After some time stuck within the brambles created by Cliona, Dexlexius frees himself and, along with Alderath, makes his way to the tavern, where a guard had recently warned that a riot was about to take place. Upon arriving the two found Maximillian talking with a barbarian-ish stranger. Though somewhat intoxicated, Max and the stranger were discussing the assault on the pirate’s cove. As Dex and Alderath joined them, the story embellished from ice elementals and witches to punching somewhere between seven and eleven dragons in the face, smiting them all.
While this discussion was going on, Cliona and Jeoffrey were talking with Krenal’onar at the local church. While the mirror was currently sealed, the party needed a safe place to store the artifact until they were able to study it further. Krenal’onar (or Karl) agreed to keep the mirror in the priests’ vault within the church. As the priests have been missing for some time, no one was using the vault but him, and thus it would stay safe for as long as they needed.
After a short discussion, Dexlexius, Alderath, and the new barbarian Wigelsbach joined the group. Contrary to recent history, Cliona treated Dexlexius with a certain degree of civility and even almost flirted once or twice. However, as the craziness grew, the Lord of the Keep himself came to the church to find out what was going on. When he found the group speaking with Karl, he sighed and asked the group to carry on. Cliona agreed and kissed the Lord on the cheek and led the party out of the city.
At the campsite outside of town, the party discussed their information. Everyone agreed that the tomb to the north which more than one party member had received info about was the best place to start looking for a cure to problems with Herlie’s soil. With the sun, the party traveled further north toward the tomb. Along the way, Alderath suggested stopping at his home village. He suggested it even though he had not finished the quest he had been sent on.
Upon arriving at the half-orc village, the guards were shocked to see him arrive and ran toward the captain of the village guard as they screamed “Oh no! He chief now!” Though confused, the group entered the village, only to be greeted by more and more half-orcs screaming about how Alderath should not be in the village and would destroy the village as its chief. Eventually, the group was sent before the chief. Though the chief offered very little advice, the shaman was actually more helpful. He explained that Alderath was the chief now because of his returning a snipe. Instead of rejoicing, the village was sure that Alderath would destroy the village. Also, his father and brother were jealous, and his betrothed (second cousin) was equally angry about his return. So the shaman suggested another task: find 700 other half-orcs that could defeat him in battle but were willing to become his slaves.
While Alderath was struggling to deal with his family and friends shooing him away again, Dexlexius was working to try to make Alderath look better. Using his diplomatic skills, he persuaded several of the half-orcs to see him in a better light. Regrettably, his skills also wooed Alderath’s sister as a devoted follower. The party also met the pimpin’ panther Salem, the village’s new protector.
While Jeoffrey negotiated a trade link with Herlie, Cliona moved around the village and investigated the problems. She returned to harass Dexlexius, taking him away from the group far enough to give him a gift and flirt a bit. She stunned him with her beauty and returned to the fire to spend time with the shaman and Salem. Everyone else wandered the village. Jeoffrey managed to find a duplicate of the bracelet that he had purchased for Viki long ago in Herlie. When he returned to the fire, everyone decided they needed to leave the village behind before dark.
Once more the party camped in the woods. Cliona relayed that she had found from the hunters and other members of the village that several orcs had disappeared to the north. Several of the returning members relayed that they had seen several humanoid, shadowy figures moving with hostility through the woods toward them before they turned and ran. More and more, the group was certain that the tomb was the source of all their troubles.