After completing the long journey across the Ascentia sea to the coast of the Zildyr Forest, our adventurers set out in a row boat to the shoreline as the lone survivor of the crew, the captain Lorenz de Graaf, waits with the Golden Hind.
across the choppy seas,
everyone died except for us guys,
that’s more money for me
my merry band and me,
Don’t you know if the captain would go
the boat would be ours for free
As Gem regales the rowing Mac and Kriv with a song a Kraken suddenly lifts out of the sea and crushes the larger vessel. The three quickly breach land and a large rock moves to reveal a cave with a band of 5 adventurers beckoning them to safety.
Inside the cave they make introductions with a human named Ahtar and a gnome named Carlin, along with Ahtar’s entourage: Casandra the librarian, Morgan the bannerman, and a halfling cook. The three explains their intentions in the Zildyr forest: to plant the acorn for the Tree of Life and to locate a wizard named Triscaeraa, who may provide knowledge of the mysterious black ooze. Carlin agrees to help lead the party to her former mentor on a trek through the forest.
The party encounters a giant spider while leaving the cave, and although the trio fail to impress their new friends with their fighting skills the creature falls easily. Soon after they face a tougher test: a wandering hill giant. He also proves no match for the party and ultimately falls to Carlin and Kriv’s dual acid and fire chromatic orbs.
Considering their lack of battle prowess, Gem questions Ahtar about his companions and their purpose on the journey. Gem gathers that the three seem to be indentured servants, with Casandra indebted to service for stealing from Ahtar’s family. The conversation is derailed soon after when Gem can’t admit his ignorance of the term “bannerman”.
The party then comes to a ransacked caravan stopped on a road with halfling, troll, kobold, and a female barbarian lying seemingly dead on the ground. On inspection the halfling oozes with a black fluid and lunges to attack while a red and black flower erupts from the chest of the troll and spews forth a shade. Mac goes into his bear form and the party goes all out destroying the terrifying foes. When Gem feels slightly useless from his spells’ ineffectiveness on the undead creatures Ahtar loans him his viol to play, a gesture he comes to regret.
At last the party arrives at the wizard Triscaeraa’s grove and Mac is enthralled by the natural beauty of the scene. Inside his hollowed tree home Triscaeraa tells the party the black ooze is related to the dark Fey and the Queen of Night and Magic most likely has a hand in this. She rules over the Winter Court. He recommends talking with King of the summer court in the Feywild. An ancient artifact known as the Pulchritudo Lacus Mirror can allow safe transport to the Feywild. This mirror was known to be last seen in the Tomb of an Elven King Aewarin who was last known to own this artifact.
Before leaving, Mac requests to plant his acorn in a great stump within the grove and Triscaeraa obliges. The great Tree of Life seems to settle into its new home when a female figure emerges from the nearby pool of water and bestows a great blessing on the party. Mac receives the highest reward, which includes a pouch filled with dust of mass invisibility, while Ahtar and Gem seem to come up short in gaining the lady’s favor.
After a peaceful rest in the grove, the party begins their journey to the tomb of the Elven King. Their luck runs thin as they encounter an Oni on their way who casts a powerful Cone of Cold on the party killing all of Ahtar’s retainers. Ahtar somberly continues the journey and the party arrives at the footsteps of the ancient tomb.