Around teatime, in a quiet town known for its weaving just twelve miles north of Acryn, a flood of armed men sweep through the town square and the local Tender church. Word flies that the number of men was twenty, fifty and two hundred; rumours disagree whether the attack lasted four or forty minutes; and the reported consequences range from mere upturned looms to kidnapped priests. A few hours into the aftermath, a collection of passing travellers, adventurers and would-be helpers gather alongside the townspeople to offer aid and investigate the attack.
Upon arrival in Weftwell, the situation is chaotic. The party is accosted by townspeople with multiple accounts of the raid. They establish that several orphanage workers and Tender priests were kidnapped, although the orphans are all accounted for. A couple of townspeople offer a reward for the return of their sister, although the adventurers they speak to are too noble-minded to accept. Instead, Haydn rallies a group of adventurers willing to go after the kidnappers. Prim sends a report to the Civil Service.
They race up the northern road and into a downpour of rain. The tracks of the armed troupe are obvious, although when the party decides to investigate a plunge of smoke and a track leading off into the trees they find themselves plunging through the muddy undergrowth. A group of sodden mercenaries greets them with denial of involvement in the raid and requests for dry firewood. Hugh and Xavier harvest flux firewood and Emily summons a flux tiger for which Hugh suggests the name Marigold. The party are largely convinced to leave the mercenaries alone since they have no kidnapped townspeople. Even after Emily snoops and finds cloth which Prim confirms was made in Weftwell, they press on. The mercenaries are relieved to see the last of Marigold, who is delighted to receive a flux toy rat from Hugh. Otto uses scribing magic on his shield to protect them from the worst of the weather.
Further on they are puzzled by the existence of large smooth flux stones, scattered thickly across the consensus road as though deliberately placed. Upon arrival the stones rock and crack, and small hideous men-like creatures with long claws emerge from the eggshells. They are routed, although Marigold sadly meets her end.
The come across a hamlet which comprises principally of a rather pathetic goose farm, whose flock has escaped and is wandering everywhere. They are, in fact, geese on the leese. The farmer beseeches them to herd up the geese and offers money and information. When the party starts to smash his geese into piles of bloody feathers, he instead demands compensation. Otto puts a stop to this by binding his concern. Now floridly unconcerned by anything, the farmer idles in his goose pen while the returning geese peck him to death. It's all rather gruesome.
They received three leads from the farmer before his slow yet chillaxed death: directions to a group of armed nasty sorts who had hostages, directions to a nearby woodland with an artefact-thing, and directions to a large camp of highwaymen in the hills. The adventurers heroically hare off to rescue the hostages. Taxed by the many hours of fast travel, they confront the armed men, who go as far as to kill one of the hostages before they are defeated. Haydn, Leon and Hugh revive and interrogate a mercenary. This reveals there is a larger party of armed men who are loyal to the person behind the raid. He thinks that this is a mage gathering material for a ritual, but doesn't really know; the mercenaries were hired simply to wreak havoc and claim as pay whatever they could grab. He does know that the main force took the Tender priests up to their camp.
Brother Tarkus gleefully proceeds to harvest brains and preserve them in his portable brain vat trolley thing. One of his craniectomy victims is the dead orphanage worker. The others are understandably riled. Bartholomew is experiencing a strong and unplaceable sense of deep disgust with Tarkus, having been exposed to the excommunicant's Gaze of the Gods. Emily, strong-willed even before the act of consuming the heart of a star granted her fey-like confidence, is affronted and furious and champions the demands of the rescued orphanage workers. She refuses to journey with him further, tells him he has no right to dead people's brains and insists that he return the brain to their dead friend. Brother Tarkus does not understand this demand, as with the brain he intends to give Dead Orphanage Worker a second life. After lengthy exchange, with a baffling insight into the philosophy of Brother Tarkus, it is agreed that Brother Tarkus replace the brain of the Dead Orphanage Worker and leave the party. He does so, returning to Acryn with the brains of two downed mercenaries, about whom everyone cares much less.
Brain wired correctly back in, Bartholomew invokes a Tender miracle to resurrect Dead Orphanage Worker, albeit not quite neurologically intact. They send the orphanage workers back to the unsuccessful goose farm. Hugh and Xavier abandon the unconscious mercenaries in the Flux, but not before thoughtfully killing their Wayfinder.
Mindful of the three missing Tender priests, they head up into the hills and find a fortified camp. They storm the palisade and the resulting fight goes poorly, with Emily downed and nearly hacked to pieces by a particularly vicious-minded thug. The one surviving Tender priest is unable to help due to a knife to her throat, but Otto binds the courage of that particular bandit and they swing the fight. Hugh downs the mercenary boss, who reveals that his leader has some babies from Weftwell and has headed to his caves. Hugh takes a moment to liberate valuable items from the mercenary boss and Prim rifles through the camp with similar intent.
The party pushes on, with a feeling that an observer is peering intently into their soul. The Wayfinders in particular sense that someone or something is trying to rummage through their past.
They come to a cave and venture down the rough stone corridor past crude runes and pictures of lithe figures on the wall, drawn in chalk and rust-like paint. The symbols start to glow and drift toward the adventurers, generating strange emotions and causing an inelegant stampede to the next cavern. Here they meet a misshapen figure in oversized robes which don't quite conceal its hunches and twisted features.
The Anomaly accuses the adventurers of wanting to ruin the babies' lives by taking them back to face the ostracism and ridicule of life outside of the world it intends to create for them. It throws more eggshells onto the floor and disappears behind the clambering monsters. Emily tries to confront the Anomaly about its claims to being fey: a baby whose village mocked its deformity and denounced it as a changeling. Meanwhile Prim rummages through the strange living quarters and uncovers books and books of folklore regarding driving changelings out by using eggshells in domestic tasks and tricking the wicked faeries into speaking in surprise. In the next cavern they fight waves of tiny shrill flux faeries until the Anomaly flees.
Finally they confront it before a softly-lit dais, upon which a jumble of furs holds four warmly-dozing babies. They discover that the Anomaly was once a real human, whose village was convinced it was a changeling and drove it out. The Anomaly was found and blessed by the Abnegator, who gave power to its story, and is now driven to save unwanted babies by abducting them and creating more changelings to leave in their place.
A bitter 'changeling' rambling about keeping children from a judgemental world, plus two living snakes formed of rock, won't stop the players from thoroughly rescuing/'dooming' the babies, and dragging off an unconscious Anomaly to boot.
The party briefly debate the destination of the babies - Xavier quite wants one - before deciding to give them back to the Tender orphanage, after reassuring themselves that the children are well-treated and the anomaly was just mad.
They swing by the goose farm on the way, where Prim gives the mourning wife a cloak she made out of feathers of the geese they clobbered to death. This, strangely, does not cheer the wife up and they are ordered to leave.
Back in Acryn, they leave the anomaly in the safe and capable hands of the Wayfinders' Guild. Prim promptly reports to the Civil Service, who agree to point her in the right direction of a mastercrafted dagger. She also shows the jewellery and documents she took from the highwaymen's camp. One of the documents happens to elucidate the insurance of a wealthy intestate estate and is very valuable!
Xavier had discussions with Jimmy Hoskins and with the Rampant regarding Divinity. When the Rampant hears about Otto's views, he requests Xavier set up a meeting between them. Otto cautiously and briefly ventures out of the Strossbourgian Embassy to meet this learned mage authority on divinity. He is shocked to hear the Rampant has no published papers, but he suggests the Rampant gives a guest lecture at the University. The Rampant is delighted to accept. An offer of help regarding Otto's deformity is cautiously rejected.