Jack and Azera decide to engage in a bit of gambling under Lan’s watchful eye. They make the acquaintance of a bass-voiced rakshasha calling himself Xamraif, Purveyor of Secrets, and manage to double their investment, walking away with a few more souls than they started with. The entire company retires for the evening, only to be woken several hours later by someone claiming to be “room service.” Jack is immediately suspicious and orders Joshua to bar the door while he wakes everyone else up, but eventually Barnaby allows the visitor in.
At the door is a ruddy faced halfling dressed in motley, wearing a bellhop’s cap and bearing a tray of drinks who identifies himself as Packaos, known as the immortal. He affably suggests that everyone join him in breaking their fast and have a “friendly conversation” about what it is they’re doing in his suite pretending to be him. Far from being irritated, he seems highly amused that someone has decided to impersonate him.
Once Packaos determines that the Keg is searching for a way out of Khyber, he is only too happy to help for a price. Unlike the rest of the parties trying to manipulate the Keg — the Quori, the Daelkyr, the Lords of Dust — he is up front with his agenda. He simply wants to die, and the only way he can do that is to destroy all of reality. He tells the Keg a tale of a reality that existed before theirs did, and a race of creatures called the Obyrith who were once many but now number only twelve. His universe was dying due the immortal hunger of his kind. Knowing their days were number, they crafted a mighty artifact to breach the barrier between their realm and Eberron.
They pushed a shard of their world, the heart of their power, through the smallest cracks in the hope they could use it to exert dominion over this new world. Instead, a being hungry for power seized the black shard and took it into his heart where it mixed with his essence — its mind and spirit were opened to the Obyrith as they lay dying, and they offered him anything in exchange for their own survival. Packaos looks back bitterly on that day, since it has since denied him the ability to end his existence. Instead of being able to control this being, it took their power and used it to do battle with his brethren. When he ultimately fell, the Obyrth finally broke through, unleashing a torrent of black flame through a yawning vortex in the dragon’s chest. They chose to be pulled through rather than perish, and have found themselves trapped in this reality — unable to leave. That was hundreds of thousands of years ago. Packaos cannot die, and it is all he wishes to do.
Even though some of the members of the Keg serve these other powers, knowingly or not, he is willing to be equitable. He offers Jack, who he claims is somehow important, a pact with oblivion — serve Packaos, and he will assist the company in leaving Khyber. Jack politely declines, and Packaos seems understanding, though disappointed. Before he leaves, however, he wants to wait around to see “something interesting” happen. At that point, everyone breaks into a run in a dozen different directions. Joshua rushes out to the balcony in time to see what appears to be an enormous steel spider climbing the building. It has a clear target: Twocopper Jack.
The battle starts in the Retriever’s favor, with it seizing its target and leaving a trail of flaming webbing behind to prevent pursuit. Teamwork ultimately prevails; the company rescues Jack just as the Retriever teleports away with its prize. Packaos watches from the sidelines, and afterwards repeats his offer as he starts for the door; Joshua stops him from leaving and asks for his terms. Packaos modifies the terms slightly, but essentially he wants the Crown in exchange for his assistance in leaving Khyber. The company begins to mull their options while the cheerful halfling waits for a formal response.
Target: GNOME! 2000xp (yes I’m not kidding)
Obyrths — threat or menace? 750xp
Contingent upon acceptance of Packaos’ bargain — 50,000 gp and a Ring of Borrowed Power (contains: Crushing Titan’s Fist and Force Volley).