The curtain goes up on Syla, Octavia, and Mouse as they are in the middle of The River Delta, headed toward Jellyfish Mountain. A band of Ekeks is soon spotted speeding toward them, wings flapping, beaks gnashing. The party engages the fiends, dispatching the humanoid fowl, but not without taking a few blows in the process. Soon thereafter, the party spots Sir Clavius riding toward them on his destrier, Stabber. They brace themselves, prepared to do battle yet again, but when he stops they learn that there is discord in Portland: Lucius Manister has fallen ill with an unknown disease, and the child’s uncle, Darius, has disappeared. Syla asks Clavius to describe the symptoms of the illness, and she realizes that it is the same disease that has befallen her own people, the very same disease that the party is currently on a quest to eradicate. Clavius is headed toward The Great Forest, seeking a cure for the disease, but Syla informs him that conditions there are even worse. Clavius regards the party with suspicion and inquires about their purpose and destination. They assure him that they, too, are looking to find a cure for the disease, but not fully trusting him, they tell Clavius that they are headed east, toward The Open Sea, to meet the wizard, Valas, who they believe holds the key to heal the illness. Clavius, now at a loss for what to do and how to help his liege lord, decides to accompany the party, as their goals seem to be aligned and he feels an obligation to make certain that they aren’t up to any evil. He engages Octavia in conversation, questioning her association with the group. As a paladin in service to the Manisters, what is she doing in their company…? Mouse’s in particular…? Octavia vouches for her companion’s trustworthiness, and the conversation turns to the paladin’s path as Clavius asks her about the missing paladins who never completed their quest to defeat their Manister foes before they reached the age of 40. Octavia is at a loss to answer and the mystery remains unanswered.
The band of four travel on, eventually making it out of the delta and into The Whispering Plains, where they decide to make camp for the night. Clavius goes hunting for a steppe hare to cook, and as they aren’t yet fully trusting of the knight, Mouse suggests poisoning him with Goldenroot. The party agrees, and when Clavius returns with supper, the party acts on the plan. Clavius unknowingly consumes the poison in his food and promptly becomes completely trusting of Mouse. After the meal, the watch order is set and those not on duty take advantage of the opportunity to rest. Octavia takes first watch, and when a couple of owlbears attack, she is unable to rouse the group in enough time. The creatures begin to make light work of the party until Clavius makes the bold sacrifice of kiting one of the abominations, catching its attention and running off into the night, the owlbear in bloodthirsty pursuit. The party is then able to focus on the remaining monster. In time, they wear it down, and Clavius returns with the second fiend. The group fights tooth and nail and sustains a fair amount of damage, although they finally dispatch the creatures, Octavia losing a portion of her rations in the fray. Hunger sated and enemies defeated, the party is once again able to relax, and Clavius makes a magnanimous offer to Octavia: a weapon exchange, his greatsword for her halberd. Octavia accepts. Soon thereafter, the party slumbers for the night.