Axis was an interesting place to be to say the least following the events of the Festival of Spears. Celebrations were being held to honor some of the best arena feats in the city’s history, and that Axis’ champions had won the day. There were also those who were jubilant that Valyxtrix had been slain in dramatic fashion, that Parthax yet lived, (and presented the party who defended him with gifts from his personal hoard, no less) and that so many were simply able to witness the slaying of a dragon in person.
Others, however, mourned the loss of family and loved ones in the Stone Thief’s attack. A fifth of the city lay in ruin, leaving thousands homeless and without any material possessions. The temple to the Great Gold Wrym, as well as Second Blood being lost to the creature were seen by most as a bad omen, to say nothing of the dominance of the Diabolist in Parthax’s reading of the spears. What was even more disturbing were rumors that the Emperor was wounded, and that the Crusader was inside Second Blood when it was engulfed. Many began panicking that the Age was ending, and an unsure future was dawning.
In the days following the Festival each of the party had strange prophetic dreams concerning a drinking cup of some kind. When they reconvened after a few days of ease, (and Tallendryl spent the nights with a new mysterious woman) had passed things in Axis were deteriorating amidst more destabilizing rumors- some said the elves were going to occupy the city because their Queen was looking for something while the Empire was weak, others heard that the Dwarf King was sending his men to reclaim the mythril net which had been given to Axis to protect it from subterranean threats, and yet others claimed that they had heard that the earthquakes caused by the Stone Thief broke the strongest seals in the city, opening it up to any number of threats. Many were vacating the city in a desperate attempt to find a safer place to live, or just because they had nowhere to stay. The party decided to return to Dunbarrow now that their business in Axis was completed.
When they got back in town the citizens there had become a bit more cautious of external threats, (a militia headed by Bill was no permanently patrolling the roads around town) and increased demonic activity was reported nearby, though no direct threats were experienced by the town itself. Weiss instructed Brother Matthias to help defend Dunbarrow from demonic attacks as his new priority. They rested that night in the Peach Pit, and again the dreams continued. Tallendryl was visited by the woman once again, as well. In the morning they finally compared notes about their experiences, and found that they were all being beckoned for one reason or another, to quest for this magical item, which was known as the Holy Grail. Wiess came volunteered the use of the Monastery of the Sacred Flame’s library, which, he said, should have several good records concerning the Grail- its history, powers, and its possible fate after it was lost from his order’s keeping.
The party once again set out on a journey together. They headed to Weiss’ home at a leisurely pace, as there was no immediate rush this time. Along the road Lan’Lei revealed that the egg had already hatched into a silver dragonling. When they stopped to make camp a sudden mist materialized, and a familiar couple was seen wandering through it toward the party- an old man and his daughter. They wished to strike another bargain- a similar one as their previous arrangement, as, they claimed, the monastery was under attack by a strong force of demons that very moment! The party rejected their proposal, and Tallendryl’s presence offended the pair of devils, and they vanished back into the night.
The party hastened to the scene while Phaerun scouted ahead using his new pair of magical boots. When they all arrived they found that a force of Imperial soldiers which had been recalled to Axis was aiding the embattled monks of the Monastery of the Sacred Flame. As the party endeavored to join them a group of demons approached, warning the party to stay away out of apparent respect for Tallendryl. When they refused to stand down the demons assaulted them. Though the most powerful demons they’d yet encountered, the party managed to utterly destroy them. After a short rest they rushed toward the rest of the fray…