On their way back to town the group runs into a very beleaguered Frederick Pumpernickle, who shares the story of how his whole town was wiped out. He had traveled far in the past few days trying to find what had happened and why but all he could find was that it was somehow linked to this adventuring group. After telling his tale he quickly falls asleep (on Geoff’s shoulders) for the first time in many days.
As they pass through the gate they are immediately stopped by a guard, apparently the Lord Protector has decided that they have a lot to answer for. The meeting with Lord Protector Cordelia Oldfield goes than perfectly. Her assistant (Willam… not that anyone asked or anything) is still bothered from his last interaction with Bilgar and Harold and looks to foil the party by any means. However, after hearing the tale of Frida and her goblins and of The Shambling Man, Cordelia decides that a tale of heroism would be best for the town. The official story would be that the party were heroes who routed out corruption and evil in the town and bravely slew it’s eneimies. She orders a party to be held in their honor and she pays them a reward for their services.
As they leave they are next met by Milton who has taken a look over the list of stolen items sold to Eggintoft and found one item of extreme importance that he would like back, a box of ashes. He hires the group to go to Eggintoft and retrieve that box, as well as any other items they can find. After being pressed on why the box was so important he reveals that it was an order for Taldin Durr, a former archmage of the Azure Tower.
The party is of course a massive success. The town has swelled as more visitors pour in for the Triboar Festival. There is music (some of it by Traveler) and eventually an extended pub crawl led by Geoff.
In all the commotion Bilgar receives another visit from Mazik who has decided that now is the time to once again try to steal the obisidian disk. This attempt nearly succeeds until Harold is awoken by a noise and instintively blinds Bilgar. As this happens Mazik strikes a second deal with Echo, he’ll ask his fellow demon’s where her brother is and she’ll steal the disc for him. With that, he is off again.
The next day the party sets off for Nianor forest. After a days travel they reach the imposing tree line, everyone remembering the stories they had been told about staying away from elven woods. They delve into the hauntingly beautiful woods and despite being on edge they don’t find any trouble for the first half-a-day, they even free a bunny from a trap, and Geoff and the bunny become fast friends. Towards the end of the day they find themselves surrounded by a scouting party of elves. Apparently, they have strayed to close to Celador and must leave the elves lands immediately.
Despite the prickly introduction the party manages to explain their purpose of finding Echo’s brother and making their way to Eggintoft. Erwedas, the leader of the elf band, explains that many of the elf sons have gone missing in past years and that they will give no aid, they are already to hard pressed by their ongoing war with the Faerie that have taken over much of the forest. Erwedas and her band eventually offer to guide the adventurers to the edge of their land when their hearts are lightened by Geoff’s bold offer to kill the Winter Queen of the Faerie. They leave the party on a bluff overlooking the vastness of Nianor Forest and warn the party to be wary of the Fae and the Bearfolk that block the rest of the path to Eggintoft. Illmindil, Erwedas’ druid, also lets Geoff in on the secret that his bunny was a Treacle, a shapeshifting bloodsucking ooze that latches onto unsuspecting travelers and slowly drains their blood. The ooze made easy target practice for Traveler.