Back in the real world, Tatiana holds a small memorial service for Pandarus, and buries him in the Orlovsky family plot. She also writes a letter to his brother, explaining Pandarus’ innocence in the death of his niece.
Next, they travel to Novo Ostia. Tatiana meets with Geneveive and explains what’s happened. They give the Sage all of Mairin’s notes on the lich ritual, and she agrees to study them to see if there’s anything she can do for Tatiana.
Then they go shopping. Udett sets some considerable money aside to commission a statue of Harconus, patron of Novo Ostia, to be revealed after the defeat of Mekketh.
Later the next day, a commotion erupts along the docks, and quickly spreads throughout the stressed capital. The rushes to the docks, and sees dead fish wash up on the shore in vast numbers, a tide of death. As the people begin to panic, several bodies and parts of ship hulls also roll in.
The party hurries to the city hall, and the mayor and governor issue a joint order giving them command of a galley to go investigate. They head out past the breakers into the sea, and find the epicenter of the death. The captain tells them that this spot is called the Blessing – sailors try to sail through this specific spot as it is said to grant them good luck and safe journeys. The site has obviously been corrupted, however; the feeling of desecration and violation is palpable. As they watch, a sizable chunk of a warships’s prow is spotted, topped with the wicked ram of the Hell-Borne Howl, the Buzzard’s falgship. Soon after, the party spots a body floating in the wreckage dressed in finery. They fish the corpse out and confirm that Demetrius the Buzzard is dead.
Udett summons an orca to investigate, and the creature reports (via Carbonel) a rocky formation on the sea floor. With the help of a cleric, they descend into the water with water breathing and find a coral formation shaped like a cupped hand. Carved into the ‘palm’ of the hand like an angry, infected cut is a symbol – the personal sigil of Cassibellaunus the Traitor. Udett puts the pieces together: someone, likely Mekketh, has desecrated a Spring holy site and sacrificed the sea life and the sailors to empower the summoning of his ally, the fallen Spring knight.
Returning to shore, the party sees that panic has gripped the city. While Tatiana sneaks off to the Eyrie to visit her imprisoned family, the others help to restore law and order. The Eyrie is staffed with only a (non-literal) skeleton crew, and Aiden helps Tatiana get to the cell where her aunt and uncle are being held. She explains everything that’s happened; the destruction of the manor, the death of the servants, but also the truth behind what happened to her husband and child. Her uncle, who always believed she was innocent, is relieved to hear that she’s uncovered the truth. He asks Tatiana to help exonerate them, but explains that Gustaf has been trying to get them to blame Tatiana for the chamber beneath the manor. He says that they will not lie for their own sake and give him Tatiana, and he asks her to explain things to Gustaf and free them only when it’s safe for her to do so.
Over the next few days, the party consults with wizards and Spring cults on the possibility of summoning Cassibellaunus’ sister Hrothbeorta Ragetorrent to help counter Mekketh’s new ally. Hrothbeorta hates Mekketh with a bottomless depth, but the rituals to summon her to the plane are vastly expensive and complex, and the party cannot come to a satisfactory deal. However, after three days of fruitless negotiation, Udett receives an invitation from Lord Harconus.
In one of the many sitting rooms of Stately Harconus Manor, Harconus makes Udett an offer in simple terms: he knows what she’s been trying to accomplish over the past few days, and in exchange for every copy of the stolen ledger and Mayor Edmund, Harconus will pay for the summoning. The party will gain a powerful ally in their fight against Mekketh, but Harconus’ position will be come more powerful and stable than ever, and they’ll lose all of their evidence of his evil deeds. After some discussion with the rest of the party, Udett decides to take Harconus’ deal.