We find our adventurers on the way to Enkelhofen. It’s been kind of rainy, so Nabila wanders off to scry on some people in a puddle. When she returns, she tells Sindra about Oleander and Tres. Oleander is having nightmares that Nabila may or may not be causing. That’s all she said about him. And Tres, it turns out, is still wearing slutty clothes, and now she’s in charge of Schwarzwald. Oh boy. While we’re waiting around, Sindra asks Kelvin to take off his shirt and flex his muscles, but he thinks she’s joking. She’s not. So he removes his shirt and does some push ups on the soggy ground, while Jeb walks away to take a leak.
It’s midafternoon when we reach Enkelhofen. It’s quiet, too quiet for the end of the workday. The main gate is unmanned and no guards stand around guarding anything. Off in the distance we can hear the sound of waves rolling along the shore. Jeb says something ain’t right, and we follow him into town. We reach a drawbridge that has no guard rails, and the corpse of an old woman is sprawled out in the pit, her neck broken. Nabila slips down into the pit, casts Speak with Dead on her, and tries to find out what happened to the town. The old woman says that last night a sad, sad song (obviously Tear in My Beer) caused her to run away and that’s when she fell and broke her neck. She doesn’t know who sang the song, but she says she felt despair and that was it before she died.
Close to the center of town we find boxes stacked up like they’ve been looted from homes and shops. We hear noises and see these half-ogre, half-giant creatures called verbeegs going through the boxes of stuff. Well, we like stuff too, so we want to know what they’re doing, but it ends up in a fight. During the middle of the fight, Sindra has a wild surge. A barrel of syrup appears over Nabila’s head and dumps all over her. Whoops. When we’ve disposed of the verbeegs, a centaur appears from a nearby building, he doesn’t look happy, and then suddenly he flies off to the west.
We loot the verbeegs’ bodies, but they don’t have anything worthwhile, and then we go through the looted stuff for things of interest. While we’re looting, we hear humming coming from the jail. We head over to the jail to see that the door is wide open, and there’s a man sitting inside a cell. Sindra uses Whispering Wind to send him a message: if he is Orlando the Bard, stop humming and give us a sign. A moment later, the humming stops and a pinkish piece of cloth waves from a window. We go in the jail and Orlando asks us if we are the rescue party or another slaver outfit. He says he’s not really fit for slaving. Oh, a witty one he is!
Sindra asks him if he knows anything about the singing and the dead woman in the pit. He says this crazy singing started up and it drove everyone mad. The lawful cleric steps up and picks the lock on Orlando’s cell. He says the cleric is both talented and beautiful, and then goes in a storage room to pick up a pouch that looks familiar to a pouch Nabila carries with her.
We interrogate Orlando. Why is he in jail? Because he killed someone and the elven magistrate in charge doesn’t believe in capital punishment, so he sent Orlando to jail to rot. He’s been in jail for weeks. The guy Orlando killed had information he needed. His name was Marcucio Baldini, a member of the King’s Players. The Players took his wife from him, but he won’t say who. Nabila asks Orlando if he knows anything about her sister Deja. He says yes, that Deja was, is his wife. He is Nabila’s brother-in-law. Sindra is so excited that Nabila finally has family, she wants to group hug everyone. Orlando asks Nabila if this is normal for Sindra or if Sindra is just crazy. Yep, normal. And apparently Deja was normal, too. Normal before Adivion Adrissant and the King’s Players took her away and screwed her up. We know what happened after the King’s Players’ performance and so does Orlando. No need to dwell on it.
So we head to the west to the old watchtower after Orlando tells us the singing will start up again once night falls. Jeb finds loads of tracks, both human and elven, going off in the direction of the watchtower which is a tall narrow structure that looks completely out of place among the rolling hills and valleys. It looks like an Indian burial mound now, but Nabila remembers it being a watchtower when she was a child.
