The party appears in the Great Hall, surprising some guards and servers. Lilith learns about the Pocket Gnomes and others learn she is a Tiefling. Riley hands over the soul shards and other valuables he was carrying to Boboran, his pocket gnome, to store in the vaults. The rescued slaves are brought out of Sar’n’s pocket dimension and released into the care of others at the keep. Davros takes the boy off to the Keep’s Chapel to talk. When Shiele wanders off, the others chat with the Tiefling slave briefly, who is interested in joining them. Lilith takes the slave Tiefling off to the Monk’s training yard to assess his abilities and potential contribution to the keep. Sar’n takes the Elven slave girl to get her tongue back with the healers.
On the way to the temple, Davros explains to the boy, Eldrin, the origins of the Kobowlders and their quest in the Gray Waste. The Chapel, devoted to numerous deities, has grown since the Kobowlders founded the Keep. Davros attempts to convince him that the shield belongs to Pelor and that he should take interest in their cause. When it seems that nothing will convince him, the statue of Pelor is animated by divine presence. The god himself convinces Eldrin to trade the shield for one more his size and blesses his armor and sword as well. Pelor thanks Davros for his efforts and asks him to continue aiding his companions in their journeys. As he’s leaving, Sar’n arrives with the Elven maiden, getting her healed and trying to guide her into her new found freedom.
In the training yard, Lilith demonstates some magic for the male Tiefling, Dole, and assesses his abilities. Some particularly loud magic causes a momentary stir until Davros arrives to calm things down. Eldrin wants to spar and makes a rather unfortunate soldier regret volunteering. Lilith mischievously summons some fiendish wolves to help the fighters and Eldrin practice fighting as a group. The wolves are quickly dispatched without any serious injuries. Sar’n turns up in time to catch the training session and tosses an Earth Elemental into the mix. They manage to keep it at bay until Eldrin launches a powerful attack to lop off an arm from the elemental. Unfortunately, it takes quite a bit out of him and leaves him exhausted on the ground. Skree finally turns up after all the racket has died down a bit and pocket gnomes pop in and out on errands, including finding a pocket gnome for Lilith and rooms for the new arrivals.
After eating, Riley seeks out Cort to find out more information about his quest to Artathi lands. Numerous youngsters are coming and going from Cort’s tower, some even taking lessons from him. At one point it gets so crowded that Riley moves to the ceiling and finds Cort teaching and looking as though his soul were sucked out. He immediately becomes more animated and shoos out the students to aid a member of the Kobowlders. In just a few sentences, Cort is overwhelmed by the implications and summons the rest of the Kobowlders and Skree to go over their recent adventures. Fizwidget, Cort’s pocket gnome appears in the courtyard where the others are training and beckons them to come join the discussion. The Pocket Gnome elder teleports everyone up to Cort’s tower when they hear about the groups interaction with the Blood War. With the party together, they explain their adventures over the previous few days to Cort.
Notices are dispatched to inform numerous individuals of influence about the development in the Blood War. Cort also fills them in on the current events of the prime material plane. The Kofrath have begun making a push north of the Keep (now about 80 miles away). Some of the monstrous races and beings allied with the Elves after being pushed out of their territory. The Elves are holding against the onslaught, the Empire has yet to have any major battles, and the armies of the Baronies have skirmished repeatedly. The Dwarves and Elves have sent some troops to support and train others for the war. The war is not going poorly, but it is not going well either. The coming winter will aid the Kofrath as their supply lines are all underground. The Gnomes have allied with the other races, despite their displeasure with the presence of the Pocket Gnomes.
The party offers a share to aid in the war effort, over a billion gold worth of valuables, starting with 10 strands of gems from the curtain valued at roughly 48 million gold. Davros passes on the blessing from Pelor to the rest of the party, increasing their abilities. The sheer mind boggling volume of wealth merits a deep level of concern for the economies of the prime material plane and the Society of the Tower in the other planes as well. The party decides to head next to the front lines, Shiele excited about the prospect for unknown reasons, while Riley is interested in fighting some Kofrath. It will take a week or so to plan and prepare for their next adventure, so the group spends some time at the keep. Riley and Davros training with their respective Orders and doing some research. Riley is studying up on the Artathi for their future visit and Davros is learning about the Planes from Sar’n. Funds are assigned to expand the magical learning institutions of the Keep, which is just Cort at this point. Shiele keeps somewhat to herself, preparing for whatever scheme she’s hatching. Sar’n and Cort work together with some Djinn, building a flying magical citadel in the sky over the keep for the new magical academy, The Academy of the Arcane Arts. Lilith seeks out some additional custom gear and training tomes, in addition to training with Dole and Eldrin.
