After Høwke healed Vihnsent Macombe, we noticed that Rafael was nowhere to be seen. It just so happened that Rafael managed to piss off the villagers on the way back to the village, and the rest of us found him sulking outside the settlement with pitchfork holes in his cloak. They’d mothballed Anima’s shrine while they were at it. Høwke tried to cheer the villagers up by espousing the merits of the viking lifestyle – they responded poorly, perhaps because Eyfris, all aflame, tried to help her out.
Meanwhile, Rafael talked to Ix’i about Anima, and he listened attentively. Encouraged by this, Rafael tried to bring Eyfris’ fiery wings under her control, but without results.
Wenna was flown to a dwindling town north of the ruins of The White City that features an impressive temple to Aerer (a fortress-like affair previously dedicated to Threvash). There Wenna did a ritual to enable Rashne and Behnam to talk to Aerer. An induced coma (and she took a dose of the hemlock mixture with her for later use) led them to a liminal space between life and death. They experienced this as a party of every kind, looking for Aerer. Rashne asked her if souls were missing, and Aerer said no. Apparently, Wyrmspire had calculated an excess of souls in the mortal world. Puzzled, Aerer tasked Wenna with looking into the matter and blessed her holy symbol to make communication with the other side easier. Then Aerer noticed a disturbance in the trio’s physical location and sent them back. Coming to, they noticed four dead townsfolk wandering around them. They struck them down and Wenna was given a ride back to her fellows, with actual thanks from Rashne.
Eyfris’ wings died out during the night. She went off to bathe, but when she tried to warm up the water her spell fizzled and, to her startlement, a distant horrorfly got bigger. Perhaps befuddled by this, she let Rafael wash her back, and acted merely ambiguously when he told her she looked beautiful with the wings.
Rashne and Behnam let Wenna off on the other side of the river, thanking her again for her help. Ix’i bid Wenna to bathe as well, and she did. He also returned her manacle. Wenna let him examine her ritual hemlock.
Rafael explained to us a ritual for traveling with the power of Anima to where we need to go. We started the ritual, and Anima told Rafael that he should cooperate with other non-hostile deities and their servants. A green, verdant-scented wind enveloped us, and then waned, giving us all a sense of where we should head off to. Eyfris got the impression that Anima was not the only power responsible for this.
We headed roughly west, forded a few rivers, much to Høwke’s irritation. After a day’s travel we made camp, and those not keeping watch fell asleep quickly. Wenna’s dreams were visited by an elderly templar named Darius who told her they were missing only one soul – that of a dragon so extraordinarily vicious that The Vortex of Souls wouldn’t let it through into the mortal world. He suspected the interference of a powerful necromancer or a divine entity. The night was otherwise perfectly peaceful.
The next day Wenna brought up the missing dragon and told us it is now our problem. Ix’i and Wenna had a private chat, wherein he explained he thought our mysterious patron might be this creature. With Høwke’s help Eyfris’ dragon mused that the dragon in question might be the giant dragon that inspired The All-Consuming Flame.
We came to the edge of a magical forest and stepped under its eaves. Inside we felt hunger, thirst and weariness leave us. We followed a game trail that eventually turned into a cart trail and we emerged from the woods to northern cliffs overlooking a grey sea and an inhabited island. In this location, facing in this direction, we had a feeling we were on the right track.
Nearby we saw the New Tower skyline. Høwke saw thatthe city had changed since her last visit: more fortified, the port guarded by warships from Spearpoint (mercenaries?), lines of refugees at the gates, and plague victims.
Near the end of the line there was a camp of magicky nobles off to hunt something unusual. Among them was our mysterious patron in opulent garb. He approached us cheerfully and when he debriefed us he seemed reasonably happy with the result, and was of a mind that the new creature had a place in this world. For our quest he gave us a rusty sword (named ‘’, according to Høwke) and a flimsy shield (’’, ibid.).
When asked, he introduced himself as Sarush.
Eyfris sensed that Sarush’s potential for destruction was incomparable to anything she had encountered before. Ix’i saw the same when Høwke dispelled the glamour Sarush had lain on him.
Eyfris ran into sergeant Tredd, who identified her, at the gates, but let us in at the mention of Marbiaga’s name.
Høwke found us refuge with a Northman witch named Thora. In the backroom of her shop did we plan our assault.