As Nodnal snatched the Time Dagger from its fluid prison, the earth began to shake and rip asunder, as tentacles rose from the deepening crevasses. Gathering together, the Lionshields debated their situation, but realizing they had the item they had been seeking, they put it to use. Nod, sacrificing a sliver of intelligence to do so, rewound time by one hour, placing the party back to when they had first arrived in Redhaven… and with all their memories intact.
Deciding that the Highwayman’s Lute was the next piece of the puzzle, they went straight for Chuck Waggins, but Tuhng had other ideas, and as the Lionshields battled the Lute’s mummers, Tuhng slipped in and killed Chuck and commandeered the caravan.
The Lionshields all climbed aboard the Lute and then something amazing happened — a magical portal appeared before them and Tuhng piloted the wagon into the rift and suddenly they found themselves within a psychedelic sea of cosmic weirdness, propelled through this dimensional wormhole between reality and the astral realm.
They used the opportunity to heal and investigate the caravan, but then Tuhng revealed his true self to the party. Niblung Ankleshanker, infamous thief and co-founder of the Blood Brotherhood. He had manipulated the party into recovering the dagger and absconding with the Lute. But this was just the start of their quest.
He revealed he knew they possessed the fragments of the Black Spire tablet. He was taking them to a place where the tablet would be reassembled, unlocking a pathway to another place where they would fulfill their destinies.
He asked they leave the Time Dagger in his keeping and he inserted it into a raised pedestal, like a key, between the stage seat. “Now you are complete,” he said. Niblung then motioned toward an object shortly ahead.
The Lute came to rest before a floating disk in the astral soup. There, a black pylon rose above a waiting altar. The Lionshields disembarked and began to reassemble the broken tablet like a puzzle, with ghosts and ghouls appearing each time they misplaced a shard. Finally, they succeeded and then did battle with the creatures, including a shadow demon that had been trapped inside one of the pieces.
After defeating these beasts handily, the party found themselves magically transported to the surface of the Red Moon. With no oxygen, the Lionshields were desperate. Surveying the terrain, in the distance they saw their ultimate goal — a great black obelisk, and next to it, the wreckage of a massive dirigible.
Peron quickly placed his Necklace of Adaptation over Kari’s neck and went ethereal, while Nodnal opened up a Dimension Door for he and Elrian to escape to the wrecked transport. Finding it surrounded by a green glow that provided a breathable environment, they signaled to the others to make their way there, but as Kari lumbered across the lunar sand, it awoke a great Purple Worm. He and Peron made for the dirigible with all due haste.
Nod procured magical breathing devices from the hold of the ship and the party bolted for the obelisk, narrowly gaining entry before the great worm came upon them. Inside, they found a spiral stair descending. Facing a long corridor, with an ornate bronze door waiting. Overhead, a plaque read: REQUIEM.
Elrian discovered a glyph barring egress, so they opened a portal and passed through the wall, only to find another corridor and a fiend barring the next door.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” Gaston Delacourt said menacingly. “What took you so long?”
to be continued