With the aid of one of Master Kulver Klein’s many contacts, the Watchmakers’ Guild is able to provide Haldis, Hasnim, Miched, Samael, and Vadran a series of maps showing the various subterranean ways below the Canal District. Overlaying the sketchy papers and ruling out what they can, the group deduces another route to the excavation site besides the dangerous, collapsed path they took before. Setting out with suitable kit and torchbearers, they make their way through an old passage at the bottom of Burbur’s Cannery, a seedy place which was used for one of Lieutenant Stene Drummond’s pit fights the night before.
Passing through forgotten tunnels and beneath ancient iron portcullises, they find their way back to the abandoned chamber where hired thugs had been digging up long lost secrets. There, they investigate the Seal of Surzil, a magical formula left by a wizard centuries dead. Atop the buried tower it sits, marking the place where the hero Surzil and his band of Gravekeepers entombed forever the creatures made by Eerdred, a dark legend of the necromantic past. But a close inspection by Haldis the Sage reveals that some other agent has been here recently, sapping magical power from the Seal to perhaps fuel his own advanced spells. Is this the place where someone reached through time to change history?
The Defenders of Pacht seek help from the Guild Chronomancers, but are interrupted by a swarm of deadly Fyreflies. These burning denizens of the deep threaten to immolate all that they touch, but wise manipulation of the tunnel portcullises and a jury-rigged bomb help even the odds. The flies are fast, but steel more swift, and the dozen bugs are swatted from the air with few hurts received, save for poor Phillipe the torchbearer. Vadran sets him right with healing magic, and the party returns to The Sleeping Tabby to puzzle out the workings of the Seal.
Inscribed below a near-empty crystal sphere in the center of Surzil’s magic circle is a rhyme in many languages warning that over time, the power of the ward would fade and potentially release whatever remained below on the city. But the clever sorcerer left the formula for how to replenish the magic… all that is needed is the stone heart of a red sea urchin. Seeking knowledge from their alchemist neighbor, the troupe learns how best to hunt these canal-dwelling bottom-feeders. With brains, traps, and some very long poles, they easily fish up the prized heart, not to mention some valuable spines and a dinner of smoked urchin.
Returning to the dig site the following evening, two strangers are discovered standing atop the Seal and readying themselves to sap the last of its power. Gray Lord Ravenix, a feather-cloaked Elven mage and his mysterious and seductive (though one-armed) Dark Elf compatriot are caught off-guard. They flee in apparent terror when the party strikes from ambush, quaffing potions that turn them to mist. But not before they drop clues in the form of a ring and in the fact that they seem to have met at least some of the Defenders before… perhaps in another time.
With the Seal of Surzil made safe, our heroes are left to wonder — what is Ravenix up to? And when will he strike next?