Session Log 2021-09-07

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In the Hearth of Goldthrone, Vicriax, though already willing to parlay, seemed more willing to treat the party as negotiating partners under the threat of Ekkels unraveling the seal on the Elder Forge Elemental. Ignis's political aspirations sensed a moment of opportunity, and so he entered the room to relieve the illusory "Ignish" of his duties.

The party and Vicriax were able to negotiate a multifaceted deal in exchange for allowing her and Abar to finish altering the binding. They demanded that:

Vicriax, leading the Council of Fuel, would work on reforming or abolishing the Torch Empire's practice of debt slavery, pending aid from House Fireheart. Lord Arva would be monitored, with any pertinent activity relayed to the Windwatcher's Keep via the Mirror Skull. Her allies and the party would be barred from attempting to murder or arrange the assassination of the other. Per her earlier offer, she would stymie Torch efforts to locate and reclaim the Windwatcher's Keep.

While she added that:

The party would provide advance notice when they are in Torch territory for "business". They would lend their aid if their mutual project of changing the Torch Empire were threatened (though she claimed this would be only in the case of dire need, citing an intolerance for their extended company). They would be barred from revealing any information about the ruins of Goldthrone, the Elder Forge Elemental, or any other secret they had witnessed here.

While the rest of the party negotiated, Ekkels remained poised to further the nullification of the binding. Abar set up nearby, quietly studying the edges of the effect as though the chaos mage that had caused her so much trouble were not present. As Klaitos began to conduct Arijat's oath-song ritual to formalize the agreement between Ignis and Vicriax, Ekkels suddenly felt a sharp pain in his back, and heard an unseen Zorrin whispering malevolently in his ear as a potent paralytic froze him in place. He tried to call out for help, pushing his paralyzed vocal cords to their limit, but was only able to produce enough noise to catch Abar's irritated attention.

Robin wandered the room as the ritual continued, nearly getting burned by the Elder Forge Elemental's fire as it writhed beneath. She noticed Ekkels acting oddly, and pointed out as much to Abar. The runemancer claimed that no traps had been laid in this room that would have affected him, and that her measurements indicated no obvious magical effect upon him. It wasn't until Zorrin plunged a second, specially-formulated syringe of cloudy violet liquid into Ekkels' back that Robin realized an invisible intruder was present.

Ekkels suddenly found his chaos magic threatening to erupt, and had to exert all of his focus to keep it from lashing out and disrupting the ongoing oath ritual. Abar, seeing flickers of his power and watching her instruments grow haywire, started backing away. Robin lifted Ekkels off the ground and hurried past where she thought the elf to be lurking. She felt his elastic grip at her leg but was able to avoid being tripped as she lured the Elder Forge Elemental into position. It unleashed another gout of fire, causing the alchemical invisibility and protection from flame to melt off of Zorrin.

The ritual concluded, Klaitos, Ignis, and Vicriax were alerted to the elf's presence and - via Abar running for the door, shouting about how Ekkels was due to explode - the impending crisis. Vicriax hesitated, unsure if she should follow Abar or attempt to defend the Hearth and the Elemental, but Ignis was able to goad her into dealing with Zorrin. She flew over and flash-fried the alchemist with a jet of golden flame. Klaitos, worried for Ekkels, came up with a risky plan to relieve the latter's overload of chaos magic by channeling it into his own storm magic.

He rushed over to take Ekkels from Robin and told him to push the chaos into the storm. With Klaitos helping, fueled by a fear of harming his friends, Ekkels was able to release a terrible blizzard into the Hearth. Visibility dropped drastically as fog and driving snow mixed with the mist of instant evaporation against the heated metal of the elemental's seal. Klaitos carried Ekkels, his power no longer unleashed, through the storm to the entrance to the Hearth, where he found Abar hiding but still taking readings.

Vicriax violently sought Zorrin in the storm, blasting golden fire in the depths wherever she thought he might be lurking. Robin and Ignis also attempted to find and finish him, but found something more immediately concerning instead - the Elder Forge Elemental was beginning to ram and blast its way through the part of the seal that Ekkels had weakened. They called out into the storm for Abar to help reinforce the seal before the elemental - which Vicriax had claimed would kill all of them and destroy the city if unleashed - broke through. Vicriax, unable to find Zorrin as the blizzard lessened, landed briefly near Ignis and Robin to bestow upon them her bloodline's protection, just in time to protect from the elemental's next firebreath.

Klaitos pleaded with her to help with the seal, but she told him it was impossible under the circumstances - a violent blizzard and the elemental's rage would disrupt her precision work. Ekkels siphoned some of the storm's energy, and Klaitos suggested they draw more power from the elemental through the pipes that sent its power to Twinpyre. Abar gave him some quick instructions to use modified aether-draining runes to increase the flow and hurried over to the increasingly dented corner of the seal where the Elemental was attempting to break through. Klaitos committed her instructions to memory, relying on his practice as a student of aether, and sprinted around the room with the 6 dragon's maws to apply the effect.

Abar brusquely ordered Ignis and Robin to aid her as she and some of her runeworking constructs worked to repair the binding. The elemental's battering of the seal lessened as Klaitos drew more of its power up to Twinpyre. However, as he was finishing, Zorrin rematerialized behind Ekkels. The elf silently warned Klaitos against interfering, motioning to take off his mask and unleash his unbound form; however, Klaitos was able to rush in and throw him into the superheated pipes before he was able to undo the clasps. Zorrin was burned to a crisp against the pipe and fell to the floor, barely able to move.