The adventurers step through the portal and out into Featherwood, only to find the village burning, with terrifying howls filling the air. Elves and Eladrin, many well armed, run through the streets in chaos, as a mysterious figure wearing an iron mask tears through them with vigor, hurling them bodily into walls and buildings with inhuman strength. “I shall tear apart your tapestry thread by thread!” he shouts, as he lifts a trembling elven warrior into the air with one gauntleted hand.
This is the Feystalker, and the party recognizes him as the man who had sent them to Kimath’s estate to steal the Fomorian Fury. If the howls are any indication, his yetis have the entire village surrounded.
“Need any help?” Arygno asks, unimpressed and unconcerned by the pandemonium. The Feystalker turns towards the adventurers and raises a quizzical eyebrow (his mask being magically enchanted to allow this).
“Arygno?” he says, surprised to find him here. He sees the corpse that Eldarion is dragging. “What is this?”
“Vilus Garmen. We brought his body here so it wouldn’t be found,” Eldarion answers. “We’re here to kill Kimath.”
The Feystalker brightens at this (it’s an incredibly expressive iron mask). Pausing briefly in his slaughter, he steps over to Warman and Eldarions parents and peers at them closely. “Could this be…Nilmetion Telchontar?” Eldarion’s father looks back at the Faystalker without understanding or interest. Warman moves closer, protectively. “But…what has happened to him?” he demands of Eldarion.
After hearing the party’s story, the Feystalker tells them more of his own past. He was once himself a prisoner of the Tapestry of Stolen Tears, but had been rescued by Eldarion’s father. He has sworn vengeance against the Tapestry for his imprisonment; a vengeance that the Fomorian Fury has finally given him the ability to carry out. Featherwood is in fact a training center for the Tapestry; its destruction, and the capture (or death) of one of the Tapestry’s most vital trainers, would be a mortal blow to them.
Eldarion offers the party’s help to the Feystalker, on the condition that somewhere safe be found for his helpless parents. The Feystalker directs Warman to take them to the western side of Featherwood, which has already been emptied of resistance, where the yetis will keep them safe. The party heads to the southern side of the village to hunt for more of the Tapestry’s resistance.
They do not have to search long. At the first house that the party approaches, Galendan(?) startles an elven soldier, who immediately sounds the horn he was carrying. He is quickly dispatched, but his alarm attracts additional guards, including a strange, reptilian were-creature of immense strength. The werecrocodile proves a tough opponent, but with concerted effort, the party is able to beat him into submission. In desperation, the creature reveals that he is the instructor that the Feystalker is hunting, and promises treasure as a ransom for his life.
The party does not accept his offer.
With the field cleared, the party continues searching the nearby houses. Eldarion and Voren find papers bearing Vilus’ signature, which they recognize from other documents at the late portal-master’s estate, detailing a training regimen intended to focus on subterfuge, sabotage and infiltration. (In another house, Valez finds a jug of Dwarven liquor—rich, aromatic and potent—that he is gracious enough to give to Voren.)
The party returns to the Feystalker, who is pleased to learn that the werecrocodile was killed. They then go to check on Eldarion’s parents and Warman to the west, where they set up camp in one of the unburnt houses.
The party heads to Winterspeak the following morning, led most of the way by the Feystalker. At Kimath’s estate, they find several patrols and a well-guarded gate, which they devise to circumvent as they did at Vilus’ compound, by scaling the walls. Eldarion times the patrols, then signals the adventurers to run for the wall.
Voren’s general clumsiness notwithstanding, they are able to surmount the wall unnoticed, and enter the estate through an upstairs window, where they find themselves in a library that some of the party members recognize as the place that the Book of Years had been found. Voren finds the collection quite impressive, and takes the time to grab a pair of notable-looking tomes.
In a small room attached to the library, they blank tapestry that Voren recognizes as having been woven with magical thread. Several of the party members scrutinize the tapestry, which seems to provide visions of the (a?) future, though none of them share what they have seen with the others. Eldarion scoffs at whatever vision it had granted him, and Galendan cuts the tapestry itself down, rolls it up, and stores it in his bag of holding. Voren senses the tapestry’s power somehow distorting as he does this.
They are taken by surprise by the approach of a dignified and elderly servant: “Hear me, guests: The lord of Winterspeak shall see you now.” The party follows the servant, cautiously keeping blades close at hand.
Kimath himself greets them from a chair in a downstairs sitting room. While he does not seem pleased to see them, he is certainly not surprised. Eldarion demands to know what was done to his parents, at which Kimath reveals that he is not in control of the book; the book is a living being, that has enslaved the It-Arist family for generations. Kimath tells them that four pieces of Bolvegon, the creature that created the book, can be found in Haven, and if they are destroyed, the book will regain its original (human) form.
One of the pieces is already near at hand: Nerullian, Petrin’s imp, who he had received from the beholder itself. Upon questioning, Nerullian tells them that one of his brethren had similarly been sent to the dwarves.
Kimath gives the party another shell like the one they procured at the Moonwell, that he says will take them to Kavindair. He also gives them the Crown of Leaves, which he tells them enhances the wearer’s connection with nature and their ability to perceive the world around them.
On their way out of the estate, Galendan helps himself to the library.
The party returns to Haven to fetch Warman and Eldarion’s parents, then activates the portal to Kavindair. They appear in the middle of the city surrounded by passersby, who seem unperturbed by the interruption. Warman says that he has some friends nearby, and leads them to a tenement where he is greeted as a long-lost friend.
They head out to visit the Vulpes, and find the foxes in a tizzy. Amphibious creatures from the nearby river had emerged and attacked them, taking Alopex captive. The adventurers head to the river to rescue their vulpine friend from the menacing fins of their slippery and scaled adversaries.
The fight is sloppy, wet and exhausting, but the heroes emerge victorious, and release the ecstatic Alopex from his cage. After ensuring his safe return, they journey on through the stone circle to Fernwall, from where they will adventure out towards the Dwarven lands to the west.
But before they can leave, Eldarion sees King Akli’s summoning stone begin to glow…
To be continued…