A reply is received to Aurelia’s sending home. It states that the Seekers are not under the Glantiran ruling council’s control and that something big will be going down in Darokin soon. Leaving is highly recommended. The party tells this information to Adari, who seems not to buy it and asks how they can be sure of it’s validity. In order to convince him, Aurelia reveals that her parents are actually rulers of one of the Glantrian principalities (meaning her dad is on the council). Now that Adari believes us (and is done with whatever business he had in Selenica), he leads the party to Aengmor (shadowelf-topia) to inform the shadowelves about the hourglass dudes. To get to Aengmor, the party travels through a twisty, creepy forest that has some weird mushrooms/fungal growth. Certain party members may or may not sample the shrooms. Adari tells us that these woods are called the Candybar Forest and that the shadowelf shamans created them to mimic their old underground habitat before they invaded Aengmor. Apparently the woods are dying or something.
The party eventually arrives at the city of Westbleak, where Adari takes us to see a shadowelf shaman (I don’t actually have a name written down for him). Shaman-dude asks our assistance in retrieving the Tear of Corias in order to heal the woods. The Tear’s power is to retain the memories of the priests who have used it and fallen in battle. I don’t know how this is supposed to help the forest, but whatevs. The shadowelves have tracked it down to the town of Wellspring, on the edge of Darokin, where it was taken by some mercenaries (the “Stormcrows”) at the behest of an unknown employer. Our job is to head out there and find it. Although, the shadowelves make us buy our own horses, which is LAME, dudes. Lame.
After traveling a while, we notice someone following us and the party ambushes our stalker to find out what is going on. Lots of checks fail and we can’t get him to tell us why he was following us (or even admit to doing so), so in the end we settle for traveling with him to Wellspring to we can keep an eye on him. The best part: his name is Kyle. KYLE. I die of laughter. We also come across some dud in a field looking a a weird patch of bare earth and spend some time digging there to figure out if it’s anything, but nothing come of it.
After getting close to Wellspring, the party realizes more drastic measures will have to be taken in the case of Kyle, so we tie him down and riffle through his shit. And would you look at that, there’s an hourglass symbol and some messages passed between him and his HG buddies by way of a magic scroll. He was indeed sent to follow us, but then his commanding officer (likely Petera) told him to return home for unknown reasons. We’re questioning him about what the HG dudes are up to and if they all know that they’re dirty rotten liars about that whole Glantri bit when Elly gets impatient and cuts his hand off. Fo’ reals. I don’t think Derek can claim to be good aligned anymore. In any case, we heal him and question him some more with no results, so we kill him and set his unattended corpse on fire. Then we send a message to Petera using the magic scroll along the lines of “fuck you.”
The party then enters Wellspring, which is being attacked by some giant flying brains with beaks and tentacles. GOD DAMN IT CULTS AND TENTACLE MONSTERS. STOP TYPECASTING US.
After helping defeat the tentacled beak-brains, half the party disappears to have pub adventures while the rest of the party talks to a priestess of Corias named Dierdre. She tells us that the monsters are also looking for the Tear of Corias, which may be in a ruined temple nearby. On the way to the temple the party is attacked by some tiefling chick, who reveals under questioning that she is also looking for the Tear for some warlord named McNaught. Man, this tear thing is super popular all of a sudden. In any case, we continue on. We finally arrive at the tower, which used to belong to a secret sect of Corias worshipers known as the Chaorti. The tower is all crumbly and has a waterfall running through it. It might make a sweet batquito mansion redux if it wasn’t in the middle of nowhere, alas. The party makes their way up through the tower and after several fights reaches the top, where we find some crazy elf dude who accuses us of stealing the Tear from him. We subdue, question and kill him, then set his corpse on fire (after taking his armor for Heather). The party then tries to rest, since we are pretty much out of healing surges and Heather has been impregnated by nasty chaos monster spores, when we are interrupted by the arrival of a deranged woman who accuses us of killing her friend. Well, she’s got us on that one, I suppose. In any case, we try to diplomacize, but everyone except Heather fails their checks repeatedly and we’re forced to fight her for a little bit while trying to continue diplomacy. Eventually we convince her that we had no choice but to kill her buddy. Everyone stops fighting but Elly, who has been possessed by the Sword of Halav (the sword finds crazy lady’s companions deliciously gnoll-like). Eventually Derek is able to make a saving throw and end the sword’s effects. We talk to the crazy lady, who tells us that her name is Deneva (referred to hereafter as Denim of Duodenum) and her dead/charred buddy’s name was Linth and that they were Stormcrow mercs hired by some dude named Silas to steal the Tear, which was then stolen from them in turn (likely by TSM). Apparently, the Tear is what’s been making everyone here super messed-up, and we agree to take her to town and help her get cured of the Tear-induced crazypants.