As the party makes their way through the red swamp they hear a crashing sound coming through the trees and closing on them. They hide themselve and see a ramshackle hut on mechanical bird legs come into view. Perched on the hut’s roof are some of the blue winged creatures the party avoided fighting previously. A cackling old woman’s voice booms from the hut threatening the unseen trespassers in her woods before the hut walks away. Two of the blue creatures stay behind and search through the woods. The party tries to escape unseen, but are Cook sinks in soft mud up to his waist and the creatures attack the party before they have a chance to free him. Goredard pulls Cook free, but he lands on his back covered in mud and one of the creatures jumps on Cook’s chest and claws him. Cooks sinks his dual blades into the creature and Goredard strikes the creature with his staff, killing it and sending its dead body sprawling, ending with an impressive twirl and flourish of his staff. The other creatures tries to call out to summon the hut back but Bumble strikes the creature in the throat with an energy blast. The creature tries to run but Gerard scurries quickly on his tiny legs and cuts the creature off. The creature takes flight but the woodsman strikes it with an arrow knocking it dead from the sky.
The party make their way out of the red swamp and once a safe distance away they camp for the night. In the morning they wake and investigate a pile of rubble built up under an ancient hovering structure they see in the distance. The rubble turns out to be a mix of stones, ancient building materials, and numenera debris purposefully piled there by a man lounging on the top of the pile smoking a hookah-like device and puffing rainbow smoke. The party searches among the rubble and discover some oddities and other bits of equipment which they haggle with the man over. The woodman waits impatiently while the rest of the party sifts through the pile of junk.
They finally move on and head back to the city of Shallamas. In the city they go to the Church of the Aeons to speak with High Priest Petra. They return the stolen microbe coolers and inform him of their slaying of the bandit king. Petra invites them each of ingest a tube of the microbes which will colonize near their brainstem and allow them to understand most common languages spoken throughout the Steadfast. (Goredard pockets a tube of microbes.) Petra also sends Alansari to tell the stable master that 5 chocobo are to be outfitted and set aside for the party to have as mounts. Petra then charges the party with investigating the numenera that fell from the sky a few days ago for anything of value or interest. He mentions that the stargates will still have to be secured and would potentially like the party to be a part of that later. The party beds down at the church and does some shopping the next day in preparation for their next journey.