Sklooh left for the forest realizing that any new enforcers within the flock would need weapons for defense. He arrived at the wagon and left with Kasj for the site of the altercation. Igan, realizing that lone party members usually made for bad times, set off after Sklooh. After suggesting that Eggsy create advantage himself with a harem of eligible Kenku women so as to provide a profitable and able-bodied new generation of Enforcers (with potentially abysmal intelligence quotients) to hatch from his eggs, that is. Long after Sklooh, Kasj, and Igan departed, Lena decided to catch up to them, but changed her mind and turned back towards Egg-spiker to see the rest of the interview through to the end, as well as to intimidate Food-thief some more (due to her new impish sense of humor and tiefling nature).

Those who were brought back by Food-thief were not adequate for fighting roles. None had combat training, and only Wine-press had the strength to throw a solid punch. The hope of pulling new fighters from among Kenku occupying other tribal functions was abandoned. Ultimately, Egg-spiker consulted Bismuth, Singer entrusted the fate of the tribe to Bismuth's protection. He would do the best he could and meditate for a better solution. With that, Singer left Egg-spiker to prepare himself for the ceremony, and Lena went to catch up with the rest of the Pillarmen.

Meanwhile, Sklooh was in the woods making daggers with assistance from Kasj and supervision from Igan. Once he had made a few and it had gotten quite late, they all decided to head back to the Kenku's nest. Unfortunately, along the way, Igan got the sense that they were being stalked by something. They tried to continue on in peace, but it wasn't long before they were attacked by strange six-legged panthers with long, barbed tentacles and a form that shimmered, vibrated, and danced around deceptively, making them difficult to fend off. Attacking with their full might, the beasts managed to tear Sklooh fiercely, bringing him down to what would have been unconsciousness if it weren't for Igan's healing magics. After whittling one of the creatures down, it was Kasj who stuck the final blow on one of them, dislocating its jaw just as Lena arrived at the fray. As Lena began her combative casting, she experienced an unexpected distraction when a strange glyph entered into her mind. She made a mental note of what she had seen in her mind's eye and continued the battle. With a bit more struggle against the other beast -- which Lena correctly identified as a Displacer Beast -- Sklooh decapitated it.

They arrived back at the nest just after the conclusion of Egg-spiker's ceremony where the whole flock was told that their old God-speaker was gone as well as the enforcers, and that Singer was the new acting God-speaker, and Food-thief was now 'Pauper,' a trusted adviser for the disparaged class of Kenku in the nest. As Bismuth was presented by Singer, a minor miracle occurred as the ground began to quake and all those present acknowledged the legitimacy of their new leader. There was a reception afterwards where the flock mostly gossiped about what the cause of these changes could be, and what they would mean for them. Igan provided them with 45 lbs of salted crackers.

Lena, however, sought the privacy of her quarters where she investigated the meaning of the symbol she had seen. She knew she recognized it, and found it within her own spell-book on a few pages. Not only had the rune entered into her mind, though; the meaning was also conveyed, and as she stared at the pages she had been steadily translating over the course of years, she suddenly made sense of them with the understanding of this new symbol. Excitedly returning to the party, she tried one of her newly translated spells and sent a bead of fire-light streaming into the canopy which presently exploded into a huge inferno, dazzling and causing panic among the spectators below. The newly appointed God-speaker found Lena in a hurry and begged her not to bring unnecessary attention to their little nest.

The festivities continued, and the Pillarmen rested for the night.

SESSION 25: Ruffled Feathers

The Pillarmen waited eagerly in the hut allotted them by the Kenku. Singer entered and told them that for the sake of Egg-spiker's station, being a keeper of one of Bismuth's shards, he did not ask questions in front of the others. He expressed that this was probably the case among the other acolytes as well. He politely, but firmly asked for exposition regarding the acting God-speaker and Enforcers.

Egg-spiker explained in relatively gentle terms that the former God-speaker and Enforcers were all destroyed in an altercation with the party. That is why Eggsy returned to the village to designate a new God-speaker who would rightfully bear Bismuth. Singer was less than satisfied with the explanation. He told Egg-spiker that he accepted his new position, but out of necessity, and he voiced concern for the state of the flock. The destruction of the Enforcers has left the flock defenseless in the center of the forest and Singer has no means of legitimizing his position in front of the others. He asked for suggestions regarding this conundrum.

Food-thief was summoned and asked to bring any Kenku who were occupying unessential positions within the flock so that they might be assessed for their potential to replace the enforcers. The issue was further considered and the party learned that their were only five young Kenku who had not yet been assigned positions in the tribe, and all were too young to take a post as an Enforcer -- even if they didn't have a vocation to serve Bismuth in the temple. Further posited was the relocation of the tribe to the recently evacuated prison, as it would be a more defensible fortress than their nest. This idea was forfeit; marching roughly fifty fragile Kenku through the forest with their eggs to leave their home on a weeks-long journey simply wasn't tenable. The final solution offered was that the Pillarmen remain with the flock and guard it from potential dangers until new Enforcers were reared within the flock -- which would take a minimum of 10 years.