We go through the portal that Aideena has opened from the Shadowfell to the Feywild and we keenly feel the difference between the two worlds. Where the Shadowfell felt of despair and the colors were faded and gray, the Feywild is the exact opposite; the world is colorful and almost overly saturated. The brightness of the Feywild is pronounced after experiencing the dreariness of the Shadowfell.
Around us is a ruined city. There are some buildings intact, but most of the place is obviously ruined and obviously ancient. This is Cendriane—the place of an ancient battle that completely obliterated the city.
We recall that Gavrash told us that we should leave the vicinity as soon as possible, so we begin to attempt that. There’s a massive spider, however, that we don’t want to encounter, so we do our best to send it in another direction and sneak away.
We edge around one building we’ve found that remains standing once the spider heads off and discover a door. We’re also better able to see the city and the destruction is unlike anything any of us has ever seen. Also, it’s clear that the place is not uninhabited; besides the spider, we’re able to hear sounds on the wind and can see an old woman in the distance, though we never get too close to her.
Jack attempts to use his lock pick on the door, but the lock pick turns to dust. It does, however, open the door in the process of being destroyed. Aideena tells Jack to wait before going in the room; caution seems necessary since the door disintegrated Jack’s pick, but we also don’t want to wait too long because we’re exposed and concerned that the massive spider could return.
Aideena and Jack go in first and find piles of residuum. Outside, I’m able to hear the faint sounds of battle, fainter than I would otherwise expect. I don’t see or hear anything else.
In the room, there’s a skeleton on a sarcophagus, another sarcophagus with a scroll on it, and the room itself—and everything within—is in an advanced state of decay.
We discover that the scroll is a ritual, specifically the ritual Speak with Dead, and we decide to keep it as we further explore the dark room.
In one corner—far from the door—we see very large purple mushrooms, which we recognize as doomspore and know, based on experience, to give a wide berth to. Not far from the mushrooms, there’s a passageway. At the end of the passageway is a door, which we decide to walk towards. When we reach the door, the rest of the party encourages me to use my lock pick on it, though I’m reluctant to given what happened to Jack. I’m finally talked into it and successfully use the pick on the door.
The door swings open and a small room is revealed. On one wall is a large stone with that has a face carved into it. We quickly discover that the stone plate talks and says that his name is Vault.
We ask him how long he’s been where he is and he answers that it’s been 1500 years, give or take. Vault tells us that his masters cannot claim their treasures, so he will set us four riddles to solve and we’ll be able to claim the treasures if we answer them correctly.
We ask him what he remembers from what happened here and he says that all he can recall is the sound of fighting and loud explosions. He has no idea what actually happened and then gives us the first riddle.
The answer to the first riddle is silence and, when we answer correctly, he gives us one of his master’s treasures. We manage to answer all four riddles correctly and receive four items. Vault then asks us to set him free, which we do.
We determine that there is nothing left to investigate in this building so we leave and make our way carefully further into the city. We come across an archway that has arcane scorch marks and flecks of ash near its bottom. There is no way around the archway itself and it’s clear that we’re going to have to cross under it. We do our best to check it for traps, but find none.
Targoth decides that he’ll walk through it and attempts to do so, but once he begins to pass underneath it, he reappears where he started from, looking old. We determine that he’s been cursed, but none of us have the ability to break the curse—it’s beyond any of us.
Given the evidence, it seems our best bet is to burn the ritual scroll at the archway and hope that will enable us to pass beneath it safely. We scout around and find some shards of not completely burnt ritual scrolls, so we decide to burn those and test our theory. Though it doesn’t last long enough for anyone to pass through, we can see that there’s a field of flowers that seems to overlay the rest of Cendriane that is visible through the archway. It appears to be safe, so we burn the scroll and are able to pass into a field of flowers with a pool of shallow water that ends in a waterfall. The waterfall appears to fall forever, but the entire area itself is very peaceful. Drinking the water and eating the flowers seems to give us tons of energy and the entire place is relaxing and peaceful.
