After returning Phlebitson safely to the Colm Academy, Ross Meyer, Pikok, and Chuckman travel first to Osmus in order to track down what remains of the Steel Hunters (who may or may not be connected to the Steel Star resistance movement in Sharash).
After a cold reception in Osmus, they meet the Evaluator, who explains that the villagers are afraid of newcomers after the events of session 2. While trading some of their goods, a disguised Pikok buys a motion sensor and a disguise kit after he fails to purchase a marble statuette that he wants to eat. Chuckman and the Evaluator also excitedly discuss art, including the figurine and a pleasant-feeling cloth that has nano fibers that directly stimulate a person’s nerves.
Finally, after great length, the Evaluator gives the party a free pass across the Cloudbridge. As they approach, two villagers walk toward the party from the bridge, the toll booth just barely within sight and the impressive bridge glinting in the sunlight of high noon. The men mutter that the three explorers are fools and that no traveler who has set foot in the bridge ever returned. Ross takes huge offense to these whispers, so he lifts one pedestrian by his scrawny little neck to get more information out of him. Pikok “helps” by turning the man’s skin purple and showing his true form, which actually makes the interrogatee more willing to talk. He claims that ghosts have been seen roaming through the bridge and even at the outskirts of Osmus, including one that looks like a rock-man. Alarmed at that tidbit, Pikok tells Ross and Chuckman the story of his insane father who may have been caught in a trans-dimensional accident, the same one that gave him his phase-shifting powers. With that, Ross lets the hapless villager go.
An eight-foot-tall toll collector and guard, however, gets out of his booth and draws his ax, demanding to know why the group is roughing up one of the villagers. Ross clears up the predicament and Pikok produces the pass, which the ogre accepts. He even offers the adventurers some helpful advice—while he claims to not have seen any ghosts, he’s heard rumors about giant bugs that nest in a maze in the center of the bridge.
See bridge devastation, caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in centuries past.
Find three corpses of so-called giant bugs (actually varakith).
Recover a fire “explosive sphere”, an old diary about the final days of a doctor who lived in the Cloudbridge, and a book of medicine that Pikok wants to use to train in healing.
At dusk, just as the party reaches the maze entrance and starts to make camp, a blurry shape approaches them and tries to attack. It is an ellnoica, a two-legged squidlike beast that normally lives underground. It first lashes out with its tentacles at Pikok, who is completely unfazed by the attack. Ross grapples with it, allowing Chuckman and Pikok to savagely cut a tentacle off and cut open its side. When Ross loses his footing and gets his left leg stuck in a hole, the creature breaks free, but Pikok swiftly beheads it and helps Chuckman lift him out. They look down through the hole to a beautifully-lit valley full of trees and grass—a thousand feet below them…
Night approaches, bringing with it a small full moon and a multi-colored lightning storm that looks almost like fireworks blazing in the distance. At last, it is safe enough to sleep.