The Epics complete the ritual to contact Dalastra inside the Orb. The dragon’s spirit claims to be discharging an ancient duty laid upon her by the Raven Queen – to deliver the fragments of Sharaea’s soul into the Heart of Ice.
More than a thousand years ago, Sharaea begged the Raven Queen to be flung into the future, so that she could avoid the ire of the jealous Summer Prince. The Raven Queen agreed, for a price : Sharaea would owe her a favour when she returned to the land of the living.
Even the Raven Queen would have problems hiding the spirit of Sharaea from the Prince, for no far-flung plane in the Astral Sea would be denied his growing power. Instead, she split the girl’s soul into four parts. To Corellon and Sehanine, two of the Gods of Fey, she gave two fragments, and secreted another in Dalastra herself. The last part she kept hidden, imprisoned in ice, with Sharaea’s mortal shell. No fragment alone could be called conscious, but glimmers of memory or emotion would continue to influence Dalastra throughout her years.
Now that the other fragments are coming together, hidden inside Lyneth and Halani, the time for Sharaea to confront the fate she avoided is fast approaching.
With this information, the Epics contact Quarion (who they know have the last fragment, in Shareas’s body). Quarion agrees to meet them in a few hours, in Lyneths house in Mithrendain.
Meanwhile, the Paragons agree to help Grimnar with the last two Tethers.
Their first target lies across the other side of the planet. Grimnar opens a portal into a wizards’ laboratory, but the scene that greets them speaks of a struggle in the recent past. Cautiously, they step through the portal and search the premises. The tower looks over a small village, and the inhabitants move about their activities apparently oblivious to the combat that occurred above them.
When they find the wizard, he seems listless and barely functional, and they begin to suspect his mind had been wiped.
While Ash explores the village below, the others prepare rituals to investigate the Tower.
The villagers all show similar detachment, going through the motions of life without any true purpose, as if they were to give a semblance of normalcy, but without real motivations. When Ash notices the door to one of the houses closing furtively, he investigates.
Inside their worst fears are confirmed. Three Mind-flayers are in some kind of telepathic conversation. Ash uses his Sending Stone to contact the others in the tower, and waits a tense ten minutes as they summon their Phantom Steeds to fly down. As the time goes by, the Mind Flayers move about the room, out of sight from Ash. When the heroes arrive, Ash can only hear one of the creatures below.
The party enters the house, and the mind flayers lurk out of sight, waiting for the party to get into position. When they open one of two facing doors, the Mind Flayers strike.
As the illithids unleash their mental assaults, the thralls of the village converge on the house, climbing in windows, battering down doors, to protect their far realm controllers. The Thrallmaster stays outside, herding them in, until Ash goes out to meet him.
In the end, the Mind flayers are killed, but not before many of the villagers sacrifice themselves to aid them.