After casting a wall of fog to obscure the group, everyone hid as best they could. The crashing footsteps entered the now fog filled clearing, and after a few very tense moments a voice called out to the group.
“Hello? Caul?… Is anyone here?”
The voice (while large and booming) was friendly enough that Caul answered back as the fog began to disperse. The creature was a huge tree that looked like a man. A bit like an ent. It was relieved to see Caul was alive and he explained that he was sent to find him. He introduced himself as Brooke (pronounced Bruce). He greeted the group and said he was glad that everyone had survived.
After explaining that the woods were no longer safe he suggested that the group come to his cave to sleep and recover. The hags had sent warnings out to some of the other creatures of the forest and everyone was in danger being out without moving. The group started to flee, and as they ran after Brooke, a rift in the ground opened up and doused Ellie, Torinn, and Bardo. Brooke explained there was no time to waste and he continued running while carrying Elceran and Ulayra.
Upon reaching the cave, Brooke readied the antidote to whatever the purple mist was that had sprung from the crack in the ground. It was a thick white goo that looked almost like liquid pearls. Everyone got a good dunking in it and afterward they were all right as rain. And everyone knew that wasn’t the first time Bardo had been coated in white goo. (*rimshot)
The night passed uneventfully. Upon waking the next morning Brooke had gone to fetch some food. After a hearty breakfast the group thanked him and headed on their way. He wished everyone well and helped give some directions. Then he headed off into the trees to try to help provide some misdirection for those still looking for the party.
The hike toward the nearest town was several days long. Each one grew harder and harder due to the fact that Ulayra was just about to go into active labor. Thankfully Ellie managed to find some herbs to help slow things down and she was able to prevent her from going into labor early. Elceran was growing very blind and weak as the poison in his bloodstream took effect. He explained that they could leave him behind. But even though this was normally a very fatal poison, Torrin was able to craft enough of an antidote to save him until they could get him to a healer that might be able to work some magic with the plants on this island.
With barely any time to spare, the party made it to Rinley. The town guards helped get Elceran and Ulayra to the nearest hospital and Caul went along to make sure that they were safe. With that, the group found themselves in relative safety.
They got rooms at the nearest inn and ate some food and rested. After getting their bearings Ellie and Torrin headed to the town’s church. It was an all faiths style place. Torrin learned that about 11 months earlier, a woman very similar to his sister’s description had come through with a mentor named Parko. They were headed toward Calais. Ellie found her way over to the rows of religious symbols that circled the walls. On one she found the Druidic symbol for life (along with the lunar calendar).
Meanwhile the group learned that a farmer named David was having some trouble with Ettercaps that had killed several of his cows. He was offering 600 gold for assistance and the group jumped at the chance to make some money off something that they felt confident in tackling. They headed out to his farm outside of town just as the sun began to set…