Saturday, August 23rd, 758 Carrion Hill to the road south, Ustalav
Jean-Baptiste tries to get another key made for the book chest, but can’t in the time alloted. He does have a lock made for the other chest. He gets three keys, and gives one each to Kendra and Katarzyna.
They all gather and get ready to leave Carrion Hill in their new vardo. Katarzyna, Gregore and Ostovach ride in the vardo. Grewin sits beside Ploog on the running board. Jean-Baptiste rides his horse, as does Abner. Kendra rides her horse.
In the hills, a group of about eight guardsmen ride up to them. They are wearing green and black livery. Jean-Baptiste rides over to the guardsmen. They talk about the vardo. Two of them enter the vardo, where they speak with an annoyed Katarzyna. They return to their lieutenant. They continue their journey, and see a group of Pharasman priests, with gags in their mouths, clearly having taken a vow of silence. After awhile, around 10 pm, they arrive at their campsite.
Ostovach goes and gets a hare, and Abner cooks it extremely well. Katarzyna has managed to get in about six hours of reading on her Dark Tapestry book. It is extremely wet outside, so they try to bunk inside the vardo as comfortably as they can. Ploog sleeps on top of the vardo. Abner sleeps on the front of the vardo, while Kendra and Katarzyna sleep in the bed inside. Several of them set watches.
Sunday, August 24th, 758 Road to Hyannis, Ustalav
They head into the mountains. It is much cooler here than it has been. There is movement in the woods, and Ostovach and Grewin go into the woods to investigate. Kendra sees their horses unattended on the road. Kendra calls out, and she joins them as they come out with a doe. They spend some time preparing it for travel.
They arrive at the Diremark mountains. They crest the hill around 1 in the afternoon. It gets more lush as the trail descends toward the Danver River. They see smoke coming from Hyannis in the distance. Around 3 they reach the edge of the Danver River. They arrive in Hyannis around 5 in the evening. It is a gathering of forlorn shacks, a rather depressing sight. There is an inn called The Hag’s Breath. There are mining helmets acting as sconces. They sit down and order drinks, and Jean-Baptiste orders a round of drinks for the bar. A man named Pol approaches them. He chats briefly with them. He is rather strange in demeanor.
Katarzyna and Jean-Baptiste share a room with two beds, and they talk about the Journal of Cygnus. Abner and Kendra share a room, and Gregore and Ostovach share a room. Grewin and Flandalene also share a room.
Monday, August 25th, 758 Hyannis to Rozenport, Ustalav
They rise early, and get ready to get back on the road. Jean-Baptiste leaves another round for them for after their work day.
They get back on the road. They are all itchy. Gregore “delouses” them with magic when they’re about a mile outside of town. Around 1 in the afternoon, the see two riders approach. Jean-Baptiste recognizes a mark of Lepidstadt University. He rides up and speaks with them. He talks with them about the university at Sincomakti in Rozenport. The two gentlemen are Jonathan and Lawrence, and they speak for a while with Jean-Baptiste, Kendra and Katarzyna. The two gentlemen take their leave after a pleasant coversation, (other than some tension between Abner and Lawrence) and the group continues onward. They arrive in Rozenport around 5 pm. They look around for a nice inn. Katarzyna and Kendra get a room with piped in water. They stay at the House of the Seven Gables. Abner and Jean-Baptiste split another room. Katarzyna and Kendra have baths and put on their nice dresses before coming down to the common room. A man buys Katarzyna and Kendra Mordentish brandy, and he introduces himself as Robert Cunningham. They get along famously with Robert, and he invites them all to join him for dinner. They also go out for late “experimental theater”, and by this time Katarzyna is quite inebriated, so Kendra takes her back to the inn. Jean-Baptiste, Grewin and Ostovach join Robert for some opium, which is greatly affecting to the first-time partakers. They refer to this experience as “chasing the pegasus”.
