Windsday, 8th of Nerth, Year 3033
As the dust from the battle settles, the halfling ranger calls out to her company as the gnomes begin to collect scattered supplies and gather their dead. The scarred half-orc, still scorched by Alistair’s eldritch blast, picks himself up, grunting and growling in anger, looking around for a sign of what hit him.
Magnus approaches the halfling, attempting to “impress” her with his dagger skills and bragging about his skills in battle, but she only looks at him with disdain and hatred. The half-orc tells Magnus to leave her alone, and that she isn’t going to warm up to him. He introduces himself as Raff “One-Eye”, and explains that the halfling is named Willow, the captain of the gnome militia. Raff explains that he is a hired mercenary for the gnome company. He also explains that their trade caravan was stopped by their wagon being destroyed by the mechanical harvester.
The gnomes notice Alistair comforting the injured badgers, and gain enough trust to approach and speak with him. Kvothe, using Foxfire, heals Magnus, Lilith, Raff, Willow, and some of the injured gnomes. They thank him, and the act of kindness makes them feel more comfortable in the midst of such bizarre and seemingly powerful strangers.
Magnus, attemping to be serious and patch things up, tries to extend peace on behalf of his party and the Bobs, but he is met with mostly indifference by Willow and the gnomes. Raff, feeling bad for him and recognizing him and his friends as “outcasts and undesirables”, just like him, says that he can help them out by letting them speak to the boss of the gnomes. Knowing that Willow would protest, he says that they need to keep it a secret and not follow too closely behind. Once they reach the village, he could sneak them in – but for a price. Magnus attempts to challenge Raff to a game of dice, proposing that if he can beat Raff, that Raff will have to sneak them in for free. Unfortunately, Raff has no dice, so Magnus is unable to use his weighted dice to cheat the half-orc. Magnus and Raff agree to play later, and they pay him half of what he asked for up-front.
Kvothe produces his Elven lute, playing an ancient Elven ballad for the fallen gnomes as they bury their dead. Alonwyn comforts a gnome in mourning over the loss of his wife who was killed in the fray, and prays with him for her soul, which helps him find solace. Alistair helps the gnomes dig more graves for the fallen gnomes.
As night falls, Willow barks a command to move out and set up camp further north along the road. Raff says that he will sneak them into the village, but that they have to remember to stay far behind the gnome caravan so as not to draw attention or be spotted. The group agrees to hang back, and soon enough, the band of gnomes disappear into the darkness, the fire of their torches fading into the dense trees. Alonwyn begins to panic as the darkness sets in around them, but Lilith quickly makes her a light, staving off her panic attack.
Magnus, suddenly compelled by gibbering whispers in his mind, pulls out his eldritch trinket and begins to lose his mind, seeing horrifying creatures that phase in and out of reality and the fourth dimension. Soon, everything surrounding him flashes between reality and a terrifying, indescribably evil subterranean dimension where he is surrounded by twisted monstrosities. The party attempts to calm him, but he only sees them as evil figures, and runs from them screaming.
Kvothe drinks from his waterskin of pyschoactive water, hoping to capture a bit of the magic of the meld that he experienced before.
Korag-Gora, trying to snap Magnus out of it, slaps the halfling hard across the face, but Magnus just starts screaming a blood-curdling howl, thinking that he is being attacked by a tentacle-faced horror. The goliath tries to muffle the halfling’s creams, but Magus bites his hand, fighting for his life.
Soon, the party notices many strange, fiery orange lights far away in the distance of the Sporest, and notices that, oddly, they are moving slowly. Lilith attempts to recall some knowledge about the strange lights, but can’t recall the information, and the mental strain sparks a surge of wild magic that bursts forth from her mind.
Suddenly, a strange, small clockwork creature appears in a burst of extra-planar smoke – a modron. The small construct turns around, searching his surroundings with a single mechanical eye. Making no sound other than an eerie whirring, the creature begins to panic as he is no longer in his clockwork dimension, pushing a gear or whatever it is a modron does. Lilith attemps to pick it up, but it produces a tiny bronze knife, lifting it into the air in retaliation. Just before it stabs, the modron disappears in another puff of smoke, leaving the party bewildered and speechless.
