Elsa, her druidic powers still weakened, was worried about what to do with the dead fish-creatures. She was worried that perhaps dealing with them wrong would anger nature further, costing her even more. The party decided to have Meckrin drive out the bad luck of the bodies, then burn them. The Qallupalluk, on the other hand, they beheaded and kept its head on Mecrkin’s wagon as a trophy.
Caladrel and Faunra were respectful of the party’s help in finding what had caused the town to be abandoned, and also for taking care of the monster. They were still dismissive of Kaellara, however.
The caravan headed out, though shortly afterwards it was stuck in a blizzard which went on for days, half burying it in snow. The caravan dug in and waited it out. Rehoofa took the opportunity to test his martial arts abilities, punching and kicking trees down, though he ended up with bloody knuckles.
After the blizzard the caravan headed out again, though as they passed through a hilly area they caught glimpse something waiting for them up ahead. Elsa, Rehoofa, and Marcel went out to investigate, seeing three heads: a polar bear, a walrus, and a white dragon, peeking up over a cliffside at them.
Elsa hatched one of her plans: she would approach and see if any of the creatures would speak to her, putting her in the line of fire while Marcel and Rehoofa hung back with their bows out. Elsa’s plan “worked” as the monster revealed itself as a three-headed Chimera, and started an avalanche that buried Elsa alive.
Marcel and Rehoofa fired on the chimera, wounding it and driving it back temporarily. Elsa meanwhile struggled to free herself. Marcel dropped his bow and helped dig through the snow, getting a surprise when Elsa’s hands burst through the ground. He was able to pull her out, and then Elsa, Marcel, and Rehoofa climbed up the cliffside towards where the chimera had retreated. Elsa was surprised when the beast breathed frozen air at her from its white dragon head. The party regrouped and was able to bring the chimera down and loot its lair before returning to the caravan. As an extra trophy, they took the white dragon head along, mounting it on Meckrin’s wagon next to the Qallupalluk head. Mecrkin’s wagon was quickly becoming the caravan’s trophy wagon.
A few nights later, Marcel had another nightmare. In this one, he was wandering through the woods, and ran into some hunters. He told the hunters he knew where to find food. But then Marcel woke up, confused and disoriented, and saw his boots and clothes were crusted with dirt and snow. He said nothing, however.
The party was sent out ahead to scout the next village, though Leo stayed behind to guard the caravan. Rehoofa, Elsa, and Marcel got the village, smelling cooking meat, which smelled a bit like pork. They were welcomed by the village elder. They sat the party around their cookfire, saying that recently their hunters had started coming back with more food, and they were willing to share their bounty.
A few hunters recognized Marcel, thanking him for the idea he’d given them. The party was quite suspicious of what they were about to be fed, especially from how the village elder just insisted they eat the meat, and that it would make them strong. The village had apparently just recently found a way to get rid of its weaker people.
Marcel and Elsa pressed, asking what the meat was called, and eventually the elder relented and said that they could call it Kalukik, which Marcel recognized as a common name. For a person. Rehoofa also identified the smell as the meat of no animal he knew, but which might be human meat. The party quickly found an excuse to leave and left very quickly, though the villagers looked very offended, even aggressive.
The party got to the caravan and explained the situation quickly. Skygni caught up to them, gnawing on some of the person-meat the party had dropped in its rush to get away. He said that he had recognized the scent of cooking human meat. He also said it was not his job to warn the party about such things, just that he was to see them over the Crown. What they ate was none of his concern, though he was clearly amused by the party’s disgust at the cannibals.
Marcel, fearing what the possession had made him do, slept as little as possible, and was exhausted most of the time as a result.
The caravan reached the Taraska river, a barrier for them to cross on their way to the north. The caravan started fording it one wagon at a time, when two gigantic predatory fish attacked, devouring one of the caravan animals and panicking the others. The party fought the fish off, although they apparently found Rehoofa delicious: one of them started to swallow Rehoofa, Elsa clawed him out, and he managed to tumble out, directly into the other fish’s mouth. Elsa clawed him out again, thankfully.
The fish lay dead on the banks of the Taraska, and the rest of the caravan set about fording the mighty river.