As the party entered the clearing, the wounded man and his companion locked eyes with them. Koorie recognized immediately the accomplished spirit conduit Calder from his assistance in the Rentyllian ghost mansion. Calder explained that he and the man named Korvo were hunting an entity that had escaped into their world during the Long Midnight. Without missing a beat (or consulting his compatriot) Calder immediately implored the group for assistance.
With some explanation from Koorie to their party as to Calder’s history, they tentatively agreed to hear him out. He had been sent into the dreamworld to interact with the entity to draw it out in the physical world where Korvo would capture it, but Korvo was overpowered during the engagement, and awakened Calder to cease the assault. It was decided that the party would take Calder’s place in striking the entity’s vulnerable reality whilst Calder and Korvo stayed behind to fight it. Relying on Calder’s assurance that those who associate with Koorie could be trusted, Korvo resumed his full draconic form for the engagement. Nogaro in particular seemed especially affected by the sudden revelation.
Once they had gathered in the clearing, Korvo’s draconic breath instantly passed them into a deep slumber. The came to in a snow covered parody of the world they had fallen asleep in, tracks of giant animals littering the clearing. Reflexive attempts at warming themselves against the cold resulted in a formless voice warning against inviting summer’s breath in this place. Taking this as a challenge, Ako and Koorie set about starting fires with abandon to draw out the manifestations.
Four icy beasts were conjured from the mists, all predators that would be desperate for prey in the grip of winter. A bear, wolf, cougar, and eagle all with ice hanging from their form and some reminiscent piece of summer trapped in their rib cages. Battle immediately ensured with the group realizing, thanks to Mary’s spirit vision, they would be surrounded.
Koorie empowered Nogaro’s form to be equal in stature to the wolf, and trusted him to handle the foe o his own. As the snarling beast charged, Nogaro stood fast in the snow and traded blows with the nightmare.
Opposite them, Asmund pressed himself against a rock, ready to leap out from the shadows and deliver a sudden killing blow as the cougar charged past, but never got the chance. Seeing a chance for personal glory, Koapani charged Tangata forward and held at bay the cougar where it had manifested. Asmund seeing his plan foiled, ran toward the center where a titanic bear had charged past walls of fire to pin Ako.
Koorie, dispensing fire with deific might, drew the attention of the aerial manifestation, as the eagle’s talons raked across his back. Despite an uncharacteristic show of physical reflex, he proved no match for the eagle’s hunger on his own. Kailen, seeing the threat of being overrun quickly fired accurate shots, into both the bear and the eagle whilst Mary erupted in healing magic to bring her allies back from the brink. With ample savagery and fire the combined party made short work of the four animals, each time they did so another piece of captured summer was released.
Upon the final foe’s defeat, they were awoken one by one as Calder returned them to the waking world. Mary was disappointed to realize that she was unable to collect any pieces of the dream creatures to take back with her. Satisfied with their assistance, Korvo conceded that in order to make sufficient room in his horde to keep the captured entity safely, he may have to release several lesser items. All save Mary selected an item from the dragon’s horde as compensation. Calder’s warning that most of the items within were there because they were a risk to possess did little to dissuade the decision. Ako was excited to study them alongside Mary, but Nogaro refused a reward of any kind. Calder was asked if he had any experience with bordellos within Trinity Bay to which he recommended them to seek out Amora, Queen of Lies as the master of the craft.
The remaining week was spent with last minute preparations as they neared Trinity bay. Nogaro and Ako brushed up on colonial languages, Mary continued working on poppets, and Koorie briefed Koapani on day to day life in the city. As they neared the towering city spires, none of them realized that the real nightmare was still ahead of them.