Trapetor opens the trapdoor and is the first one to enter to room where the rumblings came from. Uthal, Lily, Helwen and Brysark are following his lead. They find an old tavern, that looks like it hasn’t been used in a long time. The bar is destroyed, there is shattered glass everywhere from the broken windows. It seems like this tavern used to be a meeting place for hunters because there are several hunting trophies on the walls. The party soon learns that they are not alone: from the kitchen 3 hairy beasts appear with morning stars in their hands. Based on their recent experiences the party decides to attack.
Uthal is the first one to get hit: one of the creatures attacks him with his morning star. Brysark avenges Uthal and strikes the creature with his longsword. Helwen switches to her bear-shape and attacks one of the other creatures. Lily uses her magic missiles. A smart move from Brysark: his Thunder Wave manages to push the creatures back, resulting in the death of one of them. Scared for his life, the second creature tries to escape and jumps out of a broken window. Trapetor uses his Eldritch Blast and kills the second creature. The final creature attempts to escape as well, but he is no match for Brysark.
After the battle, Brysark tells the party he remembers these beasts from his travels. They were Bugbears. Brysark remembers Bugbears are common creatures who are easily scared. Helwen and Lily now feel bad for the massacre that went down earlier. The party searches the room and find a dead deer in the kitchen and 3 pieces of copper. Everybody except Brysark goes upstairs to investigate the rest of the tavern. Brysark uses Cort to keep watch of the surroundings. It turns out that Brysark is able to see through Cort’s eyes.
Upstairs the rest of the party finds another bugbear sleeping. He doesn’t notice the party entering his room. Since nobody wants to be followed by a vengeful bugbear, they decide to attack him too. Helwen accidentally sets his bed on fire. Obviously, this wakes him up. Scared and confused, he surrenders. Trapetor uses his cuffs on the bugbear to make sure he doesn’t escape or attack. The party and the bugbear talk for a bit. The bugbear tells the party he lives in the tavern with 3 others. Feeling bad about their actions, the party lies and tells the bugbear his friends are okay. They uncuff the bugbear and leave the tavern to go find Jake and Josh.
The party heads to Stanehold. While travelling, – initiated by Brysark – they talk about their past. They ask Brysark about Cort and his abilities, but no one bothers to ask Brysark about his life before Spes Novum. Helwen tries to bind Nightshade to her, but she fails. It turns out Nightshade cannot be bound to anyone. Using Nightshade will therefore always be a risk. Helwen also tries to find herbs, but no success. It was a very unsuccessful day for Helwen.
Entering Stanehold, a little boy shouts Lily’s name. It’s her nephew Terry. He invites the party to come to his choir recital in the temple that night. The party promises to come, after they run some errands in Stanehold. First stop: King Alron. When the party enters the gate, they are greeted by the guard who took care of their horses earlier. Howard isn’t there. They find Howard sitting next to Alron in Alrons room. Almara and Dibelle are also there. It seems like the four people are discussing the brotherhood of the beasts. Howard doesn’t trust Spes Novum. This bothers Uthal, but it’s not clear if it is the lack of trust that bothers him or if he is just bothered to be in the presence of a dwarf. Howard and Uthal start to argue. Howards wants to know why Uthal is wearing the crown of Alrons ancestors. While Uthal and Howard continue arguing, the rest of the party tells Alron about their findings. They show him the note from Thome Stane. Even Alron has some news to share. He sent one of his people undercover to infiltrate the Leaky Flagon, but this didn’t work. The Brotherhood of Beasts can tell if you’re one of them. In order to infiltrate, you therefore need a bit of tissue (feromones) from one of the members. Almara says she can help with the disguise when the party has a sample.
Alron also tells the party about the rumors he heard. Apparently, there is a big beast in the woods accompanied by 4 wolves. He suggests the party to go there and investigate. Alron confirms the reward for defeating the Brotherhood of the Beasts (500 golds). Also, everything the party finds in the woods and the Leaky Flagon is theirs to keep.
Everybody notices the elephant in the room: Uthal and Howard are both really agitated. They decide to fight it out in a friendly duel. Whoever wins, has to treat the other with respect. They can’t use spells or any deadly attacks. Uthal loses but mostly hurts his ego. Being defeated by a dwarf is really embarrassing for him.
After the duel, Howard tells the party about a merchant living in Stanehold. His name is Ashien Matafi. There are some rumors going on about him. Several people saw people coming to his house in the middle of the night. Also, strange sounds were heard, coming from his residence. This all happened during full moon. The party decides to look in to this during the next full moon (11 days from now).
The party except Brysark goes to the temple to enjoy the singing from the choir and relax a bit. They meet Lily’s parents who talk a lot about their candle-making business. Especially Uthal seems to have a thing for candle-making. It is not a good day for Uthals reputation.
In the meantime, Brysark is making new friends at the tavern. Sean and Charles fulfill all of Brysark Lumberjack fantasies. They talk about the creature in the woods. Sean and Charles know the location of the creature and also know it’s a big moose. The rest of the party steps into the tavern, followed by Jaden, the orchestrator from the choir. They all have drinks. Suddenly, Kayla appears. She looks at Trapetor with a face of disgust. Terry seems to have forgotten his hat. Kayla asks Lily to return it to him. Jaden offers to come along and the three of them leave. After a fun night, the party returns to their rooms for the night. Brysark attempts to contact Flux with his diamond egg. After focusing a little bit, Brysark disappears. Uthal sees the whole thing and freaks out. He finds Helwen passed out on her bed. He wakes her up to help him with the Brysark situation. Helwen examines the egg while still in her bed, but finds nothing. She passes out again.
Meanwhile, Brysark finds himself to be in a different location. He sees Flux who clearly needs his help. Vechna’s followers have hurt him bad. Flux asks Brysark if he could find him an amulet. The diamond egg will help him find it. Flux wants to stop evil and Vechna and Bane are only getting stronger. Flux bows his head to Brysark and when their heads meet, they feel a strong connection. The amulet Flux desires, should be in the academy somewhere. Suddenly, Brysark finds himself in Helwens bed, who is not amused.
Lily and Jaden talk all night, Jaden gives her an amulet with a holy symbol on it. The amulet represents the God of knowledge, skill and proficiency. In the morning, the party meets at the tavern for breakfast. Trapetor and Uthal decide to go to the blacksmith. Brysark, Lily and Helwen go to the academy. When they enter the lift, Brysark’s diamond egg starts to illuminate. When they reach the 12th floor, the egg is at its brightest. They enter the 12th floor and encounter a couple of guards. Brysark approaches them and asks for admittance. The guards are tricked to believe that the group has Almara’s blessing and warn them that a couple of months ago four people magically exploded on this floor. The trio investigates the floor. All they find is a single painting of a snowy landscape. The closer they get to the painting, the colder it gets. While Lily and Helwen try to ascertain the nature of this painting, Brysark touches it and is immediately transported into the painting. To be continued.