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The Isparian discovery of an ancient Empyrean Colosseum had an unexpected side effect: the creatures we were fighting inside were gaining just as much battle experience as we were. These super-creatures began to roam the direlands looking for Isparians.
Aerbax created devices powered by strange Virindi magic to assault three important memories: Asheron sending his people in to portal space, Elysa defeating the Dereth Olthoi Queen, and the Isparian victory over the Hopeslayer. At first it was thought that Aerbax was doing this in an attempt to break the will of the Isparians, but when his plans were thwarted, Asheron revealed that it all might have been a distraction, mentioning activity on the obsidian plains.