The group awoke to the sound of Nuana screaming. Over a cold breakfast they discussed the signs and portents of their dreams. All see a common thread of the need to seek out “the King” and his sign and to uncover why this lost city keeps invading their thoughts and nightmares. With that, the party decides to use the boats taken from the now-dead Fingers of Iuz, and return to the Shantytown – stopping first at the home of Slyrazz the Potion-maker. The party took time to buy healing poultices and undead-hunting equipment, but ended their shopping abruptly when Kiera noticed a horrible looking brand on the woman’s left arm, a brand that (even though she didn’t recognize it) made her neck bristle (she later spoke at length about the image and its meaning with Ian).
After several days, and many more encounters with the soggy denizens of the Morass (including a hydra and a surprise attack from the ghouls of the Ghoul Bridge), the party finally nears the end of their journey. However, still nearly a day’s travel from the edge of the Morass, Sully suddenly lets out a screaming and fall out of the boat. Mot and Anast quickly leap into the water to save him from drowning, and he lies twitching in the bottom of the john-boat. After several minutes he awakens, though it is still a little while before he is able to speak. “The Lady visited me in my mind. She had a message to convey to us.”
The party decides to heed the advice, and though they found much of what the Lady said confusing (and even Ian was forced to admit that he couldn’t understand how sending such a message was even possible) they continued north at a hurried pace. As they neared the Shantytown they were attacked by hideous winged creatures that Nuana had seen in her dreams. The party fended the creatures off well, and reached the Shantytown only to find a different paladin waiting there in the place of Brother Laeorn.
Childe ben Yaza introduced the newcomer as Henric Tyrson, a Harrier of the Order of St. Cyprian and paladin of St. Eidon. Henric explained that he had been sent south by the Order to investigate a strange band of minstrels and a lost tome in their possession. He sought out Sir Laeorn in the city of Dusk, but the knight had no information to give him. Instead Brother Laeorn sent him with provisions to Shantytown to await the return of Ian and the party, possibly with information. Ian told him about the gypsy band and their strange disappearance, and that they had been headed “north toward larger crowds – maybe even to Umbral Haven”.
As they spoke they were interrupted by a girl staggering into town from the direction of Gale. She was covered in blood, mud, and filth, and obviously had not eaten in days. She stared terrified at the camp until soothed by Childe ben Yaza (who recognized her as the daughter of of a local merchant named Brimsworth – Maegan he thought her name was)and the gift of water and bread. Even after seeming in some way to calm down, she still said nothing but incoherent babbling. “I just wanted to see the show…I never get to see shows and I just wanted to see the show…it was so pretty…such a pretty king on a pretty stage…I just wanted to see the play…but there was so much screaming and dying and bleeding and screaming and slithering – always slithering…so much screaming…I hid the outhouse and the dead slitherings never found me…I just wanted to see the play…i just wanted to see the play…”
ben Yaza had heard the sounds of a play two-nights past. but the town had been silent since. Ian approached the young women to try to calm her and gain some more clear images of what had happened, but as he approached her she locked her eyes on something on his torso and then began clawing and screaming and fled into the camp, into the arms of one of the Cultists.
A strange reaction sparked their desire to uncover the source of the child’s madness. And so the party grabbed their gear and headed into Gale.