Layna interrogates the archaeologist and after some questioning it emerges that he is not from the University at all, but is Larrakh, a servant of the earth cult.
Layna fools Larrakh into giving more information about the cult, using the little knowledge she already has as well as some good guesses. It is confirmed that:
- The earth cult is based at the Sacred Stone monastery
- The earth cult desires to return everything to the earth, and stop the chaos that currently exists
- The leader of the earth cult is a Medusa called Marlos Urnrayle who comes from Droam.
- Marlos follows a powerful earth entity known as Ogremoch
- This area is an unusual dwarven outpost. The floating stones are caused by some sort of magical effect that Larrkh had not figured out yet. They were using its power to influence some of the townfolk.
The group explore the rest of the complex, finding two more members of the cult (one a young boy) and 3 corpses. Larrkh explains that these three were too close to finding out what was going on, so he got townsfolk to remove them. These disappearances were blamed on the Womford Bat.
As they are exploring, another earthquake occurs, causing the roof of one cavern to collapse. When the group emerges they find many townfolk including the constable congregating around the hole. They pass their prisoners onto the constable and head back to their inn, The Swinging Sword.
The innkeeper is very pleased to see them in one peace, and locks the place up tight while they rest and recover. Before long there is a knock at the door. They here her talking loudly with someone before she shuts the door again.
“It was Scholar Quanderal”, she says, “He wanted to talk to you, but he had violence in his eyes. I told him that you had left and not returned. I fear that he will be back”
The party decide to set up an ambush for him. They wait through the night and no-one comes, but the next morning there is a knock at the door again. Scholar enters with a group of thugs and asks to talk.
Several of the group are hidden (in the rafters, down a stairwell) so Layna and Mythoras do the talking.
They confirm that Scholar is based at Rivergard keep, and he appears to only be interested in good times and profit.
Scholar is surprised to find that an earth cult were operating ‘in his town’ without his knowledge. But he asks the heroes what does it matter to them?
“The earth cult are OK anyway. If you are looking for trouble, I suggest you find the fire cult. Apparently they are getting in touch with all the druids right now. They want to burn everything, so if you want to make thing better then you should be hunting them down”
He asks the group what their motive is in being in this town. When he finds that the group are working for the common good he is disgusted in their answer and tells them that they need to get out of his town before they meet an unfortunate end.
The tension ramps up until Scholar throws a glass of water at Layna, which expands to a massive wave, sweeping over both heroes and destroying furniture. The battle is on, but the heroes find they are able to defeat Scholar and his thugs without too much trouble.
After this, the group are exhausted. It’s been a long time without sleep. They tidy up the corpses and then retire to bed.