Calder and Waeslyn moved south from Cape Hope with great haste. Before too long, they came upon the unmistakable tracks left by their companions and the wagon, making track very simple. Aside from some rainy patches, they were able to follow the tracks towards Kowiringa. They were getting close to where they guessed the village might be when a roving scout made contact and guided them the rest of the way to the village.
Calder was able to speak with the chieftain and was directed to the quarantined cabin while Waeslyn made for the wagon to check on their supplies and Milvin. Milvin had been making attempts at communicating with the locals, having only minimal success not speaking the language. He did deduce that the Mahi-Tahi quite enjoy the taste of pig meat.
Calder arrived at the shaman’s hut and was ushered inside wearing a hastily constructed isolation garment. The shaman was slowly regaining his mobility, but his students had taken a steep decline in health. After preparation, Calder did his best to ease their condition without any more of the specialized medicine.
They met with the village chief once again who had informed them there was to be no official punishment for the killing of the expedition, in light of recent events. That said, he did not think that they would be truly welcome in town for some time. The adventurers offered to attempt to locate the hidden village that produced the root, but had no idea how long that would take. The village chief offered an alternative task that could be accomplished more quickly, and asked that they trust them to locate the village on their own and make the proper decision.
They learned of a nearby evacuation system of caves the town fled to in times of flooding. Recently a mighty beast had taken up lairing there and needed to be driven out. Significant wildlands expertise determined that the beast in question was most likely a manticore. They planned to strike at dawn when it would hopefully be asleep.
Waeslyn and Calder entered the cave to scout for the beast. They were greeted by an arrogant roaring voice from the darkness, which Calder conversed with while Waeslyn snuck further inside. Calder convinced the monster he would return shortly with food and exited the cave. He told his companions to wait for the signal, which would be Waeslyn’s opening shot. Soon enough Waeslyn spied the beast and let loose with his rifle. As the manticore took flight, the rest rushed into the cave. It whipped spikes from its tail and made to circle the grounded opponents. But Calder’s summoning of a giant spider created a web that entangled its wings and brought it crashing down. As the group surrounded the beast it fought savagely but could not fend off the onslaught. Taking advantage of the distraction offered by the boom of gunfire, Milvin was able to get behind the beast with his borrowed longspear to deliver the blow that incapacitated it.
They searched the cave and found the remains of an adventurer who had not fared so well. Woomera saw to it that he was cremated honorably. Reunited, and flush with victory, the party returned to Kowiringa with a trophy of their hunt.