The party awakens on the 21st of September to discover that Zarunal is still suffering from Filth Fever, and in fact is even worse than before: shaking, dehydrated, and grumpy. The proprietor of the Broken Wheel is distraught at the idea of anyone dying in his inn, especially someone that Sir Colwyn expressed an interest in, so he does his best to make the wizard comfortable. Iolar, in the meantime, considers the invitation from Sir Colwyn important enough that he feels the need to see to it immediately. He hires a horse from the innkeeper, and proceeds to Oak Falls immediately, instructing his companions to seek aid from Lord Garret, the local nobleman. Zarunal is left in bed, attended by the innkeeper.
Lord Garret is wary of the party at first, and before offering any help he asks numerous questions about the party, their business, Lord Birgen, and why Colwyn wants to see them, though he is largely unimpressed by their answers. It comes out that most of Garret’s henchmen have been summoned away to some kind of muster in Adricsdorf. Garret’s interest does pick up as Savren describes the threats that the party overcame within the Woods across the river. Savren gets a bit carried away in the telling, however, and lets slip some details about the discovery of the crude Mithril dagger which was taken off the Kobold leader. Garret clearly wants a chance to examine the thing himself, although Karnack puts him off by claiming that Iolar has taken it with him to Oak Falls.
Garret reluctantly agrees to offer what little aid he can, but when it comes time to negotiate the price of his help, the party are at a loss for what to give in return. Fate intervenes, however – a local farmer arrives, complaining that he has lost several sheep to an Ankheg which needs to be exterminated. As Garret’s own men are unavailable, he drafts the party to help put the menace down. Garret’s daughter Elspeth accompanies the party back to the inn and administers a healing draught of some kind, which restores Zarunal’s strength (for the moment, at least). Zarunal agrees that he will help try to kill the Ankheg so long as he has the strength.
The Farmer leads the party to a tunnel dug into the earth by the beast – a burrow of some kind. The party cautiously descend into the cramped passage, but find the warren more extensive than they first imagined. Stomping heavily to attract the beast, they are beset by not one, but two Ankhegs. The first charges out of the dark and immediately grabs Karnack in it’s pincers, attempting to drag him off. The fight is desperate, but Karnack eventually works himself free just as another monster comes up the tunnel from behind, nearly killing Zarunal. Savren is also seriously injured by the things’ acidic spittle. After a hard but swift fight, the beasts are put down.
The party continues to explore the warren, realizing that they are in an extensive nest. In the lowest part of the nest they finally come upon the last of the Ankhegs guarding a clutch of eggs. It fails to drive the heroes out of the nest, and is killed. With the threat averted, Zarunal supervises the harvesting of the eggs, along with various organs and alchemically useful viscera from the corpses.
During the return journey to the inn, however, Zarunal suffers a relapse and by the morning of the 22nd he has become even worse than before. He is in real danger of dying from Filth Fever. Borrowing a pair of fast horses from Lord Garrett, Liath rides north to Hearnsward and Karnack east to Oak Falls, each hoping to find some help that they can bring back to save Zarunal. Zarunal prepares for the worst, dictating his final will to Savren.
In Oak Falls, Karnack finds Iolar still in discussion with Colwyn, but he has no time to dawdle. Colwyn refers Karnack to his manservant Flinchly, an elderly Gnome. Flinchly produces a scroll of “remove disease” which Karnack takes back to Oakhaven as fast as he can.
In Hearnsward, Liath is referred to Otto Goodbarley, the hetman of the Goodbarley Clan of halflings living in the area. Otto owns a tavern, a lively place called the Full Mug. Though reluctant at first, once Otto realizes that it’s a halfling that is in trouble, he springs into action. After some time Liath is introduced to Indrid, a Storm Elf who happens to be in town. Indrid is surprised to meet an elf from Undra, but there is no time for extended conversation. Indrid has a potion of Lesser Restoration on him, which Otto agrees to buy on the understanding that Zarunal must pay him back if he recovers. While he writes a brief note, Indrid asks Liath to keep an eye out for any other Storm Elves he might meet, and to spread the word that he is seeking out his kin.
Karnack returns to Oakhaven first, just before dawn on the 23rd. Savren immediately attempts to use the scroll to rid Zarunal of his fever, but he cannot control the magic and his attempt fails. Soon thereafter Liath arrives and administers the potion: it helps, but very little. Despite these setbacks, with all of this attention, rest, and aid, however Zarunal’s sickness finally stabilizes. By midday on September 24th, the fever has broken and he is on the way to recover, though the sickness has left him incredibly weak.
THE PODCAST FOR THIS SESSION IS NOW AVAILABLE AT RPGMP3.COM