Past the noqual gate was a tunnel that led deeper into the unknown. A torch lit the way for Narciso and gave color vision back to the rest of the party before they proceeded any deeper, as no light entered with them through the gate. The tunnel walls were lined with what appeared to be noqual veins and electrical discharges could be seen flowing through them in a slowly increasing pulse. The pulse seemed to quicken with each step the party took, ushering them forward. As the tunnel went on, niches in the wall began appearing about every 100ft on either side of the wall. Inside the niches were golems crafted completely from noqual crystal. The inactive golems seemed to be collecting the electrical pulses within their forms, but did not stir when the party came closer to examine them. Moving along, the party felt that they were familiar with this place and had seen it somewhere before. When they came to a fork in the road, they took the top path and moved forward. The tunnel widened and on either side of the path, two strange, mechanical devices activated upon the party approaching. Christian DeHavik stepped forward and the devices seemed to recognize him and deactivated. Emboldened that they knew where they now were, they continued onward. Exactly where they expected, another trap sprang. This time a light grid appeared in front of them. The air around the beams shimmered and shifted as if super-heated. The group puzzled over how to get past the obstacle, but then Leon held up his shield and correctly guessed that he could reflect the light. He reflected the beams onto a mirror on the far wall and after the beam bounced around the cave system, the grid disappeared. The pulse traveling along the walls and ground doubled in speed, like a massive creature coming back to life. Stepping forward into past the trap, the party entered the large cavern that took up the majority of the cave. Despite the noqual veins traveling along the rocky interior, the cavern appeared rather unchanged. The only difference was a massive crystalline structure in the center of the cavern. The structure consisted of multiple noqual spikes from the floor and ceiling holding up an orb of blackest night. Immediately identifying the Sphere of Annihilation, the entire party took a quick step back. The noqual crystal appeared to be able to contain the artifact as it floated mere millimeters between the crystal spikes. Then the players noticed strange crystalline cocoon-like pods along the walls that momentarily distracted their attention. After examining everything, the party decided to check out what became of their old throne room. After pushing open the massively ornate door, the group found the room to be radically different that last time they had been here. What was once a shabby stone throne, there were now four crystal thrones, each with a symbol engraved marking who the throne belonged to. Along the wall of the room, another light grid blazed, this time appearing to much less dangerous. The blue light beams shifted in a pattern. Narciso found himself able to distinguish goblin script from old tomes he once read within the slowly shifting light beams. “Touch to begin” was repeated time and time again. He reached out and the beams focused on him before changing. The beams changed instantly and welcomed Narciso home. He quickly got the hang of the device and began communicating with the strange intelligence behind the beams via gestures and symbols drawn with the beams. He learned that the goblins had found a way to escape the destruction of Faerun and even save it in the process. Narciso learned that as they went to face Argul Cess the entire are had been struck by a massive meteor shower of noqual and the storm was centered on the goblin caves. The noqual seemed to be sentient and struck everything, burrowing into rock and flesh alike. The noqual quickly integrated itself into the cavern and the goblins found themselves with a new sense of power and intelligence beyond the already substantial gain they had from the work of Gizz Finkle. With a new understanding, they quickly began using their new powers to prepare for the oncoming apocalypse. When the party called on the goblins to assist in defeating the dark army, the goblins saw their chance. They sent a team of crystal adepts to the aid of the party’s army. The cover of darkness protected the new appearance of the goblins as they joined the battle against the cultists. When the party entered the tent where all the screams were coming from, the goblin party knew it was too late to stop the adventurers from being destroyed. Determined though, they rushed to the tent as it collapsed in on itself, disappearing into the absolute nothing of the orb. Knowing what they needed to do, they jumped through the portal into the positive energy plane and sacrificed themselves right before the heart of creation was sucked into the void, ending everything. Their sacrifice caused time to stop as creation itself worked to fix what was lost. Time was reversed and the Sphere of Annihilation was taken by the only beings outside of the natural order of existence, the now crystalline Uga Tribe. With their removal from time itself, the tribe spent millenia searching existence for any trace of their chiefs. They found themselves on a whole new plane of existence when they finally found a trace and learned that it would be thousands of years before they would be able to reconnect with their chiefs and went about building a portal back home before succumbing to the ennui of time once again.
As the party went through the history of what had happened, they found themselves growing a bit overwhelmed at everything. Their plane had not been destroyed and it was their own tribe that had saved it. Continuing through the archives of the strange intelligence, the adventurers found a way to return to their own plane, but also that only one of them would be able to return. They uncovered that the Cyphergate back in Riddleport was actually built by the Uga Tribe soon after they first arrived on this plane. With this knowledge and their new found fame around Riddleport, they were able to safely activate the portal within the week without much damage to the city. With the Cyphergate’s activation, the Sphere of Annihilation vanished and reappeared at the center of the Cyphergate, the noqual shards connecting seamlessly with the gate, suspending the deadly artifact. As the gate continued to turn, reality tore within, revealing the empty space between realms.
During the week, the party hotly contested who would be going back to Faerun. In the end, it was decided that Christian DeHavik would head back home to avenge the murder of his master and to right his name. Knowing that he would only have one chance to prevent the collapse of Faerun once he jumped to the second before the Sphere of Annihilation entered the positive energy plane, he readied himself and jumped through, saying goodbye to no one as the grim determination of what he must do took hold.