Tuesday, August 26th, 758 Rozenport, Ustalav
Katarzyna and Kendra wake first, and go down for breakfast around 10 or so. Abner is there as well, nursing a hangover. At the opium den, Jean-Baptiste, Grewin and Ostovach awake around noon. Katarzyna and Kendra go to the library at Sincomakti University, thinking Jean-Baptiste is already there, but he isn’t. They meet a professor, Jean Thalman, who worked with Petros Lorrimor. They come to a room that is locked, and Jean Thalman tells them that it is mainly for university staff and students. Kendra offers a generous donation to the university. They meet Henri Meirtmane, the dean of expeditions. He brings them to his office, and offers them tea. It takes about an hour to set up the endowment, and the dean says that they will set up a new section of the library in Professor Lorrimor’s name. They are told that the book of Abstruse Geometries had been stolen recently.
Jean-Baptiste checks in with Abner, who tells him (grudgingly, sleepily) that Kendra and Katarzyna have gone to the library at the university. Jean-Baptiste, Ostovach and Grewin have breakfast, then Jean-Baptiste checks in with Ploog. He then goes to the university, and speaks with the man at the front desk, who is less than welcoming toward Jean-Baptiste at first. Kendra signs in Jean-Baptiste, who speaks briefly with Henri Meirtmane. Katarzyna and Kendra check out the “locked room” of books. A young student joins them, and chats briefly. His name is Garren, and he is studying “unseen energies”. Kendra finds a book called “Navigating the Mists”. Jean-Baptiste, Katarzyna and Kendra discuss a concept that Kendra runs across in a book, something called the “prime material plane”. They discuss it as length, and a girl named Melanie tells them about a book recounting tales of people who appear out of the Mists.
Katarzyna, Jean-Baptiste and Kendra are reviewing the books they’ve studied at the Rozenport university library. They then return to their rooms and review their findings. Abner is finally feeling okay by evening, and Kendra goes and checks in on him. Katarzyna goes downstairs to have dinner, and joins Ostovach, who is already down there. They are joined by Gregore and Jean-Baptiste, and finally Kendra and Abner. They discuss their findings at the library. They talk about their next steps, and whether they’re going to leave the following day. In his room, Jean-Baptiste sees movement at the window. He sees a crow flying off. It lands on an adjacent roof, then turns into a cat, and runs away.
Wednesday, August 27th, Rozenport to Thrushmoor, Ustalav
They awaken and prepare to travel. Katarzyna notices that the food that Ploog has laid out inside the vardo is going to fall onto the floor as soon as it starts moving, so she puts it away properly. Abner tries to climb onto the top of the vardo, but breaks pieces of it off in the attempt. Katarzyna is inside the vardo reading during the majority of the trip, engrossed in her book on the Dark Tapestry. Grewin calls out to them at one point, telling them that he has found bloody footprints in the road. One of the tracks appears to be of a small child. Katarzyna is instantly alarmed at this. They decide to go after the person. They follow the tracks several miles. The child’s footprints are intermittent, disappearing for long stretches. At one point Grewin holds up his fist to signal them to stop. He and Abner and Katarzyna stealthily advance. There are two men in a clearing, with cloth wrapped around their heads. They’re also wearing heavy clothing, and speaking a strange language. Kendra recognizes the language as Faresian. This is the language to a country adjacent to Hara-Kir, known colloquially as the Amber Wastes. Katarzyna accidentally reveals herself to the two men, and one of them seems to cast a spell on her, which she shrugs off. He sees that she is unaffected by the spell, so he casts another spell. It strikes her and stuns her. Combat ensues, and it goes poorly for several of them. Jean-Baptiste gets off a good shot, but then his pistol jams. Kendra lands an impressive shot. Finally Katarzyna kills one. Doing so seems to release Flandelene from some sort of restraint spell, and she barrels into the second assailant. Grewin rejoins the fray as well. Jean-Baptiste notices that Gregore is engaged with a dire panther of sorts, down the hill. Katarzyna uses a Magic Missile to kill the other attacker, and Flandelene continues to beat his corpse against a tree. Katarzyna kills the panther with another Magic Missile, while a shadow continues to fight Abner and Grewin. Grewin manages to kill the shadow.
