Today’s date: 17 day of the Ram moon, 797
As late evening falls, Riga hears voices outside, singing in Cloudwalker. The group, minus Falda, go outside and see a Cloudwalker mob at the gate, led by Rendo Dugal and including Riga’s father. Rendo proclaims Riga is the savior, the yoke of Nessiac will not hold them down, and they will all enter the Temple of the White Dawn. Riga stands at the gate and gives them all platitudes, which Rendo constantly spins to fit their religious beliefs. The cult finally leaves.
Another guest appears and the guard introduces him as Silivar Reem. Riga claims he is a contact from The Shaded Lamp and is a trader of instruments. Dominic notices that he bears a very strong resemblance to Shren Zargil and is quite confused until Riga says Silivar, whose real name is Kasper, changes his appearance quite often. Riga tells the rest of the group that Kasper told her that a rune nest has been found and that the party must leave right away to get to it to summon the egg. Unfortunately, there are also reports of ghouls in that area.
Kasper meets the party across the valley and enters the window of a building in an alley, where they find themselves in a store room. Kasper asks everybody to refrain from drawing weapons and casting spells while inside of the temple and enters a magical doorway. Another man, looking very similar to Kasper, meets them on the other side and pulls them (minus Kasper) through another magical tiled door to the room containing the rune nest. Dominic and Feylanna lose their footing on the way in and unceremoniously fall to the floor. The inside of the room stinks of carcass and there are small cages made out of bones that are holding rats. There are rune markings in a circle in the middle of the room and white hand markings all around the wall.
Feylanna notices a ghoul peering down from a hole in the ceiling and fires an arrow at it, hitting it. The ghoul shouts out “Praise to the Albino Prince!” and it drops down to the floor along with three other ghouls. Battle ensues! During this confrontation, Dominic, Feylanna, and Falda fall prey to ghoul bites and get paralyzed. Riga is able to hold off the ghouls for a bit until the paralysis wears off on some of them. Unfortunately for them, a ghoul cleric has joined forces with the other enemies, including many zombified hands. Dominic prays to the power of Leben and channels, killing most of the hands and felling one ghoul. Falda manages to slay the ghoul cleric by burning it with a SCORCHING RAY spell. Dominic searches the body and gets some assorted jewelry [added to PARTY EQUIPMENT].
Falda starts the ritual at the rune nest while the rest of the group remains on guard to protect him from other ghouls. Suddenly, a giant white hand the size of a pony appears in the circle instead of the Kolban Egg. Riga stabs it and barely dodges a spray of puss that comes out of it. The hand grapples Riga while Dominic casts PRAYER on the group and lets the power of Leben wash over them, enhancing their abilities. Again, Falda is able to heroically kill the hand with a SCORCHING RAY spell without burning Riga. The fact that Falda is slaying all these monsters will definitely not resolve his arrogance issues!
The group is very confused about what just happened, but Falda explains that the Kolban Egg was most likely summoned away from where it once was and replaced by the giant hand as a trap for the party. The Kolban Egg was possibly stolen by Baron Burmeck. Falda says that the ritual rune papers that Dominic “sold” (even though he didn’t) were probably used to steal the Kolban Egg. Dominic lets his temper get the better of him and tells Falda that pages were found missing out of Ilfar Kresto’s journal, which was in Falda’s possession. This only serves to enrage Falda and cause him to doubt all of the party’s trustworthiness. Dominic realizes he made a mistake in bringing it up, but the damage is done. The party decides to return to Stableman’s for the evening for a late meal and then some sleep and then plan what to do in the morning.