Separation Anxiety – Recaps episode 48-53

Finding the guild hall, the party makes their way in. They’re greeted by an Arakocra named Qho. She is a colorful bird of paradise, with an almost translucent swarm of butterflies around her. “Zechs! Is that you?!” she exclaims. Zechs confirms that he’s returned from his job and introduces the members of the party that is traveling with him. He asks who from the upper members of the guild are around and Qho informs him that Inia is the highest-ranking member in the city. Inia is currently on the Pincushion Maker bounty, though they’re currently in the guild hall. Zechs asks Qho to gather the others for some troubling information. She returns with Gojin, a Triton; Strohm, a Changeling; Kivela, a Shifter; and Inia, a Yuan-ti Pureblood. Zechs introduces the party to the guild members and gets right to business. He asks questions about the Pincushion Maker. Revealing the possibility of a shapeshifter and that the timeline doesn’t work, though he doesn’t give them information on Shanks yet. Only that he is not the pincushion maker. He moves on to explain the whole Constable ordeal and the collision of the planes. None of them are very convinced by the information, though he is able to get across the idea of the multiple prime material planes. Inia questions why they need to know any of this, as they don’t take orders from Zechs. They reiterate that if the old man asks any of them to take it on, then the information would be relevant to them. Inia asks Arguile and Kyver about the member of the party that “is not the pincushion maker” in Thieves Cant. The two of them give the ranger some basic information on Shanks and Rig as well. The two of them question Inia a bit further about the Pincushion Maker. As this conversation goes on, Gojin strikes up a conversation with Galahad and Cereius. He also digs a bit into the situation that Zechs has told them that they are all in. The two confirm not only Zechs’s story but that their gods have spoken to them about the situation. He asks how Zechs is doing on his current journey. Through all of this, Zechs is a bit caught off-guard. He quickly realizes that his guildmates are thorough and wish to get as much information as they can. The conversation moves on to contacting Argo and trying to get him to meet in a location that sits near the middle of both of their current whereabouts. They come to the conclusion that Granz City may be the best spot to meet. He asks his guildmates, again, to help the party find the tethers pulling the planes together. And again, Inia tells him that if he can convince the old man to have the guild focus on that, then that is what they will do. Otherwise, they will continue with their current assignments. However, Zechs decides that he will just give them the platinum for the bounty to direct their attention to the colliding planes. Inia isn’t overly pleased with this and tells the Tabaxi, flat out, that unless the old man diverts them to what Zechs is talking about they will stay on their current assignments. They even go as far as to say that Agro is in charge of the guild, not Zechs. After a few minutes of back-and-forth, Strohm breaks out their moonshine and begins to pour shots for everyone. Before Zechs can partake, Inia and Gojin ask him to join them upstairs for a debrief on his mission. Following them upstairs, he sits in a rather large room with the two of them as they begin to lay out what is about to happen, not only with him but those that traveled with him. They explain that the questions he will be asked are Agro’s questions and it is his rule that they are asked. All members that have attained any rank in the guild have gone through this, and he will be no different. They explain that it is for the betterment of not only themselves but for those around them. Everyone wants him to succeed and none of the things they will ask about are of a personal nature. Zechs agrees to the debrief, and the pointed questions about his mission begin. Zechs gives them the full rundown of the entire Barovia job. Explaining about the Journeyman and the Constable. He speaks about the ins and outs of each event as it unfolded. Ireena, the Revenant, the Amber Temple, and their final confrontation with Strahd. While Zechs recounts the details and answers their questions, he notices that their attention is on his posture, hand, and eye movement. He explains that he’s gained a new perspective on himself since he ventured to the Feywild and had his memories returned. Zechs confides in the two that he is contemplating changing his conclave to Monster Slayer. He also reveals that one of the party members has a potential connection to Orcus. He mentions the connections between Galahad, Antonius, Argo, Attros, and