An opportunity to deal with the Entity in the Forest.
The party head out, following the compasses in their heads to recover what they hope will be potent artefacts capable of helping defeat the Entity in the Forest.
Shortly after leaving the city they run into some of the City Watch, terrible examples of the office who are bullying refugees out of any possessions they still have as they attempt to enter the city. The party mostly calm the situation down, but in the process Rowan Darrish gets himself arrested and the rest of the party spend a few hours getting him off of the trumped up charges.
Properly on the road again, the party reach a village close to the position of the first artefact and prevent a couple of locals from being devoured by local wildlife. Getting themselves a positive introduction thanks to saving the life of a couple of local youths, they discover that the artefact they are looking for is infact a local legend: the hoe of Allyssa the Tender. After much discussion in which the villagers make it quite clear that Allyssa is NOT the Tender and that they aren’t parting with the hoe, Alise Luckner convinces them to take her to the cave where the hoe is kept in order to view it. When she returns to inform them that the hoe actually is an artefact of the Tender (and the most holy one she has ever seen) the villagers immediately claim shenanigans and tell the party to leave. Civility quietly departs along with the party as Alise screams that she will return to the village to personally dump the corpse of everyone who dies thanks to the villagers selfishness. The party plan to secretly return at night and steal the hoe, much to no-ones surprise. Before this, however, the party send word to the Tender church in Acryn, informing them of the hoe, that they plan to take it, and requesting that the church send aid to protect the village in the coming weeks. When the party return to the cave they discover the majority of the able-bodied within the village have taken residence within it in preparation for their return. The party attempt to sneak past them with a mix of magical tunneling, wayfinder tunneling, and a massive disregard for engineering theory. When Colin Fletcher is somewhat inevitably discovered dangling from the cave roof just above the hoe, things turn to violence. After a brief fight Colin attempts to bring everything to a quick resolution by casting the symbol of calamity, a move which proved more effective than he expected and brought most of the cave in on top of both the village and the party. In the confusion one of the villagers escaped with the hoe, forcing the party to track them for some distance before eventually recovering it.
Moving onto the second artefact, the party once again found itself in a cave system. A series of warnings making it clear that they should not proceed. A warning which was backed up by ancient (but powerful) automata. Eventually the party fought their way through, although not without skirting tantalisingly close to disaster and having to rely heavily on their guild provided muscle. Eventually they found themselves in a central chamber where a small and terse automata attempted to convince them that the Artefact (a weapon which once belonged to a “Primal” called Xanthos) was too dangerous to be allowed to leave their protection. The party eventually recovering the weapon through violence and a certain amount of chasing.
Having recovered both artefacts the party made plans to briefly return to Acryn, but ended up meeting with a caravan heading the other way. Here they managed to acquire additional supplies while also becoming aware of unnerving rumours about the forest. Once again the forest was expanding and its power seemed to be reaching further than ever. Decisions were made to reach the forest as quickly as possible.
Reaching the forest the party press forwards. However, the forest appeared to be determined to push back just as hard, eased only by the permanent gaze of the Tender that the hoe brought within the forest. The fact that party’s path remained bright and natural behind them another small mercy. Upon reaching the center of the forest they discovered Humbolt Guther, quite mad from his months of possession by a Dragon. Unfortunately for them, the power of the Dragon also appeared to have rubbed off on him and made him a particularly difficult opponent to defeat. Eventually he is brought down by the party and a ritual to disrupt the forest is performed upon him. All around them the forest starts to wither and die as they prepare to open the path to the Dragon’s domain.
The dragon’s domain appeared much as it did on their first visit, and endless maze of hedge and forest. After some acrobatics to get through the worst of the maze, the party are confronted with Xanthos the Necromancer. He seems somewhat unhappy with his “weakened” state and his servitude to the Dragon Tuireann, but still plans to soundly beat the party to a pulp and recover his weapon. As the battle progresses there are even points where it looks like he will achieve exactly that. Finally the party manage to overpower him and proceed to beat him until he is nothing but a fine paste on the floor - half convinced he will reform any moment. Finally distraction free the party find Aetheyta who informs them that Tuireann is currently distracted trying to maintain its connection to the world and that they should escape now. The party perform a successful fighting retreat, but not before Rowan makes a grab for part of the Dragon’s power, green fire flowing over him and altering him in some fundamental way.
Out of the Dragon, the party stop briefly to catch their breath before realising that they are still in the presence of a god. With her powers returned her presence was almost overwhelming (to all except Rowan) and the party have only dim memories of their time with her: asking for aid with the first bow, asking for a date, or asking to follow and being rejected. What they truly remember was that they stood in the presence of a god, and then she was gone.
As the party head back to the city they discover that while the rest of the forest is dying at an exceptional rate there is a path from the center to the edge about half a mile wide which remains fertile and healthy. Within the city they make their various reports, getting paid 150 Acra a head for their troubles by the City Council. The Church of the Tender is less impressed, while still thankful for what they have done with the forest the devastation of an innocent village cannot be sanctioned and the party are expected to be seen being punished.
The party are to spend much of the coming months helping to rebuild the village following a devastating cave-in and following rockslide caused largely by the party. They are to leave with a cleanup crew as part of a major send-off where their faces will be made known.
Mechanical effects: If you character has any skills which produce resources (e.g. alchemy or mana crystals) then you will not have time to make any before your next adventure. If your character has any contacts then you will not be able to use them as part of your next adventure.
Roleplay: You will have had quite a hard time of it. The physical labour in the village will not have been easy and they all hate you. Even back in the city rumours have spread widely and being in public is likely to be an unpleasant experience until it all blows over.