Realizing they need faster answers Burfert suggested his back up plan, find a bar. Far from being just an excuse to refill his flask, Burfert explained that drinking holes are prime locations to hear rumors, and pump locals for information.
Going to a high end wine bar in the merchant district, the party learnt more of the Widower and its connection to the Haarlocks, the Revel of Darkness and the Steel Clock. On their way out, they noticed a Jackal Masked figure ducking into an ally way. They gave chase only to find themselves at a dead end. They were ambushed by a group of Beast House slavers.
The party was easily able to best them and take one prisoner. After interrogating the suspect, they find out that Marcus Vulpa was searching for the Heron Mask, and was meeting a contact at a pottery store located in the Collapsed Palaces area. After leaving the slaver, the Acolytes are surprised by a well dressed woman pointing a needle pistol at them.
She demands the location of Vulpa, believing the Acolytes to be his allies. Burfert was able to convince her that they are searching for him to. Agreeing to join forces, she introduces herself as Lady Malua of Malfi; she was here to search of her kidnapped brother. The Acolytes do not recognize the picture she shows them.
The party staked out the derelict pottery store and was rewarded by a slaver showing up. On questioning he revealed that the Heron Mask had been sighted going to towards the Estate of Gabriel Chase. Upon searching the shop, the group found a body, hidden in a trunk, with its head cut off. Whether this was Vulpa or not, it was impossible to say.
Septimus contacted them with orders to return to the Librarium, as he had uncovered some critical information. On they way back, the Acolytes stumble upon a bloody melee. A black, shapeless mass of tendrils, with a leering white mask was tearing apart a pack of cultists and lesser daemons. The thing, with could only have been the Widower, tore up its assailants with contemptuous ease. Leaping skyward, it sent out a tendril and ensnared Lady Malua. The Acolytes could only look on as the protean horror disappeared.
When they reach the Librarium, Septimus begins laying out what he has found. Before he can go into much detail, they are interrupted by three Pilgrims of Hayte, led by a witch. The Pilgrims ‘request’ that the Acolytes hand over Septimus to them. Calliden responds with a hellgun blast towards the cultists. In the ensuing combat, the Pilgrim reveal themselves to be corrupted by daemonic energies, making them difficult to kill and instilling a sense of dread to all who see them. The witch turned out to be a pyrokine, and took much pleasure in throwing fireballs at our heroes. Unfortunately the warp is a fickle thing and the witch went to the well of power one too many times. His warp flames inverted themselves, consuming his flesh. Though Sid and Calliden were injured by the Pilgrim’s chain blades, the party prevailed.
Septimus revealed what he had found out. How much was true, the Acolytes would have to find out.
• The Pilgrims of Hayte were here to capture the Widower and use its power for something horrible • The Widower was only vulnerable during the Revel of Darkness • The Revel happens at the time of the Grand Conjunction, in 13 hours. • Only Haarlock blood can open the Steel Clock. • Lady Malua was of distant relation to bloodline of Haarlock • The Widower has gone mad and wishes to destroy itself and Quiddis. • The Widower can only be stopped with tremendous force, or finding out how it’s tied to the Steel Clock.
Having imparted his knowledge, Septimus healed Sid and Calliden to the best of his ability. He provided them with disguises, including plain white masks. They were to go to the party as a minor nobleman and his retinue.
As the Acolytes leave, Septimus prays that the Emperor grant them strength, for they were the only barrier between Quiddis and it being consumed by madness. Emperor, save us all!