By the time they got back to their camp, Haf was doing poorly. What had been a sweat of exertion had become something else. While Saar and Caerdwyn packed up their camp (because there was no power under the Night House that could compel Caerdwyn to spend another single moment near that place), Haf seemed to wilt like a plant left too long in the sun. Before they were to depart, the priest had lapsed into a great fevered unconscious, and they did not dare move him.
Saar, uncomplaining, unpacked and reset up the camp. He made fire and food and companionship in the night, and Dorllan flew overhead on her dim, secret missions. Caerdwyn, at last, saw that the fire was the Word burning up Haf from within. Something of the power he had called up had lingered and contaminated his flesh – or perhaps it was the Spider’s power finally taking hold after the failure of the light in Haf. Whatever, Caerdwyn did dim and exhausted battle with that power, his sword flaring uncontrollably, the letters flickering with his exhaustion.
Eventually, like a fever, the power broke, and Haf was soaked in an entirely mortal sweat.
In the morning, after a meager breakfast, they gathered their things in silence. Bayeo had recovered a sulking consciousness, but Haf remained unrousable. Saar made a baby sling out of a cloak and carried the warm Siar Haf against his chest as they went. Bayeo leaned alternately against the mule or Caerdwyn.
In early afternoon, they made their way into the pike-walled Dun Mynn. Greeted by a casual guard, they got information to make their way to the Dun’s public house. After Saar’s tale that their original journey had encountered problems with the Lady of Dun Mynn, they elected not to make any kind of formal visit to seek help from the local ruler.
Arriving at the Dun, Caerdwyn used his power to elicit a positive reaction from the Keeper of the Public House about getting a room and possible care for Haf. A man outside, a well-dressed traveler with piercing blue eyes, watched them keenly through this interchange.
Caerdwyn, drawn by some unnameable connection to the man, went to speak with him, using the Path to elicit honesty and connections. The man blinked, and stared shrewdly up at Caerdwyn, and said, “Ask, do not presume. It is more polite.” He was also, it seemed, on the Path.
He introduced himself as Faen and told them he was from far north Ternyn. Presumably figuring he had already outed himself, Caerdwyn admitted to being a Questioner of Tuhál, and told Faen some of the tale of lost Arric Cyrdaen and his companions. He told them he was off on the story to find the truth of the primal players of the story: Dragon, Serpent and Mistlord.
Faen considered the matter for some time, and then told them he was in Tuhál on the behalf of the Wave Marshals of Ternyn to search for answers from the Questioners of High Tuhál. Guessing by Caerdwyn’s quest, he seemed to assume that the answers would not be found in Caer Cuval. After hearing the tale of the Builder structure under Cean na Dana and its corruption by the Spiders, he confessed to them that the ocean people, the Salkai, have gone missing from the shores of Ternyn, and as far as the Wave Marshals can tell, the seas of Mawr.
Together, they would seek out what happened with Arric’s party, and uncover the fate of Mawr.
Faen told them that he had spotted a Temple to the Hunter and the Huntress, the Night Lodge gods, outside of town, and that they can often be relied on to caretake travellers in need.
Outside of town, they delivered Haf, with very little investigation and almost no conversation, they delivered a novitiate Priest of the Sky House into the care of the Feral Hunter and Huntress of the Night Lodge.
They followed the road north from Dun Mynn along the black line of Teinwood.