Suddenly, they realize that Barkley is missing. Looking for signs of the hound, Kvothe finds Barkley’s paw tracks leading along the path with the gnomes, which puts them somewhat at ease.
Alistair proposes that the group just spend the night in the glade to rest, eat, and sleep. The group argues over whether to stay in the glade or attempt to follow the path. Eventually, the group decides to call it a night and sleep within the glade.
Thundersday, 9th of Nerth, Year 3033
At dawn, the group awakens. Kvothe uses his druidic magic to search the vicinity for the bleeding tooth, but is unable to locate it.
Realizing that they are out of water and very thirsty, Kvothe then decides to search for running water to drink. Curiously, he finds a strange, very large umbrella-like mushroom with a constant flow of water pouring from atop its cap in a never-ending sheet of water all around its circumference. Guessing some kind of magical source, the group fills their waterskins and use the enchanted fountain as a shower to bathe, having become extremely dirty and travel-weary from their journey.
While bathing, a few of the party members feel a tiny slap on their behinds, but when they turn, there is nothing and no one there. Confused, they go back to bathing. Shortly after, Lilith hears a disembodied giggle, and then is transformed into a tiny white rabbit in a poof of magic. Alistair, feeling magic come over him, is stood frozen in confusion.
Magnus, similarly feels a magic cast over him, but begins running full speed into the woods, with no control over himself. Magnus, running through the woods, is suddenly tripped and grasped by rapidly growing and twisting weeds, but he is able to break free of the grasping plants. As he tries to escape again, he hears a disembodied, childish voice that says “Not so fast!” with a giggle, and he suddenly feels himself drifting to sleep.
Kvothe, Alonwyn, and Korag-Gora find the rabbit, and are able to detect magic emanating from it. They realize the rabbit is Lilith. Korag-Gora senses that he can knock Lilith back to her normal form by punching her, but this sends rabbit-form Lilith into a frightened panic, and she tries to escape. Biting and clawing at Alonwyn, who is holding her, she finally leaps from her hands, and Korag-Gora sends a goliath fist in the furry haunches of the tiny beast. In a puff of smoke and dust, Lilith is returned to his normal form.
Alistair follows Magnus’s tracks and finds him lying on the forest floor, asleep. After waking him up, Magnus realizes he is missing his entire money pouch, as well as his ever-smoking bottle.
Kvothe, detects something magical perched on the mushroom’s cap, and casts faerie fire on the invisible form, but the mysterious creature dispels his spell, keeping itself hidden. They hear a tiny giggle.
Korag-Gora, fed up with the tricks, produces a throwing axe, flinging it blade over haft at a frightening speed. With a sickening splatter, the tiny creature is sliced in half, its invisibility instantly dispelled, revealing a small, female pixie, now only few pieces of gore and torn fairy wings. Magnus’s money purse explodes from the impact, sending a shower of gold and silver pieces raining down. The ever smoking bottle, somehow unharmed, soars through the air. Kvothe dives for the bottle and catches it without breaking the glass bottle. As the pixie dies, the magical fairy fountain ceases to flow from the mushroom cap.
Magnus, crawling around the forest floor, searches for as much of his money as he can gather, but only manages to recover a small amount of it. Korag-Gora gathers the pieces of the pixie and buries it below the stalk of the toadstool.
Alistair, clearly fed up by the madness of the past day and night, tries to persuade the group to abandon the forest forever and never come back, saying that the benefit of staying and finding the bleeding tooth, or helping the myconids, or following the gnomes, is not worth it. The group is stalwart, and ignores his pleading, saying that they have to stick to their quest.
After navigating the path taken by the gnome caravan, by late morning, they finally reach a fairly minimal wooden gate attached to fencing that stretches into the forest on either side. Not finding any sign of Raff or Barkley, the party begins to worry they have been abandoned. Magnus decides he wants to sneak into the village and see if he can spot Raff. Without much to disguise himself, he attempts to put together the look of one of the forest gnomes, but only manages to make himself look like a dirty, disheveled halfling.
