We picked up as the battle with the devils wound to its conclusion. After the last of the bearded barbazu fell, the chain devil offered its surrender. “This job is not worth my rank,” she told them, and offered information on the motives of the githyanki invaders. The kyton, which called itself The Laceratrix, spoke of the gith leader Master Zaaratu.
Master Zaraatu is here searching for an artifact called the Index of Acererak. It is the phylactery of the lich Acererak. Zaaratu believes wielding it will grant him power over the lich. When it was unearthed by recent excavations in the mine, it began sending a signal across the stars that will draw Acererak here to Eberron. Zaaratu somehow picked up the signal and tracked it here. He is using your people to dig the soft dirt deep in the cave in search of the Index.
Although my devils have an arrangement with Zaaratu to help him find the phylactery, we have no intent to let him keep it. If we work together, I will guarantee that your people that Zaaratu has taken will come to no harm by the hands of me or my fiends. I will take the phylactery away from here, back to Baator.
The party decided to form a temporary alliance with the chain devil, intending to take the phylactery in the end to try to find a way to destroy it. The Laceratrix led them through the mine’s passages that were guarded by other devils, allowing them to bypass other confrontations. In the collapsed cavern deep in the Phandelver mine, Master Zaaratu and a few of his men watched over their digging slaves. The party burst in alongside The Laceratrix to assault the gith. The gith fell to the party’s onslaught, although a cambion there advising the gith master plane shifted away before he could be defeated.
The party was reunited with half of the Phandalin abductees, including Nundro Rockseeker and Eddard Pine. Eddard quietly gave Angaera an iron box that he believed was the prize the gith taskmasters searched for. Trusting Angaera and her friends to come to their rescue, he had somehow hidden it from the gith, deciding it was better kept secret from the sinister invaders.
The Laceratrix caught up with the party after the chaos of the fight, and questioned them about the Index. When Angaera made a deal earlier with the kyton, she had sealed it with a handshake. Now, some stigma burned her as she went through the motions of betrayal. Despite this, Angaera kept her poker face and told a convincing lie to the devil. She indicated that the item seemed to have already been exhumed from the mine and found its was back to the gith ship. The Laceratrix took the bait, leaving the mine and giving the party some room to breathe.
In the aftermath, the party was able to lead the people of Phandalin back out of the mine. However, about four dozen abductees remain aboard the githyanki ship, which had left its spot hovering in the sky above the mine. Back in Phandalin, the party consulted with Eilen Garaele. They opened the box in her home, revealing an osseous wand that was surely the Index of Acererak. Their initial attempts to destroy the artifact by hand were unsuccessful. The wand, though, is a potent tool- Billy Goldskin has decided to use it until the party can find a way to destroy it. Sister Garaele suggested that someone at the University of Morgrave may know how it might be destroyed.
As she settled down to rest for the night, Angaera found something strange amidst her writings from the previous night. Draconic lettering in her handwriting was inlined with her regular work. With no recollection of writing the words, nor any knowledge of the draconic language, she consulted with Billy. He translated the couplet:
If the demilich charm be dug from the ground
The moon of death’s mark shall return from beyond