Our heroes manage to get rested up and meet back up with Cregga who has been hiding out in the woods and has managed to avoid detection by the roving bands of local witch-hunters. Upon hearing the sounds of dogs from the way they came in, they embark out the back way that hobgoblin Grue told them about.
Before long, they come across a band of zombies. Rhys manages to rebuke all seven of them. Unfortunately, this causes the one in the back to drop a sack he was holding and monstrous centipedes come swarming out of it. (They actually look more like giant millipedes.)
The centipodlets (Why not? They’re clearly not typical monstrous centipedes.) manage to attach themselves to the spines of Bey and Rhys. Their many legs have little squirming finger-like things on the tips of them that dig into the skin around the spine and connect to the nervous system. An intelligence which seems far beyond what you’d expect from vermin invades their minds and makes them attack their allies. Eventually, they are freed from them and all the centipedes are destroyed followed by the zombies. Based on their behavior, Rhys suspects these aren’t wandering zombies but that they’re actually under the command of some cleric.
They continue down the path which goes for a couple of miles before opening out further inland. With the sounds of the dogs behind them, they follow the hummingbird which has reappeared and seems to be trying to take them somewhere. The magical broken tile Rhys carries grows warmer the further they go.
As the dogs get closer, they find themselves in a clearing at the top of a hill with a very old and neglected small shrine in the middle. A peace envelops them and apparently affects the dogs as well which give up the chase and lie down calmly as soon as they enter the clearing. Rhys recognizes the statue to be the goddess Paxar Mensax, considered the Messenger of the gods by her followers, though her following is thin and she has grown increasingly obscure in recent times. The statue triggers the memory of a dream he had last night in which the goddess was attempting to speak to him desperately but he could only see her lips moving. The screaming voices drowned her out. He sees a gap in the tiles surrounding a fountain that matches the magical tile they found on a skeleton earlier and places it. The shrine seems to wake up, in a manner of speaking. Vines grow over the new tile and water begins to flow in the fountain. The peace of the place grows stronger.
Rhys’ discovers a greater silence here than he’s felt since the voices began screaming in his head and feels called to enter meditation. When he does so, he comes in contact with Paxar who has an urgent message for him.
“My followers have failed to answer my call. This island is in the eye of a growing storm. Something more ancient than the gods themselves is awakening. It screams with the voices of thousands of tormented souls, drowning out the voices of the gods. Now that you are here, I can put you back in contact with your god, but you must repay me by going to the mainland and carrying my message with you. This I do for you only with your promise that you will carry my message to all clerics you cross paths with no matter how strongly you feel about their faiths. Touch them and tell them they must go deeper into meditation. They must quiet themselves and clear their minds and listen to the still quiet voice within. Do this and I can reach them as I have reached you.
It has been sleeping since even before the oldest of gods came to be. Some speculate that it consumed the gods who came before us. They have begun to call it the god killer. The gods are aware that we must put aside our petty squabbling to deal with this dreaded beast. Now go. I will guide you as far as I can in hopes that you can escape those who hunt you and reach the mainland."