The party recuperate after the battle for Tolstoff, resting in the town. Azzainen tells the party that Bloodlord Atherzai’s full name is Helena Atherzai. Rey reads through the journal of an Ulitharid of the mindflayer hive they destroyed. Driselle Black-Spear was freed by a wayward mindflayer named Zellix and this ulitharid, Aurangaul, has apparently pursued him into The Dreadmarshes.
They set out to explore Tolstoff castle, at the insistence of Ghesh and The Spectre. They arrive in the afternoon, seeing the dilapidated castle standing before them. It’s surrounded by a dirt-filled trench, possibly an ancient sign of a moat. The area around the castle is overgrown and unkempt but the castle itself is devoid of life. The group find a way in, passing through the trench which seems to have been filled with bodies recently. The castle itself is partially collapsed, but the corridors are empty of any habitation. Tsuki notices a secret door along one such corridor, obscured by powerful magic. She struggles to get it open, until she utilises her mithral key, expending its powerful magic. Beyond the doors is what looks like a laboratory, with a mirror suspended on the back wall. The group investigate the room, finding a thick, black liquid as well as some blood in vials. Rakshasa finds what look like some syringes used to extract the blood and pockets them. Rey inspects the mirror, uncovering it. As she does so the final of a set of red sigils glows and forms around its circumference. Rey looks in the mirror and sees herself reflected, but with several changes to her appearence. The magic that altered her hair colour is gone, and the angelic markings on her skin are also absent. Rakshasa looks in the mirror too, noticing that both her horns and her angelic markings are gone, as well as her eyes being a different colour. Tsuki sees a complete stranger reflected, dressed in her gear. She sees a human woman with olive skin, black hair, and dark brown, almost black eyes. Sahri appears identical reflected in the mirror, with no clear change in her appearence. The Spectre no longer has his angelic markings and instead of having mirrored silver eyes, he has relatively mundane blue eyes. Ghesh refuses to look at himself in the mirror, believing this magical object has dangerous properties. Rey guesses that this mirror is reflecting an unaltered, non-magical version of their present selves.
Tsuki tests out the black liquid on a lime, seeing it absorbed while releasing smoke.
Rey finds some scrolls and tomes written in a strange, unknown language and tries to see if the mirror will translate them. The mirror doesn’t even reflect this language, nor does it reflect anything written with the black liquid. Rey nonethless makes notes, writing down copies of the examples of this new language she saw. When she holds up a particular scroll, a word or phrase on the first line manifests as a strange distortion in the mirror’s surface. This disortion begins to approximate the silhouette of a human. At this points Sahri decides to throw the blackened lime at the mirror. The lime bounces off, but the black liquid lingers, and begins to spread across its surface. This worries the group, particularly Ghesh, who decides to use Detect Magic to see what’s happening. Anathematic or Demonic energy is suffusing the mirror, radiating outwards. Sahri asks The Vengeant about this mirror and he finally answers, telling her not to enter the portal. With this information The Spectre realises that the mirror has likely become a portal to The Shadowfell. A blood red mark begins to spread across the surface of the mirror now, but Rey uses Counterspell to stop this development, and the portal remains black. The party want to leave, but The Spectre insists that it would be irresponsible to leave an active demonic portal as it is.
Ghesh beseeches Ajaakor to intervene, and he answers his prayer. The Annerian of Air and Water denounces the dark magic and with a flash, destroys the mirror. Sahri leaves a mocking message on the wall and the party continue to explore the castle.
They find an entrance to some catacombs which branch out into a large tunnel system. They explore them briefly, finding bones and signs of inhabitation. It is growing late and the group decide it would be best not to spend the night beneath the earth.
The party have almost returned to the town when they see The Crimson Matron land at the castle. They begin to hurry, but soon The Crimson Matron’s flying right towards them. Helena Atherzai steps out in front of them, with The Crimson Matron at her back. She demands the party return her possessions which the group eventually agree to do. Helena is relatively civil but does not answer a lot of the parties’ questions, she does accept their compliments though. She says that her mirror was an attempt for her to view things how they were before The Scourge and before The Destroyer arrived. Helena flies away on The Crimson Matron, disappearing in a flash of darkness.
That night Tsuki sees The Outsider in their dream, who says they shall be rewarded for all they’ve done. The Outsider explains that they’re working against one of The Anathema, Piro. Piro doesn’t want an item called The Iron Flask to be given to a particular woman in Rzeka, but The Outsider believes that Tsuki could accomplish this transaction. Tsuki sees that both herself and The Outsider have golden strings leading from themselves up to the dark ceiling. Tsuki sees a pair of blue eyes looking out of the darkness at her and with a snap the golden strings attached to Tsuki snaps. The golden threads falls about her, and layer themselves over her face, forming patterns. The Outsider extends their hand for Tsuki to take, and she does.
