Marda is out. Hnng dreams about having a bathing suit. He first thinks that it might be made out of his back hair. On the other hand, he thinks that it might be made out of leather, with decorative chains adorning the region around his pot-belly.
Nen has the following jobs available: a cockatrice in a field; vermin in a cave (this man was the same one who came with the hyena problem).
Turns out that cockatrices have an irrational fear of roosters and that weasels and ferrets are immune to the bite, which typically petrifies.
But the party decides to go to the beach instead. Perhaps, the wizards of the coast know more about the gems and Vallan’s disappearance. In the meantime, Hnng offers himself as tribute to Clarion for any more information on Vallan’s current situation. Clarion puts on a show of interest in this proposition, but she is hesitant due to various reasons (unbeknownst to the others, she is still getting over a previous relationship; besides, she doesn’t really like Hnng…no on really does). Yish strokes his beard as he watches the situation and decides to cast Unnatural Lust on Clarion. Clarion shrugs off the spell and gets very upset at Yish.
Hnng knows from his knowledge of arcana that the wizards of the coast used to be in the southern region of L’lanon. Yish finds out from the locals that the wizards of the coast are currently in the south. Yish also recalls from his knowledge of history that Copyright leaves marks on the items they make; the blue gem has such a mark, but the red gem does not.
The party leaves Marda behind and so investigate southern L’lanon without her. The party makes its way to Cleethorpes, which might be connected to the current headquarters of Copyright. It is a city three days away from Ban Du. Yish goes to the bar to see what he can find out; Lilith goes with him. Hnng goes to the shops. Leaf and Clarion go to the beach (Clarion would probably wear a bikini, but Leaf seems like the kind to go in the nude).
Yish asks the barkeeper what he know about wizards of the coast. The barkeeper informs him that representatives of the wizards of the coast visits the town every two weeks; his next visit will be in three days (on market Friday). He sets up shop to give out items already ordered and to take new orders.
Yish also listens to local rumors:
- One of the small islands off the coast might be haunted
- Occasionally, some of the livestock get attacked by something which has yet to be seen, although the locals think that it is a fox or a wolf
- There is an ogre in the town to the west, although he doesn’t disturb anyone; even so, someone else wants him gone so that he can take over the hill
Hnng finds many shops selling various little trinkets. He chooses the shadiest looking shop, which has a whole shelf dedicated to cursed items. Hnng asks the shopkeeper about the wizards of the coast. He rolls his eyes and says, “those guys, they come every once in a while”. Hnng nevertheless finds out that the wizards of the coast would probably make an appearance at the Friday market. Hnng then asks for information on how to get a unicorn horn. The shopkeeper informs him of the difficulty of obtaining one, since it is questionably illegal to kill a unicorn. There is, however, an island off the coast which is technically not under L’lanon’s rule which might have a unicorn on it. Hnng leaves five gold pieces for the shopkeeper.
At the beach, Leaf and Clarion have a discussion about filtering water. Clarion grew up by a swamp, so she learned that water needed to be filtered. Leaf is convinced that filtering water is magic. So when Clarion gives Leaf the cloth that she used to filter sand out from the beach water, Leaf is overjoyed. They then proceed to have a conversation that deepens their friendship. Leaf reveals that he grew up in the forest alone, not knowing his parents; when he was 18, a priest of Nethys took him in. Clarion teaches Leaf about flirting, although Leaf doesn’t seem to quite understand it all. Leaf begins to practice flirting with Clarion, and the two decide to keep this exchange a secret.
Hnng enjoys his meat and cheese melt; Yish and Lilith get tacos. Hnng and Yish meet eyes and uncomfortably exchange information. Leaf and Clarion happen to stumble upon them at that time. The party takes a boat for two silver pieces out to the haunted island (it’s the one farthest out from the coast).
The party lands at the island and sees a little sign on the beach, which has a warning printed in common: Warning! Mind-stab fungus. Yish recalls that those who approach will be rendered unconscious by the ear-piercing scream of the fungus. Yish stuffs wet flour in his ears; Clarion happens to have three sets of ear plugs. Hnng doesn’t get ear plugs.
The island has a well-tended patch of earth, where these fungi are cultivated. Yish notices that fresh footprints go up from where the party has landed and are all around the field. Lilith does not detect any undead; Clarion doesn’t detect any poison. Yish thinks that they should wait and watch (and hide the boat).
After seven hours, night comes. A light from the darkness approaches. A hooded figure picks up the lantern and approaches the fungus field. Hnng attempts to stealthily get behind the figure so as to block the path back to the boat. The hooded figure goes to a tree near the field, pulls on the rope behind it, lowers tools, puts in ear plugs, and begins to tend the field, which screams out quite loudly. Hnng looks in the boat, only to find an empty sack.
After the hooded figure finishes working, it picks up three fungi and begins moving towards the boat. Yish lights his lantern to signal to the hooded figure. The hooded figure puts down the mushrooms, cuts a portion, and the mushrooms stop screaming. She pulls off her hood, revealing many tattoos. Yish finds out that she is the witch Launlaer. She is quite friendly, explaining that she harvests mushrooms for her potion, and not at all put off by the party’s appearance on her island. The rumor of the haunted island must have been from the shrieking mushrooms. Yish attempts to purchase some mushrooms from her, but she invites him to come to her shop in town. Yish then asks her not to be spooked by his companions that probably are hiding in her boat.
Hnng asks Launlaer whether she knows about unicorns on the islands. She responds that the islands nearby don’t have unicorns.
Yish ends the conversation by asking whether Launlaer knows about Copyright and the wizards of the coast. She informs him that she deals with them frequently. The party returns to the mainland and finds a place to stay for the night (Hnng goes for a ham and cheese sandwich while Yish goes for more tacos).