Bearing several wagons loaded with treasure liberated from depths of Castle Whiterock, the company returns to the Red Keep to find a summer festival going on. The crowd cheers Xoon and his allies as they enter the growing town. The heroes spend the day enjoying the festivities.
In the morning, Aurik invites the company to the counsel room in the keep to discuss their loot. He hands out bags of gold to all members of the company. Then he asks about several items. The head of Cinderallis the dragon is to be cleaned and the skull mounted in Xoon’s hall. The claws of the dragon and the eyes of the xorn are taken by Dandalv for use in his arcane studies, along with the scrolls of magic and the nixie’s ring for examination. There is heated discussion over what to do with the wand of Benthoc, but ultimately Brother Jon convinces Xoon that it is best destroyed. Xoon decides to take the holy book of Justicia to the Blue Shrine in the hopes of making peace with the abbey.
The next morning, the company (sans Dandalv deep in study) heads to the Blue Shrine. That evening they are greeted warmly by the Abbot and his brethren, despite a scowling Brother Caleb standing by. They enjoy a meal and when they give the book to the abbot, he is delighted. In private they discuss the problem of Dandalv and the Demon’s head. Xoon convinces the Abbot that he can be trusted and will vouch for Dandalv, and the priest agrees. Brother Caleb storms out, but not before Xoon warns him never to return to the keep.
The next day the company rides for home.
For three months, Dandalv holes up in his tower, learning powerful magicks and studying various items. He learns that the nixie’s ring is actually a mighty artifact, one that needs a specific ritual to activate it. The wizard calls upon the power of the Demon’s Head to repair the magical bottle of air, and while he is successful, the process leaves its mark: Dandalv’s eye are now black pits of darkness.
He also casts powerful spells on good old Oinker the magic pig, transforming the animal into a winged arcane creature with a quick tongue and spells of its own.
For some time, Dandalv had become more and more concerned about the powerful staff of Vesuvius he carried with him. It’s voracious hunger for magic items was growing more desperate. Oinker was openly terrified of the staff and warned the wizard to get rid of it. Finally Dandalv agreed. At that very moment, the staff transformed into a dark, robed figure. It laughed loudly as it pulled back its hood to reveal a twisted version of Dandalv’s face. As smoke begins to whirl about it, the creature points a finger at Dandalv and croaks, “You think you will destroy me, fool? It is I who will destroy you!” With that, the dark figure disappears.