Today’s date: 15 day of the Ram moon, 797
The group gathers in the aftermath of the Hailstone battle to discuss their options. Falda wants to go to the Temple of Nesciec to complete his ritual. Dominic wants to cast a SPEAK WITH DEAD spell on Hailstone’s head, but Riga talks him out of it, saying that if the spell is cast in Miragenon, the Wizards of Winter may be alerted as to what is happening. Riga says that it is probably best if the SPEAK WITH DEAD spell is cast in the real world and Dominic grudgingly agrees. The group decides that the next step is to leave Miragenon and walks back to the cave of the Thendrakes to see Osh and Duro.
Duro feeds the party some dinner of what looks like chicken and seaweed soup to replenish their strength after their hard-fought battle with Hailstone. He then explains that, in order for them to leave, they must travel to the Void of Whispers to learn where Hatcher’s sacrifice is going to be made. Once they learn that, they must save the sacrifice in order to leave Miragenon. Dominic mumbles a prayer to Leben and casts his remaining healing channels as well as casting MAKE WHOLE on Feylanna’s bow to repair it from the sundering that Hailstone gave to it. Seeing the Thendrakes standing guard, the group decides to sleep.
The next day, Duro supplies more special eggs for breakfast, the ones that hide people from the gaze of Hatcher. Also part of breakfast are steamed wraps with what appears to be chicken inside. Duro and Osh take us to a place where an extremely wide pit resides, about sixty feet across. There is a rope bridge running across the pit. Duro hands out drums to each member and instructs them to go over the bridge. He says the drums will catch voices and translate them and then takes Osh and leaves. Not much happens initially, but after a while, the drums start vibrating and voices come out of them.
Small Drum: “Sir Barry’s body has been prepared for the journey.”
Big Drum: “Have you chosen an acolyte for the trip?”
SD: “Yes, Tom Hafner, will be the one.”
BD: “And Hanson, is he satified that none of this was our doing?”
SD: “Yes, he blames himself and the missing servant, and he’s dedicated to fulfilling Sir Barry’s quest.”
BD: “And the present for Count Vico, is it ready?”
SD: “It is, and I believe he will be pleased, even if he foresees it.”
BD: “The Fairing Fowl is ready to depart in the morning and should make Reachport in good time for the Ram’s Horn Feast. So all that’s left is the sacrifice.”
SD: “I will prepare Gilshine at once.”
BD: “Is it wise, he is well liked.”
SD: “They will know that Hatcher took him, and the terror will quell them. Only the savage will fight on in the face of such a fate.”
BD: “I hope you’re right.”
The drums fall silent and the group makes its way back to the Thendrake camp, where they are told to remove their clothes so that black and white feathers could be sewn on as part of a ritual. Duro gives Riga a present to deliver to Mother Thendeko, which she promises to do. Duro also distributes vials from a box to assist in dealing with Hatcher: 6 CURE MODERATE WOUND, 5 GASEOUS FORM, 2 BULL STRENGTH, 2 CAT’S GRACE, 2 BEAR’S ENDURANCE and a cold iron trident, which Riga equips. Duro also says that Osh will enchant the trident when the time is right in case it needs to be used against Hatcher. Duro then gives everybody a drink from a flask that turns their eyes to black. He says it will make them immune to Hatcher’s fear effects and then he leaves the group to go on their way.
To prepare, the canoe was placed as near as possible to the large cave where Hatcher receives its sacrifices. Falda summons a giant wasp and Dominic stands next to the pond where sacrifices fall and readies an egg to shove into the Gilshine’s mouth. The egg (supplied by Duro) will hide Gilshine from Hatcher’s senses, hopefully. Riga drinks a potion of BULL STRENGTH and BEAR’s ENDURANCE while Feylanna drinks a potion of CAT’S GRACE. A bright light shines into the pool – get ready, it is about to happen!
Gilshine falls out of the sky towards the pond. The summoned wasp was able to snatch him midair before his body hit the water and brought him to Dominic, who quickly cracked the egg and poured the contents into Gilshine’s mouth. Suddenly, Hatcher starts to run towards the pond, booming footsteps shaking the cave and Falda casts INVISIBILITY on himself. Hatcher screeches and, despite drinking some the potion supplied by Duro, the party falls victim to Hatcher’s fear powers. They see their own shadows start to attack and grapple with them! Dominic is able to cast REMOVE FEAR on Feylanna and Talen in order for them to start moving Gilshine out of the cave.
Hatcher grabs the summoned wasp and swallowed it whole. It served its purpose as it successfully delivered Gilshine from the clutches of Hatcher and died a noble death. Unfortunately, Hatcher also grabbed Riga and stuck her in his mouth. As he swallowed her whole, she was able to drink a GASEOUS FORM potion and float out unharmed. A race ensues towards the boat where Hatcher is coming closer to the party while they struggle with its fear effects. Hatcher is almost upon them when Osh Veiras shouts out, getting its attention. Osh is grabbed by Hatcher, but Falda somehow makes Hatcher drop Osh. Unfortunately, Osh doesn’t get away in time and ends up being swallowed by Hatcher!
Everyone (minus brave Osh) piles into the canoe and Falda summons a giant squid to start pulling the boat out into the water quickly. Hatcher runs out of the cave towards them, but is forced to return to it once he sees the group is out of his reach. The squid pulls the canoe into a swamp and everyone takes a breather. They have retrieved Gilshine, but the effects of Hatcher have remained with them in the form of a condition. Dominic is afflicted with SLEEPLESS, Riga is NUMB, Connie has CONDUIT, and Falda is HOLLOW. What this means, they don’t know yet. However, Gilshine is still unconscious and unmoving, but is alive and they have just survived an encounter with a god…