Jack invites his friends to come with him through the golden doorway into his kingdom. There is a round table set up, with a chair for everyone. With varying degrees of reluctance, they enter and sit down. Jack explains further about his elevation to the Summer Kingship, and reassures everyone that they are all still his friends. Indeed, he has presents to give out, including magic weapons, magic armour, spell scrolls, potions and a portable hole, which he gives to Illyria for reasons that remain obscure. Jack also brings in Jonathan, newly restored to his original human form, of which No Name grudgingly approves. For most of the party, the connection between this human and the halfling who had been hanging around No Name remains obscure.
Occasionally Illyria asks a question to her left, where she sees Asmodeus ready to help. He answers any questions that Illyria has, but no-one else pays any attention to his presence.
The group decide that they must leave Jack to his new kingdom and return to Theria to see what is going on there. They elect to teleport into the owlcote, startling the giant owls and their keeper, before emerging onto the street to walk to the palace.
On their way they spread the word that the horde is dead and the city is safe, with Lubash Dragonslayer not at all shy about showing off his growing collection of dragon teeth. By the time they reach the palace there is a throng of joyous citizens lining their path. Before the palace gates, in front of the cheering crowd, Jonathan drops to one knee and asks No Name to marry him. After an awkward pause, she agrees, much to the masses’ delight.
The party are admitted to the main chamber, in the presence of the king and his advisers. All of his advisers. It seems none of them were traitors after all, and so none were affected by Mortimer’s wish. Despite a little clash of wizard egos between Mortimer and the Vizier, and some tension over Javier’s continued existence and Jack’s impersonation of him, all seems to be well. The party are welcomed to Theria, given rooms in the palace, and celebrated as heroes.
The next few days pass quite happily. Jonathan can now access his own wealth and property, affording him and No Name the prospect of a comfortable life together. Each of our heroes enjoys this time of peace in their own way. Tuakiin makes plans with the Vizier to finally murder Javier, and Illyria composes some new music and performs around the city. Indeed, she even writes a song especially for Mortimer, and insists that he listens to a private performance.
From time to time over the course of these few days, some of the more sensitive members of the party feel transient tremors in the earth. It’s probably nothing.
These days of peace and pleasure are interrupted by Jack, who opens a glowing door to his kingdom for each member of the party wherever they might be. This is particularly awkward for Illyria, who is in her room on top of a particularly appreciative and tightly-restrained fan at the time. Climbing off him, and ignoring his pleas to be unlocked, she enters the Feywild wearing only her boots.
Jack announces that there is a new threat to the city. A creature of immense proportions, burrowing its way up from the centre of the earth. Its name is Tarrasque, and with the death or absence of almost all of the Great Powers it has been freed from its captivity at the heart of the Earth. The party must destroy it, or it will destroy the world. It will arrive in a few hours’ time, giving the party time to prepare – and Illyria time to finish dealing with her fan – before reconvening in Jack’s kingdom to assemble for battle. Before everything kicks off, Mortimer presents Jack with a moss-covered box, which Jack places beside his pond for safe keeping.
Jack then opens a portal to Theria, in the main square, suspended above the ground. Below it, the ground erupts and an enormous, brutal-looking horror bursts out from the depths of the earth, its huge fanged mouth ready to devour all in its way.
Illyria jumps down onto the creature, deploying her portable hole directly onto its back. Lubash follows, jumping into the hole and down into the creature’s guts, ready to rip it apart from within. Sal, Tuakiin, No Name and Mortimer follow, and battle is joined.
Lubash finds that the interior of the Tarrasque is sloshing with highly corrosive acid, which causes him no little inconvenience until Illyria slides down off the creature’s back, dragging her portable hole with her such that the acid drains out onto the ground. (Some also hits Mortimer, to his annoyance.) Early attempts to strike the Tarrasque with spells only serve to demonstrate the efficacy of its reflective plates, bolts of fire bouncing harmlessly off the surface. Magical weapons prove more effective, and gradually the party wear the creature down before finally destroying it.
The heroes of Theria have saved the city. The Redbrands are long gone, the battlemages destroyed, the horde wiped out in a single moment, and the terror from the deeps cut to pieces in the centre of the city itself. Peace and happiness are restored once more.
Jack, the Summer King, offers the other thrones in the Feywild to his friends – for as long as there are Great Powers in the world, the Tarrasque cannot return.
Sal becomes the Spring Queen, and Mortimer becomes the Winter King, taking back his mysterious box from Jack. Illyria declines the offer to become the Autumn Queen, saying her place is by her Lord in Hell. A portal opens, and she enters her new realm.
EPILOGUE: IN WHICH EVERYONE DIES
Krom shakes the waking nightmare of old age and trade disputes from his mind. Behind him on the field, a full battalion of mounted Orcs awaited in the hills, ready to ambush the forces of Azarr Khull as they prepare to massacre the village of humans ahead of them. He called the charge, and led his forces forward to victory. Krom dies in glory.
Tuakiin knocks on a door and enters to reveal Javier Asturo, surrounded by armed guards. Each guard in turn nods at Tuakiin, and leaves the room.
Javier smiles an old smile and the two of them leap to battle.
Tuakiin is being prepared. His body will be used as the raw material for a new generation of Harrowblades.
But Javier Asturo does not see Tuakiin use their last reserves of a rage held tight within for twenty years, break free from their bonds, and grab their sword.
As Javier turns to look, Tuakiin says the words they’ve been waiting to say all these years: “You killed my mother. Prepare to die.”
Javier grabs his weapon as Tuakiin leaps towards him one last time.
Brond meets the kind of sordid and messy end you would expect.
Lobash’s last words are of the power of the Union: “Know your rights!”
The serried ranks of ogres and others before him respond in the time-honoured way: “Or smash their face!”
Battle is joined against those who don’t believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
Some say that Lobash Dragonslayer died on the battlefield that day. Some that he never died and never will. But the battle was won, and the Ogres Union a force for good in the land thereafter, with tales and songs of its founder lasting for as long as tales are told and songs are sung.
No Name gets married, settles down and grows old. She has a wonderful life with Jonathan. The two of them grow old together, and while they have the disagreements that always occur in a relationship, they never sleep on an argument, and live to a ripe old age with children and grandchildren running around their happy home.
One winter Jonathan goes walking on the ice and falls. He breaks his hip, and doesn’t get up from bed again.
The light leaves her eyes after that, and she passes quietly in her sleep a few months later.
Jack’s long reign as the Summer King eventually comes to an end when he dies with his head on Sal’s shoulder, telling her she has made him very happy.
After Jack’s death Sal continues to reign as the Spring Queen, and never leaves the Feywild again.
Illyria reigns in her own domain as Queen of Hell, judging all the dead who appear before her, with the helpful advice of Asmodeus who seems always to be by her side.
One by one, everyone she wants to see judged appears before her. She sees Tuakiin come before her, and after Asmodeus, who she knows is always there with her, informs her that rules are rules she sends him, reluctantly, to hell.
Jonathan, in due course, appears in her sight. Again, rules are rules, and she sends him, reluctantly, to heaven. Finally, and to her delight, she sends Lobash to heaven to be reunited with The Bard.
Mortimer awakes in his moss-covered box, grows old, and dies. Then he awakes in his moss-covered box in a new, young body.
The days, months, years, centuries, and millennia pass, and Mortimer dies, then awakens in his moss-covered box.
Empires rise and fall, and every time Mortimer dies, he awakens once more, until one day there is nothing left of the world but sand.
Mortimer awakes in his moss-covered box. He leaves it for the last time and greets the Tarrasque once more.