Abner inspects the body of one of the men. He finds an amber amulet and some rings. Katarzyna looks at them, and determines that they’re not magical. Ostovach also finds a bag with some other items. It contains traveling gear and a small wooden chest. Meanwhile, Ostovach starts beating the bushes looking for the child. Katarzyna joins him, telling him that the two men had been arguing and pointing toward a small waterfall. Ostovach strips down to his smallclothes and wades over to the waterfall. He pokes his head through the waterfall. Katarzyna strips off her riding dress and swims over in her shift and bloomers, and they crawl down a tunnel behind the waterfall looking for the child. Katarzyna thinks she sees movement in a small grotto that they come to, and she moves toward the sound. She sees a small boy, but he’s not human. She coaxes him out of the grotto, and when they come through the waterfall, she calls out for Gregore. He comes over and looks at the boy. Kendra asks his name, which he gives as Yanni. Yanni asks Grewin in Sylvan if he is a “fey brother”. Grewin comes over and talks to the boy a bit in Sylvan. The boy had been captured by the two men, and he had been chained up by them. He managed to escape, and then he used the trees to travel among them, using a special ability of his fey kind. Grewin brings Yanni over to Flandelene. They speak with Yanni for a bit. Grewin then speaks with Flandelene. Yanni seems most attached to Grewin and Katarzyna. When Grewin leaves, Katarzyna sits on the bank of the creek with Yanni and entertains him with Prestidigitation.
They all walk back to their wagon, which takes a while. Ploog is very relieved to see them. Katarzyna introduces Ploog to Yanni. Ploog gives Yanni some candy, which makes Yanni nervous. Katarzyna reassures him, and he happily accepts the candy.
They make camp, and Katarzyna, Kendra and Yanni sleep inside the vardo. Abner climbs up on top of the vardo.
Thursday, August 28th, road between Rozenport and Thrushmoor, Ustalav
In the morning, Ploog cooks breakfast at the campsite. Yanni takes his leave of them before they break camp, jumping into the river after saying farewell to them, especially grateful toward Grewin and Katarzyna.
Around midday, they meet a group of troops heading north on the road. The captain inspects the vardo. Katarzyna is rather icy toward him, but he makes a cursory inspection and leaves. His corporal calls out to him and they look at the pelt of the dire panther that is on the side of the vardo. He tells them that they might need to pay a fee to import it into Thrusmoor.
During the trip to Thrushmoor, Jean-Baptiste and Katarzyna repair the pistol that had misfired the previous day. Katarzyna is unfamiliar with the process, but since Jean-Baptiste is repairing it inside the vardo, she’s curious and tries to help him with the process.
Arriving in Thrushmoor, they pass a livery stable (26), General Good’s (14), and the Silver Wagon Inn(25). They stop at the livery stable, where Ploog takes care of the vardo, repairing the damage to the shutters. They then pass Lucia’s, a tailor shop (15), and spot a manor house of some kind (5). They also come upon Highmart (6). There is a Star Stelae in the green area between Highmart and the manor house, three monoliths situated in a triangular formation. Katarzyna and Jean-Baptiste examine the runes on the obelisks. They continue down the road and see a building surrounded by dwarves, a smithy of sorts (4). Jean-Baptiste goes into the smithy. They learn that the shop is called Binter’s Smithy, and the female dwarf introduces herself as Kletta Binter. Jean-Baptiste buys all nine of the shields that are for sale, and a strange bullseye lantern. Kletta Binter recommends her cousin’s son Tallis, who can mount the shields to the vardo. Katarzyna purchases three exceptional wind chimes from Kletta.
They move down the road to a place called the Rum Ration (16), an ‘unseemly’ place according to Katarzyna. They then come to a halfling place (3). A halfling named Thomas has a conversation with Jean-Baptiste in the halfling tongue, and he arranges for them to have halfling food. Abner talks with Thomas about living in the Core, Thomas is from Darkon. They go across the street to a converted vardo, where they order food from a halfling lady. They have a very satisfying meal, and speak about the dark riders having passed through in the past week.
They then cross the bridge, and walk along the shore, where they see many fishing boats. They then go over to the New Chapel, which features Pharasman iconography. The priestess appears to be in a disagreement with two well-dressed men. They then pass a shop called Hasok’s Studio. Hasok tells them that Tryllis Mevane is the High Priestess of Pharasma, and the only priest of Pharasma in Thrushmoor. They go inside the studio, and he offers them tea. Jean-Baptiste speaks with Hasok, as Katarzyna wanders through his gallery. Katarzyna sees many disturbing paintings in the studio. Jean-Baptiste smokes some green tobacco with Hasok. Katarzyna tells the others that they need to see the paintings. They talk about the Wailing House on the island.
