- The undead retreat, the battle is won, and the heroes meet up with Jane to bring her up to recent events, explaining the need to get into the postpiles, preferably without Agent Clemens’ knowledge. Jane informs them that there is a door into the postpiles that they have so far been unable to open, even by force. Hopefully entry inside will reveal a way to stop the nightly attacks from the undead before the Union Agency is overrun.
- Agent Clemens interrogates the heroes, asking them why they have come and the means of their arrival. They tell him about the portal in Quarrytown, but make it sound as though they stumbled across it and Agent Clemens appears to believe them. Furthermore, they tell him about the mysterious figures they saw in the distance surveying the battle and positively compare them to a sketch that Agent Clemens has of the ancient people of that area.
- Jane suggests that the heroes take a shot at opening the door shortly before Agent Clemens splits them up to prepare for the next battle. Agent Clemens offers the harrowed Anafiel a position in the Agency, which he does not refuse or accept at the moment.
- Alone together, Abigale tells Jane about the witch from Shan Fan and the child. Jane does not recall seeing such people so she inspects the civilians, sheltered in a small building, and nearly misses the witch. She catches Jane’s glance and, appearing surprised, drinks from a flask and suddenly Jane finds herself easily distracted from the woman.
- Returning outside, Jane tells Abigale about the strange encounter. While walking away they hear a door open and glancing behind her Abigale catches sight of the witch and a moment of recognition passes between them before she quickly returns inside.
- Back together Jane and the heroes approach the door. A scientist is also there surrounded by several gizmos and enraptured by an underground map of passageways.
- Ray puts one of her own gizmos over her eyes and sees a glowing eye on the door that fixes onto Anafiel. As he draws closer the light of the eye brightens until a green, slightly transparent hologram of an ancient man appears out of the door for all to see and speaks unknown words. After folding his hands in prayer Anafiel is able to understand the language.
The mad scientist has gone from gob smacked silence to a frantic frenzy, pulling out what you can best describe as a thin silver spyglass viewed from the opposite end and waving it all about the transparent figure while muttering rapidly under his breath bewildering words such as “quantum disentangling” and “light-emitting diodes”.
Anafiel understands the image’s first words, although it speaks with varying inflections and a muted personality. “What is your business here?”
“What is this place I am approaching?”
“The great and glorious city of Nib! What is your business here?”
Nib…The word rings familiar, the name of a past civilization, cryptically mentioned by the future Jordrava as a place significant for understanding the thing you are facing. Perhaps a glyph is here, perhaps not, but turning back now when you have all come so far would be disastrous. There are things here that you need to learn.
Anafiel furrows his brow for a moment before deciding on a neutral response. “I am here to restore the balance of the living and the dead.”
The hologram regards him for a moment before responding in delight; clear even to those unable to currently understand the language. “Ah! A soul counter! You are most welcome here. Whom may I call or is your business is private?”
“My business is private.”
The hologram flickers and fades. The light Ray sees emanating from the door flares a blinding white and she rips her goggles off. You hear a faint noise, almost like a low hiss and the door splits in two down the middle and slowly opens outward, revealing a pit of darkness.
Lighting a match and leaning forward you see a few steps descending downward. As you begin to notice ice crystals covering the steps a cold wave passes through you and the others and lingers all around. A moment later you hear the sound of raindrops on the canvas of the tent. The night had been mostly clear up until now.
- Once the heroes distract the mad scientist they discuss the next course of action with Jane. While she advocates sending agents down with them and alerting Agent Clemens the others wish to continue their secrecy and go down alone. Eventually she, somewhat reluctantly, allows it while also promising to keep a lookout for the witch and the child.
- As soon as the Ray, Abigale, and Anafiel enter the door closes after them. They continue down, Ray lighting the way, until they reach a faintly glowing purple river, crossing the middle of the path. There is a dock with a bell that Abigale rings and a small boat rowed by a thin humanoid male figure comes alongside. The man, speaking in the same language as the hologram asks for payment in exchange for “learning”. The heroes deliver a coin and get into the boat, which he begins to row down the river.