The mercenaries deal with the fallout of their clash with the swan maiden. Answers come in a dream. Spring Brambles discovers a secret from his past. A ritual is performed.
5 Desnus, AR 4742
Yorkshire and Kegra draw blood from the infant swan maiden. It produces only half a vial of blood. Felicity provides magical healing to stop the bleeding, but they realize the child needs ongoing care to survive. They decide to take it back to the caravan, understanding that this could draw out the mother, which might be helpful if they need her blood, too. Felicity leaves a detailed note in Sylvan.
Back at the camp, the party is lectured by a furious and frightened Khoda. He is angry that they fought the swan maiden and stole its child, which he claims could provoke the wrath of the Verduran fey. He also reveals that the infant's blood won't work in the ritual, and neither would blood from the corrupted swan maiden. Keg is angry at his tone and reveals his secret plan for her to steal the swan maiden's cloak. He denies this.
The party then confers with Captain Aurelia Volus. She says that Khoda is overstepping his bounds and promises to talk with him. Keg makes sure she is aware of the plot to steal the swan maiden's cloak. After the Captain leaves, Keg confers with the party on what they should do if things go south. They agree that they are willing to flee, although Felicity wants to make sure the infant is taken care of.
That night, Felicity takes first watch and manages to avoid nodding off. The rest of the party, however, is contacted in their dreams by the swan maiden. Keg does her best to throw Khoda under bus, pinning all the blame for the incident on him. Miette is angry at the swan maiden's initial hostility, when she apparently mistook the party for poachers.
The swan maiden recognizes Spring Brambles, who was part of a ritual performed by a circle of druids. Spring is able to convince her that the party aren't her enemy. He also learns that he was created with the purpose of serving as a conduit for cleansing corruption from the swan maiden. She tells the party that the ritual can still be cast, and asks them to bring the bronze dragon to a nearby clearing.
6 Desnus, AR 4723
The next morning, Keg tries unsuccessfully to plant the infant's blood on Khoda. The rest of the party catch Felicity up on what happened in their dream. They also tell the kobold leader, who conveys it to the dragon. Keg conspires with the rest of the party about planting the blood on Khoda, to make sure that he is the patsy for any angry fey.
A chastened Khoda arrives to apologizes. While Keg distracts him, Yorkshire plants the blood. As Captain Volus arrives, Felicity explains that the party has found the solution to all their problems. They bring Khoda and Volus up to speed.
Before setting out for the clearing, Felicity visits Bator and Quinius to thank them for keeping watch the night before. She and Bator agree to get a drink together when they reach the town of Wispil.
While the two guards rest up at the kobold camp, the rest of the caravan and the sickly dragon Da'laxyria travel to the appointed site. Once home to a circle of megaliths, it appears to have been stricken with a magical explosion some years ago. Spring Brambles takes his position in the center of the circle, realizing that he stood here a few years ago when the druids' magic went awry. They are met by the swan maiden and her servants the satyr and the pixie.
The rest of the adventurers are tasked with using their skills to help in the ritual. Felicity uses her pan pipes to call out to elemental spirits for aid. Kegra locates the source of the infection, and Yorkshire attempts to draw out the corrupted fragments which float over Spring Brambles' head.
Under Kegra's guidance, elemental energies surge around the shards above Spring Brambles. A light lances out of the vine leshy and shatters the corrupted fragments. There is a blast that knocks everyone off their feet. As the dust clears, the dragon and the swan maiden are cleansed.
While everyone involved in the ritual is exhausted, that doesn't stop them from partying after the successful ritual. Spring tries getting drunk. Yorkshire shows off trick shooting. Felicity gets information from the satyrs about where she might find her relatives, but she has trouble keeping up with the full-blooded satyrs as the partying goes on.
Kegra avoids the celebration and finds that Khoda, too, has stayed away from the celebration. She lures him down to the nearby creek and then attempts to drown him. He struggles mightily and she is forced to beat him with her sap, before finally smashing his head against a rock in an attempt to make the murder appear as an accident.
When his skull cracks, however, his entire body proceeds to dissolve into sand. This was not something Kegra was told would happen when she took this job!