After recovering from the battle with the undead, Aura Moonbrook once again sets out scouting ahead of the group as they explore the rest of the abandoned ruins. They reach a room that most likely once served as the commander of the fort’s meeting chambers. The room is decayed and rotten save for a statue of a Bugbear on a pedestal, blocking a view of an iron chest on an alcove in the back of the room. When Aura touches the chest, the statue strikes out and a battle with a gargoyle ensues.
Upon the guardian’s death, Aura breaks into the chest and discovers four magical rubies on display above a hidden cache of silver. Calcifer Thumb and Hazel Hawking decide they’ll carry the heavy chest to the surface after they find the item they are looking for in these ruins.
Passing by yet another trap, the party reaches the end of their exploration in the bathing room of the ruins. Finding an acidic zombie, they dispatch it and Kevros Davida sets out to make certain the remains of whatever monster made the zombie cannot be reanimated.
Back on the surface, their horses are missing and evidence of wounded creature changing its bandaging is found. Calcifer and Hazel set out to recover the horses seen wandering the fields in the distance. Hazel’s horse is not recovered, and the party assumes someone or something made off with her horse while they were down in the ruins.
Cutting their losses, the group returns to Vasirl and sends word to Korton via messenger raven explaining their exploration of the ruins. While waiting for word back from Korton, they each set about dividing their gains and recuperating from the daunting experiences.
Korton and Calcifer scrounge up an alchemist, Devran, to identify the tooth left by the recap they fought in the ruins and one of the magical rubies. Devran returns the tooth and a non-magical ruby, claiming it was a false magical aura meant to distract would be treasure seekers, most likely. With that knowledge, Hazel sells her false ruby for a nice profit.
Meanwhile, Hazel attends to having their money changed at Valint and Balk. With that simple exchange out of the way, she moves through the market, trying to find good deals for the weapons, armor, and general goods they’ve recently acquired.
With nothing else pressing to do, Aura scouts out a potential victim and seeks to practice her pickpocketing skills. A day spent in the market and a middle-aged merchant’s money-pouch filched later, Aura and the others meet up and divide their new found wealth.
Korton retires to the local Crusaders of Valkrath outpost while Aura and Hazel decide to spend their down time camping just outside the town. Calcifer accompanies the two women in roughing it. While communing with nature, Aura discovers a young wolf and the two begin to bond. With some help from Hazel, Aura sets out to train it.
Calcifer mixes his time with the campground they’ve settled and scouring the library and local bookshop for information on psionics. Upon discovering a copy of Excelsior: An Autobiography, Calcifer set out to purchase a copy of the book detailing one of the Age of Hero’s greatest psychic heroes’ life.
Hazel spent her time with wolves, communing with Ulu her arctic wolf spirit and aiding Aura in training Seff, the half elf’s newly bonded wolf. Meanwhile Kevros assisted the order as a temporary scribe.
When word finally arrived, it came in the form of a pair of assistants from Valint and Balk. They approached the trio in the market square one morning and Kevros at the outpost. Malachi Stonehewer extended a dinner invitation to the three and attempted to provide them with the means to be presentable. Only Aura took the offer and arrived at the dinner party looking more a noblewoman than thought possible.
A wonderful dinner was served. Malachi acted the pleasant host role while the others bared their less than noble upbringing. After desserts, Malachi presented them with a payment from Korton, via his deposits at the bank. he also delivered a letter to Calcifer sealed from their gnome benefactor.
Business out of the way, the group reconvened outside of the bank to discuss their next move. Without a new job from Korton, they were unsure where to turn. Aura proclaimed her interest in investigating the Eye Woods, hoping to develop a stronger connection with and understanding of nature. Calcifer explained that there may be a clearing en-route to the Eye Woods that contains something he would be interested in. Kevros offers to travel with the three from Soxitch in their exploration of the world.
The next morning, before they set out, Kevros investigates his own ruby and discovers it is a Ruby of Luck. Armed with this knowledge, he informs the others who seek out the alchemist, Devran, and confront him. He informs them that the rubies granted to him were not magical and that they must have been decoys. While his story seems off, Calcifer and Aura are unable to pick out what exactly he’s hiding, because they have no proof and it is their word against his. Before they depart from his store, Aura pockets a series of mysterious, colored vials. Kevros offers to sell his ruby when they can find a buyer to share the wealth with the companions who were cheated.
Cutting their losses, the four decide to head out into the Glade and put Vasirl behind them.
During the next few weeks of travelling time, Calcifer spends his evenings reading his newfound book, Kevros studies his sketches and writings of creatures he’s encountered and things he’s seen, Aura trains Seff, and Hazel keeps food well supplied. Off and on through the rain, the party eventually enters the forests. One afternoon when the sky threatens to release a heavy downpour at any moment, they stop in a small elven town.
As they look around town, it becomes clear that there is not a woman left in town. None of the men that are outside will so much as look at Aura, either. It isn’t long before a child throws himself at Aura, begging her to be his mother. Investigation reveals that for the past month, the Dark Ones, otherwise known as Drow to non-elves, have been striking the town. The first two battles were aimed at the towns defenses, slaughtering guards and retreating, using guerrilla tactics. After that, the Drow came in waves and stole off with every woman and girl in town. The last attack captured the last of the elven girls to have reached maidenhood.
Sylva Windwhisper, the town elder was doing his best to lead the town during this dark time, but it did not seem to be enough. Aura and Kevros agreed that it, at least, was worth investigating further. This town would not survive another attack from the Drow.
Event Dates: The first week of Feekitituu, 372 AH – End of Urkaat, 372 AH (Midsummer).