After a very... long... conversation... with... the... guardian... of... the... misty... forest... where... the... elves... and... centaurs... lived... out... lives... of...
Eventually, the ent stopped talking, and they were given a small escort of centaurs and gnome and allowed to leave the forest to go in search of the Root of all Neutral. During the two-hour speech, the ent did manage to get across one non-obvious point -- the Root of Silvanis had to be kept out of the hands of good, as well as the hands of evil.
So they travelled several days to Daggerford, which was *very busy*. The trade road to the north was blocked by an army of orcs, so mercenaries were gathering to fight, and merchant ships were swarming to bypass the road by sea to supply Waterdeep. They got some *very* good deals on minor magical items in the marketplace, had a nice lunch, and (with the help of a suspiciously helpful urchin) found a sage who eventually pointed them towards a small abandoned keep that was from the pseudo-Illesfarne empire that the dwarven ruin had been from, and which was on the path that the root would have taken from the mine to Stoneturn keep, where they hoped it hadn't ended up since the place was a well-known deathtrap (also, VERY LARGE).
Heyyou was almost arrested for kidnapping (he was giving a little girl a horsey ride on his shoulders, then forgot she was there and walked off), but the party managed to bribe their way out of the situation.
They did want to spend at least one night in a nice inn with food and a real bed and stuff, so they got rooms at the dragonback inn, took a bath, and went to sleep. Except for Celeste, who had their 8-year old guide bring her a male prostitute to spend the evening with.
In the middle of the night, Heyyou (not having to sleep, as a warforged) saw a strange mist overtake the city. He woke everyone up, and they suited up and headed out to investigate. The gnome from the forest was there, somehow, and told them to hurry to the docks -- something bad was going to happen there, and they were the only ones in the city powerful enough to stop it.
So they headed to the docks, where a strange black ship sailed up and started disgorging undead. It wasn't exactly a horde -- maybe a dozen zombies and ghouls, including one 'abyssal ghoul' and one shadow that flew around and phased, and a priest of Shar.
Ariel took out most of the undead with some very good rolls on her chain lightning spell (they kept hitting additional targets until she missed), and Celeste trapped the others in a small area using her Visions of Avarice. Only the priest was free, and his necrotic bolts were ineffective thanks to Celeste's well-chosen mass-resist necrotic.
Still, they didn't want to use up too many dailies, worried that they might need to baord the ship and fight more enemies, so it took a while to take out the few tough undead, and Heyyou was almost taken down after marking the whole enemy force repeatedly while immobilized by ghouls. When only the abyssal ghoul was left, the priest panicked and ran -- followed by Celeste...
Until she realized that the doorway onto the boat was actually a planar portal to the Shadowfell, where her mother was waiting. The whole 'invasion' was a trap to lure her onto the boat... but she wasn't biting. Quite.
Once the ship sailed off, the remaining undead disintegrated and the mist disperesed. Crisis averted! For now...
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