The ancient timbers of the Ardeep Forest loomed over the adventurers as they pressed onward in pursuit of Floshin’s chalice. Before setting forth, the heroes took a moment to investigate the note discovered in Xedac’s coffin, revealing cryptic information of her mission’s purpose, and making reference to one Erelune Dyrr, a potential accomplice of the vampire. With their foes well ahead on their race to discover the House of Long Silence and its ancient portal network, the party knew the journey ahead would be perilous.
Moonlight cut through the towering woods in rays of wispy white while an eerie calm hung over the forest. Having little direction to go on save for the Ardeep’s well-worn, ancient trail network, the party found themselves relying on an elusive series of standing stones to help illuminate their path. After an hour’s journey into the heart of the forest, the sound of a melee broke through the trees, drawing the party in to investigate.
Havard scouted onward, discovering a small group of Wood Giants fighting a pack of Drow soldiers and their arachnid assistants. Recognizing their enemies, the party rushed in to assist the giants in battle. While the elven swordsmen attempted to slice away at the party’s resolve, Aranea lurked in the background, spewing sticky webs in an attempt to slow the heroes. The Underdark villains were subdued, and the Giants offered their thanks, and a word of warning of the dangers of the Ardeep woods.
Continuing onward, the adventurers came across a steep, eroded slope that proved treacherous. Opting to avoid tumbling to uncertain doom, they veered off course into an overgrown pathway blocked by a fallen trunk. While attempting to climb over, the group was attacked by an opportunistic Deadfall Scorpion who had made a home of the hollow log, awaiting its unsuspecting prey. Despite Havard falling ill to the overgrown arachnid’s poison, Zerg was quick to dispatch the bug, squashing it heartily with his massive axe.
Next, the party stumbled upon another group of Drow in the midst of being attacked by a sentient tree. The woody menace proved a formidable foe for the adventurers, utilizing its complex root network to subdue and savage its opponents one by one. Beaten and bruised, they finally took the hulking timber down, alongside the Drow monks. Before taking a moment to recover, Aystra found a journal in one of the monks’ bags and learned more about their mission. The last entry once again mentioned Erelune, and his service to High Priestess Zendayanna — leaving the party with even more questions as they pressed deeper into the dark heart of the Ardeep Forest…