The Runewardens stood in the stolen elf city of Dreta Phantas as the Crawling Chaos, avatar and harbinger of the Galchutt, led a swarm of kython and group of corrupt Urthon Aedar through a magical portal.
Even as this horror loomed, Sister Mara was reminded of another of her prophetic dreams in which Calista, the mysterious woman freed from the Dark Reliquary, told her, “There’s a reason the demons kept me alive. I’m important to Lilith—I know something. There’s still a chance for you to save everything. But sacrifices must be made, and not of yourselves.”
She took this to mean that it was, in fact, the defenders of Dreta Phantas who had to be sacrificed. With great regret, the characters magically fled from the Dreaming City back to Ptolus along with an Urthon Aedar warrior named Baenarum, who had led them to the city in the first place.
Calling All Allies
Back in the city, they contacted the druid Andach, who told them he had seen the strange fiendish being known as Savan (foretold long ago as the Dreamer in another of Mara’s dreams) dealing with the Fallen and the Forsaken in the Dark Reliquary. He also agreed to help in any way he could against the coming darkness. Likewise, the Malkuth in their Pale Tower, who currently harbored Calista from demonic attempts to recapture her, agreed to help, with Mooncry once again joining the heroes’ ranks. Serai even managed to contact the Iron Mage himself and convinced him to help them summon and bind Savan. The only place safe enough to perform such a rite, he said, lay within a place called the Vault of the Dragons, which they could reach only with the help of Lord Kirstol Dallimothan. Fortunately, Kirstol was a friend of the Runewardens from past events, and they gained his assistance, despite his disdain for the Urthon Aedar, whom he called “dragon slayers.” Barred from entry, Baenarum was forced to stay at the heroes home, Rosegate House, during the ceremony.
The Vault of the Dragons was a sanctuary reachable only through magic ritual within the tower of House Dallimothan. It was a circular platform floating in darkness amid the “breath of the dragons.” This extremely powerful assembly—Mara, Serai, Canabulum, Aliya, Zophas, Mooncry, and Kirstol—watched as the Iron Mage cast a spell that called Savan. But before they could bind the arcanaloth, he called Lilith herself to his aid. Once the consort of the now-missing Raguel, Lilith had become the default leader of the Fallen and chose to act on the side of chaos. She cast a spell that immediately incapacitated Mooncry. Lord Dallimothan called upon the spirits of his draconic ancestors—in this, their most hallowed of places—which manifested as huge dragons that attacked Lilith. The demoness was forced to flee, promising that the heroes would all be beset by demons as soon as they left the vault.
The Iron Mage’s spells shrank Savan to doll size and bound him in a small brass birdcage. Despite their best efforts, the group could not force or trick the cunning fiend into giving them any help. All he told them was that the Cask of Frozen Dreams lay in the Chamber of Riven Souls, within a demon-sealed box that only Lilith or he could open.
Fearing attacks by demons, the group decided to go only where they could not be openly attacked. They teleported to the Pale Tower, where they delivered Mooncry’s comatose form and also learned the exact location of the Chamber of Riven Souls from Falstef, the deva they once freed from the Dark Reliquary. The chamber was a chapel to darkness in the heart of the Dark Reliquary itself.
They also learned that the undead and the Forsaken had taken the Siege Tower, home to the Keepers of the Veil, so the forces of evil and chaos ran unchecked throughout the Necropolis, even during the day; only Clasthamus Isle, the bastion of Andach, remained inviolate. Further, Rosegate House lay in shambles after a terrible attack by demon- possessed Ptolus residents, whom Baenarum fought off singlehandedly.