Suri guides the party to the landing where they’d first encountered Hogrifar. Luckily, Hogrifar is nowhere to be seen.
Unfortunately, the artifact they’d been looking for is also absent.
Whatever the black ooze was that crawled into Nightingale the previous night re-emerges from her body in a writhing, floating, mess. It incapacitates Nightingale as it speaks, floating above her, wailing in a thousand discordant voices.
The black ooze calls itself “The Maluma” and it was angry. It lashed out at them in anger, screaming over the absence of the mysterious white shard.
Rook tries to swing at the creature but it retreats back into Nightingale’s body.
Concerned, Suri senses that this Maluma creature is from her home dimension of Arkalla.
Now realizing that she has been infected with some sort of parasite, Nightingale and the crew brainstorm ways to find out what this thing is.
Hoping that Shayliss could help, and also knowing that Nightingale could obfuscate their current predicament, the group starts their investigation by asking Shayliss what a Maluma is. Unfortunately, this leads them nowhere as Shayliss has no idea.
The group decides they don’t want to wait for Balthazar to return from his trip, and they also don’t trust Yoel.
Running out of options, Nightingale decides to break into Balthazar’s study with Remi’s help and scan his massive library for information.
Spending all night searching, Rook finally finds a tome with something about the Maluma in it.
The information in the book stated that The Maluma is a parasite that could not be removed except for the destruction of the host. Once removed from the host, The Maluma will either hop into the body of the nearest living creature to become its new host, or be banished back to Arkalla.
Nightingale goes numb as the realization that there was no cure for this. She had to die.
But, Rook continues reading. The book read that practitioners of the ancient Theodotion magic employed Maluma as familiars. This meant that Theodotion Mages could control them, and maybe even remove them safely from the host.
This was their clue. They needed to find more information on Theodotion magic.
The Maluma resonated within Nightingale’s brain, taunting her and letting her know that her time was limited. Pretty soon the Maluma would take hold of her mind.
Without revealing too much about why or how, Remi timidly explains that her father may know where to find a Theodotion mage. She calls her father an information broker of sorts. The problem was, her father was located in Rhamsted on the coast of Elenia.
Rhamsted was a few days away from Elenia Proper on foot, but it was their only option short of going to Yoel Arsen for help. Feeling that Nightingale’s safety was his responsibility now, Rook encourages the group to find a solution on their own and travel to Rhamsted.
After gathering their gear, the four wait for the cover of darkness before heading towards the city walls.
! Reward: Nightingale has been infected with the Maluma.