Agree to go oversee this operation and you'll find yourself in the prison/hospital, where more dialogue will ensue. The take-aways here are Jhod and Tristian's disagreement over the cause of the illness, or rather, whether it's actually an illness, parasite, or curse. Exhaust their dialogue options, make a moral choice concerning the previous nature of their operation room, then follow them southwest through the prison. On the way you can talk to the patient, Madla Stasek, to learn about her humble life and selfless motives, but it's not necessary.
When you're ready to continue on, speak to Jhod and elect to start the surgery, which is played out as an Illustrated Book Episode.
As you saw in a previous interaction, Jhod and Tristian can't agree on what the cause is. This is reiterated at the beginning of this episode, with Jhod wanting to look at the lungs and Tristian desiring to focus on the stomach. Both are basing their plans on the victim's symptoms, and both seem to have merit, but only one, obviously, is right. If you want to finish this cleanly, efficiently, and with as little death and misery as possible, follow the instructions below:
- ...to side with Tristian and search for the source of the disease in the patient's stomach.
Sorry, Jhod. This doesn't actually effect the outcome too much. Either way, the surgery proceeds much the same, as you'll need to assist with an [Athletics], [Mobility], [Lore (Nature)] or [Persuasion] check. The difference is the difficulty. If you start cutting the wrong thing by siding with Jhod, these will require a check of thirty. Otherwise, if you side with Tristian (or consult Bartholomew) it's a check of 10. You can also just kill the patient [Neutral Evil] and spare the moral conundrum entirely.
Succeed at the check and the patient will survive; fail and the patient will die. Either way, you'll find what you're looking for... which may turn out to be more than you bargained for! A seed in the woman's stomach seems to be the cause of her ailment, and your suspicions are confirmed entirely when the seed matures into a Ferocious Owlbear. This fight can be a bit tricky, as you only have control of your protagonist. Tristian, Jhod, the odd guard and Bartholomew (if you summoned him) will also help out, but expect to do a lot of the work yourself. You can still win the fight if your protagonist falls, but if Tristian dies as well, you'll have to reload. Use potions, scrolls, wands, whatever you need to use to win.
|Reward: For discovering the cause of the monsters|
Put down the Ferocious Owlbear and Jhod will strike up conversation again, where he and Tristian will recap what happened. Tristian was right at nearly every step - it's a parasite, not a disease or a curse, and of vegetative origin. Something that wants to destroy your barony, which is knowledgeable of - and capable and willing to use - monster-summoning seeds as the tool... This certainly sounds like the handiwork of your old friend, the Guardian of the Bloom. While it's a promising lead, speculation, however plausible, doesn't get you any closer to stopping this onslaught. Even if you can remove this parasite, you can't possibly have enough surgeons and priests for the task. You'll need to find the source of these seeds, and find out how they're infesting their hosts.
To this end, you can continue with either the quest Witch Hunt or Mother of Monsters. Witch Hunt will be listed next, and is recommended first, if for no other reason than it's the simplest of the two quests to complete.