We pick up at sundown (roughly 8:30pm) at the teleportation circle, exactly where we were when Andraki snatched us. Seru bolts immediately, disappearing into the woods; ten minutes later, Tiny appears with letters in his mouth, addressed to each member of the party. Seru has decided to leave the group.
As the sun goes down, the traumatized party troops back to the castle to wait out the night. Betha and Remi herd Andra and Ondelin along; they will not walk on their own, but will catch themselves before falling, so there’s a lot of sharp tugging involved, but they all make it eventually. Yannic puts Kean’s circlet on and tells Kean to come to him; Kean is so far away that the connection is faint, and he can’t be more specific than that until Kean comes closer.
They set up watches for the night, but only Remi and Fen manage to sleep, and there is a god-induced unnatural calm in the area besides. They decide to ask Remi’s ghost friends about the whole mind-control situation, and also discover that the diamond on the collar around Ondelin’s neck more or less is Ondelin, minus a bit – that missing bit is in the diamond dust on the circlet, and is heavily enchanted (some sort of Raise Dead spell).
They put Andra’s circlet onto Andra’s head, to see if that completes the circuit. It sort of works; she starts moving, nodding twice and then responding to yes or no questions put to her in the same manner (she can’t speak, but she knows what’s happening; she can walk or run if necessary; she’s not acting of her own volition; she’s not undead).
Remi and Kaiva decide to act as emissaries, sending a Sending to Lone Wolf to ask for help. She is Displeased With Them, but agrees to help in exchange for, you guessed it, a Planar Blade. Kaiva, Remi, and Ondelin (and maybe Fen? Idk if we ever explicitly said one way or the other) head to Wheatfield to talk to her. Wheatfield is mostly still standing, a little worse for wear.
Lone Wolf agrees to examine Ondelin and put off claiming the Planar Blade until she manages to help the three puppet people, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like she can. They were probably killed and split during their resurrection into the two diamond pieces (the life is the collar diamond, the soul is the circlet dust). Only a few people she knows of could manage to either cast this sort of magic or undo it, not counting gods. One of those people is dead, and one of them (she implies) is Keanvari.
The party reunites in Keyberry Ford. Andra is slightly more animated than she was, but doesn’t report feeling any differently when asked. Kaiva decides to Be Brave and Repress Her Feelings by fully investigating the rooms in the castle they didn’t explore before. In the tiny room off the kitchen that isn’t the meat locker, she finds a few beds, a pair of mostly-shattered glasses, some cloth, and the lock on the kitchen-side of the door. Also, the knife setup in the kitchen exactly matches the knife setup in the little Keyberry house. Dun dun dun.
Three days pass in this manner, Fen controlling Andra to make her keep watch (and Andra manages to sleep during this time, which neither Ondelin nor – we are soon to discover – Kean have done). Yannic and Remi have some Bro Talks and Cuddles, and then Kean is close enough for Yannic to tell him to teleport.
Kean immediately teleports to Keyberry Ford, walking up to Yannic, inadvertently knocking the figure clinging to his back onto the ground. The figure identifies themself as Ulita, and says they’ve been traveling with Kean the past few days, because they found him a catatonic hot nerd just standing, and then he started walking? And that was weird, so they went along. They ask a ton of questions (accidentally provoking Yannic’s ire as they go), eat, and then immediately fall asleep, because the only rest they’ve had over the past four days is what they could snatch while koalaed onto Kean’s back.
The newcomer asleep, it’s time for a Team Meeting! Kean gets to wear his circlet and can answer questions. He’s capable of fixing what’s been done to them, but he lacks the materials – specifically, he needs himself. Yannic gets him some paper and he draws a flask, a jar, and a gem, and then tells Yannic to put the circlet on.
Now mind-to-mnd, Kean has more communication ability, and tells Yannic that they need an extremely powerful potion (possibly specifically the potions from the royale? that was a bit unclear to your faithful chronicler), to distill it down (hence the jar), and a gem to replace the diamond in the collar.
Yannic, slightly overwhelmed, just keeps apologizing and takes the circlet off. As it goes, he hears Kean’s voice in his head, clear and fully Kean, say, “It’s okay.” We end on Yannic having a good cry in his best friend’s arms.