Trapped in the dark, behind several feet of solid stone, the party collected themselves and progressed in the only direction they could. So they descended down a seemingly endless flight of stairs, towards the unknown.
After several minutes, they perceived the sound of chanting further ahead. Approaching cautiously, they found themselves at a door, the chanting emanating from the chamber beyond. The door was locked simply, and it was without a second thought that the party eased their way through the portal.
Beyond lay an ancient chamber, filled with the sound of chanting and an stunning glow of arcane energy, all emanating from a central altar. Arrayed around the altar were several cultists, and in the middle of them stood Sancossug, reveling in the arcane ritual. The party identified it as a portal opening ritual of some sort, though the details couldn’t be further sorted before the battle was joined.
Mikal and Aukan lept straight into the fray from a raised platform, to varying degrees of success, while Nioi and Thevenin advanced from the other side of the room. Once Sancossug was aware of them he focused his arcane energy into a massive shield in order to ensure the completion of the ritual. The battle was long and frenzied, but ultimately the portal was opened despite the death of Sancossug. Presented with the choice of proceeding through the complex they found themselves currently in or with jumping into the quickly destabilizing portal, a few of the party jumped into the portal. The rest soon followed.
After a jarring arcane journey, they found themselves in a small room cluttered with arcane paraphenalia, filled with several warforged guards. Before all of them stood a man who cut a solemn and intense figure. With a gesture he ordered the warforged forward. They approached Nioi and Aukan and relieved them of their weapons before leading them away. In the meantime Mikal and Thevenin we now face to face with that mysterious being, The Lieutenant. A leader of the arcane special forces of Khalim, he had previously worked directly with Thevenin and has been somewhat of a phantom trailing behind Thevenin.
He led Mikal and Thevenin through the grand castle of Khalim, for indeed they had traveled via arcane winds to the Far East of Dovahnei. The question of why Khalim would risk trafficking with those such as the Coming Chaos was soon to be answered, though not in as satisfactory a way as one might hope.
They were led before the Queen, Talia, and she commended their bravery while also reprimanding them for interrupting the ritual. She was a woman of few words and much was left unanswered. The entire party was soon reunited and ushered out of the castle with haste, leaving many questions in the air and a bad taste lingering in their mouths.
With the hour late, the party quickly located a nearby inn in the noble district, named The Red Maple. The streets were well lit with paper lanterns, strung up in celebration of the Harvest Festival. There they pursued a lead while settling in.
The sun is about to rise on Khalim and many questions must be answered. Where our heroes go from here is their own choice.