Quintas pulled off the cover of the last square and found a black, viciously fanged squirrel. He put it in a sack and threw it over his shoulder, getting ready to leave when he was surprised by a man in studded armor.
Quintas arrived at the Duke’s abode and was received and offered a very special Otherberry wine by the Duke and his companion, the very a tall, dark, stoop shouldered Dr. Zambe.
Slocum and Cassius finished drinks and food together in an amicable fashion and flirted with the serving wench “Lady” Gretchen. Zenith entered the tavern and was met and received by Slocum who agreed to travel with the young lad to see the duke. Cassius snuck off to Gretchen’s apartment for some debauchery. Slocum and Zenith arrived at the appointed time to see the Duke, singing bawdy sea chanties all the while. They were received graciously, Slocum realizing that the Duke and Zenith were already well acquainted. Slocum and Zenith met with Dr. Zambe as well, and each received a glass of Otherberry wine and a snack while they waited for Cassius to arrive.
Cassius agreed, after ducking a few projectiles, to take his new friend with him to see the Duke. After over two hours of waiting for her to get dressed, they finally left. Ducking in and out of taverns and lodgings, they were able to survive the unnatural freezing cold that arrived with sun down to arrive at the Duke’s lodging.
Quintas used his talents to divine information about his fellow companions’ health and some information about their skills. He mostly just looked creepy.
The Duke and Dr. Zambe shared their knowledge of the “demonic other-worldy” happenings, and demonic creatures such as the toothy squirrel and a plague of begging children with insect wings. Zenith spoke of witnessing a large creature up to 20 feet in height that he had seen take a child outside of Gardenhome.
Duke Neslan struck deals with each of the travelers, including pay and certain services rendered. Slocum asked, and the duke agreed to give mounts, heavy cloaks and blankets to the party for the trip.
As it was getting late, the party was allowed to spend the night in the Dukes house with a special guard over “Lady” Gretchen.
In the morning the party left for Garden home. Part way through the journey Cassius called a halt because of an uncomfortable feeling in the area of his bladder. Quintas followed him to the edge of the woods where Cassius was attacked by a demonic squirrel while trying to urinate. Quintas and Cassius were able to evade the black, sabertooth, demon squirrel’s unnatural bite while Slocum and Zenith moved into the fray. A well-placed net thrown over the squirrel by Slocum allowed the party to capture and kill the mighty beast. Cutting it open, they noticed that this squirrel was emaciated and missing most of its fur, and its internal organs seemed to be rotten and dried up.