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This week we resume following Team Aboleth, exactly where they left off months (years?) ago when Team Beholder teleported away to the The Temple of Selûne on Plane of Ysgard on a quest for ancient truths at The Mirrored Library: Timeresh.
… and Team Beholder was gone, teleported away to The Temple of Selûne. “Good work agents! I don’t think I’ve seen a portal this stable in recent memory.” booms Charles Forsite. “Florynsael, see if you can re-tune it to send the magic-casters from each team back to their comrades…”
“Sure Charley, first up Team Efreet, the portal on The Steadfast, berthed in Punjar Harbor! You’re up Allta.”
The sounds of seagulls can be heard in the chamber, as Alta Tuncarvit steps into the portal and waves to her fellow Irregulars, saying “Good luck with your missions!” Then she’s gone.
“Next up: Team Chimera. Connecting to the portal in the ruins of Cutpurse Alley – I don’t envy your trip into the Shadowfell…
…Step in now, ‘Roachy’."
Rocheford Nottingham, casts a friendly pout back at her, as he strides into the middle. He strikes a defiant pose, and vanishes.
“Charley, your team is already on The Slicing Breeze and it is in flight—— – give me a moment to boost the binding…”
He concentrates on the circle as well…
“OK, I think I’ve got it. Please tell Team Dragon we wish them well too!”
Charles Forsite steps into the circle. “I most certainly will. Remember, whatever you do, don’t let a titan hold the deck!”
Florynsael is still concentrating, and cant reply. Shute: “We won’t forget, Charley.”
Nostalgio: “What’s that? What’s happening?”
Charles is not simply fading. A bright silver aura is surrounding him, increasing in intensity.
He says nothing, but he looks very angry and disappointed as his features become indistinguishable from the increasing light… and then it all disappears in a flash, leaving the outer bubble of the portal stronger than ever.
“What was that?” remarks Aquero, “I’ve never seen him so upset!”
Florynsael: “What??? I can’t close the portal!”
A voice from the past comes through the portal “WHO was THAT? I was watching you, but that last one to go through was a big surprise!” The voice is that of Thoran, who they thought the defeated when they liberated the Tower of Spellgard more than years ago. “Nice gate you have there. Now that we have your signature, we can track you!”
“Oh, here’s my pet, which you prevented from joining the party last time. Consider her my present. We’ll be there for the survivors soon!”
The familiar image of a Bone Dragon appears in the portal, but this time, it immediately materializes and attacks!
“What the?” Cleora is caught off guard and reflexively deploys her wings in order to get away… Shute is terrorized by the huge fearsome creature appearing less than a foot in front of her face.
… The battle is a challenge, and Florynsael’s magical prison holds the drake for a little while as the others press the attack.
Shaking off the spell, the dragon pursues the Dragon Slayer wielding fighter, and his trusty dire wolf companion…. and the wolf falls!
Floyrynsael manages to Banish the beast back to the Shadowfell – while the casualties are tended.
A moment later Forynsael is practically yelling into the sending stones: “What the hell was that all about? Charley?”
“I’m so sorry that happened. I didn’t anticipate I’d interact with the portal that way. Nothing like that ever happened before.” For the first time the leader of the Irregulars sounded less-than-leader-like. The sound of self-disappointment was unmistakable.
Nostaligio: “So, what happened?”
Charlie: "We’re compromised. I can’t speak about this over the channel. We need to be sparing using the stones from now on since they have our frequency. I beg you not to pursue this line of questioning further, but if you must, ask Cleora.
Cleora, since you’re there, I leave it to you.
Again, I’m sorry. Good luck with your mission. Till we talk or meet again, Charles Forsite, signing off." – The stone goes silent.
Cleora: "Hmmm. This is Not Good. I think telling you would be a huge risk, given all the parties present.
Are you sure, given the present circumstances, you want to know the truth?"
Florynsael: “Yes. Tell us!”
Cleora, sighs, lowers her head and voice:
“Charles Forsite is the human form of an ancient dragon that has fought the Titans before – that is how he was injured…
You’ve met his Paladins and cleansed his Temple at Garrdmore Abbey …
He is the avatar of Bahomet!———
I fear the knowledge is our doom, for now the Titans inside you know this as well."
The team is stunned.
—Edryd comes to his senses first: “We’ve got to go! Now! Goodbye Cleora! Let us know if you need us to return to help defend the tower.”
Cleora: "I most certainly will not! Besides, Thoran doesn’t know all the surprises we have in place. No one will take this tower easily, I assure you!
Complete your mission! Find out what the Drow are doing now that the portals to the Feywild have been sundered. We need to know what to prepare for!"
—Team Aboleth departed on horseback within the very same hour.
Next time: Time for some new blood: Titan Equilibrium