A rift forms between the Chainbreakers as the man who became a wereboar is stabilized. Jean sternly chastised Tobar for firing the arrow into the tied up man, saying that the Chainbreakers do not murder. Tobar quickly responded, saying that since meeting up with the Chainbreakers, it seems like that’s really all they do. Jean sees that Lode had been attacked by the wereboar, and in an attempt to prevent the spread of the curse, he casts Lesser Restoration. It seems to have some effect, but it’s not entirely clear if it’s prevented the curse from spreading.
The party continues on toward Swordbreak, the town in between Veritas and Ravenbell. Before reaching Swordbreak, the party sets up camp for the night and Jean gives Lode his first ever birthday present – a small hair brush. Despite not knowing what it is, Lode’s very thankful, and they head to bed. Tobar, taking first watch, notices that the moon is full, and a dark blood red, which is highly unusual. Ryfir and Tobar stay up and talk about the moon, and discuss why Tobar’s decided to join the party. According to Tobar, he’s out to make a name for himself, and because he owes the party a drink, he’s determined to stay with them until he’s able to repay that debt. Tobar mentions that his father was in the military, but never returned from being deployed. During the second watch, Lode and Voir talk about Voir’s history in Ravenbell, and his time at the school. Lode talked about his desire to stay away from home, and that he’s not really out adventuring for a specific purpose.
The next day, on their way to Swordbreak, they see two figures coming up the road, and Jean acknowledges them passing. There’s an older halfling man, with a younger assistant. Jean strikes up a conversation, and finds that the man is a follower of Bahamut, and the party lets them all pass. The man blesses the party on his way, and sends them off.
After some deliberation, the party decides to tie the wereboar man, heal him and question him. The man said he was on his way to Dardon or Oakenpoint that could heal his curse. Jean tries to untie him and let him free, but Voir stops him until they’re able to guarantee that the man isn’t going to attack. After further questions, they decide to let the man free, and he heads off south, toward Dardon.
The Chainbreakers make it to Swordbreak and find a tavern to stay in. Ryfir makes his way to the inn and sends some letters to folks in his clan. Voir stops by an alchemical supply store and restocks his component pouch. At this alchemist, they put in a request to fulfill the job posting they had found in Wileforge that was written in Draconic. The posting was to gather a number of raw animal parts and bring them to Ravenbell. Voir requested to receive notice via mail when the various pieces became available.
The party decides to stay in Swordbreak that night, and each have a disturbing dream. Voir has a dream of Grim, his mentor, only when he turns around, the face he sees is that of someone from Voir’s past. Jean has a dream of Tal, meeting him outside of a city, but as soon as he reaches out to touch him, Tal disappears. Tobar dreams of his father, standing in front of him, disappointed in what he sees. Lode dreams of each of the faces of everyone he’s killed, and hears screaming as the faces twist into a grisly smile. Ryfir dreams of his clan, with fire overtaking much of their encampment, with Breili standing in the center of camp.
The group discusses their rough night of dreams, and head off to Ravenbell. They reach the city later that day, without any notable events, but upon their entry, they head to a tavern. Jean asks the barkeep about Tal, and learns that Tal had been in the area within the last week, and the last place he had seen Tal was off toward the north end of the city. On their way to investigate, they run into a group of cloaked figures, heading toward the university, moving in quite a panic. The party splits up, with Ryfir, Tobar, and Voir heading after the figures, while Lode and Jean head after where Tal was headed.
At the bridge, Jean finds a small lockbox with a note left in it from Tal, encouraging him to continue learning and growing as a person. Jean gets an idea and heads back to rejoin the group. Meanwhile, Ryfir, Tobar and Voir head to the Bareth University of Magic, and see the cloaked figures rush onto the main campus. They head into the university’s main hall after the figures, and start to see students around campus begin to collapse. Tobar sends a message to Jean and Lode to hurry up and get to the university.
Near the student, a translucent leech appears to slink off the student, seemingly satisfied with its meal. Before the group has a chance to react, however, slime starts to pool up out of a sewer grate, forming into a large cube, which attacks. During the battle, Voir comes in contact with a leech, which attempts to drain Voir’s magical essence. He realizes that if he loses all of his magical essence, the leech will kill him. The Chainbreakers fight off the attacking parasites, and the headmaster opens the main hall doors, thanking the group for saving the students.
The various staff members of the university gather together to talk about what to do next. Ir-Kaid Mahet, the assistant headmaster, describes the situation as helpless – that creatures are pouring in through a portal from another plane, and that the magic-sapping abilities from the leeches have made it to where students are at risk of death. While promising to look into the issue, the group petitions the professor of divine magic, Skolthir, to help remove the curse on Lode. In exchange, they give Skolthir the dagger retrieved from Amalvis Vidal, which emits a radiant glow when Skolthir picks it up.
As the party heads to their room and board within the University, provided in gratitude for saving the students, they find a young boy named Placido. His breathing is shallow and faint, and his skin appears pruned and taut against his bones, as if he was severely dehydrated. Ir-Kaid arrives, and his demeanor changes from gruff and distant, to sad and broken as he says “I believe I might be responsible for what’s happening at the university”.