himself. They end with a few pointed questions about the party that he travels with. They dive into his need to try and fill the gaps that he sees. At the end of all of this, he asks about the things that have been going on while he was away. Inia informs him of a cult following a figure in a Goblin mask formed by the town of Ravenwood, trouble in Terran Ridge, the Pincushion Maker, and various other smaller bounties. Zechs is dismissed and makes his way back down to the drinking downstairs. He lets Cereius know about the debrief and directs him upstairs. One by one, the other party members take their turns giving Gojin and Inia more context to the mission in Barovia. And one by one, Cereius, Arguile, Galahad, and Kyver detail their time in the demi-plane and their thoughts on how Zechs handled himself. Throughout these conversations, more is revealed about Shanks, Rig, and the interconnected nature of the party. [48/49] After the debrief, the party begins to drink Strohm’s moonshine. During the revels and shots, Gojin follows up on his inquiry about Galahad’s armor. The Goliath regales him of the tale of how he got it and who made it, suggesting that Gojin gets a set for himself. Zechs wagers Arguile twenty gold pieces that he can’t pickpocket Inia. The two rogues dip into the shadows to wait for the opportune moment to strike. He is caught in the act and is told that if he tries that again, he will lose his hand. After a fourth shot of the shine, Arguile passes out where he stands. During the chaos, Zechs makes his way over to Kivela. He makes it known that he didn’t mean to hurt her feelings when the party arrived earlier. In the banter that ensues, she unwillingly admits that she missed him, and Zechs pokes fun at her. Moving from her, Zechs sits down with Cereius and begins pointing out the family dynamics of the guild. A drunken Qho makes her way over to the two. After a bit of conversation, the party comes together to play a game of quarters. Zechs passes at the table following a victory shot. The night ends shortly after with Galahad taking the two passed-out party members upstairs to sleep. Kyver decides that this is the perfect opportunity to pull a prank on the sleeping party. He searches their bags and finds himself some rope. He then moves across the room tying their feet together and eventually passing out in the corner before he can make his exit. The following morning Arguile, Galahad, and Zechs wake up to see what transpired the night before. Working together, through speed and a Hold Person spell, they tie his foot with the rope, throw it over the rafter in the room and hoist him upside down. For the cherry on top, Zechs tosses a jar of bees into the room. At this point, Cereius walks by and just shakes his head saying “I told him it wouldn’t work”. Flashback to Glad entering her room in the tavern after the battle with Strahd. Sitting alone, she begins to meditate and is down toward the tavern area. Following this feeling, she makes her way down and has a conversation over tea with the Journeyman. She talks about how she has been experiencing blackouts. Glad is reminded of her summons to the Seelie Court and is transported to the Feywild by the Journeyman. Stepping through the door of the tavern, she walks through a lush clearing surrounded by forest. The plant life is all manner of colors; purple, orange, yellow, and so on. Darting across the clearing and through the trees are bright trails of light. She is greeted by a pixie named Gladys, who leads her to a massive tree with an intricate knot in it. The knot unfurls into a portal glowing with green light. She walks through it into another forest, but slightly ethereal in nature. From within, a four-foot-tall Sprite emerges, clothed in fine green fabrics and antlers upon his head. He introduces himself as King Oberon. He explains to Glad about the collision of the planes, and that there are only a few things that can be done. The first is to find the points where they’re connected and sever them. The other involves an ancient religion surrounding the creators of the gods called the Daughters of Creation. Glad agrees to help in any way that she can, and as a token of his gratitude, King Oberon permits her to ask any question of him she likes. She asks him if he knows who her father is, thinking out loud that it’s not the most important thing but it’s an answer that she’s still searching for. The Archfey admits that he doesn’t know of her father. She reflects on her journey with the party and comes to realize that her search, though meaningful to her, is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. King Oberon smiles at this revelation and imbues her circlet with healing abilities to help her on the journey