The next morning each member of the adventuring party woke with a letter waiting for them that read:
It seems like so long ago we met at the Grinning Goblin and took up arms together to defend its proprietor. And I marvel at the way we’ve kept the pact we made that day. When we fought our first contract for Erel we took up arms with the Bravaullian Scouts against Goblins… I never thought we’d fight Devils, Demons, Dragons and… Angels, but we’ve bested them all. Somehow, through many trials and sacrifices, we’ve managed to keep our hides. On my worst days I just wait for it to catch up with me. On my best days I dream of putting all the wars away. But this world has chosen us to fight for it. Its in danger, and we have to.
A year ago Erel told us about an artifact he’d been searching for of great power and significance. A crown that had been cast off deep beneath sea to the west, to be lost beneath water, sand, and time. He said that there were many powerful entities fighting over that relic before it was lost. I wonder if that is what has drawn the eye of the power-hungry creatures of the lower plains, and the ire of the angels to Dalun… I think we need to go back to where this all started in order to finish it."
The letter was signed by Aegishand Bennudin-Grimlove and one by one the adventurers reunited at the tavern before leaving once more, possibly for good. They traveled west along the Green Way trade road for a few weeks before encountering the metropolitan city of Moerth where they stopped and rested a day. Moving on their road turned north as they passed into Caelildran and on up to Tradekeep, their destination, arriving about a month and a half after they left Bynornuen.
At the Grinning Goblin they met Erel who was doing business with a group of mages when the adventurers arrived. He was delighted to see them and they caught up on all of their goings on, including the bloodshed in the upper planes. Erel admitted to never having traveled the planes when he was an adventurer, so he did not judge them for their actions. The party spoke for a little while about one of Erel’s former allies, Avendrin. The retired rogue explained that Avendrin was the one who never quite fit the party mold, he was fiery and difficult to work with at times, but he hadn’t seen him in about ten years. A while back Erel received warning from a friend of his, Kathrol, saying that Avendrin was going to hunt down and kill their former adventuring companions in some veil ritual-like ceremony to recover the lost crown from their last adventure. But no one had heard from Avendrin for quite some time and so Erel said that he assumed that he had given up on the crown or been killed attempting to find it.
The party was not so sure that Avendrin was out of the picture yet and they determined that they would need to locate the crown to put all of this to rest. Erel claimed to remember the precise location where he and his allies threw the crown back into the sea, so he and the adventurers boarded a ship called the Silver Scale, helmed by a friend of Erel’s, and sailed west. The journey took a day and a half, but eventually the retired rogue looked back at the coastline and announced “this is the spot; this is where it happened” and described how the horizon looked then and how it looks now. Larkspur used a magic scroll to allow his allies to breath water and they leapt into the ocean.
The adventurers swam downward using alchemical sunrods to light their way as they got deeper. The water was cold and the pressure great, but their magic kept them comfortable while they searched the seafloor. After what felt like hours of picking through coral beds, sand, seaweed and dodging sharks and schools of fish the party spotted an oddly angular shape. They investigated and determined that there was a sunken building on the floor of the ocean, partially buried in sand. They worked their way inside the main entrance and found a vast underwater temple. The structure appeared to have been built long ago and likely by giant humanoid creatures as the doorways were taller than a man and the ceilings were very high.
They were attacked by a massive eel-like monster whose body crackled with electrical bolts of energy. The beast swallowed Aegishand while Larkspur, Goltheiron, and Solgrin hacked at the thing. Some of the temple collapsed during the fighting and the party took some licks, but eventually the dwarf cut himself out of the serpent and the party finished it off. At the end of a long corridor supported by many columns the adventurers discovered a vast chamber within a large pocket of air. At the center of the chamber they found a mysterious stone disc with a pair of curved stone shapes looming over it, like a pair of claws, but not quite touching. The disc emanated a peculiar amber light which intensified if anyone stood upon it.
The party assumed that this must be some sort of portal, but could not get it to work until Solgrin located a pale yellow gemstone in a nearby room. The magic stone activated the magic within the portal with a whirl of light and energy. They felt a great surge of force preceding the coming of a mighty being, an Empyrean. The Celestial giant announced itself as “Dalun’s doom,” and that it was a titan of destruction and that the mortals before it would be is first victims. Battle was joined and it was indeed powerful; it’s terrible trident stunned whoever it struck with static thunder and quaking pain. The titan launched bolts of power strong enough to cut through any magical resistance and had the ability to summon fire and seismic waves of energy. The temple shook as broken stone, frigid water and scorching flames began to flood the chamber hall, but after a furious several minutes of battle the party bested the titan through force of arms. The portal from whence the titan came was still held open, the party briefly discussed stepping through and then proceeded.
On the other side of the portal the adventuring party found themselves standing in a bizarre realm which resembled the a cloudless midnight sky. Stars streaked overhead and distant worlds twinkled like colored lights in the distance. Seemingly random objects drifted about the space such as a castle atop a small island, ancient monsters and items of forgotten power and significance, but most terrifyingly of all Dranoth loomed overhead. The banished god’s eyes burned in the sky peering down on all that moved; his voice boomed forth telepathically entering the adventurers’ minds. He tried to convince them to take him back to Dalun offering rewards of power, but of course they refused. Before them stood a shadowy humanoid being which seemed at home in this place and it explained that they were standing in a realm for things that no longer belong. A world between worlds for leftover entities that ceased to exist within the multiverse, but were not totally destroyed. The titan who stepped out of the portal on Dalun, for instance, was sequestered here for ten thousand years by a band of desperate heroes attempting to save Dalun from an ancient threat.
The shadowy figure offered to trade the crown they sought for the shard of the time crystal that Larkspur carried. The time stone was destroyed at the Battle of Northwater and none of its fragments should have been left behind, but somehow a single piece made its way to Bynornuen and had gone unaccounted for until now. The crown’s origin remained a mystery, the creature of shadow offered no explanation for its past or present purpose. The party had little choice, but to agree to the trade and when they accepted the crown they were instantly returned to the deck of the Silver Scale. Erel exclaimed that it appeared that they fell from a dark spot in the sky. They showed him the crown, a heavy iron thing, and he confirmed that was indeed the one.
Just as they were turning their heading back to Tradekeep they spotted green lights, like low hanging stars, begin to appear on the horizon…