Once they had stopped up the tunnel beneath the water and eliminated the aboleth that was directing the digging, the heroes of Galisat planned to go to the northwest of Lake Hooktongue to seek the tomb of Armag the Twice-Born, which the Narthropple group believed they may have located. They wanted to find it before Nyrissa's supporters did, as they believed that their enemies were trying to use the sword Armag was buried with to convince the Tiger Lord barbarians that he had returned to life; and gain legitimacy for the man they were trying to make the barbarians believe was Armag reborn.
They went first to Oleg's Fort to check in with him and see how things were. There they found that Donak the priest was leading a celebration to welcome new arrivals and new members to the community of Erastil's followers. Many of the newcomers had fled the troubles in Pitax. The refugees told tales of how the new rulers of Pitax were recruiting huge rats as soldiers, as well as an aura of evil that seemed to permeate everything, and how the forces from Pitax were attempting to dig tunnels into territories claimed by Galisat. The refugees also reported that the cult of Gyronna had become strong in Pitax and the Black Sisters were powerful.
Other tales told by people attending the celebration spoke of a Lady in Velvet who appeared at times of great need to bring succor. She appeared to be human and was usually seen in forests, thus she was sometimes known as the Lady of the Forest.
Among the new arrivals were several veteran soldiers. Garrick and San'Kari decided to recruit them for the territory's army. After interviewing the men they determined that a unit should be set up at Oleg's Fort, similar to what had already been established in New Hope. They recruited two experienced men, Valen and Vord, to act as drill sergeants. The two men also told them of a dangerous creature known as a 'speartooth', an eight-legged monster that was not any kind of spider.
Garrick took time to check in on the hill giants that their friend Grizz (the polymorphed brass dragon) had sent to help protect the fort. He used the enchanted shovel to dig a cave for the giants to live in, as they found the forested area around the fort less than comfortable. Oleg informed Garrick that two hill giants named Dregg and Zarn had been sent to protect Varnhold.
The heroes also heard from Bokken the alchemist that he was looking for azure lily pollen.
At the Fort, Oleg’s partner Svetlana took Silverleaf aside and warned him to watch over the sleep of his companions. She feared that the Black Sisters had the ability to taint dreams. Meanwhile San'Kari went to the stable to visit Klutz the stableboy, whom he had befriended not long after arriving at the fort for the first time. Klutz reported having bad dreams and being unable to sleep. Concerned, San'Kari took him to see Svetlana. After Garrick heard of this, he and San'Kari went to examine the stable, and Garrick discovered a taint of evil there. Garrick’s wife Amaya was especially troubled by the sensation.
While they were examining the stable, they spotted a black cat which fled when Garrick used his ability to detect evil. Landon sent an invisible Cyst after the cat, which fled to the old tree outside of town, where the heroes had previously battled followers of Gyronna. When it reached the tree the cat transformed into a woman with tentacles for legs - the sign of the Black Sisters. Once Landon reported what Cyst had seen, Garrick teleported himself, Silverleaf, Tahjah and Thim to the tree. San'Kari used a ring of teleportation he had borrowed from Garrick to travel to the tree. Everyone but San'Kari activated their rings of fly on arrival, and immediately attacked the Black Sister.
Thim's arrow struck her with a vital strike, while Garrick blinded her with a holy smite. The woman then shouted, deafening Garrick and somehow causing San'Kari to become fatigued. He nevertheless hurled an axe at her and wounded her. Garrick then cast a flame strike on the tree, unaware that the invisible imp Cyst, Landon's familiar, was nearby. Silverleaf also cast flame strike, while Garrick threw a dagger at the woman. The woman summoned a giant crocodile to attack San'Kari, who was on foot at the base of the tree. Silverleaf released a charge of fireball from his staff to burn her. Following a difficult struggle with the crocodile, San'Kari slew it with a might blow. Silverleaf scorched the woman with burning hands, and Tahjah grabbed her with a telekinesis spell.
Just after San'Kari used his ring to teleport onto the tree limb beside the woman, Garrick struck her with a flurry of blows and she fell. On her person was found a ruby ring worth 300 gold pieces, a dagger of wounding, a wand of charm person, an elixir of love, and a potion of aid. She also carried a missive with some information about Lady Quintessa and Baroness Pavetta of Pitax.`
ruby ring 300 gp
+3 dagger of wounding
wand of charm person CL 9, 17 charges
potion of aid
elixir of love