After Arda informed the group she’d be unable to join them in the Expanse, they set out and sailed to the Cheliax controlled seaport in Mwangi named Bloodport. There they were greeted by Mitabu, a local shaman and friend of Arda. Mitabu informed the party that Nantambu was a city further in the expanse and did a great deal of trade with Bloodport and the Aespis Corporation, but had recently cut off communications due to some sort of plague. Our party traveled upriver towards Nantambu and encountered a baby Black Dragon. After the battle, the party forged onwards.
At Whitebridge, a Cheliax controlled atoll, the party was met with resistance by some guards who were afraid of being punished should an ill fate befall anyone. After Saltembanco used his bardic abilities to mesmerize the head guard, they were allowed to pass by and make their way to Nantambu. Once there they discovered that the village was indeed in the throes of infection and they seemed to blame their problems on the Ape inhabitants of Usaro with whom they’d had relative peace and trade.
During a meeting with the Chieftan, he revealed a strong dislike for Mitabu and asked the party to move on to Usaro and find out why the Apes poisoned them. On their way to Usaro, the party was ambushed by a hunting party from Usaro and fought off their attackers. During the battle, one of the Ape Generals came and stopped the conflict revealing that the hunters had been ordered to watch out for the party and escort them, not hunt them. They were then led across the bridge of cages deep into Usaro to the High Throne for an audience with Ruthazek, the Gorilla King. Ruthazek spoke to the party, utilizing translators to speak in languages he didn’t know (such as Celestial). He revealed that a mysterious creature had emerged from the Spire of Destiny and had informed him that the humans were planning to wipe out the apes through plague. Shortly thereafter (coinciding with a shipment from the human village), a plague began to spread, so he had declared war on Nantambu. After discussion, the party came to the decision that another Horseman was behind this and were asked by Ruthazek to venture to the Spire and investigate.
Upon arriving Mitabu revealed he could create an entry into the spire by manipulating the water and lowering it to reveal a cave. After entering the cave, the party realized this was an opening in yet another temple and discovered another Daemon avatar of a horseman inside. Balthazar overheard the horsemen dismissing 2 Leukodaemons, instructing them to thank Apollyon for the loan. After listening in, they realized that this was not the Horseman of Pestilence they had thought it was, it was in fact Szuriel, the Horse(wo)man of War, utilizing a Purrodaemon as an avatar.
After battle, they found another 12-sided wooden box, only this time it was being cluthed by an ancient female skeleton wearing familiar-looking white robes. Mitabu gently lowered the skeleton to the ground and removed the box, handing it off to the party.
Having previously expressed a wish to talk to Arda about her relationship to the area, Mitabu contacted her using a Pearl of Communication and was told to inform the party she would talk to them now. The entire party was then teleported across the planes and found themselves in a dimly lit cavern that was made up entirely of rotting meat. Sitting in the center near a magical glowing light, was Arda.