The troublemaker at the gates of Bryn Shander is none other than ‘Istryn Ashbinder’, the condemned man Søngberg left behind, on the other side of the mountains, in his strange tree-cage outside of Fireshear so many weeks ago. The man has become an undead horror, his body preserved beyond death so that his blasphemous vengeance can be maintained. He carries in one hand a longsword shrouded in hellfire and in the other, the severed head of Haugaard Glimgrun of Ironmaster. He is attended by an imp who promptly disappears moments later when things become violent.
Instryn calls out that Søngberg’s head will be next. In response, the dwarf charges ahead to meet his foe, to avenge his dead friend. A wave of the flaming sword calls forth a wall of flame which quickly starts to turn the wooden palisade of Byrn Shander to cinders. Navena is burned and tumbles from her perch on the watchtower, only to be stung square in the chest by the imp’s wicked tail. The next spell out of Istryn’s powerful sword is a lightning-bolt-like-tether that continually jolts Søngberg with agonizing energy. Though the dwarf is nearly killed, Søngberg’s radiant hammer pounds Istryn until he is no more. Eira’s mighty blows destroy Rodney, the imp. Meanwhile, Drielle, Dheirgrin (a newcomer and follower of Eira), and Jared—who all were also summoned to this scene—are caught behind the other side of the flaming wall.
The aftermath is chaos as the people of Ten Towns rush to put out the spreading fire, but one thing is sure: Søngberg is certain Istryn’s sword is evil and that none should handle it! Navena watches over the evil blade and keeps her keen eyes to the dark horizon, alert for more trouble Istryn may have brought with him. It seems all that remains of Istryn Ashbinder is his sword, lying in the snow. Søngberg looks to Drielle for guidance, but she pleads ignorance and suggests Jared would be the person to consult. And so Jared is fetched which unnerves Navena as she has come to fear this ‘cleric’ she calls a liar and a killer of elvenkind.
As Jared does arrive on the scene, something takes hold of Navena and she quickly snatches the sword and rushes off into the frigid darkness. Navena seeks the comfort of another elf, Marsible, drow though she may be. Jared, though confused about the conflicting reports he has heard, is simply glad that everyone is safe, the menace is stopped, and that the fire is out. Everyone (but Navena) returns to the Snug Haven Inn to get what little rest they can.
The events of the night prior have done nothing to deter the group from seeking the wizard Ardemis to the east. So the following morning, a woman of extreme beauty, Shannon arrives to the Snug Haven Inn and pleads with Søngberg and Eira to convince their elven friend to venture to the ‘Hand of the Seldarine’ and locate there a starmap which legend tells only an elf can see. Shannon says the Lathanderans cannot succeed in their upcoming solstice ritual without this map. The two agree to pass along her message and they seek their friend in Easthaven. It is perhaps none too surprising to learn Marsible does not fear the sword as much as the others as she is a cleric of the evil goddess Shar. When the drow’s advice is sought, she explains that in her view, the sword is merely a tool.
Deciding ultimately that the weapon is too dangerous to be left alone, Navena resolves to keep the blade, called ‘Malefic’, and to take it away from the Ten Towns on their journey east. The Tempuran warriors Dheirgrin and Naf join Eira, eager to see this woman swing such a hammer. And so Eira, Drielle, Søngberg, Navena, Dheirgrin and Naf depart Easthaven, with just under two weeks left before the sun sets completely for three straight months. Following secret guidance from the sword, Navena is tugged in multiple directions: the party crosses tracks of what is likely Reghedmen, Navena ignores these and presses on for the Elven tower, but is distraught to learn her candle-which-will-not-light has ignited of its own volition, inside her pack. It emits a cold blue flame, and has already burned some of her items ‘into frost’. The candle, an item sacred to Auril, seems to indicate a third direction south along the mountains.
Unsure of what to do, Navena eschews both the Reghedmen and the candle’s indication, and instead uses the sword’s guidance—without telling her friends—to lead them all to the Elven Tower where she hopes to find Ardemis.
Eira 2,500 XP
Navena 2,500 XP
Søngberg 2,500 XP