Dolgan, Dwarf cleric of Water
Exxar, Dragonborn fighter
Ricardo, Genasi wizard
Glarn, Human gladiator
Tiddy, Aquiri ranger and her trusting Labrador Marcos.
The adventurers, with Ricardo and Exxar having caught up, sat with a group of people with sigils orbiting the tops of their heads. They were able to see this phenomenon when no one else could, due to their going up the fourth set of stairs.
The group consisted of Alison (half eladrin / half human), a dwarf, 2 elf twins, an elf ranger of some sort, and 2 eladrins. Alison explained that they were a secret society with the goal of collecting the lost knowledge of the world after the disappearance of the last group of Illumians who supposedly fled in the Gith Invasion.
Alison then revealed the secret of the Illumians: that they were not a different race of people. A powerful ritual enabled ordinary men and women to bond briefly with the Kami of Knowledge, and conferred upon them great powers. Each of them was immortal as long as they worked to uncover knowledge and secrets. The original Illumians died when the Kami retreated from the Prime Material preceding the Gith Invasion, thus cutting off their power. In a single night the race of Illumians was gone and now, some 2500 years later, the new Illumians were just beginning to pick up the pieces.
They were asked questions by the adventurers. Glarn’s questions revolved around his suspicion that any secret society was inevitably up to no good (as all his experience so far told him), and asked them their motives and what they would do if they found the Illumian’s of the past were devoted to evil. The current Illumian’s tried their best to convince him that their intentions were noble, but that they didn’t become public due to their reasoning that the common people would hate what they didn’t understand. Furthermore, governments would probably hunt them down and interrogate them for the unique knowledge that they had gathered. In the end, however, Glarn probably still remains unconvinced of their supposed good intentions.
Ricardo asked questions pertaining to the Mathews Foundation, a society that was public in appearance but secret in their work. Each Foundation building had a symbol, which was decoded by the Illumians to the party. They now know that each building works in research of one of four disciplines: Life, Magic, Outside (Extrapalanar), or War. Ricardo also asked what the Illumians thought of the Foundation and if they were friends. Alison’s eyes narrowed and she emphatically stated that they were not friends, never would be, and that she did not trust their practices at all.
Exxar and Tiddy had nothing to add, but Dolgan posed an interesting question about his necklace (known to be a relic once worn by one of the Salushen’s Seven, the fire priest Raal). He thought that it had the potential to be greater than it was but couldn’t figure out how for it to be so. The dwarf (they never did get his name) replied that, as a holy relic, it was returned to the mortal world only after he ascended to Divinity. Therefore it and all his equipment became a living part of Raal. The necklace is a sentient piece of Holy Raal, and Raal was fire-dominant whereas Dolgan is water-dominant. The dwarf suggested finding a way to convince the necklace to stop being diametrically opposed.
Alison then went on to show them that they knew the party was heading for the Weighters. Revealing an ancient book that could sense and describe rituals that occurred near it, she said that last night there had been a very powerful ritual cast within the district. 10 people had taken part, and the ritual was demonic in fashion. She advised caution.
Finally, Alison asked the party to keep the Illumians’ secret. They were only told in the first place because of what they had seen could never be unseen or forgotten. And they were afraid of retribution by the Iquarans. In return, they would become a fount of knowledge on any subject that they had familiarity about, and would always be available for the adventurers.
That night… Dolgan meditated with the necklace in his hands in order to determine how he and it could get along…
The adventurers woke up on top of a small island with an infinite ocean stretching away on all sides. In front of them stood Raal himself. Or rather, the imprint of Raal from the necklace. Raal raged at Dolgan, stating that he could never become water-dominant when he was fire, and refused to work with Dolgan. Dolgan stated only that he would prove to Raal that he was worthy. Raal retaliated by making the party defeat one of the most fire-dominant creatures in the world: an adult red dragon. For a few seconds they fought, and the dragon proved to be probably more powerful than the party could hope to match and live. But Dolgan did something that looked so crazy and stupid that every combatant stopped fighting in astonishment.
He jumped off the edge into the middle of the island, which was filled with boiling magma. Into it he fell, dying almost instantly.
Dolgan did this, in his mind, to sacrifice himself in order to end the battle and save his friends. The dragon landed and, while repeatedly looking over the edge in a complete loss, asked the rest of the party why he did that. Tiddy replied, voice breaking in sorrow, that Dolgan “did it to save us.” The dragon looked at them all and said “He died so that you may live. ...I want to see where this goes.”
...and they woke up in the common room, damaged from the dragon but alive. With Dolgan standing next to them. When Raal was in the Great Race, his party could only move on when one of them sacrificed themselves. Raal could not let any of the others do it, and chose himself to be sacrificed. That Dolgan did the same thing so willingly and with determination shocked the echo of Raal, and he changed Dolgan so that they might work together… And change Dolgan he did. Because Dolgan had died in fire, thus was he reborn in fire. Dolgan was now fire-dominant, and the necklace that held his fire holy symbol was completely unlocked. Dolgan had successfully recovered the first of the Salushen Seven relics.
Next week: the party searches the Weighters for the hidden families of Rockhold…