ahead. She thanks him for the information, his gift, and his time and exits the portal back into the Feywild. Making her way back to the tavern, she enters to find a faun sitting at the bar speaking to JM. Lithe and graceful, the faun hands Glad a letter addressed to “Quill” and walks out the door. Glad explains everything that happened while she was with the Archfey, and JM agrees to take her to the rest of the party in Belrondis. Meanwhile, the party eventually makes their way downstairs to the common room for breakfast. As they gather at a table and joke about the ridiculous prank they just pulled on Kyver when there is a knock at the door. They greet Glad and invite her in to join them for food and drink. She accepts and begins to tell them about all of the things that have happened in the last few days. Not only has she gone to meet King Oberon, but she talks about a letter for “Quill”, and a vision involving the Protector and a Daughter of Creation. The name “Quill” catches Zechs and informs his compatriot that he’s had some of his memories restored and that Quill is his given name. She gladly hands it to him and he quickly changes the subject sending a message to Argo. [50] Cereius sends Argo a message without identifying himself and gets a confused response. Letting the party know, Zechs crafts a message with the same info but with the addition of identifiers. After a few messages, they agree to meet in Granz City in a week and a half. While they prepare for their journey, they ask Qho what the guild is working on and a few details about them. Qho reveals that something or someone is taking out entire Goliath tribes in the Terran Ridge, and this catches Galahad off guard. He is insistent to go back to the Ridge and suspects that Antonius is involved somehow. He cites his conversation with Bothok about Antonius needing his help as his main reason. They all agree to head to the Ridge after Granz City to meet with Argo. Qho brings up Zechs’s Conclave switch and its required three weeks of training up north. He still isn’t totally sure and says that he’ll discuss it with the old man when he sees him. At this point, the party is ready for their journey west and heads out on the main trade route toward the capital city. The travel is easy and they set camp for the night. Galahad takes the first watch and decides to reach out to Bahamut for wisdom but his call goes unanswered. Arguile and Kyver take the next watch and the two of them dive into their arcane books. Arguile copies some spells into his spell books and Kyver continues to study his arcane for beginners book. Zechs and Cereius take the final watch. They speak about the letter from the faun in the Feywild. The conversation moves to Cereius and his quest to save Valencia and settle down with her. Cereius confides that the visions he received from the Moonweaver may require him to leave the party and he hopes that they will understand. Zechs thinks that they will, if the time comes, and brings up his vision of the “deer lady”. Neither of them is sure why or how they are connected to her. Thinking deeper, Cereius comes to the conclusion that the three figures he saw may be from the three planes being pulled together. The blacksmith Vulsir is a legendary artifact maker and the others are important on their planes, perhaps. He also remembers the rumors about Nindlelough and its destruction. The day begins and the party continues their travel to Granz City. During the day, they run into another party of adventurers. A Goliath named Tolik, an Air Genasi named Marvin Barry, and an Elf named Zephyr Witchbane. After some conversation, the two parties part ways, and the rest of the day goes off without a hitch. Stopping for the evening, they make camp in a spot they camped at earlier when traveling to Belrondis. Arguile and Cereius take the first watch. During the watch, the Tiefling brings up the idea of pulling a prank on Kyver and persuades the Cleric to do it. If not for the fun of it, then for his balls. After some setup, the prank fails but Cereius is still able to catch Kyver in a compromising position with Create/Destroy Water. After the two head to bed, Kyver begins his watch. He notices some rustling in the treeline surrounding their camp. There is a feline shape in the shadows. The movement continues as Kyver watches and moves toward Zechs and Galahad. Out of nowhere, a Dire Tiger attacks him and the party awakens for the fight. The creature is smaller than normal and well out of its normal habitat. As the fight continues, several other spectral tigers join the fray, eventually either being destroyed or merging with the physical one making it bigger. The battle is hard won by the party. Meanwhile, Shanks continues his conversation