Synopsis: While returning to the nearest waygate to make camp for the night, the party is attacked by goblins and an ogre that have all been warped by exposure to the sinister drug Song Spine. After defeating them and setting up camp, Helo encounters the powerful fey being known as the Witch of Fates and learns that she has been involved in his missing past. She also exposes him to the true face of the enemy. The next day, the party navigates past the enemy occupied ruins of Primrose and defeats a wolfrider patrol before it can give away their presence.
After completing their interrogation of the cultist, the party was exhausted from the day’s exhertions and badly needed a safe place to rest. They determined to return to the nearest waygate, but were ambushed by a group of warped goblins on the way back. Having avoided direct contact with any of the warped ones at the lumber camp, they were unprepared for the full horror of the encounter. The goblins were covered in poison coated quills, which they spasmodically launched at the party members, wounding several of them, after which they fled Delba and Helo’s pursuit.
As the heroes closed in to melee, a warped ogre, covered in jaundiced skin broken by painful bony growths, crashed through the undergrowth and attacked Arborea. It battered at her with veiny, overgrown arms, and the dryad made a quick escape through the trees. Kiri rushed to the front of the battle line and engaged the beast, which struck back with a psychic pulse from its grossly swollen throat. The pulse flung most of the party to the ground. Pieter, Helo, Delba, and Pele worked together to bring down the spined goblins, but were injured as the creatures burst in a cloud of poisoned spines.
Terrafina used here divine magic to heal the injured and protect them from the ogre’s berserk attacks. The party rallied and combined their strength against the foe. Finally, Arborea slipped behind the ogre and whipped a vine around the wounded creature’s neck, slowly strangling it.
The party soon reached a safe camp site at the waygate, and rested for the night. During his watch, Helo was visisted by the Witch of Fates, a mysterious fey being of the Court of Stars. The witch told Helo that she had chosen him as her Knight of Shadows. She had plucked him from his former life and hidden his memories. “You were loyally serving a lost cause that was unworthy of you. I chose you for a more worthy cause. Whether it is hopeless as well remains to be seen.”
The witch urged Helo to partake of the powdered Song Spine the party had taken from the cultist the day before, so that he could look on the true face of the enemy. Helo complied, and heard strange, disturbing music as the drug took effect. Looking at the sky, his gaze fell upon the mysterious White Star. His enhanced vision discerned the form of a rust red planetoid. On its surface Helo saw what appeared to be an entire mountain range on its surface peel back, revealing a mercurial sea. To his horror, he realized it was a monstrous eye as large as an entire kingdom.
“See the face of Gharoth, the Wandering Planet. See the face of our enemy. It exists in the Feywild and the Shadowfell also. It comes to consume us all. You have already encountered some of the beings it carries, and also those who have been touched by them.”
“What would you have us do, my Lady?”
“Do as you have been. Protect Pele. She is the key to the coming conflict.” With that, the witch faded into the darkness, leaving Helo to pass a restless night.
The next morning, Terrafina quickly determined that someone had taken some of the Song Spine. Helo struggled to explain the revelation of the night before to his skeptical and concerned comrades. Deciding there was nothing further that could be done, the party packed and entered the waygate. Their path back to the regiment of Evergreen Vale levies and mercenaries took them dangerously close to the occupied city of Primrose, and they were detected by a goblin wolf rider patrol. Taking a defensive position on a low hill, the party formed a wedge shaped battle line and received the goblins’ charge. Absorbing the impact, the heroes struck back, driving away the goblins. Pieter quickly silenced one of them with a storm of arrows. The enemy reformed, and charged again, injuring Pele and knocking her to the ground, but Helo pulled her from the fray. Kiri stepped forward and met the main group of goblins face to face, and Arborea used her nature magic to entangle them, while Delba moved past them to attack the goblin’s commander. The commander fled, abandoning his subordinates, but Kiri used her magical Frost Javelin to slow his escape and then ran him down.
The surviving two goblins, a pathetic pair named Grub and Snotnose, surrendered, and offered themselves up as slaves. After some debate, Pieter agreed to take charge of the pair, and bound them for the remainder of the journey back to the regiment.