The companions poke around a few tents, well used but bereft of occupants. They also try their hand at games of luck and skill. Eventually they come upon a large, rather derelict looking house.
Inside they find keepsakes and heirlooms of all kinds. Pressing in towards the inner rooms, they notice a strange substance seems to convert many of the treasures. Like thick magenta tendrils, they seem to emanate from a parlor ahead.
Inside they come upon the horrific visage of a winged creature cradling the husk of some poor should in its arms. The air within is dense with the pinkish hue that seems to cover everything. Next to the creature sits Akasha Delithrang, who turns eyes completely blackened towards her former companions.
There is a scuffle as the broken husk moves to engage the trespassers; Akasha herself binds some of the attackers into stasis. The winged creature takes a step and slides into another plane.
Amid the chaos the an elven girl approaches On’ogg from behind, urging him and his friends to take Akasha far away from this place. The next moment she is gone. The husk slumps to the ground and Akasha returns to normal.
As they move to escape, they are confronted by a mob of vicious sideshow creatures led by a macabre Ringleader and dozens of carnies.
The heroes are confronted by Rowan Mauldenthorn, recognized by Akasha as the ringleader. Accompanied by strange and terrible members of the sideshow act and a host of carnies, Rowan engages the heroes, attempting to steal back Akasha.
Rowan strikes out with dark magic and throws his forces at the group. He is eventually defeated, though the victory came at some cost. Feeling somewhat depleted, Akasha opens up a portal into a cottage of relative safety. They set watch and recover their strength. Late in the watch, Akasha notices that the corpses of the fallen from the hours before have been removed. Investigating further, they notice the smoke of fire deeper in the trees.
The group investigate an abandoned campsite, finding the charred remains of the carnies. Deep ruts have been carved into the mud; a wagon of some sort had been wheeled out of the area. They pursue, following the tracks. Akasha summons a badger.
For almost a full day they continue their trek, daring not to venture further off the path. Hours pass until they finally see signs of their query. They approach the site, a large wooden carriage with a cozy fire burning outside sit idle on the side of the road. They enter the carriage and find Vostok Ivanovich himself within, sitting in a large, ornate chair. His voice billows out, tinny and disconnected. It seems to emanate from his general direction rather than his corporal form.
He attempts to strike a bargain, acknowledging that his power has been depleted. Piles of gold and powerful trinkets, for the soul of Akasha. He covets the young elf and is eager to add her again to his menagerie. The heroes decline outright. Suddenly the walls fall away and the group find themselves outside again.
Figures begin stalking out of the woods surrounding the camp, wooden marionettes serving as macabre parodies of man. Vostok himself grows in size, his limp figure lifted out of the chair as if by strings tethered to some giant hand. Dark magics transform the marionette into a large, horrific face with jagged rows of teeth. Several long, disjointed limbs stretch from the circling black void below the giant face. A portal swirls into for from his rear and three more marionettes run forth.
Each wears a unique mask; one of crimson flame, one of noxious violet and one of frantic splays of emerald. Spidery words spew forth from Vostok’s maw, the incantations of magic. One of the grossly elongated limbs pluck the marionette with the flaming mask and drops it into the maw. The molten mask materializes on Vostok and the horde of marionettes now engaging with the heroes begin blasting forth gouts of flame.
After a time, the mask breaks and falls away. He then plucks another of the masked marionettes from the crowd, consuming it as well. The dark purple mask of death now frames ‘his’ face, the crowd of underlings explode and desecrate the land when they fall in combat. There is a billowing screech of some large creature flying overhead, out of site.
Again the mask breaks and falls away; the third marionette is consumed and a green mask of hysteria covers Vostok. The horde now attempts to bring the heroes close, driving them mad with a lunatic’s gaze.
Ogg engages directly with Vostok while Sayer handles many of the mannequins. Much of the area now ablaze from the earlier torrents, the heroes are in dire straights. Elbenor casts healing spells on the group before being driven momentarily mad and flees the area. Akasha throws forth spells before being struck by several mannequins.
Suddenly a roar tears through the clearing and a massive creature lands nearby the young elf. A large creature with powerful wings and scales vibrantly colored in hues of red and purple begins wreaking destruction against the mannequins.
The wyvern gives the heroes a slight reprieve, allowing them to focus their efforts on Vostok and they are able to land the killing blow. He billows out in fury as the void consumes him. All that is left is the large corpse of a rather tall man, strong in features but ordinary.
Bending magics to her will, Akasha speaks to the regal wyvern. He offers his gratitude for her having released him from his bonds so long ago. She asks him what he will do now and he responds that he has no plan besides flying free, which Akasha realizes is a plan in and of itself. She clasps a worn key around her neck as the wyvern takes flight and departs.
The group notice a screech as Pompoko flees from the treeline. They investigate and find Odilla hastily making runes in the ground. She opens a portal and allows the heroes to travel through the shadow realm back to the ship.