with Mr. Bell as he explains the situation in Granz City. While Shanks was in Barovia, a series of murders have been committed across Granzia by someone who matches Shanks’s description. Not only that but because he has missed the last 50 years of history in Granzia when he was picked up by JM, Granz City is very different from what he remembers. The Battle of the Fey Kings has left a mark on the city and parts of it have now melded with the Feywild. Bell emphasizes that this murderer could be anyone with shapeshifting magic and could be anywhere. The two discuss ways to clear his name and how to get to the underground tunnel system. Shanks makes his way back to his tavern and heads to JM’s office for a conversation. He mentions Mr. Bell and the Journeyman has no idea who that is. This leads to a discussion of her past faces. Shanks pushes forward and brings up the tether points and she confirms that several have been found by her other group. This then leads to the underground tunnel system and the current landscape of Granz City. She gives him a brief history of the Battle of the Fey Kings. She goes on to describe the tether points as being in areas that have strange things happening in them. Time sinks, magic behaving strangely, and creatures with altered abilities and strengths. She also confirms that Shanks is wanted, suggesting that Chico may have something to help him with that. Shanks is hesitant though because he doesn’t want to compromise his cognitive abilities with Chico’s arcane pipeweed. Speaking with Chico, he makes a deal with him to turn the pipeweed into teas for him to drink and ultimately alter his appearance. The Druid brings up the Wild Mother and how his resurrection and its pretenses seem to be false. They share a heartfelt conversation about it and Chico is very understanding and forgiving. At the end of it all, he hands Shanks a Cloak of Many Fashions to help him blend in further. [51] Back at the camp, Galahad begins to make a cloak with the Dire Tiger’s pelt during the final watch with Zechs. The two are hyper-vigilant for a bit before settling into the normal rhythm. They discuss the encounter with the creature and how strange it really was. While Galahad begins to cook the meat from the beast, Zechs pulls out the note from the faun and begins to read it. It turns out to be a list of places, some of which he recognizes. Coldbring, Tritania, and the Coal Desert are places he recognizes from Granzia. However places like Stargrave, Drose, Landfall, Uscana, Ghelgo, and Mechfall he doesn’t. The list also has a strange symbol on it as well. During breakfast, Zechs brings up the list. Arguile recognizes the names of Uscana, Ghelgo, and Mechfall. The last of which is where he spent most of his life before joining this party. Kyver recognizes the name of Stargrave, a northern city in Sloane, but doesn’t recognize the other two places. The Ranger posits that these locations could be tether points. Eventually, the party breaks down camp and continues their travel. During the day, the party tries to figure out what the symbol may mean. Arguile remembers that it had something to do with We’ahqa’s information from after their run-in with the Constable. It sparks the name of the Daughters of Creation with Galahad. Travel is easygoing for most of the day and they make camp for the night. During the watches, Arguile and Cereius discuss Kyvers dumb luck and superstitions that they’ve heard of. Kyver works on his disguises and reads his arcane textbook. Zechs has a conversation with Duo about potentially changing his conclave. Duo doesn’t want him to but will help him however he can. He wants to save the world together with Zechs. The Tabaxi expresses guilt about the events that led up to Attros and We’ahqa disappearing into the Astral Sea. Ultimately, Zechs decides that he won’t change his conclave and resolves to work even harder with Duo to be the best team they can be. Galahad and Zechs also discuss whether or not either will stay in Sloane or Granzia. The Paladin is unsure about the whole situation and wants to see what Antonius is up to. Especially if it has something to do with what’s happening in Terran Ridge. But the conversation turns to both of them looking forward to meeting more of their family and for Zechs to finally see his parents again. Another watch ends, and the party breaks down their camp and begins to travel toward Granz City. During the day’s travel, they come to a fork in the road with a traveler resting in the grass next to it. It turns out to be another member of the Shuffle Guild, a Kalashtar named Cenari, and her familiar, a Red Panda named Tobin. She caught up with them when she heard from Qho about the colliding of the planes. She is part of the