With the Gralks defeated, the group chose to rest for an evening in the confines of the now ruined castle from Malloc’s wrath. Recovering the mask the group headed back to the giant tree to see what they could learn from the crazy man.
They found the crazy man pre-occupied with something near his tent and Baptist stealthily made his way across the open area towards the tent. Reaching the area he notice numerous oversized squirrels overhead as he quickly snuck up on the crazy man and applied viper’s kiss to him to lower his resistance.
The squirrels quickly grew more interested and began watching the disturbance as Patrice made his way across the open expanse. Not being as successful, Patrice was spotted by the squirrels who turned their attention towards him as he moved through the area. The giant squirrels threw giant acorns at Patrice out in the open.
Getting struck by an acorn sent Patrice to the ground, unmoving. The group scurried into action with those by the trees trying to gain the attention of the squirrels while still out of range. Baptist retreated with his prisoner while Sarth rushed to revive Patrice.
After another vicious onslaught of hurled acorns the group returned with their prisoner to the treeline. Baptist questioned him intently, learning powerful magics had gone awry between two battling mages resulting in the tremendous growth of the tree.
Deciding the prize inside the tent was not worth risking the squirrels’ vicious attacks the group moved on towards the river. Summoning the riverboat the group crossed and made their way back to Slither’s End.
At the Asp and Tattles the group was treated like heroes despite being questioned about where the other villagers were who had been taken. Given a place to sleep for the evening at the Tavern, the group awoke the next morning and sought out Vokas to ask questions about the sacrificing ritual and the mysteries of the town.
After investigation the group learned the town had struck a deal with Salissak through a local trapper to have the village protected by the Grimmels in exchange for pork and musk melons. Over the years this exchange led to an annual human sacrifice. This is what had kept the town safe for years.
The group learned of a shaman of these Grimmel creatures who had also helped reach the deal. Tracking him down in the swamp waters the group convinced him to alter the agreement for the sacrifice to be an adult as opposed as a child. The shaman agreed to this amendment and explained the deal to Councilwoman Miriam and the mayor.
Feeling the job was done the best it could the group used the sending stone to attempt to return to Mustertown. Just as Mustertown began to come into view, large powerful roots grabbed the group and the words of Malloc said he was tired of being trifled with many requests and Meffridus and Iomagoth owed him a favor. The feeling of vertigo and darkness returned with the group ending up in a natural cavern.
At the far side of the cavern there were 8 skeletal figured laid to rest and one leader type figure on a larger stone. As the group moved closer the figured animated and immediately attacked the party. A fierce battle ensued with the outcome in question for several moments before each undead was finally slain. During the course of the battle the group found a hall of worked stone to the south.