Having retrieved the table the previous day that Muragh sat upon and discovering its magics only prevent aging and dust from laying upon its surface. The heroes learn the cursed skull, Muragh, has some useful abilities they agree to let him join them on their journeys of exploration.
Corthen leads the party back to the throne room. This time the party is prepared with spells to fight the suits of plate armor. The group moves forward into the chamber together close to the throne. Tellazar casts a Web spell between the party and the deadly armor. He then sits down on the throne which begins to pulse with light. Suddenly the mage vanishes!
The heroes fight a few of the plate armors managing to defeat them with a combined force of arms. Uldred uses his helm and blasts the remainder with fire eventually destroying them. There is a fierce discussion on what to do next. Corthen and Samira want to return to the city and use the magic of the mirror to locate Tellazar. Erith argues that Tellazar is currently alone and any delay could kill him. He says the party must try to use the throne as well. Uldred jumps on the throne during the arguement and in a few moments he vanishes just like the mage.
Erith follows the dwarf onto the throne leaving Samira, Corthen, Rehs, and Vilnullas to decide if they will follow or if they will return to the city to use the mirror to scry and use the mirror’s gate ability. Corthen finally decides to not split the party and the remaining four adventurers follow their friends into the unknown.
After a short period of disorientation, the reunited party finds themselves together outside. The sun shines overhead and a few puffy clouds drift high above. The party is standing in a large forest clearing with oak and beech trees surrounding them. The ground is covered with wild grasses and a few wildflowers. In the center of the huge opening of the forest is an immense black tree which looms over everything.
Tellazar takes an immediate dislike of the area and suggests the party choose a direction and leave the clearing. No one else joins him in his efforts to run off into the unknown forest. Corthen suggests the group survey the clearing and see if they can learn where they are. The group slowly moves forward toward the black tree. The trunk of the mysterious tree is as big as a cottage. Its long branches spread out far from the base creating a large shaded area that covers most of the clearing.
In the gloom under the immense tree Samira and Tellazar spot a number of yellowed bones poking up through the grass. The mage declares, “I still say we get the tluin out of here!” Erith points to a number of shields hanging from the tree among an entangling of vines. Corthen discovers a line of gold coins hanging in mid-air leading up to a door fashioned into the huge tree. The group stops and begins some minor bickering about what to do next, when suddenly two elves and a gnome swoop down from the tree!
The trio of demi-humans are flying. The dart past the adventurers and grab at exposed equipment on their persons. Shocked by the sudden turn of events most of the party is slow to react. Rehs, Samira, and Corthen have weapons or equipment taken by the flying pickpockets. The elves and gnome quickly fly off with their ill gotten booty into the tree canopy but quickly return for more.
Samira casts a Hold Person spell upon the gnome when he reappears. He crashes to the ground unmoving. The warriors attack the two elves with swords severely wounding the female elf. The two elves retreat, flying back up into the the treetop. Vilnullas and Uldred secure the prisoner who the party tries to question but he seems to be enthralled by magic.
Corthen leads Rehs, Uldred, and Erith up into the tree using ropes to try and regain the missing equipment. While climbing the four are attacked by living vines that snake forward to attack them. Erith nearly dies after a vine grabs him by the neck and begins choking the life from him. The vines are eventually dispatched. The climbing heroes find several bodies, one a mummified human in leather carrying a belt sickle and a rotting elf wearing chain armor and a dagger. After securing the loot the group climbs higher looking for the elves.
Eventually the party reaches the top side of the tree. The upper trunk is hollow so the party climbs down inside. There the four find a upper chamber with several coin purses, moldy bread and cheese, and a cache of weapons, as well as the missing magical equipment stolen earlier from the party. The group climbs down and meets back up with Tellazar and the others. The mage convinces the party to pull back away from the tree and see if they gain any information from the gnome prisoner away from his elven allies.
The party moves away from the tree with Rehs and Vilnullas carrying the gnome. Corthen suddenly lets out a loud grunt and stops in his tracks. He informs the others he cannot move forward that he has run into an unseen wall. Checking the area, the party soon learns that an invisible bubble of force covers the entire clearing and the black tree. Tellazar curses and lets everyone know that he hates this forest.
Faced with no way out, the group turns around and makes their way to the tree and the door in its side. After checking the door the group opens the portal. Corthen finds a shaft descending down inside the tree. Two rope ladders drop down the moist earthy smelling tunnel. The group climbs slowly down. Rehs is hit by a spear trap and impaled on the wooden haft of the fire hardened spear that shoots out from the wall. The thief manages to pull himself off the spear and reach the bottom with the others.
The Guardians of the Past find themselves in an earthen cavern filled partially with murky water. Twisting roots protrude from the pool of water and several weapons hang among them. A faint glow comes from underwater. Corthen dives into the water to learn its source. He finds a glowing leather and metal belt radiating amongst the tangle of several root-like structures. The elf grabs the belt and pulls. Suddenly the “roots” come to life and the entire party is battling a many tentacled beast.
The beast grabs several members at various times and also attacks them with blades held by other tentacles. The party fights back visciously and manages to keep themselves alive in the battle. They defeat the monster under the tree. The two priests heal everyone the best they can while Corthen gathers treasures from the pool.
The party climbs out of the shaft to the clearing. They find the gnome and elves standing awaiting their return. Expecting a battle, the party is suprised that the trio speak and inform the adventurers that they mean them no harm. They claim that they were under the control of the black monster and they were freed once the party killed it.
The party learns that Clammas Marthondin, the male gold elf; and Varnella Nightmoon, the female moon elf are both soldiers of Evereska. The gnome, Brendark Tanglewood, is a native of the forest. The elves inform the party that they are currently inside the Forgotten Forest, days from Evereska. They were part of a large long range patrol that was attacked by a large number of wyverns. Clammas says that the eight surviving elves made it to the forest and to the clearing before they became trapped. He says that one of his party was killed by vines and three more by the tentacle monster. The creature was able to use its magic to charm the survivors. He says that the other two elves were eaten in the following weeks by the beast when it grew hungry.
Corthen removes the items that he recovered from the waters. Varnella and Clammas see the belt and act very emotional. Corthen asks what the commotion is and learns that the leather and platinum belt is something they believe to be a holy item called the Girdle of Glondril. Varnella says that the party must return it to the elves of Evereska and she asks them to travel with her and Clammas back to the Halfway Inn. After some discussion the party votes to accompany the elven soldiers back to their lands.