We are able to see the far side of Cendriane—the direction we were heading—and we know we can’t waste much time in this idyllic field. So, after some time to recover and relax—particularly important for Targoth, who completely regains his health after being cursed—we go back through the archway and find ourselves on the far side.
Almost immediately, we’re attacked by some ghost eladrin who appear to be fighting an ancient battle. Only the leader seems able to interact with us, though he does not trust us and assumes we’re the enemy. The battle is difficult and some of us almost die, but we’re finally able to defeat the ghosts.
We continue to move along in the same direction we’ve been traveling and we come upon an even larger battle being fought in a massive pit. These ghosts, however, take no notice of us and seem to be re-enacting an event that took places many, many years ago. At first, we think we might just be able to move around the figures fighting, but there are too many of them—all of them hurling spells or wielding weapons, which can still do damage to us. Also, even though they appear to be ghosts, we think that they aren’t ghosts, exactly; neither are they real. The path we should take does not appear very clear and it seems as though the battle is reaching a climax—something we instinctively know we don’t want to be around for—so Eben prays to the Raven Queen. He feels as though his prayer has been heard, but nothing happens. We are able to determine that though their souls have long departed, these are the remnants of some poor beings who were caught in the blast of a spell so powerful that it ripped a part of them out of time and rooted them in place here forever. We also know that the kind of magic that would cause echoes of the dead to linger through time is one that no humanoid, no matter how powerful, is capable of. Watching, we get a sense that their final moments are forced to play out over and over and that, if we wait long enough, we will see the spell that ended them. We also know that, even now, we do not want to be anywhere near when the spell that obliterated them hits.
We begin to hear a loud roaring sound even over the din of the battle, and it’s getting louder. Ultimately, we determine that there’s a path on one side of the crater that should allow us to get to the other side and so we take that. We all make it and begin to move away as the roaring reaches deafening proportions. Suddenly, there’s a flash of light so bright that it seems to white everything out. Those of the party who are looking back towards the pit are blinded for a bit because of the brightness. It appeared to be a spell that came from the sky and, once the light dissolved and everyone had recovered enough to be able to see properly, we all glance back. None of the fighters remain and there appears to be no movement at all.
We decide to continue moving forwards and we reach another building that remains intact. Outside of the building is a spire which Aideena investigates, while Jack, Eben and I go to the door of the building. On the spire, Aideena can recognize Rellanic, and she can see that there are names on the spire, the exarchs of Corellon. She’s also able to translate a phrase: “Guard us against those who would strike.”
Meanwhile, Jack, Eben, and I are staring up at the doors, which are massive. The means for opening the door are 10 feet or more off the ground, so Eben and Jack decide that Jack should climb up on Eben’s shoulders to reach the door handle.
He manages to do so, but the door—instead of opening in the usual way—comes straight down towards the three of us. Jack and I are able to dodge out of the way, but Eben is crushed by the door.
It takes us two tries to get him out from underneath the door and, once he’s away from it, we do our best to help him heal and recover. Just at that moment, the spire turns blue and sends a bolt of lightning. We’re stunned, and Targoth and Jack race over to the spire to discover what happened and why it attacked Eben. They figure out that the spire stops attacks by ceasing recovery. Understanding this does not stop Targoth and Jack from launching attacks at it.
Meanwhile, I look into the room. The floor is made of dark stone, but I’m not able to see much, so I walk in carefully and discover a treasure chest in one of the corners.
The chest is locked with three locks, two of which seem to be standard, mundane locks. The third lock is different and will require Aideena’s assistance. After unlocking the mundane locks, the rest of the party comes into the room and I convince Aideena to unlock the last remaining one. Inside, we find 10 diamonds.
Also in the room is a sarcophagus made of black stone which contains an eladrin body. It’s clear from the body—and what we experienced outside—that whatever happened here happened fast.
There is nothing else in the house for us to discover, so we leave and move in the direction we’ve been traveling. We move away from the city and into more a more wild area. The trees here are unusual and have strange colors.
