UM Chapter 3 Spark Notes

UM Chapter 3

A Change In Profession
  • The young girl that the party saved in the mines approaches everyone and thanks them for saving her life. She wants to go adventuring with them but Damocles adamantly denies her. She gives them some loot for their troubles and vows to be a hero one day, just like they them.
  • !Reward: The girl from the mines gives Damocles some loot.
A Distress Call
  • While walking through the ash-ridden dreary town of Hyde. Rook’s amulet starts glowing, signifying that Suri wants to manifest. Worried that Suri must have some important information to share. Rook pulls off into a dilapidated building and gestures the others inside.  
  • Suri suddenly appears. She exclaims that one of her Arkallan sisters is just outside the walls of Hyde and is in serious danger. She explains that a distress call such as this must be a last resort. No creature from Arkalla would take such a risk unless it was very serious. Suri goes on to explain that these distress calls are dangerous because they reach out to all those around them, even creatures from the great bounty. It’s likely that if she keeps it up, whoever is putting out the call will be tracked by the ominous and powerful Great Bounty. Suri urges the party to help her pursue this further.
  • The group agrees and hastily exit the city’s walls on Suri’s directions.
  • Not far out of town, the group tries to keep pace as Suri leads them through a cluster of thick trees in an isolated area off the main road. Soon, the group stumbles upon the girl who must have put out the distress call.
  • A woman who shears Suri’s distinctive look and aura stands beside a human looking male. Both have weapons drawn, one holding a spear and the other a club. Nearby, a crazed woman nears them, her own scythe drawn. The crazed woman charges, and the man steps forward to protect the Suri-esque girl he’s with. He is injured by a vicious blow by the scythe and falls to the ground. As the crazed woman turns her attention towards the still standing foe, the man yells for his companion to run, calling her by the name of Isla.
  • The group follows Rook as he sprints forward in an attempt to intervene and save the lives of both the injured man and the woman with the Suri-esque features named Isla.
A Family Betrayal
  • The party makes their way back to the Hyde mansion to inform Elias on the events that have transpired.
  • Elias cannot believe that his close friend and confidant Hendrix Patel would be capable of such treason. He was one of the founders of Hyde afterall.
  • Elias reveals that ever since the founding of Hyde, Hendrix had always wanted Hyde to be under Brahmanian control. Apparently Hendrix always disagreed with Balthazar’s methods of rule. Their longtime disagreement over the proper ruler for the country likely caused Hendrix to cooperate with the Grim Deacons. Elias figures it must have been an attempt to seize control of Hyde for himself, though he still isn’t sure.
  • Elias also reveals that Hendrix is Teegan Patel’s husband. Nightingale remembers the woman who bought them rice balls and her heart sinks. She couldn’t imagine Teegan knowing anything about Hendrix’s treasonous plot. Regardless, Elias is convinced he’ll need to have her arrested and questioned.
  • Damocles is dismayed to hear that his mother’s condition has worsened, Rivka was strong, but the Blight had no known cure. Despite the poor state of his mother, Elias still holds out for some sort of miracle to save her.
  • At the request of Nightingale, Elias pardons Justice’s alleged crimes in the Mines and allows Justice to go free and join Nightingale in investigating her own issues.
  • Elias offers the group a stay for the night at his estate. The group has their first night of good rest since Padric’s inn.
  • The next morning, Justice and Nightingale chat over breakfast about her magic book. Justice tells NIghtingale that it demands things from her as a trade off to use magic. She believes that it may be sentient.
  • Justice tells the rest of them that her friend Zafir, the man who may know more about the Maluma, can be located in the Carrion Swamps to the south.
  • Damocles arrives to the kitchen and explains that his mother is stable, but not doing well. He says that his father has requested alone time and that a messenger will be sent if things change.
  • The group decides to stay the morning before leaving Hyde. Damocles joins them while they take some time to gear up in Hyde.
A Tussle With Mortals
  • The Celestial Gigas bores down on the party after a crushing defeat.
  • Isla pleads to the Lion-Beast to let them live, she argues they are only doing what they feel is right. Isla gives herself up as payment and as a show of her sincerity. The Lion-Beast accepts the offer, attributing their reckless decisions as a byproduct of the folly of man. However, the Lion-Beast explains that Isla will be judged here and now knowing full well that she is guilty for escaping her prison, and worse, involving and endangering humans.
  • Through tears, Isla agrees to the guilty plea. In a flash, the creature brutally tears Isla into pieces, satisfying the Great Bounty.
  • Showing some respect for Rook and the others for their commitment to doing what they believe is right, the giant creature pays them a reward for their decision in ultimately turning Isla over. The beast warns them that if this ever happens again, they will not be so lucky.
  • The time spent fighting the massive Lion-Beast proves to be too long for Faust. A long moment passes and the group comforts Faust as he dies in the grass nearby.
  • !New Story Flag: Judgement of Judas.
Arriving in Hyde
  • The party finally enters the stone walls of Hyde. A smoggy, grey, mining town, covered in ash. Hyde isn’t the most welcoming sight. But it didn’t matter, they needed to find the person in charge so that they could ask about the whereabouts of a Theodotion Mage. Elias Hyde was both the Duke of Hyde and an old friend of Balthazar. He was known as kind and caring. Nightingale also knew how much Balthazar trusted him, so she thought that it was only fitting that she’d trust Elias too. More importantly, Elias Hyde would be the most likely person in the city to know more about the Theodotion mage.
  • They approach a nearby guard and ask for more information on where to find Elias Hyde. The guard points toward the sky to a lone manor sitting atop a massive hill.
  • The guard informs them that Elias, for some unknown reason, has been actively turning away visitors for some time now and doubts that this wandering group of kids will be any exception to that.
  • The party ignores the warning and hikes up the steep pathways, making their way up towards the elusive Hyde manor. As they walk, they converse, trying to come up with a strategy on their official story. After their blunders in Rhamsted, they decide to create a cover story rather than go with the tried-and-true “royalty from Elenia” schtick.
  • The Hyde’s are known as the most generous and hospitable of the Elenian royal families and Rook worries that something is wrong if Elias Hyde is turning away visitors.
  • Regardless, after going through the plan and cover story, the group decides that it’s going to be too much work without resting first. They decide to unwind a bit and check out the mysterious ash covered city before attempting to convince another member of the royalty that they need help.
Blackhand Revenge
  • It’s a rainy, unrelenting night. Over a steaming campfire, long after the others have gone to bed, Padric and Remi discuss what happened in Rhamsted. The two bond, and comfort each other knowing that both each tried their best. And despite Remi’s anger towards Aisling, seeing her father kill her in cold blood was still hurtful and unexpected. Regardless, Padric forgives her. He had feelings for Aisling, but he knew that what transpired wasn’t Remi’s fault. Instead, Padric blames Grace’s corruption and the Black Hand’s maliciousness.  
  • Together, the two mourn the brutal death of Aisling. Remi boils inside with anger and the two vow to exact revenge on Malik and Grace for what they’ve done.
  • Meanwhile, Gage sleeps in Remi’s lap. And as she looks into the fantastic and cute cat’s sleeping face she can’t help but be reminded of her father’s more compassionate side.