They move on down the road, and pass a fish smokehouse (13), and a place called the Sleepless Building. They go in, and speak with a pretty blonde woman named Cynthia. She tells them that the Sleepless Building is Ustalav’s most famous detective agency. Jean-Baptistes asks if they’re hiring. Katarzyna is a bit confused about the business.
After they leave the Sleepless Building, they go to the bridge, and see a plaque that reads “Versex’s oldest fish market, ca. 69”. Abner sees a giant amber-colored lantern, and points it out to the others. They see a sign that calls it “Glowing Jill”.
Across the bridge they spy a book shop. Katarzyna tries to cast Detect Magic, but the shopkeeper sees her. He asks her to leave, so she goes up the hill to the Star Stelae. Jean-Baptiste continues to look through the book shop.
Katarzyna walks down to a gibbet at the shore of the island. There is a pirate in the gibbet, and he speaks with Katarzyna when she is rejoined by Jean-Baptiste and the others. They give the man some water, then walk down to Pier 19. A young boy named Matthew tells them that a stevedore disappeared from the dock a few months back. Jean-Baptiste uses an infusion to levitate a few inches above the ground, picks up Katarzyna, and has Katarzyna use her staff to push off and they make their way down the very rickety dock. Abner carefully picks his way down there as well. They investigate the rotting pier and the boat at the end, but find nothing of note.
Back across the bridge, they find a depository of some sort (24). There is a man talking to a wagon driver. He sees them, and tells them that it’s a coal and timer storage, as well as an icehouse.
They then make their way down to The Stain, a beer garden. They then go up toward Iris Hill. On the way, they see Marrid’s Smoke (17). Iris Hill has a stable. Jean-Baptiste, Gregore and Abner consider cutting across the lawn, but there are tall hedges surrounding the estate. They speak with a woman named Mellicent, and accountant for Count Lowls. She tells them that Count Lowls is away on an adventure. They speak briefly with her about books and the Dark Tapestry.
After they leave Iris Hill, they wend their way through Thrushmoor, passing Marrid’s Smoke shop and a house with a red and white pole. They then make their way to Fort Helicorse. Jean-Baptiste talks to a soldier there named Malkus. He asks him about the Old Chapel, and they discuss Hasok’s paintings, and the Wailing House. Jean-Baptiste also asks about the two dark riders. He also asks about Ilmarsh. There is a mayor in Ilmarsh named Greedle, appointed by Count Lowls.
They then head back to the Silver Wagon Inn. They speak with Dina Gallegos. She tells them that Ploog has already arranged their lodging. Katarzyna goes up to her room to freshen up. In the common room, a young boy named Malerie tells Jean-Baptiste that one of the soldiers told him to tell them that they should ask at the stables about the dark riders.
Katarzyna returns to the common room, and Jean-Baptiste tells her about the boy. They decide that a small group consisting of Jean-Baptiste, Ostovach, Abner and Katarzyna will go to the livery stable. A cartwright is fitting a new wheel to the axle of a hay wain. The men go to the hay wain to help the man lift the wagon. As they do so, Katarzyna is stabbed by the old man twice, dropping to the ground unconscious. Jean-Baptiste, Ostovach and Abner fight the ghouls. Jean-Baptiste goes over to Katarzyna and pours an elixir down her throat. She sputters awake, just as the creature says “at least I got one of you for the Whispering Way”. Abner continues to stab the cultist, killing him. Katarzyna fires a lightning bolt at one of the ghouls, and is horrified to learn that the body she just destroyed was Ploog’s.
Back in the Silver Wagon Inn, Kendra hears a loud thunderclap. She looks around at the rest of the common room, then goes to the door. She looks across the way to the livery stable, where the others are fighting the ghouls. She sees Katarzyna stumble backward, and she runs out the door into the mud, joined by Gregore. They run across the street, and Kendra notices that Ostovach is on edge as the others are looking at the remains of Ploog on the ground. Gregore informs them that Ploog cannot be revived. He does tell them Ploog’s soul is at least able to find its rest. Abner stands up, and shows them a strip of paper. Katarzyna opens it and reads it. It is from “A”, and it says that he wants them to weigh in on the effectiveness of the assassin, as he’s considering reanimating him. Kendra reads the note, then passes it to Jean-Baptiste, who angrily crumples it up after reading it. Jean-Baptiste crushes the skull of the deceased cultist. Katarzyna absent-mindedly cleans her bloodstained clothing with Prestidigitation, which disturbs one of the guards.
