The elf barbarian barges abruptly into the lobby of the inn, eager to find a few certain guests and be on her way. Her traveling companion calmly walks in after her, scanning the unfamiliar indoor setting and welcoming a chance to rest after their two-day journey from the Cormanthor forest. He sets down his bow, shakes the leaves off his feat, and takes a seat at the bar.
A man at the bar looks up at them. He is a quiet half-elf with dark features, lightly armed and armored. He is friendly but there is something dark and brooding about him. Recognizing that these are the elves he’s looking for, they great each other.
Meanwhile the bartender offers everyone a drink, and goes about her work with a preternatural speed and grace unbecoming a common laborer. She too is awaiting the elves, but decides she wants to know more before revealing herself, and playfully vanishes from sight, eavesdropping on the conversation. She will join them soon enough, for she knows that the elven dominion in Cormanthor forest is an anchor to balance and stability in the region, and that her mysterious destiny at least at the moment is intertwined with theirs.
A matronly women walks into the lobby as well, butting into the conversation and eager to speak with the wood elves. When she learns the elves are escorting these townsfolk to a wood elf party, she all but begs for an invitation herself. She is Lady Moonfire, one of Fallcrest’s movers and shakers, and is fascinated with all things elven. She has heard of their celebrations, the unearthly beauty of the dancers, the hypnotic melodies of the flute, the luxurious draught from the moonwell, and visits by enchanted creatures of legend – satyrs, faeries, pixies, maybe even a unicorn? But only by invitation from the reclusive elves. She hints at favors if the travelers can secure an invitation to a future event, but the elves politely tell her they’ll see what they can do.
Before long, Eidolon the Barbarian, Wyleal the Elven Seeker, Phaedreon the Half-elf Assassin, and Lycia the human Assassin have become acquainted and settle down for the evening, ready to head to the Cormanthor forest the next morning. Phaedreon and Lycia both received personal invitations to the festival from Leanna, the leader of the Surefoot tribe of woodelves from which Eidolon and Wyleal hail. Each had done some small service to the elves, no doubt rescuing their envoys from bandits on the road or such, thus earning themselves this honor. But the main guest of honor at the festival is Eidolon, the young elf Bararian. It is her coming of age celebration, and she is eager to explore the world that lies beyond the tranquil forest home of her small tribe. And while she wanted to make the trip to Fallcrest and escort their visitors on her own, Leanna decided to send Wyleal also, an older and wiser elf, veteran of many travels and a keeper of the wilds the Surefoot tribe calls home.
The next morning the four travelers set out, heading north along the Nentir River to Cormanthor forest. While the journey is largely uneventful, they come across a haggard group of villagers, all heading west and looking for new refuge after their local well has recently become corrupted, bringing death to those who drink the water.
On the second day they enter the Cormanthor forest. Phaedreon’s hair tingles as his arcane senses detect that they have passed through a magical barrier. The forest is like something out of a fairy tale – with beautiful lush greenery and invigorating air. The travelers passage is eagerly noted by birds and small woodland creatures, and before long they realize they are being observed by elves from the tribe. They laugh and play pranks in the carefree manner of wood elves, even casting a sleep spell on some of the party members.
The travelers reach the simple, hidden dwellings of the wood elves, where a banquet is prepared on a large table, and the festival is beginning. Each is presented with a valuable gift, and Eidolon is presented with an enchanted, silvered weapon. The human and half-elf, the only outsiders, are introduced to other members of the tribe, including Sylva the priestess of Corellon, who makes a sober and scholarly contrast to the wild and carefree tribe leader Leanna. They also meet Melka, the chief hunter of the tribe, an elf of great strength and bravery but little skill with words, and Selene, an elf-child who is said to be a gifted seer.
Phaedreon strikes up a spirited conversation with Sylva, who teaches him more about the elven half of his heritage, and specifically about the ways of Corellon, god of magic and spring, beauty and the arts, and the chief deity among the elves and all fey. She tells him of the Eladrin – the high elves, of their libraries and temples, and their city Myth Drannor, located deeper still inside the Cormanthor forest. She offers to take him there someday, and Phaedreon has a sense Sylva would feel more at home with the noble and scholarly high elves than the simple and carefree wood elves.
The party carries on well into the night. Lycia enjoys playing with the elf child Selene, Wyleal compares notes on flaura and fauna with the rangers, and the Barbarian drinks her fellow warriors under the moon-well. Suddenly, there is trouble. Selene notices it first, going rigid into a shocked trance and crying out ‘murder!’ at the top of her elvish lungs. the warriors draw their weapons amongst growls, snarls, and cackles as a band of lycans – hideous jackals in vaguely humanoid form, descend upon the unsuspecting elves with fang and falchion.
The festival turns into a battleground. Elf and lycan alike fall, and our brave heroes defeat the red-pelted leader of the were-jackals and rescue several elves from their clutches. The raiding lycans retreat into the nearby elven garden, where they suddenly vanish. In the aftermath of the attack, alongside the grief, come many questions – how could the lycans have come here? The forest is guarded by the magic of the eladrin, and our keen-eyed scouts miss nothing. In the morning, Sylva leads an envoy to the eladrin, and the party sets off for Fallcrest, seeking answers.