Unsure what to do with ourselves, we decide to stick to schedule as much as we can. Heading out to exercise before breakfast, we discover that Klyce has upped the difficulty with some weird ladder-jumping contraption. I stand ready with featherfall spells as the rest of them try it out.
At breakfast, we are approached by Professor Cambrank, who wishes to speak with us after we are done. Heading over, we discover that he is also going away, to help in the war. However, he has prepared materials for those of us left behind, to continue our studies. Well, their studies, pointless for me. He also lets us know that Werther, Weest, and Occusio are leaving, too. It really doesn’t look like we’ll have a school much longer at this rate.
Dalish and I go see Werther about alchemy homework before he leaves, but he has nothing prepared. He suggests we look over our book and ask Gerhardt for help. He does promise we can have access to materials for healing and resistance potions, but nothing more dangerous. Remy and Maribeth go see their other professors, too, but it seems only Cambrank thought of the students.
We all decide on a study and exercis routine to keep us going. Remy suggests I study Cambrank’s materials, too, for my “different point of view,” but it seems pointless. None of these diagrams make any sense to me. McAllen is still hanging around. He’s organizing the Sanctum league still, and helps us run a few practice games.
Things toddle along for a couple weeks, until Philomena gets tired of us all. She insists we can’t just sit around, even though that’s exactly what we decided we were going to do. She says we have to Do Something about all the fae that Remy released. Her family was nearly ruined by one, and she doesn’t want that to happen to other families. Jerrick has been hunting the ones in the forest, but what if they went further?
Dalish goes back to the papers and pennydreadfuls, looking for hints of chaos in the city. He finds a story about a deranged cannible cult in th northern slums. That seems relevant, so we head out. The slums are full of Royalist propaganda and thugs, and sufficiently lacking in regular police. Until we reach an alley where there is a small cluster of them.
Remy sends in his little lizard to spy and hears them talking about people being chewed up and the mages not helping. We quickly decide on a scam – Remy will pretend to be a professor to offer assistance. They’re surprised, but somewhat grateful for the help and follow his instructions fairly quickly.
There is a pile of body parts here. Chewed body parts. With both large and small teeth. It’s disgusting, and everyone gets super worried about why they’re here, and where the other scenes were. What if it’s symbolic, what are they trying to do? And on and on and on. Maribeth finds tracks leading from the street to the bodies and more tracks leading away, in two directions. Booted tracks and tiny tracks.
Pembrooke tells us that thre have been five body piles this week and a few the week before. Remy sends for the reports on all the bodies and tells them which inn nearby to deliver them to. I have to remind everyone that we have tracks to follow several times before I can get them moving. So worried about symbols, they forget there is action to be taken.
The small tracks lead us to a sewer grate, and we head down carefully. Well, some of us go carefully, others just jump into the muck. Dalish finds scratches going to the right, so we head that way. After not too long a time, I start hearing whispers and my belly starts growling. The sewer is disgusting, but I’m suddenly starving.
I let the group know that we’re going the right way, but don’t explain too much. We eventually get to an open space up and down, someone called it a spillway. There are tunnels above and below, and everyone else can hear the whispers now, too. The ladder looks pretty unsteady, but we all manage to make it down to the bottom. The voices are coming from a tunnel down here.
We creep forward as quietly as we can. There’s a break in the tunnel and, looking in, we see a campfire with four small men, all wearing red caps. I look around at everyone, seeing if they’re ready, and then cast my new slowing spell into the center of that room. It actually works pretty well! The fight that ensues is pretty bloody. These little red-capped men are vicious!
As with most of our battles with the fae, they do not attack me. But they do cut down my friends, so, when I’m not keeping up the slowing winds, I smash a couple with Nat’s staff. When one falls under my blow, I don’t feel hungry anyore, and in fact, feel stronger. This does Not feel good at all, as my mind flashes back to the old hag’s words: your power is because of Murder!
After they are all down, someone sets up a rope trick for us all to rest.