Episode 18: Duality
The party return to the Fortress-Temple of Belarius, to find it occupied by bandits. After sending them on their way, the party climb to the top level of the Fortress. Soon, a blast rocks the temple, and outside can be seen a great army of red-robed soldiers, and three floating figures. The figures fly down, revealing themselves to be Bishop Nyvae, the Bishop of Conjuration, and the doppelganger Lidda saw in the Nethergloam. They try and intimidate the party into handing over the Shield of Belarius, but are refused, even when producing who they claim to be Sora Markex, Narinn and Zorgar’s birth mother. Stalling for time, the party contact Arch-Diviner Telara to cash in their favour, and Rurak prays to Alteus for an Intervention. A great storm smites the Red Order’s forces, and the party’s allies in the 8th Legion materialise, confused but ready to help. Telara arrives, and a fight breaks out between the party and the Red Order forces, including the Archbishop that had lain in wait. The Red Order are defeated, though all but the Bishop of Conjuration escape.
Episode 19: An Eye For an Eye
The party decide what to do in the aftermath of the Red Order’s attack, especially what to do with the Bishop of Conjuration that they’ve captured. Rurak gets his revenge for what the Bishop did to his son by blinding and torturing him. The party debate whether to lock him up or kill him, and decide to disintegrate him in the fields outside the Fortress-Temple. Rurak prays to Alteus for answers about Lidda, and becomes confident she is a clone of the Red Order’s lieutenant. Narinn and Zorgar speak with Sora Markex, and the party leave for Meriden.
Episode 20: A Master's Rites
The party receive the magic items Telara left for them as a reward for clearing out The Black Tower, then journey to Imeldris, headquarters of the Druidic Ring, in order for H’rafn to undergo his Master’s Rites — the Three and One. H’rafn passes the Trials of Balance, Perception, and Resilience, then is sealed in the earth for his Trial of One. For how long, it remains to be seen.
Episode 21: Moonrise
Muir’s Astral Sickness worsens, and H’rafn does not return from his Trial of One. The party return to Meriden, seeking a cure for Muir’s ailment at the Spire. Making contact with Magus Frelin, they hatch a plan to separate her Astral Form through her resonant frequency, and Zorgar restores her to health. In the process, he and Muir become linked, the full ramifications yet to unfold.
Episode 22: Divergent Paths
During the six weeks H’rafn is undergoing his Trial of One, the other party members resolve their own activities. Malbryn tangles with a crime lord known as The Ashen Man in Rell Keep. Rurak spends time with his family in Bronzehold. Narinn and Zorgar receive a missive from their brother Valasar, and continue rebuilding the Fortress-Temple of Belarius. Muir spends her time in Meriden repairing Ward and testing out new schematics. Lidda receives a mysterious invitation, but does not manage to make the connection with the sender.
Episode 23: The Keeper of Skulls
The party begin their voyage to Stormguard and Mount Greythunder to repair the Grand Temple of Alteus at its peak. Partway through their journey, a member of the Pale Court teleports onto the Walrus, threatening the death of Grandpa Seaworth if Lidda does not divulge the location of the Hand of the Pale King. Lidda refuses, a fight breaks out, and the party are successful in defeating the Pale Courtier and saving Grandpa Seaworth from potential death.
Episode 24: Stormguard
The party arrive in Stormguard, and become acquainted with the city. After meeting Vazgrimst Brunnhilde, the queen, and Hork, the local priest of Alteus, they learn that Stormguard’s people follow The Old Ways, a set of rules that, among other things, bar citizens from ascending Mount Greythunder without first passing the Test of Sky, where a Storm Crow must be tamed from the foothills around the mountain. Rurak accepts the challenge, but is informed that there is another challenger. If he is successful, the Old Ways state that Rurak and the challenger must further prove who is the strongest of them, who is granted passage up the mountain. Upon investigation, the party learn the challenger is an aurc named Matuk, an acquaintance of there’s who challenged Rurak on the road once before and was beaten.
Interlude: The Test of Sky
Rurak undertakes his Test of Sky, successfully taming a Storm Crow, Wings-Like-Gales-That-Break-Calm-Skies, and returning to Stormguard. Wings-Like-Gales' discussion with Rurak leads him to further believe the Pretender, once worshipped as Alteus, remains alive and within the Grand Temple atop the mountain.
Episode 25: Trial By Storm
Rurak returns from his Test of Sky, and is informed by Hork that he must engage in single combat against Matuk to determine who may climb the mountain. Rurak convinces Matuk to change the trial to a test of who can withstand a sustained lightning bolt for longer. Hork calls down lightning the next day, and Rurak is bested by Matuk. Rurak flees the scene, discarding all of his Altean possessions and adventuring equipment, returning to Meriden with one final prayer, then setting off for Bronzehold and Mount Torr. The rest of the party return to the Walrus and leave Stormguard.
Episode 26: A Man of the Cloth
Wings-Like-Gales and Corvaki accost Rurak on the road to Mount Torr, and Wings interrogates him about why he is leaving, leading him to realize that the Pretender manufactured his failure, and Matuk was now in danger. The rest of the party meet Rurak in Bronzehold, make some preparations, then H’rafn uses a plant gate to return them to Stormguard. They hatch a plan to sneak through the Greythunder Gate under cover of darkness, and with some careful acting and appropriate spells, make it through. They begin their climb, an easy journey at present. They reach a fork in the path and decide to take a steeper option for a faster climb. The path leads to curious storm elementals, lashing the mountain with thunderous whips. The party attempt to scale the mountain side to the path above, but Lidda is detected by one of the elementals, which grapples her on the cliffside with its whip.
Episode 27: The Greythunder Ascent
The party tangle with the stormy elementals on the path, managing to defeat them. Continuing upwards, they encounter a doorway that leads to an encounter with the Moonclan, small grey humanoids that pursue the party, but pose no real threat. The tunnel continues to further up the mountainside, where the party are caught in an avalanche. Rurak does not make it to safety, and Zorgar fails trying to recover him. H’rafn uses his earth elemental form to recover both of them safely. Continuing onwards, the party find the frozen corpse of Matuk, and have a crisis about what to do. Electing to continue onwards, they come to a great ice wall.
Episode 28: Eye of the Storm
The party continue their ascent of the mountain. They struggle up the ice wall, needing to detach Ward’s body for the remainder of the climb. Continuing up the path, they elect to take a steeper route up which leads them over an ice bridge. Continuing on, they find a strange house built on the cliffside, inhabited by a man named Suetla. Suetla invites the party in for a day’s rest, giving them some warming stew and a warm place to sleep. Rurak believes Suetla to be a creation of Alteus, and they have a long conversation. The next day, the party continue up the path and into a blizzard. In the storm, the party lose each other briefly, seeing loved ones they care for freezing to death on the mountain and asking for their help. Most of the party see through the illusions, but Rurak gives an illusory Morden his cold weather cloak. The party pitch camp, believing the Temple to be only a day’s journey away.