Croak used his ‘ring of feather fall’ to gently descend into the chasm, where he convinced Grandfather to allow himself to be turned into a tiny turtle with a high-pitched voice. He then used his ‘Fly’ scroll to return to the surface…
Meanwhile, the party ventured into Lamure and met a little old lady who begged them to tell the guard at Haysport about the cult running the town. Hunny was attacked by a small boy brandishing a stick; he was wearing a well-loved security blanket as a cloak, so Hoxie knocked him unconscious with the butt end of her dagger and stole it.
Blacksad climbed onto the roof of a cottage to see if he could see any cultists. Across the room from him, he spotted a noble called Edwin Elderberry who was painting the Grand Leak. Blacksad noticed that the tarp the noble was standing on was purple, so he leaped across and convinced Edwin to give it to him. The party crafted the tarp into disguises.
From there, Blacksad, Hunny, Hoxie, and Ruick went to the precipice over the Grand Leak, the spot where Zeke told Micah to meet him. Under falling darkness, a storm built. Lightning snaked through the clouds. A hooded figure stood at the tip of the rocky outcropping. Behind him, Ginabelle floated unconscious in a bubble suspended in midair.
Keen-edge convinced the party to set him down in the ground and step back. He carried on a silent conversation with The Herald, who promised him something in return.
He handed over Ginabelle as a gesture of good faith. The party placed her on the back of Jenny’s pegasus and then asked it to take off, taking Ginabelle out of danger.
The Herald took up the sword and told the party that he would spare their lives. If they fled to high ground now, they might survive the night.
“I’m sorry,” said Keen-edge. “I made a deal to save your lives. This is how it has to be… You have no chance against him.”
The party refused to leave. Ruick tried to strike him with his magic book, but Zeke dodged it. Hoxie threw a knife, but it was deflected. Blacksad shot an arrow, but it missed.
With a flick of his hand, The Herald deluged the party under a tidal surge. He casually strode on the waves as they passed underfoot.
“I will not tolerate insolence,” said The Herald.
One by one, the party fled. Ruick took a potshot and missed—the herald retaliated with a ice storm that brought the party to its knees and left the ground slick with ice.
At that moment, Croak emerged from the chasm and confronted The Herald and Keen-edge. He told the party to run while he held off the enemy. The Herald disappeared in a puff of mist… and then Croak summoned Keen-edge, forcing his sword back into his hand against its will.
Keen-edge admitted that he had agreed to aid The Herald in exchange for him guaranteeing Ginabelle’s life in the coming flood. However, since she was out of danger, he agreed to tell the party how to disrupt the ritual. It was being conducted at the top of the tower: they would need to take out one of the mages casting the spell of wind or water or make the sacrifice unwilling.
The party decided to try to take out Shelley Bellemere, as she was the only mage with wind magic, while both Jenny and The Herald could cast water.
Croak took Gratherfather out of his pocket. He resumed normal size, and the party rode on the giant turtle’s back through the village. Without stealth or guile, they rode him to the tower and climbed in the third floor window.
Hoxie tried to roam the rooms for treasure, while Blacksad did his best to convince her that this was not the time: “It’s the end of the world and you’re looking for god-damned hats!”
She fell through the floor and landed in a room with a treasure chest. Blacksad shot an arrow at the chest, trying to convince her to leave it behind. The startled mimic attacked, chomping on Hoxie. Hunny jumped down to save her friend. After the mimic was dead, they found a ten foot silver flamingo statue inside its belly.
Meaningwhile, Croak swung across a hole in the ground. He and Ruick reached the next floor, where Croak convinced the kobolds to abandon the tower and join Grandfather. Hunny rejoined them. Croak noticed that the walls of the maze on this floor were of newer stone than the walls of the tower, so he told the party to search for secret passages. Hunny smashed the wall instead.
On the fifth floor, the party found The Herald, Jenny, and Shelley Bellemere. Keen-edge, floating into the air, took a swing at Croak. But his aim was not true. Through their mental link, Keen-edge told him that he had to ‘keep up appearances’ to convince the Herald that he was working for him. He told the Herald that Croak had stolen him away.
As the party surrounded him, pelting him with projectiles, The Herald counterattacked them with shards of ice. Both Ruick and Hoxie went down. They lay unconscious, hovering on the verge of death. Shelley Bellemere blew Croak back with a blast of wind.
The Herald tried to move to a better position, but Croak struck him with Booming Blade. Hunny smashed the ground, which cracked under the bitter cold of the ice, and tore a hole under the Herald’s feet. But from below, he struck them with a massive thunderwave.
Croak ran across the floor and grabbed Jenny, though she struggled. He shouted, “Everyone get out of the windows, now!” Then he climbed to the next floor, put the ring on Jenny’s finger, and threw her off the roof. He shouted to Grandfather to destroy the tower and interrupt the ritual.
Hunny grabbed Hoxie and jumped out of a fifth-storey window, landing with a bone-crunching force. Luckily, her rage kept her standing when lesser half-orcs would have fallen. Blacksad rescued Ruick and jumped onto Grandfather’s back out the window. Mist escaped through the cracks of the tower.
The tower fell.
Croak survived, but lost an eye to falling debris. Keen-edge was snapped in half. He mental voice was silent.
Battered, bruised, but alive… the party faced The Grand Leak, hoping that they had done enough to interrupt the ritual.