The party awoke to Kormak the Wolf making breakfast, a mix of leftover stew and bread with some eggs that he had probably found off in the forest. It was surprisingly tasty for improvised trail food. After eating, the party picked up camp and continued their way into Fallhollow Forest on the trail of the poachers.
After a short while, not too far from where they had spent the night, the party came across another deer carcass, field-dressed in the same manner as the first. Kormak mused that it was odd that elves weren’t using the whole carcass, but the discovery of a fragment of elf-made arrowhead inside the unfortunate deer’s heart confirmed his suspicions as to the culprits.
The trail continued forward, but now there were wolf tracks along with the light footprints that Kormak had seen at the last site. With a growing feeling of unease, the party followed the trail, which appeared to be leading them towards the Twin Titans.
After some hours, Kormak announced that he could smell a cooking fire. Since they hadn’t hired him for combat, he suggested that the party move in to investigate while he kept them covered from range. They agreed to this, and made their way along the narrow forest path, which led up a steep, but short, hill between a pair of huge trees.
Upon cresting the hill, the party found themselves very near the base of the Titans. To their surprise, built very near to the huge rock spar was a small house, crafted of mossy stone and roofed with thatch. Huge, well-tended herb plants grew up along the front of the house, and a thin stream of smoke rose from the chimney.
While the party was contemplating its next move, it was suddenly addressed by a tiny doll perched in one of the nearby trees. This little creature was made up of sticks, twigs, brambles and bits of moss, with large black eyes and diaphanous dragonfly wings. It identified itself as a bogun, told them that its master was out for the moment, and suggested that they go wait in his sitting room.
Cautiously, the party acquiesced, and approached the small house. They discovered a mark over the front door, which Abel was able to identify as being the Sylvan word for “druid.” The door was unlocked (indeed, it had no lock at all), so the characters let themselves in amidst a cloud of dried herb fragrance and patchouli smoke.
Once inside, the characters found themselves standing in a cozy little sitting room, adorned with chairs and a table with a cheery fire burning in the hearth. The room itself appeared completely ordinary … until the characters looked up, to discover that the ceiling stretched up sixty feet! Moreover, the entire height of the room was filled with bookshelves, stuffed full of books and curios.
The characters didn’t have much time to reflect on this, however, as they caught sight of the resident of the house making his way down from the massive thicket that lay between the Twin Titans. Curiously, though he bore an ornate staff, he was wearing not a stitch of clothing. The characters waited as the old man entered through the back door of his house and emerged into the sitting room, now dressed in a rough hemp robe and wearing a pair of black-lensed spectacles.
The old man introduced himself as Thrydwulf the Sage, and welcomed them to his home. He offered them tea and inquired after their purpose. After hearing their story of poachers, he performed some kind of divination and saw that there were, indeed, poachers in his forest, though they came disguised and their purpose was something other. After concluding his divinations, he whistled for his wolf, Kieran, and instructed the animal to guide the players to where it had seen these poachers.
Kieran led the way, and after taking a moment to bond with Kormak, was hot on the trail, the party following closely behind. Kieran led them through the forest, until, near sunset, they came across another carcass, this one steaming fresh.
Before any of them could react, Kormak took three arrows directly to the chest, and slumped over. Kieran disappeared off into the woods as three cloaked figures bearing longbows set upon the party, weaving in and out of the undergrowth as they took their shots.
Balthazar rushed to Kormak’s aid as Shimorek, the power of Vaujon coursing through him, charged and splattered one of their enemies. Balthazar readied a potion to give to Kormak, only to find, to his surprise, that the arrows were slowly working themselves out of the mysterious man’s wounds! Moreover, when he fell, his cloak had fallen away from his face, revealing a bestial, grey, long-nosed, lumpy-skinned visage.
Undeterred, Balthazar got Kormak up with a potion, and Kormak promptly charged the nearest assailant, producing a pair of strange weapons out of what looked like nowhere. These strange weapons made short work of the unfortunate attacker. Balthazar charged the final figure and cut him down, then providing a potion to get it back on its feet for interrogation.
Unfortunately, the final attacker had other ideas, and attempted to retreat into the forest. Fortunately, a quick spell by Abel halted him in his tracks, and Balthazar beat him into the ground with gusto.
Kormak volunteered to perform the interrogation while the rest of the party searched the bodies amidst the horrible screams. The party discovered that the attackers were, indeed, elves; they wore elven chain, bore elven quickblades, boots of elvenkind, and elf-made magical longbows. One of them also bore a map, and another bore a strange platinum coin, of a kind none present had ever seen before.
Kormak returned, bearing the head of the final assailant, and informed the rest of the party that there were more elves, and that they weren’t elves at all: they were half-elves. The party gathered around to look at the map …
… and suddenly, magical sleep overtook them all, one by one.
They woke up a short while later, finding that they had not been taken in their sleep, nor was anything missing … except for the strange platinum coin, that Adram had put in his pocket. Shaking the magical sleep off, the party resolved to make camp, and track down the remaining poachers in the morning.