Part 7 – The Twilight Grove
The group entered the next room and battled a bugbear gardener. Magna charged it before it could throw its javelin. Lee delivered the kill with a sneak attack. They freed a prisoner named Aiden, who was a Krictish warrior from the highlands of north Brythonia. He explained that he was also in search of Baeloch the Outcast and joined their quest.
The next room had an eerie red glow, unlike the purple glow of the other rooms on this level, and contained a marble statue of a rearing red dragon. When Aiden approached the statue, he was attacked by a Shadow. The combined powers of Dodge, Kyran and Yriadel defeated the Shadow. Afterward, Aiden stood within the circle of red tiles in front of the statue and spoke aloud the Draconic runes inscribed along its inner edge (with assistance from Grimble Gromble). A spectral flame enveloped him harmlessly and increased his Charisma.
After walking through a demolished library, an underpass and a long hallway, Grimble Gromble picked the lock to a door and they entered a nature library. Except for one book that was Fire Trapped, they found several items of interest: a valuable tome entitled “Historey ov Vhampyres en Brythonia”; hand written notes from Baeloch which described the Sunken Citadel, the Twilight Grove, and the Gwlthyas Tree; and a tome titled “Thee Boc of Triks”.
The next room was occupied by several Goblins which the group killed swiftly. From within the room, through a collapsed wall, they viewed a vast cavern filled with luminescent fungus and sickly briars. In the distance they spotted ruined walls and the tip of a gargantuan tree.
As they traversed the cavern they were attacked by waves of Twig Blights until they reached the walls which formed a perimeter around the tree. Within the courtyard’s center stood a huge, evil-looking tree, with blackened, twisted limbs. In front of the tree stood Baeloch the Outcast, flanked by Mauritius and Larz (mercenaries under his mental control), plus his druidic companion, a giant tree frog. Three Twig Blights were also nearby, preparing for an attack.
A great battle ensued. Dodge and Glen defeated Mauritius, with the aid of a Water Elemental summoned by Yriadel. Kyran kept Baeloch from being effective by hitting him with Alchemist’s Fire and Magic Missles. Lee drank a Potion of Invisibility and protected Aiden’s flank, allowing Aiden to battle Baeloch and bludgeon him unconscious. Glen killed Larz and Magna killed the giant tree frog.
After the battle, they released Arrioch from the Gwlthyas Tree. Aiden bound Baeloch, planning to interrogate him later, Yriadel healed everyone’s wounds, and Kyran recovered Brightflame from the corpse of Mauritius. Dodge chopped down the Gwlthyas Tree with his battleaxe. Arrioch revealed that he had witnessed the goblin chief kill his brother Arrafel.