Coming Clean
  • As they follow Damocles out into the streets, Nightingale decides to tell Damocles the truth as to why they are in Hyde. She stops him to explain that they aren’t the original help his father sent for. Regardless, Nightingale still wants to help his family.
  • Damocles demands to know more so Nightingale elaborates. Nightingale catches Damocles up briefly, then explains that they are looking for a Theodotion mage.
  • Damocles figures that as long as they are willing to help him with his mother’s situation, he doesn’t care why they are here. More importantly, Damocles explains that he knows nothing of a Theodotion mage. However, if this fabled Theodotion magic was powerful enough to collapse a large section of the Hyde Mines, then it may be related to the explosion that occurred a few days ago.
  • Nightingale begins to inquire to learn more, but Damocles cuts her short and explains that they’re going to see the jailer. He tells Nightingale that her questions would be better asked there.
  • Apparently, Damocles already has a lead that none of them know about.
Coughing Girl
  • The party manages to rescue a girl in the mines. Her father thanks Damocles for being so brave and saving his daughter.
  • The girl doesn’t have time to say thank you and is instead ushered away for medical attention.
Defy The Great Bounty
  • Against their better judgement, the group refuses to hand over Isla to the Great Bounty.
  • The Lion-beast accepts this decision solemnly before ferociously attacking.
Easy Peasy
  • The team makes their way to the Harbinger Embassy in Hyde. They noticed how well-kept and pristine the building looks compared to the other crude stone buildings in the city of Hyde.
  • While walking through the vast vaulted hallway of the embassy, Nightingale dwells on the significance of the men and women who become Harbingers in their world.
  • While on Middara, people do not age, but they also cannot bear children. This is why Harbingers are required. They are the life-force of Middara. Children are born and raised on Earth and then brought to Middara via the Harbingers. This system does not come without a fight though. Powerful god-like creatures ironically deemed “angels” protect Earth children from capture.
  • Nightingale snaps out of her deep thought as she approaches the front desk. Behind the counter is one of the oldest men on Middara she’d ever seen. He introduces himself as Lyle and asks what he can help with, and to be quick about it. The embassy is closing.
  • Nightingale reluctantly informs Lyle of her identity and demands that the Patel case be opened up again.
  • Lyle doesn’t believe that Nightingale is the second Princess of Elenia, and even if he did, Lyle tells her that there is nothing he can do. The foster mother died, she was the one who knew about the existence of Middara and the father isn’t going to just give his daughter away to strangers. At this point, the Harbingers are at a stand-still short of breaking into the house and kidnapping the girl. And as any “Princess of Elenia” would know, this is avoided at all cost. They’ve decided to sit on it to see if the situation changes.
  • Nightingale tells Lyle that due to her status, she has private Harbingers in the city of Elenia that she could recruit for the job and make it happen. Lyle only laughs and asks why she doesn’t just ask them before denying her demand once again.
  • Rook asks the Lyle if there is anything else they may be able to do for him to convince him otherwise. They are adventurers afterall.
  • Lyle’s demeanor immediately changes as he welcomes a bribe. Lyle tell the team that if they were to fetch him the rare “Corpse Lotus” from the nearby Corpse Pond, then he may be able to pull some strings.
  • The group asks why he wants a Corpse Lotus but Lyle only claims it’s worth a lot of money.
  • !Flag Check: Does the party have Experienced Guide?
Ending The Pain
  • Nightingale whispers into Damocles’ ear. She kindly points out the struggle Elias is going through.
  • Damocles takes Nightingale’s advice. He steps up as the one who must kill his mother. He cannot allow his father to be the one to do it. Elias protests but Damocles doesn’t have to fight long before Elias backs down.
  • Damocles pulls out his dagger, an heirloom given to him by the very woman he’s about to kill. Despite Rivka’s deteriorating grotesque features, Damocles still only feels love her her.
  • Damocles holds the blade to his mother’s chest, then, he tells Rivka he loves her one last time before he plunges the knife into her heart.
  • Rivka is finally at rest.
  • !New Story Flag: A Son’s Love
Faust’s Fate
  • Faust lie in a hospital bed in Hyde, making a slow recovery, but clearly heartbroken by the fate of his beloved friend Isla.
  • Nightingale apologizes for not being able to save Isla. Faust doesn’t blame them. The creature was too powerful to disobey.
  • Faust makes Rook promise him to be careful around Suri. He makes it clear that Suri is taking a great risk by being on Middara at all. Then, Faust asks to be left alone and the party leaves him to his solitude.
  • !New Story Flag: A Lonely Survivor.
Fighting To Her Last
  • Elias whispers one last goodbye to his wife before drawing his sword. He takes a deep breath, but it’s clear that he’s shaky and will have a very hard time committing the deed.
  • After a long moment of hesitation, Elias finally swings for Rivka’s neck. Rivka jolts to the side at the last moment in a sudden moment of rage. Elias cuts one of her restraints instead.
  • Rivka savagely lunges for Elias. She begs for him to kill her so that she won’t hurt him. Elias goes to the ground but is seemingly able to cut her throat before he’s infected himself.
  • The ordeal is clearly a horrific experience for Elias and he’s left shaken and emotionally distraught.
  • !New Story Flag: A Husband’s Duty
Finding Another Way
  • Zeke is a terrible liar and the group fails to convince the guards to let them into the Hyde estate.
  • Away and out of earshot of the guards, Remi reminds everyone about her original suggestion of finding some other way into the estate. The group decides that it’s worth the risk. They had to talk to Elias, Nightingale’s life was at stake.
  • After searching around the property for long while, the group discovers a hidden tunnel just outside of the property. It seemed mighty convenient, but that intrigued the group even more.
  • Together the group crawls down through a winding rock passage until it opens up underground.
  • There is a sudden scraping sound down in the dark. The group draws their weapons slowly proceed with caution.
Forever Marked
  • Although bloodied and defeated, the massive Lion-Beast threatens the party, telling them that their choices were foolish. They are now forever marked by the Great Bounty. The time will come where they will be called to pay for their crimes.
  • The monster departs quickly, tearing open a pocket of space before disappearing inside of it with a snap of energy.
  • With Faust slowly dying, the group turns to rush him to Hyde for medical attention.
  • !Reward: In his hasty retreat, the Celestial Gigas drops a strange artifact.
  • !New Story Flag: Marked.
  • !Special: Depending on how much time has passed, continue to a different scene.
Freed From This Realm
  • After a long, treacherous battle, the party stand exhausted, thinking of ways to proceed.
  • Isla is frantic next to the body of her human friend. She calls him Faust. And as Faust lie bleeding to death on the ground, blood soaking his tunic from a horrific wound, Rook worries for his survival.
  • Rook does his best to help but still doesn’t have much hope for Faust’s survival.
  • Rook asks how Isla got to Middara in the first place. Suri explains that creatures from different dimensions can create a Soul Bond with each other, allowing them to take physical form and stay in another realm permanently. Suri explains that Faust is Isla’s Soul Bond and to Bond with one from Arkalla is highly illegal. Although a Soul Bond is usually permitted, Suri’s homeworld of Arkalla is one of the dimensions that is off limits from travel. Suri angrily explains that Isla was stupid and endangered Faust by Soul Bonding with him.