Malkus, the guardsman from Fort Helicorse, arrives on the scene. The priestess of Pharasma, Tryllis Mevane, also arrives. She looks at the remains of the ghoul, and recoils in horror. Abner inspects the items on the corpse of Clanartus Viliras, the assassin. Abner sees a bone dagger, and asks Katarzyna to check it for magical auras. She does note a magical aura on the item. There is a maker’s mark on the dagger, with the name Nalthazzar. Abner finds a magical mithril shirt and a bunch of other items on the body of the deceased. Among the items is a ceramic egg of some kind. A guardsman stops Abner from looting the body.
Ostovach calls them over to an area inside the livery stable. He shows them several black horses, who look like they’ve been ridden hard. Jean-Baptiste tells Malkus that the horses are probably those of the black riders. Kendra goes into the office adjacent to the livery stable. She sees a notation of a transaction to exchange two horses. She also notices that four days prior, there was a slight change to the handwriting in the ledger.
Gregore reminds them of the late hour, and tells them that he will see to Ploog’s remains. Ostovach says he will help. Tryllis Mevane takes the body back to the Temple of Pharasma. Jean-Baptiste insists that they burn the body of Clanartus Viliras. Malkus goes back to the inn, with a wink to Abner that he can do what he wishes with the assassin’s belongings. Abner then loots the body of Clanartus Viliras. Katarzyna returns to the Inn, followed a few minutes later by Kendra.
Jean-Baptiste pulls the wagon containing Clanartus Viliras’ body around the back of the livery stable, and examines the body closely. He sees that the man had clearly been in disguise, with a wig and prosthetic makeup. He puts the body back in the wagon. Abner stashes his looted items in the vardo. They then return to the Inn for the night.
Friday, August 29th, 758, Thrusmoor to Kamover, Ustalav
Katarzyna has strange dreams, a lot like when she was at Foxglove Manor. There are images of feathers, and of people moving the dead on litters in an abbatoir, the faceless people carrying the bodies through a grand doorway. There is the sound of thousands of birds cawing, like at Carrion Hill. Katarzyna notices the face of Ploog among the dead being carried through the gates. Katarzyna goes toward the grand door. She sees the litter bearers carrying the bodies down a long circular ramp that leads down. A rush of birds flies in from the ceiling. Several of them alight all around Katarzyna. A curiously quiet bird alights on her shoulder, and she tries to shoo in away, but it stays with her. The bird doesn’t seem dangerous, so she accepts its presence. Katarzyna tries to go down the ramp with the litter bearers, but the bird squawks and flaps its wings, blocking her path. It eventually leads her to a small doorway in the abbatoir away from the grand doorway and the spiral ramp. There’s a tunnel beyond the door. The bird hops down the tunnel, and Katarzyna follows it. The bird leads her out of the tunnel, and as she emerges from the tunnel she awakens in her room at the Silver Wagon Inn.
Looking around the room, she sees a bird perched on a dresser, cleaning its feathers. When she addressed the bird, it pulls its head from under its wing, and reveals that it has a leather mask. Katarzyna speaks with the bird, which seems to be able to understand what she’s saying. There is a faint aura of magic on the bird’s mask. As in the dream, the bird seems to pose no discernible threat. Katarzyna accepts its presence, though not without qualm.
Abner and Kendra awake and dress for breakfast. Jean-Baptiste is also at breakfast when Katarzyna comes down for breakfast, the masked bird perched atop her shoulder, much in the same way Pearl once did. Jean-Baptiste tells Katarzyna that the bird is a nosoi, or psychopomp, a “least avatar” of the goddess Pharasma. Grewin and Ostovach are not at breakfast. The folk gathered at the Inn are quite put off by Katarzyna and the nosoi. After breakfast, they head to the New Temple, to see the priestess about the presence of the nosoi.
