- Our four heroes decide to start making sense of the situation by seeing the mysterious child for themselves. Before they leave they try to take a sprig of the plant Ellington used to incapacitate himself. Will accidently pricks himself and falls unconscious.
- The posse slightly alters their appearances to fit in with the city’s new atmosphere and ask residents how they can see the child. The people say there is a tribute every day where people bring toys and gifts.
- That afternoon, a large crowd gathers around a stage in the courtyard of Tam’s former estate and presents their gifts for the child while Emperor Norton says platitudes. After some time passes the child does not appear and people begin to disperse.
- Abigale sees a humanoid figure appear that only she can see, covered in chains, metal plates, and a vine, with maggots and slime emerging from it’s orifices; the figure from her previous visions. It shakes its head at her before vanishing without a word.
- Abigale and Anafiel find a place removed from the milling crowd to talk through what she has just seen. They realize that it has actually been the earth spirit appearing to her in visions and that something happened to the spirit when Abigale destroyed the Amulet of Rashamir. They also suspect the tentacle monster may have survived.
- Max climbs up a tree to sneak into the main building for a glimpse of the child.
From behind a sliding door you hear the sounds of sobbing and a woman’s voice. Bending over to look through the space between the door and the floor, you see a large room painted in bright colors and filled with piles of toys. At one side of the room a Caucasian woman in her forties is rocking something back and forth, hidden from your view.
“It’s okay…it’s okay… Tomorrow there will be new toys.”
You hear the sobs of a male child. “I wanted it to be a new one.”
“Here, you got a lot of new books today. I’ll read you one.”
“I don’t want to read anymore stupid books.” The child appears to shove her away and steps into view.
He is the ugliest child you have ever seen. Many parts of his body are grotesque and distorted. The hair on his head grows down his back. One eye is larger than the other and sags down the side of his face. He wears no shoes, not that you image he could; his feet have only three toes each. On a more perplexing note, an inorganic looking cord comes out from under his clothes and coils across the room out of sight.
The “child” rummages through the toys, throwing most of them aside, before turning back to his caretaker.
“Teach me about letters!”
She gets up immediately, walks to a small blackboard, and writes the alphabet, starting with “A”. The child quickly starts fidgeting and grumbles.
“I’m bored.” He stands up and walks to a corner where he forms a fetal position on the floor.
“I’m still having nightmares about those same people, especially that woman who hurt me twice.” He wraps his arms around himself. “I think…I think I might have seen her today.”
- Max sneaks out of the estate to rejoin the other two and they start walking back to the city. On the way they spot an empty lot with only the foundation and the basement of a former building remaining.
- At a general store next door the posse asks about the demolished building. The storekeeper says that it was a church that was calling the child a demon. When they investigate the remains the heroes find only a few articles for church services and an unadorned cross.
- The posse brings each other up to date on all the information they have so far. Abigale suspects that the child referred to her when he talked about his nightmares. After talking to more people they realized that the earth spirit’s petroglyph is within the boundaries of the spell and make their way towards it.
- A well-marked trail now leads the way to the cave that is surrounded by guard towers and floodlights.