The tainted blood of the dead Dire Wolves flows towards Falaran. Derryth hoists the young mage up on his shoulders, allowing him to climb to the top of a wall at the edge of the ruins. However, the black pool of blood creeps up Derryth and over his arm, seemingly intent on reaching Falaran.
The mage uses a life spell to repel the blood, but the respite seems temporary at best. Maxwell springs forward, snatches Deryth by the collar, and scampers to the top of the wall. There, Derryth summons the plants to form a wall between the group and the creeping mass of blood. Maxwell tosses a torch into the greenery, and the blood is burned in an intense fire spurred on by the latent magic of the node.
Falaran and Derryth examine the area and determine that the corruption in the ruins seems to have abated, but the source of that corruption was still active—with a wellspring of dark magic perhaps to the south east.
Maxwell realizes that his prized shield had been lost amid the flames, as was Derryth’s bow.
The group suffers through a cold, sleepless night. They set out the next morning to determine the current status of the orc raiders. They find a pair of orc ships and no sign of the raiding party, and decide that an attack against the orcs would be too risky and that matters are more pressing elsewhere.
The group returns to Greengate and consults briefly with the Duke. The obtain a new shield for Maxwell and some horses for the trip south. After two days of (awkward) travel they arrive at the erstwhile capital of Haywick.
The residents of Mordon seem skittish, and Derryth’s mother provides distressing news: an Augur and a contingent of militia arrived several days earlier and took Derryth’s father into custody. He and Lord Haywick are apparently held within the keep, guarded by the Augur and her “Black Cloaks”.
It seems that the out-of-the-way lands of Haywick have somehow captured the attention of the Council….