Lotus addict Trimalchio and jolie-laide boxer Barnaby (plus sidekick Agatha the Swamp Witch and minus partner-in-crime Violette) join forces with Prince Darwin Puck IV, one of the many mortal sons of the vast and inscrutable Queen of Albion. They decide to pursue a bounty offered by Dame Balustrade of the Knights Tentacular and destroy a disturbing black tower to the north. The party decides from the get go to ignore her warnings to not examine the tower closely under any circumstances whatsoever from the beginning, but buy explosives to keep up appearances. The charismatic Barnaby and the dashing Prince Puck spend a day to convince Qelong scholar Pran Praw and Albion druid Arminius to help them. Hiring Gator and his trusty(?) airboat once again, they depart.
On the way they encounter some trigger-happy fellow travelers who open fire when they notice Trimalchio looking at them with his spy glass. The party kills two of them, leaving a woman and her two children alive. It turns out they had fought their way past several bandit gangs, and thought the party was more of the same. They let her go, but keep a crate of her linens as recompense. Trimalchio tries to bind the ghosts of the men who attacked them into bullets, but in his incompetence awakens a crocodile spirit instead. It promises not to eat them if they feed it daily, and they accept.
The next day, a pack of coyotes attacks the airboat as it passes through a narrow channel between islands. The crocodile spirit demands that they kill some so it can feed, and Prince Puck almost shoots the hireling druid Arminius so they can feed him to the crocodile spirit instead. The coyotes attack and manage to maul Agatha before being fought off. Trimalchio takes more lotus powder so he can say goodbye for Barnaby, and while Agatha is not particularly impressed, she agrees to possess Barnaby's armor so she doesn't have to pass on to the afterlife. Arminius, not too happy about almost being made into a human sacrifice, runs away, trying his like in the wilds.
The rest of the trip is unevenful, save for the final day, when three butterfly demons attack the boat just as the tower is in sight. One tries to put the party to sleep, another attacks Barnaby, while a third vomits onto the floor of the boat, partially dissolving it. The party dispatches them with ease, mopping up the butterfly acid with some of their stolen linens, and Pran Praq tells them that butterfly demons were once a civilized tribe on their own, but were twisted by the influence of some past civilization.
They make it to the tower, which is located on a perfectly circular island. They explore a tunnel located near the tower (the grass around it is dead, and the plants that do live are growing away from it). They find a single room with a water-filled, transparent column in the center. They see something murky floating in it, and Pran Praq notes that submersion is one of the few weaknesses of the Night Tribe. Barnaby, who had taken one of the butterfly demon heads as a trophy, notices that it begins speaking in this room. Prince Puck takes a rubbing of some strange writing they find, and everyone quickly leaves before anything happens. They spend the rest of the day having visions in the tower, which Prince Puck identifies as a monument of the Night Tribe. Barnaby and Trimalchio acquire a yet-to-be determined new sensitivity to magic, while Prince Puck, already well acquainted with magic, learns the sorcerous art of the Rime Key, but the process permanently turns his shadow big and scary. Trimalchio realizes he won't have enough lotus powder to stave off withdrawal all the way back to Houndport.
Boat Status: 1 small hole, bottom partially dissolved but still unbreached.