  • Isla ignores Suri and pleads to the group to save Faust.  
  • Suri begins to usher them to grab Faust so that they might leave. Suri explains that they must hurry before the Great Bounty arrives but she’s cut short as the sun blots out and darkness looms over them.
  • Dread overcomes Suri as a dark opening tears into the sky above them. An agent of the Great Bounty was already here. Suri whisps away, giving Rook one last desperate look before vanishing in fear at the newcomer.
  • Descending from the skies, a massive lion-like creature, three stories tall with flowing feathery wings like something out of the book of Revelations lands nearby.
  • The beast introduces itself as an agent of the Great Bounty. Promising that it means humans no harm. Instead, the creature congratulates them for bringing it two lawbreakers. It cordially asks the party to hand over Isla as it turns on the Living Oblation. The red headed girl with the scythe struggles with her injuries and crawls in a vain attempt to escape.
  • The giant beast leans down over the squirming Living Oblation. The red headed girl screams out as the Lion-Beast tears the human vessel into pieces, exposing the creature that was habitating the human body. It explodes out of the carcass like a black ooze, similar to the Maluma.
  • Then, the massive lion creature turns to Nightingale, Rook, Remi, and Zeke, and politely asks again that they hand over Isla for their payment.
  • Faust still lay dying and Isla tells them to do whatever they need to do, but Faust is her only concern. Save him and she’ll be happy. Isla turns to the group for a decision.
  • Nightingale voices no opinion, she just doesn’t want to be in the presence of the Lion-Beast any longer. She covers her mouth in horror at the idea of the monster tearing her apart to get at the Maluma within herself. Somewhere deep within her, she feels the Maluma shrink and disappear as though it too was fearful of the monster.
  • Rook hates that the Great Bounty police’s their realm for any reason. He feels that those who want to be together should be allowed. Somewhere deep down Rook would like to have Suri with him at all times. But he also knows that Faust will die without prompt medical care. Protesting this Lion-Beast’s wishes could prove to take too much time.
  • Zeke lost the cigarette out of his mouth not long after he watched the Living Oblation get torn apart. He didn’t feel the need to be next, so he opts to hand over Isla and get Faust immediate medical attention.
  • Meanwhile, Remi can’t bear seeing someone else eviscerated again. She worries Isla will be killed if they hand her over so she protests the decision.
  • !Decision: Protect Isla or hand her over to the Great Bounty.
Grateful Families
  • On the way out of town, the party is stopped by a group of Hyde citizens.
  • The families of the rescued miners can’t let them leave without a proper thanks. They show their gratitude to Damocles and thank him and his friends for saving lives and insists on them taking a reward.
  • Damocles feels proud and Justice feels a bit exonerated as the party turns to leave Hyde.
  • !Reward: The thankful families hook Damocles up with a reward.
  • !Flag Check: Depending on your flags, continue to the appropriate scene.
Hand Over Isla
  • With hesitation, the group decides to hand over Isla, denying the monstrous creature and agent of the Great bounty could prove to be a terrible idea in the long run.
  • Isla accepts her fate and resigns herself to the Great Bounty, trembling as she approaches the massive beast.
  • The agent of The Great Bounty acknowledges the wise decision and tears open a portal into another world. He then tosses the group a bag of gold for their capture of a criminal.
  • The agent of The Great Bounty watches as Isla enter the portal. Moments before she enters, Isla turns to the group and tells them to save Faust before disappearing through the portal. The Lion-beast follows her through and with a loud crack, the portal vanishes as quickly as it appeared.
  • !Reward: The Lion-Beast pays you for your services.
How Much Help
  • The group is forced to retreat and eventually loses their pursuers in the labyrinthine mines. After a long walk, they eventually make their way to the wide cavern that Justice had been leading them toward.
  • Rook can’t believe how many monsters are down in the mines. He hopes that the guards will be able to handle the infestation better than they have.
  • Justice apologizes for the infestation of creatures and explains that while the presence of many are directly her fault for opening up the walls, the Blighted Guardians shouldn’t have been down here regardless. The human’s she ran into were likely behind the presence of the Blighted Guardians.
  • Damocles thanks them for the help anyway. He only hopes that all this work can save his mother.
I’m Sorry, Suri
  • In failure, Rook apologizes to Suri. The girl fighting for her life, the one the man called Isla must have been from Arkalla too. But Isla was dead now, and it was because they failed to save her.
  • Suri is disappointed, but thanks them for their attempt to help one of her sisters from Arkalla.
  • Rook asks how Isla got to Middara in the first place. Suri explains that creatures from different dimensions can create a Soul Bond with each other, allowing them to take physical form and stay in another realm permanently. Although a Soul Bond is usually permitted, Suri’s homeworld of Arkalla is one of the dimensions that is off limits from travel. Suri angrily explains that Isla was stupid and endangered the man she Soul Bonded with. Suri doesn’t blame Rook for their failure to save Isla, she blames Isla for her recklessness that got herself and someone she loved killed. Suri ushers them away, telling them that they must leave before the Great Bounty arrives. The Great bounty has a track record for punishing anyone involved with such mingling.
  • Zeke lights up cigarette and wipes at his brow before agreeing with Suri and claiming that they still have a Theodotion Mage that needs to be found.
Into Hiding
  • After anxiously waiting in the hospital lobby, the doctor emerges. Due to the party dealing with the Celestial Gigas so quickly,  Faust pulls through and survives his wounds.
  • Isla is beyond relieved that her beloved Faust will recover.
  • Suri reiterates the seriousness of the matter at hand. The Great Bounty will not forget this decision. Suri leaves them all with a word of warning.
  • Isla ignores Suri’s warning and thanks the group for their help before bidding them farewell.
  • !New Story Flag: Happy Fugitives.
Justice In The Dungeons
  • The Hyde jail was mostly barren other than one occupied cell. The jailer briefs Damocles on the explosion and the events that transpired from it. Apparently someone destroyed a large section of the Hyde Mines and the results were devastating. Luckily they caught someone they think was responsible.
  • The Jailer points to a cell and the group confronts the occupant.
  • The occupant of the cell is a girl that looks anything but threatening. She’s small in stature, with big blue eyes and even bigger circular rimmed spectacles.
  • The jailer explains to Damocles that this girl was found amongst the debris of the explosion without so much as a scratch on her. The whole thing was very puzzling. On top of that, she had a large book with her that confusingly could not be separated from her.
  • The worst part is that the explosion was so large that it blew holes into parts of the mines shaft that had been closed off due to monster infestations. These monsters were now free to roam the mines.
  • Damocles approaches the cell and demands an answer to what happened. The girl only cowers at his rage, scooting farther into the back of her cell.
  • Nightingale intervenes and takes a different approach to the interrogation. She had a hunch that this jailed girl was the Theodotion mage they’d been looking for. Assuming such, Nightingale tells the girl that she is infected with a horrible parasite called the Maluma and she believes that Theodotion is the only way to save her.
  • At the mention of Theodotion, the girl becomes receptive.
  • The occupant of the cell wearlily introduces herself to Nightingale as Justice Bouchard. She asks Nightingale how she knows that she can use Theodotion. Nightingale tells Justice the truth. She explains that she didn’t, but that she desperately needs her help.
