Returning to Juuda, the party finds themselves with some downtime.
Corkle is told via a letter from the Order of the Monolith headquarters that he should remain based in Juuda for a time. Lacking other adventure to follow, Corkle spent the time working with Xavier, running a few odd errands and learning lessons about magic. After his month of study, he found that he had memorized quite a few spells and successfully tapped into some of the sources of magic in Juuda, learning the secrets of the arcane trickster.
Zagros is summoned to the Academy, meeting The Academy Council. There, he tells the council of the world of Faerun, the weave, and Mystra. The council is intrigued by his stories an magical theories, further intrigued by his weave based magic continuing to function, and outright astonished as his spellcasting seems to will the weave into existence. Wanting to study further, they give Zagros access to a lab, where his magical experiments could be observed by council members. In this experimentation, Zagros was able to learn and master some 2nd level spells over the course of the month.
Nimriel continued to meet with her new friend Jeke Moonflower. Jeke and Nimriel continued to share their philosophies with each other, and they both taught each other a bit of their respective arts. Nimriel made great strides, eventually learning from Jeke enough to tap into the Monk abilities through her meditation and training. Jeke seemed hesitant to teach her further, but relented in seeing how confident Nimriel was becoming with herself. After the month was over, Nimriel had started to learn the path of the Monk.
Frederick found himself without much to do. Wandering the streets of Juuda, he eventually stumbled upon a conflict. A group of mercenaries was at odds with a group of Rune Knights. Siding with the Knights, Frederick was able to intimidate the mercs away from combat. Frederick made quick friends with the knights that he helped, and spent some of his time training and sparring with them. In his practice, he was able to realize the abilities of his people, staring down the path of a Champion.
The group reconvened after this month of training when Zagros was called to complete a task for the council. To initiate himself as a member of the Academy, he would complete a minor apprenticeship task. He simply needed to meet with a Dwarven enchanter at his secluded tower and help him with an enchantment. Deciding to take the group along for safety on the wild path, Zagros and the party traveled the path to the tower.
They found the tower to not be inhabited by the lone Dwarven wizard, but instead by an entire cabal of cultists. With some magical trickery from Zagros and Corkle, they were quickly able to learn from a lone lookout that the cultists worshiped some entity known as Kalzor. Moving inside, they fought off a number of cultists before uncovering that a dark ritual was taking place.
Corkle attempted to disrupt the ritual with some more arcane trickery, but he and the party found themselves in a desperate struggle when the leader spotted him hiding at the stairwell. The ensuing battle was grim, with Corkle and Frederick falling under a flurry of devilish spirits. Zagros was barely able to drop the leader before he could finish his fallen comrades, and attempted to tend to their wounds while Nimriel fought of other coming cultists in bear form. Zagros fumbled with his bandages trying to tend to Frederick’s wounds, and with a sudden splurt of blood from a devilish wound, Frederick went still.
Zagros moved to Corkle to try to bandage him with shaking hands and teary eyes, but was saved from trying to stabilize him by a healing word from Nimriel. With the cultists defeated, the party found themselves staring at the corpse of their comrade. After some grieving, the party resolved to try to return Frederick to the realm of the living, whatever the cost.
Returning to Juuda, they eventually found a mysterious patron willing and able to restore Frederick to life. Desperate, the party quickly paid the figure, and observed a strange magical ritual. In the course of the ritual, Frederick’s body dissolved away into dust, and from the dust a new body was formed. A red body, with orange hair and bright orange eyes. Frederick had been reborn as a Fire Genasi.