Note: This is from the recollections of Xune’ril…
Location: Toadswallow Swamp
After alot of confusion and mayhem created by our heros, everyone eventually escapes the cave behind the waterfall.
The thief, Alexa takes an interest in the sparkly in the water below, which just happens to be surrounded by alot of bones. But no one wants to take the risk at this time. Maybe later – much later.
Our heroes all meet up in the swamp, with 16 extras (the halfling children). We are all damp and muddy, since it is raining, again. We can hear our pursuers, so we must move on and try to lose them in the swamp.
We need to, as fast as possible, Xune reiterates, get back to the river’s edge so that we can dump, er, I mean drop off all of the kids.
After a few wet and muddy hours, we believe that we are safe and no longer being followed.
Very early the next morning (the sun has not risen yet), we find the camp. We barge in, and all of the children run off to be reunited with their families. (its about time)
They are so grateful, that they let us stay for the day and rest over night. They feed us too – first good hot meal in a while. The elder halfling woman (Goladrada) agrees to take us up the river on the raft, to Tor’s Hold.
Goladrada also tells us that Tor’s Hold is merely a collection of farmers, mainly human. The elder’s son took over Tor’s Hold after his death.
At one point during the course of the day, Alexa hands Xune a note. Xune noticed almost immediately that the seal had been broken – probably Alexia trying to open it and read it. But since the script was not in a language that she knew, she attempted to reseal it and then deliver it.
During the night, our poor Tondrek does not sleep well. He tossed and turned, almost as though he was having nightmares.
The next morning we set off up-river to Tor’s Hold, on the raft. There is no other river traffic that we can see.
During our travel, Xune spots a rider on a horse very near the river, in the tree line. As soon as it sees us, it takes off back through the trees and disappears.
Khufu makes an executive decision to pull over. just in case he was a spy and went to report back. So now we are forced to travel on foot, through high grass, for the next several hours.
We can now see Tor’s Hold in the distance. It is late in the afternoon and the sun is about ready to set. There are a few structures, some farms, cow’s etc. We believe that the long building is a good place to start looking for someone to speak too.
As we approach, 3 people exit the building and start to come toward us. They are all human and look related to each other.
After some interesting dialog, she takes us through the back entrance, to a small sitting room. We discover that this woman in Bran’s wife. She confirms that he is working with the resistance against the Iron Circle.
We need to go to the Druid’s Grove – that has been our ultimate destination for some time now. We are allowed to stay for the night, and we will leave first thing in the morning.
Alexia arranges horses for us, as long as we pay for them, and tells Bran’s wife that we will return them to Bran, once we get to the grove. As a precaution, she gets Bran’s wife to write us a note stating that we are “friends”.
As we near the grove, Xune can see black smoke rising to the north of the grove. Probably a camp of some kind. We find 2 humans, Iron Circle, watching the grove.
Since none of us can properly impersonate the Iron Circle, a fight ensues. We win, of course. But we are surprised that they have another ‘demon in a gold box’. Hmm, I wonder where they are getting these from.
We also replenish our rations with the food that we found in the other tent. There is alot of food here. It looks like they were going to be here a while. Hmm, I wonder why they were watching the grove.
We finally make our way into the grove itself. These trees are huge, and I mean really huge.
We approach 6 figures, Cutter points to one – that is Reithan. She greets us as we approach. (she has been expecting us – why does that not surprise me) I believe that she is an elf. The other 5 are Bran, 3 half-elves and another human.
Reithan calls Cutter “Adelbar”. Hmm, interesting, a sheep in wolves clothing, or is it the other way around.
Reithan mentions something about the king of all devils is coming. She invites us into the hut, with the magic fire. <one>. Reithan tells / shows us that the Iron Circle is held up in a keep in Harken, and that Nazin Redthorn never leaves it.
So now we have to figure out how to get Nazin to come out. And assaulting that fortress head-on probably is not the wisest solution.
She is going to send us to an ancient eladrin temple, where we should be able to find some information on where the other Blood Tears are (in order to remove their curse) and an armory, where we should be able to find some weapons required in order to defeat the Iron Circle. It’s in the feywild – oh joy.
Reithan sends Cutter on an errand to the elves. He takes to silver axes before he departs.
We rest and then head out in the morning. Rythar leads us to the stone path that we must follow. Once we get to the end, we must recite the ritual which will teleport us to the fey wild, where we will continue to follow another stone path to the temple.
Once we can see the temple in the clearing, a childish voice yells out a riddle. Alexia, in haste, answers it, incorrectly of course. So the Sphinx attacks.
After its defeat, the very large golden doors to the temple open. We walk in, only to find another set of marble doors down the path. Tondrek pushes the doors open to reveal a very narrow path surrounded by large piles of skulls. Skulls of all kinds and shapes.
As we near a pedestal, one of the skulls animates and lands on it. It will answer questions for skulls. The marble doors close behind us.
Khufu asks it where the location of the 9 blood tears are. It answers that one of them is in the pommel of a sword that belongs to a warrior who lost his soul and that the rest are in the vault of Laryn Kar.
The skull demands a skull for payment for answering the question. After some arguing, Tondrek decides to take the initiative by hitting it perfectly square on the head with his hammer.
As we defeat this foe, all of the remaining piles of skulls turn to ash. We can see a passageway beyond…