Tavarius and Taskar Rence wait cautiously in the headquarters of The Bookhouse Boys . After a few moments, Kyr enters, followed by Aosid and Rettissh. She claims that Rettissh has spent the last week in Cliffport’s prison, and further questioning reveals that he had no knowledge of the deal that he was supposedly involved in the day before. With coincidences mounting, the party becomes more and more certain that their doppelganger foe is hard at work. Mistrustful of their employer, but out of options, they return to the sight of yesterday’s bandit ambush in search of answers.
A trail leading into the wilderness is found, and despite some spotty guidance by the Paladin, they find themselves at the dead bandit’s camp, nestled at the top of a large plateau overlooking a wooded valley. The camp has been deserted, though the ranger thinks that no more than a day or so could have passed since the exodus. A more detailed examination is about to take place, when the armored members of the party activate a magical message interred in the still burning fire-pit. A sepulchral voice speaks of surrender, servitude and a fatal promise before extinguishing. The ritual’s end summons a grand serpentine beast of flames and bone which attacks without hesitation. At the battles end, the Nexus questions whether they are the intended recipient of the strange message. Caelyn’s only clue is his knowledge that magic of great power and evil was used in the creation of the monster, a feat much too difficult for the likes of roadside bandits.
Weary, the party marches out of the wilderness and returns to Thardis, where they locate the town’s single tiny inn and settle in for the night.