Dawn after the second night. The fort is shattered into pieces and the crew go about burning the dead and gathering up what little bits of wood can be found. The party are approached by Funiku Dorobo, who demands payment. Illiaph explains that there is still one more night of the red moon, and he can have the children once they break camp tomorrow. Funiku hisses slightly and warns them that he could easily disintegrate them where they stand. Illiaph holds his ground and threatens to hold the children's lives hostage to keep the lich in line. The lich turns and trots off back to his corner of the camp.
Blackwell retires to his tent, and orders no one, under any circumstances, to interrupt him. The party overlook this suspicious behaviour and head into the city of Shra to gather what little building materials can be used to repair the fortress for tonight. The city is cold as a winter wind blows from the North. The twenty fighting men left assist in carrying stone and lumber salvaged from the ruin.
Back at camp, Dael and the others clear all the tents and debris and salvage what they can from the wall.
Hours pass and with the fortress rebuilt, the party hunker down. The dim sun sets and the landscape washes with red once again. A tremendous roar is heard in the distance which shakes the resolve of the few remaining soldiers. From the east, a thick fog begins to creep in and soon envelops the fortress. Rilken what Illiaph insist that Funiku do something about the mist. He denies the request stating, that they have nothing he is willing to trade and their original deal is nearly stretched to its limit already.
The roar is heard again, loud enough to shake the timber fortress. A massive horned form is seem moving through the mist and soldiers move quickly to extinguish all torches. The figure wanders deeper into the mist, its footsteps causing slight tremors as it does. The party breathe a temporary sigh of relief.
A line of lights are seen snaking their way towards the camp from the East. Blackwell, who has remained sequestered in his tent until now strolls out and notices the visitors.
Illiaph tempts fate by ordering Funiku to investigate. He complies only after being reminded that the tengu children can easily be killed before the lich can stop all of them.
Funiku flies over to the torch-bearing visitors accompanied by Illiaphs demonic familiar. The visitors are young men and women, none over 20. They are dressed in fine leathers with thick black fur cloaks. They identify themselves as the children of Foroth. They are here to recover a live Vuldoni werewolf.
The party interrogates the leader, a cleric of Rebus. She explains that the key to eliminating the Vuldoni threat in Hopelight lay with the blessing of Rebus, and the Vuldoni captives they currently possess. If Master Foroth can experiment on one, they may be able to concoct some kind of plague, or at the very least, create a sleeper agent to destroy the temple of Frey and the Morning Star beacon. They ask to be invited inside promising they would refrain from feeding out of respect for Terron Blackwell.
The party is highly suspicious of these individuals and deny inviting them in, assuming they are Vampires. Terron Suggests that they seriously consider this proposal. It is only with the grace of Master Foroth's mist that they are currently hidden from the wandering beast.
The party debate the pros and cons of turning over Gianni and the other cursed soldier. The cursed soldier volunteers for this mission if there is no hope of a cure, he doesn't wish to burden his family or bring this curse back to Findle. Hours pass before Illiaph admits that he can cure their lycanthropy. They eventually decide to turn down the vampires deal and side with the Vuldoni for the time being.The vampires turn away, obviously disappointed. A young woman, walks out of Terron's tent and joins her siblings. Terron looks to the party and shrugs. The mist follows the visitors as they head back East into the Cape Mountains.
Dawn rises on the third day. The camp is a frenzy of packing and they are on the road back to Hopelight before long. The road is dotted with carrion, some shredded beyond recognition.
The city seems deserted. Businesses and homes are still boarded up. The few people on the street seem dizzy and uncoordinated. Terron pushes the party on to the ship and begins loading gold. They load the gold evenly on Terron's and Gianni's ships and sell the third one. Not enough men are returning to man it. The party rest for the night on Terron's ship. They will be heading home in the morning. They pull cots into Illiaph's room and rest together as a party.
During the night, Illiaph's familiar shakes him awake. A hooded man stands over him and plunges a short sword into his stomach. He tries to shout but the room seems magically silenced. Illiaph stays concious long enough to wake Dael with his telepathy. The room is pitch black and silent when dael awakens. She stumbles over Al's bunk as she sees a hooded figure kick open the door silently and leave with London's journal under his arm. She shakes Rilken awake as she is stabbed with the first assailants short sword. Al tackles the first asailant while Rilken rushes out to catch the second one. The silence extends just outside the door to Illiaph's chamber. The second assailant is rummaging through Londons journal before dropping it and attacking Rilken. The battle is short and they easily subdue the assassins. Illiaph is brought back from the edge of death and the party prepare to interrogate their captives.
The interrogation proves difficult as these callous murderers seem to have mutilated faces with tongues removed. Illiaph and Rilkens mind control seems to have little effect, but they learn that they are the Hands of VIs, members of an order of assassins associated with the Eyes of Vis. The captive claims that the "old spymaster" betrayed the order and that a "new spymaster" knows they have Hellslay's spell. The name Tuck Bucklebough is brought up, but the assassin doesn't seem to recognize it. He claims his cell is from the North of Findle and his orders were to get the journal and its contents.
Illiaph dispatches the assassin before he can say any more.
The party are on their guard. Over the next few weeks. The assassin claimed he was part of a team of 5, meaning that 3 more could be on board one of the ships.
3 weeks pass and they arrive in Wingar. The port is without many ships as trade seems to have slowed down with the worsening of the Famine.
Nobody is there to greet them.
Terron finally pays the party what they earned and each of them receive several thousand gold. The use of the remaining gold will be decided at a meeting in the Golden Troll tonight. He asks that the party be with him when he meets with members of the Materan Brotherhood.
The party address private concerns and spend the afternoon purchasing what they can. Supply is in short in Wingar and prices are highly inflated. The famine doesn't seem to be causing many deaths as multiple priests of the Materan Brotherhood hand out small quantities of food to the poor.
The meeting in the Golden Troll gather. Blackwell leads the party into the alehall to a large table. There are several people seated at the seated at the table. Armed guards stand to the side of a man introducing himself as Bishop Olahorn Milani. He rises to his feet and introduces the others, Rosandro Legault, Aravyr Icewind, Grundta Steelbraid and Leigh Lovelyfern. The group discuss plans to take the gold North to the city of Illden. From there they hope to use a portion of it to convince Thessan officials to increase trade with Findle. An audience with Torvald Callahax and Osgrim Hellslay will be held to decide how aid will be issued.
Bishop Milani asks the party, who were so instrumental in gathering the treasure, to acompany him and Sister Icewind to Illden. Grundta and Leigh also sign on to the mission. They will leave as soon as they are able. The party must decide whether to travel North through the Ibyth Highlands or East along the Tus River.