“Ill met by starlight,” Ragnar says as we approach the clearing, his massive form standing one wide stride past his dozens of fellows on one side of the field, directly across from
- and her dozens. The events at the Water Palace can not be hidden, and we make little attempt to do so, and to his credit Ragnar makes no attempt at revenge upon us for the death of his cousin, taking his share of the blame for the unfortunate incident. He and she and we all know that the immediate threat remains Soryth and Kalbon, especially now that Proferio’s essence has slipped the material plane once more to become part of the island, free to be siphoned into the Hag’s ritual and crystalize her dominance of this plane. Forbidden from making another assault of their own, and after a night’s rest is interrupted by an incursion from the Xivorts who seem to blanket the width and breadth of the island every nightfall, our small party is ushered to the edge of the vast hedge maze that surrounds the Spiral Palace, whose many roofs we can see in the distance, and when we ventured inside we see the trickery of this island in every nook and cranny of the fouled place; twice we find ourselves doubled back on our tracks, and twice more we come to dead ends. The saccharine smell of the yellow roses is like a madness that slips into the nostrils and down the throat, numbing senses and confusing memories.
Since the altar’s imprint matches exactly the Bloodstone KD acquired from who-knows-where, we place the gem in the groove only to see it vanish, and the footfalls of Boggles running becomes our guide as we hunt the thieves. We manage, somehow, to flank them and pin them, and when they turn to make their stand we have little trouble felling the nasty blighters, though not without a few painful pricks of our own. We continue into the maze; this ends tonight.