Characters: Pierre, Ginger, Bayleen, Simon, Vicar Horace, Tol, Jortan, Candara
Milo and Maleka seem to have completed their mission and feel vindicated. They return home.
Pierre is asked to help with the new mine due to his expert knowledge of this deep mines.
The church asks Ginger to take on a special mission. They are sending a package south which may need special protection. The trip would take about 2 weeks to deliver the package and return with a reply.
Bayleen finds work in the Cassino.
Pablo approaches Simon with a request. He has learned that some of the gang members are still held up in their hideout in the desert. On one of the bodies recovered in the 'war', a crude map was found that seems to indicate the hideout location. Will Simon lead a covert mission (no more that 2 or 3) into the desert to scout out the hideout? He can't afford to send his thin troops into the dessert on what might be a futile mission. If he can find the hideout, then he should return with details and Pablo will lead a party out to take the hideout.
Pierre learns that the owner of the mine started digging the deepest mine he has ever heard of about a year ago. 3 months ago or so, the struck a vein of some strange ore that Pierre has never seen before. They have been mining the ore ever since. The workers are paid well but are encouraged to keep quite about their work.
Bayleen learns that the Cassino is now begin run by a manager hired by the new owner of the Cassino. The Cassino is doing well.
Simon leads a group (Simon, Bayleen, and Horace plus two town guards Tol and Jortan) to the gang hideout but it is deserted. Inside, they find signs that it has been deserted for about a week and the its residents left in a hurry. There are signs of healing: clean and bloody bandages, wood for splints, empty of jars of salve, discarded ruined clothing, etc. [including one set of partially burned clothes].
As they are leaving, Simon's party is almost overrun by mountain lions and is only saved when a falling star slams into the hill near them. They also see other falling stars land north and south of their position. The flash and explosion send the mountain lions running and they are saved. After healing, they return to Jasper.
They tell Pierre about the falling stars and he suggest that they return and examine the site. Sometimes valuable material can be found at these sites. Pablo has also asked Simon to return and place a device that would detect if the bandit hideout was re-occupied. Pierre also asks an Illusionist he knows named Candara to come along since she is a specialist dealing with Astrology and the heavens seem to be involved. The two missions can be combined and the entire party goes along.
At the impact site, Pierre discovers the very ore that they are digging for in the deep mine. He ends up telling the party about this and how dangerous it would be to try and sell this ore.
That night, Candara is reading the stars when she notices an evil Omen in the sky foretelling the end of the world by the close of the year.