Horizonwalker Conclave and the party gives her the low down on what’s happening. Every now and again during this conversation, Cenari uses her telepathic abilities to flirt with and fluster Arguile. She asks the group if anything strange has happened to them recently and they tell her about the run-in with the spectral Dire Tiger. This confirms a few things for her as she’s been hearing about and seeing strange stuff around Startomb, Granz City, the Forest Bastion, and Dragonborn Valley. She talks about animals with strange abilities, magic acting oddly, and time loss. Galahad asks about Terran Ridge and the Ranger informs him of unconfirmed rumors of a single knight clad in black armor wielding dark magic as the culprit. She was actually heading that way after she leaves the party to check out what exactly is happening. With the sun beginning to set, the party decides to set up camp for the evening. Cenari and Arguile take the first watch. They speak about the flirting earlier and how Zechs is holding up. They speak of benefactors like the Journeyman and bond over their fairly new familiars. All the while, there is an allusion to a rendezvous after their watch. Kyver and Cereius take the next watch. Arguile asks Cereius to try and keep Kyver on his best behavior, as he doesn’t want interruptions during his alone time with Cenari. He goes as far as threatening to stab Kyver if he ruins it for him. He then bribes Kyver with talk of magic and access to his spell book if he behaves. The two on watch discuss Cereius’s life before becoming an adventurer and his joining the party. They also touch upon Kyver’s family, including his uncle who was an adventurer and going to see his parents again. They speak about Kaleb and that whole situation. Kyver brings up an Elf named Alma from his past. She was someone who had comforted him while he was in his prison and he cares for her deeply. She is also, supposedly, the person that stole him from his parents and altered his memory. Cereius suggests talking to the Shuffle Guild to help find more info about Alma’s whereabouts but Kyver doesn’t think it will help. What he’s truly worried about is how his parents will look at him once they know about all of the horrible things he’s done. Cereius reassures him that his parents will still love him and see their son, not a murderer. The final watch belongs to Galahad and Zechs. While the Tabaxi gets comfortable with a summoned bear, Galahd prays to Bahamut again for wisdom and guidance. He receives a vision of a knight clad in black armor with Chromatic motifs and a sword exuding dark magic. The watch comes to end and the party begins to wake. Cenari is the first to arrive at the fire to cook breakfast and Zechs playfully pokes fun at her for her apparent conquest of Arguile. She deflects and takes a few verbal jabs back at the Tabaxi. But with the way it was implied, Cereius and Duo half-jokingly go to search for Arguile. The Tiefling hears his name being called and wakes up in the field by the camp with only a few articles of clothing. He makes his way into the camp without saying a word. There is a bit of telepathic flirting between Cenari and himself, as she brings him breakfast and coffee. After successfully locating all of Arguiles clothes, the party breaks down camp and begins yet another day of travel. At about midday, they come across the Medusa’s Cascade on the side of the road. They head into the tavern, where JM is waiting on them with some new information. The party fills her in on what’s been happening recently. The final story, the Dire Tiger encounter, segways into her new information. Some tether points have been found and she is now referring to them as “machines”. Two locations, Mechfall and Ghelgo, are mentioned and Zechs breaks out the list from the Faun, pointing out those locations. JM finds it interesting but the locations found in Sloane don’t match up. They ask about the symbol and she tells them that it was on We’ahqa’s letter and that they’re Druidic symbols of the elements. It may also be connected to the Daughters of Creation. She thinks, though, that the tethers are in groups of four per plane, going on to explain that the weird stuff Cenari told them about and their experiences are signs of a potential tether point. She mentions that their next stop is to see a tinkerer up in Nindlelough to help her create a device to track down these types of disruptions. JM describes the machines as having multiple floors. The first is a floor filled with doors. Potentially, doors to other places and planes. The second is a room filled with massive arcane crystals humming with energy. The third is a giant, open-air room with an arcane engine inside of it. She believes that there are more floors, but the