In the following days, the party started an investigation to work on Kohina’s problem, all while gathering clues related to the Avatar’s past. An otherwise normal assignment in the Crystal Desert, where a margonite artifact was found, has caused the release of a trapped margonite spirit, who had met the Avatar before his imprisonment over a thousand years ago, as well as revealing knowledge of a demon-infected island, as seen in the dreams both Kisuke and Aku had.
While investigating in Shirakawa, trying to find any traces of activity near the sealed rift, the party has a run-in with one of Kassandra’s companions, Souren. He admits that he was interested in the method used to seal the rift, though he realizes that it’s imperfect and easy to break. He shows no signs of wishing to break the seal, nevertheless, and the party moves on.
Following Ilya’s disappearance, a scry attempt managed to easily locate not only her, but also Matsuri and Gudrik, exploring a dungeon in an undisclosed location, where they recovered an ancient tome. After confronting them about it, and Ilya’s initial resistance to explain their actions, the margonites were convinced, and gathered with the party at Gudrik’s mansion for a meeting. Ilya then explained that, due to recent events related to the Avatar escalating, she had decided that the best course of action would be to seal the Avatar away permanently, and the tome they recovered held within its pages a ritual powerful enough to do the job. Strangely enough, Ilya refused to explain exactly how she knew about the Avatar or the tome, becoming visibly uncomfortable when the topic came up. Not only that, but Ilya insisted on taking care of this issue without the party’s help. She was convinced otherwise through diplomacy, though she wasn’t too happy about it.
Upon examining the tome, however, they found out that it was not only encrypted, but written in Celestial (which struck everyone as strange, since the tome was guarded by demons, of all things). Still, the tome was entrusted to the party, who left it with Qillassien to be translated and interpreted. Qillassien warned that he’d need a few days to get the job done, but at the same time that it was clear enough, even without a full translation, that it wasn’t a ritual that could be performed by only one caster.
It was then that the party decided to confront the Avatar directly, inviting Arche along for arcane backup, should the need arise. After pinpointing his location (mountains north of the Charr Homelands), Sohei started the teleportation spell. Unfortunately, a mishap sent the party to the Shiverpeaks instead, where they soon found themselves face-to-face with a small norn hunting party, who challenged them to a fight. The party was victorious, despite the outstanding strength displayed by their larger foes, and left the area in good terms, being invited to visit them in the norn city of Sifhalla whenever they felt like it.
The travel towards the East was a rough one, especially for Arche, who was not as used to this kind of long travels as the rest of the party. Soon enough, after a few minor incidents, Arche started to reveal a more aggressive behavior, especially towards Kisuke, though most of it could be attributed to her exhaustion.
After a nearly-eventless travel (not counting the run-in with a charr warband who granted them passage without much resistance, though supervised), the party finally reached the uncharted mountain range, and the cave where the Avatar was in hiding. Upon arrival, the party became immediately aware that they were being watched. They knew, after all, that the Lady of Craft was most likely standing guard. It wasn’t until they found themselves face-to-face with the Avatar, though, that their suspicions were confirmed. The Avatar panicked upon seeing the party, trying desperately to keep a distance between him and the party. Only seconds after this, the Lady of Craft had broken through a side wall, hellbent on destroying the intruders. The party didn’t need the King of Rats’ warning to flee the scene, while the surprisingly agile aggressor gave chase, closing the distance between them and trampling the party before a first attempt at escaping through arcane. The second attempt, however, succeeded, sending the party several miles away through a Shadow Walk.
Over a hour after this close encounter, not having had the time to return to Qillassien’s tower yet, the party is warned by the King of Rats that they are still being chased, at which point they find the prospect of seeking shelter with their new norn friends a lot more inviting.
After spending a few hours at Sifhalla, resting and drinking with the norn, the party summons Akira to bring them back to the tower. The party reported to Qillassien, and retired for the night.
During the night, the group that visited the Avatar that day found themselves pulled into the library of Akasha by the King of Rats, who promptly apologized for his master’s behavior. He also admitted that the dreams that Kisuke and Aku have been having were shown by none other than himself, in an attempt to allow them to understand the Avatar’s past a little better without breaking the oath he’s bound to, which doesn’t allow him to talk about it directly. He’s aware that the dreams have been cryptic and incomplete, due to his master’s (unconscious) resistance towards the attempts at drawing out the full extent of his memories, and promises to continue trying, asking only for patience while he does. At the same time, he reveals that the Lady of Craft will be inactive for at least 72 hours due to the energy wasted earlier, and asks that the party does what they can to keep the Avatar safe.