The party discussed their options, they knew they did not want to risk endangering the lives of the folk of Tradekeep, but they also felt that the crown should not be turned over to the Others. Larkspur donned the crown and Daylen handed him a god-stone, the party gathered round and the halfling ranger attempted to join the power of the crown with the god-stone to teleport to four places at once. The plan was to use the stone and crown together to duplicate the party and teleport them all to the interior chambers of each of the four flying fortresses and destroy their power cores simultaneously hoping that Drael’thuzaad was right about sending the Others back. However, the magic of the god-stone was only so powerful and the party was not duplicated four times over and instead they teleported only to the center of one of the flying fortresses, so they had to act fast.
The interior of the flying castles of the Others was vast and felt somewhat empty. The insides of the fortresses were mostly constructed of a web-way of interconnected bridges leading to a central, glowing power core. Goltheiron and Solgrin engaged a pair of other-wordly guardians within the core of the fortress while Daylen and Aegishand used a short-range teleportation spell to reach the power core. Larkspur dodged past a few Others and tossed the crown over to Aegishand hoping the crown and the core might interact. When they did not and Aegishand came under heavy attack from the Others (since he was now holding the crown) he had no choice but to strike the core of the fortress with his trusty dagger, Iron Feather. The entire castle shuttered with a thunderous quake, the core burst with lightning and ectoplasmic energy and the structure began to fall to the earth below. Without any more time to think the party split up or the entire city would be crushed.
Goltheiron used a dimension door spell to teleport to the ground and began running to the northern most flying fortress. Solgrin ran down the length of the nearest bridge and leapt out of the castle, landing on a nearby Other drifting down to attack the city. Gylek grabbed Larkspur and cast a planeshift spell, but the spell didn’t work quite right and they wound up in the mountains of Drasguard… Daylen and Aegishand, meanwhile, successfully teleported over to the western-most fortress.
Solgrin made it to the ground safely and summoned his horse and caught up with Goltheiron. Gylek and Larkspur used another teleportation spell and blinked back to Tradekeep. Daylen and Aegishand disabled another castle core, but frustratingly their next teleportation spell attempt unintentionally shunted them to the edge of the city. The party managed to destroy the two remaining fortress cores by using teleportation and dimensional spells. In doing so the four fortresses flickered for a moment like they were simply going to vanish, but then flew together like opposite ends of a magnet and with a massive kinetic slam they joined into one mega structure suspended precariously over the city.
The magic supporting the massive fortress was failing though, as all four of the fortress cores were damaged and hemorrhaging power. The floating otherworldly castle still posed a threat to the city, in fact, as it sank through the air it collided with Coinhold crushing part of the battlements and collapsing the northeast tower. The party reconvened inside the now joined fortresses and made their way towards the center which was guarded by four massive Guardian Others. Solgrin charged the monstrosities drawing their attention. Larkspur nimbly rushed past the fighting with the crown in his hands aiming for the central core of the fortress. The four guardians were protecting a steel column with a ring shaped recess matching the size of the crown. The halfling ranger threw himself on top of the pedestal and jammed the crown into the recess.
A shockwave of energy rattled the entire fortress as it winked out of existence above Tradekeep leaving the realms of Dalun for good. The party awoke sprawled out on a steely platform seemingly suspended in the night sky. As they rose they looked about and saw shimmering portals at the end of a complicated network of bridges connecting to other floating platforms. A humanoid approached and explained to the adventuring party that they had arrived to the fabled Gateway. He also explained that their vessel was not welcome to say adrift over the Gateway, however. Looking behind them they saw that the massive joined-fortress structure had traveled with them and in fact had collided with some invisible barrier surrounding and protecting the portals and bridges all around. The humanoid appeared to each member of the party as a one of their own kind, the same race, similar style of dress, accent, complexion and so on. He called himself the Gatekeeper and said that it was his duty to maintain this place. When the party explained that they were simply trying to protect Tradekeep from the Others’ attack the Gatekeeper used his power to dismiss the Otherwordly fortress “sending it back to its home” he said. The massive vessel slowly disappeared without a sound.
Daylen was taken by the beauty of the starry realm and shared with his allies that he’d always dreamed of coming to this place, unsure if its existence was true or myth. Aegishand asked Goltheiron to cure him of his blindness so that he too may look upon the magnificence and mystery of the place. The adventurers had a look around and the Gatekeeper explained that at the end of each bridge lie a portal which leads to another world. They saw strange men in armored suits, monstrous beings and other bizarre creatures all coming and going to and from different portals traveling in an instant to not only different worlds, but anywhere within the multiverse.
The party discussed what they would do next and where they would go. Daylen was eager to begin exploring the rest of the realms, it was clear that there was much more than simply the world of Dalun out there. Larkspur said that he at last would be able to rest and let his journey come to an end. The halfling did not keep it a secret that he wished to return to a normal life after all of this and he was determined to make that happen. Gylek too wished for a bit of normalcy, but wished to stay in touch with his allies. Solgrin and Goltheiron expressed their intent to continue adventuring, their work was not yet over. Solgrin had a house to return to in Burnordraath, centaurs and bandits run unchecked throughout the Bregohar and the black blade of house Drothspell had not yet been fully redeemed from its dark days. Goltheiron intended to found a chivalric order, the Knights of the Sword and Sun, one even mightier than the Ainugrand of Noruld. Aegishand would return to Eltgaard and possibly risk getting involved in politics there or perhaps simply enjoy the carefree life of nobility.
The Gatekeeper guided the adventurers back over to the portal that would lead to Dalun. As they passed other portals they peered into their worlds seeing curious cities of steel and light, worlds of limitless ocean and other strange places. The bridge-way connecting Dalun’s portals to the rest of the platform was a little wobbly, not unlike a wagon wheel rattling loosely on its axle… the Gatekeeper performed the necessary repairs and thanked the adventurers for bringing the damage to his attention. They walked out across the now sturdy platform to a tall swirling portal and one by one the adventurers stepped through, vanishing and returning home for a long deserved rest.