+111 Group reunites outside Rivmon. Crogan tells Skylar about the assassination attempt and his intention to go to Ridgetown to confront Shoo and Pestilence. Up in the mountains there are a dozen or so towns that operate boats going down river to deliver iron, copper, amd other precious ores and such. Skylar explains that Ridgetown was just like any other mining community, until a few years back it was overrun by brigands. He has never heard of Pestilence, but they could be those same brigands or what formed in the aftermath.
All the honest men left Ridgetown leaving only the thugs, thieves, and miners escaping broken contracts. They raid the boats coming up river from them, seizing anything for themselves. Those in the king’s service blame it on the revolution as they do most things. Rivmon and Higurd are charged with sheriffing these parts. And there have been some efforts to that effect, however to large a force can not pass through the mountain roads and to small a force end up in their graves.
It is also true that Rivmon and Higurd are on the take. All the profits from these mines go to Normarch and even all the way to Eberhold. Blacksmiths in the area have alternate supply lines with these thugs and there is little real local motivation to force any change. Irregardless, Skylar is concerned that Crogan has put them on a dangerous path that does not put them any closer to their real objective in Nom.
After deliberation Crogan decides to take ferry up river docking a days march outside Ridgetown. On the cliff road outside Ridgetown they are confronting by twelve outriders. The outriders demand their intentions or for them to turn around. Crogan offers a bribe, which they are willing to take a 100 gold per, to allow them to pass. Crogan then uses psionic missive to direct the leaders horse to trot to the ledge. The sudden movements work forcing the leader to slip from saddle and fall to his death. The remaining outriders are willing to take a more reasonable bribe to allow their passing.
They arrive at Ridgetown late that night. No one at the inn is willing to even listen to them about any question about Shoo or Pestilence. The party settles in to a room and will continue the investigation in the morning.
In the morning the see a boy be harassed by an older bully at the well. Crogan steps in refilling the boys water pail. The boy does give some information about Shoo and his brother Scram but he is obviously too scared to say much, eventually he drops his pail and runs rather then risk more.
After that they find a drunken street beggar who offers his help for more drinks at the bar. At the inn he then insist on riddles with more drinks. He is delaying so that his “well” doesn’t dry up.
It occurs once in every minute
Twice in every moment
But never in one hundred thousand years
Voiceless it cries
Wingless it flutters
mouth less mutters
Eventually a waitress passes them a note to met her in room left open for them on the second floor. Once there she chides them for getting a loud drunken involved. He will have them made for what they are up to in no time. She offers to help, showing them a secret door from the room into Pestilence’s base in the mountain. She leads them in stating that she knows they way because many nights she has been taken back here, so men can have their way with her. Hanna leads them in, alerting them of a trap along the way. Eventually she take them to a room with a lift that is used to move goods from the hidden cave harbor below. Here she pronounces them dead as it is really is an ambush. The party defeats her and four others.
They continue down the path jumping into a close door after hearing footsteps running to them from the barracks. In the room they notice a flash of movement as they see someone run down a staircase. They pursue, the stairwell is long going down several hundred feet. Eventually as they exit into the underground harbor, they catch their prey. It is Shoo. A battle ensues. Shoo is formidable, he badly injuries Crogan. In the midst of the battle his brother Scram intervenes with his pet bear. The party eventually prevails, but with great loss. Raquel was slain.
They escape via raft out of the harbor, returning down river left to wonder if the losses suffered was worth it.