Staring down the elite guard, the party deliberated. Should they take him along with them and probably get him killed, or stay true to their word and release him to do who knows what. Eventually, they decided to trust him to inform them the next time Bartholomew sent for them.
Sensing now that Bartholomew was after the seven artifacts as well, the party made a bee-line for Gideon’s parent’s house, and the cave that was marked on the map there. The party discovered the family unscathed, but Gideon’s parents reported that there had been a strange blonde fellow claiming to know the party who had made camp on the property recently. Sensing that this person could only be Bartholemew, Gideon sent his parents to the inn near Monhutch as a safety precaution, and the party headed to Gideon’s cave to investigate.
At the mouth of the cave, some simple investigation revealed that someone had been there recently, and had made efforts to hide their tracks. Leaving Yurtle behind, the party made their way over a series of tripwires into the cave below. Something had clearly happened here, and a new room had been opened up. Upon entering the cave, Elena grew anxious, and this room only worsened her reaction – she dashed back to the mouth of the cave, where Ivanoff intercepted her so the rest of the party could investigate.
In the mysterious room, they found an old jewelry box, now empty, and a smashed mirror. After mending the mirror with a spell revealed a portal similar to the ones the party had seen in the strange starlight catacombs leading to the ilhopa prison. With nowhere else to go, the party headed through the portal, though Elena passed out, and a band on her finger where her ring would sit started to burn and glow.
On the other side of the portal, the party saw that the face of the merfolk sorcerer had still not been revealed. Presumably, the sorcerer’s item must be returned to the pedestal in the temple in order to reveal their identity. Sensing that their only options were to head through the merfolk portal – which very likely opened up under water, or into the chamber of objects that the medallion came from, the party headed into the treasure room.
Inside the room, Elena came to, and the party preceded to question her about her history, only to discover that she has a huge chunk of missing memory around the time that her ring went missing. The room itself prompted much investigation (ahem), but yielded little information. The only thing of note was that, without realizing it, Tezz seemed to grow in strength while in this room.
The party opened a portcullis and, thanks to Roscoe’s dungeoneering skills, headed towards the direction of the Dwarven graveyard. Proceeding into a room with a huge chasm, the party did some math and aimed a grappling gun at the perfect spot to reach a secret chamber. Of course, none of this helped the bumbling fumbling Tezz, who couldn’t climb the rope even in animal form. He read ancient Dwarven love letters while everyone else explored further. The love letter told him that the scepter was the key to the lineage, which he filed away in his bank of things that sound important but don’t make any sense at all.
Meanwhile the rest of the party found an awesome throne with a crown and robe that Gideon donned. Suddenly, he felt much fancier, and started acting all high and mighty. Putting 2 and 2 together, the party realized that this was part of a matching set, and they needed to find the scepter in order to complete the ensemble. They headed back to the throne of the lich king, only to find that the scepter had gone missing.
Only one person knows the location of that throne room. The party takes off Gideon’s fancy new hat and cape and sets off to find Charmaigne.