After a round of debate on where to go next, a messenger came by and informed the constables that a makeshift brig had been found just a little southeast of the central keep, filled with Danoran prisoners. Among them were a dozen tieflings, so the party decided to check it out in case Nathan Jierre was among them. Accompanied by Sergeant Glassman and his four men, the constables skirted the fighting taking place outside the gates of the inner keep.
Nathan wasn’t there, though Darsys met a lietenant named Hessar Marseine, who asked her to let him and his men go so they could help in the fight against the Duchess’ forces. After a little deliberation with the infantryman acting as jailor, the Danorans were released and re-armed, though the civilians were allowed to remain there under guard. Later reports showed that Marseine and his men fought admirably, even after a close call of a friendly fire incident with the rest of the King’s troops.
A smoke-shrouded figure which the panicking soldiers called “the fire monster” leapt from roof to roof, leaping from the top of the brig and running to a pile of debris about 80 feet from the inner keep. It used a strange glowing white orb which changed the landscape for a hundred feet in all directions, ripping up the stabilizing iron spikes in the nearby buildings and streets and turning it all into sunlit jungle. The defenders on the wall fell to their deaths, and the figure dashed through the gaping hole in the fortress’ defenses.
The constables gave chase, and Qiyet Outrunner actually managed to catch up to the being and give it a wound to remember! It growled “Stay out of my way,” then ran up the side of the tower, ripped out the gold inlaid around one of the arrow slits, and teleported inside.
After making peace with a strange hedge-dwelling fey, the party climbed to the roof and descended inside, managing to overhear the Duchess and Nathan Jierre talking with the “fire monster,” which could now be seen as an eladrin in the better lighting of the keep.
The eladrin dreadnaught, named Asrabey Varal, was sent by the Unseen Court to kill the Duchess, thereby sending an unmistakable message that the lords of the fey did not support her act of treason. Under orders to take her alive, the constables refused to stand by and let her be slain, trying at first to reason with him, saying that she could be given over to the fey after her official trial. Asrabey countered by giving up the Duchess in exchange for being allowed to leave with Nathan as a prisoner. After quickly conferring, it was decided that defeating Asrabey was in the party’s best interests.
It was clear that his swordsmanship and magic items placed him high above the party’s caliber, but he’d sustained many wounds from fighting his way through two different armies single-handedly. He exchanged several blows with Qiyet, but also focused his attacks on, seeing his ranks on his armor. Before too long, Drew went down, and a wave of fire thrown off by Asrabey’s flaming sword turned him into charcoal. Eventually, his defenses were worn down, his armaments damaged until he left himself open to a killing blow from Qiyet’s axe.
In the aftermath, Lya Jierre signed the treaty to return Axis Island to Danor’s control, and all Risuri forces vacated the island. Ethelyn was stripped of her title and most of her magical powers, then imprisoned in the Bridge Tower of Slate. Nathan was granted asylum in Flint, and is now the guest of a minor noble, effectively under house arrest there. Asrabey’s body and gear was given back to the fey. The three golden icons were confiscated by the RHC, and are now sitting in an evidence locker at the Flint headquarters; testing has shown that the stronger powers they possess are only granted if they are wielded on Axis Island.
Lya also invited the party to her wedding – it’s been revealed that she plans to marry King Aodhan, a gesture that will hopefully help unify their two nations and promote peace.