Ostovach is at the Temple, having helped the priestess during the night in the preparations for Ploog’s funeral. Ostovach tells Katarzyna that the priestess is inside the temple. Tryllis Mevane is kneeling in prayer, and Katarzyna stands behind her. When she turns around, she is taken aback by the presence of the nosoi. Katarzyna tells the priestess about the dream she had. Tryllis tells Katarzyna that the ramp leads to the realm called the Boneyard. Katarzyna tells the priestess that since Pharasma has chosen her, Katarzyna wants to be sure to pay the proper respect to the goddess. Tryllis agrees to help Katarzyna with the proper prayers and such, but must first attend to the business at hand, the burial of Ploog and the other man killed at the livery stable.
Tryllis presides over the funeral of Ploog first, with the funeral of the deceased stablemaster to take place directly afterward. Ostovach mumbles an awkward eulogy for Ploog, as does Jean-Baptiste. After the eulogies, the nosoi lands on Ploog’s body, and bends it beak toward his ear. While the bird is near Ploog’s body, they hear birds cawing outside the cemetery. Then the nosoi returns to Katarzyna’s shoulder.
Tryllis gives a sermon, and they decide to stay for the sermon. There are only a few people in the chapel. The sermon deals with a man named Gerard from Thrushmoor. Gerard loved Pharasma, placing her above all other gods. Asmodeus came knocking at the knight’s gate in the form of a young girl, and sought refuge in the home of Pharasma. Gerard was corrupted by the girl, but he was unwavering in his devotion to Pharasma. He broke his signet ring in two, giving a broken half to his wife bidding her to remarry if he does not return in five years. He left his wife with a promise to return in five years. He went to Sophus, Stormhaven, and Hara-Kir. He encountered Asmodeus, wearing the cape that Gerard had lost to the girl five years before. Asmodeus was compelled to return Gerard to his wife and his house, where he sees his wife bring out the broken signet ring, just as she is about to remarry. Gerard and his wife are tearfully reunited. Thus ends the sermon.
Tryllis prays with Katarzyna for a while, then gives Jean-Baptiste some incense and tells him that he can rejoin Ostovach. Jean-Baptiste goes with Ostovach around the back of the temple, not on consecrated ground, where the remains of Clanartus Viliras’ body is to be burned. Ostovach talks with Jean-Baptiste about someone in town, Sentilar Ruoy, who is impugning the name of Tryllis and the faith of Pharasma, and that as a result Tryllis doesn’t have any help at the chapel. Then Ostovach goes to the Inn to get some sleep.
The group reconvenes outside the temple, discussing where to go next. In the road, they see a black carriage coming their way. The woman from Iris Hill, Mellicent, is in the carriage. She nods slightly to them as she travels past. They try to determine where she is going, but they can’t see any obvious destination based on where the carriage is headed.
Jean-Baptiste goes over to Hasok’s studio, but there is no answer when he knocks. He then goes to the fishmonger’s place, to ask where the Sentilar Ruoy’s shop is. He gives them instructions on how to get there.
They go to the healer’s shop straightaway. It is a small, wide building, with faded maroon paint and two circular windows. They enter the building, and they see candlelight through drawn curtains. There are crowded shelves on every wall, overflowing with curious items for sale. Jean-Baptiste looks at the items in the shop with interest, as does Kendra. They are greeted cheerily by the halfling Sentilar Ruoy, but Jean-Baptiste and Abner take an aggressive tone with him straightaway, with Katarzyna taking a more conciliatory tone, and Kendra and Gregore remaining mostly silent. The conversation seems to reach a reasonable conclusion, though without much of a resolution. After this discussion, Jean-Baptiste looks among his wares for items to purchase. Kendra, Katarzyna and Abner leave the shop at this point, while Jean-Baptiste and Gregore remain inside. Jean-Baptiste has a strange experience as he’s negotiating the purchase of some items from Sentilar Ruoy. He makes his purchase and leaves the shop.
