As the party emerges from the ocean after retrieving the key to the Vault of Xxiphu…
Rising slowly above the surface of the dark waters, your eyes ache from the sudden unfiltered brightness of the world around you. Salt water pours from your nose, mouth, and lungs – the magic of the spell shields you from gagging or coughing, but does not spare you from the foul taste. A chill winter breeze blows in from the skysea curve, bringing with it a fresh set of shivers and casting a purple hue to most your lips. Laurian stands at the railing of the Sea Bitch, a concerned look on his face – he speaks but you cannot hear over the sound of sea water emptying from plate armor.
Eventually, Laurian gets his story out:
“I searched the expedition ship and found in the captain’s quarters a collection of annotated historical texts pilfered from Paravahl’s archival department. As the former folklore preservation expert at the department, it was easy for me to make the connections in their line of research.”
“Alarmingly, the three purported former gods are working in concert to access the Abolethian weapon vault in Xxiphu. Their research points to a weapon crafted by Thoduan Stormherald, a Samsaran who, according to the texts, forged a weapon to harm the very essence of Awareness itself. Granted, it was crafted near the end of the first century of the Age of Primes, so if the stories are to be believed, then the weapon was designed to harm the Darkness and the Light – or really anything bearing the over-deity’s power.”
Extracting a single parchement from a bundle of rumpled sheets in his hand, Laurian continues…
“This letter here speaks about that very conclusion, in a missive between Hextor and Dumathoin. Apparently they and Erathis believe that the weapon can harm members of your pantheon.”
“Other notes seem to hint at some sort of time-based vulnerability in the vault, but most of the details are not here. I believe some documents have been taken by Erathis and Dumathoin to Xxiphu, and they left Hextor behind to see if he can secure the key as a backup plan for accessing the vault.”
“One other thing as well – Orrin and I believe that the so-called ‘old pantheon’ is using the Paravahlian communication stones, and it’s likely that Hextor managed to get a warning out to Erathis and Dumathoin.”
Chiming in, Orrin holds up a small and unremarkable chalkboard…
“This is the bounty board. When new bounties crop up, the board is filled back at Paravahl. I saw an assignment pop up earlier, to venture to Xxiphu with combat involved. I think the city can somehow spy on the messages sent by the stones….and I think that someone there is interested in the contents of that vault.”
Following that information, the party still decides to continue to Xxiphu. During the journey, Prisim shares a bit of her history and follows up the conversation with a divination. With the help of Laurian and Kaetoridax, they determine that a recently-reborn Brine wyrm by the name of Sorventhane seeks to attack them the next day.
The portent proved true, and battle was met on the seas. Sorventhane attacked the Sea Bitch along with two of his sea drake spawn. Before the attack, the Brine dragon spoke to his mates: “Come my children, Erathis will reward us handsomely for striking down these upstarts.”
Sorventhane was overmatched however, and the party struck him down. It was at that time that a terrible ability possessed by the nascent deities manifested – the ability interrupt the rebirth cycle of a killed dragon and absorb its essence. The party did so, and gained a boon in the action.