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Having finished battling several dozen goblins with the aid of their powerful new ally, the party takes a moment to collect themselves. You attempt to resume your conversation with the again-human Hoyt, but are interrupted by a booming voice from outside the shrine.

“You worthless rabble! You outnumbered the lycan nearly fifty to one! Useless layabouts! Weak willed, attention deficit, soft skull’ed…” He continues in this way for a short time, each word punctuated by presumably fierce blows against his remaining goblin underlings. “Leave my sight now”, he says, “you sad bastards!”

A few moments pass and you hear the sound of tiny shuffling feet. The voice resumes “Sad bastards… Come, Yorthung my friend. We will lie in wait for the next time he tries to attack our mansion.” A low, shrill cry is heard, and a sudden beating of large leathery wings. A red blur speeds over the open ceiling of the shrine, headed in the direction of the old Kiris estate.

“That was Hu-Jut, the hobgoblin in charge of ‘Gorizbadd’” Hoyt says, his tone suddenly loathsome as he utters Gorizbadd. His face turns dark for a moment, and he appears lost in thought. “Excuse me” he says, again aware of your presence, “I was just reminiscing. This was our town, my town, before my nephew betrayed me, betrayed us all…”

Who responds, and with what? You shouldn’t have to roll for this one, unless you’re trying to see if he’s lying or something. (Think, though: Why would he lie to you? You’ve pretty much got his big secret lycanthrope thing figured out.) Could it be that Alkirk has deceived you all along? What of Treona? Could she be accomplice to his dark designs!? Maybe someone should take a closer look at the materials she gave you, or the books she asked you to find…

“Betrayed… how?” Bethany asked. “Was it because of your lycan-bear death-dance, or…” she takes a long look at his disheveled appearance, “just because you could use a shower?”

“We appreciate your help back there, but lycanthropy hardly has a habit of bringing the family together, now does it? Usually, it rips families apart, literally. Are you sure you didn’t deserve some kind of betrayal? And what does any of this ‘my nephew boo-hoo’d me’ crap have to do with the Slaying Stone we asked you about before, anyway?”

Hoyt’s gaze becomes fixated on the wall behind the party, and he relates the fall of Kiris Dahn as if it had happened just minutes ago, as if it has haunted his thoughts for many years.

“My three brothers and I ruled the lands belonging the the Kiris family with benevolence. Our people prospered under our just reign, despite the… unique condition of their ruler. My elder brother’s youngest son, Alkirk, wanted more power. He needed more influence, he claimed, to do what we would not: Gain control of the the continent—and perhaps given enough time, the world—by spreading our curse through our citizens. We locked him away, for many years, to try to calm his madness.

“In retrospect”, Hoyt said evenly, “we should have just killed the crackpot”.

“One day, he vanished. Into a ‘swirling, emerald mist’ the guard on duty claimed. We did not see him again until he lead a swarm of foul night-creatures against us. Kiris Dahn did not fall to goblins…” with a slight laugh, and then suddenly grave, “It fell to hell-beasts. Horrible creatures with fiery wings, armor hewn from obsidian, blades forged from the souls of the dead, with ‘lesser’ demons chained to due their biding. It was an attack by the stuff of nightmares; creatures before then used in rhyme to keep bad children from wandering the town at night.”

“That’s what my—eh, hemm— ‘nephew-boo-hoo’d-me’ crap has to do with the Stone. You’re endeavoring to find and deliver a powerful artifact to a murderous madman. Now, why would you be trying to do something like that…?”

So now you know. Kiris Dahn fell to a horde of demons, with Alkirk at it’s fore. Why does he want the Slaying Stone? You’re pretty sure it’s for nothing good. Still, you can’t let it lie about, and you can’t let his injustice go unpunished, right? Better formulate some sort of plan, or at least continue to try to find the Stone. Or maybe explain why you’re looking for this thing. Hoyt seems (reasonably) suspicious.

Torrent responds “Well… He didn’t tell us that he was a ‘murderous madman’ when he asked us to find the Stone”, sarcastically waving his hands to and fro at ‘murderous madman’, illustrating his disbelief. “If he is what you say he is… He could cause problems for us if we find the stone for him.” Torrent crosses his arms, and his brow furrows with concentration, “So should we just destroy this stone when we find it? Or just go back now and break his spine?”

“…Maybe after we break all these spines first.” He presses his weight through one of his large paws; into a goblin’s corpse with a sickening crack.

“Show some respect, boy.” Hoyt seems annoyed at the young lycan-esque. “We can’t leave that stone laying about, and—to be honest—I’d like my town back.”

Mage-Lord Xanos and High Bard Fauna still have to participate. Everyone call, write and poke them! ALSO: I reserve the right to edit everything here for continuity’s sake. I won’t change anything completely, just move around to be a bit easier to read. If you notice any changes I make and you think they’re for the worse, just call me. Call, not text, I hate that crap.

Alright guys; what’s next? You still have two ritual scrolls left to search for the Stone with, and you’re in the Shrine of the Moon, one of the places you’re s’posed to check. Time to take command! Who’s going to use the scroll? Lord Xanos, or Fauna? A check isn’t required for this one. The first person to respond gets a special bonus!

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Company of Avarice DomenicaZ