Previously, the heroes visited Father Devon in order to ask Kasia some questions about Epidemius, only to find that the young girl had been reunited with House Brightmantle, to whom she was a servant. The kindly priest gave them directions to the Brightmantle manse in Kingsport and they went to meet the young and traumatised girl.
First Day, Second Ride, Autumn Twilight, 1262
(Silvermoon is in high sanction, Bloodmoon is waning, Darkmoon is waning)
The heroes spent the morning talking with Kasia, the Silesian handmaid to Lady Grace Brightmantle. She had been the only known witness to the Epidemius incursion from start to finish. She described where the portal formed on the square, the skaven that emerged and how Epidemius rode out on a grotesque mount, the way the custodians and crownsguard had engaged, how Lord Jerod Brightmantle had emerged from the cathedral flanked by houseguards and clerics, and how they had fallen too. She spoke of an incessant buzzing noise in her head as Epidemius spoke his demands and of his departure through a newly formed portal he had created by reading from a scroll. She also admitted having heard the voice of her mother in her head encouraging to help Epidemius, and that she had been too frightened to act.
Picking up on something Kasia had said, Emrys asked her to elaborate more on why she had urged Lady Grace to bury the dead deep and put heavy rocks on their graves. She explained that she and her father, along with many other Silesians, had recently fled across the border to escape “the blood rain,” which made the dead rise from their graves. When asked whether she had seen any of the skaven in Silesia, she said she had not, but that she heard there were “goat men”, rather than “rat men.” Something wicked was rising in the east…
When it seemed that the young girl had no more information to give, Lady Grace concluded the audience, but promised that should new information come to light, or if Kasia would remember new information, a page would be sent to inform the heroes. The heroes departed while Kasia readied herself for a lesson in swordsmanship with Ser William the Crippled in the courtyard.
The heroes said goodbye to Emma after she reiterated that a promise had been made thrice, referring to their promise to help rid her of Muirgheal by the ride’s end, and they headed to the docks to visit Caius of Lynnecombe, the trading representative for House Sheridan that operated from a small office at the docks. When they arrived the neatly groomed, modestly dressed, middle-aged man welcomed the heroes in after reluctantly accepting that Quentin had taken to carrying stray cats around like a common pellar. Little did he know that this was Neamhan, who had shifted into the form of a tabby cat for the better part of the morning.
The conversation with Caius was a short and pleasant one, before going into the reason why the heroes had come; possibly investing some of their hard earned wealth in an establishment which could serve as a more permanent base of operations. Several options on several locations were discussed, as well as a brief overview of the available assets to finance the acquisition. Caius promised to look into some options.
After Caius gave a brief update on the members of House Sheridan, the heroes returned to the Careless Wanderer. They found Lauryn sitting at the table the heroes often occupied, eating breakfast. They joined her and Lauryn explained that Falka had finished the translation of the draconic letter before taking Luca up on his offer and was taking a nap on his bed. Neamhan shifted back to her elven form and joined the company at the table.
The heroes read the translation Falka had left for them:
One of our own has been taken. Kalauranthalasis, the Feywalker, is no more. As is customary, a call to conclave went out. Some woke from their slumber. Some emerged from their lairs. And some, like myself, left their positions among mortals to make their way to the Feywalker’s lair. We danced in mourning, waiting for late arrivals. Wrathion, Berazus, Morphaz, Sindragosa, Grakkarond… they were all there.
We were all surprised that his mate did not show, but we knew that the call would not reach everyone in time. Then the catastrophe. The noxious brood had been taken from the vault. The most prized of all the Feywalker’s riches had been taken.
The mourning dance ended, the cries of our brethren rang far, the ground trembled and the sky shook. This will not go unpunished. We must inform Azsharastrasza of this defilement, this insolence, this heresy.
The heroes were confused; this spoke about events they were direct contributors to, and they knew for a fact that Azsharastrasza had died in their encounter with Kalauranthalasis and Xamael at the Sunken Vault. By this letter it appeared as if her body was never discovered at the vault, and moreover, the eggs they had found and left untouched had been taken. The heroes pondered who might have been responsible for that, and quickly arrived at the Sisters of the Grove.
The conversation sparked some questions in Neamhan; she asked how many vaults there were, and how many the heroes knew about, and what it was that made them special. When the heroes explained more about them, Neamhan had a thought; there was an underground structure which was part of a holy site that Oisín emerged from. Could that have been a vault, too?
When the heroes queried Neamhan about Oisín, she explained that his return was prophesised. During that conversation she made some indelicate comments about the gods; she acknowledged that the gods existed, but found them to be less than helpful. It was at that point a man who was seated at another table said; “I have heard enough. I believe we have all heard enough.”
The man turned out to be a custodian, accompanied by three others; a female custodian and two armed men. They all wore red robes beneath their cloaks, and the armed men wore chainmail.
“Under Paladine’s watchful eye, I charge you with heresy,” the custodian said. “Witnessed,” the other custodian said sharply. “Bind her,” the man said and the two armed men approached, one clearing manacles from his belt. Before they reached the table, Emrys stealthily let a veil of invisibility fall over Neamhan.