After recuperating from the short battle with the goblins, the party set out slowly towards Kakariko Village, taking care to move as stealthily as possible. Upon reaching the wooden archway heading into town, the party set eyes on a great tree that had been recently lit ablaze, with seemingly the village’s entire population gathered around it, almost completely mesmerized by it. The party members then decided to split up and move into the crowd so as to get a better look at what was occurring around the tree, with Auriel and Luth moving through one half of the crowd while Kin, Talir, Shadow and Voldy moved through the other half.
As they each did their best to blend in with the crowd, they noticed a ring of cloaked individuals that had formed around the burning tree. Beneath the tree was a makeshift wooden stage, where a black cloaked individual stood and stared over at the crowd of villagers before him. Soon enough, he gave a rather terrifying speech with an amplified voice, during which he laid out his intentions to “purify” Hyrule by wiping out all non-human races, which were a “poison upon [the] land”. The speech was accompanied with mild tremors in the ground that also seemed to be caused by the black cloaked man, and concluded with the sacrifice of five goblins on the stage. As this occurred, Voldy recognised the man as the same individual who had previously taken her tongue.
At this point in time around six cultists began moving through the crowd in order to search for any abnormal species among the villagers, and so Talir moved himself to the back of the crowd, closer to the road exiting the village, so as to prepare himself for an escape if necessary. Before a cultist could reach Talir’s position, the man was headed off by Voldy, who handed the man a note requesting that the Zora be left alive so that he could be sacrificed by Voldy himself at a later time. The cultist took this note to the black cloaked man while Voldy led Talir to a position closer to the front of the crowd (though further to the side of the stage) while Luth took up a position on a higher ledge on the opposite side of the stage, but was spotted in the process by a couple of cultists, and was soon prevented from escaping his new position.
Once the black cloaked man became aware of the presence of a Zora somewhere within the crowd and demanded that the creature be brought to him, and so Voldy quickly concocted a plan to pretend to kill Talir so that the paladin’s life might actually be spared. After informing Talir of the plan, Voldy attempted to signal the same message to Luth via Thieve’s Cant, but Luth was only able to interpret a few broken phrases given the distance between them and the smoke that obstructed their view of one another.
It quickly became clear to the black cloaked man that the Zora wouldn’t be surrendered to him, so he moved into the crowd to find the creature himself, but was then waved down by Voldy, allowing the two to share a moment of recognition between each other. Voldy was able to successfully pretend to slice Talir’s throat in front of the man while at the same time cutting his own hand and using his blood to cover Talir’s throat. The whole process was surprisingly successful – with Talir imitating a dead person rather well – save for Voldy’s attempt to convince the black cloaked man that the “dead body” did not need to be burned at this time. As the man motioned for two nearby cultists to move over and collect the body, Voldy quickly and subtly signaled for Luth to take out the pair before they could reach the group, and Luth was successful in taking out one of the two before he was set upon by a trio of cultists away from the crowd.
At this point in time, the party began engaging various cultists in both close combat and from a distance using bows and arrows. Talir was originally dragged from the fight by Voldy before later choosing to pick himself up and support his companions. Luth showed great success with his archery skills, taking out numerous foes, while both Auriel and Shadow ultimately fell unconscious before the fight was over. Once the initial number of living cultists began to dwindle, Voldy took an opportunity to strike into the black cloaked man’s left shoulder with a dagger, causing him to initially recoil in pain before casting a spell that granted him a magical door through which he was able to escape, with the door immediately sealing itself once he had passed through it. The next hour consisted mostly of Luth picking off cultists with ease from a distance while Kin balanced healing Auriel with lighting a short few cultists on fire with his Fireball cantrip.
Before the battle was done, a total of 13 dead cultists lay dead on the field in Kakariko Village, with the large tree having completely burned and the stage upon which the black cloaked man once stood having been reduced to ash and smaller, broken planks. As the party members attended to their wounded/unconscious and/or looted nearby bodies (not finding much out of the ordinary), Luth and Voldy were approached by a woman who briefly spoke to them using Thieve’s Cant, later introducing herself in Common Hylian as Impa. Upon hearing the name, Luth bowed instinctively, while Voldy was not aware of exactly who the woman was, only recognising that her name is quite significant within the Sheikah guild. Impa then offered both food and accommodation to the party, and organised for Auriel and Shadow to be healed overnight.
At dawn, the party sat and ate with Impa, exchanging backstories and engaging in discussions about the cult that they had encountered the day before; a cult known as the Followers of the Flame. Impa explained that the cult had already begun burning the forests that surround the Kokiri Village to the south of Hyrule Field, and that they had also attemped to gain access to the Goron City further up Death Mountain, but that the main entrance to the city had been sealed by the Gorons themselves and would be inaccessible until the cult had finished work on enough explosives to destroy the blockade. Impa also mentioned that, thus far, Zora’s Domain had not yet been accessed whatsoever by the cult.
In terms of discussing the cult’s leader, the black cloaked man, Impa knew of only rumours surrounding the man’s true identity. It had been told by many sources that different faces had been seen within the same black cloak, but only ever at one single time. Impa also suspected that the man’s name could be “Regol”, given that the name had also emerged through rumour.
It took much deliberation, but the party eventually came to an agreement on heading up to Death Mountain and using a secret passageway through the volcano itself to reach the Goron City and providing aid to the mountain-dwellers. Impa was also able to provide a red tunic to Talir so that he could become more resistant to fire and significantly warmer temperatures. As the discussion concluded, the party noticed the absence of Voldy, who appeared to have sneaked away in the middle of the conversation, but not before quietly alerting both Impa and Luth of his imminent departure and leaving his cloak behind, along with a detailed note that was left specifically in Luth’s hands.