Upon returning to the natural world, the party were confronted by a somewhat bewildered Welford. Welford was reluctant to answer any of their questions instantly, but had several of his own. Eventually satisfied with the groups answers and that the figurine and letter they had brought back posed no immediate threat, he asked them to join him at his home the following evening and promised them answers.
When they met, Welford provided them with a good meal and then proceeded to answer the questions they had. In doing so, he decided to show them the Orrery constructed in the secret cellar under his dwellings and reveal his organisation, the Order of the Unseen Seal, and role.
He explained to them that travel to and from the Eternal Battlefields should not yet be possible according to the laws of the Orrery and that their excursion was therefore very worrying. He expressed confusion over why it appeared that Brother Otto was able to activate the portal without a key, but suggested they speak to a colleague from his order, Chalo Gendrun, who resided in Oakreach.
There was lengthy debate over what to do with the letter they had been given by Ar’kle-mens. In the end, it was decided that the best course of action would be to read and then destroy it. The note said, in no uncertain terms, that Jillup was to report to one Tarid Gorn in Oakreach or her adoptive mother, Eileena would be killed. The party decided to destroy the letter and go in her stead.
The next day, the group went to visit Jillup, to deliver the figurine sent to her by Eileena. Finding her out of her herb store for the day, they returned in the evening and were invited in for some of the finest tea they had ever tasted. Jillup instantly recognised the figurine as Helenas handed it to her and became very emotional. She questioned hard about her mother’s situation, but the party carefully avoided revealing anything about her location.
As the group were leaving they were assailed by a small band of kobolds, two of whom were winged. Despite one landing a lucky blow to take down Orimine, the party were able to finish the creatures off easily enough. During the fight, Helenas picked out that the kobolds were searching for something and also the name, Thava. When they questioned a kobold before it succumbed to its injuries, the party were able to glean that Thava was “tall” and “spoke for the dragons”. Otto discovered a small amount of gold on them as well as a monocle. Orimine inspected the monocle and figured out that it was able to detect the residual aura of items and beings that had spent time on another disc.
The next day the group stopped by at Welford’s again. After clearing the air to make sure he had had nothing to do with the kobold attack, they set off for Oakreach.
The two-day trip was fairly uneventful, but soon after their arrival at the Turncoat’s Retreat things started to get interesting. First, Helenas caught a fleeting glance of none other than Kaethel Lonair leaving the inn. Chasing after him, she found only thin air outside of the inn.
Not much later, a small delegation of tieflings made their way to where Orimine was making friends with the local pretty faces. Their leader introduced himself as Terkenthül ir Baalzephon, the Latz emissary in Oakreach. He invited Orimine and her companions to his residence later in the night and took his leave.
The group finished up what they were doing and soon after were entering a celebration of sorts. Latz music, dance and food were on offer and a substantial gathering of influential Oakreach residents were already enjoying themselves there. Casting eyes around the crowd, there appeared to be an Orrathi majority amongst the humans present.
After some time ir Baalzephon approached and told them he had someone that was eager to meet them. With that, he presented Tarid Gorn himself. Gorn quickly suggested they take a private room, so that they might discuss business.
Without wasting time on pleasantries, Gorn explained that Ar’kle-mens would be willing to forgive their not having delivered the note if they carried out the task that had been assigned to her – to assassinate a visiting Orrathi baron, Larek Dereton. The negotiating did not last much longer. Helenas flatly refused in very blunt terms and left the building. Gorn was next to leave, declaring only that the following night would be the ideal time to perform the deed. A shocked and confused Brother Otto and a quietly scheming Orimine sat for a few minutes longer and then took their leave to ponder their next move …