Outside the shop, Jean-Baptiste and Gregore rejoin the others, and Jean-Baptiste tells them that Sentilor Ruoy is unlikely to trouble Tryllis any further. They return to the Silver Wagon Inn, to settle their bill and gather their belongings for immediate departure. They decide to head toward Ilmarsh. Ostovach sleeps in the vardo, while Katarzyna reads some more in her book of the Dark Tapestry.
Around 7 o’clock, they see a small village. They enter what appears to be an inn, the Hook and Sinker. Jean-Baptiste speaks with the ample-bosomed tavern lady named Mags. She tells them that they are in the town of Kamover, and that Ilmarsh is a ways further. A fisherman enters the bar at the same time, and speaks with Jean-Baptiste. He says that they’re likely to have trouble getting the vardo to Ilmarsh. The man gives his name as Old Marley. He is very garrulous, and regales them with all manner of tales, including the Monster of the Bay. The barkeep offers them chowder and food. The food is excellent, and Katarzyna comments on it to Mags.
They get rooms at the inn. At some point Katarzyna goes up to her room to finish reading the book of the Dark Tapestry. She absently claimed the only bed in the room.
In the common room, Jean-Baptiste buys a round for the house. Later, he joins Katarzyna in their room, and he finishes Arisid’s journal. On the bed with Katarzyna, Jean-Baptiste shows Katarzyna the last few entries in Arisid’s journal, and confronts her about the Order of the Palatine Eye, telling her that he knows that she and Kendra are members of the Order. Kendra overhears them, and she joins in the conversation. She tells Jean-Baptiste that Arisid should not have written so openly about the Order in the journal, doing so is expressly forbidden. Katarzyna opines that Arisid might be betraying the Order, or might be infiltrating it. Katarzyna does mention in passing to Kendra that at least they had followed Farren’s wishes with regards to introducing Jean-Baptiste to the Order. This is the first time Jean-Baptiste was even aware that Farren had been a member of the Order. He wonders aloud if his own father had been a member of the Order.
Eventually the talk winds down, and they all fall asleep on the bed, with Abner, Gregore, and Ostovach asleep on the cots nearby. Grewin and Flandalene had bedded down outside.
Saturday, August 30th, 758, Kamover, Ustalav
In the morning, they all awaken to a windy day. Katarzyna awakens refreshed, untroubled by dreams. The nosoi is still present, though. Kendra examines the items they’ve collected and identifies their properties with the help of the spirits she sees through her third eye. The mithril shirt was worn by Laharin, who was felled by the assassin Lazario. She also examines some other items, including the ceramic egg found on the body of Clanartus Viliras.
They all go down to the common room for breakfast. There are eggs, biscuits and baked fish. They get their stuff together and get ready to go. The fishermen are all gathered near the shore, likely debating whether to go out on the choppy waters. Marley sees them and comes over to them. He tells them that it’s an 8 hour trip to Ilmarsh. He says that it’s unlikely that their vardo will make the trip, and he’s happy to keep it for them. Katarzyna thinks they should leave the vardo, but others are more reluctant. Gregore tells them that he has a spell called Treasure Stitching that might be able to transport the vardo. They decide to use Marley’s barn to take the wheels off and use the spell. Unfortunately, the vardo falls as they’re trying to take the wheels off. The rear axle is damaged. Gregore has to cast a Make Whole spell in order to repair the damage. The damage costs them a four hour delay, and Katarzyna uses the time to read some more in her book of Dark Tapestry. Finally, around 2 in the afternoon, the vardo is ready to have the Treasure Stitching spell cast.
There is another traveler in Kamover this evening. Mags talks with him, laughing at something he says. Abner spends some time with him, a man named Russel. Abner learns that he is a wine merchant.
Katarzyna and Jean-Baptiste spend the evening reading again. Katarzyna starts Arisid’s Journal, while Jean-Baptiste starts reading the book of the Dark Tapestry. Before he turns in for the night, Gregore casts his Treasure Stitching spell on the vardo, and brings the blanket inside and shows them the blanket with the vardo stitched in. Katarzyna is quite taken with the image. At one point, Jean-Baptiste takes Kendra and Katarzyna aside to show them something. He speaks to Abner about his weapons, asking about the value of them. Jean-Baptiste is convinced that the weapons are not worth nearly as much as Abner thinks. Abner doesn’t agree, and jumps back and draws his weapons, sure that Jean-Baptiste is trying to attack his mind with some kind of spell. There is a tense standoff, and Jean-Baptiste explains how he had inadvertently influenced Sentilar Ruoy the previous day, and that he had tried to do the same thing with Abner as a test. Katarzyna tells them that she thinks it’s an enchantment or domination spell-like ability. They discuss the possibilities. Gregore tells them that it might be a boon from a god. Jean-Baptiste asks Katarzyna to participate in an experiment. He tries to invoke the ability to make her kiss him, but it doesn’t work. They both realize that there was no magical energy associated with it. They assume that if it is a power that can only be used once a day. Eventually they all turn in for the night, using the same room as the previous night.
