Bragga gets her mask enchanted, and we buy an amulet of natural armour +1, some soulsoap, a magic pine cone, and a magical tea-pot all from Siljga and Fingoth.
We spent 4 days with them, recovering and waiting for items to be made.
16th of Highsun
We depart at dawn. Around midday, we spot a large patch of greenery. It’s a few miles wide!
As we approach, we feel waves of heat travel out of it. Inside this circular area, grass has sprouted on the open plain.
The trees show a year or two of growth.
Rustan spots a man in his late 30s with long, shaggy beard and hair. He’s discarded most of his clothes (wearing green trousers). His eyes are closed, his head is bent towards his staff and he is concentrating. Aside from the young trees, there are large piles of rocks strewn about. In the field is a 5’ monolith and the man is standing in front of it.
Faufine reports he saw large wolves chasing a giant elk.
We head towards the man with the stick. It takes about an hour to get to him as he’s in the centre of the green. As we approach, he seems to disappear.
The monolith is covered in carvings. Beside it now stands a short stunted tree. Wanderroot calls to the tree, and the man shakes off the tree shape. He is thin, but otherwise seems healthy. He introduces himself as Hako, from the Oakfather of Demara. He has travelled far to be here.
His circle made the stone and he intends to stay and defend the stone until the witches kill him, at which point the magic will fade. We try to convince him of a better way. We warn him that the witches have created multiple portals to bring winter to the other realms in Faerun.
He says Lidiya is a wolf trapped beneath the years of living as a human woman. He claims his circle could teach her how to let the wolf be free. Lidiya doesn’t understand – saying she is simply who she is.
He names the leader of the resistance in Winter throne as Solveg. She’s a follower of Lyra (the goddess of freedom and liberty). Hako admits the information we gave him is enough for him to return home and inform his circle of the new development. We can only hope his circle finds a better way to fight the witches of winter; although we are very grateful for a night in the green and out of the winter.
Nadia who agrees to take Lidiya to heal the injured giant wolf. We saw him injured in the distance while chasing a gargantuan elk. Nadia manages to get the wolf to let Lidiya touch the injured wolf to heal her. It works! Nadia is able to retrieve the elk’s horn that pierced the wolf and is covered with wolf blood. She keeps it as a talisman. Neither Hako nor Mellifluere share Lidiya’s approval of her actions.
Mellifluere requests a mud golem to bury the magical stone. It complies. Mellifluere hopes this will significantly delay the witches being able to find the magical stone.
Our game bag is over-full thanks to Nadia hunting and the overwhelming number of animals in this 6-mile wide clearing.
We eat well that night.
Tonight is a new moon. The dome of stars is wondrous.
17th of Highsummer
We travel back into winter and head on-wards.
The aerial reconnaissance with the hawks, Faufine and Wanderroot’s height gives us more than fair warning as we are passed by a large armed group. They seem headed to the summer place. They are a group of humans and goblins with a palanquin carried by either ogres or trolls.
18th of Highsummer
As we seek a place to camp, we are near Helsprin. We come across a village, but Nadia doesn’t believe it’s our destination. It looks abandoned.
Faufine identifies Selune’s iconography at the temple.
We enter the town/torp. It is a ruin. Tumbled walls, broken roofs. The only building that’s together is a small country church. It has a little dome. There’s a 4’ enclosure around the courtyard. On the door is the familiar iconography of Selune. The three statues in the courtyard are heavily weathered but are humanoid females. the doors are rotting, and inside are two robed figures.
The keeper of the temple tells us to go play with the others. We watch as the children flee past us, running away from goblins and trolls; the village burns around us. A lone child is running, and is suddenly pierced by a spear. The child writhes in pain and becomes a goblin ready to kill others. Bragga and Lidiya recognize it as a haunting, but the rest are crushed by the site of children suffering.
The priest screams that we should be with the others as a monstrous creature of the knight is revealed! And it attacks us.
One bad guy calls out Selune! Why have you abandoned us! The fight is quick, the two priests and the monstrous knight, images of the goblins are all defeated when the priests fall. After they admit their guilt to having sacrificed the children to save themselves. Lidiya kills the last priest.
The others feel the crushing weight on the party’s shoulders start to dissipate.
To bless the place, Lidiya performs a small mass. At the apex of the ceremony; she lights a candle then blows it out and relights it to show the cycle of Selune and the cycle of these men. In the light of the candle, one of the flagstones of the church sparkles as though its made of mica. Below it is a small coffer. It radiates of magic slightly.
Inside it are the remnants of the church’s treasury. An ivory scroll case (worth 100gp) with 2 scrolls: hold person, resist energy (cold) — both to Selune. 2 fire opals (worth 150 ea) and a small leather pouch 220gp, 27 pp.
19th of Highsun
At the end of the 19th, we reach Helsprin where Nadia will leave her children with friends.