Sunset Vale Saga

Return To The Wellspring

Sunset Vale Saga #23

Come home sister.
You belong with us, sister.
You are not yourself.
You are no one …

Neiriel woke up from her nightmare with a stifled gasp. She was back in the cave which used to be the lair of the Mother Of All Hunger. The party had made camp here after defeating Shadoweye, the Black Howler Alpha earlier that day in this very same cave.

Aerith asked what was wrong and Neiriel told him the nightmare she just had. Though it was completely different than the nightmares he used to experience, Aerith felt there was a commonality that he just couldn’t quite put his finger on.

As the night went on, all concerns of nightmares were brushed aside when Adros strode in from the back of the cave.

Shadoweye, have you dealt with that group of … oh, well hello there.

Adros seemed surprised that the party was there, and not Shadoweye. He assumed correctly that Shadoweye was dead, and seemed to lament that the details of his plan to destroy Hill’s Edge was slowly becoming unraveled. He also non-nonchalantly revealed that he was working on behalf of the Netherese Empire, though he did not say to what ultimate goal. He did bemoan that now that the gnolls have one singular Alpha to lead them, they would be harder to keep under control. He considered that thought for a moment, then his form dissipated into illusionary wisps of magic and shadow. Adros was never really there to begin with.

The party realized that Adros knew where they were, and as dawn approached they made preparations to break camp. As morning came, a message from Bree in Hill’s Edge came to focus in Miriel’s mind. Bree was getting worried about the situation in Hill’s Edge and wanted to know when the party would be able to get her. Toggel sent Furious to Hill’s Edge to pick up the halfling child-prodigy physician and take her to safety in Hardbuckler. The group then made their way as quickly as they could toward the Wellspring Of Serenity.

Once they got there, the party saw the remaining supplies of what was to be a gnome forward scouting base camp. They quickly restocked their supplies, and made sure to load up on extra waterskins to hold the sacred waters from the Wellspring. Neiriel and Aeron flew down into the Wellspring’s grotto on Elsa and found Sahila swimming quite naked in the beautiful blue waters. Syl quickly followed by way of teleporting herself into the grotto’s central tree.

Glad to see them all, especially Syl, Sahila quickly got dressed for her guests and Aeron told her everything that transpired since he started journeying with the party up until that point. Sahila was saddened by the loss of life, but heartened by the news of Shadoweye’s demise and the presence of Fey in the woods after so long.

Neiriel and Aeron asked Sahila a series questions and had her use the Seeing Waters of the Wellspring to scry on Adros, Bree, San’dorial, Nieriel’s family, the location depicted on Aeron’s scimitars, and the last gnoll alpha, Ghostaxe, who had amassed his horde of gnolls at the edge of the Reaching Woods eight hours away from the hamlet of Corm Orp.

Aeron needed to progress in understanding his new druid abilities. Sahila asked Syl to bring a nearby herd of elk to the Guardian’s Grove, and told Aeron he needed to run with the herd. Trying to keep up with the herd triggered his Wild Shape, and Elk-Aeron led the herd for several minutes before reverting to his normal elf form and letting the herd wander once more.

Once Aeron returned to Sahila, she asked him which druid circle tradition he will carry on. This final choice is perhaps the most pivotal of his life, and Aeron took a careful moment to think on the ramifications.

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