We continue moving amongst the trees and ruins when we discover a hole in the ground. Nothing happens when we walk over the dirt and grass, but if we walk closer to the hole over the paved part, a giant worm shoots out of the hole and attempts to attack the area around it. We give the area as wide a berth as possible and walk carefully and arrhythmically.
As we continue on, we find two ruined amphitheaters. In the center, there are pillars; one pillar has carvings with tragic scenes, while the other has comedic scenes.
We continue on, even though the quiet is a bit unnerving, and come to one last intact building on the edge of the ruined city. When we get close to the door, we see that there is a large mouth that starts screaming shrilly. We’re obviously rather worried that the sound will attract the wrong kind of attention, so Targoth acts quickly to stop it. We’re able to open the door once the screaming stops and we enter what appears to be a makeshift armory. There is a large cabinet that contains hundreds of weapons—mostly mundane, though there are one or two magical weapons within.
Once we’ve finished grabbing whatever weapons we feel we need, we leave the ruined city behind and strike out into the forest. There are still some ruins here—though there are fewer of them and they’re more overrun by plants. After passing by some, we come upon an old woman picking flowers from a spiral-shaped flower bed. The spiral, we know, has a connection with leylines, though we’re not completely certain about the nature of that connection.
As we move closer, the old woman notices us and greets us cheerfully. She leaves the flowers and comes over to us—and specifically Aideena. She hands Aideena a Morningstar flower and introduces herself as Viri. She tells us that she collects flowers to make a living and that the spiral is mostly made up of Morningstar, which she came specifically to collect.
She asks us to accompany her because the forest can be dangerous, and in return she agrees to lead us to Calathea. While we’re walking she tells us a little about herself. We come to find out that she’s lived in the Feywild for her entire life and that her family existed on the margins of human society before they came to the Feywild. They were small time merchants who lived on the border between Dakkon and Hazen. Her family moved to the Feywild and she still exists on the margins of society, but this doesn’t seem to bother her much. She considers the Feywild her home, and she tells us about what’s happening and what’s important.
She talks about Mithrendain being under attack by Formorians, and she tells us that the Summer Queen was outvoted over something and that she thinks the Prince of Frost was behind it. She tells us that the decision-makers in Calathea view the Feywild as the real world and the material world as one that will wither away without contact.
It soon begins to grow dark and we stop to sleep for the night. The night itself passes without any problem, though we come to find out in the morning that Jack had a dream about the Raven Queen. He tells us that she’s happy we broke the crazy dark pearl, but that there are six others—7 in total—and that we need to bring them all together and destroy them.
The Raven Queen told Jack that the pearls come from some beings from beyond our planes trying to break into ours, and that it’s imperative that we stop them. We’re all quiet at first as the implications of the dream sink in; it means that we’re going to have to track Onath down, since he is in possession of the first pearl that we discovered.
We all consume breakfast and break camp to continue towards Calathea. We travel a good part of the day and are just coming into view of the city at around 4 in the afternoon when Viri stops us. She explains that the city isn’t allowing any non-Fey creatures in, and that if we want to get in we’re going to have to go about it in a different way. She leads us off the road and to the mouth of a river. She explains that the best way to get in is through the city’s sewers, since they’re unguarded. We reach a gate and she knocks out a complicated pattern. There’s no response at first, though we do get one eventually.
The gate swings open and we see a gnome. He introduces himself as Kellen Underfoot. Viri gives us a potion of Water Walking, explaining that we’ll need it so that we don’t have to tread through the unclean water. We quickly walk over the nasty water and make it to a mostly dry walkway.
We pause for a moment, but we don’t hear anything significant so we start to make our way through the sewer. Kellen dashes his hand on something and Eben notices that there’s a sizeable gash, which he is able to heal. At this point, I hear a scuttling sound and, within moments, we’re attacked by two bug swarms and a huge otyugh, finally managing to defeat them though not without expending some effort because the tight quarters of the sewer make it difficult to maneuver. We’ll have to be on our guard, though, because the battle was not quiet and it could attract other creatures to us.