Fleeday, W4 Phytonral, 1314 FR
Without the cart the party travels at triple the speed it did with it. Without delays they can be back in Weeton by the end of the next day, Foeday. This night they can camp two camps back, the camp they used the second night after the stick creature attack.
The rest of that day and the night go uneventfully. The absence of Blaeric is obvious.
Foeday, W4 Phytonral, 1314 FR
The next morning they begin the last day of travel home to Weeton. Shortly before noon they arrive at the spot where the strange stick creatures attacked. Lying across the path is a body. He has been ravaged by something sharp such as claws or talons. He leaves a trail of blood leading to the north, the same way the stick creatures came from. 1
Two hundred feet off the road a horse has been slaughtered and around it lays a collection of blood spattered sticks. It was bleeding before it died because it left a trail of blood similar to its rider back north. Following the trail of blood leads to the beginning of another path about a half mile away. This goes about two miles north deeper into the forest until it stops at a cabin nestled in a clearing near a small, clear stream.
A small shrine can be seen behind and to the right of the cabin with a well tended path and a headstone. A small pen on the other side of the cabin contains the remains of an indeterminate number of small animals, probably goats. The outside of the cabin is undisturbed, although a small dirt patch in the front yard seems to have had some plants pulled up recently without being raked down or tilled. The headstone whithin the shrine reads “Strield Angard, Beloved Wife” with a picture of an apple carved into the stone just below that. It is well tended and flowers grow all around it, blooming in orderly rows of blue, red, and yellow.
The cabin is open and there is small living space within. It has been tossed and there is nothing of more than sentimental value within except for Rel’s journal. It is inside his desk in an unlocked drawer.
It tells of the apple from Oakhurst Rel went to get to heal his wife. He got back after she died and he buried her, planting the apple in the front yard of the house. The last entry is him saying he heard a noise the night before and was going to stay up and see what it was.
The party buries Rel next to his wife and includes all the sentimental items they can find. Holice seals the cabin. They find the trail of the wood creatures going south and learned all the wood is apple. They also take the dirt that was torn up as it had some magical residue.
They head back to Weeton. They arrive late in the day and meet the Mayor in the Crafty Cat to tell him what has occurred. He has heard of Oakhurst and the party determines to go there to investigate the goblins that sold the apple.
Fightday, W4 Phytonral, 1314 FR
They sell their take to Sam and buy stuff. They also decide to wait through Sixthday to allow Malven to be here for prayers. Father Brand tells him to bring the group with them for prayers.
Sixthday, W4 Phytonral, 1314 FR
Everyone goes to church to hear Father Brand do his Prayers. The rest of the day is spent amongst the villagers.
Funday, W5 Phytonral, 1314 FR
They travel through the woods and camp at the eastern edge.
Ruesday, W5 Phytonral, 1314 FR
The group hits the road around midday and Oakhurst at the end of the day. The mage identifies the Ashen Plain where Ashardalon made his ancient rampage.
They arrive at the ’Ol Boar Inn and go in. There they meet Garon the barkeep. He offers them an ale and tells them information about the area.
Fleeday, W6 Phytonral, 1314 FR
They go to visit Corkie the Healer. She doesn’t like the apple arrangement and would like those stopped. She does name the Sunless Citadel as the ruins to the west. Antoine remembers hearing the name in connection to a dragon cult and wonders if it is connected to the Ashen Plain.
They then visit the constable, Felosian a female half-elf. She wants to find out about who is killing the cattle. She says it sounds like the stick creatures. She also tells the party that they are welcome to use the town as a base. She tells Garon to hold their rooms and stable the horses until they are done.
They make their way to the ruins after buying a few last minute items. It is seven miles to the ravine entrance.
Climbing down the rope to a ledge, Holice and Aldo kill three rats on the first ledge. They make their way down the switchback stairs below and come down into a crumbling courtyard. After disabling a pit trap they move through the only door in the citadel tower. The tower room has four dead goblins, two other doors and a secret pocket room in the south. The skeletons that come out of it are defeated by the light of Pelor and one of the goblins is covering the name Ashardalon carved into the wall. They move through the south west door. The room on the other side is empty except for a door with an elaborate dragon carving, un-pickable keyhole in the mouth.
After backtracking to the other door, they follow a tunnel to a room with a whimpering kobold hiding in the bedrolls. He says his name is Meepo and he kept the dragon that lived in the cage on the south wall. The cage has a large hole and is twisted out of shape. Meepo promises to take them to his leader who will make a deal with them if they recapture her dragon.