- Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Militiaman and entrepreneur.*
- 4th, Hobgoblin Militiaman and lackadaisical refugee.*
- Arren Pokthy, Punk kid.*
- Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork.*
- Ezma, Goblin fan-girl of Edwin.
- Rook, Changeling Theologian.
Edwin’s devotee, Ezma, finally awakes to see what all the hubbub is abou, but 4th prefers to roll over and continue sleeping. Coming out of the hut she shares with Ed & 4, she hustles over to the Church, just in time to join Edwin (with Mazagog in tow) to find the monsters that had exploded out of the boy having vanished (Rook & Arren having decided not to reveal they are the new hosts), and the one other witness, Pane’re, having fainted now the fight is over. Mayor Bailey orders Edwin, Mazagog & Ezma to clean the place up. Edwin “delegates” to the other two and persuades (aka annoys) the Mayor into letting him “investigate” the incident. The boy who had been infested previously is now dead due to his injuries and the villagers turn to discuss purifying and burying the poor soul, as well as consoling his parents.
Arren has his parents take him to see the herbalist Rhiannon after failing to talk them into leaving for a more civilized settlement with an actual doctor, complaining he feels sick (since he keeps his infestation to himself, they put his upset down to nerves and give him some whisky to settle him). Rook also heads over to visit the herbalist (as does Edward and Ezma as soon as they can get away from the Mayor & the Church), and they discuss events with Faust (who has been waiting patiently with Caran at the Weird Sister’s home all this time). Rook suggests the centipedes are not Demons, as the villagers believe, and asks Rhiannon how they might be excised from a host. She suggests a purgative to poison the body, but warns it could potentially be deadly for the host as much as for the parasite within. Edwin questions Caran, who can only recall playing a game of “find the faerie” with her brother the day before at the forest’s edge, before wandering as if in a dream until finding a door etched in blood in a tree. Rook thinks it might be a religious or Occult symbol but if so neither he nor Lanja know of it. Deciding to hold off further investigation until nightfall the gang decide to rest for the rest of the day (Rook to recover from his injuries, the members of the Night-watch because of their nocturnal business, and Arren because his parents ply him with enough alcohol to settle him down after his stressful day). Faust retreats from Respite into the forest’s edge after some suggest the villagers are spooked and suspicious of him, and nests in a tree until evening.
That night the Night-watch (along with Rook, Faoust & Arren) gather around the watch-fire to discuss options. When Rook reveals he has one of the parasites within him, 4th smacks him with his staff to encourage it to come out, but succeeds only in making Rook fear for his life. Edwin also reports that Caran disappeared sometime during the day while they all slept. After much prodding from Faust, several of the others (Edwin, Ezma, 4th & Arren) agree to search the woods with him to find the blood-etched door and the missing girl (deifying the Mayor’s standing order that no one enter the woods).
The expedition spends much of the night scouring the woods, until they eventually spot a flickering firelight and smell frying bacon. Suspicious, they send Ezra up ahead to scout it out. When she returns she describes a half-dozen naked and scarred humans armed with sickles dancing around a campfire, roasting an unidentified humanoid on a spit. They decide to leave well-enough alone and retreat to Respite where they turn in and sleep throughout much of the day.
When they rise the following evening they discover the village in turmoil as a baby has been stolen, his cry’s clearly audible from deep in the woods…