  • Justice stammers, explaining with a sorrowful voice that it was all an accident. Justice tells them that she was in the mines with her friends and they were looking for something when they were attacked by Blighted Guardians being controlled by humans. The explosion was in self defense. She apologized profusely.
  • Rook asks if the explosion has something to do with how dangerous Theodotion is, Justice nods. She confirms that controlling such a magic is difficult, and the power that was unleashed was a mistake that was goated out of self preservations. The humans after them weren’t going to let her live otherwise.
  • Damocles interjects and demands to know who and where her friends are.
  • Justice’ face twists in agony. She tears up as she explains that they died in the ambush. They weren’t the only ones looking in the Mines. Now they’re all dead. The humans controlling the Blighted Guardians killed them. When she was finally cornered, she used her magic to save her own life. She killed the people who attacked them.
  • Justice seems genuinely hurt over what had transpired. Damocles shows her no remorse. Instead, he only scoffs and questions her more. The fact that Blighted Guardians were involved meant that this was connected to the attack on his estate and the infection of his mother. Damocles asks Justice if she knows anything more about the Blighted Guardians and explains what happened at his estate.
  • Justice confirms that she thinks she knows where the cages were kept that held them. She claims that there is a sort of operation deep within the mines where the Blighted creatures are being studied. Justice also claims that if they free her, she might be able to help with Maluma issue afterwards. She can’t cure Nightingale, but she knows who might be able too.
  • Justice quickly makes a deal with Nightingale and Damocles. If they let her go free, she will lead the party down to where she saw the Blighted Guardians in cages and guide Nightingale to the acquaintance she claims can help remove the Maluma.
  • Damocles reluctantly agrees only after Nightingale presses him on the issue.
  • !New Party Member: Justice Bouchard.
Listen Here!
  • Unable to overcome the infestation of monsters in the hidden tunnel, the party retreats and makes their way back to the Hyde manor’s gate. Realizing that the threat beneath the estate supersedes their need for secrecy, Nightingale confronts the guards.
  • The guards glare at them dubiously as they approach.
  • Nightingale comes clean about their identity and tells the guards of the serious monster infestation in the hidden tunnel below the Hyde Estate.
  • The Hyde family has apparently already officially called for help from Elenia due to some disease that is spreading. For these reasons, the guards assume that Nightingale and the others must be the help from Elenia that they sent for.
  • The guards let them pass and lead the group to the main room of the Hyde manor where a man waits for them.
  • Elias Hyde welcomes them, and has them take a seat before introducing himself. Elias looks worn and his face droops in misery. Behind the expensive clothing and jewelry, it’s clear that something is wrong. Before Nightingale can inquire, another man appears, and  Elias introduces the man as his son, Damocles.
  • Damocles is intimidating, apprehensive, and tall. He sits nearby and suspiciously stares at the party.
Little Gold Lie
  • Zeke and Nightingale track down Teegan Patel to tell her their fabricated story.
  • Zeke exclaims that the Corpse collector bested them and they were unable to snag the Lotus.
  • Nightingale chimes in and explains that Lyle didn’t trust them anyway. Nightingale then promises that she will see what she can do about the situation once she gets back to Elenia. It’s an empty promise though, and Nightingale can’t help but feel guilty.
  • Teegan understands the situation and doesn’t hold it against them. Instead, Teegan appreciates them trying at all. Before departing, Teegan hypes herself up, confident that she’ll find another way to get her daughter to Middara. Then, she lets them know that she hopes to meet again one day.
Lotus For A Child
  • Back at the Harbinger embassy, the team approaches Lyle with the Corpse Lotus. Ecstatic, Lyle tells his secretary to fetch a basin of water to place the flower in.
  • Zeke demands that he holds up his end of the bargain before receiving the Lotus.
  • Lyle pulls out a file from his desk, scribbles some notes and promises to send the letter out to Regional with the next caravan.
  • Zeke threatens that there will be repercussions from the Jeong family if Lyle’s promises are not met. Lyle only chuckles and waves them away.
  • The party makes their way back to Teegan’s estate. It isn’t hard to find seeing as all they had to do was look for the second largest mansion in the town. Apparently the Patel family had some importance in the town.
  • Teegan is endlessly thankful for their work and promises to meet again one day.
  • !Special: Discard the Corpse Lotus Item.
  • !New Story Flag: The Patel Daughter.
Miner Rescue
  • A frantic man runs up to Damocles while the party is exploring the city. More beasts have escaped through the blown out crater and some miners are trapped.
  • Damocles rushes to their aid and the group follows intending to help save the miners.
Miners Extracted
  • A crowd of residents of Hyde cheer as the party surfaces from the mines.
  • At least some of the miners were successfully rescued.
  • Damocles is congratulated for such a brave selfless act.
  • !New Story Flag: Avoiding Collapse.
  • !Flag Check: New Ambitions.
Murmurs Behind The Door
  • Justice finally leads everyone to the space where the Theodotion explosion originally occurred. It was a gory sight and it gives Nightingale flashbacks of the informant’s house and his unfortunate demise.
  • The traces of the original mine were barely visible. The crater from the explosion that took place was huge and left a chasm that stretched across the underground in a way that was unreal.
  • While the others take in the horrific sight, Justice begins searching for something immediately upon arrival.
  • As Justice pokes at dark corners in her search, Nightingale pulls herself away from the traces of human still littering the crater to ask Justice more about what happened. Nightingale asks about the people that were after her in the mines.
  • Justice tells Nightingale that it was Grim Deacons.
  • Rook’s interest is piqued by the mention of Grim Deacons. He turns and asks Justice to confirm that by the Grim Deacons, she means the same Grim Deacons that are well known as very talented Brahmanian Spies and soldiers.
  • Justice nods, confirming that Rook is spot on in his analysis.
  • Damocles overhears and worries at the news. He’s heard of the Grim Deacons. They’re notorious elite killers for the aristocracies of Brahma, the country to the west. They’re hard to kill, and incredibly connected.
  • Justice turns to explain that the Grim Deacons are after the friend she wants to take Nightingale too. His name is Zafir and he’s likely to be able to help them out with the Maluma issue.
  • The mention of Grim Deacons causes Rook to become increasingly more wary.
  • Justice reassured them that the Grim Deacons were caught in the blast and makeup half of the bodies here. So there is no need to worry. She seems confident that the blast killed all three of them although there was a fourth individual who did not look like a Grim Deacon but instead looked like a resident of Hyde.
  • Damocles goes to ask more about the fourth man but Justice mentions he ran off into a nearby tunnel that has collapsed. She’s certain it’s where they needed to go.
  • Finally, and with a triumphant gasp, Justice finds what she and her friends were after. She holds up an irregular white rock in the corner of the room and laughs triumphantly.
  • Damocles swipes the rock from Justice and curiously asks what it is.
  • Justice calls it a pontifex. Or… at least part of one. It’s something Zafir was after. She explains that she doesn’t know what it does exactly, they were on orders from Zafir to get it for him.
  • Something stirs inside Nightingale, the Maluma thunders inside her mind. It yearns for the Pontifex piece and part of its feelings impart upon Nightingale and she too feels the need for this artifact.
