The party rise from their rest, having plotted in secret late into the evening. 28 hours until Ishkron Astron begins. The party plan to enact their plot against Bolg the Bloody , disguising Illiaph as a Crimson Cloak acolyte, Saargon teaches him the basic ways of goblin-kin ritual. Enough to fool an orc. They purchase a massive feast to distract Bolgs retainers while Alistyre , also disguised as a hobgoblin casts the geas spell. The rest of the party wait outside of Bolgs raw-patched-leather yurt. Humanoid bones decorate the leather with little to no artistic quality.
Illiaph and Alistyre enter the tent flaps. The sickening crackle of untanned flesh sends shivers down Al's spine but Illiaph seems unphased. A pale, black clad orog rests on a makeshift throne made from broken stone statues of past Daerns. His orcish retainers glare at the intruders, snapping jaws in their direction.
"Greetings Lord Bolg. As per the rituals of our people, we present you a feast the day before the Festival of Strong Blood. Please allow my companion to offer ritual blessings to this boar as a pre-emptive sign of fealty to the possible future Daern."
Bolg the Bloody
"Bolg... There will be no Daern when I eat that scro bitch, alive and screaming. Carry on. I am sure my slaves hunger."
"Yes of course my lord."
They begin the geas spell. The orcs look at eachother, not understanding the nature of the spell they are witnessing. As the seconds drag on, one of the orog retainers become agitated. His concerns come to late. Just as the geas spell ends, Illiaph's hex settles on Bolg.
"Walk East the the ruins of Radith! Take no rest and speak to no one!"
Bolg roars ferociously sending Alistyre and many of his own retainers into a panic. Illiaph quickly grabs him and blinks away using his cloak of the montebank. Orcs explode from the tent and Bolg shouts holding his head.
Bolg the Bloody
"WE LEAVE! EAST! COME!"
He trodds off out of the city and into the wasteland, followed by several of his retainers. The party reconvene at the cenote, their plan going better than any of them could expect.
The other group don't waste any time. They move on the camp of Reget Nashraeh, inquiring as to the motives of the resident Findleites and are met with a familiar figure. Terron Blackwell is surprised to see his crew. He is sporting a softer countenance and none of the weapons or armor previously worn.
"Mrs. Keniryn! Mr. Onyxbrass! It's so... good... to see you again. We have such catching up to do. How can I help you?"
Terron seems much more personable than before, but initially refuses to allow them to meet Reget Nashraeh. The party force themselves past him and into the house Herat palisade said to be Reget's personal tent. It is a lavishly furnished lounge occupied by a massive bugbear. His armor is gilded and his vestments are made with fine Heratan wolfworm silk. He looks up from he meditation.
"Blackwell. Who are these intruders?"
Terron begins to sweat nervously, explaining some of his past dealings with the party and that they are apparently acquaintances with London Bucklebough. Dael expresses her concern, claiming that a mortal has little chance against a demi-god like the Daern. Reget seems unconcerned but is curious of any alternate courses of action she could present. The party falter for a moment, before Reget lets out a sigh and continues to prepare for combat and asking about the history of their dealings with Terron Blackwell. Blackwell nervously attempts to hurry them out but Illiaph is intent on painting Terron the villain and goes over their trip to Shra with little held back.
"He took us to Narrock, but his whole plan was just to kill me. Apparently he and Arundel Shay were trying to steal the spark of envy as well."
"You think you're that important do you? I couldn't care less about you! You were an easy way to distract your companions from our true goal, and why would anyone want the spark of envy? The power to make people jealous is already mine you pathetic hedge wizard. I'm wealthier than your entire family line combined."
"You never told them why they were there? Materan's mask!"
Reget explains to the party that they are part of a private group who are attempting to break into Tartarus on the umbreal plane. Shra, coincidentally is built in the same point in space, just on our plane. Azogun keeps many things locked in Tartarus, including the vagabond, Parun. He introduces himself again as Geshran Herat , using a pseudonym to throw off Grand Inquisitor Var'izan.
