Having squared away the mystery of the abducted sister, and laid plans for decorating the new temple to the group's forgotten fey patron with a cut-off tree stump, the question of what to do next naturally arose.
In the course of conversation, which can only have happened over beers (because adventurers), several options were discussed and discarded. Chief among the discarded ideas was returning to Sanctuary briefly to "delicately" extract information from the captured soldiers of the Colonial Guard. Several other ideas were tried on for size, but Myron's dreams led the way.
Greed. Greed also led the way. There are pieces of armour contained in an other dimensional pocket (also known as the party's folding boat), which would look mighty good on several of the characters. The main problem with those pieces of armour is that they were removed from the corpse of one of the members of a fey court in messy circumstances. The concern is that the rest of his friends may be able to locate that armour and retrieve it, most likely in similarly messy circumstances. When the parties involved can, for sport, lay waste to moderatly large villages… Well, you get the picture.
So, Greed. If the temple to the Morrigue gets built, the armour in question can be freed of certain enchantements and be safe to use. But to consecrate the temple, certain relics appearing in Myron's dreams are required. The party chose to chase relics. Obviously.
On account of his continual dreams, and his divine connection to the Morrigue, Myron could close his eyes and point to the locations of the relics. The closest one was almost directly east of Raven's Bay, in uncharted waters closer to the middle of the lake. No one in town knew anything about the middle of the lake except that it's a bad idea to venture there because boats just "disappear."
The group uncomfortably set off in their outrigger canoe, on account of their main ship being occupied by dangerous treasure. After about one and a half days of paddling and sailing, land was sighted. A black island rose out of the water directly ahead, and from a point near a nice harbour rose a black-glass city, from which rose a magnificient tall tower made of black glass. The extremely impressive base of another tower rose from the city, which would have dwarfed everything around had it not been shattered at some point in its history. Surrounding the island was a ring of very large lily pads, out to a distance of about 1/2 mile. There were occasional flowers, and the pads looked almost large enough to support a human.
The party stopped quickly, about 200 yards from the plants and discussed their options. These lily pads were clearly menacing and of great concern. Varis slung a rock at the closest, to no effect. Morwen threw an apple core into the midst of them, to similar effect. Unmollified, the courageous and resourceful band decided to back off a bit more and circle the lake to look for another harbour. While paddling back a bit, it was noticed that there was absolutely no observable sea-life near the island, save the plants.
A telepathic message was dispatched to the sea elf allies, asking them if they knew of this island and whether the plants were harmful. A reply returned indicating that the plants were not harmful, but that the fish which live among them most certainly are. The fish disturb the minds of elves who swim near and then eat the unfortunate victims. Avoid the island if at all possible.
Vindicated, and only slightly deterred, a circuit of the strangely circular island was decided upon, and took the rest of the day and part of the night. As night fell, there remained light, but not just from the usual sources. There were lights in among the lily pads, down in the water. Upon their return to the only harbour on the island, Morwen summoned forth a column of moonlight and played it over the eerie lights in the water.
For some time, nothing happened. The fifth light, on being touched by the moonlight, moved violently and disappeared beneath the water. Wrenaldo and Shade observed that it had been a bit larger than the rest of the lights, and that Morwen should find another like it. She did, and had similar results. The canoe, by this point was drifting among the plants.
Consulting Arnik about how quickly landfall could be made if everyone who could reach the water with a paddle worked as hard as they could, it was decided that around 10 minutes would suffice. This was conveniently around the same amount of time that Morwen thought she could maintain a lightning storm active for. An unsubtle entrance was started.
Everyone paddled as if their lives depended on it, and Morwen (who had secretly been wanting to use this spell for a while) called forth lightning on every flicker of light in the water. They arrived safely at a pair of massive black sea gates which were slightly ajar.
Inside those gates, no plants grew. The inner harbour was, by Arnik's guess, three to four hundred yards across, and was furnished with two docks made of black glass. The canoe was tied up at the closest of the two, and the party disembarked.
The dock, the walls, and everything about the city appeared to have been made from a single piece of material. The walls, when touched, seemed to pulse slightly warmly, and buzz faintly in the back of the head. The gates to the city were ajar as well, with no signs of inhabitants. Everyone walked through the gate to see the city beyond. In front of the gate, a road ran straight into a cluster of buildings, and off to the left was a road to a courtyard where the smaller of the towers rose. On the road, there were some black lumps which looked suspiciously like corpses, so our heroes decided to go in that direction.
The corpses appeared to be made of the same material as the city, and laid in the foetal position as if they'd been burned alive. Myron said a prayer for the dead over the corpses, and heard a dry chuckle in the back of his mind rather than the usual sound of raven wings. Discomfited, the group continued along the road, stopping at a corner of the wall to the inner city to observe the small tower from a distance.
There appeared to be something moving near the door to the tower. It flowed rather than walked, and seemed to be yelling in a not-quite-language and pounding on the gate of the tower. Approaching somewhat cautiously — though not sneakily — our brave party heard the shouting cease and took off running around the tower. Pursued, but pulling away, the gate eventually showed itself. The gate and wall were smooth and undamaged, with a slight depression to the right of the door. Intuiting that it was part of a mechanism to open the door, Wrenaldo laid his palm upon it. A faint glow ringed the depression, then vanished, and the door silently swung open. A matching panel on the other side swung the door shut just as the monster came running.
Myron checked, and the artifact showed itself as being nearly directly above him. Up the stairs everyone trooped, finding odd not-quite-windows in the walls that afforded a view over the interior wall of the city, and of the devestation of the ruined tower. At the top of the second flight of stairs, there was another door, which refused to open for Myron when he tried it. Wrenaldo, of the pointy ears, opened it with ease.
Inside the room laid a scene that none, save perhaps Varis, will be able to put the right words to if they even try. There were tall structures of metal and glass, glowing from within, joined by strands of wire running every which way. In the centre of the room was a crystal tree nearly as tall as a real tree, of a species which might be distantly related to those Morwen knows.
As they entered the room, the party saw movement to the sides of the door. Metal heads swivelled, and a blue light glowed within their eye sockets. Thankfully they did nothing except watch as everyone walked down the central aisle towards the tree.
A new being, eyes again glowing blue, stepped out from between some of the tall wire-entangled structures, and greeted the party.