"The Meowtain Path"
The mayor and father of Kenemokabakamabebe has tasked the team to find a way to bring the stars back by finding the Nekomata who is in the mountain far north. The group heads off to the quest without Jordi, the shoemaker. The group makes their way through the swamplands in the dark of night, across the difficult muddy landscape. Sinkholes, sharp rocks and sticky mud makes the trip quite a challenge. Aya sings the Samba in the Swamp to raise their spirits as they make their way through the foul smelling terrain. Sadly, all of them and their belongings become "smelly" until they find a chance to freshen up. But on the other hand, they find no other threats or complications during their journey.
They soon reach the base of the mountain, with the weather becoming colder as they approach the tall cliffs and strong winds. Pebbles dot the ground, making travel a bit slippery. At the bottom, a sign reads: STEY AWEY - DARK EEVILHEART MEOWTAIN! Keene, unlike the most of them, is completely clean. He admits to them that there is a path that the Nekogoblins take to avoid the muck, but since the rest seemed so happy to trudge forward, he just let them go through the sludge. When they ask if there was a path up the mountain, he admits there used to be one. But the path ceased to be useful ever since the Eggs showed up. Not seeing any river nearby to camp and clean up, they opt to press on. When Tristan suggests the "party leader" goes first, Piter argues that isn't the case. But Tristan's monkey marches ahead, happily claiming to be the party leader. They come across some shattered egg shells on the floor. Keene worries it might the beast, with great flames and giant arms that shatter trees.
Charging out of the darkness, the group finds themselves facing a number of Running Eggs! But the stone steps, the dead tree stumps, the thorny bushes, the darkness and even the party donkey prove useful in the battle, allowing them magnificent moves to dispatch the wandering monsters. Twice, the group defeats Running Eggs spectacularly, causing a surge of inspiration and adrenaline to swirl within their hearts. The question still remains: where are these eggs coming from? Casting their sights ahead, they can see the snow peaked alps ahead. The group smiles, knowing they had packed in preparation for the snow.
They continue up, following the Egg path to the peak, braving the cold weather. They decide to camp down to recover. But discover a clutch of more eggs that run away, watching them from the distance. They quickly pack up, with the weather having shifted to have less wind and more snow. Tristan wonders why the eggs did not trigger the Alarm, despite him casting the spell. They journey up the mountain. Soon, they reach an ice sculpture towering over two meters, appearing as a massive great cat standing on its hind legs. Its body is covered with spikey protrusions of ice. Tristan wonders if they should try to boil the ice down into water and take a bath first. Piter thinks its preposterous to suggest that given the cold. The monkey digs at the foot of the statue, and finds more broken egg shells. Aya wonders why they would be there. Piter wonders if there's someone else, or if they hatched. Keene has backed away, muttering about the Nekomata's Guardian. That every Nekomata has one. Piter wonders if they should have charged extra for this mission. Aya wonders if the statue is what the guardian looks like. Tristan begins calling aloud to the statue, declaring themselves as having been sent by the town. He asks if they are given passage to cross the Guardian. Aya wishes they had a noble with them to handle the negotiations. Tristan asks Piter if he has an extra container, or something for display. The idea of such a container makes Piter feels aghast. Tristan clarifies he needs something to show as a gift. Piter turns to Aya to ask if she has a song instead to soothe the savage beast, so to speak. Aya decides to try and begins singing but nothing happens. They all turn to look at Keene. He admits to never having been here... Tristan grabs Aya's clothes box, but Aya starts pulling her clothes out. As Tristan offers the box, Keene, seeing the empty box, cannot help it but leap inside. Cats love boxes. Piter stats describing the features of the container, given its quality and materials. But only the whistling of the wind seems to respond.
Aya and Tristan step forward to offer the box to the Guardian. Piter stays by the party donkey to keep watch. He glances at the right side and sees a man in a robe also watching. The man smiles, a feral grin, and asks what they are doing. The man, turns out to be the Nekomata himself, who asks Piter why they are at his home. Piter explains they have come a long way to find him. Aya and Tristan are dancing now and singing in front of the ice sculpture, trying to appease the statue. The Nekomata asks what they are doing and Piter admits it is complicated. The Nekomata finally admits to Piter that it is just a statue. Tristan and Aya are now bowed before the statue. Piter clears his throat loud enough for the others to hear, and they turn to see the newcomer. Piter shows the box to the Nekomata, and after Aya drags Keene out of it, Piter taps on the side of the wood and a really thin lanky and mangy cat is inside. "What is this!?! What paradise have I found!?!" Keene slips inside and Piter closes the lid on the two of them. Piter grins, mutter now they have succeeded in their quest, as the two have met.
An argument erupts inside the box! The Nekomata mutters about recognizing Keene. Tristan wonders if they can ask the Nekomata to give the stars back in exchange for another box. In the far woods, however, a shadow in the trees has been watching them. The shadow realizes neither of the group realizes what is about to happen. He steps into view to call out and warn them! It is the Weather Reader, he asks them about the situation but before he can say more, the Guardian comes to life! A quick fight ensures, but the group easily convinces the Nekomata to shut the guardian down. Nekomata admits to being worried that the town has replaced him with the younger new Nekomata, Kenemokabakamabebe. His powers wane as the young one's increase. They succeed in convincing the two to agree to work together, and realize that bringing back the stars meant having the Nekomata create fireworks in the sky. Using his magic, the Nekomata easily keeps the group warm on their journey down the mountain. He even knows a way around the swamp, as there's a false swamp path back to the town.
They receive the reward, but what they though would be thousands of coin turned out to be thousands of pounds of Nekonip instead! The group excitedly considers their prospects when Jordi and the Weather Reader share that not too far away is the town of Artienna. And that it was not far off til the coming Traveler's Festival!