Max comes back from fetching a spell with a note for Tosh (given to him by a messenger spirit in the aether) which is from Chomski the Gnome, asking for help organizing workers. Apparently, word of Tosh’s unionization of the halfling servants at Rathgard had traveled widely. The party decides to head to New Eridell.
Shortly thereafter, they are approached by a half-elven punk-rock bardess named Illiana, sent from New Eridell by Chomski to rendezvous with them and guide them back to the city. She leads them off through the swamp-lands to the South, to follow the river Eastwards to the canyon-lands.
They stop to rest on a raised area of solid ground, and Gortas inadvertently leans against a camouflaged Shambling Mound, which only grows in power as Taliyanna strikes it with lightning. Eventually, the party hacks it to death. Moving Eastward along the river, they come to a skirmish between goblin and lizardman forces. Many in the party are battered and bloodied, thought all enemy combatants were slain or routed. Sadly, the noble savage, Shaka the beastman, met his doom at the wrong end of a catoblepas’s deathgaze. He had loyally served as Taliyanna’s henchman for many months, ever since they saved him from the cave of the klackers way back in the Sundered Valley.
They staged a solemn funeral for Shaka, and then continued on to New Eridell, the many-tiered city in the canyon. Illianna introduced them to Chomski, who delivered an impassioned speech extolling the virtues of a proletarian uprising… but first he needs Tosh to help him instill a unified class consciousness in the racially diverse but uniformly exploited workers.