Huddling around a small fire, the heroes brace for another frigid night and watch the dim figures of Thaid’s students recede into the dusk. The fire elemental below the tower glows brightly in the distance, emanating a heat the party almost swear they can feel from their campsite, many metres down the road. Bursts of light and magic occasionally light up the tower’s windows and minarets.
2 weeks remain until winter officially settles in to the Elven forest—back home in Cairnspeak, the fishing boats would be moored for the season and Faylor’s Fest would be about to begin. Named for the legendary Bishop Faylor of the early years, who whispered tales say fought off a serpentine sea dragon’s assault on Cairnspeak (Faylor stumbled drunk and bloody into an old town bar during a particularly violent Newwinter storm), the festival rivals Autumnfest for the most raucous Bacchanal of Aethyl’s Tyr. Citizens then dig in to sleep off the hangover while the winter rains pour in.
Reflections: Trader Dale and the promise of a vouch-for into the Elven Kingdom loom large in the groups’ minds—thoughts of a warm inn and mugs of ale are tempting, as is the prospect of finding news of Mayriva from the locals. Also is the news that the long absent elven prince Hagen has returned to Aluthenia, where he may become the heir to the throne. What kind of winterfest could await?
Much land lies between Thaid’s tower and Kay’s Falls of Aluthenia, and danger soaks the Deep Woods. The strange, dead forest nearby and the things that shamble within; the Elven scout lost in Spiderwood, his family ring rusting on his cold, dead finger. The strange elven women that duped the heroes and twice tried to send them to their doom, and the ghostly, coloured old man searching for his wife. The ever present Neogi with their Umber Hulk slaves, and Titus’ assassins looming out their somewhere.
And the big question—where is Mayriva?