After ensuring we were not being pursued over the next couple of days, we changed course to meet up with Rayzak, our Goblin Lantern colleague. He led us to some temple to an ancient goblin goddess, made up mostly of trees and assorted foliage. Pretty.
Rayzak tells us a location below the temple is where he explains he is recommending we use for a new Ring. We agree, and Mery pulls out the paper that Alexei left her to summon him. She manages to fold the paper sufficiently properly into a swan for it to activate and flutter off, presumably to let Alexei know we were ready for him. Rayzak translates the name of the place for us to Xorhandra.
Mery quizzes Garrick about the heritage of the birthstone. He confirms that the stone was used by the elves to aid in their family-making. He adds, however, that to his knowledge the Elves have not conspicuously discussed that is is missing or otherwise unavailable to them. Rayzak confirms that the Overlord appears to have corrupted its purpose, and is thankful that it has been destroyed.
Rayzak has continued to make progress in resettling the peaceful faction of the goblins. Tomas muses that he could help Rayzak during the impending Summer festivities, continuing to operate behind the lines.
A few days later, Alexei arrives in his Gargoyle-styled magic Golem-armor battlesuit. We begin Ring construction preparations immediately. Alexei gives Tomas a set of instructions and pulls out a large assortment of things, including copper and silver ingots, which are carefully placed in a particular sequence. Tomas reviews the instructions carefully and guides the specific and meticulous placement of all components. The last element is some kind of staff inlaid with more metals and is apparently magic. Alexei stomps the staff on a final ingot in the middle of the ring, which triggers something causing the placed ingots to start melting. A slow process that keeps going overnight, finishing up early the next morning.
We use the ring to Pensa, with the intent to return to make sure we know the way. When we arrive, someone looking like a valet, is there to meet us. He tells us his master is requesting a meeting in a city of our choosing. This guy is Reginald, and only knows his master has his Master. Tomas points to the varied Lantern symbols on the walls, and asks Reginald which his Master favors. The result is the one we have linked to the Overlord. He gives us a sheet of paper and asks us to inscribe the date/time and City of our choice when we’re ready. Tomas indicates that he is looking forward to the meeting. Reginald leaves promptly.
We head back to Xorhandra, following my desire to ensure the new ring is fully operational. There, we catch Alexei and Rayzak up on the latest events. We discuss how Reginald knew where to intercept us, and Alexei tells us that he knows how to figure out the last-used destination of a ring he is near, that Priests of power can find where someone might be, or use something called a Crystal Ball (which he does not have). We discuss all of this for a bit to no real conclusion.
As we prepare to leave again, Alexei asks us to be ready for him to call upon us, as friends, not Lanterns. The Russian Czar appears to be growing weary, and the time may be upon Russia to install a new Czar. Apparently this is through some magical competition process. Alexei leaves in his Golem armor. We head to Podarko.
Back in our home city, we head directly for the Palace and begin the process to get a private meeting with the Queen. Since we arrive in the evening, after the day’s events, we are led into the Queen’s august (and pretty) presence fairly quickly. We quickly tell Cate about the birthstone and our new invitation, and begin discussing what to do. We quickly converge on meeting the Overlord as requested, and then debate the merits of various approaches and locations. We finally conclude that we will meet in Pensa, tomorrow at Noon (May 24), and seek to find out everything we can and attempt to end the war before the offensive begins. June 13th is the anticipated launch of the Summer offensive, with troop movements beginning roughly June 4th.