After spending most of the day traveling across the scrubby scrap of an island between three rivers, the party found itself facing a river of rapids between them and the Heartwood. After a considerable amount of discussion Derwin simply (or at least he made it look simple) skipped over the river by leaping from rock to rock. The rest of the party then used the rope he'd carried with him to cross without too much trouble, though they kept a wary watch out for crocodiles.
By the time they made it across the sun was on its way down so they decided to camp there for the night before entering the Heartwood.
The Heartwood is an ancient forest that has stored up myths and legends like cord wood. Most Brelians have long avoided the dense wood for fear that it is too "Feyish" and the strange things that happen there. However, going around the Heartwood would have added another three days to their journey so the party decided to chance cutting straight through.
The wood was too dense for them to travel in anything like a straight line. The shifting light through the implacable canopy made strange patterns of light and dampened the sound around them. After they'd been walking for hours, Reblay barely heard a girl scream in the distance. Leaping into action he dashed off through the brush, letting his keen ears guide him.
Eventually he found a young human girl running through the muddy forest as three large, black wolves chased her. Reblay swung to the rescue, spooking one of the wolves away by using his inborn Minor Illusion to imitate a thunderclap. Ineluki sent his familiar, Fanuil, dashing forward to deliver an Invisibility spell on the girl's shoulder and she winked out of sight. Shortly there afterwards once of the wolves tore Fanuil from a tree and gobbled him up before the party. Seeing the familiar familiar dispatched they made short work of the lupine pair, though Light cautioned the others to keep their guard up.
And she was prudent to do so, for as the last wolf fell the young girl gave them a wicked grin far too wide for a human face. Folding her hands in a malevolent gesture she let the illusion fall away and revealed herself to be the green hag, Auntie Rotnog. Four more wolves appeared from the shadows and the hag disappeared again, this time of her own doing. The party soon realized that wasn't all as an Awakened Tree batted Ineluki across the woodland with a blow from a gnarled old branch.
After they recovered themselves they set to the task at hand, working together to dispatch the wolves and then the Tree. Light discovered that her sword, a gift from Obad-hai himself, was extremely effective against the animated plant. When she struck the final blow the tree exploded, knocking everyone to the ground and showering the area with shrapnel. Somehow none of the party were injured however Auntie Rotnog, who had been positioning herself to brutalize Reblay, found that her invisibility didn't stop splinters from puncturing her torso.
Light, seeing that only one foe remained, charged in filled with holy wrath. Between her sword, Derwin & Reblay's arrows, and Ineluki's spells the Hag proved a poor match. She collapsed over an illusory pit and Light severed her head to ensure her life was ended.
After catching their breath the party continued onward for awhile yet. Though they couldn't see the sky they did find that at some point it was just too dark to continue traveling. They set up camp beneath the roots of a great, gnarled tree and hoped they'd make more progress the next day.
The morning began foggy and the party steeled themselves as they resumed their slow going through a forest thick with mist. After a few hours the mist cleared slightly and they began seeing slight forms moving through the brush around them. Only Reblay's eyes were sharp enough to spot them for what they were: Sprites.
He stopped the group and held up his right hand, bearing the Mark of the Fae for all to see. After he announced their intentions and the rest of the party followed suit, a female sprite drifted out of the brush. She inspected each of them carefully, and their Marks doubly so, before finally conceding. Since they were about the Summer Court's business she offered to lead them out of the Heartwood and they gratefully accepted. With the sprites to escort them they made it out of the forest a full day faster than they would have otherwise and they avoided any further unpleasantness with the other denizens of the Heartwood.
The party couldn't help but note that while the Sprite spent most of her time talking with or flitting about Light, she did visit each of them. At least, each of them except for Ineluki. After they left the wood and the Sprite was on her way back, Ineluki finally got her attention to ask if she had ever heard of his father. These were the first Fey the elf had ever seen, despite having lived on the border of the Feywild for so long, and he had a great many questions. The Sprite paused, as though considering whether to respond at all, and then turned to Light (clear across the camp) and told her that "We do not speak of such things!" Then she flumphed (in midair no less) and darted back into the forest.
The party could see Camdon from the edge of the wood but the sun was too low and they still had a day's travel ahead of them so they camped there. During the night Reblay and Light separately spoke with Ineluki about his secret but the elf seemed reticent to come clean or change his habits.
With Camdon just ahead of them the party pushed themselves across the last stretch of open farmland and pasture. They reached the War Highway and the eastern junction of the city by late evening. Picking up some complimentary maps from a town crier they made their way to the King's Anvil Blacksmithy. They still had the message to deliver there and the deadline for that was the 14th.
They found Liam, the blacksmith and owner of the King's Anvil, working at his forge and he directed them to speak with his daughter, Cara, inside the shop. Cara turned out to be a cheerful young woman who was happy to be of assistance. She took the order and paid them their due for delivering it. She also recommended they stay at the Questing Beast next door since it was getting late and the Questing Beast might be the only Inn with rooms large enough for all four of them. There was also the fact that it the Inn caters to "Questers".
The party figured that sounded pretty great and they went right over. They met Ms. Pavlocke and signed in as "Reblay Tumblebottom", "Light", "