- Rana asks Keena to accompany her on the way to Belendithas’ friend and Talareg to keep an eye on Lilli. Once they are out of ear shot, the warlock reports what Lilli did, showing the druid a shard of the broken holy symbol. Rana also brings up the possibility that, if the wrong people found out about this and that the party kept silent, it would mean trouble for all of them. After all, they did promise to protect those who cannot fend for themselves. Keena, however, reminds the warlock that they also promised to protect each other.
- When they arrive at the house of Belendithas’ friend, they soon realize that they are much too late, but as Keena prays for the dead man, a final breath escapes his lips as his soul is finally released. On their way back, they meet Colwyn, who had checked in on his smithy, only to find it in ruins. They ask him if he knew about the people who lived in the house that Lilli burned down (without actually mentioning what the cleric did), but Colwyn only knows that it was part of the wealthier neighborhood of Easthallow.
- Back at the make-shift camp at the town center, Rana fills in Talareg, and Lilli uses the chance to talk to Keena. She gives her a letter and asks to cover for her, as she would like to go somewhere, but doesn’t want to be held back by Talareg or Rana. Keena offers Lilli to come along, at least half way, so she can say that the two of them are together, should someone ask.
- After talking to Rana, Talareg decides to speak to Drakkthar, captain of the Dendrosian guard (he took over from Lady Toma) and an old friend of the ranger. Taking advantage of the captain’s fondness for alcohol, Talareg makes the other man promise to come to him first should he ever hear about “it” – “it” referring to an otherwise unspecified strange occurrence in the retaken city.
- While Keena searches for the place where all the dead citizens of Easthallow along with the fallen soldiers are brought, Lilli visits her parents’ home after explaining to Keena that it wasn’t quite true when she said that they were dead: “They were just dead to me.”
The house is empty. For a while, Lilli sits in her old room, contemplating. Startled, she suddenly sees a hooded figure sitting next to her. She blinks. It is gone. Lilli wants to leave, but can’t, because first, the door won’t open, then the knob vanishes in front of her eyes. When she turns around, she finds a hooded figure sitting on the bed. The figure asks her to sit down, then removes its hood. It is an old man. It is Pelor, who took on a worldly disguise so he could talk to Lilli face to face.
Pelor returns the broken holy symbol to the cleric and takes her on a spiritual walk. Conceding that he misunderstood her twice, the god adds that he still had faith in her. Lilli answers that she never understood why: “My parents gave me away because I am a monster.”
“No. Your parents gave you away because your father was a monster. You are quite the opposite.” He continues, saying that this was the second time that life was in danger, and she didn’t intervene, even though he had hoped she would make the right decision. Yet, the amount of faith he still has in her leads him to give her a second chance – “A second second chance.”
And being presented with the choice between relinquishing their alliance and fighting evil at the god’s side, Lilli watches her holy symbol as it slowly begins to heal.
“If I’d had time to think, I wouldn’t have gotten so angry. I wouldn’t have done it…”
Pelor implores Lilli to let go of her anger and her pain: “Cut yourself from these ties that bind you this evil, your scars. I offer to absolve you of this cruel subjugation, if you would allow me.”
“But can I absolve myself?”
“I don’t know. Maybe that is what the second chance is for.”
Then, Pelor informs her that a darkness is rising: “It seeks to free the elders that brought upon the first alteration.” He continues, asking if Lilli will accept his light. She receives a vision.
Your vision darkens. You see stars begin to fade in. You are drifting among them, slowly. There is a smashing sound, like the clap of a blacksmith’s hammer, and a flash of light that scatters the stars. The light recedes into a small orb of burning light. The sun. No larger than an average grapefruit. Emitting a slight warmth that you can feel under the coldness.
The voice calls out to you: “In the beginning, the elements were wild. Rampaging and uncontrollable. Chaotic and dangerous. So we tamed them over time.”
There is a world before you now, this world. You can hear voices, laughter coming from it, as if you can calmly hear every person’s thoughts in the world. The world erupts into flame, then ice, then it becomes barren. Then it becomes flooded – “But we failed.” – and slowly comes back to normal.
“So we created the Wheel.”
Circling the planet now is a ring, consisting of multiple images of fire that bend into clouds, clouds that freeze and twist into ice, ice that melts into a sea of water, water that seeps into land, forming an endless swamp. The swamp converges into hills of mud and slowly crusts into rock and mountain. The mountains break into fire and lava, into a sea of fire, that bend into clouds, completing the cycle.
“The world was peaceful for a time”, the voice calls out.
“But there was an event.”
The world slowly grows dark, as the moon makes its way in between the world and the sun. There is a flash as the planets align. The moon rotates away, and you see the wheel slowly leaking into the world, smokey energy being pulled into the world. Multiple layers of the world begin to shake and tear, and two hands reach down to pull them apart.
They pull two separate layers away from the world. One encrusted in a dark and twisted environment, and the other, nearly exactly the opposite. Lush valleys, and bright vibrant colors.
“The event caused the world to fall into chaos for a time. And over a millennia it begun to settle into what it is now. But the wheel still flows into your world, and this causes fluctuations.”
From each of the planes, you see entities breaking their way into the world in various forms. Most die off, others sprout wings and turn into dragons over a period of what you imagine would be thousands of years. There is another eclipse and afterwards, you see the entities more powerful than the last, casting spells, and transforming.
“Each convergence was the start of a new age. You are in the third age now, and the convergence is coming. At the end of the second age, a group of powerful warriors sealed away the elders.”
Your vision is thrust into the northern wastes into solid white and into a valley of ice and jagged crystals. Looking around, the crystals contain something. A form, a body. A dragon. A very large dragon. Four other crystals contain such a body, one of each color. Red, white, black, blue, and green.
The sun, high in the sky, rises to its zenith. And the area grows cold. Footsteps approach from behind and you turn to see a large, lanky humanoid. Its flesh frozen and rotted away. Eyes slate grey. Long, bony fingers. He walks past you, right past you and toward the crystals. He holds his arms up, and his form is consumed by shadow. The area around you begins to flicker, and for a split second, you see into Shadowfell. The dark landscape of twisted black spires and shadow comes into vision for but a heartbeat.
The entity, still raising its arms, mutters an incantation. At the same time, the color begins to wash out from your vision, you look up to see the sun blocked by the moon. And there is a flash, almost audible.
The entity chuckles. There is a clap of thunder that shatters the crystals. The entity looks back to you and grins. You feel a tingle as your skin grows colder than it was, but a warm hand grasps your shoulder and pulls you back out.
Once more standing amongst the stars, the warmth of the sun soothes your skin.
The voice says: “Unless he is stopped, this will happen in one year and seven months. At the dawn of the next year.”
Afterwards, Pelor asks once more if she would accept his light. Lilli does, and she finds herself holding her restored holy symbol.
- Later on, Lilli demands that Keena accompanies her to the local temple of Obad Hai, god of nature, as she believes that the pendants Keena is wearing – an oak leaf and an acorn – are not a druidic focus, but, in fact, a holy symbol of their own. Unwilling to accept the idea that her mother was not who she thought she was, Keena nonetheless comes along. Lilli and Talareg challenge her to place a hand on the statue of Obad Hai while saying a prayer. When Keena does, she feels a warmth spreading underneath her hand, all the while the statue remains cold to the touch of the other two. This, however, does not sway Keena in her point of view. She finds it only reasonable that a god of nature would react to her nature based magic. Lilli, on the other hand, is not budged in her opinion either.