Having exited the sunken basement they awoke in after being attacked from the shadows, the party finds themselves in the town square of the once great Elven city of Saruma. The party steps out into the somewhat lush forest bed, surprised to see bright green hues instead of the dark browns and greys they were accustomed to seeing in the marsh.
Surveying the area led them to find nothing of interest other than several stone buildings that had been reclaimed by nature decades ago. Billy pointed out that it was unusually bright, given the darkness that surrounded them when they first entered the swamp.
The faint smell of cinnamon and cloves drew the party to the outskirts of the square they were exploring. Cautiously approaching the source of the smell, the troupe of newbie-adventurers came upon a figure hunched over a bubbling cauldron.
This figure, humanoid in nature and dressed in garments that could have once been that of royalty, beckoned them over kindly without even turning to face them. After joining her around the cauldron and gladly partaking in some of the tea brewing in the pot, the party took some time to rest and recover from their fight with the mimic.
After some time and conversation, Drom notices something strange about the figure. She appeared as an elderly Elven woman, but when she spoke, her mouth did not move, and the words she formed seemed to come from the forest surrounding where the party was currently standing.
Drom confronts her about this, and she quickly grabbs his forehead and thrust his head to the side; revealing a puncture wound. One after the other, Bae’lim, Crux, and Billy all check their necks as well, noticing a similar puncture wound.
“I see you’ve met my children,” the voice echoed while the woman gently caressed the puncture wound on Drom’s neck, “we wouldn’t want you getting lost in the marsh out there, people tend to go missing…”
A faint giggle echoed out from the darkness that seemed to be closing in around the cauldron. Crux shuddered upon hearing the giggle and remembering what happened previously.
“…and never make it back.”, the voice continued.
Drom pulled away from the woman’s grasp, and immediately noticed that the darkness that was closing in began to recede into the marsh.
“We’re looking for an old cleric.” Drom spoke with hesitation, unsure of how the old crone would react.
“Ah, you must be speaking of Eme’nar. He was once a cleric, but has not seen the light in quite some time. His shack can be found on a hill north of here, would you like my children to take you there?”
As she finished speaking, a familiar giggle rang out from the treetops, reminding the party again of their previous encounter with the ‘children’.
Drom answered, “No, mam, our barbarian here can find us a way. We best be going now.”
As Drom finished his sentence, the party began to back away from the cauldron and head toward the north.
Drom turned as they were hastily leaving the area, “exquisite tea, by the way, compliments on the use of cinnamon and nutmeg, they really tie….”. Drom is cut off as Crux pulls him by his collar and drags him onward with the rest of the party.
After a solid hour of wandering in a northerly direction, the party noticed that the ground began to slowly give way to marshlands again. Their footsteps became harder to take, and made more and more noise as they trudged through the mud and muck.
Eventually, after trudging between tree after tree after tree, the party found the remains of a cobblestone path. The decision was made to follow the path northward, in the hopes that it led them to their destination. A few minutes after following the path, Crux noticed a clearing a few yards ahead and took off running, leaving the rest of the party behind.
After seeing Crux disappear into the clearing, the remainder of the party heard a very distinct ringing sound, followed by a loud “Oof!”. The party rushed forward to see what combination of events had caused the noises.
Bursting into the clearing, the remainder of the party discovers Crux face-first on the cobblestone path, with a horde of zombies closing in. The party quickly dispatches them and continues on the path northward. Crux manages to pull an ancient greataxe from the clutches of one of the zombies during their encounter.
Purple Glow – Bone Handle, extremely sharp, long blade, stretched halfway down the handle. Tattered leather, had been used a lot. oily texture.
After another 10 or 15 minutes of travel down the path that continued north out of the graveyard clearing, the party notices a cottage on a hill, with telltale signs of someone living there, notably smoke rising from the chimney.
The party approaches the cottage, and enters to find an elderly elf fellow who reeks of body odor, swamp muck and a hodgepodge of herbs and spices. The party learns that this elf is the cleric they have been searching for. He introduces himself as Eme’nar, ex-cleric of Sarenrae. Eme’nar Informs the party that he was there the last time the tome was active, and is the last surviving member of the group that activated it.
He also tells of an ancient order put in place to keep the evil sealed away in the tome, the Knights of Allarn. He and his party were a member of this group: