The Bear Claws prod the body of Chillreaver and the iceberg begins to shake and collapse. They quickly move into the secret treasure horde off of the side of Chillreaver’s chamber where they gather up as much of the treasure as they can before the iceberg collapses. The beholder, Eye of Frost, attacks them with a group of icy gargoyles in an attempt to claim the treasure.
They blast him back just as the iceberg drops them all into the cold water. They swim to their Apparatuses of Kwalish and make their way back to Nefelus. On the way they count up the treasure they were able to acquire. There were a couple of magical items, enough platinum and gold for each person to get over 12,000 gold pieces and the scrap of a note from Emperor Zetch’r’r that mentions that the Ironfell dwarf will work as an ambassador to the Stone-skinned King.
In Nefelus the Bear Claws meet with Amyria and Bejam. They convince Bejam to return to Sayre with them to be part of the Coalition leadership. Amyria tells them she just got a Sending from Fariex. “Return quickly. Disaster has struck. We are in bad need of strong leadership.”
The Bear Claws bring their two remaining Appartuses of Kwalish through the linked portal with them and leave them tied up at the river dock near the University. When they enter the meeting room of the Coalition Emil is standing on a chair confronting Quelenna who is in the middle of a tirade about being the most experienced leader in the room, (which Fariex quietly takes exception to.) Eofram Troyas is there from Brindol urging the need for an all out attack against the githyanki, he wants to lead the Coalition and strike against them.
Quelenna wants to build up the defenses of the cities in their lands and control the trade so that the githyanki can’t get supplies.
Amyria thinks that it is finally time that she tries to take control as she thinks that the Coalition will bicker and fight over their own interests until they lose all effectiveness. Emil tells them what happened to Kalad and that the city of Sherbyrr was lost. At this time a package is delivered, the head of Divian Torrence with a note: “We do not parley with insects. We will take what we want and burn this world, for it is ours.”
The Bear Claws back her and set out on a campaign to win representatives to her side. They succeed in exposing Quelenna of bribery and pointing out a more moderate path to the rest of the Coalition.
During this time Mary and her friends return from the City of Brass. She looks worn, thin and bedraggled, her scales missing their normal healthy luster. She has a new companion, a tiefling woman named Glamor who seems confident and mysterious.
Rufus Cromley also visits the mansion and asks for a place to stay, wanting to know if he can make a lich lair in their basement. His father was Lord Torrence and his mother doesn’t like all his dead things in the house. They gladly give him a place to stay and for payment he will create an army of undead to guard the place.
As Amyria’s first act as leader of the Coalition she appoints Emil as her second-in-command to succeed her and speak for her when she is not around.
Emil seems more confident than usual and also more solemn and angry but also more powerful. He is still excitable but it has an air of melancholy to his actions and excitement.
Amyria’s next action is to ask the Bear Claws to once again go on a mission for the Coalition. Cachlain, the Stone-Skinned King, made a deal with Chillreaver in which he gave Chillreaver the Seed of Winter. Part of that deal was that he would allow githyanki troops to use his rather extensive portal network to move between the planes. Amyria wants Cachlain to be turned to the side of the Coalition and she believes that offering him the Seed of Winter will be a bargaining chip in that negotiation. She also believes that the Bear Claws are the only people who stand any chance of returning alive — with Mary’s friends not being an option because of her inability to remain non-violent around slave owners.
Althaea comes by to answer any questions they have about the feywild and warns them that it is a strange and unusual place and to accept no gifts from the archfey as they can be tricky and wild. “In this place North is North and West is West and the sun also rises. There North is some times south and sometimes it is east and sometimes it is light when there is no sun and sometimes you must go around a place in order to approach it.”
James goes to Overlook to visit with his friend Brak and to commiserate over the death of their friend Kalad. James seems to be particularly hurt by the news of Kalad’s death and frustrated by his inability to do anything about it. While there he copies three random pages from the Incanabulum Primeval to give to Cachlain as a further bargaining chip. Brak seems willing to let him use the copies as he doesn’t think they will be particularly useful.
The Bear Claws meet Roland’s old mentor, Ponocrates who has is excited to see Roland. They visit briefly and then he gives them the sigils for the portal to the ruined city of Rhest in the northern part of the Elsir Vale. They arrive to find a city tumbled and fallen, covered in lichen and moss and swamped by encroaching swampland and water with grass and weeds grown virulent. Even a tree that was grown up through the roof of one of the buildings. They find tracks and follow them to a staircase leading underground.
Thornside sneaks down the stairs and sees several cyclops guarding some prisoners locked behind a portcullis.