Pixelator’s Filth Fever disease worsens overnight as she enters the final stage of the disease. Balasar’s condition also worsens but he has not yet reached the final stage.
Hypatia attempts another Detect Secret Doors ritual and this time is able to spot a well-disguised trap door in the laboratory floor. Wolvar uses Dungeoneering to open the trap door, revealing a staircase winding downward into a narrow corridor ending in a heavy iron door. A magic mouth appears in the door and says,
Enter now ye who would prove your worth as Adventurers. Be warned, ye shall either leave this chamber with the Tome of Power, or ye shall never leave at all.
You enter the chamber and the door closes behind you. You see the Tome of Power, Volume One: Heroic Journeys, on a pedestal behind a field of protection. To the left is a white gargoyle and to the right is a black gargoyle. You solve the puzzle of the two gargoyles and retrieve the Tome.
You transport the books from the library to the hidden chamber under the laboratory. Hethica is pleased by this. She then tells you that, in accordance with the instructions Glyph left her, you must convince her of your trustworthiness before she can reveal the location of the remaining two volumes of The Tomes of Power.
Leaving the tower, you encounter the two Mungo on a tree branch at the edge of the clearing. The Mungo tell you that The Old One has been pleased by your achievements and wants to grant you your boon. They give you the following items:
- A glimmering pot of gold (value 1000 GP) containing an additional 500 GP in coinage.
- A beautiful ivory scroll case with a scrimshaw-like depiction of red roses and black thorns. The scroll case contains a ritual scroll of Raise Dead. The Mungo tell you that The Old One had customized the scroll’s effect such that the target of the Raise Dead will instantly immolate into a cloud of black dust should they ever set foot in Notchwood.
- A magical two-faced mirror.
- A black cone the size of a hat box containing some sort of creature. The Mungo say, The Old One wishes you to have this trinket. It was brought into her realm many years ago by someone from your little kingdom who was taken captive and enslaved. It has amused The Old One on occasion, but now she grows weary of it and wants it returned to your kind. Remember not to let it grow too hungry – you won’t like it when it’s hungry.
- A sack of magical golden apples that are used to feed the creature in the black cone.
The Mungo add a final message from The Old One:
You and your Adventuring kind are free to roam outside your Warded land whenever and wherever you like. But there is one exception – stay out of Notchwood! Notchwood belongs to The Old One – there is nothing there for you but your doom!
They also suggest that you might enjoy an area called The Caves of Chaos to adventure in. They add, “The region is marked by a deep gouge in the land over a mile long, and it seems to attract fiendish creatures of all kinds! You’ll be entertained there for months, assuming you survive that long!”
Cookie says that Hobgoblins know of that region, but they refer to it as The
Chaos Scar and consider it dangerous to go there.
On the path leading out of Blithewood you hear a crashing sound up ahead and come to a huge fallen oak tree across the trail. A small footpath leads around the tree trunk and you see a grassy glade with two gnomes eating a delicious feast. The gnomes invite you to join them, and after you do, they insist that you give them your pot of gold as payment for the feast. You are attacked by five gnomes and overcome them in a vicious battle.
You gather up the gnome’s weapons and resume your journey on the main path. You come across some strange writhing grass on the path which Balasar burns with his breath weapon. Three big green beetles with a long proboscis ending in a sharp point emerge from under a rotting log. You dispatch with them swiftly, though Agapanthus and Pixelator accidentally strike Balasar in the back with fumbled ranged attacks.
Further along the path, a single goblin charges toward you. Speaking in the goblin tongue, it yells to you, “The Great Wolf has arrived! The Great Wolf of the Abattoir has arrived and appointed his chosen race, Goblins, to rule over this land! No more will we skulk about in caves and trenches. No more will we shroud our faces from the daylight! Kneel ye lowly thralls of Ardwen, pay homage to the Great Wolf of the Abattoir who spares your puny lives, and pledge your fealty to his Goblin prince, Prince Flak, who is his loyal servant, and your lord and master!”
You attack the goblin and he runs away.
On the main road leading back to Ardmore, you encounter a party of two humans and four halflings. One of the halflings is much older than the rest and wears a black eye patch. After one of the younger members blurts out that they are heading to see Mother Gerd, you try to convince them to turn back. The older halfling gets very irritated and attempts to usher the others along. You succeed in convincing most of the group to turn back, but a human female continues on the journey to Mother Gerd’s, accompanied by the older halfling.
Further along the main road approaching Ardmore, you come across Captain Ubada, a half-orc female commanding a caravan of three wagons supplying the West Tower with provisions as well as Rubricium cylinders used to recharge The Wards in the West Quadrant. A sink hole has opened up in the road, and one of the wagons has fallen off the road’s edge into a ditch. You help free the ox that was pinned beneath the wrecked wagon, but the wagon cannot be salvaged.
Arriving in Ardmore, you are approached by two uniformed men ringing a bell who urge you to donate your “useless magic items” to help defend the kingdom. They explain that the magic items will be converted to residuum which will be used to refine Rubricium from Rubric Ore. You decline to donate any of your magic items.
Returning to Muck’s Pub, you find that Gabbie has not departed because he has been ordered not to leave. He tells you that the innkeeper has a message for you. You are to meet with Lady Ryselka tomorrow morning at Castle Ardwen.
You spend the remainder of the day shopping, trading, and listening for rumors in the city. Hypatia masters the Gentle Repose ritual which she casts on the body of Lord Duffington.