- The party travels on and ventures deeper into the Talonvale Forest. A few days afterwards, a humongous figure – a Jack-in-chains – breaks through the trees, chasing a humanoid figure. The latter turns out to be a half-elf blood hunter who introduces himself as Tempest after everyone worked together to slay the giant. Tempest, it turns out, used to be a Twilight Sentinel, which piques Rana’s interest.
- Tempest joins Tempus Alea and the two elves to assist them in finding out what makes the Syndarin vanish one after another.
- Once they reach the elven village, they are brought before Seeker Arannis. He confirms what the group has learned from Myrill and Elandthyr. Around 150 Sindarin elves have gone missing over the last three months while out hunting. Chances are they were killed. Arannis himself is the only known survivor. The group of young, inexperienced hunters he led out into the hunting grounds were attacked by a creature that moved incredibly fast, and all that remained were blood spatters. A dense fog and a smell of death preceded the attacks. The animals, Arannis adds, refuse to talk about the incidents. They did, however, speak of a so-called Heart of the Scourge – a name no-one has ever heard of. Arannis hands out a map on which the locations of four of the attack sites are marked. Furthermore informs everyone that the question was raised among the elves whether or not the Ryven folk living north of the Syndarin village might have something to do with the incidents. So far, there has always been peace, which is why the Seeker does not really consider this a possibility.
- Before the group leaves, Keena asks about the fate of Myrill and Elandthyr, and upon learning that they will probably be exiled, gets upset. Rana tries to intervene, but the druid continues to tell Arannis what she thinks about strict laws like these, until Arannis has everyone escorted out by his guards. In leaving, he warns Tempus Alea that, while they are allowed to conduct their investigation, the smallest act of hostility coming from their side will result in severe measures from the elves.
- During the following days, Tempus Alea with Tempest examine the four camp sites marked on the map, but find little evidence of the attacks. The most striking fact is that all the animals of the forest are gone.
- at leas one month old
- tracks from snake or snake-like creature
- magical residue
- decay on leaves
- 2-3 weeks old
- downed trees
- signs of decay, spread about 30ft around the site
- not more than a week old
- two unusual tracks that were covered up, plants around are wilted
- hint of musk in the air
- magical residue
- signs of decay
=> Someone approaches the camp during the night, but they are gone before Verrin and Keena can catch up with them.
- more than a month old
- any relevant traces gone
- The party speculates what creature might be behind the attacks and whether or not someone is helping or guiding it – and if this could possibly be an “inside” job initiated by one of the Syndarin elves.
- They decide to check out the third camp once more. The night at that camp goes by uneventful this time, so the group follows the direction the unknown persons approaching them before took when they fled. Since the second campsite is more or less on the way, they decide to take another look at that as well, before continuing to follow the tracks.