Bart was greeted by a voice only he could hear issuing a series of questions regarding his companions, and an offer: the unseen speaker would grant him the power to undo their greatest regrets. The Knight of Cups declined. One’s experiences, both good and bad, shape who a person becomes, he reasoned. The rest of the party looked on in horror as their paladin was suddenly wracked with pain, his blood seemingly on fire. Bartleby’s vision went white before shifting into a vision. First, he was being led through the forest by a slight woman with blonde hair and a warm smile. Next, on a ship heading towards the Fool’s Gate the massive storm looming on the horizon. In the final scene Bart found himself with the same woman, this time standing in the middle of a place he recognized as the Glittering Wastes of central Khard. She gestured with a shrug to the remains of a huge beast trapped within the glass. The final test passed, Bart came-to and the Guardian revealed herself to the party. A massive gynosphinx sat before them, smiling.
Given the opportunity to speak with a powerful, ancient creature, the group peppered her with questions. Micah gained a clue couched in riddles as to where he might find the remains of Charles Gilbratore’s lost armor. Chari learned her parents were known to the sphinx. Bart received a name for their enemy: The Ushers of Seudihr. Their curiosity somewhat sated, the sphinx deposited them back in Caelvoran near where their journey into the ruins began.
Serina’s map, which previously led them to an entrance to the Feywild, had another location marked nearby. During the journey Chari spotted a figure watching her through the trees, but the individual vanished upon pursuit. Given the description, Jinn and Bartleby suspected Calla was following them, and warned Chari to stay away for her own safety.
With a week of downtime before the next full moon, the group took a chance to relax and recuperate along the shores of Lost Prince Lake. During a swimming race Chari came across a weeping maiden in the rushes. The maiden attacked and the group found themselves trapped on an island in the middle of the lake without their gear. Through some quick and clever thinking they bested the creature. All that remained was an small, golden locket containing a pair of portraits. The name behind the lake became a bit clearer.
On the night of the full moon a strange phenomenon caused the surface of the lake to smooth over and reveal a dark portal. The group stepped through and found themselves in ruins of a city. Making their way through the dilapidated buildings Chari and Jinn watched in horror as one of the dark creatures circling overhead caught sight of Bart and began streaking towards their companion. The paladin, particularly impacted by the gloomy surroundings of the Shadowfell, had stopped in the middle of the streets and was completely exposed.