After two weeks, the party heads out toward the front lines to meet up with Riska. They travel through the City of Sigils with the supply train first, encountering some Githyanki escorting the supplies. Through another portal, they appear in the forested mountains near the frontlines north of the Kobowlders territory. Arriving in a clearing with standing stones on one side and a trail on the other, it’s not far away that they reach a military encampment. Armies of different Baronies and mercenary bands are camped here in distinct areas of the encampment, including the Barony of Tritta, one of their least favorite nobles. As they pass through the camp toward the center, someone comes running toward the supply convoy calling out to Aiden, who no one seems to know except Sar’n. He claims he was coming to check on his supplies and backs off when the Gith warn him away.
Guards at the command tent initially don’t want to let anyone in until the Kobowlders name drop. The Gith drop off their supplies, planning to return with another shipment in two weeks. Riska rushes out to greet Shiele and welcomes the party into the command tent. On the sand table, they note that while the Kofrath have more troops and have advanced considerably, losses have not been too severe. Tritta has not been working well with others, even though they are a reasonably good fighting force by themselves, this has cost the was some progress. While Shiele has no interest in the discussion of acquiring Tritta’s cooperation, the bulk of the party remains to debate. Talk turns to campaign strategies and soon Eldrin’s presence is discovered by the Gith. Apparently, the boy tagged along desiring to fight Kofrath based on their reputation as slavers. The party fills in Riska over drinks on their adventures since the last time they met and he shares more details on the war’s progress with them.
The party spends the night in a spell summoned cottage summoned by Lilith. Riska’s attache’ is quite interested in the concept as it might be applied to the rest of the armies, a bit of thought is invested in the idea. During the night, Sar’n and Lilith make another trip to the City of Sigils to buy up more supplies, arms and armor for the troops. In the morning, they meet again with Riska, Shiele stumbling out of his tent as everyone approaches. Sar’n and Lilith show him their haul from the shopping trip overnight, bringing back a table that supplies a Hero’s Feast for breakfast. Riska’s brother soon arrives and is shown to the stash of new items as well. He admits that the troops from Kobowlders Keep are the most disciplined and well trained and will likely receive most of the new gear. Soon they begin describing their plans for aiding the war effort.
The leadership of the armies would like to launch a strike on Kofrath troop transit lines to prevent more powerful troops from reaching the front lines. The plan so far is to send a squad per person along with the Kobowlders to make the attack, as they will likely be facing hundreds of Kofrath that are more powerful than the common Kofrath soldiers. They also securely discuss the problem posed by Tritta, certain elements in the Tritta forces are not xenophobic like the rest and there is also a plan in motion to rearrange the power structure of the Barony of Tritta to a more favorable regime. After some more discussion, Snowfield, the favorable sub-commander among the Tritta troops, arrives and is informed that he needs to select a strike force to aid the Kobowlders. Afterward, the various leaders of Baronies and other forces come through and are asked to bring along a select cadre of troops for the strike force. Lastly, they summon a dwarven mage and drunk who will be helping with transportation and strategy for the strike. With a solid plan in place to rapidly attack and retreat, doing a lot of fast damage in order to force a retreat or at least diminish the Kofrath forces.
Part of their strategy involves using Shiele’s teleportation, a quick experiment reveals that she can teleport up to thirty people. The helm is apparently even more powerful than a Greater Teleport spell, perhaps even deity level. More ideas and strategies are tossed around while Riley heads off to train a bit with the Kobowlder troops. An idea to teleport builders into the sky evolves into using Sar’n’s pocket dimension to carpet bomb the enemy with molten lava. Sar’n and Lilith test out this idea in a remote and obscure location.