The story of our most recent game begins in Sparta. Rolen and Opah are there, and the party’s patron, Lacedon comes in with a trio of robed eladrin figures. He tells them that they are to meet up with the rest of the party at Golnauk Crag but he has a task for them to complete on the way: these eladrin, he says, are clerics of the Old Ones (who are essentially ancestral spirits that have risen to the level of minor deities), and the Old Ones are no longer responding to their prayers. They wish simply for an escort to a certain cave which is sacred to them, to find out what has gone wrong. Lacedon also informs them that Devyn (a sometimes-PC telepath played by me, the DM) has already gone ahead to this cave, and will meet them there. Finally, he provides them with a Bag of Holding to carry a large magic and evil treasure chest that the party is investigating, since they probably won’t be coming back to Sparta anytime soon. And so they set out.
Meanwhile, in Golnauk, Zee gets a telepathic message from Devyn describing the location of the cave, which is near a certain waterfall, and telling him to bring the party there. And so they set out.
Both groups are approaching this waterfall at about the same time, and they spot, and are spotted by, a harpy circling overhead. Then all of them hear a voice in their heads inviting them to ‘join the dance’ and they begin to see a vision: at the waterfall, Devyn is dancing with some dark fey creatures (a korred, a spriggan, and a satyr playing the pipes, to be precise), but it becomes clear that she is being compelled to dance against her will; then the harpy comes diving down and knocks Devyn to the ground; finally, an old crone walks up and points a staff at her, and they see Devyn’s look of pain replaced with an empty, mindless stare. The vision ends, and the party is now at the waterfall.
A battle ensues, from which the harpy escapes unscathed. The old crone flees into the cave, and the rest of the fey are killed.
ADDED 5/31/11: The highlight of the battle was Rolen’s duel with a trash-talking satyr, against whom she brought to bear all of her re-rolls (elven accuracy, luck blade, etc.), but she just couldn’t slay the thing. Heroically, Brie gave up her own action to give Rolen one more chance, and with it the satyr was finally brought down.
The party follows the crone into the cave, where they see the ghostly faces of the Old Ones all around, scowling at them, and numerous corpses are strewn about, as if some ritual slaughter has taken place. Suddenly, eladrin warriors appear from thin air and attack. The first set of warriors seem to be made of ice, and when they are hit they immediately shatter (or melt when attacked with Opah’s fire). A second set show up that are made of flame, and when these are struck they turn to ash. The party spots the old crone standing at the altar of the cave, manipulating a pair of gemstones; as she does so, more of these elemental eladrin are conjured. Rolen and Opah, first to enter the cave, engage the crone, and she dies on Rolen’s sword (one of them), and the conjured eladrin vanish.
Afterward, the party, along with the eladrin clerics, speak to the Old Ones. The group finds out that the leader of these spirits has been compelled to make a pact with a powerful archfey known as Trilleste, and as a result they can no longer answer the prayers of their followers. Trilleste’s henchmen, the fey creatures that the party just fought, then slaughtered all of the worshipers who came to this holy site. The Old Ones inform the group that there is a very old elf woman named Loranda who is destined to become a spirit like them when she dies; however, she refuses to pass away because she feels that her life’s purpose has not been fulfilled. They tell the clerics that if they can bind this woman in a similar pact while she is still alive, then when she dies and joins the Old Ones, she will still be able to answer prayers. The clerics ask the party to help them find this Loranda, and the party agrees. As they are discussing how to find her, Slammer hears Hilda say something about Loranda, a ‘dragonslayer’, and ‘the peaks of the Ironroot Mountains’.
While this is happening, Zee acquires the staff carried by the old crone. He is immediately struck by a vision of a shardmind whose crystals are jet black, locked in battle with a great aberrant beast; the shardmind holds up his staff, and the beast is banished into the Far Realm. Zee awakens from this reverie, feeling that the shardmind he saw and the location of the battle were eerily familiar; he looks at the staff, and sees that it is the same as the one in the vision, but with one of the shardmind’s own black crystals now set in the top. Zee then helps the clerics revive Devyn, though she remains in a daze as they set off for the nearest town to continue their quest.