Two days have passed since our heroes returned to Guardian’s Peak with the materials they gained. Hadron Rook worked with them to begin construction on his new Arcane-Primal Inverter, which he has code named “Plane Savior.” As our heroes are taking a lunch break, Cynthia interrupts them, looking for Norlan Donaaran. She informs him that reports have come in that someone is Bahest is looking for him, and that it might be a matter of concern for his clan. Rook feels that things are progressing well enough with his project, so he agrees to the team taking off, even taking the Gungnir with them. With Ten needing maintenance, Alia Dawnedge, Ash, Caelestis Nailo, and Eve journey with Norlan to Bahest.
Once there, our heroes travel to the Saavy Sow and catch up with Robert Thermicle. After some pleasantries, he tells the party that some Dragonborn had been looking for Norlan. Ash decides to use his Sending ritual to contact Norlan’s brother, Zangeon, the clan’s leader. He informs them quickly that there’s something amiss, an undead threat, and that it might spell danger for the clan. The party takes off again aboard Gungir to meet them at their current camp outside an oasis in the Dry March.
Our heroes make the trip to the camp without issue, and converse with Zangeon. He tells the party that a month ago, a fortress emerged from the sands of the Dry March to the east of them. At the time, it was very far away, and so they didn’t pay it any heed, but it’s much closer to their current camp, so they decided to send a scout group. Most of the scout group didn’t return, the few who did in the care of adventurers lead by an elven woman, who the party suspects was Ashia Treme. The group spoke of a fearful undead army, the size of which they’d never seen, and it appeared to be on the march for the fortress.
Ash decides that now is a good time to use his Speak with Ancient Sages ritual to divine some information about this. After discussion, the party decides to ask, “What is the reason for this fortress’ raising from the desert?” The sage tells them that the Fortress of Arkanon rises due to the weakening bounds between planes allowing the power of Orcus to draw it forth once again. It is possible that his minions seek to gain the power of the Worm that Walks. Celestis reflects on this for a few minutes, but then recalls a detailed prophecy she heard of during her Avenger training about this Worm that Walks. It’s a apocalyptic prophecy that speaks of a great swarm of worms that act together to devour all life, and yet leave mangled carcasses to walk the world as their minions. The name affixed to this is Kyuss.
Content in this information our heroes took the the skies to investigate the fortress. After skirting the edges of it for some time, the fortress’s cannons succeeded in hitting the ship with a massive anchor with a chain on the end, holding it in place. Then three Falchion armed Vrocks with demons in their talons flew towards the ship, while reanimated servants of Kyuss crawled up the chain towards them. Ash, who was in the gunnery deck, rallied the gunners to fire on the chain and hold the approaching minions at bay while the rest of the party engaged the demons on the main deck. The battle waged for quite some time, with Ash’s men severing the chain with the ship’s cannons, sending many Kyuss monsters to their deaths. They also managed to knock one of the Vrocks out of the sky, but his plummet didn’t kill him and he returned to deliver his demonic cargo all the same. Celestis managed to teleport one of the demonic eviserators off the ship to its doom, but then one of the Vrocks pushed her off the ship with a horrid scream. Though Celestis survived the fall, she was exposed to the Touch of Kyuss disease from the undead she landed near. Shortly there after our heroes proved victorious, Alia having scored severe blow after severe blow upon their foes, and despite their best efforts to try and kill Eve and Norlan while she was tied up. Together they picked up Celestis and went back to the clan’s camp.
As they went to fly away, they saw a massive army of ghouls assaulting the front gates of the fortress, lead by a black dragon being ridden by a warforged. The dragon and his rider allowed the ship to flee, but the two parties no doubt noticed each other’s presence.
Back at the camp, they informed Zangeon of what they saw. Together they theorized what could possible be the meaning of what they saw. Were the ghouls lead by the Black Dragons, seeking to take the fortress and the power of Kyuss themselves? The demon presence in the fortress suggests Orcus, but what part does this Worm that Walks play into all of this? While they stewed on these questions, Zangeon had one of the clan’s clerics cleanse Celetsis of her disease. For now, our heroes returned to guardian’s peak, having to contemplate what to do from here.