The wizards of Assarna aided the Party in their ponderings on how to find the Dragonslayer. While her direct location was hard to find, they did offer their talents in theory and crafting magical items. But soon the discussion headed to Assarna’s future: How the growing safe haven for mages could afford to sustain itself. Due to the deep-seated religious dislike for arcane studies, the only people who would offer to become patrons were unsavory and preferred payment to be rendered in magical mayhem. The Party, acknowledging this conundrum, decided that they would see what they could do.
On the next day, 1st of Hearth, the Party departed for Duskport on the wings of Sparrow. It was a quick flight that led them to the majestic balcony that previously only Khariss had landed. An armed group of guards met them, but after recognising the Heroes of Dusk Coast, they welcomed the Party to the council meeting room. There they met Lord Morgath Kuon, Lady Tuire Winden, Lady Yagasha, Alexha Rivan and Yaris Nailo, everyone pleased to see them again. So with refreshments and fresh food, the exchange of stories began.
Not long after the Party had departed the Realm, the Dragonslayer had come to Duskport to meet the council. Her offers of sympathy and co-operation did not find root, however, since the Temples of the Divines, whose assistance was greatly needed, held her as a heretic. In addition, she told how she had seen the Party sucked into a magical vortex during the fight against Murguax, probably never to be seen again, which was not a message any of the Council wanted to hear.
Soon after her departure into places unknown, the Followers of the Guardian arrived briefly to Duskport. But their presence was fiercely opposed by the Paladins and clergy, forcing the cultists and cult-aligned people out of the city. And, according to popular consensus, this was a good thing, since as soon as word spread that the Dragonslayer had met with the leaders of Duskport, the dragons attacked. Shahrazhad and her northern ally attacked the Long Wall and Kolmhaag, breaching them and scattering the defenders back, allowing the orcish wildlanders to enter Dusk Coast. But, were it the enroaching winter or other reasons, the dire attack did not advance further. The dragons returned to their lands and the orcs were content to raid the villages and take over Kolmhaag. While the defenders appreciated the opportunity to rally, this uncertainty discouraged them from striking back, lest they walked into a trap.
The Party, deciding to trust the Council of Dusk Coast, revealed their knowledge: Without mentioning the existence of the Divine Essence, they explained the Dragonslayer’s plan to destroy the Divines and bring an era of uncertainty to all. Horrified of the possibility, the Council unanimously gave their support to the Party. During this discussion, the Party also offered the services of the Wizards of Assarna to the Council, an offer they accepted, although with less enthusiasm.
Ever since divining revealed the destruction of Kolmhaag’s fabled wall and that a group of people were still trapped in the castle of Kolmhaag, Dulkan ached to save them. So before any larger plans were laid, it was decided that those people would be saved. Althaea, recalling her friend Farpounce, suggested that they summon him and his flock of griffins to carry the defenders to the mountains nearby, where they could be led to safety. So it was decided: The Party, after taking care of errands, headed towards Kolmhaag on the wings of the Sparrow. During those errands, Lady Ashinka, who had been absent for almost half of the meeting, met with Carric. She offered that after the Dragonslayer had been brought to her knees, she could take charge of the Cult itself and mould it into a “useful group”. If the Party facilitated this transfer of power, she could make them very, very wealthy. A bit unnerved by the idea, Carric discussed it later with the Party, who ultimately decided that it was at the moment the best choice.
As darkness fell, the Sparrow took flight. Halfway over Haag river, they landed near the fortification where the operations on the eastern front were organised from. There they met the local commander of the Dragon Knights and a human sorcerer who went by the same name as the cult leader in Nidhi. While remaining cautious around her, the Party discussed strategy with the Knights, arranging a feint to the ‘gates’ of Kolmhaag to draw the Orcs away from the fortress itself and allow the griffins evacuate the people.
Two days further, on the dark, windy night of 3rd of Hearth, the plan was executed. The Party met with King Farpounce and dropped Althaea to fly on his back and coordinate the evacuation. So the rest of the Party flew soundlessly to Kolmhaag on the Sparrow. There they destroyed two siege towers that were erected on the walls of the castle, where people had gathered to the damaged balconies. The bulk of the orcs had amassed to the snowy fields to meet the Knights’ mounted charge. Seeing this as an opportunity, Dulkan swept over them on the Sparrow as Lady Antinua and Carric unleashed their destructive magics on the orcs.
Unfortunately, they were not the only ones wielding magic. From somewhere in the mass of panicking orcs came a fireball that scorched the ornithopter and its riders. The mages responded with magics of their own, but the effort was almost for naught, as their target was shrouded in invisibility. But only almost, since it was perhaps by Ochrana’s guidance that Carric’s hastily flung fiery conflagration managed to scorch the invisible spellcaster. But even after Lady Antinua used her arcane sight to see invisible, the dark mass of orcs made it almost impossible to find their target. After receiving a freezing rain of icicles that further damaged the Sparrow, Dulkan took distance and landed on top of the howling wall, scaring a lone orcish sentinel witless in the process.
Feeling their initiative slipping through their fingers and the evacuation only just begun, the Party figured out their next move. As Zariss would have it, they had just received the crucial part of their puzzle: The Force Cube, the object to trade for late Karanox’s Cubic Gate. Carric would use her magic to fly the Party in a tight formation while Lady Antinua would use the cube to block out the mage’s attack and Dulkan would use his bow to take them out. So they ascended, this time without wings of leather and wood, and found that their gambit worked. As they neared the orcs, another fireball came from the crowd, hitting the cube’s defensive force and dissipating harmlessly behind them. Even the mages’ last-ditch effort to teleport into a safe distance failed, and Dulkan’s arrow flew true, piercing the orc’s back and sending him crashing into the snow.
Not wanting to face the entire orcish army, the trio merely retrieved the body and flew across the Haag river, keeping the invaders’ attention on them while Althaea and Farpounce retrieved the rest of the citizens. As the last of the castles’ holdouts had left, the Party rode and flew to safety, an orcish mage in their custody and the castle Kolmhaag disappearing behind them, now curiously in flames…