Shortly after their shopping trip, the bulk of the Guild are gathered for a meal. A commotion outside is brought to their attention with a body laying flopped out in the front doorway. Chouko, Sophone, Tamlyn and Clarice rush to join battle against the several hired killers assaulting the Sand Dragon Inn. At the end of the fray, only three of the Inn’s guards are left alive and all of the intruders are quite dead. A few moments of conversation and Olias phase shifts down into the erstwhile formian catacombs to dispose of the bodies. This assault leaves most of the remaining staff impressed with Sophone’s dedication to her new position and cements her place as Manager. During the coming days, Sophone quietly takes the entirety of the Inn’s staff aside one by one to release them from any bonds of slavery they may have been working under. Some bribes and back pay later, the bulk of the employees remain under the new management as free people.
Several days pass and the Gatecrashers enjoy more rest and relaxation – including some physical release on the part of the majority, save for Sophone and Vash – the Gatecrashers begin to wind up their holiday. Gerfried leads Olias and Vash to the place in the bazaar where he originally encountered Mister Deavers. They find no trace of him, his tent or even tracks indicating that he had ever existed. After a moment of pondering, they continue to the merchant from whom Vash purchased her new shoes. As Vash is taking her time with the merchant, Gerfried and Olias grow impatient. Up to the point where Gerfried is about to check on her and enters the shop to do so. Running directly into Vash, he turns to exit the shop and finds himself immediately accused of theft just because of his race. The constabulary are summoned by the shopkeepers. Gerfried, Vash and Olias all calmly explain what’s going on and the shopkeepers find themselves without a leg to stand on.
Three days have passed and the party led by Qixi has reached the valley of poppies – at it’s heart, the crater formed by the falling star holding (allegedly) the memetic ark. True to form, the Inevitable has been following the party…traveling apparently back and forth between the Keep and the party each day.
On this particular morning, the party spies the Inevitable moving to catch up with them as they descend below visibility into the poppy-laden valley. The group splits up – and the two guardians of the ark (immense “star dragons” as Gerfried calls them) move in for the kill. Indica, Sativa, and (seperately) Ko Lin flee from the shadow of the immense stellar creatures. Knowing that more is required for this plan to work, Qixi holds hir ground and waits.
Surprisingly, the dragon interacts in a fashion heretofore unknown in the Gatecrasher’s experience with these things – rather than exterminate Qixi, it demands tribute. Trembling, the young tiefling offers forth the Mask of Dispater that the Guild retrieved from the sunken elven capital. With a flourish, the star dragon tells hir to give it to it’s fellow and flies off to investigate the Inevitable that now crests over the hill.
Presumably refusing to offer tribute, the Inevitable and the Dragon engage in a very quick “fight.” The ground that the servant of Mechanus had stood upon was fused into a glass-like substance from the intense heat of the creature’s breath weapon. It’s over in six seconds. The other, smaller ‘star dragon’ accepts Qixi’s tribute and proclaims “you may pass.”
Not wanting to push hir luck, Qixi turns heel and makes for the east where, by nightfall, reaches the halfling town of Benobles – where the rest of hir party have already wound up.
The group return to the Inn and enjoy a final meal with Sophone before preparing to depart. The plan to return to Gatecrasher Keep is laid fully down, with Chouko agreeing to run reconnoiter with the cubic gate. After saying their farewells to Sophone, the rest of the Guild all gather to teleport to Absalom, their stop-over point to deter potential Inevitable pursuit from following them back to their base of operations on Golarion. Instead, they find themselves in a cold and rainy swamp somewhere far from their intended destination. While trying to sort things out, Vash hears approaching voices and quiets the group so that they can investigate. Pulling out of the swamp, Vash is spotted by a band of what turn out to be local peasants of the most superstitious variety. After talking them down from actual bowfire, she calls out the rest of the group. Clarice intervenes and gathers information about their whereabouts, finding that they have landed in Ustalav. Clarice explains hastily that they really need to leave, but also is called in to handle introductions. Upon introducing Tamlyn as a creature ‘directly from the Abyss’, the hostilities return. Clarice thinks a bit too impulsively and calls up an obscuring mist while the rest of the group hold position and actions. Tamlyn, however, takes advantage of a newfound ability to bring nightmares unto her foes and strikes one of the peasants completely dead of fear. The remainder of the party flee and, after a quick discussion, the Guild opts to get the hell out of there. Olias calls a teleportation spell to memory and the Gatecrashers pop back to Absalom…in particular an inn within the Ivy District that the party stayed at during their first foray into Absalom.
And so it is that the Gatecrashers have a nice dinner, get extended baths, and check back into the inn that treated them so well previously. Tamilyn and Clarice however take off into the rainy winter night to visit the Temple of Calistria and the Pathfinder Society grand lodge respectively.
The following morning, the party has breakfast – and Chouko takes the Cubic Gate upstairs with the intent on heading back to Gatecrasher Keep and checking the situation there. Instead, she winds up hitting all six sides of the cube before getting the right one. She passes into the main market at North Pole City, briefly manifests back on Golarion underneath the Sand Dragon Inn, appears in the Arcane’s realm of Union, arrives in a city extant within the cauldera of a volcano (!) and arrives on her homeworld – at night, a trade market centered on three Portals. However, while here her dreams stand realized – the night sky has errupted into colour as it appears that the white moon has spilled it’s contents of golden wine into the sky. Nebula-like, all six of the other moons are now backlit by the liquid cloud in the sky, proving that even common humanity can see the black or ‘demon’ moon.
Chouko at this hits the last side of the cube and arrives at Gatecrasher Keep. Rapdily she finds the handful of remaining servants and learns what has happened before flipping back to Golarion to rendevous with the party.
The rest of the Gatecrashers finish breakfast, clean out their rooms, and then teleport to the Sand Dragon Inn in Katapesh to await Chouko’s arrival there. Sophone puts breakfast on for them and Chouko marches upstairs – practically overflowing with the news. Immediately, the Gatecrashers return to the Keep (minus Sophone who just placed vast amount of food in front of them) and set to work. Vash does a brief circuit around the Keep and then she and Chouko immediately are dispatched to find what became of Qixi and hir party….