The Justicar and Elder go to Moonport to talk on the town’s behalf. Marly says he has a surprise for everyone, and will be back later. Gord follows him to a stone structure about an hour away from the village. Marly admits that he has been coming here for years (usually not alone…), and that it’d make a good watching post for the village. You could see for miles all around. Marly also has started to cultivate this plant, which when smoked produces pleasing results.
In town, two families of farmers come and tell how their lands were raided by grey-skinned brutes. They volunteer themselves to aid the town in exchange for land and protection. The family of Tengu are good with farming and language, and the beetle-like Denuub are being trained by Thissen to be some martial presence in the village.
The bar is finally completed on the eve of the Crop Festival (with Gord finishing the payments using money borrowed (stolen) from her grandfather’s locked drawer). With the bar and the alchemist lab, halbrook is starting to get noticed.
Jagga and Eshe venture to the stone structure, where they encounter a strange creature with the head of a goblin and the body of a snake. The creature retreats under a hidden cellar door. Marly, Eshe, and Jagga commit to returning with their friends after the festival. Marly also explains his picture that he is making of the surrounding area.
Much fun was had during the Crop Fesitival. There was much drinking at the Bar, dancing, and story telling. The new members of the village got along nicely with everyone. There were even some travelers from out of town. One of the travelers, a female ratfolk named Timeon, took a liking to Thissen, and spent the night in his hut.
The morning after the festival, the party woke early (and slightly hung-over). They traveled an hour to the structure, which Eshe identified as the remnants of a large hand coming out of the earth. Entering the Cellar, they see a large hallway with three pairs of doors. At the end of the halway is another door, with a torch lit. They search the first room on the right, and find a horrific sight. There are cages with bones of goblins and monkeys, as well as many glass vials with biological material. Stone tables are covered in blood, and there are anatomical diagrams of goblins, monkeys, and monkey goblins. In the next room they find a similar situation, except with humans and snake-like creatures.
Gord and Eshe sneak down the hallway, only to hear hushed voices of several goblin-like creatures on the other side. As they make their way make, the door opens and several slithering creatures approach. The party retreats to the entrance of the cellar, and tries to communicate with the slithering creatures. Every word that the players say is repeated with a different voice in their head. They take a peak, and see what appears to be a very old, possibly blind Naga. There is also another humanoid creature, as well as over a dozen of the goblin-snakes. When the situation is very close to coming to blows, Eshe is able to establish a mutually beneficial trade. The Naga says that trades such as this can continue, as long as no beings enter their area. A goblin-snake will be sent to the village with the next trading request.
Pico continues to explore the contents of the Zon-Kuthon book, while he learns to read. There are useful experiments in the book, which talk of cutting and burning, using pain to understand the body and focus the mind and soul. It seems to be very effective, and opens a new world of understanding for the budding alchemist.