After a night of celebration in Haysport, the group started out for Quartz Peak so they could track down Shan and find an antidote for Blacksad’s poison. Hunny and a few others mounted her giant goat, while Croak and Glink rode a horse.
No one could find Hoxie. She is missing, presumed drunk. A ghost dog wags its tail in her booze-induced dreams.
An earthquake startled the horse. Crows flew away in great flocks and the small rodents of the forest fled to shelter. The giant ivory goat trudged placidly onward.
In Owen’s Woods, they encountered a group of mouse folk hiding with their caravan. After Clove fired an arrow at the group, her sister Rosalee smoothed things over. She asked for help in recovering their stolen cargo and ship: Croak promised to help them after his business in Quartz Peak.
Blacksad passed out from the effects of the poison. Rosalee sold the group some heroin to get Blacksad back on his feet. Hunny administered the dose—a little more than might have been wise—so Blacksad bounded ahead through the forest, tingling with energy.
They continued onward (and the giant goat vanished). A stream of travelers on foot carrying household possessions passed in the opposite direction. Hunny’s teenage petting zoo assistant approached her. In his arms, he was carrying her prized pig. She demanded to know what he was doing away from the job. He responded that he wasn’t paid enough to stay in a crisis and requested his paycheck. Hunny punched him in the face.
Hoxie’s mother wandered over. She found the group familiar, but couldn’t remember how she knew them. She told them she was going for a nice walk in the woods, but to tell Hoxie that her father had locked himself in the basement to protect all of their valuables from those ‘lizard things.’
“Mother-fucking Kobolds,” said Blacksad.
The party looked for a more reasonable source of information. They found Gwen organizing the evacuation, directing Barb and Fred to help injured townspeople. A super-high Blacksad walked up to her and said, “Hi, Princess.” While she struggled to recover, he walked way.
After begging the group not to tell anyone about her alleged lineage, Gwen told them that kobolds had emerged from the chasm up the secret stairwell. In a rage over their ‘grandfather’ going missing, they had taken over the town, ransacked its shops and houses, and driven its people away. They held Fred and Shan captive in the guild hall.
Hunny raced ahead to check on her petting zoo, only to find that filthy kobolds were riding her animals or carrying them away towards the guild hall. In a rage, she swung at a kobold carrying away her pet cat, only to miss and break its back legs. Blacksad charged into the fray, his grasp of reality so loose that he impaled Hunny’s pig and sheep by mistake. He bit a kobold’s neck and then beat it to death. The rest of the party mopped up the kobolds and then cornered their leader. He was a strange Kobold who downed a bottle of poison, declared that someone named Iris would destroy them, and then died.
In the end, Blacksad healed Hunny’s animals. None of them died, but a certain sheep would be traumatized for the rest of its life. Its wool was stained red with blood. Hunny found that the kobolds had been in her house, so she threw out all her furniture into a pile and lit it on fire.
The group hurried on to the merchant district to put out fires and rescue the town, Hoxie’s family, and the party’s precious, precious coral. There they met…. more kobolds. Sulxax spent the entire encounter slaying one kobold, but he managed it. (Yay, Sulxax.)
Croak put out the fire with a blast of Thunder Wave (the lumber shop may have received a little… structural damage in the process.)
Blacksad was hit with a second dose of poison and went blind; nevertheless, he still hit everything he aimed for. It was as if the drugs in his system put him in touch with the ebb and flow of the universe.
Hunny raged with her direwolf at her side; wherever the pair went, kobolds died in a spray of red mist. Suffering traps, poisoned arrows, and fanatic Kobold suicide attacks with grenades, the party was victorious.
Croak questioned the kobold leader, who told them that he hoped to avenge Grandfather, the guardian of the orb hidden in the chasm. Hunny admitted that she had smashed it; the kobold called them fools with his dying breath.
…And then Croak force-healed him and demanded more answers. The kobold told them that the orb was one of four keys that bind a creature so powerful that even the dragons feared it.
Blacksad walked over and stabbed the kobold in the throat. It choked to death on its own blood. Everyone looked at him.
“What,” Blacksad said. “I thought the conversation was over.”
He walked over to the direwolf and tried to pet it. It bit his hand.
Blacksad sighed. “I’ve been super-poisoned, addicted to heroin, and now infected with rabies. Best day ever.”
They knocked on the door of the pawn shop. Hoxie’s dad answered and let them in for some soup and rest. He paid them out their coral profits and gave Croak a little extra in exchange for a promise that he would protect Hoxie and keep her on the straight and narrow.
Solxax used the outhouse. Out of his shit emerged a Bulette, which immediately bit the outhouse in two. The sound of splintering wood attracted the attention of the party. Hunny climbed onto the monster’s back and hugged it, trying to convince it to allow her to ride it. The Bulette only thought of her as a friend and was uncomfortable with her attempts to push the relationship further. Blacksad, Solxax, and Croak ganged up on the creature, killing it.
Hoxie’s dad asked Croak if he could repair his outside. Croak swore to do so, right after he helps the mouse folk, saves Blacksad from poison, and retakes the town from kobolds.
Somewhere in the distance, a creature roared. The party turned towards the guild hall, which was shrouded in a strange green mist.