Jarry, before heading off into the woods to console himself, conclusively identifies the creature we have slain as a Doppelganger, able to change into the shape of anything it sees of the same thing as it. Geth moves toward the bear, but upon second look, it is no longer there. Caela instructs Joss to execute a search pattern with Beast Sense active and detects the bear moving toward the southeast to a more densely wooded area away from Hommlet. One of the villagers approaches Caela as she narrates her sight, and a villager approaches asking if she said something about a brown bear. He explains that Jaru had a brown bear as an animal companion, named Tanek, who was nowhere to be found around the time Jaru went missing.
Geth would know that any sort of magical connection between Jaru and the bear would have dissipated at Jaru’s death, and any information still present in the bear’s mind would be rapidly departing. Caela checks for tracks. Caela and Lauris are able to find humanoid tracks from around one of the burnt trees, apparently running away at a good clip. Lauris would say the person was badly hurt. Balyx pontificates about the doppelganger as an abomination and asks about what time the druid began acting strangely, and the villagers replied it was a week ago, but that Tanek had not been seen for two.
We decide to head back to the Welcome Wench, where the villagers seem to be heading, as darkness arrives. We pass the night without incident in the Wench, after hearing the villagers speak of the events at Jaru’s grove, and express that they should lock their doors tonight. We notice that one of the hands, a human female, is not working tonight.
In the morning, we set about deciding whether to track down the bear or to head to the Moathouse, which has been mentioned quite a lot recently. Geth brings up the missing wait staff to a passing server. Maridison, as she is named, has been out for the past few days but should be in later in the day. Lauris attempts to intimidate her into disclosing the girl’s location, but it does not work. Balyx goes to ask the barman about the Moathouse. He goes on about Tharizdun, the construction of the moathouse, and some connection of the Temple of Elemental Evil. He says strange things have been happening there over the past month or so.
Having gathered some information, we resolve to head to the moathouse.