  • Nightingale, in a trance-like state of submission to the Maluma, snatches the Pontifex piece from Damocles. Nightingale claims that she’s the Princess of Elenia and this belongs to her before anyone else present in the mines. Nightingale says that she’ll keep watch of the Pontifex piece until Justice’s end of the bargain is fulfilled. Then, she’ll give it to Zafir only if she deems that it’s safe.
  • !New Story Item: First Piece of the Pontifex.
  • Both Damocles and Justice seem bummed about Nightingale’s decision for different reasons but they both submit to it being fair. Nightingale is the Princess of Elenia after all.
  • Damocles asks if everyone is ready to continue towards where the fourth man ran off too. They agree, and Justice leads them to the collapsed section she mentioned earlier. After a short moment the group is able to squeeze themselves into a tight corridor. The party continues down the corridor a very long way until they finally reach a thick locked stone door.
  • Damocles suggests that Justice cause another explosion to blow through the door but Justice refuses, saying that anytime she uses her Theodotion magic, a price must be paid to her Tome. Confused, Damocles simply accepts the answer without further explanation.
  • Just then, Remi leans in, hearing voices on the other side of the door.
  • The group hear two different people talking, a man and a woman. The woman is furious with the man for failing to kill “the Duke and his heir”.
  • The man assures the woman by the name of Echo that Elias’ infected wife will soon “turn”. Nobody survives the Blight, and Rivka will be no different. Elias will not have the willpower to execute his own wife and will thus become infected himself. The plan is all coming together.
  • Frustrated. Echo responds to the man by the name of Hendrix. She’s furious with Hendrix’s lack of initiative. Echo suggests they infect Hyde’s water system with The Blight. She explains that if they can uproot the city, Brahmanian plans can move forward with occupation.
  • From listening to the two voices talk, It seemed a Grim Deacon by the name of Echo is conspiring with someone by the name of Hendrix.
  • Damocles knew Hendrix. And hearing the man plot the demise of Hyde and his family drove Damocles’ face white with anger. Enough was enough, Damocles angrily orders Justice to use her magic to blast their way through.
  • Confronted with his anger, Justice reconsiders using her magic. She channels energy from her giant book and focuses it on the stone door. The door rots away as if time itself was destroying it. After the door shrivels, there’s an explosion of dust as the passage before them explodes.
  • Through the dust and madness, the party makes out what’s behind the door. It looks like a primitive laboratory of some sort with cages and vials and syringes and experiments of all sorts. The explosion caused by Justice sent the equipment scattering and the room was now a mess.
  • Echo and Hendrix were now clearly visible. Damocles had always seen Hendrix as one of his fathers best friends. He had always trusted Hendrix to protect Hyde. Instead, Damocles finds him conspiring with a Grim Deacon and the culprit behind his mother’s impending demise.
  • This betrayal sends Damocles into a blind rage. He charges into the room as the debris and dust still settles. He makes a lunge to tackle Hendrix.
  • Fed up with Hendrix’s incompetency, Echo grabs a sketchy looking syringe off of a table and injects Hendrix with its contents.
  • Hendrix immediately starts pustulating and turning pale. He screams at the realization he’s been infected with such a pure form of the Blight.
  • Before anyone can stop Echo, she disappears into the far exit and escapes through a door.
  • Meanwhile, Damocles tries to get information from Hendrix, but it’s too late. The man’s form twists into something inhuman and he screams in pain as he’s turned into something horrible.
My Duty
  • Damocles wants the Grim Deacon called Echo to pay for her involvement in his mother’s death. Angry and out for revenge, Damocles arrives with packs ladened with gear as the party is turning to leave Hyde.
  • Justice explains that the Swamps of Gehenna are incredibly dangerous. She cautions Damocles on his choice to join the party but he isn’t deterred.
  • Damocles explains that he isn’t going to rest until he avenges his mother and finds and  uncovers every detail. Damocles vows to punish everyone who was involved in the plot of Rivka’s murder and the threat to Hyde.
  • Together, the group begins to head out of the city.
  • !New Party Member: Damocles joins the party.
  • !Flag Check: Depending on your flags, continue to the appropriate scene.
Not Rich Enough To Win
  • Remi and Rook win the Bellicose fight. Jovial trash-talking ensues.
Padric’s Experience
  • The team journeys further into the wooded mountains and approached the Corpse Pond.
  • All along the way Padric urged them to turn back. He feels like this is a terrible idea and explains that Corpse Collectors get their names for a reason… They collect corpses.
  • That becomes all too apparent as they reach a clearing where the pond is located. Sure enough, there are bodies floating all around. Most are clearly animal parts, but others look more human in origin.
  • In the center of the pond floated an exquisite golden flower surrounded by a mysterious glowing mist.
  • Having seen ponds like this before, Padric says that they may be in luck if they stay on this side of the lake. Hopefully, The Corpse Collector may already be dead.
Patel Family Influence
  • While walking around Hyde, a woman recognizes Nightingale and frantically runs up to her.
  • Zeke jokes that their plans of falsifying their identities has already failed.
  • The woman introduces herself as Teegan Patel. She invites the party to dinner and explains that the Patel family is close friends with the Hyde’s. She even seems know both Nightingale’s and Zeke’s parent’s personally.
  • Hoping that Teegan Patel can be convinced not to blow their cover, Rook and the others agree to go out to dinner with her.
  • Teegan leads them to a hole-in-the-wall rice ball joint and they sit down for what Teegan claims are the best rice balls in all of Elenia. During dinner, the group learns that Teegan and her husband were with Elias Hyde and both Zeke and Nightingale’s parents when Elenia was founded. Impressed, Rook wants to know more about her past but is cut short when Teegan reveals that she needs Nightingale’s help.
  • Teegan explains that she has a daughter on Earth. Apparently, her daughter’s foster mother died and the father refused to give her up to the Harbingers when they came from Middara to get her. Teegan pleads with Nightingale to use her status as a princess to petition the Hyde Harbinger contingent to try and collect her daughter a second time, this time, making sure that her daughter is forced to come to Middara.
  • The group has mixed opinions on forcing someone from Earth to give up their child against their will, but ultimately they agree to help in hopes that Teegan will return the favor.
  • !Reward: It looks like you have some leftovers!
Quest To Be The Best
  • The team goes to a tavern called “The Brass Lantern” to play some Abraxis Battle Dice. Hopefully they get some sweet loot!
Reckless Adventure
  • The clearing where the pond was located was one of the greenest and most serene places the team had ever seen.
  • Just in the distance was the infamous Corpse Pond, staying true to the name. Bloated corpses of both animals and what looked like people were shriveled and floating just above the surface of the water.
  • In the center of the pond floated an exquisite golden flower. It seemed easy enough to swim in and grab, although the murky water surrounding it was daunting to say the least.
  • Wanting to get it over with, Zeke jumps in to snag the Lotus. He quickly noticed how numbingly cold the water is.
  • Before he can get any closer, Zeke realizes he is surrounded by a pack of amphibious dog-like creatures and swears as he fumbles for his weapon.
Rest In Peace
  • Padric shows the group his favorite place to swim on the coast of Elenia. The group settles down and are able to relax a bit on the beach.
