Recovering the damaged boat used to reach the bandit keep and the bandit’s own small boat, the group heads back up the river to the riverboat docks. Picking up the supposed Gralk trail the group heads north, away from the river.
Working through the small trees taking root in this still swampish water, the group comes upon a scene with a dead villager laying amongst the brush, his death a violent one. As the group notices the vile green paste on the villager’s lips two trees seem to come to life as a small voice shouts insults at the group. The trees advance wielding rusty axes as the flittering voice among the branches continues to hurl insults.
The trees attack with their axes as Meffridus summons forth many snarling roots that even appear to slow the trees down. Others shoot arrows and slings at the trees, though noticing they appear to be doing no significant damage. Patrice hurls oil at the one tree and manages to get things smoldering as the voice keeps moving about the branches.
Meffridus spots what appears to be a pixie of some sort and summons forth more roots to slow the flighty creature down. The slowed trees hurl their axes as the party as more oil is tossed at them. One of the trees begins to catch fire as a well placed shot strikes the flying pixie killing it. At the moment of its death, the trees cease to move.
Patrice searches the other tree and finds a decent sized emerald, while Baptist and his trio gut the pixie.
Continuing north the group comes to a large clearing with a tremendously oversized tree that reaches all the way up to the clouds. Giant eagles float amongst its branches riding the air currents. A small tent appears to be set at the base of the tree. As the group enters the clearing the man begins acting franticly, speaking in unknown tongue and waving his arms as if motioning the group off.
Stepping back into the treeline the figure seems to calm, though he still watches. Stepping back out into the clearing elicits the same reaction from him. Deciding to skirt the giant tree, the group follows a path that stays away from the tree and continues on by.
Finding a rickety wooden bridge the group crosses a small creek that flows down into the river crossed earlier. Hearing sounds of laughter, axe chopping and digging the group sends Patrice to investigate. He sneaks forward and finds an encampment with several human guards and even more opposumen as well as what appear to be several prisoners from the village of Slither’s End.
Patrice falls back to advise the others and the group decides to launch a surprise attack on the encampment. Luck with them as they make a devastating attack on the unaware guards. Between well aimed attacks, powerful magics and the stealth of Patrice the guards are reduced to a lone survivor before his life too is ended.
With prisoners rescued the group asks a few questions of the lone woman apparently not affected by this green paste the others have on their lips. Both women, men, and children have been kept prisoner. The woman explains that Jonas Gralk applies this paste to them each morning to keep them docile and easier controlled. She managed to escape hers this morning. She says they are being used to mine this glowing green ooze from some pits further to the north. She details that there are more prisoners ahead in a walled area and there are another 15 to 20 guards. The Gralks seem to remain in one of two towers in the same compound.