closer and closer to the table and is able to hear snippets of their conversation- “I haven’t seen too many eyes follow me. People are going to question an eight year old girl… It’s time for the elemental re-examination… I’ll meet you all up north with the giants… I think we’re being watched.” The girl gets up to leave and the party follows her. Xavdak wargs himself into his cat familiar Frederick, so as not to draw attention to himself.

Upon following the girl out the door of the Inn, they see a crowd surrounding the lifeless body of a young boy and four skeletons infused with the four elements- fire, water, earth, and wind standing over him. As Reg, Waleak, and Esme battle with the elementally-infused skeletons, a magnificent skeleton conductor by the name of Conductor Bones appears and excitedly conducts awe-inspiring battle music for his skeleton comrades. In the end, the four elementals and Conductor Bones himself are defeated. Esme picks up Conductor Bones’ femur wand as a memento of their musically-inspired victory.

While Xavdak remains warged into Frederick, Reg, Waleak, and Esme ask various crowd members if they know anything about why this would have happened. They are told that in fact, this kind of thing has been happening more and more frequently; there is always the death of one child, and there are always four elementals. Reg finds a scrap piece of paper in the pocket of the dead boy. When he shows this to Waleak and Esme, they immediately recognize it as an ingredient list for a very basic spell.

As they continue to discuss why this boy was in possession of this list, they are approached by a group of three men who represent the esteemed Hodgkins family of Deeplight. These men thank the party and insist that their master Deerus Hodgkins will want to thank them in person. The party agrees, and meets with Deerus. Deerus tells the party that the origin of these elemental occurrences seems to be up north and that the dwarf encampment there may provide some answers. As this appears to be mutually beneficial, they party agrees to investigate the area for the Hodgkins. Deerus puts the party up at the Inn, and when they arrive in their room they see that Deerus has had hand-tailored Hodgkins family uniforms laid out for them to wear. They decide not to wear the uniforms, as they don’t know fully how that would affect their remaining interactions in Deeplight. Outside their room door Waleak finds an envelope containing a letter that reads,

“Why do tamper with what is not yours? Let your ancestors handle this.”

They rest for the night at their room in the Inn. In the morning they are greeted by Teevan and Tiyor, representatives of the Hodgkins family. They convey that Deerus will not be pleased that they are not wearing their custom-made clothing, but shrug it off, and the party follows them north into the desert. They travel together across the desert for several days, and seem to be getting along with Teevan and Tiyor quite well. One night while around the fire, Teevan informs the group that this has all been a sham- he and Tiyor are actually loyal to the Jeacock family- a rival family to the Hodgkins. They tell the party that there are no dwarves up north, but instead giants whom the Jeacocks are secretly in trade with in order to gain knowledge of elemental power. The party is stirred but not shaken by this revelation, and decides to continue up north with Teevan and Tiyor.

After several more hours of walking in the desert, the party comes to a camp of about sixty or so giants who upon seeing Esme begin to worship and welcome her, declaring that she is the one who can, “unlock the great power.” Once dusk arrives, everyone is gathered around the campfire. Teevan and Tiyor begin chanting in unknown languages, as a horn is blown and a group of men wheel out a large, ornate mirror. Standing close by is a hooded man wear the symbol of Moriaris. On the ground lays sheet music of the ballad of Esme’s Inn, “The Bird le Fleur.” Hesitantly, Esme takes out her flute and plays the song.

As she does this, this the sheet music lights up and bursts away, revealing four floating balls of fire, water, wind, and earth. The Knight’s jewel begins to burn a hole in Reg’s pocket and he flings in onto the sandy ground in front of him. Immediately a hand shoots out of the sand, grabbing the jewel. Slowly, the same eight year-old girl the party saw at the “Heart of the Torch” Inn emerges from the sand, holding the Knight’s jewel.

She smiles at the party and says, “Thank you Waleak.”

The mirror shatters into a portal, which Esme, Waleak, and Reg are sucked through. When they come to, they realize that Xavdak is no longer with them. Worried and confused, the party looks around and sees that they are back in the banquet hall of the Dragonkeep- however much is changed. Red and black banners of Moriaris cover the walls, and Duskalon is ruined in smoke; desolated in fire. At last, a monk approaches Waleak, bows, and addresses him as, “Kingslayer.”

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