  • Padric makes sure to do what he can to let the group blow off steam. He makes a fire pit to cook food and cracks open some drinks he brought along from his own establishment. Everyone drinks Padric’s beers and eats his famous kabobs.
  • The warm sun feels good, and the group is able to forget about some of the horrors they witnessed, if only for a moment.
  • During the celebration, Padric pours a beer out for Aisling, and silently pays his respect to his dead friend.
Seal That Thing Up
  • The group retreats in the direction Echo had ran off to as Hendrix begins to overwhelm them.
  • Once through the door, Justice screams and uses her magic again to collapse the tunnel behind them to prevent Hendrix from making a pursuit.
  • Exhausted from using her magic, Justice allows herself to be supported as the group follows after the direction that Echo went. Through the door they find a long corridor. Not long later they find themselves overlooking the city of Hyde from a hidden entrance in the hill side.
  • Damocles thanks the group for their help. Even though they were unable to kill Hendrix, they were able to gather all the information they need to inform Elias of Hendrix’s collusion with the Grim Deacons.
Secret Entrance
  • Beyond the monsters and other horrific creatures beneath the Hyde Estate, the party travels deeper into the tunnels until they come upon a solid piece of metal seated against the stone wall at the end of a tight tunnel. The group squeezes forward and push against the metal until it opens spilling the group into a dark room. Looking around, they realize that they are inside of a cellar.
  • Believing that this has to be the Hyde Estate, Rook begins to worry that this tunnel was either an old escape tunnel for the royalty, or it was dug for a more nefarious purpose. The group isn’t able to theorize as a crash and a yell nearby signals to the group that they’ve been discovered by someone inside of the cellar.
  • Inside the cellar is a tall angry looking man with red eyes and a flowing purple cloak. Seeing the group come out of a hidden tunnel inside of the Cellar, the man accuses them as intruders in his house and criminals who are behind a recent attack on his Estate.
  • The group tries to explain why they’re inside of his but the man cuts them off with a shout. He accuses them of infecting his mother with some sort of disease before angrily reaching out with magic and summoning a pair of Espers to aid him. The three them move to engage in a fight with who they are convinced are violent intruders.
Serious Situation
  • Elias leads the party into his estate to discuss the matters at hand. As they walk, Elias explains that he’s be waiting a long time for the requested help from Elenia to arrive. He didn’t know that the princess of Elenia herself would be the one they’d send to help him.
  • Nightingale only smiles, keeping up the lie and hoping Elias explains more without her having to ask any questions. Luckily, he does.
  • Elias then explains his perils and informs the party of a sort of disease that is spreading within the city  of Hyde called The Blight.
  • People infected with The Blight devolve into mindless, bloodthirsty monsters called Blighted Guardians. Recently, everything came to a dramatic head when a Blighted Guardian found its way into the Hyde Estate during the night and attack Elias’ wife Rivka.
  • Elias explains solemnly that Rivka is not doing well. As he begins to point out the severity and declining health of his wife Elias is unable to finish the sentence as despair overtakes him.
  • His son, Damocles, steps forward and tells the party about a Blighted Guardian that had broken into their house and attacked his mother Rivka and infected her with The Blight. They didn’t know how it got in previously, but with the discovery of the tunnels they found, it was clear that it came from beyond the entrance and in the cellar where the party fell from.
  • This confirms that the entrance found was unknown to the Hyde family. Rook is relieved, their discovery was more important than he could have imagined.
  • Rook expresses his knowledge about The Blight to his friends. It’s well known that there is no cure and anyone infected by the horrific disease meets a terrible end. Rook knows that Rivka likely doesn’t have long before she is turned into a Blighted Guardian herself.
  • Elias confirms Rook’s concern and let’s them all know that this investigation must be done with discretion in mind.
  • Both Damocles and Elias suspect foul play behind the recent surge of Blighted victims in Hyde. Especially now that they discovered those hidden tunnels, it’s likely that whoever was behind their construction is directly behind the recent outbreak and Rivka’s infection.
  • Damocles adds that there was an incident in the mines a few days prior. Not long after the attack on their estate and Rivka’s infection, there was an explosion in the mines.
    Damocles suspects that this explosion has something to do with whoever is behind all this madness.
  • Elias asks Nightingale and the others to help them find and apprehend the individuals responsible for building the tunnels and the explosion in the mines.
  • Before they can leave, Elias pauses to look at Nightingale softly. Elias reminds her that he’s the King’s appointed duke in Hyde. He served Balthazar faithfully and helped explore these wildlands before this town even existed. He’s happy to see the Princess herself stepping up to help the Hyde family in their time of need. Her friends were even recommended by Shayliss Arsen herself.
  • Elias then promises to keep her safe. He appoints Damocles to accompany them and to get ot the bottom of the events that are transpiring.
  • Not wanting to give her cover away, Nightingale only smiles and thanks Elias. However, she wonders who Shayliss had originally intended to send as the help.
  • Damocles promises to not let his father down and then briskly moves passed the group. Waving a hand for them to follow.
  • !New Story Flag: Elias’s Gratitude.
Showing Them The Ropes
  • While exploring Hyde, the party comes across the Hyde Bellicose Arena. The Bellicose Arena is a popular sport on Middara that pitches teams against each other in battle. Luckily, a magical item called a Bellicose Cube keeps participants from serious harm while also allowing them to not hold back.
  • After bantering about their favorite Bellicose teams and some famous matches in Middaran history, the group is urged by Padric to play a match. The group excitedly decide to blow off some steam by engaging in some good old fashioned combat with each other.
  • Padric pairs the Zeke and Nightingale up and then pitches the royalty against their friends.
Slain Hendrix
  • The corpse of Hendrix Patel sits in a collapsed heap on the ground. Damocles expresses how important the Patel family had been to the prosperity of Hyde. He still couldn’t believe that they’d betray them like this. To conspire with Grim Deacons was treason.
  • Justice stammers in confusion. She swears that the Grim Deacon Hendrix was with, the one he called Echo, was killed in the initial blast that brought them to the mines in the first place. Justice even claims that she saw her crumpled destroyed body torn to bits. There was no way she could have survived her magical blast that tore down the mines.
  • Nightingale finds herself continually looking towards Justice’s spell book. Somewhere inside that incredible source of power might be the cure she needed. Nightingale presses the party to take a look around so that they can get out of these mines.
  • The party begins feverish searching the laboratory for clues as to how to Blight can be cured. Unfortunately, all the books in the lab seemed to be instruction manuals on how to spread disease, not cure it.
  • After digging through the books for hours, they decide to pile them up on the body of Hendrix and burn the remains.
  • The group follows after the direction that Echo went. Through the door they find a long corridor. Not long later they find themselves overlooking the city of Hyde from a hidden entrance in the hill side.
  • Damocles thanks the group for their help and together they decide to inform Elias of Hendrix’s collusion with the Grim Deacons.
  • !New Story Flag: An End to Madness.
Smooth Talker
  • The deception works and Zeke and the others feign their confidence with the guards. Unknown to them, it seems that the guards were apparently already awaiting  a group of adventurers. Under the impression that they are the hired help sent for from the capital of the City of Elenia, the guards let them into the Hyde Estate.
