The gang reaches Sky’s Landing, and while Allisto watches the horses, the rest of them decide to go explore the town, ask questions regarding the missing girl.
They meet with Barrett, the father of the missing girl, Leora. He tells them about Leora’s regular travels in the deep woods to get the mushrooms. There hadn’t been anything too odd until she disappeared. And after that there were whispers of strange beings in the woods, making noises and slinking around in the dark. He directs them over to David, a hunter who ran a survivalist stall just across the town square.
David is pulled into question, and seems to be quite helpful and eager even to give them a hand. He speaks of odd lizard-like creatures that roamed the woods, just skirting the deepest parts, close to where Leora collects mushrooms. He sells them a map (albeit suspiciously fresh, as noted by a few of the party members) and tells them to meet up with his group of friends that are out there hunting. He tells them to tell his friends “The boars cross the river at midnight” to let them know they’re friends.
This all seems rather suspicious, but it’s the most information they’d gotten in awhile. Taegyn is unsatisfied however, and decides to befriend and question the kids in town. The kids were also frequents to the forests. They collected lots of lizards there – all named Robert – and told Taegyn of the larger lizards they saw in the forests, along with the scary whispers and even scarier screams they heard coming from deeper in the forests.
Armed with knowledge, some food, a new bow, and book one of The Lusty Maid series, the group – sans Allisto, who volunteers to stay with the horses – travel into the forest. They eventually meet with David’s group, and unfortunately, it was all a trap. As soon as the ‘secret phrase’ was spoken, they were attacked. In the end the group was victorious, and gained a bit more knowledge of what was going on. They found claw marks and a blood trail that lead into an area of the forest, outlining the mouth of a cave.
All along the entrance were fresh blood splatter. And upon touching it, all members of the party had a vision of glowing lights and white pillars. The vision meant more to some than others. Sherri recognized the temple the pillars belonged to, Balthor heard voices of children, and Gorpendorf saw much more. Taegyn recognized nothing other than the uncomfortable feeling that washed over him.
More blood was spilled, as enemy cultists and kobolds attacked in the cave. It was a close call, but they endured, and not only were they able to rescue Leora, they discovered the beginning of something much more nefarious. Their enemies, with their dying breath, vowed the return of
the artist formally known as The Black Prince.
There were two chests in the cave, rewarding them with gold, and more importantly a list of names. They were all names of children that had gone missing over the recent months, including Leora’s name and the children in the forest.
Immediately the group returns to Sky’s Landing, but at the mouth of the cave they are stopped by Aveline , an Investigator working with The Golden Dawn and her troupe. Taegyn is suspicious of them, and tries to convince the group to leave to get Leora home, but Balthor decides to tell Aveline nearly the whole story, and almost gives up the list they found, but decides to just let her have a copy. Eventually they return to the town and return Leora to her father. Barret is forever grateful and gives the group his own reward of gold to the group as well as several meat pies as well as letting them stay the night in his home to rest.
Taegyn immediately warns the farmer and his children of their discovery in the woods and warns them to stay away from the forest for awhile. He then searches for David, but his stall is empty and he’s no where to be find. After asking around, they discover that David is probably on his way back to Aurynn. Taegyn searches his stall for some more clues and finds a flyer for a place called The Briarthorne Inn in Aurynn.
So the group begin their journey back to Aurynn to search for David, and maybe learn more about this Black Prince.