The party reconvened at The Grinning Goblin and spoke of their next move. They discussed news of Aegishand’s home, Eltgaard and the dangers there as well as a means of locating this forest spirit of the Elernain that seeks to restore itself. The party decided that this spirit must be the same that cursed poor Werler who was last left distantly to the north east of Tradekeep at Vaelyngroth and so made the elvish fortress their destination. After crossing over the mountains, then east along the Eredral River, and into the Elernain the party arrived to Vaelyngroth two weeks after leaving the Goblin.
When they arrived they found that the fortress appeared nearly exhausted of troops. In fact, when the party implored the castellan for assistance in their quest to locate Saazixthumei he refused unless they agreed to help him first. Reports of monsters, invaders, forest spirits and the undead have caused a great deal of unrest in the region, but Commander Calundor claims that he does not have enough troops to counter these threats. The party chose to help a pair of scouts in their mission to rescue a group of human and elf commoners being held captive by a vicious band of gnolls believed to be in the service of “the Warboss.”
The journey to the gnoll camp took a day and a half and the mission was a success. There were nine prisoners held in plain sight in a sturdy wooden cage located centrally within the camp. The camp itself was protected by a wide stream of the Eredral river to the north, a natural cliff wall to the south and makeshift walls to the east and west. The party devised a strategy to rescue the captives and split up. Solgrin and Gylek assaulted the front gate slaying many gnolls with axe and spell. Larkspur and Aegishand snuck into the camp, sprung the captives from the cages and ferried the commonfolk across river using a makeshift raft. Solgrin slew the gnoll chief and Aegishand personally rescued a captive too injured to move by his own power, carrying him to safety on his back.
The party returned to Vaelyngroth, Calundor was pleased and permitted the party access to the magic divining pool. Within the mystic waters the party scried Saazixthumei using a set of three scales recovered during their battle at the Four Winds tavern. Beholding the divination they saw before them a dark hill in the wood inhabited by hundreds of poisonous spiders of monstrous size. Under the dark boughs of the trees was the entrance to a rock tunnnel occupied by dozens of savage orcs. Deeper in still the party saw a bio-luminescent grove of tree-sized mushrooms and carpet-like fungus. Finally beyond this they saw a grand hall, perhaps of dwarf-make, filled with mountains of treasure and atop the highest pile of coin rest a great green dragon…