Return on Investment – Recaps episodes 103-109

The party returns to Nymora after the recent events, finding no traces of the incursion. Zechs’ parents are back, unpacking their belongings. Galahad, with a piece of the Heartwood’s root, rushes to make arrangements for his armor, anticipating a period without it. Hoshino seeks information about his old friend Ice on the Lake, and Zechs and Salix delve into family history. The rest of the party engages in shopping and gear trading, with Shanks receiving his enchanted elven saber. Amidst the respite, a shadowy figure begins trailing the group, providing vital information about JM’s safety through a mysterious woman. She leaves them with a black feather, hinting at future rendezvous. Galahad and Shanks engage in a drinking contest, resulting in Galahad’s victory. Zechs contacts Argo, who assures him everything is fine, though Glad helps Zechs discern that things are far from okay. It’s revealed that Argo is on his way to talk to Antonius, prompting concern among the party. Galahad receives a vision from Bahamut, clarifying his role as the dragon god’s champion. The group plans for the next stages, resembling their time in Granz City after defeating Strahd. Amidst revelries and pranks, the party splits to enhance Shanks’ elven speed and acquire an airship for their journey to aid Quon. They meet with Aura, gather information from Torbera about the incursion, and learn of a venture to Balazaar for assistance. Back at Zechs’ family home, the fallout from a seemingly harmless prank on Shanks reveals his long-standing mental struggles. After a heartfelt exchange, the party disperses for last-minute shopping. They spend the evening exchanging cultures and drinks at a venue, concluding with a show by the bard Rosco. Zechs has a contemplative moment, and a sincere conversation between Zechs and Hoshino unfolds. Hoshino later converses with the Daughter of the Weave, gaining insights into his companions and feeling their shared pain even before their formation. The next morning marks Zechs’ 34th birthday, celebrated with a surprise breakfast banquet. Some of the group finalizes arrangements for travel on the airship “The Swift Hummingbird,” while Hoshino and Arguile gather essential items, and Shanks seeks guidance from the Light of Elrin. On the journey to the Glasmeda Isles, Shanks and Salix continue refining Elven Speed. Hoshino performs the “Legend Lore” spell with the group to uncover information about Arguile’s “Guardian’s Rapier.” “The Guardian’s Rapier is a rose of thorns, once held by Ybo, who plucked it from the heart of her people’s betrayal. Gerviss, the Void Dragon, served as her shield and companion on her journey. But the rapier’s true potential remains dormant, buried beneath layers of thorns, waiting for the one who possesses the courage to navigate its twists and turns. Yet, be warned, for in the center of the rose lies a seed of both light and dark, a seed that could bloom into a flower of beauty or a weed of destruction. Choose your path wisely, for the thorns will cut deep and the consequences will echo far.” Quon, their ally, sends an arcane message detailing strange occurrences in his homeland, expressing concern that it might be too late. Seizing a moment of respite, the group takes the opportunity to enlighten Hoshino (and Salix) about the party’s history before their inclusion. In the course of their conversation, Zechs and Hoshino make a startling discovery—Zechs’ bow, “Jack of All Trades,” has undergone a transformation. Despite multiple attempts, uncovering the new features proves challenging until they realize that one of the runes now allows Zechs to create teleportation circles wherever he goes. Continuing their journey on the skyship, Galahad befriends a fairy dragon and negotiates a deal with the ship’s captain for Zechs’ new art project—a teleportation circle on the deck of the Swift Hummingbird. The tranquility is shattered as ominous clouds gather on the horizon, and lightning pierces the sky. A formidable opponent awaits: a blue dragon! Galahad discerns a connection to Tiamat, heightening the stakes. The party braces for an impending aerial battle, realizing that this skirmish in the skies may prove more challenging than anticipated. The question lingers: will they emerge victorious?

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