The battle against the cultists ended in victory, but safety for Behram and his people was still far away. They had heard nothing from Dinesh since he Blinked through the wall after Oniago and Sophie and they were now trapped in a small cave with an Iroshai Titan, aggravated from still smoldering burns inflicted by with cultist mages. Fortunately, the old slight that Gavar’s people had inflicted upon Goreman’s still shamed Gavar enough to hold him back, but he would not suffer the presence of humans and wizards any longer. And with that, their Iroshai escort left, probably for the better.
The task of finding Dinesh was significantly more difficult. First, they awoke Joyen and Fishbone was both surprised and relieved to see that he was no longer under the influence of Oniago’s magic. Being knocked unconscious shouldn’t have broken such an enchantment, leading Fishbone to believe that Oniago had either released the Kormin or that the Kemerai himself was dead. With the combined might of Behram, Goreman, and the Horseclub, a cavern wall should have proved no match, but the stone where Dinesh had disappeared conceded not so much as a scratch. Behram had Fishbone look for other entrances topside while he and the Kormin began excavating Oniago’s sanctuary. They had knocked away large sections of wall before Dinesh reappeared, bloody and carrying Behram’s daughter.
Dinesh told them about how he had awoken after losing a duel to Oniago’s poison. Waking up sooner than expected, Dinesh had managed to get the jump on his captor and kill him, but with Oniago’s death the acidic slime in the sanctum had gone berserk and Dinesh had only barely made it out, using one of Oniago’s scrolls to rescue Sophie as well. Behram was keen to send Dinesh back in to make certain of Oniago’s death and to recover whatever notes he could on the Vanguard of Avernus, but after a Blinks, Dinesh became certain that it was too risky. Behram then had Dinesh leave a coded message for the Empire to further investigate this place and then after a good night’s sleep, the group began their trek back to Kulumihi.
With Goreman and Joyen leading the wagon and the rest hiding inside it, they were fairly safe from the rampaging Iroshai. While passing a small forest, however, they heard a great deal of construction going on. Behram sent Dinesh to investigate. Inside the forest, Dinesh found a sizable Iroshai raiding party. They had dug a large crater into the center of the forest and where constructing massive catapults, large enough that only Titans would be able to fire them. The catapults, which were built facing north, were stationary, so their purpose was a mystery. Nothing of importance existed north of the position for many miles. The answer became clear later that day when Dinesh, looking through Gimichi’s Lens, noticed one of the rare Imperial airships headed towards them from the north at a fairly fast clip. Apparently, the Iroshai were setting up an ambush to either board or shoot the ship down, which would be a catastrophic loss to the Empire.
With an attack on the Iroshai amounting to suicide, the group instead moved off some distance and then, as night fell, Fishbone let off an impressive array of pyrotechnics, making it very clear to observers on the airship what was waiting for them in the south. The airship veered East and picked the heroes up before the Iroshai could hunt them down. Grateful for the warning, Captain Severnus Valen gave them a ride back to Kulumihi on the Konos Valar.
Once safely behind Imperial Walls again, Fishbone showed Goreman the wonders of Imperial taverns while Dinesh conducted his own business and Behram reunited Sophie with the rest of the family. Joyen bid his farewells and began his journey back to his duties in Endyreat. The next morning, Behram said goodbye to his family, content that Poke and Sophie were recovering. On his way to re-enlist at the legion barracks, he was intercepted by Caelfas Mindseye, who told him about the mission that Gaeus Jains had planned. Once it was outlined, Behram found his companions and they began planning the next leg of their journey.
In order to retake Kerizatz with a minimum of time and Imperial losses, Gaeus (now the Imperial Heir) has made arrangements to bring the Fa’Galasiim family over to the Imperial side of the war by marrying the desert prince’s daughter, Gayda. Gaeus’ face is known, however, and there’s no way he could make it all the way to the Fa’Galasiim family in their stronghold of Shesai. Therefore, Caelfas has crafted a scroll. When the runic circle is copied onto the ground, it will provide a link and Gaeus will teleport soon thereafter. Obviously, the secrecy of this mission is imperative and under no circumstances must the desert princes get a hold of the scroll.