Rowe discovered that Naya was romantically seeing Valerian, Crown Prince of Arcasia! He also knows Bronwyn is up to something she refuses to discuss with him. Rowe decided to go to bed. He had a lot of studies to work on and some potions to brew.
Kestra and Bronwyn returned and joined Naya. They talked about sex and baths in tubs.
We fought a carrion crawler but defeated it. Next round we faced off against 4 sword wraiths and an immolith. This was a long, hard battle and we barely won. We then fought basilisks, angels of valor and spider-men demons. Suulwyn was badly injured in this fight, as well as Sirelia. Then we fought a bunch of fire creatures such as salamanders.
Suulwyn and Sirelia, having been critically injured in the last bout at the Crucible were placed under the care of skilled healers. This will of course also take his hireling, Shanks, out of the fight. Still, the team was 5 members strong.
We had to choose to continue or withdraw from the tournament. We continued.
Rowe spent the next day studying a new ritual and transferring enchantments. After that, he went to the tavern and had a meal with Githar. He leads another team doing very well in the Crucible. It was likely we’d have to fight. Githar is a githyanki. He discovers, when Bronwyn comes to see him, that she is still holding back, and it hurts him — but it seems to hurt her as well. She’d had private a conversation with Kestra.
The next day in the Crucible we faced an Ettin, a Gorgon, and several cohorts. It was again a hard battle but defeated them. Then in the final battle of the Crucible, we fought Githar and his githyanki crew. However, we defeated them and became one of the winning teams of the Crucible and the only team to have never lost a team member! Githar got 2nd place.
We were brought to Krevlorn Keep for the feast! We are the most celebrated of the 100-year Grand Crucible! Rowe discovers that Ashard had already sold the necklace, however. Rowe managed to get him to agree to give the buyer his name and tell him that Rowe was interested in the item. Too bad Suulwyn was too injured to go to the party. We were sad. But, we got over it.
Rowe was dealt a shock when he discovered that Ashard no longer had the necklace the temple of Torn had sent him to retrieve. Ashard refused to tell him who bought it, though he agreed to pass on that Rowe was keenly interested in the piece. Though shaken badly, Rowe told others that they must still see Kestra free this night.
Bronwyn danced with a somewhat surprised Rowe, but expressed a desire to leave so that they could go celebrate on their own. Kestra caught Rowe before he left, saying that most men would feel privileged to dance with a woman as pretty as she. He gave her one dance as well, then left. The rest of the team decided to leave also and went with them to celebrate their victory back at the guest house. Rowe was told that Kestra would be able to handle regaining her freedom.
Later that night Bronwyn and Kestra were summoned to Krevlorn Keep. Rowe did not realize until it was too late that they were both gone to go to the Keep. Bronwyn had said goodbye. Githar stopped in and they all went across the street. Rowe, distracted and depressed about the missing bloodstone necklace, went with him.
At the Keep Bronwyn traded herself to Prince Vinneas for 3 slaves, Kestra, and the item Torn had sent him to recover. The task Kestra did to free herself of the collar was to put it on Bronwyn. When Kestra returned and told him what had happened and what she had done, he was livid, nearly strangling her. “You let her give away her freedom!” he screamed at her. Kestra insisted that Bronwyn had made her promise to do what was asked, no matter what. When he let her go, her cousin grabbed her and shook her, demanding to know why she’d done it. She said that it had been Bronwyn’s choice. She presented a locked box to Rowe, but he no longer cared about the bloodstone.
Rage possessed him while he collected his things and left the city via a portal after it was explained to him that Bronwyn arranged everything, had intended to do this from the start. It did nothing to alleviate his feeling of hurt and rage. He couldn’t stand to remain in the city any longer and left. The others went with him. He could not even bring himself to read Bronwyn’s final message for him. Rowe went to the temple in Carn and was led by acolytes to a priestess. He gave her the box, still locked and unopened. The priestess handed it back to him, telling him that this was for him. It was revealed that her name was Primya! Rowe went to his knees.
She touched him and he remembered what had happened to him at Krevlorn Keep two hundred years ago, of the terrible thing he’d endured there at the hands of Jarvis, the right hand of the Arcasian king at that time, the man who’d conquered Carn and had unleashed slaughter in the Temple of Torn. She also unlocked a memory of how to use the bloodstone necklace. Primya vanished when the interview was over.
They whole team was given rooms to stay in at the temple of Torn. Rowe told them he had business with his father the next day and he took care of it alone.
Rowe, still angry and feeling alone and betrayed by his friends spends time at the temple trying to put pieces back together both for himself and to understand what was going on in the wider world.