The group returned to Mustertown via the Proving Stone and the news of the fallen’s fate delivered. The baked clay markers were turned in so the next of kin could be notified, while those that survived were treated as heroes.
Several months pass as the group enjoys their new found money, equipping themselves with better gear and several making real progress in gaining true arcane power. As the money begins to fade Meffridus and Iomagoth swear their fealty Malloc as their patron. Soon thereafter the first of the visions occur.
Over the course of a week the pair receive visions of a mask and then another night a vision of the Sending Stone. On subsequent nights the pair hear strange whispers. ‘Clotilda Gralk’ and ‘Slither’s End’. Finally the pair wake up with the word ‘Control’ carved into their arm. Though the scar will heal, a message is definitely trying to be sent.
Telling the others the group seeks out a Shaman to try to make sense of it. He tells them of an old town called Slither’s End, one of the first areas to be reclaimed by the same. He also shows the group an old sketch of the mask that was seen in the vision. Supposedly the mask can unlock ones deepest desires, perhaps also allowing one to control the demon in the Sending Stone to control transport more easily? The shaman finally reveals that the Lady en route to the Sending Stone has been known to mold the demons will in where folks are sent. While she cannot do so frequently, perhaps with the right tokens of appreciation she could help the group.
The group armed with this information adding clarity to the visions, the group heads back through Mustertown towards the Sending Stone. Gonlex readily turns over 9 electrum coins much to the group’s chagrin, though the Lady is quite happy to help accepting the coins as a retainer. She agrees to see if she can speak to the demon within the stone to help direct the group’s travels.
Using the stone the group does indeed arrive in Slither’s End. On a small island, pigs hung in cages rotting in the damp air. Dark shapes swim through the water as a bow on the far dock looks on, shaking his head at the dark shapes. Using rope and grapple to cross the boy remains silent, but the shaking of his head seems to keep the dark shapes from getting too close to the group.
On the larger island it appears a fair is soon to take place for harvest season. A pair of city council members hurry quickly to the group, ready to risk them on a tour of the island. Introducing themselves as Miriam and Grimchops the dwarf the group is ushered around the island. They are shown various buildings, a rusty red pool and the empty house of the Gralks with the graveyard out back.
Along the way and once back at the fair tents the group learns that both the Gralks are missing, supposedly with Jonas Gralk the son having carried the mom away several days ago. The adults seem to go about their business, but the children seem to lack any real happiness with morose looks upon their faces. The shapes in the water are supposedly there to protect the island and some of the townsfolk mention other disappearances of late and mention a 30-eyed snake like creature.
The fair’s contests will be starting the next day. Miriam happily invites the group to participate in the challenges against the town’s own people.