19 Rova, 4730 AR
The Greenlords spend a wakeful rest period at Ilthuliak’s tower and then venture along the trail leading out of the clearing. Soon enough they come to Nyrissa’s castle – the House at the Edge of Time – a stone edifice of weird angles and many-gabled roofs. The House sits at the centre of an isle in a large lake atop a mesa. On one side it overlooks Thousandbreaths, yet behind the House stretches an endless gulf of stars and blackness.
A long stone causeway leads across the lake to the House. A gatehouse flanked by towers guards the entrance to the House, while in the courtyard beyond can be glimpsed huge trees. Hundreds of windows stare out of the House itself, and stone angels hang from every gable. The outline of the House is as beautiful as it is dangerous, with knife-like crenellations, spear-topped towers, and eaves and shingles made of blades.
Knowing that time is of the essence, the Greenlords waste little of it mounting their assault on the House. They are waylaid on the causeway by two of Thousandbreath’s guardians – a mighty tarn linnorm and the Nightmare Rook itself. Things do not get any better at the gates. There the Greenlords are swarmed by ghostly elf guards, and attacked from the courtyard by one of the most feared creatures in the First World – a lesser jabberwock. The group continues their assault on the back of the House. They are pursued by a strange, dragon-like plant creature (a zomok, as Mistral recalls), but manage to get into the back of the House with a phase door spell, leaving the zomok temporarily behind. Entering on the second floor, the group finds itself in a series of personal chambers – a bedroom, study, sitting room, and so on. Inhabiting the room are nine pitiful creatures, abused, defaced nymphs, their empty eye sockets streaming blood – Nyrissa’s bruised attendants. Yetar is momentarily stunned when he realizes one of the lamentable beings is none other than Lady Quintessa Maray, erstwhile spy and murderer of Svetlana Leveton. Before Yetar has a change to react, Quintessa falls to another Greenlord’s magic. The other nymphs are in no mood to parlay with the group, and a prolonged fight ensues within the confines of the House. The nymphs are soon joined by an unusual adversary – an astral deva who demands the Greenlords leave the House as it is protected under the mandate of Heaven. The group sees through the angel’s forced lie, however, and continues to fight. The angel’s summoner soon joins the battle. The wizard appears to be a human at first, but a glimpse under his robes reveals nothing but a mass of wriggling worms. Mistral has heard of the so-called Worm that Walks before, but knows little of its strange powers.
More of Nyrissa’s guardians join the battle over time. The zomok melts the backside of the House into mud and attacks from the rear. Two fey-touched wyverns attack from a room past the living chambers, but are momentarily halted when Alys sends that end of the House into a raging inferno with a firestorm spell. The wriggling man and the nymphs are finally put to rest, and it appears that the group has only the zomok to finish with before getting a breather.