After the whole cock fight debacle, we overhear a storyteller talking about how he killed a bat with courage. When Felix questions him, he learns that the bat came from a cave near the shore in Eleder. We assume he annoyed Nkechi and are inclined to like him. Vakeese uses her cards to Harrow about him and doesn’t run away or suddenly attack him, so we figure we can hang with him. He’s a halfling named Aiden Abbott who’s looking for adventure and he’s pretty excited by the idea of Saventh-Yhi.
Old Man Caloway gets a message and discovers that he has some kind of family emergency, so he’ll leave us. His plan is to tame a big, flying dinosaur to catch up to us when he’s done. We are sad to see he and Dragon Snack go.
We wander away from the trader’s enclave and late that evening we find a small village who all seem super excited to see us. They invite us to a feast and it’s just a little too friendly, so Felix asks to talk to their shaman. In the process of asking for the shaman, Felix introduces himself as, “the Cursebreaker,” and gets them even more excited. We go to the feast and are not betrayed or eaten, but instead have a pleasant evening. Finally an old woman comes and explains the village’s curse. They are being attacked by ape bears that eat human brains.
We’re supposed to be in a hurry, but the shaman offers a shrunken head that helps to know the future and a treasure map. Those are items designed to get Vakeese, Felix and Imogen interested. She puts a goat blood rune on one of the huts and we establish an ambush.
Although we’re preparing for an ambush, Aiden and Imogen don’t actually see the ape bears coming so there’s an unfortunate surprise attack on Vakeese. But then Imogen gets to jump and sneak attack on one of them, so that’s fun. Also it turns out that Aiden can make people invisible. Yay! That pretty much handles one of them and Color Spray works finally, so Vakeese gets to kill one while it’s unconscious.
The shaman gives us our rewards and a bit more information about them. The shrunken monkey head is a Zenj spirit fetish. It will help Vakeese to destroy something evil. The treasure map will lead us to a sunken ship full of gold ingots that sunk in the Lake of Vanishing Armies. It’s just past Kalabuto on the path we will be following, so Felix and Imogen are psyched for future treasure finding. We spend the next couple of days of walking and using the shrunken monkey head to taunt Vakeese’s monkey, Mr. Bitey.
Two days after we leave this village we find weird, snaky mounds in the sand. Felix walks without rhythm. Imogen sees a snaky depression and tells people to avoid it, but Vakeese pokes at it with Mr. Pointy’s stick. She and Aiden fall into a burrow and we are all attacked by ankheggs. It is not a pleasant experience, but we do prevail.