“I see a woman made of stone.”
“It’s a stone giant!”
“No, not like that … it’s a statue.”
With the first two shards acquired, everyone had gathered in Heidmarch manor to discern the location of the third. Milacent was sitting in the middle of the parlor holding the Shard of Greed and concentrating, while everyone else sat around her trying to figure out where her visions were showing.
“Do you see anything around it?” asked Sheila, leaning closer.
“There’s water, lots of water.” replied Milacent.
“That could be a lot of statues. It could be anywhere.” grumbled Theodore. “How is it posed?”
“It’s holding something up in one hand. Some kind of light.”
“Wait, a woman holding a light?” interjected Sheila. “How big is it? Can you tell?”
“It’s really big. Maybe two hundred feet. I can see trees around its feet.”
“The Lady’s Light!” Sheila and Theodore exclaimed together.
“The whatzit what?” asked Scratchy.
Theodore cleared its throat and began to explain: “The Lady’s Light is a giant statue roughly fifty miles south of here, at the tip of the Mushfens. Like she said, it’s two hundred feet tall, and holds aloft a giant light which flashes periodically, like a lighthouse. Because of its location, people have always assumed it’s a statue of Alaznist. Except…”
“Except it’s not holding a ranseur, like every other statue of Alaznist we’ve seen.” added Sheila. “You know, there’s never been a proper academic study of the Lady’s Light. Your trip there will be quite the archaelogical bonanza.”
“Wait, we haven’t yet decided we’re going to go!” protested Zelcor.
“Oh, you’re not going to go? You’re not going to retrieve the next shard and continue on the quest?”
“Well yes, yes we are.” Zelcor admitted.
According to Sheila’s research, the next shard was the Shard of Lust, and she had already acquired the ioun stone that was necessary to keep it from warping the owner’s personality the way Natalya’s had been. She gave this to the party, and then she told them the reason there had been no academic expeditions to the Lady’s Light: while it was only fifty miles south of Magnimar, those were fifty miles over the trackless marsh known as the Mushfens. The approach by sea wasn’t much better, with treacherous reefs wrecking virtually every ship that tried to approach, and some that were just lost in the fog. Milacent made some comments about the relative “merits” of swamps vs. sewers, and Scratchy wondered aloud what there would be to eat in the Mushfens. And in the middle of their discussion, a servant came to inform them that the city watch was at the door.
It turned out it was not just the city watch, but Captain Acacia Uriana, head of the watch. They were asking for “that Mindurian girl and her goblin ‘brother’.”
“I didn’t do anything!” Scratchy protested as they approached, but it was too late; they were already in the foyer. The captain stared them up and down, and then reached forward to shake their hands.
“Thank you so much for solving the disappearances! We had closed the case but I knew it wasn’t done!”
With that, all the tension disappeared and Sheila invited everyone in for food and drink. The party members told the captain all about how they’d been exploring the sewers and had found the captives; they pointedly left out any mention of how the sewers were underneath the Crow.
When it was time to leave, Captain Uriana came and put her hand on Scratchy’s shoulder. “Even though you’re a filthy goblin,” she said, “And even though I’ve killed many of your kind, and will kill many more, that was good work you did.” And with that she said her goodbyes and left.
“Was that really a compliment” Milacent asked after the captain was gone. But Scratchy had other concerns.
“Hey I take baths!” he insisted. “I’m not filthy at all!”