Before leaving Alchemos, the party visited the Temple of Koryis to send their message to Farshore, explaining their absence, and speak with the deceased spirits of Stefanie and Rissashtak. Stefanie confirmed that she did not wish to return, having given her life i na glorious battle, and Risasshtak stated that whilst there were still demons to fight in his homeland, we wanted to be there to continue the battle. Zhedd argued that the party should only use a cheaper reincarnate spell to bring the warrior back, but the others felt this an insult to how Rissashtak had fought for the party in the battle and resolved to raise him back in Sasserine.
Dacien used his newly acquired spell Greater Teleport to more accurately transport the party back to Sasserine. They headed for the Church of the Whirling Fury and met with Lady Silvermane there. She listened with interest to the report from the expedition on the Isle of Dread, and still expressed her concern over not fully knowing what Demogorgon was up to. The party discussed the next plans, and she agreed that hunting down the source of the pearls with the Crimson Fleet seemed the only avenue left to understanding more about their nature. She offered to take the pearls from the party to study them, but Dacien wanted to hold on to them as a potential bargaining chip in the future.
When the party mentioned the intelligent bow they had found, Lady Silvermane offered to introduce the party to the immortal Ixion to discuss its future. She was a priest in part in his name through his presence on the Council of Intrusion, and so was able to gate the party to Pandius, city of the gods, where they could meet the Sun Prince. Stepping through the portal, the party arrived in a large chamber, seated opposite a table from the follow powerful immortal 'deities'.
Ixion (Otzitiotl) appeared a a young man with eyes of flame, Ka (Kalaktatla) as a large dinosaur, Odin (Oloron) as an old man with an eye-patch and a raven, and Protius (Manwara), who appeared as a porpoise swimming in a pool to the side, seemingly disinterested in the entire event. Ixion explained that he had convened the others as their powers had also gone in to the creation of the bow. Ixion seemed the more personable of the four, and claimed to be aware of the party's activities through Lady Silvermane and the Council of Intrusion. When the issue of what should be done with the bow came up, several options were raised, where the immortals might reward the party for delivering the bow to different destinations that might better suit its purpose.
- Ka and Ixion both mused delivering the bow somewhere that might suit its purpose of defending the Oltec empire perfectly. They revealed to the party that the planet was in fact hollow, and in the Hollow World at its centre, fallen empires from history were stored and preserved so that knowledge might be saved, in a 'living museum' of delicately balanced lost civilisations. They explained that the Oltec Empire that had once spread across the now Isle of Dread was represented in the Hollow World, and there the bow could meet its goal of defending the empire. They seemed cautious about the bow knowing too much of the nature of the destination, and explained that certain magical effects ceased to function in the Hollow World due to its nature - severe restrictions on conjuration, divination and enchantment magic. But in return for taking the bow to the seat of the Oltec Empire, they would reward the party each with an item. Should the party choose this course, they suggested heading to Barleycorn Monastery in the Broken Lands north of Darokin, where the priests might be able to help with transport.
- Odin seemed more matter-of-fact, and wanted to see the bow in the hands of a warrior. Acknowledging the strong nature of the intelligence in the bow, he suggested the bow could actually be given to the spirit that possessed it! Odin explained that the civilisation on the isle of Dread now revere undead but this once once a form of undead called Deathless powered by positive energy. Corruption at the heart of the empire that contributed to its downfall led the shamans away from this practice. Several Deathless, including Macutotnal, the king inside the bow, lay in slumber guarding the source of this undead corruption. If the party could remove the need for his guardianship, destroy the corruption, the Deathless might take the bow and return to rebuild the Oltec way of life on the Isle. In return for this deed, Odin would reward them with one item of more power.
- Protius only chipped into suggest giving it to the aquatic races, or detroying it do the power invested in it could return to the immortals.
Mendel also asked about the Eye of Arik they were carrying. Ixion was surprised at its existence, and gave some background. Arik was a guardian created by the immortals to act as a sentinel on the look out for intrusions in to this dimension from Outer Beings, and to stand as guard and warden over the Pits of Banishment, an 'inescapable' prison dimension where dangerous creatures could be locked away. Arik had been tempted by the powers that the outer Beings offered, and so had to be locked away in the Pits himself. Dacien asked about the need for a guard at the prison, and Ixion explained his surprise at the existence of the Eye - that the only escape was by a creature 'opening the door to its cell from the other side'. The Eye contained some vestige of Arik's power, and so if brought to the Pits of Banishment might be used to free him.
Back in Sasserine, the party left Aloysius to sell their loot, which should take a fortnight. He was operating form an abandoned tailors in Shadowshore. On the docks, Mendel, Faldak and Ji spotted the crew of the ship they had visited in Farshore harbour carrying the Shadow Elves, surprisingly already in Sasserine. It became clear that the first mate did not recognise them, and from Antony's questions and pub crawl, it seemed their memories had been modified. Dacien scryed for the albinos and found them in a smuggler's cave to the west - in fact the one they had first encountered the evidence of the danger of the black pearls.
Zhedd then persuaded the party to help him retrieve a sample undead from the Isle of Dread - his long overdue mission from the Witchwardens. The party travelled to Mora, and met with the Witch Doctor there, and thanks to Antony's skilful negotiation, a large amount of alcohol, and Mendel's offer of exchange of the secrets of their power (training etc), Zhedd was handed a topi zombie in a box. It was clear the locals revered the undead as 'Walking Ancestors', and the witch doctor hoped for the return of the zombie in the future, but understood how it might have much to teach the outsiders. Zhedd and Dacien delivered the zombie back to the Witchwardens, and were met by the Dark Priestess Annah Teranaki who was very interested in the party's work. Before the party left Sasserine, Mendel visited the temple of Asterius, and spoke again with the priestess Lirali Woarali. She confirmed that the assassins had retreated from the city, and in response to Mendel's offer of assistance, the church and the growing thieves guild would benefit from an exclusive trade relationship with the nation of Emerond to the south - all trade had recently been cut off and if this could be resolved in the Church's name, they would benefit greatly.
The party still had time to kill whilst waiting for the funds from their loot, and so decided to deal with the dragon turtle on the north of the Isle of Dread. Back in Farshore, Antony's sea Captain Nosmo Beldan had reported sightings of the turtle near the harbour. Some of the locals had also claimed to see a red falcon in the sky to the east, and Mendel spotted this at night - a giant red falcon seemingly made from wood, lit up and hovering over the islands where they met the Hulean preists previously. They party spent some time planning how best to approach the dragon turtle, and decided to repair the Sea Wyvern they left wrecked on the north of the island enough to limp around in the the cove and use as a platform for their attacks. A carpenter helped with the makeshift repairs, with wood shaping spells from Zhedd. Nearby they met with some tortles, who reminded them of the dragon turtle being worshipped by some of their kin, and it guarding the birthing grounds they used. After some trade, they also revealed the dragon turtle had coral golems to add to its defences.
They limped the ship into the deep waters of the cove, and used the horns to attract the dragon turtle's attention as they had done before. It emerged moments later with a sneer, and was caught by surprise as the party attacked. A vast amount of magical firepower was unleashed from Dacien, Zhedd and Gerald to attack the creature as it tried to capsize the ship, and eventually Zhedd's summoned crocodiles tore it to pieces, leaving the body floating in the bloody waters. Somewhere below was its lair and collected treasure....