A single purple bellflower slowly descended through the still air of the nest-like office. Varis’ glare could have cut it in half. “Took you long enough, Larami,” he intoned. “I was beginning to think you were taking a holiday here.”
Larami’s eyebrows raised imperceptibly. He started to speak, but was cut off sharply.
“You will leave now. I will continue Uthal’s tutelage.” Varis concluded. The rubies inset into the hilt of his sheathed sword momentarily caught some morning light filtering into the room as he motioned with his hand towards the door. It opened swiftly. The doorman only looked slightly surprised.
“Go. Now. The next time I see you, you’d better be doing something useful.”
The air in the office suddenly began to thicken. On the edge of arcane perception, the flavour of the blurry magical field ubiquitous on the Isle of Karelle was becoming markedly sharper, with the characteristic metallic taste of building charge. Uthal, however, felt clearly the coalescing of potential timelines, coiling around the room with the immutable force of An Event That Has Already Happened.
The bellflower gently hit the floor.
(Later) The building directly above the source of the arcane ritual was clearly disused, but the traps the party encountered on the way to it said otherwise. The trees around it were sparser, and a few looked like they were broken in half some time ago. Descending into the teleportation circle locate at the centre of the building, the party braved a brazen adult by several blind grimlocks, but the real surprise attack came from a rogue paladin who Trix recognised as a somewhat-more-dishevelled-than-expected Karmen. Or was the biggest surprise attack from the Kuo-toa who gradually beat down Prince Wakkar’s small troop, stopping only when Wakkar surrendered.
Or perhaps the surprise was the explosive trap that sent Karmen plummeting 50 feet into a well. Perhaps not. As the party squelched their wet way along one of the side passages leading off from the well, most likely they would be in for the biggest shock when they arrived at the sacrificial chamber…