In the morning you find that The Chanter is crying, feeling that something tragic has beset the old Oracle of the Gate. You travel to the Old Gate, with The Chanter accompanying you. There you find the old Oracle dead, hanging five feet off the ground in the archway under the gatehouse.
The two albino Eladrin mercenary wizards, Aldrin and Endrin, whisper to you from above. They warn you to be quiet and to come quickly up the stairs of the gate house to see something important. After joining the two wizards and their mercenary Orc accomplice, Turka, you peer through the gatehouse window, east beyond the Old Wall, and see hundreds of Orcs, Ogres, and Giants marching northward in scattered groupings. In the skies above them, hordes of flying monkeys drop burlap bundles fastened to small black parachutes that float gently to the ground.
Turka runs downstairs and out into the field to retrieve one of the burlap bundles, slaying one Orc and scaring off five others in the process. She returns upstairs with the bundle and opens it to find a serrated black shortsword, a serrated black dagger, two uniforms, and a box of eight chocolate Orc soldiers mounted on hickory sticks. Hypatia determines that the chocolate soldiers-on-a-stick are enchanted in some way.
You leave the tower with the three mercenaries, staying on the opposite side of the wall from the traveling armies. Turka and Wolvar begin to bicker. Turka reveals that she killed the Oracle of the Gate because she didn’t like the prophesy that the Oracle gave her. Wolvar expresses his extreme outrage at Turka‘s actions. Failing to understand Wolvar’s concerns, the mercenaries decide to depart and go their own way, heading west back into the Chaos Scar. After they get about 100 feet away, Agapanthus shoots Endrin with his longbow. You engage in battle with the mercenaries. Aldrin and Endrin are dispatched quickly. Turka fights intensely for some time, dealing substantial amounts of damage to Rook, but she is eventually brought down by the party in a four-against-one battle. You begin to search the bodies of the three fallen mercenaries.
A pair of Hill Giants climb to the top of the wall and begin hurling boulders. After three rounds of combat, a flock of eight Mungo intercede. Six carry bundles while two are empty-handed. They drop the bundles (each containing one uniform) to the ground and demand that the party (including the Cookie and Dog Boy) put them on immediately. Upon donning the uniforms, the Hill Giants cease their attacks.
The Mungo say they’ve been looking for you. The Old One is delighted that the Dragon-scum creature named Balasar has been driven away. Because The Old One detests dragons, and all their kin, she is inclined to come to a new arrangement with you.
“Find a place of refuge, and take a little time to rest. Meet us at the western edge of The Smoking Forest in six days time. Don’t worry exactly where; we’ll find you. Then we’ll tell you what you need to do to please The Old One. Meanwhile, keep your uniforms on and treat them with respect; they will grant you safe passage through this territory, without which you have no chance of surviving.”
You proceed to Restwell Keep. At the main gate there is a long line of about forty people. Most are Kenku refugees. The remainder include a small band of bedraggled Elves dressed in gray. A pair of guards and a sergeant go up and down the line keeping order, collecting weapons. They bring the party and other humanoids to the front, bypassing the Kenku. A Kenku woman asks for some scraps of food for her boy; a guard tells her to shut her mouth, whacks her in the beak, and she loses of few of her feathers. The guard tells you not the give her food or you’ll start a riot among the Kenku refugees. You turn in your weapons and enter the keep.
You arrive at The Stumbling Giant Inn and interact with Katuun, Renthro, Poppit, and Meadowbrook, who are all still rehabilitating from their captivity in the stronghold of Tregulus. Renthro and Katuun have completed work on the Battle Standard of Healing they had promised you.
You hear a rumor that two Kenku temples in Graak were fighting over a sacred artifact. The losing flock were driven out. That’s why they’re now refugees. You hear another rumor that a band of Kenku bandits have been harassing travelers to the Keep. They are thought to be a gang formed by refugees from Graak who sought refuge at the Keep but were mistreated, so they’ve turned to banditry instead.
Luthan, a Graythicket Elf, is lean and pale, with dark circles under his eyes. He asks the party to go to The Smoking Forest to slay a Young Green Dragon who is a daughter of the Elder Green Dragon, Kalabaxus. His tribe of elves are starving because the young dragon has poisoned almost everything, and now it is hunting the Elves themselves. Luthan sketches a small map with a pathway leading to an old fortress in the Smoking Forest, where he thinks the dragon lair is located. The dragon is in league with a bandit gang lead by a Tiefling. The bandits dwell at the fortress as guards, and also tithe a large percentage of their treasure to the Young Green Dragon. Luthan speaks of a last, lone Dunn Grove that clings to life just outside the fortress. Despite the Young Green Dragon’s best efforts to poison it, it has somehow endured. If the forest has any chance of not turning into a perpetually poisoned wasteland, the Dragon must be killed and the Dunn Grove nursed back to health. Luthan also warns that a menacing creature called an Owl Bear somehow made its way from the Fey Realm into The Smoking Forest. He suggests that if you come across it, you might consider running in the opposite direction.
The party is observed by a small group of human mages in light blue robes wearing silver masks. The mages send a bottle of fine wine to the party’s table. They invite Hypatia to their table and request that she show them her Ritualist Ring. They invite Hypatia and her companions to dinner at the mages guildhouse tomorrow evening.