The next day dawned on Milo. He woke up and tried to move but couldn’t. As his vision cleared and everything came into focus he realized he was tied up. Without trying to give away too much, he deftly began to work on the ropes that bound him. Once the guards saw that he was awake they began to interrogate him.
They asked about who he was, who he was here with, was he working for anyone. Not only that, they wanted detailed descriptions of all his associates, including what magical items they carried and what they could do themselves. He refused, of course. His natural Halfling stubbornness mixed with a fierce loyalty for his friends stopped him from saying anything. Eventually the guards left the room. That might have been the end of it but as he was finally freeing himself from the bonds, Malthazar stepped into the room.
Milo froze. The ropes were still wrapped loosely around him so he waited, pretending for the moment that he was still held. His plan was to surprise Malthazar during one of his boring big people speeches and sneak out before they even knew what hit them. It was a good plan. Alas it was only as good as the Halfling that executed it. He never even knew what hit him.
With a small gesture Malthazar had begun casting a spell as soon as he had laid eyes on the Halfling. Now, a minute into their first one on one encounter, Malthazar finished the spell and cast Geas on Milo. He couldn’t resist the pull of the spell and fell into complete compliance as the spell worked on him. He spilled all the beans. Told Malthazar everything, to the smallest detail.
The party, on the other side of town, was none the wiser. They had left the giant cavern after finding a small opening out of the mountain. They spent the rest of the night making their way to the temporary base of operations and collapsed into sleep as soon as they made it in safely.
The next morning they made plans to attack the seat of power for Drakenforge. Now that they had been actively targeted for death, it was open war with Drakenforge. They made their way towards the Regent’s large estate. They thought about freeing the slaves now to help, but didn’t want to put their lives at risk when the party might be able to do it themselves.
They found most of the guards gone when they got to the manor. After going inside they found no guards, no regent, and no Malthazar. They made their way through the home, searching for clues. In the basement they found a large tunnel down. Aleera expressed her worry that Milo might have gone ahead of them by himself. If he was alone he could be killed. They needed to find him now.
Seeing no other option, they jumped down the hole one by one. Falling out of the hole, they landed inside another large cavern and almost groaned except it wasn’t the same room. They could actually see the end of this one and it was decorated much differently than the other space. This cavern held four obelisks. They were identical in build. Each was glowing a different color. In the middle was a fifth obelisk that wasn’t glowing at all. Dwarven soldiers lined the walls and pointed crossbows at the party. The arrows glinted in the light of the sconces.
Aleera and the others with blessings, had felt a strange foreboding upon entering the room. The spirits that accompanied them were deeply afraid of this place. It was another elven relic from the early days of Novos. Aero whispered in Aleera’s ear that this was a bad place. This was the place where the spirits had been stripped of most of their power. The power had then been consolidated into the various crystals they had found and freed. Aqua’s bowl, Aeros necklace, Terra’s heart, and last of all Ignus’ ruby of fire, were all created out of the powers of the spirits.
Malthazar laughed as the Hand of Destiny stepped into his trap. The obelisks began to whirl their colors around as they sensed the energy draw closer. The spent the next few minutes dispatching guards while trying to avoid the corresponding obelisks. They didn’t want to lose their power as much as the spirits didn’t want their essences drawn back into these objects of control over them.
Milo came in from the shadows. He had gone to the old dwarves workshop to find his team only to be told that they had already gone to fight the regent. Then he had had to run all the way back to his former prison and had made the tunnel that had led them down. Along the way he had called upon Malachi to help them out via Sending. He had been silently dispatching as many dwarves as fast as he could. Together they made sure to smash the obelisks as they could, finding that only Kariss could bring them down with the might of the hammer she had found.
They were close to breaking all the obelisks when Milo was caught by the yellow one, Terra’s obelisk. He fell to the ground immediately. The power that had been keeping him alive since the Broodmaw Caverns was being sucked out of him and distilled into the relics. Aleera quickly got him stabilized. Kariss cast revivify as quickly as she could. She let out the breath she had been holding when he took his own shuddering breath. Now that his heart was healed, he could benefit from the blessing without having to worry about losing it and dying.
Within a few moments they had killed or incapaciatated the guards and had only to face the Regent and Malthazar. The Regent was easy as he was shocked to find that his brother was alive and helping the people who had saved him and did not fight very hard. His own brother had turned against him. He pretended to surrender and when he went to attack Gralmore’s back the party delt the killing blow. Gralmore was stunned but his duty was greater than blood. He protected the interests of Iron Mountain above all else.
They began to fight Malthazar, throwing everything they had at him. Seeing he was outnumbered he muttered a nasty sounding language and burst into flames that snuffed themselves out moments later to reveal an intimidating fire Ifriti. The party faced their terrible opponent in a battle of life and death. The survival of not just the group, but the whole of Novos, was at stake.