Stunned and speechless as he attempted to take in his newfound freedom, Victol stumbled his way through an attempt at gratitude before announcing his plans to set out in the morning to rendezvous with Erich and play the part he’d intended for the Duchess: earning his way back into the Akademion with the young summoner as his offering. Lusus laid out the implication that verbal gratitude was perhaps insufficient, at which point the exhausted Victol chuckled and handed over two magical rings he’d been wearing. He then disappeared inside a door he’d conjured, apparently leading to a safe resting space.
Midway through the night, after the party had dispersed (save for Lolth and Lusus, who had been keeping secret watch), Victol emerged from the door and began circling the wagon in which he’d been trapped for more than thirty years, eventually lighting it on fire with a simple spell. He watched it burn to ashes as the caravan gathered – until the sun was rising – and then retired again to the magical door to rest.
Around noon he emerged again, carrying travel packs and quietly making his way around the back of camp to the horses. On the way, he was knocked out cold by an unexpected Kolya, who began binding him in anti-magical restraints.
Kolya explained that he didn’t remember how he traveled the nearly 800 miles to the Caravan’s current location, nor did he remember where he acquired the restraints; he only remembered an odd crow flying into his attic room, then flashes of images as he walked through a wooded area, collapsed into a pond, and awoke on the banks of a river nearby in Amstreiche. Shaken but determined, he pressed on with his indictment of Victol and his insistence on a traditional Aromasta trial for the crimes of betraying and murdering his own people. Lindy strongly concurred.
The remainder of the party talked Kolya into calming down, and had Lindy take him to the center of camp where she would introduce him as the new manager of the Caravan. While this was happening, they attempted to interrogate Victol inside a commandeered vardo. This interrogation went poorly; removing his mouth restraints allowed him to cast a charm spell that held Lusus in full sway; leaving the scene and returning later, Lolth and Barabal made a second attempt, which ultimately resulted in Victol convincing them to let him go in the name of saving the world from the fate represented by the Akademion; according to Victol, the Duchess had informed him that the things in motion were far further along than he’d ever believed. He also informed the party of a cache of valuables in Silbertal including information that he’d gathered as a contingency weapon against various party members. Restraints removed, he teleported away – and Lolth, Lusus, Alsahiir and Barabal attempted to make the scene look like he’d managed a wily escape without their cooperation.
Kolya was devastated; a decade-long quest for justice had almost resolved but was now as far away as ever. Lindy was suspicious and pissed.
In an attempt to locate Victol and Erich, the group headed to Rivage-Martel, where they learned of a Soramian cavalry dragnet that had set out just a day prior on all roads leading out of the city. Not wanting to get involved, and overcome with curiosity about the personal details that Victol had managed to accrue about them, a new course was set for Silbertal. A week on the road saw them pass the Caravan (also on its way to Silbertal but moving much slower) before arriving in the city where the story began.
The ruined Schreiner household had long ago been pulled down and replaced with row houses; Ol’ Schappie’s general store was shuttered permanently. The church in town was now finished. The party located the building that Victol had indicated to them as the storage site for his goods, and infiltrated.
Crates of valuables and trade goods filled the room, valued at approximately 2,000 gold. The chest containing each party member’s dossier was located where Victol had promised – along with several other mysterious items, including an amulet of silence, a short sword +1, and a pair of bracelets that when worn would prevent any creature from traveling between planes.
The party waited for the caravan to arrive, then set out for Corvona to move the newly-acquired merchandise, hiring a small cargo vessel to sail them across the southern coast. The voyage was peaceful for a change, except for Lindy’s occasional seasickness.