With Aldern dead the party loot the laboratory. They discover two notable items: Aldern’s journal and a letter. The journal details Aldern’s descent into madness and death: he had been in debt to a group referred to as the Brotherhood, and the payments were becoming increasingly difficult to make. The group forced him to do things that he did not wish to do, which would eventually lead to his death and rebirth as a monster.
The letter is signed by someone called Xanesha and states that Aldern’s debt s will be paid when he delivers some of the toxic mould from the house; they plan to weaponize it. It also notes that Aldern is to perform the Sehidron Ritual on his victims so that Xanesha’s un-named master may harvest the souls of the dead. Cage is able to discern that the vibrant yellow mould patch is the source of the evil of the house and is able to consecrate the evil, finally ending the near century-long haunt of Foxglove Manor. Good job!
As the party begins to ascend through the catacombs they are suddenly set upon by a hail of stones. Ghouls erupt from the water and pull Cage under. Rye dives in after him. With both light sources extinguished more ghouls lay siege on Valerio and Lem. The ghouls dive deep into the cavern pool attempting to drown Cage. Lem tosses torches into the darkness, providing just enough light for him to see the attackers. Meanwhile, Valerio calls forth an alligator that goes ape shit and really messes things up for the ghouls. The alligator and Rye are able to free Cage. Meanwhile, Lem and Archie deal with the last of the ghouls.
The party exit the house victorious, wounded and exhausted. They camp as the last of the carrion crows takes wing The next day they return to Sandpoint and share Sheriff Hemlock what they’ve learned. Hemlock suggests they follow the trail to Magnimar. He tells them he’ll send a bird to contact an associate of his there, Justice Briarthorn, who can help them in the city.
The party spend time in Sandpoint healing. They resupply and once again attempt the hagfish challenge, failing spectacularly. Shyaliss ends her relationship with Rye, assuring him it’s out of respect for her father and not his disfigurement. Cage helps at the cathedral. Valerio discovers the local theatre community and becomes fast friends with Cyrdrak, the theatre owner, and his not-so-secret lover Sir Jaspar, paladin of the Merchant League. They all enjoy a rare opportunity to catch Lion King live.
On the long road to the city they encounter a family of stone giants, the father of which is badly hurt. As best as can be told, it seems the family has been exiled. The giants are reluctant to share information, but tell the party that there has been some trouble in the tribes, particularly amongst the younger giants. They assert the problem is a stone giant one and they will deal with it. The party also meets Miiori once again, catching her group of bandits spying on them. She tells them that there is bounty in town from a tall Dhampir woman looking for information on their whereabouts. She warns them to lay low.
Finally the arrive at Maginmar. They approach a guard at the city gate, who tells them that the Lord Mayor is expecting them…