Our brave heroes fought their way through a twisted garden and into the Venom Queen’s lair. Working as a team, they quickly dispatched 5 serpentine guardians,leapt over pools of acid, and dodged entangling vines to bring the malicious fey to surrender. And while cooler heads wanted to question her, the impetuous barbarian rushed forward, narrowly dodged a tackle from lycia, and piled over her toxic worktable in a fury of vengeance. The battle reignited and Phaedrean made the killing shot. The party found significant loot, several magic items, rare poisons, recipes and notes on various herbs, and most disturbingly, gold bearing the chilling mark of the drow queen of spiders.
The party made haste to report back to the Surefoot tribe to report all they learned. On the way through the forest they meet poachers that had hunted a sacred magical fey deer. They claimed to be farmers and to have a right to hunt in the forest, but clearly new what they were after and were members of the Church of Erathis, a pro-civilization and ‘progress’ group. They took them prisoner and brought them to the tribe for judgment. Melka gave the father the judgment of seven arrows and the son lost a hand and was sent back as an example. Melka and the tribe confirmed that human encroachment on the forest had increased recently, and the Church of Erathis seemed to be a motivating factor, if not outright behind it.
The council of Elrond, I mean, Telindril
The discovery of drow gold in the Venom Queen’s coffers was deeply alarming. Leanna sent the party along with Sylva to Myth Drannor, the splendid city of the high elves located North of the Surefoot tribe, deeper in the Cormanthor forest. There they met Prince Telendril, heir to the high elven kingdom, and Selanan Brightstar, the high priestess of Corellon for Myth Drannor. The group also included Brannon the human ranger, and Rickers – an unimposing yet charming and mysterious human. The party learned an important secret, that Myth Drannor sits upon a powerful magical confluence, a place where leigh lines meet and a powerful wellspring of magic. Myth Drannor and the surrounding elven woods are protected by a Mythal, an ancient magical artifact of great power, fashioned by elven high mages long ago. The Mythal among other things creates a barrier against goblins, orcs, drow, and other evil creatures. Humans, dwarves, and other civilized races may enter freely.
The elven mages and scholars so far have not been able to find a way to counter or even detect the magical effect of the innocuous white lilies that had allowed the jackals a means to enter the warded forest. The magic is deeply intertwined with the life essence of the plant and is masked by it.
They fear the drow may now have a means of launching an assault upon the elves, if they can just manage to get these flowers into the forest again, or into the city. Already Lady Moonfire had been tricked into giving these flowers to the elves, and with humans pioneers straying into elven lands guarding the borders has become all the more challenging. They recalled an assault decades ago, where the drow had found a way in and had launched devastating raids. Though rarely spoken of, the surefoot tribe had its share of destruction at the hands of the drow and Melka had been sorely pressed to save the tribe.
Selanan recognized Phaedreon’s tribal lineage and had some scraps of information about his tribe and their demise at the hands of the drow. She new his tribe had been located somewhere in the Stonemarch Mountains but the exact location was unknown.
The party was asked to search for drow involvement. Two potential leads mentioned in the investigation were Zeeblek the Imp and the Church of Erathis in Fallcrest. The elves would continue to study the flowers and look to their defenses, guard their borders, and make their own investigations.
Selanan Brightstar, High Priestess of Correlon
Slumber Party at Rickers’ Place
After the meeting, the party did some shopping and bought potions, weapons, and other equipment. They had dinner with Brannon and Rickers, and later that evening stayed at Ricker’s apartment in Myth Drannor. Rickers had additional news he did not wish to share with the high elves. He explained to the party in prviate that there was another confluence of leigh lines in the Stonemarch Mountains. He didn’t know exactly where it was but he believed that the drow leader Aralel had destroyed Phaedrean’s tribe decades ago because of its location at this confluence, and he warned that Aralel was about to succeed in summoning a powerful demon from the Shadowfel into the material world. Rickers asked the party to deal with this threat first and dodged any real explanation as to why not to involve the elves, other than that they would be busy enough dealing with the other drow threat.
Rickers – the wealthy, charming, and sly man of mystery
Later that night, the wood elves had strange dreams and the assassins were sneaking about at midnight. Before Lycia and Phaedrean’s eyes, Rickers emerged in a cloud of shadow and explained to them that he was their contact and handler within the Brotherhood of Assassins, a secretive organization to which they both belonged, unbeknownst to the other. Rickers told them if they defeated Aralel and stopped his demon they would both be initiated fully into the brotherhood and have access to new power as well as powerful allies. Rickers also gave them a new target for elimination.
To the Mountains, in search of Drow and Demons
The next morning the party set out for the Stone March mountain, searching for the location of Phasedrean’s lost tribe and Alarel’s evil summoning ritual. On the way, Wyleal found strange tracks leading to a lake near the mountains. At the lake they heard a strange choir emanating from the waters. And reaching out with his intuition for nature and connection to natural spirits, Wyleal had a sense that the lake was unusually deep. Very deep.