The party returned to Castelon after a long journey across the sea. They arrived and were warmly greeted by King Robert Creed, who complimented their successful mission to gather aid for the war effort. Creed told them about Corrin Scard’s constant devotion to the front line and alluded to a grand plan that could end the war! The party met with Creed and two members of the Council of Eight for a grand feast. There, the party regaled the King with their tales of adventure from their mission around the world. The conversation turned sombre with the King speaking on the horrors of war, but he reassured the party that victory may be in their grasp.
The next day the heroes met with Creed once again while the Warmaster briefed the rest of the Council on the upcoming plan. Creed revealed that now Castelon had acquired aid from the other nations, Castelon would be going forward with the “Sorcerer’s Revenge”. The King revealed a plan of his design to eliminate the Coalition forces and stop the war. Creed described the first phase of the plan to eliminate the Eastern and Western Coalition forces.
The Western Force Led by General Abacus Drogue would engaged by a large Castelonian force that would feign retreat. Once Drogue took the bait, he would be lured into a trap where he would be attacked on his flanks by the new forces sent to Castelon. Once he broke and ran, he would fall into ambush after ambush until his force was utterly destroyed.
The Eastern Force led by General Jerico Holtz had been avoiding direct conflict for weeks. Creed had brokered a deal with Freehold to give up their defensive stance and attack Holtz’s force directly. Holtz would have no chance to defeat an army of dragons and would be forced to flee to the east, placing him directly in the Formonian Hivelands. There, he would face insectoid monsters that numbered him 50 to 1. Even the great Jerico Holtz would fall and his army would be wiped out.
The success of this first phase was almost guaranteed because the Coalition forces had been operating with ignorance of Castelon’s receiving of aid because of the party’s interferring with General Lucas Reid. The King then detailed the later phases of the plan. The remaining Coalition army, the Northern Army, would likely be pulled from the war to continue the fight against Castelon. Creed’s plan involved an alliance with Quinslin and a join military strike against the Northern Army. With a Casetlonian force attacking from the rear and a concentrated assault by the forces of Quinslin, the Northern Army would be destroyed. This would leave the Coalition relatively defenseless and the combined Castelonian and Quinslin forces could take Chible with relatively no effort. This would mean the complete destruction of the Coalition and the end of the war!
The King gave the party its new mission, to join the fight against the Western Army once the attack had begun. Their target was none other than General Drogue himself. Creed explained that with Drogue’s death, the army would be leaderless and fall easily in rout. He left the party a few days to prepare for the battle.
After this meeting, Kros pointed out that Creed was a changed man, focused on the defeat of his enemy and appeared to be filled with hatred. The heroes were concerned that the Skull of Zorlon was responsible for this change in behavior, though Jamir was quick to point out that war changes people. The party was troubled by the prophecy of the skull that said “only the true King of Castelon could save it”, not knowing if that meant some unknown offspring of King Gargudan or if Creed had been compromised. Egg Shen became focused on the tales of Zorlon himself and left to Numas to utilize the grand library there.
Egg’s research revealed information about the greatest wizard of the world from the Age of Antiquity. Zorlon was responsible for the creation of the skull, a magical artifact with a bound spirit from the far realms inside, the Eye of Zorlon, and numerous other wondrous items that he used to fight the forces of evil. Little was known about Zorlon, where he came from or who he was. Deeper research revealed that he was a farmer that somehow came into possession of a “gem” the gave him great power. After this encounter, the simple farmer was no more and Zorlon became a wizard of might and wisdom. Buried deep within the old tomes was a similar story from even further in the Age of Antiquity. This story was of a decadent prince who was gifted a gem of power that gifted him with insight and strength, allowing him to become one of the greatest kings of the world.
Egg returned with this knowledge and the party, reflecting on the prophecies of the the Skull, believed that this Gem must lie with the corpse of Malthax and they must recover it. This was troubling because there was no known body of Malthax. The party resolved to figure out this dilemma once they returned from their mission. The party prepared for the battle.
Once everything was ready, the party teleported to the battlefield where they were met by the First Legion of Harfax and the dragon Ventralix. Those forces were to cut a line through the enemy allowing the party to attack General Drogue’s command post. The party joined the fray and cut down dozens of elite soldiers on the way to their target. Finally they were greeted by Brigadier General Pyman, who revealed that Drogue had escaped, leaving his troops to die. Pryman was filled with rage and a desire to kill Drogue. He had seized command of the Army and was attempting to break the rout. The party could not let this happen and attacked Pryman and his bodyguards. They raced a mighty steam tank and the elite soldiers, but overcame all foes. They watched the remainder of the army break and were chased into the ambushes that awaited them.