The party stood outside the ruins of Mistfield Manor, narrowly escaping death as it collapsed around them, and marked a moment of silence for Rotgrod who lay dead beneath the rubble.
Returning to the town of Mistfield, they discovered that Thrane had declared war on the Dwarven nations and that all dwarves were now considered enemies of the state. Feeling uneasy with the environment – and the increased presence of the Steel Hand – they set out heading north to find the Larinnian Wood and help Kalla cleanse it of evil.
On the way, they were beset by bandits who made off with some coin and an item or two. Saving the battle for another day, the group found themselves just outside the small village of Eridale: a haven for all races, well-defended by city walls. They were refused entry as strangers, but however unlikely, the rogue gained their trust quickly by speaking the passphrase of the Old Tide.
Inside, they met Rugdar, the half-orc leader of the village. Rugdar warned them of the dangers of entering the Larinnian Wood as many adventurers have become lost there, never to return. The party also learned that the bandits that beset them on the road had made camp in the Larinnian Wood and regularly accosted the small town.
However, Rugdar had been able to capture one of the bandits and was holding him prisoner. With plans to execute him in a few days, the party had a small window of time in which to get information from the prisoner.
Trust was gained among the townspeople as everyone pitched in to help them with defense or daily life. Kalla showed them herbalism and hunting while Nardia taught Peter the use of magic.
Eatost managed to extract enough information to get started and set off with Kalla into the wood as a scouting party. They soon discovered the magic of the wood set their sense of direction and perception of surroundings off severely. Managing to escape the wood by Kalla’s keen senses and strong will, they made it to the road and began searching for the bandits.
With no bandits to be found in the open, they retired back to Eridale. That night, during dinner, a small group of Steel Hand soldiers showed up at the city wall and demanded that Eridale open its doors so they could search for dwarves. Rugdar refused and the Steel Hand braced to attack the village… but a fell storm came in and with a gust of wind, all their torches were extinguished and cries of agony rose from the gate. When light was cast below, Rotgrod stood amongst the corpses of the Steel Hand soldiers.
With Rotgrod mysteriously alive again, the group embraced him back into their party. The next day, the village was attacked by the bandits from the Larinnian Wood in an effort to free their compatriot. Battle soon followed and the bandits were routed, but not before Peter took an arrow to the chest and died after falling from the village gate. Nardia attempted to aid him, but it was too late… until the a dark part of her magical soul reached out and seized Peter’s spirit, overcoming it and forcing it back into his body.
Amongst the corpses of the fallen bandits, Eatost found several broaches that resembled leaves. Feeling that these were the key to safely navigating the forest, the group left at once into the Larinnian Wood where they found Sylwithe: the druid that had safeguarded the bandits and tainted the wood.
Battle followed and our party prevailed…