Resting for a few minutes, I heal the party whilst Shallyn keeps watch. We hear two explosions and shallyn returns saying there is a cloud of dust coming along one of the tunnels. The goblins are collapsing the cave system and we need to move.
Carefully travelling along the only way left open to us we discover that crude traps have been set, and that we only have one way to go. We have been directed towards a large cave where the goblins have had time to prepare and are waiting for us behind barricades.
Scavenging we rip the doors of the rooms behind us and use them as makeshift towershields to press into the room, and are met by a hail of arrows and flasks of fire, Shallyn taking the brunt of the attack. The fight is hard as our resources are depleted and the bugbear inflicts a lot of damage on Thomas, but despite the influence of the goblin shaman invoking the aid of their evil god, we are victorious, and the immediate threat from the Red Blade has been halted. Searching the goblins and the caves we recover some coin and flasks of acid and alchemists fire.
Exhausted, we rest for an hour to get our strength back, whilst Dorin keeps watch, and before we leave we go down to the beach and destroy the rest of the rafts, out to sea we notice that the remaining goblins and a hobgoblin have fled north in a fishing boat.
We discuss wether or not to return to Wistwood and investigate the ancient stones on the other side of the forest, however the discovery that there are collaborators in Rowen Cove and the imminent return of the Northern Queen, which we feel may be linked to the undead problem, causes us to decide to return directly to Rowen Cove, and take the opportunity to investigate the stream we discovered in the smugglers caves.
Realising we would not reach the stream in daylight tonight Dorin finds us a good place to camp for the night, and thanks to his foraging and Fintan’s cooking we have a pleasant night in the forest.
We reach the stream after only an hour or so’s travel, and confirm its divine qualities. Dorin and Shallyn notice that the animals around the stream have not been affected by the agitation and distress that permeates the rest of the forest, and we follow the stream up towards its source.
It is not long before we are approached by trees that have been awakened, and challanged as to our purpose. They speak Sylvan and I can translate for the rest. They are aware of the disturbance in the rest of the forest, and recognise Dorin as a recent arrival in the forest, clearly they have been here for a long time. They allow us to pass, remarking cryptically that as we have been allowed to find them and we have no evil intent they will allow fate to run its course.
After only a few minutes we reach the source of the stream, and find a shrine dedicated to Paelias the healer.
The shrine has ancient elven writing above and below it, and behind the statue of Paelias the constellation of Eldaros is carved into the stone, I translate the text for the others, above is written ‘Sacrifice to prove your faith’ and below ‘Between the swords of Kalina’. These are the clues mentioned in the old elven myth relating to the location of Kemeneska, and I can hardly contain my excitement, my quest has truly begun.
I urge the others to pray at the shrine, and kneeling in the stream we give thanks to Paelias and Elenath for granting us the honour of finding this place, as we pray a pale white light surrounds us and we receive Paelias’s blessing.