Five days after a quarter of the castle collapsed into the sea, our heroes, nigh-insensate and practically starving, wandered through Whiteflower Glade, into the middle of an argument between Egil the Shaman and Ellisendre, the Witch of the Raberian Forest.
Egil, distracted by the mystical stupor clinging to the party, was knocked unconscious by the witch, and awoke an hour or so later to see them regaining their senses by virtue of Ellisendre‘s herbs and Baldric’s song.
They remembered being hired, at Felix’s recommendation, to seek a cutting from the white tree of Havenshine to cure the daughter of a noble in Ironguard, near the gate-town of Ironfall. The fee was large, from a respectable man of old money, wishing to restore the honour of his city to its former glory.
Enroute, they camped in the ruins of an inn during an ominous storm, and were there all subject to variations of the same dream, wherein a king in white ordered them, in voices like their own, to bring him the head of the albino beast of Nekesti, rumoured to be found in Havenshine. All beyond the dream, including the details of the dream itself, fell subject to that cloudiness of mind which sent them wandering in its wake. Priscilla was nowhere to be seen, but Baldric was not surprised by her absence. It wasn’t the first time.
Shrike struggled to pierce the foggy occlusions to his memory and when he stared directly at the vision of this king, he saw that his legs were atrophied, and his crown was a twisted horn, possibly two horns entwined by some deformity. Ludwigron was convinced that their path southward must’ve taken them directly through the rumoured region of Morbidia, which no-one has been allowed to see, and cursed the fact that he wasn’t aware of his surroundings to have harvested their prodigious path for secret knowledge.
Turning to more practical matters, chiefly their lack of food or coin, the party headed east to Ironguard via the elvenwood of Guadix. The semi-nomadic elves of the region were bereft, having recently lost their children to the slavemarket harvest by the soldiers of Ironguard. They were happy to let the group lodge there, and Ellisendre asked for a child’s trinket to help divine their location. The children were not yet at the slave market of Malignor, but still within the confines of Ironguard, and therefore much more available for rescue. Egil pledged his ceremonial dagger in exchange for their last quiver of elven arrows to assist in scaling the city’s southern wall.
We left our heroes contemplating three entrances to the city: Up the rope attached to one of the remaining elven arrows, embedded in the top of the wall, through the one remaining sewer tunnel, past its telepathic fungal inhabitants, or simply through the wall, after blowing it up, accidentally on purpose.