After the most uneventful night of watches we’ve ever had, it’s time to set off for the trial. Kean wakes everyone up at 4am, because as some of the party knows, the mountains tend to have big murderous storms that happen in the afternoon, so the sooner we get to where we’re going, the better. (Also, the mountain range is home to what is essentially a fight club between fiends and celestials. So there’s that.)
Kean activates the teleporting gazebo, and it Apparates us to the mountains! Specifically, we land five feet away from a cliffside, and it’s a bumpy landing. No safety inspector has ever cast an eye over this teleporting gazebo, and in the absence of seatbelts, Yannic is flung out of the gazebo and over the cliff. We get him back up with the aid of the Friendship Rope, and Kean (looking discomfited) leads the way.
The way is made up of well-constructed bridges and a clear path, manmade and not natural. Eventually we come to a fork in the road and Kean leads us into the valley area.
Finally, about six hours after we landed, we come to a round, tall building with a tiny settlement around it. This is the Ascendancy Point for the God of Knowledge. Seru tries to hand Tana’s reins over to Yannic, but Yannic has decided to go in to keep Kean from dying as much as possible. Displeased, Seru passes Tana over to Fen. Fen spends the rest of the day trying to make friends with the townspeople, and taking their money via animal races with Tana.
Inside the buliding is a huge library, with a single person’s name on each book’s spine, roughly chronologically. Kean darts off and pulls a book of the shelf and settles in to read the. entire. thing. while the rest of the party waits. The party’s own books are on a circular table around a statue of a cloaked woman (the Lady of Learning). Seru’s has a name on it that is not the one she goes by now, and one book is labeled “Keanvari’s Left Ring Toe.” There is no Fen book, and whenever anyone opens their book, they discover a narration of that exact moment.
Kean, after finishing the book he started, starts reading the Left Ring Tome. Ondelin does a lot of pacing (as does Seru), and they ask a priest for instructions. They learn that the trials are in the basement, and are designed to teach a lesson. You have to accept and recite the Lady of Learning’s lesson, or she won’t answer your question.
Finally, Kean finishes reading and takes the Left Ring Tome into the trial with them. He pulls Yannic aside and tells him that if he dies, Yannic is to read it, and also the book labeled “Andra Keyberry.” A half-Orc named Tiller gives them five days’ worth of provisions and they go down.
The first room they enter turns out to be Betha’s. It’s completely bare, and the door disappears once they close it behind them, and also her Wild Magic has gone out of control. Out of her control, anyway, as it seems to be directed by Sivoreen, who claims she was brought there by the Lady of Learning to help Betha’s lesson.
This backfires slightly, as one of Betha’s Wild Magic bursts winds up blinding Sivoreen temporarily, and Sivoreen gets MAD. She starts hurling abuse at Betha, saying it was fun when she killed her, and she doesn’t know for sure if Betha was worth all the trouble. She tries to attack Betha but Kean manages to freeze her in place.
Everyone sits down and Betha tells everyone about how she got her magic when Sivoreen accidentally killed her while playing tag, and then tried to bring her back and make her fey (it didn’t work so well). She stands up to Sivoreen once Kean’s spell wears off, and Sivoreen freezes, and the door reappears.
Betha can see a lovely study inside, with a cloaked figure at the desk (everyone else just sees pitch darkness). She asks her question, and the Lady says that the people responsible don’t seek to destroy, but to conquer and control – they cannot control a population that is entirely dead, after all. However, they do expect pandemonium on the plane, and a huge battle when they finally find Gorloris. She offers the party the use of the room to recuperate, and then disappears, letting the rest of the party see the study now.