The remaining elementals, many bearing hideous scars where they were touched by the brilliance of the Rod of Seven Parts, flee towards an elemental cyclone that has been forming near the burning farmhouse. Within it swirl deluges of water, glowing hot lava, arcing, dancing lighting, and massive chunks of earth and rock. The area around it is not safe as ice, magma, and rock are flung from the whirlwind. The funnel itself rapidly grows until it is larger than the huge elm tree that sits half within the swirl. One by one, the elemental creatures attempt to disengage and run to the cyclone. Only one, a massive flamespiker, manages to make it – the others are cut down by the party as they flee – and it hurls itself into the maeltrom and disappears.
The party shrinks back from the fury of the swirling elemental gate (for that is what it is) shielding their eyes from the brilliant bursts of lighting and the heat coming from the gouts of magma that lurk within. From the chaotic mess, though, a form takes shape. An eye? Part of a huge face forms within the swirling mote. The eye is lidded, only partly awake, though the massive burning pupil attempts to focus on them. Sounding like the bass groan of tons of rock grinding against themselves, a word forms: “Piiiiiirrraaaaannnnoooooth” Then, as quickly as it formed, the eye is again swallowed by the chaos and the towering maelstrom collapses in on itself and is gone.
A sudden hush falls upon the ruined farm. Boulders of cooling lava flung from the whirlwind smolder in the dirt next to huge chunks of melting ice and muddy pools of water. Markus’s farmhouse is engulfed in flames and Cygnet sobs quietly in the barn, her elemental possesser driven from her by Sharat and Rassimohn. The fight is over. The party has managed to survive…somehow…perhaps thanks entirely to the massive power locked within the Rod of Seven Parts.
A new name has been revealed: Piranoth. Elestrynna identifies Piranoth as one of the primordials, powerful gods of the elements that were banished long before Faerun was even created.
Elestrynna throws up her flame shield and plunges into the burning house. There she finds the knife Cygnet carried with her covered in charred blood. Markus lies on his bed, his throat slit while he slept, murdered by his possessed daughter. Elestrynna gathers the body and a strangely unburned ivory figurine of a goat (magical), and pulls him from the house. She makes his body safe with her Gentle Repose ritual while Cygnet sobs hysterically.
Theros is drawn to the tree that was shattered by the elemental maelstrom, its trunk is split nearly in two and it leans heavily to one side. The clean, white heartwood smolders with a constantly shifting array of elemental effects: ice, water, heat, smoke, and on and on, but the wood is not consumed. Clearly, the wood has been impregnated with some of the raw elemental forces while the gate stood open. He ponders its potential for just a moment before fetching Markus’s woodcutting tools and setting to work, harvesting the wood to build a bow from.
Once she has calmed down, Cygnet reveals that she was possessed by an elemental creature and forced to murder her father and set the house aflame. The elemental creature was put into her by an imperious lady dressed in grey robes who was attended by elementals and spoke of going to Hammerfast when she had finished in Nenlast! It was the elemental that compelled her to murder Markus (her father) in his sleep and lead the characters into the ambush.
Elestrynna recovers a large crystal, damaged by the fire, which Cygnet indicates was used by her father to communicate with others in the Spysong Network. The crystal, however, does not work. In the ashes of the burned farmhouse, she also finds a small figure of a goat carved from ivory. Quick inspection and analysis indicates that it is one of the rare Figurines of Wonderous Power – the Ivory Goat of Travail.
Theros takes with him a length of the strange elemental-infused elm wood and begins to craft a longbow stave from it.
Major Quest Reward XP
After getting some badly, badly needed rest, the party sets off again, leaving the burned farmstead and heading for Hammerfast, unsure of what they might find. The first stop will be the Fiveleague House, a roadside inn that sits on the Thane’s Road (the main east-west road in the Nentir Vale) exactly a day’s journey to the west of Hammerfast.