other party was only able to explore three before things went awry. Apparently, they were transported across the plane just by entering one of the machines and closing the door behind them. Strangely enough, none of the machines that have been found have the same exterior. Some appear as a cave, another as a decrepit tower, and still another as a gleaming metallic structure. The party asks about Chico and the Journeyman tells them that he’s been saying that he’s in contact with the Wild Mother. Knowing this day would come, Galahad and Zech venture into the kitchen to talk to the Druid. They have a very similar conversation with Chico as Shanks did. There is one interesting bit of information that Chico mentions. Melora has been showing him visions of a place called Landfall. A city built in and around a massive mountain with huge statues surrounding it. They represent something to do with what she called “The Daughters”. This description matches what We’ahqa found and also brings up a story from Galahad’s childhood. A story that spoke of the place where everything was created.[52] Before the party leaves, JM asks them to keep an eye out for Shanks in Granz City. She’s not sure what he looks like currently, or how he got within the walls. She knows that Chico helped him out and that he felt he had it under control. While she is speaking to the group, Arguile sneaks over to Welby and quietly asks for anything that may give him a “stamina” boost. The Halfling’s eyes dart between the Tiefling and the muscular woman who came into the tavern with them. With a nod and a wink, he covertly hands him a pouch with something that will make him more “viral”. With that, the party heads back out on the road for another day’s travel toward Granz City. Meanwhile, Shanks prepares to head into the city. He plans to be dropped off along the outskirts of the Fey Steps in the area known as Spore Rock. Having arrived at his destination, he steps out into a shanty town, just outside the city walls. Green, purple, yellow, orange, and pink spores and mushrooms cover the landscape around him. And in the distance, heading away from the city is the visible edge of a large impact crater. Scoping things out, he notices that there are armed guards at the entrance and archers along the top of the wall. Watching the gate, he surveys the guard’s routine for a moment. Taking note of how they interact with the traders and merchants entering the city. Seeing no other covert way of entering the city, he concludes that the best way is to walk right through the gates. Ducking into a small alley between shacks, he changes his cloak to match that of the guards. Hesitantly, he drinks the tea that Chico prepared for him, concentrating on the form he would like to take. There is a strange sensation that overtakes him for a moment. When it passes, he looks down at his hands. They have a much fairer complexion than before. His locks are gone, as well as the points of his ears. Taking out his dagger, he assesses his reflection. He now appears to be a human man in a guard’s cloak. A sense of confidence washes over him as he casually strolls to the entrance. The first set of guards barely notices him as he salutes them. However, he is approached by a guard clad in plate and wielding a spear, that is standing in the interior of the portcullis. The guard questions his purpose for entering the city and Shanks weaves a tale of being a new recruit from Ravenwood, named Brian. There is a quick back-and-forth between the two and he is let into the city with instructions on how to reach the citadel. Walking into the Fey Steps, he begins to notice elements from the stories his mother once told him of the Feywild. Her voice rings in his head, “never trust the Fey”. Lush forest and bright flora crowd the densely packed buildings. Most of the signage in the area is in a language he can’t understand, likely Sylvan. However, he does recognize several different Thieves Cant glyphs hidden among the buildings. One, in particular, catches his eye. It’s the symbol of Attros’s guild, the Tell Tale Guild. Shanks decides to follow the glyphs through the winding streets and back alleys until it eventually leads him to a small alleyway between several buildings that lead to a large alcove. Within the alcove, he notices several different Kenku. All of them seem to move with a purpose, carrying crates and bags. As the altering effects of Chico’s tea wear off, a voice within his head asks, “can I help you, sir?” He turns to find a sentry. A Kenku clad in all black and wrapped bandages around his arms. Shanks mentions Attros and receives an apprehensive response from the sentry. He goes on to explain that he’s looking for Attros’s former guild. The Kenku gestures to ward