In the innermost sanctum of the Gatekeepers, the Party decided to pursue other portals to the Celestial Sea. One such gate that Althaea had taken directions to was in the Forest of Illusions, located on Arcanis. But first, they needed to return to Reneé. Exfiltration of the castle was not without problems; The Party were seen by the Gatekeepers as they returned to the waters of Umbra. A teleportation circle nearby activated, pouring out cultists who threw curses and spells in equal measure. As things turned sour, the Party resorted to violence, and soon the mages’ powerful magics tore the pursuers to shreds and disencouraged the rest. After blasting their way through the guardian sharks, the Party found their talking, yet not talkative, pony. With worries of a more organized pursuit, they decided to use the two-click-feature of the Cubic Gate to head back to Arcanis.
The Gate brought them close to the Forest of Illusions, onto a hill devoid of magic, perhaps with a twinkle of irony. But soon enough the Party got their bearings and rested. Carric and Dulkan did an aerial flyover of the forest to find their goal: A pond filled with a permanent bank of fog.
It turned out that the reconnaissance was for naught: The forest proved to be worthy of its name, as simply following a small stream led them lost. With sight of magic, the Party found out that nearly half of the things they saw in the forest were magical illusions; Either dangerous, predatory things or mere intangible mirages. But solution came as Althaea recovered the rod she had taken from Karanox. One of the buttons had oriented the rod to point to north back on the safe surface of the Realm, so maybe it would do so now. Pressing the button sent the rod twirling, pointing very firmly towards one direction.
While the forest could fool their senses, it couldn’t fool the powerful magical tool. Despite its best efforts, the forest gave way for the Party, who eventually found the small, unassuming pond, with a suspicious, thick fog bank sitting in its center like an obstinate toad. The party made camp and allowed Lady Antinua to copy the spell they had recovered into her book. This waiting allowed them ample time to prepare for the next step of their journey, which would deliver them into the realm of the gods themselves. All evidence pointed towards the legends and beliefs to be true: The Divines indeed could walk among mortals.
What would they see? What would they ask? And what would the Divines tell them, assuming they indeed did exist? After Lady Antinua opened her eyes, mind filled with the power to survive the Celestial Sea, their questions would get answered.