After waking and taking care of Belaric and the girls, Serafina had breakfast with her old flame, Bruinen. He is happily married with two wives (Coryn and Lora) and three children (Seraf, Yurin, and Taimea).
From there she sought out Gauladek to have a talk. Serafina discovered that Gauladek was in Voltierra to serve and guard Kilian Tull, an emmisarry of Desrond Toth. Kilian was to wed Sosyth Toth-Iluith and have the prestige of the Toth family, but her elopement to Odoth Illuith foiled his ambitions. Gauladek also divulged to Serafina that he had noticed Seripathia had the ear of Luke Cythson.
Next, Serafina had lunch with Sosyth and advised her to educate herself on the politics of Voltierra. Then she found Arianna preparing for her trip. Serafina asked her friend several questions and wished Arianna a safe trip. A brief audience with Aristos Dar’Vol was granted and Serafina clarified as much as she could about the mission to the Lluaran forest to the west, the fires, and the “ghosts.” Finally, she reached out to Braeden Brightburn to warn him about Seripathia’s formative attachment to Luke.
Stangil Drakebane spent the morning with his love, Julian before heading to his smithy to see how Emily had been keeping the shop. He showed her the new metals he discovered in Drekaran and the projects that he would be working on over the next six days. Stangil also told Emily that the smithy was hers if he did not return. Avar stopped by with the sword Stangil had forged for him, Var Bite, which Stangil healed and made stronger.
Stangil left work early that day at Julian’s request and they spent several hours sparring before having a relaxing evening together.
Sani Nodin spent the morning watching the parade in honor of the
Drekar and purchasing Drekaran goods, like chocolate. He brought some chocolate to Aluria before heading to his caravan to work. After a long day, he retired to drinks with Aluria.
That night, both Stangil and Serafina had a visitor in their dreams. Stangil was told that one never knows who will bear their consequences and when. The things in the forest are old and not foreign to him. Serafina was told to stay close to Stangil and do the right thing.
Missives arrived in the morning for all four adventurers to visit Aristos. He explained the ritual that he needed to perform to get them closer to their goal but said that he required the assistance of Ithaca, who had refused. He also needed a sacrifice and suggested a local pack of var. Also, it would require the use of part of each of their essences. Serafina was alarmed by this and demanded further explanation.
They went down to the Moon Village and spoke with Ithaca. She said that had she known the ritual was for Serafina, she would have agreed to do it for nothing. The adventurers asked what she needed anyway and worked out a trade agreement with Sani, bringing him more business.
Stangil spent the rest of the day in the smithy. Maloran Argent had remained to watch him work but was distracted by Emily aggressively hitting on him. Serafina went to Ol’ Coot, an apothecary, to procure heavy tranquilizers for the var. Sani spoke with his trapper, Xangari.
Maloran awoke in an unfamiliar bed and when he ventured downstairs, Emily asked, surprised, “you’re still here?!” Sani visited Teth Toluin, the Lluaran trader that was offended by Ithaca and broke their agreement. In order to keep his deal, Sani needed some herbs from Teth.
Braxys visited the smithy and informed Stangil and Serafina of the issues her people were having with Voltierra. Maloran devised a clever solution, which Serafina agreed to bring up with Aristos and Braxys at a later point in time.
Xangari and the adventurers set a trap for the pack of var when Sani noticed a human walking directly toward them. Serafina and Stangil remained in their positions while Sani and Maloran went to investigate. They met an odd young man named Xerus, who insisted he would not change his path. Xerus made it to the area with the trap and saw Stangil. He agreed to help them with the var if they would travel a few hours south with him to clean up a “mess” his brother, Risis had made years ago, at his mother, Idara’s order. They agreed and the var were immobilized and trapped.
A Favor for Xerus
Terrified to betray Xerus but also terrified of what they were going to find, the adventurers followed Xerus to a small, isolated house. They were invited in by Gabrielle, who grew up with Stangil in Magnus Plains.
It was quickly discovered that she, her husband, Jamus, and their daughter, Isabela, were undead (made from the blood of Samuel). Mid-conversation, Stangil struck Gabrielle. Stunned, she yelled, “you couldn’t just leave us alone?!” and retaliated. Xerus, Maloran and Sani joined the fight. Serafina left the house and began walking home.
As she did, she heard the fight and the screams of the child before the fire caught and old memories flooded back.