The party then moved on to other outer buildings of the temple, eventually finding the Orcs’ shaman and his bodyguards, who they quickly dispatched. They also found several prisoners, including torture victims. One of the prisoners was so mutiliated he asked to be killed, a request that Karaerdrel obliged. Amongst the refuse strewn about by the Orcs, Ve’lar managed to locate a curious silver key. Unsure of what it was to, he saved it, knowing it might come in handy.
In the grand hall of the Temple, the adventurers found what appeared to be a giant, golden snake. Upon closer inspection, they found it was a very lifelife construct, apparently created to guard the Temple. Although most of them were ready to fight the construct, Ve’lar was able to calm it by claiming they had destroyed the intruders in the temple and that they sought to preserve it. The snake golem appeared satisfied for the moment, although it kept a watchful eye on the party as they moved about the temple. Ve’lar found a trapdoor in the middle of the room, which the silver key unlocked, leading under the Temple. There, he discovered the Temple’s true purpose: a great gate, built directly under the earth and secured by many ancient and powerful warding spells, professed to house the World-Eater, the Old God Koraborin, the great snake that would devour the world at the end times. Shuddering at the thought of Koraborin’s release, Ve’lar quickly returned to the grand hall, locking the trapdoor behind him and didn’t mention the terror lurking below to his comrades, resolving to keep the secret of the Temple for himself.
Having scoured the entire temple complex of Orcs, the party then set about insuring that the Orcs that would be returning to the temple would not remain: they took the corpses of those they had slain and posed them in various grotesque ways. Ve’lar went so far as to brand many of the bodies in different languages with runes that professed divine retribution on the invaders. Satisfied that the remaining Orcs would not stay in the Temple upon witnessing the adventurers handiwork, Raeb and the others returned to the forest elves. The Keeper was impressed, and he thanked them for their help. He proposed another exchange: if the party could return his granddaughter, Natyne, from the clutches of the Witch of the Whispering Woods. In return, he would agree to re-open trade with Highever, using Raeb as a liason. The party felt this would go far to mend relations in the region, and accepted the task.
Upon their arrival at the Witch’s tent, the party encountered none other than Natyne, who was none too pleased to see them. She threatened them with violence, but eventually backed down when Azariah herself appeared. Azariah explained that Natine had sought her out, and that Azariah had originally refused to tutor Natyne in the ways of the witch. Despite her story, Azariah didn’t seem too keen on forcing her new pupil to leave. She offered several deals to the party, none of which any of them were overly pleased with. During the negotiation, however, Ve’lar deduced that Azariah was aware of the the wards in the temple to Koraborin, and offered the silver key he had obtained at the temple in exchange for Azariah’s releasing Natyne. Azariah accepted, even going so far as to spirit the young girl back to the village herself. Azariah also requested a favor of the party: if they could locate and return her staff to her, she would grant them any boon that was in her power to grant. Keeping the witch’s offer in mind, the adventurers returned to Tollith Lethari.
Upon their return, the party were met on much warmer terms, and the elves seemed truly grateful. The party then returned to Highever with the dweomerthistle bestowed upon them by Keeper Athelarius, eager to return and discover what truths the red book of Nue held. On their way back to Highever, they eventually fell in with another caravan of merchants, who told them of rumors of doomsayers speaking the worst kinds of blasphemy, something about “liberating the world from the tyranny of the sun.” In fact, the party even witnessed the execution of several of these doomsayers as heretics upon their return to Highever, by none other than Fergus Calhoun, the High Priest of Sieris in Highever. The adventurers could discover little about these doomsayers, however, only that they called themselves the Masters of the Black Sun
Upon their return to the Great Library, Dorn Greymantle thanked them and performed the ritual to discover the prophecy he sought. Although Dorn was able to read from the Red Book of Nu, and recite the Prophecy of the Black Sun, the magic took its toll, and it ended up killing the old dwarf, leaving Joll as the new Loremaster of Highever. Resolved to follow the words of the prophecy, the adventurers began to look for ways to travel west, to the New World.