After successfully sealing the rift, the party returned to the island of Al-Qutt to find that the assistance of Thorntide and the caliphate of Malai had brought great changes to the island. New buildings were being built, the town was expanding, new traders were arriving, Yenben’s trainees had been moved to a purpose built dojo on the edge of town and Saladin – source of magical wares and enchanted items for the party – was thankfully not only still around but thriving.
A meeting with Thorntide revealed that Bashir Rasul’s undead forces and the great Zavallan bronze dragon known as the Scourge of Tsul had struck in several places within the caliphate of Tsul. He suggested that these locations may be of interest to visit, as well as other locations that might aid in the fight against the necromancer Rasul.
The party chose to travel to the Mirrored Sea – an area of inhospitable salt flats on a large island within Tsul home only to wandering nomads. Here it was rumoured that there was a hag who traded in fate and fortune, and could offer knowledge and power to those who brought her gifts. Rumour also suggested that Rasul had visited the hag before his rise to power, gifting her an artefact of a lost and possibly mythical city in the Bone Wastes – the Eye of Markath.
Hoping to gain information about Rasul and how he gained his powers, the adventurer’s set out into the barren landscape. Through powers that allow them to sense the energy of living creatures in the area, they were able to locate some of the wandering nomads; however, the reception was less than welcoming. The nomads, mysteriously able to speak Tabaxi, instructed the intruding foreigners to to leave the flats on pain of death.
Undeterred, the decision was made to seek out the hag while avoiding the nomads. However, their march through the cool desert night attracted the attention of a great purple sand worm that was able to sense their movements on the sand. Although the beast was strong, the party was likewise powerful. Aris was swallowed as the animal surfaced, but was able to break free through magical means. Several party members struck mighty blows against the creature, and it retreated underground. Wary of being caught again, a weakened Euron moved away from the rest of the group, who had grouped together during the fight. However, the movement attracted the worm, who resurfaced and swallowed the cleric in its gigantic mouth. Fearing the worst, everyone again fell upon their opponent, and finally Aris tore the last of the life from the monstrosity with eldritch energy. Desperate to rescue Euron, Bariqut began cutting at the flesh while Guts, seeing a shorter route, dived down the throat of the beast to pull Euron out.
Sadly, however, it was too late and Euron’s body was lifeless. The party did the best that they could: Yenben appealed to Erepose to once again bend the line between life and death. Bariqut told his ancestors of the balance that Euron could bring to the world if he was granted life again. Guts appealed to Dakri on the dragonborn priest’s behalf. Unfortunately no aid was forthcoming. Yenben spent more of his powers to preserve Euron’s body in a state of unlife, but the powers to bring the cleric back to life were beyond what the party possessed. Several options presented themselves, none of which were guaranteed to bring their friend and battle brother back to life.
They looked down at the body of their colleague. Like Guts, he was covered in the digestive juice of the great purple worm, but also with coins, gold, gems, and valuable items that presumably belonged to the previous victims of the worm. A familiar gruff, draconic voice echoed in the minds of the party members:
“Scrape me down, boys…
…It will pay for my headstone."