After defeating the fallen angels, the gnome Kylen fell into some kind of deep sleep that no one could wake him from.
Rinas Tonell (The Soothsayer) said he would watch over him, and also let the party know when the pool had refilled. (Each time the pool charged an item with magic, it emptied a little.)
Ruk Bearclaw had also taken some wounds from the fallen angel’s final frenzied attack, but appeared to be suffering no ill effects.
Leaving the tower they encountered some travelers in the dry river. They looked like monks or pilgrims, and had some scrawny goats with them.
They acted a little suspiciously at first, trying to hide the fact they had buried something in the river bed, and also pulling on gloves as soon as they spotted the party.
After some discussion, they took off the gloves and revealed a tattoo of a blue bird with burning wings. They claimed to be followers of the “Failed Phoenix”, which Keyleth soon realised was in fact her own deity, Habbakuk. They said the Failed Phoenix was trapped in mortal form somewhere in this realm, describing visions of a vaguely bird-like humanoid.
These travelers were looking for an ocean, hoping this dry river would lead them there.
They traveled back to Ashfall without incident. They approached the village from the ridge, and from their elevated position they could see the tower the Half-Dragon Reeve lived in, but it was dark and quiet. They also could see a small forest of dense trees and thick overgrowth. Some villagers were sneaking into the forest, carrying bags of some kind.
Following the villagers into the forest revealed they were emptying bags of old food. Also, they were conducting secret rituals in the names of the “Failed Phoenix” and the “Lady of Fire”, which were actually confused manifestations of Habbakuk and Sune.
Emig and Keyleth were revered as prophets.
In town they had a late night meeting with Mera, the innkeeper of The Old Wizard Inn. Emig challenged her to a drinking competion, which she lost by passing out after one shot.
She told them they should try pass themselves off as “Slayers”, freelance monster killers who traveled about dealing with troublesome monstrous creatures. It was the only way they could explain themselves, they stand out from normal folk and would attract unwanted attention from the authorities.
A trader arrived in town the next morning. He had good news for the village: some heretics in the capital had been caught and sacrificed to Tiamat. There was now an overflow of blood sacrifice to Tiamat and the town blood sacrifice was reduced to once every ten days. (An obsidian statue of Tiamat stands in the center of the town, and villagers have to cut themselves on the sharp edges and give blood as an offering to Tiamat.)
The Half-Dragon reeve Namzeru has left the area, no one is sure where or for how long.
A wandering historian has taken up residence at the inn, a tall and heavily-built man wearing colourful robes. He has numerous satchels containing papers and writing instruments as well as other books and scrolls. He keeps more material upstairs in a wooden case. He calls himself Jamas Freeve and claims to be assembling a history of recent events around the realm, many things were lost after the war.
He says he lost his companions on the trip here. They had the feeling of being watched for days and then woke up in the night to a barrage of magical attacks. At the advice of his guards, he fled into the night and carried on running until he stumbled across Ashfall. He is going to spend some time in this area. Mera suggests the party should do a few jobs for the historian, starting with investigating what happened to his party.
Despite no one liking the historian and his bossy attitude, they grudgingly agreed to search for his lost companions. He says he has influence in the more civilised areas of the realm.
They found his dead guards, and followed tracks to a cave deep underground and fought and killed a Beholder.