"In the clearing, but not in the clear"

At the end of a grueling day of catacomb searching our Adventurers make camp in the aforementioned druidic nest. As they search the well-made, though spartan, furniture in the home they discover a number of puzzling artifacts. They find a simply bound book written in a script that Jaquil expertly reveals to be code. They also find an alchemist’s table. There is no experiment on the table, nor any other clue as to what this anonymous druid would seek to do. [Omzal finds a bright blue potion and takes a swig. Side effects as yet unknown.]

Further investigation of the druid’s home leads to the discovery of a narrow antechamber. The chamber is narrow, short, and featureless except for its unfathomably high ceiling.

As the night draws on the lady Adventurers take watch. Roscoe busies himself deciphering the coded book half through the night, but only manages to crack a few words of no import. Omzal falls into a near instant sleep complete with ground-shaking snoring. On the final watch Jaquil hears a rumbling high-pitched screech from above. She wakes the party and they trace the noise to the antechamber.

From behind the antechamber door appears an angry Rothilium (see character page). He is channeling magic and threatening to smite our Adventurers where they stand for their audacity in trespassing into his home and into the catacombs. Our Adventurers somehow manage to convince him to spare their lives—but not without first perplexing him with their ability to speak Ancient Elvish (Druid!Hermione) and revealing their relationships Nicosenye and Ironside.

These relationships, our Adventurers find later, are dangerous subjects in Rothilium’s company.

Rothilium takes our Adventurers up the magic elevator (the source of the rumbling and noise) where he claims they will meet with his siblings. He does nothing to assuage their feelings of discomfort or peril, rather continuously threatens easy violence against them. Long moments into the elevator ride, when it is clear that Omzal will not be getting the desired chuckle out of Rothilium and Druid!Hermoine will not be allowed to make deeper study of the runes below their feet, everything becomes suddenly still. Silent. Gray.

A sweating Nicosenye appears, arms outstretched with great effort as though he is a struggling to pull a ship from the vast maw of the sea. He speaks with our Adventurers between the planes. He warns them not to trust their ears and not to hasten their deaths at the hands of the “siblings”. He vanishes and reality continues as though it has not been interrupted.

At the top of the elevator our Adventurers find themselves in a glen. The sounds of nature replace the mechanic echoes of the elevator. The surrounding wood is verdant, though unfamiliar. Rothilium blindfolds the party and leads them for an hour until they come to the edge of Calrunia, into the druidic wood. His siblings-two elven women and an elven man- stand before them. The siblings explain the severity of the Adventurer’s transgression in entering the catacombs and the absurdity of their quest to find the sword.

The siblings vow to spare our Adventurers’ lives if, and only if, they report back the whereabouts of Nicosenye. The saffron monk apparently acts as quite a thorn in their collective sides, and accordingly must be dealt with. The siblings reveal their anti-human sentiments as well as their plan to restore balance to nature.

Ever in a hurry to incur self-inflicted misfortune, Omzal steps forward to the siblings and pledges to “do whatever they want” if he may be dismissed from their presence. Internally smirking, one of the siblings takes his hand and marks it with an elven tree—a sign that Omzal is sworn carry out his words to them. Havoc accomplished, the party is allowed to leave.

Jaquil, Sezim, and Omzal head to a bar to pursue drink, games, and gold. Meanwhile Roscoe and Druid!Hermione head to the library to further investigate the charter between the siblings and Calrunia, the codes, and the sword.



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