- In the cloning chambers, Evan and the others took a moment to rest and formulate a plan to escape Castle Avernus. To avoid the majority of the castle’s deadly inhabitants, they decided to make their way back up to the top and re-connect with Kira’s eagle allies. As they mounted the eagles, a screaming voice could be heard, “This is not my child! Betrayers!” They quickly flew off into a gathering storm.
* Evan directed the group north, towards the village of Despondia near the former city of Il Aluk, now know as Necroplis. As the light grew smaller from the castle, they suddenly vanished all together, and a roar confirmed their fears, Azalin’s dragon, Ebb was giving chase. They headed into the storm with Melantha taking the lead as Evan and Kira attempted to delay the dragon with their magic. Kira intensified the storm and was able to strike Ebb several times with lightning. Evan was only somewhat successful as he was still weak from his ordeal in the towers. Eventually a powerful blast of lighting struck the beast and it plummeted to the earth. Only Evan, Kira and Melantha made it to the outskirts of Despondia, Kesseler and the others were lost to the storm.
- Evan led his friends to the inn of the Squid and the Duck in a desolated part of the village, very near the border of the Shroud. Despite the cold and palpable effects of the shroud, the inn appeared warm and inviting. They were treated to a hearty vegetable stew by an ancient looking inn keeper. Evan asked about the whereabouts of “la Petite Lapin” and the innkeeper said that she stops by the inn from time to time.
- Later that evening, a cloaked woman entered the inn and approached Evan. She was once an attractive human, but now appeared to be an undead creature, although one of free will. She said that very few knew of her nickname and she agreed to help him, although Evan didn’t know exactly what help was being offered. She provided the group with a red flower, the Amaranth, that would protect them from the Shroud as long as it was worn against the skin. Evan offered the others the option to stay behind, but both agreed to accompany him.
- They made their way through the streets and crossed through the shroud. Kira was particularly affected by the experience, which had begun as soon as they arrived at the village. They narrowly avoided Pestilence as he rode by, and Evan’s old wound acted up once again. Eventually they reached an abandoned building and descended into the cellar. The woman handed Evan a small locket and gestured toward a large steel door. As he approached the doors opened revealing a large storage room of boxes and crates. Evan went in to examine the contents and found the objects to be those of a wizards study. He collected what he needed.
- As Evan collected what he needed, the woman told a story of how she received the nickname of la Petite Lapin as a child and that only the innkeeper and her mother knew the name. She assumed that Evan knew her mother and only when she referred to her as “S” did he finally make the connection to one of his scholar associates working for Azalin. The woman was injured with her mother, and she was thrown into Necroplois by her mother where she died and was reborn. She was determined to seek revenge on any of her mother’s allies, including Evan and his friends.
- She crushed the flowers and called forth her undead allies and a fierce battle ensured. The woman’s zombies were cut down quickly, but she was much more formidable than her allies. Under the focus of Evan, Melantha and Kira she eventually fell, with Kira landing the killing blow. As she did, she collapsed to the ground, vomiting and in total agony. As the worst of it a golden flame erupted from her. The woman’s flesh turned a healthy shade of pink and red blood flowed from her wounds, with a gasp she truly died. The remaining zombies dropped to their knees in awe, “It is a miracle. You must live so that you can return. Flee now, Death will know of this miracle!”
- Quickly as they could, they followed the zombie to the edge of the Shroud. Kira’s energy apparently protecting them from the necrotic effects. At the border the zombie stopped and said “I know you will return to us.” As the group headed back to the inn, they happened upon one of Melantha’s vardos. Raoul greeted them and said that Zora, Iadrei and Kessler said that she would need some help. They quickly entered the vardo and headed out into the Mists.