The party headed back to Rybalka’s library to return the book. Ignis was interested in the Emerald Grove and asked Maestra about it. He said he didn’t know. The group asked him for assistance, and he said he could help if his alchemical supplies were returned. As they were found in the cave, they were returned to him. Maestra gave each party member a Potion of Healing, and he also gave offered the group a Potion of Climbing and Dust of Disappearance.
The party’s next stop was to see Mayor Igor Leonid. That man was happy, or perhaps he was just drunk. Regardless, the report was made regarding the missing hunter, the library break-in, and the existence of werewolves in the area being controlled by the Devil of Darkwood. At the mention the Emerald Grove and the Vikmordere family, the mayor seemed confused.
Rona suggested to Ignis that he take the doll out and bend its leg backwards to see if anyone around nearby cried out in pain. The fourth werewolf would then be made known. Uri said, “Your beautiful face does little to hide the cruelty in your heart.” Rona, always irritated at Uri’s arrogance, now angrily why him why he went around insulting everyone. She then walked outside to wait for the rest of the group.
Uri was confused about this, unsure what had just transpired. He could not understand why people took offense at his demeanor. He and Tyven then got into a heated discussion, and Uri actually drew his glaive. Luckily, Ignis diffused the situation. Uri was very sensitive about his homeland and comments about it.
The group decided to head to the plains north of Rybalka to seek out the wandering Vikmordere clan. On the way, they ran into a Valihideen woman. She said, “I hear you’re looking for us.” Rona introduced herself. The woman’s name was Thelena. Ignis showed her the doll, and she said it looked like Bankiqa’s doll, and Thelena is no friend of the Demon of Darkwood. So the demon’s name was Bankiqa. Nolgrim asked if we could discuss this somewhere else, like around a fire eating a rabbit. His mind was usually on food or fighting. Uri asked why was Bankiqa was turning people into werewolves, and Thelena answered, “Why do devils do the things they do?”
She wanted to know why we were seeking out the Vikmordere family. The party began to argue. Rona said, “I don’t even know anymore,” and sat down on the ground. Uri got impatient and wanted to make haste to the capital, wanting nothing to do with any of this. He said there was a “bigger demon” to deal with, and that was the Corvenian Empire. Nolgrim spat upon the ground and grumbled, “Politics! More useless talk!”
“It will not be politics when Corvenia consumes this land, burning and killing their way westward,” replied Uri, agitated and haughty as usual.
Eventually the party got back on track, and they learned that Thelena was no longer welcome in her clan because she made the decision to join the druids. She also said that all the Vikmordere tribesmen were dead; there was just a grave. Some wanted to go to the grave; some wanted to go to the clan. Uri, of course, wanted to do neither as he planned on taking over Ecchia.
The party ended up heading to where the clan used to be; it had all been burnt.Searching through the ashes revealed nothing. Suddenly, Uri’s huntress said she heard something unusual in the woods nearby, and Rona cast Faerie Fire. Uri swiftly used his glaive to knock out a 16-year-old boy who had been hiding. Thelena said he looked like one of the Vikmordere clansmen. Uri, in an odd show of regret, gave him his healing potion.
The young man, named Quinn, told the party that his people were slain by dead things, zombies. Two women had walked out of the woods and were controlling the zombies. The zombies killed all the clansmen and then left. He didn’t look like the doll, and he was the only survivor. Rona asked him how he was able to turn invisible. He said he was “blessed or cursed” with the ability to do so.
The party was interested in going after the zombies, but since the attack happened “a few” or “a couple” weeks ago, the trail could be hard to find. So the group rested among the ashes and set off the next day to find the burial mound as Quinn posited that the zombies came from the bodies of dead Vikmordere clansmen. Indeed, there were zombies and even a banshee, but the party was victorious.
A very large sarcophagus laid at the end of a hall with the name Conall carved on it. It was undisturbed unlike the rest. Nolgrim and Tyven expressed interest in opening the crypt. Uri expressed his displeasure at this, and he insulted Nolgrim, calling him one of the “lesser races” in need of gratification in regards to looting the crypt. Rona turned on him and said, “So Uri, you’re okay insulting the living but you respect the dead?” He had no response.
Nolgrim and Tyven tried to open the grave, but they were unsuccessful. Uri boldly told them to step aside, and he tried. His attempt was miserable, and Rona loud laughed at him. However, eventually it was opened, and inside was a fine rapier and studded leather.
A Scarab Shield was also found. It was magic, from a far-away land. Keats took it and attuned to it (this shield functions as a +1 shield and in addition, any swarm can not enter the space occupied by the wielder.) Ignis attempted to attune to the studded leather, but he could not. Rona then tried, and she was successful. The armor was crafted by the great skald Conall Vikmodere. Legend has it that Conall, during his travel through the vale, came across a viscous winter wolf chasing a Valihideen girl. He played his pan flute, calming the winter wolf and allowing the girl to escape. The girl turned out to be the daughter of a Valihideen chieftain, who rewarded Conall by having his mystics weave magic into his armor that would harmonize with whatever music he played.