As the noxious mist subsides, the knights of ozem turn their blades on the woman who hosted the leukodaemon. Though Tomas objects, the knight drives his sword through the woman’s chest before turning on Lucius. However in his weakened state he’s no match, and the party quickly subdues the crusaders.
In the Hungry Mountains, the party travels to Renchurch, the headquarters of the Whispering Way. The old stone monastery is covered in rusty metal spikes and the stench of undeath clings heavily to the walled complex. Within, the party battles a barbed devil and banshee, avoids a clutch of gluttonous ghouls and nightmares, bear witness to the ever-burning spirits of immolated monks, and hammered the complex’s majordomo into submission. Searching the desecrated catacombs of the monastery, they reach the inner chambers where the final guardian of Renchurch awaits them: an ancient Worm That Walks named Urca Numat. Urca speaks to the party and reveals he has no more love for Tar Baphon than the rest of them, and that his return would only ensure another eternity of enslavement for the eldritch creation. He informs the party that the powerful spells that bind him means he has no choice but to do everything he can to stop them… but if they can make it past him into the chamber of the Whispering Way’s leader, the Grey Friar, he can give them the info they need to stop Tar Baphon’s return.
Urca slings powerful disintegration spells and uses his telekinesis and swarms of maggots to hinder the party, but a well placed Stormbolt from Grey-Eye stuns Urca long enough for the party to make it through.
Finally, in the Grey Friar’s chambers, the Whispering Way’s plan is revealed. The seals that bar Tar Baphon are still intact, but the cult has found a way to draw Tar Baphon’s power out into an unbound avatar, releasing his strength on Golarion once again. They’ve already collected the materials for the Carrion Crown Elixir that must be drunk during the ritual, and are marching to Gallowspire now. Urca explains that the Friar has a headstart, but will be traveling by foot to gather followers along the way. If the party uses the witchgates, they may be able to beat the procession to Gallowspire.
The party makes final preparations, knowing that once they travel through the witchgate there’s no going back until either their quest is complete, or their bodies become raw materials for the Whispering Tyrant’s undead army.