Ulrich had Martikov pinned, and his nature as a wereraven was revealed. Sensing that there may be more to the story, however, Alston blanketed the inn with a fog spell, preventing much of the group from harming Martikov. That did not include Ulrich, however, who pummeled the poor man into submission. Broken and battered, Martikov didn’t fight back. He merely scrambled to shield himself and beg for his life.
The party quickly realized that Martikov was no threat, despite being a werecreature. Ulrich grappled him while they interrogated him. He explained that, yes, he is a wereraven, just like his wife and children, whom he sent away when the old burgomaster was slain. Vallakovich had known their secret and kept them safe, but he was not confident that Wachter would offer the same refuge. He claimed to know nothing about the Red Woman, except that she appears in dreams when the moon is full and the desire to do harm rises. Wereravens consider her a demon, even though she seems to hold less sway over them than other lycanthropes.
As the discussion went on, the party heard a resonant howl from outside. Tsora and Andrei went out to find the source. Andrei cast light on an alleyway and revealed a wolf, snarling but very sick and weak. It was drooling and stumbling, clearly unwell. Tsora used her spells to speak with the animal, and learned that it had eaten some meat that was left near the forest’s edge, which tasted of “strange plants”—clearly it had been poisoned. She used her druidcraft to create autumn leaves, symbolic of the wolf’s favorite season, and gave it a somber but respectful send-off.
At this point, more howls rang out into the night. This time, however, they were joined by the sound of glass shattering as massive, hulking werewolves broke through the windows and doors of the inn. This led to a difficult battle. The werewolves hit hard, but the party’s ace in the hole was Tsora’s command of the moonbeam spell, which reverted them back to their non-lycanthropic forms. Curiously, however, those forms were not what was expected—first a dog, then a badger, then a pony, and at last finally a derelict human who appeared to have been living on the streets. Only this last one survived the fight. His name was Vladislav, and he claimed that the last thing he remembered was sleeping in an alleyway, dreaming he was being chased by bloody wolves.
They managed to get a bit more information from Martikov as the bloodshed ended. He explained that wereravens are generally more in control of themselves than other lycanthropes. However, the major organization of wereravens has forsaken him and his family for their ties to human society. This group, known ominously as “the Cabal,” at which name the party perked their ears, consider themselves superior to humans. They renounce human custom, believe that they are guided by pure logic, and pursue science and experimentation above all else.
With this new information on the shadowy organization that has come up a few times in their adventure thus far, the party decided to retire for the night. They persuaded Martikov to let them stay the night, as they patched up both him and his inn as much as possible. He agreed.
In the night, however, Alston awoke to a sound by his window. It was Piccolo the vengeful monkey! He roused Tsora so that she could use her magic to communicate, which she did. From Piccolo, they learned that the poisoned meat was being put out by an old vistani man. Tsora convinces Piccolo to come find her the next time he sees this man. And with that, they returned to bed.