Gerard Jr. manages to bring himself back into proper phase covered in strange light bending goo. Goredard manages to fashion an effective converter for Bumble’s port. Bumble interfaces with the tower’s system and is able to send away the flying blades and the two other automatons headed to their location clearing the party’s way for escape. With the town to the east located the party returns to retrieve the rest of their traveling band to head that way.
When they return to the mountains they find Dobbins, who is an even more nervous gibbering mess, with Chaalk the other priest. Chaalk tells them that the young digger boy in the band went exploring and returned as a hulking monstrosity. The diggers were very upset by this and they’ve formed an angry mob to confront the mutants by the giant crystals. The party finds Croxley and Jori fending off the mob with the flailing tendrils growing on the ground which have become engorged and violent. Digby is there as well, he has grow taller and more muscled with thick reddish skin like a carapace. He has an additional pair of crab-like arms coming from his abdomen, a pair of antennae on his head, a third eye on his forehead, and possibly other less visible mutations… He says Croxley told him he is the chosen of Mehir and that he is meant for great things. He wants to stay with Croxley and realize his destiny which is greater than digging holes for the rest of his life. The diggers are arguing with him and trying to attack the mutants who they blame for Digby’s horrible transformation. Gerard Jr. uses his excellent people skills to diffuse the situation and make the diggers see that Digby should make his own decision. They aren’t entirely happy but agree to stop attacking and come away with the party. Croxley says that Mehir has chosen Digby as his divine vessel and that it is time for them to go out into the world and spread the word of Mehir once again. Croxley fetches his giant centipede Bourdois and leaves Mehir’s Teeth in the care of Jori so he and Digby can accompany the party through the portal into new lands.
On the other side of the portal the woodsman leads the large band through the tangled and marshy forest. They camp at the edge of the forest that night. In the morning they notice a herd of Chocobo in the more open fields to the east. The woodsman is unable to successfully capture one so they all head out over the more open terrain towards the town. As they walk they notice they are being watched by a cloaked figure. Gerard Jr. and Goredard break off from the party to speak with the observer. As they near the figure shouts “Ignore Me!” in a strange mechanical voice and moves away over the hill. The two press forward and question the figure for more information. Getting closer they notice the figure’s robes float several inches above the ground with no visible feet and within the cowl all they can make out is a purplish metallic oval rimmed in silver. They have a confusing conversation with the figure for a few minutes learning nothing definitively. Finally the watcher says “beginnings and endings are irrelevant” while turning away from them and disappears in a blink of multicolored static.
They all travel a bit further and are suddenly right in the path of a herd of chocobo stampeding to get away from flying predators diving down on them. They try having Senna form a shield in front of them but she buckles under the pressure so the woodsman gets to the front with Digby and they make loud predator noises which succeeds in parting the stampede around them safely. The finally reach the town around midday, but find no people around. Cook says the town smells of fungus and opts to keep an eye on the rest of the band because of the overpowering smell. The rest of the party enters the town to investigate.
They discover the town is inhabited by large black bird abhumans who hide around corners and in buildings and pelt them with stones and debris. The former inhabitants of the town appear to have fallen to a horrible fungal plague that infected and finally killed them erupting mushrooms from the corpse’s eyes and mouth. The abhumans use the mushroom spores against the party in their guerilla warfare and Gerard inhales a lungful of them becoming infected, but fighting off their effects for the time being. The party battle and kill a couple of the creatures. They find the creatures collect sacks of worthless odds and ends, but they do find a few shins among the mix. The save 2 shins aside for Cook knowing how excited he’ll be. The woodsman also finds a weird root that seems to have some medical properties and claims a small knife that an abhuman tried to poison him with. After burning down two buildings the party uses the distraction to sneak away and explore the city. They find stores of potatoes along with other preserved food within the town. They try to sneak out with their loot but are discovered and have to make a break away. Goredard falls behind and is forced to hold his breath as he runs through a giant plume of spores. The party all make it out safely and the abhumans do not give chase.
The party circle the town wide and begin following a cart path north. After another few hours of travel they set camp for the night. Gerard Jr. awakens with with a nasty cough. He shakes off the worst of the effects but they fear that he is infected with the fungal spores. The woodsman uses the weird root he found with other herbs to concoct a bitter healing draught which Gerard Jr. drinks and rids himself of the fungal infection. The party then sets off north in hopes of coming across some less terrible civilization.