A ghost appears among the corpses of the tragedy of Cancote Flats and addresses Rad Longhammer. He mentions that he was part of a militia in the Badlands that was out hunting for killer wolves one night, when a half-orc man attacked them on the road, filled with rage. The half-orc murdered his whole squadron, and he was the unlucky one to survive and have to bury the dead, his wife included, afterwards. He then refuses Rad’s rites of passage.
Rad dissapears for a while, but The Aforementioned teleport to Cancote Flats, much to the delight of Mazith. The dwarf Krog Bellybottom shares his ale with Rad, who seems to need it. Walter the Magnificent talks about his adventures with Mazith, asks about his, and mentions that they should hook up at some point. Feyis Goldenflight assesses the devastation and starts a ritual to identify the meteor’s magic with the help of Aishe Malinova. While this all happens, Tobin sizes up the ranger Hans Torres as a worthy competitor.
At the end of the ritual and with feedback from Rad an Aishe, Feyis points out that it was indeed necromantic magic, but little else is known. It might seem that the demon prince Orcus might be involved. They ask the Freak Squad to check an old temple of Orcus north east of Cancote Flats, while The Aforementioned investigate the dangerous lands of Darjak across the continent. Feyis requests that The Freak Squad takes Dorito with them, and Walter does not like the idea of losing his personal attendant but accepts begrudgingly.
A multi-purpose temple
The Freak Squad arrives at the Orcus temple, noticing that the landscape has changed to red rocks and eroded sand. The temple is now inhabited by gnolls, rabid dog like creatures but cunning enough to welcome them with a trap. As they engage in battle, sand starts pouring from atop the stairs the group descended, and from the sides of the entrance chamber. Mazith slashes at the gnolls while Tobin works on deactivating the sand trap. Aishe has her hands full as she attempts to aid Rad from following into the pit were all the sand is collecting. Rad works furiously to avoid falling and by the time he makes it out of the pit the trap is deactivated. Without hindering terrain, these enemies are defeated.
In the next room more gnolls attack, this time backed up with a hunt master and some hyenas. The gnolls prevents easy access to the hunt master gnoll, as he targets Tobin realizing her ranged skills are a danger. After Mazith and Tobin defeat the soldiers, Rad and Aishe isolate the huntmaster from his hiding spot and defeat him.
In the temple they find evidence of use by the The Raven Queen followers, and a log made by someone else mentioning the contact “Aneth”. Also, a couple of thrones on the room show them images of the landscape outside as rocky and then eroded sands. Aishe and Tobin see that some sort of tornado monster descended near this spot in the past, and causes the erosion as a result of massive winds.
Autumn Equinox at Luckleigh
The party stops for information in Auburn Hill and finds out from a follower of Oghma, god of knowledge, that “Aneth” is a name common in the lands of Tremblent, that there was an Elemental Renaissance that weakened the plane barriers with the elemental planes and Shadowfell among others, and that information about Tobin has been magicked away. The party decides to go to Luckleigh after Dorito reveals that in the mountain tops lives a wise goat who can answer many questions. Once in Luckleigh, they are greeted by parties in the streets as the town inhabitants celebrate the equinox, the time of autumn where day and light are the same length, before the bitter winter winds descent from the northern mountaintops. The party gears up to climb the cliffs in search of the wise goat. With brawn and guile, grit and grace, the party eventually makes it to the upper side of the cliff where they are greeted by Amadeus the Satyr, a half goat half man that invites them over for tea.