Urlach (The player was absent, but we assume Urlach is still with the group trying to play nice.)
After successfully putting out the brush fire that they started, the party is introduced to Eovas, the leader of the trees. He walks them into the old city of Mayn-am-Leit, under the watchful “eyes” of the forest that has breeched the city walls. The area within a quarter mile of the interior perimeter looks much like the outside, lush and overgrown with little to no signs of the ruins that should have been all around them. Eovas takes them to a clearing that he describes as his “throne room”. There he tells the group of the problem he and his green friends are facing.
It seems that the city is full of ratmen and arachnaurs. The trees wish to run them out, but have been unable to press any further into the city. They want the party to help them bring nature back to this land. The party, however, is leery of the idea. If the trees can’t defeat rat- and spider-people, how could they? And if the trees succeed, will they invade Alred next? The trees claim that they will not, that they are just seeking to reclaim this area. All other questions, about where they came from and why they are fighting for control of the city, are answered vaguely. In return for their help, the trees will allow the party to examine the city as they like.
The party says they’re unprepared for this sort of thing and would need reinforcements from Alred. Now Eovas starts to worry that after defeating the enemies, soldiers from Alred will claim the city for themselves. So they ask for collateral in the form of an Alred town elder, to be held by Eovas until Mayn-am-Leit is turned over to him. This arrangement doesn’t please anyone, and the group says they don’t think they can be of help. They leave Eovas and his forest peacefully, quietly forming plans to sneak into the city without the trees finding them.
As they begin the walk back to Alred discussing this, Hagop hears a voice coming from behind a rock. “Psst,” it says. “PSST!” He takes a look behind a large stone just off the path and sees one of the trees’ servants hiding there – a moss-person. She offers to help the group sneak into the city. They are suspicious of her help. She explains that she and her kind are kept under the thumb of the trees and would like to break free from them. She sees these people as her saving grace. If they agree to help her and her people overthrow Eovas and his trees, she will help them get into the city. They agree, and she explains that the moss-people live in and around the White River. The group will return in seven days, at this spot, and she will be able to sneak them around the city gates via the river, and get them to the docks.
The party gets back to Alred and explains everything they have seen to the town council. The council does not approve of a raiding party, they simply wanted to invesigate an abandoned city. Sudifi and Hagop convince them to send them with six militiamen and a mule to get into the city and explore further.
Later that night, they head to Sorgin’s for the weekly fight and many pints of golden ale. The fight is raucous and money is made and lost. After the fight, gossip flows with the beer. The local clan of orcs is unhappy about the death of Veldani and is seeking payment in blood. The town council is trying to deal with it peacefully, but the orc chieftain doesn’t want to compromise.
Some people are talking about Uolvos still being missing. They say there is an area to the northwest of Alred where children have been spooked. They say it could just be children playing where they shouldn’t, but they would feel more comfortable if they knew where the local sorcerer was.
There is also a rumor floating around that the Duke of the region is very ill. Some are saying he was poisoned, others are saying it’s just a sickness that’s been spreading in the Northwest near the border of Da’Raal.
While all of this is going on, Hagop approaches a man that looks like a world-weary adventurer. It turns out that he’s an out-or-work actor looking for a gig. He wants to tag along with the group when they head out to Mayn-am-Leit in a few days. He’s very light on his feet, he says, and won’t be a bother.
A few days later, Sudifi, Bouya, Hagop, Assfacè, four infantrymen, two bowmen, one mule, Bouya’s war dog, and Ballou the unemployed thespian head out towards Mayn-am-Leit. At the end of the first day of travel they are ambushed by a crowd of teenage orcs with bows and swords. They get into a bit of a scuffle and the leader of the group comes out. A large orc bully in studded leather wielding a scimitar. The fight is fast and ends in the Alredians’ favor, with one orc ruffian scampering off alive, but there are some injuries. Two of the infantrymen are badly hurt and the party has to decide whether to move on towards the cursed city or head back to town to get help for their friends and possibly ask for more reinforcements.