Sueldor and Alissarienne, two members of the Dragon Watch present for the battle immediately demanded both Broderick’s and Mina’s swords. Conflict almost ensued, and they swore to return for the swords, in force, and would take Thalion into custody for violating his oaths.
After talking with Carmen and her father, and informing them about the orcs and the armies and the navies, the North swore that it would be ready for when the orcs came.
They also learned about the rise of the independent nation of Starrl, and how they were now suppressing piracy and allowing direct trade between Saltstone and the North without having to go through Brightwater. This was good for everybody involved, except for Brightwater, which was naturally not pleased.
Departing for Aryeon’s, they arrived at Stonewall without too much trouble, actually passing one of Saltstone’s merchant vessels on the way there. Arriving at Aryeon’s revealed his home was still standing, Althea had left, and the woman with the hellhounds was still gone. And no sign of any demon statues.
After an unsatisfying meal, Aryeon led the Summer heroes (except Feregar) to one of his vaults, deep beneath his home. So far beneath that it got very hot and led to caverns with magma lakes. Traveling through a well of pure elemental fire, they found themselves in a temple similar to but smaller than the Rotunda. Inside it was a Primal Magma Dragon, which declined Aryeon’s apparent offer of food.
Now that they were all in an area protected against scrying, Aryeon explained a number of things, including about the Staff of Prophecy and the myth of the God Who Knew Too Much. Or rather, he mentioned them, and then Darion explained it all. Then Aryeon said it was actually really real, and almost no one knew about it, including the Gods. He sought the staff to prevent it from being in the wrong hands, which include, most notably, the woman with the hellhounds, whose name is Glaysa. It was in three pieces, scattered around the world, and the first piece is believed to be in Varcrist, the lost city of the Dwarves.
Darion revealed that he had a prophecy about the Staff of Prophecy and the fall of Brightwater. In it, he and his allies unsuccessfully defended Brightwater against a huge army of monsters (including hobgoblins and orcs); then the vision repeated, only Darion bore the Staff of Prophecy and they successfully defended Brightwater.
Aryeon also revealed the nature of the temple they were in. The God Who Knew Too Much had scattered them throughout the world, each defended by a Guardian, an eternal creature that would protect its secrets for all of time. He also speculated that the temples had something to do with the Great Library of All, or might allow access to it. There are four main temples, and a number of smaller temples connected to each one. They can use the wells of the primal element to travel between the smaller temples and the larger temples. He demonstrated this within the current temple, transporting to a small room similar to Elegabalor’s treasure room.
Realizing that this new room was locked by the rune which they had just recovered, the Summer heroes decided to go through them and see what they could find. They did so, exiting through a long tunnel, which led them to a large jungle. A female gnome ran into them, panicking. She then tried to kill Abajeet, who realized the gnome was Mirth, an annoying, comical, and vicious murderer she encountered in Brightwater.
Mirth agreed to let them pass if they took three tests, and grant them a wish for every test they passed, and owe him/her a favor for every test they failed. They reluctantly concluded they would get nowhere on their own, as the Jungle was – literally – endless.
The first test required chasing Mirth and his/her T-Rex down, using their own dinosaurs as mounts. This was, eventually, successful, resulting in one wish.
The second test required the Summer Heroes deducing which of their number were possessed. They correctly determined it was Erlindar, but neglected to realize that Mirth was cheating, and that Thalion was also possessed. So a partial success, resulting in a second wish, and one owed favor.
The third test required everyone switching bodies and having to slay two fire giants. This caused some confusion, but was ultimately successful, resulting in a third wish.