With the antidote administered, Julevive recovered, but was not well enough to join the company as they set off to rendezvous with the goblins. Captain Bell sent Sgt. Maximillian’s squad to examine the shattered bridge where they were ambushed by the figure in black. Examining the scene, Maximillian tasted the foul stench of demonic magic, similar to what he experienced back at the ambush site. They also found a torn bit of black velvet and tracks leading back toward Hammerfall.
Following the tracks, they came upon an old Nerathi watchtower that was partially collapsed. In the watchtower, they encountered several undead, led by a ghoul. The stench of demonic magic was almost overpowering to Maximillian, which led him to a trap door beneath the tower.
In the cellar, they found a bowl full of black ice that had been used as a scrying device, and a summoning circle that had been half scuffed out. Something about the circle jogged a rusted bit of Cog’s memory banks, and he identified the ritual as one that had been used by warlocks pledged to the Abyss, whose like had not been seen since the fall of the White City. He also knew enough about the ritual that they could reconstruct the circle if they so chose, and recall the last creature to have been summoned to it.
After much deliberation, the group decided that the potential information gained outweighed the risks that summoning the demon would entail. With the help of a bit of Grimdark’s blood, the circle was completed, and Phalagar was summoned. The little imp taunted the group, trying to magically stoke their rage so they would break the circle, which Cog eventually did. Before that happened, however, the group learned a few crucial pieces of information:
- The demon’s summoner was a dwarf
- The dwarf’s home base was in Hammerfall
- The dwarf hated the goblins for occupying the city back when it was Hammerfast and forcing the dwarves to rely on the humans and elves for defense
- The warlock had been granted powers of necromancy and summoning in return for sowing chaos and bloodshed
After a battle in which the demon put up much more of a fight than its size would have suggested, the creature exploded into ichor and seeped back into the earth.