There’s got to be a way to stop falling through this pit. You’ve figured out it’s not actually bottomless, you’re just looping through the same section over and over. Starkad, devout student of the Swoly Bible, arrests his fall against the rough, mortared stone wall and makes his way to a unlit brazier. That was in Kickapoo’s song about this place, right? So, next, you’ve got to light it. Once everyone else manages to stop falling and get close, he lights it and…aha! A glowing green symbol stretching across the space below. See? Progress! Say, haven’t you seen that symbol before? The five points around a concentric circle: that was all over Gumulgra the witch’s stuff. Hrmmm.
Someone is ballsy and jumps off the wall, down towards the symbol. As they tumble past from above (over and over), they report the symbol never grows closer or farther away in their vision, even though it also hasn’t moved in yours. Soooo, what now?
The next part of the song was something about whispering secrets. All right then, sound off. Sunflash killed his father; woof, heavy. Jory killed himself to get away from a nagging wife, whaaat? Rodnee is carving himself a wooden penis?! (I’ll have to review with Ben and Brian about what they revealed, I don’t want to give away the wrong secret).
Okay, so, that was all very…eye-opening. And hey, it worked, you all come to be standing on the symbol, which morphs slightly, and now you’re in a city of broken jade. Every building, even the bridge you’re standing on, is made from beautiful, swirling, crumbling green rock. A sandstorm whips around the whole place; that’s probably the edge of this demi-plane. And that giant, floating spire at the end of the bridge that’s completely intact and made of white jade is probably the library, go go go!
Stop stop stop! That was a laser, and it nearly cut Starkad in two! And whoever fired it sounds…really apologetic? Maybe have somebody else take a peek. Hey, why didn’t it fire on Sunflash? Or Jory, or Veren, or Rod—ouch, okay, no, Rodnee, you stay back behind the wall with Starkad. It’s some weird security system or something, look, the laser shoots from that glowing orb replacing an angel’s head on that statue, and there’s plates on the ground, and other statues with mirrors…yeah, hang tight guys, the other three will get this puzzle sorted out.
Boom! Statue destroyed, laser turned off, and weird, silvery, wireframe orb with a glowing center rescued from a really boring imprisonment. What the hell kind of name is “434 Blameless Flame?” Wait, this limey sphere says that white spire is the lost Archive of Ioun, and it can direct you to the scrolls you want! Finally, you can grab the quest items, turn them over to the king, and get your just rew-oh what the hells, a force field?! And who is this super old guy blocking the door? 434 calls him the Chronicler, but even as decrepit as this dude looks in his surprisingly pristine black and silver robes, he seems a little too spry to be a human over three hundred years old.
At first he’s all, “Turn back, entry is forbidden,” but then you lay out the whole story of how you got here and what you’re here for, and he turns into a welcoming host. The main floor has a stone apparatus the Chronicler says is for a kind of de-contamination, which makes sense. It’s got that same symbol on the floor that you saw in the bottomless pit. So, what, you just stand here and then—ZZZAP!
Starkad and Rodnee are down, hit by sudden lightning. Sunflash, Veren, and Jory all scream and collapse as some giant, blade-fingered, bipedal things with bloated heads somehow emerge from them like space-twisting parasites. You remember seeing them before, below Bur Hanv, in that secret underground facility. You made a deal with them in that room of pitch black. They would grant just about any wish, and in exchange, they just wanted to travel with you, although they failed to mention it would be inside you, and that you would forget the whole encounter. Chronicler ushers them upstairs, gloating all the while about your helplessness and the futility of interfering. He even opens a one-way portal to Bur Hanv and tells you to run.
Man, fuck that guy. As soon as your strength returns, you’re gonna run up there and—uh, the symbol on the floor changed. Now it looks like a hand holding an eye in its palm. That’s Vecna’s symbol, which you somehow forgot was even a thing. Doesn’t everyone know that symbol—or does maybe…no one know it? How is that possible? And what’s Vecna’s symbol doing all over a demi-plane controlled by—