The party, finding themselves suddenly in the ruined Obsidian Tower, takes a moment to rest and recover. As they begin to grudgingly converse among themselves, Odos lashes out at Lux, calling her a ‘kinstealer’ for her prior role in the Scarlet Brotherhood; Lux is infuriated, and the two almost come to blows. Heinrich steps between them to broker a temporary peace – this is achieved when Odos stalks off to try to find some semblance of alcohol. Rixtah calmly tells the rested party to to search the armory and kitchens and outfit themselves, because soon the world here will end, and they will need to travel elsewhere.
Their backpacks filled with dried meat and supplies, armed with whatever they could find from the armory, the group meets Rixtah on the balcony….only to be greeted with the sight of the Chained God rending the sky ever closer, the horrific wailing assaulting their minds. Gravely, Rixtah tells them that this IS the unchangeable fate of the world, no matter how hard they struggle – but he will let them try to help. Opening a portal, he enters it, followed by Heinrich, Odos, and Bruilinde, and lastly by Lux, who still is convinced she is dreaming, still chained in the dungeons.
The portal droped them onto a small alcove, from which they can see stars and neverending space. Heinrich marvels at the sight, only to have to very quickly jump back as the tipsy Odos starts playing with switches and levers, which lower defensive gates. He and Lux again almost come to physical blows, but are pulled apart by the aging Heinrich. Bruilinde saunters ahead to find a circular room, with two side rooms. FIlling the space is a giant dial with many strange symbols, surrounded by four circular mirrors. Rixtah appears again, telling them they are in Mordenkainen’s own pocket universe. He offers to remove their bracelets – with more care, he adds, than he was afforded – and vanishes to locate magically enhanced items and weapons for them.
Left to their own devices, Bruilinde and Lux begin idly exploring the side rooms. Lux deftly steals many poisons and vials, while Bruilinde, oddly, steals the bedsheets off Mordenkainen’s bed. Parchment is procured for Odos, as Rixtah returns, outfitting them all with magically enhanced weapons and not a few magical accesories.
He explains that from here, they can travel at will through the planes and through time. Asking each of them what they’d like to change, Bruilinde promptly respnds she would return to the moment in time where she lost the Crystal of Askaf to tragar Hax and his accomplice, and prevent the conflagration. Odos wants to use the power to stop the enslavement of any others, having known firsthand the terror of being a slave. Heinrich wishes to save the world to see his beloved family again, while Lux simply wants to use what she knows to help stop the rampant evils of the Scarlet Brotherhood. United by a grudging common desire to rectify old wrongs, the company chooses first to attempt to retrieve the Crystal. Rixtah opens a portal to the standing stones through which Bruilinde and her former companions had passed to enter the Necropolis of Ilkbin, and the party jumps in.
When they arrive at the standing stones, they see Tragar Hax, his female companion, and multiple assassins beginning a ritual with the completed Ashen Staff. As Tragar locks it into place, Lux frantically casts at it – breaking the staff into two pieces and triggering randomly opening and closing portals throughout the area, which open to various hellscapes, seascapes, and the occasional tranquil pasture.
Heeding Bruilinde’s call to kill the woman first, as she knows her to be a dangerous spellcaster, Odos spidercrawls through the stones and locks her in combat. Using his monk powers, he stunlocks her, rendering her useless through the entire fight until, defeated, with a final punch he throws her to her death through an open portal. Heinrich charges in recklessly and is immediately surrounded by two earth elementals and two assassins. Just when he felt he may be overwhelmed, he was joined in combat by a third assassin – unbeknownst to him, mind controlled by Bruilinde – who assisted him in vanquishing his foes. As Heinrich turned to clasp hands with what he assumed to be a new friend, Bruilinde flung the assassin headlong into an ocean plane, where he drowned before Heinrich’s eyes.
Meanwhile, Lux and Bruilinde cornered Tragar into a melee fight, with Bruilinde taunting the disbelieving Tragar – who, in this timeline, had seen her defeated only moments before in the necropolis. They were joined quickly by Odos after he dispatched Tragar’s female compatriot. Trying to hold one piece of the Ashen Staff as well as the Crystal of Askaf, Tragar’s atatcks flew wide and clumsy, allowing the group to break his guard on several occasions. In a moment of clarity, Odos scooped up the second piece of the staff, enraging Tragar. As he sensed he was on the losing end of the battle, Tragar spit a curse at the group and flung himself into a portal which opened onto an unrelenting hellscape. Heedless of consequences. Bruilinde shouted to her companions that he must be killed, and ran through after him. Soon, all three of her fellow heroes joined her….