  • The team is ushered into Elias’ quarters to discuss the supposed issue at hand. The group keeps their calm, hoping that they aren’t supposed to know too much about the issue at hand.
  • After entering, the team keeps up the facade, telling all the guards and Elias Hyde himself that they are seasoned adventurers sent from Elenia to help with Elias’ still unknown situation.
  • Elias welcomes them, and has them take a seat before introducing himself. Elias looks worn and his face droops in misery. Behind the expensive clothing and jewelry, it’s clear that something is wrong. Before Nightingale can inquire, another man appears, and  Elias introduces the man as his son, Damocles.
  • Damocles is intimidating, apprehensive, and tall. He sits nearby and stares at the party as the four continue to expand upon their lie of being the hired help that the Hyde family sent for.
  • Elias exclaims that he’s be waiting a long time for help from Elenia to arrive. Elias then explains his perils and informs the party of a sort of disease that is spreading within the city called The Blight.
  • People infected with The Blight devolve into mindless, bloodthirsty monsters called Blighted Guardians. Recently, everything came to a dramatic head when a Blighted Guardian found its way into the Hyde Estate during the night and attack Elias’ wife Rivka.
  • Elias explains solemnly that Rivka is not doing well. He goes on to explain that he fears that she’s been infected with The Blight herself.
  • Rook expresses his knowledge about The Blight to his friends. It’s known that there is no cure and anyone infected by the horrific disease meets a terrible end. Rook knows that Rivka likely doesn’t have long before she is turned into a Blighted Guardian herself.
  • Elias confirms Rook’s concern and let’s them all know that this investigation must be done with discretion in mind. With that, Elias hands a small bag of coins to them as payment for their work.
  • Elias suspects foul play behind the recent surge of Blighted victims in Hyde. He explains that in the same timeframe that his wife was attacked, there was an explosion in the mines of Hyde. Whatever was going on in Hyde, he requested outside help to help take care of it.
  • Elias requires the party’s assistance in investigating the cause of The Blight
  • Nightingale begins asking about Rivka’s condition but she is cut short by Elias. Elias tells Nightingale that his wife is none of their concern. Instead, he only requires that they worry about the mine and catch those who are responsible for this attack on a royal family. Elias sternly reminds them that he’s the King’s appointed duke. He served Balthazar faithfully and helped explore these wildlands before this town even existed. He feels that he is owed some assistance, and they were recommended by the first Princess, Shayliss Arsen herself.
  • Nightingale agrees, not wanting to give her cover away. Together, the group rises to leave but is stopped before they make it out the door.
  • Elias adds that his son will be accompanying them into the mines. Damocles will be able to grant them any clearance they might need.
  • Damocles rises quickly and briskly moves passed the group. Waving a hand, Damocles commands them to follow.
  • !Reward: Elias pays the party for their discretion.
Stop!
  • Bruised and beaten, the party lies defeated in the cellar while their attacker prepares to finish everyone off.
  • Suddenly, another man bursts in and yells to their Attacker, calling him by the name Damocles. He stops him from inflicting any harm on Nightingale. Damocles is flustered and confused, he turns and asks his father why he should stop from punishing those breaking into their house.
  • His father introduces himself as Elias Hyde and apologizes, helping Nightingale to her feet. He chastises Damocles for attacking without thinking. Unlike him, Elias had recognized the second Princess of Elenia, Nightingale Arsen. Elias explains to Damocles that killing a Princess of Elenia would do them no favors.
  • Damocles apologizes and turns to help the rest to their feet.
  • Nightingale and the others explain that they are from Elenia and on an important mission.
  • Seeing the princess in his cellar, Elias Hyde mistakenly believes that Nightingale and her friends must be the official help that his family fetched for from Elenia.
  • Nightingale and the others don’t know about any sort of official requested help from the capital, but they nod anyway, playing along.
Suri Was Right
  • Saving Isla from the Celestial Gigas proves to be a double-edged sword. Due to the amount of time spent fighting, the doctor isn’t able to save Faust and he dies in the hospital.
  • Overtaken with grief, Isla storms out of the Hyde hospital and disappears into Hyde.
  • The group turns their attention back to the task at hand, hoping that Isla will be okay.
  • !New Story Flag: Heartbroken Exile.
Teeming with Monsters
  • Justice assures the party that they are almost to the explosion site. She apologizes for the infestation of creatures and explains that while the presence of many are directly her fault for opening up the walls, the Blighted Guardians shouldn’t have been down here regardless. The human’s she ran into were likely behind the presence of the Blighted Guardians.
  • They finally reach the wide cavern that Justice had been leading them toward.
  • Rook hopes that all the death they’ve been dealing will have thinned out the infestation and help the guards in the future.
  • Damocles thanks them again for their help and hopes that all this work can save his mother.
Tell Me The Truth
  • Damocles chauffeurs the party down from the manor and into the streets of Hyde.
  • Unbeknownst to the Nightingale and her friends, Damocles has researched the real adventuring party from Elenia that was supposed to arrive and give aid in Hyde. They were supposed to be seafaring pirates lead by a large man named Kajax.
  • Damocles knows their story is fake and angrily confronts Nightingale while out of the earshot of his father. Damocles demands to know who they really are and what they want from him and his father.
  • Nightingale is forced to tell the truth as the tension peaks. Damocles is hot headed, and Rook worries that a fight might break loose.
  • Damocles is calmed down when Nightingale admits who she is and why she’s there. She catches Damocles up briefly, then explains that they are looking for a Theodotion mage.
  • Damocles chastises them for lying to him and his father. Regardless, he feels that their intentions are genuine. Damocles figures that as long as they are willing to help him with his mother’s situation and find the true culprit behind The Blight, he doesn’t care why they are here. More importantly, Damocles explains that he knows nothing of a Theodotion mage. However, if this fabled Theodotion was powerful enough to collapse a large section of the Hyde Mines, then it may be related to the explosion that occurred a few days ago.
  • Nightingale begins to inquire to learn more, but Damocles cuts her short and explains that they’re going to see the jailer. He tells Nightingale that her questions would be better asked there.
  • Apparently, Damocles already has a lead that none of them know about.
The Financial Dilemma
  • Now back at the embassy, with Lotus in hand, the party debates on what to do with this sought-after flower.
  • Remi has heard about the corpse lotus before. A corpse lotus in pristine condition like the one they’d just retrieved would garner them a handsome return.
  • Rook and Zeke both agree. They think that the money would help the group ensure Nightingale’s safety. Afterall, they needed money to make sure that they were properly equipped to get rid of the Maluma.
  • Nightingale can’t believe that the others are considering taking the Lotus and selling it after promising Teegan Patel that they would help her. She contends that her daughter could have been told about Middara and could be waiting to come to Middara. Remi contends that she might not. Moreover, not everyone wants to be pulled away from their friends and family.
  • !Decision: The Adventurer with the Corpse Lotus must decide what to do.
The Hyde Estate
  • The party makes their way up a hill overlooking the city to the walled off Hyde estate.
  • At the gates of the manor were two guards that looked more bored than threatening. The guards make it clear that no one is entering the gate behind them. Apparently, as they’ve already been told, the Hyde family is not seeing visitors.
