As our heroes approached the large hill that held the old tower that was Scarlet Moon Hall, they began to notice a thick haze covered the ground and drifted into the sky. Tanwyn sent Fuss to investigate and the sprite found campsites scatted around the hillside, most with several men and women in cloaks. If Miraj wasn’t lying, many of these people were actual druids, so Nundro suggested he go and talk to some of them to see what was happening. The first group he came upon were four male druids, all rather inebriated as they seemed to be celebrating. They welcomed Nundro and told them that an elder druid named Elizar claimed to have created a new ritual, the Ritual of the Wicker Giant, that when completed would finally put an end to all the strange on-goings around the Dessarin Valley. Nundro informed them that he believed this may have been a rouse and they had best move away from Scarlet Moon Hall while they still could. One of the druids took this suggestion to heart as it came from a fellow member of the Emerald Enclave.
The druids claimed to have seen Elizar last at the hall itself and that Nundro would be unlikely to be able to speak to him as the ritual had already begun (hence their celebrating). This worried Nundro and he hurried back to his companions. He suggested they hurry up the hill and find this Elizar. They agreed and they marched up to the hall.
When they made it to the top, they found a pair of “druids” on their knees praying to a wicker giant that blazed with bright flames. The moment these people saw our heroes, they wasted no time with questions. A fireball screamed across the night and exploded, searing any in its path. More combatants poured from the tower, throwing fire, arrows and mayhem at our heroes. They struggled, and even despite both felling the last enemy and collapsing the burner wicker giant, the Ritual of the Wicker Giant came to completion. And just as Miraj had foretold, the ritual was not as the druids below had hoped. The Cult of the Eternal Flame had summoned a rather nasty fire elemental. It’s flame body engulfed our heroes several times, leaving them burnt and even singed off half of Nundro’s beautiful beard. The creature couldn’t fend off our heroes alone, though, and soon its flames were snuffed out.
All the commotion atop Scarlet Moon hill had drawn several of the folk from the hillside. A pair of men came to find our heroes quite hurt. Michevious grins spread across their faces and hair spread across their necks. A moment later, the two men had become rather large werewolves. This may have proved difficult for our aching heroes, but luckily there were some real druids amongst those summoned to Scarlet Moon Hall. With these druids help, the werewolves were stopped before they could do much harm.
The druids offered to help our heroes mend their wounds. They made their way to the first camp down the hill and rested for a short time. Just as they were beginning to consider taking a sleep, a trio of bugbears came from farther along the hill. The battle was quick, but by the time it was finished, the druids had disappeared for some unknown reason. Our heroes rested for a short time longer, but eventually made their way back up to the hall. They fought their way up the floors until they’d made it to the top. There, Elizar waited for them.
He gave them a short time to speak, promising to kill them when they were done speaking. He made it clear that the Eternal Flame cult did not have any of the delegates. That was all he had the patience for and launched an attack. He summoned four smoke creatures, but these were quickly dispatched. Nundro went toe to toe with the powerful spellcaster and couldn’t stand the heat. After Nundro collapsed, Elizar sought out the others, only to be caught by surprise as Tanwyn fired out a pair of eldritch blasts that tore through his chest, ending his life.
A quick potion brought Nundro back to his feet, but they were all in pretty bad shape, so they set up camp in the tower. After battling through the entire night, they finally had a well deserved rest. After, there was still one mystery in this tower. Fuss had discovered a door leading below the tower, protected by six odd, fire creatures. Upon closer study by Tanwyn, she thought these creatures might have been magmins at one point, but something beyond her comprehension had transformed them into much, much more. Our heroes approached and the creatures receded, if only a little. Nundro decided to throw his handaxe at the door. To his surprise, the fire creatures exploded, disintegrating the hand axe and the axe fell, clinging on the floor. They also tried climbing up on the mound of debris and dropping rocks from above, with the same explosive result.
Then Samera had an idea. He asked Tanwyn to drop a darkness spell to conceal the fire creatures inside. The warlock agreed and cast the spell, spurring the creatures into a frenzy and the entire hallway alit with flames. When they settled, Lavinia dropped from above, close to the door but outside the darkness. There she attempted to silently pick the lock. Unfortunately, the lock was old and complex, outside her realm of knowledge. Our heroes were beginning to be frustrated. As a last resort, Nundro decided he would tunnel in from above and began digging through the debris. After four hours, he finally reached the stone floor below. Another four hours passed and he’d only managed to penetrate a half dozen inches of stone. He tapped around the floor, but couldn’t hear any weak spots, probably meaning there were several feet of stone in every direction. Having wasted half a day, our heroes were feeling a little discouraged. They took deep breaths and decided it may be best to continue on.
They decided to return to the monastery…