We set up a private sanctum in my room, blocking the doors and windows with furniture. Taking watches and resting, to heal and recover. The time passes quietly. I leave a note for Gerald to go the school and stay there, it isn’t safe here anymore. When Marybeth wakes up, she remembers she was supposed to contact her handler, but had just been too exhausted. Nat offers to go with her, to tag along in her dreams. Marybeth tries to resist, but we insist. Nat makes some tea, and they both go back to sleep.
Nat wakes up vomitting. We really need to get her better herbs. She couldn’t follow Marybeth, but she did learn a lot about the monsters we’ve been fighting. Back before the breaking, the fae world and ours were nearly on top of each other, but now they orbit a void. Souls travel this void from one world to the other. At the breaking, some fae were trapped here in our world. They called out for help, for centuries they called to their people. Eventually, they were answered, by the demons in the void. These demons are siphoning the souls for power as they travel between worlds through the void. They come from somewhere further out, but the void gave them a new home, and they have been growing in power ever since.
Marybeth wakes up then. She says that Grandfather is taking advantage of loopholes in the contract. He has put it back in arbitration, to get himself in charge again. He is threatening to summon a greater evil upon the world if they don’t do what he wants. She confirmed that the curse is on her entire bloodline, and he was brought back with all her power, and his own contacts. He has convinced a chaotic subfaction to follow him. They are trying to bring her back to their home to remove the contract from her. If he gets it back, he can wreak more havoc on the world. She had been offering them the souls of those we killed, while her Grandfather had been killing innocents. We have to stop him from summoning this greater evil, and get her back to their home to defend herself. We insist on going with her, but she is afraid of us understanding the whole of it. So, we have Nat fill her in on what she’s already told us.
We’re all in. How do we find Grandfather? He must need mana. Where would he get it? The school? A refinery? A storage facility? He might masquerade as Marybeth in any of those places. Could Nat scry on him, just to see? Orrin cannot sense the other Marybeth. What about the bog witch? Then the conversation devolves into an argument about how he got into the Library. It doesn’t matter! He did it!
Nat tries to scry, but gets nothing. Dalish receives a summons from Rictus. Ugh! Where else might Grandfather be? What about that blood cult? There might be power there for him? Might as well check, it’s in this area of town. So, we head over there first.
It is still closed. Nat picks the lock to get us inside. It has been cleaned and repaired, but not very well. No one has been here in a very long time. There is nothing to find, so we head on to the school. I give Dalish back his phylactery since Rictus will want to see it. We make a plan of how to explain our presence to the groundskeeper to get me on campus, which I prompty forget when faced with him and the servires. I tell him we’re investigating a threat to the school and the city at large. I promise to behave, like I did the last time, and he gives me another day pass in.
Remy asks if Marybeth has been around since last time, but he says no. Remy asks about the fountain, but it isn’t running, the mana is kept more securly now. Marybeth asks him to banish her temporarily once we leave today, and he agrees. Dalish heads to meet Rictus and the rest of us head to look around the school. Everything seems pretty normal and quiet. Eventually, we head up to see Raltus. He tells us that things are just ask quiet as it seems. James is his only regular visitor. Remy consults with him on medical practices. Nat leaves Aleria a note, and when Dalish rejoins us, we head out.
Dalish tells us that the sacks have been destroyed, hundreds of them. And we’ve been tasked with finding and killing the black knight. This runs into a conversation of the morality of such an order. Are we actually going to kill him? Klyce, who previously had been all about following orders, but against killing, is back on his no death kick. Marybeth agrees. Dalish points out we’re still military, and these are direct orders. Remy wants to talk to him, understand what he is doing. Maybe we can capture him instead.
As we approach Marybeth’s old house, she turns into her accountant and begins to give us a tour as through we are going to buy the place. We head around the back and Nat once again lets us inside. The house is gutted and empty. Marybeth leads us to her Grandfather’s office and we begin a search in earnest, spreading out from there. Nat finds a compartment in the fireplace mantel, containing a series of papers in a strange language. Marybeth has a quick arguement and snatches them away, reading feverishly. The original contract, it seems. Remy finds a small iron box in another room with a strange symbol on it. We decide to take it back to my place to try and disarm it and head out.
The front gate is hanging open. Oh… no… I stop everyone and peak around the grounds. No one. We carefully head up to the house. The front door is wide open. Quietly, carefully, we creep inside. There are sounds from the dining hall. I gather everyone around the door. Ready? They all nod and I throw the door open.
There are two pig and four toad demons sitting at my dining table, feasting. Feasting on my servants! They’re talking to me, but I hear only thunder. I call forth the storm, screaming at them to get out of my house as I send lightning into the one who is speaking. Three of them leave immediately. The other, Thanks Me For My Hospitality!!! And before I can send another lightning bolt at him, he takes the remaining toads and leaves as well.
People are talking to me. I still hear thunder and wind. I let the spell drop. Yes. Yes, they all have family. Oh gods! Oh Dawnmother! Nononono. This isn’t happening. Why? We have to gather them up. I stride in and start gathering the parts, trying to match bodies. Gerhardt! Dalish! Help me! We have to tell their families. We have to give them proper burials. How? Where? What funeral parlor would their families use? How do I find them? I have to pay for it, I have to take care of their families. Klyce is talking at me again. We can’t give them back like this. We have to cremate them. Nat? Nat please help? We wrap the pieces and take them outside. The garden, they all loved the garden. I used to play here with them. Nat lines them up, and says the words and prayers. I try to pray to the Dawnmother, I don’t know what I say. Guide their fate or something ridiculous. Their fate is sealed. We start the fires. Nat asks about the neighbors, but I don’t care.
Then Klyce is yelling. Something is wrong at his house. He turns into an eagle and flies away with someone on his back. I max out my fly spell to get everyone still standing around and we fly after him. We arrive shortly after him. His living room is covered in gore and demon parts. Philip is sitting dazed with a knife in his hand and blood all over him. Klyce yells down for someone to come up to his sister Patty. I stop Dalish and go up myself. I just can’t clean up anymore blood today. Klyce asks me to send to Elizabeth to tell her to come home. I do and she’s busy but alive.
When they ask me to bring her down, everything is clean again. Klyce is explaining that there was an attack and Philip defended the family, but they are no longer safe here. Our enemies are attacking our loved ones. The shop will have to close for a few days while we sort everything out. Klyce asks if they can all come back to my place. Of course, but that doesn’t seem safe either, right now. We’ll all be there, we’ll keep them safe. He asks everyone else about their families. Marybeth says we have to go get her mom. No one else has family they care about in town. Klyce’s mom resists, but he eventually convinces her. As we head out, I send to Elizabeth again, telling her she’s in danger and to meet us at my address. We head to where Marybeth’s mom is staying to round her up, and I wonder if anyone has called the fire squad on the black smoke from my garden.