Having endured the most harrowing elements of the salt flats, the air dropped supplies from Rikard atop his phoenix mount help the few survivors to escape. On the way out, the magical relics wielded by the group slowly begin to regain their powers and the sentient weapons appear to have experienced, for the first time since their creation, fear.
The group made a brief detour to Balic to check up on old friends and leads, but had found the city basically moved on without them. While they have been heroes to the people on more than one occasion, no city can rest on its laurels in Athas and with their periods of absence they’d developed some independence, and even a bit of resentment.
Their travels then took them to Urik, where they were surprisingly welcomed by the agents of Hamanu asking them to an audience with the King. They spent the day about the city, resupplying and renourishing, before meeting with their contact at sundown. They were met by High Inquisitor Randall Sapesh, who had become the de facto right-hand man for Hamanu.
Led to the palace, the group meets with the King of Lions, who is surprisingly weary-looking. He holds conference with the group and his highest advisors as he discusses the very strong possibility that devils and demons are looking to reignite the Blood War, and plans must be taken to keep this war from spilling out in to Athas. His plan coincides with Samm’s, as he wishes to take a large contingent of his city’s most elite troops and march to war on Hell. His hope is that overpowering the front line defenders of that realm will make the devils look weak on their own turf, persuading the demons to war there instead of the plane of Athas. Though nothing can be done at this exact moment, Hamanu gives Samm a location (the red obelisk, east of Urik) and a date to meet him there with his own contingent of Xanthusine warriors. The group agrees, though Althaea shows some hesitation.
With pressing matters in both Xanthus and Raam, the group has to make a decision to which is more important. With some resignation they dispatch a message with war details to Xanthus and set out to fix their problems in Raam.
Arriving, they find the city under a thick cover of snow in spite of the temperature outside the city limits being the typical Athasian heat. Within moments of entering the city, they find posters with their likenesses as wanted dead or alive for a host of crimes, most of which are legitimate, as well as the strung up corpse of Ramali, formerly of the Veiled Alliance. Finding the city to be oddly quiet, they follow tracks in the snow to a repurposed shrine of Abalach-Re which has been reconstituted as a church for some unknown entity. The group sneaks in and discovers that a new cult has formed, and its clerics and guards are made up of Yuan-Ti practitioners, worshipping some deity of poison. The group dispatches the guards and descends in to the basement level, overcoming some minor tests of “faith” to uncover the cult’s treasure room. Laden with loot, they discover the lead cleric of this church in her chambers and duel her and her snake minions, eventually dispatching them and poking around in her belongings. What they discover is a letter from the grand cleric, partially destroyed by fire. It is authored by Eiber, and details a meeting place in the former noble district.