After the battle with the Ebon Gauntlet, our heroes found some peculiar items on their defeated opponents’ bodies. An obsidian slab and a ring that would fit into it. Thybalt recognized some of the markings on the slab to be related to an alternate plane called “The Echo”, a dimension where time acted differently. Taking the slab and ring they set back off to do what they intended to do in the first place; Talk to Syrion. Finding him and his band sitting around the fire, they were quickly introduced and Syrion got down to business. Lythvard’s old mentor, Ratnab, was apparently working for the Verisiels as one of their leaders. Syrion asked for help in defending the Emperor from another assassination attempt in Axis. After having dinner with Syrion, they made their way back to the Archmages compound and tells Lady Summerton what Sirian wanted. Nimona gives Sorth’s golden dog to Lady Summerton to help with the rebuilding of the city.
Going to Archmage’s chambers they find him floating in meditation. Rawdon shouts his arrival and immediately gets shushed by the Archmage. They tell him of what occurred with the Ebon Gauntlet and Syrion. Nearly ignoring them he tells them that everything will be fixed if they heal the Priestess and will help Thybalt after that. The group peels off for a discussion about what they should do; Help Syrion, or continue with the Archmage. They decide to help the Archmage, and are told to meet him in a room in a bit. The group goes to Lady Summerton about the the slab and she seems to know a bit more about the Echo; in fact she works out a spell to use the stone. Vorax persuades her to not tell the Archmage about the slab and they begin to cats the spell to test it.
The Echo is a gray place where ruins about and everything has a transparency to it. They are able to touch what they want to touch, and when they return to the Material Plane they begin to test to see how times affects it. They light a candle and when travel, and when they come back they find that no time has passed at all. A potato (stolen by Rawdon from a peasant) is placed in the Echo and left for a while, and turns out to be perfectly fine. Happy with their new toy, the group finds the Archmage sitting and waiting for them in a ruined tower with a flying carpet for each of them, ready to transport them to the city of Santa Cora.
They eventually reach the breathtaking skyline of Santa Cora. The dominating cathedral surrounding by massive statues, reflecting the golden light of the city everywhere. Colors are abound with the stain glass windows littering the city as the smell of incense wafts through the air between the many spires of the cathedral. They land outside the Priestess’s chambers to find her lying on her deathbed. They are interrupted by 3 old priests who demand that they leave, but are cowed when the Archmage tells them that the Priestess is about to be healed. Nimona voices her concerns, but the Archmage continues to press her forward. The question is asked about who the emissary of the gods was that told him. It’s then that Ayn rides in with her 4 horsemen, silent and watching. Nimona prays to the Priestess to see what she wants, only to find the Priestess sitting on a tree swing. The Priestess tells her that she is no more important than Nimona’s mother; as wildfire rages around them Nimona comes to and finds that the Priestess is dead.
The Archmage refuses to believe it, and tears out his eyeball as he claws at his face. He goes for the body of the Priestess, cutting off his hand. He is stopped by everyone though, and he jumps off the tower, presumably flying away. Ayn says nothing as she and her horsemen fly out of the tower. The 3 priests come back and are outraged that Nimona is performing the last rites, and summon the guards to kick them out. However, after much talking, they are allowed to do the rites and leave. They are escorted to a room on the edge of the city and left there. The group stews over the decisions they have made today. Thybalt eats almost everyone’s food, Nimona is thinking herself into sadness, Vorax seems to be contemplating, Rawdon is internally discussing, and Lythvard is playing with the rotting hand and eyeball of the Archmage.
Meanwhile, two robed men sit across from each other in a plane of white nothingness. They turn to see Ayn upon her steed, silently delivering a message.
“Guess you were right about mortals this time, ” one says to the other.