A score of brave adventurers journeyed to the Hero’s Graveyard intent of finding another means to destroy Balfurous. What they found instead was a baffling encounter with a mysterious time traveler and his companion who appeared to be Verrill Lebastion from an alternate and future time line.  Whisked away, they ended up in a place and time unknown; a dark and silent study filled with tomes and furniture covered in thick cobwebs. The time traveler had an odd twitch in his eye, and seemed to teeter on the brink of sanity, constantly concerned about being followed or hunted. When the encounter was over it was clear that help was coming. What wasn’t clear was when…

*     *     *     *     *

Deep in the underground, Balfurous clutches the two pieces of Tenobrosam close to his chest and becomes motionless; deep in contemplation. All manor of demonic minions slowly retreat from the Demon Lord’s presence, terrified they will draw his eye to them. It becomes so silent that only the nasty tiny creatures of the earth could be heard, skittering and slithering through the mud. All else becomes still.

His Mauvais were defeated; some sort of fail-safe protection on Tenebrosam sent out a wave of magic enabling the nuisances of Travance to act as a bane against his creations. While angered by their downfall, they were but mere tools to an end.  He will never be able to perform that particularly useful ritual again. However their destruction, while unfortunate is ultimately inconsequential. His goal is at hand. Long ago Xualla had told him of what lay in the deepest darkest recesses of prime material plane, and now that power would soon bend to his will and fulfill their dream, at long last.

In a moment so infamous that fate would never deny its day, The Demon Lord slams the two pieces of Tenobrasm together. A blinding flash so bright that for but only a second, every single crack and crevasse in the underground world was filled with light. What followed in its dimming was the sound of crystal chimes, loud and otherworldly. Tenobrosam is now a whole, a transparent white crystal shard.

Balfurous once again ceases to move while clutching the gem. A heavy frost begins to coat the cavern, an ice so thick that none would possibly pass. He stands still in the cold, and contemplates his next move. There is no need to rush now that he has the key. He will play out his goals and the many possibilities in his head before proceeding. He will not rush in, but rather when he opens the gate, he will be refreshed, and more importantly he will be prepared.

*     *     *     *     *

Moments after Tenebrosam is restored a mysterious form stirs in the deepest darkest caverns below. It is ancient, powerful, and most thankfully, it is not quite awake…

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Rudolph: "How long has it been since you were last in Travance?"

Orias: "7 years or so."

Rudolph: "That would have been when Klarington Everest was Baron, was it not?"

Orias: "I murdered Klarington Everest."

Rudolph: "How awkward. Allow me to change the subject."

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