Armed with the knowledge of what lies within the depths of the Great Temple, and the access code to Vault 72, the party returned to Yamen’Kathala, short two of their strongest allies. A sense of regret stood over the party as they slept until dawn when the sky split and the ground rumbled, waking the entire city. A bolt of lightning had struck in the forested area to the west of the town, clearly visible from the inn window. Both Ix and Arlyyn sensed a great disturbance occuring in the local magical energies around them, and so they decided to investigate.
In a small clearing within the forest the party saw a great battle taking place. Many different Kathara elves were fighting. One called upon the forces of lightning, one was aided by a pack of spiritual wolves, one fought well with an axe, and one appeared to be aided by the forces of the Earth. Arlyyn could now see what was occurring. When the High Shaman had been slain without an heir, a sacred ceremony begins. Choice of the next High Shaman is given by right of arms, and these participants who wished to become the next High Shaman were now locked in a fight to the death. The Spirits were watching this ceremony. The only escape was death.
Determined that with the aid of her allies in this fight to the death, she could rule the highlands, Arlyyn announced as she entered the clearing that she would join the fight. Determined to help their ally, the rest of the party took up arms as Arlyyn joined the fray. She wasn’t the last person to join to claim the title of High Shaman. Karak Farwander, a deep Dwarf Warden from the Feydark, had been drawn from the surrounding wilds to the battle. After wandering the Feydark in exile from his clan, Karak had come upon Anan’Teleien and sensed Ruth’Cabed. After wandering the wilds searching for the source of the fissure, he came upon the battle for High Shaman. Another was also drawn to the battle. RELIC, the remains of an Ancient warforged created for knowledge and research purposes but now, freed from his tomb at the time of Ruth’Cabed, operating as an Artificer, constantly tinkering with himself to avoid falling apart after thousands of years of degradation. Karak, noticing that a worthy battle was occuring, unknowingly challenged for position of High Shaman when he jumped into the fray, and RELIC, sensing humanoid creatures such as those found throughout Anan’Teleien as enemies, proceeded to defend himself, and thus joined the battle as well.
The four original challengers were slain in the battle, outnumbered and outmatched by the six adventurers. When they believed the battle had concluded, the party decided to accept RELIC and Karak into their group to replace their lost allies, but when they attempted to return to town, they were blocked by a wall of flame that erupted out of the ground before them. A partial manifestation of a Spirit of Flame coalesced out of the fire, and announced in a twisted verse that the party has entered the sacred combat, and that only one may claim the title of High Shaman.
While Cam was more than happy to attempt to slay his friends, he was stopped by Karak. The party attempted to explain that they were outsiders to Anan’Teleien. As outsiders, they could not become High Shaman, all except for Arlyyn, who was willing to accept the position. The spirit found this as acceptable, but forced the players to actually relinquish the combat by shedding their own blood upon the ground before Arlyyn in the method akin to prisoners of war among the Kathara. By doing so, the party stated that they had been humiliatingly defeated by Arlyyn, and are undeserving of any victory in this sacred battle.
Arlyyn accepted the position of High Shaman, and felt herself being transported atop the highest mountain in the highlands, far away. There, she was met by the three Eternal Spirits of previous High Shamans. These spirits told her that while she is welcome to take the political position of High Shaman and communicate with local spirits, in order to join the ranks of the true High Shamans and be blessed with the position of one of the Eternal Spirits, she would need to complete the Test of Spirit. All High Shamans attempt this task, but few ever complete it in their lifetimes. She would be watched by the Eternal Spirits and judged based on her moral abilities. As clues to know when she was being tested, she was given three cryptic prophecies.
When you stand midst the earth and waters, many will burn around you. Can you be trusted to brave the flames and liberate a drowned man from the inferno?
In the tomb where time forgot, a man gives his life to sustain another’s. Do not disgrace his body even as he gives it to further your goals.
Midst stone walls and moonlit sky, a family clings to golden treasure. Perhaps what is yours is better as theirs.
Arlyyn accepted the test, and was transported back to her party, looking as if no time had passed at all.
As the newest High Shaman, Arlyyn returned not to the inn, but to the House of the Spirits, the palace befitting of the High Shaman of the Kathara. Within the palace she was met by the voices of the many protective air spirits of the palace, who now accepted the authority of Arlyyn’s word. They were ordered not to slay intruders like the previous Shaman did, but to simply not allow malicious individuals into the palace. She also met with the many acolytes under the Shaman, among them being Saynin, the only acolyte of water in the palace. Like the exorcism before, Saynin attempted to eradicate the Will of the Geyser from Cam and Ix, but they found that the curse was too strong. The only known way to remove it would be to submerge them in the Cleansing Pools, deep within the legendary “mother swamp” of Tel’Nendor. The party would have to Delay Affliction until then. The party knew they would have to leave Yamen’Kathala once again. Whether it meant uniting the tribes, finding the horns of the guardian ram, or unlocking Vault 72, the High Shaman could not stay with her people. The party ordered Saynin and the other acolytes to watch over the city and warn them in case of emergency. Armed with two artifacts from the throne room, a totem that allows for free communication with local spirits passed down to Arlyyn from the previous Shaman, and a stone divining sphere, which would indicate the general direction of the place you want to go, the party was met by Lucan at the city gates, and they set off into the untamed wilderness in search of adventure.