The party traveled back from the ship to see If Kaylen had recovered. On the way back, Phaedra collapsed. Mourn picked her up and said that they could let her rest at his… establishment, though some dickering about fees for services or something happened, because the drow lost interest in taking care of her, and Igtherez ended up carrying her instead.
The monk noticed that Phaedra was still holding onto the Starshard, and tried to take it away from her. A mild jolt of electricity indicated that something was going on, though he wasn’t sure what, but Phaedra’s vitals seemed to be okay, so he let it be.
While this was going on a mysterious figure followed the group through town, trying to suss out what they were doing and why. Haut kept his distance from the party, but they were so very different from everyone else that it was impossible not to notice them and their activities.
Kaylen had recovered, and rejoined the party. Shortly after this, as the party was trying to figure out what to do, someone pointed out that the Starshard had returned. Joyous bedlam ensued as the hapless, gullible townsfolk attributed this momentous occasion to Nox the Box. Nox took umbrage to this idolatry, and annihilated the nearest peasant.
Terrified bedlam ensued. Orphan added to it, summoning members of her band and using enthrall to force the people to stop and listen to her message of Nox worship, because her plan was that they would make Nox a god and then go get her army, and something something something; she wasn’t exactly clear about it past that. Mourn was upset about the disturbance; these were his customers and workers that were getting killed and harassed, so he had some words with Orphan and even struck her, but she hardly noticed. Hitting Orphan’s was almost like hitting an armored fighter.
During (or perhaps at the end) all of this, Igtherez ran off with Phaedra, back to the ship. Haut followed him. Igtherez boarded the ship, overcoming his distaste of it to make mental contact. He then found a suitable place to set up his instant fortress and took her into the adamantine building. He attempted to make mental contact with the Starshard. It seemed to be running a diagnostic of some kind, but seemed all right. He got an odd message about “a large quantity of edible organic material” in the portal room, and a question about cleaning it up. He then remembered that the Moonspeaker’s corpse had been left under a pile of rocks. Having nothing that he could do about it, he left Phaedra in the fortress. While this was happening, Haut boarded the ship, and used a relic that he had stolen from Farlarghan to get a better idea of this wondrous vessel that he was in. One room in particular, a chamber at the rough center of the chip called “Elder Brain” drew his attention.
Igtherez ran into Haut, and the two of them made cautious contact. After speaking to each other about the current situation, hat revealed that he could probably do something about the dead Moonspeaker if he had access to Phaedra. Haut gently laid hands on Phaedra, drawing out the spell he needed, and shortly afterward, true resurrected At’Mal Uamii.
The three of them returned to town, which immediately erupted in more bedlam. Some of it was attributed to Nox, who fervently denied it. The Moonspeaker spoke, and explained what had happened to her, and that the peoples of the islands needed to end this senseless violence against the colonists, for it was not their fault. She also explained the true nature of the Moon That Fell, and advocated a movement of taking greater responsibility for their actions and to widen their perspective. Nox fumed a little bit about the fact that she was preaching essentially what he had been telling them for weeks, except for the “destroy technology and run around the woods naked” part.
The general consensus, including Mourn and Orphan (who got really, really high in the meantime) was that they should go do things, like the cats had told them. Nox did not believe them, but felt that the party needed to go away. Haut didn’t really know what was going on, aside from what he had known coming in (he had no idea what the party’s purpose was, only that there had been disturbances on this world), but someone gave him the short version.
He was so shocked by the gravity of the situation that he dropped to his knees and prayed.
His prayer was answered, by a cat-shaped hole in reality. Mourn stared into the abyss. The abyss stared back. It was a singularly unpleasant experience.
This cat-which-was-not-a-cat explained that it was freer to speak, for the other Cats were bound by the fact that they existed. By putting aside the thing that he was, Haut had allowed this cat-which-was-not-a-cat to come and speak to them. It answered their questions as best as it could, explaining that “The One Who Set All In Motion” forbade it from explaining some things.
Nox was still unconvinced. So the cat-which-was-not-a-cat showed them.
The cat also showed them what had happened up to now- The Mists had brought 4 champions to The End of Time to steal Time from Time itself, but one of them was betrayed by another, and caught. The other three, a grotesquely obese male man-sized figure, a matronly halfling-sized figure in a dress, and a long, lithe feminine creature, the height of human, but the build suggested an elf, escaped. The Aspects of Oxia Gensh made a deal with Then, Now, and Soon, The Rat had been first to sacrifice its divinity in exchange for another year, and Manriki, Dogar and Aria had fought Dulok KillAll and saved a Moment, but it was not enough.
Finally, the party was convinced, at least a little bit. The party wanted to know if anyone else was working on fixing this problem. The cat-which-was-not-a-cat replied that others were doing what they could.
Orphan knew who they should look for to get some straight answers- a wizard called Lulubeans. He talked a lot and wore some fancy clothes, but he probably knew what was going on. Mourn reasoned that it was probably the elf wizard Luvanar, and suggested that when they found him, they let Mourn do the talking, as he would be more receptive to talking with an elf. Orphan suggested that they start looking for Luvanar in Haven, because she knew people there who might know where he was if he wasn’t there.
Igtherez had a tete-a-tete with the ship (more correctly, the ship used her body to speak through her) and found that the ship was flight ready, though not all of the systems were ready. Igtherez showed the ship his memories (the ship would have accessed Phaedra’s memories, but Igtherez forbade it), and indicated where they were, as well as where they needed to go, and suddenly they were flying. It took a few days, during which some exploring and stuff happened.
During the first few days, not much happened, Mourn stole a dagger from Haut and Nox almost beat him to death for brandishing a weapon. Blood drinking happened, but Orphan didn’t like the way that it felt when Mourn drained her life force. Finally, Haut decided to go exploring and wandered into a nest of undead illithids and their just as undead human thralls.
I don’t remember all the details, but somehow through the judicious use of quickened teleports, the party was brought back together before anyone could get killed, though it was close from time to time as mind blasts rang out, stunning Orphan and Kaylen, but in the end, the party prevailed over the living dead as the ship continued to fly through the upper atmosphere toward Haven.