The party headed to the Fire Quarter. They looked for any sign of Guillaume, but realized that it was a big area to look for one man. They lucked out when they saw a familiar-looking goblin, Meckrin, hobbling around. Passerby mentioned that the goblin had been making a living wandering around the streets in the last couple days, begging for food wherever he could get it. The party got to Meckrin and found him working for one of the fighting pits, but he was in a tremendous hurry to get inside.
Finding that this was the fighting pit Guillaume was in, the party let Meckrin go and they went in as spectators. They placed bets on Guillaume just before the fight started.
The party considered loaning Suishen to Guillaume to give him an edge in the fight. Suishen took issue with this, however, briefly dominating Elsa’s mind, to make her say that parting with the sword would be a bad idea.
An announcer came into the pit and announced that this was Guillaume’s last fight, after days of constant combat. As Guillaume rode in on Acimon, the audience roared its support, chanting “HYDRA! HYDRA! HYDRA!” over and over again. Then Guillaume’s opponent lumbered in: a towering 2-headed ettin, the last champion of the Rimerunners Guild. It was an ex-champion of the fighting pits, named Big Ludd.
Guillaume charged, spearing Big Ludd with his lance, but the ettin was not slowed down. He bashed on Guillaume with a morningstar and a blade he was wielding in either hand. The party cheered Guillaume on from the stands, while also insulting the ettin. The fight was a close one, Guillaume fighting as best he could but slowly being worn down from the ettin’s relentless attacks. Guillaume wounded one of the ettin’s heads, but had his arm broken by a follow-up swing. At the climax of the fight Guillaume leapt off of Acimon at the ettin, ramming his sword into the ettin’s other head, right as the ettin’s sword came down and killed Acimon. Big Ludd then collapsed, dead from a broken neck and a pierced brain. Guillaume fell to his knees soon afterwards, nearly dead.
Meckrin appeared, hobbling across the field and tending to Guillaume’s wounds with his magic. The party found their way down to the ring as well, where they helped patch Guillaume back up. They even collected Acimon, confirming the war horse was dead. Guillaume was distraught by the loss of his horse, but the party promised to make it better. Marcel, Rehoofa, and Guillaume left to go fetch Sven, the priest of Shelyn they had befriended. Elsa stayed behind to watch Acimon, where a helpful ring worker named Leo helped push the horse out of the way.
Guillaume caught the rest of the party up on how he’d been kept at the fighting pit for the last several days. They had barely fed him or tended to his wounds, but Meckrin had come by every day with food and healing spells to keep him going.
Sven came back with the party and, after a donation of a diamond for the spell, cast Raise Dead, healing and reviving Acimon. Guilluame was thankful for this, and hung around with the party for a while longer, catching up on what he’d missed during his time in prison.
Confident that relative peace had come to Kalsgard, the party retired to the Hall of Splendid Valor, where they were welcomed and given a free stay in appreciation for all they’d done.
Marcel was enjoying a massage from his attendant, when he looked up to see Omoyani standing at the foot of the table. Omoyani grinned and whispered “you didn’t think it’s be that easy, did you?” Marcel screamed, though Omoyani was gone as soon as he blinked.
Marcel had a sleepless night, but the next morning the party went back to business. Most of the party was ready to move on to journey over the Crown of the World, but Guillaume turned down the offer. As it turned out, in appreciation of his services to Kalsgard and his fighting ability, he’d been granted a position as huscarl to a new jarl. It was a good political position that would give him a real chance to make a name for himself. Further, he no longer felt the connection he had to the quest.
Suishen backed up Guillaume here, saying that he sensed that the Amatatsu seal had marked Guillaume in the past, but that the mark was no longer there; it seemed Guillaume’s destiny had changed, and the quest to Tien Xia was no longer his. Suishen further explained that that had been why he had dominated Elsa: Suishen does not wish to be held by any who were not Amatatsu scions.
The party made their peace with Guillaume, and set about selling their accumulated loot, buying equipment in preparation for their long journey over the Crown of the World. After they were done, they packed up the caravan and set off. Elsa briefly talked with Uksahkka again: he wished her the best and hoped that her path would not bring her to darkness like her mother’s had. He also told Elsa that in the time she’d been at Kalsgard, Elsa’s mother had been named Katiyana.
The party set off on their long journey. On the first night, Marcel had a nightmare where he felt he was being chased, though he could not see what was chasing him. Fearing the worst, he did some research on Nogitsune, trying to figure out how he could handle a possession. His researched proved fruitless, however: the book he bought from Kalsgard only said that when a Nogitsune was killed, often it was best to kill any nearby kitsune, just to be sure.
The good news was that Meckrin was back in the group, having been accepted to the caravan after the party had seen how he’d cared for Guillaume. He even renegotiated his services with the party, offering a 10% discount on potions he could prepare and sell to the party.