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When last we left our heroes, they were preparing to head north to recruit a band of druids in the coming fight against the Yinths…
Meanwhile, a tiefling cleric of Ilmater named Eona answers a call for fighters placed by Nori Rockseeker. She travels to Tresendar Manor where she is introduced to Nate (who immediately tries to con her) and Georgie who leads her on a tour around the manor with the rest of the group. They run into Sildar, who, when not training the villagers to fight, busies himself restoring the manor’s rooms in a lovely eggshell blue. Nori brings them Six-Finger’s package, which contains weapons imbued with a kind of anti-venom that may be able to reverse the effects of Sludge when enough is applied to a target. The goblin Droop returns from his scouting mission and reports the presence of corrupted tree creatures where the druids supposedly make their home. The group decides to take Eona along, as she seems good to have in a fight although she does take a few sips out of her flask before agreeing. After their unfinished conversation from the night before, Georgie bids farewell to Sildar as best she can. The group sets out.
Nate and Georgie scout ahead, and although they are successfully sneaky, they argue over past battles and mistakes when Georgie hesitates to kill the unawares blights. The memory of Hagg’n still lingers over them, much to the confusion of Eona. They come upon a town called Thundertree, a haven for druids in the past but which is now an abandoned shell with an ominous sign that reads “Turn Back!” The party is ambushed by the blights from earlier and an owlbear. Although there are some close calls, Georgie dispatches the owlbear before it causes any harm (and places a few of its feathers in her hair) while Oberon puts the remaining blights to sleep.
Later, the party comes across the emaciated forms of what look like druids affected by Sludge. Eona uses the anti-venom the party has to reverse the effects. The druidic couple is extremely grateful to be restored. They tell the party that a wealthy group distributed a cold remedy to the town a few months ago and then a similar substance fell from the sky, eventually transforming all it touched into undead-like creatures. The party deduces that this was likely an early, failed experiment by the Yinths. The couple points the party in the direction of Ayanna, a powerful druid who was unaffected since she lives farther north. The party decides to check out the tower in the center of town before leaving where they meet a giant spider, which Nate and Georgie quickly dispatch, and a drunken goblin named Groop who says he’s a powerful necromancer. Lianna and Oberon hire him with a combination of gold and coupons for Steinhammar ale and point him in the direction of Phandalin.
The group arrives at Ayanna’s, which is teeming with forest creatures. She knows of their troubles and warns them that Queen Titania of the Feywild is blocking attempts to stop the spread of Sludge, which contains the essence of Feywild magic. Oberon finally reveals to the group that Titania is his patron and that he has spent time in the Feywild, resulting in his current amnesia. Ayanna agrees to take the party to the fairy realm… on the back of a gigantic green dragon.