The path to the watchtower is steep and treacherous, and Sindra casts Cat’s Grace on herself an Nabila so they can make the trek easier. This doesn’t really matter as Kelvin sets off a trap of rolling logs and they flatten us, regardless of our heightened dex scores. After getting ourselves back in order, we decide to light a torch but send it in front of ourselves to draw fire from whatever’s lurking in the darkness that no one can see other than Sindra. As usual, Sindra instructs everyone to move out of the way while she casts Levitate and Faery Fire on the torch. Orlando makes a comment about Sindra’s wild magic and mentions the Forbidden Zone that was her doing like he was impressed with her mad (random) skillz. In front of us we see an old campsite and soon afterwards an arrow from straight ahead snuffs out the torch. Orlando shushes us and says he hears hooves coming towards us. The centaur casts a spell on himself and Sindra fireballs his horse butt. He didn’t like that and Dimension Doors himself out of the way.
We continue farther up the hill and find a scene of horror as dozens of bodies lay strewn and scattered around the trees. Terror on faces. Heads and spines disconnected. The centaur is drinking a potion. A large black, leafless tree radiates a gloomy twilight, and we all feel really sad. The tree stomps towards us, and Jeb looks terrified. Orlando starts singing, and Sindra fireballs the centaur while the rest of the party tries to take out the tree. Orlando and Sindra are knocked out, Jeb uses his Will to Live ability, Kelvin runs away screaming for his mommy, and the tree is majorly pissed that Jeb isn’t dead yet.
When the battle is won, Nabila botches a healing check on Sindra, and Jeb shoves Nabila out of the way and stabilizes Sindra himself. Shoves. Nabila’s healing checks on Orlando give him minor boosts of health, but he is still unconscious with each check and healing spell. Jeb says the tree is a “night twist,” and it came out of the portal in Vogelbrucke. Nature is going to hell, basically, with druid elves torturing trees and now a nature loving centaur being friends with a whomping willow that sings sad songs and eats people.
After Orlando regains consciousness the next day, he regales us with a tale about the watchtower and a battle between the elves and humans that ended up burying the watchtower under some elven earth magic. Jeb sees campfire smoke coming from the beach, and Sindra has another wild surge while trying to ID some magical items. Sindra spends the best six minutes of her life debating the use and application of wild magic with a talking spear. We take another day to rest up, this time going to an abandoned farm just southeast of the watchtower, and have campfire time. Sindra kisses Jeb on the cheek for trying to protect her even though he says it didn’t matter because she was knocked out anyway. Orlando tells us a story about Haggar and the Dire Shark, while Nabila chafes, and Kelvin continues to feel sorry for himself for running away, which was probably the only thing that kept him alive. Orlando will not talk to Nabila about Deja, but he does mention that he had sex with her without protection, and after all that Nabila has done, that is the one thing that upsets her more than anything else: someone boinking her sister, regardless of married status.
Jeb bounds into the farmhouse and says some sailors are headed this way, armed with scimitars and crossbows. We stay in the farmhouse for protection, and Jeb answers the door. They ask for someone named Cyralane to come out because they’ve seen the fire. Orlando guesses Cyralane is the centaur, and he’s right. Nabila says we’ve killed the centaur and the tree, and the sailors talk amongst themselves, while Sindra and Kelvin notice two sailors with torches have broken away from the group and are about to torch the farmhouse. They are, apparently, slavers and we have disrupted their operations. We get the heck out of the farmhouse through a back door just as the torches hit the house. We fight.
Kelvin, blessed little Kelvin, takes out the leader of the pirates and winks at Nabila. As we’re looting the bodies, Kelvin tries to make a pass at Nabila, but he’s a kid and not used to talking to girls. Nabila asks Kelvin if he’s ever been with a woman before. Kelvin hesitates and says that of course he has. Orlando walks away laughing, and Sindra has an idea.
boxes of stuff to go back to the villagers
painting of naked women (Nabila)
nice clothes (Sindra)
ring of protection +2 (Sindra)
ring of weeping (Sindra)
silver and turquoise necklace (Sindra)
30 sheaf arrows (Kelvin)
one potion of extra healing (Sindra)
one oil of elemental plane invulnerability for lightning (Nabila)
six hide armor sets
six giant-sized piecemeal armors
six giant-sized clubs
40 sheaf arrows (Kelvin)
silver cloak clasp
gauntlets of ogre power (18/100 strength, +3 attack, +6 damage) (Jeb)
Kuma hide armor +3 (base AC 3, immunity to confusion, 15% resistance to fire, cold, and acid) (Kelvin)