After procuring an influx of food for our settlement there was a mostly restful night. The new day began with a charged melody about the pirate’s slave auction and our place in it. With a late morning farewell from Dradira, it was time to see our heroes back on the road. With thanks for her hospitality, Dradira returned a dark and ominous, “tread carefully”.
Our eyes were soon greeted by another (somewhat) familiar face. Panacea had again crossed our path. This time she was busy selling potions, poisons and herbs in Echizen. Tanna bargained with her in elven and when all was said and done we’d bargained for a fair chunk of business while trying to get a more precise read on this being and what role she’d play in the future of our party and potentially settlement. Panacea’s Goddess Irena has apparently foreseen a need of burial and last rights for this kingdom.. much as She had for Gungrin. There was talk of wounded minds and doors of coping, then there was talk of New Dawnsburg. Panacea was invited and with a hand shake from Tumdrum, she agreed to visit and maybe do some more business beneficial to all involved potentially teaching MacDaman of the surrounding flora/fauna and it’s alchemical uses at a date in the not so distant future. Kaleth was notably not treated as nobility by Panacea, but Kale took it in stride while asking for more on Irena’s views of Cyrelun “Irena’s bane” and the Kou Kingdom “everyone gets what they deserve”. We parted then and left Panacea to “bury the dead and send the departed to the Soulwrought”.
By midday on the road to Aki, we were passing by rocky hills and noticeably larger caravans than our own small group of weathered travellers. Then it seemed there were very few, indeed nobody for a time, until one rundown hovel and it’s apparent resident caught Tanna’s attention. Her sharp eyes caught sight of a child retreating into the building. Of course her good heart would not let her leave a child to whatever fate awaited it in this bleak, broken down “home”. So she tried to offer the retreating figure food, but there was no response.. Kaleth called out to the figure, but there was no response.. then we heard a clicking of metal on stone, that is what drew us in.. ALL of us. Once inside the moldy rundown hovel it was noted there were stone stairs leading down, there was a light at the bottom of the steps and more clinking. Once we reached the bottom of the steps there were three children chained in the room that opened before us. After some soothing, “cooing” words from Tanna they told Kaleth of “the bad men” that would punish them if chores were not done, so of course we had to intervene. Tumdrum suddenly saw these children as abominations.. FIENDS! So he cast a moonbeam spell on one, releasing the enslaved soul of this child and that’s when it happened.. chains drew in on us from the ceiling, grappling us, restraining us, sinking their spikes into our limbs over and over again. Where one would fall another would animate and take it’s place against us. Shortly after Kale’ freed the remaining children’s souls that had been bound here, Amanus spotted a couple devils hidden in the shadows. These were “the bad men” the children spoke of. Once we’d spotted them it was quick and painless to dispatch one, before the other disappeared via some sort of foul teleportation. The one that we’d (maybe)destroyed left a black spiked chain, that the party quickly realized was no ordinary 30 foot link of chain. We were hardly out the door before the entire building was collapsing in on itself, leaving a pile of rubble where there had minutes ago been a deadly battle that could easily have cost us much more than it did. Tumdrum said a few words showing respect of the children’s souls, then it was back on the road, bloodied but still breathing.
The day was wearing on as we approached Aki(the Kou farming village along the road to home via Nakamaru Port). There was talk in the streets of a mother and her cursed newborn that’d recently been burned in order to appease the people and their crazed ideas of cleansing the kingdom. Eventually we arrived at our destination for the night, The Red Ass Inn. Kaleth got us a few rooms for the night(compliments of the innkeeper) and it was business as usual. With a joke about the red assassin that we were staying with tonight, Tumdrum performed both for the party and the masses with his lute and his juggling. After bedding down for the night, I know Deedee was already trying to decide what she’d do first when she got home.. it seemed so close.. and THAT’s when it happened.