Having arrived at Moil Colony a short while ago, Mal tucks Zyn into her bed after she falls asleep, then quietly departs the ship for Old Town to see these “other” dwarves he’s been hearing about.
In the inn’s back room up in Old Town, Xax meets with the other captains about Fellstaff. The discussion is interrupted when the entire colony hears a rapid series of thunderclaps followed by the concerted howl of an unknown number of scavengers. Xax mindlinks to Mal, who confesses Zyn is asleep but that he’s on his way up the hill to investigate. Hanos is in town, too, but Angus isn’t answering. Knowing that someone in town must have seen a half-giant, witnesses claim Angus was walking up the hill toward the thundering a little while before.
Xax, Hanos, and Mal walk up to the galleria to see it crawling with dwarven workers shrugging off the rain. Mal asks the closest dwarf, one with an unusually large rump, if they have seen anything. She turns around and introduces herself with a thick accent as Becca, Kreel’s daughter. Being friendly (and oblivious), Mal puts out his hand in friendship. Becca accepts the greeting with one hand and promptly grabs for his genitalia with the other, giving Mal a thorough squeeze. Mal asks earnestly if this is a normal dwarven greeting but is only met with a chuckle. Becca indicates the “large human” indeed passed that way earlier.
With the rain pounding down and visibility very limited (even being daytime), the Last Born find a crossed path with three dead scavengers, each felled by a weapon belonging to Angus. While Xax and Mal spread out to look around, Hanos summons an ethereal hawk and searches the ground from the sky through its eyes. All the way down the path to the ruins of the charred elven temple, there is no sign of their friend.
Mal asks Xax about the “dream” at Fallstaff, but before too long, Hanos’s hawk finds a titan-sized creature that makes itself visible (opened the sky) to reveal what looks like: Angus transformed into a 25′ giant. With an open hand, a lightning blast from the creature toasts Hanos’s hawk, and Hanos feels the sudden disconnection as a throbbing in his head as he tells the group what he found.
Xax contacts Zyn, waking her to pick them up and take them in the direction of the no-longer-half giant. After she arrives, Xax tries again to contact Angus but instead makes contact with a shadowy god-like creature that claims Angus as its own. When Xax questions the creature’s truthfulness, it lets Xax talk to Angus himself. Angus confesses that he offered his soul to serve it (and it, of course, agreed.) When the shadow creature attempts to speak again, Xax severs the connection and tells Zyn to fly away. A gale-force wind starts to push the smalljammer down, but Zyn counters the maneuver to pull free of the area and the presumed shadow creature’s influence.
Taking the ship into orbit and far out of the reach of any possible local deity (she hoped), the crew discusses what happened. Zyn feels responsible for throwing Angus off the ship (so she could sleep with Mal, no less.) Xax charges that Angus his made his own decision. On the way back to Moil Colony, Zyn skims the coastline of the landmass Moil Colony calls home, noting several crater-like indentations like meteor hits or burned-out volcanoes in planet surface.
Back on Moil Colony, Zyn lands Nia outside the Aparusa camp, much closer to the town than the harbor. Xax meets first with the priestess for advice about any local deities, but she can only recall a story of her great grandfather told her about a great scavenger that led rescuers to him when he was hurt hunting. She also impresses upon him that no hunter worth their skill kills only for sport or takes more than they need.
Xax calls for a private meeting later with Sterl, Tenth, and the group about what to do, but Kreel crashes the meet with several of his dwarven warriors. Sterl admits to extending Kreel the invitation, which turns into a pissing contest with Xax. Challenging Xax to lose his mask in the interest of trust, Sterl loses a bet to Kreel to when Xax complies. While Kreel seems to have no issue with an illithid, he does take issue with the Aparusa running their games and flea market outside the galleria being built. Xax gives assurances, but Kreel suggests that a true ruling council be convened to remove any inference of shady, backroom politicking.
After the meeting, Zyn receives a small chest from the innkeep and has a private word before leaving for the Aparusa camp. She meets Hanos coming out of the camp who tells her that he’s arranged for hiring tomorrow. After Zyn retires to the ship (quite exhausted), Hanos goes to Sterl for info about phlogiston travel and enchantments. When Hanos shows him his new “butterscotch” spell, Sterl gives Hanos his flintlock to enchant with the spell. If that can be done, Gracie may be next!
Back at the inn, Kreel invites Mal to talk and drink with him and the other mining dwarves. After a few hours, Mal manages to weird him out (the final straw being his confession that he slept with Zyn, a “human.”) Kreel finally leaves for the mines, chuckling to himself over the weird, short-bearded dwarf who carouses with humans.
The next morning, Xax and Mal go to listen to the priestess give a sermon. Still aboard Nia, three young lads and a mousy young girl arrive as potential hires by Hanos and Zyn. Hanos has a ridiculous number of prepared questions, most of which sound like he’s interrogating a potential spy. The knot maker seems mostly useless, but two of the others could cook, especially the mousy human girl. Zyn begins asking the girl, Sophie, a few carefully detailed questions and decides something’s amiss in the answers.
Zyn takes the girl aside privately and asks her plainly for the truth; no judgment, no danger. As Zyn herself did months earlier to Xax, Sophie confesses to her elven heritage, only as a pure elf and one being hunted, no less. When Mal and Xax come back aboard, Zyn takes Xax aside and tells him about Sophie before defending her and taking personal responsibility for her. Xax reluctantly agrees, especially since everyone will be watching her closely.
Taking the opportunity to do so, Zyn also reveals that since the inn couldn’t pay for some of the work Mal and Angus did for them earlier, she arranged to be cut in on a share of the profits. With the dwarves building the galleria and working the mines, the inn has sold through much of its stock. As a part owner, Zyn has volunteered the smalljammer and its crew on a mission of the utmost importance: a beer run to Nightfall!
Session XP: 2150 per player (before applicable 10% bonuses)