The party arrives at Baron Rennet’s manor on the outskirts of the small coastal town that bears his family name, Rennet’s Cove. It is mid-afternoon. The party is received by Rennet’s guards and attendants. Captain Darus, head of the town guard, has just returned from whatever troubles had occupied him and his men for the previous several days. He looks weary and a bruised. But he hears their story and takes Count Moldavia into custody. The party is brought before the Baron to deliver the bad news. The Baron, a powerful figure used to leading with quiet strength, seems deflated by the news. Yet he tries to retain a sense of decorum and professionalism. He thanks them for their service and directs them to bring a sealed letter to his office in town, where his treasurer will see to it that they are paid. He asks them to stay in town, so that they can attend a memorial for the Baroness three days hence. The six adventurers express their condolences, and prepare to take their leave. Before they do, Vongut gives Rennet the glass eye taken from the body of the deceased elder Moldavia. The Baron seems a bit confused by the proferred item, but in his state of distraction he absently places it in the “junk drawer” of his desk.
Several of the party are suffering from “Echo Fever,” a malady they seemingly picked up at Count Moldavia’s estate. The sound of a heartbeat is consistently beating in their heads. Gré, Litha, Varis, and Vongut are brought in for treatment, along with Jennie and Montressor Wend. Over the course of the next couple of days, the staff at Sir Elkirk’s House of Healing bring their charges back to full health.
Meanwhile, Lachlan and Quintilian have been provided beds at C. Legg’s Boarding House. Quintilian opts to spend most of his time in prayer at the Chapel of Benevolence in the heart of the town. Lachlan spends some time enjoying what nightlife Rennet’s Cove has to offer. He makes the acquaintance of Twilley, the owner of the Golden Eel, a tavern near the shore, touting itself as the home of “Phinneas – Oracle of the Ocean.” Phinneas is an eel living in a huge tank behind the bar. For the price of a gold coin, Phinneas will answer a yes/no question by retrieving an engraved polyhedral crystal from the bottom of the tank. The message on the crystal is reputed to hold the true answer to your query. The opposite facet of the crystal invariably reads, “I visited the Golden Eel, Sea Harvest Row, Rennet’s Cove.” Twilley, for his part, is a friendly, wiry old man, and a one-time mariner. His wooden forearm ends with a functioning flesh-and-blood hand. Lachlan also does some shopping, buying a shield from a local armorer. Rumor has it, that Lachlan was also seen exiting a brothel known as the Porthole.
After their release from the House of Healing, the party members await further word from the Baron, and spend their time as is their wont. Litha spends time practicing her bow along the pebbly beach north of town. Gré makes regular visits to the stables at the Baron’s manor, to see after the care of their horses. While she is there, she sees a small contingent of guardsmen returning to the property with a covered cart. They appear somber, and it is clear to her that these guards had been tasked with retrieving the Baroness’s remains and dealing with the aftermath of the massacre at the Count’s manor.
Varis has taken an interest in the child, Jennie. He asserts that she is his ward. During a visit to Sir Elkirk’s, his intimidating manner is met with a stern rebuke by the Chief of Healing, Lady Kathra.
Vongut, ever curious, has opted to forgo treatment for his fever for as long as he can, wondering how it will progress. He experiences a slow increase in the intensity of the heartbeat, along with a fever, and growing sense of paranoia. He is finally healed on the third day of illness, lest his symptoms worsen. He has many questions as to the source and the nature of not only the illness, but also of the worms and the animated husks of their victims. What connection do these phenomena have to the murderous, delusional Count, whom Quintilian asserts was not always an evil man? Quintilian, in fact, has gone to visit the incarcerated Count. He reaches out with his divine sense of good and evil, and is shocked to find true evil in the man’s heart – a drastic change from the good man he once knew.
Quintilian is also more than a little curious about Montressor Wend’s apparent recognition, so he goes to visit him at the House of Healing. He finds the man forthcoming, but confused, as if coming out of a dream. He tells Quintilian, that he has seen someone like him before. Dragonborn are rare, even overseas in Faerün, but are essentially unheard of here in the Provinces. He says he has seen one like him in his father’s circle of acquaintance. He is unable to elaborate, for he is still feverish and lapses into unconsciousness.
On the evening of their third day in town, they are delivered a summons to meet with the Baron before the lunch hour of the following day.