The party awakens on the grounds of what is surely the Mistveil. They see Iika and Phthaesis standing vigil over them. The weather is extremely damp and rather silent, only the occasional bird cry breaking the relative calm. The Mistveil is not a jungle, but an extremely lush forest. Though not particularly dense with trees, visibility is very low due to a thick mists that hangs all throughout the woods.
Iika informs the party that the griffon is dead, but that they are probably in the realm of an elf city. The Ilinari clan should have an outpost somewhat nearby, and they should make their way towards it.
“We cannot accompany you,” she says. “Falconcrest is in grave danger. Acting in the interests of our master, we must return to they city. Our master greatly desires to meet with you and counsel, but due to his…exile…he is secluded and resides on a private demiplane. There are several gates to that plane scattered about the land; one of them is in the Mistveil. The demiplane, though, is very old, and our master merely terraformed it; he did not create it. We aren’t sure of the exact location of the one here in Mistveil. There are ruins somewhere within this forest, and it is up to you to find it. Ask the locals: If anyone would know the location of something within this forest, the elves would.”
Mauryn speaks up. “There are absolutely some ancient structures about. My people often camp in them. They have the architecture of the Darjii…”
“If you find the right ruins, within those ruins there will be a portal.”
“That’s very vague,” Oracius remarks skeptically.
“It is vague,” Iika agrees apologetically, “but it is all I know. Here.” She produces a seal. “This is the symbol of our Lord and his plane, and if you see it you will know you’re in the right place. My recommendation is to head that way,” she says, pointing. There was no point in giving directions like ‘North’, as it is almost impossible to navigate by the sun. However, with Mauryn, an elf native to Mistveil, the party isn’t too worried. With a word of luck, Iika and Phthaesis walk off into the fog.
After they have left, the party discusses them. “I don’t trust them,” Mauryn says. “This seems very shifty.”
“I agree,” Oracius says, “but I don’t know what we can do. Our hands seem tied on this issue.” The whole group agrees that the intervention of Iika and Phthaesis seems a little too perfect, a little too good to be true, but that they’ve done nothing but protect and aid the party. They should absolutely be wary, but for now they have no choice.
The group takes inventory before moving. They have five days worth of food – one day for each member of the party. They have about five hundred gold, nearly all of it Solovey’s. Each party member, other than the Amnesiac Girl, has a torch. Solovey and Mauryn have bedrolls, but no one else does. They head in the direction Iika pointed, Mauryn leading the way.
The party makes a slow pace through the forest for about half an hour. Eventually, Mauryn notices subtle changes in the wind. “Something non-humanoid has passed through this area recently,” he says quietly. The party draws their weapons. “How big is it?” Rhaleban asks. “I’m not sure…maybe the size of a large elk.”
“Look!” Rhaleban says, urgency in his voice. He points to a massive puddle on the ground that is vibrating as though with the steps of a giant creature. Bursting out of the forest, a massive, scaly creature charges. The party heard it coming, but was not prepared.
Solovey, quickest of the party, backtracks off the path they had been following and lets fly with blasts of ice rays. Two blasts strike the creature, which stumbles and stops mid-stride, immobilized. Mauryn fires an arrow at it, but it deflects off the massive armor plating of the beast. The creature thrashes impotently, still paralyzed by the ice spell. Oracius quickly approaches it and stabs it in the neck, dealing a bloody wound. Rhaleban also moves in front of the beast, curses it, and then strikes it with a powerful spell: Flames of Phlegethos. Sticky, burning matter erupt from his rod and splatter onto the beast, melting through its scaled armor and searing its tender flesh. The beast screams in terrible pain. The Amnesiac Girl stabs at the monster, but her blow glances off the creature’s armor. Solovey shoots it with a magic missile, striking it in the eyes. Now, bloodied and enraged, the beast rears up and whips his spiny, mace-like tail around, striking every party member that has gathered around it (all but Solovey) and knocking them to the ground. It then turns and sprints away.
“Fuck it!” Oracius yells from the ground. “Let it go!” Mauryn agrees. “The elves will feed us. Let’s just press on.”