Lilith alters her appearance using sorcery to look uncannily like a gnome. Alistair uses his eldritch magic to change himself to look like a human, trying to pass as a mercenary similar to Raff. Kvothe turns into a giant badger. Soon, the plan to infiltrate the village becomes a full-fledged, full-party affair, and the group comes up with the plan to make it look like Korag-Gora has turned on the party, and is delivering Alonwyn as a prisoner, and is being escorted by a new mercenary, two gnomes, and a giant badger. They tie Alonwyn up to look like a prisoner, and Korag-Gora carries her over a shoulder.
Magnus picks the lock of the gate and swings it open. They sneak in, and find a sleeping gnome guard resting on a giant badger, also asleep. The badger, sensing the party’s movement, awakens, looking confused. Alistair, using his animal handling skills, comforts the badger back to sleep. Magnus decides to knock out the sleeping guard cold and steal his clothes to improve his disguise.
Kvothe, leading ahead as a badger, falls into a concealed pit trap in the pathway. Mostly unharmed, he is able to pull himself out of the deep pit using his badger claws.
The party walks along the path, passing many fungal gardens and some gnomes working in them. Giant badgers pulling carts and digging in fields can be seen. Eventually, the group comes to the main hub of the village, nestled along the side of a river and surrounded by dense woodland.
Impossible to miss, at the far side of the village are two immense tree trunks, now hollowed stumps, as colossal as fortresses or castle towers. From the tops of the hollowed stumps, steam pours in billowing spouts – a sign of industry. Gnome workers can be seen moving along spiraling pathways carved in the wood, scaffolding and walkways suspended between, with windows and openings, outcroppings and platforms jutting from the sides, some built of wood, others naturally occurring fungal shelves and mushroom growths. Pulley systems lift and descend, pulling elevators loaded with crates and supplies from the foot of the complex to the tops. Brass pipes seem to pump water from the river into the complex, and pump some kind of waste further down back into the river.
Large toadstools and mushroom stalks sprout from around and at the foot of the huge complex, functioning as watchtowers and living quarters. An especially large toadstool situated between the stumps seems to serve as some kind of mansion or home, as it is lavishly decorated.
Surrounding the main complex, the windows of burrows glow with warm light from between the roots of trees, the sides of tree trunks, and from within toadstools. Sprawling gardens of fungus blanket the shady, moist forest floor. Ornate buildings carved from wood, some made from augmenting a particularly large toadstool or tree stump serve as workplaces and storage facilities for the gnomes.
As the party walks further into the village, their confidence rises as they notice the gnomes buying into their disguises. They hear some of the workers whisper that Alistair, disguised as a large, burly human, must be a newly-hired muscle. Suddenly, their plan is shattered as Willow emerges from a nearby building. Alistair, noticing Magnus preparing a speech, shoves the poorly-disguised rogue into a large growth of fungus and foliage, just in time for Willow to notice them.
The halfling approaches Lilith and Alistair, both disguised, and remarks that she has never seen them before and asks what they are doing with the goliath and half-elf. Alistair begins to explain that he is a new mercenary and friend of Raff, and that Korag-Gora has betrayed the group in order to turn over Alonwyn to them. Willow, seeing through the deception and very confused by the presence of Korag-Gora and Alonwyn, asks Alistair how he knows Raff, but Alistair freezes up, causing Willow to go on the offensive. She notches an arrow and sends it flying at Alistair, but the warlock uses misty step to disapparate away from harm in a wisp of mist.
Magnus emerges from the foliage and approaches Willow, trying to explain the situation and diffuse the tension by telling her their plan and how they tried to disguise themselves to get into the village, even going so far as to admit that he knocked out and stole the clothes of the guard gnome.
This sends Willow into a rage, as she quickly sends an arrow flying into Magnus’s thigh. Drawing another arrow upon her bowstring, she shouts for bows and spears at the ready to apprehend the intruders as Korag-Gora, carrying Alonwyn, begins dashing away.