"We are bound together to free our friend from such bondage. Var'izan and I were once companions. Her latest actions in service to Azogun are deplorable. Things throughout the Empyrean world are deteriorating without proper balance. I'm sure that you have noticed the increase in atrophy lately. This is a result of Azogun's will breaking what little power Parun still has. When the god of tyranny controls the flow of fortune, everyone loses. We are desperate to accumulate enough power to challenge Azogun, but fearful of drawing his gaze to our conspirators."
The party bunker down in the Findleite camp, planning to endorse Reget. Saargon, privately interviews him making sure that he knows the responsibility he faces.
Illiaph, Shalazar and Jamlamin leave the party once again, claiming to have more to purchase in the bazaar. Secretly, the three sneak off to the outskirts of town. They meet several small tribes of goblins. Offering them gold in exchange for work, the goblins decline, stating that orcs or hobgoblins will simply take the gold. Illiaph offers them long term employment in exchange for food and weapons. Dozens of goblins agree and the warlock, necromancer and mercenary lead them to their untimely deaths outside the town, feeding them to the Founder of Flesh, who has swollen to an elephantine size. His liquid form resembling a gargantuan gibbering mouther with hundreds of eyes and mouths dragging him along.
"You have done well Illiaph. More flesh is welcome, but a spark is nearby."
"Bolg is alone to the East, but we can not catch up with him now."
The tremendous horror of Jilin forces itself into several forms eventually settling on a gargantuan quadruped.
"This form will serve us. Climb aboard."
The pulsing fleshy form supports itself with four long, slender appendages and is quicker than anyone expected. They take off across the badlands, East towards the unsuspecting demi-god.
Back at the Findleite camp, Dael and Halafas grow suspicious. Alistyre shape-changes into a giant eagle to circle the camp, the city and eventually the region, spotting something in the distance. He rushes east to discover the bounding horror that Illiaph has unleashed on the world. Swooping down, he mind-links with Illiaph, exchanging ideas through a series of feelings and images. Alistyre breaks the mindlink and rushes back to Hob'luld to warn his friends.
Dael is mortified. They climb aboard several summoned giant eagles and rush to the scene to find Bolg backing away from Illiaph's team and the formless aberration. Combat ensues between Bolg and the garganruan Jilin. Alistyre refuses to assist his patron when the rest of the party jump in to finish off Bolg the bloody.
"If you can't handle this savage on your own, you don't deserve my service."
After several moments of thought, Jilin responds to this threat.
"If it were any other spark, such insolence would result in your death, Felspark. Terror will not assist me as I am. I need flesh to come to me. I will save my strength for loyalty."
The creature pinches of a large portion of his own flesh which begins to crawl away on its own. Dael subtlety follows it away from the battle.
Jilin retreats back to Illiaphs side while Halafas finishes off the severely wounded Bolg. Upon his death, his body convulses and expels a black mote of energy, the divine spark of terror. Halafas leans down with Galdan's Divine Amplifier, but at the last second, he throws the rod away and takes the spark bare handed. Everything is still for a moment until Halafas leans down and begins to remove Bolg's Trómosmail.
Illiaph refuses to allow Halafas this victory and blasts the crippled elf. Halafas dies on the spot, ejecting the spark. Jamlamin and Shalazar race each other to the spark with Jamlamin barely making it there first. Marcelyina screams at them in frustration, summoning divine fire from the sky to blast Jamlamin, killing him as well. She picks up Galdan's Divine Amplifier and captures the spark of terror within the artifact before revivifying Jamlamin and Halafas.
Dael returns to the party, cleaning blood from a handful of arrows. She confronts Illiaph, who again, is wearing Jilin like armor. He offers her a sly smile before explaining his actions and beliefs that Jilin is the only one of them who can kill Funiku.
Shalazar reminds him that Funiku is immortal unless they can first, find his phylactery and second, find the item attuned to the phylactery. A weapon, person, ritual, something that would allow them to destroy it. Even if they destroy his body, Funiku will just reform in 3 days.
They begin the long walk back to Hob'luld in silence. The events of today may have forced a permanent rift in the party. At least they can loot Bolg's camp.