Tsuki finds herself on the shore of Lake Damaia, in central Svoren in a small camp. She’s holding the outstretched hand of Alexis and can see two more people seated nearby. A heavily covered Sand-Elf, shivering in the cold. As well as a Tiefling seated next to one of the Nemorian Wolves. Alexis introduces the sand elf as The Horizon-Walker and the Tiefling as Quest. Alexis implies that they are in fact The Outsider and says that they will tell Tsuki Piro’s True Name, but only once they’ve received their gift. Alexis tries on The Outsider’s mask, showing their similarity to the form The Outsider has taken when appearing to Tsuki. Tsuki takes the mask from Alexis and tries it on, feeling the form of the golden threads upon their face. Alexis and The Horizon-Walker extend a hand each, which Tsuki takes. She feels power flow through her, improving her confidence, as she becomes The Angel of Freedom. Alexis bids her farewell and says Piro’s True Name: Kilanicoatl.
The next day Ghesh receives a message from Rava, congratulating the group on their success and Angeldom. She says that The Thorn-King wishes to speak to the party and that she’ll transport them to Kodoma at sunset. The party finish business in the town, the townsfolk holding celebrations and thanking them for all that they’ve done. Felicity complains that the townsfolk have been disconnected from the traditions and laws of Meridar’s Church for too long. She seems glad that the party have aided the town so much though, and says The Church will have more say in this town from now on.
The group meet up with Azzainen at sunset and they’re transported to Ajaakor’s Church in Kodoma by Rava. The priests there bow down in reverence at the sight of both of Ajaakor’s Angels, but The Spectre tells them they can stand. Rava explains that The Thorn-King is waiting for them outside the city but that the walk will mean the city-folk will be fawning over them. The group decide they wouldn’t mind being fawned over and walk through the city. Thousands of people come to see them, elves, humans, spell-scales, half-elves, and even some dragonborn. Rey and Rakshasa perform for the crowd, who start dancing and cheering.
Finally, the party reaches The Thorn-King’s tent. He is not there, however, he’s waiting at a fighting ring that’s been set up. Mortimus greets the party warmly, and both he and Azzainen seem pleased to see one another. He says that Sahri has one more test she must pass before she recieves The Vengeant’s Gift and The Manual of Heroes: She must fight him. Sahri accepts and tells Morty that he can use his favoured weapon: The Axe.
Mortimus rises to his feet, his joints cracking as he does so. He takes off his heavy cloak, revealing a well-muscled torso covered with scars underneath. The two square up and begin to exchange attacks. Sahri knows that if she can reduce him to half his fighting strength she will win the contest.
Sahri swings with all her might, barely seeming to scratch the old warrior. Morty returns his own strikes, seeming brutally efficient with his favoured weapon. Soon, Morty enters his barbarian’s rage, unleashing a wave of fire from himself and beginning to glow with internal fire.
Sahri is hard-pressed, as Morty’s strikes hit harder and harder, glowing with fire and radiance. At one point she falls unconscious, but Morty uses Lay On Hands so she can continue fighting. Morty compliments her on her fighting skill as Sahri displays immense prowess with her weapon. Finally, just as Sahri is about to succumb to the fire, she strikes the blow that ends the contest, and Morty concedes.
Morty reveals to the victorious Sahri that he is Mortimus Falkettan, who people name The Vengeant. He confesses the regret he still feels at his slaying of Und so long ago and his hope that his daughter Aliza will return someday. Sahri tells The Vengeant that he made the right choice with the information he had, and Ghesh says that his efforts at repaying Und’s brother Ajaakor have been worthy. Morty says that he wanted to give his shard of Und’s power to Azzainen, but that the vampiric curse that afflicts him means his body would not survive the transformation. The Vengeant transfers Und’s fiery power to Sahri with a burst of flame upon Sahri’s skin, transforming Sahri into The Angel of Fire.
Morty explains that when he slew Und with his mythic weapon Sky-Sunder, it split Und’s soul into three parts and seperated these from his body. Sahri now possesses one shard, Turiel Dust-Born has another, and the final shard belongs to Aliza. Und’s body, without a soul, became The Tarrasque, who still dwells beneath the earth.
Morty leads the assembled group into his tent, where they see the two Nemorian tigers. Mortimus hands Sahri The Manual of Heroes, a Legendry of Great Arms and Fabulous Heroes. He says that Sahri has earned the right to own it, and add her own knowledge to the tome. Rakshasa makes several lewd comments directed at Morty, and Rava eventually escorts her out. Rey hugs Morty, who returns the hug in turn. Morty gives them one final piece of information, telling them that the bones of the ancient fey dragon he slew reside beneath the town of High-Hill and may be in danger from necromancers.