Original game date: November 4, 2017
The game resumes with the caravan leaving Nashkel and heading toward Greenest following the Uldoon Trail in the footsteps of the Cloud Peak mountains. Soon, they being to encounter signs of a looming undead menace.
On the road again
The caravan runs into a zombie with vines animating him that someone recognizes as Strevin, one of the farmers who reside near an upcoming Mazmanian Caravansary. Loch volunteers to investigate, but Dawnstalker tasks him with protecting the caravan with his holy magics, Dawnstalker himself will travel with the players and find out if danger lays ahead.
The Gulthias Tree
At the caravansary, the party discover a massacre and evidence of captives dragged off by zombie wolves and bears. Following the trail, they encounter zombie wolves.
The trail leads back through a series of stone ledges until they come across an awakening petrified Gulthias tree among the stones hills below the Cloud Peaks. Among the rocks of the mountainside roost many vultures.
The dark dryad, Splintershard, was awakened by Tromaz and Zarmot, two wights whose barrow was robbed by Dragon Cultists and who now seek revenge of the town of Nashkel. They have broken open the tree and stole her seed so that they could make an army of Blights. Splintershard hates and resents them, conflicted at being awakened after a peaceful slumber. As she drinks more blood, her evil grows, however. She has since waylaid victims to drink their blood and begin to restore her power.
The tree is protected by a collapsed pit, which screens the dead bodies from sight. Splintershard first tries to convince the party to help her by sending them after the Wights. She insists they stay far back as her root structures are vulnerable. If they approach she grows quickly alarmed and summons two zombie bears, revivifies the dead forest creatures into zombies and orders them to attack. She also has a flock of vultures at her command.
Intervention of the Halflings
Hambert and Odessa Clearfield show up to assist. They also explain what the Gulthias Tree is, an ancient evil – a tree sprouted from the wood of a stake used to kill an ancient primordial vampire. The tree in turn birthed the first of the Daughters of Gulthias, a breed of dangerous and evil dryads.
When the two druids first arrive, it is as two large Dire Wolves, who bring with them the wolf that Saul rescued and its new pack. They helped smooth the transition after Saul left.
The Clearfields invite Saul to join them in a ritual to cleanse the site of residual evil and the three druids enter a ritual trance. As the ceremony culminates the spirit of Gulthias rises and attacks them, it is unable to affect the two halflings but Saul’s psyche is ravaged, his memories and thoughts torn through by a vastly intelligent evil presence. He breaks from the ritual casting but not before the Clearfields are able to complete the spell and send Gulthias fleeing.
The Caravansary Pillaged
Returning to the Caravansary, Dawnstalker leaves the party there to guard and tidy up while he returns to fetch the rest of the caravan and bring them in.
While he is away, the party looks around and discovers some gold by blowing up a safe in an office, and finding another cache of gold and gems in the bar. They also discover a secret hiding place at the bottom of the large fountain at the center of the courtyard, used to water horses. Inside they find a large quantity of gold in bar form, as well as some gems and smaller amounts being held for others (such as a guard putting money away).
A number of Blights appear and draw the party out into the wilderness of the foothills where they successfully fight off several of the creatures.