[Part Two and a half, Scene Four - The Flamepeaks]
Our heroes stand assembled outside the town, all preparations made. The Despot has been warned of the situation. Pyrus's soldiers are adapting (well enough) to the oppressive desert city, and now stand guard over Raziel Kablah's cultists, who have been prepared for their leader's departure (and are finding more and more prospective members seeking direction in chaotic times. Any few Demons Raziel wished to call up stand ready. Onyx has acquired a fine staff, masterfully enchanted to bring ruin to ghosts. Shadow Dancer has been learning a little bit of flametongue from the new chef. Drake Unending has successfully appraised Nazri of goings on, and can count on heaven's aid in figuring out what's up with this Gate (assuming Nazri gets out of Kyrshal alive).
The group as a whole has a good deal of supplies to hopefully last them in the Underworld.
Masque stands a little ways apart, once again paying more attention to the reverie of the Neverborn dreams than to the waking world.
Laurel is nowhere to be found, nor are her clones, spies, familiars, or mechanical sea-creatures.
The Sidereal has just returned from the secret mountain aerie, successful in acquiring gryphon mounts to speed you on your way. The reclusive, half-wyld beasts necessitate this meeting place; they will not approach too near the city.
Masque, who best knows the destination, mounts up first, with evident distaste at a *living* steed.