Part One – Prisoner
Somei spends time speaking to Forever’s Promise (Ren) trying to convince him to not kill them if he is released. Ren wiill not make any such promise, but requests that if they decide to execute him, he wants Hosh to be the one to do it.
Hoshi approaches Volla and asks if he can exchange his life for Ren’s – she agrees to not kill Ren in exchange for his service, because she had already planned not to kill him because of Somei’s wishes.
Part Two – Diplomats, Kurenai and Red Sky at Night
Twenty One Kestrals will summon the party with a mission for them. Though she seems reluctant, she has been advised they are the best ones to send on a diplomatic mission to Whitewall to once again try to seal an alliance. They agree, and as they are speaking to her a messenger rushes up and advised Kaheila has cornered a man they suspect to be a member of the Wyld Hunt. Darius and Volla go to investigate, Somei and Neve return to the ship.
Darius arrives at the pub to see Kaheila is on a table, threatening a redheaded man who is speaking. He seems to be trying to ignore her. Darius takes a seat and introduces himself and asks Kaheila to stand down. The man introduces himself as Kirigasa Kurenai, and shows Darius the symbol of the Dawn caste and says he is looking for a man with that sign. Darius advises he has seen no such man, despite what the rumors say. Kurenai tells him he is looking for a very specific man, someone who used to be his friend, and describes him. Darius has heard of no such man in Icehome. Kurenai thanks them and says he will try Gethemane next. Darius lets Kurenai knows that if they run across a man like that, they will send word to Gethemane somehow.
The next morning, Red Sky at Night appears on the ship and reveal his true identity to the party. Darius is enraged, but does not attack him due to the vow. The party takes his weapons from him. Red Sky at Night tells them he doesn’t know why he still exists as he does, and something is wrong. He advises he is ttying to fully take over the body he is possessing. The others let him go, agreeing it may be better for him to possess the body than Gyrfalcon.
Part Three – To Whitewall
During the journey, the party has the following dream:
“You are a wolf running alone in the dark. Your bloodied paws leave stains behind you in the snow. You are searching for the pack that you have lost. You are desperately seeking the sunrise.
A thought haunts you: wolves mate for life."
There is a blizzard outside Whitewall, and the party lands at a small airdock outside the city. Several armed guards man the dock but most noticeable is a man in furs and what appears to be frost-coated moonsilver armor. At his side are two wolves so large, a person could ride upon them – such as the Wolf Paw tribe used. It is Ragnar Frostmane. He appears to be a Lunar. He will seem to startle when he notices Darius and his orichalcum armor/weapons. He will ask the party if they are the emissaries from Icehome and escort them to the city to rest for the night.
Within the city, Ragnar gives them a tour which ends at a temple to the Unconquered Sun. Everyone beholds it in awe, except Volla, who gains Resonance. Inside is Kirigasa Yuhi, practicing katas. He looks like the man Kurenai described. When Darius mentions Kurenai, Yuhi seems to recognize him and Darius passes along his message. Yuhi rushes off. Somei departs to go to visit Whitewall’s Scriptorium, and Neve follows him.
The next morning they are summoned to speak to the leaders of the city. Somei has spent all night in the Sciptorium, and Darius visits the temple of the Unconquered Sun as the dawn breaks. After they gather for the meeting, they are escorted to a chamber with 3 statues that represent the Syndics – seated in the middle of them is Ragnar, who says he is present to speak on behalf of Whitewall. He is dressed in white robes hemmed with gold and silver, and images of suns and moons linked together along the edges.
Ragnar makes it clear he and the Syndics are interested in particular in a greater alliance with them as Solars, and have plans to openly defy the Realm. Darius does not want to make any other decisions on behalf of the Haslanti League without consulting them.
They negotiate further, but ultimately Ragnar will extend the offer that Whitewall will only consider the proposal of trade if a particular service is rendered: Assistance with travelers being lured off the holy road and into a Shadowland due to some sort of supernatural influence. Normal soldiers sent to investigate have not returned.
Part Four: The Holy Road
The party journeys along the holy road toward the Shadowland by airship. Ragnar will explain that the broken lights used to add further protection, but there is no one around now with the knowledge to fix them. As they travel, Ragnar tries to question Neve about what tribe she is from, but she is guarded and icy and he lets the matter go.
The party descends from the ship to the road, and Somei beings to repair the broken shrine which has a big sign desecrating it saying “CARNIVAL”. Compelling music is drifting from off of the road. The party decides to go investigate.
Part Five: The Circus Moribund
The party steps into a black mist. The mist parts to reveal a dark forest, with a single pathway illuminated by misshapen, glowing mushrooms. The pathway leads to a clearing that reveals a circus. Demons cavort between the blood-stained tents, and a few mortals can be seen, wandering around with vacant expressions. Suddenly, everyone turns and begins making their way to a large tent in the center of the circus.
The soft strains of song drift from the tent and grow louder and more alluring as it is approached. In the center of the central tent is a stage wreathed in mist and smoke. In the center of it, a beautiful man dressed all in black is chained and singing while playing a strange instrument of soulsteel. All around him, people begin to weep and drink from dark goblets placed at nearby tables, falling over lifelessly afterwards. One young man in particular seems gripped by a terrible despair and stabs himself with his own dagger.
Several members of the party fall prey to his musical spell of lust.
The chained man (Harlequin Who Dances On Forgotten Pyres) will pause when the party enters and recognize Volla Verne and call out to her as, “the Runaway Princess.”
He will advise the party that he is being held captive by the Melkin Fool in Red and he will willingly leave if they release him. He insists that his religion is for mortals to willingly choose Oblivion as the ultimate truth and that he does not force them.
He will try to seduce Volla and Ragnar freaks out and reveals himself to be a Zenith Solar by flaring his anima and calling a blade of light. Volla will gain Resonance by the extreme memory of happiness seeing his anima banner brings her. He holds the Exaltation of Glory of Mercy.
The party forces the Harlequin to bring them to the Melkin Foolin Red. She accuses them of trying to steal her precious captive, and attack the party in a fury, and she summons clown monsters to aid her. Harlequin cowers in a corner. Tharion kicks major ass, and the party defeats her and her minions.
As the party debates on what to do with the Harlequin, in desperation to save his own life he reveals that Volla is the same as him. The party takes Volla’s side, saying she has done nothing “evil” and has aided him, while he clearly wants to harm people and lead them to Oblivion. Somei is struggling with his lust for the Harlequin and asks that someone tie him up in a “non-sexy manner” while they decide what to do with him. They ask Hoshi what to do with him – Hoshi says the creature is something he doesn’t recognize, and he is not sure what he is – and the choice of if he can be redeemed lay in their hands. Ragnar says that a creature of undeath cannot enter Whitewall, and he will not invite him within. Since he seems mostly harmless, they decide to bring him on the airship and also keep him as a captive belowdeck with Forever’s Promise.
Forever’s Promise tells them all that he is a “deathknight” but refuses to say more. The party begins to journey back to Whitewall.