After traveling for around four days, the party makes their way to the Stonebend town entrance to investigate the possibility of a necromancer lying in wait here. They’re stopped by a guard who recognizes Havine and lets the party through. They head for the barracks, where Havine knows the captain of the guard who may know something about what’s going on. They’re stopped by Colter, an ex-bandit, who proceeds to point out that he thinks bringing a tiefling into town is a bad idea, and then makes eyes at Tally (who rolls her visible eye as they move along).
Olivar pauses in training a recruit to speak with Havine. Relentless pretends to write in his journal but is reading lips to “listen” to Havine and Olivar’s conversation. There’s an awkward conversation about Relentless’s presence, but upon mention of a necromancer, Olivar blanks out strangely and then denies any knowledge of undead or a necromancer nearby. He at least agrees to put out an extra watch near the forest.
While this conversation is happening, Kitrick loses twice to the recruit in a dart-throwing contest despite moral support from Tally and Medericus. Kitrick pickpockets the kid out of spite and gets a few gold pieces from it.
Relentless moves out with the others and goes straight to a shop to get a hooded cloak to cover his horns/face/tail, much to Havine’s dismay.
They see Flint, a friend to Havine, running around trying to chase a chicken and get it back from a stalking cat. Much silliness happens when Relentless catches the chicken with Mage Hand, and Havine grabs the cat (after getting pecked a couple of times from an angry chicken). Medericus hangs back and plays silly music while this is going on.
Flint tells them about a little girl that had been missing, and found out in the hills. She was pale, stone cold, and wouldn’t speak. He says she’s at home with her mother and that she was brought there a few days ago.
Dusk falls when they head to the temple of Pelor (Relentless and Havine have a conversation about the town’s simplemindedness and racism towards tieflings on the way). The party follows Havine, a bit subdued in respect for the importance of the place to their cleric. Relentless hangs back and checks out the aesthetic magical charms in the temple, sketching in his journal. The others stick closer to Havine; Kitrick uncomfortably so.
Beauregarde is speaking to an acolyte about the Spring equinox coming soon before turning to Havine and immediately commenting on her absence. He regards the others with a sneer and pointedly ignores any attempt at conversation with them. Havine mentions undead things in the forest and a necromancer, to which Father Beauregarde is cold and dismissive. However, when she presses on, he warns her to quiet down and presses a hastily written note into her hand, telling her to speak with him later, before dismissing her.
Near the end of the conversation, Tally feels the amulet given to her by Jasttor pulse gently for a few seconds before it stops. Kitrick mentions checking the temple out later for clues, but after they come up with some kind of plan. They make their way back to the simple inn of Stonebend. Medericus decides to chat up the female innkeeper later; she reacts in fear to Relentless but not outright hostility. They take their rooms and have a team meeting.
Havine voices her worries about Olivar’s and Beauregarde’s strange behaviors. Tally wonders if someone at the church has anything to do with what’s going on, and mentions the amulet’s odd pulsing. She mentions how the amulet works, smiling briefly at the memory of Jasttor (Havine fangirls a little, Medericus does waggly eyebrows, Kitrick gags, Relentless is clueless). Havine takes out the note pressed into her hands by Beauregarde and hands it to Relentless to decipher since it’s written in Celestial, much to the party’s annoyance. Relentless translates: “The town is in danger. Keep quiet, keep safe. Meet me before the sun rises at the oak tree.” Havine tells them about the giant tree by the library. Kitrick seems skeptical, saying that meeting in the middle of town just before everyone wakes is odd. At first, Havine says they shouldn’t go with her, but when the party insists the circumstances of this meeting are sketchy, she lets them start planning on how to get them all there just in case. She mentions that she dislikes Beauregarde, but trusts him; Tally says he may have been forced to lead them into a trap.
Relentless says it’s best to “trust your friends, but deal the cards yourself.” He begins to put together a plan, suggesting that they go out there before the set time and let Tally and Kitrick wait in hiding while the rest meet Beauregarde in person, with Medericus disguising himself as an average Stonebend commoner and Relentless himself using his Detect Thoughts from the amulet.
Satisfied with this plan, the party heads to bed (Tally checks her amulet with no results), resulting in some disturbing dreams.
Kitrick-You dream of wandering a vast, endless plain at night. The stars are clear and shining above you and seem to be beckoning you. Before you can answer their call, hands shoot up from beneath the ground to drag you under until you suffocate.
Medericus-You dream of cold mountain peaks on an island of frost. You wander for days which turn to weeks which turn to months, but there is no other living thing on the island with you. You realize you are utterly alone.
Tally-You dream of walking through a scorching desert. Your feet are burning and you feel yourself beginning to turn to ash. Your last memory before scattering away is two huge eyes watching you with disappointment.
Havine-You dream of hacking away at a stubborn tree root that holds you to the ground. Eventually you manage to rip the root apart and pull it from the ground, but as you do you realize it is bleeding human blood. It pours all over the ground as you watch in horror.
Relentless-You dream of being wrapped in pleasant, velvety warmth. It comforts you, and you realize that there is a distinct dampness to it with the strong smell of copper. It does not bother you. You embrace it and let yourself be cradled by it.
They carry out their plan the next morning and Havine speaks with Beauregarde, who is displeased that she didn’t come alone. He reveals that there has been a necromancer lying in wait for 27 years, having infiltrated the town in that time. It is Chogrim, the same necromancer that Albion the unicorn had mentioned. Chogrim, after a horrible display of his magic, threatened to turn the whole town into his personal undead army if Beauregarde didn’t do exactly as he wanted. (Meanwhile, Relentless is probing Beauregarde’s mind using his amulet of Detect Thoughts). Beauregarde admits to being a part of the plot, saying what he did was “for the safety of the town.” He backs away, apologizing profusely, when undead begin to appear.