Out of the woods.
The one eyed Dvergar gives the party comfort, shelter, and cryptic conversation. The group manages to gather that Judoc is a cambion, a half fey or half demon depending on your point of view. The Pellarin stones ward a gateway from another place. A place where the giants were sealed away by the Keltic pantheon, or so the legends say. Also, it seems the ritual planned at the stones was intended to open that gateway. Not liking the sound of that, Maslorias, Irb, and Bros decide to return to the stones and end the threat posed by the remaining horned shamans. The Dvergar provided them with special stone that cuts through the forest’s glamour and a shadow cloak to hide them.
The one eyed Dvergar leads the group back to the standing stones and then departs. Scouting the area, no threat is found. With further investigation, the group determined that the horned shamans managed to complete the ritual without their leader and one of their own. Eight people, including some woodwoes, surround the central slab. The blood bathes the stone, filling its runes. The standing stones lean in toward the center, and they are magically dead. The central stone slab they surround, however, blazes with magical energy. Irb and Bros suggest cleansing the stone with fire to try and stop the the magic in process, but all efforts fail. They decide that only magic can stop magic, but Maslorias is out of his depth. With the strange winter storm approaching fast the flee the forest, aided by the direction stone.
Ahead of the storm, the group trudges into the rolling hills outside the forest. As the prepare to set camp for the night, they spot a fire in the distance. Sirona the owl is sent to investigate. A small group of men surround a fire at the base of a small watchtower with horses picketed behind it. Since the area is supposed to be empty, the group believes them to be bandits and decide to relieve them of their horses. Maslorias, Irb, and Bros leave Judoc with the woman in blue and creep up to the tower after nightfall. It being the dark of the moon, they don’t need to worry about being seen, and Maslorias deadens sound between the tower and horses with a spell. That done retrieving the horses proves simple. Another spell to harden the earth foils any pursuit. Thus mounted the group makes decent time to Kaer Kilmaren.
Into the woods
The group arrives in Kaer Kilmaren and finds the town filled with people fleeing the storm. The following day they do some shopping and information gathering. The town’s seneschal is missing, leading them to believe he was the shapeshifting rat Doy bulls-eyed after their first trip to the Magswold. No other information of note was available. Everyone was obsessed with the strange weather. The group gathers supplies for the departing Irb, who is determined to find his people. Unable to send a courier bird given the weather, Maslorias dispatches his owl, Sirona, with a message for Pwll in Garstag.
The following morning, Maslorias, Domhnall, and Bros are surprised by Yurgar, the one-eyed Dvergar of the wood. Strangely, but fortunately, only those three can see or hear the odd visitor. He explains that the ley lines in the forest are unraveled at the Pellarins. He’ was concerned that the group did something at the stones, but becomes convinced that the mysterious horned shamans completed their ritual and let something out of the otherworld. Luckily whatever it was couldn’t stay on this side for long. And perhaps luckily as well whatever it was ate the ones who let it out. He suggests tracking the ley lines from other circles of stones and departs.
Soon after, a young man from a local farm stumbles into the inn with his guts ripped open. Dipping into his memory, Maslorias sees a Wolf chaos beast attack his farm and slaughter all there. It’s a miracle he made it to town. The locals have called for the local Druid, but the farmer has passed out. Unable to staunch his wounds with normal medicine, Maslorias melds his flesh with Deep Magic. The mage light and closing wounds stuns the crowd and leads to questions when the druid arrives. Maslorias says his people have means of their own. The group decides to track down the beast then investigate the nearby stone circle. Not wanting to be left behind, the woman in blue accompanies them with the understanding they will escort her home after they visit the circle.
The group has no trouble tracking the farmer’s blood trail to his farm and the wolf into the woods. As the tracks enter a stone gulch, the group grows suspicious. Again drawing on his magic, Maslorias detects life in the gulch well above the group. Thus warned, Bros is not surprised by the giant spiders lying in wait. The ambush disarmed, and some loot gained, the party presses on. Eventually coming to a hill with a cave some distance up its side…