After banishing the ghost of the mad wizard the party stopped for a while to discuss the fate of the Staff of Command. The Staff is a relic of tremendous power which is said to control the minds of men and compel them to do whatever the wielder wishes. Such a powerful item must be used with great caution or not at all lest the wielder go mad with control and create chaos. In the meanwhile Larkspur’s condition had been worsening, he hadn’t been able to sleep and he was already showing signs that his curse would claim him soon.
Solgrin and the halfling left the staff with the others and went about in search of this werewolf, so that they could continue their quest. Melegir the scout gave them silvered weapons and suggested that they speak with a mystic by the name of Zaltyr. The odd hermit is said to live on the far eastern side of the city at the edge of the ruins. The fighter and the ranger made their way across the city where they were accosted by some ruffians. Larkspur goaded them into playing a gambling game of dice, which they actually agreed to play, but after losing refused to pay up and attacked the adventurers anyhow. Solgrin and Larkspur slew many of the thugs and restrained those who surrendered.
After the fighting they moved on and found the home of Zaltyr, a place where nature seemed to bloom with brilliant green life. When they entered his forested and flowering home they found the druid meditating atop a mushroom cap. The bearded sage explained that he is somewhat of a rival to the priestess of the moon and that he would be willing to help Solgrin and Larkspur track down the werewolf if they agreed not to kill him, but save him from his curse. They decided that this was fair, particularly after Zaltyr said that he would use his power to rid Larkspur of his own curse. The three of them then partook in a shared vision, scrying an inexact location of the werewolf somewhere in the north among a haunted forest. The two adventurers were given a gold sickle by Zaltyr who said that its magic could incapacitate the werewolf long enough for them to bring him back to the druid so that his curse could be removed by a ritual of the sun.
After leaving the city Solgrin and Larkspur crossed a muddy wetland and passed into a shadowy forest of dead trees swaying in the cold wind. During their hike through the forest they were ambushed by a hideous troll which they promptly slew. As the sun set they were attacked by powerful and vengeful spirits of the dead. The horrors that they inflicted upon Larkspur magically sapped ten years of life from him and before Solgrin’s eyes he could see the halfling’s hair thin, develop grey patches and his skin become weathered and creased at the corners of his eyes and elsewhere. Using their silvered weapons the two adventurers were able to fight off a number of ghosts, but ultimately fled as the ghosts were relentless and their life draining powers tremendous.
That night the two camped out by the muddy bed of the old river to recover their strength. The next day Larkspur woke with a terrible feeling of filth and could not get his mind off the need to cleanse himself. As the river had dried up to little more than a wide, muddy lane, the two turned North to the sea where Larkspur could wash away the dirt and festering grime that seemed to be under his very skin. After a few hours’ walk the halfling bathed himself in the cold, briny water of the ocean until he was red and raw. Solgrin did not challenge him, but asked if he was well enough to continue. The halfling quietly said that he was and they turned back south to continue their mission.
Once they returned to the forest they found the lair of the werewolf, entered and battle was joined. The beast was mighty and flailed its claws and gnashed its teeth, but Solgrin’s skill with a blade and Larkspur’s aim with an arrow proved too much of a match for the creature. They dashed the beast’s throat with the gold sickle as instructed by Zaltyr and indeed the magic of the blade returned the lycantherope to his human form and kept him suspended before death.
Upon their return the two adventurers helped Zaltyr conduct the ritual to purify the werewolf. It was a taxing ordeal and the man remained unconscious, so Zaltyr and the others took rest. That night they discussed lifting Larkspur’s curse and Zaltyr explained that they would head out before dawn the next morning and do what must be done. Later in the evening Larkspur beheld a vision or perhaps a dream about an ancestor which may have held clues about the nature of his curse.
The following day they travelled east to catch the sun rise over the sea at dawn. Zaltyr the mystic instructed Larkspur to stand amid a circle of magic stones, take aim at the horizon and hit the sun with an arrow. The halfling was incredulous, but had to give it a chance. The wind on the rocky bluff was strong, the light from the rising sun was hot and bright and all the while a paranoia of his enemies following him here loomed in the back of his mind. Distracted and weary the halfling ranger loosed an arrow as best he could straight for the sun. No splash of water was heard, no flash of light or voice from the heavens, nothing happened. Zaltyr simply said that in time Larkspur will know if he hit the sun.
Just before parting ways Zaltyr gave to the two adventurers a key wrought from solid electrum which he found in the clutches of the werewolf. The mystic explained that this key would open a planar gate and allow them to travel home.