The ship came along side and the zombie crew threw grapnels across to bind the ships together. The party and crew fought of the zombies, but they just kept coming. Suddenly the two ships tilted after Seylum fell to a zombies attacks due to the dragon eel that had been in the distance suddenly swam between the ships. Everyone struggled to stay upright as the ships fell back onto an even keel as the ropes from the grapnels snapped. The eel swam after the pirates and Thraya thanked Senae, assuming it to be her work.
A few days later, they arrived in Held. There they bought maps to Irunik and set off in the morning. They crossed the Frask plains, only getting lost once, and arrived at a trading post where they bought supplies for the trip across Kathrán’s wastes. They decided to travel at night to spare themselves the heat and set off at dusk.
The first night passed uneventfully, but around noon they were attacked by a hunting pair of ashworms. Though they slew one and drove the other off, Thraya was incapacitated by their poison and they had to drag her through the wastes that night.
Near dawn, two things happened. They found the ruins of a city, once devoured by the wastes, now revealed once more and a sandstorm struck.
The party took shelter inside one of the few buildings still standing and took stock of their supplies. They were running out of water, and since their was a dry channel in the ground, presumably for water, they decided to leave Thraya in the entrance with a whistle and try to find some water.
They encountered a ghoul before they heard Thraya whistle. Running back they found her with a terrified gnome who threw his great-axe upon seeing Ava and Seylum come running in with blades drawn. His name was Gnomalion the Great and he agreed to help them and travel for a while, since they couldn’t trust that he wouldn’t reveal their location to bounty hunters, intentionally or otherwise.
They followed the corridors for a while, encountering a few more ghouls before they found a fountain behind a secret door. Beside it was a second fountain, filled with flowing sand that Gnomalion was fascinated by. He ended up entering and vanishing under the sand, which didn’t act like sand or feel like sand. Soon after Seylum fell through too and found himself in another room where Gnomalion was in battle with a ghoul. The two slew the undead creature and saw a large room beyond, though they returned to reassure Ava that nothing had gone wrong. While Ava and Seylum returned to Thraya, Gnomalion went back through the portal to investigate the room, with Seylum, having slipped off from Ava, joining him.
The room was well lit and had a stone sarcophagus at one end and when they entered the ghost of an elf in ancient armor appeared. It questioned them on who and what they were, mentioning the “Elder Races” and a war long over. The war was against these Elder Races and he had fought a group known as the Madness Lords. He offered them healing and some weaponry when he learned that they were not a threat and so they brought Ava and Thraya to the room. Each received a magnificent weapon and Thraya was healed of the injuries due to the ashworm poison. Then the ghost vanished leaving the party to continue on, but not before Ava took an ancient tome describing Pact Magic.
The sandstorm had passed and they arrived at Irunik at dusk. The city was in full celebration of the autumn equinox, when Furani would pass the seasons to Gatran and winter would be on its way.
Gnomalion and Thraya got into many a discussion and fight, both ending up drunk before Seylum took Gnomalion to a temple of Isani and had them heal him. Seylum then went off in search of those who had first told him of the lost orcish princess. Soon afterwards he brought Ava and Thraya before the chieftains who disbelieved their story, until five unanticipated visitors arrived. Kathrán, Ilensia, Huran, Rean, and Thyn entered informing the party and chieftains of the veracity of Seylum’s claims and that something was coming. Wissen had foreseen some darkness and the kingdoms must be united against it. They left with those words and left the members to find out what they could do. They decided the best place to go was south to begin to unite the more problematic locations first, while other envoys would be sent to the other directions. They began their preparations, Ava beginning to study Pact Magic, Thraya learning the art of diplomacy, and Seylum perfecting his techniques for assassinating foes.
Meanwhile, Gnomalion, having been sobered up by magic and informed that this was a holy day and that he shouldn’t use his weapon except for a true emergency, had begun wandering in search of the others. He nearly attacked one of the revelers in the street, inciting the town guards to chase him through the streets before he was pulled into an alley by a strange human. He asked where the princess and her other companions were before turning. Gnomalion felt a feeling like remembering about a forgotten nightmare with some importance, if only he could recall what it was, for the briefest of moments, and then the man ordered him to come. Gnomalion went, asking for bread and alcohol, receiving only bread and being lead through a portal to a darkened room far away…
And so the first of the heroes have gathered and begun their quest that will form a great kingdom and change Threa forever.