The party finally had it’s first non-combat encounter with a fey creature when they came across Tyana, the “goat woman” of the Shadowdale woods. She was sitting on a fallen log, weeping quietly over the body of a dead fawn. The heroes approached carefully and asked about Lucky’s tattoo, which clearly made her uneasy. She identified the symbol as a mark of the King of Winter, Cyrnum Silvertoes. However, she was uncomfortable providing any additional information, fear of retribution from the powerful King of Winter.
After some pressing from the party, she finally, reluctantly, offered to lead them to someone who she said would not be afraid of the fey king, a local witch. The party followed her lead, and then went on the last stretch alone, as Tyana did not want to be anywhere nearby. Either she was very paranoid, of the king’s reach was quite far.
They ended up at a small cottage that looked ancient, though it was carefully tended. Little fireflies danced nearby as the sun set, and it looked like a page out of a story-book. Lukas knocked on the door, and after calling out a few times, the door was opened by a small girl with wide, curious eyes. She introduced herself as Shae, and invited the party inside.
Over a late meal of crabapples, bread and cheese, Shae revealed that she already knew Lucky (who she called Glen), and she had taken he and Ethan to the First World, supposedly the homeland of the fey. She also indicated that “Glen” had been a bad person, and that he’d gotten what he deserved, after trying to seek a way to live forever. The Winter King was also dangerous, she told the party, and could be cruel. She did have a way to return to the First Lands, but the heroes were not keen to go charging in without knowing more.
After more discussion, Shae agreed to try to find out the nature of Lucky’s debt to the Winter King, and the party decided to leave. They discussed possible options, and initially decided to head back to the town of High Moon and visit Naja, the hedge witch with planar knowledge to ask about Isis’s possible origins while they waited for Shae. Along the way, however, they decided to head instead to the Monastery and meet with Ethan to find out what his role in “Glen’s” meeting with the Winter King had been.
Not far from Shadowdale, the party discovered two huge, horrible worm creatures feasting on the body of a man. Getting too close to the creatures was maddening, but the heroes managed to overcome the horrors and slay them. Upon inspecting the body, they discovered it was the same man from the Old Skull Inn who had double-taked at Isis and quickly left. Among his possessions found a ruined notebook with only a few legible pages remaining. The pages seemed to suggest he had been following the party and observing Isis, who he referred to as “Subject Ciara Tynus”, and he also wrote about a “possible hive” and another body hidden nearby. Tucked in the notebook was what appeared to be a small excerpt from a journal, written in Isis’s handwriting.
The party went in search of the body and discovered a dead guard who was missing his brain. They were able to conclude it had been the work of an intellect devourer, a nasty creature who consumes the brains of its victims and inhabits their bodies. With this information, they returned to Shadowdale to speak with the local lord Mourngrym.
They were actually able to meet with the lord, and he spoke with them graciously. The party told him about what they’d found, and their suspicions about what was happening below his tower, and he asked them to show his guards where the body was so they could recover it. The heroes oblidged him and then continued on their way to the Monastery.