Young Lady Yolinde Garenburg hugs her father in joy and relief. The lord is pleased and gladly rewards the fellowship with gold for their deed, plus freedom for ambassador Lorelei. A big feast is thrown to celebrate the return of the princess, and there is enough delicious food that even Drugo is satisfied (for the next ten minutes or so). Things are starting to finally turn good for the Fellowship of the Goose.
Too good actually. And like in any story worth to read, good time never lasts.
After going to sleep, the fellows awaken in a dark place dotted by stars, where the concept of space is distorted. In this dimension, betraying the natural perception of motion, the fellows are lost, barely able to hold themselves together. It is Timotheus, with a stroke of genius, to address the situation at hand: he manages summoning the beings which were the swamp daughters when trapped in the material dimension. They hastily lead the party to an exito of that plane of existence. But when finally the fellows manage to drift back home, they find it changed.
The walls of Leavendale are damaged under the visible signs of siege engines attacks, the city is cramped with war refugees, plenty of which are dwarves. Everything is so different. The fellows find their old friend Gory among the town beggars, visibly aged, and one arm short. “Where were you guys when we needed you?” yells he at the adventurers. Then, among sobs, he starts telling them the mishap that befell these lands in these fifteen years of their absence.
The kingdom of Morrain is no more. After the murder of the previous King, all went in disarray: some lords as Garenburg itself would not accept that new imposter of King they put of the throne afterwards, and after some time, Galaron became annexed to the northern alliance, leaving other cities of previous Morrain alone, to fend for themselves.
Then war spread from the south. A new Dragon Empire, branding the holy symbols of goddess Nemesis, arose, conquering lands by force, and forcing worshippers of the various churches to convert to their goddess or face execution. Cillamar fell under the advance of the Dragon Emperor’s army. Gory barely managed to escape, but at high price, and he knows not what happened to the other Hommletians.
The situation seems dire enough: the fellows feel out of place, still trying to figure out what happened to them, how did they travel so forward in time. Gory suggests that maybe a powerful mage, like Alfrond, may hold the answers that they seek, but where to find him?