After examining the spaceship crash site of their new colleague Groot, the Pathfinders returned to Crying Leaf to investigate further. Batman spoke to Queen Eviana, who once again expressed disbelief in the Omega legend but slowly warmed to its possibility. She explained that, according to the legend, the Omega Key was broken into 6 pieces, or crystal shards, and divvied up amongst the 5 primordial realms. One was the master shard, which could lead its bearer to virtually any object in existence. Doctor Doom reportedly had such an artifact, and it soon became apparent that Loki now had possession of it. Eviana also expressed concern over the recent disappearances or outright evictions of other faiths, leaving only the primary deities of the Elves to be found in Meirani Forest.
Spectre confronted the High Priest of the Erastil faith, Urien, about the brooch of his deity found at the crash site. The indignant Urien dismissed the connection, and claimed any object found – which he did not acknowledge was found at all – would have been brought to the Winter Council for examination. He neglected to mention that he was on the Winter Council, and the ancient Elf proved a bit too charismatic for Spectre to continue questioning. Flabbergasted, Spectre backed off.
The Pathfinders reconvened. Together they determined that something of great importance was indeed found at the crash site, and that whatever it was had been used or traded to purchase the recent peace in the forest. This peace was further compounded by the shutting off of the Abyss and Oblivion planes, severing any power their enemies may have possessed.
Finally, after salvaging what rare starmetal they could from the wreckage, the group continued on their way. They returned to Stonetree, where Groot seemed a but uneasy about trying to persuade such a large and magical creature as the Moonflower before them. Instead Spectre conversed with the plant and convinced it to stand aside peacefully.
Down below they encountered a deadly Wailing Maiden trap. As they worked to open a stuck door, several iron maidens rolled out from the walls and unleashed a deafening shriek. They they ejected numerous spikes, greatly damaging Spectre and Groot – though Hex nimbly avoided them. After healing they continued into a long corridor which had a magical pyre of blue flame at the end. As they investigated the hall, they failed to notice five shadowy creatures lurking in the darkness. Unable to identify the creatures, the Pathfinders were stunned by their appearance and ferocity. The shadows swarmed Hex and Groot. Groot quickly fell to his injuries while Hex barely escaped. Batman did his best to brawl against the attackers, but his fists were only moderately effective. Fate and Spectre stepped forward to attack mystically. After healing Groot, Spectre unleashed multiple waves of devastating energy – turning the undead creatures to ash.
Moving on, Hex spotted a hidden door. With help from just about everyone in prying open the stone door they witnessed a veritable treasure trove of coins, gems and magical items. When Hex went to gather them, however, he inadvertently set off yet another trap. This one sealed the hall and flooded the floor. Groot slipped several times, and Fate cast water breathing on the party, saving them from a watery death. Eventually Batman scoured the floor but couldn’t find a means of shutting off the trap. Spectre, however, grabbed one of the magically burning bones in the pyre – but it had no effect for the Neutral inquisitor. Inspired by the attempt, though, Batman did the same. This time the fire died and the pyre lowered, draining the water.
Beyond the new door they saw a room with four large, magical doors. In the center was a large and terrifying construct, which looked like an iron maiden golem. A horrific torture device, the iron maiden stood ready for its next victim—only it didn’t stand patiently. It began to clomp forward on iron legs, its lid slowly swinging open as if hungry for a new soul to torture.