Winterhaven has fallen.
Unbeknownst to our heroes, a small army led by Irontooth, Ninaran, and some unknown sorcerer, attacked the village of Winterhaven, leaving it in ruin. When the party returned from the keep, the survivors of Winterhaven recounted the attack, describing it as a mixed force of goblins, kobolds, undead and horrific constructs of flesh. The attack left half of the village in ruins, with half of its inhabitants dead. Valthren’s tower was raided, and the wise old man taken away, as the attackers departed through some arcane portal.
At the same time, Nathan Baudelaire arrived at Winterhaven, hoping to visit his old friend, the dwarven blacksmith. Sadly, the dwarf had been butchered in the attack.
With the aid of the agents of the Kharnadas Consortium, who the party had encountered within the keep, they were able to track the portal far to the north. The party was eager for vengeance, so Corphus Grey, of the Consortium, offered to transport them there, in exchange for their assistance as guards of a caravan to the north. The party accepted the offer.
They were sent south, to the nearest port city, Weldenport, accompanied by Heckle and Wilfred Boggs. There, they met with another member of the Consortium, Madelaine Crow, the captain of the Jade Serpent.
The Jade serpent appeared to be an ordinary boat, aside from two large turbines on both port and starboard sides of the aft.
As soon as the Jade Serpent had left the sight of Weldenport, a grumpy old man from the crew began a ritual, whilst the turbines speed up, propelling the boat further at speeds unlike any the party had ever seen. Before them opened up a portal, and the Jade Serpent left the mortal plane.
They had entered the realm of Ixis, an ancient plane, long abandoned by whatever god had created it. The Consortium used it as a shortcut in their travels around the world. Traveling through Ixis would get the party to their destination in only two days, rather than two months by sea.
Ixis was a realm shrouded by mist, dark and haunting. The entire crew of the Jade Serpent was silent, on the lookout. Ixis was not without inhabitants, and according to Wilfred, they were little more than savages.
From the mist they emerged, the savage Ikaranth. Some of the party members were ready for the degenerate creatures, and sprung into action. Others were distracted, pondering whether or not a realm such as this had ever seen the light of Melora, and were caught off guard.
The battle that ensued was a dangerous one. Suneun and Tierriaryi, both, sustained serious wounds from the savage creatures. Nonetheless, they found valiantly, and worked together with Nathan, to fight back their assailants. Their attacks crushed the natural carapace armor of the Ikaranth, and blue fires drained from their corpses.
As quickly as it had started, the fight was over, and the waters were silent, once again.
As night fell, the Jade Serpent made berth in the ruins of an ancient fortress. Heckle insisted that it was a safe harbor.
In the dark of the night, Tierriaryi heard a voice, little more than a whisper calling to her, “Child of the Feywild…”
She followed the voice, and it led her to the skeletal remains of some long-forgotten traveler. On the skeleton’s upper arm was a simple black metal torc. As she picked up the torc, the voice whispered to her, “I will be your guide, and you shall ascend.”