While the party broke their fast, Asade gathered the Hinkelmann’s and prepared them for the journey home. As they headed north out of town, Faelar reiterated his “Almanac Song” for the children and was gratified to see they had retained the tune and seemed to be learning.
Arriving at the farm, the party investigated the area, searching for signs of the giant, armored scarecrow, or clue as to where the merchant troupe had gone. They found tracks synonymous with those of the scarecrow leading northwest into the forest that indicated it may have met up with a large wagon, larger than usual, and then headed north.
On the farmstead, Asade conversed with crows and determine that a “bad death smell” was coming from one of the abandoned worker hovels, and Vahn identified something undead inside. Poking around, they found a secret compartment containing a purple satin bag. Bringing it out into the light, Ke’shin opened it to discover a wiggling toe inside, wearing a silver ring. He identifed a symbol on it as belonging to the The Hand of Jergal.
After Ke’shin attempted to remove the toe and ended up getting scratched, Vahn took the bag and smashed it, destroying the toe, and allowed Ke’shin to identify the ring. It contained an enchantment that prevented corruption, and decay, but otherwise seemed to hold no other function. They discussed what purpose such a toe might have, but remained inconclusive.
Wishing the Hinkelmann’s well, the party decided to continue north, following the deep wagon tracks and their pre-determined route to Jarren’s Outpost.
On the way they encountered the remains of the three members of the Winged Patrol they had met with the night before, their axebeak mounts and riders dead, by the shores of the river. Asade, seeing the axebeaks killed, flew into a rage at the senseless violence and screamed her rage. A nearby river hydra, the culprit behind the killings, interpreted this as a challenge, and combat ensued.
Asade transformed into an allosaurus and Ke’shin caste haste upon her, making an already formidable druid absolutely terrifying. Vahn’s hammer, Xarrai’s flames, and Faelar’s vicious wordplay joined forces to whittle the hydra down, but with each devastating attack the beast group more heads, and became more aggressive. Eventually, with their combined powers, the group managed to defeat the hydra, but not before it managed to sprout seven heads. Pausing to collect blood and other pieces of useful hydra, the group then decided to make camp before continuing their journey.