I discussed the matter of what to do next with Forrest, and we decided to explore to the north where Verminbane and Cloacina sensed a threat. A town there known as Thatchem was reputed to be only a few miles away from the danger, so we planned to buy horses and scout the road there. Forrest agreed to lend me Verminbane for a week - whatever I chose to do with the blade during that time. Scouting out the threat that Cloacina sensed was the best use of that time, I felt, so we spent a day packing and preparing and then set off. Rowen and Ygnas joined us for the trip, Kiba staying behind to train Kiki.

We met a pack of blink dogs two days out, harassing a picnic where lightning had killed two young lovers. We followed the trail to their farmhouse, spending the night there since it was empty, but a two-headed snake attacked the horses overnmight, killing Rowen’s. We fought it, and drove it off, but the poison claimed the horse. Rowen was drunk and slept through the whole fight.

The next day, we met snake-headed humanoids who traded some coin for Rowen’s now-unneeded food. They claimed Thatchem was a day or two further along the road. We would have barely enough time to reach town before turning around to return the blade, but at least we would know the way, and perhaps I could return it along while my friends undertook to scout the place.

We made camp and hoped to catch sight of Thatchem in the morning.