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Chapter VII: Faith and Filth
As the party gathered their senses, they were greeted with warm welcome by the S'Danzo travelers. Speaking for them was Gaelen, an expert hunter and tracker. They were headed to the Ashwood village; a cousin of Gaelen's had setup a merchant shop there.

The party rested and regained their strength for the remaining days' travel. As they entered Ashwood village, however, the weariness returned. The town was marked as plague-ridden, with most buildings boarded up and marked with a pelorite sign for quarantine. Specifically, Adan's Curio, the merchant shop was marked as such. While the party unpacked and tried to make sense of it all, a large gathering of town folk arrived. Armed with pichforks and torches, they sought to rid the town of the sick S'Danzo plague!

Through careful words and a strong show of force, the party succeeded in turning the mob away; much to the relief of the town guard. It was suggested they make their stay short and avoid the more excitable of the town members.

The sight of so many sick, afraid, and defeated people left heavy guilt on Prince Kafen's mind. He emplored the party to help in whatever way they could. After all, these were his people and he had to do something.

Garr, Balthasar, and Reylos all agreed, once again pulling Titus into sticking his neck out. After cursory investigation, it became apparent that someone other than Adan caused the plague. Not only was there no record of his receiving a grain shipment due to missing pages in the ledger, but the fervent racial hatred being offered as faith from the church only seemed to make it all the more evident that someone else was behind it.

Spending some time at the inn, where the town's sick were being cared for, Titus learned of a possible cure in the form of a rare herb. Gaelen confirmed the truth of the healing properties of Brightleaves, but also cautioned the party on the longshot of finding them. Brightleaves only exist in the deepest hearts of old growth forests. They set out that afternoon, making for the heart of the Ashwood.

This was the first time the party became witness to Garr's dual nature. He was a violent, misogynistic barbarian. However, once they were far from the village, heading deep into the center, his attitude and personality changed. He was at one, here. Comfortable and serene. Thanks to him and Gaelen the group made their way through, despite the foreboding shadows and eerie nature of the forest.

After what seemed like hours, they came upon a clearing with a pond in the center. On an island in the pond stood an old tree, withered and broken, save for a number of golden leaves refusing to fall to the ground.

Gaelen pointed out possible threats and dangers as they moved toward the pond. However, something in Garr snapped, causing him to charge and attack one of the tree-creatures. This caused all to snap at attention, viciously attacking the party. Quicklings darted to and fro, while a will o' wisp captured Garr's mind. The tree-creatures harried the party long enough for the great thorndrake to attack. All of the defenses were for naught, however, as the party cut them down, one by one.

Balthasar quickly dove into the pond heading for the tree, only to find the once calm waters now a torrent of waves and whirlpools. Hefted up into the air, Balthasar was held inside the watery fist of a nereid! She was angry at them for killing her guardians and even moreso for the villagers chopping down her forest-kin. She demanded retribution. Garr, rarely one to act kindly, knelt before her, offering up as a burial of the magical herbs in a symbolic way. He also promised to work with the village and educate them on their ignorance.

This appeased the nereid, who let Balthasar go to retrieve the leaves. She then urged them to make haste and leave her realm. They took the quickest route, a fairy ring. They woke up near the edge of the forest, rested and comfortable.

Heading back into the town, Gaelen quickly put the leaves to good use, making a brew to heal the sick. Reylos & Garr brought the locals together urging them to be mindful of what they cut down and how they treated the woods. Without the help of the nereid, many villagers would have died.

As they listened, one of the priests' acolytes stepped up on the well, laughing at the barbarian's ignorant myths and fairytales. He mocked the S'Danzo and the outsiders, blaming them for the sickness spreading. Reylos finally had enough of the holier-than-though speak, knocking the acolyte to the ground and dragging him by the hair towards the temple. "WE shall have our answers, soon enough"

The mob followed Reylos and company to the temple. Chucking the acolyte through the arches, Reylos proceeded to enter--being knocked aside by Garr and Gaelen. "There is something amiss on the archway, Reylos". Seeking out with his devil-pact, he could feel the mystic power emanating from the symbols on the archway and floor, "A glyph of warding..."

To Be Continued...
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XP award nominations?
Hi all,

I'm now taking nominations for XP rewards for last session. Don't forget, you're welcome to nominate yourself.

DX
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research
I have begun to research the follow details and will let you know results soon. I wam going to concentrate on the Horned god and blacktooth ridge. Also I am going to pursue trying to locate rumors of the old witch and her location (the nice one). Lastly pursuing the gnomes from briarwood and loaction of teh diamond mine.
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Grey
Posted by the GM
The End of an Age
New Wiki! Go update!
I just added a new wiki for discussing plot elements / character back-story elements. This can be a way for you guys to discuss what you think is going on / come up with ideas.

Obviously only post things there that you want the other players to know.

After putting it up with a few suggestions I'm not going to touch it.

Remember, you can edit any wiki, not just this one. So if you feel like putting notes on some of the NPCs go ahead. (Or adding NPCs that your character might know and I might not)

Also, before you get disappointed, no XP for filling this out. This is just to help organize the groups thoughts and goals.
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Phil
Posted by the GM
The Night Below
Session 6
Well, still no sign of Jelenneth, meeting the count, finding the guards of the acolyte singers...and of course massive 2-headed hounds with a taste for humanoid flesh. All in all a good session, I'd say.

Session 6 is tentatively scheduled for Wed. Nov. 19th, @ 7 PM. This is due to several schedule conflicts, so we can't play Sunday (Get better internets, ya noobs.) Let me know if this is a problem.
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