The rotting walls turn to smoke, then mist as the world around them dissolves. Reilan, too, turns to mist, but not before his sword is taken by Stonespirit. She clutches it to her chest, the last gift from her dear mentor.
They hit cool sand. The sound of Melindra’s disembodied voice surrounds them, “It has cost me my loyal devil hunter, but you have reached this far not by luck alone. Your final challenge is to slay the creature that guards the city of secrets. You will reach the city by following the gnomish device I gifted you for this journey. The guardian will find you on your way.”
Our heroes stand now atop a great dune of white sand. Similar rises continue off into the dry, sandy morning sky. A single blot of crimson is all that shows of the quickly rising sun, but already the heat is noticeable.
The champions begin following the device’s arrow, but before long the sun is fully risen and the heat takes its toll. By the time the sun is directly overhead, three sets of footprints are visible ahead… they belong to a gargoyl, a large centaur, and a part dragon. Feathersong and Nimian swear explosively while Stonespirit examines the device only to find that the needle is rotating very slowly towards the left. She says as much.
Feathersong roars in frustration and stalks off to the left of the tracks. Something that directions is obviously drawing the device. After another hour of walking through the blistering heat, they are forced to stop once more. The infernal device is now spinning in circles! Stonespirit stands in confusion before realizing that they are directly atop the obstruction! It is then that the ground trembles and the dunes collapse in deadly cascades of sand.