While they wait for the others to sort themselves out, the sorcerers play with the tablet device from the inquisitor. They discover it can show them many maps and plans and are generally fascinated.
Once all are ready, and have breakfasted, they go back to Drakemar’s throne room where he dials into the perfect looking Elven home-plane and they cross over. However, it looks nothing like the brochure when they arrive on the other side. The countryside has been churned into mud and the place smells like a charnel house from the rivers of blood dripping from the stile alive people who have been crucified on a massive wooden plinth opposite the portal gate.
Elo takes a step forward to end the lives of these poor elves, but as she moves, a warning arrow lands at her feet. The group look around and spot a small group of elves beckoning them over. They do not look hostile, and are not evil, so the group approach. The elves apologise for the manner of warning, but say they are a scout group send to gather any survivors of the massacre that has taken place here recently. The elves take the group to a ‘safe place’, which turns out to be a hidden city. It is everything one might expect from an elven city – Houses made of precious gems, impossibly spiraling architecture, clean and wide boulevards lined with fruit trees of every kind. The scouts say they can find aid here, and the group tell them that they’re not actually survivors – they are heard to bring Deep Sashelas back to life. The scout says they need to see (), who is looking after the city, and leaves them as there may be others that need the scout’s assistance.
The group ask for directions to this person, and when they say why, are lead there. They meet an angel who’s power is what keeps the city hidden and safe, and repeat their quest. The angel tells them that the dead God’s body is being kept on a purpose made island just off the main city. He can’t tell them much more than that, so Darius says maybe he can use his new toy – the Inquisitor’s Tablet. The angel inquires after it, and advises them to get rid of it, and instead gives them a map to follow. They thank him and head off to find said island.
Almost as soon as they exit the city onto what seems to be the main path, they see a group of orc priests, so the group decide to follow in the wake of the priests, pretending to be pious folk, and see where it gets them. This turns out to be pretty damn far. They follow the priests into the city – a dark, grimy place filled with smog and funk – and down to the docks. There people seems to be bidding on places on ships to take them over the water, and to the distant shore, where the group assume the dead god to be. Their main problem is the bidding is taking place using slave lives, so they vanish themselves into the crowd, find themselves a quiet corner in a quiet pub and have a drink while they consider their options.
While they sit there, they overhear some fellow drinkers complaining about their miserable fortunes – lack of paying fares, and a lack of cash. The adventures’ collective ears perk up as they hear these hard-done-by drinkers are in fact buccaneers, in possession of a ship. The group are considering taking this option when the barman comes back with their drinks. He looks hard at Merri, and wonders if maybe they ain’t from around here? Elo tells him to piss off and mind his own damn business. The bartender grumbles and goes to a back door, where they hear him talking to someone outside about them. Their options limited, Elo downs her drink and stands up to approach the sailors at the other table, just as their captain stands up and approaches her. They meet in the middle of the bar, and have a very brief conversation that amounts to:
Captain: You need a ride?
Elo: Yes. You want fares?
Captain: Yep. Shall we exit via the back?
Elo: Yes, lets.
With that, they all scarper out the kitchens into a back alley, and down to the docks where Elo negotiates payment, then they pile on to the barely sea-worthy vessel and travel to the island. They leave the vessel, and with some extra cash make the captain promise not to leave without them. With that, they set off again.
The island is not a very big place, and it doesn’t take long to scout out the rough town, and find where Deep Sashelas is being kept. As Drakemar said, the god is hanging from a massive tree, his gargantuan body held on by chains as thick as an arm. His chest has been ripped open, his head is missing, and rot has taken over his body. There are guards ringing the front of the tree, and given it’s only early afternoon, there are orc priests of Gruumsh training in the ring of guards under the body. The group scout around the town a little more, and generally decide it’s just as nasty as the mainland city, with no where to stay. Felix remembers he can now do Rope Trick, and so they climb up and rest there until the small hours of the morning.
In the dark, dank cold they emerge from the rope trick and quietly make their way towards the tree on which Deep Sashelas is hung. They quickly make out there are only a few guards here now, all of them sleepy, bored and not taking as much notice to their duties as they should. This allows the heros to sneak up to the back of the tree, and while Felix, protected by some of the kobolds, sends the closest guards to sleep, Darrius casts fly on Elo and Merri. The two women make their ascension into Deep Sashelas’s chest cavity, and Merri conjures the clay, with far more ease than before, into the remains of where the heart should lie. With a little will, she slowly transforms it into the shape of a heart until the clay seems to get the idea, and takes it from there; it begins to ripple and pulse, and somehow reverses to necrosis of the body. An exhausted Merri is hauled out of the slowly closing chest cavity by Elo, and the two descend. They land, and watch for a moment as the clay starts to reform the God’s head, before making their way – slowly at first – back towards the shoreline.
They are soon sped up though, as the clay completes it’s work, and Deep Sashelas comes back to the living in appalling style. Elo, looking back, watches as the God looks confused at first, then slowly recalls what was done to him and begins to scream with rage and pain. He hauls on his chains, causing the group to run faster until they are safe on the ship, heading away, and they watch as those thick chains break free of their housings, and the God uses them to flay the dark city in front of him.
He is still at it, stomping and flailing, when they reach the other side nearly an hour later, but he has entered the filthy water, and is pulling ships and other things out of the sea, casting them aside and smashing them as he makes his way to the mainland. The group do not pause more than is necessary – Einzige scoops a sleeping Merri up – and they make their way back to the hidden city, while the mad God crushes boats on his way through the water.
Once in the Hidden City, they are met by confused elves who feel their divine powers returning. Elo demands aid for Merri, and impresses on the elves there (maybe a little too strongly) that the dwarf cleric is the one who was responsible for restoring their God and their homeland to them. The group are given food and fortifying spirits, while Merri is put to bed under Elo’s supervision. The elves in the place of healing Merri is taken to are confused about their returning powers also, and Elo reitterates that Merri was the one who brought Deep Sashelis back to life, and that she should be treated with the utmost respect. The priests of Sashelis are astounded – they didn’t think such a thing was possible – and they declare Merri (who is thankfully unconscious, and can neither protest or be embarrassed) as living saint, and say they will treat her as one of her standing deserves and also start work on a statue to her forthwith.
The others are given wine and fruit juices and a place to rest a while, before being invited to watch the God of the Deep clean His waters and His shores from one of the shining spires. They watch also, as the clouds part, and Deep Sashelas is greeted by his brother and sister Gods. A pretty speech is made thanking that Deep Sashelas has been brought back to them, and entreating him to come back to the clouds and never leave their sides again. Gleaming golden chariots appear and Deep Sashelas, content with obliterating the orc stain in his lands, joins them and ascends into the clouds.
The group are speechless, but happy. Elo and Aurianna leave the spire together, via the air – the first time they have ever flown together, and Darius follows in a similar style.
The group spend the next few days recovering, and waiting for Merri to awaken.