In the week following Asterthade’s arrest and indictment, Brother Torm grew weary of eladrin politics, and distanced himself from the party’s activities, choosing instead to spend his time with the acquaintances he’d made among the Mage’el Vis. When asked, he answered distractedly that he was trying to learn about eladrin spirituality while he waited for the rest of them to be ready to go to Jen.
Seeking to further that end, Caelythanya, Fate and Talise set about gently, and then more firmly, suggesting to the High Lady Annithell Mirrell of House Erroloi that if one were prone to suspicion, one might wonder about what might motivate a High Lady of the eladrin to vote against the will of her lords, and that a paranoid person might begin to have concerns vis-à-vis the unknown degree to which the primordial cults may have gained influence among the higher echelons of eladrin society. They went on to point out that any wise High Lady would easily see the danger of allowing such absurd speculations take root, particularly if said very wise High Lady was the patriarch or matriarch of a house that struggled with its reputation regularly anyway.
Meanwhile, Ol’ Slosh remained secreted away in protective custody and Kimiak quietly and patiently plotted out the best ways one might go about stealing Princess Mandy from the Edridinian nursery—so as to better prepare to defend the child against kidnappers, of course.
It was only a day after Fate’s pointed meeting with the High Lady of Erroloi that the party received word from High Lord Edridinian that the S’erra’Tahl was going to convene in a closed session on the following day, Karan the 21st.
And so it was that the party, without Ol’ Slosh but with both the Baby and Dreema accompanying them at the Counsel’s request.
Most of the party didn’t notice the attractive young woman who sat somewhat off the path, obscured by brush as they passed by.
Several noticed the eladrin soldier, seemingly on routine patrol, begin to move towards them with a peculiar sense of purpose.
But they all noticed when the rat that scurried from out of the undergrowth and resolved into the vaguely luminous form of Ahyraien Aeradel, the druid of the lios that they had met in the Sunlight Grove months earlier.
And they all noticed when, with a sudden and terrifying susurrus that spoke of the immanence of death, the young woman rose from her seat and conjured up a sudden gale which gripped and tore from the ground two large, glittering, fey trees, and smashed both across the flagstone path to Andovahl.
And directly atop Brother Torm, who fell to the ground with a sickening crunch, his jaunty whistle abruptly silenced.
In the brief moment of stunned silence that followed, Ahyraien made it known that such was the wrath of the lios, and the fate of all worshipers of the upstart gods.
As the battle was joined, he made it clear that they had come to punish the party, particularly Talise, for accepting the boons of the lios and then betraying them by stopping the Cult of Stone. Talise, incensed at his slanderous claims, debated him back-and-forth, trading verbal jabs throughout the bitter conflict.
The party was hard pressed. Without Brother Torm’s ability to heal, there was little anyone could do to heal Brother Torm. As the party formed a defensive line between their attackers and the Baby, Dreema retreated with her charge to the cover of a nearby thicket just off the path, and Caelythanya let loose with a blast from the magical horn of alarm that her father had given her.
The battle was hard fought, but the party ultimately slew all of their foes, though the perceptive among them noted notes of lios-light escaping the corpse of the druid as he fell.
The eladrin who responded to Caelythanya’s horn appeared just in time to see the last few blows struck, and to bear witness to the last dirt-scrawled message from Brother Torm as he prepared to set out on Jehnahn’s longest road.