When the ancient fortuneteller in Cloacina’s congregation told me I had to leave right away to save my friends, I didn’t ask many questions. She said to go to the manse of the lady Ygraine, near Westkeep, and I was familiar with the place. More, I knew Bern had been sniffing around that area – probably literally, he’s as much beast as man – in search of a cure for his withered arm. So I set off immediately on my trusty horse Antipesto.

I reached Black Mirror Lake without incident, except that the lake was in fact the incident. Antipesto doesn’t see well in the dark, and dunked me in the lake as soon as we got there. I made my way to the manse a very sore, soaked, and bedraggled paladin just as a carriage flew out the gates. A very strange figure came running 0ut of one of the buildings after the carriage; the woman was wearing some hideously clashing ensemble of a dress and more makeup than a farmer would need to whitewash his barn. It wasn’t until she called out to the carriage that I recognized her voice as my friend and fellow member of the Glorious Blades, Rowen.

The carriage was long gone by the time Rowen mentioned that Morin had stowed away on it.

We returned to the manse and arranged to stay the night. Rowen apparently had some pull with the lady, despite her awful fashion sense, and I coasted in on her endorsement. The night passed without incident.

Morin stumbled in the next morning looking very much worse for wear. She had followed the carriage until it stopped, then somehow knocked herself out trying to overhear a conversation. When she woke, there was nothing left but a few gold coins on the ground. That lead was at an end, at least for the moment.

Rowen was avoiding three strange figures we had met before. They wanted me to give her a strange blank card, and said to tear it in half if their aid was needed. I took the card; I’ll figure out what to do with it later.

I also managed to introduce myself to one Jack Milktongue, a grimalkin bard. As a fellow hunter of vermin, he may be a good ally in the future.

The evening was not a complete waste, however. Rowen’s activities during the party, which apparently drove off Lope and his companions in the carriage, also attracted the attention of the lady Ygraine and gained her a private audience. In that audience, Rowen reported that they discussed the plight of Meagre’s Reach. Ygraine denied both knowledge of and responsibility for the problem, but seemed interested in fixing it. She gave Rowen a task: follow the ley lines south and west, to find and return with a certain magic rock. This assignment didn’t come with much in the way of explanation to the rest of us.

We discussed this over brunch by the lake, trying to decide what to do.