With Nhur Athemon dead, the party was left to lick their wounds and oversee the shattered remnants of his crystalline army. With the heat of battle passed, the party was easily able to spy a small button on the the arm rest of the throne which opened a final chamber. Inside, the party found a small room with an altar and a desk with varying spell components as well as a powerfully locked door, behind which was the stairs down. Of note though, were a large leather-bound journal written in Azlanti and dusty old music box which broke after creaking out a few final, sorrowful tones.
With the journal and it’s undoubted wealth of information in tow, the party climbed to the top of the throne room balcony and threw open the set of double doors… to find a powerful wall of dust and wind blocking the way. Various tests provided very little comfort to the group and it was ultimately a celestial outsider Avarita summoned that managed to get insight into the strange thing. A dark voice with the tone of a serpent-like hiss echoed through the room and bade the party to enter as the wind parted. They did so… reluctantly.
As it turned out, the voice was Abraxas, a demon lord to who Nhur Athemon had pledged himself. Through conversation, the party discovered Nhur had turned his back on his former master and sought to surpass the demon lord. Wishing to punish his traitorous follower for his hubris, Abraxas bade the party to fetch him the lich’s phylactery so that he may be utterly destroyed. Though they were reluctant to trust a demon lord, Remnus especially, they ultimately decided that having a god-like being destroy the lich’s phylactery would at the very least be more convenient than finding a powerful druid. Abraxas was given the clockwork heart and the demon delighted in smashing it to pieces.
For their help, the party was given a single wish from the demon lord which they, in a fit of stunning altruism, spent on resurrecting the dead Tiawask. The deed done, the party left the shrine with Abraxas offering them more wishes if they would do him favors. ….So that’s an option. Regardless, for a demon Abraxas was surprisingly true to his word as Tiawask was found alive and normal and Nhur Athemon’s tortured undead/living victims quickly decayed into skeletons with the lich’s soul no longer having power over them. Their souls at rest, the party returned to Fort Inevitable with Tiawask for some well-deserved rewards… and an amusing moment where the guards freaked out at Remnus’ brand new undead dragon.
As it turned out, the high mother had received a vision as the phylactery was destroyed and had already told the Lady Commander the Crowned Skull was no more. The party returning with the lich’s crown was all the proof she needed and the pair congratulated the party on saving not only the town, but likely all of the echo woods from the lich’s mad schemes. After receiving a mountain of both adulation and gold, the party breifly stopped by and visited Abernard Royst’s house to give him the map of the lich’s lair and subtly inform him of its powerful scrying chamber. The wizard paid the party well for the map and exchanged pleasantries with the group that had nothing at all to do with the politics of the town. Nope.
The session closed on Iliara being reunited with Tiawask in a tearful reunion. Paid yet again for their good work, the party settled down for a well-deserved rest… and plans to delve further into the dungeon…