Morning came after the night before; their bellies filled and mirth in a spectral form returned to the Phisch estate. As plans were being hatched and an itinerary set in place, a servant arrived with a peculiar request: there was someone seeking the attention of our ever-present heroine, Lylah.
The group assembled and made their way to the main gate, eager to discover who could possibly have sought Lylah so far from home. With much delight they were met by the founding member of Team: Farmer Powerhouse, Barnet Winterbrook. He reported a fantastical tale about his son, Tark, who had slipped into a deep, wakeless coma; Barnet had been granted a sight in his dream which informed him to find the wondrous cleric of Tripos Lylah in these very halls and beseech her aid in saving his son.
Lylah, acting as the divine avatar of Tripos, granted Barnet’s wish without any hesitation, assembling the team and setting out within the hour. Many a joke was had between Barnet and the gang, with updates and tales of his exploits since the fateful day in Grate- a much needed pick-me-up after the peculiar series of events which had unfolded in their wake. During their journey however, they were greeted by a peculiar site- long columns of men and cavalry marched from the South East, making their way into Rigesillian lands; it was quickly established after a tete a tete with a passing horseman that they were marching to Praice, as the beacon within in the city had been lit, crying out for assistance.
Within 48 hours they had arrived at their destination- the busy farming village of Highlark. They were greeted by more familiar faces- the stooping Hobum Longsheaf, wizened pipe smoker Wycombe Halfpenny and the great lump of a man, Jeth de Marco. Swapping of stories amongst the rest of the team had to wait however- there was a young boys life to save!
Lylah quickly covered the ground with Barnet to his home, a small welcoming cottage filled with warmth and the smells of fine rustic living. Greeting his wife Martha and their newborn daughter Leelah, she busily set to work examining young Tark, prodding, probing and praying. By the time everyone else had reached the doorstep to the abode her diagnosis was clear- a large tumour was growing on the brain of the lad, one that looked almost impossible to effectively remove without endangering his life.
A great sadness passed between their fellows; if Lylah could not aid the boy, surely his life would be snuffed out in a matter of days. Our heroes believed that there must be some sort of foul play afoot- they sought out information from fellow villagers, examining lists of visitors, places of work and a multitude of other leads which in the end led to nought. Barnet offered food and lodgings for the night as a thanks for their continued help, and everyone set to rest.
They awoke to a peculiar sight: the whole team lay on grassy ground, encircling a small wooden stump upon which sat Tark, happily smiling as they stirred. Beside him stood a door in frame, completely devoid of surrounding wall or building. He informed the gang that something had ‘broken into his mind’ and he sought their help in ridding it of the affliction; moments later he opened the door which rested next to him and stepped through, disappearing into a nothingness. None the more perturbed, the adventurers made for the portal and pressed on.
They passed through and stepped into snow- chilling and rude, quickly rasping the lungs of the unfamiliar. Before them lay a village square, crowded with townsfolk cheering and jeering the heroes as they approached. Grimes and Oben glanced at each other with a look of recognition as they both moved to the same thought: the square of the trials. Grimes cracked his knuckles and readied his sword arm: this was the same square where he had failed all those years ago, defeated by the devious Mamoa and his cronies. At the far end of the square the same foe stood, heckling and pointing at Grimes, issuing orders to the same clutch of young warriors which once bested him, 5 on 1. Melee ensued, but from the onset there was never going to be a repeat of the past; Oben let fly a volley of bolts from his crossbow before moving into deal more damage to their opponents. Grimes rushed into the fray swinging wildly, fighting tooth and nail to destroy the specter of disappointment from years past. Bones were broken and muscles rended, and even a startling turn of events where the combatants turned into horrid half-man/half-vermin monstrosities was not enough to turn the tide of battle. It was over as quickly as it began- snow painted red in the light of the pale moon.
A new doorway materialized, moving them forward to an old stone place of worship which was instantly recognizable to our champion Lylah, who informed everyone that this was a temple of Tripos where she had studied the teachings of the deity. Ahead of them sat her mentor, Alvar, who subjected them to trials of their mental fortitude. Strangely, it was not the learned minds of the cloth which shone through, but the inquisitive minds of Grimes and Philleo, who both effortlessly put his riddles to the sword. Their reward: a further exit to another area of mystery.
Lylah brushed aside a hanging cloth cover as they moved into their next challenge- before them sat a hooded figure in a large, dimly lit tent. Lylah recognized this adversary without hesitation: the hooded heathen from the desert! She began to feel the fires of anger swell within her, but before she could act on her instincts the figure began to address them- with a voice that once more seemed to emanate form within their own minds. It informed them that they had been a thorn in the side of powerful beings, and to stay well out of the way of Chaccaron- who he foretold would end the time of the old Gods, starting with the crushing of Terrandor, followed by Rigeselle and Ryyk’vaan.
As a laugh echoed out the team awoke to find themselves returned to the safe surroundings of Barnet’s abode- and much to their relief young Tark had woken, and was gleefully embracing his family. The tumor had disappeared, the miraculous Lylah had worked her magic again! Tark broke words with the team thereafter: he had seen a vision of a great eye, peering hungrily at Terrandor. A great shadow begins to envelope the land, and the great eye in the heavens rests it’s gaze on the military town of Gromley. Disturbed but not disheartened, they set their own sights on reaching the city and foiling whatever plot is afoot: Chaccarron had shown his colours, and it was time for a team of heroes to show theirs!