Still in the realm of dreams, the party continues out the door at Kendrick the Dead’s instruction, and finds on the other side, a cavern where they encounter Herman Sewald. Although he continually tries to evade, both physically and verbally, the party hounds him, unfazed by a group of zombies he sends to belay them, nor by an illusory wall he conjures. Catching up to him, they demand from him all his magical goods, from the man’s hat down to his boots, and attempting to excuse himself and escape but caught dead to rights by the party, he finally accepts his fate and strips himself of all his valuable magic items. The party picks up his stuff and they retrace their steps back to Kendrick.
Kendrick is pleased with the party’s inflexibility which denied all Herman’s pleas to keep his dignity or his items, and grinning, shows them their reward: the night hag, who holds a golden egg and wears a nasty smile. The night hag’s face falls when she reaches for and grasps her heartstone and it does nothing; she is trapped in the dreamworld with them. She offers the egg for her life, telling the party that it holds the answer they seek, but they have none of it; the party defeats her with great satisfaction. During the battle, Katey knocks the egg from her hand, at which time it turns to stone and hits the ground. The battle finishes when Mira, equipped with a lightning-infused crossbow, blasts the night hag in the eye with a critical hit, causing her head to explode with electrical overload and her body to burn instantly and fly back and hit the cavern wall.
Victorious, the party goes to investigate the egg. Blath tries placing it in a hole in the ground, touching it in various ways, and finally touching it to the night hag, which causes it to turn to gold, and then stay gold when he takes it back from the night hag’s dead hand. Not knowing what else to do with it, they take it back to Kendrick the Dead, whereupon he asks what is inside of it. The party responds that they don’t know, so Kendrick puts out his hand, Blath places it into Kendrick’s hand, and Kendrick suddenly raises it up and smashes it down at his desk, whereupon it shatters and reveals a note which says, “He who does not work shall not eat.” At this, they wake up into the real world.
The party tells their incredible dream to Aethelfirth and Manus McElroy, who did not appear in it with them, sharing the clue with them also. Blath makes sure to sketch into his notebook some scenes from his dream with an eye toward detail, and Katey hopes for a better day when she and Herman Sewald’s hat will be reunited outside the dream world. Continuing on and walking along the beaches to get around the sea, they fish for food as they go and march many miles along the shores. Toward evening time, they see as they crest a hill, a group of kuo-toa on the beach below, and a thick forest to the west in which there are centaurs watching silently. Many kuo-toa come out of the water onto the beach, organizing around three shamans in front of three campfires, who orchestrate a wild ritual. The party goes to hide in the forest, considers rolling a log onto the beach below to kill some kuo-toa, but ultimately deciding to merely observe, as the centaurs do. As the kuo-toa dance and shout, the fires give off white smoke, which gathers all above the central fire into a great white cloud against a darkening sky. Soon, black lightning bolts begin to flash within the cloud, and finally they take shape: a sea monster rising from waves. No sooner does the shape form and flash than a great boom is heard, and all returns to smoke. The ritual dies down and the fires are left to embers as the kuo-toa march toward the water.
Hoping for an explanation, the party approaches the five centaur soldiers, who are well-armed and looking quite serious. Through Mira, who speaks Sylvan, they are able to converse together. The centaurs do not know what the kuo-toa were doing exactly; they are only concerned with keeping them from encroaching into their forest. They do not know where the Golden Harp is and are disgusted when Blath throws a small bag of gold in front of them, telling the party that they are not liars who would tell the truth for gold. Manus, also acting disgusted, kicks dirt onto the gold and asks them to excuse his friend. The centaurs continue that the harp belongs to the elves, who were driven out of this area by the dark elves, who in turn have been mostly driven out by the centaurs. They think it ought to go back to the elves if found.
The centaurs demand that the party come with them if they want to be allowed on their land, and the party agrees to the escort, reasoning that they are safer with the centaurs and can get away from them later if necessary. On the way into the forest, the party finds a spot to set up camp. Aethelfirth has no blanket and asks around for one, and not finding one, asks Manus whether he can shave Brian, Manus’s trusty donkey, and use the hairs to build a nest in which to sleep. Finding this ridiculous, the party instead arranges sleep in shifts such that each can have a blanket while he or she sleeps. Manus and Blath sit by the fire a bit and talk about life, musing about adventure and about glory.
Being able to fight well isn’t honorable or laudable except that it keeps you alive longer to see more of the world, methinks. -Blath