  • While the others debate on how to approach the situation, Zeke takes charge and decides to attempt to lie his way in.
  • !Skill Check: The rest of his friends play along and Zeke hopes it works.
The Proper Authorities
  • With Padric escorting Aisling to Elenia proper, Remi and Nightingale rest near a quiet pond and eat lunch. The two watch with enjoyment as Remi’s new cat, Gage, plays on the pond’s edge. The two debate on what Balthazar will do to Aisling as punishment for her crimes. Nightingale suspects the gallows but the outcome could change depending on her father’s mood after his long memorial hunt.
  • Nightingale is confident that because herself, Remi, Zeke, and Rook made sure to defer to her father about Aisling’s punishment, that Balthazar will be pleased. If she’s lucky, her father might even reconsider allowing Nightingale into the Demiurge.
  • The two eventually rejoin Rook and Zeke and they continue traveling towards Hyde.
To The Mines
  • Damocles leads the group to the entrance of the mines. The guards eyeball Justice suspiciously and urge Damocles to be careful. Apparently, since the explosion, the mines were teeming with monsters.
  • Damocles pulls Justice to the front and commands her to lead away. She tiptoes forward and leads the group cautiously into the dark.
Traveling The Distance
  • The group continues on their way towards the city of Hyde in hopes of finding more information about the mythical Theodotion Mage mentioned in Aisling’s stolen documents. As they travel south, and deeper into Elenia’s wild countryside, they marvel at the vast mountainous and unforgiving terrain along the way.
  • During the long walk, Rook tries to comfort Nightingale by suggesting that curing her of the Maluma could be as easy as casting a spell.
  • With hesitation and doubt in her voice, Nightingale tries to cheer herself up.
  • ! Flag Check: Experienced Guide.
  • ! Reward Check: Hegemonix.
Trouble of the Bond
  • After a long, treacherous battle, the party stands exhausted, Isla dead at their feet.
  • Faust, clinging to life, accepts Isla’s fate, exclaiming that she won’t be alone for long.
  • Rook does his best to help tend to Faust’s devastating wounds but doesn’t have much hope for Faust’s survival.
  • Rook asks Suri how Isla got to be on Middara to begin with. He’d always been told that those from Arkalla couldn’t take physical form for long. Suri explains that creatures from different dimensions can create a Soul Bond with each other, allowing them to travel freely between worlds. Faust was Isla’s Soul Bond and this was highly illegal. Although this is usually safe, Suri’s home world of Arkalla is one of the dimensions that is off limits from travel. The Great Bounty are the being that enforce this law and will surely be here soon.
  • Suri then notices a dark opening in the sky and dread overcomes her. The agents of The Great Bounty were already here.
  • Dread overcomes Suri as a dark opening tears into the sky above them. An agent of the Great Bounty was already here. Suri wisps away, giving Rook one last desperate look before vanishing in fear at the newcomer.
  • Descending from the skies, a massive lion-like creature, three stories tall with flowing feathery wings like something out of the book of Revelations lands nearby.
  • The beast introduces itself as an agent of the Great Bounty. Promising that it means humans no harm. Instead, the creature congratulates them for bringing it lawbreakers. First, it turns on the Living Oblation. The red headed girl with the scythe struggles with her injuries and crawls in a vain attempt to escape.
  • The Lion-Beast leans down over the squirming Living Oblation. The red headed girl screams out as the Lion-Beast tears the human vessel into pieces, exposing the creature that was habitating the human body. It explodes out of the carcass like a black ooze, similar to the Maluma.
  • Nightingale covers her mouth in horror at the idea of the monster tearing her apart to get at the Maluma within herself. Somewhere deep within her, she feels the Maluma shrink and disappear as though it too was fearful of the monster.
  • The Lion-Beast is disappointed when he sees Isla’s still dead body. The agent of the Great Bounty explains that they only offer payment for fugitives that are delivered alive. Then, he tosses a cloth sack filled with gold for their delivery of the Living Oblation. Finally, the Lion-beast tears open a pocket of reality itself, revealing a portal to some place far beyond. The Lion-beast nods to the party before walking through and snapping the portal shut behind him.
Unstoppable Blight
  • A messenger rushes to find Damocles and the others in the city. The message is urgent. Damocles must return to his father. Things are getting worse quickly for Rivka.
  • When they arrive to the estate, they find the servants all dressed in black. They are ushered to a bedroom where they find Elias sitting next to his wife, Rivka. The poor woman looks sick and pale with a green rot spreading down her body. There is a madness in her eyes and it’s clear that she’s no longer completely human.
  • Though Damocles protests, Elias refuses to see his wife turn completely into a monster. Even if a cure does exist, he could never live with himself keeping her locked up for the decades it could take until the mythical cure is found.
  • The truth is horrific but they both realize what must be done. Rivka must be killed before things get worse.
  • The Maluma whispers from inside Nightingale, it’s dark voice tells her that Elias is too weak to be the one to kill her. Nightingale can’t believe it, but she agrees with the Maluma. Elias is shaky, and as he pulls a dagger from his side, it’s clear that he’ll emotionally suffer doing the deed.
  • Nightingale is urged by the Maluma to suggest that Damocles be the one to do the dirty work. Does she trust the Maluma?
  • !Decision: Nightingale may choose to either urge Damocles to be the one to kill his mother, or say nothing and let Elias do it.
Victorious Royalty
  • Nightingale and Zeke win the Bellicose fight. Jovial trash-talking ensues.
We Couldn’t Save Them
  • The miners weren’t saved. Regardless, Damocles is congratulated for such a brave selfless act.
  • Justice is distraught at the all the death caused by her magic.
  • !Flag Check: New Ambitions.
We Tried Our Best
  • Back at Teegan Patel’s estate, Nightingale apologizes for being unable to retrieve the gilded Lotus and convince Lyle to push the Harbinger documents further into arbitration.
  • Although disappointed, Teegan thanks them for their efforts. She decides to try and find another way to get her daughter to Middara.
  • Teegan departs, letting them know she’s thankful and hopes to meet again one day.
We’re Not Here To Fight
  • Defeated, and under the impression they mean to kill him, the man angrily tells the group to finish what they came here to do.
  • Nightingale quickly explains who she is. She points out that they entered via a hidden tunnel that was dug outside of the estate. Nightingale tries to explain that they aren’t here to harm anyone. Instead, they are here to gather information.
  • Just then, a man bursts through the cellar door nearby. Flanked by a set of guards, he calls for his ally by the name of Damocles, worried that he has been hurt by the intruders. The guards surge forward to seize the Nightingale and the others.
  • Damocles calls to his father, urging him to refrain from arresting anyone. Nightingale helps Damocles stand. Damocles brushes himself off and warns his father that this is the second princess of Elenia, Nightingale Arsen.
  • Damocles’ father is relieved to hear that they aren’t intruders who mean them harm. He introduces himself as Elias Hyde and explains that he is personal friends with Balthazar. Seeing the Princess in his cellar, Elias mistakenly believes that she and her friends must be some sort of help that he sent for from Elenia.
  • Nightingale and the others don’t know about any sort of official help that was requested, but they nod anyway, playing along.