In the semi-ruined town hall, in the course of looting the place for valuables, Anarië finds an arcane deck of cards. Her attempts to conceal this from her colleagues are unsuccessful, and soon Tuakiin and Kai are pestering her to draw a card – or to let them draw some. She is adamant in her refusal, and soon Vani arrives after retrieving her cat from its wanderings around the drowned city, interrupting the bickering.
They decide they have rested enough, and need to take the fight to the enemy once more. Going up to the rooftop, Anarië sees four boats filled with hobgoblins and lizardmen, heading from the bell tower to the town hall. She casually destroys two of the boats with a fireball, and the other two peel off, evidently planning a pincer movement on the town hall. Kai is convinced he can hear strange sounds, like stone grinding on stone, but the others dismiss this.
Rather than wait for the enemy, the party pile into two boats and make a direct line towards the bell tower, at the top of which are a clutch of hobgoblin archers. As the party advance on them, the hobgoblins shoot volley after volley of arrows, but to little effect. Tuakiin and Lubash are too busy rowing to do much about it, but Vani peppers one unfortunate hobgoblin with arrows while Anarië calls out to the leader that this is his one chance to leave this place and get away with his life.
Vani’s arrows hit home more effectively than Anarië’s words – the hobgoblin captain is arrogant enough to talk rudely back even to a group of heroes who have, as Anarië quite reasonably points out, already killed a dragon today.
So battle it is, and as the party closes range they open up with more missile and magical attacks. The boats that were heading to the town hall have turned round by now and are following them, but for now the party concentrates on the hobgoblins in the bell tower. Kai’s strange perceptions are becoming stronger – more sounds of grinding stone, the aroma of cherry blossom – and he begins to realise that these are sensations of home. He is being called back to his monastery, the twenty stone pillars are turning one by one, and when they have all turned he will be transported home in a moment.
Tuakiin and Anarië are the first to arrive at the bell tower, disembarking on the wooden walkway that leads up to the hobgoblins’ location. Anarië presses herself back against the wall to keep out of the line of sight, but this is too little avail when the hobgoblins swarm down the walkway – all except their captain, who continues to taunt from his high position. Until, that is, Kai runs up the vertical surface, grabs him and throws him over his shoulders into the water before gently descending to the platform. Another stone pillar grinds round.
The hobgoblin captain is more discomfited than injured by this. Anarië’s scroll of Lightning Blast has a more permanent effect, killing him instantly along with two of the hobgoblins next to Anarië, and demonstrating to him decisively that the sorceress is as good as her word.
Meanwhile Tuakiin is holding the front line against the hobgoblins from the upper level, taking them apart one by one while they fail to land a blow on him thanks to a potion of strength he quaffed as he approached the tower. Lubash and Vani are followed onto the deck by two boatloads of hobgoblins and lizardmen, and a lengthy melee ensues in which the enemy are gradually whittled down by sword, hammer, bow and elemental fire. Throughout the battle, as he fights and wins each combat, Kai hears more stone pillars grind round.
During this pitched battle, there is activity on a rooftop some 150 feet away. The flashes of arcane energy indicate that this is where the teleport circle is located, and it is in use. Disengaging from the combat by means of a couple of well-placed electric shocks, Anarië goes up to the top level to observe.
A group of a dozen zombie-like creatures come through the teleport circle, led by a black Dragonborn. He observes the combat through some magnifying device, then leaves again through the teleport, leaving the zombies massing on the rooftop.
It seems clear that the longer the party leave this teleport circle in operation, the more reinforcements are going to arrive. Anarië uses a scroll of Misty Step to reach a rooftop in range of the zombies and destroys most of them with a fireball. Vani picks off the survivors. Then, as soon as the enemies at the bell tower have been vanquished, with only a single wounded hobgoblin swimming away and escaping alive to tell the tale, the party take to their boats once more and row towards the teleport circle as quickly as they can manage.
Which is not quite quickly enough. No sooner have they reached the rooftop, and are busy clambering up from their boats to reach the teleport circle, than a pair of wyverns fly out of it to attack them. Fortunately, the wyverns have to come within sword and hammer range to attack, and are poor at evading blasts of sorcerous fire, allowing the party to dispatch them quickly and get to work on the teleport circle before more trouble arrives. Kai swiftly destroys the circle with his earthbending powers – and hears yet another stone pillar turn.
Kai knows now that his quest in these lands is complete, and his homecoming cannot be further delayed. He makes an emotional farewell, pledging his monastery’s alliance with the Kingdom of Arnest and embracing Vani particularly closely. Then, the young monk vanishes, once a boy, now a man.