The session kicks off with our heroes suddenly beset by Sta’akos, the fearsome Night Hunter of legend. Janco the master smith of the Kambral hurled himself at the fiend, causing the blackguard to send deadly beams though the crowd at the Grugan fight, in turn prompting our heroes to face the Night Hunter in battle. Sta’akos is on the opposite side of the field from our heroes standing with his two strange servants. Sta’akos generates a great flaming sword and seems to wait for something while his ape beasts descend upon the Kambral. Talis takes out her starbow, launching a mighty arrow that strikes true upon the terror. Sta’akos turns and uses telekinetic force to drag Talis closer, while the rest of the party rushes to close the distance, Ts’ao Hai leading the way. The crowd erupts into robbery and murder as the whole scene becomes mad melee, with several opportunists taking advantage of the disarray.
As Ts’ao Hai gets close, two Vishkanya take offense at his interference and surround him. He teaches one a lesson in keeping its tongue in its mouth, before turning to face the other. The Grugan fight sees an ankheg burst out of the ground to attack the chief of the Grugan to the south, damaging his armor with acid. Rebecca charges towards the melee, and one of the ape beasts creates a cloud of flying metal, preventing the Cavalier’s lance from striking true. Ts’ao Hai continues to duel the Vishkanya as one of the ape beasts comes to his fight, dumping hot coals all over him. Moccan casts Entangling Roots, catching one of the ape beasts in the winding vines. Unfortunately, several Pymlion rush forward and try to eat the pegasus Mia, much to the displeasure of the winged horse and her rider. Chaos continues in the crowd, featuring a backhand from the giant and a panicked dog bite on a Pymlion. Darkness engulfs the area as Sta’akos lives up to his name as the Night Hunter, generating a sphere of deeper darkness. Rebecca spurs her mount and takes to the skies, trying to get out of the difficult situation of being surrounded by tiny anthrophages.
Ts’ao Hai continues his duel with the strange metal ape beast, having dispatched the Vishkanya with some assistance from Moccan and Tabitha, who pile on to his wing of the fight. The Pymlion, frustrated by the horse’s escape, tear apart a dog. Some of them also dare to strike the mighty Sta’akos. The fight between the Grugan continues without much progress while all this is going on. Sta’akos generates another beam and scythes down more Pymlion. Talis drops the starbow and draws her greatsword as she closes in to the main fight, seeking out the Night Hunter.
Ts’ao Hai dispatches the fiery ape beast with a flourish, but his rapier is damaged in the deed. Wounded and bereft of a working weapon, the pirate edges around the main fight, wary of plunging in due to his weakened state. Sta’akos gives fearful orders, sparking a chain of memory in Ts’ao Hai that leaves him further shaken and doubting on the edge of the melee. The various battles around the Sta’akos fight continue and resolve, the crowd going thinner due to casualties and flight. Talis plunges into the darkness and strikes down Sta’akos with a single great blow, the clothes of the Night Hunter dropping to the ground as the sword he wielded flamed out. Suddenly, the pot of metal filings in the hands of the metal ape beast sends its payload flying in all directions, gravely wounding much of the party, along with other surrounding combatants. The giant then clobbers the metal beast, bending one of its horns.
Kalum tends to Moccan, who was nearly slain by the metal shards. Talis strikes the final blow against the metal ape beast, creating another little maelstrom of metal that slays Janco, the Kambral that started the fight. More injuries occur as the various proxy fights continue around them; the chieftain of the North wins in the center, as the tengu shivs the bookie that holds Ts’ao Hai’s winnings. The assistant smith slays the last Pymlion with a mighty blow, and Talis moves to heal the wounded on the field, saving some of the Grugan lieutenants from expiring.
Ts’ao Hai finds some rough stones among the Vishkanyas’ possessions, as Talis attempts to recover her starbow from the Grugan Chieftain of the South. They decide to go to The Oracle to decide what penalty the party should pay for violating the boundaries of the field of honor in their haste to engage Sta’akos. Meanwhile, Ts’ao Hai asks Moccan to examine the gear of the fallen Night Hunter. All of it is magical, but Moccan can’t determine anything useful about the boots, the cloak, and the hilt. He does identify the pantherskin armor as being an “Armor of the Shadow Lord,” an evil intelligent item. The hilt also detects as evil. The armor and the cloak are both broken from the fight and the explosion.
The party attempts to negotiate with the Grugan chief, hoping to resolve the issue of the starbow’s return without resorting to the Oracle. First the party offers the dinosaur hides, which isn’t enough. Then they add the masterwork longspear that Talis wields to the pile, which is still not enough due to the influence of the Grugan bride. Apparently, the Grugan wants Talis to join the tribe as payment for the return of the bow, or perhaps even to have Westgate confederated with the Grugan tribe. Talis is very confused, and attempts to figure out how to respond, but is relieved of the burden due to not being the “chief” of the village, and thus not having the rank to authorize such a course of action. Eventually the party adds some of their potions (barkskin, cure light wounds) and the deal is finally sealed. In the morning, Ts’ao Hai’s weapon is repaired due to the magical prowess of Moccan, much to the relief of the pirate.
The party begins making arrangements to transmit their goods back to the colony. The party also seeks out the Azkaderra who sold the goods in order to identify some of the items taken from the Night Hunter. The boots of Sta’akos are Tremor-sense Boots, while the cloak of Sta’akos is a Cloak of Fiery Vanishing. The party goes in search of someone who can guide them back to the village without braving T-Rex Cliff. They are eventually successful, and settle in to wait for the gem-cutters to finish their work. Ts’ao Hai has some weird feelings of being watched during this time, but chalks it up to being out of rice wine. While the party waits, Moccan plays around with the fabric of the planes yet again, winning three berries the color of arterial blood. Ts’ao Hai foolishly tries one, finding they taste of blood. The berries don’t seem poisonous, much to the displeasure of Moccan.
Eventually, the party sets out for the old homestead. First heading east down a long gentle slope, then turning north toward a previously unknown tributary of Hiquts Rill. After traveling for several days following the river, the party comes to realize they are approaching the Temple from the south. The rainy season begins, clouds bursting overhead in torrents of rain, thinning out the provisions to be gained from foraging and slowing the trip back home. The party decides to double back and follow a trail to get away from the Confluence and head toward New Salam, slowly traveling past the nymph’s glen towards home. The party returns to Westgate safely after two weeks of travel, if a little wet and low on provisions, but with two donkeys, two aurochs, and plenty of smelted metal.