We emerged from the dark, damp, and muddy cave into the warm sunlight of a summer day. We walked back down to the river, washed as much of the mud off as we could, and continued to the road that would lead us to the Druidess' temple. At the road, Mongo turned the other way. He said he'd heard that he wasn't in trouble back home anymore and wanted to return. We wished him a good journey and gave him his share of what we had collected in the cave-shrine.

One evening on our way, as we all gathered around the fire, we heard whispers, and then a figure appeared in the fire: a blue-tinted dwarf, wearing a robe, swaying with the fire. He spoke to us again, and although we could hear him, he sounded like we was far away. He said, "They're coming back, you must get back to Eyrie. Stop them. Stop them from getting the crystal of air".

Another crystal. We had fire, we knew where stone was, and now someone asked us to get the crystal of air. What we were supposed to do with them all was not mentioned, nor how to carry them safely. Or resist their calls to power. I reminded Carmella of her rock of power, and she compared it to the book of runes. I pointed out that we knew that at least one being had been seduced by the rock into thinking he was a god, while we knew so such thing about the book at all: it's just a tool. But my logic fell on deaf ears, which only adds strength to my argument that she won't listen to ... vicious circle.

Nobody had ever heard of Eyrie, and we weren't even sure exactly what he had said. Eire? Eerie? Eyrie? Aerie? We continued the journey to the Druidess and hoped she had heard of whatever it is.

They had done a huge amount of work on the temple and the surrounding area since we left. One big improvement was that we could just enter the temple through a regular door now, instead of marching around in a circle and then plunging through the fire. They had set up a camp nearby, where they settled us in. We requested an audience with the Druidess and were told as soon as we took time to clean ourselves up and get a good meal, she would see us. It was a huge relief to be completely clean at last. And the food was plain, but so satisfying.

Once within the temple, she quickly greeted each of us, and got quick introductions to the new people. Then we got down to business. Before anyone else could say anything, Miara stepped right up and asked her to heal Hy's hands. She did, and made Miara promise to fulfill a future request for her. I don't know why Miara and not Hy, but then I couldn't understand what they said between them. Perhaps Miara owed him something. Hy's hands aren't perfectly healed: apparently until Miara discharges the debt, his hands will cause him pain whenever he causes someone else pain. And I'm sure it won't be a pain I'll be able to cure.

Sean asked her about the box she had told Ash to give him. She said she'd seen a vision that it should be in his hands, and that it was either an orcish magic wand, which they often construct in the form of a box that holds something odd, or it was just what it appeared to be: a box with something odd inside. He opened it for her, and she said she thought it must be the former. He said he'd keep it, since it was apparently meant for him to have. She didn't know anything else about it, but there was an orc in Freeport who probably did. Sean decided he would stay at the temple when the rest of us left, and maybe find out about the box later.

Jason asked about Eyrie, and she said it was actually a human/dwarven monastery near Wintersteeth pass. It was way high up on the mountain, and they fly a banner, and continually change it. I remembered seeing it then. Just didn't know what it was. Apparently is quite prestigious, and rich families throughout the Empire and Bretonia send their second sons there.

I asked her about the task she had set us on when we were captured by the ogres. Was Etienne Bastiens still waiting for us in Kreuzhofen? She said as far as she knew, he had never even made it there. Then she turned to Miara and told her that was her request: find M. Bastiens and bring him to her, or find out what happened to him. I guess since we failed the first time she felt like trying someone new.

We had several places to go to, and if we find Bastiens first, it would be a pain to have to bring him back and then return again. We only have a couple of months until the mountains become impassable. Jason asked the Druidess if she could loan us a homing bird so we could send her news, but she said no.

Since we were going back to Kreuzhofen, the Druidess asked Carmella and me to convey her regards to the dorfrichter. She also said he won't welcome her greetings, but he's a good man anyway, and we should give him whatever help he requires. She's as mysterious as Goldrim.

I asked her about the ring and the potion I've been carrying around with me for more than a year. I've never been able to determine what they are, but she could.

Carmella asked about the white egg she found in the valley. It's quite an odd thing. It's very magical, but to no purpose. It just holds it. Miara seemed very interested in the thing, and said she knew someone who would appreciate it. Of course, she wasn't willing to buy it, but just seemed to expect the Carmella would give it to her. Carmella has more sense than that, so she'll keep it for a while, at least until she either finds something to with it or gets tired of carting it around.

While they were discussing the egg, the Druidess was talking with some of the others, and I missed what they were talking about. But she did ask Ash to say hello to another Druidess, named Wanda. That make me realize she'd never given us her name: she's just the Druidess. We also wondered why she didn't just send a bird or something, but she wanted Ash specifically to speak to Wanda.

Then I remembered a scroll I'd been carrying around since we were first in the cave behind the waterfall. There had been dwarvish writing on the walls, and I copied them down in case we ever found a dwarf who could read it. Then I had forgotten all about it. So I handed it to Goldrim and asked him if he would read it.

He read it to himself, and he actually cried. He said it was the last prayers of a few dwarves who knew they were about to die. Since he was so moved by it, I gave the scroll to him.

Back at the camp, we put together our next moves: first Kreuzhofen, then Eyrie, and then to Karak Ostohar, the place Goldrim's instructions say he needs to go.

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~