Raving rested to recover from A giant stop they had taken the party did eventually make it back to a familiar mining village, a village that had apparently not been making use of the newly discovered gold for fear of “The dragon’s curse”. In an establishment displaying all the wealth and decadence of a small iron mining village Moosa offered the owner a bag of fifty gold and so took care of their immediate needs. As the rest of the group variably integrated, Rolan noticed the “dragon” himself. the old man he had shot still paralyzed apparently being cared for by his grandson. Over the rest of the day rumor where gathered, supplies where bought, armour was repaired and the party was given a chance to rest somewhere more hospitable than a burnt out giants cave. Word reached Moosa that the owner of the mine was scheduled to arrive at some point given that the overseer had been unfortunately paralyzed, talking to the inn owner he also discovered that the owner was Lord Straff Vontaren, that Straff didn’t necessarily know about the gold and that fifty gold with a suggestion would be enough to keep it that way. That night Rolan found the comfort of a bath, Moosa fount the comfort of a local and the rest found the comfort of not sleeping on the ground under a dome.
In the morning with newly purchased horse, wagon and winter gear the party set out, back on the mountain paths… that is until a couple of days in when Rolan steered the group down back into a forest. The advantage of this was that food was again something that could be successfully hunted for, indeed Thia found some voles…… As they traveled Moosa noticed a bird watching them, The second day he saw this he told Rolan who tried to communicate, the bird responded by flying behind a tree and walking out from behind it an elf. Aldor for that was this druids name spoke only in elvish and already knew Rolan and Thia, he was of corse the one who had Rolan on the journey to save Zanthon in the first place for someone like Moosa or Mara (who Zan was translating for) the conversation seemed somewhat unfriendly if not antagonistic though Thia claimed it was more of a good natured ribbing. In any case Aldor told the group that the voles they had eaten had been heavily poisoned by spider attack before the party got to them and they were likely poisoned beyond his ability to help where they where, and so he took them to the grove.
Aldor led the group and as he did winter trees gave way to ones still clinging To autumn leaves and soon enough trees still with fresh green leaves until the way opened to a impossibly green (at least for winter) grove with trees, grass, a lake, a waterfall, many animals and druids. This place was very familiar to Rolan, somewhat familiar to Thia and if anything almost unnerving to most of the rest given its impossibility. There was a trip to a woman living in a hut.. tree thing… who brewed together something meant to cure the poison and apparently it did. Given a situation without mortal danger Moosa visited the lake and at Rolan’s suggestion it soon became naked swimming/waterfall diving involving Rolan, Moosa, Thia, a druid and before long Mark and Griffolk. Mara however found a private spring and invited Zanthon to join her and so he did.
Some time later Thia was drying, Moosa was setting up camp and Rolan was partaking in a pain reducing herbal remedy, Aldor asked the invited the group to come and speak with Longwood inside a tree (where else?). Dropping to one knee the party spoke to Longwood, they asked him why they where sent to to save Zanthon and where told that the future looks better with him in it than without, when asked who plots against him they were told that some prefer the future without Zanthon. Longwood spoke vaguely and seemed to content to mostly help the party come to conclusions themselves like when he described them as a group of ten rather than nine, Rolan decided that he must be including the horse, Thia assumed it was her magical ghost hand. An idea was brought up to leave Zanthon in the druids grove but in something of a change of policy the group actually asked Zanthon what he though to that plan. Zanthon had little interest in being a guest of the druids and living in the forest for an extended period of time claiming that he was as uncomfortable there as Rolan claimed to be in the city so the Avissium plan remained. As the conversation and the group left Longwood Rolan remained to tell his teacher about his adventures and to seek more druidic education.
Thia stopped to talk with Aldor and spoke about their adventures with the “Spider-Bear”, “The waterfall that grants fishes” and the being living at the top of the large tree she seemed to have something else on her mind but was unable to articulate it. Thia left to talk with Mara in the lake and while they were bonding Zanthon took an opportunity to speak with Aldor. When that finished Moosa went to Aldor and told him that Thia was interested in him and that he should talk with her to which he responded that he knew and was working on it. Zanthon went to Mara and pulled her into a conversation away from Thia while Aldor took his opportunity and joined thia in the lake…
“I don’t know how this is done in the city or whatever but uh. want to fuck”