The party continues along the path. After about an hour of travel, the group hears the sound or running water: A minor tributary of the Laun river. They follow the river for a time before Mauryn notices something amiss with the movement of the water and the trees on the opposite bank. He warns the party just before they hear a twanging sound, and then the sound of something striking the water. “Move back into the trees,” Oracius says quietly, and the party steps back from the bank and into the cover of the woods. Listening carefully, the party hears the sounds of numerous projectiles being shot, but can’t see anything. Mauryn then notices, and points out, that there are shapes moving under the water. The party sees reptilian heads poking out of the water, firing at the far bank.
Two reptilian figures emerge from the water and move menacingly towards the party. One is small and female, covered in small totems and wielding a staff with a skull affixed on the end. The other is mammoth, at least ten feet tall, and brandishing what appears to be a rotten log shaped into a crude club.
Solovey draws his wand fires ice rays at both figures, striking the massive Lizardfolk but missing the smaller of the two, his magic freezing the water where it strikes. Rhaleban follows suit and fires an eldritch blast at her. Hoping to pour on the attacks before they can ready themselves, Oracius warns the Amnesiac Girl to stay hidden before breaking from the cover of the woods and, using all his momentum, hurls a dagger at the small figure
The witch snarls and waves her staff. Twisting roots erupt from the water around Oracius and Rhaleban, turning the riverbank into a writhing morass of vines. The smaller reptile descends beneath the water and seems to swim away. The larger brute does the same, emerging on all fours, clambering onto the bank and swinging his club at Oracious’ head. Oracius, already immobilized, is injured badly and cries out in pain.
There is a buzzing noise and a large dart thunks into Mauryn’s neck. An alligator-like head with a long thin blow-pipe has appeared from the water, aiming a blowgun at Solovey and Mauryn, who still remain at the forest’s edge. A similar dart thuds into Solovey’s chest. They are poisoned. Arrows splash into the water from the far bank and the blowgunners flee beneath water. A burning numbness dulls both the wizard’s and the cleric’s movement. Mauryn draws his bow and fires an arrow into the hulk; enhanced by magic, the wound frosts over.
Solovey fires a magic missile at the monstrous Lizardfolk and strikes it directly in the temple. Rhaleban fails to eyebite the monster, and attempts to flee through the vines and water, but is struck by the beast’s tail, knocking him prone in the shallows.
Oracius rallies himself and flings a dagger into the lizardman before freeing himself from the vines. The beast roars and swings his club, striking the rogue again; it is only a glancing blow, but the already injured thug grunts in pain and is knocked backwards, nearly losing his balance amongst the clinging vines.
The mysterious female wizard lizardfolk reappears and causes a burst of poisonous gas to explode amongst Solovey and Mauryn, choking and nauseating them. Catching her second wind, Mauryn fires an arrow into the back of the hulking monster. Solovey, realizing the party’s desperate situation, conjures a flaming sphere upon the massive beast.
Only just recovering from being knocked to the ground, Rhaleban rises and, at point-blank range, casts Witchfire upon the ten-foot monstrosity. The monster’s eyes melt and its head bursts into flame, its skull collapsing inward like a rotted egg. His Fae Pact powers activated, the warlock teleports on the far side of the Lizardfolk wizard. Seeing a chance to flank his enemy, Oracius hurries through the tangle of vines, slamming his shoulder into her chest, stabbing her in the chest as she falls backward into the waist-high water. In an explosion of violence, he attacks again before she can react, slamming his Duelist Sword down into her side and ripping open a massive wound in her stomach, blood gushing forth and darkening the water.
Spitting Draconic curses, the witch regains her bearings, exploding a cloud of poisonous gas. However, with two foes upon her, she is forced to cast the spell at a specific distance such that Oracius, and not her, is poisoned; she misses. Seeing the situation is hopeless, she turns and attempts to swim away. Her defenses lowered, both Rhaleban and Oracius assault her. Oracius swings his sword at her fleeing form, but it isn’t necessary: Rhaleban has already incinerated her before the sword stroke falls.
Now out of immediate danger, the party retreats into the woods, though not before grabbing the witch’s dead form and looting both it and the monstrous Lizardfolk’s bodies. Eventually, the battle ends, as the party sees Lizardfolk corpses rising from under the surface of the water and floating downstream.
Just as the silence of the forest begins to fall again, the party notices with a terrible shock that the Amnesiac Girl is missing.