The party’s first order of business was to leave the camp as quickly as possible, to avoid being framed for a murder they would claim to have not committed. After gathering the limp bodies of Gaeryth and the two couriers that Aelem dispatched, the party left via teleportation. Upon returning to Aelem’s home on the south coast of Azera, the first order of business was burying Gaeryth, which was done as per an ancient Atnuuli custom. The party was then set to begin grilling “Jim” about his connection to Luwan when he voluntarily began talking, first revealing a very important piece of information – Luwan Taridin, the monster responsible for literally every world-shaking catastrophe to date, is a lich (which explains previous speculation as to Luwan’s apparent agelessness). With that massive revelation out of the way, “Jim” contacted Luwan via scrying within earshot of the rest of the party and managed to squeak some additional information out of him; most importantly, the size of his army (600,000 strong, and growing) the generals that have returned to him (Wee Jas, Hextor and Vecna), and his position as head adviser to King Allister Harlon, Sovereign of Royce. At this point, the Demaran courier whom Aelem had previously rendered unconscious awoke and introduced herself as Frea the Sorceress. After spending a few less than savoury moments tied to the side of a ram, she convinced the party to set her free and take her with them. The gnome, Erol, was not so lucky – he didn’t survive his encounter with the tent post, and his body was unceremoniously tossed into the sea. With this new information in mind, the party’s next move was to locate Beric, and the first place of interest was Demara, at the approximate location of their last departure from the empty land. After nearly two months of overland travel, the party finally reached the forest of Rián, entered it, and made their way in what they believed to be the general direction of the settlement they found the first time they were on the Demaran continent. This search led “Jim” to a discarded and bloodied arrow which Ajani determined to be of Atnuuli make, and Aelem led the party on the path of the shooter directly into a clearing containing a small, makeshift shelter, where Beric was found. After hearing a blunt recollection of recent events (courtesy of Aelem), Beric was shockingly cooperative, and when presented with the prospect of breaking the Pact, he agreed. Two plans are now on the table, one necessary, one optional (but highly beneficial).
The first: Remove Luwan from power in Royce, by force if required.
The second: Locate the Master Metallic Dragons and attempt to enhance the Second Firm Legion’s forces with a unit of the noble creatures.
It is now the party’s choice. Let us hope their decision is the right one.