The weeks pass quickly since the night of the party. The three groups of watchers are always present, making secrecy almost impossible for the Firstborn. Having a heavy dose of reality, their childhood is a thing of the past. No longer interested in school, they now ponder what lies in store for them after graduation.
The conspiracy comes to light within certain circles, along with a public outcry against House Kilnier. Councilman Miles Kilnier openly denounces the actions of his son, Mierlo, and demands that the full extent of the law be used as punishment for him. Everyone knows that Miles is behind the whole situation, but no evidence will stick.
Days pass, and the house of cards that was the Firstborn’s life, slowly falls, a series of events that closes the door to their childhood, and ushers them into the realm of adults.
Grellig passes away, and even at his funeral, the party is under constant and obvious surveillance.
The Smith family shop is vandalized, all breakable things are destroyed, and a high grade acid is poured over all metal works, destroying them completely.
The Church of the Glittering Scale, Ashen’s fathers’ church, is also vandalized, and worse, profaned.
Glimyr and Cro’s adpotive parents are both fired from their administrative jobs, citing a ‘financial scandal.’
The orphanage run by the Order of the White Star, is set ablaze, and burns to the ground. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
The only respite the party has, is at school. They are assigned a number of “study halls”, allowing the Firstborn to do what they please under the watchful of one of the teachers.
On one such day, the Firstborn recieves a visitor. One of the town lawyers visits, and passes on a message and some gifts to the party. The lawyer represents a number of “concerned parties” that support the Firstborn in their crusade against House Kilnier, and urge them to stick to their story, because one day Kilnier will suffer for the atrocities they condone. The lawyer also informs them that while the Firstborn don’t see it, there are people working behind the scenes to keep them safe. The gift box includes a number of helpful potions and scrolls, as well as a finely tailored cloak for them all. Each cloak has the Bastet family crest sewn into it.
The next day, yet another visitor appears. Councilman Kilnier himself requests a meeting with the party, and expresses his sincere apologies for the acts his House has committed and wishes to make amends to the Firstborn for any grievances they have suffered. When the school faculty is out of earshot, he calmly threatens the group, telling them that if they don’t recant their story, each of their loved ones will suffer greatly.
Kilnier seems openly confused when confronted about the actions taken against the church and the parties’ family, explaining to them that anything he would do would be ten times worse than any of that. As a gesture of good faith, he sets events in motion to restore Glimyr’s and Cro’s parents’ jobs.
Finally, graduation time comes. The city of Last Stand breathes a sigh of relief as a positive event can be celebrated. Graduation day coincides with Kihan’s 200th birthday, and the Council plans a grand celebration, ending with a wonderful display of fireworks.
During the fireworks display, the keen eyed Firstborn notice a number of explosions and flashes don’t coincide with the overall story being told via magic, and during the climax of the show, they see something flash through the night sky and burn out on the wooded isle near the mainland.
Two days later, the party meets for coffee at the same cafe they met Jayvin at years ago. Dorgen Ashe meets them, looking exhausted. He waves off any questions as to what he’s been doing the past few weeks. The party spies Ceros Jade Talon walking towards them, the first time any of them have seen either of the catfolk since the attack by the kobolds, almost a year ago.
Ceros looks ragged and dirty, and is mumbling to himself. He stops at the table, and looks as if he’s going to speak. A blur of movement and he buries a dagger into Dorgen’s chest, and prepares to lunge at the party. At that same instant, utter chaos breaks out in the street. The coffee shop storefront explodes outward, showering the party with glass.
A minotaur appears out of nowhere and snatches the bleeding Dorgen up and starts to run away. Jayvin and his Shadows appear amidst the wreckage, and order the Firstborn to follow the minotaur.
Ceros, in a frenzy to reach the Firstborn, kills a Shadow with a savage blow from his dagger. A nightmarish chase ensues, as fighting erupts in the streets as one group moves to get the Firstborn, while others move to protect them. They follow the minotaur to the wooded isle, where they see signs of a crash. Trees toppled over, branches litter the ground, and in a clearing they see a strange sight.
Nestled in the brush and fallen trees, sits an airship, a knot of people standing over the dying Dorgen. A man approaches and offers his hand, introducing himself as Torrin Ashe, captain of Nights’ End.