the alcove and begins to lead him inside. A couple dozen Kenku are scattered throughout the alcove. When he enters, they stop what they are doing and begin to chitter and squawk. The sentry silences them with a loud, shrill note, and turns to Shanks. The sentry tells him to stay put and not to move. The bounty on his head is very high and they will be looking for a reason to kill him. Shanks freezes. Several minutes later a Snow Owl Aarocokra enters the space with the guard in tow. Shanks recognizes her as Lenore, Attros’s deceased and then resurrected wife. She asks the archer why they shouldn’t just kill him and claim the bounty. What his proof is of knowing Attros. He slowly and carefully pulls an arrow crafted by the Artificer from his quiver and hands it to her. As she inspects it, he takes in the situation. It seems that something is being built or worked on, though he’s not sure what it is. Whatever it is, he gets the vibe that Lenore is the spearhead of the whole operation. Satisfied, She asks a few more questions about her love and Shanks goes on to explain what is happening with the planes. Lenore then asks a peculiar question, “what do you know of Elrin?” Shanks admits that, outside of the affiliation to Attros, he’s not sure who he is. Lernore tells him, simply, that he is the bringer of balance, and Shanks is intrigued by this turn of events. He offers his services in exchange for his life. Lenore is not opposed to the idea but informs Shanks that an offering must be made first. She beckons him to follow her, leading him into a nearby building and eventually to a small shrine room. A simple shrine sits along the back wall. A golden elf wreathed in flames. Lenore kneels and prostrates herself in front of it, gesturing for him to do the same. She tells him that Elrin will decide his offering and that he should meditate on it. Shanks obliges. As the incense from the shrine burns, he begins to smell a sulfuric, sweet decay smell in the air. Upon opening his eye, the shrine is gone and has been replaced with a golden-skinned Elf-like being in fine red and black robes. The two have a discussion about balance and chaos. They speak about the planes and the Constable. Shanks finds that Elrin doesn’t seem too concerned with him. He also learns that Elrin knows his given name. They speak of Attros and Shanks’s potential offering. Elrin asks, “what’s your happiest memory?” Shanks speaks of his mother but the being asks for something specific. The memory that made him what he is today. Shanks speaks about the pride in his mother’s eyes when he made his first potion. Elrin questions why his happiness is based on achievements. He is looking for unbridled joy and frivolous things. Memories that can’t be tallied or marked. Shanks capitulates and speaks about his first kiss with Dona. As he holds this memory in his mind’s eye, Elrin approaches Shanks. Leaning down, he touches the archer’s forehead with his thumb. There is a burning sensation and then it is gone, along with the memories of Dona and the meeting itself. Lenore reenters the room, with a smile she says “he accepted your offering”, and leads him back out of the shrine room. Lenore informs him that while they will not require his help with the artifact they seek, Elrin wishes for him to help Arguile with his goals. The Tiefling is important to Elrin and he wants Shanks to focus on that. He is given room to stay in until his party arrives in the city. Meanwhile, the party begins their travel for the day. Cenari uses her knowledge of the area to cut some time off of their journey. They set up camp and begin their watches. Cenari and Cereius take the first watch, speaking about the Barovia job for a bit before it turns into a conversation about the strange things happening in Granzia. Kyver is woken up and starts the next watch. He spends most of his watch reading more about Hemocraft, or Blood Magic. Galahad and Zechs take the last watch. As the Paladin waits for Zechs to join him, he reaches out to Bahamut again. He receives the same vision as before but with more detail. Along with the black knight, he sees an Adult Black Dragon with sparks of lightning around its wings and ice breath emanating from its maw. As the vision ends, Zechs approaches the campfire and Galahad explains what he saw to the Tabaxi. The conversation turns to Zechs’s apprehensions about his place in the party. His potential conclave change and his decision to not change it. He brings up the history of Coldbring, Tritania, and the Coal Desert. He believes these are the places to search for the machines. They finish the watch by talking about making their way to the Ridge to speak to any remaining Goliath Elders.

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