After helping the confused ex-slaves get out of the tempestuous waters and seek cover from the typhoon the group meets the newcomer. The elf with the ibex horns who just came out of the water presents himself as Yalagaddien, druid from the south. Fenna asks him about Markahn, the druid she met in dreams days ago, but the druid hadn’t heard of her. As a consolation he offers Fenna to partake in a private druid ritual to soothe the body but she refuses. Ada, on the other hand, accepts.
The next morning, with the typhoon now far from the atoll and the beach covered in dead sirens, Yalagaddien invites the group to try to reach the inaccessible druid Akachi to find out more about Markahn. Yalagaddien performs a ritual to allow the spirits of the heroes to visit the astral plane. There the group meets Akachi’s sphinx who poses them a riddle. The heroes, however, fail to guess correctly 1 and are chased out of the plane by the deadly creature.
Back on the beach the heroes wish farewell to Yalagaddien and take off leaving the atoll behind.
The night before arriving to Crockport, and after attending to Phinneas’ goodbye feast, Fenna dreams about The Singing Forest, hounds and a creature who reminds her of Ururl.
The next day the group finally arrives to Crockport and meet Vaynor, Albrecht’s uncle and head of the Red Hand order. Caelynna, while still tense with her cheating husband, surprises the group by not starting a stabbing frenzy right there.
After bringing their loot, rides and freed friends to Albrecht family’s castle the group splits. Albrecht updates Pelor’s high priestess on their adventures and asks her for help regarding his age issue. Horven, the vengeful wizard that joined the group recently, searches the streets for information about the whereabouts of the bandit group that enslaved him. Mara-kai and Ada take the unwanted party’s loot and manage to sell it for 6.5k ingots of gold. Fenna, overwhelmed by the city, turns into a frog and disappears into the castle gardens.
The next morning the group attends a Red Hand meeting where Dave is officially inducted into the order and becomes a Squire. Vaynor, out of the blue, invites Albrecht to join the order in front of the high command of the order who, enthusiastically, accepts and is also inducted right there.
After the meeting Vaynor offers Albrecht a way to recover the two decades that the Wand of Koyss took from him. If he brings back, dead or alive, two cultist fugitives that recently escaped from the city prison the order and the church of Pelor will pay for the expensive spell that can restore his natural age. Albrecht accepts the mission and convinces the rest of group to join him.
With Albrecht’s birthday party a day away and with a way of recovering his youth the cheerful paladin invites the group to some beers downtown. Many rounds of alcohol later, while the group is trying to find its way back to the castle, a group of assassins attacks them. Despite the beer the heroes manage to dispose of them thanks to judicious doses of chain lightning and hold person spells.
– “The answer is ‘poop’,” Ada’s guess for the sphinx’s riddle.
1 The sphinx riddle:
I hide in plain sight but I’m utterly black.
Humans create me and humans I take with me.
I’m already dead but people keep gutting me.