The gnome showed up after the ship was repelled, and Beware accused him of being a traitor in the service of Shar, since he was such a harbinger of doom. "Hey, I'm just trying to help you! There was no one else to go to about the undead!" "The fake undead attack?" "It would have killed a lot of people if you hadn't stopped it."
Anyway, the gnome managed to sweet-talk his way back into the party's good graces, and promised to find them a druid to smooth the way to the Laughing Hollow. They were also summoned by the town's wizard's apprentice, who was pretty powerful in her own right (and was the daughter of the duke). She gave them some potions to protect against fey creatures -- +10 on will defense and resist 5 psychic.
They also investigated the carnival, but Celeste and Arial refused to let Beware check out the carnival in the middle of the night by petulantly insisting that if the party didn't do exactly what they said, they'd take their ball and go home and let Beware face whatever dangers were there alone. So isntead, they visited the carnival during the day, and... um... yeah. Nothing happened.
So, after a few days, they headed out to meet the gnome's druid friend. "Be cool, guys," said the gnome, "she's a bit weird looking. You know, furry. And she's got this dark energy around her."
The party was not cool. Arial freaked out about all the necrotic energy she was radiating -- accusing her of being a creature of the shadowfell. Which she was -- she was a 'blightform' druid, which happens to druids who spend time in the shadowfell.
The forest itself was mostly dead, though -- so there was no sign of the fey they'd originally wanted to have a druid to lead them past. At least, not until the druid buggered off to 'scout', warning the party that the forest would 'test' them, and a small band of quicklings attacked, led by a hag.
The party spent a lot of time getting backstabbed and dazed, then managed to take down the stupid hag, which made the quicklings flee.
After that 'test', the druid returned, and led them to the ancient quarry where they hoped to find clues about the fate of the Root of Silvanis. The gate was guarded by a ghostly figure -- the druid's ex-lover, now undead after betraying her and killing her children and stuff.
So she charged in right away, with the party following raggedly, depending on their style of fighting. Unfortunately, none of them could hit the target -- he was too fast, and kept muttering a spell that made all his enemies miss their targets anyway.
It looked like finghing him was going to take a looong time. So Celeste sent her evil eye over this strange barrier of black sand the enemy had arranged in front of the entrance. Nothing happened, so when he got the chance Beweare jumped over the line. POOF! Golems!
Luckily, the golems were doingn all necrotic damage, which Celeste had protected everyon from eariler. Realizing that he'd have a beter time fighting them without that daily, the evil ghost vanished into a wall and ran off. That was a trigger to make the golems disintegrate... FOR NOW.
Arial: "We'll probably have to fight him again on the way out."
Druid: "Oh, you won't be coming out. No one ever comes out. Ever."
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