Sunday, August 31st, 758, Kamover to Ilmarsh swamp, Ustalav
In the morning they decide to leave for Ilmarsh after breakfast. They see Russel asleep on one of the couches in the common room. Mags serves them crab omelettes for breakfast. They gather their belongings and get on the road. Jean-Baptiste is very complimentary to Mags, and gives her more coin. Abner buys some wine from Russel.
It’s a cool foggy morning. They get on the road. Katarzyna rides with Jean-Baptiste on his horse, Abner rides with Kendra, Ostovach rides his horse, and Gregore rides one of the draft horses. Grewin and Flandalene make their way as well, without the need for a horse. Jean-Baptiste notices that his horse is a little harder to control than normal. When Katarzyna is on the horse, the nosoi leaves her shoulder and flies ahead, but returns to her shoulder when she dismounts.
At one point in their journey toward Ilmarsh, Ostovach holds up his hand, and grabs his bow. He walks over to an area of the bog, weapon drawn. He waves them forward, and they see a wounded deer trapped in the bog. Ostovach wades out to the animal and slits its throat, after patting it reassuringly. Ostovach asks Katarzyna to dry his clothing, and she does so. They mount up again and continue. Gregore gets thrown from the draft horse. Katarzyna cleans his clothes too. Gregore decides to walk for awhile. It is a very uncomfortable ride for Katarzyna, so she dismounts and walks for awhile.
They decide to make camp in the evening. Ostovach finds them an almost ideal camping site. Katarzyna asks Gregore if he can do anything for the discomfort from riding, he says it’s not really something he can do anything about. Abner gets a fire going for them. Jean-Baptiste goes in search of alchemical ingredients.
During the night, they set watches. Ostovach has the first watch, Katarzyna has the second watch, and Abner has the third watch. On Katarzyna’s watch, she fails to notice creatures in the forest creeping up on their position. She fires off a lightning bolt at one of them. A swarm of the shadowy creatures descends on them. Several of the group are wounded by the creatures. Gregore pulses, and the shades flee. Jean-Baptiste kills another one, and they wait for a few minutes before they determine that the creatures aren’t coming back.
Monday, September 1st, 758, Ilmarsh swamp to Ilmarsh, Ustalav
The group is much more watchful the rest of the night, and they awaken early. They get going, and Abner spots tern rocks out in the bay. There is a single-masted trawler fighting against the whitecaps. There is a single person on the deck of the boat. Jean-Baptiste flies over with Abner, while Katarzyna uses Dimension Door to bring Kendra, Ostovach and Grewin over to the boat. Gregore uses his angelic aspect to fly over to the boat. Ostovach falls into the water, so Katarzyna uses the animated rope to help him back onto the boat. They fight with the sail and the tiller and manage to get the boat steered aright. The boat captain shouts at them to throw the rope over to the dock. Abner manages to get the boat tied to the dock.
The boat captain is wearing a leather smock. He gives his name as Horace Croon. He says he was conducting experiments out by the tern rocks. The storm passes as quickly as it arrived. Horace says he is an inventor and explorer of the unknown. He says he is from Ilmarsh. Katarzyna asks if he had seen any strangers in Ilmarsh. Jean-Baptiste describes the dark rider. Horace mentions that he did see such a rider, but that he isn’t aware if the man stopped in Ilmarsh or continued toward another destination. He also shows them his submersible, a curious contraption that looks like a large metal fish.
They get back to their horses after saying their goodbyes to Horace. They travel a little further to the river, and cross it without incident. They arrive at Ilmarsh in the afternoon.