After tea it is time to go to Corian's family home for dinner. Bronwyn pointedly takes Corian's arm on our way back and Finn sulks at the back of the posse.
As we arrive a tall muscular man in robes does too. He and Corian greet each other and embrace. Diparen asks if Corian has found a wife yet. Diparen kisses the backs of everyone's hands (Evie, Finn, Roxy, and Muriel but Bronwyn does not let him). Corian tells Diparen that we are looking for some knowledge from the church. Diparen says Herne, Corian's mentor, has been missing for awhile. Herne went to investigate the Witches of Rowan Hollow on his own and has been missing for a week – he should have returned four days ago.
Inside Corian's mother calls him her "baby boy" and she asks who the lucky girl is and Bronwyn volunteers it is her. Bronwyn gives her a hug and Diparen and Prolius look very surprised. Diparen asks Roxy about the Knight Blades and she is very cool about it. Diparen tells Roxy a story she has heard from Corian before but somehow it is completely new to her when Diparen is telling it. In the kitchen Prolius asks Corian about Bronwyn. Diparen sits himself between Evie and Roxy.
The Witches are practioners of Free Magic and not so much with the Charter. Diparen says they have an "uneasy" alliance with the Witches. Herne went to meet the Witches because he was trying to make peace with them after a few disputes with the border guards. Corian says Herne is a "master" of martial fighting with magic. The Witches were upset with the people of the town of Weyland because they were cutting down trees. Muriel suggests using a tracking spell to find Herne if we had something of his to work off of.
Evie states she would like to hear some embarassing stories about Corian. Finn asks about sending post from the island and then also asks to use some paper and pen. Finn is pointedly writing to his and Bronwyn's mother and aunt.
Apparently leaving to find a wife is a thing on this island to avoid inbreeding. Diparen isn't married yet though just because he "hasn't had the time". Women too leave to find husbands. It's also a way to prevent the island's culture from becoming too insular.
There are some rumors about kidnappings in the west by the Blood Horse Tribe. They were one of the three tribes of the north that refused to unify with other tribes and left the mainland. The Blood Horse Tribe live in an area crawling with Free Magic creatures. The Blood Horse Tribe may be kidnapping decendants of the Silver Moon Tribe (who also never unified).
During dessert some people in heavy armor with swords pull up in a carriage and sound like they come into the living room. Evie asks Corian's mom if they are expecting guests. It's Prolius's wife apparently. Two women, Diparen's sister and Prolius's wife, come in half-armored having shed parts of it in the living room. Esael winces as Corian hugs her and reveals she has a big gash on his arm. She's also seven months pregnant and Prolius is looking at her worriedly. Esael warns him that she's not about to start "doting" on this child before it is even born. Finn heals Esael. Corian introduces us all.
Evie tells Corian's family to avoid Hastinean. Prolius says scholars come from the mainland and usually go to the church. Diparen hasn't been to the church for awhile though. There aren't Abhorsens on the island but there are orders of monks that do similar jobs. There are orders for each of The Nine. Corian is from the order of Kibeth, Herne is of the order of Astarael and essentially acts as an Abhorsen. Only a handful of the monks carry necromancer's bells and some can sense the Dead. Evie is getting visibly upset. Corian suggests they take a walk, stop by the church and the airship.
Muriel, Finn, and Evie go back to the airship to check on Arielle. We see two figures in robs close to the airship. One is incredibly tall and sniffing around the air of the airship. It whips around and sniffs at us. It tells the shorter person that Finn is infected. The woman says Haadasa is the same of the thing and it also knows there is something Dead on the ship. They are part of the order of Orannis. The Haadasa apparently seek out things that should not be and destroy them.
They suggest we register our "Undead servant" and the church. Haadasa will also look at Finn's arm if we go by the church later. Haadasa is kind of lizardy with horns. And the woman says the thing in Finn will take over him if left too long – it may reach his brain sooner or later. Finn is concerned about losing his arm. Haadasa looks at Finn's arm and licks it, then starts to do some magic to him. It clamps down on Finn's upper arm. Some corrupted Charter marks now hold the thing in Finn in check for the next few days. They say it is a malignant Free Magic creature and they have seen similar things before.
Muriel asks about the creature that was attached to Cervane. They says it is a Gormoranth and were thought to be all gone from the world. Finn's arm didn't like attacking it because it doesn't want to harm other Free Magic creatures. We need to visit Hueszil to get something done to keep Finn's infection from spreading to his brain.
Meanwhile Corian and Bronwyn are on their way to the church. Bronwyn says she's sorry for being so forward but mostly she was doing all that to get a rise out of Finn and Evie. Corian says Finn is worried about her but it's coming from a good place. And he tells Bronwyn that she shouldn't run around with him if she's doing it to get at her brother. Bronwyn says she genuinely likes him though. Bronwyn wants to prove herself on this adventure but Corian warns her about danger.
The church has nine bells, Charter marks, and symbols of Free Magic. There are only a handful of worshippers here this time at night. Corian starts pointing out places at the church and monestary to Bronwyn. The monks are not surprised by Corian bringing a woman to the monestary quarters after hours. Corian gathers some hair from Herne's comb.
Meanwhile Diparen and Roxy have gotten into a bar brawl!
Numea, head of the Orannis, was ailing and merged with her Free Magic companion and became Haadasa. The Ranna have been saying the woods are waking and they're nervous the kidnapping of Silver Moon Tribe people has something to do with it. Supposedly the Silver Moon Tribe kept certain things sleeping.
Finn will stay with the airship overnight. Corian says the Orannis are sometimes overzealous.
We leave Finn and Bronwyn alone. They discuss their respective romantic entanglements.
Diperan wants to see Roxy to Clayr Seeing. The meditate together (but not naked). Roxy Sees a live area of the woods on the island. There are black robed figures with white death masks. They look directly at Roxy and point at her and harmonize and Roxy snaps out of her vision with a headache. Diperan tells her she Saw the Witches. And Roxy goes to bed with Diperan.
The next day Roxy tells us about her vision. Finn and Evie go to the church. Finn brings tea and flowers to Haadasa and its translator. Haadasa smells the tea and eats the flowers.
We decide to search for Herne first. Muriel sets the airship to Weylyn. Finn prepares a Silence spell.
Corian mentions Roxy disappeared last night. She says she went to a bar and then did her Sight thing.