Outside a small fishing village of Zhongdao…
As the party returns from the Shrine of Water, they see oily, black smoke rising from Fu Lim’s village. Though Fu Lim and others want to charge directly into battle, Sulsashi convinces the party to divert and meet up with her retinue, who they find waiting nearby and watching.
The Black Riders have come to the village, and have rounded up the villagers. Many were already dead, and the riders were going door-to-door, searching for something or someone.
Deciding that the most important thing is to rescue the villagers, the party decides to assault the riders through the village while the Dragonborn evacuate the villagers to A’tuin. Gin and Strawhat sneak forward. Gin is able to hear the Butcher, having survived their previous fight, interrogating the prisoners. Strawhat dispatches one of the riders, but is seen by others, and battle is joined.
Thanks to Fu Lim sealing off most of the riders with a wall of water, the party only has to face the Butcher and a portion of his soldiers. Even this is a dangerous fight, as the Butcher makes use of abilities that clearly mark him as the Metal Dragon, as well as the Swallowtail Sword, allowing him to swiftly move between targets.
Gin, Strawhat, Huijin, and Shiro are all downed at least once during the fight, but after coming to the brink of defeat the party is able to defeat the Butcher. Stabbing him after he’s been defeated, they carry his corpse with them onto A’tuin, and manage to escape just before the rest of the Black Riders can catch up with them.
As the party heads towards Stone Serpent Keep, with Fu Lim and the Butcher’s corpse, they begin to see something unheard of. The fatal wounds the Butcher has suffered begin to knit together. Fearing the worst, the party leaves a blade stuck through the Butcher’s heart, and resolve to get to the bottom of his power.