The plan is underway now, and the party makes haste with Marsala to the center of Penumbra. Laurian waxes professor-like as the ritual begins, speaking about some older musings of an elven archmage that postulated on the existence of mortals like Marsala whom could manipulate the power of the elements without the aid of magic.
The wafting dust of the elemental’s ashes are still rising in defiance of the cold light rain when Marsala begins her process. A strange light catches on the surface of her eyes as if she was looking into a great bonfire – though none exists. Her hands stretch forth as if to warm herself, but instead you see the ashes begin to glow with a renewed heat.
After a moment, Marsala says in a voice betraying only slight distraction, “It will take me a few minutes to bring this creature back from the empty oblivion you sent it to. You can go…” Her voice trails off as if some great revelation has dawned upon her. She turns her gaze to you Graver, the fiery glow still shining eerily in her eyes; she’s looking at you as if seeing you in an entirely different light. Slowly, she extends her tiny hand towards you, reaching out as if for an alm.
With the recklessness of youth, Graver takes Marsala’s hand and lends some of his deific power to the fire resurrection process. She accepts greedily and the rest of the party set off to complete the plan, leaving the two behind to their ritual.
A blast of usually warm air blows past you from behind with surprising force and you spot an hellishly orange light reflecting off the back of Leatha’s breastplate. Turning, your eyes arch upward in involuntary surprise at the sight of the creature roaring at the center of Penumbra. It is not the fire elemental you cut down originally – not by far. This creature sports a massive crown of horns upon its head and a raiment of authority similar to that which surrounds each of you.
It is Laurian who, in between surprised gasps, identifies the dread creature Marsala and Graver summoned into the center of the port town. It is Phlogiston, shard of the first flame; a part of the creature that first formed the world from chaos on behalf of Awareness the creator. The wizard quickly points out that Phlogiston is a primordial – banished from creation by Awareness because their forms were too extreme to explore the world they built. Against all reason, Laurian runs off towards the creature, stating he must study it more closely.
In spite of the unusual turn of events, the party continues with their plan to free the halflings of Penumbra amidst the chaos in the town. They make their way to the barracks, and encounter a motley group of hired gate guards who watch with amusement as Phlogiston burns the town to the ground.
A battle ensues, and the party, aided by Orrin and even Kaetoridax, is victorious. With a raging Primordial as a backdrop, they have little trouble convincing the halflings to make their way to Sanctuary.
In spite of the raging of Phlogiston, the battle with the gate guards caught the attention of their wayang majordomo Karucil. Angry at the destruction the party wrought upon his beloved town, the shadow creature called upon an innate ability of their race and summoned a Praetorian Guard to battle the party.
Battle ensues again, but this time the party is outmatched. In a short few seconds, one of them is nearly cut down and Leantha has taken several powerful blows. Seeing that they’re overmatched, Cyrus calls in the favor owed to him by Dantalion. Summoning a bone devil to distract the knight, Dantalion captures Karucil and orders him to call off the guard. The battle is resolved, and Cyrus kills the wayang, sacrificing it to Dantalion in exchange for more wishes.
With the halfling free and the town burning around them, the party makes haste to flee themselves onto the Sea Bitch and to the safety of the ocean waters. Everyone chips in to survive as Phlogiston’s attention shifts back and forth between them and the forces sent by Paravahl to take him down. With the concerted effort of the entire crew and the party, the Sea Bitch survives Phlogiston’s onslaught and escapes.