As Dulkan took Reneé to discover new flavors to a local inn, the talking pony drew in crowds. One such onlooker was Vath, a Paladin of Ashanti. The dragonborn demanded to know whose the obviously magical creature was, and Dulkan invited him to ask the Marquis. While this exchange ended in the Paladin’s apology, it showed that the advent of the Followers of the Guardian had placed the faithful in a state of high alert.
With several days to wait until the arrival of the Huntress, the Party investigated the Followers for any leads on the Dragonslayer’s whereabouts. They scried with the crystal sphere Master Oberon, the cult’s second in command, learning that the cult was spread wide and that there was one cell operating east of Maelida. Of the local group in Nidha they found nothing else but that they were busy spreading word and converting people, no doubt growing the Dragonslayers’ power.
While investigating, Dulkan ran across a woman being accosted by the Paladin, suspecting her of wizardry. The woman was terrified as the Paladin brandished a metal cylinder found in her bag. Dulkan interfered, claiming that the woman belonged in the same group as Dulkan and Carric, who was permitted to carry objects of sorcery. He succeeded, allowing the woman to pass. They exchanged few words, as the woman was eager to continue on her way. But out of gratitude, she gave a subtle warning: It would be wise for Dulkan to leave the city as soon as possible.
Back in their aristocratic quarters the Party was curious of this person and their object. Lady Althaea and Antinua wondered on its nature, coming into a conclusion that it might create shockwaves, but for what purpose, they did not know. The mages headed towards the Singing Lotus, a tavern the woman had mentioned. Inside the cozy establishment they did not find anything of her nor the item, but they did discover with magical sight a dragonborn, also looking at them with magical sight. The dragonborn quickly headed away, prompting Althaea to give pursuit. With her magics she was invisible, managing to keep up. The dragonborn eventually went inside a hidden hideout, with Althaea close on his heels.
The hideout contained a group of Ochrana’s servants, speculating on the magical item on the floor. They were planning on using it to cause havoc in the city, although curiously without damaging the temples or other places of value. They also made certain that Oshriss, the Dragon of Nidha, was close by. But before they began their horrific deed they wanted to made certain that the ground zero would be a noble interested in the Cult.
With this information, Althaea headed back and the Party orchestrated a heist. They headed to the second floor of the building, bribing the occupant away. While Antinua coaxed the stone floor to create a hole, Carric levitated the metal cylinder to their possession. It would have been a perfect crime, if not for the fact that the occupant was in league with the secret priests. As the Party left outside, the high priestess confronted them. Not willing to shed blood, perhaps to spite the Divine the priests served, the Party merely escaped unharmed, with the object in tow.
Back in safety the question lay what to do with the dangerous magical item. As it could lure more trouble their way, and as the Party did not trust the officials, a decision was made: They opened a gate to Null and send it there, where its magic could harm no-one. After the curious metal cylinder stand was safely off of Realm, Althaea marched to the Marquis and explained what had happened. The Marquis, horrified of what had been plotted, promised to send word to the Ashanti’s temple, so that they could root out any further unpleasantness concocted by the servants of Greed and Hatred.
And so the remaining days went by with the Party recuperating. And finally, on the 20th of Silence, a letter arrived, addressed to Carric and bearing a seal with a sparrow on it. The Huntress had arrived, just as sleek as they had seen when they had left. The only thing, besides repairs, that was different, was a humongous object, covered in tightly-wound sheets…