Surviving a few days on the shoreline Aliera and Belogos realize they are on their own. With the thick fog blocking their line of site to any passing ships Belogos uses some natural resources to develop a crude raft to take the two of them back to the mainland.
Paddling their way through the unusually cold waters they are rescued by a passing ship named the Guinness Hauler. After a few solicitations from the lonely sailors Aliera and Belogos leave the ship politely, yet promptly, upon reaching port.
After searching out some food the two make their way to House Malor’s main complex. They are greeted by Valissa Malor and an extremely short and balding man named Dr. Wilberforce. After realizing three months have passed since they left, instead of the 5 days they recall, they are informed that Pippen and Greynet were found in the city a month ago. Neither were in a good state of mind. Dr. Wilberforce had been brought in to help heal their mental wounds.
Valissa leads Belegos off to a far corner of the house to only be rejected by Belegos. Angry at his decision he tactfully chooses to leave quickly. Aliera is lead to a bedroom by Dr. Wilberforce where she finds Pippen there, but he is not himself and unable to communicate. After some gentle prodding by the good doctor and Aliera Pippen reminding him of his beloved leg fragment Pippen returns to his right mind, but with no memory of the events on the island.
Pippen goes to visit Vaslov to see what has been learned since they last talked. Vaslov has found little other than confirming whatever it is other than the source is the Far Realms. Pippen postulates with Vaslov on how to make the fragment grow. A new purpose in mind he returns to the manor and abducts the now twice orphaned Baby Karavakos along with her wet nurse in his bag of holding.
Late that day with everyone at Foxgrove Manor, now called The Crooked House, the party is met by Lorenzo and two new strangers. Following the two in Lorenzo then slaughters one of the two shoving a knife through the back of the throat. Stepping over the corpse Lorenzo calls out and a similar looking human steps out of the shadows from Belegos’s room.
Lorenzo introduces the stranger from the shadows as Amnon and the other figure with him a Xarius Malor. Xarius is yet another brother from their quite active family and is being brought into the team. While clearly saddened by the loss of Xanthus Lorenzo spends little time asking about what had happened upon the island. Amnon is introduced as a member of the Carsus resistance and has brought some disturbing news. It seems a list of some senior resistance members has fallen into the hands of a group known as the Blood Runners who live in the town of Wellspring, a satellite town of Carsus. If the list were to fall into the governments hands it would been a heavy blow to the resistance, which is something Lorenzo seems to want to prevent. The team is to travel to Wellspring and ensure the list does not fall into the wrong hands. As Zeldora is in no position for a war with Ulthia they are also are strongly encouraged to not start one.
Pippen and Belogos head out on foot immediately, the former wanting to leave town before questions about the abduction come up and the latter being upset about something missing from his room. The other three run some errands and plan to catch up the next day on the road on horse back.
Around midnight Pippen and Belogos sit down to camp. Checking in his bag of holding Pippen spys the spent sunrod, the magic basket of food, the asphyxiated corpse of the young wet nurse, and the nearly dead baby. Saving the Baby with a potion he then sits the wet nurse’s corpse up on a nearby tree and closes her eyes.
Leaving Belogos behind he goes to a local farm stead and after a few hours of minor troubles kills an elderly farmer, abducting the wife to care for the child in the bag. Now knowing he needs to ventilate the bag he instructs the trancing Belogos on the procedure and goes to sleep.
Once asleep Belegos gives an arrow to the woman instructing her to kill herself. He then proceeds to ventilate the bag, only to be greeted with an arrow in the hand. Reflexively he pulls his hand out releasing the woman from the bag. The woman is shot down by Belogos as she tries to flee into the night, waking Pippen in the process. Pippen is clearly upset that all of his hard work to provide for the child has once again been undone.
The full party meets up late in the day upon the road to Carsus. Not a moment after their greeting passes Belegos and Amnon spot some shadowy figures flying their direction upon the horizon. Everyone prepares for battle as they approach.